Shining Fates has been out for less than a week and it's already making major waves in the Pokémon TCG community. The set is selling out everywhere, scalpers are jacking up the prices of sealed product online, social media is filled with collectors opening packs, and hype for the hobby is at an all-time high with much of it centered around this set. Let's take a look at the impact of Shining Fates on the collecting side of Pokémon TCG.
First, a bit on the cards:
- Shiny Pokémon subset: Shiny Pokémon have been a major draw for TCG players for a long, long time. They debuted with Shining Pokémon featured in vintage cards, which put the foil texture on the Pokémon rather than the background. We saw this style make a return with the excellent Shining Legends set just a few years back. Between that, sets includes Shinies as Secret Rare reverse holos and, in other sets such as Steam Siege, simply as regular cards in the set. Hidden Fates introduced the idea of a Shiny Vault, with a set of Shiny cards including standard and full-art which show the Shiny Pokémon with a silvery background and a burst of sparkles. This beloved depiction of Shinies returned with Shining Fates, and the sheer popularity of it in both sets makes me feel as if this style of card is here to stay. I wouldn't be surprised if we saw a Shiny Vault later this year in the fall's special 25th Anniversary set.
- Amazing Rares: I feel less confident that Amazing Rares will stick around. Vivid Voltage debuted this style of card which features a rainbow splashed, textured background for Legendary and Mythical Pokémon. It seems deliberate, though, that Shining Fates included three Amazing Rares which now means that there is just one of every single current type in standard play. While I'd love to see these, that fact paired with the apparent lack of Amazing Rares in the upcoming Battle Styles set makes it feel like this is a complete set. Fingers crossed that I'm wrong, but I don't see these coming back.
- Full Art Trainer Cards: Wow, these are taking off in the Collector's Market and the Pokémon TCG noticed. Shining Fates is the English-language version of Japan's Shiny Star V, a set where the Full Art Marnie card is as coveted a pull if not a more coveted pull than the Shiny Charizard VMAX. In Shining Fates, though? No Marnie. Missing. Just gone. This makes me think that the Full Art Marnie will be a promo and that the English-language TCG is watching the Japanese market as a sort of fool-proof test to see which cards people want. I'd be very surprised if we don't see the Marnie card show up in English in a box or Premium Collection this year.