Today, August 27th, is the wide release of the latest Pokémon TCG expansion, Sword & Shield – Evolving Skies. To celebrate this exciting release, let's take a look at the two biggest chase cards of the set: the Umbreon VMAX Alternate Art and the Rayquaza VMAX Alternate Art.
In the first four Sword & Shield-era sets of the Pokémon TCG, the rarest and most desirable pull was a Rainbow Rare card. Earlier this year, though, the fifth Sword & Shield-era set, Battle Styles, reintroduced Alternate Arts to the Pokémon TCG. These cards had previously appeared during the tail end of the Sun & Moon era and could be pulled in the Full Art section. Now, the current Alternate Arts appear as Vs in the Full Art section of a set and VMAXes in the Secret Rare section. Due to the rarity and the beauty of Alternate Art VMAX cards, these have become some of the most desirable cards in recent years.
Both Rayquaza VMAX Alternate Art and Umbreon VMAX Alternate Art are going to be difficult to obtain for those who can't pull them from packs. While the time leading up to a set's release sees higher prices than normal, the price of these two cards are far higher than normal. As of this writing, the Rayquaza has a market value of $434.22 and the Umbreon has a market value of $324.83. To add to that, Pokémon TCG: Sword & Shield – Evolving Skies currently has a whopping eight cards valued at over $100. It's been since Vivid Voltage's Pikachu VMAX Rainbow Rare that we've seen chase cards priced this high.
Will these cards fall in value? Yes. They will. It remains to be seen where they will settle, though. Evolving Skies is going to be a landmark set that this era will be remembered for, so don't let the FOMO get you. The Pokémon TCG will keep this in print for a long while!