Why Is The Pokémon TCG Umbreon VMAX Alt Art So Expensive?

The Umbreon VMAX Alternate Art from Sword & Shield – Evolving Skies is the most expensive card of the current Pokémon TCG era and it's not even close. It has gone in the opposite direction of most cards. Generally, cards peak when they are released and then, as sealed product is opened by collectors, players, and sellers, the value falls as more becomes available. However, the value of the Umbreon VMAX Alt Art has skyrocketed, reaching new heights that even dwarf its initial value during release week. What is the deal with this card that makes it buck the trend of other Pokémon TCG chase cards?

Pokémon TCG Umbreon VMAX Alt Art. Credit: TCGPlayer
Pokémon TCG Umbreon VMAX Alt Art. Credit: TCGPlayer
  • No reprint: The biggest factor in the value of this card is that Sword & Shield – Evolving Skies is a fan-favorite set that has not yet seen a reprint. We generally see expansions get reprints a while after release which helps the value of chase cards event out. This is why the Rainbow Rare Pikachu VMAX from Sword & Shield – Vivid Voltage which was also once a $300 card has now fallen dramatically. However, this just hasn't happened with Evolving Skies. It seems that the only way we'll see this card drop is a reprint making the set much more available than it is now, but no news has come out regarding such a reprint.
  • Umbreon: Outside of product availability, Umbreon itself is an incredibly popular Pokémon. It tends to be a chase card in any set in which it appears, with other recent examples being the Umbreon VMAX Character Super Rare from Sword & Shield – Brilliant Stars' Trainer Gallery and the Shiny Umbreon GX from Hidden Fates.
  • Rarity: The final cherry on top of this all is hard to prove, but the thought is that it is simply a harder chase card to pull than others. I personally opened fifteen Sword & Shield – Evolving Skies booster boxes. I pulled the second biggest card of the set, the Rayquaza VMAX Alternate Art, three times. Umbreon? I've never held one. I've never seen someone pull it in person. It could just be the luck of the draw, but I do buy the idea that it is rarer than the other Secret Rares of the set.

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Theo DwyerAbout Theo Dwyer

Theo Dwyer writes about comics, film, and games.
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