Best Pokémon TCG cards in Sword and Shield sets
The Pokémon trading card game reached great heights with the Sword and Shield set. These are some of the best cards from the 8th generation era.
Now that the Sword and Shield era of Pokémon TCG is coming to an end, it's time to reflect on which cards are the best. The Gen 8 series will officially come to a close in January 2023, when Crown Zenith will release over 160 new cards. Even so, Silver Tempest is the last major Sword and Shield expansion, and as such can be evaluated as the most valuable and important card of the era.
Gen 8 scaling has a strong emphasis on VMAX. Mimicking the Gigantamax mechanics of Pokémon Sword and Shield, these cards serve as evolutions of the V-cards, with powerful attacks, abilities, and volume. As such, they are one of the most powerful cards in the Pokémon TCG and the core of most players' decks.
The Best Sword & Shield Cards Are Competitively Viable & Valuable
While most VMAXs wreak havoc when activated, the best Sword and Shield TCG cards are those that are both viable and valuable. The Pokémon TCG investment has become as big - if not bigger - than the actual game itself. Therefore, a card like Xanadu VMAX cannot be considered the greatest card of the era due to lack of economic value, and Pikachu VMAX cannot be ranked among the top due to lack of competitiveness. While these cards may have been left out of the top spot, the following five cards are useful to players and investors alike as the best cards of the Sword and Shield era.
Mew VMAX Is A Game Changer In Pokémon TCG
If there is any card that is a must-have card in the Pokémon TCG Sword and Shield era, it must be Miaomiao VMAX. As part of Fusion Strike, Mew VMAX has a powerful move that takes full advantage of the other cards in the series: "Cross Fusion Strike". This move allows Meowth to utilize the attacks of any other Fusion Strike Pokémon for only two Colorless Power points. Typically, players use Cross Fusion Strike so that Mew VMAX can use Genesect V's "Techno Blast" to attack without draining energy and delaying rounds. When paired with the impressive size of the Mew VMAX, this strategy is almost unstoppable.
Mew VMAX can also be a security card for traders and investors. Although TCGPlayer's regular Mew VMAX lists at $5.46, its Secret Rare alternative could be worth a fortune. TCGPlayer lists Mew VMAX (Rainbow Rare) for $46.42, and its Alt-Art price is nearly double that of $90.00. Considering how important this card is to competitive play in Pokémon TCG Sword and Shield Setting the times, Mew VMAX will likely continue to hold this value well into the future.
Arceus VSTAR Is Godly In Pokémon TCG
Brilliant Stars' Arceus VSTAR follows Mew VMAX in competitive viability. Typically, VSTARs are not as strong as their VMAX counterparts: they have less HP and are only capable of one-hit attacks rather than a consistent skill set. However, Arceus' "Starbirth" -- which allows players to pick two cards from their decks and then shuffle them -- is a very powerful ability. Combining it with Arceus from "Trinity Nova" with 280 HP and 200 damage only makes it better.
Arceus VSTAR pricing is fairly stable in terms of monetary value. Between its base form and its alternate art, Arceus VSTAR is priced between $15.00 and $30.00 on TCGPlayer. While this isn't as valuable as other Pokémon TCG cards, the $15.00 price point in the base form means players can consistently get value from the card no matter what form it is.
Umbreon VMAX Is The Most Expensive Sword & Shield Card
Umbreon VMAX (alternate art) is the most valuable of all Sword and Shield TCG cards. TCGPlayer lists Evolving Skies Secret Rare for a whopping $514.95. Considering Eeveelution is a fan favorite, this price point is likely to remain high in the future, making the This is a safe investment for traders.
Umbreon VMAX also has a competitive advantage. Just like in the game, Umbreon is more of a defensive destroyer than an attacker. The Umbreon VMAX therefore shines with its impressive size (310 HP) and "dark signal" capabilities. With this, players can force their opponents to switch an active Pokémon from their deck when evolving Umbreon V into VMAX.
Serena Is One Of The Best Training Cards In Pokémon TCG
Serena is an essential training card in the Pokémon TCG's current meta. As YouTuber In Third Person explains, Serena offers so much utility that players can discard three cards, pick five cards from their deck, and force their opponent to activate their V with only this card. Card. Few coach cards can do so much; even fewer have filled such a vital role.
Serena is also one of the most expensive training cards of the Pokémon TCG Sword and Shield era. When Silver Tempest and Incandescent Arcana were first released in Japan, Serena (full image) was one of the most valuable cards of the year. Now that Silver Tempest is out, Serena (full image) will be available for $42.98, according to TCGPlayer. While her price has dropped significantly, she's still a more valuable card than most.
Giratina V Is A Terrifying Pokémon In The TCG
Giratina V is one of the best performing Pokémon in the Sword and Shield series in terms of competitive play and investing. For players, Giratina V's attack power is very strong, and it is not affected by the conditions set by the opponent at all; most importantly, the "Abyss Exploration" trick allows players to start from the top four of the deck. Choose two of the cards. If that wasn't enough for the player, the Giratina V can evolve into the Giratina VSTAR, perhaps the most aggressive VSTAR available.
For investors, Giratina V is excellent. While its basic form and Secret Rare aren't particularly expensive, its Alt Art is. TCGPlayer lists the Giratina V (Alt-Art) for a whopping $299.95 — at the time of writing, its prices are starting to go up. So, for anyone looking to get the most out of the Pokémon TCG's Sword and Shield set before Next Generation kicks off, Giratina V should be on the wish list.
More: What Makes Phantom Pokémon TCG The Most Iconic Promo Card^ Sources: TCGPlayer (1), (2), (3), (4), (5), (6), In Third People/YouTube