by Phoenix Desertsong; Old School Duelist
One of the key cards in Yu-Gi-Oh’s second North American set, Metal Raiders, Thousand Dragon is a secret rare still highly sought after by collectors because of its nostalgic value. It has been reprinted at common several times, including Starter Deck Joey, Dark Beginnings 2, Legendary Collection 4, and the Speed Duel Starter Deck: Duelists of Tomorrow, and once at rare in Millenium Pack 1. Still, as one of Joey’s favorite cards from the early Yu-Gi-Oh anime and one of the more powerful cards in the first couple of sets, Thousand Dragon gets a ton of collector love.
Thousand Dragon is a basic Fusion monster, who lists Time Wizard and Baby Dragon as his fusion materials. He has 2400 ATK and 2000 DEF, solid numbers for a fusion monster from those materials. Having these two monsters and a Polymerization could mean big trouble for opponents in the early days of casual Yu-Gi-Oh play. Of course, someone could answer him with a Dark Magician, Blue-Eyes White Dragon, or Serpent Night Dragon. But, removal was at a premium in those days, with Fissure and Dark Hole the most common answers, and Raigeki tough to come by. He was never a very competitive card, but he was fun and quite rare to pull.
Even unlimited edition copies can still fetch a few dollars if they are graded and authenticated by PSA. The PSA SMR report lists PSA 8 copies for $20 and PSA 9 copies for $30. On eBay, the PSA 9 copies can fetch even $40. If you happen to have one graded a Gem Mint PSA 10, you may expect $100 - although completed listings fall closer to $75. These aren’t bad numbers, but 1st edition is where the long-term value of this card lies. First edition PSA 8 examples have an SMR price of $75, PSA 9 examples around $150, and PSA 10 can command a whopping $450. One sold in September 2019 for over $650.
As of 10/25/2019, here is where the population of these graded cards stands:
Unlimited - 14 PSA 8, 36 PSA 9, 32 PSA 10
First Edition - 12 PSA 8, 33 PSA 9, 62 PSA 10
Interestingly, there are many more 1st edition PSA 10 examples in existence, but it’s easily the more desirable card. If you’re purely a collector, a PSA 9 or PSA 10 unlimited edition example is fine. If you’re looking for ROI, definitely hunt for the 1st edition PSA 10. It’s a nice card to own just to have a piece of Yu-Gi-Oh history in your possession.
by Phoenix Desertsong; Pokemon Master!
Pheromosa and Buzzwole Tag Team GX is the #1 card in the Unbroken Bonds set for the Pokemon Trading Card Game (TCG). It also has a Full Art version, an alternate art Full Art, and a Rainbow Foil version. This Ultra Rare GX card is powerful in many ways, but its GX attack is particularly potent. Let’s break down just how good this GX Pokemon is in the game, as well as this card’s collectability.
Because this GX Pokemon card is a Tag Team, if it’s knocked out, your opponent takes 3 Prize cards, rather than the typical two prizes for a regular GX Pokemon. But, because it’s a Tag Team between Pheromosa and Buzzwole, its power level is much higher than an ordinary GX Pokemon card. This Tag Team features two decent attacks, plus a particularly nasty GX attack.
This Tag Team GX Pokemon is Grass-type and two times weak to Fire attacks with no Resistance. It has 260 HP, which is pretty good, although low mid-end for Tag Team GX cards. The retreat cost is just two colorless Energy.
Breaking Down Pheromosa & Buzzwole Tag Team GX’s Attacks
First, we’ll talk about the first two attacks. The first of Pheromosa & Buzzwole GX’s attacks is Jet Punch. It costs a mere Grass Energy to use and deals 30 damage to the opposing Pokemon. But, it also deals 30 damage to a benched Pokemon. It's a nice simple attack. The second attack packs a wallop for just two Grass Energy and one Colorless Energy. It deals 190 damage. While that sounds incredible, the drawback is that during your next then, it only deals 60 damage. This means to get it back to 190, you can't use it for a turn.
The GX attack is what really makes.this card shine. Keep in mind you can only use one GX attack per game. So, especially with this one, you need to make it count. This Tag Team Pokemon's GX attack is called Beast Game GX. While it only does 50 base damage, the other effects are incredible. If this attack knocks out an opposing Pokemon, you get to take an extra Prize card. Then, if you have seven more energy than this attack requires, which is only a single Grass energy, then you instead take three extra Prize cards. Properly timed, this attack can win you the game.
Is There a Good Pheromosa and Buzzwole Tag Team GX Deck in Competitive Play?
Understandably, Pheromosa and Buzzwole Tag Team GX is a powerful card in competitive TCG play. The fact that it can theoretically take all six prize cards at once is a huge deal. There are various decks built almost entirely around Pheromosa & Buzzwole Tag Team GX. Not surprisingly, they are quite good. The Pheromosa and Buzzwole deck dominated Champions League Chiba in Japan and not surprisingly also was the tournament's winning deck.
In the Pokemon games themselves, Pheromosa is an Uber-tier Bug & Fighting type Pokemon. So, competitive players of the Pokemon Sun and Moon games can tell you he was a great choice for this Team Up. Buzzwole is also a fine competitive Pokemon with the same typing, also playable in the Uber competitive tier of the video game. although it’s relatively under-used. Fans of these Pokemon are probably happy to see this tag team
How Collectible is Pheromosa and Buzzwole Tag Team GX?
From a collector's standpoint, you may think that Pheromosa and Buzzwole Tag Team GX is a valuable card. In the early going, it's actually very inexpensive. But, collectors clearly see that this card has a future, as 61 have been submitted to PSA for grading, 46 of which have returned a Gem Mint 10. For any modern Pokemon card, that's the only grade that brings any sort of price premium.
The Full Art versions of Pheromosa and Buzzwole Tag Team GX have fared better. The regular Full Art version numbered 191/214 has 18 PSA 10 graded copies which currently exist. The alternate art Full Art version numbered 192/214 has done better, with 29 PSA 10 graded examples in existence.
Interestingly, the Rainbow Foil secret rare of Pheromosa and Buzzwole Tag Team GX - numbered 215/214 - is not more expensive than the alternate art 192/214. With 33 PSA 10 examples (out of 56 total PSA submissions), it’s likely to hold the most long-term value. That’s because it’s more condition-sensitive. So, despite currently having a fair amount of PSA 10 copies already, it's the rarest version of this card.
Of course, Pheromosa and Buzzwole are hardly iconic Pokemon. Despite its incredible game-winning power, you can own a copy of the GX card for a very reasonable price. As is always the best advice with modern graded cards, if you are looking at investing in Pokemon cards as an investment, you’ll want to go with the rarest version (in this case the Rainbow foil) in PSA 10. If you just want to collect, however, a PSA 9 Mint graded copy of any of these cards will suffice.
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