by Phoenix Desertsong, Trading Card Enthusiast
How to Know What Your Pokemon and YuGiOh Cards Are Worth
As a successful reseller of Pokemon and YuGiOh cards on EBay, Amazon, and ComC, I can tell you that it takes a lot of hard work. How do you know which cards will sell VS the cards that won't sell. Here are some tips on how to successfully sell Pokemon and YuGiOh cards on eBay.
How to Check Current Prices for Yu-Gi-Oh Cards
For Yu-Gi-Oh cards, I tend to use the values that are listed on the TCGPlayer.com website. When you look up a card on TCGPlayer.com, it gives you a low value, a medium value, and a high value. TCGPlayer also has a Market Price, which tracks the last few average actual sales for that card. If the Market Price is close, equal to, or higher than the Mid price, it's usually a sign that the market is strong for that card. If it's significantly lower, then you'll have to price that card lower to help sell it more quickly.
The low value is the lowest "near-mint" price that a seller on the TCGPlayer seller network is currently listing that card for (near-mint being a card that has no noticeable defects or play-wear). The low price is the absolute minimum that I would list a card for sale. But, the Market price is a safe price to use if you don't mind waiting for cheaper listed copies to sell.
There's also another great price guide resource for Yu-Gi-Oh called Yu-Gi-Oh Prices. This site not only shows you various recent price listings from TCGPlayer, Amazon, and EBay, but also shows you price trends. This way you can see cards that are falling in price or rising in price.
How to Check Current Prices for Pokemon Cards
For Pokemon cards, you'd likely want to use Troll and Toad. While Troll and Toad is mostly known for Magic the Gathering cards, they also sell a great many Pokemon cards, as well. TCGPlayer does sell some Pokemon cards, but not to the degree that Troll and Toad does. The list price on Troll And Toad is generally around the price you'll see cards listed for on EBay anyway. You will find that a large number of holographic cards in Pokemon tend to only sell for about $0.50 to $1 USD. However, if you go onto EBay and find that card is actually selling for around 2-3 dollars, then it's perhaps worth a shot to sell it.
On the other hand, 50 cent holos are usually better off being sold in groups of 5 or 10 as a lot, as bidding wars can ensue and end up netting you more than the lot is actually worth. If the lot sells for less than the individual Troll and Toad prices overall, as long as you make profit after fees and shipping, then you've still made out. This is simply because those holos are considered "bulk" to most people and moving them at all is a plus. All in all, Troll and Toad is the best and easiest way to see if you have a card worth $5 or more.
Check eBay Completed Listings and Lowest Buy-It-Now Prices
Once you've identified which cards are worth selling, you'll want to double check the completed listings on EBay to see what previous users have purchased that particular card for. Don't be too discouraged if the price is much lower than you'd expect. Sometimes buy-it-now is not used, and cards can be won at auction for far lower prices than they typically retail for. This is useful information, though, because it will tell you what the market will currently bear for that particular card.
Next, check what the current lowest buy-it-now prices are (price + shipping) and see how they stack up with the completed listings. Card values can fluctuate wildly at times, but generally they stay within a range. The greatest part of looking at the completed listings is identifying what cards simply don't sell. If you see far more auctions that end without a sale than those with a sale, chances are that card isn't in particularly high demand. You may want to hold onto it and list the ones first that have the highest percentage of successful sales.
It's usually pretty easy see at a glance what's selling and what isn't. Just be sure to check the auction end dates, as some cards completed listings' results will have end dates from several months ago. Chances are, if that card hasn't sold in months, it's better to hold onto it, or put it as part of a lot (more on that later!)
Now that you know a card should have a good chance of being sold, the easiest way to actually sell a card on EBay is to simply list it for the lowest price. However, that is not always the best option. By checking the completed listings, you may find that people are willing to pay a bit more for a card than the lowest price currently sits at. All you have to do is wait for the cheaper copies to sell. Also, check the feedback of the seller with the lowest price. If they have little or no feedback, or have a rating below 97%, you can feel safe listing your card for perhaps a bit more than they have it for.
What Cards Actually Sell?
This is now the toughest part of selling cards. It's easy to find a card price and list it for around that number. However, what actually sells versus what doesn't? Believe it or not, Yu-Gi-Oh and Pokemon are somewhat similar in this regard, due to both collectible value and play-ability in competitive environments.
Collectible Value & "Rotations"
In both Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh, the cards from the first few sets of each Trading Card Game tend to have a fairly high collectible value. Even Yu-Gi-Oh cards that are banned in competitive tournaments, such as Heavy Storm or Change of Heart, or older Pokemon holos from Base Set like Charizard and Blastoise, still see lots of sales occur on EBay and other sites. It's players' particular fondness for certain cards that they used to play with or collect that drives up the value of older cards.
The other cards that tend to have a lot of collectible value are what are referred to as "staples" which are cards that most competitive players in either game use in the majority of their decks. In Yu-Gi-Oh these include cards like Raigeki and Mystical Space Typhoon, which see play in most decks. Even though these cards are today heavily printed at common rarity, their original printings were not common, and as they are shiny holographic versions, they are highly sought after.
In Pokemon, however, besides cards like "Pokemon Catcher" and some Supporter cards in recent years, there are not nearly as many staples as there are in Yu-Gi-Oh. This also lends itself to the fact that in Yu-Gi-Oh, besides what is on the official tournament ban list, you can use any card ever printed in the game. However, in Pokemon, outside of casual league play, only the sets from the past couple of years are considered legal. For example, cards of the Heart Gold Soul Silver series are no longer recognized as usable cards in competitive decks. While there are many advantages to this "rotation" strategy for both competitive and sales reasons, it can leave you with a LOT of worthless cardboard.
The one major similarity in selling Yu-Gi-Oh and Pokemon "staples" is that when they are being played in pretty much every deck at that time, even common and uncommon cards (Trainers and Supporters in Pokemon, Spell and Trap cards in Yu-Gi-Oh) can fetch $2-3 a piece, if not more. Some staple uncommons in Pokemon can list for over $10 USD! The important thing is to recognize their value to players and collect them to sell if you're not playing to play with them and move them quickly!
The major difference in selling Yu-Gi-Oh and Pokemon "staples" however, is the fact that once those trainers and supporters rotate out of the Pokemon competitive scene, they become just like your Caterpie and Nidoran: bulk commons.
In Yu-Gi-Oh, however, even though Lightsworn decks don't see nearly the play that they once did, staple monsters, even in common printings like Lyla and Ryko, still sell for $2-$3 a copy because of their utility in other decks. Dark World Dealings is a hot card for the Dark World deck, but because of their usefulness in other decks, such as Chaos Blackwings and Zombies, they also go for about $3 a piece. Yu-Gi-Oh "staples" retain their value far longer than Pokemon's. So if you have Pokemon staples that you're not using, it's a good idea to move them ASAP.
The Liquidity of Cardboard
At this moment, you may be asking yourself, what can I do with all of these older cards that I'm apparently stuck with? There are always bulk lots to consider, but first let's take a look at the most important concept in selling cardboard, liquidity.
There are advantages and disadvantages to dealing in either card game. The liquidity of Yu-Gi-Oh cards tends to be higher than that of Pokemon's, merely because Yu-Gi-Oh is a highly competitive game. Many players are just looking for one or two cards to finish their deck or to take it to the next level. In Pokemon, even the more competitive players are more collectors by nature. Even if you have some of the nicest looking holos from the newest set that aren't necessarily tournament playable, they likely will sell for more than you'd expect at auction.
For older sets, this is where using sites like TCGPlayer and Troll and Toad come in handy. They do the price research mostly for you. While you still need to check completed listings on Ebay to confirm that a card listed at $20 on those sites will actually sell for that when you go to list it, generally they set prices that high due to having the demand for that particular card.
The major difference between Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh from a liquidity aspect is that Yu-Gi-Oh reprints cards like crazy. Pokemon does not. In fact, usually all Pokemon does is create promo versions of certain cards (and these do have some value). With Yu-Gi-Oh, a card previously only available as ultra rare, becomes super rare, then rare, then common, especially if it's a card that sees tons of play.
One thing Konami clearly does a lot of is see what cards actually get played. Many times, if they see certain ultra rare or secret rare cards from older sets no longer seeing much competitive play, they get them reprinted as common in their structure decks or reprint sets! From a collector's standpoint, this is immensely frustrating, because they see their once very rare cards go from valuable to valueless. The good news, though, is that even as common (cards such as Dark Armed Dragon, for example) still sell, but at highly deflated prices.
Pokemon, on the other hand, has its rarer cards keep their value quite well. They don't usually reprint cards, except as promotional cards in collector's tins. They have, however, reprinted very powerful cards as Mewtwo EX as promotional cards, but they announce these reprints very soon after the set that they are released in comes out. Reprints in Yu-Gi-Oh just sort of happen at will based on whatever cards they think will see play in tandem with upcoming releases. While there are actually very good reasons as to why Konami decided to reprint certain cards for accessibility reasons, it makes selling the older cards very, very difficult.
Older Pokemon holos, though, like even a Zapdos or Blastoise, can fetch between $5-$10 easily. Holos from the increasingly rare Skyridge and Aquapolis sets can fetch between $10-$20. Simply being out of circulation for awhile increases their value, especially if you're looking for near-mint to mint copies!
This is to say, Pokemon card selling requires more patience, but the card values are far more stable, and the liquidity of selling cards of certain popular Pokemon (Charizard, for example) or ultra rare card types (EX, level X, shiny, gold star, etc) remain fairly constant. While certain EX cards currently in Black and White will see a drop in value after "rotating" out of competitive play, they will still be sought after by many collectors.
Many Yu-Gi-Oh cards have been reprinted to death, however. Look at cards like Dark Necrofear that used to be extremely high-dollar cards. While Dark Necrofear has not yet hit bottom as a mere common reprint quite yet, the number of promotional printings it has had is astounding, and because it doesn't see much competitive play anymore (despite still being a pretty useful card!) older copies can sell for as low as $1! If you're lucky to have a 1st edition copy, you may eek out $3-5. However, holographic cards simply aren't worth what they used to be in Yu-Gi-Oh. They also don't sell all too well if they're not in top-tier decks.
Selling in Playsets, Bulk, and Lots
One of the most common ways to get rid of low-dollar cards is to sell them in playsets. In Yu-Gi-Oh, you can have three of any given card in a deck (unless it is restricted, limited or semi-limited on the official tournament ban list from Konami). In Pokemon, you can have a maximum four of any given card outside of basic energy cards. Granted, you can also sell playsets of high-value cards, as well, to get the most out of one sale. Listings with multiple cards in them always sell better than single cards.
I have personally found, though, that listing two or three of a card, even those that you can only legally play one of in a deck, is still a good strategy. Yes, you may not get exactly what those cards are "worth" when you consider list prices, but they are far more likely to sell. Money is always more valuable overall than pieces of cardboard, so as long as you're profiting on less liquid assets, you're ahead of the game. This is the easiest way to put lots together, and has proven profitable for myself and thousands of other sellers again and again.
There is, of course, the chance that play-set lots will sell for far lower than they would sell individually, but this is a risk you'll have to take. The best way to protect yourself from this is to NEVER start an auction at $0.99 with free shipping. I only ever use the buy-it-now option, and choose a price that's 5 to 10 percent lower than the lowest current available price (calculating for both price + shipping) and offer free shipping, If I do my research correctly, 9 times out of 10 that item will sell for either market value or about 10 to 15 percent below, a reasonable loss at which to make a sale.
There are also the bulk lots you can do, by grouping together random lots of holos, commons, and uncommons. I have personally NEVER been a fan of these "random" auctions as most of the time people just get ripped off. Some sellers that provide lots, however, will always give you your money's worth, if not more. They're not all bad, certainly, but there are plenty of shady ones out there. If you're going to do a lot, my advice is to actually list the cards in said lot, even if it's random, so that at least the buyer has an idea which cards they have a chance of receiving. Honesty is the best policy, as it is in everything. Whenever I have put up lots, I simply name the cards the winner will receive. These sell better than any other lots, and provide a way to get rid of bulk holos and rares as a value-added bonus.
There is of course, nothing wrong with selling off bulk commons and uncommons with a random rare thrown in. As long as you don't put in too many duplicates (excluding duplicates of common cards you know see play) you should get generally positive feedback. Bulk lots are the cheapest way for players to build up a collection. Just make sure they're getting a good value. If you know you've given them a good value while still leaving room for a healthy profit margin, you're all set.
Pokemon vs Yu-Gi-Oh: Which Will Sell Better?
Overall, if you know your card prices, and you know what sells, both Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh sell about the same. Pokemon you may find yourself selling in lots more often than in Yu-Gi-Oh, but there's plenty of market out there for both trading card games in singles and playsets. Just keep in mind a couple of major points.
Novelty is Money
Whenever a set is first released, cards that get super-hyped tend to sell for far higher values than they will after the set has been out for a bit and supply of singles has increased. This is one reason that a lot of card players and dealers alike attend pre-release events, to get their hands on cards that the general public can't go out and buy yet. These are your cash cow cards, and if you feel that card won't be highly sought after when the release date hits, sell high. Knowing what cards are really needed in the current competitive scene, though, is very, very important. Those are the ones that sell the most, bar none.
Top-Tier Deck Lists
One easy way to know what cards will quickly sell is by looking at winning deck lists in their respective games. Top Yu-Gi-Oh lists are everywhere, and top Pokemon lists are as well. Just by Googling top decks for Yu-Gi-Oh or Pokemon, you can tell what cards are seeing lots of play. Take special note of any holographic cards that see a lot of play, those are the ones that will sell the best!
Selling off a Collection
For many of you reading this, you may be looking to liquidate your collection or know someone who would like to sell off the bulk of a collection. I personally do not like the idea of selling off a collection all at once. While it's certainly doable, and plenty of people buy collections all of the time, if you do it right, selling off the more valuable singles, then selling off the bulk is probably the better way to go.
There's nothing wrong with having a bidding war over a collection (happens all the time!) but bear in mind that sorting through a collection properly enough as to get the highest sale price can take just as long as selling off singles and bulk lots. If you have binders and binders of cards that you know aren't going to sell singly for more than $2-$3 and you have only a couple of big money cards, then it's probably OK to go this way. Just remember you have to include shipping costs, as well, which can get hefty when selling a collection! Best practice is, though, to sell off the bigger cards first, then sell the rest in one big lot.
While you can always sell to gaming vendors, keep in mind that they need to turn a profit off of what they buy. Buy lists are definitely worth looking at, because if a vendor has a high buy price for something, chances are you could sell it for more on EBay! So while selling to a game store or vendor is OK, if you're selling off a whole collection, you're better off selling it yourself.
Here's one thing, however, that you need to consider in Yu-Gi-Oh VS Pokemon. In Yu-Gi-Oh, there are a lot of "junk" cards that no one wants, whereas in Pokemon, holos of even the less popular Pokemon are wanted just for collection purposes. When you're selling a collection, keep that in mind, because Yu-Gi-Oh players buy collections to boost their trade binders, whereas Pokemon players and collections buy collections to either resell or just to boost their own collections. So if you're trying to sell a whole collection in Pokemon, it may be worth just bulking the whole thing together as long as you list all of the valuable stuff in it. In Yu-Gi-Oh, players are looking to win as cheap as possible, so getting all of the value you can out of singles is the better way to go, and perhaps keep a few bait cards to sell the rest off! Just be honest, and you'll be fine.
Flipping Cards for Profit vs Liquidation
This entire article has been based on the assumption that you are looking to flip cards for profit. If you are simply looking to get rid of the "money cards" or even a whole collection, everything said here still applies. However, if you're willing to take a bit lower of a profit margin, or really just want some fair value, there are a few things to keep in mind.
1. Selling the entire collection in bulk is OK if you really need the money now and you don't want to be in it for the long haul. It's also OK if you're helping a friend out so they can get money for something else. Just bear in mind to research the prices of the bigger stuff so you KNOW you'll get a fair price, rather than just stick some arbitrary number up there (25 cents a card or something). But that's just what I suggest.
2. People can make a nice little profit as a hobby buying singles on the cheap and reselling them for a premium. Bargain hunters are all over EBay, and if you're desperate to move things, put them about 2/3 of what they usually go for, and they'll snap them right up. Keep in mind that the most liquid parts of your collection (the things every one is looking for) are what you should always look to move first. The rest of it is what collection buyers will buy up, simply to restock their binders, or simply out of looking to get a lot of cards quickly and cheap.
3. If you do decide to sell off a collection, bear in mind that people going to buy them rarely will want to pay market value for it. Yes, cards are only worth what people are willing to pay for them, but there are ways to squeeze extra dollars out of them. Bear in mind that most collections won't be full of $50-100 gems or even $20 hot sellers. If you know that your collection is full of binder filler, you can afford to take below market value for it. Just keep that in mind.
The reason that I have made this article so profit-oriented is that I simply see people selling off their cards all of the time by simply not doing their homework and using the excuse "I just want to get rid of them!" Flipping cards for profit is a great way to sustain the trading card collection hobby and there's a nice little economy built around it. Just be sure that you're get a fair deal, and keep in mind you can take a loss if you'd like, but more often than not, your cards are more valuable than you think!
Do you have any more tips on how to sell trading card games like Yu-Gi-Oh and Pokemon on eBay? Let us know in the comments!
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
by Phoenix Desertsong; Pokemon Master!
As we delve into the many sets of the Pokemon Trading Card Game in our Pokemon TCG Investing series, we will often notice a trend of popularity surrounding a certain Pokemon. Whenever he appears in a set, collectors seem to flock to him. That Pokemon, of course, is one of the original Pokemon, Charizard.
To better understand this phenomenon, let’s backtrack a little bit and take a look at the most popular Charizard card ever from a set known as Base Set. We will focus on the 1st Edition version of the card. We’re not even going to talk about the rarer Shadowless and the more common, yet still valuable, Unlimited Edition printing. Those are some great investments, right? Yes, but to best understand why Charizard is such a big deal, let’s look at the Charizard card most serious collectors can afford if they budget right.
Base Set Charizard is the Most Iconic Pokemon Trading Card of All Time
Obviously, the Charizard #4 Base Set holo is the MOST ICONIC of all Pokemon cards. Of course, it should be, as it was the primary chase card in the 1999 Base Set, when Pokemon was at its height of popularity. At the time, Charizard was one of the most popular and feared Pokemon. In the original Red and Blue Game Boy video games, his original form of Charmander was the hardest of the original three starting Pokemon to raise. But, if you stuck with him, and evolved him to Charmeleon, then Charizard, you had a powerhouse of a Pokemon that could ride you all the way through the Pokemon League.
Back in 1999, Charizard was the one card every kid wanted. His card was one of the most powerful at the time in the Trading Card Game. So, of course, many kids played with the cards and didn’t take proper care of them. That includes the beloved Charizard. So, because of this, as copies have been snapped up by collectors, many of them are in less than your ordinarily desired condition. There aren’t nearly as many near-mint condition Charizard #4 cards out there as you may think.
As collectors looked to standardize the conditions of their cards in order for future resale, PSA has received a glut of Charizard cards over the years. So, the range of graded copies from 1 to 10 is immense. In 2020, the submissions haven’t slowed down.
Even since I began my research for this series back in June 2019, about a thousand more copies were sent in for grading by just a few months later. Now in early 2020, even more copies across all conditions have been sent in. I've revised the population count for this article twice now.
Look at this population report for 1st Edition 1999 Base Set Charizard Holos from Pokemon Price:
(Population Counts as of 4/3/2020)
Talk about a range! Still, a lot of people early on knew that the first Pokemon cards were going to be a fairly good investment. As many serious collectors did with baseball cards, a few collectors did well to grade pack-fresh or near-mint raw copies to preserve their value. That’s why there are so many in high grade.
What is My Charizard Card Worth?
Of course, as kids become adults and wonder what their cards were worth, some people send them in just to see what those cards may get. That’s why you see so many poor conditioned Charizards graded. Many of the Charizard holos sent in for grading now are simply in order to establish a professional grade. The card is so popular that the cost of grading only adds to the value of the card, regardless of the eventual grade.
While this isn’t the case for more than 99.9 percent of trading cards out there, the Base Set Charizard card (first edition or not) is so iconic that even poor condition PSA 1 through good and excellent condition PSA 5 cards can still fetch $40! PSA 6 can fetch $60 or more. PSA 7’s fetch $80 to $100 or even more on a good day. So, if you have a base set Charizard laying around already, it’s going to be worth getting graded.
However, buying them raw to get them graded is very risky. Not only are you taking a risk of getting a grade of 7 or less, but there are a TON of fakes out there. This makes the grading process even more important, as it weeds out fakes. But, if you have genuine copies laying around, they are certainly worth grading, even if you have no plans to sell them.
Of course, when it comes to long-term investments, you are looking towards the already graded higher grade options. While a PSA 7 is probably fine just to have, the return on investment from appreciation really begins at PSA 8. There is a wide range of sales on these, anywhere from $90 to $150 to even north of $200! That’s partly due to the high population (2411). But, if you buy on the lower end and wait to post it for a Best Offer on the higher end of the sales range, there is room for substantial profit.
What Makes an Investment-Grade Charizard Card?
PSA 9 - or graded Mint condition - is where the investment game gets the most interesting. With Charizard #4, it is the grade with by far the highest population (3975), but also the biggest market. This is where the market value becomes around $200, but if you watch the auctions, you can score copies in the $150 range. So, the game here becomes buying the PSA 9s as low as possible to sell as high as possible. There’s a nice potential return on investment here if you are looking to buy and flip.
Of course, PSA 10 is for the long-term hold. $1300 to $1350 has been the fair market value in mid-2019. But, when the market is slow, you can grab copies for $1000 or less. In late 2017 and early 2018, they were going for as much as $2100! The population is also one-tenth of the PSA 9 population, so scarcity is a big factor in making this card the best investment.
Because of this card, Pokemon collectors consider Charizard cards among their top targets in top condition. That’s why whenever you are looking to collect Pokemon cards, the Charizard cards will often be the hardest to obtain. Whenever a new set is released, the Charizard cards are going to often be highly sought after targets.
Of course, you should collect the Pokemon that you like the most. But, if you are most interested in getting the most popular and best long-term investment, Charizard happens to be your best bet when it comes to Pokemon trading cards.
You can learn about four of the most wanted Charizard trading cards here.
by Phoenix Desertsong, Pokemon Master!
Pokemon TCG: Sun and Moon Unified Minds brought several memorable Tag Team GX Pokemon cards to the Pokemon Trading Card Game. Can you get anymore of a classic pairing than Slowpoke and Psyduck GX, both original first Generation Pokemon with both Water and Psychic abilities? The Tag Team combo alone is enough to make collectors want this card PSA graded for their collections. But, are Slowpoke and Psyduck good enough to also be a competitive card in the Pokemon TCG?
There are actually FOUR versions of this Tag Team GX Pokemon. There’s the #35 “base card,” the #217 Full Art, the $218 Alternate Full Art, and the #239 secret rare Rainbow Foil. The secret rare #239 Slowpoke and Psyduck GX card is the key card you want to own, as it’s the rarest possible version.
How Good is Slowpoke and Psyduck Tag Team GX in the Trading Card Game?
Slowpoke and Psyduck form a Tag Team that comes into play with 250 HP, a solid number for a Tag Team Pokemon GX card. They have two attacks, Ditch an Splash and their GX attack Thrilling Times GX - which can only be used once per game. Ditch and Splash costs just two Water energy to use. It does 40 damage for each Supporter card you discard from your hand. So, it can potentially do a lot of damage.
The Thrilling Times GX attack depends on a coin flip. It does only 10 base damage, but if the coin flip is a heads, it deals 100 additional damage. It’s important to note that this attack only requires the same 2 Water energy to use as Ditch and Splash. But, there is a second part to this attack. If you have at least 6 additional Water energies attached to Slowpoke and Psyduck GX, you get to flip TEN coins. You then deal 100 damage for each heads.
Because the GX attack is so dependent on being able to flip 10 heads, this is definitely a finisher attack While it’s pretty much a guaranteed finisher, eight or more Water Energy is a huge commitment. So, how good is Slowpoke and Psyduck Tag Team GX in actual game play?
As it turns out, there are Slowpoke and Psyduck GX decks, but they are built almost exclusively around the Ditch and Splash attack. The Tag Team pairs well with Keldeo GX, and Lapras #36 from Unified Minds to recycle a copy of Misty’s Favor every turn. Misty’s Favor is key to the deck since it’s a Supporter card that fetches up 3 Supporter cards. It’s a nice little engine. So, Slowpoke and Psyduck become a key attacker in the deck. It turns out to be a very playable GX card.
While Slowpoke and Psyduck Tag Team GX isn’t yet a major hit among PSA-graded Pokemon card collectors, it’s clear that there’s interest. It’s a playable card in the trading card game and a classic pairing of two Generation 1 Pokemon. Because it includes one of the more recognizable Pokemon in Psyduck, this is a card with a bright future among collectors.
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.
by Phoenix Desertsong, Pokemon Master
Kingdra GX is a powerful ultra rare Pokemon card from the Pokemon TCG set Dragon Majesty. This Pokemon has three attacks, including the GX attack that can only be used once per game. Kingdra has been a popular Pokemon for years and has had many cards that have proven powerful in the competitive Pokemon TCG metagame. This Kingdra card is powerful and has seen some play..
Kingdra GX has some staying power with 230 HP. All three of Kingdra GX’s attacks require only a single Energy to use. Hydro Pump doesn’t even require a Water Energy, although it does only base 10 damage. However, for each Water Energy attached to Kingdra GX, the attack does 50 more damage. 60 damage for a single Water Energy is pretty good.
Reverse Thrust only deals 30 damage, but it allows you to switch out Kingdra GX. This can be quite useful in a variety of situations. His GX attack, Maelstrom GX, deals 40 damage to each of your opponent’s Pokemon. It’s a pretty brutal attack, but since you can only use one GX attack per game, it is quite situational.
The other downside to Kingdra GX is that he is a Stage 2 Pokemon. You have to spend a bit of time building him up in order to reap the benefits of his suite of attacks. So, while powerful, Kingdra GX is not as deadly as some other Kingdra cards, but still formidable enough to be a heavy hitter in a somewhat competitive deck.
Are the Kingdra GX Full Art Cards Good Investments?
There are also two other versions of this card, the full art secret rare from the same set, and the full art promo version. Interestingly, despite being rarer than the base ultra rare, they tend to sell for about the same price. The Kingdra GX SM155 promo is an attractive “rainbow foil.” If you’re an investment-minded collector, this is probably the version of this card to have the best bet for future return-on-investment.
Overall, the Kingdra GX from Dragon Majesty is playable and attractive to collectors. But, as this card is rather plentiful and has three different versions to choose from, it may not be the best investment if you’re looking for profit. But, if you just want to collect this card, all three versions are very affordable and even some PSA-graded mint copies can be had for cheap if you watch for them.
by Richard Rowell, Pokemon Collector
In a world where the Pokemon Trading Card Game is overrun by powerful EX Pokemon cards, there are still, believe it or not, good Pokemon that aren't EX's. Cobalion #74 from XY Steam Siege is a solid Steel-type Pokemon that gets better as the game goes on.
Quick Guard is an extremely useful move for only a single Metal Energy. It prevents all damage done to Cobalion by attacks from Basic Pokemon. This includes EX Pokemon, since they are considered Basic. However, Cobalion can't use Quick Guard during the next turn.
This is where Revenge Blast comes in. 30 damage for 2 energy is lackluster, but this move does 30 more damage for each Prize card your opponent has taken. Getting a Revenge kill with Cobalion against an opponent's EX Pokemon means you get to take two prize cards yourself. He's very solid for a rare that costs only $0.50 for the regular printing, and $0.99 for a foil version. For a non-holo Pokemon, Cobalion #74 is a good one to have and one to definitely hold onto.
by ElspethFTW, Old School Duelist
Ampharos has been among my favorite Pokemon since it was first released in Gold and Silver way back “in the day.” The Ancient Origins set gave we Ampharos lovers both Ampharos EX and Mega Ampharos EX. They’re both really strong cards, too. Let’s take a look.
Ampharos EX is pretty good. The first attack, Thunder Rod, doesn’t do any damage, but lets you look at the top 4 cards of your deck and attach any Lightning Energy you see there onto Ampharos EX. If you happen to just find 2, that’s well worth it, as the second attack costs 2 Lightning Energy and 2 colorless. Sparkling Tail deals 100, but it ignores Weakness, Resistance, or any other effects on the Defending Pokemon. Considering that this hits so hard quickly, if I were still playing the TCG, this would be one of my main heavy-hitters.
It only gets better with Mega Ampharos EX. The upgrade from 170 HP to 220 HP is nice, but it’s the attack that is really cool. Exavolt has the same cost as Sparkling Tail, but it deals 120 base damage. Exavolt also gives you the option to deal 50 more damage and Paralyze your opponent, but Ampharos deals 30 damage to itself. This seems a fair trade-off, though, as that’s going to be enough to knock out a lot of EX Pokemon. This is an absolute powerhouse.
While I don’t play the Pokemon TCG anymore, I’d consider having these cards around in my collection. If you do play the game, I’d highly recommend finding some way to make these work. They seem too powerful not to play.
With the XY Roaring Skies set, the Pokemon Trading Card Game did something interesting. There are actually two Rayquaza EX cards in the set, as well as two Mega Rayquaza EX cards in the set, as well. We'll take a look at all four cards here today.
Rayquaza EX #60 and Mega Rayquaza EX #61 are two of the most straightforward Pokemon cards ever in terms of power level. On the surface, Rayquaza EX has some power, but seems to come up short when it comes to matching up with his EX brethren. 180 HP isn't bad, though.
His first attack, Dragon Claw, is hardly exciting. 30 damage for 2 colorless energy simply doesn't do much for anybody. His other attack, Dragon Strike, deals 130 damage for 2 Fire, 1 Electric, and 1 Colorless Energy. However, it's one of those coin flip attacks, so if you hit tails, Rayquaza EX can't use Dragon Strike the next turn. This doesn't seem all too fun.
However, the great news is that Rayquaza EX curves out perfectly into his Mega Evolution.
For 3 Fire, 1 Electric, and one Colorless Energy, Dragon Ascent deals a whopping 300 damage. While you do have to discard 2 energy, 300 damage is enough to knock out pretty much any EX Pokemon.
The other cool thing is what sets this Mega Evolution apart from the other one. It has the ability to reduce damage taken from Grass, Fire, Water, and Electric Pokemon by 20 - after applying Weakness and Resistance. Like all Dragon Pokemon nowadays, Rayquaza EX and Mega Rayquaza alike have 2x weakness to Fairy-type Pokemon.
230 HP isn't quite as high as other Mega Evolutions, but the attack power is formidable. This raw power made this version of Mega Rayquaza EX a #1 Best Seller among new Single Card releases on Amazon.
Rayquaza EX #75 is quite different from his in-set counterpart. He has a little bit less HP at 170, but his first attack, Intensifying Burn, is extremely relevant in an EX happy game. It takes only one energy, and does only 10 damage, unless the opposing Pokemon is an EX, in which case it does 50 more. That's quite a wallop for a single energy.
The second attack isn't quite as exciting, but it takes three Colorless energy and deals 100. The cost is discarding the top 3 cards of your deck. It's not the worst drawback, and this being colorless makes it quite versatile.
So what will the second Mega Evolution look like?
At first glance, Mega Rayquaza EX #105 doesn't look quite as exciting as its in-set counterpart. But this Mega Rayquaza has a special Evolution ability. You can evolve your Rayquaza EX on your FIRST turn or as soon as you play it. Ordinarily, you'd have to wait an entire turn. While the Mega Evolution still causes you to end your turn, this is a big deal tempo wise.
This Mega Rayquaza has an attack called Emerald Break, which costs 3 Colorless energy and deals 30 damage for each of your Benched Pokemon. This limits its power to 150 raw damage, but considering you could unleash this damage on Turn 2 with no drawback is really impressive.
The cool thing about having two Mega Evolutions is that you can choose which Mega to use. Still, it's clear that #60 and #61 go together and #75 and #105 go together. Overall, the first pair has better synergy and more overall power. But the second pair trades raw power for splash-ability and an ability to strike quickly.
Which pair do you like better?
by ElspethFTW, Old School Duelist
Landorus #58 from Furious Fists is a solid holo rare card. He’s a Fighting Type Basic Pokemon with 120 HP, which is pretty high for a Basic. He has two attacks: Shout of Power and Sky Lariat.
Shout of Power is good in that not only does it do 20 base damage for a single Fighting Energy, but it also lets you attach a basic Energy card from your discard pile to 1 of your Benched Pokemon, helping you to build up your Benched forces. Also with a card like Machamp #46 available to pump all of your Fighting-type Pokemon’s attacks by 20, you’re doing 40 damage for one Energy and potentially getting an Energy onto one of your Lucario EX, Machamps, or other Fighting-type Pokemon.
The second attack, Sky Lariat, is fairly basic. For 2 Fighting Energy and one colorless Energy, it deals 90 base damage and nothing else. Again, this could be 110 damage with a Machamp on board, which is decent for 3 energy, especially when one is colorless.
As holo rare cards in this set go, Landorus is definitely one of the better ones and always a good pull to have, not only being a Legendary Pokemon for collectors, but also one that players will find a use for, as well.
by ElspethFTW, Old School Duelist
The Pokemon Trading Card Game has many promo cards only available by purchasing certain blister packs in retail stores. One of these blister pack products contains one of two promos: either Trevenant #XY14 or Slurpuff #XY15.
Trevenant #XY14 is a Psychic-type Stage 1 Pokemon with 2 attacks. The first is Eerie Wave, for only a single Psychic Energy, and deals 20 base damage plus also makes your opponent’s Active Pokemon confused. The second attack, Wood Hammer, costs 2 Psychic energy and 1 colorless energy and deals 90 base damage. Also, you flip a coin, and if it’s tails, Trevenant deals 20 damage to itself.
As far as play-ability goes, Trevenant is not terrible, but its second attack is a bit below average. Being able to force Confusion on an opponent is pretty good, however.
Slurpuff #XY15 is definitely the better of the two promos. It’s a Stage 1 Fairy-type Pokemon with two attacks. The first, Cotton Guard, requires 1 Fairy Energy and 1 Colorless Energy, deals 30 base damage. During your opponent’s next turn, any damage done by attacks to Slurpuff is reduced by 30. This is certainly quite a useful attack.
The second attack is Sleepy Ball, which requires 1 Fairy Energy and 2 Colorless Energy. It deals 60 base damage, but also puts the opponent’s Active Pokemon to sleep. This is very solid, even if the opponent’s Pokemon wakes up in between turns, since this attack will always hit.
While both are good cards for collectors to have, the Slurpuff definitely has the game-play advantage for being a very solid way to slow down an opponent’s game plan. The Trevenant is a bit under-powered for today’s EX dominated format.
by ElspethFTW, Old School Duelist
In a set based around Lucario EX, it should be no surprise that there is a Fighting-type ally for one of the cover cards of the X&Y Furious Fists set. Machamp #46 is a holo rare that's quite the ally for his fellow Fighting-type Pokemon. His ability “Fighting Fury” makes each of your Fighting Pokemon’s attacks do 20 more damage to your opponent’s Active Pokemon before Weakness and Resistance are applied. That’s quite a boost.
Machamp is, of course, a Stage 2, but his ability is more than worth it to play him. Plus he has 150 HP, making him fairly durable. His own attack is also pretty solid. It’s only 80 base damage for 3 Fighting Energy, but during your opponent’s next turn, any damage done by attacks from the Defending Pokemon is reduced by 40 before Weakness and Resistance are applied. That’s a huge difference. Also, consider that his attack actually does 20 more damage due to his ability alone, really making it a base 100 damage.
Lucario EX is not the only fighting type that he helps in this set. Landorus #58, another holo rare from Furious Fists, also greatly benefits from this Machamp. It’s great to see such a classic Pokemon like Machamp be a strong factor in the competitive game again. He was a strong Fighting Pokemon to consider for quite some time.
by ElspethFTW, Old School Duelist
Besides being one of the prettier looking EX cards from Plasma Storm, Cobalion EX is a very playable card within the trading card game itself. Steel-based decks are definitely playable, and Cobalion has two very good attacks.
Its first attack, Righteous Blow, causes your opponent to have to discard a Special Energy attached to that Pokemon. With the amount of special energy cards played today, especially Double Colorless Energy, that’s a big deal. It only costs a single Steel energy to use, as well, and deals 30 damage. Its second attack, Steel Bullet, costs 2 Steel energy and 1 colorless and deals 100 damage no matter what.
The only real downside that Cobalion EX has is its weakness to fire, but that’s not the worst problem. It does have 20 points of resistance to Psychic and is bulky at 180 HP. It’s actually one of my favorite Black and White series legendaries along with Kyurem. Cobalon EX also has a full art version in Plasma Storm, as well, so you’ll want to be on the lookout for that.
Cobalion EX is definitely a card I highly recommend for any Pokemon player or collector!
by ElspethFTW, Old School Duelist
Greninja EX is one of three EX cards only available in the Kalos Power tins, along with Chesnaught EX and Delphox EX. He may very well be the best of the three, as well. Like all EX cards since the card type was reintroduced during Black & White, Greninja EX is a Basic Pokemon. He has 170 HP, which is a fairly standard amount for these EX Pokemon that are typically Stage 2 Evolutions. He has two attacks, one of which requires only one Water Energy to attack. Also, Greninja EX has 2x weakness to Grass, so be mindful of those match-ups.
The first attack is called Sharpshooting, and it requires only a sole Water Energy. The attack deals 30 damage to 1 of your opponent’s Pokemon. Weakness and Resistance are not applied for Benched Pokemon. Any Pokemon that can come out and deal damage on the first turn it has the chance to attack is excellent.
The second attack, Aqua Blast, doesn’t look like anything special, but it deals 120 damage for only 3 energy – 2 Water and 1 Colorless. It does require you to discard one Water Energy attached to Greninja EX upon attacking, however. Still, that’s strong damage for a 3-energy attack, even with the downside.
Greninja EX is certainly the most aggressive of the Kalos Power tin promos. While Delphox EX has the ability to do more damage, and Chesnaught EX is a strong early-game tank, Greninja EX has the ability to see the most play, finding a home in any Water-based deck.
by ElspethFTW, Old School Duelist
Like all of the newer EX cards, Delphox EX is a basic Pokemon. He has 170 HP and is 2x weak to Water. The good thing about Delphox EX is that he can attack right away with a single Fire energy. That first attack is Psybeam, which deals 20 damage and allows you to flip a coin. If that coin lands on heads, your opponent’s Active Pokemon is now Confused.
(Note: In the competitive Pokemon Trading Card Game, they actually use dice, with the heads being even numbers and the tails being the odd numbers.)
His second attack is Wonder Flare, which costs 1 Fire and 3 Colorless Energy (any energy) to use. It does 80+ damage. The additional damage is decided by the number of Energy cards in your opponent’s hand. Your opponent reveals his or her hand, and the attack deals 40 damage for each Energy card revealed. This is potentially a devastating attack, considering how many Energies players can have in hand at any given time.
The only reason downside to this card is the fact that it’s weak to Water. By as soon as Turn 3, Delphox EX could be causing devastating damage to opponent’s Pokemon. Your opponent will need to find ways to play more Energy from their hand in a turn or have to discard Energies simply not to take more damage from Wonder Flare. I'm a huge fan of this particular EX card. Plus, being a huge Delphox fan in general, I definitely would want for my collection.
Picture courtesy of the Bulbapedia from Bulbagarden.
by ElspethFTW, Old School Duelist
Chesnaught EX (#XY18) is one of three EX promotional cards available only from the Kalos Power (X&Y) series tins, along with Delphox EX and Greninja EX. They are not currently included in any expansion set. So, the tins are the only ways to get them.
This version of Chesnaught is a 180HP Grass Type Pokemon. While it is usually a Stage 2 Pokemon, because it is an EX, Chesnaught EX is a Basic Pokemon. It’s weak to Fire, like most Grass-type Pokemon are, and has a very hefty retreat cost of 4.
It takes a bit for Chesnaught EX to get going, as his first attack Pin Missile requires 3 energy to attack. Fortunately, it only requires one Grass energy, so Double Colorless Energy may be used. When you use Pin Missile, you flip 4 coins, and the attack does 40 damage for each heads. It’s an okay attack with a wide variance. Still, potentially dealing 80, 120 or even 160 damage is very powerful for only three Energy.
Its second attack, Wild Tackle, costs two Grass energy and two colorless energy. It deals 120 damage, but it does 20 damage to itself in the process. Overall, it’s not a bad Pokemon, especially for one that’s readily available in a promotional tin. It's fairly playable, especially with how much HP this guy has. You can even play him on your very first turn. He’s certainly not one of the more powerful EX cards out there, but he’s a fairly decent tank.
Picture courtesy of the Bulbapedia from Bulbagarden.
by Phoenix Desertsong, Old School Duelist
Dragonite EX easily became one of the most anticipated EX cards in the X&Y Furious Fists expansion set. It was epic to have a Dragonite EX card for the first time since way back in EX Dragon Frontiers. Sadly, this Dragonite wasn't so game-breaking as was hoped.
Still, being a Dragon-Type, this card looks awesome! He does, of course, have a 2x weakness to Fairy-type Pokemon, as with all Dragon-types. He does have an interesting Ability to consider called Bust In. When you play Dragonite EX from your hand onto your Bench, you may move any number of basic Energy attached to your Pokemon to this Pokemon. If you do, you switch him with your Active Pokemon. While that Ability is very strong, what does he then have the opportunity to attack with?
Dragonite EX only has one attack, Jet Sonic. It requires two Grass Energy and one Lightning Energy to use. It deals 80 base damage, but you may discard an Energy card to deal 40 more damage. 120 damage for only 3 Energy at the cost of discarding one is fairly decent. However, the combination of Energy required greatly limits Dragonite EX's playability. Therefore, despite being one of the more sought-after EX cards to collect from this set, he isn't getting much love in the competitive TCG atmosphere.
Fortunately, collectors have the opportunity to acquire a full-art version of this Dragonite EX card, which looks very powerful and deadly. It's unfortunate that Dragonite EX's play-ability is somewhat limited by the clunky Energy requirements.
This isn't to say that Grass and Lightning decks aren't playable - quite to the contrary. There are simply EX cards available that are a bit stronger than this one when it comes to deck-building. However, his ability to literally "Bust In" and deal some quick damage strategically is a fairly powerful move. He just doesn't have a deck that he can truly benefit.
While his limited playability kept his #74 printing relatively inexpensive, Dragonite's overall popularity has made his full-art printing popular. Either printing is a great addition to any Dragonite lovers' collection. Long-term, you definitely want to have a copy of the full-art ultra rare Dragonite EX, as they're fairly rare, even if they are still relatively inexpensive.
by Phoenix Desertsong
In addition to the powerful Lucario EX, the Pokemon X&Y Furious Fists TCG set also includes his MEGA form, M Lucario EX. With Mega Evolution, you play the Mega form over the original EX card. The one major drawback to Mega Evolution is that your turn ends as soon as you play it, meaning you cannot attack that turn. Is the benefit worth it?
Mega Lucario EX has 220 HP, which is fairly standard for Mega Evolutions. He only has one attack, but that attack is formidable. Rising Fist deals 140 damage for only 3 Fighting Energy, making it considerably better than Lucario EX’s final attack. That attack only deals 100 for 3 Fighting Energy with no additional effects. This attack also makes your opponent’s active Pokemon have to discard an Energy card attached to it.
As if Lucario EX wasn’t solid enough to begin with, his Mega form is definitely a force to be reckoned with. It's well worth being played in any deck alongside his normal form to be a destructive finisher. He not only deals major damage but also sets your opponent’s Pokemon back, as well. Without a doubt, the Furious Fists set is built around this combination of Lucario and his Mega form.
by Phoenix Desertsong, Pokemon Master
Lucario EX is one of the best cards from the Pokemon Trading Card Game Expansion Set X&Y Furious Fists. There is also a Mega Lucario EX in this set, as well. In general, Lucario is a very popular Pokemon, and his cards tend to be highly sought after by collectors.
While many Pokemon cards are collectible simply for the Pokemon depicted on them, some like this EX card are solid in Trading Card gameplay, too. Right away, you can see that this Lucario card has three attacks and 180 HP. Each of Lucario EX‘s attacks requires one more Fighting Energy than the previous attack. This allows for an easy progression through his different attacks, making him quite the formidable force right from Turn One.
Lucario EX's first attack, Missile Jab deals 30 damage, and ignores Resistance. This is important as there are a good number of Pokemon in the card game that do have Fighting Resistances. The second attack, Corkscrew Smash, not only deals 60 damage, but allows you to refresh your hand until you have 6 cards in hand. This sort of card advantage on such a damaging attack is quite formidable.
His third and final attack is Somersault Kick for 3 Fighting Energy, which deals 100 damage. It’s a fitting final attack to deal a crippling blow to a likely already weakened enemy. While it doesn’t offer anything special beyond that, 100 damage for only 3 energy with no drawback is a fairly strong attack.
While his dedication to Fighting Energy makes him not as “splash-able” in competitive decks as some other EX cards, his pure power level makes him a formidable weapon and a great EX to build a deck around. Lucario EX is both a sought after collectible as well as a powerful card for deck-building.
Only released as a promotional card, Krookodile EX packs quite a bunch for a card that you can get out of a promotional package. Like all of today’s EX Pokemon cards, he is a Basic Pokemon. He has a fairly standard 180 HP. This Krookodile has two attacks, Second Bite and Megaton Fang. Krookodile does have -20 resistance to Psychic Pokemon, and like most Dark Pokemon a 2x weakness to Fighting Pokemon
His first attack, Second Bite, requires one Dark energy and two colorless energy. It deals 40 base damage, but does 10 more damage for each damage counter on your opponent’s Active Pokemon. This can make Krookodile’s first attack quite deadly if you’re dealing with an already wounded foe.
Megaton Fang costs 2 Dark energy and 2 colorless energy for 130 base damage, which is slightly above average. However, it does require you to discard a card as additional cost to attack, making the little bit of extra damage a bit more costly.
While he’s not exactly a highly competitive EX Pokemon card, Krookodile EX is fairly powerful and could find some Modified play at some point if the right deck emerges for it. Otherwise, it’s just a really cool card to have as part of the collection, as it only has the one printing.
by Phoenix Desertsong
Heracross EX may not be the strongest EX card in the X&Y Furious Fists set. But this Heracross is not a bad card at all considering that it’s only a Basic Pokemon. Having 170 HP, this Grass-type Pokemon has two useful attacks: Guard Press and Giga Power. The 2x weakness to Fire-type Pokemon is fairly standard for Grass-types, as well.
Guard Press does require a Grass Energy as well as a Colorless energy to use, making it a bit of a slower starter than some other EX Pokemon. It deals 40 damage and during your opponent’s next turn, any damage dealt to Heracross EX is reduced by 20 damage after applying Weakness and Resistance. This can make him a decent little tank.
His second attack, Giga Power, requires two Grass Energies and one Colorless Energy. It deals 80 base damage, but can deal 40 more damage if you deal 20 damage to Heracross. 120 damage for 3 energy is perfectly acceptable.
Heracross EX also gets to enjoy a Mega Evolution in this set, along with Lucario EX, of course. Like all Mega Evolutions, you must end your turn upon playing it, meaning that you lose the ability to attack in that same turn. Mega Heracross EX has 220 HP, fairly standard for a Mega Evolution. His attack is very brutal, two Grass Energy and one colorless Energy for 180 base damage. However, he loses 10 damage for each damage counter on him. Still, that’s a very powerful attack, and well worth the Mega Evolution.
Overall, Heracross EX is a solid EX card. His Mega form is also something to be reckoned with. If you see a Heracross EX hit the table, deal as much damage as you can to him before his Mega form comes down! Along with his Mega form, Heracross EX is definitely worth of being at the heart of a competitive deck!
by Phoenix Desertsong
Hawlucha EX is a very cool card, and it’s become a very popular Pokemon in the X&Y video games, as well. This Hawlucha card does have some interesting stats. It only has 130 HP, which is a bit low for an EX Pokemon. But considering that it is ordinarily a Basic Pokemon, that’s still a healthy number.
Hawlucha’s main plus is its ability: Counterattack. If Hawlucha EX is your Active Pokemon and is damaged by an opponent’s attack, even if that attack would knock it out, you put 2 damage counters on the Attacking Pokemon. That’s a pretty sweet ability.
Its lone attack, Moonsault Stomp, costs 1 Fighting Energy and 2 colorless energy, and deals 60 base damage. If there is a Stadium card in play, it deals 40 more damage. 100 damage for a 3 energy attack is OK, but having to rely on a Stadium card means that Hawlucha EX’s overall play-ability is a bit limited.
However, Hawlucha EX does have a couple things going for it.
Skyarrow Bridge is a Stadium card that is quite playable, and has seen play in a good number of decks. Also, being a Fighting Pokemon, Hawlucha EX is a perfect counter to Darkrai EX, who has been very strong in competitive play.
Another thing that Hawlucha EX has going for it is that instead of a weakness to Psychic, like many Fighting-type Pokemon, it instead has Electric weakness. Also, being a flying type Pokemon in the games, Hawlucha EX has a -20 Resistance to other Fighting-type Pokemon.
There are some players already looking for ways to integrate this Hawlucha EX card into their decks. Overall, Hawlucha is just a really cool Pokemon card, and is yet another EX card that many players and collectors will be happy to add to their collections.
by ElspethFTW, Old School Duelist
Seismitoad EX is a very powerful EX card from the X&Y Furious Fists Expansion Set. Like most EX cards that would ordinarily be a Stage 2 Pokemon, it has 180 HP as a Basic Pokemon. It has 2x weakness to Grass-type Pokemon and a retreat cost of 3.
Seismitoad has two good attacks. The first, Quaking Punch, requires 2 Colorless Energy (or a Double Colorless Energy) and deals 30 base damage. However, it also prevents your opponent from playing any Item cards from his or her hand during his or her next turn. That can definitely serve as a drawback for your opponent.
The second attack, Grenade Hammer, costs 2 Water Energy and a Colorless Energy. It deals 130 base damage, which is already powerful. However, it also deals 30 damage to 2 of your Benched Pokemon, so there’s fairly serious backlash for using it. Because of Seismitoad EX’s raw power, however, and being a Basic Pokemon, it’s possible that the damage to your Benched Pokemon may be well worth the impact of Grenade Hammer on your opponent.
Its first attack also combines fairly well with the Garbodor from Dragons Exalted:
With plenty of Tool Cards out there to put on Garbodor, it will be easy to shut down all Pokemon Abilities – except for Garbotoxin, that is. With Seismitoad locking out Item cards until delivering a final blow with the Grenade Hammer, this could prove to be a fairly decent lock-down, as your Pokemon in such a deck will not be ones that worry about abilities.
Seismitoad EX is an excellent and powerful EX Pokemon card for your Deck, as long as you build around it carefully. There is also a full-art version of it available, as well. As far as pulls from this set are concerned, Seismitoad EX is definitely one of the best cards you can get.
by Phoenix Desertsong
Gengar EX, not to be confused with the Gengar EX from EX Fire Red & Leaf Green, is an EX-Pokemon from the X&Y Expansion, Phantom Forces. There's also a full-art version of this edition of Gengar EX. Like all of the newer EX Pokemon, Gengar EX is a Basic Pokemon, whereas Gengar is ordinarily a Stage 2 Pokemon. He has 170 HP, which is a bit below average for newer Pokemon, but he does have the -20 Resistance to Fighting. However, he also has the times 2 weakness to Dark type Pokemon’s attacks.
One of the best things about Gengar EX is that his attacks are not Energy-intensive. His first attack costs a colorless Energy, Night Attack, and it puts 3 damage counters on one of your opponent’s Pokemon. This gets around any Resistance and you can assign the damage to opponent’s Benched Pokemon, which can be very useful if they have a weak Basic Pokemon on their bench.
Gengar's EX's second attack, Dark Corridor, costs only a single Psychic energy and two Colorless Energy. It deals only 60 base damage, but it Poisons your opponent’s Active Pokemon, essentially allowing this attack to do much more. However, Gengar EX must switch out after using Dark Corridor.
Overall, this looks to be a pretty good Pokemon. It can attack right from the get-go and its ability to Poison an opponent and run is fairly good, especially if you have a big beater to switch into. But that’s not all. There’s a Mega Evolution for this guy.
Mega Gengar EX has 220 HP, which is a very high number, indeed. Unfortunately like all Mega Evolutions, your turn ends upon playing him. But he only has a retreat cost of 1, unlike regular Gengar EX which has a retreat cost of 2.
His attack is incredibly interesting. It costs one Psychic energy and two Colorless Energy, just like Gengar EX’s Dark Corridor attack. You get to choose 1 of your opponent’s Pokemon’s attacks and use it as this attack. That’s pretty silly, considering that you ignore any energy requirements for it.
This guy could just win you the game out of nowhere if deployed correctly. The only downside is that if your opponent brings out a Pokemon without any really good attacks, Mega Gengar EX isn’t too good. But his retreat cost is so cheap, why not play him?
Gengar EX and Mega Gengar EX are a great pair of EX cards. They are very playable and are a force to build around.
Photo credits: Bulbapedia
Shadowless Charizard and Other Popular Charizard Cards
by Phoenix Desertsong
Charizard is easily the most wanted of Pokemon cards. Being one of the all-time favorite Pokemon, there are many valuable and rare Charizard cards. The most well-known rare Charizard card is the 1st edition "shadowless" version of the Base Set Charizard. Even ordinary unlimited Base Set Charizard in near-mint condition sells for $80 in 2019.
But, the unlimited edition "shadowless" version often sells for about $50 USD and even in poor condition, if graded by PSA, can fetch $150 or more. The shadowless version has a much lighter background than the second printing. The first printing and first unlimited printing, therefore, are much rarer and valuable. Because the 1st edition shadowless Charizard card is so rare, a near-mint condition copy can fetch anywhere between $500 and $1200!
There are also many PSA-graded 1st edition shadowless Charizards on the market. If you're looking to invest in this card, beware, as there are many fakes out in the world, especially online. However, if you are willing to spend the money on a PSA graded version, you can rest assured that it is a true copy, as PSA authenticates the card. Even poor PSA 1 copies have sold for $900! A PSA 8 copy sold on eBay for $2950 in January 2019. So, if you're looking to invest in any rare Pokemon cards, Base Set Charizard is the one to chase.
Shining Charizard from Neo Destiny
The second most sought after rare Charizard card in Pokemon is the Shining Charizard from Neo Destiny. The Neo sets were quite popular for their shining Pokemon cards. It is coveted not only because of its rarity, but because it is a shining version of Charizard. Shining Pokemon, for those that do not know, are Pokemon that are differently colored than that of their regular counterparts. For example, Shining Charizard is black, making this particular shining Pokemon very highly sought after..
Unlimited copies (those without the 1st edition symbol on the left hand side of the card below the picture) can be purchased for as little as $75-100 USD in played condition. You're looking at over $125 for a near-mint condition copy. First edition copies, however, tend to be upwards of $400 USD or more. Although you may find a copy for less than that, the condition may not be of a good quality.
The reason for this price difference is mainly because when these earlier sets of the Pokemon trading card game were released, many first edition cards were handled by kids who did not necessarily take care of the cards carefully. Many copies have surface scratches or bends and creases that greatly devalue them. If you're looking to spend money on this card, make sure you're getting a mint copy.
Like his shadow-less base set counterpart, PSA-graded copies of Shining Charizard can be found on auction sites like eBay. Also like Base Set Charizard, even relatively poor PSA 1 or PSA 2 unlimited copies sell for over $100. PSA 8 copies are over $150. 1st edition PSA 8 copies can command $400 or more, PSA 9 copies approach $1000, and PSA 10 copies sell for near $2000.
Charizard Star Delta Species / Gold Star
Another very popular rare Charizard cards is an ultra rare holographic card from EX Delta Species, often called the Charizard Star Delta Species. Like his earlier shining counterpart from Neo Destiny, this card is very attractive to collectors mainly because of its rarity. However, it also has great eye appeal.
Since many collectors buy many booster boxes in search of this particular card, the prices of this card have risen over the years. In fact, because this card is often in far better shape, it's actually beating the price of the Neo Destiny card in raw condition. Even played copies fetch $100. Lightly played copies get closed to $150 and near mint copies can approach and even exceed $200.
This card is particularly important to the author, as he pulled it from a booster pack. It was sold years ago for a fair price at the time, but it's regrettable now. It's not quite as pricey as the 1st edition Neo Destiny Shining Charizard. That's because Pokemon cards at this point were no longer released as 1st edition in English, only in Japanese. Copies of 1st edition Japanese cards are extremely rare and when they are sold, are sold at a premium due to high demand from collectors.
If you were to get this PSA-graded, they don't come up all that often. Even a PSA 6 (good condition) copy has sold for $280. Near-mint graded copies should easily command at least $500 to $600. One day, it could be worth even more.
Charizard EX - Fire Red and Leaf Green
The last of the major rare Charizard cards that Pokemon collectors are always seeking is Charizard EX from EX Fire Red and Leaf Green. This set actually is very rare mainly because of the number of people searching for this one card, although there are other EX versions of popular Pokemon like Gyarados and Gengar in that set, as well.
Copies of this rare Charizard EX card tend to sell north of $60 USD on a regular basis. There are also PSA-graded versions of this particular Charizard. Even a PSA 5 copy can command $80. PSA 8 copies beat $100, PSA 9 copies beat $200, and a PSA 10/BGS 9.5 Charizard EX can bring over $400. It's not close to the first three cards on this list, although it's a great looking card and should appreciate over time.
Other Charizard Cards
There are many, many rare Charizard cards in the Pokemon Trading Card game to collect. If you're looking to start or add to a Charizard card collection, you can purchase a great many copies of various rare Charizard cards for fairly low prices. Because of Charizard's great popularity in the Pokemon fan base, though, having a large collection of Charizard cards can draw the admiration (and envy) of many Pokemon card collectors.
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