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Fusion Strike: Running the Numbers

The next English TCG set, Fusion Strike, has officially been announced with some details of the set being revealed. One particular detail that has struck fear into the heart of anyone wanting to put a set together was this: “Over 260 cards”. When this number is released for a set, it is referring to the total set number as printed on the cards, so if we include secret cards, we are likely looking at a set that is over 280 or 290 cards. On track to be the largest Pokemon TCG set of all time, comparing this to the last few sets released, this is a huge increase. A full 100 cards larger than Battle Styles (163 official, 183 with secrets), and around 60 cards bigger than Chilling Reign (198 official, 233 with secrets), and Evolving Skies (203 official, 237 with secrets). So, is this set going to hugely ramp up the difficulty in completion? Will putting together a full set make the last year look like a walk in the park? Well, let’s take a look at some of the other numbers released.

“20 Pokemon V”

This is an increase over the recent sets which came in at:

Battle Styles – 12

Chilling Reign – 15

Evolving Skies – 18

Fusion Strike – 20 

Luckily, Pokemon V are not difficult to come across within a set. In a similar way that the introduction of a large amount of EX, GX made pulling a regular holo less notable, the absurd amount of better pulls present in a set has made it so regular V cards barely even register as being a good pull. Going by TCGPlayer prices (at time of writing), across the last three sets, only two regular V cards were priced higher than the RRP of a booster pack ($3.99), and both of those were from Evolving Skies so have room to drop as more product is opened. Extra regular Vs should not affect the difficulty or price in putting a set together by a lot.

 Fusion Strike

“Eight Pokemon VMax”

Battle Styles – 6

Chilling Reign – 8

Evolving Skies – 15

Fusion Strike – 8 

While I’m certainly not happy about eight VMaxs (SwSh Base had four, I was fine with that), it is definitely a much more reasonable level than the fifteen we got in Evolving Skies (at time of writing I am missing two regular VMaxs from Evolving Skies despite opening over 480 packs), so in terms of difficulty in creating a set of them, you should be right on par with Chilling Reign.

 Fusion Strike

“13 Full-Art Pokemon V … Seven Full-Art Supporter Cards”

This is where the value of cards pulled really starts to increase, so this is where the biggest swings will start to happen in price of putting together a set. Now, these numbers given likely do not include the Alt Art versions of Pokemon V, so let’s compare to the same data from the other sets.

Battle Styles – 18

Chilling Reign – 29

Evolving Skies – 27

Fusion Strike – 20

So now we are starting to see that despite the much-increased size of the set, the place where it counts there are definitely smaller numbers, indicating a cheaper and easier set overall. 

For a moment, let’s assume that every single full-art Pokemon V in Fusion Strike also receives an alt-art. This puts us at:

Battle Styles – 22

Chilling Reign – 39

Evolving Skies – 38

Fusion Strike – 33

Even with the highest possible number of alt-arts (and likely not all Vs will get an alt-art) then the set is still quite far behind the previous two.

The set announcement doesn’t mention Rainbow Rares, but we can definitely make some assumptions. The most logical amount of Rainbows (not counting alt-art VMaxs) would be 15. Eight being one of each VMax in the set, and seven being the rainbow versions of the full-art Supporters.

Battle Styles – 12

Chilling Reign – 20

Evolving Skies – 16

Fusion Strike – 15

Once again, we find the numbers for Fusion Strike below Chilling Reign and Evolving Skies. If we again take the highest possible number of alt-arts for Fusion Strike, we land at:

Battle Styles – 14

Chilling Reign – 23

Evolving Skies – 22

Fusion Strike – 23

Worst case scenario, and the set is even with Chilling Reign.

To sum up? The numbers don’t lie. Despite the huge increase in cards in the set, the top end of the set is actually seeing a reduction compared to the last few sets. All of those extra cards are likely coming in the form of extra holos and regular rares. So maybe now, while shelling cases to get the hits, we’ll be seeing a lot more variety in the non-hits that we open.

While the set won’t be easy to complete (but what set has been since they introduced Rainbows?) I don’t think the sky is falling just yet.

Dan Norton – DJGigabyte

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