With Fusion Strike Build & Battle boxes headed to stores for next weekend’s pre-release period (after an initial delay), we thought now was a good time to dive into our top picks for the final English Pokemon TCG set of the year, releasing worldwide on November 12th 2021. Fusion Strike is the largest Pokemon TCG expansion in history with over 280 cards that means we’ve got loads of cards to choose from!
Disclaimer: Until official English images of cards appear online we’ll be showcasing the Japanese versions of the cards included within the set. To see all the Secret Rares from Fusion Strike from the ETB booklet click here. This article is written from an artwork/collector’s perspective, if the focus was on playing Pokemon TCG the selection would be wildly different.
Espeon VMAX Alternate Art
When initial reports started to rumour about the inclusion of Eevee Heroes “Eeveelutions Set’ Alternate Art Espeon VMAX as part of Fusion Strike we all hoped that it would be the case. Luckily, alongside December’s Eeveelution VMAX Premium Collection boxes, we will finally be able to complete an alternate art Eeveelution VMAX binder page. For many, this is the absolute chase card from Fusion Strike and it’s hard to dispute that thanks to the stunning artwork by Kouki Saitou. A must-buy from Fusion Strike.
Gengar VMAX Alternate Art
Gengar finally gets some love in Fusion Strike with the inclusion of Sowsow’s hallucinogenic trippy alternate art VMAX. This card was part of Japan’s High-Class Gengar VMAX deck as a special pull for lucky players and now makes its appearance in English alongside Inteleon VMAX Alternate Art from the same product line. Gengar is one of the most popular Pokemon, yet somehow hasn’t featured as a chase card in some time. Now, Gengar collectors and fans alike have the opportunity to grab one of these crazy cards.
Greedent V Alternate Art
Take everything that made Tyranitar’s Alternate Art card from Battle Styles great and then makes it better with a chubby chipmunk being carried by baby chipmunks – what’s there not to love? This could be higher in the list but the top two cards from this set are personal favourites. Saya Tsuruta has been providing artwork for Pokemon TCG since 2007 and this could be their best yet.
Celebi V Alternate Art
Originally released alongside Sandaconda V as a promotional card for Silver Lance and Jet Black Spirit in April this year, this card was the biggest surprise inclusion in Fusion Strike. Teeziro captures winter alongside Celebi’s magic in one of the best Celebi cards we have ever seen. Many were upset when this card didn’t make the cut for Chilling Reign but it looks like The Pokemon Company were saving us a nice Christmas surprise.
Mew, Mew, Mew
Fusion Strike’s mascot is everyone’s favourite gen 1 mythical Pokemon, Mew. If like me, you love the playfulness of the cute bubbly Pokemon alongside its sheer power then Fusion Strike won’t disappoint. I mentioned this in my top picks from Fusion Arts (Japan’s equivalent) and I’ll say it again: Akira Egawa is an amazing artist mixing cityscapes with Pokemon in many of their artworks. That being said, Alternate Art Mew VMAX just doesn’t cut it for me. I think it’s most likely down to the colours that don’t differentiate enough from its regular VMAX. Personal opinion aside, however, Alternate Art Mew VMAX will be the number one pick for many, even if it’s the fourth-best Mew of Fusion Strike in this list.
Naoki Saito’s Mew V comes in their usual cartoon style that makes them one of the most popular TCG artists of the franchise. Mew can be seen floating alongside Toxel, Toxtricity, Dreepy, Smeargle, and Hoopa’s foot. I’m a big fan of the artwork here, although the amount of Pokemon does take away from Mew’s centre stage.
Then there’s Mew V Full Art with its majestic cosmos capturing Mew and its habitat better than any other card on this list. The cosmos design reminds me of the original opening credits from the TV show making the card very nostalgic and one to go alongside other classic Full Arts like Vivid Voltage’s Pikachu V.
Mew VMAX Rainbow
Rainbow rares suck, we’ve talked about them extensively in the past and quite frankly since Chunkychu from Vivid Voltage there hasn’t been any traction for the rainbow VMAX cards. That being said, in a period where Mew is getting all the love with gold cards, alternate arts, full arts and new regular holos this card somehow stands out. I’m a huge fan of gen 1 VMAX Pokemon and this card is the perfect companion for your Rainbow Chu. I can’t wait to collect every Mew card from this set as we get closer to what awaits in Pokemon TCG for 2022!
We’ll be doing more coverage of Fusion Strike as information is revealed in the lead-up to its November 12th 2021 release. What cards make you want to pick up Fusion Strike on launch?
John-Anthony Disotto – Ludkins Media Editor-in-Chief