Pokemon TCG’s latest expansion Fusion Strike released just over a week ago and like any new release there has been a barrage of info regarding pull-rates, weighable packs, new meta decks, prices and everything in between. In this article, we’re going to take a look at Fusion Strike from a collector’s perspective and discuss why the biggest Pokemon TCG set of all time with some fantastic cards to chase appears to not have hit the levels of hype we initially expected.
Before we look at prices, we need to look at the potential main factors impacting Fusion Strike single prices across the board starting with the appeal of the set for players and collectors alike. Disclaimer: This is based on prices from TCGPlayer and an overall opinion of the set.
One of the big concerns sweeping through social media and YouTube just now is the ability to weigh Fusion Strike packs due to the new code cards for Pokemon Live included inside the booster packs. We have yet to test this ourselves however there is plenty of video evidence online of this being the case. With weighable packs, it could be having an impact on people wanting to purchase the set in general yet this doesn’t really weigh up (excuse the pun) as surely this would lead to individuals buying more singles for the cards they want.
Fusion Strike is also the largest Pokemon TCG set of all time with a whopping 284 cards (20 of which are secret rares). This is because Fusion Strike incorporates a lot of playable cards that were never included in English from the Sword & Shield era in an attempt to bring the playable side of the TCG up to date with Japanese rotation. That means that whilst it’s the biggest set of all time, it’s not any bigger in terms of UR and SR pulls.
The final thing to note before we discuss pricing is the overwhelming amount of community posts regarding poor pull rates. We tend to steer clear of modern Pokemon pull rate discussions as it’s near impossible to have a large enough sample size to do this accurately. That being said, Fusion Strike appears to be proving quite difficult in terms of an experience for pack openers. Across social media you’ll find images of booster boxes with single VMAX pulls, triple packs of triple non-holo rares, and recurring themes of feeling disappointed. Now, when I think about these feelings combined with the huge amount of cards in the set I logically expect chase card prices to be higher on release to comparable modern sets from 2021 – This doesn’t seem to be the case.
Focusing on the five most expensive cards from Fusion Strike, none currently exceed the $150 market price according to TCGPlayer. Mew VMAX Alternate Art is hovering around the $135 mark, Gengar VMAX Alternate Art slightly lower at $130, Espeon VMAX Alternate Art closer to $120 followed by Rainbow Mew VMAX at $75 and Alternate Art Mew V for $63. I think the biggest surprise with these prices is the Pokemon we’re talking about. An expansion containing incredibly popular Pokemon in the form of Mew, Espeon, and Gengar should on paper be everything a collector wants in an expansion. As for players, Mew VMAX and Genesect V combine to create one of the strongest decks in current rotation adding to the generally baffling prices of the singles only 10 days after release. In comparison, Evolving Skies Rayquaza VMAX Alternate Art and Umbreon VMAX Alternate Art have settled around the $170 mark. That being said, it took far longer for them to reach that point even with a huge Celebrations shadow lingering over their release.
So what’s going on with Fusion Strike prices? I think it’s a mix of multiple factors. There’s the post-Celebrations fatigue with people penny-saving for Christmas and February’s Brilliant Stars; A settling down of prices across the board after the 2020/early 2021 boom; Slightly more niche chase cards even if the Pokemon are insanely popular (Mew VMAX AA doesn’t hit the spot and we all know it); And a feeling of disappointment for those that have opened packs leading to a “wait and see” mentality before picking up any of the cards from the set. Let’s put it this way. If you could buy a booster box or the main chase card from the expansion which option would you take? The hype for sealed Fusion Strike products is dwindling due to all these factors and more and in turn, the price of the cards are heading on a downwards trend far lower than we would’ve expected before the initial release and the pre-release delay.
This all ties into a bigger issue, the price of sealed modern products rising through the roof with a huge demand and smaller supply mean that you rarely get any value from opening what you own. If anything, buying modern product is the acceptance of monetary loss in exchange for a pack opening experience – Something that I don’t think we’ve all accepted just yet.
John-Anthony Disotto – Ludkins Media Editor-in-Chief
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