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With the release of the expansion set “Crown Zenith”, the Sword & Shield block of the Pokémon Trading Card Game has officially come to a close and just in time to celebrate National Pokémon Day on Feb. 27.
This collection of “Generation VIII” Pokémon cards began back in February 2020 and coincided with an era of renewed interest in the collectibles due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ultimately, the Sword & Shield block would run for 17 sets of releases totaling nearly 3,000 unique cards.
Next up for the Pokémon Trading Card Game is the introduction of some new “Paldean” Pokémon as part of the series’ Generation IX of games. Before we welcome Sprigatito, Floragato, Fuecoco, and more from the Paldea region, though, let’s honor the Galar Pokemon who graced our binders and decks through a most turbulent time. What follows are the best, most valuable, and most interesting Sword & Shield Pokémon cards—all of which can be found on eBay.
Cost Range Estimates Via eBay’s Price Guide
Marnie (Full Art)
Set: Sword & Shield (Base)
Cost Range: $40 – $160
Though Marnie wasn’t the chase card from the initial Sword & Shield base card set to begin with, her utility in gameplay and appealing full art made her the sleeper hit of this whole block.
Charizard VMax (Rainbow Secret Rare)
Set: Champion’s Path
Cost Range: $200 – $375
Invariably, Charizard ends up gracing the biggest chase cards in most Pokémon card sets it appears in. The Sword & Shield block was no different, with the big fire lizard popping up on many valuable cards across many disparate sets. This Rainbow VMax version from the smaller set, Champion’s Path, ended up being the most valuable.
Pikachu VMax (Rainbow Secret Rare)
Set: Vivid Voltage
Cost Range: $125 – $310
Sometimes you just have to give the people what they want. And in this case, what they wanted was Chonky Pikachu back. This burly iteration of Pokémon’s unofficial mascot resembled its initial appearance from the original video game art. As such, it proved to be quite a popular item.
Tyranitar V (Alternate Full Art)
Set: Battle Styles
Cost Range: $65 – $350
Though there were rarer and more competitive cards from the sprawling Battle Styles set, Tyranitar V’s evocative alternate art made it one of this block’s biggest hits. The art on this card tells a story, and many collectors sought it out for that reason.
Blaziken VMax (Alternate Art Secret Rare)
Set: Chilling Reign
Cost Range: $90 – $330
Midway through the Sword & Shield block, The Pokémon Company really let card illustrators do their thing, and the quality of alternate art cards improved immensely. Blaziken VMax is one such beneficiary of this creativity, and its colorful design made it one of the block’s most popular cards.
Umbreon Max (Alternate Art Secret Rare)
Set: Evolving Skies
Cost Range: $170 – $1200
The “single strike” Umbreon VMax alternate art has everything a collector is looking for in a card. This cardboard rectangle is rare, gorgeous, and actually useful in battle. Pound for pound, this Eeveelution might just be the coolest overall card in all of Sword & Shield history.
Gengar VMax (Alternate Art Secret Rare)
Set: Fusion Strike
Cost Range: $90 – $280
It’s always nice when one of the Original 151 (aside from Pikachu and Charizard) really gets to shine on a Pokémon card. Gengar gets his big moment with this cleverly-designed card that is compelling enough to make the ghost Pokémon the Fusion Strike set’s biggest hit.
Giratina V (Alternate Full Art)
Set: Lost Origin
Cost Range: $310 – $800
As the Sword & Shield block began to wind down, it introduced some major legendaries from the “off-year” game, Pokémon Legends: Arceus. Of all those legendaries, Giratina was undoubtedly the most sought-after and valuable.
Lugia V (Alternate Full Art)
Set: Silver Tempest
Cost Range: $340 – $670
With Lugia VStar decks in vogue in the Pokémon TCG, competitors and collectors alike scrambled to find the stunning alternate art version of Lugia V, driving up its value immensely. The imagery on this card captures the awesome power of one of Pokémon’s most legendary monsters.
Origin Forme Dialga VStar (Secret Rare)
Origin Forme Dialga VStar was a big hit when introduced in the Astral Radiance set. So with its final gasp, the Sword & Shield block was sure to introduce the secret, rare version of it in Crown Zenith. As the freshest card on this list, Origin Forme Dialga VStar has a great chance of increasing in value.
The Best Promo Cards from Sword & Shield
Ever since the Pokémon Trading Card Game launched in 1996, “Black Star” promo cards have been among the most sought-after treasures for collectors. The Sword & Shield block was no different, with these five cards joining the legendary Black Star canon.
Charizard Pre-Release Promo (Staff)
Cost Range: $525 – $2040
Special Delivery Bidoof
Cost Range: $160 – $500
Lugia Pre-Release Promo (Staff)
Cost Range: $165 – $600
Special Delivery Pikachu
Cost Range: $90 – $210
Cramorant Japanese Promo
Cost Range: $80 – $600
More Pokémon Merchandise to Collect
Master Ball by The Wand Company – Surely you’ll find use for this replica of the iconic ball that can catch any Pokémon.
Snorlax Bean Bag Chair – Something nice to relax in after a long day of Pokémon battling.
Charizard Rising Flames Figurine – Charizard is one of Pokémon’s most iconic creations for a reason and this striking figurine will remind everyone of why.
Eevee Evolutions Funko Pops – There are dozens of Pokémon Funko Pops but if you’re going to get some, you might as well include this whole set of Eeveelutions.