Pokémon TCG: Sword & Shield – Brilliant Stars was released on 25th Feb, and we managed to get our hands on a box at the normal RRP. (As with the majority of major Pokémon sets, they’re currently selling like hotcakes.)
Read on to find out our thoughts about Sword & Shield – Brilliant Stars, and whether it’s worth the outlay for the very best Pokémon cards from the collection.
Sword & Shield – Brilliant Stars: Key Stats
Release date: February 25, 2022
Cards in set: English: 172+ Japanese: 127
Average Booster Display Box Price: $140/£120
- A Pokémon TCG booster box comes with 36 packs
Sword & Shield – Brilliant Stars: Best Cards
To begin, we’ve listed five of the biggest hits contained in Sword & Shield – Brilliant Stars, along with their current resale price and any relevant additional info about the Pokémon card.
5. Sylveon VMAX (Trainer Gallery) (eBay)
Currently retailing for roughly $25, Sylveon VMAX manages to sneak into the fifth spot on this list of the best cards from Sword & Shield – Brilliant Stars.
It might be too ‘cute’ for some, but Eeveelutions are always popular with collectors and investors, even if the same can’t be said for the Gym Leader Valerie, found on the right of the giant Pokémon.
It might not match up to the Charizard V’s seen below in terms of value and prestige, but it’s still a card that has serious competitive and investment potential.
4. Umbreon VMAX (Trainer Gallery) (eBay)
We’re sticking with Eeveelutions for the next card on our list. This time, Umbreon VMAX is paired with Karen from the Johto Elite Four, with the trainer seated on the Pokémon in the middle of full-bleed eye-catching artwork.
(It’s worth taking a second to note how detailed the average Pokémon card has become, a world away from the classic sets seen 30 years ago.)
For now, the card is selling for anywhere in the $40-60 range on the likes of eBay. Expect graded copies to be worth far more in future.
3. Arceus V (Alternate Full Art) (eBay)
This alternative full-art version of Arceus V is one of the key cards found in Sword & Shield – Brilliant Stars, with a resale value of $60-$100 at the current time of writing.
In fact, Arceus V would arguably be the chase card from the set, if not for the duo of Charizard’s seen below.
The Pokémon God of Creation is the star of the Brilliant Stars set, while you’ll be able to spot the Hisuian/Sinnoh region in the background.
2. Charizard V (Alternate Full Art) (eBay)
The Alternate Full Art Charizard V (numbered 154/172) will easily pay for an entire Pokémon TCG booster box on it’s own, although the popular fire type is one of the more elusive cards contained within the Brilliant Stars set.
For example, they’re currently selling for over $200 on eBay, and that does have the unfortunate side effect of building a lot of hype around the product. Collectors will open more boxes hoping for Charizard V, which will likely cause values of other cards in the set to drop in turn.
Regardless, a pristine graded copy is arguably the best card to invest in from the collection, aside from the option seen below.
1. Charizard VSTAR (Secret) (eBay)
Rainbow Rare Pokémon aren’t always the most popular cards in a set due to the nature of their colourful design. However, most collectors are likely to make an exception for Charizard VSTAR, building on the success of the re-released 2021 Celebrations set.
This is also evidenced by the current asking price, shooting up to roughly $250 within a couple of days. If you’d prefer to buy a card outright rather than taking a chance with a box, this is the most likely to provide a decent return long-term.
Sword & Shield – Brilliant Stars: Box Prices
A Pokémon TCG booster box comes with 36 packs, and should be available online near the $150 mark, give or take a few dollars either way.
As we’re so close to the original release date, there’s still an abundance of products on shelves, and they can also be found online via sites such as eBay.
It’s worth mentioning that boxes and packs should be seen as a good investment, as long as you have enough self-control and won’t go ripping them anytime soon.
Sword & Shield – Brilliant Stars: What We Got
We packed nothing of value from the box, taking a massive L overall.
We’ll probably recoup half of the money after selling off the cards. It was clearly an unlucky box, and it’s always down to the luck of the draw when opening packs.
Of course, this also highlights the downside of having such a strong chase element. If you don’t find the likes of a Charizard or Arceus V in packs, you’re probably going to be disappointed when all is said and done.
If you’re hoping for a specific Pokémon, you’re probably better off buying it outright.
Sword & Shield – Brilliant Stars: Summary
Brilliant Stars is a zero sum game if you’re solely interested in Charizard V/Charizard VSTAR. When buying boxes, either you’ll find a copy and you’ll make money, or you won’t and you’ll probably take a loss.
There’s no real middle ground, and prices for mid-tier cards are likely to be driven into the dirt depending on the hype behind the latest Charizard chase. However, it’s still tempting to rip packs in an effort to find one of your own.
With that being said, current values are low due to the amount of product being opened, and prices have yet to settle. It could be the perfect time to grab a card or two if you plan to send them off for grading.