The Pokémon Fusion Strike set is the fourth English installment in the Sword & Shield series, and with it comes a plethora of new cards for collectors and players alike. It was released in the US in 2021 with 284 cards in total.
The main theme is Mew, with 6 cards dedicated to a single Pokémon, which is significantly higher than any other standard set. There may be significantly fewer chase cards than the large card set total suggests, but there is still the appeal of pulling one in this set, especially because these specific Pokémon tend to be more popular not just in this set, but more modern sets in general.
Fusion Strike Cards With the Current Highest Value
Across all of the trading card sites, the 3 cards that have maintained the highest value in the Fusion Strike set are the Espeon VMAX, Gengar VMAX, and Mew VMAX.
If we look at the PSA 10 value of the cards, the Espeon VMAX is around $300, Gengar VMAX is around $420, and Mew VMAX is around $160. Whether or not it is worth getting any chase cards graded is another story due to the postage and additional fees involved. You may be better holding them as booster pack fresh ‘mint’ cards in case a grade 10 is not given, which would significantly reduce the resale value by as much as 50% (even if a PSA 9 is obtained).
The crème de la crème of the Fusion Strike set is undoubtedly the Gengar VMAX Secret Rare card. Gengar, one of the original 151 Pokémon, holds a special place in the heart of Pokémon fans around the globe, making many holo cards featuring this ghost Pokémon a desirable piece.
This Secret Rare card portrays Gengar in a stunning visual that’s sure to catch any Pokémon aficionado’s eye. What’s more, the card’s formidable game abilities make it not just aesthetically pleasing but also a valuable addition to any player’s deck. It remains the highest-valued card at the moment, but as the original 151 grow in popularity among younger collectors in newer sets, it is worth holding as it could potentially increase further in value.
The New Unsung Hero – Genesect VMAX
Beyond Gengar, Mew, and Espeon, the Genesect VMAX may be the unsung hero of the set and sits fairly close to the three-figure value barrier, with the PSA 10 version fetching north of $100 at its peak. Due to this Pokémon not being as memorable as the others, the price varies as more sets are released.
Genesect, although not a legendary in the traditional sense, is nonetheless a fan favorite, especially among younger Pokémon fans, due to its unique backstory, captivating design, and appearances in the animated TV series.
Alternative Art Cards in Fusion Strike
Fusion Strike has introduced many alternative art, secret rare cards that have sent collectors into a frenzy. Celebi V, Greedent V, and Boltund V are some notable examples. These cards depict the Pokémon in strikingly distinctive styles, offering a refreshing spin on their usual characters and appearance. Their artwork is not done justice by the price tag. They definitely look more impressive than the price tag of between $5-$20 in some cases suggests.
Full Art and Rainbow Rare Trainer Cards
Completing this set’s high-value cards are the Full Art and Rainbow Rare Trainer cards. Notably, trainers like Shauna, Sidney, and Dancer are depicted in these cards, catching everyone’s attention with their captivating design. The combination of vibrant, rainbow hues, and detailed artwork crafts an irresistible appeal. Full Art Trainer cards historically retain good value and can be an excellent long-term investment.
There definitely seems to be more of a focus on the full art support and trainer cards which depict females. This can be seen in newer sets released in 2023. As time goes by and the Fusion Strike set becomes more ‘vintage,’ the value of these cards may start to increase in value.
A common theme across a number of the newer sets (even slightly before Sword & Shield) is making energy cards rarer. This can be especially annoying as it takes away some of the opportunities of finding a secret art rare that is actually worth a considerable amount of money.
It is unclear why so many sets have decided to go along this route considering the original Wizards of the Coast sets had them as common (with the exception being the uncommon colorless energy card).
Chase cards generally gain value over time due to their rarity and desirability, either due to the Pokémon’s popularity or simply the unique artwork. It’s important to note that trends do occur, and certain Pokémon and card types can change in desirability over time. Understanding the trends and intricacies of the resale market is crucial.
Fusion Strike Card Mechanics
For those more interested in the actually playing functionality of the cards as opposed to simply collecting, the Fusion Strike set introduces an exciting new game mechanic, the Fusion Strike style, that changes the gameplay dramatically. This draws players to chase after Fusion Strike style cards, adding another dimension to the thrill of card collecting. They may not be worth as much to value collectors, but these are much more popular amongst players.
Japanese version – Fusion Art
As is sometimes the case, the Japanese version titled Fusion Arts is disappointing, to say the least. No Gengar or Espeon means there are very few chase cards (it could be argued that unless you really want the Mew VMAX, there is literally no point in buying this set at all, and you would be much better putting your money towards Silver Tempest or one of the newer Japanese sets available).
There are 129 cards in the set, which is significantly fewer than the English version as expected, but there are so few cards that hold any value that, for once, I would stick to the English Fusion Strike set. It is a shame as sometimes collectors prefer the Japanese versions because the same chase cards remain, and even though the card value may be slightly less, the overall cost for booster packs and boxes is lower.
The guarantee of having at least one super rare in each Japanese booster box means at least you know there is a chance of landing something special, unlike the more expensive English booster boxes, which do not provide any guarantee that a super rare will be pulled.
Make sure you check out our article on best Japanese Promos to collect too!
Conclusion on Fusion strike worth long term
The Fusion Strike series places in the hands of Pokémon enthusiasts an exciting variety of chase cards to seek and cherish. It is questionable whether it is worth collecting, especially considering there are only 3 main chase cards in a set with just under 300 cards.
Also, with a common theme around the color pink, the variation of cards may be a little off-putting. For any fans of Gengar, though, it is definitely one of the more sought-after VMAX cards available in any set.
Due to the overall popularity of legendary Pokémon, Eevee, and its evolutions, and Gengar, the 3 cards should hold their value pretty well long-term, although the others may appear a little underwhelming in years to come.
Still, there is definitely a sense of achievement if you are able to complete the full master set, but with the amount of money you will have to spend on booster packs (and a lot of luck along the way), the general investment is probably not worth it as much as other sets out there. Also, it is very unlikely that you will recover the cost which you would have spent on booster packs to complete the set in the first place.
As with other sets, it may also be worth holding onto a few unopened booster packs (English and Japanese) or even a booster box if possible, as in the future, there may be an uptake of interest in a particular Pokémon or card type. Booster packs and booster boxes tend to hold their value too, especially with the number of YouTube channels out there dedicated to pack openings.
At this point in time, with the number of chase cards available in newer sets and the continuous change in popularity of many Pokémon, it might not be worth spending a fortune on booster packs and boxes if you are only after any of the 3 main chase cards in the Fusion Strike set.