The Pokémon Trading Card Game can become an expensive hobby, and there are a few cards in particular that cost more than they should. Almost all collectible card games have a habit of becoming pricey, particularly for competitive players and dedicated collectors, so this isn’t unusual. Even so, some cards end up carrying prices far beyond what should be expected of them.
Pokémon cards have been around for over two decades, and in that time, some cards have skyrocketed in value. For some, this is highly understandable. Ultra-rare promotional cards, specifically those that only had a limited print run or were only made available through special events, have expectedly become some of the most expensive Pokémon cards in existence. Likewise, cards that are rarely if ever reprinted have a similar explanation as they become scarcer in the marketplace. A similar effect takes place for many cards that prove especially strong, as players are quick to snatch them up.
Base Set Charizard Has Been An Overrated Pokémon Card For Years
Base Set Charizard may be the most famous Pokémon card of all time. It was the subject of plenty of playground discussion in the early 2000s and achieved a near-mythical reputation. Even to this day, Base Set Charizard is highly prized by collectors, likely in part due to its fame in the early days of the game. It can easily go for hundreds of dollars, especially for the rarer shadowless version. Despite being so recognizable, it has not earned its substantial price tag.
Charizard may be the series’ most overused Pokémon, but it was by far the most popular Red and Blue starter, so its first card was destined to be highly sought after. The fact that it was a rare, holographic card with the highest HP total and attack damage of any card in the initial set only made it a more enticing find. Even after Charizard’s own luster started to fade, Base Set Charizard retained its near-mythical status.
Ironically, Base Set Charizard was not a particularly practical card in the actual game. Its only damaging move, Fire Spin, inflicts 100 damage, enough to knock out almost any Pokémon. However, it requires four Fire Energy equipped to use, and the player had to discard two of them with each use. Although its Energy Burn ability helped a bit with that, it basically set the user back with every use.
While certainly not a worthless card from the Pokémon TCG, Base Set Charizard was nowhere near what it was hyped up to be. In comparison, Base Set Blastoise came out at the same time, and although its stats were lower, its ability to load the player’s Pokémon with Water Energy was far more powerful. Regardless, Base Set Charizard’s reputation is likely set in stone, forever known as one of the Pokémon TCG‘s holy grails.
Skyridge Ho-oh’s Art Is Not Worthy Of Its Legendary Status
Ho-oh is a Legendary Pokémon that has burned itself into the memories of a generation of Pokémon fans. Although it didn’t make its official debut until Gold and Silver, its appearance in the first episode of the anime made it instantly memorable. Fittingly for a legendary bird such as itself, Ho-oh has been the beneficiary of many fantastic card arts over the years. Unfortunately, not every card depicting it has been great, and one expensive card, in particular, fails to capture the majesty of one of the few birds that can fly above Pokémon‘s iconic legendary bird trio.
Skyridge Ho-Oh was one of the Pokémon TCG‘s Crystal-type Pokémon, who could change types depending on what energy cards they were given. Most Crystal Pokémon ended up with cool artwork, but Ho-Oh ended up with the short end of the stick. While the others had incredible action shots or scenes that made them look majestic, Ho-oh is shoved to one side of the image without much dignity. Most of Ho-oh’s cards manage to portray it in an appropriately powerful light, which makes Skyridge Ho-oh a letdown in comparison.
Since Ho-oh is a legendary Pokémon, there are higher expectations for its cards in the Pokémon TCG. While Skyridge Ho-oh does have some novelty value as a part of the Crystal Pokémon archetype, it ultimately has little else to offer, especially when the art is outdone by the awe-inspiring Pokémon fanart of Ho-oh. Its inflated price tag, frequently in the hundreds, only provides players with more incentive to seek out another Ho-oh card instead.
Rocket’s Mewtwo From Gym Challenge Is An Inferior Version Of Another Pokémon Card
Mewtwo was the original Legendary Pokémon, and it has received respect from the card game that suits this position. It has seen countless releases, including several gimmicks such as Pokémon-ex and Lv. X, and also was the subject of some memorable promo cards from Pokémon: The First Movie. There are almost too many Mewtwo cards to choose from, which makes the presence of one underwhelming example quite noticeable.
Rocket’s Mewtwo from the Gym Challenge set was an early example of a Pokémon card with three attacks, and its Juxtapose move had the unusual effect of swapping its damage counters with the opponent. However, it has two major flaws. First, while Mewtwo is the subject of some of the best-looking cards in the Pokémon TCG, Rocket’s Mewtwo’s odd pose and expression do not convey the same sense of strength. More painfully, Team Rocket Returns introduced Rocket’s Mewtwo ex, which is almost exactly the same as Rocket’s Mewtwo, but Dark-type and with every move upgraded to do more damage.
Having a fellow Mewtwo card that is essentially a better version of it can leave Rocket’s Mewtwo feeling obsolete. Even when it comes to collecting, it doesn’t look as good as a lot of Mewtwo cards that came before it. For a card that can go for over a hundred dollars, it doesn’t feel like the best investment. Most other Mewtwos would feel like more worthy options to buy for a Pokémon card collection.
Starting a Pokémon card collection is an endeavor that will require both time and money, as well as an eye for quality. There are several cards that could easily be the crown jewel of a collection and could be proudly held up as such. Even so, it bears repeating that just because a card in the Pokémon Trading Card Game is expensive, that doesn’t mean it’s worth the price.