The Most Anticipated Shiny Pokémon Cards In Paldean Fates

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A selection of cards from Paldean Fates.

Next month, January of space-year 2024, sees the release of a whole new set of shiny Pokémon cards. Paldean Fates is a muddle of reprinted cards from 2023’s sets and a ridiculous 100 new shinies. It will also features a brand-new shiny Charizard, which is going to cost all of the money. However, old fire-face is going to be accompanied by some truly stunning cards, and we’ve pulled together a gallery of those we’re going to be chasing the hardest.

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Like Shining Fates and Hidden Fates before it, Paldean Fates has the word “Fates” in the title, because…because… No, we’ve got nothing. Presumably because they used it twice, the people at The Pokémon Company International felt they were so deeply embedded in a groove that they were obliged to keep using it, even though “Fates” has nothing that implies “shiny.” Look forward to 2026’s Fating Fates, with reprints of the last three Fates collections, and 3,000 new full-art shinies to collect.

In the meantime, here are some very pretty pieces of cardboard that another person will buy from you for actual money that you can use for rent and heating.

Pre-order Pokémon Paldean Fates: Best Buy

Iono special illustration rare

OK, let’s get this one out the way first. It’s absolutely, unquestionably, a wonderful card. In fact, it might be one of the best-designed cards I’ve ever seen. The way it embraces Iono’s color palette, and that fantastic looming Mismagius, is all brilliant. The reluctance comes from how this has become Japan’s favorite waifu of the current era, and in response this card is already changing hands for over $475.

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It’s going for literally twice as much as the Charizard SAR from the Japanese version of the set, Shiny Treasures ex. (Note they don’t feel the mad need to put the word “Fates” into the title.)

The international version in Paldean Fates won’t go for close to this much, but you can still expect it to be a $100+ card should you be fortunate enough to pull one. See what I mean: cardboard transmogrifies into rent.

Mew special illustration rare

Can we spend five, or ten, or a thousand hours talking about how wonderful this shiny Mew card is?

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Thank you.

The ridiculously lovely art style by the apparently shouted USGMEN, their first contribution to Pokémon cards, reminds me of the early work of Sumiyoshi Kizuki. Look how cute the little guys are playing around the pond!

Mimikyu Black Star Promo

Excuse the teeny-tiny card in the image here. The English version has appeared in some press shots for the Elite Trainer Box, in which this card will be a promo, but not in super-great quality. Here’s the Japanese version:

The Japanese Mimikyu card.

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This is by Mitsuhiro Arita, the artist behind the very first version of Pikachu, the Chunkachu in Base Set, as well as that Base Set rabid Squirtle. While the shiny version of the wonderful Mimikyu is one of Pokémon’s worst choices—just a slightly fainter shade of beige—Arita delivers such a perfect rendering here. Check out the hyper-realistic granny, as well!

If you know the tragic story of Mimikyu, this poor ghost that thinks no one will love it until it can trick them into thinking it’s a Pikachu, then this card feels like a joyful ending to that sad tale. Has Mimikyu finally found a happy home, loved and cared for by this sweet old lady? Or, has the disguise finally worked on someone?

Pawmi Illustration Rare

Well isn’t this far too lovely? What a splendid idea, having the shiny and a regular form of Pawmi snuggling up together, with a bunch more of Gen IX’s Pikachu-sub piled up and snoozing around the log.

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Don’t forget, those rainbow patterns aren’t part of the card, but rather something The Pokémon Company Japan puts on their card illustrations to show that they’re holos. Relax, rainbow-haters.

Palafin Illustration Rare

Finizen and Palafin were definitely two of the lazier new Pokémon designs in Gen IX. They’re also some of my favorites, because they’re just such cute lil’ dolphins! That the only thing that distinguishes them from actual dolphins is some sort of fused-on rubber ring around their tails isn’t exactly…imaginative. The only difference in its evolved form is a heart on its chest. But given my all-time fave pocket monster is the mighty Mantine, I’m clearly a complete rube for the most blatantly “just change the name of an animal and pretend we thought it up” order of Pokémon.

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This shiny Palafin is in its “Hero Form,” as opposed to what’s rudely called its regular “Zero Form.” It’s basically a roided up dolphin, and here looks very menacing as it fails to understand that standing up is a pretty redundant action when underwater.

Clive Special Illustration Rare

OK, admittedly Clive isn’t shiny, but nor was Iono. It is, however, just one of the best cards ever. It’s by Taiga Kayama, new to designing Pokémon cards this year, who you might recognize from Paradox Rift’s stunning Vanillish card. It’s like a chibi Where’s Waldo.

Wugtrio Illustration Rare

Wugtrio is the evolved form of the Paldean Wiglett, also known as the penis Pokémon. It’s a stupid and boring Pokémon, so it’s a huge credit to artist Tetsu Koyama that this card looks so great. Another 2023 newbie, Koyama’s previous full-art was Paradox Rift’s lovely Dottler, and once again it’s lovely to see a shiny amongst the regular versions.

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As an aside, I really love how the color palette of this card matches so nicely with Yuka Morii’s Drapion V from Crown Zenith.

Charizard Special Illustration Rare

Yeah, that’s right! I’ve not put the Charizard in the final slot! Because I refuse to conform to your charizarchy. This is me taking a stand. I’m changing the world.

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When I last mentioned this card (where, I now notice, I also made a version of the above illustration, and now I have two almost identical renditions on my HDD), a lot of people mentioned how they found it far too cluttered to be enjoyable. I totally see what you mean, but I think it’s more the fault of the ridiculous clutter of writing in red, black and white over the top of a predominantly red, black and white image. Take all that text away, and I think this would be a proper beauty.

It’s proving as popular as was inevitable. While the Iono is fetching the super-big bucks, the Japanese Charizard ex Special Art Rare is going for $250 as I write today. It’ll be interesting to see how high this peaks, likely based on how rare it proves to be in the Shiny Treasures set.

Gardevoir Special Illustration Rare

Obviously art is subjective, and one person’s beauty is another’s horror. But this Gardevoir card is scientifically proven to be the most prettiest in all of the world. I have evidence, peer reviewed documents, the works. Just DM me. But more importantly, just look at it.

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Gardevoir is obviously one of the best Pokémon, a thought shared by all right-minded decent folk, and it’s wonderful to see it so gracefully depicted here. And those colors! It’s so wistful, that sense of the gloaming, all punctuated by the gloriously cartoonish look of surprise on the Wooper’s face.

But I bet you didn’t notice the literal pile of Pachirisu.

This is by Pokémon first-timer, but prolific artist, Kuroimori. Gosh I hope we see so, so much more from them—what an incredible way to start. This is objectively the loveliest card in the whole set. Sadly it’s going to be one I’ll need to be lucky enough to pull, given the Japanese version is changing hands for over $120.

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