2018-19 Upper Deck The Cup Hockey Cards Mix Familiar and New, Still Very Much High-End

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2018-19 Upper Deck The Cup Hockey cards bring with them the ultra-premium content the brand is known for. Not only are there lots of autographs and memorabilia cards, but they represent some of the highest quality of the season. That means on-card autographs, plenty of patches and big names throughout the checklist. There’s also a high level of prestige for the line simply because it’s The Cup.

Each six-card box (which comes as a tin) includes a pair of autograph patch cards.

2018-19 Upper Deck The Cup Hockey Monumental Autograph Patch

2018-19 Upper Deck The Cup Hockey Base Set Basics

The main set has a few different subsets, all of which culminate with the cornerstone Rookie Autograph Patch cards. Regular cards, which highlight NHL veterans are numbered to 249. The same is true for the Rookie Class of 2019 subset. Team Canada Juniors Retro cards, which look back on some of the greats to suit up and represent the maple leaf, have just 149 copies each.

Parallels for all three of these fold in a mix of autographs and memorabilia. For select regular base cards, these include Gold Spectrum Foil Auto (/12), Gold Foil Patch (/8), Gold Foil Auto Patch (/8), Green Foil Button (/3), Green Foil Button Auto (/3), Red Foil Tag (/2), Red Foil Tag Auto (/2), Black Foil Auto (1/1), Black Foil Shield Logo Patch (1/1), and Black Foil Shield Logo Auto Patch (1/1).

Rookie Class of 2019 cards have Autographs (/75), Red Auto Inscription (/5), and Black Auto Inscription (1/1).

Scarce version of Team Canada Juniors Retro cards come in the form of Auto Button (/3), Auto Tag (/2) and Black Auto Patch (1/1).

Rookie Cards

As usual, Rookie Auto Patch cards come in a couple of tiers. More common cards have print runs of 249 (Tier 1) while key players have just 99 (Tier 2). When it comes to modern hockey RCs, these are usually considered to be the most coveted. When you’re considering what “the best” is, chances are it’s The Cup.

2018-19 Upper Deck The Cup Hockey Rookie Autograph Patch

Parallels include Gold Spectrum (Tier 1 – /36, Tier 2 – /24), Gold Foil (Tier 1 – /24, Tier 2 – /12), Green Foil Button (/3), Red Foil Tag (/2), and Black Foil (1/1). A couple of additional parallels don’t have autographs, Gold Spectrum Foil (/36 or less) and Black Foil (1/1).

Not all 2018-19 The Cup RCs have the autograph-patch combination. Some have just signatures. Base versions are numbered to 249 and parallels are similar to the auto patch rookies.

Additional Autographs and Memorabilia Cards

2018-19 Upper Deck The Cup has some new additions. Trilaterals have a couple of different versions. Patches are a major part but some have autographs as well.

Hall of Fame 75th and 25th Autographed Anniversary Patch cards (1:6 packs) also make their debut.

Several inserts are returning as well. These include Limited Logos (/50 or less), Honorable Numbers autograph relics that are numbered to players’ jersey numbers, Enshrinements (/99 or less) Enshrinements Duos (/25 or less), Scripted Sticks (/15), Dual Scripted Sticks (/5), Brilliance (1:10), Signature Renditions (1:7), and Signature Renditions Combos (1:100). The Show, autograph cards inspired by Upper Deck Authenticated shadowbox memorabilia, are also back. Rookies are 1:60 packs while vets and legends are 1:120.

2018-19 Upper Deck The Cup Hockey Limited Logos

Program of Excellence Autographs (/10) are a place to find Team Canada-themed cards outside of the main set. Dual autographs have just five copies each.

Cup Trios (/33), Quads (/12) and Sixes (/6) jersey cards combine several players. These have a variety of premium material and button parallels.

Cup Foundations (/25) get their foundation with a quartet of swatches. Autograph versions have 15 copies while patches have just three. Cup Foundations Rookies are more plentiful with print runs of 49 for the base quad jerseys, 15 for autograph jerseys and ten for patches.

Being as high-end as it is, it shouldn’t be surprising that 2018-19 Upper Deck The Cup has several book card themes as well. Auto Monumental Patch Booklets are one-of-ones that include two halves from the same large swatch. Open them up and they go together.

2018-19 Upper Deck The Cup Hockey Monumental Rookie

Other booklets include Auto Pro Gear Jersey Patch (/12) and Ticket Booklets.

2018-19 Upper Deck The Cup Hockey Ticket Booklet

Drawing from the Past and Other Brands

Like a lot of other Upper Deck sets in recent years, 2018-19 The Cup reaches into the brand’s past. This time it’s new Rookie Autograph Patch Tributes. These draw inspiration from the 2005-06, 2010-11, 2011-12, 2012-13 and 2013-14. No matter the inspiration year, all have ten copies.

2018-19 Upper Deck The Cup Hockey RAP Tribute

Some other brands are also on the checklist. Splendor didn’t get a standalone release in 2018-19, however it can be found here. Splendor insert themes include Autographs (/36), Patches (/36), Autograph Patches (/36), Rookie Patches (/36) and Rookie Autograph Patches (/36).

2018-19 Upper Deck The Cup Hockey Splendor

The third and final installment of 2018-19 Exquisite Hockey is also in The Cup. Exquisite Rookie Auto Patch cards are numbered to the player’s jersey number. These also have one-of-one Shield parallels. Exquisite Endorsements (/50 or less) and Exquisite Endorsements Rookies (/50) can also be found.

2018-19 Upper Deck The Cup Hockey cards at a glance:

Cards per pack: 6
Packs per box: 1
Boxes per case: 6
Set size: TBA
Release date: October 23, 2019

What to expect in a hobby box:

  • Autograph Patch Cards – 2

The full 2018-19 Upper Deck The Cup Hockey checklist and team set lists will be added as soon as they’re available, likely shortly before the set releases.

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Ryan Cracknell

A collector for much of his life, Ryan focuses primarily on building sets, Montreal Expos and interesting cards. He's also got one of the most comprehensive collections of John Jaha cards in existence (not that there are a lot of them). Got a question, story idea or want to get in touch? You can reach him by email and through Twitter @tradercracks.

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