The 5 Best Pokemon Packs To Buy In 2023
Starting to collect Pokemon cards can be overwhelming, we know. There are hundreds of sets, thousands of packs, and tens of thousands of cards, where are you even supposed to start? All these alien names like Silver Tempest, Lost Origin, Evolving Skies, what does it all mean? Well, today we’re going to break down the best packs of Pokemon cards to buy in 2023 as well as what makes a pack of Pokemon cards good.
What Makes A Pack Good?
At its core, a pack is often made “good” by its potential for good pulls proportionally to the cost of the pack. Proportionally is the keyword there as there are plenty of vintage, first edition sets like Team Rocket or Jungle that you could probably pull a $10,000 card from which is pretty much unachievable in any modern set but you have to consider that you also are paying several hundred dollars per pack, not to mention that you can’t just buy these cards at your local store, you likely have to buy it from a trusted collector and seller.
Now, compare this to some modern sets where you can buy a whole booster box for around $100 and pull several cards worth more than the whole booster box without even grading it. Of course, it is all completely chance and in essence, you are gambling every time you buy a Pokemon pack but opening a “good pack” is opening a pack where your chances of getting some sort of return on investment are the highest. It just so happens that this is most often the case in modern sets thanks to the introduction of alternate arts in every new set which are basically just money printers for the Pokemon Company as people are willing to throw their money at sets of Pokemon to get their hands on one.
Sure, opening packs may not be all about making money, and sometimes people just like to collect cards they think are cool and that mean something to them and that’s perfectly okay. Also, some people opening packs are just trying to get some new cards to add to their deck and the value of the cards is just secondary. However, for the most part, people opening Pokemon cards are looking for those big hitters.
How Can You Tell If A Card Is Expensive?
Okay so let’s say you’ve got your hands on the packs of your desire, how do you even know if the cards you are pulling are worth anything? Well, for one, 80% of a Pokemon pack is practically guaranteed to be worthless. There are typically only 2 cards in the pack (the rare slot and reverse holographic slot) that have the potential to be worth something and even that is being generous. If you’ve done the card trick right when opening a pack then, the rare and reverse holo should be at the back of the pack and these are the only two cards you need to worry about. A card’s rarity is indicated by the little symbol, whether it be a star, a circle, or a diamond on the bottom left of the card. We are only interested in the cards with the star at the bottom as those are rares and also the only cards that are actually going to be worth anything in modern sets. So, if you have found yourself a rare Pokemon card, you can check its value by going on to sites like pricecharting.com or tcgplayer.com to see what people are willing to pay for it.
#5 Silver Tempest
Coming in at the number five spot we have the 2022 set, Silver Tempest. This set gathered a lot of hype after the Lugia V alternate art was revealed and since its release, it has remained one of the most expensive alternate arts out there at around $200 ungraded. However, that isn’t the only selling point of this set as although the Lugia is vastly more expensive than any other card in the set there are also several other consistently good pulls in this set that all sell for around $30 ungraded. These cards include Unown V Alternate Art, Rainbow Rare Lugia VStar, Serena (Trainer) Full Art, Regidrago V Alternate Art, and Golden Rare Lugia VStar. Not to mention, this set also contains a trainer gallery which is always a major selling point of a set as a trainer gallery is a whole subset of cards within the set that contains only full arts and this one happens to also contain some great pulls like the Rayquaza VMax. On top of all this, packs currently only sell for around $4 each and a booster box sells for about $120.
Silver Tempest Booster Box
#4 Lost Origin
Lost Origin, released in 2022 made quite a splash after its mascot and chase card was revealed to be Giratina in one of the coolest alternate arts of the year. It remains the most expensive card of 2022 coming in at around $300 ungraded. Even without this alternate art though the set is still amazing. It contains an Aerodactly V alternate art which is also worth around $120 as well as several other relatively expensive cards. These cards include Rotom V Alternate Art, Galarian Perrserker V Alternate Art, Rainbow Rare Giratine VStar, Trainer Gallery Pikachu VMax, and Trainer Gallery Pikachu V. Much like Silver Tempest this set also contains a trainer gallery which is always great for collectors who are just interested in cool arts. This set is also made great by the fact that you can easily find packs for around $4 and booster boxes for $115.
Lost Origin Elite Trainer Box
#3 Chilling Reign
Now we have the set that really made alternate arts a staple addition to the Sword & Shield era of Pokemon. A lot of people have complained about the pull rates from this set saying that they are just too unforgiving but for the several chase cards in this set, the punishing pull rates might be worth it. Released in 2021, this set most famously brought about alternate arts of the Galarian version of the legendary birds (Moltres, Zapdos & Articuno), however, it also brought several other pulls that aren’t discussed nearly as much. Despite popular belief, the most expensive pull in this set is actually the Blaziken VMax Alternate Art which is worth around $170, not to mention the several other expensive pulls that this set has such as Golden Rare Snorlax, Zeraora V Alternate Art, Shadow Rider Calyrex VMax Alternate Art, Ice Rider Calyrex VMax Alternate Art and Galarian Rapidash V Alternate Art. Due to the lack of a trainer gallery, this set is chocked full of rare alternate art pulls and almost all of them are worth a little bit of moola. As well as this, despite being released two years ago, packs are still worth about $4 each.
Chilling Reign Pack Assortment
#2 Evolving Skies
This set very nearly made it to number one because it’s just so amazing but like Chilling Reign it has a big problem with pull rates, but this can be easy to ignore when you see the sheer volume and value of pulls in this set. This set, released in 2021, features some of the most expensive pulls in modern Pokemon history as well as some of the coolest full arts in modern Pokemon history. The set is renowned for its use of the Eeveelutions as the mascots as well as the several alternate arts that consequently came with it, the most famous being the Umbreon VMax Alternate Art also known as the Moonbreon which can now be found selling for more than $520 ungraded. Some of the other insane pulls from this set include Rayquaza VMax Alternate Art, Leafeon VMax Alternate Art, Glaceon VMax Alternate Art, Sylveon VMax Alternate Art, Umbreon V Alternate Art, Dragonite V Alternate Art, Rayquaza V Alternate Art, Espeon V Alternate Art, Glaceon V Alternate Art, Sylveon V Alternate Art and last but not least Leafeon V Alternate art. It’s also worth noting that these are only the super expensive pulls, there are several other relatively rare pulls that are still worth a bit of money when graded. The only downside of this set is that the value of booster packs has been going up as a result of the set’s value meaning that a single booster can cost $8.
Evolving Skies Booster Box
#1 Crown Zenith
Finally, we have the Mac Daddy set that has closed out the Sword & Shield era of Pokemon. This set has one of the biggest trainer galleries, some of the craziest card arts, and the highest volume of rare pulls out of any Pokemon set you’ve ever seen. It was only released this year (2023), so the pulls still have plenty of time to skyrocket in value and even then they are already worth an arm and a leg. This set introduced the Golden Alternate Arts as well as VStar Alternate Arts and the pulls just don’t stop coming. There are over 70 full art pulls in this set and most of them come from the insane trainer gallery. Although Evolving Skies and Chilling Reign may have more expensive pulls than this set, the pull rates in this set are insane. As well as this, Crown Zenith contains cards like Golden Rare Giratina VStar, Mewtwo VStar Alternate Art, Golden Rare Palkia VStar, Golden Rare Arceus VStar, Golden Rare Dialga VStar as well as several other amazing pulls. The best thing about this set is because it’s so new, the packs sell for about $5 each.
Crown Zenith Elite Trainer Box
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How Much Will I Spend Before I Get Something Good?
It’s hard to say definitively how much you will have to spend before you get something good as in essence there is no guarantee that you will get something “good”. It depends on what you class as good. If you class anything that isn’t just a standard rare as a good pull such as normal Vs then you can expect to get good pulls about 1 in every 7 or 8 packs. However, if you consider things like secret rares good pulls, they average at about 1 – 2 in every booster box (36 packs). But, if you consider only expensive pulls as good pulls then there is just no saying how much money you will have to spend to get it as you are chasing one or two cards in sets of sometimes hundreds.
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What To Read Next
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