The 5 Best Pokemon Packs To Buy In 2023

The 5 Best Pokemon Packs To Buy In 2023

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 or 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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The 15 Coolest Full Art Pokemon Cards In History

The 15 Coolest Full Art Pokemon Cards In History

The 15 Coolest Full Art Pokemon Cards In History

Throughout the history of the Pokemon TCG, there have been hundreds if not thousands of talented illustrators working day in and day out to bring us some of the coolest, most beloved art in trading card history. So then, what better way to show off this artistic talent than through a full art Pokemon card, where the canvas is no longer limited to a small square on the card but instead where they have the whole card to let their creativity run free? This, coupled with the shiny, holographic finish on the card, makes for inevitably brilliant art and the most collectible cards in a set.

So, today we are going to be honoring these great artists by counting down the top 15 coolest full-art Pokemon cards. Of course, there is no objective way to make this list, so if you disagree, don’t worry, this list was built purely on opinion.

#15 Moltres & Zapdos & Articuno GX Promo

This card comes from the Sun & Moon holiday set Hidden Fates and can only be found as a promo card in the Elite Trainer Boxes of the set. It was designed by Japanese artist HYOGONOSUKE and features some of the most creative artwork you will probably ever find in an Elite Trainer Box Promo. The card’s art features the three legendary birds in the style of an old stained glass window which feels like it almost emphasizes their monumental status, as though they are being worshipped like gods. Unfortunately, because Hidden Fates ETBs were produced like there was no tomorrow, there is no shortage of this promo meaning they only sell for around $15.

Moltres & Zapdos & Articuno Hidden Fates Promo

#14 Latias & Latios GX Alternate Art

This card popped up out of nowhere in the set Team Up and immediately got the attention of fans. Latias and Latios, whether it be in their name, or their design, are made to appear physically inseparable which is what artist Sanosuke Sakuma appears to be attempting to encapsulate in this art. The card features a Latias and Latios hovering in front of a beautiful sunset as they touch wing-to-wing forming the shape of a heart around the sunset. Truly cinematic stuff. Not to mention, this card doesn’t come at zero cost, it has actually become one of the most expensive cards in recent English Pokemon card history typically selling for around $300 ungraded.

Latias & Latios GX Alternate Art

#13 Pokemon Stamp Box Cramorant

This card is a little different from the previous two as while, like the first entry, it is a promo card, this is a Japanese exclusive promo card. This card could only be acquired through a Pokemon stamp box in the Japanese Postal service and as a result, has become pretty sought-after. Designed by artist Mitsuhiro Arita this card follows a much more traditional style of Japanese art similar to that of the stamps used in Japanese post hence coming as a promo in a Stamp Box. It features three Cramorants diving through the air like Kingfishers, some not so gracefully as the others. Because of the card’s exclusivity, it is worth upwards of $100 even without a grade.

Stamp Box Cramorant Promo

#12 Pokemon Stamp Box Pikachu

The thing about the previous entry is that it doesn’t just come on its own as a promo and is actually one of two promos that come together out of the stamp box. The Cramorant’s counterpart is as you could probably guess the stamp box Pikachu which is designed with the exact same style by the exact same artist (Sanosuke Sakuma) and even features the lady from the Japanese stamp herself. You can find this card selling for nearly $300 ungraded!

Japanese Stamp Box Pikachu With Japanese Stamp

#11 Galarian Moltres V Alternate Art

Coming from the Sword & Shield set Chilling Reign, this card, designed by artist Shibuzoh, takes a much more minimalist approach when it comes to color. This card only features 3 prominent colors: red, black, and white, and yet it makes for absolutely awesome artwork. It features the Galarian version of everyone’s favorite legendary bird spanning out its wings in front of a full moon in the night sky. There appear to be ominous red eyes also beaming through the forest it’s flying above but that could just be paranoia. This has actually become one of the most expensive cards in the set, selling for roughly $110 ungraded.

Galarian Moltres V Alternate Art

#10 Noivern V Alternate Art

Although Noivern may not be a fan-favorite Pokemon to many people, the pop culture reference of this card is just too awesome not to include in this list. This card, from the, set Evolving Skies and designed again by artist Mitsuhiro Arita, the same guy who designed the stamp box cards, features Noivern dropping from a building in the dead of night in the dimly lit city with his winged spanned like a cape. It’s practically impossible to deny that this card isn’t a reference or at least inspired by the DC poster boy Batman. Unfortunately, the unpopularity of Noivern means that this card isn’t exactly worth a fortune regardless of how cool it may be. It only sells for around $30 ungraded.

Noivern V Alternate Art

#9 Radiant Collection Pikachu

Now, we’re taking a brief trip back in time as this next entry comes from the X & Y era of Pokemon in the set Generations from 2016. The card was designed by Kagemaru Himeno and is definitely one of the cutest Pikachu arts you can get your hands on. The card features not just one, not just two, not even just three but four Pikachus on one card. They’re all dogpiling on top of each other to make a loving bundle of Pikachus. It’s a pretty simple art for the most part but for the time it was released, it was a pretty extraordinary art which gives it some extra points in my book. Unfortunately, however, the card isn’t worth much in terms of monetary value as it only sells for around $13 ungraded.

Banned Japanese Grimer vs English Redesign

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#8 Super Mario Pikachu Promo

If you haven’t heard of this card before, let me introduce you to one of the coolest crossovers you will probably ever see on a Pokemon card if not on any trading card. Designed by Kouki Saito this card features Pikachu in the iconic blue overalls and red hat of Nintendo’s Italian goomba-stomping mascot. The card even has a watermark at the bottom right that reads “MARIO PIKACHU” just in case you didn’t realize. This card came as a Japanese-exclusive promo in the 2016 Mario Pikachu Special Box which could often be found with it’s Luigi counterpart which featured the Luigi Pikachu. Because of this card’s age and exclusivity, it has become one of the most sought-after Pokemon cards in modern Pokemon history selling for around $2000 ungraded.

Super Mario Pikachu Promo

#7 Golden Arceus VStar Alternate Art

This is one of the most recent entries on this list as it was actually released this year (2023) in the set Crown Zenith. This set brought about a never-before-seen art style which was the Golden Alternate Art. Previously, a Pokemon would only get one golden full art and that’s it, but in the case of Giratina, Dialga, Palkia, and Arceus, they would go on to get 2 golden full arts each. Granted these were spread out among different sets but it’s interesting nonetheless. Anyway, this artwork was designed by Akira Egawa and features the legendary Pokemon floating above this crazy, hellish orange landscape over a pyramid as the clouds seem to orbit the Arceus in an almost godlike fashion. This art does an amazing job of capturing the scale and power of Arceus better than any card ever has. As a result, it’s one of the most expensive cards in the set and sells for around $100 ungraded despite being released less than a month ago.

Arceus VStar Alternate Art

#6 Mewtwo GX Alternate Art

Staying on the topic of overpowered legendaries comes the Mewtwo from the 2017 holiday set Shining Legends. This card was designed by an artist who has now made quite a few appearances on this list: Mitsuhiro Arita. This is actually the chase card of the set and it features what appears to be the origin story of Mewtwo as it is floating in some sort of testing tube in a lab. If you look closely, you can even see little illustrations of the anatomy of Mewtwo in the background as, if you aren’t aware, Mewtwo was one of the only Pokemon to be designed in a lab. Ungraded, the card can be found selling for more than $70.

Mewtwo GX Alternate Art

#5 Rapid Strike Urshifu VMax Alternate Art

This entry may come as a surprise to some, as Urshifu isn’t exactly the most popular Pokemon in the world, but he does have one of the coolest full arts to the name coming from the 2021 set Battle Styles. Designed by Kiyotaka Oshiyama, it’s pretty hard to deny that this card isn’t somewhat cool. It features a massive Urshifu sitting cross-legged doing some sort of water bending to propel himself into the air with the water. If that isn’t cool enough, with this water bending he’s shooting loads of other water-type Pokemon into the air like Clobbopus as well as other cameos from Pokemon like Cramorant and Corviknight. Unfortunately, the lack of popularity of this card means that it’s only worth around $50 ungraded.

Rapid Strike Urshifu VMax Alternate Art

#4 Magikarp Poncho Pikachu

Now comes yet another Japanese exclusive as they just can’t seem to help but make for some of the coolest arts in the entire TCG. This card came as one of many promo cards in the exact same Pikachu Poncho art style including a Rayquaza Poncho, Shiny Rayquaza Poncho, Gyarados Poncho, Mega Charizard X Poncho, Mega Charizard Y Poncho, as well as several other non-full-art Poncho Pikachus. However, in my humble opinion, the coolest of them all is the Magikarp Poncho Pikachu designed by the same man behind the Mario and Luigi Pikachu Kouki Saito. Everything from the crazy patterned background to the Pikachu poking its head out of the Magikarp’s mouth makes this card one of the best full arts out there. As well as this, it’s extremely rare, and as a result, like the Mario and Luigi Pikachu, is one of the most expensive cards in modern Pokemon history. Ungraded, the card is worth around $1000.

Magikarp Poncho Pikachu

#3 Secret Rare Gyarados ex

This entry actually has not been released in English yet but is set to be in March of this year. It comes from the Scarlet and Violet base set of Pokemon which is reintroducing the 2003 “ex” mechanic. Designed by 5ban Graphics, this card is designed with a strange polygon style which makes for some really unique artwork. As well as this, the Gyarados featured on the card wears a silver crown which for some reason feels really fitting. Strangely enough though, although the English value is yet to be realized, it isn’t really worth that much in Japanese, only selling for around $30 ungraded.

Secret Rare Gyarados ex

#2 Umbreon VMax Alternate Art

This card was inevitably going to make an appearance on this list as let’s face it, it is probably one of the most groundbreaking and amazing artworks on a card in Pokemon history. It was one of the first introductions to alternate arts in the Sword and Shield era of Pokemon, aside from Chilling Reign and it just does not disappoint. The set it comes from, Evolving Skies, also brought about some of the most expensive alternate arts in the current Pokemon landscape such as the Leafeon VMax, Glaceon VMax, and the Rayquaza VMax. Regardless, we’re here to talk about this card; the Umbreon VMax alternate art. It was designed by artist KEIICHIRO ITO and features a Gigantimaxed Umbreon scaling a building and reaching for the moon reminiscent of the Van Gogh painting “The Starry Night”. Ungraded, it would be difficult to find the card for less than $400.

Umbreon VMax Alternate Art

#1 Edvard Munch Psyduck Promo

Finally, we have what we believe to be one of if not the best full art of all time and it comes in the form of yet another Japanese exclusive promo. This is a card that some of you may not even know exists if you’re a newer collector but it remains one of the most expensive Japanese exclusive promos released in the last 5 years. The card was purchasable as one of five different options, Psyduck, Rowlet, Eevee, Mimikyu, or Pikachu. They could only be obtained by attending a Pokemon Center in Japan that was participating in the promotional event of the Munch: A Retrospective exhibition. It was the first time that Edvard Munch’s famous painting The Scream would be displayed in Japan so Pokemon centers would grant customers this promo card with the purchase of any two booster packs. As well as this card was completely restricted from the online Pokemon Center, meaning it had to be obtained in person. It was designed by artist Tomokazu Komiya and he does the card so much justice. The card features a Psyduck screaming in the exact style of the Munch painting The Scream as a Haunter and a Gengar from the background seem to approach him. Ungraded, the card can sell for upwards of $700 thanks to how exclusive and awesome the artwork is.

Edvard Munch Psyduck Promo

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The 10 Most Expensive EX Pokemon Cards

The 10 Most Expensive EX Pokemon Cards

The 10 Most Expensive EX Pokemon Cards

What Are EX Pokemon Cards?

A major distinction between EX Pokemon cards and regular Pokemon cards is how powerful they are. EX Pokemon cards are generally stronger, with higher stats, more potent abilities and more powerful attacks, which gives players an edge during gameplay and have the potential to completely turn the tides of a game.


Another contrast between EX Pokemon cards and common Pokemon cards is the way they can be obtained. These cards are generally only available in special booster packs or theme decks, making them harder to get than the usual Pokemon cards.


These cards were introduced In 2012 by the Pokemon Company in the Black & White set Next Destinies as an attempt to replace the Lv.X mechanic from the generation before it. It introduced classic EX cards such as Reshiram EX, Zekrom EX, and the Mewtwo EX Full Art. These cards had enhanced artwork and refreshed game mechanics, making them extremely desired by fans and collectors. They would go on to make these cards until 2017 with the introduction of Sun & Moon.

Are They Similar To GX Pokemon Cards?

While the name EX and GX may sound quite similar, there are quite a few fundamental differences between the two types of cards.

For one the design of the cards have some key differences between them. EX cards feature art that kind of spills over the inner border of the cards art whereas GX cards don’t even have an inner border.

As well as this, because you can only play one GX card per game, GX cards tend to have much higher HP values than EX cards. However, it’s not just their HP that makes them this much stronger, GX cards also feature GX attacks which can only be used once a game.

While EX nor GX cards are the rarest cards in the world, GX cards are marginally rarer than EX cards.

So in short, GX cards aren’t particularly similar to EX cards apart from the fact that they rhyme and they are ultra rares.

How Are They Different From “ex” Pokemon cards?

So, if you’re a bit more of a seasoned Pokemon TCG fan, then you may recall that ex-cards were a thing way before 2012. They go as far back as 2003 in the set “EX Ruby & Sapphire” and they weren’t vastly different from EXs as we know them today. These cards were similar to normal Pokemon cards but they would have improved health, and attack a lot like, you guessed it, modern EX cards. The art is obviously a bit better on the more modern cards but for the most part, they are more similar to EXs than GXs.

Why Did They Stop Making Them?

You might be wondering then why The Pokemon Company would deem it necessary to call a stop to the EX cards if they were so popular and the truth is, it was inevitable. Regardless of how popular a game mechanic is, with each new era of Pokemon, they always like to change things up and scrap one game mechanic to introduce another. We’ve seen this time and time again with EX getting replaced by GX and GX getting replaced by V & VMax and V and VMax soon to be replaced by another mechanic. It’s an easy way for The Pokemon Company to keep the game fresh without stripping away all familiarity with the game so returning players can quickly get straight back into the game.

Now, let’s get into the most expensive EX pokemon cards.

#10 Mega Charizard-EX (Y Version)

Kicking off this list is the less popular counterpart to the Mega Charizard duo with the Mega Charizard Y EX. This card was released in the 2014 X & Y set Flashfire which would introduce the “Mega Evolution” mechanic from the video game into the card game. As we’ve mentioned in almost every article containing a list, it’s hard to find a “most expensive cards” list without at least one Charizard on it and this is no exception to that rule. Ungraded this card can be found selling for around $20 and in a PSA 10 can be as expensive as $70.

Mega Charizard EX Y

#9 Groudon-EX

Making a pretty nostalgic entry at number 9 is the fabled ground-type legendary from the Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald era of Pokemon. This card was released in the 2012 set Dark Explorers and further begged the question of whether Kyogre or Groudon was better. This card is a full art and ungraded the card is worth around $60 but in a PSA 10, the card is worth nearly $500.

Groudon EX Full Art

#8 Mew-EX

But if you thought that last entry was nostalgic, get a load of this one. The Mew-EX comes from the same year as the Groudon EX in the set Dragons Exalted. This card is not only expensive for its awesome full-art but also for its amazing gameplay mechanic that would go on to remain a staple card in most psychic decks even as the meta evolved. Even ungraded, the card can be worth around $100 but when in a PSA 10 this card is worth nearly $2000.

Mew EX Full Art

#7 Mega Rayquaza-EX

This card burst onto the scene in the set Ancient Origins. This is likely one of the coolest EX arts that you can get your hands on (in my humble opinion) thanks to its gold trim, the Japanese text flying around the card, and just having a mega Rayquaza on a card, it just makes for an awesome card art. Ungraded this card is worth more than $100 and in a PSA 10 it’s worth upwards of $600.

Mega Rayquaza EX

#6 Lugia-EX

And it just wouldn’t be a true celebration of some vintage legendaries without including the Pokemon Silver mascot Lugia. This card was introduced in the set Plasma Storm and is a little different from most of the entries on this list thanks to the fact that it is a “Team Plasma” card. This was a mechanic introduced in the set Noble Victories and would allow other Plasma cards to interact with them in unique ways. This Lugia’s special ability was the attack Plasma Gate. This attack dealt 120 damage on the condition that you had a Plasma Energy in your discard pile. But enough about that, how much is this card worth? Well, ungraded, the card is worth more than $120 and in a PSA 10 the card can be found selling for upwards of $3000.

Lugia EX Full Art

#5 Darkrai-EX

A really mysterious entry at number 5 (coming from the set Dark Explorers) because let’s face it, if you played Pokemon Platinum or Pearl, chances are you googled on several occasions and spent hours trying to find out “how to get Darkrai”. This nostalgia alone is enough to make people throw all of their money at this card but it gets better. The card art is just pretty cool in itself so it’s no surprise that people want this card so badly. So much so that, ungraded, the card is worth around $103, and in a PSA 10 the card can sell for more than $540.

Darkrai EX Full Art

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#4 Charizard-EX

You thought we were going to be finished with the Charizards just like that, if so, you are about to be sorely disappointed as this card won’t be the last we see of the flying orange fella. This card was introduced in the set Flashfire and received all the hype you would expect from a Charizard full art card. Ungraded, the card is already worth around $118 and in a PSA 10 the card can be found selling for more than $1500.

Charizard EX Full Art

#3 Rayquaza-EX

Coming in at number 3 we have yet another entry from the set Dragons Exalted and yet again we have ourselves a Rayquaza. This time, however, it comes in the form of a full-art and likely one of the coolest full arts in the set if not the era. It features this crazy fiery background making Rayquaza look like he just flew out of hell to greet you and ungraded the card is worth about $145. In a PSA 10 though, the card can be worth $2400.

Rayquaza EX Full Art

#2 Dialga-EX

This Dialga is where the Pokemon company decided to get a little more experimental with their card art. At its core, it’s still just a regular Dialga ex full art but they have instead given it a glossy silver finish so that all other colors on the card are muted. The only color on the card apart from the text is silver. Granted, it looks pretty damn cool and as a result, the card is worth about $150 even without a grade. Then, in a PSA 10, the card can be found selling for more than $3000.

Dialga EX Secret Rare Full Art

#1 Mega Charizard-EX (X Version)

Finally, the list wouldn’t be complete without a Charizard stealing the number 1 spot, and in an almost poetic ending we are ending this list how we started it, with a Mega Charizard EX from the same set Flashfire. The only difference here is that it is the X version, also known as, the version that everyone prefers way more. He literally has blue fire spewing out of his mouth, how could you not like him more? Anyway, ungraded, this card sells for roughly $250 and in a PSA 10 the card has previously sold for $2000.

Mega Charizard EX X

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What Are Ultra Rare Pokemon Card And Other Pokemon Card Rarities?

What Are Ultra Rare Pokemon Card And Other Pokemon Card Rarities?


What Are Ultra Rare Pokemon Card And Other Pokemon Card Rarities?

What Does A Card Rarity Mean In Pokemon?

Card rarity in Pokemon is a strange thing. Often when you hear reference to the rarity of a card you’d think it’s safe to assume that the rarer the card, the more expensive it is. Pokemon cards are funny in the sense that they have this whole table of rarities and such but only a tiny portion of the cards you’ll find are actually valuable despite many, many cards being labeled “rare” or “ultra rare” or even “amazing rare”. So don’t let the names mislead you as a card being called an “ultra rare” doesn’t immediately correlate to dollar signs.

So what do the rarities actually mean then? Well, more often than not the rarity is more an indicator of how often the card will appear in packs and not immediate monetary value. Yes, there are some cases where this card population is directly proportional to the value of the card, but more often than not cards like Ultra Rares are produced just enough so that they are still not incredibly easy to find but aren’t so rare that you’ll be spending hundreds of dollars looking for one. This is because the Pokemon Company has to accommodate not just the collectors but the actual competitive players too. 

If there is an obscene paywall stopping players from using a card simply because of how hard it is to find in packs, it would be absolute anarchy. Nobody would want to play the card game and the community would likely die as a result. This is where The Pokemon Company had the ingenious idea of catering to both the community of collectors and players. Ultra Rares would provide to those who are solely interested in playing the game, they are affordable, easy to find, and functional (they just don’t have the most spectacular art). However, for the collectors, they would make what are known as Secret Rares. These cards are just more expensive, much rarer versions of the same ultra rares, sometimes with a different finish on the card, like Rainbow Rares or Gold Rares, or with a different art entirely. Now everybody’s happy.

A Random Assortment of Ultra Rare Pokemon

How Can You Tell A Card’s Rarity?

A card’s rarity in the Pokemon TCG is indicated by a small emblem at the bottom left of the card. The emblem changes depending on how rare the card is and each one refers to how frequently these cards appear in packs. Before we explain the symbols that correlate to each rarity in the TCG, it’s worth mentioning that these symbols are not the same in every language. Japanese sets don’t even use symbols but instead use letters such as “C” or “U” to indicate rarity. Below we have listed all of the card rarities you can find in Pokemon packs and their designated emblem.

Common: This is signified by a black circle

Uncommon: This is signified by a black diamond

Rare: This is signified by a black star

Ultra Rare: This is signified by a shiny silver star

There are also sub-rarities within these rarities but that is just a general idea of the rarities in the Pokemon TCG.

What Do All The Card Rarirites Mean In The Pokemon TCG?

At this point you may be gripping your screen and screaming “but what do all these rarities mean?!” so we won’t keep you waiting any longer. Below we have listed all of the rarities you can come across in the Pokemon TCG as well as what that means in terms of drop rate and if their value is even negligible.

Common: As you could imagine, common refers to the most common cards that you will find in the Pokemon TCG. You are guaranteed several of these in every pack, or around 4 – 5 in an English booster pack to be specific. Common cards only feature basic unevolved Pokemon and can also appear in the reverse holographic slot of the pack. 

Uncommon: Uncommon cards are the second most common cards you can find, each English booster pack usually containing three of them. Unlike common cards, these cards can feature both evolved and unevolved Pokemon and also make up a vast majority of trainer cards in the TCG. These cards can also be found in the reverse holographic slot of the pack.

Regular Rare: These cards are like the baseline of a Pokemon pack. You are guaranteed at least one rare or something better in every (unless they are promo packs like Detective Pikachu) English pack. At the very most you can get two in one pack as they can also appear in the reverse holographic slot as well as the rare slot of the pack. These cards contain, for the most part, evolved Pokemon or legendary Pokemon. However, within rare cards, there are also sub-classifications as mentioned before which we will cover now.

Holographic Rare: Holographic rares aren’t extremely rare but still aren’t guaranteed in every pack like a regular rare. The pull rates change from set to set, but on average it is slightly below 50% of packs will contain at least a holographic rare. As well as this, it still features that same black star at the bottom left of the card but they have a shiny holographic finish over the art of the card. The type of holographic pattern has changed several times throughout the years and is likely to keep on changing just to keep things fresh.

Ultra Rare:

This is where cards start getting a little bit rare but still not unaffordably rare. Ultra rares refer to cards such as ex, GX, V, VMax, VStar, etc. The look and chance of pulling an “Ultra Rare” can be vastly different from set to set as we will explore below but they are mostly defined by the fact that they are much more difficult to acquire than regular rare cards. More often than not, their art extends beyond the inner border of the card art or they lack an inner border altogether. So, let’s briefly explore the different types of Ultra Rares you can find in the Pokemon TCG throughout time.
Pokemon ex: These cards made their debut in the 2003 set EX Ruby & Sapphire and featured a lowercase ex at the end of the Pokemon’s name which stood for “extra”. Whether this is the extra effects or attacks they bring something extra to the table.  This Pokemon also brought higher stakes to its player as if it were knocked out the opponent would take two prize cards as opposed to one.

Pokemon Star: Also referred to as Gold Star Pokemon, these cards were introduced in the set EX Team Rocket Returns and were pretty much discontinued in the POP Series 5 mini-set. They are reminiscent of the Shining Pokemon of many sets before but instead feature a little gold star next to the name of the Pokemon hence the name Pokemon Star. 


Pokemon LV.X: With each new era of Pokemon it is now pretty much a given that they will introduce a new mechanic to replace the ultra rares of the old generation. LV.X was introduced to replace the “ex” and “star” mechanic from the previous era in the Diamond & Pearl expansion. As opposed to being an evolution these cards are treated more as a “level-up”.

Pokemon LEGEND: One of the less popular changes in the Pokemon TCG was the Pokemon LEGEND mechanic brought about in the HeartGold & SoulSilver era of Pokemon. Unlike most Ultra Rare Pokemon cards, these cards would come in two parts that the player would have to collect to form a whole card art. This was first introduced through the Pokemon Lugia and Ho-Oh and was re-attempted quite a few times after this.

Pokemon Prime: Along with the LEGEND mechanic came Prime cards. Unlike a lot of Ultra Rares, these cards had no special abilities or attacks or anything, they were just stronger than normal Pokemon and had a slightly different holographic card art.

Pokemon-EX: Unlike the ex of old this one is capitalized so you know they mean business. These cards were introduced in the set Next Destinies and up until the set Legendary Treasures only featured Legendary Pokemon. However, beyond that, EX cards started to feature non-legendary Pokemon and became the first type of Ultra Rare to feature a full art print as well as a standard print. This would be a recurring theme throughout Pokemon after this point. 

Pokemon GX: Then came the GX mechanic in the Sun & Moon era of Pokemon which was actually fairly similar to EX Pokemon with the main difference being that not all GX Pokemon were basic Pokemon. As well as this, they also would introduce Tag Team variants of these GX cards later on in the Team-Up set of Sun and Moon. These were the first cards to also feature Rainbow Rare and Golden Rare variants.

Pokemon V, VMax & VStar: Finally, we have the current style of Ultra Rares in the Pokemon TCG: all of the v variants. These cards have massively popularised alternate arts in sets, making them almost commonplace in new sets despite existing since Sun & Moon. They were introduced in Sword and Shield and like most Ultra Rares they feature stronger versions of the Pokemon that already exist within the set.

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Secret Rare:

At last, we come to Secret Rares. These are the cards that are really worth the big bucks when it comes to selling cards in the Pokemon TCG. Sure, an ultra-rare Charizard is nice but what about a Secret Rare Charizard V? These cards are the least common cards in Pokemon packs and appear at a rate of about 1/36. They can be identified by looking at the number of the card in the set at the bottom right of the card. If the number of the Pokemon exceeds the size of the set like 245/200 for example, you have got yourself a Secret Rare Pokemon. Secret Rares make up some of the most expensive cards in modern Pokemon history such as the Rainbow Rare Charizard GX or the Rainbow Rare Pikachu VMax.



Finally, we have a bit of a bonus round in the shape of promo cards. Because these cards technically don’t belong to a set and therefore cannot be pulled in packs, they have no inherent rarity as they are guaranteed with a specific purchase. As a result, a promo card can be identified by the word “promo” in place of the typical rarity symbols.


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How Many Pokemon Cards Are There?

How Many Pokemon Cards Are There?

If you were a child in the 90s or early 2000s, then chances are you have fond memories of collecting and trading Pokémon cards with your friends. But have you ever stopped to wonder just how many Pokémon cards there are in the world?

How To Get Your Pokemon Cards Graded Today

How To Get Your Pokemon Cards Graded Today


How To Get Pokemon Cards Graded

What Does It Mean To Grade A Pokemon Card?

Evaluating the condition of a Pokemon card and assigning it a grade is referred to as card grading. Grading is completed by third-party organizations, such as the Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA) or the Beckett Grading Services (BGS), which have become recognized as the industry standards.


The process commences with the submission of the card to the grading company. Experts then analyze the card based on a predefined list of criteria, including centering, corners, edges, and the surface quality of the card. After the evaluation is complete, the card is assigned a grade which is printed onto a label that is affixed to the card.


The mark given to a Pokemon card may have a major influence on its worth. Generally, a card in Mint condition is worth more than one in Poor condition, for instance. Moreover, a card that has been assessed by a reliable company like PSA or BGS will typically be worth more than an ungraded one. This is because a graded card is seen to be more reliable and trustworthy than an ungraded one.


One of the major benefits of getting a Pokemon card graded is that it can help preserve the card’s worth. A graded card is believed to be in a state that is unlikely to change, making it more likely to keep its worth over time. Moreover, a graded card is more likely to be accepted as genuine by buyers, raising its value in the market.


One more profit of getting a Pokemon card assessed is that it can aid in safeguarding the card from harm. Generally, graded cards are enclosed in a defensive cover, which hinders any deterioration due to dirt, dust, or any other external elements. This can be notably essential for unique or expensive cards that are meant to be a part of a lasting collection.

A Bunch Of PSA 10 Pikachus

What Factors Impact A Card’s Grade?

There are quite a few factors that can impact how your Pokemon card is graded. Below we will provide a list of the biggest ones you need to look out for to gauge whether or not your card is worth grading.

When it comes to assessing cards, several factors come into play. These may include: the alignment of the image relative to the borders (centering), the state of the corners (including any wear or fraying), the edges (whether there is chipping or fraying), the surface (scratches or scuffs), the sharpness of the image (focus), the vibrancy and uniformity of the colors (color), and the overall condition of the card (visible damage or wear). Yes, we are fully aware that some of these issues with the card are completely out of your hands and that’s just unfortunately the case when grading Pokemon cards. Grading companies are looking for the most perfect Pokemon card if they are going to give it a 10 meaning that it has to be devoid of any imperfection regardless of whether or not it is the fault of the owner or the print line. 


To determine the grade of the card, grading companies use either a numerical or alphabetical system. The highest grade is 10 or “gem mint,” while the lowest is 1 or “poor.”

How Much Does It Cost To Get A Card Graded?

It’s hard to say how much it costs to get a card graded as it varies massively depending on the influx of cards that the grading company is getting. For example, following the crazy Logan Paul hype around Pokemon cards, thousands upon thousands of new fans decided that they wanted to get involved in the Pokemon TCG. This meant that PSA began to receive cards in the hundreds of thousands so much so that they were forced to raise the cost of card grading massively to stop the huge backlog of cards that was only piling up. As of January 2023, PSA currently charges $25 per card (for the average card) however another factor to consider is that the cost of grading changes depending on the declared value of the card you are trying to grade. A card can cost as much as $10,000 to grade if it is worth more than $250,000.

It is also worth noting that cards can be graded in bulk for $19 per card currently if you are looking to send off a whole collection.

Is It Worth Getting My Cards Graded?

When it comes to deciding whether or not to grade Pokemon cards, it really depends on what particular cards you possess and what you intend to do with them. If the cards are judged to be in perfect condition, grading can make them more valuable. Nevertheless, the process can be expensive and take a while. Also, some cards may not be worth much more even if they have been graded. Before you go on to grade you should definitely compare the cost of the ungraded card with its value in a PSA 10. If its PSA 10 value is only slightly greater than what it is usually worth then it’s probably not worth grading. You have to consider that there is a likelihood that your card won’t come back in a 10 meaning you will make a net loss on the cost of grading alone. Having said that, some people do just like to get cards graded in a 10 for the novelty of having them in a 10 or they are trying to get a PSA 10 collection. In short, if you are a collector who appreciates the quality of the cards or you are intending to sell them, it might be worthwhile to get them graded. But, if you are just a casual collector or play with the cards for fun, it may not be worth it.

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How Do I Grade My Pokemon Cards?

There are a few organizations that are able to evaluate Pokemon cards, like PSA (Professional Sports Authenticator), Beckett Grading Services, and GMA (Global Authentication Inc). Generally, the process consists of these steps:


Selecting a grading organization: Do some research to decide which one is most suitable for your requirements. Some grading companies are more affordable than other while some may have a quicker turnaround. We’ll explain the factors you can weigh up when choosing a company below. 


Send your cards: Send your cards to the grading firm together with any requested application forms and fees.


Inspection and grading: The cards will be examined and graded by a team of professionals based on the strict criteria we listed above.


Receiving your graded cards: When your cards have been graded, they will be delivered back to you with a certificate of validity and grading report.

It is essential to take into consideration that the grading procedure can be costly, and you should be prepared to pay fees for each card you submit, and also delivery and handling costs. Also, grading firms are not perfect so you should be aware of any grievances about the grading company.

Additionally, it’s important to keep in mind that not all cards will get the same grade or value after grading, so you should consider if it is worth getting your cards graded or not.


What Is The Best Grading Company?

There are several different factors to weigh up when deciding the best grading company for you and the answer is there are no “best grading companies” there are just companies that cater to different people’s wants when grading a Pokemon card.

While it may seem like PSA is an absolute no-brainer when grading your Pokemon cards simply because their name is impossible to escape when researching Pokemon cards, this doesn’t make them the best. PSA is just so commonly used as they have been around the longest and have therefore established themselves as a reputable company meaning that their grading is the most reliable and respected. This reputation then translates to more expensive cards if you manage to get a card with a high grade with PSA. However, this reputation means that they also can drive their cost per card super high like they have done in the past and people are willing to spend it.

However other companies like Beckett have been around for a pretty long time as well and have their advantages and disadvantages much like every grading company. With Beckett, you are getting a similar value to PSA in terms of reliability but the biggest difference is the strictness of their grading criteria in comparison. What Beckett considers a 10 is a lot more difficult to achieve than what PSA considers a 10 meaning that you are much less likely to get 10s when you send your cards off, but (and this is a big but) if you manage to get a BGS 10 from Beckett, the card is worth considerably more than a PSA 10 as it is just so hard to come by meaning that the card is practically perfect. Of course, if you aren’t willing to take the gamble and you don’t actually think your card is that perfect then do as you wish, but it is definitely an option worth considering. 

Then there are some more alternative options such as AceGrading which are much newer than the aforementioned two companies but look like super promising prospects thanks to their unique design. Unlike PSA and Beckett, which have a standardized label for every card, Ace Grading offers awesomely designed labels for your cards depending on the card and the set it comes from. As well as this, their cases just look a lot more presentable than Beckett and PSA. However, the disadvantage of getting a 10 from Ace Grading is that it currently doesn’t carry nearly as much weight as getting a 10 from PSA or Beckett just because of how new Ace Grading is.

There are of course options beyond these three mentioned above and you should definitely check them all out because as we said, they may offer something that the others don’t that you feel just really caters to what you want.


What If I Disagree With A Card’s Grade?

Disagreeing with the grade a grading company gives you isn’t a super uncommon reaction. After all, you could end up spending hundreds of dollars to get your card graded, so the last thing you want to see is some inaccurate grading. Luckily a lot of grading companies come prepared for reactions like this and offer a review service that allows you to send cards that have previously been graded with them back to them so that they can reevaluate the grade they gave it. It should be noted though that it is super uncommon for grading companies to give a vastly different grade to a card they have already graded because it’s unlikely that they got the grade that wrong in the first place. Regardless, if you truly believe that their grading was wrong, it is always worth disputing it as that could be the difference between having a great card and having a perfect card.


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How Many Pokemon Cards Are There?

How Many Pokemon Cards Are There?

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The 13 Most Unbelievable Banned Pokemon Cards

The 13 Most Unbelievable Banned Pokemon Cards

The 13 Most Unbelievable Banned Pokemon Cards

What Does It Mean For A Pokemon Card To Be Banned?

For the most part when a card is “banned”, this typically refers to players no longer being allowed to use the card in competitive play whether it’s because the card is blatantly too strong and makes the game borderline unfair or the card is just poorly designed in general and as a result causes a bit too much confusion. However, in other cases when a card is designed terribly enough, it can call for the said card to stop printing altogether or for a rework of the card to be made. This often happens in the translation from Japanese to English as a card will be released in Japanese and the Pokemon community will quickly realize why a card may be problematic and it is then revamped before the English release so that they don’t face the same problem.

Why Would A Pokemon Card Get Banned?

There are several reasons a Pokemon card can get banned. Most commonly, as mentioned before, it’s a result of poorly designed cards transpiring to be highly unfair in competitive play and is therefore disallowed in competitive play. While you could just use the argument of “get good nerd”, the truth is, sometimes a card is just too strong even for the most veteran players. However, other times, cards are banned for some more… questionable reasons. These reasons may include but are not exclusive to:

Card Misprints: on very rare occasions, some cards come off the print line with an error that somehow made it past the several layers of checks and verification that are mandatory before they are even ready for printing, and as a result, the card must be banned and then redesigned or just discontinued. 


Inappropriate Cards: Another thing that happened a lot more back in the day but has definitely seen a few examples in modern Pokemon card history is a card’s art being too inappropriate for the intended audience of children. This may include cultural or religious insensitivity, morbid themes, depictions of gambling, and just general non-child-friendly content. However, because this is such a grey area at times, poor card designs would often slip through the cracks. 


Card Age: This one is just a case of the natural progression of the game meaning as the game progresses, cards from decades ago will inevitably become unplayable because they are just outdated. The card game is constantly evolving and keeping ancient cards in the game can often lead to stagnation. 


Of course, there are other reasons that cards have been banned in the past but for the most part, the ones listed above are the most common. Now, let’s count down the most unbelievable banned cards in the Pokemon TCG.

#13 Magmortar 21/124

This is a relatively recent one, considering a lot of the cards listed below were released in the 90s or early 2000s, coming from the 2012 set Dragons Exalted. When this card was originally revealed in the Japanese set Dragon Blast, it created just a tiny bit of a stir amongst the Pokemon TCG community more because of how appropriate it would be for kids than the card being blatantly insensitive. The card originally featured a Magmortar pointing its cannon arm directly at the player of the card with a menacing look on its face which had some pretty violent undertones to it which some parents weren’t too pleased with. Because of this, when the card was re-released in English, it featured a completely different art, this time with the Magmortar’s cannon being pointed into the air.

Banned Japanese Magmortar vs English Reprint

#12 Arcade Game 83/111

This card comes from the 2000 Pokemon set Neo Genesis and actually saw many other cards like it also getting banned. The Japanese card’s art features a row of slot machines that literally say “slot” on them and as mentioned before the card game is directed at children leaving many parents slightly annoyed by the depiction of gambling in the usually innocent card game. However, it wasn’t the only card that had art like this, the card “Card-Flip Game” from the very same set received similar treatment and when released in English rather than reworking the art, they simply zoomed in on one of the slot machines so that the word “slot” and therefore the inherent implication of gambling was removed.

Banned Japanese “Arcade Game” vs Cropped English Reprint

#11 Blaine’s Quiz Show

Now, this one, coming from the set Unified Minds, was banned from a World Championship of the Pokemon TCG, not because the card was overpowered, not because the card was controversial but because the card was too confusing in a multi-lingual setting. Without diving too deep into the mechanics of the card, the card required a player to call out the name of an attack of one of their Pokemon and the other player would have to guess the Pokemon. As you could imagine, at an event where people from all around the world are playing with cards from their native language, a player guessing the name of a Pokemon solely based on the name of one of its attacks is hard enough, then try guessing that Pokemon based on the name of its attack in a language you don’t even speak. Yeah, pretty difficult.

Banned Blaine’s Quiz Show

#10 Unown 90/214

This is the first entry on the list that was banned because it was simply just too overpowered and it comes from the fairly recent Sun & Moon set Lost Thunder. This card featured the ability “DAMAGE” which would allow the user to automatically win the game if they met the condition of having 66 or more damage counters on their bench. As you could imagine, competitive players were not too fond of the idea of having an automatic win button added to the game which resulted in the card’s ban in 2019.

Banned Unown 90/214

#9 Ancient Mew

Any 90s kid might actually remember seeing if not owning one of these cards when it came out. It was released as a promo for the movie Pokemon The Movie 2000 and was given to anyone who bought tickets for it during the first week of the film’s release. For anyone who remembers the card, you may also remember the fact that the card was completely illegible and that there weren’t actually any words on it. So, when it came to competitive play, banning this card was a no-brainer because nobody has the foggiest idea of what it even does. Regardless, it’s still a pretty cool promo card.

Banned Ancient Mew

#8 Grimer 57/82

This is where the creative choices of the card designers starts to become a little bit more questionable. This card from the 2000 set Team Rocket had to, like a lot of the cards on this list, be reworked for English release thanks to the most minor design choice which made the card super inappropriate for a children’s card game. The Japanese version of this card features a Grimer climbing out of the sewer onto a busy street. Nothing too bad so far, sounds like usual Grimer behavior until you look at Grimer’s eyes and notice that they appear to be looking up the skirt of a passer-by. When the card was re-released in English his line of sight was adjusted so that he was looking straight ahead.

Banned Japanese Grimer vs English Redesign

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#7 Imakuni?’s Doduo

This is likely one of the most ridiculous reasons a card has been banned from competitive play or rather one of the most ridiculous cards to ever be made. This card was banned from competitive play as soon as it was designed as it says in bright red bold letters at the bottom of the card “this card cannot be used at official tournaments” so let’s explain why. First of all, this card’s ability “Frenzied Escape” requires the player to throw the card as far as they can when retreating. Then its attack “Harmonize” deals 30 damage on the condition that the player sings a song from beginning to end and the damage is only dealt once this song has reached its conclusion.

Banned Imakuni’s Doduo

#6 Sabrina’s Gengar

This is one of the more disturbing entries on the list. It’s not one of the most horrific things you’ll ever see but for a children’s card game, it’s pretty morbid which is what led to its eventual redesign when it was released in English. This card from the vintage set Gym Heroes originally featured a Gengar standing ominously in front of a graveyard. For obvious reasons in the English print of the card, the graveyard was removed, and instead, there was just a grey void put in place of it.

Look Closely To See The Cemetery In The Background Of The Japanese Card

#5 Archeops 110/108

Funnily enough, this card was released twice (once in Noble Victories and once in Dark Explorers) in English and managed to get banned on both occasions for its slightly game-breaking ability. This ability wasn’t designed by accident either, it was completely intentional. This Archeops was given the ability “Hidden Power” which means that both players can no longer evolve their Pokemon which would completely stunt the entire gameplan of any deck that relied on evolving Pokemon.

Archeops 110/108

#4 Lysandre’s Trump Card

Here we have yet another case of some terrible card design leading to some terrible, meta-destroying mechanics that would lead to the card’s eventual ban from all official tournaments in 2015. This card, depicting the leader of Team Flare, allowed each player to shuffle their discard pile into their deck. This may not sound extremely problematic at first glance but when you take into account that this could essentially mean that you won’t run out of cards for a hell of a long time, it made beating your opponent by milling them completely impossible. Then, you also start to realize that this means that people can eat through their deck and just draw away with little to no repercussions as well as being able to play previously discarded trainer cards. This would make games last stupidly long and nobody really wants to play a 12-hour game of Pokemon so the card was inevitably banned from competitive play.

Banned Lysandre’s Trump Card

#3 Misty’s Tears

This is one of those cards that have you wondering, “what were the artists even thinking when they made this?” because the fact that this card even made it off the print line is shocking in itself. In the Japanese print of this card from the set Leader’s Stadium, it depicted Misty from the Pokemon series holding her trusty Staryu. Pretty tame right? Not when you realize that Misty is completely naked, her arm being the only thing obstructing any explicit nudity. Coupled with the fact that Misty is supposed to be an underage girl, you can probably understand why this card received massive amounts of criticism. The card was then redesigned completely in English and they seemed to scrap not only the nudity but the Staryu altogether and instead replaced it with a Squirtle wiping her tears away.

Misty’s Tears’ Inappropriate Japanese Design Which Was Banned

#2 Koga’s Ninja Trick

Koga’s Ninja Trick was a card from the Japanese set Gym Expansion 2 or Gym Challenge in English. When you look at the card there isn’t anything inherently wrong, instead what led to its ban was an unfortunate, cultural misunderstanding. The card features a Golbat flying over a piece of furniture that bears a symbol that would lead to this card’s minor redesign in English. What was supposed to be an omote manji, a Buddhist symbol was misinterpreted as a Swastika, the symbol brandished by the Nazi party. Of course, the artist of this card Sumiyoshi Kizuki did not intend for people to take offense to this card and it was slightly redesigned in English to instead feature a much less controversial symbol.

Banned Japanese Koga’s Ninja Trick

#1 Jynx 31/102

Finally, we have the Jynx from the base set of Pokemon which was not only redesigned in this card but was redesigned across all Pokemon products in the future of Pokemon. The Japanese version of this card features the original design of Jynx which was not the now iconic purple color but instead black. This was of course deemed extremely, racially insensitive leading to an immediate redesign and rerelease of the card in the English base set in 1999. However, prior to the redesign, this version of Jynx would, unfortunately, go on to make an appearance in the “Holiday Hi-Jynx” episode of the anime. This episode would then go on to receive brutal criticism from the Carole Boston Weatherford titled: “Politically Incorrect Pokemon”.

Original Jynx Design vs Reworked Jynx Design

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How Many Pokemon Cards Are There?

How Many Pokemon Cards Are There?

If you were a child in the 90s or early 2000s, then chances are you have fond memories of collecting and trading Pokémon cards with your friends. But have you ever stopped to wonder just how many Pokémon cards there are in the world?