There will never be a Pokémon training cards guide that covers everything you might want. Somehow, they all need something. However, that does not mean that you should click on this article. In fact, it means the opposite. Why? Because in admitting that this article lacks something, you can easily be pushed to the clues to find that item. Let’s explain:
The collection of Pokémon TCG is not a straightforward one. Personal, and the process changes drastically depending on your goals. For example, as a competitive player, you will have a very different view of which cards are important and which are not, compared to the collector.
Even a collector could cover countless species of people. Some can only collect a certain set from their childhood, while others collect anything and everything. However, good details are something we will look at later. In the meantime, let us start at the beginning and explain two important categories; collectors, and competing players.
For starters, collectors are the people who collect Pokémon TCG cards. Often, people who collect Pokémon TCG have a purpose in mind. It’s not always clear, but it’s usually driven by personal taste. You may want to collect all the cards in the set, or you may collect some cards that you like. In any case, the collectors are just that – they do not collect.
Competing players, on the other hand, are slightly different from collectors. Instead of just collecting cards, competing players collect them for use in the ‘G’ or ‘Game’ section of TCG This usually means looking for the most useful cards you can use in the game, and this often means very powerful, too.
As you can probably guess, the most powerful cards are prone to availability, and difficult to find, which puts them in very high demand, as collectors demand them rarely, and competitive players need to win. Understandably, competitive collectors and competing players go further than that, so it’s common for them to be both, but that also means a greater commitment to collecting TCG.
Now, all this descriptive speech makes this sound more important than the collection of Pokémon TCG.
However, it is important to mention that it will make things clearer when you start shopping. You do not want to buy any product because different products are offered by different people. Besides, you don’t have to decide anything now, and the best way to start your journey is to get out there, have fun and get yourself a TCG!
When you decide to really understand and look at what you have found, and what it all means, here is the downside:
Pokémon TCG Cards
The basics of Pokémon cards can be divided into three categories: Pokémon cards, coach cards, and power cards. Pokémon cards, as you think, are cards with real Pokémon in them. These cards are great for collecting and playing this game.
Unusual secret cards
Unusual secret cards are an entirely new level of rarity. Common, uncommon, rare, and ultra-rare cards all share a feature in that they all show their number in their respective set.
For example, the Pikachu card I showed shows the number 39 out of 99 (39/99), which means it is the 39th card in a set of 99 cards. However, more often than not, sets also have unusual secret cards that go above the set number.
On this old Pikachu secret card from the Black and White set (pictured below), you will see that the number in the lower right corner is ‘115/114’, which is obviously one number higher than the total set. That’s why it usually pays to research how many cards are scheduled to be issued on the set, as you can find clues on how many unusual secret cards you should look for!
Most of the time (but not always), unusual secret cards will replace the holographic star sign of discovery, instead of the clear black star of the regular card.
Also, they can look very different from non-standard cards, or even more like a standard card. For example, you might come across an awesome card like this secret Zekrom secret card (pictured below), with its completely gold-plated drawings:
However, where you can find an obvious example of an unusual secret like the gold one of Zekrom, you can also find unusual hidden cards, which may not be visible if you do not double-check.
Promotional cards are also included in the acquisition of understanding cards because more often than not, the card will only be given as part of a specific promotion. Cards are simply called ‘print cards’, but also known as ‘black star promotion cards’.
They are clearly marked as promo cards with a black star in them ‘promo’. An example is this Dragonite promotion card (shown below), which came with the first movie: Promotional cards are a mixed bag for easy access. Some are so in demand that they fetch star prices from retailers, while others are less expensive. Generally, this depends on two factors.
Some promotional cards are only available for already expensive products, for the first time. If you were to buy a Mega Salamence EX Premium Collection Box, one by one, the original price was already high when it came out, and now, as it has grown a bit, the Mega Salamence promotion card that it contains has also increased in price.
Some promo cards are less expensive than others, as they are easier to obtain because promotions are more readily available. A standard blister pack containing a promo card, will not be too expensive because it is cheaper, first of all, easily available almost anywhere, and the cards themselves are generally not required. On a flip slide, a promo card that comes with a movie ticket to a Pokémon movie game may be more expensive, as you would have to buy a movie ticket right away to see it, and since movies are usually not at those long theaters, the opportunity will pass quickly.
Lastly, and at the very least, we have cards with an unusual fix. These unique cards are readily available because they are not an option and explain how rare they are. Instead, everything is designed to be the same size. These cards are very common because there are only a few ways you can get them, made with products like training kits and half decks.
An example of this would be the Sun & Moon Trainer Kit: Lycanroc and Alolan Raichu, containing the Lycanroc booth, and the Alolan Raichu half deck. If we take
Lycanroc (shown above) from the half-deck Lycanroc, for example, you will notice that the discovery in the lower-left corner does not show a typical circle of black, diamond, or star that can explain its discovery, but rather, there is a picture of Lycanroc. If the card has a Pokémon image like this, it means it has a fixed availability as part of the set.
Also, the set number will be very small (about 30), as the entire set will come complete with a product that has received random rarity cards throughout. All in all, while these cards are a cool way to quickly collect a complete set, the fact is that they are not worth anything special. They are more of a product to help people get into the game than to collect available cards.
The coach cards are divided into four main categories, and four less commonly used categories, all of which may reflect the disorder we mentioned earlier:
- Support cards: these cards can only be used once per turn, but that is because they are integrated into the success of the game. They feature the art of a character or ‘supporter’ from a game or anime, so the make-up can arouse people’s attention. Ultra-rare versions that incorporate augmented ‘full-fledged’ artwork are very popular because of this, as people often find great attraction when they see their favorite characters with bigger and better graphics.
- Items cards: unlike the support, you can use them as many times as you want, but they are usually not as powerful as the result.
- Stadium cards: these cards are not used in the game, possibly due to their performance. Unlike other coach cards, once set down in the game, they remain played until another stadium card takes its place. They serve as an additional effect on the gameplay, with conditions imposed on both players. The most unusual stadium card was the Pokémon TCG World Championship Tropical Beach Stadium, which was only available to people who had attended the championship itself.
- Pokémon tool: these cards attach to your Pokémon during play, and are often extremely useful. Some were much sought after, with the Eviolite Pokémon Tool card with many examples of the stairs that shone on it.
The less commonly used categories between coach cards are as follows:
- Technical Machine: these cards work similarly to Pokémon objects or tools, but instead, they list attacks, giving them the same feature as they have in video games.
- Ace Spec: while Ace Spec cards are insane, they can be considered less used, as they have strict limits set for them to reduce this power, namely; there may be one of them on your deck. Because of this, not only are Ace Spec cards extremely useful (if you can use them), but they are also rare and expensive, so they are the cards you should keep when you encounter them.
- Rocket’s Secret Machine: like Technical Machines, Rocket’s Secret Machines are a special kind of trainer/object. Besides, they do not reveal anything specific about them, other than ‘Rocket’ in the name, and other bad ways of using them. Since Team Rocket isn’t a big part of the franchise, often replaced by other teams like Aqua, Magma, Galactic (and the list goes on), they’ve grown since we last saw them, and as a result, Availability goes up, too.
- Golden Card Game Corner Card: these are the most commonly used on all coach cards. They are not really doing anything special, but they have been made to complain that they will be given a title after the Goldenrod Game Corner. Also, they are very old, and you probably won’t find them unless you search for them online.
Power cards are especially straightforward. They do not change much and are used to show what power your Pokémon gives when it plays. However, there are a few differences:
- Ordinary Power Cards: these are just like power cards – standard. You will see them more than any other card playing, and they are the heart and soul of the game. Although it is not necessary to collect, it is always best to have the right amount for each type, so that you always have the ones you need:
- Other art energy cards: these cards come with a special work of art, which gives them a high sense of dignity, as they look cool. Absolutely, however, they are not really viewed in the same way as other unusual cards. An example of Generations power cards set, with a striped effect on art:
- Special power cards: these cards work differently than regular power cards, and will explain how they work on the card. Also noteworthy is the popular Rainbow Energy card, which allows players to use it instead of any power card they want. These cards may be smaller than most power cards because they are usually only available on the set, and only a few popular ones get reprinted, such as’ Double Colorless Energy. It is important to note, however, that power cards (such as coach cards) are rare, uncommon, unusual, or secret private, too. An example of supernatural secret energy can be shown in the Double Colorless Energy (shown below):
Types of Pokémon TCG products
Okay, so we talked about the cards themselves, but how do you get them? How do you know what to get, and how can you find the right one? The answer lies in understanding the different types of Pokémon TCG products:
Booster packs lie at the front of each collection with everyone’s Pokémon TCG. It is a product that contains about 10 cards, but can sometimes have different prices depending on the set, or region around the world.
But, for the most part, 10 cards in a standard English booster pocket. These packs are a cheap way to quickly collect random cards, but you never know what you’ll get, as they are sealed with an opaque, metal insert.
Typically, there is a plan for random cards inside the packs, however, the following: 1 odd card (which may also be an unusual or unusual hall), 3-4 odd cards, and 4-5 regular cards (or the remaining number in the package).
The system can change but that is usually what people think when measuring the difficulty of whether or not they pull the odd card they want in the pack.
There is also an order that the cards are placed in booster pockets, which change periodically between sets. This is not very important, but some people like to memorize it before they open the booster packs, so they know which card will be the most unusual and can look at it one last time to add something suspicious.
Another point of interest is the booster boxes, which are boxes with multiple booster packs within them. There’s not much you can say about them, but when you become a tough collector, you often hear of people buying booster boxes to increase their chances of pulling unusual cards into booster packs.
Also, although it is more expensive to buy a booster box, some simple calculations will prove that it is usually better to buy a single booster box than to fit in different pockets.
Blister pockets are similar to booster packs, but they are more expensive because they secure a certain card. They put in one card that is already visible, that you know you’ll get, and it’s a retail package for packs, as well as other booster packs.
The number of booster packs and other items (such as coins or pins) may change depending on the specific blister pack you purchase, but you will always know, as it will be clearly displayed on the package.
These places are the ultimate product for beginners, and that is no laughing matter! They’re fun for a lot of reasons and basically a full view of Pokémon TCG for new players.
Often, more experienced players will buy with these, as they often offer the many power cards and coaches that are most needed for their police at an affordable price. These locations usually contain a rule book, a playmat, a coin, a full 60-card space (which will have some extraordinary Holofoil cards, too!),
And counters to play with. The only thing that is remarkable about team planning is that they can be much weaker than the booths of competing players that they can use in the tournament, so they are very useful for casual play or testing new cards.
Training kits are an extended version of the theme packs, aimed primarily at first-time trainers in providing the foundation they should start with. Instead of a single 60-card deck, it has two 30-card decks.
These areas are a great way for two people to start playing the game quickly, and as an addition to this, law books, coins, damaging counters, and sometimes booster packs were added and to give players complete information.
Boxes and collections are what most experienced players often look for. There are many variations on these products, but they are significantly different because they contain a very unusual promotional card that players/collectors competing to enjoy and a variety of support packages.
Content can change, but boxes and collections are very useful for many reasons and are definitely not something you can ignore. They can be expensive, however, so it’s best to do your research and decide which one will be the best option for you before buying.
Elite Coach Boxes
The ‘elite’ term describes the difference between the elite coaches’ boxes and the standard coach kits. They serve as an incentive for the catalog of a competitive card player and game requirements.
They contain about 8 packs of the booster, card sleeves (used to protect your cards during play/display), various individual typing cards, status tags (eg toxic / heat counter), dice (used instead of damage calculators), die (instead of flip-currency coin moves), and usually a player’s guide.
As you can say, this is a lot and it’s all focused on competing players, so while it may not be the best purchase for beginners, middle-class players love these boxes.
Tins/chests are a gimmick product but also have practical uses. They are a metal plate or chest that contains a variety of merchandise, as well as an unusual card. However, the tin/chest feature still works, as it can be a great place to store a lot, and the designs can also look great.
Where to Buy/Find Pokémon TCG Products
The last question that will come to mind is where to start getting any Pokémon TCG products as a collector. This is easy, and it is not something that should worry you unless you are looking for a particular product from the past.
Most retailers will carry Pokémon TCG products of a certain type, most commonly your stores such as Kmart, Target, Walmart, or whatever else may be available in your area. Another common option is game stores, which may focus on card game products but can also be more expensive as a result.
Finally, there are some obscure stores that you should still consider. For example, some newsagents are known to carry booster packs, and small gift shop discount stores may have some products, too.
For many, online is the best option. Cheap, you have unlimited options, and you can even buy some of the cards you need. There are only two immediate issues with online shopping, and those are loyalty and postal.
If you buy from a reliable, inexpensive, and fast service like Titan cards, you will not have to worry, but some sellers, like eBay, are known to have fake and fraudulent cards for them. That’s why it pays to be aware of fake cards, and unknown tricks.
Also, if the card is in high demand, price markups are common, so it is better to be quick and efficient when shopping online. That being said, the internet is still one of the most common and inexpensive ways to get cards, and it often takes a lot of effort to get around to find a particular product remotely.
Of course, we can recommend Titan cards for our low prices, with guaranteed quality when shopping online, and that should not be selfish! We have verification details, and you can check out some of our reviews that other customers have left to see the satisfaction we guarantee!
So, once you get into playing Pokémon TCG regularly, you will find yourself attending a few meetups and local tournaments. This is not just a competitive game, as people will be there to exchange, trade, and sell cards to each other, which is great if you have a lot of cards you don’t know what to do with, or you think you can make a deal with an unusual card you have.
Question: Will Pokémon cards go up in value?
Answer: Pokémon cards will increase in value over time. … 1st edition Pokémon trading cards are the most desirable to collectors, though in order to sell for anywhere close to thousands of dollars they must be officially graded in mint condition. The price of almost any Pokémon card will increase somewhat over time.
Question: Which new Pokémon cards are worth money?
Answer: The latest core booster set in the Pokémon TCG, Vivid Voltage arrived in November of last year, delivering one of the highest value cards of modern Pokémon releases: the rainbow Secret Rare version of Pikachu VMAX (swsh4 -188) (also known as “Thicc Pikachu”).
Question: Why collect Pokémon cards?
Answer: They’re the ultimate nostalgic hobby. They can be worth a fortune. Values of sought-after cards are only going to increase over time. You can get into it no matter what your budget is (new sets are coming out all the time).
All in all, there is so much to think about! There is a lot involved in Pokémon TCG, and as you may have noticed, you have a lot of options when it comes to collecting. However, the great thing is that this gives you a lot of flexibility, and you don’t have to stick to one particular way of collecting or playing.
If there is anything you need to know about the future, it is important to keep abreast of the latest products and research what you are buying. By doing this, you may not know if you will know the products better, but you will protect yourself from making the wrong decision, and you may also discover something new that I have never said!
- Every Frog Pokemon Guide - June 12, 2022
- Shiny Gastly Guide: Must-Have Pokemon Knowledge - January 9, 2022
- Pokemon Academy Life Game Guide: A Pokemon/Visual Novel Combo - October 14, 2021