The world of Pokémon has expanded significantly, and one of the most popular global phenomena to emerge from it is the Pokémon Trading Card Game.
For players hoping to obtain rare Pokémon cards, understanding the card rarity system in the game is crucial, whether you’re a newcomer or a seasoned player.
Knowing the rarity of your cards allows you to determine the best value for valuable Pokémon cards if you plan on selling or trading them.
Even veteran players may not be familiar with all the card rarities available, and there may be some worth adding to their collections.
There are two versions of Pokémon cards, the English and non-English versions. To help players, we’ve created a guide to Pokémon card rarity, complete with symbols for each rarity in order.
The rarity is already sorted, so you won’t need any additional charts.
You can easily identify the rarity of a Pokemon card by looking at the shape located in the bottom left or right corner of the card.
However, with English Pokemon cards, it can be more challenging to determine the rarity as some symbols may be the same.
In such cases, you may need to conduct some online research to accurately identify the rarity of the card. Here are the different card rarities that you may obtain from a booster pack.
The black circle symbol represents the lowest rarity in Pokemon cards. In a booster pack that contains 10 cards, it’s typical to get six common Pokemon cards.
For a standard booster box that includes 36 packs, you can anticipate obtaining roughly 216 cards of common rarity.
Cards with the black diamond rarity symbol represent the uncommon rarity.
Typically, a booster pack with 10 cards will contain three uncommon cards, while a standard booster box with 36 packs will yield approximately 108 uncommon cards.
The black star rarity symbol represents all rare cards. From a booster pack of 10 cards, you are likely to get only one rare card, and from a standard booster box containing 36 packs, you can expect to receive 36 rare cards. However, getting a rare card is just the beginning.
There are several different rarities of rare Pokémon cards, so keep an eye out, as you may end up with more than just the standard rare card.
Secret Rare Cards
The most elusive type of Pokemon cards are the secret rares, identified by the black star rarity symbol. These cards have card numbers that exceed the original number set, such as “205/198” on a rare card.
The number 205 is higher than the set card number of 198, making it a secret rare card. Any card number higher than the maximum number displayed on the card is considered a part of the set’s secret rare collection.
Ultra Rare Cards
Ultra-rare Pokemon cards have unique game mechanics and extra powers, with black, white, or semi-white star rarity symbols. These are the types of ultra-rare Pokemon cards:
- Pokemon GX: Introduced in the Sun & Moon sets, these cards have a capital “GX” after their name.
- Pokemon EX: Introduced in the Next Destinies set and also appearing in the Black & White and XY Series, these cards have capital letters “EX” after their name.
- Pokemon ex: Found in all EX Series sets, these cards have lowercase “ex” after their name and represent extra attack capabilities.
- Pokemon Prime: Found in HeartGold & SoulSilver sets, these pokemon cards have unique designs with holographic borders and names featuring bursting close-up Pokemon faces in the character window.
- Pokemon LEGEND: Found in HeartGold & SoulSilver Series sets, these cards have a top and bottom half with the word “LEGEND” after their names.
- Pokemon LV.X: Found in Diamond & Pearl and the Platinum series, these cards have the “LV.X” designation after their name.
- Pokemon Star: Initially released in the EX Team Rocket Returns set and then in the EX series sets, these cards have shining star symbols next to their names.
- Pokemon Vstar: Found in the Sword & Shield Brilliant Stars set, these cards have a “VSTAR” symbol next to their name.
- Pokemon Vmax: These full art cards have the Vmax symbol next to their name and were added to the Sword and Shield expansion set.
Rainbow Rare Cards
Rainbow Pokemon cards feature a rainbow-like design and color scheme on their surface, making them highly sought after by collectors.
They are considered some of the rarest Pokemon cards to obtain, and it’s possible to open an entire 36-pack booster box without finding one.
Gold Secret Rare Pokemon cards, also known as Golden Pokemon Cards, are highly coveted full-art cards that can be easily identified by their distinct golden color.
These rare cards are some of the most valuable cards in a set, so if you happen to find one in your booster pack, it’s important to protect it by immediately sleeving it up and keeping it safe.
The reverse holo card rarity has holographic patterns on the entire card except for the artwork section.
This rarity is called “reverse” because it is the opposite of the rare holo card, which has holographic patterns only on the photo section.
A booster pack of ten cards always contains one reverse holo card, but it may not always be a rare card, as it could be an uncommon or common reverse holo card.
When special events like game releases or movies occur, promo cards are often released.
These cards are identified by the black star with the word “PROMO” printed over it and are highly coveted by collectors, with some being worth a substantial amount of money.
If you manage to acquire one of these rare promo cards, it’s important to store it carefully for safekeeping.
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A gaming lover from a very young age, Justin has always had a keen eye for building his own computers or racing sims so that he can race his identical twin (and usually lose at the actual race).
Justin in the founder of BeStreamer and sees it as a free resource to help all gamers around the world