What should I look for?
Trading Pokemon cards is just half the fun of pokemon, but there are a few special cards to look out for. In this tutorial I am going to tell you about some of the rare pokemon cards to look out for when trading with friends. Here is a list of the cards I will be covering:
- Secret rare
- Retro cards
- Holo base set, jungle, or fossil
- Rare 1st edition
- Full art
- L.V. X
- Ultra rare Trainer cards
- Rare energies
- Prime cards
- And last is why World Champion cards aren’t on that list.
To locate a secret rare pokemon card you need to look at the bottom right of the card, at the number. If the number on the left exceeds the number on the right then it is a secret rare, e.g. 115/114 as in the Pikachu pictured.
Retro cards are cards that look like an early pokemon card, but with the new style. All retro cards are secret rares, and have gold borders.
Holo base set
Holo cards are where the background of the pokemon image is reflective, and the base set is the first pokemon card set released. Put them together and you have a holo base set card. Other older cards are also holo and can be rare also.
Rare 1st edition
1st edition symbol is only on some of the early pokemon cards. It is to the left of the information bar below the image. The 1st edition symbol means that this is one of the first printings of this card, and can add rarity, but only on some cards. You want to look at the rarity of the card (see post: how to tell how rare your pokemon cards are), rare cards are the most desirable in 1st edition, but any 1st edition card is a cool card to collect.
A full art is a card where the image covers the entire card. Now you have to look closley at some because some of the newer cards are called “borderless” and are not full art, but some can still be rare. Also you should be aware that full art cards can also be a promo and aren’t as rare as the ultra rare variety, so be on the look out for those.
Not to be confused with L.V. X cards (next), pokemon EX cards are a classic type of card and are usually very strong and very desirable for both the collector and the trainer, so they can be hard to get. There are two types of EX cards the first type is the older type and is much harder to get, but the newer EX cards are not as hard to get especially since they can still be found in packs. Also be aware that these cards can be promo or world champions, and would not be as rare.
L.V. X cards are just like EX, except they say L.V. X instead. These are just as desirable as EX cards.
Promo cards are cards that have a big black star on either the bottom right corner for newer cards, or where the series symbol is on older cards (to the right of the information bar beneath the image). Some of these cards are obvious that they are desirable, but some are not as easy to be recognized as wanted. EX, L.V. X, Trainers, Normal cards, etc…. Promo cards were only sold on the front of tins or booster boxes and were not in normal booster packs so they are somewhat hard to come by.
Ultra rare trainer cards
Some of you might think that unless you are battling there is not very much rarity to trainer cards, but in some cases you are wrong. Always look at the bottom right corner for a holographic star to signify ultra rare or look for a secret rare, you never know what is just sitting at your fingertips:
As said with the trainers, energy cards can be worthless to the collector (unless they need them for their series), but some energies are actually rare, and look pretty cool.
Ah.. the LEGEND cards (not legendary). These cards are very cool, but extremely hard to obtain both halves. Both halves? Yes, both halves, LEGEND cards have two parts, and on top of that they are some of the rarest cards that you might find. The top half seems (at least to us as we have three tops and no bottom halves)to be easier to find then the bottom half. Beware as these could be a promo or world champions. Pictured is HO-OH LEGEND and it is printed sideways.
Prime cards are very cool, and not the hardest to find, I have seen a few over the past few years. The most discerning feature is a sparkle, usually on the eye it can be anywhere on the card. Again beware as these cards could be promo or world champions. These cards are also ultra rare. This Blissey has the sparkle on it’s egg.
Shiny pokemon are the rarest type of pokemon on the games and are no exception in the cards. Now don’t go jumping up and down just yet, as this isn’t talking about holo or reverse holo cards (where the background of the card or image is reflective), no. This is talking about where the actual pokemon is changed color!
World Champions cards can be collectible, but there is a downside to them. The ultra rare cards like EX and Prime cards are actually rarer when they are not world champions. And that is because world champion cards are bought in a box and it tells you what you are getting on the box so a lot of people could have knowingly gotten an EX, but the cards that aren’t world champions had to be randomly picked from a pack, hence they are harder to get.
These are some of the rarest cards that you might find in trading with your friends, but this doesn’t stop you from trading for the cards that you like. If you really like the way a card looks or is special then go for it! Like if you see a Legendary, or a borderless Ryperior card that just looks sweet, even though it isn’t one of the rarest cards ever doesn’t mean you shouldn’t trade for it.
Well that should get you started, if you think that anything should be added, or have any questions, comment below and let us know.