Explain the different rarities of Pokémon TCG cards

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Philippe Gloaguen
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Trading is the name of the game when it comes to the Pokémon Trading Card Game. You can play via physical cards purchased in a store or as an application from your smartphone device and other outlets. Because trading is important, you want the various types of card rarities available in the game.



The rarest card you have in your hand, the higher quality trade you can acquire from a player. Plus, it makes it easier for you to trade and potentially trade with the previous card. Note that some Pokémon cards have sold for thousands of dollars if it's the correct form of rarity and someone is willing to purchase the physical version.

Detailing a rarity

Image via The Pokémon Company

There are many different rare cards, and there is an easy way to identify their rarity. The most common ones will have a small black circle at the bottom right or left of the card.

Image via The Pokémon Company

Uncommon cards have a black diamond.

Image via The Pokémon Company

Now, the rare cards have been divided into several forms. The most common rare card you can come across is a holographic rare that has a black star in the lower right corner, similar to uncommon and common cards.

Holographic Pokémon Cards

Image via The Pokémon Company

The rare holographic has special coverage around the Pokémon. It shines, illuminating much more than traditional paper.



Image via The Pokémon Company

Next, you have the reverse holographic cards. These cards only have holographic luster, similar to the previous holographic cards, but surrounding the text. The Pokémon inside the card does not contain any holographic shine and instead looks more like the original print of the card, but still has a few differences to make it stand out.

Ultra rare pokemon card

Image via The Pokémon Company

The next type of card goes a step further. The many cards in this category are considered Ultra Rare, higher, and are much harder to get from packs. These cards have an EX, Star, LV.X, LEGEND, Prime, EX, and GX next to the name at the top of the Pokémon cards.

These stand out because they have unique graphics to them and there are two different varieties of these cards. First, there are half of the Pokémon's body and half of the art cards, where you can only see half of the Pokémon. The other is where you can see the full picture of the Pokémon in the photo.

Image via The Pokémon Company

Cards that contain the Pokémon's entire body, with one of the card identifications having a clear color on them, are considered rarer.

Secret rare Pokémon cards

Image via The Pokémon Company

Over half and full-body Pokémon cards are secret rare cards. You can identify these cards by number in the bottom right section. Traditionally, all Pokémon cards have a number assigned to where they are in the lineup. For example, the Pikachu card is 58/102, demonstrating that it is the 52nd of the 102 card it was released with at the moment. Secret rare cards will be above that right number.



Plus, they have an extra flair on their paper and have different art and colors than traditional paper.

Image via The Pokémon Company

In addition to the rare secret cards there are the Rainbow Rares. They are a little more noticeable than the rare secret ones and even rise higher than the traditional numbers shown on the card. You will automatically know that you have one with distinct luster and various colors running through the paper. Some of these have sold for thousands of dollars.



Image via The Pokémon Company

After the various rare cards found throughout the Pokémon Trading Card Game, you have promotional cards. These cards are offered for special events and for a limited time only. You can say they are promotional based on the small icon in the middle left of the card, immediately below the card image.

Pokax VMax Card and Tag Team

Image via The Pokémon Company

The new form of rare cards includes the Tag Team and VMax cards. Tag Team cards feature a pair of Pokémon working together, with both of their names attached to the top. These were initially introduced to Team Up! envelopes.

The VMax cards come from the Sword and Shield Pokémon games were Dynamax capable Pokémon and the VMax shows the Dynamax form of the Pokémon. Just like in the Pokémon game, VMax cards come with a host of new abilities and an amazing amount of health, making them a useful card to use in the game and rare card players will want to add to their collection.

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