Ex/gx/v Half Art / Half Body
These are the cards that everyone wants to be pulling from a booster pack. Theyre usually some of the biggest creatures in the game and some of the hardest cards to find.
These cards can also be classed as Ultra Rare. In truth, they have a lot of different names and come with a unique mechanic thats special to the current rotation.
Pokmon Japanese Promo Tropical Mega Battle Tropical Wind
An ultra-rare promo card – one of only a dozen ever made
Sold for $65,100 in October 2020
Only 12 Tropical Wind cards were produced as promo cards for the 1999 Tropical Mega Battle, a precursor to the Pokémon World Championships, making it one of the most valuable Pokémon sets around.
The Tropical Mega Battle saw 50 players from around the globe take part in a tournament for the trading card game in Honolulu, Hawaii. The only way to participate was to win a battle in your local region and earn an invite, making it an exclusive event for the best Pokémon trainers in the world – and the cards offered as prizes some of the rarest Pokémon cards in existence.
This particular Tropical Mega Battle promo card, the 1999 Japanese-language copy of Tropical Wind, has sold at auction for as much as $65,100 in PSA Gem Mint 10 condition, with the most recent record-breaking sale taking place in October 2020. PSA estimates its value to be as high as $148,482, making the ultra-rare card a contender for one of the most expensive Pokémon cards ever made.
Holographic Shadowless Blastoise: $2475
Out of the three final-evolution Kanto starters, it’s Blastoise who has the least valuable Shadowless holographic card, reaching heights of $2475 on Pokemon Prices. We say “least valuable”, but that’s still a lot of money for just the one card, and its hardly far behind its sibling Venusaur.
That’s if Blastoise is still in mint condition, of course, which is a big ask considering these cards are over 20 years old. Carrying the powerful Water-type move Hydro Pump, this version of Blastoise was a pretty impressive card to carry in your deck back in the day, but at this point its still a solid collectible card.
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Tropical Mega Battle: $10000
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, an annual Pokemon Trading Card Game tournament was held in Honolulu, Hawaii. At this 1999 event, just 12 of these Tropical Mega Battle cards were produced to be distributed to some of the lucky 50 players who attended the event, meaning the remaining number of mint copies is especially low all these years later.
Showing a Psyduck having a nap in a hammock on a tropical island, this legendary Trainer Card sells for a whole lot of cash thanks to its rarity. In fact, according to the Telegraph, a mint-condition version of the card once sold for $10,000, making it a prime example of how valuable Pokemon TCG prize cards can eventually be.
Super Secret Battle No 1 Trainer
The answer to “What’s the rarest Pokémon card of all time?”
Sold for $90,000 in July 2020
Its unlikely youve heard of Super Secret Battle No. 1 Trainer, and extremely unlikely youve ever seen a copy in person. When it comes to rare Pokémon cards, there are very few cards rarer than this.
No. 1 Trainer is a holographic promotional card awarded to finalists in the Secret Super Battle tournament held in Tokyo, Japan in 1999. To earn a place in the competitions finals, which were held in a secret location, players had to first win a regional tournament. Their prize was the No. 1 Trainer card, which granted them access to the finals.
The cards text translates to: The Pokémon Card Game Official Tournament’s champion is recognised here, and this honour is praised. By presenting this card, you may gain preferential entry into the Secret Super Battle. The card features the Japanese logo for the Pocket Monsters Trading Card Game, along with artwork of original generation Pokémon Mewtwo by illustrator Hideki Kazama.
This is a card so rare and valuable that Indiana Jones probably had to escape a crumbling temple with it at some point. Its counterpart cards No.2 Trainer and No. 3 Trainer, similarly awarded to winners in Japanese Pokémon tournaments during the late 1990s, are almost as rare and valuable.
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Reshiram And Charizard Gx
Reshiram and Charizard GX was obviously going to be a dominant card from the second it was revealed. With attack power that ranges from 230 damage to 300, 270 HP, and ample Trainer card support, there was little that was going to slow this creature down.
With the Welder and a Volcanion to cheat out Fire Energy, Fiery Flint and Fire Crystal to ensure you have Fire Energy in your hand at all times, Heatran GX as an alternate win condition, and Heat Factory for draw, there is little that isn’t available to the player in a Reshiram and Charizard GX build.
Pokemon Players Club Shiny Espeon: $2000
If you ever wanted proof about how much a Pokemon cards price can change just because of the Pokemon on it, you need to look further than the Pokemon Players Club Shiny Espeon. This card is almost identical in story to the Umbreon card you saw just a moment ago, but required only 40,000 experience points instead of 70,000.
Despite being more available, Troll and Toad has this card for a slightly higher price of just under $2000. This is likely because Espeons shiny form is more noticeable than Umbreons, since the bright neon-green fur is a lot more distinctive and Espeon has its own unique degree of popularity.
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Espeon And Umbreon Gold Star Pop Series 5
A pair of Gold Star Pokémon cards from one of the most valuable Pokémon sets of all time
Sold for $22,000 in February 2021
Gold Star Pokémon cards are among the most valuable sets of Pokémon cards in existence and command an incredibly high value as a result. The cards are named after the gold star that appears next to the Pokémons name at the top of the card, which signifies that the card features alternative-colour artwork different from the common version. Only 27 Gold Star cards were released from 2004 to 2007, making them some of the rarest Pokémon cards available.
While all of the Gold Star Pokémon cards are rare, only appearing once in approximately every 88 booster packs for certain Pokémon TCG expansions, the very rarest are the Eeveelutions – the many evolutions into which basic Gen 1 Pokémon Eevee can evolve. And the rarest of the rarest are the original Japanese-language versions of the cards offered to members of the Pokémon Players Club, who could spend points earned by participating in official organised play and tournaments to obtain exclusive cards.
While Eeveelutions Flareon, Jolteon and Vaporeon could be acquired in the EX Power Keepers set released in 2007 via the Pokémon online store, their psychic and dark elemental siblings Espeon and Umbreon could only be picked up by players who collected enough Pokémon Players Club points. The Espeon 025/PLAY card required 40,000 EXP points earned, while Umbreon 026/PLAY was even most pricey at 70,000 points.
Tamamushi University Magikarp: $50000
The Tamamushi University Magikarp card is so rare that despite the fact that it depicts a frankly awful Pokemon, it’s worth ridiculous sums of money. Why the high price? Well, the University Magikarp was a promotional card that saw very limited distribution at a Japanese tournament in the late 1990s.
In total, 1000 of the cards were produced but far fewer were actually awarded and many were just stowed away forever. Barely any of these rare Magikarp cards are still in circulation today, and its incredibly rare to see new ones show up. At the moment, PSA Cards Price Guide chart lists perfectly-preserved cards to have sold for around $50,000, while copies with NM-MT 8 ratings still sell for amazing heights of $12,000.
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Misprinted Fossil Krabby: $2200
Yes, you read that right. Krabby is the star of one of the rarest Pokemon cards of all. By all accounts, this crab-based Water-type isn’t exactly a battling superstar. The fact that one version of its Pokemon card is so rare is a bit of a fluke, as its price comes down to a relatively simple misprint of the card.
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The difference between these multiple miscuts and a normal card is that part of a fossil symbol to the bottom-left of its art is missing. This seemingly minor difference has driven up the price of these cards immensely, and despite going for under two dollars in its normal state, Pokemon Prices has the card record of a misprint selling for over $2200 dollars.
The Masked Royal Prize Promo: $18000
This is undoubtedly one of the most recent rare cards, featuring the Masked Royal character from Pokemon Sun & Moon and released as recently as 2017. This is essentially a promotional card that was given out to players in an invitation-only prerelease in Tokyo for the new Shining Legends set, where only 100 copies were made.
Even though this is a relatively normal card by most standards, this short print run means its incredibly hard to get, especially since it was handed out in such a restrictive event. As a result, there are actually preserved tweets of players first opening it in places like Pokeboon, while Japanese trading sites like Miyabi Hobby have past listings of the card at ¥2,000,000, which currently is equal to around $18,000 USD.
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Pokmon World Championships No 1 Trainer
Every copy of this rare and valuable promo card is one-of-a-kind
Sold for $31,200 in April 2021
The first of two rare and valuable Pokémon cards called No. 1 Trainer on this list, this particular card was awarded to winners of the regional Battle Road Spring tournaments held in Japan during early 2002.
The regional tournaments were held as qualifiers for the Pokémon World Championships, with the small number of No. 1 Trainer cards produced for the few winners making them some of the rarest Pokémon cards in existence.
Adding to the card’s rarity is the fact that each No. 1 Trainer card was customised with the name of the tournament winner printed onto the card, making each card one-of-a-kind. According to auction house Heritage Auctions, the personalised aspect of the cards also mean that they rarely appear at auction, making them an even rarer sight in the world of Pokémon cards.
The 2002 No. 1 Trainer card was illustrated by Ken Sugimori, best known as being one of the original artists and designers for Pokémon’s first generation of 151 Pokémon. The text on it reads: “The Pokémon Card Game Official Tournament Battle Road Spring 2002 champion is recognised here, and his honour is praised.” Sugimori’s No. 1 Trainer artwork – featuring fan-favourite Pokémon such as Pikachu, Chansey and Marrill – is exclusive to the card, making it especially unique.
Pokmon Blastoise #009/165r Commissioned Presentation Galaxy Star Hologram
A two-of-a-kind card that suddenly became one of the most valuable Pokémon cards of all time
Sold for $360,000 in January 2021
One of only two such Pokémon cards in existence – making it extremely rare – this Blastoise suddenly became one of the most valuable Pokémon cards of all time after it sold at auction in January 2021 for a whopping $360,000 .
The ultra-rare Pokémon card was created in 1998 as a presentation piece by Magic: The Gathering maker Wizards of the Coast to convince Nintendo of Japan executives to allow it to handle the TCGs English-language release. The game would eventually make its international debut one year later in 1999.
While two Blastoise Presentation cards were produced, this is the only one that has been seen publicly. Even more impressively, it has been graded at a NM/Mint+ 8.5 level by certification website CGC, meaning that the 20-plus-year-old card is in near-perfect condition. The location and state of the other Presentation card remains unknown – meaning that this may well be the only such card of its type left.
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Holo Gold Star Rayquaza: $4500
Rather than many cards on this list, this Shiny Rayquaza from the EX Deoxys set is a rare Pokemon card thats mostly just mythical pull from a standard set. During this expansion, Pokemon with a Gold Star in your deck, making them just as powerful as they are gorgeous with unique colors and art exiting the frame.
Costs can vary massively, but spaces like Troll and Toad price the card at just under $4500. It simply combines all the great aspects of a standard card in the perfect combination, and the rarity of it in packs of this small expansion set make it one of the most valuable original Gen 3 cards, and one of the first major shiny cards to hit record prices before other shinies would catch up.
Southern Islands Reverse Holo Mew: $200
When the second Pokemon movie was released in Japan, the makers of the Trading Card Game decided to release a special edition set of cards to mark this occasion. The Southern Islands card series was born, featuring just two sets of nine cards apiece that were unique to any other set in the game.
Full sets of these cards can sell for a lot, but the absolute highest value is undoubtedly the Southern Islands Mew, which has a rare reverse foil treatment where the frame around the art is the only part thats shiny. Troll and Toad is currently selling copies for just over $200 right now, making it even more valuable than the elusive and stylish Ancient Mew mentioned earlier.
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Holographic First Edition Machamp: $6000
The Kanto starters and legendaries aren’t the only original Pokemon to boast high-value shadowless holographic cards. Nearly any holographic first edition rare card from the original set can grow immensely in price compared to other rare Pokemon cards, but since they arent as actively hunted, their prices can vary far more wildly based on their quality.
Machamp is one of these. According to PSA Cards range of auction prices based on the cards quality classification, perfect mint condition Machamps of this kind can land between $800 and $6000, while dropping just one rating down will result in prices around $200 and $900. This card in particular truly proves how important it is to keep your trading cards safe through the years, as you never know just what will become valuable twenty years later.
Black Star Ishihara Signed Gx Promo Card
A card featuring the Pokémon Company’s President himself.
Sold for $247,230 in April 2021
The most recent card to make headlines for pure value, this card sold for nearly a quarter of a million dollars at auction on April 26th 2021. You can find the full details at our story here, but this card depicts Pokémon Company founder and current president Tsunekazu Ishihara, and was given to the company staff as a celebration of the man’s 60th birthday in 2017.
That makes the card rare, but this specific version is even rarer, as Ishihara actually signed this near-mint card to boost its price even further. The “2017 P.M. SM Black Star #TPCi01 Tsunekazu Ishihara Signed Pokémon GX Promo Card”, to use its full title, is a testament to the raw power apparently held by the Pokémon president. The ability “Red Chanchanko” is in reference to the red vest traditionally worn on 60th birthdays in Japan, and prevents the effect of any attack, ability or trainer card against Ishihara. Meanwhile, its GX move “60 Congratulations”, tells you to flip 60 coins, and take a present for each one. A truly legendary card.
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Common Uncommon And Rare
First, we need to show you how to find out a cards rarity just by looking at it. This is represented by a symbol located in the bottom right corner of every card. There should be a shape that indicates what rarity the card is.
Common cards are marked with a black circle, uncommon cards have a black diamond, and rare cards always have a black star. This is the basic way to tell the rarity of a card.
Rare cards, for instance, are split into multiple different kinds of rarities. There are the standard rare plain-looking cards, but theres so much more after that.
Holographic Shadowless Charizard: $500000
There are a lot of factors that make the Holographic Shadowless First Edition Charizard card worth so much compared to any other Charizard card. Firstly, it’s a first edition version of the undoubtedly most popular Kanto starter, which already makes it extra valuable to most pokemon fans. Alongside this, the card is also shadowless, which essentially means the card lacks a shadow between the box containing the image of the Pokemon, and the rest of the card.
This “Shadowless” effect is not a misprint or a mistake. It’s actually the original Pokemon card design, as the foiling process has changed and provided a different look to modern holographic and foil cards. These Charizard cards have become one of the prime reasons for the Pokemon Card trend of the past two years, with YouTuber Logan Paul opening one as recently as February 2021 that was estimated by auction site owner Ken Goldin to sell for upwards of $500,000.
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