Skip to content is reader-supported. This site contains eBay and PWCC affiliate links for which I may be compensated when you buy through links on our site.
Pokemon Cards

Pokemon Cards: The Basics (and which ones are worth money)

Visit our Daily Auctions page to see the latest sports card deals on auction ending daily! And listen to our podcast Cards To The Moon!

Let’s get right into it. The three main categories of Pokemon cards are Pokemon cards, trainer cards, and energy cards.

First, let’s start with the basic Pokemon cards, which are at the forefront of collecting and playing the game. But if you just want to skip to which valuable Pokemon cards are available on auction for sale, visit our Daily Auctions page here!

Pokemon Cards

Pokemon cards feature the adorable creatures that make the TCG so exciting. For example, the iconic Pikachu card (here are a few high-end cards below currently listed for sale).

Common to Rare Pokemon Cards

Pokemon Cards

One of the most crucial aspects of a Pokemon card is its rarity, indicated by the symbol in the bottom right corner. The different rarity symbols and what they signify include:

  1. Common Card: Represented by a black circle, these cards are abundant and easy to come by. Having multiple copies of a common card is beneficial for trading and competitive play, where you might need duplicates in your deck.
  2. Uncommon Card: Indicated by a black diamond, these cards strike a balance between common and rare. You’ll find fewer duplicates compared to common cards in booster packs.
  3. Rare Card: Marked by a black star, rare cards are highly sought-after. They are powerful, visually striking, and essential for building competitive decks. Some examples of rare cards listed for sale are below.

Pokemon Cards Advanced Rarities: Holofoil and More!

Beyond the basic rarities, some cards possess special features that elevate their desirability:

  1. Holofoil Rare: Identified by a black star and a holofoil picture of the Pokemon, these rare cards showcase a shiny coating that adds prestige to their rarity. Holofoil rares are not guaranteed in most Pokemon products, making them highly sought-after by collectors.
  2. Reverse Holofoil Rare: Also with a black star and a shiny card, these cards possess a unique shine of the background but don’t have the same prestige as the aforementioned regular holofoil rares.
  3. Ultra Rare: The ultra rare category comprises various cards that stand out from the standard rare cards. Some examples include:
    • Pokemon EX: These basic Pokemon come with extra abilities. When defeated, your opponent gains 2 prize cards.
    • Pokemon GX: Evolved from regular Pokemon, GX cards boast powerful GX moves. Tag Team GX cards feature two Pokemon, offering added strength but come with the drawback of the opponent taking 3 prize cards.
    • Pokemon Legend: Exclusive to outdated sets, Legend cards consist of two cards combined to form one Pokemon. When knocked out, the opponent gains 2 prize cards.
    • Pokemon Prime: More powerful versions of regular Pokemon cards, they were exclusive to certain sets.
    • Pokemon Star: Pokemon Star cards feature alternate color Pokemon.
    • Pokemon LV.X: These cards add an extra level to your Pokemon, providing additional attacks and abilities.
    • Pokemon BREAK: Representing another stage of evolution, Pokemon BREAK cards are played horizontally on the Pokemon they evolve from.

There are also promo cards which are typically part of specific promotions. Their rarity and value depend on factors such as the promotion’s price and availability.

And certain cards have fixed rarities, meaning their rarity is determined by the set and product they belong to. These cards are part of trainer kits and half decks and are meant to aid new players in learning the game rather than being valuable collectibles.

Trainer Cards: Essential Support for Your Pokemon

Trainer cards play a vital role in Pokemon TCG, providing support and added effects during gameplay.

The one that’s more well-known are the Supporter Cards, which features artwork of characters from the game or show. These cards can be used only once per turn but are essential for success. Ultra rare versions with enlarged artwork are highly sought-after.

Other trainer-related cards include the item cards (can be used multiple times and offer various effects); Stadium Cards (add unique effects to the game); and Pokemon Tool Cards (these cards attach to your Pokemon and provide useful effects during gameplay.)

Check out some more high-profile trainer cards below:

Energy Cards: Powering Your Pokemon

Energy cards are straightforward and provide the necessary resources for your Pokemon’s attacks. There are three types of energy cards:

You got your regular Energy Cards, which form the backbone of your deck and are essential for every match.

There’s also the alternate Artwork Energy Cards featuring exclusive artwork (these cards add a touch of prestige to your deck.)

And don’t forget the Special Energy Cards, which often have unique effects and can be rarer and more valuable than regular energy cards.

Hope this Pokemon Cards primer helped. For collectors and investors of Pokemon TCG cards, they can also be very lucrative. Here are some cards below that are listed for a lot of money.

For more Pokemon cards up for auction daily, visit our dedicated Pokemon auctions page here!

Leave a Reply