Opening Pokémon card packs is an exhilarating experience for fans of the franchise. The excitement of discovering rare, powerful, or highly sought-after cards is unparalleled. However, the art of opening these packs is a skill that must be learned to maximize enjoyment and ensure the cards’ longevity. This comprehensive guide will explore various techniques to open Pokémon cards for each set, ensuring you can make the most out of your card-collecting journey.
Background Information on Pokémon Card Sets
Before diving into the art of opening Pokémon card packs, it is essential to understand the different sets available in the Pokémon Trading Card Game (TCG). With over 90 sets released since its inception in 1996, knowing how to differentiate between them can help you better understand the card trick for each set
1. Base Set
The Base Set, also known as the 1st Edition, is the original Pokémon card set that started it all. Released in 1996 in Japan and 1999 in the United States, it consists of 102 cards and features the iconic Charizard, Blastoise, and Venusaur.
2. Jungle Set
The Jungle Set is the first expansion to the Pokémon TCG and was released in 1999. It adds 64 cards to the game, with the first appearance of holographic cards for the original 151 Pokémon.
3. Fossil Set
Released in 1999, the Fossil Set includes 62 cards and features fossil Pokémon like Aerodactyl, Kabutops, and Omastar.
4. Team Rocket Set
The Team Rocket Set debuted in 2000, adding 83 cards to the Pokémon TCG. It marked the introduction of Dark Pokémon, which were owned by the nefarious Team Rocket.
5. Gym Heroes and Gym Challenge Sets
Released in 2000 and 2001, respectively, Gym Heroes and Gym Challenge sets introduced gym leader Pokémon cards, bringing a new dimension to the TCG.
6. Neo Series Sets
The Neo Series Sets (Genesis, Discovery, Revelation, and Destiny) were released between 2000 and 2002, featuring the second generation of Pokémon.
7. e-Card Series Sets
The e-Card Series Sets (Expedition Base Set, Aquapolis, and Skyridge) were released between 2001 and 2003, incorporating e-Reader technology that allowed players to scan cards for additional content.
8. EX Series Sets
The EX Series Sets, released between 2003 and 2007, introduced powerful Pokémon-EX cards that were stronger but gave the opponent two Prize cards when defeated.
Diamond & Pearl Series Sets
The Diamond & Pearl Series Sets, released from 2007 to 2009, brought the fourth generation of Pokémon into the TCG, with new mechanics like Pokémon Level-Up cards.
J. Platinum Series Sets
The Platinum Series Sets, released between 2009 and 2010, introduced the Distortion World, featuring Pokémon SP and the powerful Pokémon Lv. X.
K. HeartGold & SoulSilver Series Sets
Released from 2010 to 2011, the HeartGold & SoulSilver Series Sets revisited the second generation of Pokémon and introduced the Pokémon LEGEND cards.
L. Black & White Series Sets
The Black & White Series Sets, released between 2011 and 2013, marked the beginning of the fifth generation of Pokémon and introduced Pokémon-EX cards with full art variations.
M. XY Series Sets
The XY Series Sets, released from 2014 to 2016, brought the sixth generation of Pokémon into the TCG and introduced Mega Evolution and BREAK Evolution mechanics.
N. Sun & Moon Series Sets
The Sun & Moon Series Sets, released between 2017 and 2019, introduced the seventh generation of Pokémon and new card mechanics such as GX and Tag Team cards, which featured two or three Pokémon on a single card.
O. Sword & Shield Series Sets
The Sword & Shield Series Sets, launched in 2020, brought the eighth generation of Pokémon to the TCG and introduced new mechanics like Pokémon V, VMAX, and Amazing Rares.
General Tips for Opening Pokémon Cards
Before delving into the card trick for each set, let’s review some general tips that apply to opening Pokémon card packs across all sets.
1. Use Clean Hands
Always wash your hands before handling your cards to avoid transferring dirt, oil, or other contaminants that may damage them.
2. Use a Clean Surface
Ensure you open your packs on a clean, flat surface to prevent scratches, dents, or other forms of damage to the cards.
3. Open the Pack Carefully
Gently open the pack by pinching the top right corner and pulling it apart slowly. Avoid using scissors or other sharp objects that may accidentally cut the cards.
4. Use Card Sleeves
Invest in high-quality card sleeves to protect your cards immediately after opening them. This will help maintain their condition and value.
Card Trick for Each Set
Now that we have covered general tips for opening Pokémon cards let’s explore the card trick for each set. The card trick involves rearranging the cards in the pack to reveal the rarest card last, building anticipation and excitement.
1. Base Set, Jungle Set, Fossil Set, and Team Rocket Set
For these early sets, there is no specific card trick. The rare card is typically the third card from the back of the pack. Open the pack, count three cards from the back, and that should be your rare or holographic card.
2. Gym Heroes, Gym Challenge, Neo Series, e-Card Series, and EX Series Sets
For these sets, the card trick is known as the “3-card trick.” Open the pack and take the three bottom cards from the pack. Move these cards to the front of the pack, and as you flip through the cards, the rare card should now be the last card revealed.
3. Diamond & Pearl, Platinum, HeartGold & SoulSilver, Black & White, XY, and Sun & Moon Series Sets
For these sets, use the “4-card trick.” Open the pack and take the four bottom cards from the pack. Move these cards to the front of the pack. As you flip through the cards, the rare card should now be the second-to-last card revealed, followed by the energy card.
4. Sword & Shield Series Sets
For the Sword & Shield sets, continue using the “4-card trick,” but with a slight variation. Open the pack and take the four bottom cards from the pack. Move these cards to the front of the pack. As you flip through the cards, the rare card should now be the third-to-last card revealed, followed by the energy card and a special subset card, if applicable.
Opening Pokémon card packs is an exciting and enjoyable experience for collectors of all ages. Understanding the card trick for each set ensures you maximize the thrill of discovering rare and valuable cards. By following the general tips and specific tricks outlined in this guide, you can enhance your card-opening experience and ensure your collection remains in pristine condition. Happy collecting, and may the odds be in your favor as you hunt for those elusive, ultra-rare cards!