Pokemon Cards
Image: Amazon

10 best Pokemon cards and packs ever

Gotta Trade'em All!

Tradeable cards have been around for thousands of years. Pokémon trading card games have been around for a small fraction of that time, yet have become one of the most culturally and financially dominant card games in human history.

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Here are the 10 best Pokemon cards and packs ever.

The 10 best Pokemon cards and packs: 10. Astral Radiance

Astral Radiance
Image: The Pokémon Company

Astral Radiance has both the pull rate and the aesthetic to back itself up as one of the best modern packs. Some of the art and card designs in Astral Radiance are just truly gorgeous in terms of rarity and visual style. The best of the cards would have to be the Umbreon VMax in my opinion- it’s simply one of the most powerful Umbreon cards in existence, and there’s also a lot of joy in staring at a massive Umbreon.

9. Pokémon GO

Pokemon Go Tcg
Image: The Pokémon Company

Yes, Pokémon GO has its own trading card set, and it’s one of the best. Among a lot of cute art, it has a lot of rainbow holos, including a Rainbow Holo Chandelure, and it also has a surprisingly valuable Ditto card, and V Alolan Exeggutor and Mewtwo to boot. Who knew GO could do it all?

8. Celebrations

Pokemon Celebrations Tcg
Image: The Pokémon Company

Celebrations has a lot of beautiful and rare Shiny Pokémon cards to pull. You have a Shiny Mew, Magikarp, and Greninja to boot, but also a Charizard with classic art on top of that. Overall, it’s packed with some of the most beautiful art of any Pokemon card set.

7. Silver Tempest

Silver Tempest Tcg
Image: The Pokémon Company

I have a special place in my heart for the art in Silver Tempest. There’s something just so vaguely menacing about the painted style in the best way. Silver Tempest has such high picks as Lugia V, Serperior V-Star, and a Rayquaza V-Max. Needless to say, any of them are going to hurt in combat.

Related: 17 strongest Pokemon of all time

Best Pokemon cards and packs ever: 6. Scarlet and Violet 151

Scarlet Violet 151 Tcg
Image: The Pokémon Company

On top of some really neat art styles at play, the Scarlet and Violet pack of the original 151 has the added boost of simply being the original generation. Cards from the older Pokémon tend to run more valuable by being more ancient history. There is a nicely illustrated Charizard flying over a volcanic landscape, but I’m personally a fan of the Mew EX card, Zapdos with the rest of its trio, and the Erika card. I’ve always been fond of Erika and she looks adorable.

5. Evolving Skies

Evolving Skies
Image: The Pokémon Company

A few specific cards carry Evolving Skies to glory: The Sylveon Vmax card, which has delightful art in addition to being rare and also being Sylveon, the best Eeveelution, a Shiny Cresselia card, and once more, Rayquaza. Rayquaza not only has a V card, but a Vmax and even a Rainbow Vmax version. Sometimes it’s simply hard to beat Rayquaza.

4. Lost Origin

Lost Origin Tcg
Image: The Pokémon Company

While Astral Radiance has the more consistent card quality, Lost Origin’s motto is Go Big Or Go Home. This set is brimming with holo cards and Legendary V-Stars. Card quality may not be evenly spread, but the ones that are good are among some of the best Pokemon cards ever. Besides, who doesn’t want a V-Star Giratina?

3. Brilliant Stars

Brilliant Stars Tcg
Image: The Pokémon Company

I could honestly just summarize this pack by saying it has Rainbow V-Star Charizard and that would be enough. Need there be anything more to ask for from a trading card pack? Sure, you can also pull the same for Arceus, the literal god of Pokémon, but it’s a Rainbow Charizard. There is simply little better than that, even if it’s a whole lot of praying to Arceus to get either.

2. Phantom Forces

Phantom Forces Tcg
Image: The Pokémon Company

Speaking of Charizard, three words on this pack: Reverse Holo Charizard. There’s also a lot of gorgeous Mega Evolution art to grab off of their trading cards in this set, but we all know the Trading Card Game will always boil down to if there’s a rare Charizard, and therefore this must be near the top of the list.

1. Original Base Set Booster Pack

Original Pack
Image: The Pokémon Company

If you want to talk about value, take one look at the prices for getting one of these rare and ancient packs from the beginning of time, and it will speak for itself as to why this is perhaps the best card pack of them all. It’s not just valuable, it’s ancient history, and what’s better than ancient history and that classic blast from the past Charizard art? Sometimes, you can’t beat the old ways, and this is prime evidence of that.

Those are 10 of the best Pokemon cards and packs ever, ranked. It’s a very subjective list with a lot to cover over literal decades, but that’s how boiling down the ancient texts goes sometimes. If you’re looking for more Pokemon, check out our list of the best Pokemon games you can play on the Nintendo Switch.


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Author
Alexa BeMent
Alexa BeMent is an aspiring media creator and writer who may also secretly be a manatee masquerading as a human. A Virginia Tech graduate with Creative Writing and Cinema degrees, she has been a Freelance Writer for PC Invasion since February 2023, and enjoys writing stories and consuming video essays when she's not planning the Manatee Uprising. Having played video games since before she could read, she is a lover of all things Legend of Zelda, FFXIV, horror games, and can play competitive Pokémon, especially as a Ghost type Gym Leader. We don't discuss how big her Pokémon plush collection is.