Latias :goldstar: and the Difficult PSA 9 Mint Grade

Latias :goldstar: has a significantly lower likelihood of receiving a PSA 9 than Latios :goldstar:, despite having an almost identical number of submissions (n = 609 Latias; n = 607 Latios).

Why might this be? Well, light holos show damage more easily than dark holos. This usually results in very low PSA 10 rates among the light holos and correspondingly high PSA 9 rates.

However, what we see with the EX Deoxys Gold Stars is that Latios :goldstar: and Latias :goldstar: have similar PSA 10 rates (4.28% vs 3.61%), but the PSA 9 rates are quite different (31.80% vs 25.78%).

So what is happening to all of these expected PSA 9 Latias :goldstar:? Well according to my table/chart, the largest differentials between Latias :goldstar: and Latios :goldstar: are at: PSA 8 (23.81% vs 20.26%) and PSA 6 (11.00% vs 7.41%).

12/2023 PSA Pop Report Data:

AUTH 1 1.5 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Total
Latias 1 43 3 26 15 18 37 67 75 145 157 22 609
Latios 1 30 1 24 21 16 51 45 76 123 193 26 607
Rayquaza 1 68 0 45 48 65 71 100 115 181 219 48 961
Latias 0.16% 7.06% 0.49% 4.27% 2.46% 2.96% 6.08% 11.00% 12.32% 23.81% 25.78% 3.61%
Latios 0.16% 4.94% 0.16% 3.95% 3.46% 2.64% 8.40% 7.41% 12.52% 20.26% 31.80% 4.28%
Rayquaza 0.10% 7.08% 0.00% 4.68% 4.99% 6.76% 7.39% 10.41% 11.97% 18.83% 22.79% 4.99%

TL;DR: Latias :goldstar: is harder to grade than Latios :goldstar:, and the expected PSA 9s may be disproportionately given a PSA 8 or PSA 6 grade instead.


It might not be coincidence that Latias :goldstar: was in a world championship deck and Latios :goldstar: is not.


You’re right that Latias :goldstar: was used in the 2006 LBS deck, but Latios :goldstar: was also used in the 2006 Meganium deck. Both were playable cards.

For those interested, they should check out this video to see the LBS deck in action:

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I only know one has won worlds and one hasn’t. Maybe @dunsparce0p can speak to their relative usage in practice

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I asked two people who played back then, here’s the response I got

So latias star was used in LBS, which was an extremely popular 2006 deck. However, Latios was more widely played in various decks.

It’s tough to say if LBS was popular enough to overshadow the widespread use of Latios, but it’s definitely possible

Sounds like that Meganium deck specifically was not too popular, not a serious top deck at least.

Overall sounds inconclusive. But based on the way you compared the lower grades, my mind went to playability since PSA 8 and 6 suggest damage beyond factory issues

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Thanks for checking in with some players.

Your thought on play-related wear is probably a contributing factor. The light vs. dark holo aspect might play a role too (i.e., damage is more easily visible).

I made this post because I’ve recently seen a fair amount of mint-looking PSA graded Latias :goldstar:, but almost never were they given a Mint 9 grade. I never thought the difference was so large, but the data say otherwise.

Did you test for significance btw? Seems like it might not be straightforward given how the cards are distributed across 10 grades

Yes, the difference in PSA 9 rates between Latias :goldstar: and Latios :goldstar: is statistically significant (χ² = 5.367, df = 1, p = .02). You can test this with a contingency table and a chi-squared test (effect size Φ = 0.066 is modest).


I don’t have actual data to back this up, but for what it’s worth, back when Deoxys set was released, Latios gold star was frequently available while Latias was rarely ever seen on eBay or the online trading forums. I wasn’t active in the competitive scene, but people online would always vent about Latias Gold Star being seen in the decks.


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Yeah the Meganium deck wasn’t that big of a metagame presence, but Latios * showed up in other decks like Metanite sometimes. Here’s an example but lists weren’t shared or collected much back in the day so it’s hard to know really which was more popular.

Rayquaza * was also fairly popular in a few decks, mostly in 2006, such as BombTar and Metanite.

Generally I wouldn’t think that playability really had much of an impact on the card’s population, especially as tournaments back in 2006/2007 were often 60-100 person Regionals.


Yeah even in PSA 10 there is a difference as well. I think it is entirely attributed to the lighter holo as you mentioned.