Milotic 034: Deep Dive

Hey everyone! I recently became more active in this community, and I’m sure some of you by now have figured out what my favorite card is. I had another member reach out to me this morning to tell me that this is also their favorite card, and that they achieved a PSA 9 of this card, which is no small feat! Then, they posed a question. Is it even possible to get this card in a PSA 10?

Now, I’ve been tracking the pop on not only this card, but also the other cards in this set (Beat of the Frontier), so I took some time to really dive into this question and look at the data. Most of the text after this is just a copy and paste from my response, but since I took some time to craft it, I figured why not share it! Especially since I haven’t created a topic in a long time lol.

For the question, I have a short and long answer.

Short answer: Yes, it is possible. There are PSA 10s that exist of this card, so that tells us it IS achievable.

Long answer: I think this card is very difficult, maybe even borderline impossible, to get a 10 in. Factors such as whether it is 1st Ed. or Unlimited also play a part. On top of that, the current PSA 10s that exist might be weak 10s. And of course, good old luck plays a part as well!

First, let’s look at the pop report:

Most Japanese sets in this era usually have a higher 1st Ed. PSA 10 pop compared to Unlimited. For whatever reason, this card has twice the amount of PSA 10s, which is VERY unusual. Even when you compare it to the shiny Pokemon from other DPt sets, Unlimited PSA 10 pops are generally much lower than 1st Ed.

So, why is this important? Well, I have a theory as to how this is even possible. I believe that the 1st Ed. printings of Beat of the Frontier had a lower standard of quality compared to the Unlimited printing. The reason I say this is that MANY of the 1st Ed. secret rare cards from this set seem to have horrible centering, and that’s on top of the infamous corner issues that every set from this era already had. To support this argument, let’s look at the legendary bird reprints in this set:

The Articuno just has straight up more PSA 10s in Unlimited. While the Zapdos and Moltres have less PSA 10s, the percentage is much higher compared to 1st Ed… Zapdos Unlimited PSA 10 percentage of 33% vs 8% for 1st Ed. and Moltres Unlimited PSA 10 percentage of 11% vs 5% for 1st Ed.

Now, if we’re making direct comparisons to the other two shiny Pokemon in the set, the same exact thing can be observed with Yanma. Funny enough though, the Relicanth does not have a single PSA 10 in Unlimited. I chalk that down to a lack of popularity to an already niche set of cards.

The conclusion to this data; it is more difficult to receive a PSA 10 of this card, and the other secret rares in the set, in 1st Ed., and your best bet is Unlimited. Unfortunately, I wasn’t collecting in 2009 so I can’t speak on how much of this set was in 1st Ed. vs Unlimited, but I have very rarely seen Unlimited packs pop up over the years. Anecdotal, sure, though I think it’s safe to say the printing was very short for Unlimited.

Piecing this all together, even though you have a higher chance at a PSA 10 with an Unlimited printing, they are still obviously difficult to come by. On top of that, this card and others in this era are considered very niche to this day. To find copies in either printing that are in good enough condition to grade is a challenge, let alone going for Gem Mint.

Now the last bit I’ll get into, and likely the most subjective. There is a decent chance some of the current PSA 10s are weak 10s. And well, honestly, pretty weak. There is currently a PSA 10 1st Ed. on PWCC for $15,000, and let’s just say she isn’t the prettiest looking lol.

3 out of the 4 corners have chipping on the front. The back has edgewear and corner whitening as well. I personally don’t think this deserved a 10, and I have copies of my own that are an 8 that I think look better than this. Of course, this delves into the topic of buying the card vs the grade, which I think both have merits to them. Me personally, I tend to go for the card most of the time.

As of now this is the only 10 I’ve seen pop up, at least that I can remember. We’ll have to wait and see if the other ones are similar. So, at the very least we can say that half of the 1st Ed. 10s are weak lol. A trend I’ve seen on these secret rare DPt cards is that many of them, even in PSA 10s, will have a tiny bit of front corner chipping. Again, anecdotal here, but it makes me wonder if PSA considers it known factory damage for this era, and is perhaps a little bit more lenient with that? Honestly, I have no idea lol.

Anyways, thanks for coming to my Ted Talk on my favorite card in the TCG. I’m sure most people probably won’t be as interested, but I thought it would be fun to share with at least a couple of people. :smile:


That was a great read. I love seeing how much information there is to know about a single card when someone really cares for it and dedicates their time to learning everything there is to know about it.


The title of this thread had me very worried. The internet has cursed me


Oh god… I totally see what you mean lmao💀

I’m the one that he is talking about lol

Awesome man you answered all my questions in once. You’re the best it’s difficult to find reliable informations about this topic.

Hope someone shows us a légitimate 10 lol.

Again thank you for this post you’re the best (already said that)


Hey there!

I was the one who graded the 6-cert PSA 10. Sold the card early this year:

I definitely agree on the lucky grade and expressed that publicly. Would have actually kept it for myself if clean but couldn’t really stand the condition so off it went. Still have several decent 7-9 contender copies (right) and some pack fresh-ish copes (left) to grade, but I’ve been looking for a clean 1st Edition for forever.

Personally love the card and have gone through around 75+ copies over the years, of which I’ve graded around 10? 1 10, about 4 9s, and the rest are 7-8. I do agree with your analysis in general but 75 isn’t anything much of a sample size to really draw any conclusions off. However from what I’ve seen yeah, Unlimited is rarer, and usually in better condition when straight out the pack. They are more well centered, and less likely to have the bottom right corner crack (?) that about all 1st Editions have. Cracks on the other 3 corners seem a bit more random but the bottom right one is almost always there. I managed to find just one copy so far that has been absolutely mint in terms of centering, edges and corners except for this bottom right- it graded a 9.

Unlimited was actually pop 0 for the longest time, after which 1 popped up last year, followed by another 2 together within another few months, then the last sometime after. As for the 1st Edition, one was graded years ago (2-cert) before mine. Perhaps the quick jump in unlimited pop was when the baby shiny interest spike aligned with the acquisition of some nice unlimited copies. All just speculation but it can be fun to think about. Managed to sell many of my Pt Shiny PSA 10s during this period, but interest has kinda settled back down.

It’s nice to see someone who likes this card as well, and I hope to see a proper 10 turn up from you someday!


shining milo my beloved. its too bad it likely wont be in shiny treasures ex. i wish the pt era artwork was more of the lilac coloring instead of blueish

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Yes, @SatyanKard was the one that messaged me this morning. I didn’t feel comfortable @'ing you as we had just become acquainted! Thanks again for reaching out, it’s so cool to meet someone that also views this as their favorite card. :smile:

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Wow, thanks for sharing! I really respect the fact that you expressed that publicly. And just to be clear, I don’t have any weird grudge or jealousy over it getting a 10, was just observing the condition of the only one I had come across. I know PSA is just pure luck at times, and honestly, I can see how it squeaked by as one. The centering is pretty great!

It’s awesome reading your insight, and I love your collection. I also noticed that the bottom right corners tend to be more consistent with chipping on the 1st Eds. Out of curiosity, do you open this packs from this set often? And were any of these pulled yourself? I have a few contenders at the moment as well. Fingers crossed for both of us but honestly, I’m more than happy to get a 9 with these lol. :sweat_smile: