Set of the Fortnight #10 - XY Evolutions

This time it’s from the XY era:

XY Evolutions
Favorite cards in the setWorst cards in the setHow you feel about this set in general
XY Evolutions has been released in November 2016, 3/4th year ago. This set has a lot of the original Base Set artworks and cards (with slightly modified HP and attacks for the current Trading Card Game). In addition, this set also contains EX Ultra Rares, BREAK Ultra Rares, Full Art Secret Rares, and Mega Pokémon. This makes the set attractive to both old-school collectors and collectors who like the newer style of cards. It is therefore a very popular set, and loads of boxes have been sold. (Especially Charizard is a popular card, and it’s unfortunate the original Venusaur and Blastoise weren’t part of this set.)

So, what are your favorite cards of this set and why? And what are your least favorite cards of this set and why? Also, if you have anything else you want to mention about this set, it’s all welcome. :grin:



My favorite card of this set has to be the Base Pikachu reprint, for obvious reasons being a Pikachu collector, and a real sucker for all the Base Pikachu variations. :grin:

But if I exclude that, the Base Charizard reprint is at the top of the list. The artwork is amazing, and this set gave an opportunity to have this amazing artwork without buying a very expensive Base Set Charizard.

In addition, I like the fact they’ve included the Ooyama’s Exeggutor and Doduo. As well as the Full Art Brock and Misty.

Oh, and when I look at the Japanese counterpart, I can of course not forget about the Pikachu EX Secret Rare.



I really can’t name a card I like in XY Evolutions xD

If they could do this set again I’d ask for 2 things:

The non-FA EXs were reprints of old Ken Sugimori art like the CD promos, the Dragonite GB promo, etc.

they included the 151 original pokemon, reprinting cards from fossil and jungle too.


Not even that necessarily; the shortcoming for me was mostly due to the lack of Venusaur and Blastoise as holos + their evolution lines. They could have been the prerelease promos + Raichu (++Charizard) instead of Machamp, Gyarados, and Mewtwo.

Aside from that, the full arts, while better than those in the Sun and Moon block which have no background, look kind of awful with the ugly old squares and lines. Not a good combination of new and old.

Doesn’t stop me from having a master set though. This and Ancient Origins (so good) are the only two newer sets I really went into.

One of my favorite cards of the set is Pidgeot Ex Full Art :heart_eyes: I’ve always liked Pidgey and its evolution line and it finally got some love in Evolutions.

Also, the combination of old and new was very attractive to me. However, I would have taken the regular EX’s out of the set in favor of base set reprints such as Blastoise or Venusaur. The Full Arts would have stayed :grin:

I think the reverse holos are the worst of the set in my opinion. They kind of make the reprints “too weird” to me and I think they decrease the aesthetic value of the set. But it’s just a matter of likings :blush:


Gotta partially agree.
There are a bunch of cards in the set that I question why they’re in there, like the BREAK cards, the EX cards and the ‘secret’ rares.

As a 20 year anniversary set the set misses key cards like all 3 Gen-1 starters. I know that the whole Evolutions set was made to look as close to Base Set as possible and the set needed playability (since Base set itself was just broken/unplayable) but to make it ‘better’ they could’ve taken out the Pokémon in Base that weren’t full evolutions in favour of the Gen-1 starters. Also why were decisions made to make uncommons like Arcanine and Farfetch’d into rares?

The only thing that XY Evolutions got for me, is that even in 10 years from now I would enjoy opening packs for it. And because of this I’ll make sure I got a case stored away.

Most of Pokemon’s 20 year anniversary product doesn’t seem that special 1 year after the fact. May as well just hold them until the 30 year anniversary haha.

So true. Not a single card in the whole set that outshines the rest. The Mega Charizard had it’s 15 seconds of fame but only due to terrible print runs, making mint copies rare. Nor did any card see any real play except for maybe Dragonite EX.

I love what this set did for the hobby more than anything. It brought so many people back into the hobby who collected back in the day.

I also like the increase in HP & attack. This is best of both worlds, as you get the nostalgic artwork, but the cards are also playable, and/or subtly different.

The Pidgeot, Mewtwo & Dragonite EX FA cards are quality. The set has nice artwork, old and new. Yes this set has one of the largest prints ever, but its historical significance is unique.


Gotta agree, out of all XY sets evolutions brought something for everyone, with a ton of variety.
The only criticism i would give this set is the border color.
I wish just for this set they would’ve used the old template color, but it would probably have been too out of line with xy for that :confused:

Sure it’s a shame that we didn’t get base venusaur/blastoise but instead we got reprints of xy base
Which is better than not at all

And that dragonite ._. My friend and i bought a case on release to attempt pulling one; we both failed lmao.

I got so delighted at this entire set, but honestly? I got ten new Mew’s from this set alone so that made me insanely happy.

My beautiful baby got the holo treatment it truly deserved.

These are also really freaking cool and I’m so glad they came out.


I thought the newer stuff in the set was cool. Full art trainer cards were really cool as well as the EX cards that had FAs. Would have been cool to see Slowbro and Mega Slowbro get FAs though.

I honestly was a little disappointed they changed the attacks and HP totals for the old school cards. Me and few friends still like to play the old school Base/Jungle/Fossil format, and it would have been cool to get rev. holo versions of the cards we could have used in our decks.

It was also cool to see cards like Imakuni’s Dodou get brought to the US as well.

The set seems bland upon reflection, maybe because I opened a billion boosters, but there are some solid FA cards there.
I’m particularly fond of the Brock FA, which I pulled 4 of I think.

The secret rares were disappointing though. It might have been a good opportunity to replicate the Charizard holo with the 2 new forms, but with them facing to the right and one (flying) facing down perhaps, to make a trio of zards.

I think I only ever opened 1 evolution’s booster. I knew there were a bunch of awesome reprints as well as cool new EX’s so I thought there’s no way I could go wrong. I pulled a crap non-holo rare and I was so disappointed that i just threw the cards out my car window.

Great set. Fun for new and old players alike, highly recommended.

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On one hand I think this is the last set I’ll be able to tolerate with the current state of the TCG having every set include an explosion of 60 super rares, rainbow secret rares and glitter. It was also really cool to see Base Set holos without the holo treatment via the reverse holo versions.

On the other hand… meh. It made the same fatal flaw that Generations did of being a set marketed as “nostalgic” that awkwardly had newer chase cards pressed in the mix, left out fan favorite Base Set cards like the Bulbasaur line, Squirtle line and Dragonair, and added in some secret rares that weren’t even remotely related to Base Set because of… reasons? It strikes me as very lazy, looking back.

This is something that I see PrimetimePokemon complain about every time he opens Evolutions packs as well. Putting aside the whole “Japan doesn’t have non-holo rares anymore” issue, 10 out of the 16 non-holo rares in the original Base Set were Trainer cards that weren’t included in Evolutions, and two of the remaining six Pokemon (Dragonair and Pidgeotto) were dropped as well. Upgrading former uncommons to non-holo rare status was probably the right choice considering how much rare Trainers were loathed by kids casually collecting back in the day (and how broken most of them would be today in terms of playability).

Base Set trainers are just awfully broken in Standard TCG. They either had to adjust them (destroying the cards nostalgia) or remove them. Removing them I think was the better option. For example, Bill and Lass have no comparison in Standard. Adding them to Evolutions would’ve meant they needed to print cards with equal effects in the future sets, and with the latest rotation they kinda killed of many constant draw tactics. In the end we should not forget that the cards are meant to played in the first place.

What about an Ash FA? How cool would that have been? :open_mouth: :heart_eyes:


To be honest, I wasn’t a big fan of this set - I loved the idea, but was surprised at how little it actually appealed to me. As far as 20th anniversary sets go, I much prefer Generations.

Part of the issue was the odd mixture of classic cards with modern-looking EXs that didn’t feel consistent, part of it was just unfortunate timing, as I was already in full Sun & Moon hype mode - but I think the main problem was that they didn’t fully commit to the classic layout, and the cards just end up looking… off. This set works better in Japanese, where the layout is nearly identical to the Japanese base set, but I think the English set needed to use the original Wizards layout if they really wanted the full nostalgia impact. You can tell they tried in certain areas - I love that they brought back the starry holofoil for the English set, that was a nice touch.

Glad to hear it brought a lot of people back into the hobby though, sounds like this set was successful at what it set out to do.

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Hey, what scanner do you use? I am thinking about purchasing one to help archive my collection in digital format.