Set of the Fortnight #18 - EX Sandstorm

EX Sandstorm
Favorite cards in the setWorst cards in the setHow you feel about this set in general
The second set of the EX era, released on September 17th, 2003 in English (and April 18th, 2003 in Japanese). This set was relatively small in Japanese, but in English it was the first expansion since Team Rocket to feature English-exclusive cards at release. Most of these artworks ended up in the Japanese Team Magma vs Team Aqua set.
This set also contained Pokémon with very high HP. The highest before this set was 120 (i.e. Chansey of the Base Set). This set however blew it out of the park with Wailord’s 200 HP.



Sorry I had to get that out of the way. :triumph:

I remember seeing the Aggron EX card at a friends neighbors house, and thinking the new pokemon are crazy powerful. Then of course you have disel Wailord, the first pokemon swinging in at 200hp:


Quite a nostalgic set for me personally. I remember opening several packs of this set as a child. This set was released around the same time I expanded my gemstone and mineral collection with fossils, so this set was very suitable for that time, and I liked it a lot as a kid.
All the artworks are pretty solid, but here are some of my favorites:

(Snakes are my favorite animals, and Seviper is my favorite Pokémon, so I obviously like these two. :blush: )

But my favorite is probably Lotad in the dried up lake (I always thought Lotad just had a yellow chin and he’s displaying a sad face here :grin: It wasn’t until I saw it in the anime that I discovered it had a beak, lol…):



I’m not a fan of silver border cards, which is why I don’t collect sets from this era. Some of the non holos are gorgeous though.

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This is actually currently my favorite non wotc set and also just one of my favorite sets in general. These were some of my favorite cards to collect when I was younger and to this day this set has some of my favorite artwork :grin: . Just like the team rocket set I really like the consistent atmosphere for all the cards, which makes them stand out to me. All the holo’s in this set are fantastic, but I like these the most


This Raichu ex is hands down one of my favorite cards in the entire Pokemon TCG. It was the staple of one of my competitive decks when I played back in the early days, and the artwork is absolutely stunning!

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This Wailord is a close second for me next to the Raichu ex. :heart_eyes:

Ahh I really like this set a lot! There are lots of great art and nice ex cards in it. I’ve loved the Gardevoir ex card since I first saw it and it’s still one of my top favorite ex cards from this era. I have nostalgia for the Typhlosion ex too, I always wanted to trade one from my friend back in the day but she didn’t want to lol :grin: I’ve had a copy for years already though.

Also, back in the day I was wondering why this Espeon doesn’t have eyes. Stupid 11 years old me :grin: :grin:

Some of my favorites:


Beautiful art throughout the set, just a huge shame that Espeon, Umbreon, Vaporeon, Arcanine, and Steelix got the non-holo treatment. Japan did them right in their Magma vs. Aqua set, though.


Just about all of my favorites have been posted, but I also really like the Marill and Psyduck.


Really nice art. Love how the holo pattern looks on the borders of EXs for this era of cards.

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My beef with this set is not debuting Armaldo and Cradily as ex’s, when in the R/S games, the Sandstorm concept was introduced via the desert where their fossils were found. It would only make sense that the fossil pokemon should be the set’s chase cards but they’re not. They’re also the main mon’s on the japanese box art.


Sandstorm was the set where I got out of Pokemon when I was younger. From Gym Challenge to Ruby and Sapphire I lived and breathed Pokemon but at this point my life was becoming Yu-Gi-Oh! and Beyblade, so I never got to experience Sandstorm. From Sandstorm to Legend Maker I was out of the TCG scene.

While I really don’t have any personal favorite artworks or special memories of this particular set, I do like the cards you all have posted. Psyduck and Lotad are especially adorable standouts. Looks like some of the beautiful Gen 2 artwork carried over into these earlier Gen 3 sets.

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I never really got too into the EX sets, it was more of a low point for me in general. I wasn’t partial to the “dots” on the left side of the cards body either. I did however, enjoy Team Aqua Vs. Magma and Team Rocket Returns!

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I’m with you on the card design. I just recently started looking into this era after getting an Arcanine from one of these sets and I thought it was ugly as sin. It is slowly growing on me, but it’s still one of my least favorite design choices.

I forgot to mention, the Kabutops ex from this set is my one and only ex card. Picked it up a couple weeks ago, thought it looked pretty cool.

Found the Arcanine I was talking about. Not a great first impression. You’ve got a Windows :laughing: background,
the circles by Arcanine’s name make it look off center, the energies and attacks are awkwardly aligned, and the off center lighter area under the illustration is weird.