The English Pokémon card rarity guide

Was searching for something else and forgot about this from this Reddit post: Reddit - Dive into anything

Are Arcanine and Gyarados potentially printed on a separate sheet?

I don’t think they’ve had any noticeable pull rate difference but the only way you’d get an error like the picture would be if they were on the same sheet.

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The regular Pokémon-ex have a different texture, the full arts too as far as I know. So they should be printed on a different sheet.

Next Destinies

This set marks a milestone in the evolution of the Pokémon TCG, since it introduces the “standard” set composition of having some “regular” ultra rares (in this case, Pokémon-EX), some full arts of the same Pokémon (though in later sets occasionally some cards were availabe only as a “regular” ultra rare or as a full art, and beginning with Boundaries Crossed full art Trainers were added as a standard feature), and some secret rares. The box ratios for the next three sets are fairly simple. I looked at a relatively large sample on Youtube, and these are the results:

Basically, a box usually contains two regular Pokémon-EX and one full art, and the secret rares are assumed to be one in three boxes. Due to holofoil pattern and texturing - the full arts in this set are the first textured cards - four separate sheets must have been used for holos, Pokémon-EX, full arts and secret rares.

As to the full arts, I am still assuming they were printed on 10x10 sheets. For the Pokémon-EX, I am assuming the same. Here is an image of a miscut Pokémon-EX from the Black & White Series, the red lines showing where the cards should have been cut:

By contrast, I see no reason why the secret rares with their standard yellow borders shouldn’t have been printed on an 11x11 sheet. Note that the secret rares for these sets differ from those in Boundaries Crossed and later Black & White Series sets, the latter being fully textured.

The rarity table for Next Destinies looks as follows:

The secret rares are the rarest cards in the TCG up to this point, with a pull rate even lower than the Gold Stars from the Ex Series. The raw data for the holos, rares, Pokémon-EX, full arts and secret rares looks as follows (dashed lines indicating where the transition from H13 to H12, etc., would occur):



Despite the large sample, I can’t say anything definitive about individual card rarities, though my guess is Reshiram and Zekrom are among the R5 rares.

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Dark Explorers

As mentioned in my last post, Dark Explorers has the same box ratios as Next Destinies. The secret rares have higher pull rates as there are only 3 of them in the set as opposed to 4. The rarity table looks as follows:

And here is the raw data for the holos, rares, Pokémon-EX, full arts and secret rares (dashed lines indicating where the transition from H14 to H13, etc., would occur):



Nothing definitive can be said about individual card rarities.

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Dragons Exalted

Again, the box ratios seem to be the same as those for the previous two sets. Here are the rarity table, as well as the raw data for the holos, rares, Pokémon-EX, full arts and secret rares (dashed line indicating where the transition from H10 to H9, etc., would occur):



Due to the quite large sample (43 boxes) I feel confident enough from the raw data to assume that Probopass is likely the sole R6 rare. As to the rest of the raw data, I wouldn’t draw any conclusions. That the regular print of Registeel EX appeared somewhat less often than the other five Pokémon-EX I would assume to be coincidence. Since the set has four secret rares, they have the same low pull rates as those in Next Destinies.

Dragon Vault

Before we get to the rather complex analysis of the rarities in the later Black & White Series sets, it’s time to look at the first mini-set ever released (not counting the POP Series): Dragon Vault. It contains 21 holographic cards (of which 1 secret rare, Kyurem). They were all printed on the same sheet. The simplest guess would be that each of the 20 regular cards appeared on the sheet six times and Kyurem once, but a quick look at some raw pull data observed on Youtube showed that some of the more desirable cards like Rayquaza and Haxorus seem to appear less often than the two Dratini and the two Axew, for example. For this reason, I reconstructed the sheet. Five cards appear seven times on the sheet, ten six times, five five times (Latias, Latios, Rayquaza, Haxorus and Druddigon being the “rares”) and Kyurem once. This leads to the following rarity table (the sequence length being one pack since there is only one sheet):

The sheet sequence is shown below. There are some repeated sequences of three cards, but I was able to unambiguously reconstruct the sheet:

† Fraxure (Grit), Dratini (Wrap), Bagon, Dragonair (Tail Whap), Fraxure (Scratch), Shelgon, Axew (Signs of Evolution), Exp. Share, Dratini (Hypnotic Gaze), Dragonite, Fraxure (Grit), Druddigon, Super Rod, First Ticket, Dragonair (Healing Melody), Haxorus, Shelgon, Dratini (Wrap), Exp. Share, Salamence, Dragonair (Tail Whap), Latias, Bagon, Dragonite, Dratini (Hypnotic Gaze), Axew (Lunge), Fraxure (Scratch), Druddigon, Latias, Super Rod, Rayquaza, Axew (Signs of Evolution), Fraxure (Grit), Salamence, Dratini (Wrap), First Ticket, Super Rod, Bagon, Dragonair (Healing Melody), Axew (Lunge), Exp. Share, Dratini (Hypnotic Gaze), Rayquaza, Haxorus, Latios, Axew (Lunge), Druddigon, Dragonair (Tail Whap), Fraxure (Scratch), Shelgon, Salamence, Dratini (Wrap), Latias, Bagon, Axew (Signs of Evolution), Fraxure (Grit), Dragonite, Latias, First Ticket, Dratini (Hypnotic Gaze), Shelgon, Axew (Lunge), Rayquaza, Latios, Dragonair (Healing Melody), Fraxure (Grit), Haxorus, Salamence, Dratini (Wrap), Super Rod, Axew (Signs of Evolution), Bagon, Dragonair (Tail Whap), Exp. Share, Latios, Rayquaza, Dratini (Hypnotic Gaze), Axew (Lunge), Dragonair (Healing Melody), Latios, First Ticket, Fraxure (Scratch), Shelgon, Axew (Signs of Evolution), Dragonite, Dratini (Wrap), Druddigon, Haxorus, Fraxure (Grit), Exp. Share, Salamence, Dragonair (Tail Whap), Axew (Lunge), Dratini (Hypnotic Gaze), Latias, Dragonair (Healing Melody), Super Rod, Kyurem, First Ticket, Dragonite, Druddigon, Axew (Signs of Evolution), Dratini (Wrap), Fraxure (Scratch), Bagon, Shelgon, Dragonair (Healing Melody), Rayquaza, Salamence, Latios, Dratini (Hypnotic Gaze), Super Rod, Haxorus, Axew (Lunge), Fraxure (Scratch), Dragonair (Tail Whap), First Ticket, Exp. Share, Bagon, Dragonite, Axew (Signs of Evolution) †

(As a reminder, the dagger marks signify that it is not known where the sheet begins and ends.)


edit: nvm found the post

let me try my hand at it


tried it for a bit for 151 common and uncommon cards - was just wondering, should there be 121 different variations? Meaning that, each card has a chance of being the first in the sequence when opening the pack.

It kind of seems like it, but that made me curious as to why/how that is possible?

Not quite sure if I get the question. The set has 66 commons and 62 uncommons, at least according to Pokecardex. That would mean - provided we still have 11x11 sheets:
-55 C2 cards (printed twice on sheet)
-11 C1 cards (printed once on sheet)
-59 U2 cards
-3 U1 cards

So in theory, if you see for example a Caterpie anywhere in the pack, there should be at most two options for the next card. Unless the cards got flipped when inserted, or different print runs insert the cards in opposite directions. So yes, 121 options in theory.

It should be possible to reconstruct. Good luck!