The Greatest Pokemon TCG Set of All Time

Everyone has their own opinions on what the best set ever is. Maybe it contains some of your favorite cards, has all-around epic artwork, or introduced some fantastic new designs. What set do you think should be considered the greatest set of all time? And, by extension, what are the top 5 greatest sets ever?

If you’re looking to nominate a set, it shouldn’t be because of a single card. Also, all cards in the set should be considered. For example, one could say that the best set of all time is Next Destinies because Mewtwo EX Full Art is their favorite card. Not gonna lie, its pretty epic. But, if you bought a box of NXD, the chance of scoring a FA Mewtwo is pretty slim. Chances are you’d get something like a Shaymin EX, Zekrom EX, and FA Kyurem EX. Not that impressive. Be careful with top-heavy sets like Flashfire too. You could get a ton of Charizards, but nobody wants any of the other EX cards in that set.

However, an argument would be more convincing if it encompasses all cards available. For example, someone could say that the best set ever is Roaring Skies, because there are many chances to pull Rayquaza cards with 6 total in the set, along with some fantastic non-holo cards. (AT Articuno, Electrode)

Tl;dr consider these: Pull rates, price/availability, artwork, percentage of “desirable” ultra rares, playability in the TCG, nostalgia, originality.

I’ll be updating this post with people’s suggestions for the best sets ever. You can also move a set up or down, add a new set, or take one out altogether. All edits will actually be made. So, if I disagree with your reasoning, I can’t just ignore it. But please be courteous and have actual reasoning.

Some nominations from me:

PCG9 Furthest Ends of Offense and Defense/EX Dragon Frontiers: Almost all of the cards in this set have fantastic artwork that really fits with the Delta Species theme. On the topic of Delta Species, nearly all of the cards in the set feature this mechanic, including every EX card. Some of my favorite cards in this set include Latios ex and Salamence ex. Not to mention the two fantastic gold star cards of Charizard and Mew.

XY7 Bandit Ring/Ancient Origins: This set is looking amazing after today’s leaks. Many new playable cards, including Hoopa-EX and Lugia-EX, mean that there shouldn’t be too many trash EX cards. Really looking forward to M Tyranitar-EX and its full art. Also, being a new set, it is readily available and not too expensive. A fantastic mix of new and old Pokemon means everyone should find something they like.

EX Emerald: What I consider to be the best artwork collection in any TCG set. Even the common cards are beautiful. Also, with 11 ex cards, you never really know what you’re going to get.


  1. (31 pts) Neo Destiny
  2. (13 pts) Base Set
  3. (12 pts) Skyridge
  4. (7 pts) EX Dragon Frontiers / EX Team Rocket Returns / EX Deoxys / Team Rocket / Jungle & Jungle No Symbol
  5. (6 pts) Gym Challenge / Neo Genesis
  6. (5 pts) EX Unseen Forces / VS Series
  7. (4 pts) Bandit Ring / Dragons Exalted / EX Holon Phantoms
  8. (3 pts) EX Emerald / Roaring Skies / Gym Heroes / Aquapolis
  9. (2 pts) EX Dragon / Japanese Vending
  10. (1 pt) Japanese Web

AS OF POST 10 - acebren

Please nominate what you believe to be the best set of all time, or any changes to the current standings! Every 1st place vote gets 5 points, 2nd gets 4, 3rd gets 3, etc.

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  1. Ex Deoxys
  2. Dragons Exalted
  3. Roaring Skies
  4. Ex Dragon
  5. Skyridge/Aquapolis


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My favorites are similar to those of Darkrai. Here’s my top 5.

  1. Neo Destiny
  2. VS Series
  3. Skyridge
  4. Ex Team Rocket Returns
  5. Ex Unseen Forces

My 6th favorite would be Majestic Dawn because I feel like the artwork in that set is phenomenal, especially with all the eeveelutions, but it doesn’t fit in my top 5 :confused:

  1. EX TRR
    2: EX Holon
    3: Neo Destiny
    4: Vending Series
    5: Web Series
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Be sure to offer some explanation as to your opinions!

  1. Neo Genesis
  2. Gym Challenge
  3. Gym Heroes
  4. EX Deoxys
  5. Skyridge

3 first have been my favourites for ages, most interesting artwork no matter was the card holo,rare,uncommon,common or trainer. :blush:

EX Deoxys was great set with stunning looking gold stars in it. Skyridge takes final spot because last wotc set + crystal cards.

Good topic young man. This’ll be fun:)
I can easily eliminate all sets from the Pokemon Company. They must have been taking acid or teleporting back to the 60’s to create such hallucinatory, confusing artwork. Some of them take a lot of concentration just to find the Pokemon. Kinda like Where’s Waldo? If I had to include one of these I’d put Aquapolis 6th.

So…here’s my 5 with a little explanation…

  1. Jungle No Symbol… This was a tough one cause of #2s well thought out style and this ones extreme rarity in gem mint condition. I went with this one because only one person in the world has a set of these in PSA 10. Plus, I had the honor of building it for him even though it took years to finish.

  2. Neo Destiny… Shinings Shinings Shinings x 6. Boy was this revolutionary. A real departure.

  3. Base series… Had this set not been so incredible for collectors and players alike this game would have fizzled out after Fossil. These laid the ground work for all that was to come. No set has had as much time and thought put into it by the creators. Only one set fits the definition of historic…this one.

  4. Jungle Series… It’s not the No Symbol but imo it deserves a high ranking. Any set that would have followed base may have been in trouble. But Jungle held up very well on its own and still today is one of the top 3 collected sets. It had to be good cause it brought so many new people into the game. Back then, it was nearly impossible to find base packs anywhere but Jungle, fortunately could be had so new players and collectors had something to open. And we all loved them.

  5. VS Series… Just always loved these. Some of you may have noticed I rarely sell these even though I have many sets and singles. This is like my hoarders delight. I don’t like to give any up;)

I’m going to struggle to give 5 here, so hopefully I’m not disqualified for that, but there are a few that immediately come to mind!

  1. Neo Destiny - Seems to be the hot favourite and I’m no exception. I think the artwork is just fantastic and my favourite overall from all sets, and that’s before you even consider the Shinings. I sold my complete 1st ed Neo Destiny set recently and I’ve been regretting it ever since.

  2. Base Set - The set that drew me into the game. Everyone sought that Charizard and even today many still do. Something about the simplicity of the artworks in this set is incredible.

  3. Original Team Rocket - This one is going to be pretty high on my collecting priority lists in the coming months I think. Never owned many of these cards but I love how this set made a lot of fun cartoon characters a little bit more serious with the “evil” side.

4/5) Aquapolis/Skyridge - Award these two however you like. They rank the same for me because I view them almost interchangeably. Love the artworks and of course the Crystal cards.

There you go. I made it to 5 after all! As you can see, I strongly dislike WotC sets…

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1: Neo Destiny - It’s the favourite for a reason
2: Team Rocket - I am disgusted this hasn’t had more love, even with only a few responses
3: Skyridge - Crystals, pinnacle of the 3 e-Reader sets
4: Gym Challenge
5: Jungle

I feel bad for not having some newer sets, because there are some amazing sets that have come out recently. But the best is the best.


1: Base Set; It’s gotta be number one, the set that started it all…
2: Neo Destiny; Shining pokemon are such a cool concept and was one of the first sets to introduce secret rares, and what a great selection of pokemon to be chosen!
3: Skyridge; Amazing art work, and CRYSTALS!
4: Aquapolis; Amazing art work, and CRYSTALS!
5: Neo Genesis; First set to include generation 2 pokemon, really nice cards, artwork, and just all round nostalgia.

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1 : gym
2: i said gym
3: seriously gym
4: gym gym gym
5: gues what? Gym!

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  1. Base Set
  2. Team Rocket
  3. Neo Destiny
  4. Neo Revelation
  5. Gym Heroes
  1. Japanese VS
  2. Japanese Vending
  3. Expedition
  4. Skyridge
  5. Neo Destiny
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I have to admit my choices aren’t the fairest as I stopped collecting at the time of Neo Revelation and having just got into it my knowledge of the rest is limited, for example I reckon the e-series sets could have made it onto my list if I knew more about them - based on the artworks I have seen.

  1. Base (Shadowless if that counts as different) - has to be the one that kicked things off. Most of my friends and I never liked anything remotely similar to Pokemon until the cards came around and hooked us all. The artworks were great, the rare holo’s were great, the packs were great and the trading was great. The Charizard was and still is the most iconic card in the history of Pokemon.

  2. Neo Genesis - There was SO much potential for the first set to include ‘new’ Pokemon to go incredibly wrong and tarnish the brand and make everyone lose interest, just so much scope for poor new Pokemon, poor new style artworks, poor card design, poor new gimmicks, yet Neo Genesis was perfect and easily lived up to the hype and excitement of these new Pokemon being seen for the first time on cards. The non-holo’s specifically had very crisp and detailed artworks that were a big improvement on all previous sets IMO, and with the great new starters, and great additions such as Lugia, Kingdra & Steelix I think they couldn’t have done a better job with Neo Genesis (even though in hindsight the holo’s really aren’t the best IMO, but at the time it was a huge success).

I love Neo Revelation and Neo Destiny but I think putting them 3rd and 4th would just be because I don’t know the rest of the sets that well (even if I probably would still choose them if I did). I just wanted to pay tribute to Base & Neo Genesis, really I would like to put the whole Neo series at #2 because they did such a good job with them.

  1. EX TRR
  2. Base set
  3. Gym heroes
  4. Gym challenge
  5. Neo destiny

I’m not gonna lie this is heavily biased on the artwork side of thing in my opinion.
EX TRR I think its the best looking set made to date, the ex cards in it look especially good, Snorlax or moltres being my favourite but they are all great.
Base set had to be in my top 5, just looking at the cards brings that nostalgic feeling and it’s the set which started it all both for the tcg in general and my hobby. The artwork again in this is amazing, I wish the boxes were more affordable so I could open one up but I wouldn’t ever do that now considering how much they cost.
Neo destiny I had to put a gen 2 set in here as alot of the pokemon I like the most came with this generation. Obviously because of the shinings neo destiny had to be that set! Wish I could have pulled one back in the day. I didn’t even know about them as a kid because none of my friends at my school ever had one either as far as I can remember either!
Gym challenge/heroes these are both kind of tied, I really like the card layout with the original gym leaders on each card. The legendary bird artworks in these sets are some of my favourite of all time too. Blaine’s Moltres possibly being my favourite card in the tcg. No idea why as it’s not spectacular by any stretch but I think it looks awesome. Heroes took 4th over challenge just because I think the holos in heroes are way nicer.

I know those explanations aren’t in order but just thinking about the gym sets and the cards in them moved them above neo destiny and im on my phone so I can’t move the paragraphs easy :stuck_out_tongue:

This is tough… T.T

  1. Ex Team Rocket Returns - Artwork / nostalgia gen 1-2 - MY ERA!
  2. Japanese Gift box Quick Starter deck (I guess vending series is the same as this?) - Cool childish artworks
  3. Base Set - Original Demigod
  4. Neo Destiny
  5. VS series Japan
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  1. Skyridge
    I’m a huge E-series fan, and I do feel this set was where it peaked.
  2. Neo Revelation
    Beautiful art on every card from common to holo rare. First ultra rares that really were amazing.
  3. ex Legend Maker
    Felt like an ex series version of fossil and jungle combined. The gold stars are incredibly underrated too, the Regis are gorgeous
  4. HGSS base
    That Japanese art style was so incredibly refreshing to me, idk why.
  5. ex Unseen Forces
    As a huge johto fan, this had to make the list.
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  1. Base
  2. Neo 4 destiny
  3. Ruby Saphire - first time EX cards came out, good odds, and this set is underrated
  4. Unseen Forces
  5. Roaring Skies
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  1. Skyridge
  2. Base
  3. Jungle
  4. Aquapolis
  5. Fossil

It was so difficult to narrow this list down. Too many greats. Here are mine:

  1. Neo Destiny
    This set was the only set that I can remember thinking to my self “this is the best looking set hands down”. This set hosts some of the most beautiful artwork of the TCG, in my opinion. Dark Crobat, Light Archanine, Shining Noctowl. Such an epic set.

  2. Base Set
    Every card has such character and individual quality it is hard not to find one that you like.

  3. Skyridge (Crystal Celebi, & others)

  4. Japanese VS. set

  5. Gym Challenge

(honorable mentions: Jungle, Neo Revelation, Topsun gum pack set, Fossil, Gym Heroes, Aquapolis, Neo Discovery, FireRed & LeafGreen, Ex Dragon Frontiers, Delta Species)