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How to Select Pokemon Individual Trading Cards

You want to be able to play the Pokemon trading card game with your friends, but you need to build a collection first. Pokemon individual cards vary by type, often leaving buyers confused on where to start, so look for those that will help you build a powerful deck so that you can compete in (and win) battles against other trainers.

What Types of Trading Single Cards Are There?

There are three main types of Pokemon cards: character, energy, and trainer. All three card types are needed to successfully compete in the trading card game.

  • Character Cards: These Pokemon cards depict various characters and how evolved they are. The character on the card may be in its basic form, Stage One form, or in Stage Two form. Character cards are some of the most powerful in the game. These characters are also present in the online game, Pokemon Legends.
  • Energy Cards: This type of Pokemon card is necessary to power your Pokemon throughout the game. You can also find Special Energy cards that provide a different type of boost, depending on your character. Energy cards can be found within each booster pack.
  • Trainer Cards: Trainer Pokemon cards can be used for items, supporters, and stadiums during battle. Many contain special rules, which are indicated towards the bottom of the card.

How Do I Store My Collection?

To preserve the value of your collection, proper storage is imperative. You can store your collection in a sleeved folder or in sleeves within a cardboard box, though the latter is typically the preferred method.

  • Sleeved Folders: Sleeved folders protect your collection against damage and allow for optimal viewing of the cards. You should avoid storing your collection in extreme heat, as temperature changes within a sleeved folder can cause your collection to warp.
  • Individual Sleeves: Those collecting for the value that the single cards hold should consider storing their collection in individual sleeves. It is also important to note that the clarity and quality of sleeves vary between manufacturers.

How Do I Determine Card Value?

Card condition and rarity both heavily dictate value, so make sure to familiarize yourself with the aspects of determining each.

  • Card Condition: Those looking to turn a profit should consider having their collection graded. The condition of the collection largely determines the grade it receives and ultimately, its resale value. Cards with no visible defects on either side are considered mint or near mint, so make sure to avoid those that are scratched, whitened, torn, or stamped, as these imperfections reduce value.
  • Card Rarity: Pokemon single cards feature a tiny symbol on their bottom right-hand corner which indicates the cards rarity. A circle on your card indicates that it is common, whereas a diamond informs you that it is uncommon. Likewise, a star indicates that it is rare; hologram (or holo) cards fall into this category. These rare holos feature a shiny, foil layer over the artwork. A star "H" or three stars indicate ultra-rare cards and are thus the most valuable type. Promo cards are generally of little value and are not considered rare.