The Top 10 Most Popular Pokemon Trading Card Game Expansions

In 1996, Nintendo expanded their Pokémon brand by presenting the Pokémon trading card game. Helped by the hype generated by the video-game and the anime, the card version was a success. A TCG classic for years now, some of those original sets are now a collectors item; the first ones, if found in pristine condition, are priced at around 100 thousand dollars.

With this list you can take a look at the top 10 most popular Pokémon cards expansions released since their début in 1999 and the reasons for their success, ending with the most sought-after set in the #1 place.

10- Black & White: Legendary treasures. Introduced in November 2013 with 140 cards, this set offered great Pokémon cards, and also introduced cool Pokémon to the game. Powerful examples are Chandelure-Ex, Excadrill-EX and Meloetta-Ex. The pack also offered cards with alternate artwork, which is believed by fans to be the best alternate artwork in the game’s history.

9- Team rocket. Introduced in April 2000 with 83 cards, this bad guy’s box did not only include awesome holograms and the introduction of the beloved dark cards for the first time, it was also the first release of another fan favourite: the secret cards. This cards had an altered list number, which exceeded that of the total number of the set, hiding them and keeping them a secret for most unless you got one of this cards and discovered the whole thing and became part of the secret... just like the exploits of this evil gang. A crazy innovation embraced by fans.

8- Black & white: Dark explorers. Introduced in May 2012 with 108 cards, this set introduced lots of great cards. Great trainers and good art... but seriously, lots of cool cards. It is said that the real number of cards exceeds by far the official sum given by the publisher. For a real more approximate number, you have to take into consideration all the extras cards this expansion brought: between holofoils, stamps, reverse holofoils, secret cards and more non-standard cards, the number goes up to 236! The power of this smart and fun gimmick is visible as this set quickly became a favourite.

7- Expedition base set. Introduced in September 2002 with 165 cards, the game originally called "New dimension" gained its popularity thanks to Nintendo’s e-Reader. By using the e-Reader to scan certain cards, players could get the right to do several things inside their portable consoles. A fun little innovation, you could do things like: gaining access to a page of the pokédex about the card´s Pokémon, playing mini-games, unlocking various songs and activating special attacks for that specific Pokémon. The special attacks got forbidden in formal player vs. player combats and the rules of certain tournaments prohibited any e-readers in sight. The game also has excellent quality in its artwork style and Pokémon selection. A fun set and one more innovation to add to the history of this trading card game.

6- Diamond & Pearl: Stormfront. Introduced in November 2008 with 106 cards, this one is another set full of great cards, reprints, shiny cards and great level Ex cards with awesome holographic art. The combinations achieved are outstanding, three great decks can be made out of it: Gyarados, Gengar, and Machamp. It also served as a great pick in trainer cards, having a big number of them.

5- Ex Dragon frontiers. Introduced in November 2006 with 101 cards, all Ex sets were special, but this one was all full-on raw power. With the complete combination of great Pokémon and the Delta effect that almost all the cards in the set have, this one just becomes the one to choose when looking for powerful cards, this way, earning its place as a fan favourite.

4- Neo Destiny. Introduced in February 2002, the destiny in the title stands for the two paths, two options in the life of every Pokémon this set had in the basis of its concept, light and dark. While having more shiny cards, this had the strange but popular combinations of light Pokémon, and dark Pokémon. The mixed strategies achieved in this expansion were something never seen before, and sadly, never to be seen again.

3- Ex fire red & leaf green. Introduced in August 2004 with 116 cards, this wave brought the classics back, but recharged. Examples being, Venasaur-Ex, Blastoise-Ex, Charizard Ex and secret rare cards like Moistres-Ex, Zapdos-Ex and Articumo-Ex with the list just getting bigger. Accompanied by beautiful art this set is still remembered as the greatest revamp.

2- Neo revelation. Introduced in September 2001 with 66 cards, this is one of the heavy weights, in its pack it included what is considered the best legendary as a holo card, it would finally release the 250 Pokémon in booster packs, and has what is considered to be the best artwork in the game’s history... all that got ignored when it got announced... it was the introduction of shiny Pokémon into the card game, the rarest version of regular Pokémon in the video game, now in print. In Japan, where it was first released, the odds of ever finding one of these rare cards in a booster pack was that of 1 in 300. The hype got so out of control that American collectors paid 250 dollars to own any of the shiny cards in that first version.

1- Base set. The one that started it all, introduced in american markets January 1999, thanks to the rising popularity of Nintendo’s video game and the new anime that was making everyone nuts. The first edition in print sold out rather fast, and thanks to the rejection of many stores to sell the game and making a widespread release difficult, this first set became the most rare and searched by fans of the game, this box hitting the 100 thousand dollar milestone. All about this set is rare and popular, an example is in every one of those first edition cards that were printed with thinner stats and with no shadows in the illustration window, the now known as shadowless cards. This was later reprinted, and was met with great success all over the world, still being one of the top games in the trading card business.

And there you have them, the most remembered sets in the hearts of the fans of this epic card game about one of the greatest modern mythologies still being told.

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