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Card database inconsistencies

This document is an addition to the card database conventions.

Sub-expansion vs original expansion

Some expansions contain a subset of reprinted cards from several other expansions. Sometimes these cards feature their original expansion symbol, but have a card number unique to the expansion itself. In all cases these cards will be considered a sub-expansion because:

  1. The cards were released together with the expansion itself, not as part of the separate original expansions.
  2. Because the cards were released together with the expansion itself, having them spread out over the original expansions makes searching for them difficult.

A list of all expansions (and the name of their sub-expansion) can be found below.

international TCG region

  • Shining Fates (Shiny Vault)
  • Hidden Fates (Shiny Vault)

Card variants vs separate expansion

For some releases there is ambiguity whether the cards should be listed as card variants or as separate expansions. A list of all ambiguous releases and the reason for listing them as such can be found below.

As card variants


As a separate expansion

international TCG region

Celebrations Classic Collection

Cards from the Celebrations Classic Collection feature both their original expansion symbol and card number. This means that these cards should be considered variants, but for the same reasons described in the Sub-expansion vs original expansion section, these cards are considered a subset of the Celebrations expansion instead.

An additional reason for not having these cards as variants, is that it would not make sense with regards to master set completion.

Battle Academy

The Battle Academy release consists of 3 deck kits: Charizard, Pikachu and Mewtwo. The Charizard and Pikachu deck kits are structured identical to SM Trainer Kit (Alolan Ninetales)/(Alolan Sandslash). For that reason we list them as separate expansions. The Mewtwo deck kit is different from the other deck kits in the sense that it features a Mewto symbol without a sequence number. Technically, they could be considered card variants, but for consistency with the other 2 deck kits, we consider it a separate expansion as well.

Battle Academy 2022

The Battle Academy 2022 release consists of 3 deck kits: Cinderace, Pikachu and Eevee. It's the 2022 equivalent of Battle Academy.

SM Trainer Kit (Alolan Ninetales)/(Alolan Sandslash)

These trainer kits contain reprinted cards (as usual), but most of the cards feature both their original expansion symbol and card number and a unique sequence number. Listing them as card variants would be confusing because of the following reasons:

  1. All previous trainer kits are listed as expansions and have their own unique card numbers. Using card variants would break this pattern.
  2. Having multiple card variants for near identical cards because they only change in sequence number (like the energy cards, e.g., SM Trainer Kit (Alolan Nintetales) (32)) is not a very elegant solution.

Card variants

Combined LEGEND and V-UNION cards

Sometimes a card is released as a combination of multiple cards, usually as a Jumbo Size variant. Because it doesn't make sense to add this combined card as a variant of all its individual cards, the variant must only be added to the first card (the one with the lowest card number).

Card rarities

For some cards, there is ambiguity or contradicting information about the rarity.

All TCG regions

Rare Holo vs Holo Rare (among others)

With the release of the international Sword & Shield series, the position of the rare part within card rarity names changed. In general, the rare part of the name is no longer put first. This is a problem because this means that there can be multiple names for the same card rarity. Additionally, having differently structured names for old and new card rarities is quite inconsistent and confusing, especially when sorting the names alphabetically.

For these reasons, the rare part of the card rarity name must be put first, even if it goes against the official standard, unless the card rarity has an official abbreviation, e.g., Character Rare (CHR) from the Japan TCG region.

international TCG region

Card(s) affected Candidate rarities Chosen rarity Notes
Ancient Origins 96/98-98/98 Rare Secret, Rare Ultra Rare Secret
Legendary Treasures RC11/RC25 Rare, Rare Holo GX Rare Holo GX
HeartGold & SoulSilver 123/123 Rare, Rare Holo Rare Holo
Arceus AR1-AR9 Rare, Rare Holo Rare Holo
Rising Rivals RT1-RT6 Rare, Rare Holo Rare Holo
Supreme Victors/Platinum/Stormfront SH1-SH9 Rare, Rare Holo Rare Holo
EX Unseen Forces A/28-!/28 Rare, Rare Holo Rare Holo
Neo Series Shining Pokémon Rare Secret, Rare Shining Rare Secret

Rare Rainbow vs Rare Secret

Some cards, such as Blaziken VMAX (Chilling Reign 201/198) appear to be a Rare Secret on first sight, because they lack the art style typical for Rainbow cards. However, upon closer examination, the Weakness/Resistance/Retreat bar at the bottom of the card features a rainbow-like pattern as found on Rainbow cards. Additionally, the official Pokémon checklists list these kind of cards as Rare Rainbow. Therefore, the correct rarity of these cards is Rare Rainbow and not Rare Secret.

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