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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's 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

Battle Academy 2022

The Battle Academy 2022 release consists of 3 deck kits: Cinderace, Pikachu and Eevee. See Battle Academy 2020.

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 2020

The Battle Academy 2020 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.

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)) isn't 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's ambiguity or contradicting information about the rarity.

All TCG regions

Name changes

Sometimes, the official name of a card rarity might change. For example, with the release of the International Sword & Shield series, the position of the rare part within card rarity names changed from last to first. Name changes are a problem because it means that there can be multiple names for the same card rarity. In order to maintain a single name, the following conventions must be followed, even if they go against the official standard:

  • If the name of a card rarity has changed along with its tier, then a new card rarity must be introduced.
  • If the name of a card rarity has changed without a change to its tier, then the name that was used first must continue to be used.
  • If the card rarity has an official abbreviation, the name must follow the order of the letters of the abbreviation. For example, Character Rare (CHR) from the Japan TCG region.

International TCG region

Card(s) affected Candidate rarities Official rarities Chosen rarity Notes
Celebrations 001/025-004/025, 010/025, 012/025-014/025, 017/025, 019/025, 020/025, 022/025 Rare, Rare Holo Rare Rare All Celebrations cards are holographic. Using Rare Holo would be confusing because this rarity is already used for some cards.
Ancient Origins 96/98-98/98 Rare Secret, Rare Ultra Rare Secret Rare Secret These cards are separated from the regular Rare Ultra cards and they don't appear on the official checklist.
Legendary Treasures RC11/RC25 Rare, Rare Holo GX Rare Rare Holo EX
HeartGold & SoulSilver 123/123 Rare, Rare Holo Rare Rare Holo This card is holographic.
Arceus AR1-AR9 Rare, Rare Holo Rare Rare Holo These cards are holographic.
Rising Rivals RT1-RT6 Rare, Rare Holo Rare Rare Holo These cards are holographic.
Supreme Victors/Platinum/Stormfront SH1-SH9 Rare, Rare Holo Rare Rare Holo These cards are holographic.
EX Unseen Forces A/28-!/28 Rare, Rare Holo Rare Rare Holo These cards are holographic.
Skyridge 145/144-150/144 Rare Holo, Rare Secret Rare Holo Rare Secret
Aquapolis 148/147-150/147 Rare Holo, Rare Secret Rare Holo Rare Secret
Neo Series Shining Pokémon Rare Holo, Rare Secret, Rare Shining Rare Holo Rare Secret
Team Rocket 83/82 Rare Holo, Rare Secret Rare Holo 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.