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All about Pokémon's Elite Trainer Boxes aka ETBs

This is our personal favourite format. J and I like to go through the player's guide and take a closer look at the cards included in the expansion. From there we split up the booster packs and take turns opening. At the end, we like to trade cards & organize our new cards. 

Overall we think this makes a great gift. Very presentable and includes lots of goodies.

So what's included?

  • Promo Card: Some ETBs contain a special promo card exclusive to that box. Normally it's a full art - special looking card.
  • 8-9 Booster Packs: Elite Trainer Boxes usually contain eight booster packs from that Pokémon TCG expansion. These booster packs consist of a random assortment of cards, including Pokémon, Trainer cards, Energy cards, and occasionally special or rare cards. Each pack guarantees at least one rare card, denoted by a black star symbol. In the new Scarlet & Violet expansion, players are ensured at least a holo rare card, which wasn't the case in the Sword & Shield era and earlier expansions. 
  • 65 Card Sleeves: These are decorative card sleeves featuring artwork from the expansion. Card sleeves help protect your cards from damage and keep them in pristine condition. These sleeves are well fitted to the card without too much excess.
  • 45 Energy Cards: Elite Trainer Boxes include a set of basic Energy cards to use when building decks. These Energy cards are essential for powering up Pokémon's attacks in the game. Although if you're collecting ETBs, you might end up with a surplus. Consider sharing some with friends - perhaps a DIY memory game to match up the cards. Great to share with younger kids - especially during Valentines, Christmas or birthdays.
  • Player's Guide: The Player's Guide provides an overview of the expansion, including a card checklist, tips for building decks, and information about the featured Pokémon. Kids love a visual of what's included. They can mark off the cards they have or even circle the ones they want. 
  • Collector's Box: Elite Trainer Boxes come with a sturdy collector's box to store your cards and other Pokémon TCG accessories. If you remove the inner cardboard sorter, the box becomes a neat size to store your cards.
  • Pokémon TCG Rulebook (varies): A rulebook is sometimes included to help players learn the basic rules of the Pokémon TCG and understand how to play the game.
  • Dice and Condition Markers: Elite Trainer Boxes contain special dice and acrylic condition markers used to keep track of damage, status conditions, and other game effects during battles.
  • Dividers: Dividers to help organize and separate cards within the collector's box. These dividers are handy for keeping different sets or types of cards organized and easily accessible. They add to the overall utility and convenience of the Elite Trainer Box, ensuring that players can efficiently manage their growing collection of Pokémon cards.
  • Code Card for the Pokémon TCG Online: Each Elite Trainer Box includes a code card that can be redeemed online for digital booster packs or other in-game items in the Pokémon TCG Online app.

 Pokemon Promo CardCard sleeves with matching artwork

Pokémon Players GuideDicePokémon energy cardsPokémon ETB box & card dividers

Some frequently asked questions: 

How many hits can I expect from an ETB? No one can really promise or say for sure as the rare cards are distributed at random. But on average 4-5 hits would be considered pretty lucky. But we suspect the experience would be more standardized than buying random booster packs - but this isn't a sure thing. Another thing to note is some expansions can have higher or significantly lower hit rates. Note that sets released before Scarlet & Violet only guarantee at least 1 reverse foil card per booster pack.

I already have one ETB from this collection, should I buy the same one again? Depends if you're just collecting different boxes or genuinely enjoying a particular expansion. Personally I'm on a quest to complete the Scarlet & Violet: 151 set - and J is enjoying the Padlea Evolved set. Most expansions have quite a large assortment of rare cards, so sometimes you end up opening quite a few packs until you catch the card you're looking for (aka your chase card). 

Why are some ETBs priced differently? Normally the value of each expansion change as demand change. Older collections that are not longer printed are usually more sought after and demand higher prices. Collections that contain very expensive rare cards can also spike up their prices. 

What is the difference between and the Pokémon Center version? The Pokémon center version sometimes feature different artwork on the outer box or sleeves. They usually have an additional booster pack or two and if the set comes with a promo card, you'll receive an additional one with the Pokémon center logo on the card - which tend to be more valuable.

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