Best Pokemon Cards To Buy
Looking for the strongest, rarest, and coolest looking Pokemon cards ever
In this guide, we've outlined the 12 best Pokemon cards to buy right now, no matter how much you're willing to spend.
We've chosen cards for this list based on how cool they are, as well as their popularity, and how they might appreciate in value.
Note: this is a subjective list! There are plenty of other awesome Pokemon cards not included here - these cards are just our personal favourites from our collections.
12. Espeon GX
In the Sun & Moon sets, Pokemon introduced a new card rarity, known as “hyper rare”.
These hyper rare cards were the first time that Pokemon printed a rainbow holographic card. Combined with the full art design, these cards look amazing in-person.
Espeon GX is one of the best value hyper rare cards you can buy. Not only because it looks awesome, but because it has 200 HP and an attack capable of inflicting more damage if your opponent has lots of energy cards attached to their active Pokemon.
If you’re looking for the ultimate hyper rare card for your collection, this is probably a good buy. However, there are cheaper hyper rare cards available if you’re looking to start collecting them.
11. Tapu Lele GX
This is an incredibly iconic card for Pokemon players.
Back when the XY Roaring Skies set first came out, this full art card was one of the most popular Pokemon cards in existence.
Tapu Lele GX has a unique special ability, known as “Wonder Tag”. Using this ability, players can search their deck for a useful supporter card and begin using it immediately, which is very powerful to have.
This Tepu Lele isn’t a particularly powerful card in terms of its attack damage. After using the special ability, it was normally retreated in favour of a stronger Pokemon with a more powerful attack. This is possible due to its small retreat cost – but if Tapu Lele does get attacked, it has no weakness, making it very strong, especially given it also has 170 HP.
Although this card doesn’t cost anywhere near as much as it used to, it’s still more than most Pokemon GX cards. Many players and formers players are buying this card for its sentimental value.
10. Entei Gold Star
For a very brief period back in the early 2000s, Pokemon made a number of ultra rare “Gold Star” cards.
While there have been hundreds of different “EX” cards made over time, they only ever made 27 different gold star cards. The most expensive of which is a dark Charizard, which now sells for more than $1000.
If we were to buy one though, it would be this Entei. It has a really nice looking card art, but doesn’t cost as much as the Charizard. It’s still highly sought-after though, typically selling for more than $300.
Pokemon are very unlikely to ever return to making Gold Star cards, so for Pokemon card collectors, it’s a must-have to get at least one Gold Star card.
9. Darkrai & Cresselia LEGEND
For a brief period during the Heart Gold & Soul Silver expansion series, Pokemon produced what they called “Legend” cards.
These are the only Pokemon cards ever made with the card art spread out across two cards. To play them, you have to combine two cards. By placing them side by side, you can see the complete card art and the Pokemon’s full stats.
Of the Legend cards made, Darkrai & Cresselia is the coolest in our opinion. Darkrai is a famous legendary Pokemon, and the card art on this particular card just looks awesome.
This card also features some other unique characteristics, which haven’t been seen on any other card since it was printed. For example, the attack descriptions are at an angle, rather than parallel to the bottom of the card. This is why we think it will increase in value over time.
The only thing is though, if you buy this card, you’ll probably want to buy both halves. You can’t really buy just one!
8. Arceus Lv X
Arceus is one of the only Pokemon to get an entire set named after them. Called Platinum Arceus, the set was released in 2009.
The set was actually a fairly typical Pokemon card set – it wasn’t just a set full of Arceus cards.
However, what Pokemon did do with Platinum Arceus was include a heap of different Arceus cards, each with a really unique looking curved holographic effect over the attack description on the card.
Arceus Lv X was the pick of the bunch. With its glittering silver border, curved holographic effect and striking card art, this is another really unique Pokemon card that definitely worth buying.
7. Eevee Black Star Promo
It wouldn’t be right to not have an Eevee card on this list.
There are heaps of Eevee cards in the Pokemon universe, and many more “Eeveelution” cards, such as Jolteons, Flareons, and Umbreons. But we’ve picked this card because it’s one of the originals, released soon after the Pokemon TCG first started.
This card was available through the Pokemon League, meaning you had to be a Pokemon player to get it, and the card was only available in June 2000. As a result, there aren’t many of them still available.
While this Eevee card isn’t going to win you any Pokemon battles, it’s a great card to collect, especially if you like old promotional cards.
6. Mega Charizard EX XY Flashfire
Sometimes, after a Pokemon booster box has been out for a while and the set is discontinued, its value will start increasing massively. This commonly occurs when the cards in the set are especially sought-after.
XY Flashfire is one such set. Its booster boxes now sell for 400% more than they used to, because of the number of Charizards in the set.
This Mega Charizard EX is our favourite from the set. It's not the most expensive, but we love the dark look used on this card. Charizard is depicted with a metallic tint, and spits blue flames, which looks really cool against the dark backdrop of this card.
This Mega Charizard is also one of the few dragon type Charizard cards ever printed – normally Charizard is a fire type Pokemon.
5. Shaymin EX Radiant Collection
Radiant Collection Pokemon cards have a very distinctive art style. Rather than making cards that were strong or powerful in battle, with this set Pokemon decided to prioritise making beautiful cards.
This Shaymin EX has a full art holographic effect unlike anything seen before on a Pokemon card. Although it’s hard to see from the picture, the card has holographic dots all around it, which glimmer when held in your hand.
There were 25 Radiant Collection cards made, including 6 different EX cards, including Flareon, Sylveon, and Gardevoir.
We like this Shaymin card in particular though because of the colours. Many of the other cards have a completely pink or purple design, but the design of this card incorporates a much wider variety of colours, making it look nicer in our opinion.
4. Reshiram Gold BW Legendary Treasures
Pokemon sometimes make a special type of card known as a “secret rare”. These cards aren’t shown on the official set lists, so they’re kept a secret, until people pull them from booster packs and begin spreading the word.
Many secret rare cards are gold or have a gold border, but this Reshiram is one of the only full art cards that’s completely gold, including the card art.
What’s more, it has a really nice textured effect, making it even more cool to look at, especially in-person.
If you like the look of this card, it’s a great choice to buy, especially if you like to collect unique full art Pokemon cards.
3. Ancient Mew
Ancient Mew has long been one of the most iconic Pokemon promo cards ever made. And although it’s in massive demand, there are a lot of them, so they’re not very expensive to buy.
This card was given out at The Power of One – a Pokemon movie screened in the year 2000. It also appeared in the film as one of the character’s cards.
It was given out in a sealed pack, which contains an insert you can fill out. Back in the day, you could fill out the card and redeem it for more Ancient Mew merch at a local Pokemon TCG League. If buying, you want to ensure you get the sealed version, to ensure it has a good resale value.
Although this card doesn’t cost too much, it’s still worth $50 or so when sealed in its original packaging. It cost just $10 just a few years ago, so it’s a great card to invest in.
2. Surfing Pikachu
Pokemon have printed a number of different Pikachu promo cards over the years, but this is the best one to buy, in our opinion.
It’s not a very expensive card, because quite a lot of them were printed. But despite this, the card art looks amazing, and the card has been increasing in value in recent years.
There have also been a few reprints of this card by Nintendo over the years. The one in the photo is the most recent reprint from XY Evolutions. This means you can get it quite cheap if you’re just looking for a cool looking card and don’t want to get the original version from the early 2000s.
Don’t worry though – the original is easily distinguishable from the two more recent versions – just look for the black star symbol on the right of the card near the artwork border.
1. Base Set Charizard
The Base Set Charizard is probably the holy grail of Pokemon cards. When most collectors think about iconic Pokemon cards, this Charizard card is what springs to mind.
The reason this card is so popular and so valuable is it was the coolest, most powerful Pokemon card from the first Pokemon set ever released in English - the Base Set.
Charizard was the final evolution of the fire starter Pokemon, Charmander, and was also shown to be one of the most powerful Pokemon in the original TV series.
There are a few different variations of this Pokemon card, including shadowless and 1st edition versions, all of which are quite expensive. However, the Base Set 2 (shown by a "2" symbol on the top right of the card) is slightly cheaper than the original Base Set Charizard.
Where is the best place to buy Pokemon cards?
Online auctions sites like eBay will have the most variety of Pokemon cards, especially old cards and individual cards. However, you have to be careful to avoid buy fake Pokemon cards on eBay.
Major outlets such as Toys R Us and Walmart will have genuine cards, and often stock the newest sets. They sell sealed booster packs and booster boxes, rather than individual cards.
Alternatively, there are small independent online trading card stores (like us) that sell genuine cards, including singles, lots, and sealed Pokemon card packs. Just ensure to check the reputation of the shop to avoid buying fake cards.
What Pokemon cards should I buy?
Pokemon has been going on since 1999, and they’re still making new sets of cards to this day. As a result, there are now thousands of Pokemon cards in existence.
Other than individual cards, there are also sealed decks, booster packs, booster boxes, and more – the choice of Pokemon TCG items for sale is almost endless.
If you’re buying Pokemon cards as a gift for someone, this makes things even harder, especially if you don’t know much about Pokemon.
If you’re unsure what Pokemon cards to buy, feel free to send us an email at enquiries(at)thecardbazaar.com.au or submit a message at our contact form.
When getting in touch, please let us know how much you’d like to spend, and who you’re buying for – do they just collect the cards, or do they battle and play the Pokemon trading card game as well? From this information, we’ll try and help provide a recommendation for individual cards or sealed packs to buy.