Pokemon TCG players are now settling into the next era of the popular tabletop game. After years of fast-paced, competitive gameplay with V, VMAX, and VSTAR cards found in the Sword & Shield expansions, the switch to the revamped ex system has been both refreshing and nerve-wracking. Thankfully, the mechanics of ex cards seem to be more balanced than the previous gen, encouraging new strategies that are fleshed out in the second expansion – Paldea Evolved.
Players will find a hefty card list in Paldea Evolved, containing 279 different Pokemon TCG cards. The list welcomes popular Paldean additions like Shroodle, as well as returning favorites like Corviknight. However, the large card list, mixed with multiple versions of standard basics, can make this set a difficult choice when searching for rare Full Art cards or the new Tera ex additions.
Related: Most Valuable & Rare Pokemon TCG Starter Cards
Pokemon TCG Paldea Evolve ETB is packed full
Just like with the Scarlet & Violet expansion, Pokemon TCG’s Paldea Evolved ETB is absolutely packed to the brim with items to enhance gameplay. Players will find the below items in a standard ETB:
- x9 Pokemon TCG Paldea Evolved Booster Packs
- Pikachu Full Art Promo Holo
- 65 Paldean Starter Card Sleeves
- 45 Basic Energy Cards
- 6 damage counters
- 1 Competition-legal coin
- 2 Condition markers
- ETB collectors box
- Paldea Evolved Pokemon TCG Booklet
While the price of ETBs has gone up with the Gen 9 expansions, I have to say the cost feels worth it. The new condition markers are stunning, the extra booster pack helps ease the sting of the hike, and the promo card featuring Pikachu, Sprigatito, Fuecoco, and Quaxly is stunning. Like with all ETBs I have collected over the years, the sturdy box is just as good for storing cards as displaying them on a bookshelf.
Anyone looking to add to their collection won’t be disappointed with this ETB, or the contents inside. It is definitely a beautiful set, and the Paldea starters add a bright and attractive splash of color.
Pokemon TCG Paldea Evolved Booster Box hits you in the pull rates
The Pokemon TCG dramatically improved the quality of the foil booster packs that come inside the Paldea Evolved booster boxes. The foil is thick and stiff, offering better protection to the cards inside the packs. I noticed this the moment I opened the box and held the hefty pack in my hand. My first thought was how high-quality the pack felt, and I was delighted at how satisfying it was to rip the foil open.
However, my delight dwindled to frustration as pack after pack yielded a Pokemon TCG player’s most difficult hurdle – I was completely overwhelmed with piles of basic cards.
Unfortunately, this is hardly my first run-in with a large card list and poor pull rates. Sword & Shield’s Evolving Skies teased Eeveelutions that alluded fans via the wide spread of other cards, while Sun & Moon sets were notorious for their low pull rates on highly playable cards.
While I love pulling a Full Art or a rare Pokemon TCG Trainer, my frustration wasn’t at the low number of these alternate rares I ended up with. Instead, it was my struggle to find ex cards, or even evolution cards like Grafaiai, who I am desperate to play alongside my Toxtricity cards from Sword & Shield to utilize its Spit Poison attack.
After opening all 36 cards in the booster box, and the 9 packs from my ETB, I found I had enough Fuecoco and Wooper to form a small army, but my collection of playable evolutions was frustratingly small. Because of this, Pokemon TCG fans will want to be careful with how many booster boxes they invest in, and get together with friends to swap around playable cards they may be looking for.
Paldea Evolved Build & Battle Boxes are fierce
Build & Battle boxes have become a recent staple of the Pokemon TCG, and Paldea Evolved delivers some powerful options for players to utilize. I was particularly lucky to pull Baxcalibur, which boasts both beautiful art and a wicked attack set. Players can also obtain Tinkaton, Murkrow, and Pelipper. While the two bird Pokemon may seem like duds, Pelipper’s ability Hearsay, mixed with Wing Attack, make it a formidable opponent for a low evolution cost.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to run the Build & Battle against another Paldea Evolved set, but my Baxcalibur-themed 30-card deck held up well against a Scarlet & Violet expansion Build & Battle, and I was even able to pull the Alternate Art Mismagius in one of the four booster packs included for creating the deck.
The Pokemon TCG Paldea Evolved expansion is perfect for fans of the Paldean Pokedex. With the ability to pull rare, alternate full art cards of all the Gen 9 starters, as well as opportunities to amass a good deck-building base of basics, it is a great option for those intent on really creating decks promoting the new era of gameplay.
However, those seeking rare cards, or who are after the high of finding Full Arts, may be disappointed with the low pull rates this expansion seems to struggle with. It is definitely a set for players, and maybe less of an ideal card list for collectors.
That being said, the low rates make every rare pull that much more exciting, and I know the handful I now possess will all hold special places in any Pokemon TCG decks they feature in.
|+||Great for fleshing out basic cards|
|+||The Full Art Starter Cards are absolutely beautiful|
|+||Shroodle is now available, and it is a Dark-type|
|–||Low pull rates for rare cards|
|–||Multiple versions of basics can overwhelm the card list|