Pokémon TCG Collectors Shouldn't Panic About Battle Styles' Pull Rate

Battle Styles, the latest Pokémon TCG expansion, has been out for a little over a week. This set was originally perceived as a players' set rather than a collectors' set due to the new battle mechanic and lack of a clear chase card, but that is ending up to be not exactly the case. It seems like Battle Styles is both. Players are loving the new Rapid Strike and Single Strike mechanics and collectors are excited to pull the Tyranitar Alternate Art, the Secret Rare Urshifu VMAX Alternate Arts, the Secret Rare Shiny Houndoom Gold Card, and more. One thing that I'm personally seeing spread is the idea that Battle Styles has a bad pull rate, which is making some collectors, especially those who have been unable to get a lot of product, dispair. Here's why Pokémon TCG collectors shouldn't panic about what's being said regarding Battle Styles pull rate.

Battle Styles cards. Credit: Pokémon TCG
Battle Styles cards. Credit: Pokémon TCG

First, it has to be said that Battle Styles is a standard set in every way — and that's not an insult to his expansion. What I mean is that this set doesn't have a subset or a special kind of card that can be pulled in place of the Reverse Holo. Two sets in a row with the possibility of a great pull in place of the Reverse have spoiled us Pokémon TCG fans. Vivid Voltage offered the possibility of an Amazing Rare in place of the Reverse, and Shining Fates offered the chance of a Shiny Vault card in that same slot. This is two sets in a row that can yield two amazing pulls in a single pack. Before that, Champion's Path's Rare slot was a guaranteed holo or better. It has been since Darkness Ablaze in August of 2020 that we've gotten a standard expansion like Battle Styles with no guaranteed holo or possible Reverse replacement. It's not that Battle Styles has a bad rate. It's that we've been spoiled.

On top of this, there are creators opening hundreds of packs to try to establish rates for certain cards. Here's the thing. It's admirable to attempt this, as it is meant to help and inform the community. However, without a stunningly huge sample size of thousands and thousands of packs, it's going to be impossible to really understand pull rates. For those who both collect the TCG and play Pokémon GO, think of how much it takes Silph Researchers to establish a Shiny rate. There are species that have been out for over a year, yielding thousands and thousands of encounters across the multiple researchers, that Silph still isn't comfortable stating a rate for. It's just not possible to determine a reliable rate this way for specific cards. For types of cards, it is. But no, don't look at data showing that the Full Art Tyranitar is almost one in 1000 and think the same will be true for you. It's well-intentioned, but it's impossible to do without a much, much larger sample size. Let the information help you, but don't let it scare you off.

In my much smaller sample size, I can report that I found Battle Styles to be every bit on par with what I've pulled from comparable expansions. I opened six boxes. Among them, was a box with the worst pulls I've ever opened and then two with pulls I'd state are way above average. The other boxes? 12 – 14 pulls with a healthy mix of holos, Vs, VMAXs, Secret Rares, and Full Arts. Standard.

All of this to say, I could state my experience as Battle Styles having terrific pull rates even compared to recent sets, but my sample size, and really any sample size, just isn't big enough. The best way for Pokémon TCG collectors to go about this set is to approach it the same way they've approached other sets. Open packs, have fun, and stop when you want to stop. Don't worry about the pull rates, as they're truly impossible to know. Best of luck!

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About Theo Dwyer

Theo Dwyer writes about comics, film, and games.
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