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Pokémon TCG: Evolving Skies Pull Rate Quest #1: Booster Box Opening

Pokémon TCG influencers will often rush to make sweeping statements about a set's pull rates soon after release. Both Sword & Sheild – Battle Styles and Sword & Sheild – Chilling Reign, for instance, are said by many content creators, some of them with huge platforms, to have difficult pull rates. This seems wrong to me. One person, even one person opening a ton of packs, is going to struggle to determine a pull rate in the short term no matter how many boxes they open. In addition, I find that creators often forget that we had a few sets back-to-back that had cards that could be pulled in the reverse holo slot, which has made many seemingly forget what a set with a standard pull rate feels like. In the interest of dispelling the idea that we can establish pull rates so early in a Pokémon TCG set's existence, I'm here with another installment of Pull Rate Quest, a series at Bleeding Cool where I open Pokémon TCG sets to show that you win some… and you lose some. I love the idea that openings like this can help show people what to expect in a set, but remember… a lot of it comes down to the luck of the draw. Let's open a booster box of Sword & Shield – Evolving Skies, which hits shelves this Friday, to see what we get.

Evolving Skies cards. Credit: Pokémon TCG
Evolving Skies cards. Credit: Pokémon TCG
  • What I opened: A booster box (36 packs) of Pokémon TCG: Sword & Shield – Evolving Skies
  • What I got: 14 white code cards (meaning 14 packs with a holo or better). The spread was:
    • 1 Alternate Art Secret Rare Pokémon-VMAX
    • 2 Alternate Art Pokémon-V
    • 3 VMAX
    • 4 V
    • 4 rare holos

Wow, dude! I opened a few boxes in a row for this series (stay tuned for those articles) and this was by far the craziest box. Alternate Arts are the stars of Pokémon TCG sets ever since Battle Styles and they are not easy to pull. Three in a single booster box is stunning by any standard. On top of that, the Sylveon VMAX Alternate Art was my number one chase card, which made this quite a gratifying box.

Now, listen. The point of this series is to show that we can't rely on pull rates established by openings like this. I want to show how random these openings can be, and trust me… some of my other installments will tell a very different story than this one. What I do feel comfortable saying, though, is that I've loved opening every Pokémon TCG set that has ever come out. (I was lukewarm, though, and remain lukewarm on XY – Evolutions, even though it does have its perks.) What I can say confidently about Sword & Shield – Evolving Skies is that this is some of the most fun I've ever had opening Pokémon cards. The diversity of the set is incredible, with a wide spread of chase cards including Eeveelutions and dragons. It's the exact opposite of sets like Darkness Ablaze and Champion's Path which are Charizard chases. With Evolving Skies, it seems there is a new and great possibility in every pack.

Next time, we'll crack another booster box and see what we can get.

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Theo DwyerAbout Theo Dwyer

Theo Dwyer writes about comics, film, and games.
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