Pokémon TCG – Pokémon GO Opening: Elite Trainer Box

The Pokémon TCG has now released one of its most interesting sets: Pokémon GO. This expansion is of course inspired by the hit mobile game of the same name that brought the whimsy of Pokémon to the real world with AR technology.  Unlike a main series set, this expansion will not have booster boxes but will instead be released in special, branded products including an Elite Trainer Box, Collection Boxes, a Premium Collection, and Tins. The cards of this set focus on popular aspects of Niantic's mobile game Pokémon GO with Trainers exclusive to the game, iconic items from the game including Lures and Gifts, and more. Some of the biggest hits in the set are Mewtwo VSTAR, Dragonite VSTAR, and two Alternate Arts. The Pokémon Company International has provided me with some of this set's products to open up for Bleeding Cool readers so we can get a taste of the cards. Today, let's crack open a Pokémon TCG – Pokémon GO Elite Trainer Box.

Pokémon TCG - Pokémon GO Elite Trainer Box pulls. Credit: Theo Dwyer
Pokémon TCG – Pokémon GO Elite Trainer Box pulls. Credit: Theo Dwyer

The Elite Trainer Box is the product that you want to get for this set if you're normally a booster box person. This set has no booster box but as a special set, the Elite Trainer Box offers ten packs rather than eight. This makes it so far the most substantial Pokémon GO product when it comes to number of packs.

The normal Elite Trainer Box goodies can be found in this product, including damage counters, a coin, sleeves themed to the set, a storage box, a booklet with a set checklist, and more. My one quibble with this portion of the box is that the sleeves remain matte. This change was made for Shining Fates and has stuck. I cannot wait to see the Pokémon TCG return to glossy sleeves that don't fog the artwork, so that is something I'll keep an eye out for in future sets.

Another difference between standard set Elite Trainer Boxes and special set ETBS like this is that we get a promo card. The card in question is the Full Art Mewtwo V, which is absolutely gorgeous. If this card were in the numbered set, it would be among my top chase cards.

Here's what I got from opening the packs.

Hit Count:

  • Holo Rares: 6
  • Peelable Dittos: 1
  • Pokémon-V: 2
  • Pokémon-VSTAR: 1
  • Pokémon-VMAX: 0
  • Full Art: 1
  • Secret Rare: 0

I found this to be a decent Elite Trainer Box. Every pack in this set gets a holo or better meaning that six of the packs were the equivalent of "no hit," but I wouldn't think of it like that as the holographic cards in this set are far more varied than previous special sets like Champion's Path. Open a few Champion's Path packs and you'll see how frequently you see the same holos. Not so with Pokémon GO.

The biggest hit of the box is the Mewtwo VSTAR which, considering how many packs I've opened on my own, I found quite difficult to pull. The other big hit was the Alolan Exeggutor V Full Art which I've pulled multiple times even in just the products sent in this one bundle. Overall, pull rates seem decent in this set while variety seems even better, which is impressive due to the small set number.

Pokémon TCG – Pokémon GO is now in stores through a selection of special products. Stay tuned to Bleeding Cool for more product openings as well as coverage of both the TCG and GO, the mobile game.

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About Theo Dwyer

Theo Dwyer writes about comics, film, and games.
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