If you’re a Pokémon TCG collector, you may find yourself wondering which are the best Pokémon booster boxes to buy or open in 2023? It’s a valid question, but one whose answer may not be very helpful to collectors, because many of them are no longer available, or are so extremely rare that you’d have to spend a fortune to get them.
So when compiling this list of the best Pokémon booster boxes, we’ve done so with the caveat that we’re focusing on the ones that are still readily available and ones that you won’t have to spend more than a thousand dollars on. We want to actively help you to expand your collection, rather than taunting you with things you may never be able to get your hands on.
Understandably, that means that our focus is on the more recent Pokémon TCG expansions, but that is absolutely no comment against their quality, as there have been some fantastic releases in recent times. Any one of these booster boxes would be an excellent opportunity for you to expand your collection, get some rare Pokémon cards, and start building the ultimate deck.
The best Pokémon booster boxes are:
- Pokémon Crown Zenith
- Pokémon Hidden Fates
- Scarlet & Violet base set
- Pokémon GO Elite Trainer Box
- Pokémon Sword & Shield – Brilliant Stars
- Pokémon Sword & Shield – Astral Radiance
- Pokémon XY – Evolutions
- Pokémon Sun & Moon Elite Trainer Box
Pokémon Crown Zenith
Closing out an era, Pokémon Crown Zenith released January 2023, and is the last Sword and Shield set to come out before Scarlet and Violet. Pokémon Crown Zenith is a ‘high class’ set, where every pack features a V, VSTAR or VMAX cardm or a super-rare card. As well as some powerful Pokémon cards, hits like Arceus VSTAR and Mewtwo VSTAR, and cool cards like Glaceon and Leafeon. Plus there’s all the fantastic differentr art cards of a modern Pokémon set, including some basic ‘mons that combine to form a sweet collage.
Pokémon Hidden Fates
Another high class pack that promises a holo card in each pack, Pokémon Hidden Fates is a much-touted set for a few reason. It boasts the first triple tag team Pokémon, featuring Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres, and also a bunch (75+) of shiny Pokémon. Some of these shiny cards, like Umbreon GX and Charizard GX are getting pretty damn expensive, too.
Scarlet & Violet base set
Sword & Shield’s era is over, and now it’s time for Scarlet & Violet. The first Scarlet & Violet Pokémon booster box launched on March 31, 2023 and provides our first look at the Paldea Pokémon (Oh, god how many Pokémon are there now?) in trading card art.
If you’re buying Pokémon cards just for their monetary value, the Scarlet & Violet base set isn’t the best Pokémon booster box to open. However, it’s great if you’re looking for a fun opening experience, with all kinds of alternate arts and card varieties to collect. Hit rates seem to be really high for this Pokémon booster box too – which is perhaps one reason for the lower card prices.
Pokémon GO Elite Trainer Box
We’re starting out with something that hasn’t even been released yet, but the Pokémon GO Elite Trainer Box is one that many fans are going to want to get their hands on, even if its not a conventional booster box. This coming together between Pokémon GO and Pokémon TCG is really cool to see. Not only do the cards in this expansion feature beautiful artwork that’s made to capture the feeling of Pokémon appearing in the real world, as they do in Pokémon GO, but you also get items and characters from the game as Trainer Cards.
A few highlights include: Poké Stops, Lure Modules, and Blanche as Trainer Cards, with Pokémon including, Mewtwo, Radiant Blastoise, Melmetal, Alolan Exeggutor V, and many others. In addition to ten booster packs, it also includes six damage-counter dice, one competition-legal coin-flip die, two acrylic condition markers, and one acrylic VSTAR marker. You can pre-order this box ahead of its release on July 1st.
Pokémon Sword & Shield – Brilliant Stars Booster Box
While the Pokémon GO Elite Trainer Box came with a few extra bells and whistles alongside its booster packs, the Brilliant Stars booster box is just the booster packs – but it is a whole 36 of them. Released earlier this year, it features the introduction of the new VStar mechanic, which allows for more powerful abilities and evolutions.
The selection of Pokémon included features those that are found within the games Pokémon Sword & Shield, as well as a few found in Pokémon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl. Highlights include: Arceus VSTAR, Heatran, Galarian Moltres V, Klinklang, and Electabuzz.
Pokémon Sword & Shield – Astral Radiance
This is the most recent Pokémon Sword & Shield expansion, and its focus ties in with the game Pokémon Legends: Arceus, though still including those from Pokémon Sword & Shield as well, with several V and VSTAR cards as well.
Highlights include: Hisuian Lilligant VSTAR, Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR, Machamp VMAX, Galarian Mr. Rime, and Regice. If you found yourself really enjoying Pokémon Sword & Shield – The Crown Tundra, as well as Pokémon Legends: Arceus, then the selection of cards that you might get within this booster box is going to be appealing. How many Pokémon are there now? Loads. And by getting a more recent expansion, you increase the size of the pool from which it might draw.
Pokémon XY – Evolutions
This was the final expansion based on Pokémon X & Y, and it was also a special expansion in that it was made to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Pokémon TCG. Because of this, it featured many iconic Generation I Pokémon and it remains a highlight sought after by fans. While you can still find booster boxes, they’re quite expensive (although still under a thousand dollars, unlike many of the even older ones).
Highlights of this expansion include: Mewtwo-EX, Machamp BREAK, Starmie, BREAK, Zapdos, and Porygon. For those looking to build up a deck filled with nostalgic childhood favourites, the XY – Evolution booster boxes are going to be a good choice… if you can afford them. Unfortunately if you’re in the UK, we were unable to find any retailers offering this booster box in your region.
Pokémon Sun & Moon (Lunala) Elite Trainer Box
This is another one which may not be your typical booster box, because it only comes with eight booster packs, but it does also include all of following: 65 card sleeves featuring Lunala, 45 energy cards, a player guide to the Sun & Moon expansion, six damage-counter dice, a competition-legal coin-flip die, two acrylic condition markers, and an acrylic GX marker. It’s definitely good for anybody who’s just starting out with Pokémon TCG.
Cards you might get in this expansion include: Incineroar, Lapras-GX, Lunala-GX, Dragonite, Alolan Dugtrio, and many others. As the name gives away, this expansion was made to tie in with Pokémon Sun & Moon – indeed, it was the first of the expansions to include elements from those games. This is another one which, unfortunately, we couldn’t find in the UK.
Fans of Pokémon TCG might also want to take a look at our article on the best Pokémon cards. Also, our guide on how to play Pokémon cards will come in handy for anybody who’s just starting to get into the world of Pokémon TCG.