For many collectors, Trainer cards in the Pokémon trading card game can be just as exciting as the monsters themselves. They can be just as rare, just as powerful, and just as pretty as the series’ beloved pocket monsters. As supporting cards that allow players to search their deck, draw cards, or activate effects, they’re also a staple in any Pokémon deck you might want to build.
Choosing a single best Pokémon Trainer card out of the hundreds that exist is a pretty tall order. Heck, even choosing five is still a pretty steep task, – but we think we’ve narrowed it down to just a few options. This list is based on multiple criteria in order to bring you the best the Pokémon trading card game has to offer – this includes how powerful, rare, iconic, or just downright beautiful the card is.
Whether you want to learn more about trainers from modern Pokémon sets or some of the rarest cards in the game’s history, this guide will have something for you.
Here are some of the best Pokémon Trainer cards:
The No.1 trainer is included here based on star power alone, as it’s one of the rarest Pokémon cards of all time. A promotional card given to finalists of the 1999 Secret Super Battle Tournament, only seven copies of this card are said to exist. A profesionally graded No.1 trainer in mint condition was sold at auction for $90,000 / £64,750 back in 2020, so these trainer cards are no joke for collectors.
Be sure to check out our guide to rare Pokémon cards for more info (and maybe a few more trainer cards).
Cynthia is one the Sinnoh region’s Pokémon champions, and she first appeared in the Diamond, Pearl and Platinum Pokémon videogames. As well as being a memorable character, Cynthia is also a particularly useful Supporter card from the Ultra Prism expansion.
This card allows you to shuffle your hand into your deck and then draw six new cards. There are several other trainer cards that allow you to draw six cards, but Cynthia’s option to shuffle out a bad hand will come in – well, handy.
Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire’s Hoenn region champion, the Steven Stone trainer card that earns its place in this guide comes from the Roaring Skies expansion. His trainer card’s deck-searching ability earns Steven a place in our hearts.
This card lets you find, reveal, and then add a Supporter and Basic Energy card to your hand. Given that Basic Energy is core to the TCG’s gameplay, the usefulness of this card is a no-brainer. You will need to shuffle your deck after you’ve found what you need, of course.
No Pokémon trainer card guide would be complete without at least one professor. We’ve chosen Professor Juniper of the Unova Region (and Black & White TCG expansion) for several reasons.
Firstly, she’s an iconic professor as the one first women to take on the role in the videogame and anime. Secondly, the full art version of her trainer card is gorgeous (and it’ll fetch a pretty penny online, though nowhere near No.1 trainer numbers). And thirdly, the chance to discard your deck and draw a new one is a powerful ability, even if it is a little similar to Cynthia’s card ability – at least with this card, there’s no chance of getting the cards you just discarded back straight away.
Pokémon Centre Lady
Also known as Nurse Joy in the anime, she’s simply called Pokémon Centre Lady in the TCG. Many of the cards in this guide focus on searching for and drawing cards, but Pokémon Centre Lady offers an equally helpful ability – the card lets you heal 60 damage and remove all Special Conditions from one Pokémon. Clearly, Nurse Joy is as caring on paper as she is on TV.