Visual changes are being made to Pokémon TCG cards with the upcoming launch of the Pokémon TCG: Scarlet & Violet expansion kicking off the Scarlet & Violet Series. Some of these changes—like the change from yellow borders to gray borders—are more obvious, but changes like the revamped rarity system, style changes, and updates to Basic Energy cards require more explanation.
Starting with the Scarlet & Violet Series, rarity symbols are being updated to more clearly showcase differences in rarity between cards. New rarity types are coming to the Pokémon TCG as well! The solid black symbols for common, uncommon, and rare—circle, diamond, and star—will remain unchanged. These symbols will continue to denote rarity for many types of cards found in an expansion, including parallel foil cards.
Moving forward, double rare cards are represented with two solid black stars. As of Scarlet & Violet, this brand-new rarity is where you’ll find Pokémon ex, including Tera Pokémon ex. Ultra rare cards are represented by two shiny foil stars and are used for the more exclusive full-art foil versions of Pokémon ex and even some Supporter cards.
The brand-new rarity known as illustration rare will be represented by one shiny gold star. Illustration rare cards are alternate-art versions of common, uncommon, and rare Pokémon depicted with beautiful full-art foil illustrations that often showcase the character’s personality or environment. Similarly, the brand-new rarity known as special illustration rare encompasses alternate-art cards for Pokémon ex or Supporter cards, which also feature full-art foil illustrations capturing the character’s unique traits or environment. Lastly, hyper rare cards will be represented with three shiny gold stars. Hyper rare cards were previously known as secret rare cards; they are full-art foil cards with gilded borders and accents.
Parallel foil cards are also changing with the Scarlet & Violet Series. As before, parallel foil cards will have a foil pattern surrounding the card artwork; in the Scarlet & Violet Series, this foil pattern is reminiscent of the tile designs of Paldea. At the bottom-left corner of the card, the expansion code, which is normally a black box with white text, will be a white box with black text to more clearly show that the card is part of the parallel foil set.
As mentioned in a prior announcement, the classic yellow borders framing Pokémon TCG cards will transition to the same gray border used in Japan. Like Japan, this gray border also allows the foil to peek through for rare cards. Double rare cards will continue to have a foil border and will now feature a star-like sheen on the card. Double rare cards featuring Tera Pokémon ex will feature a unique foil across the card and a textured appearance.
Basic Energy is now capitalized to bring it in line with Special Energy, and the top of the card will have a subcategory tag for either Basic Energy or Special Energy. This change is intended to bring clarity to interactions between Basic Energy and certain attacks, Abilities, or Trainer cards, in situations where it was unclear whether the effect affected Special Energy cards. Card effects that interact with Basic Energy will now specifically call out “Basic Energy” for additional clarity. For example, Koraidon ex’s Dino Cry Ability can attach up to 2 Basic Fighting Energy from the discard pile to your Fighting-type Pokémon. In the past, this would have said 2 Fighting Energy instead of 2 Basic Fighting Energy. The Energy symbol currently featured on Energy cards will now also appear on the bottom right of Energy cards. This change makes the amount and type of Energy attached to each Pokémon clearer for each player. Each Basic Energy card will also now feature an expansion code at the bottom-left corner of the card.