This page is intended for those that are struggling to decide on which product(s) to purchase. Recommendations below will contain personal opinions that may or may not be backed up by factual data. We always encourage folks to do their research to ensure they are getting satisfactory results. As always, if you have further questions please reach out to us: Here.
Feeling stuck? I think a good place to start is to ask yourself what is the intended purpose of my purchase. Maybe you like collecting certain items (sleeves, tins, coins), maybe you are looking for certain Pokemon, maybe you want to build up your sealed collection to save for years, maybe you want to build some decks to play the competitive game, or maybe you want to simply "rip" as many packs open at the cheapest price. We support all of these reasons and hope that we provide you some insight to help inform your decision.
Collection items: This recommendation is straight forward; decide what you want to collect and find products that contain that item. If you are someone interested in deck sleeves, then Elite Trainer Boxes (ETBs) are your "go-to". Some people like the aesthetics of ETBs and Tins. Both these items are also useful when storing your extra "bulk" cards. Smaller items like coins and pins are usually located on the product box, however some products may not specify which coin will be included (ex: some of the two pack mini tins contain a coin but it doesn't list which coin it is). In cases like this you may have to do some further research or ask us and we can advise. Always read the description of the item before purchasing! We do our best to ensure our descriptions are accurate.
Seeking specific Pokemon: If you are wanting to pull your own "chase" card, or maybe you are buying some cards for someone else, you will want to know which set(s) contain the cards you are after. There are a lot of websites that you can Google and find the full card list, but below are some of the more recent sets and products that we have as well as some of the more sought after cards for those sets:
- Darkness Ablaze: Charizard, Mew, Centiskorch, Scizor, and Eternatus.
- Vivid Voltage: Pikachu, Ampharos, Togekiss, Drapion, and Zarude.
- Battle Styles: Victini, Empoleon, Mimikyu, Tyranitar, and Urshifu (Rapid and Single Strike)
- Chilling Reign: Celebi, Articuno, Zapdos, Moltres, Blissey, Slowking, and Gold Snorlax.
- Evolving Skies: All of the Eeveelutions (Jolteon, Vaporeon, Flareon, Umbreon, Espeon, Glaceon, Sylveon, and Leafeon), Rayquaza, and Dragonite.
- Fusion Strike: Cinderace, Boltund, Mew, Gengar, and Inteleon.
- Brilliant Stars: Shaymin, Lumineon, Arceus, Raichu, and Charizard.
- Astral Radiance: Palkia, Darkrai, Machamp, Dialga, and Garchomp.
- Pokemon Go: Charizard, Blastoise, Venusaur, Mewtwo, Dragonite.
- Lost Origin: Drapion, Giratina, Zoroark, Rotom, and Aerodactyl.
Sealed Collector: If you like to collect sealed product, you probably already have a sense of what you want to keep sealed. If you are new to collecting, then I would start by determining your intentions; do you want a "cool" variety, or do you want to hold on to items to sell later on? If you prefer the "cool" collection, then I would recommend narrowing down to what type of item, such as Elite Trainer Boxes (ETBs), Tins, or Collection Boxes. Over time, I believe every set will have more value, however if you want the biggest "bang for your buck", then you would want to invest in items that are "short-printed" or sets that currently contain the most value. Out of the Sword and Shield Era, Evolving Skies is the most sought after set, as it contains multiple cards worth over $100. I think ETBs may be some of the easier items to store, due to their smaller size and shape, however they are one of the heaviest products (roughly 1.7lbs). Booster Boxes are among the most expensive products (MSRP over $100), however contains the cheapest pack per dollar and contains the most amount of packs; 36. We do not currently sell Booster Boxes, but we will in the near future.
Deck Building: If you want to casually play the game, then any Theme deck can be fun. They are usually straight forward and don't include complicating mechanics. They also usually contain everything you need to play the game including instructions. If you are looking for more competitive decks, then you may have to do some further research to find which sets contain the best competitive cards. Some may recommend to buy the cards individually online, or to purchase Booster Boxes because as mentioned in the previous section, they contain the most packs per dollar. However, usually the best competitive decks contain cards from multiple sets, therefore purchasing individual cards online may be easier to create more competitive decks.
"Ripping" Packs: As mentioned in the previous two sections, Booster Boxes contain the most packs per dollar, however PokehobbyAZ does not currently carry Booster Boxes (we will soon). Therefore, it's up to you to determine which product has the most packs for the least value. Product prices range due to their popularity (example: our different ETB prices), but before buying a bunch of the lower end ETBs, you want to determine if the cards in that set are what you would like to have. While, it may not be the most exciting, typically speaking our single packs will be the next best option ($4 per pack), and it doesn't contain any extra items like most other products do. Always read the description of the item before purchasing! We do our best to ensure our descriptions are accurate.
Gifts: I enjoy watching people open packs. I also enjoy giving away cards or any Pokemon products (coins, mini portfolios, pins, etc). If you are wanting to get someone a gift, awesome! I think the best place to start is to know what they are after; do they like specific Pokemon, do they like collecting, or do they just want cards? Depending on what they prefer, hopefully the above sections can help you narrow your decision. If there isn't much of a preference, then any product should satisfy as long as its within your budget. If they just enjoy having a big selection, then consider checking out our Bulk cards. These are packs that I have put together and cost anywhere between .08-.10 cents per card. You can also check out our Singles page to see if there are some Pokemon favorites available.
Additional Thoughts: When opening Pokemon products, always remember that there is never a guarantee "hit". I don't believe there has been consistent data to support which type of items contain the most "hits". I also don't believe there is consistent data to support which sets have the best "pull rates". Because of the lack of consistent data surrounding "pull rates" in sets and items, I believe it's important to go back to the original question and answer, "what are your intentions"? Keep in mind of your budget, and know that it may take 100 packs to pull your favorite card, or it may take a single ETB. Either way, find what keeps you enjoying Pokemon TCG.
Personal Preferences: Some of my favorite items to open are ETBs, and Build and Battle Boxes. I usually open a single ETB per set to have the cool box, card sleeves, and coins/promos (depending on set). Otherwise, I have found the Build and Battle Boxes to be fun, since they are typically cheaper and contain the same number of packs as tins and other collection boxes, and they also have a 1-4 cool stamped promo card. They are great because they are among the smallest items, making it easier to store or package when giving to friends/family for the holidays.
I have had a lot of fun opening Fusion Strike, Astral Radiance and Brilliant Stars. My wife enjoys Lost Origin and Evolving Skies. We have had many lucky moments and many "dry" moments. It's a gamble, but it's been worth it when we do pull some cool artworks and of course our "Chase" cards.