The Pokemon TCG has primarily focused on expanding its Paldea line-up since the release of Scarlet & Violet. From beloved options like Pawmi to powerful hitters like Revavroom ex, fans have been able to celebrate Gen 9 while playing tabletop competitively or with friends. However, the 151 Pokemon TCG expansion takes a turn for the nostalgic, catapulting players back to Kanto with a special card list.
While this trip down memory lane is an exciting opportunity for longtime fans of the series, this isn’t your regular expansion. 151 is similar to the highly coveted Shining Fates and Hidden Fates collections of past gens, with booster packs only obtainable through collector boxes, ETBS, and booster bundles. This makes pull rates a challenge and can make investment in the expansion a costly endeavor.
- Release Date: 09/22/2023
- Expansion Series: Scarlet & Violet
- Booster Box: No
Pokemon Scarlet & Violet’s 151 ETBs Are Just Okay
Snagging an Elite Trainer Box for 151 is likely going to be the most appealing way to score booster packs for this expansion. The box contains the usual spread of goodies, including booster packs, damage counters, an expansion booklet, and a special promo card.
The real reason to snag this ETB is for the Snorlax promo guaranteed in every box. The stunning Full Art card isn’t just pretty to look at. This Snorlax has the ability “Voraciousness,” which lets you amass Leftovers cards from your discard pile while hitting opponents with Thudding Press for 130 damage at a three-energy cost. Mixing that with Snorlax’s high 150 HP bracket as a Basic is optimal for decks that need a powerful hitter with a unique ability.
However, there are a few letdowns with this, particularly ETB. The first is the booster pack count. With other limited-run expansions like Shining Fates, players obtained 10 booster packs in an ETB. Because of the change in booster pack counts on standard expansions after the price hikes, it was hoped these ETBs for 151 would have 11 packs, including the new changes while mirroring past special ETBs.
Additionally, the plain white damage counters in this set feel empty of personality, and the expansion booklet is printed on matte paper instead of the typical high-quality gloss pages of most previous ETBs. Because of this, the Pokemon TCG 151 ETB is left feeling lackluster and frustratingly underwhelming for the cost. Below is everything players will find in the Pokemon Scarlet & Violet 151 TCG ETB.
- 9 151 Booster Packs
- 1 Full-Art Pomo Card of Snorlax
- 45 Pokemon TCG Energy Cards
- 65 Card Sleeves
- 6 Damage Counters
- 1 Coin
- 2 Condition Markers
The Pokemon TCG 151 Booster Bundles Are Worth The Cost
While the ETB was cause for frustration, the Pokemon Scarlet & Violet 151 Booster Bundles are worth the cost if you can find them. Each box contains six booster packs, with the bundles costing $26.94 MSRP, which puts each pack at about $4.50 apiece. This was also where I had luck pulling better cards. While my ETB Booster Packs provided no full-art rares or chase cards, the bundle contained Blastoise ex, the alternate Full Art cards of Charmander and Charizard, and the alternate Full Art of Erika’s Invitation.
Because of this, I would highly recommend focusing on these bundles, as they seem to be a better way to find specific pull cards at the most affordable price.
Pokemon TCG’s 151 Zapdos ex Collection Is Stunning But Sparse
Gamepur was also given the opportunity to preview the Zapdos ex collection for Pokemon Scarlet & Violet’s 151 TCG expansion. The box contains four booster packs, one standard promo for Zapdos ex, one oversized Zapdos ex promo card, and a promo card for Electabuzz.
Like with the ETB, I had absolutely no luck pulling anything from the booster packs of this set. Despite this, the Zapdos ex card included is worth the box, as it has a solid ability, “Voltic Float”, which removes retreat cost as long as the Electric Energy card is attached. The attack Multishot Lightning is also a killer and perfect for countering a stacked bench, as it hits both the Active Pokemon and one benched Pokemon.
Tough Pull Rates, But Playable Standard Cards
If you are a collector looking to obtain every alternate Full Art card in the 151 Pokemon TCG Expansion, be prepared to spend a good deal of money. Poor pull rates and a lack of Booster Boxes make this a challenge for even the most dedicated collectors. Thankfully, with card shortages declining and multiple waves of the 151 expansion planned, it seems players will be able to spread the investment out over the coming months.
However, if you are a die-hard Kanto fan and want to add some of Pokemon’s original companions to your decks, 151 is Kanto at its best. Every standard card I’ve pulled packs a punch, making these familiar faces a competitive addition to any type of deck. Unfortunately, if you aren’t a big Kanto enthusiast, this set is likely just another Charizard grab, and it might be better to double back on fantastic sets like Obsidian Flames.
The Pokemon Scarlet & Violet 151 TCG expansion is not for every Pokemon fan. The cost and the limited access to booster packs will make this expansion a difficult investment for many, and low pull rates will make the money spent seem less satisfying – specifically for those trying to collect instead of play. However, if you love Kanto, want to rock a powerful OG companion, and aren’t invested in the Full Art cards, this is the perfect way to tap into Pokemon nostalgia.
|+ Makes Kanto favorites playable|
|+ Beautiful promo cards with good moves|
|+ Smaller card list than average|
|– ETB seems to lack polish|
|– No booster boxes but low ETB booster pack count|
|– Brutal pull rates|
Gamepur team received a sample for the purpose of this review.
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