Pokemon Elite Trainer Boxes are well worth the investment for anyone who enjoys collecting Pokemon cards and Pokemon products.
They are a very collectible series of products that feature some of the most popular Pokemon artwork around and contain a mixture of booster packs, gameplay accessories, and exclusive card sleeves.
For players new to the Pokemon TCG, you’ll gain access to 8-10 booster packs to help you grow your collection along with all the gameplay accessories you’ll need to start battling other trainers.
For collectors, particularly those that enjoy collecting sealed Pokemon products, Elite Trainer Boxes are beautiful to display and typically gain in value the longer you hold onto them.
What Is a Pokemon Elite Trainer Box?
The Elite Trainer Box was introduced in 2013 as a part of the Black & White Plasma Storm set as a way to help new players and collectors get new cards and accessories they need to start playing the Pokemon Trading Card Game. This includes things like special condition markers, damage counters, protective card sleeves, and more.
Since then, Elite Trainer Boxes have become popular collectible items that are released with every new Pokemon TCG expansion set.
What Do You Get In a Pokemon Elite Trainer Box?
Elite Trainer Boxes contain everything you need to grow you Pokemon card collection and begin playing the game.
That said, each type of Elite Trainer Box is unique and contains slightly different contents. Yet there are some things that remain the same no matter which ETB you open. That includes:
- 8-10 Booster packs (number varies depending on the type of ETB)
- Energy cards
- Condition markers
- Damage counter dice
- A player’s guide to its respective Pokemon TCG set
- Deckbox and/or card sleeves (depending on the type of ETB)
- Coin-flip die and/or coin
Some Elite Trainer Boxes also include a promo card that can only be obtained from these products. Generally speaking, this is true only for holiday sets like Shining Legends, Hidden Fates, and Champion’s Path.
As mentioned above, the contents will vary depending on which set your Elite Trainer Box comes from. To find out exactly which contents each ETB comes with, check out our complete list of Elite Trainer Boxes.
Do Elite Trainer Boxes Have Better Pull Rates?
Elite Trainer Boxes have the same pull rates as any other type of Pokemon product. Booster packs are inserted at random and your odds for pulling a rare card from each pack is no different than buying single packs or blister packs from the same set.
However, if your Elite Trainer Box is from one of the holiday sets (not main series sets), you will always get an exclusive promo card, so in that sense you are guaranteed to pull at least one rare card.
Are Elite Trainer Boxes Worth Buying?
Elite Trainer Boxes are worth buying for certain players and collectors. If any of the following scenarios applies to you, then you should absolutely consider purchasing an Elite Trainer Box:
- You are a new to the Pokemon TCG and need gameplay accessories along with the booster packs that ETBs come with.
- You are a collector of sealed Pokemon products and want to add to your collection.
- You like the product and just want to open it
- You are looking for a good cost per booster pack for one of the Pokemon TCG holiday sets
For that last point, let me explain. Holiday sets are periodically introduced and usually contain higher-end, more collectible cards than main sets. They also only sell booster packs for these sets as a part of sealed packages. That means no booster boxes and no single packs.
For these sets, one of the most cost effective ways to buy large quantities of booster packs is through Elite Trainer Boxes.
This is not true for main sets, however. For main sets where single packs and booster boxes are available, you will be much better off buying those products instead of Elite Trainer Boxes if you’re looking for the lowest cost per booster pack.
The Best Elite Trainer Box
Best is a subjective term. For some, the best Elite Trainer Box is the one that they are able to purchase from a Walmart or Target shelf. For others, it’s the one that contains their favorite Pokemon on the packaging.
For me, here’s my list of the 10 best Elite Trainer Boxes:
- Celebrations – easily the most fun to open
- Evolutions – the nostalgia is real
- Plasma Storm – the first ETB ever made
- Shining Legends
- Hidden Fates
- Champion’s Path
- Shining Fates
- Dragon Majesty
- Evolving Skies
Of course this is only my opinion about which Elite Trainer Box is best. As you can see, I lean heavily towards holiday sets because they are the most fun to open. I also love the historical context of boxes like Evolutions and Plasma Storm.
Do Elite Trainer Boxes Get Reprinted?
Elite Trainer Boxes do sometimes get reprinted. The way Pokemon usually releases products is in multiple waves, so to make sure you get an Elite Trainer Box at MSRP is to buy it during one of those initial print runs.
As with all things, there are exceptions to that rule. For example, in 2021 Shining Fates was reprinted after most thought it was no longer being produced.
What Is the Rarest Elite Trainer Box?
The rarest Elite Trainer Box is probably the oldest: Plasma Storm. I say “probably” because there’s no way to know for sure exactly how many of each ETB still exists.
It’s safe to say that the longer it’s been since a particular ETB was produced, the rarer it becomes. The reason for this is simple: as more of the older ETBs are opened, there are fewer sealed products that exist. Basic supply and demand indicates this would cause the rarity and value of those older Elite Trainer Boxes to rise.
Can You Make A Profit From An Elite Trainer Box?
If you are VERY lucky, you can make a profit from opening an Elite Trainer Box. In order to do this, you’ll need to pull one or more of the chase cards from the set, and even then you still may not break even on your purchase.
The most consistent way to profit from an Elite Trainer Box is to buy one sealed and hang onto it for 5-10 years. As time goes on, the rarity of your ETB will increase and therefore the value to Pokemon card collectors will rise as well.
How much will it increase in value? That is dependent on many factors, including the popularity of Pokemon in the future, the rarity of your ETB, and the price you paid for the box.
Elite Trainer Boxes are an incredible part of the Pokemon TCG hobby for collectors and players alike. If you’re looking for a great product, you really can’t go wrong with a Pokemon Elite Trainer Box.
If you haven’t had the chance to open one yet, I highly encourage you to do so. Not only will it be fun to open the booster packs and hopefully pull a big hit, but using the accessories to become a Pokemon TCG player can be a blast!