Ever since the first Elite Trainer Box was released in 2013, ETBs have become a staple in the Pokemon TCG. But what is an Elite Trainer Box? What does an Elite Trainer Box come with?
The goal of this article is to answer these questions and more so that you can know exactly what to expect when you buy your first (or next) Elite Trainer Box!
What is an Elite Trainer Box?
The Elite Trainer Box (ETB) product was created to give Pokemon TCG players the cards and accessories they need to play the Pokemon Trading Card Game. This includes things like condition markers, damage counter dice, energy cards, booster packs, a collectible box, and more.
Once opened, the Elite Trainer Box container becomes a great way to store your excess Pokemon cards and organize them. Though some of the earlier ETBs don’t come with card dividers, many of the new ones do, making it easier to sort and group your cards within the box.
Some Pokemon card collectors like to collect Elite Trainer Boxes (both sealed and unsealed) because the artwork is some of the best you’ll find on Pokemon products. Each Elite Trainer Box features one or more of the most popular Pokemon from its respective set.
What’s inside a Pokemon Elite Trainer Box?
Each type of Elite Trainer Box contains slightly different contents, but some things are consistent across all ETBs. When you open one of these products, you can expect to get:
- 7-10 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)
- A competition-legal coin-flip die
It should be noted that the contents are different depending on which type of Elite Trainer Box you have, so this list may vary slightly.
For a complete list of Elite Trainer Boxes, check out this article.
How many booster packs are in an elite trainer box?
Pokemon Elite Trainer Boxes contain either 7, 8, or 10 booster packs, depending on which set it comes from.
The first two ETBs (Plasma Storm and Plasma Blast) each contained 7 booster packs. Starting with the XY set, all Elite Trainer Boxes from main sets came with 8 booster packs and most holiday sets came with 10 booster packs.
Additionally, all Pokemon Center exclusive Elite Trainer Boxes come with 10 packs (except Chilling Reign which only had 8 due to an error).
Are Elite Trainer Boxes worth it?
One of the more hotly debated issues when it comes to Elite Trainer Boxes is whether or not they’re worth it to purchase. From a collector’s standpoint, they are absolutely worth it as many sealed product collectors like these.
From a cost-per-booster-pack standpoint, it greatly depends on the set. Let me explain.
For Holiday sets like Shining Fates, Celebrations, or Hidden Fates, Pokemon didn’t produce booster boxes (the most cost-effective way to buy booster packs in bulk). As such, Elite Trainer boxes often offer one of the best ways to buy many booster packs at a time, plus the holiday sets usually include a promo card that can only be obtained from the ETB.
However, for main sets the Elite Trainer Box is usually not the most cost effective way to get booster packs. For example, a booster box at MSRP costs $144 and contains 36 packs, meaning you get an average cost of $4 per pack. Considering you can often find booster boxes for well below MSRP, that means your average cost per pack is less than $4.
Now consider an MSRP of $40 for an Elite Trainer Box containing 8 booster packs. That’s $5 per pack. Obviously that’s not the best deal. If you’re looking for packs in bulk, ETBs are not worth it.
Do people collect Elite Trainer Boxes?
Yes, some Pokemon card collectors love to collect Elite Trainer Boxes! Because of the way each ETB features artwork of one or more of the set’s most popular pokemon, they are extremely popular to keep and display as a part of sealed collections.
Some Elite Trainer Box sets also contain exclusive black star promo cards and other exclusive accessories, so that also increases the collectability of ETBs.
Do Elite Trainer Boxes have better pull rates?
While some people claim that Elite Trainer Boxes have better pull rates than other Pokemon TCG products, there is no definitive proof that this is true.