Common or Uncommon? People who are new to the Pokémon Trading Card Game are often confused by the different rarity types.
This page explains the difference between these two different types and makes it easy to recognise whether a card is a common or uncommon.
What is a Common Card?
A common card is the rarity type most often seen in the Pokémon trading card game. Each regular booster pack always contains five common cards.
A common card is easily identified because it is marked with a small circle – ● next to its card number.
Common cards are generally basic level cards with low hit points. Their special moves only inflict minimal damage.
Common cards have appeared in every set from the original base set released in 1999. The style has not really altered very much over the years – the name and hit points are at the top of the card above the image. Below the image is a plain area with details of that character’s special moves.
The Shroomish card pictured here can be found in the Brilliant Stars expansion set.
What is an Uncommon Card?
Uncommon cards are the second most plentiful rarity type in the Pokémon trading card game. Each regular booster pack always contains three uncommon cards.
A uncommon card is easily identified because it is marked with a small diamond – ◆ next to its card number.
Uncommon Pokémon character cards are generally level one cards with higher hit points than a common card. Their special moves inflict more damage than a basic level common card.
Trainer cards and special energy cards are also designated uncommon.
Uncommon cards have appeared in every set from the original base set released in 1999. The layout of an uncommon card is identical to that of a common card.
The Prinplup card pictured here can be found in the Brilliant Stars expansion set.
Why are Common and Uncommon Cards referred to as bulk?
These cards are often referred to as ‘bulk’ because they make up the bulk of the cards that are found in booster packs. Each booster pack will contain eight bulk cards and a booster box of 36 packs will contain 288 common and uncommon cards.
Neither common or uncommon cards are of much value to a collector. They will typically be bundled up as a package and sold as a bulk job lot. However, for players of the trading card game these cards are needed. The game rules state that a deck must contain 60 cards with at least one common card. A typical deck will also include around 20 trainer or trainer item cards which are uncommon cards.