The terminology associated with the Pokémon Trading Card Game can be daunting for newcomers to the game. This article seeks to explain what is meant by Half Art or Full Art cards and describe the main differences between the two types of art card.
What are Half Art Cards?
A half art card is a rare card with artwork that does not cover the entire card. On these cards most of the text is on a plain coloured background that matches the character’s energy type.
These cards are also referred to as: half body, regular art, ultra rare or ancient traits.
Half body refers to the fact that only a part of the body of the character is depicted. Regular art is used because these cards are more common than full art cards and also because cards have traditionally only had partial art.
Ultra rare refers to the fact that art cards are rarer than standard rare cards. In the XY Primal Clash expansion set, some characters were given special effects known as ancient traits. These cards were given special art work covering half the card.
Half art card characters can have the powers GX, EX or V. The Lucario V card pictured is from the Sword and Shield Base set.
What are Full Art Cards?
A full art card is one where the artwork covers the entire card. The artwork may or may not cover the borders of the card
Full art cards first appeared in 2011 with the release of the Black and White expansion set.
Full art cards are quite rare. In general there are likely to be just 3 or 4 full art cards in a booster box of 36 booster packs.
There are different types of full art cards: VMAX, ultra rare, secret rainbow rare and gold secret rare.
VMAX power was introduced in 2020 in the Sword and Shield expansion series. Characters with VMAX power are always full art cards.
Ultra Rare Cards
Ultra rare cards are full art cards that are numbered towards the end of the regular set. They may be alternate art versions of cards that appear earlier in the set. The Beauty Trainer card shown is from the Vivid Voltage expansion set and numbered 181/185.
Secret Rare Cards
Secret Rare Cards are are extra cards and are numbered higher than the number of cards in that set. Like ultra rare cards these may also be alternative art versions of cards that appear earlier in the deck.
Secret rainbow rare cards are those that have a distinctive holographic rainbow colouring across the artwork while gold secret rare cards are coloured gold.