One of the great laments of the Pokémon TCG in 2023 was its return to brutal, unforgiving pull rates. After 2022’s Sword & Shield big finish, Crown Zenith, the Scarlet & Violet era ushered in the guarantee of a holo, but a vast diminishing in the chances of scoring anything better. Sets like Pokémon 151 and Paradox Rift have featured some of the most beautiful cards we’ve ever seen, but it’s been pretty miserable trying to find them. So it is with absolutely enormous pleasure that I can report that Paldean Fates, the latest special set releasing internationally tomorrow, is just bonkers with pulls.

Paldean Fates is the latest outing for shiny Pokémon—those depicted as a different color than their norm—following in the footsteps of the wildly popular Hidden Fates and Shining Fates. But this knocks both out of the park with your chances of striking something special. Of the 36 packs I’ve opened (25 of them supplied by TPCi), I’ve pulled—and I’m not kidding—27 baby shinies or better.

Who can fathom the rationale at The Pokémon Company International (TPCi), why we have sets like Obsidian Flames with secret rare pull rates lower than one in five packs (18% according to TCGPlayer), and then one like Paldean Fates that—in my limited experience—is hitting far better than one in two. Why does this matter? Because if you’re a kid who’s spending your whole weekly allowance on a couple of packs, going in knowing the odds of getting anything other than bulk are minimal makes it a miserable experience. I have a feeling pocket money is going to be much more merrily spent on this new set, however.

Let’s explain terms. “Baby shinies” is the unhelpful name used to describe cards featuring shiny Pokémon in the regular art window. They’re not “baby Pokémon,” which are a whole other thing, rather just not full art cards. Yet, they remain special, because they’re rare, have their own unique holo pattern, and are highly collectible. And Paldean Fates contains a ridiculous 132 of them. Within the 33 packs I opened, I pulled 10 of these, with no duplicates.



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By fcjyy