What Are The Best Pokemon Theme Decks?
Nothing pays homage to the original trading card game better than a Pokemon theme deck.
Assembled with a specific strategy in mind, these decks are preconstructed, meaning you know the cards you’re going to get.
Now as a collector, you may argue this takes the fun out of pack opening!
But as an investor, they provide a great opportunity (especially with vintage decks) to add value.
In this article I’m going to present to you the best Pokemon theme decks, I think are worth buying this year.
It goes without saying, this is not investment advice! I’m merely sharing my opinion. You are responsible for how you spend your money!
Let’s jump in!
1) 2 Player Starter Deck from Base Set
Taking it back to the very beginning, the 2 Player Starter Deck from Base Set is probably the most widely recognised theme deck you’ll come across.
Containing the iconic 1st Edition Machamp Holographic card, 2 Charmeleon’s, 4 Charmander’s and a host of other base set cards, there’s tons of value to be had in this 61 card deck.
Interestingly, if you know what you’re looking for, you can also find Shadowless versions of this theme deck. I’ve only ever found one of these, but naturally, it’s considerably more valuable. If you’re unsure of the difference between Shadowless and the more common unlimited cards, see here.
Whether you keep it sealed, or crack the seal, this is a staple piece for any collection.
2) ZAP! Theme Deck from Base Set
Staying with Base Set, I’m a huge fan of the ZAP! Theme Deck. Combining both Electric and Psychic Pokemon, there are some great cards inside.
Holographic Base Set Mewtwo is the showpiece, but it also contains 4 Pikachu’s, 3 Abra’s, 2 Haunter’s and a Kadabra. And again, there are Shadowless versions.
Considering the price of these sealed decks, and the potential sale price of the individual cards when graded, this deck is one of the best Pokemon investment pieces on my list, and one I buy again and again.
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3) Blaine Theme Deck from Gym Challenge
Now let’s take things off the beaten track a little bit…
Gym Challenge is a hugely popular WOTC era set from the year 2000, containing Pokemon that belonged to legendary trainers Sabrina, Koga, Giovanni and Blaine; and it’s Blaine’s theme deck that’s worth paying particular attention to.
Containing an all-star lineup of fire Pokemon such as (x3) Blaine’s Charmander, (x2) Blaine’s Charmeleon, (x4) Blaine’s Growlithe (2 different artworks) and the stunning Blaine’s Arcanine Holographic, this incredible theme deck is highly valuable, but not that easy to find.
4) Dark Theme Deck from Neo Destiny
Continuing on to something a bit more rare, and we jump the second generation of Pokemon presented beautifully in the iconic Neo Destiny set.
There are only two theme decks in Neo Destiny, ‘Light’ and ‘Dark’, but with the later containing a holographic Dark Typhlosion, Dark Haunter, 3 Dark Quilava’s and 4 Cyndaquil (2 artworks) it’s an absolute beast of a deck!
Again, these aren’t that easy to find and require deeper pockets than the theme decks listed above. But I firmly believe the price is a reflection of the value you get inside.
5) Lava & Turmoil Theme Deck from Legendary Collection
Now on to two of my absolute favourites!
Legendary Collection is a fitting name for this dazzling set. Only released in the US, it contains artwork from Base Set, Jungle Fossil and Team Rocket. But the best part, every card has a reverse holographic version with the shimmering firework design as seen below.
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With regard to the theme decks, I feel it’s worth mentioning both.
Each 61 card deck contains 1 random reverse holographic, meaning you could pull the Charizard! A £25k+ card (at the time of writing). Of course you could also pull a reverse Bill, so it’s swings and roundabouts!
However aside from the random reverse, both decks have a stellar lineup.
I personally feel Lava edges it as it contains the incredibly rare non-holographic Charizard. That’s right, the original artwork from Base Set, but in non-holo form. Very cool!
Turmoil is also a bit of a beast though, with 3 rare cards; Dark Blastoise, Dark Raichu and Magneton. It’s also got epic uncommon and commons such as (x2) Dark Dragonair, (x3) Dark Wortortle, (x3) Pikachu and (x4) Squirtle!
This has to be one of the best Pokemon theme decks in existence for diversity of cards.
I’m sure you’ve gathered by now, the further we’ve ventured down this list, the more elusive and valuable these decks get.
They don’t appear on the market often, but if you’ve got the wallet and the opportunity, I personally feel they provide great bang for your buck, and are worth snapping up.
Last updated July 20, 2022