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What’s the Story Behind Pokemon XY Evolutions?

Pokemon XY Evolutions is the final set of the XY era of Pokemon cards.

It came out on 2nd November 2016 and contains 108 cards plus 5 secret rares.

It was hugely popular at first, however as Evolutions booster packs found their way into every promotional product under the sun, demand began to wane.

However! In 2020 it made a comeback and become one of the most in demand modern booster boxes.

In this article, we’re going to look at the pros and cons of XY Evolutions and whether I think you should buy one or not!

*Big disclaimer*

It goes without saying, this is not investment advice! I’m merely sharing my opinion. You are responsible for how you spend your money!

Pros of Buying XY Evolutions

1. Original Artwork

XY Evolutions contains many of the original artworks from Base Set. As such, this set offers huge nostalgic value.

2. Charizards Old & New

There are a whopping five different Charizard cards to collect, which will always be a hit among collectors:

  • #11 Charizard Holographic (original Mitsuhiro Artia artwork)
  • #11 Charizard Reverse Holographic (original Mitsuhiro Artia artwork)
  • #12 Charizard EX
  • #13 Mega Charizard EX
  • #101 Mega Charizard EX (Full Art)


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3. Cards Graded a 10 Hold Their Value Well

It is very common to find cards in Evolutions that have poor centering. As such, it means it’s difficult to grade cards in a 10. Whilst this appears to be a negative, it’s actually not. Evolutions is a set with a very high grading population (over 56k cards and rising). If you’re lucky enough to own perfect 10 cards, then they’ll hold their value well. See PSA 10 prices here on eBay.

4. A Cheaper Alternative to Base Set

With Base Set booster boxes going for £15k-£30k over the past year, XY Evolutions are a considerably cheaper alternative if you want the fun of opening packs and seeing those original artworks again. Evolutions booster boxes currently sell for around £600-£700 on eBay (at the time of writing). Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t exactly chump change, but it’s certainly a more cost effective way in.

5. The Mix of Old & New

The original artworks are a joy to pull, but there are also some wonderfully designed full art cards. My favourite are #106 Dragonite EX and #108 Misty’s Determination. With Evolutions, I think Pokemon got the balance between old and new just right.

Cons of Buying XY Evolutions

1. The Price is Probably Still Too High

Despite being a much cheaper alternative to Base Set, considering how much Evolutions was printed and how many sealed booster boxes there are on the market, my gut tells me the price is still overinflated.

2. Questionable Print Quality

As I mentioned above, cards graded a 10 will hold their values well in my opinion. However, you have to be really lucky to pull perfect cards. Expect to see a lot of ‘off centre’ cards if you plan on cracking open packs. Reverse holographic cards are also very hard to grade in a 10 because the holo area is so large, therefore prone to print lines and imperfections. If you plan to open and grade cards from Evolutions to turn a profit, you better be darn sure they’re mint!


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3. More Charizards isn’t Necessarily Better

Despite there being five Charizards in the set, it’s only really the Arita artwork that is well respected and valued in Evolutions. The other artworks just lack a bit of wow factor.

4. The Set Lacks ‘The Big Three’

Although Evolutions has the iconic Base Set Charizard artwork, it doesn’t have the Blastoise or Venusaur. Instead there are modern ‘Mega EX’ versions of these two Pokemon. In my opinion, it’s a bit of a shame as it would have been nice to collect all three.

5. Some Weird Additions

This is very much personal preference, but I feel like there were some weird additions to Evolutions. The five secret rares (Exeggutor, Flying Pikachu, Surfing Pikachu, Imakuni?’s Doduo and Here Comes Team Rocket) aren’t particular major ‘chase cards’ and also the horizontal ‘Break Cards’ just don’t look great!

Should You Buy a Pokemon XY Evolutions Booster Box?

XY Evolutions appears pretty high up on my list of the best Pokemon booster boxes to buy.

I find it one of the most enjoyable boxes to open as it’s the closest thing to Base Set there is without having to pay thousands!

However, it’s not for everyone, especially those looking to profit. Here’s a summary of who I think it’s for, and not for.

Who It’s Good For:

  • Collectors who loved Pokemon in the late 90s and want the nostalgic buzz of seeing the old artworks again, without breaking the bank
  • Collectors who love the OG Charizard card and want this modern variant (of course not guaranteed in a box!)
  • Those who are building up a sealed collection of booster boxes

Who It’s Not Good For:

  • People looking to purchase as an investment – there are better alternatives out there
  • People looking to open the packs, grade the cards, then sell for a profit – profit is unlikely
  • Collectors who grade and only want to keep Gem Mint 10s

Thanks for checking out my article. If you’re to acquire a box yourself you can check out the latest prices here on eBay.