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The Pokemon TCG continues to evolve (get it?) thanks to a continued stream of new sets that continue to be released. Each time, the Pokemon get more powerful and the moves get stronger. But what are the current sets you can actually play?

What is Standard vs. Expanded in the Pokemon TCG?

The Pokemon TCG has two formats — standard and expanded. The standard format is all of the newest sets, meaning older Pokemon cards that don’t match the “power creep” are in expanded.

You can tell a card is in the standard format when it has an “E” or “F” regulation mark in the corner. The cards that are allowed in the current standard format change as rotation continues, which happens as more sets are released with stronger and stronger cards.

Which Sets are in the Current Standard Rotation?

If you are looking for standard legal cards, you’ll need to make sure they’re from these sets:

Sword & Shield Series

  • Shining Fates
  • Battle Styles
  • Chilling Reign
  • Evolving Skies
  • Celebrations
  • Fusion Strike
  • Brilliant Stars
  • Astral Radiance
  • Pokémon GO
  • Lost Origin
  • Silver Tempest
  • Crown Zenith

Scarlet & Violet Series

  • Scarlet & Violet
  • Paldea Evolved
  • Obsidian Flames
  • 151

Best Standard Sets in 2023

If you are looking to open some packs, you will want to open packs from sets with the most competitively viable cards — or the ones with the most valuable cards. So here are the best standard sets right now.

Scarlet & Violet

Koraidon EX maushold cards in TCG set

This set has a lot of the most powerful Pokemon cards in the current meta, including Gardevoir EX. Even if you don’t want to play competitively, Gardevoir EX can be worth up to $80. But that’s not even the priciest card in the set. You can get up to $106 for an Illustration Rare version of Miriam.

Brilliant Stars

Charizard Vstar and Arceus Vstar in Brilliant Stars set

This set has a lot of viable cards, including Arceus V, Arceus VSTAR, Raikou V, and Lumineon V. But Brilliant Stars also has a lot of high-value cards if you’re a collector, including a handful of Charizard. Charizard V Alternate Art can be worth over $120, Secret Rare Charizard VSTAR is worth over $65, and Full Art Charizard V can fetch $21.

Fusion Strike

Gengar Vmax and Grimmsnarl Fusion Strike cards

This set shook up the meta hardcore when it first came out. A lot of powerful decks utilize Pokemon from this set, including Mew VMAX, Genesect V, and Inteleon VSTAR. Fusion Strike also has a lot of beautiful art, which means collectors are after some lucky pulls. This includes Gengar VMAX, a recently viable card that is still worth about $190 in its Alternate Art Secret form and Espeon VMAX’s Alternate Art Secret at $140.

Lost Origin

Aerodactyl Vstar Snorlax and Zoroark Vstar Lost Origin tcg cards

This stunning expansion has brought Lost Zone into the meta, for better or worse. Lost Box has become a challenging deck to overcome thanks to Comfey and Sableye. While these cards aren’t the most stunning or expensive, Lost Origin is full of collector favorites. The Alternate Art version of Giratina V is worth almost $300 and the Alternate Art of Aerdoactyl — which has him soaring over the earth — is worth over $100. Pikachu VMAX is great for collectors at $36 for the Trainer Gallery variety.