What is an Ultra Rare card? Pokemon TCG explained

Em Stonham
Torterra Ex Pokemon card with garden background.

Trying to figure out which sort of Pokemon card you just pulled? Here’s a complete breakdown of what an Ultra Rare Pokemon card is and how you can spot them.

Understanding the difference between Pokemon card rarities like Illustration Rares and Hyper Rares can take some time and practice. There are a fair few different rarities out there, varying from era to era, and Ultra Rares are arguably some of the most underappreciated for their art and value.

Ultra Rares can be identified by their rarity set symbol, which is a double white/silver star on the bottom left-hand corner of the card. You can see an example on the card below.

Example of an Ultra Rare Pokemon card.
Example of an Ultra Rare Pokemon card.

If you’re wondering what the closest thing to an Ultra Rare is for Japanese Pokemon cards, look for the Super Rare or ‘SR’ rarity symbol. The rarity classifications for English and Japanese cards fall under different names, but there’s usually an equivalent.

It is important to highlight that the Scarlet & Violet era of the TCG introduced a lot of changes to the rarity system in Pokemon. Older cards will not necessarily fall into the same categories.

How can you spot an Ultra Rare card?

Ultra Rares are easily confused with other types of Pokemon card rarities and categories. If you think you’ve pulled one, ask yourself the following questions to double-check:

  1. Are there two stars in the left-hand corner of the card? There will always be a double star symbol on an Ultra Rare card (in the modern TCG, anyway) with one star on the left slightly higher than the one on the right.
  2. Are the stars a white or silver color? If you’ve got a double star symbol that’s golden instead, you’re likely looking at a Special Illustration Rare instead.
  3. Does the rest of the card information make sense? For example, is the card number indicative that the card is a part of the Secret Rare category? This means that the card number would be higher than the base set number e.g. 185/162 on the card in the example above.

You can always use the Pokemon TCG database on the official Pokemon site to review your card and see what it’s listed as there, too. It’s a useful tool to have on hand.

If you’ve pulled an Ultra Rare or two, why not check out our price guides? We’ve got price guides up for the most expensive Temporal Forces cards and the most expensive Paldean Fates cards, so you can review them and pick out your next Chase card.

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