What Are The Best Pokemon Booster Boxes & ETBs to Buy in 2021?

In this article we’re going to look at the best Pokemon booster boxes to buy this year…with one key caveat – they are affordable!

Sure, everyone wants a First Edition Base Set booster box, but let’s actually consider boxes the majority of us can afford.

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

Big disclaimer out of the way, let’s jump into it!

1. 2021 Shining Fates Elite Trainer Boxes

The modern set everyone has been waiting for. Shining Fates is here and it’s a biggie. Pokemon is arguably bigger than it was in ’99, and as we continue through this 25th year, any anniversary set (much like Generations of 2016) will hold long-term appeal and value. Combine that with an incredible looking Charizard VMAX full art card, and the chase is well and truly on. Demand is through the roof though, so whether you’re buying to open or keep sealed, your best bet is eBay.

Best Cards in Shining Fates to Collect

  1. #SV107 Charizard VMAX
  2. #SV122 Eternatus VMAX
  3. #SV119 Ditto VMAX
  4. #73 Alcremie VMAX Rainbow
  5. #SV111 Lapras VMAX

2. 2016 XY Evolutions Booster Boxes

2016 XY Evolutions Booster Box

You knew it was coming! XY Evolutions is the hottest modern Pokemon booster box in recent memory. It just goes to show how nostalgic the original artwork is for people, and what it means to open packs containing these card designs again.

What’s interesting about the set is that it’s actually pretty poorly printed. You’ll often find cards that are well off-centre. But what may seem like a flaw, has actually played to its advantage. This is because when you’re lucky enough to grade a card in a PSA 10, it’s worth a considerable amount of money. Why? Because there just aren’t that many of them, compared to the flood of PSA 9’s!

Take for example, our king and chief the holographic Charizard. Look at the PSA report below. There are approximately 20 times as many PSA 9’s as there are 10’s! It’s no wonder that despite only being a few years old, top graded versions are going for thousands of pounds.

XY Evolutions Charizard Holo PSA Population

This is why Evolutions is a booster box worth buying. Sure, it’s a bit like a spin at the roulette table, but you could theoretically pull one card that is worth 5 times the value of the entire box! It’s crazy! Plus you get to experience the buzz of seeing all your old friends again. O.G. Bulba, Squirtle, Pika, they’re all there! Or, if you’re a fan of sealed product, you could lock it away for a decade and sit on it as an investment piece.

Whatever you decide to do with it, snap up an XY Evolutions Booster Box while you still can.

Best Cards in XY Evolutions to Collect

  1. #11 Charizard Holo
  2. #11 Charizard Reverse Holo
  3. #101 Mega Charizard EX
  4. #102 Mega Blastoise EX
  5. #35 Pikachu Reverse Holo

3. 2016 XY Generations Elite Trainer Boxes

2016 XY Generations Elite Trainer Box

Back to the XY series now, and to the Generations set that was released to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Pokemon.

Unlike most sets, it wasn’t possible to buy booster boxes for Generations. Instead, booster packs were included as part of an ‘Elite Trainer Box (ETB)’ or ‘Collector Boxes’ which featured a particular Pokemon.

The 83 card set, also included an additional subset of 32 cards called the ‘Radiant Collection’.

In my opinion, the combination of popular Gen 1 Pokemon, beautifully designed full art cards (like this Pikachu) and more limited acquisition of booster packs (ETB contain 10 and Collector Boxes contain 4), make Generations a sleeping giant in terms of value.

Best Cards in XY Generations to Collect

  1. #12 Mega Charizard EX Full Art
  2. #11 Charizard EX Full Art
  3. #18 Mega Blastoise EX Full Art
  4. #RC29 Pikachu Full Art
  5. Charmander Toys R Us Holographic Promo

4. 2020 Sword & Shield Series Champion’s Path Elite Trainer Box

2020 Sword & Shield Series Champion's Path Elite Trainer Box

Although it’s the most modern Pokemon set on our list, Champion’s Path rightly takes its place.

Let’s cut to the chase, this is a fiercely sought-after set. Pre-orders went mad, and it was very hard to get hold of an Elite Trainer Box. In fact, most online retailer limited purchasing to one-per-customer, as people were snapping them up so quickly to resell on eBay for an inflated price.

So, why the hype and hysteria?! You guessed it, it’s our man Charizard!

Champion’s Path features two wildly attractive secret rare Charizards, and the ETB even comes with a stunning Charizard promo.

Firstly, we’ve got the Charizard VMAX secret rainbow rare, and then we have an iconic black and red Charizard V card which is also a secret rare. Two bloody secret rare Charizards! No wonder collectors could barely contain themselves!

Most online retailers remain sold out, so if you’re looking to acquire a Champion’s Path Elite Trainer Box, or Collectors Box, your best bet is eBay.

Best Cards in Champion’s Path to Collect

  1. #74 Charizard VMAX Secret Rainbow Rare
  2. #79 Charizard V Full Art Secret Rare
  3. Charizard V Promo
  4. #75-78 Secret Rainbow Rares
  5. #80 Gold Suspicious Food Tin Card

5. 2017 Sun & Moon Burning Shadows Booster Boxes

Next up we have an iconic set from the Sun & Moon era; Burning Shadows.

The previously released Sun & Moon Base Set and Rising Guardians made waves with the introduction of ‘secret rainbow rare cards’, a design never seen before on a Pokemon card. However Burning Shadows was the set everyone was waiting for when news dropped of a secret rare rainbow Charizard!

With PSA 9 copies of the card now reaching £1,000+ and PSA 10 at the £4,000+ mark (at the time of writing), it’s certainly worth considering adding a booster box to your collection.

And it’s not just the Charizard that has significant value. The stunning gold energy cards (fire, darkness and fairy) go for hundreds of pounds in a PSA 10. In fact, with 22 ‘secret rares’ there’s significant value to be had in most Burning Shadows booster boxes.

Best Cards in Burning Shadows to Collect

  1. #150 Charizard EX Secret Rainbow Rare
  2. #167 Gold Fire Energy Holo
  3. #168 Gold Darkness Energy Holo
  4. #169 Gold Fairy Energy Holo
  5. #148-160 Any Secret Rainbow Rare

6. 2019 Sun & Moon Hidden Fates Elite Trainer Boxes

If you’ve heard Poke-tubers rave about Hidden Fates as ‘one of the best sets from the Sun & Moon era’, they’re not wrong!

This is such a fun set to open and collect, because there’s such diversity across the card designs.

You’ve got 68 standard cards, followed by a stunning triple-team Moltres, Zapdos & Articuno rainbow rare. Then there’s a subset of 94 cards from the ‘shiny vault’, with the ultimate chase card being the Full Art Charizard GX.

Similar to Generations, it’s not possible to buy Hidden Fates booster boxes. To acquire these wonderful cards you’ll need to look for Elite Trainer Boxes, Tins, and Collector Boxes. There are so many valuable hits that you can potentially pull from Hidden Fates booster packs, it’s definitely worth adding to your wish list.

Best Cards in Hidden Fates to Collect

  1. #SV49 Charizard GX Full Art
  2. Full Art GX Eevee Evolutions (Leafeon, Glaceon, Umbreon, Sylveon)
  3. #69 Moltres, Zapdos & Articuno Rainbow Rare
  4. #SV6 Charmander Holo
  5. #SV59 Mewtwo GX Full Art

What Pokemon Booster Boxes Will Be Released in 2021?

So there you have, my top picks for this year.

But as you know, the world of Pokemon doesn’t stand still!

With the 25th Anniversary is upon us, you can bet your bottom dollar Pokemon have plenty of big things planned…

Make sure you’re ready!

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