Holofoil cards (also known as Holographic Foil, Foil, Holo, Reverse Holo, Reverse foil or Holographic) are a special type of card from the Pokémon Trading Card Game. Most are Pokémon cards. They are identical to their normal counterpart aside from a Holofoil effect in the picture (Holofoil) or the card background (Reverse Holofoil). A small amount of Rare () cards within each expansion are Holofoil. They may be pulled from Booster packs as the rare card, but is not guaranteed. They are rarer compared to non Holofoil rare cards.
As of the japanese Black & White collection expansion sets, a new form of rarity symbol was implemented, instead of utilizing shapes to symbolize rarity, it was replaced by letters, so replaces on Rare cards, which are all Holofoil.
As of the English Scarlet & Violet expansion set, all Rare cards are now Holofoil.
In most of the English versions of Japanese sets, cards that were originally only holofoil are given non-holofoil counterparts. The e-cards are an exception to this, as even the Japanese versions of the sets had holofoil and non-holofoil versions of cards. Only the non-holofoil versions had dot codes that could be read with the e-Reader. This was apparently because the holofoil caused complications with the dot codes. When holofoil cards have non-holofoil counterparts, the non-holofoil cards are the more common of the two, even though both are marked with the same rarity. As such, they are numbered differently within sets and generally considered different cards in terms of collectibility. In play, however, the cards operate the same, and thus are viewed mostly as the same.
Cosmos Holofoil was introduced for all Holo cards in Base Set 2 and was used for all Holo cards until Call of Legends, along with various promotional cards.
It consists of dots and circles of different sizes spread across the image of the Pokémon.
In EX Delta Species, the Holofoil rare design changed exclusively for δ Delta Species Pokémon, with the card border and Pokémon itself featuring a plain Holofoil treatment.
Tinsel Holofoil was used on standard Holo cards between Black & White until Legendary Treasures, along with various promotional cards.
It consists of horizontal stripes across the image. In Japanese Holofoil cards of these sets, the border of the card also has a tinsel Holofoil effect.
Sheen or Mirror Holofoil is used for all Holo cards from XY, and on various promotional cards.
There are differences in the pattern depending on the language of the card; Japanese Holofoil cards refract light in a diagonal direction from bottom left to top right across the entire card; Korean Holofoil cards have the same effect and direction, but only cover the image of the Pokémon; and international releases have the same effect as Japanese cards, but only cover the image, and the direction is from bottom right to top left.
Occasionally called Broken Glass or Shards, Cracked Ice Holofoil is used for the exclusive version of the featured card in Theme Decks from the BW Era/Series, along with promotional cards included in Blister Packs.
Reverse Holofoil cards are an alternative print of the cards in a set. Since Legendary Collection, one Reverse Holofoil card has been included in each booster pack. In contrast to a regular Holofoil card where the effect is applied to the picture, a Reverse Holofoil usually has the effect applied to the entire card apart from the picture, or the picture uses an alternative holo pattern, in addition to possible background patterns. A Reverse Holofoil counterpart is usually available for every card in a set, excluding Ultra Rare and Secret Rare cards, and any full-art cards.
1st Edition cards were last printed in Neo Destiny, and were ceased to be made at this point mainly due to 1st Edition prints regularly having delays, causing them to be received after the Unlimited print runs had arrived at retail. To replace these and to appeal to collectors, Legendary Collection was the first set to include Reverse Holographic cards. Wizards of the Coast used Magic: The Gathering as a basis and made a Reverse Holographic card for every single card in the set, with each booster pack containing one Reverse Holographic card, with only a few exceptions. This trend continued with all Wizards of the Coast expansions, and carried over with Nintendo's occupation of the TCG, appearing in all main expansions to the modern day.
Reverse Holofoil Patterns
This article is incomplete. Please feel free to edit this article to add missing information and complete it. Reason: images of all Reverse Holofoil patterns, for each type (including Trainers and Special Energy), for Emerging Powers to Steam Siege, Sun & Moon to Cosmic Eclipse, and Sword & Shield onwards.
The designs of Reverse Holographic cards have changed many times since their introduction, with many sets featuring unique designs.
Both the Holofoil and non Holofoil rare cards had identical Reverse Holographic counterparts in Expedition Base Set (apart from the card number). Wizards of the Coast rectified this in Aquapolis and Skyridge by numbering the Holofoil cards differently (e.g., H12) and not producing Reverse Holofoils for these cards.
EX Hidden Legends swapped from the background of the card being holographic, to featuring an energy symbol holo pattern in the picture window with the type of the Pokémon shown as a faint foil symbol in the attack box.
EX FireRed & LeafGreen featured an energy symbol holo pattern in the picture window with a Poké Ball shape shown as a faint foil symbol in the attack box. Reverse Holo versions of the Rare Holo cards also have gold text for the Pokémon name and a holo rarity symbol to avoid confusion between these and the Reverse Holo versions of non holo cards, which continued until Diamond & Pearl.
EX Deoxys features a "wheel" holo pattern and the set logo in the bottom right of the picture window.
EX Emerald features a Poké Ball and stars holo pattern and the set logo in the bottom right of the picture window.
EX Unseen Forces features a similar pattern to EX Emerald, but with a 3D Poké Ball pattern instead and the usual set logo in the bottom right of the picture window.
EX Delta Species to EX Power Keepers feature the same foil used on the standard holofoils on the background image, with the main difference being the usual set logo in the bottom right of the picture window. The Reverse Holofoil versions of the regular Rare Holofoils and regular Rares also have a Holofoil HP text, in addition to the usual holo Pokémon name and rarity symbol. Reverse Holo versions of the Rare Holofoils also feature a holo card border.
Emerging Powers to Steam Siege feature the card's respective Type symbol in the background of the card (Poké Balls for Trainer cards, and a variant of the Colorless symbol for Special Energy cards). Steam Siege's dual-type Pokémon cards use both types' designs on either side of the split in the background.