Prerelease cards (TCG)

Prerelease cards
Cards in set 159
Release period August 1999 - Present

Prerelease cards are reprints of one selected card from a Pokémon Trading Card Game expansion with a foil "PRERELEASE" stamp or the expansion's logo in the bottom right corner of the card illustration.


Wizards of the Coast first produced Prerelease cards when the TCG was first localised, and were given to participants of the early test leagues of what would later become the Pokémon League. Prerelease cards were then only awarded through select sites of the Pokémon League for the next three expansions before Wizards ceased their production. After Pokémon USA acquired the TCG license and fully established the Play! Pokémon program, Prerelease events were set up to coincide with the release of the upcoming expansions. In the United States, Prerelease events are typically held over two weekends prior to the commercial release of expansions, and have continued to be an integral part of the TCG calendar.


  • Officially, there were only four Prerelease cards released by Wizards. However, whilst printing a test run of Jungle Clefable cards (a trial of the Prerelease cards for the Pokémon League), several Base Set Raichu cards were said to have been added to the sheet, and therefore also included a Prerelease stamp. The error was corrected and the Raichu cards were apparently given to Wizards employees. Despite this common knowledge within the TCG community, Wizards continued to deny their existence for years.
  • Luxio from Diamond & Pearl was the first Prerelease card to have a "STAFF" stamped version, for the Prerelease event organizers. Cards released thereafter have continued to feature staff versions as well as a normal version.
    • Staff versions were temporarily halted from the Battle Styles expansion due to unknown reasons - although a combination of hoarding, scalpers, and the COVID-19 pandemic halting in-person tournament play may have been influential[1]. However, the staff versions have since been resumed as of Silver Tempest.
    • 4 of the 7 sets that were skipped (Evolving Skies, Brilliant Stars, Astral Radiance and Lost Origin) have since had the Staff versions released to Pokémon Leagues in Europe. It is unclear whether these will be released outside of Europe, or if the remaining 3 sets (Battle Styles, Chilling Reign, and Fusion Strike) will ever be released[1].
  • Buck's Training from Legends Awakened was the first (and to-date only) non-Pokémon Prerelease card.
  • With the release of HeartGold & SoulSilver, Prerelease cards no longer feature the "PRERELEASE" stamp, and instead feature the expansion logo.
  • Starting from the Dark Explorers expansion until the end of the Black & White Series, all Prerelease cards were actual promotional cards and featured alternate art.
    • For only the XY and Evolutions expansions since this, the Prerelease promos returned to specially stamped cards from the expansion. They are Black Star Promos in between these two sets (from Flashfire until Steam Siege), and from Sun & Moon onwards.
  • Starting from the Fates Collide expansion, there are four available Prerelease cards, released in Prerelease Kits (alongside four staff versions available at Prerelease events for organizers).
  • The rarities of the cards chosen to be Prerelease cards have followed trends during certain periods of the TCG:

Card lists

Wizards of the Coast Prerelease cards
No. Image Card name Type Promotion
14/102   Raichu   Allegedly produced in trial run
1/64   Clefable   Pokémon League (August 1999)
1/62   Aerodactyl   Pokémon League (October 1999)
8/82   Dark Gyarados   Pokémon League (April 2000)
9/132   Misty's Seadra   Pokémon League (July 2000)

The Pokémon Company International Prerelease cards
No. Image Card name Type Promotion
1/100   Armaldo   EX Sandstorm Prerelease
32/97   Gyarados   EX Dragon Prerelease
24/95   Team Aqua's Cacnea    EX Team Magma vs Team Aqua Prerelease
50/101   Swalot   EX Hidden Legends Prerelease
50/112   Wartortle   EX FireRed & LeafGreen Prerelease
37/109   Dark Houndoom    EX Team Rocket Returns Prerelease
38/107   Manectric   EX Deoxys Prerelease
29/106   Grumpig   EX Emerald Prerelease
35/115   Bayleef   EX Unseen Forces Prerelease
49/113   Metang δ   EX Delta Species Prerelease
45/92   Tentacruel   EX Legend Maker Prerelease
41/110   Exeggutor δ   EX Holon Phantoms Prerelease
35/100   Ivysaur   EX Crystal Guardians Prerelease
28/101   Dragonair δ   EX Dragon Frontiers Prerelease
27/108   Cacturne   EX Power Keepers Prerelease
52/130   Luxio   Diamond & Pearl Prerelease
48/123   Gabite   Mysterious Treasures Prerelease
53/132   Kirlia   Secret Wonders Prerelease
49/106   Porygon2   Great Encounters Prerelease
42/100   Mothim   Majestic Dawn Prerelease
130/146   Buck's Training Su Legends Awakened Prerelease
46/100   Piloswine   Stormfront Prerelease
53/127   Lucario   Platinum Prerelease
52/111   Tropius   Rising Rivals Prerelease
70/147   Milotic   Supreme Victors Prerelease
27/99   Raichu   Arceus Prerelease
28/123   Pichu   HeartGold & SoulSilver Prerelease
13/95   Blastoise   Unleashed Prerelease
17/90   Leafeon   Undaunted Prerelease
20/102   Electivire   Triumphant Prerelease
33/106   Snorlax   Call of Legends Prerelease
25/114   Darmanitan   Black & White Prerelease
53/98   Gigalith   Emerging Powers Prerelease
43/101   Victini   Noble Victories Prerelease
12/99   Arcanine   Next Destinies Prerelease
BW40   Volcarona   Dark Explorers Prerelease
BW48   Altaria   Dragons Exalted Prerelease
BW53   Flygon   Boundaries Crossed Prerelease
BW51   Crobat   Plasma Storm Prerelease
BW75   Metagross   Plasma Freeze Prerelease
BW84   Porygon-Z   Plasma Blast Prerelease
BW96   Tornadus-EX   Legendary Treasures Prerelease
86/146   Aegislash   XY Prerelease
XY10   Dragalge   Flashfire Prerelease
XY13   Machamp   Furious Fists Prerelease
XY21   Bronzong   Phantom Forces Prerelease
XY39   Kingdra   Primal Clash Prerelease
XY46   Altaria   Roaring Skies Prerelease
XY60   Gyarados   Ancient Origins Prerelease
XY68   Chesnaught   BREAKthrough Prerelease
XY94   Trevenant   BREAKpoint Prerelease
XY127   Moltres   Fates Collide Prerelease
XY128   White Kyurem   Fates Collide Prerelease
XY129   Zygarde   Fates Collide Prerelease
XY130   Tyranitar   Fates Collide Prerelease
XY144   Yanmega   Steam Siege Prerelease
XY145   Volcanion   Steam Siege Prerelease
XY146   Clawitzer   Steam Siege Prerelease
XY147   Hoopa   Steam Siege Prerelease
11/108   Charizard   Evolutions Prerelease
34/108   Gyarados   Evolutions Prerelease
51/108   Mewtwo   Evolutions Prerelease
59/108   Machamp   Evolutions Prerelease
SM10   Shiinotic   Sun & Moon Prerelease
SM11   Bruxish   Sun & Moon Prerelease
SM12   Passimian   Sun & Moon Prerelease
SM13   Oranguru   Sun & Moon Prerelease
SM18   Alolan Sandslash   Guardians Rising Prerelease
SM19   Oricorio   Guardians Rising Prerelease
SM20   Mudsdale   Guardians Rising Prerelease
SM21   Drampa   Guardians Rising Prerelease
SM46   Seviper   Burning Shadows Prerelease
SM47   Crabominable   Burning Shadows Prerelease
SM48   Zygarde   Burning Shadows Prerelease
SM49   Bewear   Burning Shadows Prerelease
SM72   Alolan Raichu   Crimson Invasion Prerelease
SM73   Salazzle   Crimson Invasion Prerelease
SM74   Regirock   Crimson Invasion Prerelease
SM75   Registeel   Crimson Invasion Prerelease
SM94   Wash Rotom   Ultra Prism Prerelease
SM95   Lucario   Ultra Prism Prerelease
SM96   Heatran   Ultra Prism Prerelease
SM97   Gumshoos   Ultra Prism Prerelease
SM115   Pheromosa   Forbidden Light Prerelease
SM116   Xurkitree   Forbidden Light Prerelease
SM117   Malamar   Forbidden Light Prerelease
SM118   Lycanroc   Forbidden Light Prerelease
SM129   Kyogre   Celestial Storm Prerelease
SM130   Manectric   Celestial Storm Prerelease
SM131   Celesteela   Celestial Storm Prerelease
SM132   Delcatty   Celestial Storm Prerelease
SM149   Suicune   Lost Thunder Prerelease
SM150   Raikou   Lost Thunder Prerelease
SM151   Giratina   Lost Thunder Prerelease
SM152   Tapu Lele   Lost Thunder Prerelease
SM158   Charizard   Team Up Prerelease
SM159   Zapdos   Team Up Prerelease
SM160   Nidoqueen   Team Up Prerelease
SM161   Jirachi   Team Up Prerelease
SM179   Volcanion   Unbroken Bonds Prerelease
SM180   Stakataka   Unbroken Bonds Prerelease
SM181   Melmetal   Unbroken Bonds Prerelease
SM182   Persian   Unbroken Bonds Prerelease
SM202   Amoonguss   Unified Minds Prerelease
SM203   Tapu Fini   Unified Minds Prerelease
SM204   Necrozma   Unified Minds Prerelease
SM205   Terrakion   Unified Minds Prerelease
SM218   Buzzwole   Cosmic Eclipse Prerelease
SM219   Entei   Cosmic Eclipse Prerelease
SM220   Phione   Cosmic Eclipse Prerelease
SM221   Blacephalon   Cosmic Eclipse Prerelease
SWSH006   Rillaboom   Sword & Shield Prerelease
SWSH007   Frosmoth   Sword & Shield Prerelease
SWSH008   Galarian Perrserker   Sword & Shield Prerelease
SWSH009   Cinccino   Sword & Shield Prerelease
SWSH022   Flapple   Rebel Clash Prerelease
SWSH023   Luxray   Rebel Clash Prerelease
SWSH024   Coalossal   Rebel Clash Prerelease
SWSH025   Garbodor   Rebel Clash Prerelease
SWSH035   Decidueye   Darkness Ablaze Prerelease
SWSH036   Arctozolt   Darkness Ablaze Prerelease
SWSH037   Hydreigon   Darkness Ablaze Prerelease
SWSH038   Kangaskhan   Darkness Ablaze Prerelease
SWSH066   Charizard   Vivid Voltage Prerelease
SWSH067   Donphan   Vivid Voltage Prerelease
SWSH068   Snorlax   Vivid Voltage Prerelease
SWSH069   Lugia   Vivid Voltage Prerelease
SWSH088   Cherrim   Battle Styles Prerelease
SWSH089   Octillery   Battle Styles Prerelease
SWSH090   Houndoom   Battle Styles Prerelease
SWSH091   Bronzong   Battle Styles Prerelease
SWSH112   Cinderace   Chilling Reign Prerelease
SWSH113   Inteleon   Chilling Reign Prerelease
SWSH114   Cresselia   Chilling Reign Prerelease
SWSH115   Passimian   Chilling Reign Prerelease
SWSH122   Flaaffy   Evolving Skies Prerelease
SWSH123   Galarian Articuno   Evolving Skies Prerelease
SWSH124   Galarian Zapdos   Evolving Skies Prerelease
SWSH125   Galarian Moltres   Evolving Skies Prerelease
SWSH168   Oricorio   Fusion Strike Prerelease
SWSH169   Pyukumuku   Fusion Strike Prerelease
SWSH170   Deoxys   Fusion Strike Prerelease
SWSH171   Latias   Fusion Strike Prerelease
SWSH185   Moltres   Brilliant Stars Prerelease
SWSH186   Lucario   Brilliant Stars Prerelease
SWSH187   Liepard   Brilliant Stars Prerelease
SWSH188   Bibarel   Brilliant Stars Prerelease
SWSH205   Hisuian Basculegion   Astral Radiance Prerelease
SWSH206   Wyrdeer   Astral Radiance Prerelease
SWSH207   Hisuian Samurott   Astral Radiance Prerelease
SWSH208   Magnezone   Astral Radiance Prerelease
SWSH240   Finneon   Lost Origin Prerelease
SWSH241   Gengar   Lost Origin Prerelease
SWSH242   Comfey   Lost Origin Prerelease
SWSH243   Machamp   Lost Origin Prerelease
SWSH269   Sunflora   Silver Tempest Prerelease
SWSH270   Rapidash   Silver Tempest Prerelease
SWSH271   Kirlia   Silver Tempest Prerelease
SWSH272   Archeops   Silver Tempest Prerelease
005   Quaquaval   Scarlet & Violet Prerelease
006   Pawmot   Scarlet & Violet Prerelease
007   Hawlucha   Scarlet & Violet Prerelease
008   Revavroom   Scarlet & Violet Prerelease
019   Baxcalibur   Paldea Evolved Prerelease
020   Tinkaton   Paldea Evolved Prerelease
021   Murkrow   Paldea Evolved Prerelease
022   Pelipper   Paldea Evolved Prerelease
036   Palafin   Obsidian Flames Prerelease
037   Cleffa   Obsidian Flames Prerelease
038   Togekiss   Obsidian Flames Prerelease
039   Mawile   Obsidian Flames Prerelease
057   Chi-Yu   Paradox Rift Prerelease
058   Iron Bundle   Paradox Rift Prerelease
059   Xatu   Paradox Rift Prerelease
060   Aegislash   Paradox Rift Prerelease

  This article is part of Project TCG, a Bulbapedia project that aims to report on every aspect of the Pokémon Trading Card Game.

Pokémon Trading Card Game expansions and releases
Bold indicates a main expansion. Italics indicate a special set. Releases that are entirely composed of prints from other releases are small.
Miscellaneous releases
Unreleased Wizards sets: CrosstrainerLegendary Collection 2Jamboree
Miscellaneous Promotional cards: Prerelease cardsW Promotional cardsWinner cardsBox TopperJumbo cardsMetal cardsToys "R" Us Promotional cardsYellow A Alternate cards