In Japan, Regular, Full Art, and Rainbow Rare versions of this card were all released as SM-P Promotional cards in conjunction with the Thunderclap Spark subset. The Regular version was given to visitors of Pokémon Gym meetings hosting Thunderclap Spark Shield Games who purchased a booster box of the subset. Shield Games operate much in the same way as Limited format tournaments outside Japan, restricting the cards players can use in their decks to those received at the event.
The Full Art version could be obtained by winners of the Zekrom SR Competition, which served as the July format for the monthly DeckBuildBattle events. Entrants received 15 Thunderclap Spark packs and 15 copies each of basic Grass, Fire, Water, Lightning, and Metal Energy cards. All participating Pokémon Card Gym venues held DeckBuildBattle events using this format from July 6 until 31, 2018. The Rainbow Rare version could be acquired by top finishers of the Zekrom HR Competition, the number of which depended on the capacity of participating venues. Venues with a capacity of 32 people or less awarded 1 copy; those with a capacity of 33 to 64 people awarded 2 copies; those with a capacity of 65 to 96 people awarded 3 copies; those with a capacity of 96 to 128 people awarded 4 copies; and venues with a capacity of 129 or more people awarded 5 copies. Like the SR Competition, entrants received 15 Thunderclap Spark packs and a quantity of basic Energy cards upon entry. The Zekrom HR Competition was held at specific Pokémon Card Gym venues between July 7 and August 2, 2018 in addition to specific Pokémon Centers between August 3 and 31, 2018. An invitation-only Zekrom HR Competition, which served as a Thunderclap Spark prerelease event, was also held at the NicoNico Honsha, Ikebukuro, Tokyo on July 5, 2018 to decide the first winner of the card. In total, only 100 copies of the Rainbow Rare version were awarded.
A lack of organization at venues hosting the Zekrom SR Competition early in the campaign prompted The Pokémon Company to issue apologies on July 11 and 13, 2018 and announce the possibility of future delays or the rescheduling of meetings. These apologies also stated approximately 1,000 copies of the Full Art print were intended to be distributed over the campaign period.
The Regular print was later released as one of the SM Black Star Promos, available in the North American Dragon Majesty Legends of Unova GX Premium Collection and in the European Dragon Majesty Legends of Unova GX Collection from October 26, 2018.