Prerelease cards (TCG)

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Prerelease cards are reprints of one selected card from a Pokémon Trading Card Game Expansion with a foil "PRERELEASE" stamp in the bottom right corner of the card art.


  • Wizards only (officially) produced Prerelease cards from 4 Expansions, which were available through select sites of the Pokémon League just before the release of the set. Nintendo however, set up special Prerelease tournaments held on weekends before the release of the Expansion to distribute these cards, starting with their second Expansion. Prerelease tournaments have now become standard convention under the supervision of Pokémon Organized Play, and have continued to be a part of the TCG calendar since.


  • Officially, there are only 4 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 erroneously added to the sheet, and therefore also included a Prerelease stamp. The error was corrected and the Raichu cards were apparrently given to Wizards employees. Despite this common knowledge within the TCG community, Wizards continued to deny their existence.
  • All of the Wizards cards are holographic; the only holographic Nintendo card is Armaldo, likely as it was the first Prerelease card to be produced by them.
  • Luxio was the first Prerelease card to have a "STAFF" stamped version, for the Prerelease event organizers. Sets released thereafter have continued to feature STAFF versions as well as a normal version.
  • Buck's Training was the first non-Pokémon Prerelease card.
  • Holographic cards returned with HeartGold & SoulSilver's Pichu. It was also the first card not to include the Prerelease logo, instead the set's logo.

Wizards Prerelease cards

Card Name Type Rarity Promotion
Raichu Lightning (H) Erroneously produced in trial run
Clefable Colorless (H) Pokémon League (August 1999)
Aerodactyl Fighting (H) Pokémon League (October 1999)
Dark Gyarados Water (H) Pokémon League (April 2000)
Misty's Seadra Water (H) Pokémon League (July 2000)

Nintendo Prerelease cards

Card Name Type Rarity Promotion
Armaldo Fighting (H) EX Sandstorm Prerelease
Gyarados Water -- EX Dragon Prerelease
Team Aqua's Cacnea GrassDarkness -- EX Team Magma vs Team Aqua Prerelease
Swalot Grass -- EX Hidden Legends Prerelease
Wartortle Water -- EX FireRed & LeafGreen Prerelease
Dark Houndoom FireDarkness -- EX Team Rocket Returns Prerelease
Manectric Lightning -- EX Deoxys Prerelease
Grumpig Psychic -- EX Emerald Prerelease
Bayleef Grass -- EX Unseen Forces Prerelease
Metang δ Lightning -- EX Delta Species Prerelease
Tentacruel Water -- EX Legend Maker Prerelease
Exeggutor δ Fighting -- EX Holon Phantoms Prerelease
Ivysaur Grass -- EX Crystal Guardians Prerelease
Dragonair δ Grass -- EX Dragon Frontiers Prerelease
Cacturne Darkness -- EX Power Keepers Prerelease
Luxio Lightning -- Diamond & Pearl Prerelease
Gabite Colorless -- Mysterious Treasures Prerelease
Kirlia Psychic -- Secret Wonders Prerelease
Porygon2 Colorless -- Great Encounters Prerelease
Mothim Grass -- Majestic Dawn Prerelease
Buck's Training Su -- Legends Awakened Prerelease
Piloswine Fighting -- Stormfront Prerelease
Lucario Metal -- Platinum Prerelease
Tropius Grass -- Rising Rivals Prerelease
Milotic Water -- Supreme Victors Prerelease
Raichu Lightning -- Arceus Prerelease
Pichu Lightning (H) HeartGold & SoulSilver Prerelease

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