Collecting Hidden Gems - Victory Cup Pokemon Promos

June 08, 2018

It’s no secret that Pokemon cards have become increasingly popular over the last few years. I personally think this is in part due to the success of Pokemon Go and the X&Y video games, which helped accelerate a phenomenon that was already in process: 20-30 year-olds who lived through the initial Pokemon boom finally having enough disposable income and nostalgic interest to complete their card collections. Whatever the reason, interest in collecting the Pokemon TCG is at historic levels and while this is great for the hobby, for many collectors, it can present a daunting identity crisis. I think that for many collectors, part of the fun of assembling a TCG collection is the challenge of making it a unique expression of their personality and interests. This is a big reason why so many pokemon card collectors focus on a single pokemon (e.g., Charizard, Pikachu) for their card collection instead of going after every card from every expansion. Some collectors prefer to differentiate by buying Pokemon cards that are themselves unique, like trophy cards or the Pokemon Snap promos. Others prefer to go after only PSA 10 copies of cards from various expansions. These approaches are fine if you have a few thousand dollars to spend, but for most of us, finding a cost-effective way to differentiate our collections from our peers’ can be difficult, especially now that the game has become so popular. Today’s article is the first in a series that attempts to address this issue by examining cheap collection subsets that many collectors have overlooked in today’s marketplace. The first topic is the second promotional card released as a prize in the Pokemon TCG’s Battle Road tournaments, the black star promo Victory Cup.


Victory Cup – 1st Place – Autumn 2012

The English Victory Cup promotional cards were released as black star promos during the Black and White era of the TCG. First awarded to top finishers in the Autumn 2011 Battle Road tournaments, Victory Cup was available in three variants: (1) BW29 – given to third place finishers, (2) BW30 – given to second place finishers, and (3) BW31 – given to first place finishers. These cards were later reprinted with different stamps and awarded to top finishers at the Spring 2012, Autumn 2012 and Spring 2013 Battle Road tournaments before being rotated out of the prize pool. The cards are most easily differentiated by the Battle Road stamp at the bottom left corner of the card, which clearly identifies the tournament in which the card was awarded.

Close-up of the Battle Road stamp from Autumn 2012

In order to complete this obscure subset, you will need to acquire a total of 12 different cards, which consist of copies of BW29-BW31 for all four Battle Road tournaments. The good news for collectors is that this is fairly easy to do without breaking the bank. Most third place cards can be purchased for around $5-7, most second place cards for around $10-12, and most first place cards between $15-20.

Victory Cup – Autumn 2011 to Autumn 2012

Victory Cup – Spring 2013

Is Victory Cup a card that you would be interested in collecting? Would you like to see more articles like this in a Hidden Gems series? Let me know in the comments below.

Thecardpletionist has been collecting Pokemon TCG cards since the game’s English release in 1999. You can read more from the author at and follow him on Instagram at

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