Sun and Moon Forbidden Light Collector's Dossier

May 08, 2018

Forbidden Light, the latest Pokemon TCG expansion (as well as a cautionary tale about bringing a black light to a motel room), was officially released last Friday. That means it’s time to shed some light on the mysteries of Forbidden Light with a new Collector’s Dossier. What follows is a brief dossier of the information collectors will find important for tracking down and completing this set. Information related to the previously released Sun and Moon era sets is also provided below by way of comparison. You can read my Collector’s Dossier to those sets here, here, here, and here.

Let’s illuminate Forbidden Light’s contents:


Forbidden Light

Ultra Prism

Crimson Invasion

Burning Shadows

Guardians Rising

Total cards in standard set:






Total reverse holo cards:






Total cards in master set

(excluding theme deck variants):






Theme deck exclusive variants:

4 (three in the Twilight Rogue theme deck)

3 (two in the Mach Strike theme deck)

5 (three in the Clanging Thunder theme deck)

5 (three in the Rock Steady theme deck)

4 (two in each theme deck)

Total Secret Rares:





24 (approximately 1:56 packs)

Total Ultra Rares:





15 (approximately 1:18 packs)

Total standard GX Rares:





12 (approximately 1:9 packs)

Total Prism Rares:







First, the good news. Forbidden Light is a more modest set than its behemoth predecessor Ultra Prism, coming closer in size to Crimson Invasion than the other Sun and Moon era expansions. The English expansion is of course considerably larger than its Japanese counterpart as it incorporates cards not only from the Japanese Forbidden Light expansion (weighing in at only 110 cards), but also the Japanese Ultra Force booster subset.

The smaller size of Forbidden Light is a welcome change for completists, as tracking down every card in the expansion should prove to be marginally easier than Ultra Prism.  Also noteworthy is the introduction of several new Legendary Pokemon from the Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon video games to the TCG, including Ultra Necrozma and Naganadel. The selection of GX and Prism cards should prove popular with collectors as every GX card, other than Greninja and Lucario, and all of the Pokemon Prism Rares are Legendary Pokemon.

The main problem collectors will have with Forbidden Light is that in many respects, it is a reprint of Ultra Prism. A large number of cards have identical artwork, HP and attacks as their Ultra Prism counterparts, but with a new elemental type. While I can see why this might make sense from a competitive play perspective, from a collector’s perspective, this is extremely disappointing.

Forbidden Light (left) and Ultra Prism (right)

One of the things I liked about Ultra Prism was that it contained homages to the artwork of D&P era expansions. Reusing artwork from decades old sets, if done correctly, can serve as a nostalgic reminder of the game’s legacy.  The same cannot be said of reusing artwork from a set that was released only 3 months prior. The most offensive examples of this are Palkia GX and Dialga GX.

Ultra Prism (left) and Forbidden Light (right)

These are premium cards, two of the eight total standard GXs in the set, and PCI couldn’t be bothered to give these marquee cards new artwork? Now, to be fair to PCI, the Japanese versions of these cards also feature recycled artwork, but that does not excuse this lazy design choice. At least give the consumer time to finish collecting Ultra Prism before reusing all of its assets.

Overall, Forbidden Light does a lot of things right. It features new Pokemon, it’s a smaller set than Ultra Prism, and it has a nice selection of premium cards. That being said, recycling card artwork from a set not even three months old is extremely disappointing from a collector’s perspective. For the sake of the game, I sincerely hope this is a one-time occurrence.  What are your thoughts on Forbidden Light? 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