Top 10 Poké Balls in the Pokémon TCG

Updated on November 16, 2019
Jeremy Gill profile image

Jeremy casts spells in between his careers as a chemical analyst and campus manager.

Poké Balls in the TCG

In the Pokémon anime and video games, Poké Balls are used to capture and store Pokémon; in the trading card game, they serve a similar role by finding Pokémon from your deck. They're among the game's many item cards, any number of which can be played each turn before attacking.

Tutoring needed cards is a powerful effect, especially with evolution cards (which must first build on basic Pokémon), but each device works a bit differently—which items reign supreme? These are the 10 best Poké Balls in the Pokémon TCG!

Poké Ball tcg
Poké Ball tcg

10. Poké Ball

Set: Jungle

Despite being weak in the video games, the Poké Ball is surprisingly strong in the TCG—if it works. You flip a coin, and if it lands heads, you add any Pokémon from your deck to your hand, basic or evolved.

While reliant on luck, you'll score a powerful search when things go your way, gaining whatever ally you need. Just remember you can't search your "prize cards" (which are randomly taken from your deck at the start), so there's a small chance you actually won't find what you're after.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Master Ball tcgMaster Ball (Ace Spec variant)
Master Ball tcg
Master Ball tcg
Master Ball (Ace Spec variant)
Master Ball (Ace Spec variant)

9. Master Ball

Set: Gym Challenge

The strongest Poké Ball in the games, the infamous Master Ball functions like the updated Great Ball card, adding any Pokémon from the top seven cards of your deck to your hand. Sure, this limits your options, but there's no coin flips and you can select both evolved and unevolved Pokémon.

The Master Ball also received a new variant in Plasma Blast, where it searches your deck for any Pokémon. However, this counts as your single "Ace Spec" card (decks can only have one), preventing you from using another.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Great Ball tcgGreat Ball tcg (original)Nest Ball tcgDusk Ball
Great Ball tcg
Great Ball tcg
Great Ball tcg (original)
Great Ball tcg (original)
Nest Ball tcg
Nest Ball tcg
Dusk Ball
Dusk Ball

8. Great Ball/Dusk Ball

Set: EX FireRed & LeafGreen/Mysterious Treasures

Originally, the Great Ball worked like the Nest Ball, but now it mimics the Master Ball, adding any Pokémon from your deck's top seven cards to your hand. A limited but still useful search.

More recently, we saw the almost-identical Dusk Ball, which again searches for a Pokémon of any stage, but this time from your deck's bottom seven cards. In most cases, one will do as well as the other, giving the same odds at hunting a specific card.

Timer Ball tcg
Timer Ball tcg

7. Timer Ball

Set: Sun & Moon

The Timer Ball relies on luck but gives strong odds, flipping two coins and searching your deck for an evolution card for each heads. Of course, you'll average one heads per use, generally tutoring one evolution into hand.

That's a particularly tempting search; since your deck should have more basic cards than evolved (evolutions are pointless without their base version), they won't show up in your hand as often, making anything that finds them valuable.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Premier Ball tcgCherish Ball tcg
Premier Ball tcg
Premier Ball tcg
Cherish Ball tcg
Cherish Ball tcg

6. Premier Ball/Cherish Ball

Set: Great Encounters/Unified Minds

The Premier Ball searches your deck or discard pile for any "Pokémon LV.X" card. These guys functioned similarly to "Pokémon-ex" (granting opponents two prize cards instead of one when beaten), but since they have to be upgraded from their standard evolutions, your deck won't have many of them (again making their tutors invaluable).

More recently, the Cherish Ball serves a similar function by searching your deck for any "Pokémon-GX". Unlike the Premier, the Cherish can't retrieve from the graveyard, but the game's wide variety of eligible GX cards compensates.

Ultra Ball tcg
Ultra Ball tcg

5. Ultra Ball

Set: Dark Explorers

At first, the Ultra Ball may look disadvantageous, forcing you to discard two cards just to use it. However, it lets you search through your deck for absolutely any Pokémon.

Sure, that's a lot of card advantage you're losing, but it's a great way to hunt a needed evolution. Plus, it's easier to recover cards in the Pokémon TCG than games like Yu-Gi-Oh and Magic: The Gathering thanks to hand-replenishing supporters like "Cynthia" and "N". Look through the world championship decks of recent years and you'll often find many copies of this card.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Team Magma's Great BallTeam Aqua's Great Ball
Team Magma's Great Ball
Team Magma's Great Ball
Team Aqua's Great Ball
Team Aqua's Great Ball

4. Team Magma's/Aqua's Great Ball

Set: Double Crisis

These two cards do the same thing for different types. Team Magma's Great Ball searches a basic Team Magma Pokémon from your deck and a Fighting (not Fire as you may expect) energy; Aqua tutors a Team Aqua Pokémon alongside a Water energy.

While Team Magma and Aqua have long since faded from the current rotation, getting two cards for one alongside a Pokémon search offers impressive power.

Net Ball tcg
Net Ball tcg

3. Net Ball

Set: Lost Thunder

Perfect for any Grass deck, the Net Ball searches for either a basic Grass Pokémon or basic Grass energy. While you can't find evolved monsters, this ensures you can find the first stage in an evolutionary line, a crucial Grass-type GX, or a missing energy drop.

Dive Ball tcg
Dive Ball tcg

2. Dive Ball

Set: Primal Clash

Water Pokémon receive another excellent type-specific item; the Dive Ball searches any Water-type Pokémon from your deck. Obviously, this won't work when running other types, but it provides Water players an invaluable tool other elements lack.

Luxury Ball tcg
Luxury Ball tcg

1. Luxury Ball

Set: Stormfront 86

With the small caveat of not being able to find Pokémon LV.X, the Luxury Ball nabs any Pokémon card from your deck. The only catch is that you can't use it if you have a Luxury Ball in your discard pile, but this means every deck in its rotation could (and should) safely use one.

I also love the gambling factor here; do you play it safe by only deck-building with one? Or increase your odds of drawing it by using multiple, but thus render duplicates useless? The choice is yours.

Which Poké Ball do you prefer?

See results

Deck-Building in the Pokémon TCG

Today we examined some of the TCG's best tutors; how many should you use per deck? Well, remember that you're limited to cards included in the current rotation (unless playing a non-standard format), and that decks can have up to four of the same card.

Usually about 50-70% of a deck's total cards are Trainer cards, of which about four tend to be some sort of Poké Ball variant. Experiment to find what works for you, but for now, as we await Nintendo's next set of Poké Ball cards, vote for your favorite and I'll see you at our next gaming countdown!

© 2019 Jeremy Gill


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)