Shadowed vs Shadowless – What’s the Difference?
Shadowless cards are only featured in the first base set The biggest difference between Shadowed cards and Shadowless cards are self explanatory. One has a drop shadow behind the art and the other doesn’t but the differences don’t stop there. There are differences between these cards that go beyond visuals and art and it’s these differences that determine which is more valuable or more rare. As you may know, Shadowless Pokemon cards are sold for a lot more money than their shadowed counterparts. To understand why this is, first you’ll need to know why Shadowless cards exist.
Types of Base Set Cards
Often we talk about Shadowless cards because it’s the most noticeable difference between all Base Set cards. What a lot of people don’t know is there are even more variants of these original Base Set cards. The first set of Pokemon cards was printed four different times and each time, things were changed, such as error corrections, art, text, and other changes. Here are the 4 separate print runs for Base Set Pokemon cards.
- Base Set 1st Edition
- Base Set Shadowless
- Base Set Unlimited
- Base Set 2000
The first two, 1st Edition and Shadowless, had cards that did not have a drop shadow behind the art. This drop shadow was added in the Unlimited variant and kept throughout the 2000 prints as well. So essentially, when a card has no shadow, it means it’s older and therefore harder to find in good condition.