Holy crackers, Pokémon is back at McDonalds!

Hot off the heels of McDonald’s previous promotion which celebrated Pokémon‘s 25th Anniversary, McDonald’s has released the latest in their annual Pokémon promotion: : MATCH BATTLE! Now usually these promotions are tied to a specific game release—like the release of Black & White when it first started in 2011—or overarching event like the aforementioned 25th Annversary, but this time it’s a more generic idea. Which is all good, of course!

The promotion—at least in the United States—started August 16th, 2022 and will last until “mid-September”, which will probably be either September 12th or September 19th, 2022. Fortunately I eat McDonald’s for lunch every day, so while this release was a complete surprise to me, I was at least able to get started on day one.

  • In Canada, apparently the promotion is between August 9th to September 22nd. Or maybe those are the dates for the UK?


This Year’s Box

The Match Battle toy comes in a box about 4.75″ × 3.125″ × 0.625″ (120 × 80 × 15 mm) and holds four items:

This is the Match Battle spinner. Each one has a different color and Pokémon based on the box design… or maybe it’s the other way around?
This is a paper coin similar to the plastic coins you get in a preconstructed deck.

Truth be told, I would’ve rather had the spinner be paper while the coin be plastic; no one’s gonna keep these spinners, but the coins could at least be used in actual games.

There’s also the “Let’s play Match Battle!” rule book explaining the game itself. (I’ll explain what’s up below.)
Oh, and you also get a pack of four cards: one holo (first card) and three other nonholo cards.

We all know this is the real reason to buy the toys.

Now apparently in other parts of the world where this promotion is being promoted, they don’t get boxes like we do in the US but flat envelopes like the 2021 Promotion. I hope to get some of these envelops in order to add them to this page, however.

(Image source: PokeBeach.com; link goes to associated related article.)


The Details

This section is where I’ll add in scans of each coin, the rules, the artwork on the spinner, etc.

(Further details forthcoming.)



Basically you spin the spinner, which randomly chooses a card stat. You then flip the coin to choose “highest” or “lowest”. Then look at your cards. Whoever has the “highest” or “lowest” example of that particular card stat, you win!

(Further details forthcoming.)



By knowing what cards are in the set (see the set list below), we can know their stats. And by knowing these stats, we can determine the most optimal strategy. Like, if we know that a particular card has the most highest and/or lowest stats, as well as which card has the most middle-range stats, then we can know which cards are the best ones to choose (or avoid) and ensure you win every time. Game the game!

(Further details forthcoming.)


Set List

This year there are 15 cards in the Match Battle packs. Below is the full setlist, as well as what card they were originally sourced from:

Type Name Mark Holo? Source
1/15 ZG Ledyba E NH YYYY
2/15 ZG Rowlet D Holo YYYY
3/15 ZG Gossifleur E Holo YYYY
4/15 ZR Growlithe E Holo YYYY
5/15 ZR Victini E Holo YYYY
6/15 ZW Lapras E NH YYYY
7/15 ZL Pikachu E Holo YYYY
8/15 ZL Chinchou E NH YYYY
9/15 ZL Flaaffy E NH YYYY
10/15 ZL Tynamo D NH YYYY
11/15 ZP Cutiefly E NH YYYY
12/15 ZF Bewear E NH YYYY
13/15 ZD Pangoro E NH YYYY
14/15 ZN Drampa E NH YYYY
15/15 ZC Smeargle E Holo YYYY


“Print Run” Analysis

Before I say too much, I just want to say this: it’s not exactly possible to determine a “print run” for this set, by virtue of the fact that there are just so little cards to pull any kind of appreciable data from it.

HOWEVER! There is still a very interesting pattern with the packs of this set. That is to say… as mentioned above, a pack of McDonald’s cards contains four cards: one holofoil card and three randomly inserted cards. Now very early on I noticed that certain Pokémon would only appear in certain “slots” within those three randomly inserted cards. I took note of the cards I got in a pack and their position, and low-and-behold!, they actually DO follow a pack position pattern!

  • For the sake of clarity, I will label the position of the pack as:
    • HOLO: the first card in the pack
    • (POSITION) A: the first nonholo card, the ones after the holo card
    • (POSITION) B: the second nonholo card
    • (POSITION) C: the third nonholo card, and the last card in the pack

Here’s a quick overview of my discovery:



Type Name A B C
1/15 ZG Ledyba XX
2/15 ZG Rowlet n/a
3/15 ZG Gossifleur n/a
4/15 ZR Growlithe n/a
5/15 ZR Victini n/a
6/15 ZW Lapras XXX
7/15 ZL Pikachu n/a
8/15 ZL Chinchou XX
9/15 ZL Flaaffy XX
10/15 ZL Tynamo XX
11/15 Zs Cutiefly XX
12/15 ZF Bewear X
13/15 ZD Pangoro XXX
14/15 ZN Drampa X
15/15 ZC Smeargle n/a

Come think about it, this is kinda useless information… but I had hoped it would’ve fired up your imagination. But I guess if you thought you were going crazy because the same Pokémon appeared in the same position in different packs… well, you weren’t. Still though, it does make me wonder what a sheet of McDonald’s cards looks like. I imagine that it’s some multiple of 3 such that they always appear in their positions like this.

…I can’t get no… satis-FACT-shun!…




Leftover Notes

…And that’s all I have to say at the moment. I basically only just realized this was happening, so I’ve got a lot of work left to do.

What I DO know is:

  • The theme this year is “MATCH BATTLE”!
  • There are ten prize packs
  • They ALL have a plastic spinner… the prize packs simply vary the color and picture that’s on it.
  • Each price pack has a four-card pack of “Match Battle” Pokémon TCG cards
    • The pack themselves have one foil card and three nonfoil cards.
  • Also in the prize pack is a large paper coin and instructions.

More forthcoming!