Help Is that a swirl on my Magikarp?


Aspiring Trainer
Hi everyone. I'm not very knowledgeable when it comes to what a swirl looks like on a card. I recently bought this sealed shiny Magikarp off of somebody today and I just noticed a somewhat subtle swirl-like pattern on it. Is this considered to be a swirl? Thanks for the help!

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Aspiring Trainer
Yes. Swirls are exclusive to the cosmos holofoil pattern which is what this card uses.

Swirls form part of a symmetrical rectangular cosmos pattern which is usually tilted slightly and repeated in like a grid across each sheet of cards - a single cosmos holofoil card will always have between 2 and 4 swirls across its entire holofoil layer, though they're usually positioned far enough apart that only one is usually visible in the exposed holofoil region where the artwork is (you can get two if the swirl is at the extreme edges of the artwork box).

There's actually a statistically lower chance of a swirl not being present in the visible section of the holofoil layer on cards like this as the only thing there to obscure them is the Pokémon image itself.

Full-art cosmos holofoil cards really emphasis this. Here is an example of a grass energy from the Energize Your Game set which shows this off nicely - this one's holofoil layer isn't at all tilted, so it's easy to draw a grid to show how the pattern is repeated:


I've added the yellow circles as well to show that this is just the same pattern repeated over and over again. Cards on the same sheet as this will have the exact same repeated holofoil pattern and the same pattern will be repeated across multiple sheets until the holofoil sheet itself runs out and needs changing.