Pokemon TCG is a card game in which players summon pokemon, play trainer cards, and evolve thier pokemon to defeat thier opponents. Two players will assemble thier decks which typically consist of 60 cards and battle it out to become a Pokemon Master!
Basic Rules and Understanding for Beginners
In these next few sections, you will learn how to play Pokemon the trading card game. It will teach you the basics including starting your first game, summoning your pokemon, how to evolve your pokemon and how to win your first pokemon Battle!
How to start your first match
You will begin the game by flipping a coin, whoever wins the coin flip can then choose to go first or second. You will draw 7 cards and will need atleast 1 basic pokemon card in your opening hand. IF you do not have any basic pokemon then you will take a mulligan. In order for you to take a mulligan, you will reveal your hand to your opponent to show that you do not have any basic pokemon cards and then re-draw 7 new cards. Your opponent may choose to draw an additional card for each time you mulligan.
Once you have atleast 1 basic pokemon, draw 6 new cards and place them face down on the left side of you on the board. These will be your prize cards.
You can place 1 basic pokemon in the active spot and then any other basic pokemon in the bench spot just below your active pokemon. You can have a maximum of 5 benched pokemon.
Taking your first turn
You can draw a card, equip energy (once per turn), play a trainer card however you cannot attack on your first turn and you cannot play a trainer – support card. You can play a stadium and item card. Based on your deck you may benefit from going second or first.
Fundamentals of Pokemon TCG
Active vs Benched Pokemon
Your active pokemon is used to attack the other players pokemon, you can only have 1 active pokemon at a time.
Bench is where you play can put other basic pokemon, you put down as many as you want in a turn. The maximum number of benched pokemons you are allowed is 5.
How to use trainer cards
There are several types of trainer cards – items, supporter, tools and stadium. There are different trainer cards depending on the set you are playing. Use these cards to give yourself an advantage
Items : are the most basic type , you can play as many as you want before you attack. Do the action of the card then discard it that card face up in the discard pile.
Tools : are another type of item card where rather then discarding the card, you can attach it to a pokemon and do the said action. only 1 tool can be equipped onto a pokemon and if it is knocked out then the tool and any attached energy go to the discard pile.
Supporter : are powerful support cards therefore you can only play 1 per turn or if it is the first turn in the game then you cannot play any.
Stadium : each stadium card effects both players and there can only be 1 active stadium card in play. The stadium card that gets replaced goes into its owners discard pile. Only 1 stadium card can be played per turn, if it shares the same name with the stadium card already onto the field then it cannot be played.
How to evolve a Pokemon
It all starts with a basic pokemon, you can evolve using the right stage 1 pokemon and then a stage 1 pokemon can be evolved into the correct stage 2 pokemon. You can evolve as many different pokemon as you can if these conditions are met.
- if you have haven’t played it on the same turn
- If it isn’t the first turn of the game
- if you have evolved the pokemon from basic to stage 1 and are attempting to evolve it to stage 2
All evolved pokemon keep the damage counters on it also any cards attached to it. Any status effects such as sleep, poison confused etc. are removed. All evolved pokemon cannot use its previous evolutions attack and abilities.
How to use Energy in the Pokemon TCG
Energy cards are used to enhance your pokemon power. You can only equip 1 energy card per turn and you need to match the energy symbol with that pokemon. The colorless energy icon can be used from any energy card source. 1 energy card is discarded when the pokemon retreats.
What are Hit Points?
Amount of damage a pokemon can take before it is knocked out. Some trainer card and abilities increase the pokemons HP while it is in battle. If the pokemon has equal damage counters to it or greater then it is knocked out and move all attached cards face up to the discard pile.
How to Attack and do Damage
Simply check to make sure you cannot do any other actions before you attack. Once you attack it will end your turn. Make sure you have the correct energy cards to perform your pokemons attack and check the weaknesses of your opponents pokemon to assign the correct damage counters.
The number shown on the right side of the attack is how much damage that attack does. Some pokemon have abilities such as counter attack where you place damage counters on attacking pokemon. These counters are not affected by resistances or weaknesses. Counterattack would put 3 damage counters on the attacking pokemon regardless of its defense/resistances.
These damage counters are always 10 and stay on the pokemon regardless of them evolving and getting benched.
How to earn Prize cards and win Your first Game!
You earn prize cards by knocking out opponents pokemon. Make sure you check any special effects listed at the bottom of the card, you may be able to draw an additional prize card. If you have collected all 6 of your prize cards you win the game!
Typically if you collect all 6 of your prize cards you win the game however that isn’t the only way you can win a game. If you knock out an opponents pokemon and they have no other benched pokemon cards or if the opponent cannot draw any more cards on their draw step then you also win.
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