This glossary is a list of all general terms used in the Pokémon Trading Card Game.
- 1 Active Pokémon
- 2 Baby Pokémon
- 3 Basic Energy card
- 4 Basic Pokémon
- 5 Bench
- 6 Damage
- 7 Defending Pokémon
- 8 Discard pile
- 9 Evolution card
- 10 Hit Points
- 11 Lost Zone
- 12 Poké-Body
- 13 Poké-Power
- 14 Pokémon Power
- 15 Prize card
- 16 Public information
- 17 Resistance
- 18 Retreat Cost
- 19 Restored Pokémon
- 20 Special Conditions
- 21 Stadium card
- 22 Supporter card
- 23 Trainer card
- 24 Weakness
The Active Pokémon is the Pokémon that the player has chosen as their main lead. During the player's turn, they are able to attach Energy cards, Pokémon Tools and Technical Machines to their Active Pokémon, evolve it, use a Level Up card on it, attack with it or retreat it. The Active Pokémon is also sometimes referred to by the opponent as the Attacking Pokémon or, if affected by an opponent's attack, the Defending Pokémon.
A Baby Pokémon is a type of Pokémon card introduced in Neo Genesis to be treated as a Basic Pokémon. Baby Pokémon are pre-evolved forms of existing Basic Pokémon, such as Pichu is to Pikachu, and thus are able to evolve into their respective Basic Pokémon (which are then treated as Evolved Pokémon). Up to Skyridge, the opponent was also forced to flip a coin when attacking a Baby Pokémon: if tails, the attack would fail. As of EX Sandstorm, Baby Pokémon are officially Basic Pokémon, and instead have a Baby Evolution Poké-Power to allow them to evolve into their respective evolutions.
Basic Energy card
A basic Energy card is one unit of Energy required for a Pokémon to use an attack. There are eight types of basic Energy card: Grass; Fire; Water; Lightning; Psychic; Fighting; Darkness; and Metal. The exact unit of Energy is required in order to use the attack, unless any Colorless Energy are required for the attack, as any type of Energy can be used in place of Colorless Energy. For example, if an attack requires one Lightning Energy to be used, a Grass Energy will not allow the player to use that attack, but it will allow the player to use any attacks that require Colorless Energy. In Diamond & Pearl, basic Darkness Energy and basic Metal Energy were introduced, as well as attacks which require no Energy to be used.
A Basic Pokémon is a form of Pokémon which does not evolve from any other Pokémon. A Basic Pokémon can be placed directly into play, either as the Active Pokémon at the start of the game or as a Benched Pokémon any time during play. Some Basic Pokémon, such as Mewtwo, do not evolve; some, such as Bulbasaur, do; and some, such as Pikachu can evolve from Baby Pokémon, either classified as a Baby Pokémon or with the Baby Evolution Poké-Power. In these cases, Basic Pokémon that are evolved from Baby Pokémon or other Basic Pokémon are considered to be Evolved Pokémon.
During play, any Pokémon that are not considered to be the Active Pokémon are put onto the Bench. These are classed as Benched Pokémon. They cannot attack or retreat, but they may be able to use Poké-Powers and Poké-Bodies if they do not state that the Pokémon must be Active to use them, and they can also be switched out into the Active position if the current Active Pokémon retreats. Some attacks allow a Pokémon to deal damage to the opponent's Benched Pokémon (and some even deal damage to the player's own Benched Pokémon): in these cases, Weakness and Resistance are not applied to the Benched Pokémon. Unlike Active Pokémon, a Pokémon LV.X card cannot be played in order to Level Up a Benched Pokémon.
When an Active Pokémon attacks, the attack they use may specify an amount of damage to be done to the Pokémon being attacked. Damage is tallied up, by way of damage counters, in order to Knock Out an opponent's Pokémon. Each damage counter counts as 10 damage, so, for example, if a Pokémon had 120 Hit Points and had twelve or more damage counters on it, it would be Knocked Out. Damage done by attacks may also be affected by the Weakness or Resistance of the Pokémon being attacked.
When attacking, the effect of an attack may mention the Defending Pokémon in the event that is being affected by a Special Condition or other effect. The Defending Pokémon is the opponent's Active Pokémon at the time that the attack is used.
When cards are taken out of play, they are moved into the discard pile. Either player can look at the cards in their own discard pile, as well as those in their opponent's. When a Pokémon is Knocked Out, it, along with all cards attached to it, is moved to the discard pile. When a Trainer card is used, it is immediately moved to the discard pile after being used. Similarly, a Supporter card is moved into the discard pile at the end of the turn in which is was used. Some cards also allow the player to recollect cards from their discard pile.
Evolution cards, split into Stage 1 Pokémon and Stage 2 Pokémon, are types of Pokémon which evolve from other Pokémon. Both the player's Active Pokémon and their Benched Pokémon can be evolved during their turn. Stage 1 Pokémon are placed onto Basic Pokémon (including those evolved from Baby Pokémon) and Stage 2 Pokémon are placed onto Stage 1 Pokémon. A Pokémon cannot be evolved more than once during a turn. Pokémon that are resurrected from fossils, such as Omanyte and Kabuto, are Stage 1 Pokémon, as their respective Fossil Trainer cards, Helix Fossil and Dome Fossil, are classed as Basic Pokémon. Some cards, such as Rare Candy, even allow the player to bypass a Stage 1 Pokémon by evolving a Basic Pokémon directly into a Stage 2 Pokémon.
Hit Points, shown on a Pokémon card as HP, represents the health of each Pokémon card and the amount of damage it can take before being Knocked Out. Most Pokémon in the Trading Card Game have between 30 and 140 HP, and some, such as Pokémon-ex and Pokémon LV.X, usually have between 100 and 200 HP. Some Poké-Bodies and Pokémon Tool cards will increase the number of Hit Points a Pokémon has, although these effects are usually temporary and only give an extra 10-20 HP. The lowest used HP value on Pokémon is 30 HP, cards like Magikarp, Baby Pokémon, and other 'lower level' Pokémon; while Wailord ex, Wailord and Wailord are tied with the highest Hit Points - 200 HP. Certain Trainer cards also have HP, like Clefairy Doll and Mysterious Fossil having only 10 HP while Dance! Neo Imakuni? has the highest value - 2000 HP.
The Lost Zone is an area considered to be a more advanced form of the discard pile. Unlike cards in the discard pile, cards moved to the Lost Zone are kept face-up and are considered to be "outside" the play area due to the fact they are not kept on the playmat if one is used. As such, cards moved to the Lost Zone are no longer considered to be in play, and cannot be retrieved at any time, or by any means, during gameplay.
A Poké-Body is a type of Pokémon Power that is active for as long as the Pokémon which has it is in play. A Poké-Body is sometimes reminiscent of that Pokémon's in-game Ability, such as Ludicolo's Rain Dish Ability. Poké-Bodies have a vast amount of different effects and can affect almost any aspect of gameplay.
A Poké-Power is a type of Pokémon Power that the player is able to use during their turn. In a similar fashion to Poké-Bodies, Poké-Powers can affect almost any aspect of gameplay, and can often be used once during the player's turn, before their attack. Some can be used multiple times and some are designed to cause an after-effect to the Pokémon with it being Knocked Out.
Pokémon Powers are additional effects that the card's player can trigger once or multiple times during their turn, before they attack. However, before the Expedition Base Set, some cards, such as Base Set Charizard, had Pokémon Powers that were always active. After the release of Expedition, Pokémon Powers were split into two groups: Poké-Powers and Poké-Bodies. Poké-Powers are special effects that the player must trigger or announce using. A Poké-Body's effect is one that is in effect regardless. Both, however, are still officially considered to be Pokémon Powers.
A Prize card is a card taken by a player for Knocking Out one of their opponent's Pokémon. When using the regular 60-card deck, six prizes are put down at the start of the game: however, three are put down if using a 30-card half deck, and four are put down if using a 40-card prerelease deck. The first player to take all of their Prize cards wins the game. When a player Knocks Out one of their opponent's Pokémon-ex, however, they take two Prize cards instead of one.
- Main article: Public information (TCG)
Public information is information related to match that is readily accessible by either player at any time, as long as such requests are not used for stalling. Public information includes all cards in play, such as: Pokémon cards, including any evolutionary stages underneath Active and Benched Pokémon; Energy cards and Trainer cards attached to Pokémon and in the play area; the cards in each player's discard pile; the number of cards in a player's hand; and the number of remaining prize cards of each player.
If a Pokémon has Resistance to a certain type, it means that if it is attacked by a Pokémon of that type, it will receive less damage. While not exceedingly rare, Resistance isn't very common either - most Pokémon don't have any. An example of a Pokémon with Resistance is Ditto in the Fossil set. An example a Pokémon without is Grimer in the Aquapolis set. The EX Dragon set introduced some Pokémon-ex with two different Resistances on the same card, such as Rayquaza ex. Resistances were initially fixed at -30 damage, meaning the Pokémon would take 30 less damage from an attack. Unlike Weakness, this rule was always printed on the card, either to the left of or above the Resistance-type in the form of "-30". As of the Diamond & Pearl set, Resistances are officially variables, though are always -20 (also printed on the cards) damage unless on a reprint of a Pokémon card that originally had a -30 Resistance.
- Main article: Retreat cost
When a player wants to move his or her Active Pokémon to the Bench, that player can retreat that Pokémon. Then, a Pokémon on the Bench must replace the previous Active Pokémon. Each Pokémon has a Retreat Cost: a specific number of Energy that must be discarded from the Pokémon being retreated in order to move it back to the Bench. Retreating can only be done once per turn. If the player doesn't have the required amount of Energy attached to discard or doesn't have any Benched Pokémon, his or her Pokémon is unable to retreat. Some Pokémon have no Retreat Cost and thus can retreat for free; others have a Retreat Cost of between one and five Energy inclusive. Any type of Energy can be used for retreating, as any Energy can count as Colorless.
A Restored Pokémon (known in Japan as Revived Pokémon) is a form of Pokémon that in the Pokémon games, is revived to life from a Fossil. As with the games, only nine Pokémon can be classified as Restored Pokémon; however, only Tirtouga, Archen, and Aerodactyl have appeared so far. In order to play a Restored Pokémon, the player must first play the respective Fossil card, search the bottom seven cards of their deck for the corresponding Pokémon, and then place into onto his or her Bench. This type of card was introduced in the Noble Victories expansion.
- Main article: Special Conditions (TCG)
A Special Condition is a result that some attacks have. Specific attacks may cause the Defending Pokémon to be affected by at least one of the five Special Conditions: Asleep, Burned, Confused, Paralyzed and Poisoned. Unlike status ailments in the video games, Special Conditions are not necessarily mutually exclusive due to the Poisoned and Burned Special Conditions being recognized by the placing of a marker on the afflicted Pokémon. However, between the other three, a Pokémon can only be affected by one at once.
- Main article: Stadium card (TCG)
A Stadium card is one of three types of "Trainer" card and is designed to change an aspect of gameplay for both players. Unlike Trainer cards and Supporter cards, Stadium cards cause a long-term change in gameplay which affects both players. Being competitive cards, they are often played in order to hugely help the player or hinder the opponent. For example, the Battle Frontier Stadium card would not be used by players whose decks included Colorless-type, Darkness-type or Metal-type Evolved Pokémon.
- Main article: Supporter card (TCG)
- See also: List of all Supporter cards
A Supporter card is one of three types of "Trainer" cards. Supporter cards are based on characters who are, more often than not, included in the Pokémon games, such as Scott, Professor Rowan and Bebe. A player can only play one Supporter card each turn, this is because they are usually very helpful to the player. They stay in play until the end of the player's turn-- they are then discarded.
- Main article: Trainer card (TCG)
The Trainer card is the main type of "Trainer" card, was the first to be introduced, and was the only type of "Trainer" card until Supporter cards and Stadium cards were split into their own categories in Diamond & Pearl. Unlike these two, Trainer cards have subtypes, and thus have a wide range of effects. The two main subtypes of Trainer card are Pokémon Tools, which act very much like held items in the games, and Technical Machines, which include one additional attack usable by the Pokémon the card is attached to. Other set-specific types, such as Goldenrod Game Corner and Rocket's Secret Machine, also exist.
If a Pokémon has Weakness to a certain type, it means that if it is attacked by a Pokémon of that type, it will receive more damage. Most Pokémon have one Weakness, such as Diglett in the Base Set, but some have none, such as Togepi in the Neo Destiny set. The EX Sandstorm set introduced some Pokémon-ex with two different Weaknesses on the same card, such as Aggron ex. Weaknesses were initially fixed at ×2 damage, meaning the Pokémon would take twice the amount of damage dealt by an attack. Variable Weaknesses were later introduced in the Diamond & Pearl set, with Weaknesses of +10, +20, +30, +40 and ×2. Generally, Basic Pokémon will have a Weakness of +10, Stage 1 Pokémon one of +20, and Stage 2 Pokémon one of +30, with a select few having one of +40. There is no general pattern (except perhaps legendary Pokémon) of Pokémon with a ×2 Weakness; although, Pokémon SP always have a weakness of ×2. HeartGold & SoulSilver onward, Weaknesses return to ×2.