Attack (TCG)

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Revision as of 01:56, 17 December 2010 by EricDLee (talk | contribs) (Intro)
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Gengar has two attacks: Shadow Room and Poltergeist. Fainting Spell is a Poké-Power, which is not an attack.

Attacks are skills that a Pokémon card can use in the Pokémon Trading Card Game. Nearly every Pokémon card has at least one attack. During a player's turn, he or she may use an attack printed on his or her Active Pokémon. When a player uses an attack, that player's turn ends.

Attack cost

Every attack has an attack cost, which is printed as energy symbols to the left of the attack name. A Pokémon card can only use an attack if it has enough Energy attached to it to pay for that attack's cost. Energy only needs to be attached to the Pokémon; unless explicitly stated otherwise, all Energy cards remain attached to a Pokémon after it attacks.

Some attacks have an attack cost of zero, represented by an empty hole, which means that a Pokémon can use that attack without any Energy attached to it. Most attacks require Energy, however, and their costs are represented by a line of Energy symbols. For each symbol, the Pokémon must have a corresponding Energy attached to it. Colorless Energy requirements may be fulfilled by any kind of Energy, while all other Energy requirements must be fulfilled by that particular Energy: for example, in order to use an attack with a cost of one Fire Energy and one Colorless Energy, at least one Fire Energy and one of any other Energy must be attached to the attacking Pokémon.


Every attack has a name, which is printed in large black text to the right of the attack cost.


Most attacks deal damage. The amount of damage an attack deals is written to the right of the attack name as a large black number, conventionally divisible by 10. If a Pokémon uses an attack that deals damage, put a damage counter on the opponent's Active Pokémon (the Defending Pokémon) for each 10 damage the attack does.

Various symbols next to the number indicate whether the damage will vary. These symbols are for distinguishing purposes; the stipulations of the damage variation are defined in the attack text.

Symbol Meaning
+ Indicates an increase in damage, under certain conditions
- Indicates a decrease in damage, under certain conditions
× Indicates the value will be multiplied, under certain conditions
 ? The amount of damage depends entirely on conditions (e.g. opponent's HP) (this symbol has not been used since Scizor from the Neo Discovery set)

If no number is present, then the attack does not deal damage; it likely has an alternate effect.

Attack text

Many attacks have additional text beyond their name and damage. This text is printed in small black font underneath the cost, name, and damage. The text details additional effects and/or requirements of the attack. The text may alter the amount of damage dealt by the attack. Unless otherwise specified, card text is mandatory.