Energy card (TCG)
Energy cards (Japanese: エネルギー) are the cards that power a Pokémon's attacks in the Pokémon Trading Card Game. Once per turn, a player can attach one Energy card from their hand to one of their Pokémon. Pokémon cannot use an attack without having at least the Energy of the cost of that attack attached to it.
Energy cards provide Energy of a specified Energy type. In order to meet costs of attacks that include specific types, the type of the Energy attached to the Pokémon must match the type of the Energy in the cost. The exception to this is costs of Colorless Energy, which can be met with Energy of any type.
There are multiple effects that can change these parameters.
- Some Pokémon have effects that allow them to ignore the Energy in the costs of their attacks, or ignore specific Energy types in those costs.
- Cards can allow for attaching Energy from the Discard Pile or deck to Pokémon, or even allow for attaching one or more energy from the hand to a Pokémon. (A card's effect attaching Energy from the hand is separate from the once per turn attachment.)
- Cards can allow for moving Energy already attached to one Pokémon to another Pokémon, or removing that Energy from play fully by sending it to another zone.
- Some effects can change the amount of Energy that a single Energy card provides, or change the type of Energy that an Energy card provides.
There are two different classes of Energy cards: Basic and Special.
Basic Energy cards
Basic Energy cards (Japanese: 基本エネルギー) are the group of Basic Grass Energy, Basic Fire Energy, Basic Water Energy, Basic Lightning Energy, Basic Psychic Energy, Basic Fighting Energy, Basic Darkness Energy, Basic Metal Energy, and Basic Fairy Energy. These nine cards all provide one unit of Energy of their type to the Pokémon they are attached to. They are the only cards that players are permitted to have more than four copies of in their decks. (The only exceptions to this are Arceus cards from the Platinum Series, which have a relevant rule printed on them.) No Basic Energy cards provide Colorless Energy, because Colorless costs can be paid for by any Energy type. (There also are no Basic Energy cards that provide Dragon Energy, because Dragon Energy does not exist within the rules of the game. The attacks of Dragon-type Pokémon have costs that include other Energy types.)
|Basic Grass Energy
|Basic Fire Energy
|Basic Water Energy
|Basic Lightning Energy
|Basic Psychic Energy
|Basic Fighting Energy
|Basic Darkness Energy
|Basic Metal Energy
|Basic Fairy Energy
From the Base Set through to the EX Power Keepers expansion, the TCG featured six basic Energy cards: Grass Energy, Fire Energy, Water Energy, Lightning Energy, Psychic Energy, and Fighting Energy. That was one card for each of the Trading Card Game's Energy types, excluding Colorless. When Darkness Energy and Metal Energy were introduced with the Darkness and Metal types in Neo Genesis to tie in with Generation II video games, the Energy of those types could only be provided by Special Energy cards. Six and a half years afterward, the release of the Diamond & Pearl expansion came with new Basic versions of Darkness Energy and Metal Energy. Basic Fairy Energy cards and the Fairy type as a whole were added starting with the XY expansion, following the Fairy-type's debut in the Generation VI video games. Basic Fairy Energy cards are no longer included in expansions starting from Sword & Shield following the discontinuation of new Fairy-type Pokémon in the TCG. 
Special Energy cards
Special Energy cards (Japanese: 特殊エネルギー) are cards with additional benefits compared to Basic Energy cards.
One possible benefit is providing more than one Energy of a specific type to the Pokémon they are attached to, such as how Double Colorless Energy provides two Colorless Energy despite only being one card.
Another benefit is having additional effect besides providing Energy. For example, some Special Energy make the attacks of the Pokémon it is attached to deal more damage.
Other Special Energy cards act more like Trainer cards, having an immediate effect when played. For instance, Jet Energy switches the Active Pokémon with the Benched Pokémon the Energy is attached to, essentially serving as an Energy version of Switch. (Remember, however, that only one Energy card can be played per turn, unlike many Trainer cards.)
The cards React Energy and Plasma Energy are special exceptions, only providing a single Colorless Energy with no additional rules text. While this looks odd, many card effects reference these Special Energy by name, essentially giving them an effect.
Special Energy cards can only have a non-Colorless type while attached to a Pokémon. This means that effects referring to Energy types of Energy cards that are not in play can never apply to Special Energy. (Starting with Scarlet & Violet, these effects specify that they look for Basic Energy, removing the confusion. )
Unlike basic Energy cards, no more than four can be included in a deck.
A recurring effect for Special Energy is providing more than one Energy type. Each Energy provided by this kind of card can only be a single type of Energy at any given time. For example, the Energy provided by a Unit Energy GFW is either a Grass Energy, a Fire Energy, or a Water Energy, not a Grass Energy, a Fire Energy, and a Water Energy simultaneously.
Some Special Energy cards only have their additional effect when they are attached to a Pokémon that meets a certain criteria. (The criteria is usually its Type, but other properties have been used.) A subset of these Special Energy cards can only be attached to Pokémon that meet the criteria, and are immediately discarded if they are somehow attached to a Pokémon that does not meet the criteria. (Usually, this occurs because a Pokémon that did meet the criteria evolves into a Pokémon which does not meet the criteria.)
|This article is part of Project TCG, a Bulbapedia project that aims to report on every aspect of the Pokémon Trading Card Game.