From Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia.
This glossary is a list of general terms used in the Pokémon Trading Card Game or TCG. See How to play for a brief description of the game. Also see Category:Pokémon Trading Card Game for an exhaustive list of Pokémon Trading Card Game related articles.
- Main article: Deck
Both players in a Pokémon Trading Card Game require a playing Deck. An official deck is either purchased or built with 60 cards, composed of Pokémon cards, Energy cards, and Trainer cards.
- Main article: Booster pack (TCG)
Booster packs are currently packs of 10 cards from a given Expansion. Boosters offer the chance to acquire stronger cards to strengthen a Theme Deck, create new decks of cards, or customize old ones. Every booster pack is guaranteed to contain at least one Rare () card, with generally three Uncommon () cards and the remainder being Common (). Since the release of the Legendary Collection set, one reverse Holofoil print of a common, uncommon, or rare card has also been included in every pack.
- Main article: Constructed Deck
A Constructed Deck (also referred to as Full Deck) is a 60-card deck built by a player from that player's own Pokémon Trading Card Game collection.
- Main article: Deck archetype (TCG)
A Deck archetype is a player Constructed Deck utilizing a set structure or theme (a certain Pokémon type and/or Energy type, specific Pokémon cards and/or Trainer cards, etc.). Various players often have slight differences between their own decks of the same archetype.
- Main article: List of Pokémon Trading Card Game expansions
After the release of the original Base Set in 1996/1999, each subsequent release of Pokémon card sets has been known as an Expansion set. Typically four expansions are released per year. They become Standard and Expanded format legal three weeks after they are released in the United States. Expansions are grouped into a series often taking its title from the first expansion in that given grouping (itself typically based off of the title of a video game release), such as the HeartGold & SoulSilver Series, the Black & White Series, or the XY Series. Players who have collected all of the cards released in a given Expansion are considered to have a Complete set.
- Main article: Half Deck (TCG)
The Half Deck is popular among many Pokémon Trading Card Game players, particularly in Japan. In Half Deck play, both players use a 30-card deck instead of a traditional 60-card one and lays out three Prize cards instead of six.
- Main article: Promotional cards (TCG)
Unlike regular Expansion sets and Booster packs, Promotional cards are not available for purchase in stores. They are given way as special gifts.
A great many Promotional card sets have been produced over the years for the Pokémon Trading Card Game.
See Theme Deck or Trainer kit below.
- Main article: Theme Deck (TCG)
A Theme Deck is a Preconstructed 60-card deck that is sold pre-packaged (also referred to as Full Deck). Most Theme Decks are designed with a specific strategy (such as Special Conditions) or theme (such as Starter Pokémon) in mind. They tend not to be as strong as player Constructed Decks, but can otherwise be a sound introduction to the game for new players since they have all the cards necessary for a single player to begin playing immediately. Theme Decks are also a defined gameplay category in the Pokémon Trading Card Game Online.
- Main article: Trainer kit
Similar to Theme Decks, Trainer kits, such as the Black & White Trainer Kit, come with two Preconstructed 30-card decks or Half Decks, which may be combined to form one complete 60-card deck or can be built upon with a player’s own cards to make two 60-card play decks. Trainer kits also typically include game aids such as Booster packs, a rulebook, a double-player playmat, damage counters, status counters, a coin, and a deck box – almost everything a single player could need to begin playing immediately.
Basic Energy card
- Main article: Energy card (TCG)
A Basic Energy card (Japanese: 基本エネルギー Basic Energy) is one unit of Energy. Energy is attached to a Pokémon card in order to use Attacks. There are nine types of basic Energy card: Grass (Japanese: 草エネルギー Grass Energy), Fire (Japanese: 炎エネルギー Fire Energy), Water (Japanese: 水エネルギー Water Energy), Lightning (Japanese: 雷エネルギー Lightning Energy), Psychic (Japanese: 超エネルギー Psychic Energy), Fighting (Japanese: 闘エネルギー Fighting Energy), Darkness (Japanese: 悪エネルギー Evil Energy), Metal (Japanese: 鋼エネルギー Steel Energy), and Fairy (Japanese: フェアリーエネルギー Fairy Energy). The exact amount and type of Energy is required in order to use an Attack, except for Colorless Energy (for which any type of Energy can be used). For example, if the player has Grass Energy, they cannot use an attack requiring one Lightning Energy, but they can use any attacks that require Grass and/or Colorless Energy.
Special Energy card
- Main article: List of Special Energy cards
Special Energy cards (Japanese: 特殊エネルギー Special Energy) are cards that provide more than one Energy card of a specific type and/or have an additional effect besides providing Energy. Some may heal the Pokémon they're attached to, add Damage to their Attacks, or may even provide several different types of Energy at once. A majority of them provide only Colorless energy; however, there are several which provide one or more of any type of Basic energy.
- Main article: Expanded format (TCG)
Expanded format defines which cards may be used in officially-sanctioned Play! Pokémon events. This format was introduced in the 2014-2015 season. It allows a greater number of expansions than the Standard format but is not as unpredictable as the Unlimited format. It remains to be seen if Play! Pokémon will begin rotating out sets once per year, after the World Championships, as they currently do with the Standard format.
- Main article: Standard format (TCG)
Standard format defines which cards may be used in officially-sanctioned Play! Pokémon events. This format was previously called the Modified format prior to the 2013-2014 season. Standard format cards are also known as Standard-legal or Modified-legal. The current Standard format rotates sets that are usable once per year, usually after the World Championships.
- Main article: Unlimited format (TCG)
The Unlimited format allows for the inclusion of any card that is or was playable in Tournaments. This format is not used in tournaments sanctioned by Play! Pokémon. It is, however, used in Pokémon Trading Card Game Online and can be used in Pokémon Leagues if the League Leader wishes to allow it. Because of the lack of restrictions in Unlimited, decks can use combinations of cards which are not possible in Standard or Expanded format play.
The Active Pokémon (Japanese: バトルポケモン Battle 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 and Pokémon Tools 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.
During play, any Pokémon that are not considered to be the Active Pokémon may be put onto the Bench (Japanese: ベンチ Bench). These are classed as Benched Pokémon (Japanese: ベンチポケモン Bench Pokémon), of which each player can have no more than five at a time. They cannot Attack or Retreat, but they may be able to use Abilities, 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.
Coins or Dice
- Main article: Coin (TCG)
Coins (Japanese: ポケモンコイン Pokémon Coin), also officially recognized as metallic coins, are one of two types of randomizers that players can use during a Pokémon Trading Card Game Match. The majority of official coins released are made of plastic with a metallic Pokémon design on the front. Coin flips (Heads or Tails) are an integral part of the game. They help determine which player starts a match and determine the effect on many cards. Coins have begun to fall out of favor among Pokémon players, who have gradually started to prefer the second officially recognized randomizer: dice (Six-sided Dice), for their utility and convenience, where the even number sides represent Heads and the odd number sides represent Tails.
When an Active Pokémon attacks, the Attack they use may specify an amount of Damage (Japanese: ダメージ Damage) to be done to the Pokémon being attacked, conventionally divisible by amounts of 10. Damage is tallied up, by way of Damage Counters (Japanese: ダメカン Dame-kan, short for ダメージカウンター Damage Counter), in order to Knock Out an opponent's Pokémon. Each damage counter counts as 10 damage. For example, if a Pokémon has 120 Hit Points and has 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. In place of actual counters, dice are often used to indicate damage; this is very common practice and it saves time. An example would be if a Pokémon had a die with the 5 side up, it would have 50 damage.
A Defending Pokémon is the opponent's Active Pokémon at the time that an Attack is used. When attacking, the effect of an attack may mention the Defending Pokémon in the event that it is being affected by a Special Condition or other effect.
When cards are taken out of play, they are moved into the Discard Pile (Japanese: トラッシュ Trash). 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 is moved to the Discard Pile, along with all cards attached to it. When a Trainer card is used, it is often 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. Energy cards used to Retreat or Energy cards discarded as part of an Attack or due to an effect of a Trainer card are also moved into the Discard Pile. Some cards allow the player to recollect cards from their Discard Pile.
The Field is the Play Area or Playmat for a Pokémon Trading Card Game game or Match. There are also playmats that players can use that define all the special location on the field. A field is roughly split in half with each player utilizing the half closest to them. Each player’s shuffled deck is placed face down on the upper right side of their respective half. The Discard Pile is located on the right side just below their deck. The Active Pokémon (of which each player can only have one at a time) is placed in front of the player toward the upper center of their half of the field. Their Bench is directly in front of each player. No more than five Pokémon may occupy a given player’s Bench at the same time. Finally, six Prize cards are placed face down to the left side of the each player’s half of the field.
Generally held in the player’s hands, a player’s Hand is the group of cards that only he or she is allowed to look at (not his or her opponent) and play from during his or her Turn. At the beginning of a Match, players take seven cards from the top of their respective decks and places them into their hand. At the beginning of each turn, players take one card from the top of their respective decks and also place it into their hand. Certain Trainer cards and Pokémon cards have Attacks or Abilities that may also allow a player to draw a card or cards from their respective deck.
Hit Points, shown on a Pokémon card as HP (Japanese: ＨＰ HP), represent the health of each Pokémon card and the amount of Damage it can take before being Knocked Out. Most Pokémon in the Pokémon Trading Card Game have between 30 and 150 HP, and some, such as Pokémon-EX and Pokémon LV.X, usually have between 100 and 200 HP. Some Abilities 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 has the highest Hit Points: 250 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.
- Main article: Holofoil (TCG)
Also known as Holographic Foil, Foil, Holo, Reverse-Holo, Reverse foil or Holographic cards. They are identical to their normal counterpart aside from a Holofoil effect in the picture (Holo) or the card background (Reverse-Holo). A small amount of Rare () cards within each expansion are Holofoil. They may be pulled from Booster packs as the rare card, but it is not guaranteed. They are rarer compared to non-Holofoil rare cards.
When a Pokémon's Damage equals or exceeds its Hit Points, it is considered Knocked Out. Knocked Out Pokémon are placed face up in the player’s Discard Pile along with any other cards that were attached to it (such as Energy cards).
The Lost Zone is an area considered to be a more advanced form of the Discard Pile. The Lost Zone was introduced in the Platinum expansion. 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 game of Pokémon Trading Card Game is often called a Match.
- Main article: Play! Pokémon
Play! Pokémon, formerly known as Pokémon Organized Play or POP, is an official gathering of players of the Pokémon Trading Card Game and video games to play, trade, and just generally have fun and learn about the games. It was formed by The Pokémon Company International in 2003 to officially sanction and organize game play, including Leagues, Tournaments, and prize systems.
- Main article: Pokémon League (TCG)
A Pokémon League, often referred to simply as League, is a periodic gathering, typically weekly, of players of both the Pokémon Trading Card Game and Pokémon video games. During a League session, players battle and trade for fun. It is typically not a structured Tournament. However, each player can obtain an official Player ID. Event organizers will upload player event play information to Play! Pokémon, eventually resulting in minor prizes.
- Main article: Type (TCG)
Unlike in the video games, there are only eleven known Pokémon Types: Grass , Fire , Water , Lightning , Fighting , Psychic , Colorless , Darkness , Metal , Dragon , and Fairy . When a Pokémon Attacks, the type of Damage it does is based on the Pokémon's type (not the Energy type). Weaknesses and Resistances are also affected by Pokémon type.
- Prize redirects here. For money given to the winner of a battle by the loser, see prize money.
A Prize Card (Japanese: サイド Side) 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 a 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: 1) Pokémon cards, including any evolutionary stages underneath Active and Benched Pokémon; 2) Energy cards and Trainer cards attached to Pokémon and in the Play Area; 3) the cards in each player's Discard Pile; 4) the number of cards in a player's hand, and 5) the number of remaining Prize Cards of each player.
- Main article: Rarity
On the bottom right corner of most cards, there is a small symbol that indicates its Rarity (how easy it is to find or obtain): (Common), (Uncommon), (Rare). No symbol usually denotes a card that is part of a Promotional set or a Basic Energy card.
- Main article: Reprinted card
- Main article: Rotation (TCG)
A Reprinted card is a card that has been printed in a previous Pokémon Trading Card Game set and has been included in a newer set. When a card is reprinted, older versions of a card can still be used in Standard format and Expanded format Tournaments provided the text of the card has not changed or if a single copy of a card with the current text is set aside for reference. This reference card cannot be activity used in the player's deck.
- Main article: Series
A Series is a grouping of Expansion sets based on a certain Generation of expansions, such as Generation I, Generation II, Generation III, Generation IV, Generation V, or Generation VI. Concurrently, series groupings are also taken from the title of the first expansion in that given grouping (itself typically based off of the title of a video game release), such as the HeartGold & SoulSilver Series, the Black & White Series, and the XY Series.
Shuffling mixes the cards in a player’s deck in a randomly and unpredictable way.
- Main article: Special Conditions (TCG)
A Special Condition (Japanese: 特殊状態 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. Poisoned and Burned are recognized by placing a specific marker (known as status counters) on the afflicted Pokémon (and can be combined), while Asleep, Confused, and Paralyzed are recognized by rotating the Active Pokémon's card (thus it can only be affected by one of these at a time with the newest condition overriding the previous one). Also unlike the video games, Special Conditions are healed upon an Evolution, level-up or being switched out of the Active position and placed on the Bench.
- Main article: Tournaments
Tournaments are meant for both fun and practice. They are usually held in a gaming store or community center by a local League Leader or Tournament Organizer. They are often but not always free to enter. Play! Pokémon sanctioned tournaments are either single elimination, Swiss, or Swiss followed by single elimination rounds. Formal Play! Pokémon tournaments also include: Prerelease Tournaments, Battle Road Tournaments, City Championships, State/Province/Territory Championships, Regional Championships, National Championships, and World Championships. Many tournaments also are divided into three Age divisions: Junior (roughly up to ten year olds), Senior (roughly 11 to 14 year olds), and Master (roughly 15 year olds and older).
- Main article: How to play
A Turn consists of the following for each player:
- First, draw a card from the top of that player's deck;
- Attach one Energy card to one of that player’s Pokémon in play (either Active or Bench Pokémon);
- Play Basic Pokémon to that player's Bench,
- Evolve any of that player's Pokémon in play;
- Retreat that player's Active Pokémon if the Active Pokémon can satisfy the Energy card retreat cost;
- Play any Trainer cards in that player's Hand pertaining to the rules on each Trainer card and then typically placing that Trainer card face up in the player’s Discard Pile;
- Use any Abilities or Pokémon Powers that appear on that player's Active or Bench Pokémon, and
- Finally, Attack if that player has the appropriate Energy card(s) attached on that player's Active Pokémon. Attacking always ends that player’s turn. The first player to have a turn is not allowed to attack, but all other actions are allowed as described above.
Other than the first and last actions, players may perform any action in any order. Players alternate turns until one player Wins the game.
- Main article: How to play
As explained under How to play, players can Win a Pokémon Trading Card Game in three different ways:
- Take their six prize cards by Knocking Out their opponent's Pokémon by using various Attacks to reduce the opponent's HP to zero;
- If their opponent runs out of Pokémon on the field (which includes their Active Pokémon and Bench Pokémon), or
- If their opponent cannot draw a card from their deck at the beginning of their Turn.
- Main article: Pokémon (TCG)
Pokémon cards are the focus of the Pokémon Trading Card Game. The most common type of Pokémon card is a Basic Pokémon, but others include Baby Pokémon, Stage 1 and Stage 2 Pokémon, Restored Pokémon, Pokémon-EX and M Pokémon-EX, Fossil Pokémon, and Pokémon LEGEND.
- Main article: Ability (TCG)
An Ability is a Pokémon power that is active for as long as the Pokémon that has it is in play. Abilities typically trigger once or multiple times during a Turn, before a Pokémon attacks. Others are active for as long as the Pokémon that has it is in play. With the release of Black & White, Pokémon Powers (Poké-BODY and Poké-POWER) were combined into one mechanic and renamed Abilities (Japanese: 特性 special characteristic), after the analogous element in the main video series games.
- Main article: Attack (TCG)
Attacks are skills on a Pokémon card usable by the player's Active Pokémon on the player's Turn, which are similar to moves in the video games. Nearly every Pokémon card has at least one attack. When players use an attack, that player's turn ends. 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. Additionally, only Active Pokémon may use attacks, although players may attach energy to Bench Pokémon in order to get them ready to attack if and when they make a given Bench Pokémon their Active Pokémon. Finally, the first player in a Match to have a Turn is not allowed to attack, although they may perform all other actions types.
- Main article: Baby Pokémon
A Baby Pokémon (Japanese: ベイビィポケモン 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 the Skyridge Expansion, the opponent was also forced to flip a coin when attacking a Baby Pokémon: if tails, the Attack would fail. As of the EX Sandstorm Expansion, Baby Pokémon are officially Basic Pokémon, and instead have a Baby Evolution Poké-POWER to allow them to evolve into their respective evolutions.
A Basic Pokémon (Japanese: たねポケモン Seed 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. Pokémon-EX are also Basic Pokémon.
- Main article: Evolution (TCG)
Evolution cards, split into Stage 1 Pokémon (Japanese: １進化ポケモン 1st Evolution Pokémon) and Stage 2 Pokémon (Japanese: ２進化ポケモン 2nd Evolution Pokémon), are types of Pokémon that evolve from other Pokémon. Both the player's Active Pokémon and their Benched Pokémon can be evolved during their Turn. Pokémon cannot evolve on a player's first turn. Pokémon also cannot be evolved more than once during a turn. Evolved Pokémon count as one card while in play, regardless of how many evolution stages it has.
Stage 1 card
- Main article: Stage 1 Pokémon (TCG)
Stage 1 Pokémon are placed onto Basic Pokémon (including those evolved from Baby Pokémon) and Stage 2 Pokémon are placed onto Stage 1 Pokémon. Pokémon that are resurrected from Fossils (in the original mechanic), 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.
Stage 2 card
- Main article: Stage 2 Pokémon (TCG)
Stage 2 Pokémon are placed onto Stage 1 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.
Mega Evolution card
M Pokémon-EX were introduced in XY expansion and introduce the Mega Evolution mechanic featured in Pokémon X and Y. They are identified by a stylized graphic on the card name. M Pokémon-EX can only be played by Mega Evolving from basic Pokémon-EX. Doing so ends a players Turn immediately. Other than this, M Pokémon-EX share the same rules and design as regular Pokémon-EX and evolving Pokémon, with the addition of boosted Hit Points and more powerful Attacks.
- Main article: Pokémon BREAK (TCG)
Pokémon BREAK were introduced in the BREAKthrough expansion. They are easily identified through the stylized golden Pokémon graphic. A BREAK card retains the attacks, Abilities, Weakness, Resistance, and Retreat Cost of its previous Evolution.
- Main article: Restored Pokémon (TCG)
A Restored Pokémon (Japanese: 復元ポケモン Restored Pokemon) is a form of Pokémon that is revived to life from a Fossil. As with the video games, only eleven Pokémon have been classified as Restored Pokémon (Aerodactyl, Amaura, Anorith, Archen, Cranidos, Kabuto, Lileep, Omanyte, Shieldon, Tirtouga, and Tyrunt). 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 it onto his or her Bench. This type of card was reintroduced with the above mechanic in the Noble Victories expansion.
- Main article: Fossil
Fossils or Restored Pokémon can only be played on to a player’s Bench through the use of special Trainer cards, such as Cover Fossil and Plume Fossil to play Tirtouga and Archen. 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 it onto his or her Bench.
A Poké-BODY (Japanese: ポケボディー Poké-Body) is a type of Pokémon Power that is active for as long as the Pokémon that 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 variety of different effects and can affect almost any aspect of gameplay.
A Poké-POWER (Japanese: ポケパワー 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.
- Main article: Pokémon-EX (TCG)
Pokémon-EX (Japanese: ポケモンEX Pokémon EX) are Basic Pokémon with significantly higher Hit Points compared to the majority of regular Basic Pokémon. They were first introduced in the Next Destinies expansion, replacing Pokémon LV.X Legendary Pokémon. Similar to the Pokémon-ex released during the EX Series, when a Pokémon-EX is defeated, the opponent takes two Prize cards instead of one.
M Pokémon-EX were introduced in XY expansion and introduce the Mega Evolution mechanic featured in Pokémon X and Y. They are identified by a stylized graphic on the card name. M Pokémon-EX can only be played by Mega Evolving from the previous stage Pokémon-EX, and doing so ends a player's Turn immediately. Other than this, M Pokémon-EX share the same rules and design as regular Pokémon-EX and evolving Pokémon, with the addition of boosted Hit Points and more powerful Attacks.
- Main article: Pokémon LEGEND (TCG)
Legend cards or Legendary Pokémon first appeared in HeartGold & SoulSilver expansion as one of the two variants of Pokémon LV.X: the top half and the bottom half. Both card halves use the same name, so each one counts toward the four card of the same name deck rule. Pokémon Legend cards cannot be played during setup, and both card halves must be played on the Bench at the same time. The two cards count as one card while in play.
- Main article: Pokémon Power (TCG)
Pokémon Powers (Japanese: 特殊能力 special ability) are additional effects that the Pokémon card's player can trigger once or multiple times during their Turn, before they Attack. Starting with Expedition Base Set Expansion, 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. With the release of the Black & White Expansion, Pokémon Powers were combined into one mechanic once again and renamed Abilities.
If a Pokémon has Resistance (Japanese: 抵抗力 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 Expansion set. An example a Pokémon without is Grimer in the Aquapolis expansion. The EX Dragon expansion 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 always -20 damage (also printed on the cards) 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 (Japanese: にげる 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 Energies. Any type of Energy can be used for retreating, as any Energy can count as Colorless.
If a Pokémon has Weakness (Japanese: 弱点 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 Expansion set. The EX Sandstorm expansion 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 expansion, with Weaknesses of +10, +20, +30, +40 and ×2. Generally, with variable weaknesses, 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. From HeartGold & SoulSilver expansion onwards, Weaknesses return to ×2.
- Main article: Trainer card (TCG)
A Trainer card (Japanese: トレーナーズ Trainer's) is one of three main types of card found in the Pokémon Trading Card Game, alongside Pokémon cards and Energy cards. While Pokémon cards do the direct Attacking of an opponent's cards and Energy cards power their attacks, Trainers provide a more supportive role, allowing a player to search through their deck, draw cards, or other special effects. During a player's Turn, he or she may play a Trainer card from his or her hand, follow its instructions, and then typically discard it.
- Main article: Ace Spec card (TCG)
Ace Spec are powerful Trainer cards with a special drawback: there can only be one Ace Spec in a deck.
- Main article: Item card (TCG)
The Item card (Japanese: グッズ Goods) is the main type of Trainer card. It 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 the Diamond & Pearl Expansion set. Unlike these two, Item cards have subtypes, and thus have a wide range of effects. The two main subtypes of Item 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. The Boundaries Crossed expansion introduced Ace Spec Trainer cards, really powerful cards with the drawback that there can only be one in a deck.
- Main article: Stadium card (TCG)
A Stadium card (Japanese: スタジアム Stadium) is one of three types of Trainer cards and is designed to change an aspect of gameplay for both players. Unlike Item cards and Supporter cards, Stadium cards cause a long-term change in gameplay and may only be removed when another Stadium card is played. They are often played in order to 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)
A Supporter card (Japanese: サポート Support) is one of three types of Trainer cards. Supporter cards are based on characters who are, more often than not, included in the video 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: List of all Pokémon Tool Cards
Pokémon Tools (Japanese: ポケモンのどうぐ Pokemon Tool) are a special type of Trainer Item card that provide a special benefit to the Pokémon they are attached. Active Pokémon and Bench Pokémon may only have one Pokémon Tool attached to it, and it may not be removed unless specifically instructed.