Stage 1 Pokémon (TCG)

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An example of a Stage 1 Pokémon

A Stage 1 Pokémon (Japanese: 1進化(しんか)ポケモン 1st Evolution Pokémon), sometimes also known as a Stage 1 card or even simply Stage 1, is a type of evolution card in the Pokémon Trading Card Game. This also means it is a kind of Pokémon card. Stage 1 Pokémon usually evolve from Basic Pokémon, but there are exceptions. Usually, Stage 1 Pokémon have more HP, stronger attacks, and higher Retreat Costs than the Pokémon they evolve from.


A Stage 1 Pokémon can be placed on top of any Pokémon with the same name as the name in the "evolves from" field on the Stage 1 Pokémon, and taking this action means that Pokémon evolves into the Stage 1 Pokémon. Usually, the name corresponds with the name of an unevolved Basic Pokémon that is the prior evolution of the species depicted on the Stage 1 Pokémon card, though many variations on Pokémon cards change this parameter. Some Stage 1 Pokemon evolve from Fossil Trainer cards, which are Trainer cards that are being treated as Basic Pokemon while in play. However, in some cases, the Basic Pokémon is an evolved Pokémon. This is usually because the Basic Pokémon evolved from a Baby Pokémon. In other cases, usually involving interactions between Fossil Pokémon from different Series, a Stage 1 Pokémon can evolve into a Stage 1 Pokémon.

To reiterate, only the name of the card being evolved from matters, and all other characteristics and designations of the card being evolved from have no effect on if a Stage 1 Pokémon card can be played unless those characteristics explicitly say that they do. One such effect is seen on Ditto Prism Star, which can use its Almighty Evolution Ability to allow any Stage 1 Pokémon to evolve from it. Another is EeveeGX's Ascension DNA Ability, which allows cards that evolve from Eevee to evolve from Eevee-GX despite the the fact Eevee-GX does not have the name of "Eevee".

When a Stage 1 Pokémon enters play through evolution, it is an evolved Pokémon. In rare cases caused by certain effects, a Stage 1 Pokémon can enter play without evolving from another Pokémon. In those instances, it is possible to have a Stage 1 Pokémon that is an unevolved Pokémon.

When a Pokémon evolves into a Stage 1 Pokémon, any damage counters that were on the prior evolved form remain on the Stage 1 Pokémon, and so are any attached cards like Energy and Pokémon Tools. However, all Special Conditions are recovered from, and any other assorted effects are also cleared off the Pokémon. The characteristics of the prior evolution no longer have any effect on the evolved Pokémon, being overridden by the characteristics of the Stage 1 card. This means that Stage 1 Pokémon cannot use any of the attacks, Abilities, and other capabilities that their prior evolution had. Some effects can allow a Stage 1 Pokémon to use attacks from its prior evolutions.

During each player's turn, that player can play any number of Stage 1 Pokémon cards from their hand to evolve their Pokémon. Certain other effects can cause a Stage 1 Pokémon card to be played and evolve a Pokémon, such as that of Evosoda. However, Pokémon cannot be evolved on the first turn of the game or on the first turn they come into play. As evolution counts as entering play, If a Pokémon evolves into a Stage 1 Pokémon, it cannot evolve again until the next turn. However, some effects exist which can circumvent these rules.


A Stage 1 Pokémon from the Base Set
In the EX Series, the Stage of Pokémon cards was below the art instead of at the top of the card.

The location and design of the "evolves from" field has changed over time, but generally is in the upper left corner of the card along with the Stage 1 designation. It is accompanied by a picture of the species of the Pokémon that the Stage 1 Pokémon evolves from.

Relation to the video games

This Cranidos card evolves from Unidentified Fossil and is a Stage 1, unlike in the video games where Cranidos does not evolve from any other Pokemon
Magmortar evolves from Magmar, which is a Basic Pokémon. So, Magmortar is a Stage 1 Pokémon

In most cases, Stage 1 Pokémon are Pokemon that have evolved a single time in the Generation they were introduced in. Examples of this are Boldore, Raichu, and Alcremie. Some exceptions to this are certain Cross-generational evolutions introduced in Generation 4, namely Magmortar, Electivire, and Roserade. They evolve from Pokémon already designated as Basic Pokémon and are therefore also Stage 1 Pokémon. Another group of exceptions are Pokémon that are restored from Fossils. Except for in the Black & White Series and XY Series, these Pokémon evolve from a Fossil Trainer card, and are also Stage 1 Pokémon.

TCG Evolution
Baby Pokémon | Basic | Restored | Stage 1 | Stage 2

Project TCG logo.png This article is part of Project TCG, a Bulbapedia project that aims to report on every aspect of the Pokémon Trading Card Game.