The Pokémon Trading map Game (TCG) has actually been out for 20 years, bringing fans together through their shared love that collecting, trading, and also battling personalities from the franchise. With the recent resurgence that the little critters, now is as an excellent a time as any to figure out how to play.

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On the surface, the Pokémon TCG might seem choose a complicated tabletop activity, offered the two years of releases, yet the core concepts behind that are relatively easy come learn and also build upon. It deserve to be played through different species of decks and varying map numbers too, allowing players to develop a situation that’s right for just how they want to play. The standard set of rules is a good place to start, despite there’s strategy past that. (It’s worth noting that we’re just covering the basics behind the Pokémon TCG, here).

How to check out a Pokémon Card

There are three main varieties of cards: Pokémon, Trainers, and Energy.



A quick look in ~ each kind of Pokémon card available. Nicholas Bashore

Pokémon are the bread and butter of the trading card game. Pokémon cards space going to it is in the damages dealers of your deck, each marked with a specific kind and quantity of HP ~ above the upper best side that the card. Development stages room also marked on the card, situated in the upper left. Basic Pokémon have the right to be play immediately, while stage 1 and Stage 2 Pokémon need to be evolved from a an easy Pokémon on subsequent turns.

Below her Pokémon, you’ll an alert a few things too. The very first of these space your attacks. Each strike costs a details amount of Energy, which must be attached to the Pokémon for use. Her Pokémon may also have an ability, which is explained on the card. This capability is active at every times nevertheless of the Pokémon’s position on the field. Pokémon additionally have weaknesses and also resistances, significant in the reduced left hand corner, that should be taken right into account once taking damage. You’ll an alert a retreat price as well, which must be paid to relocate your Pokémon native the energetic position come the bench.

Trainer cards room utilized to compliment her Pokémon and also Energy cards. These have actually a wide variety of effects and also abilities and also are damaged into 3 categories: Item, Supporterm and Stadium. Support cards commonly feature more powerful effects yet can just be played once per turn, however you have the right to play as many of the article cards together you’d favor each turn. Stadion cards can be offered to readjust the board for both players, but only one can be in play on the plank — plus, they deserve to only be eliminated by one more Stadium card or a card which a particular removal effect.

Energy cards are supplied to power your Pokémon’s moves. These must be attached come Pokémon each revolve in order because that them to usage attacks. Currently, there are nine varieties of energy in the Pokémon trading card game: Grass (green), Fire (orange), Water (blue), Lightning (yellow), Psychic (purple), Fighting (red-brown), Darkness (black), metal (grey), and Fairy (pink). The exact amount and form of power is required for a Pokémon to usage an attack, through the exemption of Colorless (white) energy, which deserve to use any kind of energy. Special energy cards additionally exist, such as dual energies, but those are a just a little more complicated.

Decks generally consist of a mix the these types of cards and contain 60 cards in total if you’re playing by the standard dominance set. No much more than 4 of each certain card have the right to be existing in the deck either, with the exception of energy cards.

How to start a Match


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When you very first start a match, you’ll have to determine which player goes very first with a coin flip. The player who goes an initial is not permitted to attack on their very first turn. Basic enough, really.

Once you’ve figured out who go first, every player locations their shuffled decks challenge down follow me the best side the their playing area. Every player climate draws seven cards indigenous the top of your deck, i beg your pardon will end up being their an initial hand.

Each player then places one straightforward Pokémon on the field confront down together their energetic Pokémon. If friend have more than one an easy Pokémon in your beginning hand, you have the right to place each down on your bench face down. No an ext than five Pokémon have the right to be put on the bench at as soon as however. If girlfriend don’t have any simple Pokémon in your starting hand, girlfriend will ultimately have to reshuffle your deck and also re-draw. If your foe has to reshuffle to acquire a an easy Pokémon right into their hand, you acquire to draw second card from the peak of her deck.

Once you both have your an initial hands and an easy Pokémon top top the field, you will do it each attract six compensation cards from the optimal of her decks. These room placed confront down top top the left side of your playing areas (we’ll touch an ext on these in a bit). Finally, expose your active and bench Pokémon to begin the game.

Playing a Match

Matches the Pokemon TCG room played in turns, each consisting that a few steps:

At the beginning of your turn, you’ll draw a single card native the optimal of her deck.Following her draw, you’ll be able to attack a single energy map to among your Pokémon top top the field. This energies will certainly power each of the Pokémon’s attacks. Once your power has been played, you can play any kind of additional straightforward Pokémon you’d prefer to her bench. You may then evolve any kind of of her Pokémon in play. If you wish to swap out your energetic Pokémon for one present on her bench, you deserve to retreat it for the required power cost. Store in mind the this retreat price must be existing on the energetic Pokémon. At this point you deserve to play any type of trainer cards in your hand according to their rules. Multiple items trainer cards can be used throughout a single turn, while support trainer cards deserve to only be supplied once per turn. Once used, these cards will certainly go face up in your discard pile just below your deck on the appropriate side the the field. If her Pokémon have any details abilities (marked ~ above the card) or Pokmon strength you can use them at this time. Store in mind that bench Pokémon’s abilities and also powers have the right to be offered as well, provided they nothing say otherwise. Finally, you’ll be able to attack with your active Pokémon detailed you have actually the best amount that energy attacked to them. You may only assault with among the Pokémon’s moves unless they state otherwise. Rinse and also repeat!

How to victory a Match

In order to victory a match of Pokémon TCG, you’ll have actually to meet one of three criteria:

Take all six prize cards from your opponent. Every time you knock out among their Pokémon in pat by reducing its HP come zero, friend can claim a prize card of your an option from your set of six. If you regulate to knock the end an EX Pokémon, you gain to insurance claim two. If your opponent runs out of Pokémon in their active slot and also on your bench. By “decking” your opponent. If you control to get your foe to go through their entire deck, lock will shed — friend must always have a card to attract at the start of your turn.

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The straightforward idea behind success is to construct a deck the adheres to among these three victory problems while also countering possible opponent strategies. Less complicated said 보다 done, of course. It just takes practice and also plenty the testing.