Pokémon Trading Card Game – Playing the Game

On Your Turn

When it is your turn, draw a card from your deck. If your deck has run out of cards, then the game is over and your opponent is the winner. Then you may do the following in any order, as many times as you want.

  • Place a Basic Pokémon on your Bench. Choose a Basic Pokémon on your hand and place it face up on the Bench. You can only keep up to five Pokémon on the Bench at once.
  • Evolve a Pokémon. See below to learn how to do this.
  • Attach an Energy Card to one of your Pokémon (under the Pokémon card), even on the bench. You can only do this once during a turn.
  • Play your Trainer cards. When playing a Trainer card, do what it says on the card, and put it on the discard pile unless the card says different.
  • Retreat your Pokémon and bring out another. To retreat the Pokémon, you need to discard one Energy card attached to the Pokémon for each star symbol shown on its retreat cost, then place it into your Bench and send out another Pokémon card into the arena. If the Pokémon is Confused you must flip a coin, if tails it may not retreat but you still must discard the energy, if heads it may retreat normally. If the Pokémon is Asleep or Paralyzed, or if your bench is full, it may not retreat.
  • Use your Pokémon Power. A Pokémon Power works on the bench too. Do whatever it says. If you knock the opponent’s Pokémon out, pick up a prize.

Finally, you attack. Announce the attack you will use. If there is enough Energy on your Active Pokémon to use the attack, the attack is executed. You can find the amount of damage it does by checking the number near the attack. Then put one damage counter for every 10 HP of damage done. You can end the turn without attacking, when you find out that not enough energy is placed on your Active Pokémon, or when it is Paralyzed or Asleep.

After you attack, when your opponent’s Pokémon has run out of HP, the Pokémon is Knocked Out. Place it and all attached Energy cards to your opponent’s discard pile. Then, draw from one of your Prizes. Note that you may not discard Knocked Out Pokémon or draw a Prize until all effects of an attack are completed, including effects that trigger other attacks.

Your turn is now over, and your opponent’s turn begins. Some effects may happen between turns.

Pokémon on the Bench

Here are several points about Pokémon on the Bench:
  • There can only ever be up to five Pokémon on the Bench.
  • When a Pokémon goes to the Bench, it keeps its damage, but all effects of attacks done to the Pokémon go away.
  • Pokémon on the Bench are not affected by Weakness or Resistance when an attack does damage, unless a card specifically says otherwise.

Evolving a Pokémon

If you have a card in your hand that says “Evolves from ???” and ??? is the name of a Pokémon that you have in play, you may play that card in your hand on top of that Pokémon. You must have the right Evolution card to evolve the right Pokémon. Rules:
  • When a Pokémon evolves, it keeps all the cards attached to it (Energy cards, Evolution cards, etc.) and any damage it might already have, but the old attacks and Pokémon Powers of the Pokémon it evolved from go away.
  • All conditions the Pokémon is in also go away – Sleep, Confusion, Paralysis, Poison, or anything else that might be the result of an attack some Pokémon made earlier.
  • You can’t evolve a Pokémon that you just played or evolved on that turn.
  • Neither player can evolve a Pokémon on the first turn.
  • You can evolve a Pokémon on your Bench.

Win or Loss

There are three conditions that decide winning.
  1. You win if you take your last prize when one of your opponent’s Pokémon is Knocked Out.
  2. You also win if your opponent can’t draw a card at the beginning of his/her turn.
  3. You also win if your opponent has no Pokémon on the Bench after his/her Active Pokémon is Knocked Out.

Special Conditions

Paralysis
When a Pokémon is Paralyzed, turn the card to its side (to the right). Your Pokémon can’t attack or retreat on your next turn. Afterward, paralysis is removed, and you can turn the card right side up again.
Sleep
When a Pokémon is Asleep, turn the card to its side (the opposite side as Paralysis, the left). After each turn (including your opponent’s), flip a coin. If heads, your Pokémon wakes up. If tails, your Pokémon remains asleep. Your Pokémon can’t attack or retreat while it’s asleep.
Confusion
Old rules: When a Pokémon is Confused, turn the card upside down. When you want to attack or retreat, flip a coin. If tails while you’re attacking, your attack takes no effect and your Pokémon takes 20 HP damage (before applying weakness and resistance). If tails while you’re retreating, your retreat is not successful but you still have to discard the energy cards you need to regularly retreat. Your Pokémon remains confused until you retreat it.
Poison
When a Pokémon is Poisoned, place a poison marker on it. At the end of each player’s turn place one damage counter on your Pokémon. When your opponent poisons your Pokémon again, it isn’t doubly poisoned. Your Pokémon remains poisoned until you retreat it.

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