Pokemon cards are a great way for kids to collect their favorite characters. They can also make a pretty penny for collectors who list them online.
Each player shuffles their 60-card deck and draws seven cards. They then place one of their Pokemon character cards face down as their active Pokemon.
Each player draws seven cards to form their starting hand. They then put one of these Pokemon into their active spot and up to five more on their bench (this is where Pokemon wait when they’re not the Active Pokemon).
When a Pokemon is the Active Pokemon, its attack and Pokemon Powers are used. If that Pokemon is knocked out or retreats to its bench, it loses all the damage it took this turn. It also loses any special conditions that it might have — asleep, burned, confused, paralyzed, and poisoned, for example.
Each Pokemon card has its own name, its hit points (HP), and the number of energy types it needs in order to use its attacks. Some cards also have an ability that doesn’t require any energy to use.
Whether your kids have discovered Pokemon in the latest video game release or they’re veterans of the tabletop version of the nearly 30-year-old series, they can get started with Theme Decks or build their own deck using booster packs. These contain 60 cards and provide the basis for a strong, competitive deck.
Each card has its name, type and Hit Points on it. In addition, most have a Weakness, Resistance and Retreat cost. The card also lists its Rarity, expansion or set, and Pokedex entry as flavor text.
Booster packs contain 10 cards from a given Expansion set and include one Rare () card. Some Booster packs are Holofoil, meaning they contain a special effect on the image or card background. These cards are more rare than regular non-Holofoil cards.
Having the right energy cards can make or break a Pokemon’s ability to attack. Energy cards power Pokemon’s moves and must be attached to them, usually below the Pokemon’s hit point total (or HP). They remain there until a card effect or action removes them.
Special Energy cards may provide more than one type of Energy, or they can give a unique effect. These can heal the Pokemon they are attached to, help it take less damage from Special Conditions or bestow a colorless Energy upon it.
These types of energy cards are most often found in expansions, and they are valuable because they can boost the power of a Pokemon’s attacks or change how those attacks are executed. Magic Madhouse stocks a variety of basic and special energy cards at competitive online prices.
Many Pokemon cards have one or more moves that can be used for special effects. These will be listed on the card along with a type (like water or fire) and an attack cost, which indicates how many and what kind of Energy cards are needed to perform that particular move.
Some attacks also inflict damage to the defending Pokemon, which are tracked by damage counters that remain on the card until it is healed or knocked out. The amount of damage an attack does is shown to the right of the attack name, and extra effects may be listed beneath some of them as well.
Some abilities allow you to retreat your active Pokemon to your bench, and will be labeled with the word “retreat” along with the cost in colorless energy symbols. For example, a Pokemon with the move Roar or Whirlwind can use it to switch out for another Pokemon on your bench, but you will need to pay the retreat cost to do so.
Pokemon cards may be afflicted with special conditions that affect their abilities. These conditions are indicated by turning the card: counterclockwise (Asleep), upside-down (Confused) or clockwise (Paralyzed). A Pokemon can only have one of these conditions at a time, and the latest condition stays in effect until that Pokemon retreats or is knocked out.
Damage Pump is a niche Item card that lets players move up to two damage counters from one of their Pokemon to another. This can make attacks reliant on damage counters on the target Pokemon more powerful, and it also helps fill out an attacker’s bench.
Garbodor RCL 118 is a popular card for decks that need to deal with Stadium cards, as it puts the Poisoned Special Condition on an opponent’s active Pokemon. These decks typically run 2-3 copies of the card along with 2-3 copies of Trubbish, its basic counterpart.