This week celebrates the introduction to the brand new Pokemon games Pokemon X and Pokemon Y. To celebrate this new game I am dedicated this week to the Week of Pokemon! Now it's no secret that I've rekindled my love for the Pokemon series but I have decided to use this week to bring out one article a day prior to it's release this Saturday. The first few articles will go over the Pokemon TCG including the basic mechanics and rules of the game as well as some basic strategies for you novice trainers out there. I think I'd be best that I start off slow just so I don't throw you into the deep end of the terminology and strategies.
Types of Pokemon
In the world of the Pokemon Trading Card Game (otherwise known as PTCG) you have three types of Pokemon. You have your Basic Pokemon which can be played at anytime provided your bench is free. You also have to have one Basic Pokemon in your hand to start a match. The TCG has also introduced what is called EX Pokemon. These cards are extremely powerful in one way or another and generally have much more health than your average Stage 1 or 2 Pokemon. The trade off is that if your opponent knocks out an EX Pokemon two prize cards are drawn rather than one.
Stage 1 and 2 Pokemon essentially are evolution of a particular Pokemon (eg. Wartortle, Charizard). These Pokemon can only be played by evolving the it from the previous stage. There are certain cards that can ignore this rule but more on that later. These Pokemon, much like EX cards, are more powerful than the your average Basic Pokemon. During your turn you can only evolve a Pokemon if it has spent a full turn on your side (you can’t evolve Basic Pokemon that has just been played). That goes same for Stage 2 Pokemon. Meaning you can only evolve a Pokemon once, no skipping right to Blastoise right from Squirtle.
Big Basics - This term is used to talk about big EX Pokemon, which has dominated the game ever since the Black and White series. They’re popular because you could have a strong Pokemon Turn One without having to evolve. It’s also worth noting that there are still plenty of “Big Basic” Pokemon who are not EX Pokemon either. In the most recent release of Plasma Freeze one of the most popular Pokemon is Kyurem who is not an EX Pokemon but for one Water and Colorless you could be doing potentially 60 damage turn one.
Poke-Power/Ability/Body - While earlier on in the series these were generally reserved for Stage 1 and 2 Pokemon, you’ll find now that these abilities exist with all kinds of Pokemon. Generally these are passive abilities that exist in the Pokemon’s move list. They can either always be active or be turned on at the player’s choice. They don’t count as an attack unless otherwise stated. These generally help by adding additional powers for the Pokemon such as Mr. Mine's ability to shield the bench Pokemon from damage. The most popular Poke-Ability is Blastoise's ability to attach as many Water Energy from the hand to any Pokemon on your side of the field. This ability is used to get around the one Energy attachment per tern (more on that later).
That's all for now guys. Stay tuned in for more articles about the Pokemon TCG! Next article will talk about the support cards of the game, Trainer Cards as well as the most valuable cards in the game, Energy Cards.