The Pokémon Trading Card Game is a collectible card game, based on the Pokémon video game series. In the US, it was initially published by Wizards of the Coast; Nintendo eventually took over publishing the card game alongside the video games in June 2003.
To get started, check out the official page. Basically:
- It's recommended that new players play the Pokémon Trading Game Online . It's a great way to learn the game, it's free and you get tokens from physical card packs (mostly XY series) to use in the online game.
- For your first deck, you can buy a Theme deck, which is a simple prebuilt deck that contains 60 cards that is legal ready to play with.
- Alternatively Pokémon Trainer Kits include two half decks of 30 cards that used to play with right out of the box. It also includes tokens, a nice coin and some promo cards you won't find anywhere else. In can double up as a singular 60 card legal standard deck.
- To get your physical collection started, buy a Elite Trainer Box, which includes everything you need to get started including tokens, dice, energy cards, 8 booster packs and a nice box to store cards.
- Many game stores will often hold Pokémon League events. There, you will be able to find other players in your area to both have matches with and trade with.
If you want to build a standard season deck i would recommend cards in the sets below on wards. Cards made under Wizards of the Coast from when you where a kid are not modern legal cards.
For a list of the legal set go here.
A standard Pokémon TCG can be won in one of three ways
- Take all of your Prize cards.
- Knock Out all of your opponent’s in-play Pokémon.
- If your opponent’s deck has no cards in it at the beginning of his or her turn.
Each turn consists of 3 main parts:
- Drawing a card.
- Doing any of the following actions in any order:
- Put Basic Pokémon cards from your hand onto your Bench (as many times as you want).
- Evolve your Pokémon (as many times as you want).
- Attach an Energy card from your hand to one of your Pokémon (once per turn).
- Play Trainer cards (as many as you want, but only one Supporter card and one Stadium card per turn).
- Retreat your Active Pokémon (only once per turn).
- Use Abilities (as many as you want).
- Attacking. Then, ending your turn.
In order to play the Pokémon TCG, you’re going to need to build a deck. Decks in Pokémon always contain exactly 60 cards — not a single card more or less. Your deck may include up to 4 multiples of any card of the same name. Cards used in this game can be broken down into three main categories (which each contain their own sub-categories). These three types of cards are:
Pokémon - These are the Monsters you will use to battle each other with. Remember once you don't have any Pokémon left you loose the game.
Trainers - Broken up into Item (e.g Healing), Tool (equipment you attach to Pokémon), Stadium (changes the field of battle) and Supporter (cards that provide various benefits) cards
Energy - Used to power a Pokémons moves and retreat costs.
- Hit Points
- Pokémon Type
- Evolution Stage
- Retreat Cost
Alternatively, if you have a card called “Charizard-EX”, that counts as a differently-named card and you may play four of them in addition to your four non-EX Charizards.
There are a few video games based on the card game.
Pokémon TCG Online
Pokémon TCG Online is the official digital version of the card game available for PC, OS X, Android and iPad. The Pokémon TCG Online business model is an interesting one and different from other Free to Play Trading Card games out there as you cannot buy digital packs directly with real money. There are multiple means of earning new cards and other rewards.
- Boosters and theme decks can be bought with Trainer Tokens in the game which is a free currently you earn for participating in Daily Challenges, Logging in daily, Trainer Challenges, Tutorial Ladder, Versus Ladder, Mini Games on the website, Random Battle matches in the Versus Mode and Tournament Mode, and the Bonus Whee at the end of a online match.
- Physical packs such as boosters, theme decks, Elite Trainer boxes and Trainer Kits will contain a code that can be redeemed in game. A booster code will get you a booster of random cards, a theme deck will get you that exact theme deck represented digitally within the game.
- There are often free codes given away via email monthly or by other random events. For an additional free starter deck use the code 'PrimalClash'. If you want multiples of the same deck visit this link.
For a massive write on the online game look at the Bulbapedia page.
The Pokémon Trading Card Game was developed for the Game Boy Color. The game is based on the rules of the card game and features 226 cards from the game. The game was re-released for the Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console in 2014. A sequel, Pokémon Card GB2: Great Rocket-Dan Sanjō! was released exclusively in Japan in March 2001.