Cardboard Gamer

David Rudy jr

This Week’s Topic: Pokemon Trading Card Game

Nintendo’s popular gaming franchise, Pokemon, made the transition from portable consoles to TV and eventually a trading card game. Like with Magic the Gathering, players purchase cards to build their team of Pokemon to fight against other players.

What the game is all about 

Like other trading card games, Pokemon the Trading Card Game is all about collecting cards to eventually assemble a deck of 60 cards. Among the cards players can collect are the Pokemon themselves, ability cards and energy cards.

How to play: set up 

Players start the game by shuffling their deck and drawing seven cards from their deck. Then, after shuffling draw six cards, these will be prize cards. Set these prize cards up in a pile or set them up in three rows of two or two rows of three. Next, Look through the hand to see if you have at least one basic type Pokemon; put them as your active fighter. If you have any other basic Pokemon, put these in a row face down; these cards will be your bench. If you can not find any basic Pokemon within your hand, put your entire hand in the deck and reshuffle it until you get at least one basic type Pokemon. Each time you draw a new hand your opponent draws one extra card.

How to play: Mid game

At the start of your turn, draw one card. If you want to bench a basic Pokemon you can do so on your turn, but there can only be five Pokemon in the bench. Then you can attach one energy card per turn to your active Pokemon; these are used for attacking and retreating. Then you can use any trainer, support, tool and stadium cards. Then, if possible, evolve any basic Pokemon card as long as you go in order from basic to stage one and then to stage two. Even if you have all evolution stages for a card, you can only evolve the active card once per turn. After that, if a Pokemon has an ability you can activate this ability. Then, if you have the right amount of energy you can retreat a Pokemon to use later. Finally, to end your turn, if you have enough energy you can attack the opponent’s Pokemon.

My thoughts

The Pokemon card game is very fun while staying faithful to the format of the games they are based on. While playing the video games does give a very similar experience, if you never like the video games, give the card game a shot. It plays different enough to have a different experience. I can recommend this game to anyone who enjoys a good trading card game. If you want to see if the game is for you, Pokemon has a digital version of the game as an app or on the computer, I highly recommend this for newcomers.