Pokémon: The Trading Card Game

The undeniable success of the Pokémon video game resulted in the creation of the Pokémon trading card game (PTCG), which was developed in 1996 in Japan, and quickly became as successful as the video game. The game is played with two players, who each assume the role of Pokémon trainer, and the game begins with the two players shuffling their own decks and drawing 7 cards, then each player puts one basic Pokémon – known as the active Pokémon –  onto the arena of play, which the other player tries to destroy.

Pokémon Gameplay

Once both players have one basic Pokémon on the field of play, they can play up to 5 more basic Pokémon, which they keep on their “bench”. Each player takes one turn and tries to damage their opponent’s Pokémon, and more than one action can be taken during a single turn, which might be to bring another basic Pokémon into the field, evolving a basic Pokémon, playing trainer or energy Pokémon cards, or using Pokémon abilities. The active Pokémon can be exchanged at any time with a Pokémon on the bench, and in the event a Pokémon is destroyed, the winning player gets to draw a “Prize Card”.

Pokémon Card Types

With the Pokémon card game, each player can have up to six basic Pokémon on the field at any one time, and the basic Pokémon cards make up the majority of a deck, and there are also energy cards, which are necessary as energy is required when attacking the opponent’s active Pokémon. The other type of card in the “evolved Pokémon”, which cannot be placed onto the field, rather it can be put on top of an active basic Pokémon. Stage 1 evolves from the basic Pokémon, and stage 2 evolves from a stage 1, and so on. As a Pokémon evolves, it becomes more powerful. Trainer cards are used in a variety of ways, such as healing a damaged Pokémon, discarding energy from the attacking Pokémon, or retrieving cards from the discard pile. There are some very rare Pokémon cards for sale, with some fetching thousands of dollars, as over the years many expansion sets have been created.

There are only 11 types of Pokémon in the trading card game, as opposed to 18 in the video game, and the game has evolved over time, to become perhaps the most popular trading card game in the world. While there is no doubt that the card game rode on the wave of success of the video game, it has morphed into a separate entity, and aside from using the same characters, the card version has evolved into a unique game. If you would like to experience the amazing world of the Pokémon card game, there are online suppliers, where you can also download the rules, which are quite complex. There are many expansions sets, and the best way to become proficient is to play a few games with your friends, at least until you have a basic understanding and can play to a reasonable standard, then a world of competition awaits.