Team Compendium recommends…
…these resources for understanding your game…
Player’s Essential Rules Resources
- Pokemon TCG Rulebook
Many fundamental principles, from which other rulings are derived are only found in the rulebook. The best copy of the rulebook has usually been the latest version from a Theme Deck; trade one of your friends for it and keep it in a pocket while judging. A copy of the latest rulebook seems to be online in the how-to-play section of the official website. As of this writing, it lacks some of the important info for the current format, notably the Lv.X mechanic.
- Rulings Compendium
Download the latest version in web and mobile formats for use during your events.
This is your reference to the comprehensive set of OFFICIAL rulings for the TCG. You definitely want to know what your cards do… and what your opponent’s cards can and can’t do. If you use cards are have been errata’d, it might be good to print the Errata section, just so there is no dispute if a less informed opponent or judge questions your play. Without the errata, you will always lose the argument to the card text.
- POP Penalty Guidelines
Players should review the Penalty Guidelines document in the Rules and Resources section to find out what kinds of game and other actions merit a penalty and the related starting penalties for those actions. When referencing this document with a Judge, please keep in mind, these are Guidelines and judges can increase or decrease a penalty for good reason. Be respectful, but know where you stand.
Player’s Rulings Toolkit
- Compendium Update Notifications
Subscribe via RSS so that when we get the updates you get notified. Don’t get caught behind the curve on new rulings.
- Rulings Discussion
Ask your tournament and card rulings questions in the Ask the Rules Team forum on the PokéGym or Card Rulings Questions on the OP forums. Both forums recommend that you search the Compendium first before posting a question.
- POP Judges Resources
Whatever isn’t in the Penalty Guidelines or Compendium or Rule Book will be on the POP Rules and Resources page. Players may want to review the documents in this area to be fully informed about how tournaments should work.
…and the following items, which will help you have a smooth, penalty-free and fun tournament:
Tournament Essentials Checklist
We’ve heard too many stories over the years about people who left home for the big event and left their deck behind. Got Deck?
- Damage Counters
You can’t play without these, and if you do, you’ll be penalized for failing to keep track of game state. Don’t have fancy glass beads or dice? Make a 500 damage set from two quarters by getting 25 pennies and 5 nickels at the market or game store.
- Burn/Poison Markers
If your deck generates these special conditions you MUST have these markers. Again, there is a penalty for failing to keep track of game state if you have these conditions and don’t mark them. These markers have to be different than each other and different from your damage markers. Every player should keep these with their deck.
Tournament Toolkit Checklist
- Tournament Bag
You need a place to keep your deck and markers and other play items together. You might also be happy to have some bottled water and snacks. Keep your things together in your bag and keep your bag in sight or under your control during the event. The smallest possible bag is best, but if you end up with a large one, keep it on the floor at your feet and out of the aisle. Over the years, we’ve seen too many unwatched bags go missing.
- Spare Sleeves
Many players use plastic card sleeves. Sleeves tear and get marked. Marked sleeves will bring a penalty. Either carry a fresh set, or a few extras of the same style and condition. Brand new sleeves of the same style mixed into a well-worn set will be just as “marked” as torn or dented sleeves. Make sure any sleeves are non-reflective and are plain or have official Pokémon designs with a solid color at the four edges. All other sleeves are not legal for tournament use.
- Card References
If you play older cards that are reprinted in newer sets, you may need a reference card outside your deck if the wording has change. Check out the Standard and Expanded Formats Legal Cards Lists at the PokeGym to determine what cards from older sets are legal and which need reference cards. These lists are usually the most up-to-date listing, though the Play! Pokemon site should have info under Rules & Resources.