For CC 2010 Playtesters – Insight, Space Virus and Legend Box.

November 20th, 2010

We have a few batches of questions where not all the questions have been answered. Mixed in among those batches are some answered questions relevant to Cities, that we’d like to publish here so that they get out there in time. Here they are in no particular order:

Q. When Yanmega tries to attack, do you evaluate the number of cards in your hand for the “Insight” Poke-BODY before or after discarding a card for Giratina Lv.X’s “Invisible Tentacles” Poke-BODY?
A. The Insight Poke-BODY is evaluated before your attack even begins; therefore it is checked before discarding any cards for Invisible Tentacles. (Nov 11, 2010 PUI Rules Team)
Q. If Deoxys & Rayquaza LEGEND knocks out a Dialga [G] Lv.X with the “Time Crystal” Poke-BODY, does Deoxys & Rayquaza LEGEND’s “Space Virus” Poke-BODY turn on in time for it to take two prizes?
A. When Dialga [G] Lv.X is KO’d and discarded, the Space Virus Poke-BODY turns back on and allows the player to take 1 more prize card. (Sep 23, 2010 PUI Rules Team)
Q. On the part of Legend Box where it talks about “you can play only 1 Pokemon LEGEND in this way”, is that just for the play of the card, or for the entire game?
A. It only lasts for as long as the Trainer is being used.  It just means that if you reveal two or more complete Pokemon LEGENDs that you can only put one of them onto your bench for that trainer card played. (Sep 23, 2010 PUI Rules Team)

For Battle Road Playtesters – Red Armor & Defender

September 14th, 2010

Here are some official rulings from TPCi Rules Team that we’d like to get out to all you Battle Road playtesters this week.

Q. If Garchomp [C] Lv.X has Special Energy cards attached and discards all of them when using its “Dragon Rush” attack, can it do damage to a Scizor that has the “Red Armor” Poke-BODY?
A. No. First choose which two energies to discard, then do the damage (before any other effects), then you actually discard the energy at the end of the attack. So it will still be attached at the point when damage would be done, but the damage will be blocked. (Aug 19, 2010 PUI Rules Team; Sep 2, 2010 PUI Rules Team)

Red Armor is also in effect against other attacks, besides Dragon Rush, that would discard all special energy as part of the attack.

Q. If I attach Defender to Drifblim and do “Balloon Tackle”, does Defender prevent the 20 self damage from that attack?
A. Yes. Play Defender as if the damage prevention wording was printed, “Any damage done by attacks to the Pokémon Defender is attached to is reduced by 20 (after applying Weakness and Resistance).” (Aug 19, 2010 PUI Rules Team)

Defender from Undaunted appears to have been printed incorrectly; play it as per the ruling. Base Set Defender is legal for Battle Road without any reference.

Updated rulings on GUARD, Looker’s Investigation, Conductivity

August 8th, 2010

We wanted to provide a further heads-up on the new way to play bench swap attacks versus a protected active (and also, fyi Conductivity, confirmation on Looker). These rulings will be in effect for the World Championships 2010.

The wording is not official yet, but we’ve been asked to get the word out. Here’s the summary

  1. For Looker’s Investigation, declare the number of cards you will draw before you start drawing; if you don’t declare, you will draw the maximum.
  2. An active protected by Guard or Anticipation can be switched by an attack that targets an unprotected benched Pokemon (see below).
  3. There is a return to the “simultaneous-trigger for different effects allows the controlling player to choose the order in which the effects are applied” meta-ruling and this affects Conductivity (see below).


P== ANTICIPATION (Toxicroak [G] – PL:Platinum)
P== GUARD (Unown G – DP:Great Encounters)
A== INVITING TRAP (Trapinch – DP:Secret Wonders)
A== LURING FLAME (Blaziken [FB] – PL:Supreme Victors)

Q. If my opponent has a Toxicroak [G] with the “Anticipation” Poke-BODY or a Pokemon with Unown-G attached as a tool with its “GUARD” Poke-Power active, can I use my Trapinch’s “Inviting Trap” attack or Blaziken [FB]’s “Luring Flame” attack and choose to switch the Defending Pokemon with one of their benched Pokemon?
A. Yes, it can. The intended wording of Trapinch’s Inviting Trap and Blaziken [FB]’s Luring Flame place an effect on the Benched Pokemon, so even if the Defending Pokemon has a condition that prevent effects of attacks the switch can still occur. (Aug 5, 2010 PUI Rules Team)

Q. If my opponent has a Toxicroak [G] with the “Anticipation” Poke-BODY on their bench, or a Pokemon with Unown-G attached as a tool with its “GUARD” Poke-Power on their bench, can I use my Trapinch’s “Inviting Trap” attack or Blaziken [FB]’s “Luring Flame” attack and choose to switch the Defending Pokemon with one of those on the bench?
A. No, you cannot.  The intended wording of Trapinch’s Inviting Trap and Blaziken [FB]’s Luring Flame place an effect on the Benched Pokemon, so if the Benched Pokemon has a condition that prevents effects of attacks excluding damage done, the switch cannot occur.  (Aug 5, 2010 PUI Rules Team)

P== CONDUCTIVITY (Dark Ampharos – Neo:Destiny; Ampharos EX – EX:Dragon; Ampharos – HS:Heart Gold/Soul Silver)
P== AQUA REACTION (Helix Fossil – DP:Majestic Dawn; Helix Fossil – PL:Arceus)
P== ROCK REACTION (Dome Fossil – DP:Majestic Dawn; Dome Fossil – PL:Arceus)

Q. What happens if Ampharos with the “Conductivity” Poke-BODY is in play and I attach the appropriate energy card to my Dome Fossil or Helix Fossil to activate their “Rock Reaction” or “Aqua Reaction” Poke-BODY?
A. Attaching an Energy card to Dome Fossil or Helix Fossil causes its Poke-BODY and Ampharos’ Conductivity to trigger at the same time, so the player can resolve them in the order of their choosing.  If you resolve Conductivity first, the Fossil Pokemon takes a damage counter and then evolves.  However, if you resolve Rock Reaction or Aqua Reaction first, the Fossil’s Poke-BODY searches for a card and evolves, but Conductivity no longer sees the Pokemon that triggered it, so no damage counter is placed. (Aug 5, 2010 PUI Rules Team)

Q. Would Flygon’s “Energy Shower” attack set off Ampharos-EX’s “Conductivity” power? Like if I set down 6 energy, it would do 60 Damage (however I set down the energy)? And if yes, would the damage be done to Flygon or to each separate Pokemon. that I attach an energy to?
A. Yes, Flygon would indeed trigger Ampharos-EX’s Conductivity; it also works the same way for Azumarill’s “Drizzle” attack. And the damage would be done to each individual Pokemon that gets an energy attached to it. (Jan 29, 2004 PUI Rules Team)

Q. If I have Quagsire and my opponent has Ampharos-EX in play and I attach an energy card to my Quagsire from my hand, which Poke-POWER gets applied first, Saturation or Conductivity?
A. Conductivity and Saturation happen at the same time, so the player attaching energy would get to decide which effect to apply first. (Mar 3, 2005 PUI Rules Team)

PokeGym down, Compendium Up

May 9th, 2010

During the PokeGym outage (there is an upgrade in progress), all the rulings are still available from the Compendium site (links at left) and the Compendium site will be up. You can follow the progress of the upgrade on the PokeGym Facebook page and also in the comments to this post.

Errata for two cards from Unleashed along with Lucky Egg

May 9th, 2010

Three cards have been added to the list of errata for the Pokémon Trading Card Game.

Please note the three cards are receiving errata to address text changes. The text below reflects what the card should say, not what was originally printed. Additionally, we have added notes to help understand what has changed on the cards. You can see a complete list of TCG Errata on the rules and resources page.

Lucky Egg (Platinum—Arceus, 88/89)
When the Pokémon this card is attached to is Knocked Out by damage from an opponent’s attack and put into your discard pile, draw cards until you have 7 cards in your hand.

If the Pokémon does not go to the discard pile (for example, if it goes to the Lost Zone, etc.), you do not get to draw the cards.

Onix (HS—Unleashed, 56/95)
(Poké-Body) Energy Healer
When you attach an Energy card from your hand to Onix, remove a damage counter from Onix.

This Poké-Body only works when you attach an Energy card to Onix.

PlusPower (HS—Unleashed, 80/95)
If the Pokémon PlusPower is attached to attacks, the attack does 10 more damage to the Active Pokémon (before applying Weakness and Resistance).

This is to match past versions of the card. Also, if the Pokémon uses an attack that would damage itself, PlusPower would also affect that damage.

Image links in Compendium LvX Updated

January 16th, 2010

With many thanks to our friend Dave Christian (PokeGym Member – The Gorn) at, we’ve finally used the file he gave us last summer and updated the database that creates the links from the Compendium rulings to the Researching Tower images.

The result is a more complete reference when you want to look at a card for which a ruling is published in the Compendium. Thanks to Dave’s data we are up-to-date through Rising Rivals and OP9 sets.

We realize there are some gaps where there is no link to the Tower image for a card ruling. This occurs where images aren’t consistently labeled as to set (e.g. Trainer Kit Gold) or TPCi has chosen card numbers that don’t fit into our current algorithms (the Shiny Duskull for example). Also, there are one or two links that actually don’t match the ruling, where the name of the attack is the same but the attack is completely different or the name is a subset of another name.

We’re hoping to close these small gaps sometime in the future… after we update through HeartGold SoulSilver. For now, though, we’re happy to have the addtional links!

A few notes while we wait…

October 29th, 2009

Yes, we’re waiting on some big post-Worlds rulings and also Arceus is about to hit the Compendium big time. Meawhile, here are two small notes.

PDF Version. A couple months ago, we got the Acrobat version of the Compendium automated. It kicks in at midnight Pacific Time, or thereabouts. For fans of the PDF version, you can find it linked on “The Compendium” tab on this site. The iSilo version is still there, also automated. And, of course, the HTML version is also linked there and in the “Direct Link” in the sidebar of the front page of the Compendium site.

Set Up… in reverse. Back in March we received a ruling that Uxie could use its Set Up Poke-POWER with 7 or more cards in your hand. After Worlds, this was reviewed and we received a reversal at the end of September. We don’t have an update log for it yet, because we are waiting for other rulings in that batch. Note that the old ruling was asked in the context of Power Cancel, but because of the reversal, the update went under Set Up. To be clear, you may NOT use Set Up if there are 7 or more cards in your hand.

See you at Cities…


Buried Treasure – Rediscovering Lv.X Answers

April 12th, 2009

Now that the EX series cards, with their different meanings for the terms “Trainer” and “Basic Pokémon or Evolution card”, have been removed from the modified format allowed at Premier events, there are fewer posted questions about basic rules changes introduced by Diamond and Pearl. We premiere event players and Pokémon League members are now so used to the rules changes introduced by the Diamond and Pearl expansion, that we’ve moved on to wondering about format changes and working on our understanding of the Platinum changes (SP Pokémon and the like). However, people still ask the Rules Team members basic questions about Lv.X cards.

When the awesome Diamond and Pearl expansion first came out a New Additions document was published describing most of the changes to the game rules. Google claims that this document is not linked anywhere anymore (we’ll fix that). Some of the points in that document are still being asked about in 2009, but those points were not fully reproduced in the “What’s new in the Diamond & Pearl expansion?” summary in the basic online rulebook. Most of the points from the Lv.X section of the above document ARE covered in the printed rule books that come with the pre-constructed theme decks in each expansion.

As an aside, did we mention that judges should buy a theme deck or trade their players to obtain a recent rule book? Well, I recommend doing that and also keeping it with you during tournaments… it resolves some questions that your other references do not!

Back to our Lv.X archaeology, here is a quote of the Lv.X section from the New Additions document:

Pokémon LV. X

The Diamond & Pearl expansion introduces a new type of Pokémon—Pokémon LV. X! These cards represent the most powerful extremes that a Pokémon can reach, granting extra abilities, attacks, and more HP. They are played similarly to an Evolution card but have special rules as well.

  • A Pokémon LV. X can’t be played on a Pokémon that evolved that turn or on a LV. X already in play. (For example, if you evolved your Pokémon to Torterra this turn, you could not play Torterra LV. X on that Pokémon.)
  • When a Pokémon LV. X is played, it keeps all cards attached to it as well as any damage counters it already had. It also keeps all attacks, Poké‐Powers, and Poké‐Bodies from the earlier level.
  • When a Pokémon LV. X is played, it removes all Special Conditions and other effects from that Pokémon.
  • A Pokémon LV. X shares the same name as the Pokémon it is put on top of. (For example, you can only have 4 Torterra in your deck—you could have 2 Torterra and 2 Torterra LV. X but not 4 of each.)
  • A Pokémon LV. X is not considered an Evolution card. Cards that allow a player to search his or her deck for an Evolution card only (such as Professor Elm’s Training Method) cannot be used to retrieve a Pokémon LV. X. If an effect removes the highest Stage Evolution card from a Pokémon LV. X, both the earlier evolution that the Pokémon LV. X is on top of and the Pokémon LV. X are removed.

Some of those statements are irrelevant to the current format (i.e. Professor Elm’s Training Method), but others relate to questions that are still being asked in 2009.

  1. Can I level up one Shaymin Lv.X card with the other, and if I do, can I use the attacks on the previous card?
    This seemed like a head-scratcher at first, but it seems it’s addressed directly in the first bullet in the New Additions document: No.
  2. Can I Level-up a Pokémon I just evolved or was just played this turn?

As far as I can tell, you can’t find rules statement related to question #1 in a document anywhere online, other than this the New Additions and a somewhat oblique reference in the Compendium Lv.X. And, statements answering question #2 is found nowhere online outside the New Additions document (and maybe Ask the Rules Team forum). Please post links that I didn’t find!

So, above, for your enjoyment is a link the “New Additions” document. Enjoy! It should show up soon on a Rules Team agenda to see what items need to be submitted for rulings; any rulings received will, of course, be recorded in the Compendium Lv.X.

New Compendium Site Theme and Review of 2008 Projects

January 4th, 2009

We had a lot of changes for the Rulings Compendium and its website in 2008: the Compendium leveled up, gaining a hyperlinked index, links to relevant scans from the gallery and shifting to cover all the most relevant rulings for modified format. Last Fall we moved the Compendium back to its own site, at a URL separate from the main PokéGym site, where you can find articles about the latest rulings as well as an RSS feed for the rulings updates as we get them from Pokémon USA.

The Pokémon TCG Rulings Compendium continues to be available in 3 editions, the original (WotC rulings), the EX version (with the first four years of PUI rulings) and the current LvX edition. You can find them all linked on one page at the Compendium Site — just click the “The Compendium” link.

If you haven’t had a chance to look at the “For Judges” or “For Players” tabs yet, we encourage you to do so and provide us with some feedback. The intent is to provide each audience with a short list of essential rulings resources and supplement that with a longer list of useful additional resources.

The Compendium LvX is currently available in two formats, HTML & iSilo (for your PDA). We hope to return to having PDF available soon. Some kind friends of the Compendium have offered to create and upload a PDF, and we’ll be going to that before States if we haven’t completed the project to create it automatically when we update (just like the iSilo version).

The main graphic theme of the site is build around the Compendium Pokédex, created for us by Julia Hedberg, Purity of Pokemon ZEO fame. Matt Riddle, aka Prime on has reworked this ‘dex in vector graphic format, allowing us to use it at various resolutions and giving it a 3D look. And, today, for those with small monitors (or slow connections), we’ve added a second theme to the site (Vesper) and a theme chooser you can use to select it.

We do appreciate webmasters linking to the main Compendium web site. Now that it has its own domain again, that URL shouldn’t change in the future. If you have a link to the old cpdmhome or pkcompendium URLs we appreciate you updating them to .  Whether you’re a webmaster or just have a personal website or social networking page, we encourage you to link to us at the top level address and, if possible, use our cool web button. See the instructions on our “Link Us” page for super-simple copy/paste way to link the Compendium site. We appreciate you linking the site top-level URL, as the URL to the latest Compendium is subject to change.

Thank you for your support of the changes to the Pokemon TCG Rulings Compendium in 2008! We forward to making further improvements to the usability of this compendium of official Pokémon TCG rulings in 2009.

Judges – heads up heading into City Championships

November 26th, 2008

Now that we have rulings back from PUI and posted in time for City Championships, let’s take a quick look at a few things that could come up and would be good to have worked out ahead of time.


This beastie’s Poké-POWER, Fainting Spell, is going to be one you will encounter and need to be sharp about. In no particular order:

  • Psychic Lock doesn’t interact with Fainting Spell anymore than it did with Phoenix Turn.
  • Fainting Spell is not turned off by special conditions.
  • Fainting Spell is not triggered by:
    • being devolved
    • KO by special conditions
    • KO by placing damage counters
  • It is NOT a mandatory game action (no POWER is)
    • watch out for rushing by the opponent to short-circuit the activation
    • don’t force it to be applied or rewind to it when someone legitimately forgot to apply it


Ttar’s Poké-BODY, Darkness Drive, happens AFTER the effect of any Poké-POWER, so of course it can pick up a Darkness energy discarded from your deck by a POWER.

Type Casting

As you know, Stormfront Infernape and Torterra don’t get the benefit of abilities like Wild Growth and Heat Metal because of their type… until they level up. The Lv.X card’s type applies when it is in play.

Our old friend Charizard, in like manner gets the benefit of Heat Metal when it is Fire type, even if the attached energy is natively, say Darkness type. However, if you change Charizard’s type, say with Weavile, then you can’t get the benefit of Heat Metal.

1 time, 2 times and half a time

Luxury Ball can’t be used if another copy is in the discard. Using the effect one time is good but using the effect of a second copy is bad. You might want to huddle up with the HJ & TO and decide your approaches to this, if it happens. In my opinion, it’s not quite as game breaking as past abuses, such as a double Quick Search or POW! Hand Extension while ahead on prizes. It is kind of on the order of leaving a Protective Orb on a basic while you Rocket’s Admin… a little *illegal* edge.

Raichu’s Link Lightning let’s your players attack twice in a turn. Players can use Voltage Shoot twice, if they have the requirements. However, if there are two KO’s from the attacks, the opponent replaces his or her active after the first KO and the Raichu player takes a prize before the second attack!

The Poke … + cards — Healer, Blower, Drawer — can be played for ‘half the effect’. Again, what if a player drops one Poke Blower + and summons his opponent’s Pokemon from the bench? This is something, like flipping cards for Gallade’s Psychic Cut, which needs to be done all at once. Again, you might huddle up ahead of time and decide how you’re going to work through the situation if it comes up… either accidentally or on purpose.

If you want to follow up on any of these things, look up the italicized terms in the index of the Rulings Compendium LvX and reference the cards themselves in the Researching Tower.