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.
- 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.
- 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.