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Professor’s Corner – Pitfall Conventions: What Does the Card Say? 01/23/2012

Posted by raznprince in Ask a Professor, Pokemon TCG, TCG Strategy.
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As I have previously stated, it is important to understand the cards you play with as they are written. As a judge for several tournaments, I get a lot of questions regarding the rulings of the cards players play during their games and my most common first response is “what does the card say?” However, in some cases, it’s not always clear what to do, but here are some tips to watch out for when it comes to understanding the cards you play:

  1. The words “you may” specify that particular effect of the card or attack is optional. In other words, you don’t have to do it if you don’t want to.
  2. The words “up to” specify that the outcome of the effect must be less than or equal to the magnitude of the effect written on the card.
  3. The absence of the above phrases assumes that the effects must be performed as written.
  4. Do not confuse what you can or can’t do between playing Trainer-Item/Supporter/Stadium cards with effects of attacks:
    1. The former requires that you satisfy all conditions associated with the card in order to perform the effect (Example: For Pokémon Communication, you must have a Pokémon in your hand to exchange for a Pokémon in your deck). You cannot play an Item or Supporter Card for no effect. However, if the effect requires you to search for a card in your deck you may “fail” the search regardless of whether the desired card is in your deck or not because the contents of your deck isn’t public knowledge.
    2. Unless otherwise specified, the latter doesn’t require all effect conditions to be satisfied for the attack to succeed, however what can be done with the attack must be done. (Example: If an attack does 30 damage, poisons the defending Pokémon, and then your opponent must discard a card from his/her hand, but he/she has no cards in his/her hand this turn, the attack still works minus the discard effect.)
    3. If an effect requires you to move a card from the discard pile to either your hand, deck, or attach to a Pokémon, you must reveal that card to your opponent before placing accordingly.

I hope this helps de-mystify the concerns you have on understanding your cards. Any questions, comments, or constructive feedback? Let me know!

Professor Raz

Professor Knowldege Difficulty: Basic

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