Trainer card (TCG)
A Trainer card is one of three types of card found in the Pokémon Trading Card Game, alongside Pokémon and Energy cards. While Pokémon cards do the direct attacking of an opponent's cards and Energy cards power their attacks, Trainers provide a more supportive role, allowing a player to search through their deck, draw cards, or other special effects.
Trainer cards can be divided into several different types.
The base type of Trainer, these cards usually involve searching of either the deck or discard pile (no card yet allows players to access the Lost Zone) for a card to put into easier access for the player. Most reprinted Trainer cards fall into this class, with staples like Poké Ball and Energy Search being used since the early days of the game, and later cards like Rare Candy being based on cards released early on in effect.
- Main article: Stadium card (TCG)
Introduced in the Gym Heroes expansion, and formerly a subclass of Trainer card, Stadium cards represent the field of play, and may alter things slightly on both sides of the field. A Stadium card can usually only be removed from play when another Stadium card with a different name comes into play. Starting in the Diamond & Pearl expansion, Stadium cards became their own class of card, though they are still often grouped with Trainers by players, and no distinction is made from Trainer cards when they are compiled into an English set list.
- Main article: Supporter card (TCG)
Like Stadium cards, Supporter cards were formerly a subclass of Trainer until Diamond & Pearl. Following their introduction in the Expedition Base Set, they were widely used, despite the ruling that only one could be used per turn. This ruling was, of course, likely to prevent players from gaining too much draw power, as Bill and Professor Oak of the Base Set allowed.
Rocket's Secret Machine
Cards with this subclass will usually depict a device used for Team Rocket's evil acts. They have usually been released in expansions with a focus on Team Rocket, the first of which was named for the organization.
In another similarity to the games' held items, which were introduced in Generation II, the Pokémon Tools released since the Neo Genesis expansion are attached to a Pokémon, and once their effect is used, are discarded.
Goldenrod Game Corner
While not much different from a standard Trainer card, cards in this subclass are based on games played in the Goldenrod Game Corner, and thus their effect is largely based on luck. Only two cards in this subclass exist.
Playing a similar role to the items of the same name in the games, a Technical Machine may be attached to a Pokémon card, and that Pokémon may then use the attack on the card as its own. Like in the games, most have a compatibility requirement (such as only being able to be used by cards of a certain type, or only by evolved Pokémon) and all those released before Legends Awakened are to be discarded from the Pokémon at the end of the turn they were played, no matter if the player had actually used the attack in question or not. These cards first saw a release in Pokémon VS; however, international audiences did not have access to them until the Expedition Base Set.