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. During a player's turn, they may play a Trainer card from their hand, follow its instructions, and then discard it.
Trainer cards can be divided into several different types.
- Main article: Item card (TCG)
The original type of Trainer, a player can use as many Item cards as desired during his or her turn. Item cards have a wide range of effects and can be useful at any point in the game. Trainer cards that are not Supporters or Stadiums released before Black & White have been redefined as Item cards.
- Main article: Stadium card (TCG)
Introduced in the Gym Heroes expansion, Stadium cards are used to affect the field of play. When a player uses a Stadium card, it remains on the field indefinitely and can usually only be removed from play when a new, different Stadium card is played, or if another card or effect says to discard the Stadium. When the Diamond & Pearl expansion was released, Stadium cards became their own class of card, separate from regular Trainer and Supporter cards. However, this was reversed upon the release of Black & White, and Stadium cards once again became a subclass of Trainer cards.
- Main article: List of all Pokémon Tool Cards
When the main series introduced held items in Generation II, Pokémon Tools were likewise introduced with the first Generation II set, Neo Genesis. Pokémon Tools are a special type of Item cards which function like held items; while a Pokémon Tool card is attached to a Pokémon, it provides the player or Pokémon with a special benefit. However, a Pokémon may have only one Pokémon Tool card attached to it at a time, and it may not be removed unless specifically instructed.
- Main article: Supporter card (TCG)
Supporter cards were introduced to international players in the Expedition Base Set. They are usually much more powerful than regular Item cards, and as such, a player may only use one Supporter card per turn. Like Stadium cards, Supporter cards were initially a subclass of Trainer cards until Diamond & Pearl, where it became its own class of card, only to once again become a subclass of Trainer cards with the release of Black & White.
- Main article: List of all Technical Machine Cards
Also introduced to international players in the Expedition Base Set, Technical Machine cards playing a similar role to the items of the same name in the main series games by giving a Pokémon a new attack to use. The Technical Machine card itself has an attack listed on it, and when it is attached to a Pokémon, that Pokémon can use that attack as its own during that turn. However, whether or not the Pokémon uses that attack, the Technical Machine card is generally discarded at the end of the player's turn.
- Main article: Ace Spec card (TCG)
Introduced in the Boundaries Crossed set, Ace Spec cards represent some of the most extremely powerful Trainer cards in the game. However, they come with a special drawback: there can only be one Ace Spec card in a deck. There are currently 13 Ace Spec cards.
Rocket's Secret Machine
- Main article: List of all Rocket's Secret Machine Cards
Cards with this subclass will usually depict a device used for Team Rocket's evil acts. They are usually released in expansions with a focus on Team Rocket, the first of which was the set named after the organization. However, Rocket's Secret Machine cards are otherwise normal Items cards, with no special ruling or effects unique to them.
Goldenrod Game Corner
- Main article: List of all Goldenrod Game Corner Cards
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. Like Rocket's Secret Machine cards, Golden Game Corner cards are normal Items cards and have no special ruling or effects unique to them. Only two cards of this subclass exist.