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Greninja, a Pokémon card that was released in the XY expansion

A Pokémon in the Pokémon Trading Card Game (abbreviated TCG) is any card on which there is a Pokémon that is represented as they are in the games. Pokémon are used in the TCG to battle an opponent's Pokémon, much like Trainers battle in the games. Pokemon cards are one of categories of cards in the TCG, which also include Energy cards, and Trainer cards.



Each card has at least one attack listed, sometimes up to three or four, and most attacks use a set amount of Energy cards that the Pokémon must have attached to it in order to use that attack. They will also have a value designated as their Hit Points, which runs no lower than 30, and no higher than 250.

Also printed on each card is Type, Rarity, expansion or set, set number and a Pokédex entry as flavor text.

Some cards may also contain a Weakness, Resistance, Retreat cost or an Ability, Poké-POWER or Poké-BODY.


Pokémon cards have four stages:

  • Baby, which is considered one stage lower than basic Pokémon. However, they are not required to play their evolved forms. They represent Baby Pokémon in the games.
  • Basic, which is a Pokémon that does not evolve from any other (excluding Baby Pokémon). Pokémon which do not evolve to or from another Pokémon, Pokémon SP, and Pokémon EX are also classified as Basic.
  • Stage 1, which is a Pokémon which has evolved from a Basic Pokémon.
  • Stage 2, which is a Pokémon which has evolved from a Stage 1 Pokémon.

Pokémon card variants


Main article: Pokémon-EX (TCG)

Pokémon-EX are Basic Pokémon with significantly higher Hit Points compared to the majority of regular Basic Pokémon. They were first introduced in the Next Destinies expansion, replacing Pokémon LV.X Legendary Pokémon. Similar to the Pokémon-ex released during the EX Series, when a Pokémon-EX is defeated, the opponent takes two Prize Cards instead of one.

M Pokémon-EX

M Pokémon-EX were introduced in XY expansion and introduce the Mega Evolution mechanic featured in Pokémon X and Y. They are identified by a stylized Mega graphic on the card name. M Pokémon-EX can only be played by Mega Evolving from basic Pokémon-EX. Doing so ends a players turn immediately.(unless a player has the corresponding spirit link) Other than this, M Pokémon-EX share the same rules and design as regular Pokémon-EX and evolving Pokémon, with the addition of boosted Hit Points and more powerful Attacks.

Pokémon LEGEND

Main article: Pokémon LEGEND (TCG)

Legend cards or Legendary Pokémon first appeared in HeartGold & SoulSilver expansion as one of the two variants of Pokémon LV.X: the top half and the bottom half. Both card halves use the same name, so each one counts toward the four card of the same name Deck rule. Pokémon Legend cards cannot be played during setup, and both card halves must be played on the Bench at the same time. The two cards count as one card while in play.

Restored Pokémon

A Restored Pokémon is a form of Pokémon that is revived to life from a Fossil card. Only eleven Pokémon classified as Restored Pokémon (Aerodactyl, Amaura, Anorith, Archen, Cranidos, Kabuto, Lileep, Omanyte, Shieldon, Tirtouga, and Tyrunt) have appeared so far. In order to play a Restored Pokémon, the player must first play the respective Fossil card, search the bottom seven cards of their Deck for the corresponding Pokémon, and then place it onto his or her Bench. This type of card was reintroduced in the Noble Victories expansion.

Pokémon BREAK

Main article: Pokémon BREAK (TCG)

Pokémon BREAK are a special type of Pokémon card first introduced in the XY BREAKthrough expansion. A Pokémon BREAK card evolves from the non-BREAK version, and keeps weakness/resistance, attacks, and abilities from it's prior evolution.BREAK Pokemon add 1-2 new abilities or attacks. Pokémon BREAK cards are placed sideways on the top half of the Pokémon it evolves from.

Project TCG logo.png This article is part of Project TCG, a Bulbapedia project that aims to report on every aspect of the Pokémon Trading Card Game.