Trainer card (TCG)

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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.

The layout of a Supporter from the Scarlet & Violet Series


Trainer cards can be divided into four primary categories: Item, Pokémon Tool, Supporter, and Stadium; as well as other distinct categories as follows. Each of the four primary categories of Trainer have color-coded category names and infoboxes, with blue for Items, purple for Pokémon Tools, orange for Supporters, and light green for Stadiums.


Main article: Item card (TCG)

The original type of Trainer card, a player can use as many Item cards as desired during their 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.

Pokémon Tool

Main article: Pokémon Tool card (TCG)

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 Trainer 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. Up to the Sword & Shield Series, Pokémon Tools were classified as a type of Item card.


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: 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.


The following lists other classifications of Trainer cards.

Technical Machine

Main article: List of Technical Machine cards

Introduced to international players in the Expedition Base Set alongside Supporter cards, Technical Machine cards play 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. After the Rising Rivals set, the Technical Machine card type was abandoned in favor of attack-granting Pokémon Tool cards, some of which have "Technical Machine" in their names.


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 of any sort in a deck. The ACE SPEC classification exists in addition to the main card types; Hero's Cape, for example, is simultaneously an ACE SPEC and a Pokémon Tool. There are currently 28 ACE SPEC cards. As of the Scarlet & Violet Series, ACE SPEC cards can also be Special Energy cards.

Rocket's Secret Machine

Main article: List of 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. Rocket's Secret Machine cards have no special ruling or effects unique to them, but several cards have effects that apply explicitly to Rocket's Secret Machine cards.

Goldenrod Game Corner

Main article: List of 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, Goldenrod Game Corner cards have no special ruling or effects unique to them. Only two cards of this subclass exist.

Related articles

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