Darkness Energy, Plus Power, and Strength Charm and the new ways to figure out damage

Discussion in 'Ask the Rules Team' started by Prof. Douglas Zuver, Sep 18, 2003.

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  1. Prof. Douglas Zuver

    Prof. Douglas Zuver New Member

    From the Sandstorm Rule Book Expert Rule page 17:

    How Do You Figure Out the Damage?

    a) Start with the base damage. This is the number written to the right of the attack, or, if that number has an x,-,+, or ? next to it, it's the amount of damage the attack tells you to do.

    b) Figure out damage effects on the Attacking Pokemon (for example, Darkness Energy effect, or Ralt's Link Blast.) Then if the base damage is 0 (or if the attack doesn't do any damage at all), just stop figuring the damage. You're done now. Otherwise, keep going.

    ...
    Strength Charm Trainer card Pokémon Tool

    Attach Strength Charm to 1 of your Pokémon that doesn’t have a Pokémon Tool attached to it.

    Whenever an attack from the Pokémon that Strength Charm is attached to does damage (after applying Weakness and Resistance), the attack does 10 more damage. At the end of your turn in which this happens, discard Strength Charm.

    ..
    PlusPower Trainer card

    Attach PlusPower to your Active Pokémon. At the end of your turn, discard PlusPower. If this Pokémon’s attack does damage to the Defending Pokémon (after applying Weakness and Resistance), the attack does 10 more damage to the Defending Pokémon.

    ...

    Darkness Energy Special Energy Card

    If the Pokemon Darkness Energy is attached to attacks, the attack does 10 more damage to the Active Pokemon (before applying Weakness and Resistance). Ignore this effect unless the attacking Pokemon is Dark or has Dark in its name. Darkness Energy provides Dark Energy. (Doesn't count as a Basis Energy Card.

    ...

    The next few questions are all based on the assumption that if a Pokemon does not normally do damage, such as Cleffa Neo whose attack is simply shuffling cards and drawing new ones, that we can assume that an attack which does not have a number on the right side of the card should be assumed to have an imaginary zero on the right side of the card. Therefore, you would figure out the damage effects on the Attacking Pokemon before checking to see if it's damage was zero.

    However, when I went back and read the text on Plus Power, Strength Charm, and Darkness Energy, most everything explains itself anyway. Plus Power says the attack must do damage to the Defending Pokemon. Strength Charm says the attack must do damage. WotC ruled that Strength Charm could not add to bench damage. Interestingly, Darkness Energy does add damage to the Active Defending Pokemon without any restrictions at all. The text on Darkness Energy also says to apply before Weakness and Resistance. Is there any other cards of this nature that need to delt with under the new ways to figure damage?

    Can a Pokemon that does not normally do damage such as Cleffa Neo have a Strength Charm or Plus Power attached to it and use it to do damage?
    I assume this is NO

    Can a Darkness Pokemon or a Pokemon with Dark in its name that has a Darkness Energy on it use an attack such as Sandstorm's Murkrow's "Surprise" attack and count the Darkness Energy as doing damage even though the attack itself does not do damage?
    I assume this is might be YES

    Can a Pokemon whose attack is only Status effects such as Poison use a Strength Charm or Plus Power to do damage as well?
    I assume this is NO

    ...................................

    The next question is based on the assumption that if a Pokemon has an attack that has no number on the right side of the card which is considered the base damage to the active Defending Pokemon, such as "Water Cube 01" or Skyridge's Houndour's "Faint Attack" that we can assume the attack does have a base damage of zero done to the active defending Pokemon. The entire attack is effect only -- movable damage that can hit anywhere. Therefore, you would figure out the damage effects on the Attacking Pokemon before checking to see if it's damage was zero. This would allow Darkness Energy (attached to Dark Pokemon or Pokemon with Dark in their name), Strength Charm or Plus Power to affect the active defending Pokemon even though the rest of the damage of the attack might be directed at benched Pokemon or might be added to the Active Defending Pokemon.

    I assume this is might be YES for Darkness Energy because of the way the Darkness Energy card reads.
    I assume this is NO for Plus Power unless it hits the Active Defending Pokemon.
    I assume this is NO for Strength Charm unless it hits the Active Defending Pokemon UNLESS Pokemon USA wishes to override the ruling below:

    Strength Charm (ID: B-57-#) - Expedition

    Q. Does Strength Charm add damage done to benched Pokemon? The E-Reader says that the card "Strength Charm" does not add damage done to the bench. Is that correct?
    A. Turns out it is a game rule that NOTHING will ever increase the amount of damage done by a bench attack. Strength Charm does NOT increase damage done to the Bench, ONLY to the Defending Pokemon. (Oct 31, 2002 WotC Chat)

    Q. So no bench extra for Strength Charm - what about self-damage? A. Well, self-damage would still happen because that does NOT go against any game rules. (Oct 31, 2002 WotC Chat)
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2003
  2. Chrisbo

    Chrisbo Administrator

    I was just about to write a response to your original questions (before your edit), but it looks like you have already said most of what I was going to say.

    In short, you are precisely correct about Plus Power & Strength Charm based on prior rulings. Plus Power has the phrase "if this attack does damage to the Defending Pokemon..."; this pretty much sums it up. Strength Charm should have had similar text and did not, but a scan of it through the e-Reader plus a response to WOTC from Japan indicated that Strength Charm had the same intent.

    Now as for Darkness Energy, that's another story altogether. The new wording seems to imply that it is not necessary for damage to be done to the Defending Pokemon in order to add the +10 bonus damage. This is already on our list of questions to ask at the next Rules Team Meeting; either Jimmer or one of the TC members will reply once we have an answer on that.

    Thanks for the thorough analysis,
    - CHRISBO, Team Compendium
     

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