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Thread: Changes to Definition of the Term “Defending Pokémon”

  1. #1
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    Changes to Definition of the Term “Defending Pokémon”

    Jamming Net

    The Defending Pokémon isn’t what it used to be.
    No, really. The meaning of the term “Defending Pokémon” has changed and virtually no one noticed!

    Up until the release of XY, the definition of “Defending Pokémon”, as found in the TCG Rule Book Glossary, has been:

    Your opponent’s Active Pokémon during your attack.
    While players have gotten used to that terminology, it actually was pretty redundant and confusing in some situations.
    If the Defending Pokémon is always your opponent’s Active Pokémon, then why not just say that? Also, sometimes a card would refer to the Defending Pokémon during the other player’s turn, when it wasn’t the Defending Pokémon, leading to confusion (see Stormfront Gengar’s Fainting Spell Poké-Power).
    Gengar


    This card had to get an errata since the text, as written, would literally mean Gengar itself.
    In the original Japanese, there were two terms that were used in card text, and both were translating to “Defending Pokémon” in the past. With the release of XY, Pokemon is now translating each term into it's own English equivalent.

    From the current Rule Book for XY:
    XY1 Rulebook, Glossary Pg 27
    DEFENDING POKÉMON: The Pokémon that receives an attack.
    So now, the "Defending Pokémon" is any Pokémon hit by an attack (including Pokemon on the Bench).
    And the “Opponent’s Active Pokémon” is ..well… the opponent’s active Pokémon.

    While this is understandably causing some initial confusion among the players, in the long run, this should help with clarity in the Pokemon Trading Card Game, since each term can be used to give specific meaning to different cards' texts.
    But bear in mind that there is going to be a transition period where cards printed from prior to XY will have the old meaning for “Defending Pokémon”. As always, cards use the meaning of game terms from the era that they were printed. The definition is NOT retroactive to cards from prior to XY.

    How is this used in practice?
    Generally, Attacks and Abilities will refer to the opponent's Active Pokemon when an effect will resolve immediately. A Special Condition is being placed, an energy card is being discarded, etc. Whatever is happening, is happening now. The Active Pokemon is going to be the Active Pokemon for the resolution of this effect.
    Generally, Attacks and Abilities will refer to the Defending Pokemon when an effect will remain for a duration or resolve in the future. If Active Pokemon was used, the opponent might not still have the same Active Pokemon when the effect is to be resolved. And, it also allows for the indication of multiple targets/affected Pokemon.
    Note: As usual, all effects are cleared/removed when the Pokemon that they are on is moved to the Bench or evolves (unless otherwise specified).

    Let's take a look at some examples and how this impacts the cards meanings using actual example.

    Jamming Net (pictured above): Here, the card text says that the damage reduction applies to damage done to "all" Defending Pokemon. So, if an attack damages multiple Pokemon, including those on the bench.

    Dialga EX


    Dialga EX
    Chrono Wind mentions an effect to be placed on the Defending Pokemon, that if it is a Pokemon EX, it can't attack next turn. This refers to the current Active Pokemon, at the time of the attack. This is the Pokemon that took damage from the attack. This added effect is placed on it for the duration of the next turn. If a new Pokemon becomes Active, it is not affected by this effect.



    Gliscor

    Gliscor
    Gliscor, from Phantom Forces, is an excellent card for reviewing the differences between the terms "Defending Pokemon" and "opponent's Active Pokemon", because each of it's two attacks reference one of those terms.
    The first attack, Submission Hold, states that the opponent can't attach energy cards to the Defending Pokemon on their next turn.
    this references the Pokemon that was damaged and talks about an effect that will be in place for a period of time. One turn, in this case. It only means that Pokemon that was damaged by the attack and no other.

    The second attack, Poison Jab, states that the opponent's Active Pokemon is now Poisoned. This is an immediate effect that is resolved during the attack and so does not have to be kept track of in the future. Of course, the Special Condition will remain, but that has rules of it's own to follow and is no longer an attack effect once it has been placed.

    There are still some areas of clarification to be made and we'll get rulings for them as soon as possible.
    For instance, can a player's own Pokemon, or even the attacking Pokemon itself, be considered a Defending Pokemon?
    Examples would be a player's own Benched Pokemon when Earthquake is used.
    Or a Pokemon that has a self-damaging component to their attack.

    Fighting Stadium


    UPDATE: Fighting Stadium uses the text "Defending Pokemon", but it has been determined that it should read "opponent's Active Pokemon". An errata is in the works for this and will be issued soon. In the meanwhile, we'll get a ruling published and posted.
    Landorus EX's Hammerhead attack will therefore only get the bonus on damage done to the Active Pokemon EX.


    Strong Energy references the opponent's Active Pokemon, and so will NOT add to damage done to Benched Pokemon.

    If further clarifications are needed on this specific definition, please ask about and discuss them below.
    Last edited by PokePop; 11/10/2014 at 05:22 PM.
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  3. #2

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    Question: Just to clarify, let's say Dialga-EX's Chrono Wind attacks the defending pokemon EX. I play an Item card Switch to put the current active EX that received the Chrono Wind to the bench. If I decide to send up that exact Pokemon EX to the active position again, I can't use any of its attacks that turn?
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    Administrator PokePop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Final Boss View Post
    Question: Just to clarify, let's say Dialga-EX's Chrono Wind attacks the defending pokemon EX. I play an Item card Switch to put the current active EX that received the Chrono Wind to the bench. If I decide to send up that exact Pokemon EX to the active position again, I can't use any of its attacks that turn?
    Clarified in the article.
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  5. #4
    Wouldn't the use of the word "all" in "all Defending Pokemon" from Jamming Net's text be enough of a difference from Fighting Stadium's text to make a difference in how they are ruled? Or does the word "all" not matter?

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by LunarWolf21 View Post
    Wouldn't the use of the word "all" in "all Defending Pokemon" from Jamming Net's text be enough of a difference from Fighting Stadium's text to make a difference in how they are ruled? Or does the word "all" not matter?
    ^ this

    I understand if you want to rule by the card text, but isn't it rather confusing for all players if it's changed and probably changed back later after consulting the Japanese text? Could lead to misplays and misunderstanding at many tournaments, and I guess that confusion could even be abused.

    It doesn't actually help balancing the game either, since Fighting Stadium was already overpowered imo.

    Guess Groudon-EX is the way to go in Expanded now...
    Last edited by ShadowGuard; 11/09/2014 at 11:36 PM.
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  7. #6
    So speaking hypothetically if that gliscors submission hold attack or really any similar attack said active pokemon instead of defending the effect would be on any pokemon currently or promoted to the active position?
    This is where I'd report my accolades but instead how about I just report to the PTO when I win our match. Because that's all that matters when it comes down to the crunch.

    Tell me a pokemon card that has a pokebody, can burn your opponent, and can snipe the bench. Can't do it can you? If you used http://www.bebessearch.com you'd be able to.

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by PokePop View Post
    Clarified in the article.
    Did I miss the clarification?

    I'm assuming the ruling is "this is the first time that all effects are NOT cleared when the Pokemon is brought to the bench", but I didn't see that spelled out.

  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Tapin View Post
    Did I miss the clarification?

    I'm assuming the ruling is "this is the first time that all effects are NOT cleared when the Pokemon is brought to the bench", but I didn't see that spelled out.
    I think the clarification is:
    Note: As usual, all effects are cleared/removed when the Pokemon that they are on is moved to the Bench or evolves (unless otherwise specified).

  10. #9
    Just to be clear: Regigigas' Daunt only reduces the damage from the active Pokémon which was hit by daunt right?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ace- View Post
    Just to be clear: Regigigas' Daunt only reduces the damage from the active Pokémon which was hit by daunt right?
    Yes. By the new definition, the Defending Pokemon is the one that received the attack.

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    Why are we suddenly ruling in favor of taking extra damage to the bench with landorus when fighting stadium is in play? It seems pretty apparent to me that the use of "all" like in net is meant to refer to all Pokemon taking damage and "the" in the stadium is intended as referring to a single target.

    I see this ruling causing a lot of issues :/
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  14. #12
    So, in theory, a Landorus EX with a Strong Energy and Fighting Stadium in play could be hitting an active Pokémon EX for 70 and a benched Pokémon EX for 50? LOLWUT

  15. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Scizor Master CLR View Post
    So, in theory, a Landorus EX with a Strong Energy and Fighting Stadium in play could be hitting an active Pokémon EX for 70 and a benched Pokémon EX for 50? LOLWUT
    Yeah I agree, that sounds OP. If the opponent has 3 exs in play, that can be game in four turns with one energy and the stadium
    Last edited by kirbyking; 11/10/2014 at 01:25 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scizor Master CLR View Post
    So, in theory, a Landorus EX with a Strong Energy and Fighting Stadium in play could be hitting an active Pokémon EX for 70 and a benched Pokémon EX for 50? LOLWUT
    What about Muscle Band would that do 90 to active and 70 to Bench. and if Bench pokemon are considered to be defending pokemon then should weakness and resistance now apply to them as well?
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    Administrator PokePop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JandPDS View Post
    What about Muscle Band would that do 90 to active and 70 to Bench. and if Bench pokemon are considered to be defending pokemon then should weakness and resistance now apply to them as well?
    Please read Muscle Band then let me know if you still need this answered.
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    Update: An errata for Fighting Stadium is in progress. The article has been updated.
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    I know that Fighting Stadium is getting an errata, but it seems that the term "Defending Pokemon" doesn't have to be actually on the attack since by definition, the Defending Pokemon is any Pokemon receiving the attack. So does the Defending Pokemon include a Pokemon attacking itself and Pokemon damaged on your Bench by your own Pokemon? Although, I think this is a ruling that has already existed? Like how Zekrom does less damage to itself with Bolt Strike while it has Eviolite attached. So I guess XY Dugtrio's Earthquake does no damage to its player's Benched Pokemon if it were attacked by LTR Minun's Negative Ion? Or if it has Jamming Net attached.

    So just to make sure, Defending Pokemon can be the Pokemon attacking itself or the Pokemon on your Bench that are damaged by your own Pokemon (which has already been clarified), and the term doesn't have to written into the attack?
    Last edited by Asrialys; 11/12/2014 at 09:37 AM.

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    This is why I like the wording "Active Pokemon or opponents Active Pokemon" better. I feel defending pokemon is a bit dated and should be removed since, after all, all Pokemon in play are defending but only one can be active. For me, I consider defending as always active so its one in the same for me but I do see how this can be confusing for younger or newer players.
    Times like this make you wish you had Energy Switch.

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    Why is it Fighting Stadium is getting an errata? Was it mistranslated?
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    Quote Originally Posted by sdrawkcab View Post
    Why is it Fighting Stadium is getting an errata? Was it mistranslated?
    I dont think it was but its the way it worded. It says " The attacks of each [F] Pokemon does more damage to the defending Pokemon EX". It written in a way that makes the effect target both active Pokemon. Maybe it would be better it to say 20 more damage to the Active Pokemon.
    Times like this make you wish you had Energy Switch.

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    Ultimately yes.

    BTW, the errata announcement is up here. Jamming Net was also mistranslated.

    However, these are coming on the heels of the change in XY to the term "Defending Pokémon". Much like the "Push/Pull" changes in BW, there were some legacy decisions made about how some things were translated, way back in the WOTC days that have been followed. Given my lack of fluency in Japanese, we don't even realize there is an issue on these in some situations until something really bizarre happens. I'm confident the number has gone down, but here we are.

    Back to "Defending Pokémon" there were 2 terms in Japanese, essentially "opponent's battle Pokémon" (they use Battle P. for Active P.) and "the Pokémon that received this attack" that were both translated as Defending Pokémon. Going forward we'll be translating that first phrase as "opponent's Active Pokémon" and only using "Defending Pokémon" for the second one. Given the change, there's still some occasional issues, but we're doing even more specific checks for those phrases, in both directions, to ensure there's no translation collisions like these.

    So, yes, sorry, we goofed on these two cards. Hopefully going forward though we'll be in a more precise environment, which is my top goal for TCG text. We're also working on getting our Defending Pokémon definition locked down, and Team Compendium will have an update on that as soon as we get our communication translated, sent, returned and translated back from Creatures in Japan.
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