Trash Talk

The Pokemon TCG has a lot of cards which have players discard cards from their hand in order to get an additional effect.

There has been a bit of confusion among Pokemon TCG Players and Judges about when you can discard the cards from your hand even if you can’t perform the additional effect. This is because sometimes the discard is a cost and sometimes it is an effect in and of itself. The wording of the card doesn’t always make that clear.

The Rules Team is publishing a series of rulings on many of these cards that are commonly played so that players and judges will be able to have consistent rulings in tournaments on whether they are allowed to discard cards for no further effect in order to clear those cards out of their hand.
In addition, to help make these rulings easier, we are providing an easy to use chart outlining what is and isn’t allowed with many popularly played cards. The sets that the Pokemon are from have been identified in {brackets}, but note that if they are reprinted as promos or secret rares, any functionally identical cards will also work the same way.

We hope this helps everyone out. Enjoy!

Card Attack / Ability Comments
Computer Search You cannot discard two cards
from your hand if there are no
cards left in the Deck to search
Dowsing Machine You cannot discard two cards
from your hand if there are no
Trainer cards in the Discard Pile
and you cannot return cards to
your hand that you used to pay
this card’s cost
Empoleon {DEX} Diving Draw You can discard a card from your
hand when there are no cards
left in the Deck to draw
Fiery Flint You cannot discard two cards
from your hand if there are no
cards left in the Deck to search
Lost Blender You can use this if you have no
cards in your deck, but you can’t
play it unless you can put 2 cards
from your hand in the Lost Zone.
Mars You cannot play this card if you
have no cards left in your deck,
but if you have at least one card,
you can play it and get the other effect.
Mysterious Treasure You cannot discard a card from
your hand if there are no cards
left in the Deck to search
Ninetales {TEU} Nine Temptations You can discard 2 {R} Energy
cards from your hand if your
opponent has no Benched Pokémon
Plumeria You cannot discard two cards
from your hand if there is no Energy
attached to your opponent’s Pokémon
Professor Juniper You cannot discard your hand if
there are no cards left in the Deck to draw
Professor Sycamore You cannot discard your hand if
there are no cards left in the Deck to draw
Sophocles You cannot discard two cards from
your hand if there are no cards left
in the Deck to draw
Starmie {EVO} Space Beacon You can discard a card from your
hand when there is no Basic
Energy in the Discard
Swampert {CES} Power Draw You can discard a card from your
hand when there are no cards
left in the Deck to draw
Ultra Ball You cannot discard two cards
from your hand if there are no
cards left in the Deck to search
Unown {AOR} Farewell Letter You cannot discard Unown from
your Bench unless you can draw a card
Volcanion Prism Star {FLI} Jet Geyser You can discard a {W} Energy
card from your hand if your
opponent has no Benched Pokémon
Zebstrika {LOT} Sprint You cannot discard your hand
if there are no cards left in the
Deck to draw
Zoroark GX {SLG} Trade You can discard a card from
your hand when there are no
cards left in the Deck to draw