Everything You Need to Know About Tag Team Supporters

First the Pokémon TCG introduced Tag Team Pokémon and they took the game by storm with their super high HP and super strong attacks. Now the Pokémon TCG has extended the concept to Supporter cards with the introduction of Tag Team Supporters in Cosmic Eclipse. These Supporters have one normally strong Supporter-type effect, and as a bonus, you can activate a second strong effect for a cost. In addition to being powerful, they are also searchable! The new Item card “Tag Call” allows up  get up to two “Tag Team” cards. These can be either Tag Team Pokémon-GX, or Tag Team Supporters, or one of each! A very powerful combo!

Because this is a new mechanic, there have been a lot of questions about exactly how these cards work.
Can you use only one effect or the other?
Are there any restriction or exceptions to that?
What the heck are Bellelba and Brycen-Man wearing, anyway?
Important questions like that.
Let’s see if we can clear some of them up.

First, before addressing individual cards, let’s look at the beginning phrase of the secondary effect of these cards: “When you play this card, you may discard…” and then it states a cost. These are costs and not effects of their own. If you can’t do the secondary effect described after this cost, you can’t just pay the cost for no reason.
OK, let’s take a look at the individual cards…

Bellelba & Brycen-Man
If either player has any cards in their deck, you have to do the first part of this Supporter. There is no “may” in the text. It will work as long as either player has one card in their deck. The principle of “do as much as you can” applies.

However, if neither player has any cards left in their deck, you can still play the card and do just the second effect as long as at least one of the players has more than 3 Benched Pokemon. This, of course, begs the question: “If your opponent has no cards left in their deck, why don’t you just end your turn and win the game?” So, more than likely you’ll be performing the main effect all of the time even if you don’t want to.

Cynthia & Caitlin
If you have a Supporter card (other than another Cynthia & Caitlin) in your discard pile, you have to put it into your hand when you play this card because the discard pile is public knowledge and the card does not say “may” for this effect.
However, if you have no valid Supporter in your discard pile, you can still discard a card from your hand to draw 3 cards. You can’t used the secondary effect to discard if you have no deck.

Guzma & Hala
Since the first part of this Supporter is to search for a specific type of card (a Stadium), you can fail that part since your deck is private knowledge.
Similarly, if you want to, you can also discard 2 cards for the second effect and fail that search as well, for the same reason. And of course, if you genuinely can’t find any one of the types of cards you are searching for, you can still get one or two of the other types using the “do as much as you can” principle. Note that you have to have a deck to search, of course, or else you can’t even play the card. And you have to at least shuffle your deck even if you intend to fail all of the searches.

Mallow & Lana
You have to have a Benched Pokemon in order to play this card at all. That’s because both effects depend on switching your Active Pokemon. If you have a Benched Pokémon, you have to perform the Switch. It is not optional.

In addition, since the healing of the secondary effect is on the “Pokémon you moved”, you cannot play this card for just the secondary effect since you have no valid target for the effect if you did not do the first effect. You also cannot discard cards for the cost of the secondary effect unless that Switched Pokémon has at least one damage counter on it.

Misty & Lorelei
Since the first effect is a search of the deck for a specific type of card, you can fail part or all of it if you wish. You still have to do the search, if you have a deck to search since it does not say may, but as noted above, your deck is private knowledge and you can fail any search of it for a specific type of card. You have to at least shuffle your deck.

It is very important to do the discard for the secondary effect, if you are going to use it, before you search for those energy cards, since you cannot use them as part of your discard cost of 5 cards. If you have not used your GX attack, you can’t use the secondary effect and therefore can’t discard the 5 cards since it is a cost.

Finally, note that if your opponent’s Latios GX’s “Clear Vision GX” attack has been used, Misty & Lorelei will not allow you to bypass that effect.

Red & Blue
This is another card, like Mallow & Lana, where the secondary effect is done to a card that was affected by the primary effect. However, since the timing of the discard is “when you play this card”, you can discard 2 cards, and then if you don’t get a Pokémon-GX from your deck to evolve one of your Pokémon, then you can/ would have to fail the secondary effect.

Also note that if you don’t have a Pokémon in play that can evolve into a Pokémon-GX (even if that card is not legal in the format being played) you can’t play the card at all. This is similar to rulings are cards such as Wally and Evosoda.

Well, there you have it! I hope that clears up some questions that you have.
If there are any other things that you need cleared up on these cards, please comment in the forum topic for this article, or post in the Ask the Rules Team forum.

Cosmic Eclipse FAQ are here!

Professors and players, here are the FAQs for the new Cosmic Eclipse set.

We have them as a PDF (the link is at the end, and posted here for your convenience. It’s a big set, so there are a lot of questions.
Enjoy!

SM: Cosmic Eclipse – FAQ

 POKEMON ABILITIES:

== BLINKING LIGHTS (Lanturn – SM:Cosmic Eclipse)

Q. Using Lanturn’s “Blinking Lights” Ability, may I repeatedly look at the top card of my opponent’s deck, even if the deck has not changed?
A. Yes, as long as it does not waste time or interfere with your opponent’s play. [Note that doing it to manipulate or waste time in the match can be penalized.]

== BLOW-AWAY BOMB (Koffing – SM:Cosmic Eclipse; Weezing – SM:Cosmic Eclipse)

Q. When I use Roxie to discard two Pokemon that each have the “Blow-Away Bomb” Ability, do those abilities stack so I can place two damage counters on each of my opponent’s Pokemon?
A. Yes, each of the Pokemon gets to use their own “Blow-Away Bomb” Ability when discarded by Roxie.

== DANCE OF TRIBUTE (Oricorio GX – SM:Cosmic Eclipse)

Q. If my Lillie’s Poke Doll was Knocked Out by my opponent, can I use Oricorio GX’s “Dance of Tribute” Ability?
A. Yes, even though they didn’t take a prize, Lillie’s Poke Doll was still considered a Knock Out of one of your Pokemon.

== FLOWER PICKING (Florges – SM:Cosmic Eclipse)

Q. With Florges’ “Flower Picking” Ability, can I use it when my opponent only has one card in their hand? Or can I use it to shuffle in only one card instead of two if my opponent has two or more cards?
A. If the opponent only has one card in their hand you do as much as you can, so they reveal & shuffle in the one card. But if your opponent has two or more cards in their hand you must choose two of them, not just one.

== SCATTER (Wishiwashi – SM:Cosmic Eclipse)

Q. For Wishiwashi’s “Scatter” Ability, when does this check for damage counters happen, before “in between turns” when Poison counters are placed or afterward?
A. After your opponent concludes their end of turn actions including all effects of attack and cleaning up any KO, then before in between turns you check for any damage counters on Wishiwashi that would trigger Scatter to shuffle Wishiwashi and all cards attached into your deck.

POKEMON ATTACKS:

== ALTERED CREATION GX (Arceus & Dialga & Palkia GX – SM:Cosmic Eclipse)

Q. When I use Arceus & Dialga & Palkia GX’s “Altered Creation GX” attack do I take an extra Prize card only if I Knock Out that Active Pokemon with an attack, or do I take an extra Prize for ANY of my opponent’s Active Pokemon that get KO’d by my attacks during the rest of the game?
A. You get to take an extra prize if your Pokemon’s attack Knocks Out ANY of your opponent’s Active Pokemon during the rest of the game, not just the one that was the Defending Pokemon at the time of the Altered Creation GX attack.

== BRILLIANT FLARE (Charizard & Braixen GX – SM:Cosmic Eclipse)

Q. Do I have to take any cards from my deck if I use Charizard & Braixen GX’s “Brilliant Flare” attack?
A. It says “may”, so you can choose to not search your deck; but if you do search you must take at least one card from it.

== IMPERSONATION (Mimikyu – SM:Cosmic Eclipse)

Q. If I’m not allowed to play a Supporter card for some reason, can I still use Mimikyu’s “Impersonation” attack to use the effect of a Supporter?
A. Sure. You are not playing the Supporter, just using its effect.

Q. If I use Mimikyu’s “Impersonation” attack, do I get to use the “when you play this card” part of Tag Team Supporters or not?
A. Impersonation gets to use all effects of the card; you still do the entire part of the card even if you’re not “playing” it (but you still have to pay any required costs).

== MASSIVE CATCH (Wishiwashi GX – SM:Cosmic Eclipse)

Q. What happens if my bench is full when I use Wishiwashi GX’s “Massive Catch”? Can I put down more Pokemon than I would normally have space for on my bench?

A. Sorry, but no. You can’t put more Pokemon on your bench than you are allowed to.

== MIRROR SHOT (Magnemite – SM:Cosmic Eclipse)

Q. If my opponent used Magnemite’s “Mirror Shot” attack last turn, and I try to use my GX attack this turn and flip tails, do I lose the ability to use a GX attack for the rest of the game?

A. No, because since you flipped tails the attack “doesn’t happen”.

== RECALL (Empoleon – SM:Cosmic Eclipse)

Q. For Empoleon’s “Recall” attack, do I need to meet the energy requirements for the attack chosen from the previous Evolution?
A. You do not need to meet the energy requirement from the previous Evolution’s attack, but if that attack requires you to do something with energy (like discarding an energy card) you must follow that attack’s instructions.

TRAINER CARDS:

== TRAINERS IN GENERAL

Q. Can you choose the order of effects when playing a Tag Team Supporter, or do you have to do them in the order stated on the card?
A. You must do them in the order stated on the card. However, you don’t have to meet the criteria for the first effect in order to do the second effect; for example, if the first effect says to search your deck but you don’t have any cards in your deck you can still do the second effect as long as you meet its criteria.

== BELLELBA & BRYCEN-MAN (SM:Cosmic Eclipse)

* You can play Bellelba & Brycen-Man as long as there’s at least 1 card in either player’s deck. It can also be played by discarding 3 cards from your hand if at least 1 player has more than 3 Benched Pokemon. But if at least 1 player doesn’t have more than 3 Benched Pokemon, you cannot discard cards from your hand.

== CHAOTIC SWELL (SM:Cosmic Eclipse)

Q. If I try to play a Stadium card but it is discarded by the effect of Chaotic Swell stadium, can I play another one?
A. No, it was immediately discarded without effect, but you already played a Stadium card which can only be done once per turn.

== CYNTHIA & CAITLIN (SM:Cosmic Eclipse)

* You can play Cynthia & Caitlin as long as there’s a Supporter card in your discard pile. You can also play it by discarding a card from your hand if there’s at least 1 card in your deck. But if you have no cards in your deck, you cannot discard a card from your hand.

== ERIKA (SM:Cosmic Eclipse)

Q. Can I play Erika if both I and my opponent decide not to draw any cards?
A. Yes, because it is not known by you or the game whether your opponent will draw cards or not.

== GUZMA & HALA (SM:Cosmic Eclipse)

* You can do any part of Guzma & Hala as long as there’s at least 1 card in your deck.

Q. When I play Guzma & Hala, can I discard the Stadium I searched for as one of the 2 cards discarded to search for the Tool and Special Energy?
A. If you want to do the second effect you have to discard 2 cards “when you play this card”, that is before you search for the Stadium.

Q. When I play Guzma & Hala, after I search my deck for a Stadium, do I have to shuffle first if I’m also going to search for Special Energy and a Tool?
A. You can skip the shuffling after the Stadium search as long as you clearly tell your opponent you’re doing the second part of the card. So if you’re doing both parts you first discard two cards from your hand, then search for any Stadium you’re going to take, then search for the Tool and Special Energy, then shuffle your deck.

== ISLAND CHALLENGE AMULET (SM:Cosmic Eclipse)

Q. If I attach Island Challenge Amulet to a Pokemon-GX that has less than 100 HP left and it’s Knocked Out, does my opponent take only 1 prize?
A. No. You only get the reduction in Prize Cards taken if it is Knocked Out by damage from an opponent’s attack.

== LILLIE’s POKE DOLL (SM:Cosmic Eclipse)

Q. If my Lillie’s Poke Doll was Knocked Out by my opponent, can I use Oricorio GX’s “Dance of Tribute” Ability?
A. Yes, even though they didn’t take a prize, Lillie’s Poke Doll was still considered a Knock Out of one of your Pokemon.

== MALLOW & LANA (SM:Cosmic Eclipse)

* You can play Mallow & Lana as long as you have a Benched Pokemon. But if your Active Pokemon is not damaged, you cannot discard 2 cards from your hand.

== MISTY & LORELEI (SM:Cosmic Eclipse)

* You can play Misty & Lorelei for the base effect as long as there’s at least 1 card in your deck. You can always play it by discarding 5 cards from your hand.

Q. When I play Misty & Lorelei, can I discard one or more of the 3 {W} energy I searched for as part of the 5 cards discarded to get the re-use of my GX attack on this turn?
A. No. You have to discard 5 cards “when you play this card”. That is before you search for the {W} energy cards.

Q. Can I use the second part of Misty & Lorelei to discard 5 cards if I have not already used my GX attack for the game?
A. No, you cannot. If you haven’t used your GX attack yet, you can’t discard 5 cards from your hand.

== RED & BLUE (SM:Cosmic Eclipse)

* You can do any part of Red & Blue as long as there’s a Pokemon in play that can evolve into a Pokemon-GX AND there’s at least 1 card in your deck.

== ROXIE (SM:Cosmic Eclipse)

Q. When I use Roxie to discard two Pokemon that each have the “Blow-Away Bomb” Ability, do those abilities stack so I can place two damage counters on each of my opponents Pokemon?
A. Yes, each of the Pokemon gets to use their own “Blow-Away Bomb” Ability when discarded by Roxie.

== UNIDENTIFIED FOSSIL (SM:Cosmic Eclipse)

Q. If an opponent KO’s my Unidentified Fossil do they get to take a prize?
A. Yes, that’s part of being treated as if it were a “Basic Pokemon”. Your opponent takes a prize when Unidentified Fossil is knocked out, but not if you discard it from play. (Feb 8, 2018 TPCi Rules Team)

== WILL (SM: Cosmic Eclipse)

Q. If my Pokémon is Confused, can I use the effect of Will to choose heads for the Special Condition?
A. No, that isn’t something that Will can affect.

Q. If my opponent used Magnemite’s “Mirror Shot” last turn, can I use the effect of Will to choose heads for the effect of the attack?
A. Yes, that is considered an effect of an attack, so that works.

FAQ-SM12 Cosmic Eclipse

SM: Unified Minds FAQs

Prereleases for the new Sun & Moon set Unified Minds start tomorrow night (for those doing a midnight event), so here are some FAQs for you.
If you have any questions that we didn’t think of for card combos within the set, let us know.
We plan on doing other combo questions for cards from outside the set, but if you want, ask about those as well so we make sure to cover them.

Enjoy!
FAQ – Unified Minds

SM: Unified Minds – FAQ

 POKÉMON ABILITIES:

== BURNING ROAD (Heatran GX – SM:Unified Minds)

Q.  Does Heatran GX’s “Burning Road” Ability work if it becomes your Active Pokémon as a result of an attack like Archeops’ “U-turn”?
A.  As long as Heatran GX becomes your Active Pokémon during YOUR turn, it can use Burning Road.

== BURSTING SPORES (Amoonguss – SM:Unified Minds)

Q.  If I evolve my Shroomish into Breloom (which has the Spore attack), can I use Amoonguss’s “Bursting Spores” Ability?
A.  Yes, because you have played a Pokémon that has the Spore attack from your hand during your turn.

== CAPTIVATING WINK (Mawile GX – SM:Unified Minds)

Q.  Mawile GX’s “Captivating Wink” Ability says to put any number of Basic Pokémon you find in your opponent’s hand onto their Bench. Does this allow you to put more than 5 Pokémon on the bench?
A.  No, Captivating Wink does not allow you to exceed the normal limits of the game. You can put any number of Basic Pokémon onto your opponent’s Bench up to the maximum size of the Bench.

Q.  Can you use Mawile GX’s “Captivating Wink” Ability if your opponent’s Bench is full?
A.  No. It’s public knowledge that you can’t put down any additional Basic Pokémon on your opponent’s Bench, so you cannot play the card.

Q.  What happens if I use Steelix’s “Gigaton Shake” attack, and then my opponent uses Mawile GX’s “Captivating Wink” Ability during their turn? Would those Pokémon I put into play be able to attack on my next turn (since it was not during MY turn)?
A.  No, they would not be able to attack.

== DURABLE BLADE (Aegislash – SM:Unified Minds)

Q.  If Aegislash with the “Durable Blade” Ability is Knocked Out by damage from my opponent’s attack, do I put its underlying Doublade and/or Honedge cards into my hand or into the Discard Pile?
A.  You put all the Pokémon in the evolution line into your hand. Any other cards attached such as Tools or Energy are discarded.

== SNACK SEARCH (Munchlax – SM:Unified Minds)

Q.  If I try to use Munchlax’s “Snack Search” Ability and flip Tails, is my turn still over?
A.  Yes, it is. Even if you don’t flip Heads, the Ability is still considered “used”.

POKÉMON ATTACKS:

== CLEAR VISION GX (Latios GX – SM:Unified Minds)

Q.  If my opponent has used Latios GX’s “Clear Vision GX” attack, can I use a GX attack that ignores effects?
A.  No, because you don’t even get to start using the GX attack.

Q.  If my opponent has used Latios GX’s “Clear Vision GX” attack, do I get to draw 7 cards if I use Hala?
A.  No, getting hit by Clear Vision GX doesn’t mean you have used your GX attack for the game.

== GG END GX (Garchomp & Giratina GX – SM:Unified Minds)

Q.  Can I use Garchomp & Giratina GX’s “GG End GX” attack to remove all of my opponent’s Pokémon from play?
A.  Yes, if your opponent only has 1 (or 2, with the extra energy) in play, you could remove those Pokémon. Then you win the game!

== GIGATON SHAKE (Steelix – SM:Unified Minds)

Q.  What happens if I use Steelix’s “Gigaton Shake” attack, and then my opponent uses Mawile GX’s “Captivating Wink” Ability during their turn? Would those Pokémon I put into play be able to attack on my next turn (since it was not during MY turn)?
A.  No, they would not be able to attack.

Q.  If I used Steelix’s “Gigaton Shake” on my previous turn, would Channeler allow my Pokémon to attack this turn?
A.  Yes, the effect of Gigaton Shake would be removed, and your Pokémon would be able to attack.

== INJECTION GX (Naganadel GX – SM:Unified Minds)

Q.  When I use Naganadel GX’s “Injection GX” attack, am I allowed to mix up my opponent’s prize cards so they don’t know which card I added to their prizes?
A.  No, you may not. When Injection GX adds a card from the discard pile you must not disturb the placement of any prize cards the opponent still has in play.

Q.  If I use Naganadel GX’s “Injection GX” attack during a Tiebreaker game, do I win?
A.  Yes.

== SAGE’S RIDDLE (Oranguru – SM:Unified Minds)

Q.  For Oranguru’s “Sage’s Riddle” attack, if I put down a Pokémon with more than one type does the opponent have to guess both of its types?
A.  No, they only have to guess one of the Pokémon’s types in order to get it right.

== SPIRIT BURNER (Chandelure – SM:Unified Minds)

Q.  When using Chandelure’s “Spirit Burner” attack, can I place any discarded Stage 1 or Stage 2 Pokémon directly onto my bench?
A.  Yes, you can. However, because of the order of this attack, you cannot put a Prism Star card onto your Bench

== SPITEFUL SIGH (Froslass – SM:Unified Minds)

Q.  When using Froslass’ “Spiteful Sigh” attack, can you put more damage counters on Froslass than it has remaining HP?
A.  Yes, you can.

Q.  If I use Froslass’ “Spiteful Sigh” attack to put enough damage counters on Froslass to leave less than 40 HP on it, will its attack be prevented if Blizzard Town is in play?
A.  No, its remaining HP is checked for Blizzard Town before you place the damage counters onto Froslass.

TRAINER CARDS:

== BLAINE’S QUIZ SHOW (SM:Unified Minds)

Q.  Could I play Blaine’s Quiz Show and put down Munchlax which has no attack?
A.  No. You can only choose to put down a Pokémon that has an attack you can declare to your opponent.

== BLUE’S TACTICS (SM:Unified Minds)

Q.  Can I play Blue’s Tactics if I have more than 8 cards in my hand?
A.  Yes, because you could still have less than 8 cards in your hand by the end of your turn.

== CHANNELER (SM:Unified Minds)

Q.  If I used Steelix’s “Gigaton Shake” on my previous turn, would Channeler allow my Pokémon to attack this turn?
A.  Yes, the effect of Gigaton Shake would be removed, and your Pokémon would be able to attack.

== HAPU (SM:Unified Minds)

Q.  What happens if I play Hapu with less than 6 cards in my deck?
A.  You would put 2 cards (or 1 if you only have 1 card in your deck) in your hand and discard the rest.

ENERGY CARDS:

== RECYCLE ENERGY (Neo: Genesis Expansion; SM:Unified Minds)

Q.  Does Recycle Energy go back into your hand if it is discarded by your opponent’s Giratina’s “Dimension Breach” Ability?
A.  Yes it would.

Q.  Does “Recycle Energy” go back into your hand if you discard it as part of a retreat cost? Does it go back into your hand if it’s attached to a Pokémon that gets knocked out?
A.  Yes in both cases. But don’t be discarding it from your hand as part of an effect or Trainer cost and expect to get it back though. Also, if something sends Recycle Energy to the Lost Zone, you won’t get it back from there.

Unbroken Bonds Prerelease FAQs

 

Well, this is another big set and we have a lot of FAQs for you to use at your events that start tomorrow. Let’s get right into it. We have a pdf file attached to this article as well as the FAQs posted right here. Use whichever works better for you:

FAQ-SM10 noted

SM: Unbroken Bonds – FAQ

POKEMON ABILITIES:

== BATTERY (Charjabug – SM:Unbroken Bonds)

Q. Would Honchkrow GX’s “Ruler of the Night” Ability prevent me from using Charjabug’ “Battery” Ability to attach it to Vikavolt as an Energy card?
A. Yes it would prevent that because Charjabug would be a Special Energy card being played from your hand.

== DEDECHANGE (Dedenne – SM:Unbroken Bonds)

Q. For Dedenne’s “Dedechange” Ability, can I use it if I have no hand to discard?
A. Yes, you can. A hand of zero cards is still a hand, so you would discard nothing and then draw six cards.

== EMERGE (Metapod – SM:Unbroken Bonds)
Q. If I use Caterpie’s “Pupate” Poke-POWER to successfully evolve into Metapod, can I then immediately use Metapod’s “Emerge” Poke-POWER to attempt to evolve into Butterfree, all on the same turn?
A. Yes, you can. (Feb 21, 2008 PUI Rules Team)

Q. Can I use Caterpie’s “Pupate” Ability or Metapod’s “Emerge” Ability on the first turn of the game or the turn that the Pokemon came into play?
A. Yes. There is no restriction on the Ability.

== FORCE CANCELER (Celesteela GX – SM:Unbroken Bonds)

A. If I have Celesteela GX with “Force Canceler” Ability active, what happens if my opponent uses Venomoth GX’s “Ten-Card Return GX” attack?
Q. It works normally. Nothing is being done to YOUR Pokemon so nothing is blocked. {Note: The damage would be blocked since it is done to Celesteela GX. The ruling is about the effect of shuffling and drawing cards. – Pop}

== INTIMIDATING FANG (Sandile – SM:Unbroken Bonds)

Q. Does Sandile’s “Intimidating Fang” Ability also reduce damage done to Benched Pokemon?
A. Yes, it reduces all damage done by the opponent’s Active Pokemon. Damage to your Defending Pokemon, your Benched Pokemon, and even damage done to your opponent’s own Pokemon!

== METAL EATER (Melmetal – SM:Unbroken Bonds)

Q. Can I use Melmetal’s “Metal Eater” Ability to discard a {M} Pokemon from my hand if Melmetal is not damaged?
A. Yes you can. The first part of Metal Eater is to discard a {M} Pokemon from your hand, period. Then you do as much of the rest of the Ability as you are able to.

== PUPATE (Caterpie – SM:Unbroken Bonds)

Q. If I use Caterpie’s “Pupate” Poke-POWER to successfully evolve into Metapod, can I then immediately use Metapod’s “Emerge” Poke-POWER to attempt to evolve into Butterfree, all on the same turn?
A. Yes, you can. (Feb 21, 2008 PUI Rules Team)

Q. Can I use Caterpie’s “Pupate” Ability or Metapod’s “Emerge” Ability on the first turn of the game or the turn that the Pokemon came into play?
A. Yes. There is no restriction on those Abilities.

== RULER OF THE NIGHT (Honchcrow GX – SM:Unbroken Bonds)

Q. Would Honchkrow GX’s “Ruler of the Night” Ability prevent me from using Charjabug’s “Battery” Ability to attach it to Vikavolt as an Energy card?
A. Yes it would prevent that because Charjabug would be a Special Energy card being played from your hand.

== SWELLING SPITE (Gastly – SM:Unbroken Bonds)

Q. If Gastly with the “Swelling Spite” Ability is my last Pokemon in play and is Knocked Out, do I get to search for 2 Haunter and put them on my Bench or do I lose the game?
A. Yes, you get to use the Ability before you lose. Gastly is Knocked Out, the opponent takes a Prize card, and then you search your deck for 2 Haunter and put them onto your Bench. (Then you would have to promote one of the Haunter as your new Active Pokemon.)

POKEMON ATTACKS:

== BRING DOWN (Greninja – SM:Unbroken Bonds)

Q. If one of my Pokemon has the least HP remaining and I use Greninja’s “Bring Down” attack, would it Knock Out my own Pokemon?
A. Yes! And your opponent gets to take the Prize card(s) for it.

== DARK UNION GX (Greninja & Zoroark GX – SM:Unbroken Bonds)

Q. If I use Greninja & Zoroark GX’s “Dark Union GX” attack, can I put Honchkrow GX or other {D} type Evolution Pokemon GX directly onto the bench?
A. Yes, you can.

Q. If an Evolution Pokemon has been put directly into play by using Greninja & Zoroark GX’s “Dark Union GX” attack can I attach Triple Acceleration Energy to it?
A. Yes, as long as the Evolution Pokemon says “Evolves from…” on it.

== DUAL BLIZZARD (Dewgong – SM:Unbroken Bonds)

Q. Does Dewgong’s “Dual Blizzard” attack let you do 60 damage each to two separate Pokemon, or does it do 60 total damage split between the two any way I like?
A. It does 60 damage to each of the two Pokemon separately. And don’t forget to apply Weakness & Resistance where applicable.

== HIGH-HEAT BLAST (Volcanion – SM:Unbroken Bonds)

Q. Can the {R}{R} energy used for Volcanion’s “High-Heat Blast” attack count as part of the “at least 4 {R} Energy in play” bonus damage?
A. Yes, it can.

== HYPNOTIC REIGN (Malamar – SM:Unbroken Bonds)
Q. When I use one of my opponent’s Pokemon’s non-GX attacks with Malamar’s “Hypnotic Reign”, do I need to have the energy required in order to use that attack?
A. No you do not, but you need to do any necessary effects such as discarding Energy

== PERPLEXING EYES (Meowstic – SM:Unbroken Bonds)

Q. When I use Meowstic’s “Perplexing Eyes” attack does it change my opponent’s active Pokemon’s weakness before I do damage?
A. No. Do damage first, then apply effects.

Q. If my opponent has no Weakness and I use Meowstic’s “Perplexing Eyes” attack, will I do extra damage on my next turn due to Weakness?
A. If a Pokemon has no Weakness printed on the card, Perplexing Eyes will give that Pokemon a x2 Weakness to {P}.

== SEVERE POISON (Muk & Alolan Muk GX – SM:Unbroken Bonds; Crobat – SM:Unbroken Bonds)

Q. If I had used Muk & Alolan Muk GX’s “Severe Poison” attack that places extra Poison damage counters and in the next turn use Koga’s Trap, do they still place the extra Poison damage?
A. No, they don’t. The new, normal Poison Special Condition replaces the old Severe Poison Special Condition.

Q. If I use a Trainer card to switch my Active Pokemon that is affected by Poison from Muk & Alolan Muk GX’s “Severe Poison” attack and Dust Island is in play, does my new Active Pokemon take the extra damage counters?
A. Yes, it does. Dust Island specifies that it is affected by “that Special Condition”.

== SURPRISE FIST (Pyukumuku – SM:Unbroken Bonds)

Q. For Pyukumuku’s “Surprise Fist” attack, what happens if Rock-Paper-Scissors ends in a tie?
A. You have to play R-P-S until there is a winner; you cannot end it in a tie.

Q. Is it OK to roll a dice to randomize my Rock-Paper-Scissors choice?
A. No. R-P-S is a game of strategy. You must not appear to be randomizing your choice by any method. (Oct 16, 2008 PUI Rules Team)

Q. Can I use dice or cards to indicate my throw in Rock-Paper-Scissors?
A. You may not use dice to indicate your choice, as it is too easy to manipulate the dice while it is covered. The requirements for R-P-S cards are that they must have identical backs, that they clearly say “Rock” or “Paper” or “Scissors” on the front and that all themes on the cards be appropriate for a Pokemon Event as determined by the Head Judge. (Oct 16, 2008 PUI Rules Team)

Q. Is Rock-Paper-Scissors played by pumping my arm 2 times then throwing my choice, or pumping 3 times then throw?
A. According to the current “Play! Pokemon TCG Tournament Rules and Formats” document, the procedure is a three-count priming and then the simultaneous throw of the choice, for example, “Rock-Paper-Scissors-Shoot” with the choice thrown on “shoot”. (Oct 16, 2008 PUI Rules Team; Nov 21, 2013 TPCi Rules Team)

== TEN-CARD RETURN GX (Venomoth GX – SM:Unbroken Bonds)

Q. Can I use Venomoth GX’s “Ten-Card Return GX” attack if I have no cards in my hand?
A. Yes, but you must shuffle your deck before drawing cards.

Q. If I have Celesteela GX with “Force Canceler” Ability active, what happens if my opponent uses Venomoth GX’s “Ten-Card Return GX” attack?
A. It works normally. Nothing is being done to YOUR Pokemon so nothing is blocked.

TRAINER CARDS:

== BEAST BRINGER (SM:Unbroken Bonds)

Q.If I’m playing in a Prerelease with 4 Prize Cards, what happens if I have Beast Bringer attached to an Ultra Beast and I Knock Out a GX Pokemon as my first Knock Out?
A. Nothing happens. The card specifies that you must have exactly 6 Prize cards remaining but you only have 4.

== DUST ISLAND (SM:Unbroken Bonds)

Q. If I use a Trainer card to switch my Active Pokemon that is affected by Poison from Muk & Alolan Muk GX’s “Severe Poison” attack and Dust Island is in play, does my new Active Pokemon take the extra damage counters?
A. Yes, it does. Dust Island specifies that it is affected by “that Special Condition”.

Q. If my opponent uses Pokemon Catcher or Escape Rope while Dust Island is in play, is my new Active Pokemon still poisoned.

A. No, it is not. Dust Island only works when a Trainer card is used to switch your own Pokemon; it does not apply when the Trainer card is played by your opponent.

== GREEN’S EXPLORATION (SM:Unbroken Bonds)

Q. If I have Pokemon GX with Abilities in play and the Power Plant Stadium is also play, can I now play Green’s Exploration since those Pokemon “have no Abilities”?
A. Yes, you would be able to play Green’s Exploration in that case.

== KOGA’S TRAP (SM:Unbroken Bonds)

Q. If I had used Muk & Alolan Muk GX’s “Severe Poison” attack that places extra Poison damage counters and in the next turn use Koga’s Trap, do they still place the extra Poison damage?
A. No, they don’t. The new, normal Poison Special Condition replaces the old Severe Poison Special Condition.

== LT. SURGE’S STRATEGY (SM:Unbroken Bonds)

Q. If I have already played a Supporter, can I then play Lt. Surge’s Strategy since I would be able to play 3 Supporters in total?
A. No. You would have to play Lt. Surge’s Strategy as your first Supporter in order to be able to play any additional Supporters during your turn.

Q. If I play Lt. Surge’s Strategy first, can I then play a second (or third) Lt. Surge’s Strategy to play more than 3 Supporters?
A. Nope, no matter how many Lt. Surge’s Strategy cards you play the total number of Supporter cards you can play during this turn is still only 3.

== POWER PLANT (SM:Unbroken Bonds)

Q. If I have Pokemon GX with Abilities in play and the Power Plant Stadium is also play, can I now play Green’s Exploration since those Pokemon “have no Abilities”?
A. Yes, you would be able to play Green’s Exploration in that case.

== RED’S CHALLENGE (SM:Unbroken Bonds)

Q. Can I play Red’s Challenge and fail the deck search?
A. No, because you are not searching for a specific type of card. It is public knowledge that your deck does have cards in it.

== WELDER (SM:Unbroken Bonds)

Q. If I use Welder to attach {R} Energy to my Pokemon, do I still get to use my one energy attachment for the turn?
A. Yes, you do. Doing something via an effect does not use up the normal actions you get during your turn.

ENERGY CARDS:

== TRIPLE ACCELERATION ENERGY (SM:Unbroken Bonds)

Q. If an Evolution Pokemon has been put directly into play by using Greninja & Zoroark GX’s “Dark Union GX” attack can I attach Triple Acceleration Energy to it?
A. Yes, as long as the Evolution Pokemon says “Evolves from…” on it.

Update to Ban List for Pokemon TCG – Two Cards Added for Expanded

         

Pokemon has released their quarterly update to the ban list and two cards were added. Players were expected Lusamine to be on this list, due to the possibility for infinite recursions, but it is not to be for now, at least.

No cards are banned in Standard format, but Maxie’s Hidden Ball Trick and the “DAMAGE” Unown (LOT 90/214) were added to the ban list for Expanded.

Pokemon explains their banning as follows:

A Fighting-type Pokémon in the upcoming Sun & Moon—Team Up expansion would create a potentially devastating combo with Maxie’s Hidden Ball Trick that can be achieved on the first turn of the game. Rather than wait and see how this turns out, it was determined that the best course of action was to prevent this combo before it happened.

With multiple combos that exist in the Expanded format, the DAMAGE Ability of Unown could be used to win the game on the first or second turn. Even though these combos haven’t yet proven to be successful in tournament play, they will become easier to achieve with the release of new cards, so Unown is being banned as a preventive measure. Note that Unown with the HAND Ability and Unown with the MISSING Ability, also from Sun & Moon—Lost Thunder, are still legal for tournament play.

Here is the complete list of banned cards in Expanded:

 

The announcement is found here: https://www.pokemon.com/us/sun-moon-team-up-banned-list-and-rule-changes-quarterly-announcement/

The Banned List is found here: https://www.pokemon.com/us/pokemon-tcg-banned-card-list/

Updates to Pokemon Rules and Resources for the new 2019 Season (effective immediately!)

Pokemon Organized Play updated a number of documents on their Rules and Resources page today.

They can be found here: https://www.pokemon.com/us/play-pokemon/about/tournaments-rules-and-resources/

They also have a summary of the MAJOR changes in an article here:
https://www.pokemon.com/us/pokemon-news/play-pokemon-rules-documents-updated/

But that does not cover all of the changes that you should be aware of, so for the convenience of Players and Judges, we are going to summarize the updates here along with some clarifying commentary (in Bold Italic)

TCG Penalty Guidelines

Section 2.1 Deviating from Recommended Penalties – Clarification of existing rule
“The penalties for infractions are simply recommendations and may be increased or decreased in severity based on circumstances, which may include the point at which the error was caught and the ease with which the corresponding action may be reversed.”
Note: While this is a good thing to keep in mind at all times, it is specifically referring to examples given in GPE Major for playing more than one energy in a turn or using an Ability when it cannot be used. The standard penalties for these assume some irreversible damage to the game state, so if the action can be rewound without damage, they can be deescalated.
NOTE that the penalty for drawing an extra card should NOT be deescalated in this way. It was moved from GPE Minor to Major on purpose specifically to incur the more severe penalty.

General Event Rules

Section 4: Age Divisions – Update to age divisions for 2019 season
Note: This does not apply to the World Championships held in August 2018
Note: Those age groups are: Junior (born in 2008 or later), Senior (born in 2004, 2005, 2006, or 2007), and Masters (born in 2003 or earlier).

Section 7.3.1: Time Extensions – Rule change
“In addition to the above, judges are responsible for ensuring that players are not disadvantaged due to time lost as a result of a ruling or penalty. Judges may issue time extensions of a length corresponding to the time taken to resolve the issue.”
Note: A little history on this. This used to be the rule years ago. It was changed to only rulings taking “+3” when event time was being impacted by long round turnarounds at large events. Now that automation has improved that turnaround and events are moving faster, OP is moving back to giving a 1 for 1 time extension.

Section 9: Note Taking – Clarification of existing rule
“A player’s note sheet must be completely free of text, handwritten or otherwise, at the start of each match.”
Note: This indicates that players having notepaper with lines or other graphics are fine as long as they are not pre-preprinted notes. Some judges were getting a bit exuberant and penalizing players for using lined paper.

Section 11.1: Conceding a Match  – Clarification of existing rule
“The option of an intentional draw (ID) is exclusive to TCG tournaments. Video Game competitors may not agree to an ID.”

TCG Rules and Formats

Section 3: Card Sleeves – Clarification of existing rule
“We expect players to use their best judgment when determining which sleeves to use with their deck. Pokémon Organized Play strongly recommends the use of sleeves with an opaque back. Using clear sleeves, or declining to use sleeves at all, may expose imperfections on the back of the card itself that could contribute to a Marked Card situation.”
Note: For those not aware, a player was DQ’d and subsequently banned for just this situation. Word to the wise: Don’t use clear sleeves.

Section 9.1 Tiebreaker Games – Rule change
“If both players take their last Prize card (or Knock Out their opponent’s last Pokémon) at the same time, and no other win conditions have been met, players must determine the winner of that game by engaging in a Tiebreaker Game. The players should set up as though they were playing a normal game, including setting up 6 Prize cards and flipping a coin to decide who goes first. The winner of the Tiebreaker Game is the player who takes a Prize card first.”
Note: This is a MAJOR RULE CHANGE! Previously players played a Sudden Death Game as described in the regular Rule Book. This change was obviously made to correct situations where a card has a more powerful effect with just one prize left than it would normally have at the beginning of a game.
While not mentioned in the rules update, if both players take prizes at the same time, the game would continue until such time as one player is ahead on prizes. Also remember that all effect have to resolve and all prizes taken from those resolutions before checking game state and checking how many prizes remain.
FINAL NOTE: The coin flip works the same way as the flip at the beginning of the match. The winner of the flip gets to choose who goes first.

Sections 9.3.2 & 9.3.3: Determining the Outcome of an Unresolved [Single Elimination] Match – Clarification of existing rule Note: Document incorrectly tags 9.2.2 and 9.2.3
“The current game continues, starting with any between-turns effects that take place after the last completed turn, if necessary, until one player has fewer Prize cards remaining than the other, or one player satisfies any other win condition that would result in their winning the game outright.”

Section 9.3.3 Determining the Outcome of an Unresolved [Single Elimination] Best of 3 Match – Rule change
“If the last turn ends during game 2, the winner of game 1 wins the match.”
Note: This is a MAJOR RULE CHANGE! This eliminates the whole “if one player has taken 4 or more prizes” determination. It should eliminate a lot of confusion among players and newer judges.

VG Rules and Formats

Section 3.4: Match Resolution – New rule
“A player who selects the Run option is electing to forfeit the game. Should both players select the Run option during the same turn, the game will be recorded as having no winner.”

Section 3.4.2 & 3.4.3: Resolving Best of 3 Matches (Swiss & Elim) – Clarification of existing rule
“The criteria listed should be used, in order, to determine the outcome of a game that is unresolved after the final turn has ended.”

Section 5.4.2.1: Team Error Minor – Rule change
“In all cases, the offending Pokémon or held item should be prohibited from play in addition to applying the appropriate penalty as described below. In events tethered by local distribution:
Should the Pokémon or held item described on the team list is immediately available, the player should be given the opportunity to add the correct Pokémon to their team. Otherwise, the removed Pokémon may not be replaced. In events tethered by QR Code: Should the player be unable to present the correct Pokémon or held item so that it may be added to the team, the offending Pokémon should instead be prohibited from use for the remainder of the tournament rather than removed.”

Section 5.4.2.1: Team Error Minor – Clarification of existing rule
“At the start of each round, the player’s opponents should be informed of the Pokémon that is prohibited.”

Tournament Sanctioning Regulations

Section 4: Minimum Number of Players – Clarification of existing rule
“To remain sanctioned, a tournament must have at least 8 participating players. Of those players, at least 8 must complete 2 or more rounds.”
Note: This is a clarification that is good to see in writing. This has already been in effect as there have been tournaments reported where players dropping after Round 1 brought the total number of players below 8 and the tournament was therefore invalidated. Organizers (and Players) should be aware of this and inform players if their dropping early will cause the entire tournament to be invalidated!

Section 5: Organizer Presence – Added Section
Note: It was not always required that the Organizer be present at the event. There were (and maybe still are) TOs that sub out the actual running of many of their events to judges that act as the organizer on site. It seems that this is no longer allowed.

Tournament Operation Procedures

Section 3.1.1
Update to age divisions for 2019 season
Note: Those age groups are: Junior (born in 2008 or later), Senior (born in 2004, 2005, 2006, or 2007), and Masters (born in 2003 or earlier).

Section 3.3.5:  Determining the Number of Rounds Needed – Rule change
“Every player with 19 or more match points or the Top 32 ranked players, whichever is greater, makes Day Two of Swiss rounds.”
Note: Major Tournament Change!

SM: Forbidden Light FAQ

 

Prerelease events are about to start this weekend and we have the official FAQ for you here. I’m sure OP will be getting the fancy one out soon with nice artwork and everything, but here, on two pages and with only B&W text, to save on printing costs, are the new FAQs for TOs and Judges to have handy at your events! We also have them as part of the article, so you can print them out either way.

Enjoy.

Here’s the link to the pdf document: FAQ-SM06

And here are the Questions:
POKEMON ABILITIES:

== ABNORMAL OUTBREAK (Scatterbug – SM:Forbidden Light)

Q. When can I use Scatterbug’s “Abnormal Outbreak” Ability?
A. It’s pretty clear. If you are not taking the first turn of the game, then when you get your first turn (i.e. the second turn of the game) you may use Abnormal Outbreak. This is the only turn of the game when this Ability may be used.

Q. Suppose I have two Scatterbugs in play on the second turn of the game and it’s my turn; can I use “Abnormal Outbreak” twice?
A. Yes, you can use it once for each Scatterbug you have in play during that turn.

== JET GEYSER (Volcanion {*} – SM:Forbidden Light)

Q. Can I discard a {W} energy card from my hand using Volcanion {*}’s “Jet Geyser” Ability if my opponent has no Benched Pokemon?
A. Yes, you may.

== STICKY MEMBRANE (Goomy – SM:Forbidden Light)

Q. Does Goomy’s “Sticky Membrane” Ability increase the attack cost of no energy attacks like Alolan Marowak’s “Limbo Limbo” attack?
A. Yes, it does.

Q. Does Goomy’s “Sticky Membrane” Ability increase the attack cost of attacks where the cost is ignored, such as when “Roto Motor” applies?
A. No, it does not.

== UNNERVE (Pyroar – SM:Forbidden Light)

Q. Can I play Eneporter to try and fail to move a Special Energy onto a Pyroar that is protected by its “Unnerve” Ability, or would I not be able to play Eneporter at all?
A. The fact that its effect will be blocked by another effect such as Unnerve does not prevent an Item or Supporter card from being played. For example, your opponent may play Eneporter to try moving a Special Energy and Pyroar is a valid target, but Unnerve blocks the effect even though Eneporter was played. Playing a card for no effect happens when the game state itself prevents any effect from taking place and in that case the card would not be played, but that is not what this example is referring to.

POKEMON ATTACKS:

== BUBBLE TRAP (Araquanid – SM:Forbidden Light)

Q. Does Araquanid’s “Bubble Trap” attack get its bonus damage if the Pokemon that used “Bubble” on my previous turn was Knocked Out or is no longer in play?
A. Yes, you get the bonus damage. The effect of “using Bubble” is on the player, not on the Pokemon.

== HAZE SLASH (Greninja GX – SM:Forbidden Light)

Q. If I use Greninja GX’s “Haze Slash” attack to shuffle it back into my deck and also Knock Out the Defending Pokemon, who promotes a new Active Pokemon first?
A. In this case you promote first. Greninja GX is shuffled back in as an effect of the attack before KO’s are checked, so it must be replaced before either player checks for KO’s.

== MULTIPLY (Exeggcute – SM:Forbidden Light)

Q. The wording of Exeggcute’s “Multiply” attack is a little ambiguous. Does it mean you can only search for one Exeggcute, or as many Exeggcute as you want?
A. Just one.

== TICKING KNOCK OUT (Aegislash – SM:Forbidden Light)

Q. If I use Aegislash’s “Ticking Knock Out” attack but my opponent moves the Defending Pokemon to the bench, on my next turn if I bring that Pokemon active and damage it or if I damage it on the bench is it knocked out?
A. Only if you do enough damage to meet or exceed that Pokemon’s remaining HP. The effect of “Ticking Knock Out” is on the Defending Pokemon and is cleared when it moves to the bench, so you would have to knock it out by normal means rather than by simply doing any amount of damage to it.

== UNTAMED PUNCH (Pangoro – SM:Forbidden Light)

Q. If I use “Untamed Punch” with an undamaged Pangoro, does it still get the Confusion effect?

A. No, damage counters on your attacking Pangoro are required for both the Confusion and the extra damage.

== WINK WINK (Sylveon – SM:Forbidden Light)

Q. If I’ve already played a Supporter this turn and use Sylveon’s “Wink Wink” attack, can I still use the effect of a Supporter I discard from my opponent’s hand?
A. Yes. You are not playing a second supporter, but using its effect via an attack.

Q. If I use Sylveon’s “Wink Wink” attack and discard my opponent’s Diantha, can I get 2 cards from my discard pile even it 1 of my {Y} Pokemon was not Knocked Out on my Opponent’s last turn?
A. No, you still have to meet the requirements of the card’s text. You can discard the Diantha, though.

TRAINER CARDS:

== ENEPORTER (SM:Forbidden Light)

Q. Can I play Eneporter to try and fail to move a Special Energy onto a Pyroar that is protected by its “Unnerve” Ability, or would I not be able to play Eneporter at all?
A. The fact that its effect will be blocked by another effect such as Unnerve does not prevent an Item or Supporter card from being played. For example, your opponent may play Eneporter to try moving a Special Energy and Pyroar is a valid target, but Unnerve blocks the effect even though Eneporter was played. Playing a card for no effect happens when the game state itself prevents any effect from taking place and in that case the card would not be played, but that is not what this example is referring to.

== LYSANDRE LABS (SM:Forbidden Light)

Q. If Lysandre Labs is in play, do effects that depend on the presence of Tool cards, such as the damage increase of Doublade’s “Curse of the Blade” attack or the energy cost modification of Rotom’s “Roto Motor” Ability still work?
A. If an effect depends simply on the presence of a Tool card in a certain location, the effect still works. It is the Tool card’s effects that are cancelled, not effects based on the presence of a Tool.