Common Pokemon Questions

Table of contents:

* [How do Alolan evolutions work?](#alolan) * [How are colorless energies used?](#colorless) * [Special Conditions](#conditions) * [How does Robo Substitute work?](#robo_substitute) * ["The Defending Pokemon" vs "Your Opponent's Active Pokemon"](#defending_vs_active)

How do Alolan evolutions work?

* There are some circumstances where a non-Alolan Pokemon can evolve into an Alolan Pokemon, such as Alolan Raichu. [Reference]( [Back to top](#top)

How are colorless energies used?

When a Pokemon has a Colourless Energy attached to it, it can use the colourless energy to pay for colourless attack costs. However, if an attack needs a colourless energy as part of it’s cost, any energy can be used.

For example:

If a Card needs 1 Grass energy and 1 Colourless energy to attack, and it has 2 Colourless attached, it still needs a grass energy to attack. However, if it had 2 Grass energy attached instead, it would be able to pay the cost as it needs 1 Grass and 1 of any other energy.


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Special Conditions

  • Asleep
    • If a Pokémon is Asleep, it cannot attack or retreat by itself. It must also be turned sideways (usually counterclockwise). After each turn, if a player’s Pokémon is Asleep, the player must flip a coin: if heads, the Asleep Pokémon “wakes up” and is no longer affected by the Special Condition. However, if the coin lands on tails, the Pokémon is still asleep.
  • Burned

    • The Burned Special Condition is the newest Special Condition, officially recognized in 2002 upon the release of the Expedition Base Set. The Burned Special Condition is similar to the Poisoned Special Condition. A rule change in 2016 taking effect with the release of Sun & Moon altered the procedure for a burn.[1] The Burned Special Condition is derived from Neo Genesis, in which Quilava’s Char attack caused a condition exactly like Burned. Char was not recognized as a Special Condition.

    • Prior to Sun & Moon, once a Pokémon is burned, a Burn marker is placed on it, and the player must flip a coin in between turns. If the coin lands on tails, two damage counters are placed on the Pokémon. Under some conditions, the burn’s damage may be increased by the effect of an attack, an Ability, or a Stadium card (i.e., Volcarona’s Scorching Scales Ability causes the afflicted Pokémon to suffer 40 damage). If the coin landed on heads, the Pokémon does not receive any damage but remains Burned.

    • With the release of Sun & Moon, once a Pokémon is burned, two damage counters are placed on it between turns as long as it is burned. After the damage is added, the player with the burned Pokémon must flip a coin: on a heads, the afflicted Pokémon is cured, while on a tails it remains burned.

  • Confused

    • The Confused Special Condition is one of the most commonly seen conditions alongside Poisoned. If a Pokémon is Confused, its card must be turned upside-down. If it tries to attack, the player must flip a coin. If the coin is heads, the attack proceeds as planned. However, if the coin lands on tails, three damage counters are placed on the Pokémon and the turn ends. Unless replaced by Asleep or Paralyzed, the Pokémon remains Confused unless retreat or other action is taken (such as the use of a Trainer card).

    • The current description of Confused was introduced in 2003 with the release of EX Ruby & Sapphire. Originally, the Confused Pokémon would attack itself for 20 damage on a tails. As well as that, if a Pokémon tried to retreat, the required Energy had to be discarded first, before flipping a coin to see if the retreat was successful. If it was not, the Pokémon could not retrieve the Energy cards. As of the current revision of the condition, any Confused Pokémon can retreat without having to take any additional action.

  • Paralyzed

    • If a Pokémon is Paralyzed, it will be unable to attack or retreat for one turn after it becomes Paralyzed. After the end of the turn, the Pokémon’s condition returns to normal. A Paralyzed Pokémon is turned sideways (usually clockwise).
  • Poisoned

    • The Poisoned Special Condition is one of the most commonly seen conditions alongside Confused. When a Pokémon is Poisoned, one damage counter must be put on the Pokémon in between each turn. On rare occasions, a Pokémon will cause a Poisoned Special Condition that requires the player to put two, three, or even four damage counters on a Pokémon between turns.
  • Reference 1

  • Reference 2

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How does Robo Substitue work?

“Robo Substitute is considered a Pokemon rather than an Item card while it is in play. While in your hand, deck, or discard it’s considered an Item, but once it’s been “played” it becomes a Pokemon in all respects. You can even attach tools and energy to it, though that’s probably pointless since it has no attacks. The only differences between Robo Substitute and an ordinary Pokemon (after it’s been played) are that it can’t retreat, your opponent takes no prizes for knocking it out, and you may discard it at any time before you attack. Once it’s in the discard, it’s no longer “in play” and reverts to being an Item. However, since it is considered a Pokemon while in play, if your only “real” Pokemon is KOed, the game isn’t over, you promote a Robo Substitute to the active, and play continues as normal”


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"The Defending Pokemon" vs "Your Opponent's Active Pokemon"

Is there a difference between “the defending pokemon” and “your opponent’s active pokemon”? This came about when using Cobalion’s Iron Breaker move, which does 80 damage and reads “The Defending Pokemon can’t attack during your opponent’s next turn”. See the card here.

If you consider this to mean any pokemon your opponent puts into play, then Cobalion would not be attackable until removed from play.

If you consider this to mean only the current pokemon defending against Cobalion’s attack, then this attack stopping move can be manuevered around by your opponent switching their pokemon out.

I think the second scenario is the correct ruling. Here is some other opinions on the ruling:

I believe there is some functional difference between the two. One of them is referring to the specific Pokemon the effect is used on, the other one refers to whatever Pokemon is in your opponent’s active slot. I am not sure which is which though, nor if this is even correct

This. One effect targets the current defending pokemon while the other effect targets the opponent and whatever active pokemon he has in play. One effect can be played around by retreating/switching while the other effect is on the player and can’t be played around.

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