An Attempt to Play the Pokémon CCG More Like the Videogames

I’ve been pondering this for a while but haven’t had a chance to try it yet out so I’ll welcome any input, especially from playtesters, that anyone may have to offer.

You Will Need:

Any six Pokémon, regardless of evolution (for instance, you can play with Butterfree or Caterpie as one of your six Pokémon)

  • EXes count as two Pokémon
  • Legends count as two Pokémon
  • Lvl Xes count as two Pokémon and must be paired with an appropriate non-Lvl X

Each Pokémon can start the game equipped with a tool (except Expert Belt since there are no prize cards)

A stack of 20 Energy.

A stack of 10 videogame-appropriate items like Full Heals, Moo-Moo Milks, and Potions.

Rules That Are the Same:

You may only play one energy a turn.

Abilities and Attacks function normally.

Rules That Are Different:

The only win-condition is KOing all of your opponent’s Pokémon.

Pokémon don’t evolve or Level Up.

You don’t have a hand, deck, or discard pile (discarded energy simply goes back into the stack, discarded Trainers are removed from the game) so Pokémon that affect those will be useless.

You can freely look through your two stacks at any time.

Abilities can’t let you lay extra energies since you don’t have the race to evolve or level up as a balancing mechanism for the Pokémon that have those abilities.

You may only use one Trainer each turn – just like in the videogames. But unlike in the VGs, using an item doesn’t end your turn.

Retreating no longer costs energy but retreating also no longer removes status conditions. Retreating also doesn’t end your turn like in the VGs.

Status conditions persist on retreated Pokémon but are only active while the Pokémon is active. For example, a poisoned Pokémon will retain the poisoned status while on the bench but it will not take damage between turns.

A Note on Stadiums:

If both players agree, a stadium may be put into play before the game starts and will remain there for the duration. This simulates two trainers in the VG who are actually battling in that stadium.


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