First Turn Rules – Full

Below are the rules for each year of the Pokemon TCG, the bold lines indicate something which has changed compared to the previous year. Please feel free to message me if any of these are wrong!

Jonathan Paranada has created more in depth rulings for the 2006 and 2010 format. including specific interactions and erratas. I’d recommend reading them if you wish to explore those specific formats!

 

WoTC:

  • Winner of coin flip must go first – determined after game setup
  • Fossil KO does not draw prize
  • Players may mulligan with fossil only start
  • If a player mulligans, the opponent can draw up to 2 cards per mulligan
  • Turn 1 player has no restrictions
  • Player going first can attack
  • Metal energy works on any Pokemon
  • Dark energy works on any Pokemon – if not dark that Pokemon takes 10 damage between turns
  • Player must flip to retreat if confused
  • Player takes 20 damage if tails is flipped for confusion – apply weakness and resistance
  • Players may retreat multiple times in a turn
  • Players may play multiple stadiums in a single turn
  • Stadium cards are considered trainers

 

2004 (introduced at Nationals/Worlds):

  • Winner of coin flip decides whether to go first – determined after game setup
  • Player going first does not draw a card at start of turn
  • Player going first may not play supporters
  • Player going first can attack
  • Fossil KO does not draw prize
  • Players may mulligan with fossil only start
  • If a player mulligans, the opponent can draw up to 1 card per mulligan.
  • Metal energy benefits ONLY metal Pokemon
  • Dark energy benefits ONLY dark Pokemon
  • Players may retreat without flip for confusion
  • Players place 3 damage counters if tails is flipped for confusion
  • Players may retreat only once during a turn
  • Players may play only one stadium in a single turn
  • Players may play a stadium with same name
  • Stadium cards are considered trainers
  • Players may use a card effect to evolve a Pokemon the same turn a basic is played
  • Coming into play powers no longer work when Muk is in play

 

2005:

  • Winner of coin flip decided whether to go first – determined after game setup
  • Player going first does not draw a card at start of turn
  • Player going first may not play supporters
  • Player going first can attack
  • Fossil KO does not draw prize
  • Players may mulligan with fossil only start
  • Metal energy benefits ONLY metal Pokemon
  • Dark energy benefits ONLY dark Pokemon
  • Players may retreat without flip for confusion
  • Players place 3 damage counters if tails is flipped for confusion
  • Players may retreat only once during a turn
  • Players may play only one stadium in a single turn
  • Players may NOT play a stadium with same name as one currently in play
  • Players may use a card effect to evolve a Pokemon the same turn a basic is played
  • Stadium cards are considered trainers

 

2006:

  • Winner of coin flip decides whether to go first – determined after game setup
  • Player going first does not draw a card at start of turn
  • Player going first may not play supporters
  • Player going first can attack
  • Fossil KO does not draw prize
  • If a players has only a fossil in opening hand, they MUST begin the game with it
  • Metal energy benefits ONLY metal Pokemon
  • Dark energy benefits ONLY dark Pokemon
  • Players may retreat without flip for confusion
  • Players place 3 damage counters if tails is flipped for confusion
  • Players may retreat only once during a turn
  • Players may play only one stadium in a single turn
  • Players may NOT play a stadium with same name as one currently in play
  • Players may use a card effect to evolve a Pokemon the same turn a basic is played
  • Stadium cards are considered trainers

 

2007 (After release of Diamond & Pearl):

  • Winner of coin flip must go first – determined after game setup
  • Player going first MUST draw a card at start of turn
  • Player going first may not play supporters, stadium, or trainers
  • Player going first can attack
  • Fossil KO, player takes a prize card
  • If a players has only a fossil in opening hand, they MUST begin the game with it
  • Metal energy benefits ONLY metal Pokemon
  • Dark energy benefits ONLY dark Pokemon
  • Players may retreat without flip for confusion
  • Players place 3 damage counters if tails is flipped for confusion
  • Players may retreat only once during a turn
  • Players may play only one stadium in a single turn
  • Players may NOT play a stadium with same name as one currently in play
  • Players may use a card effect to evolve a Pokemon the same turn a basic is played
  • Stadium cards are no longer considered Trainers

 

2008:

  • Winner of coin flip must go first – determined after game setup
  • Player going first MUST draw a card at start of turn
  • Player going first may not play supporters, stadium, or trainers
  • Player going first can attack
  • Fossil KO, player takes a prize card
  • If a players has only a fossil in opening hand, they MUST begin the game with it
  • Metal energy benefits ONLY metal Pokemon
  • Dark energy benefits ONLY dark Pokemon
  • Players may retreat without flip for confusion
  • Players place 3 damage counters if tails is flipped for confusion
  • Players may retreat only once during a turn
  • Players may play only one stadium in a single turn
  • Players may NOT play a stadium with same name as one currently in play
  • Players may use a card effect to evolve a Pokemon the same turn a basic is played
  • Stadium cards are no longer considered Trainers

 

2009:

  • Winner of coin flip must go first – determined after game setup
  • Player going first MUST draw a card at start of turn
  • Player going first may not play supporters, stadium, or trainers
  • Player going first can attack
  • Fossil KO, player takes a prize card
  • If a players has only a fossil in opening hand, they MUST begin the game with it
  • Metal energy benefits ONLY metal Pokemon
  • Dark energy benefits ONLY dark Pokemon
  • Players may retreat without flip for confusion
  • Players place 3 damage counters if tails is flipped for confusion
  • Players may retreat only once during a turn
  • Players may play only one stadium in a single turn
  • Players may NOT play a stadium with same name as one currently in play
  • Players may use a card effect to evolve a Pokemon the same turn a basic is played
  • Stadium cards are no longer considered Trainers

 

2010:

  • Winner of coin flip must go first – determined after game setup
  • Player going first MUST draw a card at start of turn
  • Player going first may not play supporters, stadium, or trainers
  • Player going first can attack
  • Fossil KO, player takes a prize card
  • If a players has only a fossil in opening hand, they MUST begin the game with it
  • Metal energy benefits ONLY metal Pokemon
  • Dark energy benefits ONLY dark Pokemon
  • Players may retreat without flip for confusion
  • Players place 3 damage counters if tails is flipped for confusion
  • Players may retreat only once during a turn
  • Players may play only one stadium in a single turn
  • Players may NOT play a stadium with same name as one currently in play
  • Players may use a card effect to evolve a Pokemon the same turn a basic is played
  • Stadium cards are no longer considered Trainers

 

2011 (After Release of Black & White):

  • Winner of coin flip must go first – determined after game setup
  • Player going first MUST draw a card at start of turn
  • Player going first may play supporters, stadium, or trainers
  • Player going first can attack
  • Fossil KO, player takes a prize card
  • If a players has only a fossil in opening hand, they MUST begin the game with it
  • Metal energy benefits ONLY metal Pokemon
  • Dark energy benefits ONLY dark Pokemon
  • Players may retreat without flip for confusion
  • Players place 3 damage counters if tails is flipped for confusion
  • Players may retreat only once during a turn
  • Players may play only one stadium in a single turn
  • Players may NOT play a stadium with same name as one currently in play
  • Players may NOT use card effects to evolve on the first turn a Pokemon is played
  • Stadium cards are no longer considered Trainers

 

2012:

  • Winner of coin flip must go first – determined after game setup
  • Player going first MUST draw a card at start of turn
  • Player going first may play supporters, stadium, or trainers
  • Player going first can attack
  • Fossil KO, player takes a prize card
  • If a players has only a fossil in opening hand, they MUST begin the game with it
  • Metal energy benefits ONLY metal Pokemon
  • Dark energy benefits ONLY dark Pokemon
  • Players may retreat without flip for confusion
  • Players place 3 damage counters if tails is flipped for confusion
  • Players may retreat only once during a turn
  • Players may play only one stadium in a single turn
  • Players may NOT play a stadium with same name as one currently in play
  • Players may NOT use card effects to evolve on the first turn a Pokemon is played
  • Stadium cards are no longer considered Trainers

 

2013:

  • Winner of coin flip must go first – determined after game setup
  • Player going first MUST draw a card at start of turn
  • Player going first may play supporters, stadium, or trainers
  • Player going first can attack
  • Fossil KO, player takes a prize card
  • If a players has only a fossil in opening hand, they MUST begin the game with it
  • Metal energy benefits ONLY metal Pokemon
  • Dark energy benefits ONLY dark Pokemon
  • Players may retreat without flip for confusion
  • Players place 3 damage counters if tails is flipped for confusion
  • Players may retreat only once during a turn
  • Players may play only one stadium in a single turn
  • Players may NOT play a stadium with same name as one currently in play
  • Players may NOT use card effects to evolve on the first turn a Pokemon is played
  • Stadium cards are no longer considered Trainers
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