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What Is a Special Condition in Pokemon Trading Card Game?

Learn what a special condition is from the Pokemon Trading Card Game pros at Comic Cafe in this Howcast video.


Hi, I'm Joe D'Andrea, a Pokemon professor at Comic Cafe in Warren New Jersey, and we're here to show you how to play the Pokemon trading card game.

Sometimes an attack can affect a Pokemon in ways other than damage, and these are called special conditions. There are five types; the first is asleep. When your Pokemon is asleep, turn it counter-clockwise facing to the left. In between turns, flip a coin, or roll a die. If you get tails it stays asleep, but if it's heads it wakes up.
A sleeping Pokemon can't attack, and it can't retreat to the bench, either. If your Pokemon is burned, place a burn marker next to it. In between turns, flip a coin. If you get tails, place two damage counters on that Pokemon. Burn counters stay on the Pokemon until the Pokemon evolves or retreats to the bench.
Sometimes your Pokemon may become confused in an attack. If it does, turn the Pokemon upside down. After announcing your attack, flip a coin. If heads, the attack proceeds normally, but if tails, your Pokemon gets three damage counters and the attack ends with no other effect.
If your Pokemon is paralyzed, turn the card clockwise to the right. A paralyzed Pokemon also can't retreat. However, in between turns, a Pokemon becomes unparalyzed. Paralyzed Pokemon can't attack, and they can't retreat. When your Pokemon is poisoned, put a poison marker next to that Pokemon. In between turns, place one damage counter on that Pokemon.
Pokemon can be burned and poisoned, and one of confused, asleep, or paralyzed. You can't be confused, asleep, and paralyzed at the same time, though, because of the direction you're turning the card in. If you move a Pokemon to your bench, return it to your hand, or evolve a Pokemon — that removes any special conditions it had. In between turns, you'll want to handle special conditions in a certain order: poisoned, burned, asleep, and then paralyzed. Don't worry about confused. You handle confusion during your turn when your Pokemon is about to attack.
When a Pokemon is poisoned and burned, of course that means it's going to take on damage counters. That also means the Pokemon could be knocked out just by being poisoned or burned. If it does, you take your Pokemon and discard it, and your opponent takes a prize card.

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