Pokemon TCG Chat Report #3
by Brian Brokaw

Every week Wizards of the Coast hosts an online Chat for customers
to post questions about the Pokemon Trading Card Game, and have 
them answered real time. It occurs every Thursday afternoon and 
is located at the chat feature of their website:


I've been attending the chats each week that they've had them
and it is a great opportunity to hear official answers to all
the questions that you (and I) have been wondering about. Most
of the juicy stuff goes unanswered, and there really isn't any
opportunity to discuss the answers that we do receive. (It isn't
so much a "chat" as a "question/answer/shut-up-and-listen" 
session... This is ok though, because Pokefanatics like me 
have LOTS of questions that we'd like answers to!)

As usual, I don't have the ability to save the chat log word
for word (I wish I did!!! Typing all this is a chore!) So everything
in here, from the Questions to the official Answers are my best
attempts at maintaining the spirit of the conversations.
WOTC did suggest that they are working on the ability to post
a chat report on their own site in the future, so eventually
I may not need to keep doing this! Yay :-)

Unfortunately I misplaced my notes from last week's chat hour
until only recently. But, that means twice the chat report
this week! Let's get on with it:

Date: 2/3/00 Thursday 4pm PST

Almost 30 people were online at any one time, and most folks
were prepared with questions when they were called on. Here
is what I noted:

Q: What is the gold "W" Kabuto card and how much is it worth?
A: A promo card from TopDeck magazine. WOTC does not track 
card values.

Q: Why did WOTC make both Holo and non-Holo rares? 
(compared to Japanese expansions that only issue holo-rares)
A: WOTC found that people wanted the ability to have rare cards
that they could feel comfortable using, without worrying
about damaging their expensive foil cards.

Q: Will the Team Rocket expansion have the ultra-rare Trainer
Card "Here Come the Rockets!" ?
A: "Wizards of the Coast does not release information about 
cards that have not been released to the public." (C)2000 WOTC

note: The "Wizards of the Coast does not release..." standardized
answer is copyright 2000 Mike Boozer and WOTC. And no matter how
many times you ask, regardless of subtle conotation changes, they
will not not not give you the info they have. And no matter how
many times you email their Public Relations director asking for a
statement about *WHY* they don't release this kind of information,
they will not not not tell you ;-)

Q: If Hitmonchan has 2 PlusPowers attached and uses Jab vs. Mr. Mime,
will Mr. Mime be knocked out?
A: No. Trainer cards are applied before Pokemon Powers (like Invisible
Wall) so the damage will be blocked.

Q: Will WOTC be switching over to the "Japanese Hologram format" soon?
A: Actually, they will be switching foil format soon (since they are
running out of the old foil). Otherwise, the cards look the same.

Q: Any plans on a Pokemon Pro Tour?
A: No plans at this time.

Q: Will the Team Rocket expansion have both foil and non-foil rares?
A: "Wizards of the Coast does not release information about 
cards that have not been released to the public." (C)2000 WOTC

Q: Which Promo card will be shipped with Pokemon TCG for Game Boy?
A: "Wizards of the Coast does not release information about 
cards that have not been released to the public." (C)2000 WOTC

Q: Will there be "better odds" at getting holographic cards in Base
Set 2 and Team Rocket expansions?
A: Same odds as current sets: 1 out of every 3 packs roughly.

For those of you keeping score, Master_Trainer Mike backtracked
on the infamous Agility question to give the "final answer"... In 
case you want to know what the "final answer" is, read PoJo's TCG Q&A 

Q: Are holographic Meowth Promo #10 and Mewtwo Promo #14 fake?
A: "Wizards of the Coast does not release information about 
cards that have not been released to the public." (C)2000 WOTC

Q: Are Team Rocket evolution Pokemon (commonly referred to as
"Evil" Pokemon) considered to have the "same name" as non-"Evil"
cards (so that you are limited to 4 total of that evolution
in your deck?)
A: Yes, they are considered to have the "same name".

NOTE: many folks (myself included) bugged him (out of protocol... and
were chastised for this by the WOTC operators) about this answer. We
had always heard that in Japan, since these card's names have the 
extra word "Bad" or "Evil" in front of the evolution Pokemon name
(Charmeleon for example) that this is considered a "different name"
than an evolution without this extra word in front of it. Master_Trainer
Mike eventually retracted his answer and said that he had been "corrected",
and that they will be considered different Pokemon. So, you should be
able to have 4 Charmeleon and 4 Evil Charmeleon in your deck.
(of course, there are no such things as Evil Charmanders--only evolutions
are "Evil" in the Team Rocket expansion--so it will be pretty silly
to play with this many Charmeleons and still only 4 Charmanders to put
them on!)

Q: Can you use the Switch trainer card if your Pokemon is Paralyzed?
A: Yes. Using "Switch" is not considered "Retreating" so it is allowed.

Q: Can online Pokemon tournaments be DCI sanctioned in the future?
A: "There are no plans to do this yet." (C)2000 WOTC

NOTE: "There are no plans to do this yet." is the other standardized
answer that is copyright 2000 Mike Boozer and WOTC.

Q: When will Base Set 2 be released?
A: End of February

Q: When will Team Rocket expansion be released?
A: Mid April

Q: Will there be "1st Edition" Base Set 2 cards?
A: No.

Q: Will there be "1st Edition" Team Rocket cards?
A: Yes, and they will be available at the same time
as "unlimited print" cards.

Q: Will the DCI ban Computer Search, Super Energy Removal, Prof. Oak
like they did in Japan?
A: There are no plans to ban any Pokemon cards at this time.

Q: If you use each damage counter equal to 30 damage, can you remove
60 damage with 1 Potion card (remove 2 damage counters)?
A: Whenever a card says "damage counter", consider it to be 10 damage.

Q: Can you attach energy cards to Mysterious Fossil?
A: Yes.

Date: 2/10/00 Thursday 4pm PST

Over 30 people were online this week. And, WOTC has a new feature
implemented for the Pokemon Q&A session. You submit your question to
a queue by using the /ASK command and Master_Trainer then posts the
question and his response to the chat window in the order that he
receives them. This worked extremely well, and most folks that
discussed this new method seemed to like it. I took notes on over
60 questions during this one hour!!! (I won't recount those that
are duplicates from the previous week show above, unless the answers
are different.)

Q: When will Pokemon JR Adventure 2 and the more advanced version
of the Pokemon RPG be released?
A: Still working on schedules with Nintendo for release of those products.

Q: When will the Gym sets of cards be released? Neo?
A: The Gym sets will be released later this year (2000), and they
are still negotiating releasing future sets (Neo).

Q: How does Smokescreen work?
A: It is a condition that attaches to the Defending Pokemon and is
removed if this Pokemon is benched for any reason (including Gust
of Wind, etc.)

Q: Why do some Jungle holographic cards not have the Jungle expansion
symbol printed on them?
A: This was a print error that was corrected when it was identified.
These are real (not fake) cards.

Q: Have any comment on the Cracked magazine "Puke-mon" cards?
A: They've seen them and think they are very funny ;-)

Q: How many 1st Edition Base Set boosters were made?
A: WOTC does not release print run information.

Q: WIll Defender protect Chansey from 20 points of its own Double-Edge
self inflicted (80) damage?
A: Yes, Defender on Chansey would reduce 20 points of damage from the
80 damage that is self-inflicted.

Q: Can you play both Double Colorless Energy and a Basic Energy card 
in the same turn?
A: No, they are both energy cards.

Q: What is Promo #6 and #7?
A: Promo #7 is the Atlantic Record's Movie Soundtrack promo card.
Promo #6 has not been released yet, so...
"Wizards of the Coast does not release information about 
cards that have not been released to the public." (C)2000 WOTC

Q: Any plans on banning ANY cards?
A: No plans to ban any cards.

Q: Is yellow-cheek base set Pikachu a misprint?
A: Actually, yellow-cheek is normal, red-cheek is a misprint.

Q: Any new "side effects" (Poison/Sleep/Confusion/Paralyzation)
planned for new cards?
A: No plans for anything new added like this.

Q: How come Promo #6 was skipped?
A: It's hard to keep all the different merchandise promotions
from all the different licenscees in the same order that the
cards are printed in.

Q: Are cards with dark print misprints?
A: Text and Color changes are normal in different print runs.

Q: Any plans for WOTC to create all new cards, different from
anything released in Japan?
A: There are no plans at this time to do so.

Q: With all the cards and added confusion, will Pokemon turn out
just like Magic?
A: Pokemon is a much more basic game than Magic. Think of Pokemon
as Checkers and Magic as Chess.

Q: What happened to the Promo Mewtwo that was supposed to be in
January Nintendo Power magazine?
A: You need to ask this question to Nintendo Power magazine.

Q: Can and will WOTC change the rules to Pokemon (from the original
Japanese rules)?
A: They have the rights to change them, but don't plan on changing
them, other than to make them easier to understand.

Q: What are the rules for using "foreign Pokemon cards" in DCI (tournaments)?
A: You must have an english language version of the card you are using
that is foreign and provide it for translation purposes during the game.

Q: If a Pokemon is K-O'd from Poison damage, does the opponent get a prize?
What if it knocks itself out?
A: Yes, and Yes. It doesn't matter who/what knocks out a Pokemon.
If it is K-O'd the opponent gets a prize.

Q: How long does Porygon's Conversion last?
A: It lasts until the affected Pokemon is benched.

Q: Why do some Jungle Electrodes have the Base Set picture?
A: They are misprints.

Q: How come the DCI personal web pages won't work?
A: There are many thousands of new DCI members, and there is
a lag in getting all this information up on the site.

Q: Is the art different in BS2? Change in holos?
A: The art is the same, but the cards will have a BS2 expansion symbol.

Q: Why does the "tour" always stop in NJ but rarely in NY?
A: The "tour" is BIG and is primarily a function of a local Mall
willing to host it.

Q: *Why* are you making BS2? (if they are just reprints)
A: To make those cards more available to players/collectors.

Q: Plans for an international event like Tropical Mega Battle?
A: No specific such plans as of yet.

Q: How many cards are "officially" released?
A: Roughly 242 or so.

NOTE: Brian's count:
102 from BS1
64 from Jungle
62 from Fossil
7 new promos
235 total
I wonder if the other 7 are reprint promos (like W Pika or W Kabuto).
Or maybe these 7 are the cards up to and including Promo #14 Mewtwo
that my Toys-R-Us ad showed me will be shipped with Pokemon The First
Movie on video...

Q: Who (designs) the Pokemon cards?
A: Creatures, Inc. (Japanese company)

Q: Can Super Energy Removal remove 2 Double Colorless Energy cards?
A: Yes.

Q: If a Pokemon is already asleep and is put to sleep again, does it
get the chance to wake up at the end of the turn?
A: Yes, sleeping Pokemon always have a chance to wake up at the end
of every turn.

Q: Can you evolve a Pokemon that was just devolved with Mew?
A: If you devolved your own Pokemon, No, since this attack occurs at
the end of your turn. If you devolve your opponent's Pokemon, then
they can evolve their Pokemon during their turn.

Q: Why do Holographic cards bend?
A: They are made by laminating two materials that have different
thermal properties. "Watch Bill Nye to learn more."

Q: What is the Base Set 2 expansion symbol?
A: It will have a number "2" with a Poke-ball on it.

Q: Will Base Set 1 / Jungle stop running?
A: Eventually. We have not announced any end to the print runs yet though.

Q: How long does Energy Burn (Charizard) last?
A: Only until the end of turn.

Well, that was all the good stuff. 

There was an interesting situation in which Master_Trainer Mike
confused himself regarding "showing your opponent" cards retrieved
with certain Trainer cards:

The question revolves around Energy Search, which SHOULD state that
you must show the retrieved Energy card to your opponent. This is
the rule. Since the card does not specifically state this (but should)
this is known as "errata"--Something that the player must remember
about this specific card when using it.

However, one possible explanation that avoids the dreaded "E" word
is to say that "in Pokemon, no cards that are retrieved are hidden
from the opponent. everything must be shown." But when this explanation
was tested with the Computer Search example, it failed. For a time
the official answer regarding Computer Search was: You must show the
retrieved card to the opponent. 

But this is not, in fact, the case. The card retrieved with Computer
Search is secret... you do not need to show it to your opponent.
Master_Trainer realized this in the end and set everyone straight.
Cards in the discard pile are always "public knowledge" and cards
retrieved that MUST be of a specific type (like with Pokemon Trader
or Energy Search) are also "public knowledge". However, if there
are no bounds on the card retrieved (as with Computer Search),
then this card does not need to be shown to the opponent.

Master_Trainer announced that next week the chat will be extended to
3 hours! Good grief! No way am I taking notes for 3 hours! I sure
hope they are able to keep chat logs by that time ;-)

Until next time,
Brian Brokaw

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