Pokemon TCG Chat Report #4
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:


As a service to PoJo fans (and a fun bit of goofing off), I attend these chats as often as I can. I always try to ask a few questions that we've all been wondering about, but mostly I take a LOT of notes to recap the chat for you. As usual, I don't have the ability to save the chat log word-for-word. So everything in here, from the Questions to the official Answers are my best attempt at maintaining the spirit of the conversations.

Date: 2/17/2000 Thursday 2pm - 5pm PST

Wow! What a fun and lively chat this was! I showed up just a little late (the new, early start time threw me off at first) but I never counted less than 42 people online! That's a record for these sessions. And, in addition to the ability to register questions via the /ASK command to keep the Q&A session moving at a brisk pace, Wizards allowed the folks sitting in the chat room watching official Answers scroll by to casually CHAT for a change! This was VERY much appreciated. It can be pretty dull watching the same old questions get asked and answered time and time again... It was fun to hold a few small conversations during those dull times, and in many instances fans in the chat room provided some pretty cool gossip to report on too.

With this many "chatters" and less restriction on spam, it did get a little hectic at times. But it's pretty easy to just ignore a few lines of scroll from someone you aren't interested in listening to, to ensure that you can exchange comments with someone else that you do want to talk to. (However, it is VERY difficult to stick to my job of taking notes when the PoJo webmaster is sending me private messages about my inability to log the chat word-for-word.. Back off Butch ;-) I'm definitely excited to keep future chat sessions using this exact same format.

In terms of questions being asked and answered, this week did not provide too many brilliant revelations. I'll organize the Q&A listed below into 3 catagories: Collector Info, Rules Info, Silly Info:

Collector Info:

    Q: Are the Jungle cards without the "flower" fake? What are they worth?
    A: The recent print runs of Jungle accidently forgot to put the Jungle expansion symbol on the holo sheets. They are real cards. We do not keep track of values here so you could check out price guides in a few months or ask a local hobby/card store.
    Q: When is the next Pokemon Movie going to be out in the U.S.?
    A: We don't make them, but we've heard July sometime
    Q: Plans for more promos at the new movie this summer?
    A: No such plans at this time.
    Q: Will any Pokemon TCG "accessories" be released by WOTC?
    A: "We will be looking into making other Pokemon accessories available."
    Q: (Question regarding holographic rarity distribution in booster boxes.)
    A: "We've never guaranteed rarity. The cards are randomly inserted at the factory."
    Q: What is the ratio of first edition cards to Unlimited cards?
    A: "1st edition are printed for 3 days only only, the unlimited are still print, so 3 into infinity is ...?????"
    Q: Can WOTC create original cards, or only translate previously released Japanese cards?
    A: Sorry, but we cannot comment on it. (note from Brian: Last week he suggested that they could create new cards, but didn't plan on doing so.)
    Q: Ever going to dump Magic for Pokemon?
    A: No.
    Q: Any plans to go to Japanese holofoil system? (they seem to be higher quality)
    A: We are always looking for ways to improve the quality of our cards, I will pass that along.
    Q: There were (18-card battle) decks made for the 1st leagues last year for training purposes. Can I get one somehow?
    A: Unforunately we don't have anymore of them, sorry.
    Q: I heard that you have extra Jigglypuff promos. Are you going to release them?
    A: For right now the promo Jigglypuff is only available through the movie soundtrack.
    Q: Are Promo#10 Meowth, and Promo#14 Mewtwo real?
    A: Sorry but we can't comment on cards that we have not released.
    Q: Re-Release old promo cards?
    A: No plans at this time.
    Q: Is promo #6 going to be Arcanine?
    A: Yes it is.
    Q: Will it be level 34 Arcanine?
    A: I don't know.
    Q: Will the UK get the Mew card?
    A: If they get the Mew card, it would be released through the league there (not sure though), sorry.
    Q: Will Base Set 2 have "1st Edition" cards?
    A: No. Only unlimited print cards.
    Q: Will the BS2 cards be same as BS1 (art, moves, etc)?
    A: Yes, they will be the same.
    Q: How come you aren't reprinting all of the cards from Base Set 1 and Jungle in BS2?
    A: When Team Rocket comes out, with BS2 and Fossil still available, you will be able to get all of the original 150 Pokemon (as cards) still. Some cards are less popular, some will appear in other sets.
    Q: Starter CD-ROM released seperately, or only part of new Starter sets?
    A: Our plan for now is only with the BS2 starter sets.
    Q: BS2 have new features on cards?
    A: New card number and BS2 expansion symbol... that's it. (no other changes)
    Q: Will Base Set 1 go away when BS2 is released?
    A: Base Set will be discontnued at some point but we don't have an exact date yet.
    Q: Are we going to see an unlimited Machamp in BS2?
    A: Can't comment.
    Q: Will Team Rocket expansion have "1st Edition" cards?
    A: Yes, and they will be released at the same time as Unlimited print cards.
    Q: Will the (WOTC) online store sell 1st Edition Team Rocket packs?
    A: We don't know the online store's plans regarding this.
    Q: Will there be non-holos in english rocket of the holos?
    A: Yes, just like Jungle and Fossil.
    Q: How many cards will be in the english TR and gym? How many removed?
    A: Sorry but we can't comment on cards that we haven't released
    Q: Exact release date for TR?
    A: Not yet, mid April is all we know so far.
    Q: Holo trainer card in TR?
    A: Sorry, can't comment on cards that we have not released.
    Q: Will there be a PRERELEASE Promo card for TR?
    A: Sorry, can't comment on cards that we have not released.
    Q: How come you can't comment so much?
    A: Because sometimes plans change before cards are released.
    Q: Could you ignore further questions where you would say that "you can't comment"?
    A: Stop askin' and i'll stop answerin.
    Q: Will WOTC release the "Gym Leaders" sets?
    A: Yes, later this year (2000). No specific date yet.
    Q: Will the Gym sets be 2 separate sets or just one?
    A: There will be two sets.
    Q: Will both Gym sets be released together? or seperately?
    A: The Japanese Gym Sets 1&2 will be combined and Gym Sets 3&4 will be combined. (note from Brian: According to Media Factory's website, Gym Set #1 is comprised of the Brock and Misty Theme decks. Gym Set #2 is Lt. Surge and Erika. Gym Set #3 is Blaine and Sabrina. There is no mention of a Set #4, and they do not refer to the two Gym Leaders expansions with "Set numbers". I really have no clue what Master_Trainer Mike is alluding to here.)
    Q: Official NEO spoilers anytime soon?
    A: "There are no plans for Neo translations this year (Rocket and Gym sets are coming out).

Rules Info:

    Q: Any plans for an online Pokemon game?
    A: There are no plans to do so.
    Q: Will you release a online Pokemon game (like you have for Magic)?
    A: No plans at this time for online Pokemon.
    Q: Will DCI allow BS1 and Jungle cards to be used in decks after BS2 is out?
    A: Yes, they will.
    Q: If there are corrections/clarifications to the wording on some BS2 cards, will DCI require that those be used to settle disputes about rules?
    A: Yes.
    Q: Are japanese cards allowed in Tournaments?
    A: You can use non-english cards that are copies of cards already rele3ased in english only. You must have 1 english copy with you for translation purposes as well.
    Q: Does WOTC have the (legal) ability to ban cards or alter the rules?
    A: Yes.
    Q: Is the DCI going to ban any cards?
    A: There are no plans to ban any cards at this time.
    Q: Will you have a Pokemon "pro tour"?
    A: There are no plans for such a thing at this time.
    Q: Why do I have to buy a theme deck to get the rules? Why not include the rules in the boosters?
    A: The rule book is available for free on the web site. If it was included in boosters, it would most likely raise the price and no one wants that.
    Q: In the V.3 rulebook (Fossil) it states that you only lose if you do not have an in-play Pokemon at the END OF YOUR TURN. I always thought you lost immediately. Does this mean that you can Scoop Up your last in-play Pokemon and play it back to the active position?
    A: "The rule book is incorrect, you lose immediately if you do not have an active Pokemon."
    Q: Don't have to take 2 bonus cards if your opponent gets a mulligan?
    A: No, you MAY draw two cards, you do not have to.
    Q: Do you have to add energy and attack if you are able?
    A: No, you don't have to.
    Q: Does Weakness/Resistance matter when dealing confusion damage to yourself?
    A: Yes, it does.
    Q: If my opponent just put my Pokemon to sleep with his attack, do I get to flip to see if I wake up at the beginning of my turn?
    A: If your Pokemon is put to sleep, you can flip at the end of the attacker's turn. If you get heads, it wakes up and can act normally during your turn.
    Q: Can Ditto Rain Dance any kind of energy (if currently copying Blastoise)?
    A: No, Rain Dance says you must take water energy from your hand and place it on one of your water Pokemon.
    Q: Will Ditto immediately Transform and be K-O'd if it currently has 60 damage and the other player retreats to bring up Hitmonlee?
    A: Yes.
    Q: Hitmonchan Jabs with a PlusPower against Scyther. Will it do 10 damage?
    A: No, because Plus Power will only do the extra damage if the original attack does damage (after applying weakness and resistance)
    Q: If I have 2 Dodrios on the bench, is my Retreat Cost lowered by 2?
    A: Yes it is.
    Q: Does Ditto have to wait for its turn to Transform?
    A: Nope, if it is the active Pokemon and it is not asleep, confused, or paralyzed, the Transfrom power happens automatically.
    Q: What happen if used PlusPower on Raticate's HyperFang?
    A: "HyperFang does damage equal to half the remaining HP that the defender has, then the PlusPower does 10 more."
    Q: Can Venusaur Energy Trans an Electrode card that is providing 2 Grass energy (it Buzzap'd)?
    A: No.
    Q: Who rolls for Haunter's Transparency?
    A: Haunter's Trainer
    Q: Does Clefable take damage when Metronoming Double Edge against Chansey?
    A: Yes, Clefable copies all effects of the attack.
    Q: If 2 Muks are in play, do their Pokemon Powers cancel each other out?
    A: Muk's don't cancel each other out. Toxic Gas does not affect other Toxic Gasses.
    Q: If Farfetch'd is Scoop Up'd, can it Leek Slap again?
    A: Yes.
    Q: If Pidgeot Whirlwinds my last in-play Pokemon, do I lose immediately?
    A: Yes, lose.
    Q: Do you have to discard cards using Metronome on Clefable to copy Moltres' Wildfire?
    A: Yes you do.
    Q: Can you use Dragonite's Step In if your active is asleep or paralyzed?
    A: Yes, you could.
    Q: When I was attacked with Smokescreen, if I evolve, is the effect gone?
    Yes it is. Evolving (like benching) removes these effects.
    Q: Can I flip a coin when my vileplume is confused, to use its pokemon power?
    A: No, Vileplume's Heal doesn't work when it is confused.
    Q: How will the bad or evil Evolution cards be played?
    A: Like any other Pokemon card, no special rules.
    Q: Do you have to evolve an evil pokemon from its team rocket basic?
    A: No, they can be evolved from non TR cards.
    Q: Can I use 4 Charizard and 4 Evil Charizard in my deck?
    A: You are limited to only 4 of any named Pokemon. Charizard and Evil Charizard are different names so you can use 4 of each.

Silly Info:

Because the chat was so much longer and less restrained in the room, we witnessed a lot more silly questions and answers scrolling by. Here are just a few that I kept track of:

    Master_Trainer's favorite deck type: "I like fighting/grass decks with lots of small, quick hitting Pokemon like Hitmonchan and Scyther" (hmmmm, wonder what he calls that? ;-)
    Q: Is there plans to release a promo trainer called "Zesty Dorito" in the future? I have heard rumors of this.
    A: "Hmmmmm, no."
    Q: Do you like donuts?
    A: All Pokemon Trainers like donuts.
    Q: Could you pass the chips?
    A: "Nope, they're MINE!!"
    Q: What is your favorite Pokemon card?
    A: "I've always been partial to saying the word WEEDLE alot." (note from Brian: ...and he subjected us to this WEEDLE fetish of his many MANY times over 3 hours ;-)
    Q: How many cards do you have? Give me a ballpark figure.
    A: "Enough to build a 1 tenth scale replica of the Space Needle."
    Correction: Make that the Space WEEDLE.
    Kharizard says, "Ok, I have gotten some definite info on the "Zesty Dorito" Trainer. What it says is: If your opponent is eating any food, and it's making you hungry, play this card, take the food from them and eat it."
    Q: Why is Poliwhirl on everything?!?!?
    A: "If they listened to me it would be WEEDLE."
    Q: Kharizard: Regarding my previous Zesty Dorito Question. If there are no plans about this, why?
    A: "They keep making them, but we keep eatin' them."

Kharizard was nice enough to find a scan of this rumored "Zesty Dorito" Trainer card and send it to me after the chat. I'm still not convinced of its authenticity however ;-)

Welp, that was long, but fun.
Until next time,
Brian Brokaw

back to the features section