Clefairy Doll – Base Set
Date Reviewed: October 7, 2021
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Today, we look at a Trainer that first appeared in the original Base Set, but for which I cannot find a Card of the Day: Clefairy Doll (Base Set 70/102)! Due to its age, there haven’t been any official rulings on Clefairy Doll in quite some time, and anything remotely recent is through the Ask the Masters section of the PokéGym. Yes, those are official. I may have bitten of more than I can chew with this card, even though I was playing the game while it was legal. Sometimes, answers do change because decisions are reversed or a ruling was finally given out of Japan.
Clefiary Doll is a Trainer, what would be referred to as a “normal Trainer” after cards like Stadiums and Supporters were added, and which is now considered an “Item” card in Unlimited. Regrettably, I cannot locate a ruling or official statement on this, so take it with a grain of salt. Clefairy Doll’s effect allows this Trainer-Item to be but into play (from your hand) as if it was a Basic Pokémon. It does not count as a Pokémon (Basic or otherwise) when not already in play, so most (if not all) Pokémon search and recycling effects won’t work with Clefairy Doll, but things like most bounce effects will. The card itself says it no longer counts as a Trainer while in play, but as a Pokémon, but nowhere does it explicitly say it has a Stage while in play; “Basic Pokémon” is only referenced in the text for how you play it from hand.
Clefairy Doll’s text (and older rulings) state it has no type, but more recent rulings from Ask the Masters state that it is treated as being a Colorless Pokémon. Clefairy Doll has no attacks, but it can attack if you use another effect (like that of a Technical Machine) to give it an attack. Clefairy Doll is unaffected by Special Conditions; the text does not state this, but the original four TCG Special Conditions. Unlike with the “normal Trainer = Item” thing, this one I’ve got the official rulings for:
* [Effective 1/17/02:] There is also new Pokemon rule change that will even FURTHER give the current environment some diversity. In working on keeping the Pokemon rules as close as possible to the Japanese rules of the game, there is a new term that will be introduced in a later set this year. This is “Special Conditions”. Asleep, Confusion, Paralysis, POISON, nd later on Burned are all defined as Special Conditions. All of these effects are removed from the Active Pokemon if they Evolve, Devolve, Leave Play, or are Benched. They ALSO shut off ALL Pokemon Powers on the Pokemon effected by a Special Condition. This means that Poison (and later on Burned) shut off Pokemon Powers on the Pokemon affected by them. This is a clarification of the rules for Pokemon and WILL take place in all of the upcoming Challenge series events and tournaments. TPC has told us that is how it supposed to work. (Jan 17, 2002 WotC Chat Announcements & Q1280)
* Basically any Pokemon Power on any Pokemon that says it stops working if the Pokemon is Paralyzed, Asleep, or Confused, now should ALSO include Poisoned, or Burned as well. These 5 effects are known as Special Conditions. Almost every Pokemon power stops working if its Pokemon has a Special Condition on it. If a Pokemon power says it still functions if Asleep, Confused, or Paralyzed, that also holds true for Poisoned and Burned as well. Char, while similar to Burned is NOT the same thing and does NOT fall under this rule change. All Special Conditions are removed from a Pokemon if it Evolves, Devolves, Leaves play, or is Benched. (Jan 17, 2002 WotC Chat, Q1278& Q1284)
Clefairy Doll has no Retreat Cost and its effect states it cannot retreat. However, it can be moved from the Active position to the Bench by other effects. Clefairy Doll can be KO’d but it doesn’t count as a KO’d Pokémon. So, for example, effects that add to how many Prizes are taken when a Pokémon is KO’d will not work against Clefairy Doll, but it also means a KO’d Clefairy Doll isn’t enough to satisfy the activation requirements for (as an example) Raihan. The Clefairy Doll only has a printed HP score of 10, so KOing it is super easy. It isn’t Standard-legal, but if it was, then all the damage counter placing effects could wipe it out quite easily. Lastly, Clefairy Doll has an effect that lets you discard it from the field at any time during your turn, so long as it is before your attack (or any effects that end your turn upon completion).
If you’re thinking this is a worse Lillie’s Poké Doll, you’re right! Lillie’s Poké Doll is the successor to Clefairy Doll; not the same card, but intended to fulfill the same roll. Back in the day, Clefairy Doll was… decent. Some players used it to help stall, or as Bench filler for attacks that counted how many Pokémon you had in play. The former had something to it, but the latter… the latter just wasn’t as effective as running actual Basics to help you out. It is worth noting that the “old days” had crazy powerful draw (Bill before being reprinted as a Supporter, Erika before being reprinted as a Supporter, and Professor Oak), Computer Search (before it was an Ace Spec), and Item Finder (Dowsing Machine if it was not an Ace Spec), which helped almost all Trainers, including Clefairy Doll.
So there’s no need to reprint this card, but I thought I’d at least let people know it exists. It probably was a two-out-of-five when it first released, but it lost some steam once Mysterious Fossil came out in the Fossil Expansion. Why? Mysterious Fossil was basically the same thing except there were Pokémon which evolved from it. Later errata changed how Mysterious Fossil worked, though, eventually making it legal to play during setup (Clefairy Doll can’t do that), giving it more HP, andhaving it count as an actual KO e.g. your opponent started taking a Prize for KOing it.
- Standard: N/A
- Expanded: N/A
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