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I've realised that, when playing Pokemon, the trick to winning is to evolve your Pokemon.

This takes a bit of luck, in that you have to have the first level Pokemon on the table, then you have to have drawn its corresponding first evolve card, and then you have to have drawn its second evolve card.

So, if I want to create the ultimate Pokemon deck, I'd simply buy 5 water type decks, then assemble a deck containing 25 Totodiles, 10 Crocinaws and 10 Feralligators. It would make for a less interesting game, but I'm guaranteed to evolve my Pokemon, and my opponent doesn't have a chance unless he does the same thing I do.

I wouldn't be the first person to have thought of this. Is there an official rule specifying the maximum number of any one Pokemon in your deck?

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2 Answers

up vote 8 down vote accepted

The official website does have the rules, and the maximum limit for any card is 4, unless the format restricts the card further.

1.1 Constructed - In a Constructed event, players arrive at the tournament with a 60-card deck. The cards used to build the deck come from each player's personal collection. Decks may not contain more than 4 copies of a single card, as defined by the card's English title, with the standard exception for basic Energy cards. Some cards may have additional construction restrictions on them, which are treated as exceptions to the 4-copy rule. Matches are played for 6 Prize cards.

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The short answer is four cards of each name, for a sensible deck. This is similar to the equivalent rule for Magic: The Gathering. Quoting from the unofficial rulebook:

100.2 A deck for Constructed Play can include a total of only four copies of any card with the same name. Basic Energy cards are an exception to this rule. Decks can include any number of Basic Energy cards. Decks for Limited Play can include any number of cards with the same name.

You can find this four card ruling repeated in many places on the internet, but definitive rules for Pokemon are scattered among the many theme decks, so it's a bit of a pain to find an official ruling. The rulebook I've quoted here, while not official, is reviewed by tournament judges and the Pokemon TCG community as a whole.

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