I have several Pokemon that have the ability to return them to your hand as part of an attack. For example:

Phione: Auqa Boomerang - 20 damage - Return this Pokemon and all cards attached to it to your hand


Shaymin EX - Sky Return - 30 damage - Return this Pokemon and all cards attached to it to your hand.

I understand that this happens in conjunction with my attack. My attack is my last move, therefore do I have no Pokemon in the active position for my opponent to attack? Or do I need to move a Pokemon from the bench to the active position after my attack? This just seems to be a conflict of the rules...


1 Answer 1


The mechanics for this kind of attack on Pokemon Trading Card Game Online (PTCGO, Official Pokemon TCG) is that whenever a Pokemon uses a 'Return this Pokemon...' attack, the damage is inflicted to the defending Pokemon and then the attacking Pokemon (along with attached cards, this also means, if it's a Stage 2 Pokemon, also take the stage 1 and Basic Pokemon) goes back to the owner's hand. The owner must then choose a benched Pokemon to be their new active Pokemon. In the case that there is no benched Pokemon, you cannot use this attack as this will leave you with no active Pokemon and will cause you to lose the game.

  • 1
    Did you have a source for this statement about having to put a benched pokemon in the active position? I do agree this is the most likely scenario, I have just found some ambiguity in the fact that this is supposed to be my last move for my turn.
    – Chewy
    Commented Jul 11, 2016 at 0:38
  • 1
    Hi @Chewy, sadly no. But as I said, this is what happens in the Official Pokemon Trading Card Game Online. I do understand that after the 'Battle' phase, it should be the end of the turn, but this is an exception. For further inquiries, you may also ask in the Official Pokemon Trading Card Game forum. :)
    – Takeshi
    Commented Jul 11, 2016 at 3:44
  • Thanks, I was just trying to decide if this was a CORRECT answer or not. Pretty easy to give an opinion here. That was how I figured it should go anyway though. Just trying to get a confirmation.
    – Chewy
    Commented Jul 11, 2016 at 13:50
  • I believe it's a core part of the game that whenever you have no active Pokémon, you immediately choose a benched Pokémon to become active. If you can't, you lose.
    – Samthere
    Commented Jul 28, 2016 at 12:27
  • yes, I understand, but the rules leave a little to be stated as your turn ends after you attack. This same situation I guess applies to a pokemon that attacks and damages itself via confusion or a stipulation in its attack.
    – Chewy
    Commented Jul 28, 2016 at 20:45

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