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ellomello044208

Energy Retrieval Not Playable

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ellomello044208

When I attempted to play Energy Retrieval with no basic energy in the discard pile, the card would not play. However the text on the card reads, “Put up to two basic Energy” so shouldn’t I be able to take no basic energy?

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SlyFive0

You can't play Energy Retrieval with no energy in the discard. You must have 1 or 2 in the discard in order to play the card. 

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ellomello044208

But the text reads, “up to 2 basic energy.” Can’t I take 0 energy if I’m not exceeding the limit of 2?

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SlyFive0

"Up to 2 basic energy," means you need to take at least 1. It's not a card that you can choose to ignore and throw off easily. 

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Chasista

Trainer cards can't be played for no effect.

 

Draw pile is an unknown zone. Even you, knowing what's in your deck and knowing the cards, it's supposed to be a blind draw. You can play something like Professor letter (draw 2 basic energies) even with no energies in the pile because you "don't know" there are no energies there.

 

Discard pile is a known area. You and your opponent can check it any time so you know what's there. That's the reason you can't play Energy retrieval with no energies in discard, because you and opponent and judge and Arceus know there is no possible effect. And trainer cards can't be played for no effect.

 

On the other side, you could play it having some energies hence there goes the effect but then choose what to do with the effect. Get 0, get 1 or get 2. Some cards oblige you to pick at least one. Some to pick the full effect, and in some you can ignore the picking. The effect takes place but the result is what you can vary, according to the card text.

 

In this case "Up to 2" could consider 0 in the results but at the end, you played the card because conditions were met and 0 is no picking any card while the text says you to put cards back. Taking 0 would be a no effect so you have to take at least one. Text could be more explicit. They modify the texts from time to time in the reprints but yet a lot of texts are open to interpretation sometimes.

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IceBeamTogetic

As Chasista pointed out, Trainer Cards can't be played when it is known they will have no effect. In this case, "up to 2" means you must take at least one. If you have no energy cards in the discard pile, you cannot play the card. If you have at least one basic energy in the discard pile, you may choose to take 1 or 2.

 

For a similar case, see Battle Compressor. "Search your deck for up to 3 cards and discard them." You must discard at least one card, but you can discard any number from 1 card to 3 cards.

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