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Where to find a concise list of what attacks are considered "effects"


Wolfman_11
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One would think that an effect of an attack is a secondary action of the attack. The cards have unclear wording sometimes and that adds to the confusion.

 

For example, newer cards like these two seem to be very clear.

Wash Energy Prevent all effects of attacks from your opponent's Pokémon done to the Water Pokémon this card is attached to. (Existing effects are not removed. Damage is not an effect.)

Big Parasol  As long as the Pokémon this card is attached to is in the Active Spot, prevent all effects of attacks from your opponent's Pokémon done to all of your Pokémon. (Existing effects are not removed. Damage is not an effect.)

 

The confusion starts when you read the attack printed on some cards. For example, the following attacks indicate that damage IS an effect:

Agility, Wing Dance, Dig, Nyan Roll, Crystal Barrier, Wonder ray, Hide and seek, Super Speed, Hide, Protect, dive, Iron Defense, Splashing Dodge, Wing Dance, Elegant Swim, Fly

These attacks all say:  Flip a coin. If heads, prevent all effects of attacks, including damage, done to this Pokémon during your opponent's next turn.

 

Then there is Swift Run-GX 110 Prevent all effects of attacks, including damage, done to this Pokémon during your opponent's next turn. (You can’t use more than 1 GX attack in a game.)

 

And also Moonlight Fang 30 During your opponent's next turn, prevent all effects, including damage, done to Umbreon by attacks from your opponent's Pokémon that has any Poké-Powers or Poké-Bodies.

 

The way the sentence reads would seem clear to anyone that damage is an effect based on the word “Including”.

 

There has been much debate in regards to Channeler and Pokémon Ranger on effects and the official word is that damage is not an attack even though the attacks may suggest otherwise.

 

There is some explanation here and it is mentioned that the card is misinterpreted due to wording.

 

I recently had a match with this result.

    106. SlimSleazy's Blacephalon-GX used its Bursting Burn attack.

Bursting Burn: Your opponent’s Active Pokémon is now Burned and Confused. (No damage value included.)

    107. Wolfman_11's Zacian V took 20 damage because it was Burned.

    108. Wolfman_11 flipped 1 coin(s), resulting in 1 heads and 0 tails, for Burned.

    109. Wolfman_11's Zacian V is no longer Burned.

    110. It is now Wolfman_11's turn (Turn #11).

    111. Wolfman_11 drew Crushing Hammer.

    112. Wolfman_11 attached a Metal Energy to Zacian V.

    113. Wolfman_11 played Channeler.

Channeler:  Remove all effects of attacks on you and each of your Pokémon.

    114. Wolfman_11 flipped 1 coin(s), resulting in 1 heads and 0 tails, for Confused.

 

Channeler did not remove the confused state even though burned and confused would appear to be an effect of the attack.

If a special condition was placed by way of a trainer card there is no question that it is not an effect, but when placed as a part of an attack raises that issue.

 

My Response from Pokémon team was “After further review it appears that Channeler does not remove or heal status conditions. This card would however, remove effects such as "your opponent can't attack", "your opponent can't attach energy next turn", "your opponents active pokemon can't retreat next turn", etc. “

 

So the official word is that Special conditions that change the status of the card are not an effect.

 

 

So then I played a match using Gengar

 

My opponents active Pokémon had 30 damage counters on it and was carrying a Wash Energy.

 

I played the attack Sinister Fog: Your opponent's Active Pokémon is now Poisoned. Put 1 damage counter on each of your opponent's Benched Pokémon.

Sinister Fog attack did place 10 damage on all the benched cards. My opponent’s active Pokémon did not get poisoned. It was blocked by Wash energy as an effect. So why is Poison an effect and not a special condition in this case? When Blacephalon-GX used its Bursting Burn attack in the earlier example, the special conditions were not considered to be effects.

 

I then attacked with Creep Show: If your opponent's Active Pokémon has 3 or more damage counters on it, that Pokémon is Knocked Out.

 

Guess what? Not knocked out. “Knocked Out” would be a status condition since it is not damage, yet it was blocked by Wash Energy as an effect even though earlier I was told that Status conditions are not an effect.

 

I played another match where the opponent had Galarian Stunfisk V

 

They hit me with Trapping Bite : During your opponent’s next turn, if this Pokémon is damaged by an attack (even if it is Knocked Out), put 12 damage counters on the Attacking Pokémon.

 

I then played  Pokémon Ranger: Remove all effects of attacks on each player and his or her Pokémon.

I then KO’d the Galarian Stunfisk V and did not take any damage so that indicates to me that the placing of counters is clearly an effect even though the effect is causing damage.

 

A search in this forum will also expand on the unclear ruling of Barrier and Cold snap as to whether they are effects or not. Neither attack places counters, causes damage or causes a special condition but they are not registered as effects. Link

 

So damage is not an effect, unless it is an effect by placing counters.

Special conditions are not an effect (Bursting Burn), unless they are an effect (Sinister Fog, Creep Show)

Special conditions can be blocked as an effect (Wash energy), but do not count as an effect when we try to remove them. (Pokémon Ranger or Channeler)

Some effects of attacks do not always count as effects (Barrier and Cold snap).

 

 

So now I am back to my original question. Where do we look to find out which attacks do and do not count as effects? There are way too many contradictions during game play to not have a guide to refer to before planning a deck strategy.

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Okay, understanding that I did not read your entire post - feel free to ignore and/or downvote me for it - I don't have a list because it is not as complicated as you make it out to be, though it also isn't as simple as it should be, either.

 

Pokémon began as a Japanese TCG over 20 years ago.  That means the rules, the card effects, etc. were all in Japanese, barring a few bits of English used for reasons I don't understand.  That also means we've had over two decades for the rules themselves to change and evolve.  I remember being confused by things like you were back in the day, so here are a few guidelines, but there could easily be others:

 

  • All damage results in damage counters being placed, but not all damage counters are placed because of damage.
  • It took time to work out how to say things in a clear and concise manner.
  • They used to include a lot of redundant text.
  • Sometimes, things just change.  For example, I don't think anything does damage except for Pokémon attacks on any cards that are Standard or Expanded-legal.

If you have questions, let's start with these.  If you don't, or if I really did miss something important in your post, my apologies.  I am posting when I really need to be doing something else. >.>

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  • 1 month later...

In general, anything that is not direct damage is considered an effect of an attack. Placing damage counters, discarding energy, applying special conditions, "can't attack," etc. are all effects of attacks. Some effects are persistent vs. instantaneous.

 

Let's look at Gengar BKT as an example of instantaneous effects:

Quote

[P] Sinister Fog
Your opponent’s Active Pokémon is now Poisoned. Put 1 damage counter on each of your opponent’s Benched Pokémon.

[P][C] Creep Show
If your opponent’s Active Pokémon has 3 or more damage counters on it, that Pokémon is Knocked Out.

 

Sinister Fog: "Your opponent's Active Pokemon is now Poisoned" is an instant effect. However, the special condition itself is not an effect of the attack, it is only the act of applying the special condition. So, Pokemon Ranger would not remove the special condition, but Wash Energy would block it from being applied. Placing of damage counters is also an instant effect. The placement can be blocked by Wash Energy, but once placed, the damage counters themselves are not effects.

 

Creep Show: "That Pokemon is Knocked Out" is also an instantaneous effect of the attack. It would be blocked by Wash Energy, but using Pokemon Ranger would not un-KO your Pokemon.

 

Attack effects can also be persistent effects. Your example of Galarian Stunfisk V's Trapping Bite is a persistent effect. If your opponent used Trapping Bite during their last turn, then using Pokemon Ranger on your turn would remove that effect and you could attack it safely. That is why you were not damaged, because Ranger removed the effect of Trapping Bite from Galarian Stunfisk V. Had you played Channeler instead, removing effects only from your own Pokemon, you would have still received the 12 counters. 

 

---

 

As I said at the beginning of my post, damage is not an effect of attacks. The wording of attacks like Agility or Swift Run GX could use some work, but there is a distinction. For reference:

Quote

Wash Energy

Prevent all effects of attacks from your opponent's Pokémon done to the Water Pokémon this card is attached to. (Existing effects are not removed. Damage is not an effect.)

 

Agility

Flip a coin. If heads, prevent all effects of attacks, including damage, done to this Pokémon during your opponent's next turn.

 

Text in parentheses are often called "reminder text" to remind you about rules or rulings. Wash Energy is reminding you that damage is not an effect, so that you remember it's not some broken invincibility giver. In the case of Agility, "including damage" is not in parentheses, so in this case it is specifying that it blocks damage as well. I will grant that they could word it better so it's not as confusing, but that's what it means.

 

---

 

Now let me specifically respond to a few comments:

 

On 2/20/2021 at 4:12 AM, Wolfman_11 said:

So the official word is that Special conditions that change the status of the card are not an effect.

...

Special conditions are not an effect (Bursting Burn), unless they are an effect (Sinister Fog, Creep Show)

 

In the Pokemon TCG, the term "Special Condition" specifically refers to Confusion, Paralysis, Sleep, Burn, and Poison, and nothing else. Creep Show does not involve Special Conditions.

 

On 2/20/2021 at 4:12 AM, Wolfman_11 said:

A search in this forum will also expand on the unclear ruling of Barrier and Cold snap as to whether they are effects or not. Neither attack places counters, causes damage or causes a special condition but they are not registered as effects.

 

You saw my other post, but allow me to paste it here for the benefit of others:

 

Quote
Quote

There are some cards with very clear wording like  Walrein's Cold snap "Your opponent can’t play any Trainer cards from their hand during their next turn. If 1 of your Pokémon used Cold Snap during your last turn, this attack can't be used." This means you can have 4 on the bench and NONE of them can use that attack. Also according to the devs it cant be removed with Channeler or Pokémon Ranger which contradicts those cards.  That is just the way it is.

 

There's no contradiction here. The difference between the two is placing an effect, or performing a game state check.

 

Brave Blade places an effect on Zacian V, which is removed when Zacian is switched to the bench. Channeler and Pokemon Ranger can also remove this effect.

 

Cold Snap checks to see if any of your Pokemon used an attack called "Cold Snap" on your previous turn. Channeler and Pokemon Ranger don't change the fact that you used Cold Snap on your previous turn, so Cold Snap is unaffected by those cards. Here's a pair of relevant rulings, involving Evolutions Mewtwo's Barrier attack, worded similarly to Cold Snap:

Quote

Q. If my Mewtwo attacked with "Barrier" last turn, and this turn I retreat it and use Switch to make it active again, can I attack with "Barrier" again?
A. No. The prohibition against using Barrier if it was used last turn is not an effect, it is a Game State check. So it can't be cleared by moving Mewtwo to the bench. (Evolutions FAQ; Nov 3, 2016 TPCi Rules Team)

 

Q. If I used Mewtwo's "Barrier" attack last turn and this turn I play Pokemon Ranger, does that clear the effect so I can use "Barrier" again this turn?
A. No, Barrier does not "place an effect" to prevent its use on the next turn (unlike attacks such as "Volcanic Heat" which says "this Pokemon" cannot attack next turn). Instead, the attack does a Game State check to see if it was used last turn. Since there is no effect to clear, Pokemon Ranger won't allow you to use Barrier two turns in a row. (Nov 3, 2016 TPCi Rules Team; Dec 1, 2016 TPCi Rules Team)

 

 

Hopefully that helps!

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