Fun Unsanctioned Fun Format (2-on-2, 30-Card, Team Battle)

Discussion in 'Pokémon Trading Card Game' started by Otaku, Feb 19, 2020.

  1. Otaku The wise fool?


    From the Play! Pokémon - Trading Card Game Tournament Rules and Formats (November 2, 2017 revision) .pdf, copy/pasted to a Google document, with edits to accommodate formatting differences, for ease of sharing. I left in references to other sections in the Floor Rules - while the numerical headings or even the titles may be different, the general gist is to refer to the "normal" rules except where they contradict what is below.

    14. Unsanctioned Fun Formats

    The formats listed below are intended as a fun, alternate way to play the Pokémon TCG and may not be sanctioned. These formats are great for Leagues, casual gatherings, or side events. We’ve included the official rules for these formats to help provide consistency, should your Organizer or League Leader decide to run an unsanctioned event using one of these formats.

    14.1. 2-on-2 Battle
    The 2-on-2 Battle format allows each player to have 2 Active Pokémon in play at a time. This game is played exactly like a regular game of Pokémon except for a few rules changes.
    • Players may put up to 2 Basic Pokémon into play, face down, at the beginning of the game. No player may have more than 6 Pokémon in play at any time. If possible, a player must have 2 Active Pokémon in play at all times.
    • Only 1 Pokémon may attack each turn. During their turn, a player may choose only 1 Defending Pokémon to attack, unless the text of a Pokémon’s attack refers to “each Defending Pokémon.”
    • When both of a player’s Pokémon are Asleep, Burned, Confused, or Poisoned, that player can try to recover or avoid damage in whatever order they would like. When 1 of that player’s Active Pokémon becomes Paralyzed, it cannot attack on that player’s next turn—though their other Pokémon may still attack if it is not affected by a Special Condition that would prevent it from doing so.
    • If a Trainer card has an effect on an Active Pokémon, a player must choose only 1 Active Pokémon for that card’s effect, unless that card specifies that it affects more than 1 Pokémon.
    • When a player’s Pokémon uses an attack on an opponent’s Baby Pokémon that requires a flip, that player must flip a coin. However, if 1 of the defending player’s Pokémon is a Baby Pokémon that requires a flip and the defending player’s other Pokémon is not, the attacking player does not have to flip a coin to attack the non-Baby Pokémon.

    14.1.1. Constructed
    2-on-2 Battle—Constructed events use the standard Constructed rules, as listed in Section 11.1, in addition to the 2-on-2 Battle format rules listed in Section 14.1.

    14.1.2. Limited
    2-on-2 Battle—Limited events use the standard Limited rules, as listed in Section 11.2, in addition to the 2-on-2 Battle format rules listed in Section 14.1. Sealed Deck and Booster Draft are appropriate formats for 2-on-2 Battle—Limited events.

    14.2. 30-Card

    The 30-card format allows players to build decks consisting of half as many cards as a standard deck. This tends to reduce the amount of time needed to play a match, allowing players to get in more games in a shorter time frame than a standard game.

    14.2.1. Constructed
    In a 30-Card—Constructed event, players arrive at the tournament with a 30-card deck. The cards used to build the deck come from each player’s personal collection. Decks may not contain more than 2 copies of a single card, as defined by the card’s English title, with the exception of cards that are limited to one per deck by card text and the standard exception for basic Energy cards. Matches are played for 3 Prize cards.

    14.2.2. Limited
    In a 30-Card—Limited event, players construct their decks using only cards provided by the Organizer at the event. Each player’s deck must contain exactly 30 cards at all times. Decks may contain more than 2 copies of a single card, as defined by the card’s English title, with the exception of cards that are limited to one per deck by card text. An Organizer must announce whether they are providing players with basic Energy cards before the date of the event as well as at the event before it begins. Matches are played for 3 Prize cards.

    Aside from the deck construction changes listed above, the standard Limited rules detailed in Section 11.2 apply to 30-Card—Limited events.

    14.3. Team Battle
    The Team Battle format allows two players to participate on a team, each player having one Active Pokémon. This game is played exactly like a regular game of Pokémon except for a few rule changes.


    • Players sit on opposite sides of the table with the teams positioned diagonally to each other, so each player is facing a member of the opposing team.
    • One member of each team participates in a coin flip to determine which team goes first. The winning team then chooses which of its players will go first. The turn sequence starts with the chosen player and then proceeds clockwise around the table, the turn order alternating between teams.
    • Each player draws seven cards. Each player places one Active Pokémon and up to four Benched Pokémon. Players then place half as many Prize cards as they would for a single-player game, based on the format styles outlined in Section 11.
    • Any player who cannot place an Active Pokémon reveals their hand to all players and declares a mulligan. The opponent across the table from the player may draw one card for the mulligan after both players have placed their Prize cards. If both the player declaring the mulligan and the opponent across the table from that player declare a mulligan, both players shuffle and set up again without their teammates drawing any extra cards.
    • The player going first for each team may not attack on their first turn.

    Game Play
    • Players may not reveal their hands to their teammates or to the opposing team unless a game rule requires them to do so.
    • Only the player whose turn it is may initiate conversation with his or her teammate. Conversation should be limited to short “yes” or “no” questions. General strategy or moves should not be discussed.
    • If an attack or action on a player’s card Knocks Out the opposing player’s Pokémon, the acting player takes the appropriate number of Prize cards. If the player does not have enough Prize cards remaining, the player’s teammate takes the remainder from their Prize cards.
    • If a player’s last Pokémon is Knocked Out but the player’s teammate still has at least one Pokémon in play, the player is not eliminated from the game and may play Trainer, Supporter, and Stadium cards on their turn. If that player draws a Basic Pokémon, they must play it in the Active position on the first available opportunity. If neither player on a team has any Pokémon in play, the opposing team wins the game.
    • If a player cannot draw a card at the beginning of their turn, that player is removed from the game. That player’s teammate places Prize cards from the bottom of their deck equal to the eliminated player’s remaining Prize cards.

    Card References
    • Cards that state “you” or “your” refer to the active player or their teammate, as designated by the player.
    • Cards that state “your opponent’s Pokémon” refer to the opponent that is being attacked, if the player is attacking, or the player’s choice of opponent, if the player is not attacking.
    • Cards worded for 2-on-2 Battle are applied to both players on a team. For example, cards that refer to “each Defending Pokémon” will affect both teammates’ Defending Pokémon.
    • Effects and attacks that refer to “all Pokémon in play” affect all Pokémon in play for both teams.

    Between Turns
    • Between-turns actions are taken before and after the turn of the player that owns the affected card.
    • The effects of Special Conditions are checked for before and after the affected player’s turn.

    14.3.1. Constructed
    Team Battle—Constructed events use the standard Constructed rules, as listed in Section 11.1, with the addition of the Team Battle format rules including the number of Prize cards used, as described in Section

    14.3.2. Limited
    Team Battle—Limited events use the standard Limited rules, as listed in Section 11.2, with the exception of the number of Prize cards used, in addition to the Team Battle format rules, listed in Section 14.3. Sealed Deck, detailed in Section 11.2.1, is an appropriate format for Team Battle—Limited events, though teammates are permitted to trade cards during the deck-construction process.


    As stated above, these are from an older version of the Play! Pokémon - Trading Card Game Rules and Formats document, a current copy of which may be found here, on the official site. Calling these "fun Formats" is a bit misleading... while they may be fun, they aren't their own thing, the way Unlimited, Standard, or Expanded usually are. Instead, they are a modifier for those Formats (as well as the various Limited Format sub-formats).

    2-on-2 may technically be the newest. The Gen III games introduced this feature, and I think the TCG felt it needed to follow suit. If you look back, you'll see cards from the EX-series (the Gen III) sets sometimes feature wording for 2-on-2 game play. The EX-series of expansions range from EX - Ruby & Sapphire to EX - Power Keepers. Sometimes the 2-on-2 wording was confusing, which may be part of why it was phased out. If you feel like looking up old cards, try Pokémon Reversal to get an idea of what it is I am talking about.

    30-Card might be the oldest; I seem to recall various older Theme Decks marketed as "2-Player Starter Sets" but it was really just one 60-card deck, with rules for splitting it in two. I've never played 30-Card properly, but I really wish the PTCGO would consider it, as it looks like it could be good for newer players. I mean, an alternate Format could be too confusing, but 30-Card specifically changes the 4 Copy Rule to the 2 Copy Rule, in addition to halving deck size from 60 to 30. I don't know what it does to game balance, but for budgetary purposes, suddenly you only need half as many copies to max out a card for your deck!

    Team Battle, which I believe was originally titled Team Multi-Play, is the rule set with which I am the most familiar. Wizards of the Coasts came up with it, working with the early Professor Program (of which I was part). The above rules are a more refined version of what we played, however. XD I remember this being incredibly fun, though a bit time consuming, but those original rules did not feature the reduced per-player Prize counts or Bench-sizes, which is probably why games took so long. I mean, Slowking (Neo Genesis) was originally legal...

    I've been asked to share these a few times elsewhere, and while I originally intended this to just be a thread for 2-on-2, I don't think there's enough life in the boards here nor interest enough in each rule set to justify it.
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2020

  2. Clam Almost decent


    ok this looked like some cards were gonna be built for this format but they just forgot about it interesting
  3. Otaku The wise fool?


    Going to be brutally honest, Clam: I did not enjoy 2-on-2 at the time was introduced. I only played a few games, and then moved on. It has been over 10 years since I could really play it, anyway. Which is part of why I transitioned into a PTCGO-exclusive player, and I can't play 2-on-2 there (obviously).

    Of course, something I haven't played in over 15 years could actually be a lot of fun, that I just didn't appreciate at the time. Since you only get one attack per turn, though, it seems like it is more about comboing "While Active..." effects. Hopefully, we'll attract the attention of someone at least put 2-on-2 through its paces back in the day, if not in the present.
  4. Clam Almost decent


    I just feel like tag teams would just ruin it for me now theres 2 super big pokemon and i whack 1 it retreats into another i whack the other one it retreats to another :I
  5. Merovingian Dead Game Enthusiast

    Articles Head Member

    If you look at some of the cards from Gen III (and I think Gen IV), you’ll see some that refer to “all Active Pokémon” or “both of your/your opponents Active Pokemon”.

    I don’t think there were any cards that affected everything that was terribly screwy. I think the screwiness was overshadowed by how annoying Power Sprayer + was
  6. Otaku The wise fool?


    You might be a bit late with that reference.

    Team Galactic's Invention G-103 Power Spray is from the Platinum expansion (February 11, 2009). Cards with wording for 2-on-2 play started showing up in EX - Ruby & Sapphire (June 18, 2003), though I guess it was still around as late as EX - Unseen Forces (August 22, 2005), just going by Pokémon Reversal. Maybe it lasted longer than I realized; like I said, I used Pokémon Reversal as a quick reference. If 2-on-2 ever really caught on anywhere, I wouldn't know about that, either.
  7. Merovingian Dead Game Enthusiast

    Articles Head Member

    Oh! I thought Power Sprayer was released around Gen III. Well then.
  8. Otaku The wise fool?


    Heh, yeah. It gets really confusing if you weren't there for it. I mean, I was barely there for it, in this case; if it wasn't for Power Spray's infamy, I wouldn't have been able to place it, either.

    In case anyone missed it, I went ahead and edited the rules for 30-Card and Team Battle into the first post. I don't think there's enough board activity plus board interest that my original plan of starting three separate threads is necessary. XP

    I also finally figured out how to edit the thread title. Should have been obvious, but it was just under "Thread Tools" instead of being part of the usual editing process. ^^'
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2020

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