PokéBase - Pokémon Q&A
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I haven't played the card game in a "league event" in probably ten years. Maybe more. On a whim, I went to the Prerelease Event for XY Evolutions and had a great time. Now, I'd like to start playing again. The thing is, almost all the cards I own are OLD - going back to first series, through maybe Team Rocket, maybe the expansion just after that. I have no idea if any of those are playable - although some would seem to be since, for example, XY Evolutions has Double Colorless Energies (to grab a card at random).

The answer may be harder than I am hoping for but is there a simple way to tell what cards I can play with and which I can't? Clearly, I can play with XY Evolutions cards. What others? Would greatly appreciate some help!

I don't feel like answering right now (or maybe ever), so just read this. http://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Rotation_(TCG)

1 Answer

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This is a list of every Pokemon card legal in the Standard format.
And this is a list of every card legal in the expanded format, which is basically just a less popular version of the current game with more cards available for use. New expansions coming out every other month, the card game changes pretty much every year and cards from yesteryear tend to become invalid. That's when they move from the standard format to the expanded format (from what I can tell at least). Pokegym has great posts for info on these topics (as I linked above). Check those out. Most old cards aren't valid beyond the basic energy cards and a select few of item and tool cards.
Some old cards have been rereleased with updated rules and such, and the older versions aren't legal anymore.

And I'll also link this page that i've had bookmarked for years, which is where I got the other two links. I've been wanting to get into the TCG for years but never did anything beyond playing on the PTCGO (Pokemon TCG Online) game (which if you don't know is a free offical game that you can download to play the TCG online).