Pokémon ex Cards Explained
Pokémon ex is a gameplay mechanic that was first introduced to the Pokémon Trading Card Game (TCG) in the EX Ruby & Sapphire expansion set. It continued throughout the EX Series which ran from 2003 – 2007. The mechanic was reintroduced in 2023 with the launch of the Scarlet and Violet series.
Pokémon ex cards that form part of the regular set are always half art cards. Full art versions of the cards are numbered higher than the set number and can be Ultra Rare, Special Illustration Rare or Gold Hyper rare cards.
All Pokémon ex cards are marked with the ex symbol at the top of the card.
How is Pokémon ex used in the Trading Card Game?
The ex name is derived from the word ‘extra’ signifying that Pokémon ex have extra Hit Power (HP) and extra abilities. In this respect it is similar to the EX mechanic of the Black and White and X and Y series. However, whereas Pokémon EX are always basic stage Pokémon, ex characters can be any stage.
In the Trading card game, a player cannot just use Pokémon ex cards, they have to be evolved along their normal evolution line. This has the effect of making games longer but also introduces a greater degree of strategizing.
The Quaquaval ex card above, is a stage 2 Pokémon that evolves from Quaxwell and is the final evolution of Quaxly. In order to play this card the player has to evolve it by using Quaxly and Quaxwell first. As a Pokémon ex card, Quaquaval ex has a HP of 320 making it difficult to defeat.
It has two moves – Exciting Dance which requires 1 Water Energy and deals 60 damage, and Spiral Shot which requires 1 Water Energy and 1 Colorless Energy and deals 230 damage.
Although ex cards have high HP and powerful moves, when defeated they give up 2 prize cards.
What are Tera ex cards?
The Scarlet and Violet series introduced Tera type Pokémon. This new ability enables Pokémon to Terastalize and once terastalized they shine like coloured crystal gems. A Pokémon’s Tera-type may differ from its normal type. Tera type Pokémon are stronger than regular Pokémon and Tera ex cards are very powerful indeed.
The Terastalized Charizard ex card above is from the Obsidian Flames expansion. It is marked Tera on the right side of the evolution bar, underneath the HP. Regular form Charizard is a Fire / Flying type, however, its Terastalized form is Dark, as shown by the Darkness Energy symbol in the top right hand corner. This Tera-type Charizard card has a very high 330 HP and when on the Player’s bench it resists all damage.
This card has one special ability – Infernal Reign, and one special move – Burning Darkness which requires two Fire Energy and deals 180 damage.