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Reason: Coin images Gen. VI, VII; several new physical Coins have not been added at all yet.
Coins (Japanese: ポケモンコイン Pokémon Coin), also officially recognized as metallic coins, are one of two types of randomizers that players can use during a Pokémon TCG match. The majority of coins released for the Pokémon Trading Card Game are made of plastic with a metallic Pokémon design on the front, which can be of anything from starter Pokémon and Legendary Pokémon to designs commemorating a specific event or featuring the original Energy Symbols. Although the majority of coins are made with the current standard of a plastic backing, throughout the history of the Pokémon Trading Card Game, coins made of cardboard and coins made of metal have also been released. Making coins out of these materials has since fallen out of practice for The Pokémon Company and their subsidiaries, thus most are not recognized as standard randomizers for TCG matches and must be approved by both players. Additionally, the head judge of the tournament has the right to disallow any randomizer if there is reason to believe that the randomizer is unsuitable.
Coin flips are an integral part of the design of a vast number of cards released in the TCG and are used in a variety of ways. The result of a coin flip can determine whether an effect of a card even happens: a heads after playing Pokémon Catcher or after using Neo Revelation Shining Gyarados’s Outrage attack allows the effect to happen. Coin flips can result in an additional positive effect on a successful heads, or an additional negative effect on a tails. XY Spewpa’s Stun Spore inflicts a Special Condition on the opponent’s Active Pokémon on a success, while Platinum Vigoroth’s Reckless Charge attack inflicts damage to itself on a failure. The occasional card will result in a positive effect for both a heads or a tails on a coin flip: Call of Legends Tangrowth’s Plow Over attack will either Paralyze the opponent or send one of their attached Energy cards to the Lost Zone depending on the result of the flip. Cubone from Triumphant has the Bone Rush attack that calls for flipping a coin until the flip is a failure, doing damage dependent on the amount of heads achieved.
Much less frequently will cards manipulate coin flips in more significant ways. Legendary Treasures Victini has the Victory Star Ability that allows players to re-flip coins once per attack if they are unsatisfied with the result. Additionally, Shiftry in the Rising Rivals expansion has a Poké-Body that forces an opponent’s coin flips to be treated as tails as long as Shiftry is in the Active Position. These effects are considered much more powerful than the more common coin flip based effects seen more often, and are printed very seldom.
Play! Pokémon details several rules on coins and coin flips during TCG matches:
- Any coin released with any Pokémon TCG product from EX Ruby & Sapphire on should be considered fair and impartial.
- Any other coin (such as local currency) brought by a player to be used as a randomizer. Players should consider whether or not the coin in question is light enough not to damage or mark cards it lands on and whether or not heads or tails can be determine at a glance.
- When flipped, a coin should be held at shoulder height, and fully rotate at least three times before landing on the table.
- Coins should land as flat on the table as possible. If both players cannot agree on the result of the flip, a judge may be called to determine whether the result is conclusive or if the coin must be flipped again.
- Coin flips that land outside the playing area (off of the table or in another game’s playing area) are considered invalid and must be flipped again.
- Once players have agreed on the result of a coin flip, it cannot be redone.
- Once a judge has ruled that a result is conclusive, it cannot be redone.
Coins have fallen out of favor among the Pokémon player base, who have gradually started to prefer the second officially recognized randomizer dice instead, for their utility and convenience, causing coins to be used progressively less as a tool for determining outcomes during a TCG match. With the frequency they are released, their occasional limited availability, and their exclusivity to certain countries such as Japan, the United States, the United Kingdom, and South Korea, coins are quickly being treated more as a collectible.
The original cardboard and metal coins for the English release of the TCG were produced by Wizards of the Coast during Generation I and Generation II. Japanese coins during Generation I feature a back with the seven original card type symbols. When Metal-type and Darkness-type were added to the game in Generation II, however, the backs were changed to a Pokémon Card Game NEO logo, only to drop the NEO for a more generic design after the initial coins in the Generation. This was too replaced with the standard Poké Ball and the official Pokémon Logo used on all coins now. When Wizards of the Coast lost the license for the card game for EX Ruby & Sapphire onwards, coins released for English audiences were imported from Japan and distributed in English products. This remained true until August 2010 and the release of the Undaunted expansion. All coins for international audiences after this month are produced by The Pokémon Company International, however, leftover stock of the standard sized Japanese coins were still included in TCG merchandise up until April 2014, when the stock was exhausted. Current English coins feature the ™ trademark distinction on the back while Japanese feature the ® trademark symbol. Ever since the Pokémon Card Game returned to Korea in May 2010 with the release of the Start of an Adventure expansion, coins in Korean products are produced in Japan.
With the English Next Destinies expansion in February 2012, The Pokémon Company International began producing colored backs alternate to the standard black. Japan has remained with the standard black, only having ever deviated from the black back for one coin during the VS Era in 2001. Up until the release of the English Plasma Freeze expansion in May 2013, all standard coins were of the same size. However, in order to remove the not for children under 3 warning from their products, The Pokémon Company International began producing coins of a larger size. Japan, however, continued producing the coins at their standard size.