Prerelease Format

Prerelease players should be familiar with the following information, to make sure they know what the prerelease event is all about and to understand how a prerelease event differs from a pre-sale (in other games) or championship series tournament.

Know This For Fun

Prereleases are a celebration of the new set release:

  • Read and become familiar with the new set!
  • Have fun and help your opponent have fun!
  • If you have any questions about how a card works, stop play and ask a judge.
  • If something goes wrong in your game, stop play and get help from a judge.

Use this event to practice basic tournament play: Organized play is a great way to have fun, develop yourself and meet friends. Use this tournament to get ready for our larger competitions. Have and use damage counters, burn and poison markers; turn your card to indicate special conditions of paralyze, confused or asleep; announce your attacks and abilities before use; flip with a Pokémon coin, U.S. coin or clear/translucent 6 sided die (heads even, tails odd). You may wish to bring card sleeves to protect your cards from damage during play.

Use this event to practice deck construction: Deck building is an important skill in organized play. See if you can make the most of the cards you receive in the packs. It’s a challenge! Some cards that won’t cut it in constructed events will shine at a limited events like a prerelease. Don’t overlook cards that can help you win, just because they’re not ‘powerful’.

Steps to making your prerelease deck:

  1. Count and make sure you have the 4 packs of the prerelease set in your kit.
  2. When prompted open the 4 packs – combine them as you like with the 22 card source deck and promo from your kit. IF you need energy, I have some to complete your deck.
  3. Construct a 40 card deck.
  4. Use only the cards from your kit, plus basic energy loaned by the organizer.
  5. You may have more than 4 cards of the same name!
  6. Shuffle well and start a practice game, if there is time.
  7. Finalize your deck, and get ready to greet your first opponent.
Beginner’s tip – start with about half energy and half Pokemon, then adjust it up or down based on  Trainers you have. If you don’t draw energy, you can’t attack and that is no fun.

Important Differences from Pre-sales and Constructed Events

The Pokemon Company does not do pre-sale events; if you’re used to that with other brands or organizers who short-cut events please do not expect that at a Prerelease celebration. Also, if your a competitive Pokemon constructed deck player, you should know there are some differences to a prerelease.

You may only use the cards from the kit you are personally given for this seating to play in this event. Use of other cards may result in disqualification and loss of gift & prize eligibility, without refund of admission.

Trading cards is not permitted from the time kits are distributed until your last round is over. This is to keep the event fair and fun and let the staff assist with play at the tables. It is recommended you keep your trade binders and other gear in your car until conclusion of play; packs and binders must be placed out of the aisles under your seat.

Prerelease tournament format: This format is defined by Play! Pokemon as a “Limited” format, i.e. you are limited to that cards you receive from the organizer for that event, with the exception – any commemorative promo card received for the event is eligible to be included in your prerelease tournament deck. Here is the format restriction in list form:

  • 40 card deck, limited to the cards received from the kit you were given for the event and basic energy from the organizer
  • 4 prizes
  • 20 minute rounds
  • Limit of 4 cards with the same name is removed!
The participation prize packs are distributed following completion of the event. Prereleases are a premiere tournament event, designed to give interested players a chance to play with the set in advance of its sale date. As such, your fee is an event admission and not a card purchase or pre-sale. Players who have to leave before the completion of the event, may not be eligible for gifts and prizes; there is no refund of admission. Players who have to leave before play begins must return all cards received in mint condition and if so, may be refunded their admission.