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Pokémon card types guide

If you want to know about the different Pokémon card types you've come to the right place - here's the skinny on all the Pokémon TCG card types

Pokemon TCG Pokemon card types - Artwork of the pokemon Galarian Moltres

What are the different Pokémon card types? Whether you’re looking for a rundown of the 11 Pokémon Energy types, or want to know the difference between a Trainer card and an Energy card, we’ve got all the information you need on types of Pokémon cards right here.

Since you’re here, you might benefit from knowing how to play Pokémon cards. But if you’re a Pokémon TCG fanatic already, we can show you the strongest Pokémon cards and most rare Pokémon cards in the world.

Before we dive in, an important point: the following types, used in the Pokémon trading card game, are a condensed version of the wider range of types and matchups found in the videogames.

We recommend reading our complete Pokémon types guide before this one to get caught up on the wider Pokémon world, then returning here to get the specifics of how the types work for Pokémon cards specifically.

You’re back? Good – let’s get started.

Pokemon TCG Pokemon card types The trainer pokemon card Judge

The three overall types of Pokémon TCG cards

At the top level, there are three different types of Pokémon cards used within the TCG. These are:

  • Pokémon cards
  • Trainer cards
  • Energy cards

The most exciting of the bunch, Pokémon cards are the little Pocket Monsters that help you win the game. Different types of Pokémon Energy cards are used to power up their moves.

Trainer cards are a bit more complicated – they’re basically support cards, with myriad different effects, and they’re often the glue that holds a Pokémon TCG deck together. You can learn more about them in our complete Pokémon Trainer cards guide.

Pokemon TCG Pokemon card types - artwork of Alolan Exeggutor

Pokémon card types

Now we get to the good stuff – the 11 distinctive elemental Pokémon card types held by your actual monster cards, which dictate which flavor of Energy cards they need to pull off moves, and which opposing Pokémon cards they’ll be strong or weak against.

There were originally seven Pokémon card types, but four more were added in later expansions – one of these, Fairy, is no longer printed, however.

The 11 Pokémon card types in 2023 are:

  • Grass type
  • Fire type
  • Fighting type
  • Dragon type
  • Fairy type
  • Darkness type
  • Colorless type
  • Psychic type
  • Lightning type
  • Water type

Pokemon TCG Pokemon card types the grass Pokemon radiant venusaur

Grass type Pokémon cards

In the Pokémon TCG, Grass type Pokémon cards like Celebi Prime and Tangrowth excel at putting the Pokémon TCG’s special conditions on opposing creatures, bringing extra Grass Energy (or Pokémon) out of your deck, and healing HP. This Pokémon card type is used to represent grass, bug, and at one point poison Pokémon from the video games. Grass type Pokémon cards are weak to either Fire or Psychic types, and a resistance to Fighting or Water.

Fire type Pokémon cards

Fire type Pokémon cards like Charizard VMAX and Victini V are known for having some of the most devastating moves in the entire Pokémon TCG. However, their immense power comes with some risk, as some of the strongest Fire attacks also force you to discard attached Energy cards. This Pokémon card type is typically weak to Water and have no resistances.

Pokemon TCG Pokemon card types The fighting pokemon Kleavor

Fighting type Pokémon cards

Another type known for its devastating power, Fighting type Pokémon cards combine fighting, rock, and ground Pokémon from the base game. Fighting type Pokémon hit hard, and have better consistency than Fire types, but their attacks often come with a drawback, such as doing a bit of damage to themselves, or to other benched Pokémon. Fighting type Pokémon cards like Rapid Strike Urshifu and Zamazenta usually have a weakness to Psychic, Grass, or Water, and a resistance to Lightning types.

Dragon type Pokémon cards

One of the newest types, Dragon type Pokémon cards are rather unique, simply because there are no Dragon type basic Pokémon Energy cards. Instead, Dragon Pokémon like Salamance EX or Haxorus each rely on two different non-colourless types of Energy to power up their strongest attacks, which can obviously make these Pokémon a bit inconsistent. Dragon type Pokémon cards are typically weak to Fairy or other Dragon types.

Pokemon TCG Pokemon card types the fairy pokemon Sylveon

Fairy type Pokémon cards

A short lived type, Fairy type Pokémon cards were brought into the Pokémon TCG in the XY Kalos Starter Set in 2013, but the type was shelved with little explanation in 2020’s set Sword and Shield. New fairy Pokémon cards are now printed as Psychic types.

Fairy type Pokémon like Gardevoir GX and Sylveon GX typically have plenty of utility moves, and are often able to search your deck for cards (especially Energy) or move benched Pokémon around. Fairy type Pokémon cards typically have a weakness to Metal types and a resistance to Darkness types.

Darkness type Pokémon cards

Introduced alongside Metal in 2000, Darkness type Pokémon cards are used to show dark types from the games, and also ‘evil’ Pokémon, owned by villainous groups like Team Rocket or Magma.

Darkness Pokémon are known for their versatility and quick setups. They often have useful abilities, some of which can damage an opponent’s benched ‘mons. They also specialise in retaliatory moves that get better the more HP you’ve lost.

Due to a recent typing rejig after Fairy’s removal, Pokémon that are poison type in the games, once represented by Psychic in the TCG, are now being released as Darkness type Pokémon cards.

Darkness type Pokémon cards have a resistance to Psychic types, and were weak to Fighting, but this was switched to Grass during that same Sword and Shield rebalance

Pokemon TCG Pokemon card types the colorless pokemon Snorlax

Colorless type Pokémon cards

Representing the normal type (and also flying type) from the Pokémon video games, Colorless type Pokémon like Snorlax and Lugia EX are incredibly versatile, but tend not to be terribly strong.

There’s no basic Colorless Energy type because Colorless attacks can be powered up by any Pokémon Energy card. That means Colorless Pokémon can easily slot into any deck, but you’d rarely want to make a whole Pokémon TCG deck with only Colorless creatures.

Corlorless Pokémon cards can make good use of a load of special Energy types, such as Double Colorless Energy or Triple Acceleration Energy. They typically have a weakness to Fighting or Lightning types, and may have a resistance to Psychic or Fighting.

Psychic type Pokémon cards

This Pokémon TCG type includes ghost and psychic types from the games (and now fairy – but not poison anymore. Got all that?) Psychic type Pokémon cards have had tons of changes over the years, which makes it a tricky one to make generalisations about.

Many Psychic Pokémon cards focus on draining life through attacks, and inflicting the sleep and confusion conditions. They often have Colorless moves and abilities that make them useful in any deck, and often their attacks can get stronger based on the Energy you boost them up with, or your opponent’s Energy.

Previously, Psychic Pokémon cards like Espon VMAX were weak to other Psychic Pokémon, but now they’re generally weak to Darkness. They can have resistances to Fighting or Colorless Pokémon types.

Pokemon TCG Pokemon card types the lightning pokemon card eelektross

Lightning type Pokémon cards

Lightning type is a Pokémon card type focused on speed and risk. Like the Fighting type, the best Lightning moves often do damage to their user, and like Fire, you’re often required to detach or discard Energy cards to power up a game-ending finisher.

Often an Energy intensive Pokémon card type, Lightning Pokémon rely on support cards and Energy accelerators like Pikachu and Zekrom-GX to deliver shocking blows, often paralysing opposing Pokémon to lock them out of the win. Lightning Pokémon cards are typically weak to Fighting types and resistant to Metal types.

Water type Pokémon cards

Representing water and ice type Pokémon from the videogames, Water type is one of the original seven Pokémon card types. Some Water types, like Keldeo EX, have Colorless attacks, that get much stronger the more Water Energy is used for them. Others can paralyse opponents, and snipe benched Pokémon.

The Water type deals extra damage to the popular Fire and Fighting types, but can be weak to Lightning, Grass, Fighting, or Metal.

Pokemon TCG Pokemon card types the metal pokemon card zamazenta vStar

Metal type Pokémon cards

One of the first Pokémon Energy types to be added to the game beyond the original seven, Metal type Pokémon cards like Zacian and Metagross GX can resist Grass and Psychic types, but Fire melts them down. Like Water, there are plenty of Metal moves that have Colorless Energy costs, but get stronger the more Metal Energy you use for them. Many of the best damage-dealing Metal attacks can only be used every other turn.

While not as defensive as Steel is in the video games, Metal is a Pokémon card type with some solid protective abilities. In fact, Metal Energy used to be a special Energy type that reduced damage.