Korrina ruling, how exactly does it work?

I’m confused about something. For the supporter card Korrina, do you have to grab a fighting Pokémon, or can you bypass that and just grab an item?
Please help me out here.

Since the deck is an unknown set of cards, if you search your deck and can’t find a fighting pokemon you dont have to grab one in order to also just grab an item too. So yes you can fail the fighting pokemon(if you dont have one) and just grab an item instead.

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Heck, you could even fail both searches.

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It’s one of those weird things that seems to make no sense until you get used to it. You just have to accept two principles:

  1. The contents of the deck are private knowledge
  2. The game has no memory

So you can play Korrina and just grab an Item on one turn, then play another the next turn and get a Fighting Pokemon.

I’d add a third thing to that list:

  1. Instead of just including a clause stating you may fail your search or making it a separate rule, Rules 1 and 2 were created to justify the end result desired by the-powers-that-be.

I would normally leave such a thing alone as I do not want to confuse you, @thegrovylekid, but occasionally there will be odd situations where rules #1 and #2 won’t make sense. If you (or anyone reading this) is still struggling with the concept after reading the explanations provided by @themiraclemeat, @OshaWaterBottle and @baby_mario… just skip what I am about to say. If you’ve got it down, go ahead and continue because there something that I have always found confusing (I accept that it is the rule, but it still only makes sense in light of reason #3).


In Expanded there is a card called Pokémon Communication with a mechanic familiar to long time players. Pokémon Communication allows you to reveal a Pokémon in hand, put it on top of your deck, search your deck for a Pokémon, add it to hand and then shuffle. Even though as a cost of using this card you must add a Pokémon from hand to deck, you can still fail the search. This is all one card effect that cannot normally be interrupted, and the fact that a Pokémon is being added to the deck becomes public in order to use the card… and yet somehow the game still “forgets” that it happened in the middle of the effect!

Yet as recently as 2013, the rules team affirmed that Computer Search cannot fail. There is most definitely a difference: Computer Search can grab any card so as long as your deck isn’t empty, there has to be a target, but thanks to the cost/wording of Pokémon Communication there has to be for that card to be used and it is common knowledge to both players, but somehow not what the game classifies as “public” knowledge.

Thanks for the help. So, if I played Korrina in a non-fighting deck, it would function similarly to Skyla.

They only difference is that skyla can pull out supporters or staidums korrina cant

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This really isn’t a stretch: the game knows how many cards are in your deck, and therefore knows there’s at least 1 valid target for Computer Search. The game forgets what goes into the deck when it goes into the deck. What’s wrong with that?

What is “right” with that?

No, really; we aren’t talking about players keeping track of previously played cards, but in the middle of a card effect. Why not just allow searches to fail unless the card specifies otherwise?

I don’t think they want to suggest that you can play a card for no effect. That could open the door to all sorts of things.

The present rules are very clumsy. It’s like they want to avoid explicitly ‘allowing’ cards to fail and instead make it impossible to contradict a player’s statement that it has failed (because of the private knowledge/no memory principle).

It’s sort of interesting, how one card can work so many different ways

I see your point about “playing a card for no effect”, though I think that boils down to just proper wording; after all searching your deck is indeed an effect., even if you find nothing. Either you have to see and shuffle (an effect) or in the unlikely instance of a search card that didn’t require you shuffle, you would still have gotten to see your deck and gained knowledge of its order (definitely an effect).

Something as simple as wording cards so that it is “Search your deck for up to…” even when it finish with “…one card and add it to your hand. Shuffle your deck afterwards.” would also avoid the nebulous nature of “What does the game ‘know’?” Yes, it would require slowly working into newer cards but like many badly needed revisions in this game, waiting won’t make it any less easier to implement, though (for something as broad as this) it certainly will make the main drawbacks (many cards needing an errata or having previous printings that will require reference) just become… worse.

I think I understand why search effects need to be able to “fail”. After discussion elsewhere, my understanding is that search cards are allowed to fail because without that, there is a big risk as certain cards would take quite a while to resolve, as you would have to reveal your deck to your opponent or call over a judge to check your deck to verify that the initial search effect failed.

The rules of what the game knows are fairly straightforward. Whether or not those rules are good isn’t something I want to get in to, but if the rules of what the game knows are known, where’s the problem?

We disagree on that point.

Um… in case that sounds snippy, I want to be clear; we really do disagree on that fundamental point. Most of the rest is moot because we don’t share the same starting point.

Nah, I know what you mean. Not snippy at all.

Game knows:
What’s in play
What’s in the discard
That there are cards in deck

Game does not know:
What’s in the deck
What’s in the hand
What’s in the prizes (unless Town Map is in play)

The game does know

How many cards are in the hand
How many cards are in the deck
How many cards are in the Prizes

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@baby_mario
@KPiplup

Still, it gets weird with things like Korrina and Hypno, though this would be more relevant if there was an effect interaction that resulted in both players seeing the deck at the same time and a search “failing”. :wink:

Not sure I see why Korrina makes it weird.

The game may not “know” that there are targets in deck, but there are decent odds that both players will. :wink: