Pokemon Card Top Trumps : Updated

A fun comparative and superlative game that also helps students practice numbers.

UPDATE: 2023/06/16 - 29 NEW CARDS ADDED!

I have been teaching my special needs kids comparatives and superlatives, and also big numbers lately and wanted to combine them all into one game to help them practice and remember!

Top Trumps is a staple British comparison game and fits the bill nicely.
I modified the original starter set of Pokémon cards to use for the game as my kids are big Pokémon fans.

There's a fair bit of cutting out so ideal if you have a lot of downtime one day and need something to do!
I printed the cards out on thick paper used for certificates and put them in clear trading card sleeves to make them durable. You can simply cut out and flip one half over the other to make a card. I personally prefer this way to laminating as it is much easier to cut out, and saves a bunch of time, but folk who prefer laminating feel free to modify accordingly.

How to Play

The game works best with up to four players as there are a limited number of cards, and you don't want the students sitting doing nothing for long periods of time while they wait for a game to end.

  • Deal all the cards out face down to each player until everyone has an equal number.
  • Decide the first player however you like (I like to ask students a question like "Who is the youngest/oldest/tallest?" etc.
  • The first player chooses a stat they think will be the highest number from Speed / Strength/ Size and says it aloud ("Strength 72!"), then reveals the card.
  • One at a time, the other players look at the number for that stat on their top-most card and answer if it is more or less using comparatives (e.g. My Pokémon is weaker/stronger/faster/slower/bigger/smaller than yours.) revealing their card.
  • The card with the highest number wins (My Pokémon is the strongest!) and that player collects all the other player's cards and adds them to the back of their deck along with their winning card.
  • The winner of the round then chooses a stat from the next card and repeats all the above steps.
  • When a player runs out of cards they are out, the overall winner is the player that ends up with all the cards!

Extra/Alternative Rules.

  • Instead of the winner of the round choosing the next stat to play you can go around each student to make sure everyone gets an equal turn. This tends to significantly increase the length of the game.

  • If you happen to get cards with the same number as the highest stat (quite rare unless you are playing two player), all the played cards are left in the middle of the table and another round is played, the winner of that round then takes the cards as normal, and additionally the cards from the middle of the table.

  • You can include the HP number at the top of the card as an additional stat to choose from (mine has more/less/the most health). Thanks user otmshank for reminding me to include this rule!

  • Instead of playing the game until one student holds all the cards you can instead play a limited number of rounds (I find around five to ten rounds is a good number) and then everyone totals up the number of cards they are holding, most cards wins. This ensures students aren't sitting with nothing to do while the game plays out, and as a bonus is good counting practice.

My students had a lot of fun with this and always have a good laugh, especially when Mewtwo shows up or gets beaten!
When I get time I will be adding more cards so check back for updates if you want the latest cards!

Medium files (requires an account to download) -
  • Pokemon Trumps.pdf (6.99 MB)
  • Pokemon (34.7 MB)
  • 37
    Submitted by onighost February 16, 2023 Estimated time: 10 mins per game.
    1. UonumaRobert February 16, 2023

      Great cards. I've been using top trump for years for comparatives. It is always a hit.

    2. midnight26 February 16, 2023

      Could you upload the file in another format? Can't open .pub on my school computer.

    3. onighost February 16, 2023

      @midnight26 Just added a pdf version. Sorry, I assumed schools would have access to the entire Microsoft Office suite!

    4. midnight26 February 17, 2023

      Thanks, these look great!

    5. otmshank February 20, 2023

      Just played this with my kids and they loved it. The second time playing I added the HP as a 4th stat to balance the cards and it works great.

    6. kiran June 12, 2023

      Would you be willing to make more cards please? I’d like the game to last a little longer than it does

    7. onighost June 14, 2023

      @kiran I'll definitely make more when I have some downtime. Keep your eyes peeled!

    8. kiran June 14, 2023

      Thank you!!

    9. kiran July 4, 2023

      Do you happen to have the ‘how to play’ in Japanese?

    10. onighost July 4, 2023

      @kiran No, sorry. My Kanji skills leave a lot to be desired. I explained in English then did a couple of practice turns, then my JTE explain in more detail in Japanese if the kids really don't get it. I tend to find the students catch on pretty quickly how to play though if you show them by doing.

    11. kiran July 4, 2023

      Ok, thank you :)

    12. ArtemC October 10, 2023

      Why is Charizard faster and stronger than Blastoise?

    13. onighost October 10, 2023

      @ArtemC All the stats are based of the base stats from the Gen1 Pokemon games, so I guess ask Gamefreak? XD
      I guess Charizard can fly so that would be why it's faster.

    14. mike c November 16, 2023

      Thank you so much for this wonderful activity! I was wondering if you could upload the .pub file so that I can make changes to suit my classes.

    15. onighost November 21, 2023

      @mike_c Uploaded!

    16. Aobajhs November 21, 2023

      Thanks for this! Helped kill time for my test day:) Can't wait to try it out with the kids!

    17. ChaseSensei November 27, 2023

      Hi there, these cards look great! Well done! I'd like to use them in my 2nd grade classes but I'm not sure how many to print. How many cards did you prepare for each group? The whole set? My school can be a little strict on printing, especially in color so I just thought I would make sure first.

    18. onighost November 30, 2023

      @ChaseSensei I printed one set and played with my special needs class (five students). The game isn't really ideal for large classes as it's a lot of printing and laminating as you say!

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