The definition of a Basic Pokemon is more complex than widely assumed.
Being ‘Evolved’ does not override a Basic Pokemon’s card text, nor is the absence of a card ‘underneath it’ the sole definition of a Basic Pokemon. At the same time, having a card underneath does not automatically make a Pokemon ‘Non-Basic’.
Weeks back, I posted a long write-up about why the ‘Evolved Basics’ of Wobbuffet, Jynx, Magmar, etc. are still ‘Basic’ Pokemon and would be affected by Space Center, Sand Damage, Shining Horn, etc. That didn’t seem to generate any discussion. You can find that here: [BR] Jirachi (DX 9). Wobbuffet (LM 28). Space Center is not shut
The current assumption is that being ‘Evolved’ automatically overrides a card’s text, even if no card effect (like Archie, or Strange Cave) says to override the text. As a result, Wobbuffet LM, Jynx UF, etc. are assumed to no longer be Basic Pokemon and are thus immune to Space Center, Sand Damage and any other references to ‘Basic’ Pokemon.
But nowhere on their cards does it if they are Stage 1’s, or Stage 2’s. Nowhere in the game does ‘being evolved’ override a card’s text, which says if they are Basic, Stage 1, or Stage 2.
Being an ‘Evolution Card’ does not automatically make a Pokemon ‘non-Basic’ as seen by Archie, Strange Cave, etc, which by card effect turn Evolution Cards into Basics. Their text has been overridden explicitly, by card effect. The absence of a card underneath them is not what makes them Basic, but the effect stating that they are.
A Pokemon is only a Basic, Stage 1, or Stage 2 if it says so on the card, or by card effect. This is seen in multiple Compendium rulings on Team Assembly, Influence and Strange Cave. Rare Candy also demonstrates this by affirming that Stage 2’s placed on top of Basics are still Stage 2’s. Just because they have a Basic underneath them doesn’t make them Stage 1’s. Just because an ‘Evolved Basic’ like Jynx has Smoochum underneath doesn’t mean its ‘Basic’ card text has been overwritten. It’s not a Stage 1, not a Stage 2, not some other category. It’s still a Basic Pokemon.
Just as how Special Conditions are ‘states’ that cards are in, being ‘Evolved’ is a state a card is in, not a text modifier.
In order for Baby Evolutions’ card texts to be modified, somewhere in the Baby’s Power, or the Evolved Basic’s Body, has to say to treat the card as something other than its text, or else a fourth category of Pokemon actually exists.
If this is not the case, and Baby Evolutions are indeed immune to all references to ‘Basic Pokemon’, then the definition of ‘Basic Pokemon’ in Sand Damage, Space Center and all other references to ‘Basic Pokemon’ is actually ‘Non-Evolved Basic Pokemon’, even though that terminology doesn’t show up anywhere in the game. This would also means that the term ‘Evolved’ in cards like Boost, Scramble and Double Rainbow Energy should also be changed to, “Stage 1 evolved, Stage 2 evolved and Evolved Non-Basic, Non-Stage 1, Non-Stage 2 Pokemon.”
So, are Space Center, Sand Damage, Shining Horn, etc. translated incorrectly? Should they actually say ‘Non-Evolved Basic Pokemon’?
I think it is incredible to assume that Baby Evolutions are creating a fourth category of Pokemon that is otherwise not referenced anywhere in the game (Evolved Non-Basic, Non-Stage 1, Non-Stage 2 Pokemon).
The simplest definition of a Basic Pokemon is that its card text, or card effect says it is. Being ‘Evolved’ does not modify a card’s text, unless a card effect says so. A ‘Basic’ Pokemon can be ‘Evolved’ and still remain Basic as long as no card effect has modified its text.
The current interpretation of Baby Evolutions, that they are immune to references to ‘Basic’ Pokemon, is impulsive and contradictory. It is more accurate if they receive all the benefits of being ‘Evolved’ (Scramble, Boost, etc.) while retaining all the drawbacks of being ‘Basic’, not ‘Non-Evolved’ (Aggron ex Intimidating Armor, Shining Horn, Space Center, etc.).
If that is the case, though, that they are able to evade references to ‘Basic’, then the texts of numerous cards have to be modified to contain a new term never seen in any card prior: “Non-Evolved Basic Pokemon.” At the same time, it also means Baby Evolutions create a fourth type of Pokemon that also isn’t found anywhere: Evolved Non-Basic, Non-Stage 1, Non-Stage 2 Pokemon.