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Pokemon TCG -- argh, help (1/15 new questions)


Tanooki
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Sigh...never thought I'd get stuck crossing this line, but well my kid she got some random booster/supplemental decks and a box with a few within it for Christmas from Santa and now she wants to play the thing.  I couldn't figure the game out at all on my own going off the cards, and in the past any few attempts I did (using the GBC game) I got my ass quickly handed to me as it just throws you right into it.  Today I went to a local mom  n' pop shop and got into a conversation with a nice guy there.  Long story short he gave me the idea of how it generally worked, gave me a 1/2 off deal on a Pikachu/Eevee dual starter deck package (60x2 decks) and threw in a few other random items too -- and due to what she had I grabbed this metal tin with Glaceon on it with 40 cards in the box too.

We tried to kind of figure the game out using what we had and the little books it included and it's kind of still confusing, but I think we handled it partly ok.  I only think this as I decided to put the digital version of it on my PC and used the like 15 free code cards I got to create a collection and ran through the training bit of the game.  I can't figure out how to create a deck on that yet, nor do I really understand the mechanics well as I just kind of ran with the flow.  I did figure out energy cards only get used on active cards in your bench, not off the paper in your hand so that's something.


Do any of you collect for this?

Do any of you have any general useful basic explanation how to handle this?

Or are there any very well respected and knock 'Pokemon TCG for dummies' like videos that use the most basic of starter kits like we have to make sense of the game?

 

I feel there's something quite enjoyable here but there's perhaps a fairly tiered multi-level setup of minutiae and bs that I can't quite wrap my head around as of yet.  The game really seems to make you think about tactics and almost gambling what is best or not per turn, but I'm not quite over the line to get comfortable enough to get my 8 year old up to speed.

Edited by Tanooki
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I play regularly online. It has a lot of the same mechanics as the original game. Things that changed and updated are

There are now stadium cards that effect gameplay. Stadiums are removed by the opposing player laying down another stadium or by using a move a Pokemon has that gets rid of stadium cards in play.

Trainers have 2 classes. Supporters can be used one per turn, items can be used as many per turn as desired. 

Every generations has a Big Card. This generations Big Card was GX, last Gen was EX. When a Big Card is knocked out, the player takes more than 1 prize card, it will tell you on the card how many to take.

Every generation has a gimmick. This generation is GX attacks. Last gen was mega evolutions. GX attacks can be used once per game by one Pokemon only. When you do a GX attacks you flip a little thing so you both remember you used your attack already. Next generation (Sw & Sh) will have VMAX as the gimmick. Stay tuned.

Tool cards are items you can attach to a Pokemon to give it extra juice. Like added HP, lower retreat cost, etc.

 

I think those are the major changes from the original game. It's very straight forward. I would suggest going online on your PC or table and downloading the TCGO app to have it walk you through some tutorials.

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I only ever collected the cards when I wqs young, but play quite a bit with the online game. Once you figure it out its alot of fun. Just keep playing the onlne game and you'll see how it works. Do games against other real players rather then the solo game. You'll probably lose most of the time but you get to see what they're doing until you het used to it. Remember tou can click on the card on the play field to blow it up to read it.

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I play and collect as well. What you're going to be able to do is going to be limited by what cards and trainers you have. If you're just playing with the family, you can probably make decks that are pretty competitive with each other, but it's going to cost you about $100-$150 to put together a deck that's competitive at the local card store.

I'd second @RegularGuyGamer's recommendation to play the online game more. Lots of people try out fun decks and you won't always have to go up against meta decks. I have plenty of those code cards you can use online as well for extra packs if you're interested.

Typically, people make their 60 card decks nowadays with 10-15 Pokemon, 10-15 energy, and the rest trainers. Trainers give you options on your turn, and there are lots of "staples" that make searching for cards or Pokemon easier, hence the lower numbers of them in a deck. Consider looking at the championship decks released every year to give you an idea of a competitive deck makeup (but don't buy them, because they're usually pretty advanced to use and they CAN'T be used at the local card store).

Here's a pretty good video about the basics of the Pokemon TCG:

Feel free to shoot me a PM if you have any questions.

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Thanks for all the suggestions, and that first response there about stadiums and some generational changes is quite helpful because she got a booster box and three other packs of cards too that run from the last 3-4 years so it has all that crazy stuff including a couple black cards with like metal foil outline scratch art for some stuff like an Alakazam.  To retaliate when we get good I grabbed this Glaceon box which had that card as a GX within and 4 booster packs that had a decent assortment with a few pretty seemingly solid cards even at the basic level like a Reshiram and I did end up with some M-Latios card with Japanese print on it.

Going into it with the Trainer Kit she got the Pikachu package and I got Eevee which is mostly (yay) a fire deck (Charmander/Charizard still my all time favorites),couple Moltres, couple of Kanghaskan, and it has newer-ish stuff up to a point like Pansear/Simisear in there.

One thing that threw me and still does is like what you can and can't drop into your bench.  It seems the cards when it says pull X basic, or pull X pokemon from your deck, then reshuffle(or whatever) it seems like it implies anything you can get you can use.  But the game also has evolution standards to follow per turn as well given you have them (charmander, charmeleon, charizard.)  If I were to pull a Charizard openly as a card says I can grab whatever I like, can I play that immediately in the bench, or is it stuck until I can evolve it out like I would natively had I pulled it from the deck as turns roll along?  The manual wasn't clear about that at all.

I was noticing as you said just in the post above about the 60 card lot, that seemed to make sense and reinforce why the start pack I had, had just that and the spread of the 3 styles of cards because if you're too light on one you can end up just utterly screwed with pokemon targets that have no energy to blast someone with.  The decks we got came with a few of those search cards for Pokemon or pull X cards like that HAU card or the Pokemon Trainer card so I get what you mean there.

For now we're both not touching our shiny new more advanced stuff I think it would make a mess, and I saw despite the comment about stadiums, neither of us have a stadium card so that's off the table.  I was considering looking at some second hand cheap cards up the street as 1 of 2 half price books in town has a heap of them and dumps them cheap individual or in random bundles.  Might be worth dropping another $5-10 to see what shakes out, but I do realize that there usually is some cut off on age before people get pissy about them being used not that I think I (maybe she might) would ever go into events or stores to play others.

 

I did grab the online game, and I had 19 of those freebie cards that give 10-12 cards per pack/special rewards type cards and jammed all that into PCGO.  I ran the tutorial, then did like the first AI battle against some level 1 dude Alex I think and it has this star rating I suppose and I guess I got 1/3 stars even if I did beat his ass and I don't think I lost more than a pokemon fighting the guy so that threw me.

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14 hours ago, Tanooki said:

Thanks for all the suggestions, and that first response there about stadiums and some generational changes is quite helpful because she got a booster box and three other packs of cards too that run from the last 3-4 years so it has all that crazy stuff including a couple black cards with like metal foil outline scratch art for some stuff like an Alakazam.  To retaliate when we get good I grabbed this Glaceon box which had that card as a GX within and 4 booster packs that had a decent assortment with a few pretty seemingly solid cards even at the basic level like a Reshiram and I did end up with some M-Latios card with Japanese print on it.

Sounds like you got a good Roaring Skies booster and it sounds like she got some good Fates Collide cards. That Glaceon GX isn't bad either.

14 hours ago, Tanooki said:

One thing that threw me and still does is like what you can and can't drop into your bench.  It seems the cards when it says pull X basic, or pull X pokemon from your deck, then reshuffle(or whatever) it seems like it implies anything you can get you can use.  But the game also has evolution standards to follow per turn as well given you have them (charmander, charmeleon, charizard.)  If I were to pull a Charizard openly as a card says I can grab whatever I like, can I play that immediately in the bench, or is it stuck until I can evolve it out like I would natively had I pulled it from the deck as turns roll along?  The manual wasn't clear about that at all.

Looking at the contents of that trainer kit, it sounds like you're referring to the Great Ball. In your example, you could totally pull whatever Pokemon you want from the top 7 cards, but you can't evolve it unless you have the card you need on your bench.

SM1_EN_119.png

So, for example, If you have a Charmander on your bench that hasn't been played this turn and you play the Great Ball and grab a Charmeleon, you could evolve it. However, if you grab Charizard, you can't, unless you have another card in your hand that allows you to evolve Charmander into Charizard, like a this one:

1181611.jpg

Also, you can't play a basic Pokemon and evolve it on the same turn, unless it's something like the following Eevee, which you can evolve on the same turn when you attach an energy to it:

1110053.jpg

14 hours ago, Tanooki said:

I was noticing as you said just in the post above about the 60 card lot, that seemed to make sense and reinforce why the start pack I had, had just that and the spread of the 3 styles of cards because if you're too light on one you can end up just utterly screwed with pokemon targets that have no energy to blast someone with.  The decks we got came with a few of those search cards for Pokemon or pull X cards like that HAU card or the Pokemon Trainer card so I get what you mean there.

Yep. Hau and Cynthia will help get you more cards when you're stuck. Cynthia is better than Hau because it gets you more cards, but both have their purpose, which is to mill the deck and get to cards you need (or in Cynthia's case, maybe even to get rid of cards you don't need).

14 hours ago, Tanooki said:

For now we're both not touching our shiny new more advanced stuff I think it would make a mess, and I saw despite the comment about stadiums, neither of us have a stadium card so that's off the table.  I was considering looking at some second hand cheap cards up the street as 1 of 2 half price books in town has a heap of them and dumps them cheap individual or in random bundles.  Might be worth dropping another $5-10 to see what shakes out, but I do realize that there usually is some cut off on age before people get pissy about them being used not that I think I (maybe she might) would ever go into events or stores to play others.

That's true. Her cards could be played in the Expanded format, which includes all cards released after Black & White (mid 2011). Standard format is Ultra Prism or newer, which includes the following sets:

tcg-2019-rotation-169-en.jpg

HOWEVER, if you go to a local card shop just to learn the ropes, most Pokemon Professors or shop owners would be willing to play you for funzies to teach you the game. They won't let you enter a Standard format tournament, but they would let you enter an expanded one. The Eevee card above is an example of a card that is no longer in Standard but is in Expanded, as are her cards from Roaring Skies and Fates Collide.

It's also worth pointing out that those cards at Half Price Books will be good to get some bulk, but they might not give you cards you need. It's a good stopgap, but the cheapest way to build any deck is going to be either a local card store with great prices and selection (which are rare) or sites like TCGPlayer.

14 hours ago, Tanooki said:

I did grab the online game, and I had 19 of those freebie cards that give 10-12 cards per pack/special rewards type cards and jammed all that into PCGO.  I ran the tutorial, then did like the first AI battle against some level 1 dude Alex I think and it has this star rating I suppose and I guess I got 1/3 stars even if I did beat his ass and I don't think I lost more than a pokemon fighting the guy so that threw me.

It's been a while since I did the tutorial, but I think you have to beat each person multiple times under different conditions to get additional stars. It's not an indicator of battle performance.

Edited by Philosoraptor
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Excellent post, so yeah I guess some illegal instant better thing pulls happened.  Oh well, easily corrected.  I think the rest of the rules were maintained proper, and given what you have there screw that with the uptight keep buying entire new series stuff every year or two, the expanded format is just fine as it allows a lot more variety and longevity.  I get the diff with Hau and Cynthia, have had both but mostly Hau (same with her.)  She did once use Cynthia due to a full deck of garbage that couldn't have been used, and the time I got her, I had stuff I needed to retain so yeah it has a specific need clearly while Hau is just useful if those 3 you get on top are worthy.

The HPB I checked it this afternoon and they were out, they come in a lot, but go right back out a day or two later since they don't really do individuals but they lump them in random little fold over bags from what I've seen.  Oddly I went back this goodwill and they had probably a 1000 cards in 2 tins like mine, then one of those wide 1 card size around trainer kit boxes with just that card part not all the other included things so there probably were like a 1000 cards and for $65.  I was hoping maybe $20 a box, but no deal.  There was quite a bit of energy variety and classes, trainers, items, but I did notice it seemed picked over like the old owner kept what they liked as there was nothing EX/GX/Mega almost nothing with a hologram rainbow to it, nothing.  True bulk filler.

Oh and neither of us have that rare candy card, that's a new one on me.

TO make this easy, well probably not easiest but it's way late for me to find a straight list, this is what I grabbed both of us.  I got the eevee/fire pack, she got the pikachu electric one.  Very cut and dry, no worrying about x2 or -20 modifiers on strong/weak against stuff, good learner decks.

https://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Let's_Play,_Eevee!_(TCG)

https://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Let's_Play,_Pikachu!_(TCG)

This is the extra I pulled for myself since she had all those other cards to help balance it out a bit when the time comes: https://www.pokemoncenter.com/pokémon-tcg%3A-evolution-celebration-(glaceon-gx)-699-16900

Edited by Tanooki
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9 hours ago, Tanooki said:

Excellent post, so yeah I guess some illegal instant better thing pulls happened.  Oh well, easily corrected.  I think the rest of the rules were maintained proper, and given what you have there screw that with the uptight keep buying entire new series stuff every year or two, the expanded format is just fine as it allows a lot more variety and longevity.  I get the diff with Hau and Cynthia, have had both but mostly Hau (same with her.)  She did once use Cynthia due to a full deck of garbage that couldn't have been used, and the time I got her, I had stuff I needed to retain so yeah it has a specific need clearly while Hau is just useful if those 3 you get on top are worthy.

For sure. I think once you both get more comfortable with the game and those decks, you both could remove five or so cards from your respective trainer decks and add in five of the cards you purchased to start the process of learning how to build a deck. For example, the Pokemon Catcher and the Switch in both of your decks could be replaced with one card that can do both of those things:
51txwVNNM5L.jpg

Also, it's worth pointing out that if a card has been reprinted as a promo or in a new, in-Standard set, and if the text in the card has not been changed, that card is legal as long as the newest set is in Standard. Similarly, if you have an older card with the same text as an in-Standard card, you can use that one instead. For example, if you didn't happen to have this in-Standard Great Ball card from Shining Legends:
146723_200w.jpg

You could use this Great Ball card from Emerging Powers:
85899_200w.jpg

But not this one from EX Fire Red and Leaf Green, because the text is different:
85895_200w.jpg

That applies to energy cards and Pokemon cards, too. You can play with Base set energies if you want. Although, you can only have four special energy cards with the same name in a deck, like a Double Colorless energy.

9 hours ago, Tanooki said:

The HPB I checked it this afternoon and they were out, they come in a lot, but go right back out a day or two later since they don't really do individuals but they lump them in random little fold over bags from what I've seen.  Oddly I went back this goodwill and they had probably a 1000 cards in 2 tins like mine, then one of those wide 1 card size around trainer kit boxes with just that card part not all the other included things so there probably were like a 1000 cards and for $65.  I was hoping maybe $20 a box, but no deal.  There was quite a bit of energy variety and classes, trainers, items, but I did notice it seemed picked over like the old owner kept what they liked as there was nothing EX/GX/Mega almost nothing with a hologram rainbow to it, nothing.  True bulk filler.

Yep, sounds like a bunch of filler. From my experience, it's tough to find a lot of cards for less than ten cents a card, regardless of it's makeup. Brand new commons and uncommons and some non-meta trainers can be found cheaper than ten cents a piece on sites like TCGplayer, but meta cards could be a bit to significantly more expensive. Also in my experience, it's tough to find any EX, Mega, or GX for less than a dollar, even the ones that are considered bad in the TCG. If you're looking for a decent mix of cards that has been picked over less, eBay's probably your best bet. 

If you're interested and willing to pay for shipping, I could send you some energy cards, trainers, Pokemon cards, and other essentials like GX tokens that you might not have. That way you can build other decks and have some more options.

9 hours ago, Tanooki said:

TO make this easy, well probably not easiest but it's way late for me to find a straight list, this is what I grabbed both of us.  I got the eevee/fire pack, she got the pikachu electric one.  Very cut and dry, no worrying about x2 or -20 modifiers on strong/weak against stuff, good learner decks.

https://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Let's_Play,_Eevee!_(TCG)

https://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Let's_Play,_Pikachu!_(TCG)

This is the extra I pulled for myself since she had all those other cards to help balance it out a bit when the time comes: https://www.pokemoncenter.com/pokémon-tcg%3A-evolution-celebration-(glaceon-gx)-699-16900

That's exactly what I figured y'all bought. That shop guy did you a solid by telling y'all to buy that. It has some meta cards, but more importantly it gets you started playing immediately. There are people out there that would have told you to just buy a bunch of packs, but there's no guarantee you'll have a deck you can play with, even when you spend $200 on packs. That at least gives you something to build off of when you get more cards.

Speaking of which, as you start getting more cards, you'll have access to better trainers and Pokemon that allow you to search your deck more or draw/discard more cards. That'll allow you to go from the 24/14/22 ratio of Pokemon/Trainer/Energy to something closer to 15/35/10. Trainers are by far the most important cards in the deck because they increase your ability to find the cards you need or prevent your opponent from getting what they need or removing cards they need from the field. The best decks and players in the Pokemon TCG are consistent, and consistency is achieved by understanding your deck, having a strategy/way to win, and having enough trainer cards in your deck to always get the cards you need.

Some Pokemon abilities can also help with deck consistency, like Dedenne GX's. At least one Dedenne GX was in each each of the four decks that competed for the 2019 Pokemon World Championships. Super helpful cards like Dedenne GX that are in basically everyone's decks are usually the ones that are expensive, but their values drop after they fall out of Standard. So if you're just playing with your daughter, it's probably not worth it. But if you plan on going to the local shop to play, you might need them if you want to win matches consistently:

1475424.jpg

Edited by Philosoraptor
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Sorry forgot to reply on this.  That is some helpful info there.

That half price, I went back there an hour ago about because of a jacked up book I got my kid for a swap out, and wow, I got timing right, pokemon cards, they wrapped up about roughly 30 for $5 and they're all basically 2015-2019 deck cards, so I grabbed $20 worth (4) and ended up with over 130 cards.  I've attached 2 terrible quality images thank to the iphone, but it'll maybe give you a feel if you're familiar what I ended up with and I think there's some solid stuff, even a few trainer/item and stadium card or two ended up in there.  I did have one horribly creased down the center first gen card, dunked it as it was basically wrecked.  The second image with less (44) that's what came out of that Glaceon tin.

For all I know I hope I will get use out of these at some point, but for the money I absolutely love the art style and variances of them even on a similar card, the holograms, the craft store looking ones, sketch type art, etc.  The top left is so bad it's hard to see but it's a holo Dragalge 2016 I think.  Jigglypuff, Clefairy, Lurantis, Wailmer are holo too, and then in the pokemon art area it sparkles on Magmar, Pansear.  Trainer cards in there are Dark City, Misty's Favor, Dive Ball, Bursting Balloon, Prof Kukui, and Fighting Stadium all in that HPB bundle.

The 4 packs in that tin I got they're all 2015-2019 too and it has some holos, Reshiram, MLatios EX, Gumpig, Salamence(pic holo only), Plusle, and Skiddo.  They also has some trainer/energy cards too.  Got Sky Field, Gallade Spirit Link, Last Chance Potion, Underground Expedition, and Life Herb -- Not really sure what the symbols mean yet on a few ugh, but there's that gray one (steel?, red/pink fairy?, and electric)

That's one I was curious about, how to trainers deal with a deck of pokemon that have varying energy requirements?  I get you can use them in general as a basic energy, but in some cases you have to have like 1-2 of a specific type in the row to work too like say 2 general, 2 fire, to do a big charizard blast.  I guess you have to go out and buy the energy cards you lack or get lucky off a pack?

I hIMG_2927.thumb.jpg.41d2dfe0f4ac4cf0100799171ee51ed2.jpg

IMG_2928.jpg

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Hey I noticed between the last post that didn't get a reply and some other stuff I've dug into, it seems that a sorely lacking thing in my hands and my daughters were energy and trainer/item cards.

I went back to HBP as I was in the center shortly ago for pet stuff, they had 3 packs of Japanese I avoided, but maybe intentionally or not hiding in the far back of the bin for $3 was a package of 60 energy and another $5 package with 30 trainer/item/a few pokemon monster cards too.

 

I know that the more uptight people get with the game cards get discounted, denied, outright basically trashed which personally I think it's stupid but whatever.  Now looking into what I grabbed the energy selection I think is pretty good on the spread, but the oldest have a more bubbly 70s/80s print and they have the original old 96-98 copyright date.  A lot of them though seem to be the block print mid 2000s type. Do energy cards ever get to the age where people are like NO about them?  I ended up with 3 fire, 2 water, 4 grass, 2 electric, 3 double colorless, 10 psychic, 13 dark(like a crescent moon), 3 fighting, 10 fairy, 2 'special energy' triangle, but then the rest gets weird. I have 4 rainbow energy but  2 are 2014 modern, the others are 96-98.  Also from that early era 1 potion energy, and 2 full heal energy.  Are any of these like outdated garbage?

 

The mixed bag is 2012 forward other than two original series stuff a Devolution Spray and a Clefairy Doll and the doll is beat to hell.  It has Tierno, Xerosic, 2 mountain ring and 2 skyarrow bridge stadiums.  Then there's a bike, 2012 devolution spray, 2 escape ropes, an evosoda, 2 level balls, max potion, 2 plus power, 2 pokemon catchers.

The mixed pokemon are 2 2014s a Seedot and Nuzleaf, the rest are 98/99 stuff - Porygon, Dugtrio, Golbat, Ponyta, Haunter, Vulpix, Raiche, Kabutops.  Anything interesting or usable here or just fun art cards?

 

If those item cards don't outdate, could I start making other decks for those with near or over 10 cards if I wanted to do a different deck, or maybe mix a few into a 2 style deck like fairy and fire or something to mix it up?  I'm just curious how the mechanics work.

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On 1/5/2020 at 8:07 PM, Tanooki said:

For all I know I hope I will get use out of these at some point, but for the money I absolutely love the art style and variances of them even on a similar card, the holograms, the craft store looking ones, sketch type art, etc.  The top left is so bad it's hard to see but it's a holo Dragalge 2016 I think.  Jigglypuff, Clefairy, Lurantis, Wailmer are holo too, and then in the pokemon art area it sparkles on Magmar, Pansear.  Trainer cards in there are Dark City, Misty's Favor, Dive Ball, Bursting Balloon, Prof Kukui, and Fighting Stadium all in that HPB bundle.

The art is fantastic on Pokemon cards. It's why I have so many, for sure. The Jigglypuff, Clefairy, Lurantis, and Wailmer are reverse holo cards. They're inserted one per pack, and any card in the set aside from full art cards and EX/GX cards can be reverse holo. The two holo cards you got are both promos. Magmar, I believe, is a McDonalds promo, and Pansear was a promo in mid-XY era blister packs. Kukui, bursting balloon, and cherish ball are probably your biggest wins on the trainer front from HPB. You can use the Cherish ball to pull that Glaceon GX if you have both in your deck.  

On 1/5/2020 at 8:07 PM, Tanooki said:

The 4 packs in that tin I got they're all 2015-2019 too and it has some holos, Reshiram, MLatios EX, Gumpig, Salamence(pic holo only), Plusle, and Skiddo.  They also has some trainer/energy cards too.  Got Sky Field, Gallade Spirit Link, Last Chance Potion, Underground Expedition, and Life Herb -- Not really sure what the symbols mean yet on a few ugh, but there's that gray one (steel?, red/pink fairy?, and electric)

You got the symbols right. Steel is gray and Fairy is pink. 

Underground expedition is OK, as is life herb. Sky field is a big win, because some cards do damage based on the number of Pokemon on your bench:

076.jpg

On 1/5/2020 at 8:07 PM, Tanooki said:

That's one I was curious about, how to trainers deal with a deck of pokemon that have varying energy requirements?  I get you can use them in general as a basic energy, but in some cases you have to have like 1-2 of a specific type in the row to work too like say 2 general, 2 fire, to do a big charizard blast.  I guess you have to go out and buy the energy cards you lack or get lucky off a pack?

I have literally hundreds of energy cards just sitting in boxes. After you play for a while, you just end up amassing them by buying elite trainer boxes, card lots, or just opening packs or booster boxes. Special energy cards can be a bit harder to come by, and you might have to end up buying those off of TCGplayer or Troll and Toad. If you need basic energy cards, just pay shipping and I'll send you as many as you could ever need. 

But yeah, that's part of the strategy of building decks. Usually you don't want a bunch of different energy types in decks because it makes it harder to get the energy you need when you need it. That's why Dragon cards don't see a lot of play unless they have good attacks that don't have bananas energy requirements, like the MRayquaza EX above, which just requires three of any energy to attack. If you have a card you want/need to play and it isn't the main type of energy in your deck (like if you wanted to use that Salamence but were using only water energy in a water deck), you could add up to four Rainbow Energies to your deck so that if you draw one, it could be a fire energy for Salamence or a water energy or whatever else you need for another Pokemon. 

1181619.jpg

16 hours ago, Tanooki said:

I know that the more uptight people get with the game cards get discounted, denied, outright basically trashed which personally I think it's stupid but whatever.  Now looking into what I grabbed the energy selection I think is pretty good on the spread, but the oldest have a more bubbly 70s/80s print and they have the original old 96-98 copyright date.  A lot of them though seem to be the block print mid 2000s type. Do energy cards ever get to the age where people are like NO about them?  I ended up with 3 fire, 2 water, 4 grass, 2 electric, 3 double colorless, 10 psychic, 13 dark(like a crescent moon), 3 fighting, 10 fairy, 2 'special energy' triangle, but then the rest gets weird. I have 4 rainbow energy but  2 are 2014 modern, the others are 96-98.  Also from that early era 1 potion energy, and 2 full heal energy.  Are any of these like outdated garbage?

You can use basic energy cards from any era of the English Pokemon TCG. It doesn't matter what they look like, and some people will buy old holographic energy cards to bling up their decks. You don't even have to have, say, 10 of the exact same fire energies in your deck. You could have one from the original base set from 1998, three new ones from the Sun & Moon sets, four from Diamond & Pearl, and one from the e-Reader series. It doesn't matter. 

As for special energy, it's just going to come down to when the card was printed. If you're playing at home, it won't matter, but last we talked, you were interested in playing in Expanded, which is essentially cards that have a 2011 date or newer (Black & White or newer). The caveat is if a card has been reprinted in a newer set, a card older than 2011 can be used as long as the text on the card is the same. Sadly, the Potion Energy Energy and Full Heal Energy have never been reprinted, so they cannot be used in Expanded format (but can at home--They're not overpowered or broken or anything). The Rainbow Energy has been reprinted, but the text was changed. This card, even though it's from 2014, could be used:

51ir28KjiDL._AC_.jpg

Because the text matches one in a newer set that's currently in the Standard and Expanded format:

pku_smcs_151rev.jpg

But this one can't be used, because the text is different from the newer cards:

80.jpg

(Unless you don't care and are playing at home. They essentially say the same thing and do the same thing. You could use them if you want. 10 damage is 1 damage counter.)

16 hours ago, Tanooki said:

The mixed bag is 2012 forward other than two original series stuff a Devolution Spray and a Clefairy Doll and the doll is beat to hell.  It has Tierno, Xerosic, 2 mountain ring and 2 skyarrow bridge stadiums.  Then there's a bike, 2012 devolution spray, 2 escape ropes, an evosoda, 2 level balls, max potion, 2 plus power, 2 pokemon catchers.

The mixed pokemon are 2 2014s a Seedot and Nuzleaf, the rest are 98/99 stuff - Porygon, Dugtrio, Golbat, Ponyta, Haunter, Vulpix, Raiche, Kabutops.  Anything interesting or usable here or just fun art cards?

The old Pokemon cards are all just fun art cards. Anything 2011 or newer is legal in Expanded, so all the other trainers and Pokemon are usable. Seedot and Nuzleaf have a final evolution, Shiftry. There is one hilarious Shiftry card:

ShiftryNextDestinies72.jpg

Essentially, if your opponent only has an active Pokemon and nothing on the bench, you could use its ability to make the opponent pick up their only Pokemon and lose the match. It never saw serious play, but was a funny stunt to pull back in the day.

As for the trainers, Tierno is the XY version of Hau. Xerosic is a pretty good supporter that absolutely can be used against someone using Rainbow Energies or Pokemon Tool cards to beef up their Pokemon. Mountain Ring is great for preventing damage to your bench, which helps during the setup phase where you're trying to evolve basic Pokemon into stronger ones. Also, some cards deal damage to your own bench. However, knocking out weak benched Pokemon is a good strategy sometimes, and that card wouldn't be helpful in that case. Skyarrow is helpful if you have no other stadium cards you want to play, but generally the best practice is to not pay retreat costs on cards and instead use cards like Guzma, Switch, and so on to switch cards from your active position to your bench. That way, you can run fewer energy in your deck.

16 hours ago, Tanooki said:

If those item cards don't outdate, could I start making other decks for those with near or over 10 cards if I wanted to do a different deck, or maybe mix a few into a 2 style deck like fairy and fire or something to mix it up?  I'm just curious how the mechanics work.

For sure! Have fun with it. The more you play and the more cards you get, the more you'll start seeing synergies. Like those Plusle and Minun cards you have. Put Minun on the bench and Plusle in the active. One energy = 60 damage, which is a good amount for a first turn attack and can knock out or really damage basics with evolutions. You might in a game or two by just attacking second and knocking out their active Pokemon if they don't have any benched ones. With those Rainbow Energies, you might be able to throw a couple of Pokemon in your decks that aren't your main energy type. Or consider some more colorless (white) Pokemon. 

Also, a final note, since you have some old cards that aren't useful for decks, you could use them as proxy cards, be it an energy card or a card for a previous/evolution of a Pokemon if you don't happen to have that card. At the beginning of the match, just say something like "All old cards are Grass Energies." That way you can build decks you might otherwise not be able to. 

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Well that answers plenty.  It's nice to know the double energy and all the other standard energy are good if they're 2mo or 20 year old at this rate because it's just energy.  Shame some of those early ones can't be used anymore, kind of just throwaways I guess.  At least 2/4 of the Rainbow are in fair play given I have that 2014 you attached as an image.  Now that I read the details that one shield energy card seems kind of fascinating, a nice attachment to deflect damages.  It seems basically like you said, if the card is now over 9 years old (pre-2011) unless the text never changes, they're junk, unless you're just screwing around for fun.  That set of 2 trainer cards with devolution and clefairy doll look amusing.  It's nice to see all those item cards I got are fair play as they're 2011-2014, though it makes me think about when they'll pull some junk again some year not far from now (if not this year) that'll kill off a few more past sets of cards.

Given the energies I picked up, and sure I could use more, but research is required, I think I could run a few different styles of pokemon other than just the fire I have.  With the spread I picked up in that older post you replied to too, I think I could get a little creative.  I guess I'll have to decide to keep or not the truly outdated stuff, or at least isolate it into its own stack.

Do I take from your words that I did well for the $8 I put out today for those cards I guess?  I'm going to have to toss a few cards I know as they're damaged, bad enough in the rear to be tells, but if some are dirty I'll see if I can clean them up.

 

**Shipping: I wouldn't mind doing that at all, grateful really.  I don't know if you use the discord (too late now) but maybe it wouldn't be so bad to look at what I have and perhaps figure out something that would work to spice the game up a bit with the trainer, energy, item etc stuff.

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18 hours ago, Tanooki said:

Well that answers plenty.  It's nice to know the double energy and all the other standard energy are good if they're 2mo or 20 year old at this rate because it's just energy.  Shame some of those early ones can't be used anymore, kind of just throwaways I guess.  At least 2/4 of the Rainbow are in fair play given I have that 2014 you attached as an image.  Now that I read the details that one shield energy card seems kind of fascinating, a nice attachment to deflect damages.  It seems basically like you said, if the card is now over 9 years old (pre-2011) unless the text never changes, they're junk, unless you're just screwing around for fun.  That set of 2 trainer cards with devolution and clefairy doll look amusing.  It's nice to see all those item cards I got are fair play as they're 2011-2014, though it makes me think about when they'll pull some junk again some year not far from now (if not this year) that'll kill off a few more past sets of cards.

Given the energies I picked up, and sure I could use more, but research is required, I think I could run a few different styles of pokemon other than just the fire I have.  With the spread I picked up in that older post you replied to too, I think I could get a little creative.  I guess I'll have to decide to keep or not the truly outdated stuff, or at least isolate it into its own stack.

Eh, at this point, it wouldn't make much sense for them to modify what's in Expanded for quite a while. EX cards were a thing from mid-2003 to late 2016. It wouldn't make much sense to remove the legal EX cards from 2011 and newer because the format would be so similar to Standard with just GX cards. I guess they could just take out the Black & White-era cards and leave in the XY-era cards and newer (2014 and newer), but I don't see much benefit in that either. Standard is the format that's typically modified every year. 

18 hours ago, Tanooki said:

Given the energies I picked up, and sure I could use more, but research is required, I think I could run a few different styles of pokemon other than just the fire I have.  With the spread I picked up in that older post you replied to too, I think I could get a little creative.  I guess I'll have to decide to keep or not the truly outdated stuff, or at least isolate it into its own stack.

The easiest cards to run in a deck are colorless cards or cards that you don't have to make too many sacrifices to play.

Also, yeah, definitely make two piles of cards that can still be used and cards that can't. The good news is that outdated cards are still collectible and have value. After you get a decent amount (a couple hundred, maybe), throw them up in a lot on eBay. They won't bring major bucks, but they'll usually bring about ten cents a card in a lot.

18 hours ago, Tanooki said:

Do I take from your words that I did well for the $8 I put out today for those cards I guess?  I'm going to have to toss a few cards I know as they're damaged, bad enough in the rear to be tells, but if some are dirty I'll see if I can clean them up.

I'd say the energy was worth it because it's going to be tough to get the Double Colorless and Rainbow energy to you for much less than $3.

It sounds like the old cards in the mixed bag are where most of the value was. The Clefairy Doll is probably still worth a quarter or so each even in beat to hell shape. If they're not holo, the rares (Dugtrio, Raichu, Kabutops, Devolution Spray) are worth between fifty cents to a couple bucks or so if everything is in good shape. If Raichu and Kabutops are holo, you did well. There's nothing particularly valuable in the modern cards, however, the trainers are all somewhere between not terribly useful to having some use depending on the deck. Mountain Ring, Tierno, Xerosic, Escape Rope, Evosoda, Level Ball, Max Potion, and Plus Power could all be used to varying degrees, with Xerosic, Tierno, Mountain Ring, Evosoda, and Plus Power probably being the best. Max Potion is mostly for stall decks where you try to run an opponent out of cards (because discarding energy isn't usually a good thing). Escape Rope and Pokemon Catcher are fine, but they're worse than a Guzma or a regular Switch. The Acro Bike is both great (yay another draw) and possibly bad (discard something you need). 

If you plan on selling the older cards, put the damaged ones in there too. It pumps up lot numbers and doesn't really hurt the value of the lot to include them, unless they're literally torn or something. Some cards with bends or creases and whatnot is kind of expected in a lot.

18 hours ago, Tanooki said:

**Shipping: I wouldn't mind doing that at all, grateful really.  I don't know if you use the discord (too late now) but maybe it wouldn't be so bad to look at what I have and perhaps figure out something that would work to spice the game up a bit with the trainer, energy, item etc stuff.

I haven't used the discord, but I'd be willing to. I also have Skype at home and a webcam to show cards from my end as well. After we chat, I'll get a package together. Chances are, I probably have some other spare cards I could send y'all that would help either use some of the ones you have (in the case of stage 1 or 2 Pokemon that you don't have the previous stages for) or spice things up. 

Edit: I signed up for the Discord. I should be on there now as Pikarapt0r. My avatar is the same, so it should be easy enough to find me.

Edited by Philosoraptor
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Philosoraptor has done a great job explaining things so you should follow his advice for sure! I played competitively all the way up to the Regional amd National tournament level from 2008-2014 and have watched the game and its tournaments/competitve scene from afar ever since. I was also a Pokemon Professor for a while. Feel free to PM if you ever have any specific questions or want advice about how to get into League or Tournament play.

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I'm not creative, mine is just Tanooki on there, shocking I know.  I PMd you about it since they also assign a 4(or more by now) digit number.

 

And I agree he's been a big help to try and figure this out.  I don't see myself getting into leagues, maybe my daughter and that's up to her as she gets better with it.  I may have to force myself to sit down and poke away at that PC app.  I'd like to get a selection of things for her and I to use here so work could be done to learn the more advanced cards, but before that to learn how to play a deck of something other than fire and electric, maybe something where weakness/strength comes into play to learn how to handle those variables.

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I know a lot of families play the leagues together which is pretty cool. I will say thankfully that the Pokemon community is a lot less toxic than other CCGs, where you get a lot of very hostile people who don't bathe properly. I'm not sure if it's the presence of Moms and Dads or what, but those are way, WAY less common (thank god.) I also found it a great way to teach youngsters how to play in a competitive/tournament scene while learning good sportsmanship and the like. The "working together-ness" and feiendly rivalries the Pokemon brand makes for itself in the video games does bleed into the real life card game. 

Also, the leagues are totally free, while tournaments are usually less than $10 for adults and totally free for kids under the age of 15. You also don't have to worry about your kid getting slaughtered by some 25-year-old veteran, as they split the tournaments into three age divisions, Juniors (kids under the age of 10); Seniors (11-15/16) and Masters (16+). Perhaps surprisingly, Masters is by far the most populous and competitive division. What is cool also is that these divisions can make kids feel like they are progressing along with their friends from League. It was considered a big event when a League regular graduated from Juniors to Seniors or Seniors to Masters.

If you ever wanted to talk on Skype or Discord, I'd be happy to sit down and talk about how to make that jump from a still learning to decently competent player. 

Either way, I'm glad your family has been able to discover the game. It really is a fun one 🙂

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I'm thinking to a point that would be the case with the free PC game.  All those decks (new) we got I threw all the codes at it and got a heap of cards setup within the game.  I've barely scratched it and to be honest I think I'm skating by on luck.  Ultimately at my lack of understanding, a lot of it looks like dumb luck which will come up from the shuffles, re-shuffles and stuff hidden in that reward area at the side when you take an anemy down.  Competent player, definitely not.

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8 hours ago, Tanooki said:

I'm thinking to a point that would be the case with the free PC game.  All those decks (new) we got I threw all the codes at it and got a heap of cards setup within the game.  I've barely scratched it and to be honest I think I'm skating by on luck.  Ultimately at my lack of understanding, a lot of it looks like dumb luck which will come up from the shuffles, re-shuffles and stuff hidden in that reward area at the side when you take an anemy down.  Competent player, definitely not.

Your understanding is better than you think.

Initially it is luck, especially with theme decks. It's very easy to prize your damage dealing cards, cards you need, or the couple of really good trainer cards your deck has. For example, in your Eevee deck, if you prize your Cynthia, a few Haus, enough Charmanders and Charmeleons, or your Simisears, you could have real trouble getting any offensive strategy off the ground. Also, since theme decks don't usually have a bunch of cards that allow you to draw cards, discard unnecessary cards, or search for the exact card you need, you're relying on drawing what you need at the beginning of your turn more often than you would with a more competitive deck. There are also going to be many more turns with unhelpful hands or turns when you might not be able to attack or attach an energy.

However, it's also worth pointing out that because theme decks also tend to be rather inept, either player could win or lose based on a good draw or initial setup. For kids, that increased parity might keep their interest more than being steamrolled consistently by a meta deck down at the local card shop (although I've been steamrolled plenty of times by kids; in the Pokemon TCG, winning and losing is more about a player's skill and deck and less about their age). 

One big disadvantage of playing online is that it's harder to look through the deck and figure out what cards are prized than in real life. IIRC, online, when you use Pokemon Fan Club, it's only going to show you cards of Pokemon and not the other cards in your deck, whereas if you use that card in real life, you can use your first big dive into your deck to take inventory of your important cards and change your strategy accordingly. That can really affect how you set up your play area for future turns and increase consistency. 

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So basically those images of cards I showed you, if I decided to maybe make a dual or trio themed deck and tossed in a various line up of trainers, item, support cards to help or screw the other guy it would make for a more beneficial experience.  I've noticed due to the flat theme between us two whatever gets pulled early seems to win it because otherwise you're waiting around hoping to evolve which may neve rhappen if it rots at the bottom or in the 6 prize cards to the side for killing the other guy.  I've beat my daugther every time, but she either waffles but often she'd had really really bad luck getting energy cards and I'll throw a few bones not going too aggressive, but if it doesn't come I won't just wait until she can use a Raikou or a Elecvire that can destroy nearly any card I have in a shot or two, even has a nasty pikachu card if you are lucky getting heads flips on the coin could murder anything on the deck.

Good point about Pokemon Trading Card digital, you really can not see such things I noticed that so you go in blind, which probably is a better thing as it's more like a game of poker as you don't know what that draw will be after that last bet(turn) you took.  I've been tempted to fire up that GBC game they did early on, it's basic, but it would have strategy to it.

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Basically, as you described, waiting around for a good draw (known in the competitive scene as "top-decking", as you are depending on luck from the top of your deck) is the biggest thing you want to avoid. You're going to want to maximize your efficiency, which is why your Trainers are the most important cards in your deck. They allow you to search for what you need, rather than wait to draw it, and, they also let you draw tons of cards. In any CCG, drawing cards is one of the most powerful things you can do. 

Additionally, theme decks come with way, WAY too many energy cards. You need energy to attack, so they are important, but think of them like your King in chess. Simultaneously the most and least important part of your game. The first thing you should do when trying to improve a theme deck is to cut down the energy cards and add more (good) trainers. You should also optimize your Pokemon lines. Theme decks often give you a pyramid of Pokemon (ala 4 Squirtle, 3 Wartortle, 1 or 2 Blastoise). This is bad. You want a 4-4-4 or 4-2-4 line of most stage 2 Pokemon (the reason you would cut down on Stage 1s is due to Rare Candy, a Trainer that lets you skip Stage 1 and go straight from Basic to Stage 2). The reason for this is because at the end of the day, you want Blastoise, not Squirtle or Wartortle. The more copies you add the more you can have in play, the easier it is to replace your attacker if one of them gets knocked out, and you'll have a higher chance to draw them from your Supporters. 

The next big step would be to add Pokemon-EX,Pokemon-GX, and Pokemon V/V-MAX (depending on the format you are playing; Pokemon-EX are older and only playable in Expanded. Pokemon-GX and Pokemon-V/V-MAX are available in all formats except for Legacy, which uses only older cards.) This is a step that comes much later in your gameplay as they are easily the most powerful cards in the game and are therefore much more expensive. There do exist competitive decks that do not use many or any of these beefy beasts, but if you don't strategize properly, once you start playing on the ladder in PTCGO, you will be destroyed by them due to their sheer power. 

Hopefully, these are some tips that can help you!

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1 hour ago, Tanooki said:

I've noticed due to the flat theme between us two whatever gets pulled early seems to win it because otherwise you're waiting around hoping to evolve which may neve rhappen if it rots at the bottom or in the 6 prize cards to the side for killing the other guy.  I've beat my daugther every time, but she either waffles but often she'd had really really bad luck getting energy cards and I'll throw a few bones not going too aggressive, but if it doesn't come I won't just wait until she can use a Raikou or a Elecvire that can destroy nearly any card I have in a shot or two, even has a nasty pikachu card if you are lucky getting heads flips on the coin could murder anything on the deck.

You're totally right about evolutions, especially stage 2 evolutions, being finicky and inconsistent, especially in theme decks. They just don't come with the trainers or supporting Pokemon cards to make them consistent.

Her deck is less powerful, but more consistent. What she should be doing is trying to get this Zebstricka out on her bench as fast as possible and using its ability to get set up quickly. When she finds that she has a hand full of useless cards, discard it and draw four more. If she has useful cards, play those, and then discard what she doesn't need right before attacking or ending her turn, giving her five new ones to work with on her next turn.

82.jpg

Her goal should be to get this Raikou out in the active, and then use Booming Thunder to grab energies she discarded with Zebstricka and put them on either Electivire or Alolan Raichu on the bench. Two energy attachments per turn for a couple of turns gets everything on her bench powered up quickly, and it's way faster than you can get your heavy hitters ready to attack. That's her advantage. Your advantage is if you get set up first, you can blow away basically anything in her deck.

51csxrQy5HL._AC_.jpg

1 hour ago, Tanooki said:

So basically those images of cards I showed you, if I decided to maybe make a dual or trio themed deck and tossed in a various line up of trainers, item, support cards to help or screw the other guy it would make for a more beneficial experience. 

Absolutely. There are decks that work that way, and they're typically stall decks. You just throw out Pokemon that are irritating as hell regardless of type, and use trainers, stadiums, and tool cards to make them discard all of their energy (if they have a deck that can't retrieve it from the discard) or prevent them from attacking. Typically it's a Wailord-centric deck or another Pokemon with high HP, and the goal is to run the opponent out of cards.  Sometimes they don't even have energy in the deck, because the goal isn't to attack and take prize cards. Supporting Pokemon would be stuff like this guy, who is a massive pain for EX or GX heavy decks:

1134542.jpg

To a lesser extint, you could use a mixture of trainers and stadiums to help you get set up faster while removing energies and tools from the opponent's Pokemon. It'd be more of a hybrid, but it could certainly help you combat how quickly your daughter's deck gets set up. 

As for having multiple types in an offensive deck, I won't sit here and say having more than two types of cards in a deck is a bad thing, but most people focus on one type, unless the other type is colorless or has good synergy with their deck. For example, most fairy decks that ran with Gardevior GX:

1123655.jpg

Also had one or two of these Gallades because they share an evolution tree (it's Ralts, Kirlia, and then either Gallade or Gardevoir) and because none of his attacks require a fighting energy:
61Oyil3rQOL._AC_SY450_.jpg

But that works because you're only dealing with one type of energy in the deck, fairy. You can play around with different types of Pokemon, but the goal is to not have to add two different types of basic energies to the deck. Special energies are fine. 

1 hour ago, Tanooki said:

Good point about Pokemon Trading Card digital, you really can not see such things I noticed that so you go in blind, which probably is a better thing as it's more like a game of poker as you don't know what that draw will be after that last bet(turn) you took.  I've been tempted to fire up that GBC game they did early on, it's basic, but it would have strategy to it.

Next time you're on discord, I'll ask you a couple of questions about the cards I'm going to send you. I plan on sending you more trainers and quite a few other types of Pokemon your way too, so that should help both of you experiment more and build more decks of different types altogether. You learn by trying new things.

FYI, you can also play matches against either random or specific people on PTGO, so if you wanted to play me, I might be able to offer you a bit more of a challenge than your daughter. 

Also, I'd tentatively say to avoid that GBC game if you're looking to get better at the modern game. Have at it if you just want to play a great, fun Pokemon title, but the biggest problem with using it to learn the modern TCG is that they've drastically changed the rules since it's been made. Back when the GBC game was made, there were no such thing as different types of Trainer cards, and you could play as many as you wanted on a turn. So, what would be a supporter now, like Professor Oak:
1067850.jpg

...Could be played back-to-back-to-back-to-back. Throw in a couple of these:

ComputerSearchBaseSet71.jpg

And you can get pretty much set up in a turn or two every time. It was pretty broken. 

Now, that being said, it's fun. It's just not a good way to learn the mechanics of today's game.

Edited by Philosoraptor
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1 hour ago, Philosoraptor said:

Also, I'd tentatively say to avoid that GBC game if you're looking to get better at the modern game. Have at it if you just want to play a great, fun Pokemon title, but the biggest problem with using it to learn the modern TCG is that they've drastically changed the rules since it's been made. Back when the GBC game was made, there were no such thing as different types of Trainer cards, and you could play as many as you wanted on a turn. So, what would be a supporter now, like Professor Oak:
1067850.jpg

...Could be played back-to-back-to-back-to-back. Throw in a couple of these:

ComputerSearchBaseSet71.jpg

And you can get pretty much set up in a turn or two every time. It was pretty broken. 

Now, that being said, it's fun. It's just not a good way to learn the mechanics of today's game.

Let's not forget also that Hitmonchan having 70HP as a Basic while also being able to do 20 damage for one energy was OP as hell. Now there are basics with 300+ HP. How times have changed 😂

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5 minutes ago, KokiriChild said:

Let's not forget also that Hitmonchan having 70HP as a Basic while also being able to do 20 damage for one energy was OP as hell. Now there are basics with 300+ HP. How times have changed 😂

Haha yeah. Jungle Scyther too with no retreat cost, and Jungle Snorlax. Good times.

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