Quick Questions and New Player Resources Thread
By - Asclepius24
Hi! We recently purchased teh Kyogre/Groudon theme decks to re-ignite our interest again with playing the TCG. While the resources were helpful, it does felt overwhelming as we came from a different TCG. I was wondering if there are any tips/help that we can do to improve the decks we have? We're not looking for an instant tournament-ready one, but probably some sort of heads up on the process of updating/improving the decks.
I’m not OP, but thought that maybe I could help a bit here. Buying the older theme decks makes it really difficult to play the game. The decks are made terribly and will include Pokemon that are appealing in name, but not in practice. What I mean by that is Groudon and Kyogre are legendaries which would make you think they are good, but the cards are actually bad.
Pokemon has been getting better at releasing content for beginner players recently. The League battle decks are a great way to get back into the game. You get some actual useful cards that you can take and use to build better decks. You can check out the Pikachu & Zekrom league battle deck. Reshiram & Charizard League battle deck and the Zacian League battle decks.
If you are adamant about playing with the theme decks you have, the first thing is to separate the Pokemon, Trainers and Energy in front of you so you can see the layout. Most decks will consist of mostly trainers, then Pokemon then energy. The basic theme decks work completely opposite and focus on energy, then Pokemon then trainers. What good is 20 energy in a deck if you can only attach 1 per turn? Even turbo decks that can accelerate don’t play that much energy.
I would cut out tons of energy and thin out the Pokemon line and focus on adding trainer cards. You always want to add consistency so I’d recommend adding things such as 4 Professors research and 4 quick ball at the very least. You can also add 2-3 copies of Marnie for draw/disruption and perhaps Pokemon communication or Evolution incense depending on what pokemon are in the deck.
This is noted. Thank you! Unfortunately the nearest store we have only had theme decks, and we thought Kyogre/Groudon are fair to be pit against each other for casual play (since we're not even sure if the competitive scene is even active here lol). We've heard about the league battle decks already but they're selling it above SRP so that's a no in our budget. Our goal right now is to atleast make it a better experience.
If it's Towering Heights and Unseen Depths, they (and many other SwSh and late SM era decks) aren't *that* bad when played against other theme decks. They're nowhere near top competitive decks but they have definite strategy, a good amount of draw and search power, and few 'filler' cards.
Heights has a strong advantage over Depths though, provided the Heights player puts Mew on the bench when it's needed. But both decks are quite luck dependent - which may not be a bad thing for casual play.
Looks like you've already had a good reply on how to improve your current decks and I agree with. Figured I'd link you [here](https://www.reddit.com/r/ptcgo/comments/m2xn3y/new_player_in_need_of_some_guidance/gqlxoi1/) for product information to get more staple cards as well as resources that will help as well.
Thank you! I've had this bookmarked ever since I entered the board, but it's still contains great information that I can always fall back on.
Noticed your other comment about budget, League battle decks & MSRP. Have you thought about proxying those decks instead of buying at all? You just need sleeves, some pokemon cards to put in the sleeves to get the weight right and access to a printer.
Yeah that's something we're considering right now due to the scarcity of the products in our toy stores. The next hobby shop is like 2 hours away from where we live, so we won't be able to properly browse singles as well and get to know each cards. Once we get "the feel" of the hobby then maybe that's where we'll start replacing the proxies with the actual cards.
Weird question but whats a good way to shuffle matte sleeved cards?
cut the deck in half and then slowly slide one half into the other from the bottom up. Use the corners to start.
Is that what people call mashing?
no clue what it's called. just aim the bottom corner of one half at the sides of the other half. they slide right in.
This is often called mash shuffling, yes.
Can expanded roxie chomp work well with dowsing machine instead of computer search? I only have dowsing machine.
That should work well
Comp search is better, but dowsing machine is better than nothing.
I'm in the same boat as you.
Cool thank you
Is there a limit for playing v, Vmax, or gx cards per deck? Aka could I stack a deck with all v, vmax, and gx cards?
Sure. No particular rules about numbers of those types of cards.
Remember though, that you only ever need a couple pokemon in any one game. Often you only need 2 vmax/tag teams in play for a while game.
Better to have a few, select pokemon, and lots of trainer cards to find your stuff, draw cards, etc...
How important is muscle band in expanded roxie chomp? Does it help hit key numbers? Can i use another card like choice band, fighting fury belt, or vitality band?
I frankly haven't seen too many Roxie Chomp decks that purely use Muscle Band. Most use a combination of Choice Band or Fighting Fury Belt.
Ive seen some on limitless tcg which is why i ask, just to be sure. Thanks
In what format do you suggest building the first deck after the theme? Should I look at the budget lists? Which deck do you recommend? Where should I look at the deck lists?
Standard is sometimes easier to get started in, because it has a smaller card pool. And the league battle decks can get you a lot of cards that are very relevant to standard.
However, with new set coming out, that might change.
Standard is definitely easier to learn the meta, since the there are less cards then expanded like legacy.
Can you recommend sites where I can check the deck lists, and do you have a deck that you suggest me to play?
Is there a place where people post their made decks? Not tournament decks, like forum or mobalytics with runeterra decks.
You'll find most deck archetypes featured on YouTube.
Checkout azulgg, trickygym, littledarkfury, gyrosean, and a bunch of others,
Haven't played since Unified Minds.
So Im a bit out of the loop.. Is there a way I can see a list of current standard decks? What standard cards should I be looking for?
Is there any budget substitute for Dowsing Machine?
Guess not lol?
Nothing really replaces Ace Spec cards. The best card to replace it with would depend on your deck. In general, if you can't get one, look to increase your deck's consistency in other ways.
Hello, I live in Canada and I was wondering does anyone know where is the best place that I can buy the elite trainer box that will be released on March 19th? Thank you in advance.
Try a local card or hobby shop, but there are huge supply issues right now leading to more issues with scalpers. It's very hard to find TCG product.
I recently started playing again. I know the meta is going to change on Friday when the new set drops; when will the new meta be figured out? I’ve checked out the new set already, but I’m lost. I plan on making a competitive deck to compete in tournaments, I’m willing to drop some cash and purchase singles.
I just keep seeing people say wait for the new set, which is why I ask. Perfect time to jump in and purchase is when the meta changes.
Edit: I’m looking to play either a fire, dragon, or psychic-type deck if that helps.
There's a lot of theorycrafting going on now, and it will take just a couple bigger tournaments for the initial popular decks to get out there. A metagame is never "figured out," really; it's more of a process. I know a lot of players use "meta" as synonymous with "good," but originally the "metagame" was the "game about the game" and trying to figure out what to bring to an event given what you expect to see. This changes constantly. Ultimately we'll see the first round of decks, then a response to them, then the response to *those* decks. It might settle a little, but rarely is anything ever set.
Do you know which specific youtuber would be good for getting competitive specifically? I saw the list. I just can’t figure out which would be best for what I’m looking for.
Tricky Gym, AzulGG, and Omnipoke are generally my recommendations for a good mix of competitive quality and production value.
You'll be able to buy Battle Styles in game as it's a regular set but not Shining Fates as it's a special set.
Why are 2 mawiles being played in ADP? Any specific matchups?
Mawile lets ADP pull any 2 prizers like Crobay V or Dedenne GX hiding in the hand on to the bench and Boss's Order them for an easy KO and 3 prizes
Is Cynthia still standard legal because of the Battle Academy reprints, not sure when they came out
Cynthia is not legal in Standard. It wasn't "reprinted," exactly - it still has its Ultra Prism set number and symbol, just with a Battle Academy stamp. The set symbol/number is what determines legality.
Another question. I’m looking to get a set of Charizard from Team Up, but for like $50 for the four of them I’m worried about TEU being rotated out soon as it’s the last set for standard. Do we have any idea when the next rotation will be?
Rotation is around August/September every year. No idea if there will be in-person events in the States by then.
Hi guys, I'm looking to get into PTCG again after about 15 years, and it seems a lot has changed. Am looking to start after the annual rotation, which I'm assuming is around August. Are there any products that I should be looking out for right now, or in the near future? Also, any products that may potentially be rotating out and need to avoid? Lastly, any advice on a water based deck that will survive rotation?
I know that pokemon with the same ability can use both use the ability even if it states "once per turn" since they count as separate abilities, however I also believe that picking up a pokemon using something like a scoop up net and placing it back down would let you reuse the ability, is this right? I have been playing like this and my family doesnt believe that you can use any ability more than once if it says "once per turn" does anyone know what the ruling on this is?
>I also believe that picking up a pokemon using something like a scoop up net and placing it back down would let you reuse the ability, is this right?
It is, and it's a very common strategy.
Once a Pokemon goes to your hand or deck, everything about it goes away. Think of it as if you had a second copy of it in your hand - "the game" doesn't know which one you put back into play. Not a perfect analogy since the same applies if you have no other cards in your hand (which doesn't matter since the hand is "unknown" to the game, but we're getting a little in the weeds there), but it's an easy way to think of and remember it.
What are the best sets for competitive deck building? Like, having useful trainer cards and decent pokemon evolution lines and support bench cards.
These cards are scattered in multiple sets, and the most cost-effective way to get them is to buy singles or in something like the Trainer's Toolkit or a League Battle Deck.
Rule question, I’m curious about the new Swordward/Shielbert card, it says to take a trainer from your discard and ask your opponent if you can keep it or draw 3 cards.. do you reveal the card you chose or not?
Anything you take from the discard pile is public knowledge (since what's in your discard pile before and after is available to them), so they get to know what card it is.
Oh duh, of course. Thanks!
Quick question: My Ponyta has a skill called returning flames where I could put 2 fire energy cards from my discard pile to my hand. Can I use this attack even if only one fire energy is present in my discard pile?
Sure, in that case (and in general in Pokemon) you "do as much as you can."
Thanks a lot for the answer :)
Can you share some helpful PTCGO discord servers?
May have better luck over on /r/ptcgo.
I have a question about Crobat from Battle Styles, is it (and I guess Golbat too) a good alternative to Crobat V in an Eternatus deck? I've not had the best luck with Darkness Ablaze and Shining Fates is impossible to find in my area so I don't have any copies of Crobat V but in my Battle Styles Booster Box I managed to pull 1 Crobat and they'll probably be easier to get my hands on than Crobat V.
I would look into grabbing singles especially right now tcgplayer has them 6-10 dollars depending on the art
Yeah I was thinking about that but alot of those low sellers don't show up on my side, I would assume it's because they don't ship internationally, the lowest I can see right now is the shining fates Crobat V for $10us + shipping so picking up 4 copies of those would put me down quite a bit.
No. A basic that you can play down to draw up to 6 cards is not comparable to a stage 2 that only draws 3.
I had a question on some GX attacks showing no damage. So the card in mind to use as an example is Arceus, Dialga, Palkia. Does Altered Creation do damage? Some GX attacks on cards show damage and others are blank
Not all attacks do damage, including GX attacks.
Figured as much! That plus sign was throwing me off?
Tag teams have an additional effect on their GX attacks if you meet the required extra energy. That's what the + sign represents
Does Coalossal VMax get the bonus damage from Strong Energy if that is the energy revealed with its first attack?
No. Strong Energy isn't attached when you calculate the damage, so the extra damage isn't applied. This is supported by the fact that the attack even states that it does 90 more damage, *then* you attach the energy.
Howdy everyone! I was wondering where the best place was to buy really cheap booster boxes. I don’t really care if the packs were tampered with or anything like that, as I’m not trying to pull anything out of them. I just want the box to be in good condition. Thank y’all in advance!
Best place to sell Pokémon cards? Best way to go about selling them?
So, I don’t really know the most about Pokémon cards, I bought some for fun but I pulled a shiny Charizard & Braixen GX and a shiny Lillie’s Full Force out of a Sun and Moon Cosmic Eclipse packet. I know some cards are kinda rare and hold value among traders. How would y’all suggest I go about selling these? They’re brand new out the packet, I haven’t messed with them at all I just want to know what the best course of action should be?
eBay or /r/pkmntcgtrades
What happens if all your basic pokemon are in the prize cards?
They can't be, since you have to find a Basic Pokemon to start in the Active Spot before you place your Prizes. Review the sequence of setting up to start a game in the rulebook.
Ah, that makes sense.
Quick rules question:
I have the HG/SS Mind Flood theme deck. Recently, I was stumped by a situation I ran into on the 2nd turn with Drowzee's move Sleep Inducer.
"Switch the defending Pokémon with 1 of your opponent's Benched Pokémon. The defending Pokémon is now Asleep."
My opponent did not have any benched Pokémon in play; is their Active Pokémon Asleep or does the move fail because there are no Pokémon that can become the "new" active one?
The attack fails and nothing goes to sleep.
Best place to buy packs and sealed products online? I thought PokeNerds would be great to buy from and join their community, but now I'm seeing all of these things dug up about them being awful sellers. I've purchased from Collector's Cache before, but wondering if anyone else had any suggestions?
Can someone explain to me how you can play a Pokémon in your deck that requires different energy than the energy you have in your deck?
Many Pokemon are used just for their Abilities and never attack. Common examples are Dedenne-GX and Crobat V.
i opened a shiny star v booster box and a dream league box.
Right now I want to buy a another box of dream league or shiny star v. Which set should I buy?
Which set will become most likely out of print in the near future?
Thank you for every answer!
Is there a way to get around Decidueye? It's a major thorn in my urshifu deck and need a way to counter the ability..
Run some pokemon that can attack through Decidueye
Or just accept that it's a bad match up and take the L. The deck is not super popular anyway
Base-Jungle-Fossil-Rocket era questions.
One, there's no real energy accel apart from Blastoise, right?
Two, what's a good general purpose engine?
Three, did decks in this era go as energy-light as modern decks? I'm finding 15 energy sometimes leaves me starved, but maybe I need better trainers?
It's for the Gameboy game 2 so I don't need top-level meta (and I'll often be limited on available cards), but it's nice to be consistent and to have a reliable set of staples to speed my deckbuilding.
So far mostly been using a Venusaur deck, with Dark Muk and Raticate as secondary attackers, and even with only two Venusaur it does pretty well.
Correct on Blastoise. Oak, Gust of Wind, Computer Search, Item Finder, ER/SER, Lass were all totally busted. Around 15 Energy is about normal.
I'm a long-time Magic player and my wife started taking an interest in card games. Given that MTG is so expensive and she enjoys Pokemon and PGo I figured it's worth trying out.
My question is, what's the the best way for the two of us to jump in and get started? I don't ever see us playing outside of our kitchen table. But eventually our kids might want to join in.
For adults, especially for someone which experience with TCGs, look at the League Battle Decks and Trainer's Toolkit. The decks are decent to start with (actual competitive strategies, just built a ltitle less than perfectly), and they're easily upgraded as you progress. A Youtube channel called Omnipoke did a great video on how to modify each deck with a Toolkit and a few extra cards.
Any particular battle decks I should be checking out? I'm coming in completely blind.
There are only these three, with one due to be released soon (Inteleon Vmax). They're all fine for casual tabletop play.
Wow I didn't realize if you buy physical you get codes for the same cards online! That's awesome.
How about if we eventually want to get our kids into it too?
>How about if we eventually want to get our kids into it too?
Depends how old they are. There's a Battle Academy set with three decks and a nice game board that's a good starting point. Otherwise more League Battle Decks if they're older.
Yeah they're 5-7 so I wasn't sure if the league decks would be too advanced and/or powerful for younger players.
Forgive my ignorance.
For that age the Battle Academy is great. League Battle Decks use more complex strategies and the reading and math might be a little much for them. It would be a good thing for them to grow into, though.
I realized the age part as soon as I replied to your last comment and quickly edited my reply accordingly.
Looks like you've already got the answers you need but thought I'd link [this piece](https://www.reddit.com/r/ptcgo/comments/m2xn3y/new_player_in_need_of_some_guidance/gqlxoi1/) with links to the contents for the existing League Battle deck and Trainer's Toolkit so you could see what's in them if you wish plus some resources for getting used to the game.
Re [Battle Academy](https://www.pokebeach.com/2020/05/pokemon-tcg-battle-academy-product-images-revealed) I wrote this for someone else in the same position:
Comes with 3 decks; two for basic learning to play (Charizard and Raichu) & one that's a bit more advanced (Mewtwo). It's also a good idea to use PTCGO's tutorial in association with this to learn to play. The official Pokemon You Tube channel also has a short [video](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tLIiyd1HL1s) of this product in action plus there's a [thread](https://www.reddit.com/r/pkmntcg/comments/ij8ubl/pre_built_decks_that_compliment_the_new_battle/) on /r/pkmntcg about building more decks at that power level that might be of use.
Hope that helps.
Very much, thank you!
Quick question. If I attack the opponent, and it causes a special condition, does the opponent instantly do a pokemon check up?
Pokemon Checkup happens in between turns all the time. If you Poison a Pokemon with an attack, they take the damage counter from Poison before their next turn.
What do you mean by between turns? Does it mean that when I attack and it ends my turn, it happens instantly?
You attack, your turn ends, Pokemon Checkup, your opponent's turn starts.
You've been such a good help, TYSM.
When a pokemon is knocked out and I draw a card because it's my turn, can I use the drawn card if it's a basic pokemon?
Sure. I guess I don't understand the question. When it's your turn, you can play Basic Pokemon to the Bench, and you can play the cards you draw.
If you're asking if you draw a Basic Pokemon from your Prizes, then no you can't play it immediately because your turn ends when you attack.
Let me try to fix my question with an explanation.
So, my pokemon gets knocked out. I draw a card because it's now my turn and it somehow is a basic pokemon. Can I use that drawn basic pokemon card to replace my knocked out active pokemon or does the replacement have to come from the bench?
Got it. You immediately promote a benched Pokemon to be your new Active Pokemon before you draw your card for the turn. You can play the new card you draw to the Bench.
Thanks a lot man.
Hey, I'm looking to get back in to PTCG in a rural area with nobody else to play with irl and I'm not excited about using PTCGO and work my collection up. Is there an active community that uses TableTop simulator or something similar?
I was convinced by some friends to play Pokémon again ended buying some Vivid Voltage and Battle Styles in the last month.
I haven’t played since The gym challenge / Neo genesis era.
Where can I learn of the changes to the game in the last twenty years? It’s a little overwhelming seeing cards over 120HP.
Probably won't have a list of everything but here's a quick summary:
* If you're the player going first then you cannot play a supporter in that turn.
* Power creep is a thing, this means that decks based around basics pretty much dominate especially as they're faster to get set up.
* EX, GX and V Pokemon give up two prizes when KO'd.
* Tag Team GX and VMAX Pokemon give up three prizes when KO'd.
* EX, Tag Team GX and V Pokemon can only be Basics but GX are a mix of Basics and Evolved depending on whether they can evolve in the video game or not. VMAX Pokemon are evolved versions of V Pokemon.
* GX Pokemon have special attacks called GX attacks. When used you need to flip a GX marker as you can only use one GX attack per game. Each GX attack has an additional effect if additional energy is attached meeting the attacks requirements; the best known attack like this forms the basis of the ADP Zacian deck due to the GX attack on [Arceus, Dialga & Palkia Tag Team GX](https://www.pokemon.com/uk/pokemon-tcg/pokemon-cards/sm-series/sm12/156/).
* Main support Pokemon atm in Standard are Dedenne GX (likely to rotate out of Standard this year) and Crobat V.
* Useful resources can be found through the bottom section of [this piece](https://www.reddit.com/r/ptcgo/comments/m2xn3y/new_player_in_need_of_some_guidance/gqlxoi1/). It's worth watching the You Tubers as that's going to be the best way to get back used to the game again.
Can I play Misty's Determination (Discard a card from your hand to look at the top 8 cards and put one into your hand) without having any cards left in my hand?