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buddyglass

new player howto guide

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buddyglass

Wasn't sure where to post this, so putting it here. This is a step-by-step guide for new players to maximize their time and get custom-deck-competitive as soon as possible. At least, it's my opinion on how best to do that.

1. Do the tutorial.
2. Put in one of the free codes that give you Rallying Cry. Google for these.
3. Log in every day and do your daily challenge. Pick the one w/ the most XP. If possible, also complete the daily versus ladder via theme deck battles.
4. Do trainer battles using the three starter decks until each one is maxed out with its power-ups. This happens at seven wins, on a given deck.
  a. If there's a trainer you haven't beaten yet, always fight that one.
  b. If one of the three starter decks has a type-advantage against that trainer, e.g. fire vs. grass, then use that deck.
  c. Otherwise, choose the deck that's the one farthest away from seven wins.
  d. If you've already won 7 battles with one of the starter decks then don't use it again for trainer battles; that's not a good use of your time.
5. Once you've maxed out the three starter decks, use them to fight Theme deck versus battles until you get 500 tokens.
6. Once you have 500 tokens, buy a new theme deck. Based on forum comments, Imperial Command and Mach Strike seem to be popular choices, but I'm sure others are strong as well.
7. Use your new deck to fight Theme versus battles until you've completed the daily ladder, if you haven't already. Do this each day. Completing it takes 11 wins. With a good purchased theme deck (i.e. not one of the starter decks) you should win 75% of your theme versus battles. That was my experience, at least. If you want to minimize the time it takes to complete the daily ladder then immediately concede any match where you have a disadvantage (indicated by a gold coin next to your opponent's name in the pre-match screen) and/or any match where your opponent has a type-advantage vs. your deck, e.g. he's fire and you're grass.
8. At this point you can either:
  a. Continue to fight theme versus battles to make progress towards the weekly ladder, or
  b. Fight trainer battles using your new deck to work toward 12 wins and a booster pack. If you go this route, then choose the trainer to fight as follows:
    i. if there's a trainer you haven't beaten yet then fight that one, otherwise
    ii. pick a trainer that your new theme deck has a type-advantage against; this makes the match take as little time as possible.  However,

    iii. Don't fight a trainer you've already beaten 4 times unless you've already beaten all of them 4 times, in which case pick whichever one your decks matches up best against.

General rules:

A. If you haven't completed the daily ladder then don't fight trainer battles. If you're in jeopardy of not at least reaching the next-to-last rung on the weekly ladder then don't fight trainer battles. If neither of those is the case, i.e. you've completed the daily ladder and you're on-course to reaching the next-to-last rung on the weekly ladder, *then* you can fight trainer battles.

B. When applicable, make your trainer battles do the most for you. Ideally with each match you're getting a win on a theme deck that doesn't yet have 12 wins *and* getting a win against a trainer you don't yet have 4 wins against. (At some point, when you've beaten all the trainers 4 times, that part no longer applies.)

C. Buy a new theme deck each time you hit 500 tokens. If you have any GX cards already, then start thinking of what sort of trainers you might want to surround them with in a custom deck. Figure out which theme decks have those trainers and purchase those theme decks. Not every trainer is available from a theme deck, but many are. See below for info on how to identify which theme deck has a given trainer. Unless you're buying two Mach Strike decks in order to form a custom deck (which seems to be a common suggestion), or unless you're trying to get more of a particular trainer (that isn't available in any other theme deck) then don't buy duplicate theme decks.

By the time you've defeated every trainer 4 times you should have 4-5 theme decks purchased and several booster packs from: progress on weekly ladder, winning 12 trainer battles with each purchased theme deck, beating each trainer 4 times, and progress on the "log in every day" ladder. This will probably take about a week, but that's just a guess. At this point you should have a variety of trainers from the theme decks you purchased, somewhere from 1 to 3 GX cards, and a wide variety of trainers. You now have the tools to build a custom deck that hopefully won't get spanked in non-theme versus play.

To figure out which theme deck has a given card:

1. In the TCGO app, navigate to the deck construction interface.
2. Click on the tab for the card type you're trying to locate, e.g. pokemon, trainer, etc.
3. Click the check box to "show all" instead of only the cards you own.
4. Search for your card by name. You should get several different versions in the results.
5. Examine each card and note the symbol that indicates which expansion it belongs to.
6. Match the symbol to a name using one of the sites that come up when you google "pokemon expansion symbols".  I tried to include links here but the forum filtered them out.
7. To find out which theme decks, if any, came with that expansion, google "pokemon tcg expansions" and click the link that goes to this site.
  a. Search for the expansion by name, e.g. "Lost Thunder"
  b. Click on the link to go to the "details" page for that expansion.
  c. At the left side bar there's a link to the theme decks that go with that expansion, if there are any. Click that link.
  d. Note the names of the theme decks, e.g. for "Lost Thunder" the decks are "Blazing Volcano" and "Storm Caller"
  e. Go back into the TCGO app and navigate to the store section.
  f. Click on the tab for "decks" and search for the theme decks you noted above.
  g. Click on the "eyeball" icon to see the cards in that deck and check whether it contains the trainer you're looking for.

Special notes about tournaments:

 

Until you get a custom deck that you're regularly winning 75% of your Standard/Expanded versus battles with, don't enter Standard/Expanded tournaments.  Instead, enter Theme deck tournaments and use your "strongest" purchased theme deck.  These are usually better than the three starter decks.  Theme tournaments neutralize the deck advantage other players have against you and give you better ROI on your ticket investment.  The one counterargument to this:  you might be able to achieve better ROI by entering Standard/Expanded tournaments if you build an "anti-GX" deck (using cards that are immune to EX/GX attacks or that do extra damage against them) or one that's gimmicky (e.g. a deck full of Rotoms with "Roto Moter", a bunch of tool cards, trainers that let you discard cards, and no energy).  Barring those types of decks, though, you're almost surely better served by limiting yourself to theme deck tournaments.

Edited by buddyglass

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Chasista

6. Once you have 500 tokens, buy a new theme deck. Based on forum comments, Imperial Command and Mach Strike seem to be popular choices, but I'm sure others are strong as well.

 

 

Although Mach Strike is a good theme deck, the best one has been Blazing volcano for the time being. Based on my little experience with the two new Theme Relentless flame and Torrential cannon, those two are very good being the fire the best but giving its weakness to water, an extra prominence to the water one.

 

The Theme players probably can say more but with the weaknesses triangle water > fire > grass, all decks from Ultra Prism to now (but the 2 from Forbbiden light) are close to the top, with Storm caller and Leaf charge being perceived as the not so good. Indeed, theme has never been so funny imo.

 

 

7. Use your new deck to fight Theme versus battles until you've completed the daily ladder, if you haven't already. Do this each day. Completing it takes 11 wins. With a good purchased theme deck (i.e. not one of the starter decks) you should win 75% of your theme versus battles. That was my experience, at least. If you want to minimize the time it takes to complete the daily ladder then immediately concede any match where you have a disadvantage (indicated by a gold coin next to your opponent's name in the pre-match screen) and/or any match where your opponent has a type-advantage vs. your deck, e.g. he's fire and you're grass.

 

Actually, you should NEVER quit having the opponent advantage in the pre-match screen. Being in disadvantage mean if you win, you get extra points for free (+5) and it's nothing related with the decks that are going to be played. That golden-ball advantage only means the ELO rating of the opponent is way upper than yours and is the result of the system choosing to give fast battles over close ELO rating to avoid long waitings.

 

I guess you have been loosing a ton of free ladder points conceding before time and in addition cutting your streaks.

 

To figure out which theme deck has a given card:

 

1. In the TCGO app, navigate to the deck construction interface.

2. Click on the tab for the card type you're trying to locate, e.g. pokemon, trainer, etc.

3. Click the check box to "show all" instead of only the cards you own.

4. Search for your card by name. You should get several different versions in the results.

5. Examine each card and note the symbol that indicates which expansion it belongs to.

6. Match the symbol to a name using one of the sites that come up when you google "pokemon expansion symbols".  I tried to include links here but the forum filtered them out.

7. To find out which theme decks, if any, came with that expansion, google "pokemon tcg expansions" and click the link that goes to this site.

  a. Search for the expansion by name, e.g. "Lost Thunder"

  b. Click on the link to go to the "details" page for that expansion.

  c. At the left side bar there's a link to the theme decks that go with that expansion, if there are any. Click that link.

  d. Note the names of the theme decks, e.g. for "Lost Thunder" the decks are "Blazing Volcano" and "Storm Caller"

  e. Go back into the TCGO app and navigate to the store section.

  f. Click on the tab for "decks" and search for the theme decks you noted above.

  g. Click on the "eyeball" icon to see the cards in that deck and check whether it contains the trainer you're looking for.

 

 

You'd end faster just going to Shop and doing the point G. Check what cards are in the decks, and if there's not the one you look for, check the next. A trainer being from one set doesn't mean there's not in a Theme of other set (Cynthia is from Ultra Prism and appears in both Team up Theme decks).

 

As information, Pokémon use to be tied to its own set and Themes (the TEU have only TEU pokémon) although not always (Hydro Fury is mixed for example).

 

In short, you can do all in game, but yours is a good way to learn wider.

Edited by Chasista
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buddyglass

Although Mach Strike is a good theme deck, the best one has been Blazing volcano for the time being.

I've had good luck with Imperial Command so far too.

 

Actually, you should NEVER quit having the opponent advantage in the pre-match screen. Being in disadvantage mean if you win, you get extra points for free (+5) and it's nothing related with the decks that are going to be played. That golden-ball advantage only means the ELO rating of the opponent is way upper than yours and is the result of the system choosing to give fast battles over close ELO rating to avoid long waitings.

 

I guess you have been loosing a ton of free ladder points conceding before time and in addition cutting your streaks.

I get what the golden ball means.  My advice here was solely intended to minimize the time investment to get to 11 wins and complete the daily ladder.  If you have a 25% of beating someone with a golden ball vs. 50% against someone you're evenly matched with, then the ROI strategy (from the perspective of minimizing time investment) is to skip the low-win-probability matches. How much of a bonus is there for win streaks?  I confess I didn't consider that.

 

You'd end faster just going to Shop and doing the point G. Check what cards are in the decks, and if there's not the one you look for, check the next.

That's what I did at first, and it was irritatingly slow since there are ~25 theme decks. I wish there was an index that let you quickly check which theme decks contain a given card but, alas, no such thing exists (that I know of).

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RobRatt

How much of a bonus is there for win streaks?  I confess I didn't consider that.

Win Streaks go up incrementally (10, 15, 20, etc.), up to a maximum of 30 points.  If you win against someone with the Advantage Pokeball, you get an additional 5 points for any of these games (so the ceiling is actually 35 possible).

Edited by RobRatt
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buddyglass

Win Streaks go up incrementally (10, 15, 20, etc.), up to a maximum of 30 points.  If you win against someone with the Advantage Pokeball, you get an additional 5 points for any of these games (so the ceiling is actually 35 possible).

 

So there are sort of competing interests.  The best strategy for quickly knocking out the daily ladder games may not be the optimal one for maximizing weekly ladder progress.

 

*IF* it's the case that completing the daily ladder every day is enough to complete the weekly ladder, then quickly knocking out the daily ladder each day seems like it could be a good approach.

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Chasista

* I've had good luck with Imperial Command so far too.

 

** I get what the golden ball means.  My advice here was solely intended to minimize the time investment to get to 11 wins and complete the daily ladder.  If you have a 25% of beating someone with a golden ball vs. 50% against someone you're evenly matched with, then the ROI strategy (from the perspective of minimizing time investment) is to skip the low-win-probability matches. How much of a bonus is there for win streaks?  I confess I didn't consider that.

 

*** That's what I did at first, and it was irritatingly slow since there are ~25 theme decks. I wish there was an index that let you quickly check which theme decks contain a given card but, alas, no such thing exists (that I know of).

 

 * Sure, it's a good deck. For sure has been outclassed by new ones but the fact can beat both best decks Blazing volcano and Relentless flame by weakness makes it being one of the decks to bear in mind.

 

** These % are invented, right?. More talking about Theme decks! Most important is be playing one of the last sets Theme and the weakness over the opponent's deck. But golden ball means nothing even in Standard or Expanded. If you win a lot you'll go high, then will fight other Meta decks and you'll go down. You can have Advantage over any other player that tanked the ratings or played Evo challenge with a deck just to evolve and loose. Doesn't mean they are bad. They can tank and then play again they Meta deck so you'll have advantage but you'll face a very good deck anyway. Indeed it cares so little that actually nobody should pay attention to the golden ball :lol:

 

*** Lately I've read about it. Someone suggested something similar. I thought about making a thread. But then threads  have so low attention that they loose pages backwards. Sadly it's very hard something to be pinned.. A trick is, if you look for a card from a set, you must only search that set onwards. It's not in between 30+ decks. Unless it's a reprint of course. It's obvious I know but I had to say. And then you remember a bit for the next search. Even faster: asking in forums. It was cool when forums were full. Now there's little activity.

 

BTW, good thread.

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buddyglass

Sure, it's a good deck. For sure has been outclassed by new ones but the fact can beat both best decks Blazing volcano and Relentless flame by weakness makes it being one of the decks to bear in mind.

Another strategy might be to cover a variety of energy types with the theme decks a user purchases in order to be able to always choose the "richest" daily challenge. As a "first purchase", though, picking one of the ones most likely to have versus success is the way to go.

 

These % are invented, right?

Yes, totally invented. That said, all else being equal, I'm most likely to win against someone over whom I have an ELO advantage and least likely to win against someone who has an ELO advantage over me. If I'm an "average" player then, in a match with roughly comparable ELO ratings, I should have about a 50% chance of winning.

 

Lately I've read about it. Someone suggested something similar. I thought about making a thread.

If I get inspired maybe I'll make an online search tool. Stick google ads on it. Odds on me getting that inspired are pretty low, though. :)

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SandaledOtter

So there are sort of competing interests.  The best strategy for quickly knocking out the daily ladder games may not be the optimal one for maximizing weekly ladder progress.

 

*IF* it's the case that completing the daily ladder every day is enough to complete the weekly ladder, then quickly knocking out the daily ladder each day seems like it could be a good approach.

 

Qualifying the "if":

 

  • The "weekly" ladder is a 3-week ladder. It's closer to a monthly ladder than a weekly one.
  • You need 2000 points to complete that, which can be broken up as 100 points per day for 20 days, giving you a day to spare.
  • The daily ladder is "completed" with 12 wins, regardless of streaks and points.
  • A win always gets you at least 10 points.

Completing the daily ladder every day is the "harder" challenge. Doing that gets you a minimum of 120 points every day, which easily completes the tri-week ladder in 17 days. Streaks will shorten that. The daily ladder structure indicates that they want you stop at 11 wins. That's why win 12+ gets you a reduced prize. That's still plenty.

Edited by SandaledOtter

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buddyglass

Also:  you know when you're on a streak and when you're not.  So it might make sense to adopt a "fail fast" strategy when your streak is nonexistent (i.e. lost previous match) or very short, then shift to "wait until the last minute to concede" once you get on a streak.

 

Case in point: I wasted 10 minutes last night on a match where I was playing Imperial Command and the other guy was Leaf Charge and also had gold coin advantage.  At the time, don't think I was on much of a streak.  The odds of my winning that match were very small and there was no streak bonus on the line.  I should probably not have spent the 10 minutes that I did.

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Sakura150612

Also:  you know when you're on a streak and when you're not.  So it might make sense to adopt a "fail fast" strategy when your streak is nonexistent (i.e. lost previous match) or very short, then shift to "wait until the last minute to concede" once you get on a streak.

 

Case in point: I wasted 10 minutes last night on a match where I was playing Imperial Command and the other guy was Leaf Charge and also had gold coin advantage.  At the time, don't think I was on much of a streak.  The odds of my winning that match were very small and there was no streak bonus on the line.  I should probably not have spent the 10 minutes that I did.

Keep in mind a few things:

 

1) Grinding points is only a means to an end (obtaining cards), not an end on its own. Of course, completing the ladder faster to get your hands on the rewards is good, but the whole point of the game is really to have fun. Losing a long, hard fought game can be a bit frustrating, but it's exactly that kind of game that is the most fun regardless of the outcome. Even if you gain less points, I wouldn't call such games a waste. It's all a matter of perspective, so if you can look at it from this angle, you won't feel like you wasted your time. (PS. You still earn points for a losing game if it was long enough. Not sure what the actual factors that determibe it are, but you can win up to 5 point, I think, in a game you lost).

 

2) Hindsight is 20/20. Specially in Theme matches where a lot more luck is involved (due to not having nearly as many consistency cards as a custom deck can include), you really never know the outcome of the game until it plays out. For all you know, your opponent may end up drawing completely dead and conceding turn 1, giving you 15 free points (this scenario isn't all that uncommon). Even if they don't, they may still end up playing from behind if you get dealt a better hand than them. If you look back after losing it may look like the outcome was obvious, but in reality it wasn't. Again, this goes double for Theme matches due to having a much larger luck factor.

 

I do now where you're comming from though. Sometimes I'm just too tired to play a tough game and just concede against bad matchups if I don't have a winstreak. But I wouldn't recommend it as a general strategy, it's just a good option for when you just don't want to play a tough, neck-to-neck game regardless of the outcome.

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Chasista

 (PS. You still earn points for a losing game if it was long enough. Not sure what the actual factors that determibe it are, but you can win up to 5 point, I think, in a game you lost).

 

1 point per each prize you got. Max is 5 because if you get 6 is a win :lol:

 

Although is even possible to get a prize that can be #6 or 5 and 6 after your opponent have won, I don't know if it's counted.

 

Fast example, opponent KOs you for 6th prize but have low HP and you have a Spell tag or Turtonator GX effect of an attack (or another ability). So once you are KOed (and you've lost), you still place some counters in opponent's pokémon, that leads you to a prize that could be #6. Order of operations makes you loose but you still KO opponent too "out of the game". :rolleyes:

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Sakura150612

1 point per each prize you got. Max is 5 because if you get 6 is a win :lol:

 

Although is even possible to get a prize that can be #6 or 5 and 6 after your opponent have won, I don't know if it's counted.

 

Fast example, opponent KOs you for 6th prize but have low HP and you have a Spell tag or Turtonator GX effect of an attack (or another ability). So once you are KOed (and you've lost), you still place some counters in opponent's pokémon, that leads you to a prize that could be #6. Order of operations makes you loose but you still KO opponent too "out of the game". :rolleyes:

I see, so that's how it works. I was really curious about that detail. Thanks for the tidbit xd

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SandaledOtter

Well, there are exceptions. Because there are cards that can add to your prize count, you could get more than 5 and still lose. I've only run into that once so far.

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Mod_Alder

Hello trainers, thank you to everyone in this thread for posting your thoughts and feedback. I'm sure this thread will be helpful to new players. 

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buddyglass

I'm going to try to tighten up what I originally wrote and incorporate the new information in peoples' comments.  I agree with others that the original version contained some bad advice.

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buddyglass

Here's the shorter, updated version.  Please let me know if you see issues.  I tried to incorporate all the feedback on what I originally wrote:

 

1. Finish the tutorial.
2. Enter a code to get the "Rallying Cry" deck.  Google for the codes (there are several different ones).  These aren't great cards, but they're free.
3. Beat seven *different* trainers with each of your three starter decks (fire, water, lightning).
  a. Starter decks get a new card each time you beat a new trainer, for the first seven trainers (per deck).
  b. Theme decks never have cards added; instead, you get a booster pack when you've beaten twelve different trainers with that deck.
  c. To save time, use whichever starter deck matches up best against a given trainer, e.g. fire against grass.
  d. If no starter deck has a clear advantage then just pick the one that's furthest away from seven wins.
  e. Fight the trainers in order, i.e. fight the highest "unlocked" trainer if any are locked.
4. Once all trainers are unlocked, keep battling them until you get enough coins (500) to buy your first theme deck.
  a. You get coins the first four times you beat a given trainer *with different decks*.
  b. The fourth win (using different decks) over a given trainer earns you a booster pack.
5. For your first theme deck, buy whichever one is currently thought to be "most powerful".
  a. Check these forums; there are usually several threads on this topic.
  b. The most recently released theme decks are usually the most powerful, but not always.
6. With your theme deck in hand you're ready to start fighting versus battles and tournaments.
  a. The daily versus ladder maxes out at 11 wins, so make that your goal each day.  Not everyone can (or would want) to invest this much time; that's totally fine.
  b. The daily and three-week versus ladders, along with tournaments, are how you earn more coins and booster packs.
  c. If you complete the daily ladder each day over a three-week period then you're guaranteed to complete the tri-weekly ladder.
  d. Wins are worth 10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 points, depending on the length of your win streak.  There's a +5 bonus for "upset" wins.
  e. An "upset" win is when you beat someone who has a higher "rating" than you, indicated by a gold coin next to their name in the pre-match screen.
7. Advice to maximize ROI as measured by "cards per unit time":
  a. Once you've bought your first theme deck, don't fight trainer battles until you've maxed out the daily versus ladder (11 wins).
  b. Complete the "daily challenge" each day if you can.  These give you rewards and let you "level up", which leads to more lucrative challenges.
  c. Don't fight a trainer with a particular deck if you've already beaten him or her with that same deck; there are no rewards.
  d. If there's a trainer whose booster pack you haven't yet earned, then fight him before fighting any trainer whose booster pack you *have* already earned.
  e. Stick to "Theme" type versus battles and tournaments until you have good enough cards to be competitive with a custom deck.
  f. To maximize efficiency (though not necessarily "fun") figure out which theme decks are currently "most powerful" and use them exclusively for versus and tournaments.
  g. If your previous match ended in a loss then conceding a match "early" doesn't "cost" anything.  If you're in that situation and are paired with an opponent whose deck you match up poorly against (e.g. grass vs. fire), or if you get into the match and the cards don't go your way, then don't hesitate to pull the plug "early" and concede.  However, once you have a streak on the line, you probably want to play these games out.  At least up to the point where it's obvious there is no path to victory.
  h. Buy theme decks with an eye toward covering the most common Pokemon types, since the daily challenges are all type-specific.  It's hard to do 500 damage with grass Pokemon if you have no grass Pokemon.
  i. Once you've covered all the types with your (non-starter) theme decks, start thinking about what cards you might want to build into a custom deck.  Buy theme decks with an eye toward acquiring those cards.
 

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Sakura150612

That's a pretty good recopilation memo you got there. Should be pretty useful for anyone looking to start out.

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