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SpartaNath

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Hey everyone, I'm new the the TCG scene, used to collect when I was younger but that's about it. I was wondering about tips and stuff on how to get started because even after the tutorial I'm still pretty lost.

 

Thanks

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SpartaNath, on 01 Mar 2016 - 1:29 PM, said:

 

Hey everyone, I'm new the the TCG scene, used to collect when I was younger but that's about it. I was wondering about tips and stuff on how to get started because even after the tutorial I'm still pretty lost.

 

Thanks

Hello!

 

First of all, welcome to the PTCGO! The community here is very nice so feel free to ask for help with anything you might need.

 

The thing with the tutorial is that it only teaches you the basic mecanics of the game. It won't teach you anything regarding metagame, the game's economy, the player interactions, etc. I would recomend that you search through some of the forums for things that might look useful. People sometimes post guides and other useful things for begginers.

 

I'll try to list here a few things to get you started. If you played the TCG as a kid then you're already familiar with the basics of the game, such as the victory conditions and some of the specific rules. I'm gonna give you a list of things you could try to get started.

 

When you begin playing, you will already have a few cards in your collection, but probably not enough to build your own custom decks right off the bat. The tools the game provides new players to increase their collection is basically VS ladder rewards, Winner's Wheel after a match, Trainer Challenge and Daily Challenges. There are tournaments as well. Tournaments aren't played only by pros, so they aren't as daunting as they might seem at first. Your everyday player using a low budget deck can definetly win 1st place consistantly, but for the time being you should hold off on playing them.

 

Up ahead I will list all of the gamemodes and game features that I think you should try out, more than less in the order that you should do them for the progression to be smooth and natural.

 

 

> Trainer Challenge:

 

This is probably the first place you should go to after finishing the tutorial. These are all games against the AI. Things you should know about this:

  • By default, you will have available the XY Basic Blue, Green and Red decks to use. These decks are known as "Theme Decks"; they are pre-constructed decks that can only be used against other pre-constructed decks. Of these 3, Blue and Green are the better ones, but do try all 3 of them if you can.
  • These 3 basic sets are incmplete at first. Every time you beat a new trainer with these 3 decks you will obtain a new, better card that replaces one of the cards you used to have. I believe that after beating 7 different trainers in TC the deck becomes complete, and it becomes available to be played in PvP (Versus ladder and Tournaments).
  • There is a 4th Theme Deck that you get for free named "Mental Might". This deck is special however: it can only be used in PvP and not in TC, so if you're wondering howcome you can't see it among your decks in TC, that's the reason. I'll talk about it later since it can't be use in TC.
  • After beating 12 different trainers in TC with 1 Theme Deck (including the 3 basic sets) you will recieve a free tradelocked Booster Pack, which contains 10 tradelocked cards. As the name would imply, tradelocked cards cannot be traded. However, they are extremely useful for new players. They're a good way to increase your collection quickly and build new decks once you have enough cards.
  • For TC you get points after defeating each trainer for that particular trainer. After a certain amount of points you earn a star for that trainer. For clearing the first 3 stars you get tokens which can be used to buy things in the token shop (I'll discuss that later), and for the 4th star you get a tradelocked booster pack. I believe you also get rewards for completing the stars for the overall cups (Gold, Plat and City Championship).
  • You can adjust the difficulty settings. I suggest that you start with easy to get a feeling of the game first, but once you start having an easy time beating them bring up the difficulty. Higher difficulty settings provide more points upon victory.
  • You don't need to get all stars for everything before making the jump to PvP. The main point of playing TC as a new player is to expand your collection as much as possible, complete the Basic sets so that they can be used in PvP, gain tokens to buy packs and promos from the token shop and learn the ropes of the game (beyond what the turorial teaches you).

 

> The Versus Ladder:

 

This is where your journey into thw world of PvP (or Player vs Player) begins. In VS you can choose between 4 different game formats: Theme, Standard, Expanded, Unlimited.

 

Theme allows pre-constructed decks only (including basic blue/red/green + Mental Might). The other 3 formats are all for custom decks. The division in formats has to do with card rotations. Every so many new expansions released, the ones at the bottom of the rotation get moved into the next format. It's mostly a way of keeping the game fresh. Because of this, Standard has the smallest card pool and it's the easiest custom format for a new player to join. You can definetly go to Expanded and Unlimited later on however.

 

My suggestion is that you start out with the Theme format, as you do not need to know anything of deck construction yet and it will give you a good idea of how human players play this game while using decks that are similar to the ones the AI uses. You will be able to tell the rise in difficulty even against other begginers, as humans generally make better decitions than even the Hard level AI.

 

 

 

> The Theme Format:

 

In this format you will be playing against the basic sets red/blue/green, older basic sets that are no longer available (people who joined a long time ago have them), Mental Might and the theme decks that can be bought from the token shop (I'm getting there I swear xd). A few things that you should know about Theme Decks:

  • You will own all the cards from the Theme Decks you own, which means that you can (later) use them in your own custom decks.
  • Theme decks purchased from the token shop are tradelocked, as are all of its cards. Only the cards from Theme decks purchased irl (which come with a code to redeem them in the TCGO) contain tradable cards. However, these decks are still very useful. Not all of them are strong, but many of them contain very good cards that you might have a hard time obtaining otherwise.
  • Since you already have the XY Basic Blue and Green and they're both very strong, I suggest that you start using those. Mental Might is also a good start, and when you feel like buying your first theme deck, Dark Hammer is probably the best one right now (they cost 500 tokens for reference). Iron tide is also a good choice.
  • Every time you win a game in the Versus mode, you will recieve 10 points (or 15 if you win against someone with the "advantage" symbol; this symbol means that their MMR or matchmaking rate is higher than yours, but it's definetly not impossible to beat them). The ladder is capped at 2000 points, and every so many points you obtain rewards. Each ladder contains 3 sets of non-EX cards, 2 EX cards, a few chests that contain random cards and tokens, and a bunch of tokens and tickets (ticekts are the entry fee for certain tournaments). If you complete the ladder all the way to the end, you will recieve a Full Art supporter. These FA supporters don't have any advantage over their Regular Art counterparts. They're mostly just a luxury to have, but they are still pretty nice.
  • Sadly I don't know much of the Theme format metagame, so I can't tell you much beyond which decks are strong. I think that by just playing against other people with these decks you will learn what's effective, what strategies are common, what's your goal in each deck and game, etc.

 

 

> Matchmaking:

 

Matchmaking is decided by your ELO or MMR, which is a hidden value determined by a series of factors such as your win/loss rate (I don't think you can see that yourself anywhere but it's not particularly relevant either), the number of games you've played, etc. Simply put, you will (generally) get matched against other players of your same skill level. There isn't much that you need to know about this besides the fact that VS will do it's best to make you play games where you have a fair chance of winning (not guaranteed 50-50; just a reasonable chance of winning). Do note that tournament queues do not account for MMR. They will just grab the first 8 players that join and put them together on a tournament. MMR might or might not affect the distribution of the braket, but it doesn't change the fact that you could easily get matched up against more experienced players, which is why you should probably hold off on them for the time being.

 

 

> Daily Challenges:

 

Each day, when you log in, you will recieve a "challenge". At the begining (trainer level 0) you will only get to choose from 1 challenge each day (i.e. you can't chose xd) and will be able to store up to 1 challenge. Daily challenges don't expire; you have as much time as you want to finish them. However, if you've used up your store limit you cannot get a new one. Each type has its own experience bar and the level cap for each type is lvl3 (lvl30 in total since there are 10 types bar colorless). As you level up you will get more choices for challenges every day (up to 3 which happens at around lvl7) and will be able to store more challanges (up to 3 at around lvl10). Things you should know of daily challenges:

  • Upon completion you will recieve a reward. Challenges that give 1 or 2 experience give tokens, and challenges that give 3 experience give a tradelocked booster pack.
  • 1 EXP challenges: these involve doing a certain amount of damage with a specifict card type.
  • 2 EXP challenges: these involve putting a certain amount of evolution cards of a specific card type into play.
  • 3 EXP challenges: these involve getting a certain amount of KOs with a particular card type.
  • At first you can complete Dailies in Trainer Challenge. Beyond a particular level though (lvl5 I believe) Dailies can only be completed in PvP.
  • Trainer level has no bearing in the game beyond allowing you to choose from more challenges and allowing you to store more challenges. The main point of these Challenges is to give players a way of increasing their collection and tokens (which can in turn be used to also increase your collection).
  • There will sometimes be special challenges. These do not take up a slot from your storage and you cannot choose them; you just get them sometimes due to events. These do have a time limit (5 days usually), have a harder clear condition (usually the same as the daily challenge ones but with larger numbers) and [usually] give better rewards.

 

 

> The Store:

 

You can access it by pressing the yellow shopping cart in the top. Here you will find Booster Packs that are currently legal in Standard, promo packs (wich sometimes contain cards/packs from older expansions, as well as gameplay items), theme decks and avatar items. A few things that are relevant:

 

  • Booster packs: They cost 200 tokens and come with 10 tradelocked cards. Might not be the best inversion for a new player since you won't have that many tokens, but they will be useful later on when you havePromotions: Limited time offers that usually include a booster pack plus a few extra goodies, such as gameplay items and promo cards.

 

  • Gameplay items: probably not where you want to blow your first few tokens. These items only give cosmetical changes to your deck (Deckboxes, Sleeves and Coins). When you feel like you have more tokens than what you need for cards this is probably something you'll want to check out.

 

  • Avatar items: Right now there's only the Pikachu box, which gives avatar items. The real value of these boxes though is that they are the only tradable token items in the game. Some trading companies here in the forums (I'll get to that later) accept pikachu boxes as payment (they're low value but they still give you a way of buying tradable cards with tokens via trading companies).

 

 

> The Leap to Standard:

 

While this is arguable, a lot of people consider Standard to be the core of the game. It's the main custom deck format and it has the smallest and newest card pool. There are many, many things that can be said about this, so I'll just list here some things that I consider to be key and suggest to to skim through the PvP forum and the Deck Construction forum for specific advice on the metagame and strategy.

 

I'll mention a few things about rules first when making a standard deck. Some of these are obvious, others not so much.

 

  • All decks must contain exactly 60 cards. You can't go over, but you can't go below either.

 

  • You can only have up to 4 cards in your deck with the same name. This means that you can't, for eample, have 5 seedots, even if one of those seedots is completely different from the others or has different attacks.

 

  • You must own all the cards that are in your deck. If there is a card that you have multiple copies of but in different prints, you must actually include the copies of the prints you own (so for example, if you have 2 Profesor Sycamore from XY and 2 from BREAKpoint, you need to include 2 from XY and 2 from BP. If you put 4 from XY your deck will not be playable because it has cards you don't own).

 

  • Your cards must all be legal in standard. That means that they must all belong to expansions currently in the Standard Rotation. In the current rotation, all cards from XY and on are legal in standard.

 

  • Cards that have been reprinted in a currently standard-legal expansion can be used. For this to happen the card must be an actual reprint as opposed to a similar card (example: the old Judge card from HGSS can still be used because it was reprinted in the XY Era. The BW Garbodor cannot be used in Standard even though there is a new Garbodor in BP. They have the same ability but different attacks, therefore BP Garbodor is not a reprint of the old Garbodor).

     

Now you know how to build a deck that will be considered as valid in the Standard format. At first your cardpool will be limited so you will have to get creative with what you have. As you gain more cards, tokens and experience you will become capable of building better decks.

 

When you're building your first custom decks, you can try starting with a "Budget Deck." These are low budget decks that can be built with cheap cards. They are known for being both strong and easy to obtain its pieces. The 2 main examples I give to every new player are Night March and any of its variants, and Ancient Trait (AT) Medicham. You can google a decklist for either of those and you'll instantly find one. These decks typically don't use many (or any) EX cards or any other expensive cards, so they're easy to build for someone with fewer resources.

 

 

> Obtaining Specific Cards

 

So lets say you've got your collection rolling with the different sources of tradelocked booster packs. Now you're trying to search for specific cards to build a deck. Lets say you're building an AT Medicham deck, and you've already obtained 1 meditite and 1 AT medicham, but that's not enough to build a deck. You want either 3 and 3 or even 4 and 4. So how do you get the other cards without having to rely on lucky pulls from booster packs? There are a few ways:

 

  • Public Trade: Probably the most intuitive way. By going to the Trade menu and looking at public offers, you'll see what people are offereing for the tradable cards you own, and you can make your own offers as well. If most of your cards are tradelocked this can be kind of hard to use. The main way of obtaining tradable cards is either with physical booster pack codes or winning tournaments, which give tradable booster packs as a reward. There are Theme Deck tournaments which you can play, so once you feel confident in your ability but not in your Standard Decks, you can head there to spend some tickets and get booster packs (I'll get to this later). Public Trade offers warning: Before you accept a trade in the public trade offers list, be sure to check in the forums first for the actual prices of the cards involved. You can use the price lists of the Trading Companies (explained below) as a reference value. Sometimes you will come across rare or very expensive cards by complete chance, and you'll see people making offers for them in the public trade. Some people will offer you way, way less than what the card is really worth, but you have no way of knowing that unless you first check its market value online. A lot of these people don't mean to scam you; they really do think that they are making a fair offer because they don't know the actual value of the cards either. So to avoid falling for scams (be they intentional or not), be sure to check the card prices first.
  • Trading Companies: This is my favorite method. The way it works is that there are threads here in the In-Game Item Exchange forum where there are shop threads. Over there, the companies accept tradable packs (including tournament chests [which you obtain as a consolation prize if you lose on round 1 of a tournament, so don't open those if you get any from tournaments] and pikachu boxes) as payment, and in exchange they give you the cards you need. They have neatly organized price lists for most cards and the value at which your packs are accepted. The standard currency are Roaring Skies packs, which are valued at 1 almost universally. The other packs have different values. For reference, BP packs are being accepted at 0,7-0,8 right now. All you need to do is go to their threads, read their prices and pack rates, and make a post with your offer (they usually have somewhere in the original post a list of traders. You need to send them a friend request and after you make the purchase request you will be sent a private trade offer for the packs you desire to pay with, and you'll get the card you need it). A few things:
    • Don't feel afraid to use them. At first, when I was completely new myself, didn't know how companies worked so I held off from using them for a while. They're not complicated at all and will usually give you better prices than the public trade.
    • A lot of the cards you'll need as a begginer are cheap (between 0,5 and 1 packs). This means that you can buy some of them with pikachu boxes (do note that companies usually set a limit on how many pikachu boxes you can use per offer, but it's still a very good way of obtaining specific cards if they're cheap enough).
    • Tournament chests obtained from losing in round 1 of a tournament are actually quite valueable (they are priced at around 0,5), so don't open them; use them as payment in trading companies. Don't worry about the tradelocked chests from the ladder or winners wheel though; those are tradelocked so feel free to open them.
    • Gerenally speaking, if you have tradable packs it's better to use them as payment than open them, although as a new player it might be worth it opening a few to increase your collection.

 

> Tournaments:

 

[EDIT: TPCi Mike just posted the actual tournament rotation. It's pretty similar to the one I posted here but it does have slight differences. You can go check it out here: http://forums.pokemontcg.com/topic/38935-rotation-information/#entry451059]

 

In this game there are on-demand tournaments. There are usually between 2 through 4 queues available for different formats and different entry fees. Once a queue is filled, the tournament begins. I do not know for certain the complete rotation, but I do know that the full rotation happens in 2 weeks and that there are special tournaments during the weekend. The rotation is aproximately like this:

  • Week 1
    • Entry: 49 tokens; Format: Theme; Prize: Tickets.
    • Entry: 4 tickets; Format; Standard; Prize: Booster Packs.
  • Weekend 1:
    • Entry: 49 tokens; Format: Theme; Prize: Tickets.
    • Entry: 4 tickets; Format; Standard; Prize: Booster Packs.
    • Entry: 6 tickets; Format; Expanded; Prize: Booster Packs.
  • Week 2
    • Entry: 49 tokens; Standard: Theme; Prize: Tickets.
    • Entry: 4 tickets; Format; Theme; Prize: Booster Packs.
  • Weekend 2:
    • Entry: 49 tokens; Format: Standard; Prize: Tickets.
    • Entry: 4 tickets; Format; Theme; Prize: Booster Packs.
    • Entry: 4 tickets; Format; Expanded; Prize: Booster Packs.
    • Entry: 6 tickets; Format; Standard; Prize: Booster Packs.

 

I highlighted the ones that might be of your interest at first. What you can do once you want to start playing tournaments to get tradable booster packs, is earn tickets in one week, and then spend them on ticket tournaments to earn booster packs.

> Metagame and Strategy:

 

I'll only touch on this one briefly because it's really far down the road, it's a very dense topic, and it's constantly evolving. Whatever specific tips I may give you on the current meta could end up being obsolete a few weeks for now. But I'll mention a few things that could be interesting and that might be of use:

  • Simply put, the metagame reffers to what is being used by the players, how strong each individual deck and strategy is and how they fare against other decks and strategies that might be popular at the time. Like I said, this is constantly evolving. The introduction of new expansions can change the meta, but interestingly, the meta can change even when no new cards are released. A lot of time new strategies and combinations become formulated and catch on a while after the release of a new card, and what the players are using can change.
  • While I'm at it, there are only 3 basic victory conditions in this game, and your strategy for each deck will necessarily aim to achieve 1 of them. These are the following:
    • Taking all the prizes: The most straightfoward one. Decks that aim for this goal will focus on using cards that have potential for racking up KOs.
    • KOing all of your oppoent's pokemon in the active and bench: Similar to the above since you still need pokemon that can get KOs with ease. This is more situational as you won't get the chance to delete all of your opponent's bench in every game. Damage Spread decks can do this a bit more easily since they damage multiple pokemon at once.
    • Decking out your opponent: Some decks do not try to take prizes at all, as weird as that sounds. These are known as "mill decks", and their objective is just to stall you untill you run out of deck. The use cards that force you to discard cards as well. It's actually really efficient and kind of hard to deal with if you don't know what you're doing.
    • If your opponent's clock runs down to 0, you auto-win. This isn't a reliable strategy however; most players will manage their time well enough to not lose to the clock. Situationally you can aim to do this, when you know you have no chance of achieving one of the basic 3 conditions and your opponent is low in time; you can try to stall your opponent from taking all 6 prizes and hope that they run out of time. But again, this isn't something you'll aim to do every game.
  • There are many different types of decks and many different strategies that they can follow in order to achieve victory. Each deck type and each specific deck within its decktype has its own strengths and weaknesses. Up ahead I will discuss a bit about generic decktypes to give you an idea of what people might be playing and what they are aiming to do with each deck.

 

> Deck Types

 

There are many different ways of achieving one of the win conditions, which gives birth to the different deck types. Chickenman made recently a decktype thread with some specific examples, so I'll direct you there. Here's the link: http://forums.pokemontcg.com/topic/38872-the-main-different-types-of-decks/

 

I'll give you a brief list + description of some of the main types, but Chickenman's thread goes into more detail.

  • Speed Decks: If you've ever heard of the Blitzkrieg, this is Pokemon's version of it. You aim do do massive damage early game.
  • Power Decks: The late-game decks. They usually start slow but are nigh unstoppable once the snowball gets rolling.
  • Energy Accelerator Decks: They use cards that in one way or another bypass the "1 energy per turn" rule. There are pokemon that can attach energies from the discard pile and others that can attach energies from the deck.
  • Anti EX Decks: Decks that focus on the ability of denying your opponents from using EX cards. They typically use cards with effects that either do increased damaged to pokemon EX (like Garchomp BP) or block damage and/or effects from the opposing pokemon EX (like Regice).
  • Board Control Decks: This is a large category that includes several decktypes. The basic idea of control decks are denying your opponent the use of one or more of their resources. A few subtypes would be:
    • Item Lock: Effects or abilities that block your opponent from playing items: Example: Sesmitoad EX, Trevenant XY.
    • Ability Lock: Cards that block the usage of abilities. Example: Garbodor, Bide Barricade Wobbuffet.
    • Stadium Lock: Not as common as the 2 before, but useful in some decks. It prevents stadium cards from being played. Example: Ninetails, Giratina EX
    • Energy Denial: Cards that focus on denying your opponent the use of their energies. There are several cards that can do this, including items, supporters and pokemon. A lot of times combined with mill decks.
  • Mill Decks: Decks that will focus on making your deck hit 0 at all cost. The typical examples include Bunnelby and Durant.
  • Stall Decks: They also play towards decking you out, but rather than discarding your deck, they focus on stalling untill you slowly but surely run out of cards. Typical example: Wailord EX.
  • Damage Spread Decks: Decks that damage multiple pokemon simultaneously. The point is to overwhelm your opponent by damaging many pokemon at once. Example: Trevenant BREAK, Noivern.
  • Sniper Decks: Decks that focus on killing your bench. Example: M Latios EX.

 

I think that covers just about everything you need to get started on the PTCGO. I hope this will be of use to you, and if you have any more doubts, feel free to ask.

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Like 100% sure Gonzo probably mentioned it, but I would check trading companies for a good price guide, Violet City and Phantom Knight are my recommendations. Plz don't get salty Top Cut...it will only make u look worse! ;)

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Hello!

 

First of all, welcome to the PTCGO! The community here is very nice so feel free to ask for help with anything you might need.

 

The thing with the tutorial is that it only teaches you the basic mecanics of the game. It won't teach you anything regarding metagame, the game's economy, the player interactions, etc. I would recomend that you search through some of the forums for things that might look useful. People sometimes post guides and other useful things for begginers.

 

I'll try to list here a few things to get you started. If you played the TCG as a kid then you're already familiar with the basics of the game, such as the victory conditions and some of the specific rules. I'm gonna give you a list of things you could try to get started.

 

 

> When you begin playing, you will already have a few cards in your collection, but probably not enough to build your own custom decks right off the bat. The tools the game provides new players to increase their collection is basically VS ladder rewards, Winner's Wheel after a match, Trainer Challenge and Daily Challenges. There are tournaments as well. Tournaments aren't played only by pros, so they aren't as daunting as they might seem at first. Your everyday player using a low budget deck can definetly win 1st place consistantly, but for the time being you should hold off on playing them.

 

 

> Trainer Challenge:

 

This is probably the first place you should go to after finishing the tutorial. These are all games against the AI. Things you should know about this:

  • By default, you will have available the XY Basic Blue, Green and Red decks to use. These decks are known as "Theme Decks"; they are pre-constructed decks that can only be used against other pre-constructed decks. Of these 3, Blue and Green are the better ones, but do try all 3 of them if you can.
  • These 3 basic sets are incmplete at first. Every time you beat a new trainer with these 3 decks you will obtain a new, better card that replaces one of the cards you used to have. I believe that after beating 7 different trainers in TC the deck becomes complete, and it becomes available to be played in PvP (Versus ladder and Tournaments).
  • There is a 4th Theme Deck that you get for free named "Mental Might". This deck is special however: it can only be used in PvP and not in TC, so if you're wondering howcome you can't see it among your decks in TC, that's the reason. I'll talk about it later since it can't be use in TC.
  • After beating 12 different trainers in TC with 1 Theme Deck (including the 3 basic sets) you will recieve a free tradelocked Booster Pack, which contains 10 tradelocked cards. As the name would imply, tradelocked cards cannot be traded. However, they are extremely useful for new players. They're a good way to increase your collection quickly and build new decks once you have enough cards.
  • For TC you get points after defeating each trainer for that particular trainer. After a certain amount of points you earn a star for that trainer. For clearing the first 3 stars you get tokens which can be used to buy things in the token shop (I'll discuss that later), and for the 4th star you get a tradelocked booster pack. I believe you also get rewards for completing the stars for the overall cups (Gold, Plat and City Championship).
  • You can adjust the difficulty settings. I suggest that you start with easy to get a feeling of the game first, but once you start having an easy time beating them bring up the difficulty. Higher difficulty settings provide more points upon victory.
  • You don't need to get all stars for everything before making the jump to PvP. The main point of playing TC as a new player is to expand your collection as much as possible, complete the Basic sets so that they can be used in PvP, gain tokens to buy packs and promos from the token shop and learn the ropes of the game (beyond what the turorial teaches you).

 

> The Versus Ladder:

 

This is where your journey into thw world of PvP (or Player vs Player) begins. In VS you can choose between 4 different game formats: Theme, Standard, Expanded, Unlimited.

 

Theme allows pre-constructed decks only (including basic blue/red/green + Mental Might). The other 3 formats are all for custom decks. The division in formats has to do with card rotations. Every so many new expansions released, the ones at the bottom of the rotation get moved into the next format. It's mostly a way of keeping the game fresh. Because of this, Standard has the smallest card pool and it's the easiest custom format for a new player to join. You can definetly go to Expanded and Unlimited later on however.

 

My suggestion is that you start out with the Theme format, as you do not need to know anything of deck construction yet and it will give you a good idea of how human players play this game while using decks that are similar to the ones the AI uses. You will be able to tell the rise in difficulty even against other begginers, as humans generally make better decitions than even the Hard level AI.

 

 

 

> The Theme Format:

 

In this format you will be playing against the basic sets red/blue/green, older basic sets that are no longer available (people who joined a long time ago have them), Mental Might and the theme decks that can be bought from the token shop (I'm getting there I swear xd). A few things that you should know about Theme Decks:

  • You will own all the cards from the Theme Decks you own, which means that you can (later) use them in your own custom decks.
  • Theme decks purchased from the token shop are tradelocked, as are all of its cards. Only the cards from Theme decks purchased irl (which come with a code to redeem them in the TCGO) contain tradable cards. However, these decks are still very useful. Not all of them are strong, but many of them contain very good cards that you might have a hard time obtaining otherwise.
  • Since you already have the XY Basic Blue and Green and they're both very strong, I suggest that you start using those. Mental Might is also a good start, and when you feel like buying your first theme deck, Dark Hammer is probably the best one right now (they cost 500 tokens for reference). Iron tide is also a good choice.
  • Every time you win a game in the Versus mode, you will recieve 10 points (or 15 if you win against someone with the "advantage" symbol; this symbol means that their MMR or matchmaking rate is higher than yours, but it's definetly not impossible to beat them). The ladder is capped at 2000 points, and every so many points you obtain rewards. Each ladder contains 3 sets of non-EX cards, 2 EX cards, a few chests that contain random cards and tokens, and a bunch of tokens and tickets (ticekts are the entry fee for certain tournaments). If you complete the ladder all the way to the end, you will recieve a Full Art supporter. These FA supporters don't have any advantage over their Regular Art counterparts. They're mostly just a luxury to have, but they are still pretty nice.
  • Sadly I don't know much of the Theme format metagame, so I can't tell you much beyond which decks are strong. I think that by just playing against other people with these decks you will learn what's effective, what strategies are common, what's your goal in each deck and game, etc.

> Matchmaking:

 

Matchmaking is decided by your ELO or MMR, which is a hidden value determined by a series of factors such as your win/loss rate (I don't think you can see that yourself anywhere but it's not particularly relevant either), the number of games you've played, etc. Simply put, you will (generally) get matched against other players of your same skill level. There isn't much that you need to know about this besides the fact that VS will do it's best to make you play games where you have a fair chance of winning (not guaranteed 50-50; just a reasonable chance of winning). Do note that tournament queues do not account for MMR. They will just grab the first 8 players that join and put them together on a tournament. MMR might or might not affect the distribution of the braket, but it doesn't change the fact that you could easily get matched up against more experienced players, which is why you should probably hold off on them for the time being.

 

 

>Daily Challenges:

 

Each day, when you log in, you will recieve a "challenge". At the begining (trainer level 0) you will only get to choose from 1 challenge each day (i.e. you can't chose xd) and will be able to store up to 1 challenge. Daily challenges don't expire; you have as much time as you want to finish them. However, if you've used up your store limit you cannot get a new one. Each type has its own experience bar and the level cap for each type is lvl3 (lvl30 in total since there are 10 types bar colorless). As you level up you will get more choices for challenges every day (up to 3 which happens at around lvl7) and will be able to store more challanges (up to 3 at around lvl10). Things you should know of daily challenges:

  • Upon completion you will recieve a reward. Challenges that give 1 or 2 experience give tokens, and challenges that give 3 experience give a tradelocked booster pack.
  • 1 EXP challenges: these involve doing a certain amount of damage with a specifict card type.
  • 2 EXP challenges: these involve putting a certain amount of evolution cards of a specific card type into play.
  • 3 EXP challenges: these involve getting a certain amount of KOs with a particular card type.
  • At first you can complete Dailies in Trainer Challenge. Beyond a particular level though (lvl5 I believe) Dailies can only be completed in PvP.
  • Trainer level has no bearing in the game beyond allowing you to choose from more challenges and allowing you to store more challenges. The main point of these Challenges is to give players a way of increasing their collection and tokens (which can in turn be used to also increase your collection).
  • There will sometimes be special challenges. These do not take up a slot from your storage and you cannot choose them; you just get them sometimes due to events. These do have a time limit (5 days usually), have a harder clear condition (usually the same as the daily challenge ones but with larger numbers) and [usually] give better rewards.

> The Store:

 

You can access it by pressing the yellow shopping cart in the top. Here you will find Booster Packs that are currently legal in Standard, promo packs (wich sometimes contain cards/packs from older expansions, as well as gameplay items), theme decks and avatar items. A few things that are relevant:

  • Booster packs: They cost 200 tokens and come with 10 tradelocked cards. Might not be the best inversion for a new player since you won't have that many tokens, but they will be useful later on when you have a mid-sized collection.
  • Promotions: Limited time offers that usually include a booster pack plus a few extra goodies, such as gameplay items and promo cards.
  • Gameplay items: probably not where you want to blow your first few tokens. These items only give cosmetical changes to your deck (Deckboxes, Sleeves and Coins). When you feel like you have more tokens than what you need for cards this is probably something you'll want to check out.
  • Avatar items: Right now there's only the Pikachu box, which gives avatar items. The real value of these boxes though is that they are the only tradable token items in the game. Some trading companies here in the forums (I'll get to that later) accept pikachu boxes as payment (they're low value but they still give you a way of buying tradable cards with tokens via trading companies).

 

> Making the Leap to Standard:

 

While this is arguable, a lot of people consider Standard to be the core of the game. It's the main custom deck format and it has the smallest and newest card pool. There are many, many things that can be said about this, so I'll just list here some things that I consider to be key and suggest to to skim through the PvP forum and the Deck Construction forum for specific advice on the metagame and deckbuilding.

  • I'll mention a few things about rules first when making a standard deck. Some of these are obvious, others not so much.
  • All decks must contain exactly 60 cards. You can't go over, but you can't go below either.
  • You can only have up to 4 cards in your deck with the same name. This means that you can't, for eample, have 5 seedots, even if one of those seedots is completely different from the others or has different attacks.
  • You must own all the cards that are in your deck. If there is a card that you have multiple copies of but in different prints, you must actually include the copies of the prints you own (so for example, if you have 2 Profesor Sycamore from XY and 2 from BREAKpoint, you need to include 2 from XY and 2 from BP. If you put 4 from XY your deck will not be playable because it has cards you don't own).
  • Your cards must all be legal in standard. That means that they must all belong to expansions currently in the Standard Rotation. In the current rotation, all cards from XY and on are legal in standard.
  • Cards that have been reprinted in a currently standard-legal expansion can be used. For this to happen the card must be an actual reprint as opposed to a similar card (example: the old Judge card from HGSS can still be used because it was reprinted in the XY Era. The BW Garbodor cannot be used in Standard even though there is a new Garbodor in BP. They have the same ability but different attacks, therefore BP Garbodor is not a reprint of the old Garbodor).
  • Now you know how to build a deck that will be considered as valid in the Standard format. At first your cardpool will be limited so you will have to get creative with what you have. As you gain more cards, tokens and experience you will become capable of building better decks.
  • Budget decks: these are low budget decks that can be built with cheap cards. They are known for being both strong and easy to obtain its pieces. The 2 main examples I give to every new player are Night March and any of its variants, and Ancient Trait (AT) Medicham. You can google a decklist for either of those and you'll instantly find one. These decks typically don't use many (or any) EX cards or any other expensive cards, so they're easy to build for someone with fewer resources.

> Obtaining Specific Cards

 

So lets say you've got your collection rolling with the different sources of tradelocked booster packs. Now you're trying to search for specific cards to build a deck. Lets say you're building an AT Medicham deck, and you've already obtained 1 meditite and 1 AT medicham, but that's not enough to build a deck. You want either 3 and 3 or even 4 and 4. So how do you get the other cards without having to rely on lucky pulls from booster packs? There are a few ways:

  • Public Trade: Probably the most intuitive way. By going to the Trade menu and looking at public offers, you'll see what people are offereing for the tradable cards you own, and you can make your own offers as well. If most of your cards are tradelocked this can be kind of hard to use. The main way of obtaining tradable cards is either with physical booster pack codes or winning tournaments, which give tradable booster packs as a reward. There are Theme Deck tournaments which you can play, so once you feel confident in your ability but not in your Standard Decks, you can head there to spend some tickets and get booster packs (I'll get to this later).
  • Trading Companies: This is my favorite method. The way it works is that there are threads here in the In-Game Item Exchange forum where there are shop threads. Over there, the companies accept tradable packs (including tournament chests [which you obtain as a consolation prize if you lose on round 1 of a tournament, so don't open those if you get any from tournaments] and pikachu boxes) as payment, and in exchange they give you the cards you need. They have neatly organized price lists for most cards and the value at which your packs are accepted. The standard currency are Roaring Skies packs, which are valued at 1 almost universally. The other packs have different values. For reference, BP packs are being accepted at 0,7-0,8 right now. All you need to do is go to their threads, read their prices and pack rates, and make a post with your offer (they usually have somewhere in the original post a list of traders. You need to send them a friend request and after you make the purchase request you will be sent a private trade offer for the packs you desire to pay with, and you'll get the card you need it). A few things:
  • Don't feel afraid to use them. At first, when I was completely new myself, didn't know how companies worked so I held off from using them for a while. They're not complicated at all and will usually give you better prices than the public trade.
  • A lot of the cards you'll need as a begginer are cheap (between 0,5 and 1 packs). This means that you can buy some of them with pikachu boxes (do note that companies usually ***** limit on how many pikachu boxes you can use per offer, but it's still a very good way of obtaining specific cards if they're cheap enough).
  • Tournament chests obtained from losing in round 1 of a tournament are actually quite valueable (they are priced at around 0,5), so don't open them; use them as payment in trading companies. Don't worry about the tradelocked chests from the ladder or winners wheel though; those are tradelocked so feel free to open them.
  • Gerenally speaking, if you have tradable packs it's better to use them as payment than open them, although as a new player it might be worth it opening a few to increase your collection.

 

i know gonzo will come in this thread, vote for gonzo to be moderator game feedback forum!

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Phew... That took quite a bit longer than I thought it would. Oh well, It's all good. If this can help the new players get started then it's all worth it :3
 



Like 100% sure Gonzo probably mentioned it, but I would check trading companies for a good price guide, Violet City and Phantom Knight are my recommendations. Plz don't get salty Top Cut...it will only make u look worse! ;)




Actually thanks for brining this to my attention. I did mention Trading Companies as the best way to obtain specific cards, but I should probably mention that their prices can also be used as a good reference in the public trade, and write a warning to not fall for some scams on the public trade xd Some people are not even trying to scam anyone, they just legit don't know the real value of what they're asking for. But new players wouldn't know that, so they can easily take bad trades.


 



i know gonzo will come in this thread, vote for gonzo to be moderator game feedback forum!






+1 that! XD

 

Thanks a lot guys xd I really enjoy helping out here, so I'll continue to do eveything I can to be of use. I don't know if being promoted from user to mod is a thing xd I know private servers sometimes do that but I'm pretty sure that doesn't happen in big communities. Either way, I appreciate the kind words and will continue to work for this comunity as long as I can.

I actually don't have as much free time as it looks like I have xd Today I had my first day of class and basically had no material to study from, since it was all introductory stuff today, so I had the afternoon free to read through the forums and post some stuff. But oh well, so long as I have time to do it, I like making post like this one.

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