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Deck Refining Assistance Needed - Inquire Within


Jakrummy

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Recently I've been wanting to get pretty serious about competing in the TCG, but I find it awfully hard to rate my own decks, because sometimes they work just the way I want them to and other times they don't. I'm not familiar with any popular tropes or tricks used in the TCG, and was wondering if anyone could help me out with a couple of decks.
 
This first one is an IRL deck that I hope to take to local competitions. This one is especially hard to test because I don't have all the cards in my online collection and I don't know of anyone else who plays the TCG, to put it simply.
 

****** Pokémon Trading Card Game Deck List ******
 
Pokémon - 19
 
1 Gengar-EX PHF 34
1 M Gengar-EX PHF 35
1 Golett PLB 45
1 Golett FFI 42
1 Golurk FFI 43
1 Mewtwo-EX LTR 54
2 Pumpkaboo XY 56
2 Gourgeist PHF 45
1 Articuno ROS 16
2 Feebas FLF 22
1 Milotic FLF 23
2 Spheal FLF 24
2 Sealeo FLF 25
1 Walrein FLF 26
 
Trainer Cards - 21
 
4 Professor's Letter XY 123
2 Wally ROS 94
1 Lysandre FLF 90
1 Dimension Valley PHF 93
1 Super Potion XY 128
1 Shauna PHF 104
1 Pokémon Fan Club FLF 94
1 Ultra Ball FLF 99
1 Pokémon Center Lady FLF 93
2 Evosoda XY 116
1 Healing Scarf ROS 84
1 Steven ROS 90
1 Giant Cape DRX 114
1 Cheren DEX 91
1 Tierno PHF 107
1 Switch BLW 104
 
Energy - 20
 
7 Psychic Energy Energy 5
7 Water Energy Energy 3
2 Double Colorless Energy PHF 111
3 Grass Energy Energy 1
1 Mystery Energy PHF 112
 
Total Cards - 60
 
****** Deck List Generated by the Pokémon TCG Online www.pokemon.com/TCGO ******


I'm not really sure if I want to keep Mega Gengar, but I really like the Gourgeist, which is why a lot of the trainer cards I selected are hard on drawing cards, but I'm hoping to find ones that are items and not supporters so I can play more than one a turn.

 

This next one is one I have been using fairly often on the online TCG

 

****** Pokémon Trading Card Game Deck List ******

 
Pokémon - 11
 
1 Bouffalant DRX 110
1 Furfrou XY 114
1 Regigigas PHF 86
1 Hawlucha-EX FFI 64
1 Hitmonchan FFI 48
1 Landorus FFI 58
1 Lucario-EX FFI 54
1 Meloetta LTR 86
2 Regirock AOR 40
1 Terrakion LTR 84
 
Trainer Cards - 28
 
1 Fighting Stadium FFI 90
1 Fighting Fury Belt BKP 99
1 Mountain Ring FFI 97
1 Magnetic Storm FLF 91
2 Great Ball BCR 129
2 VS Seeker PHF 109
3 Professor's Letter XY 123
1 Lysandre FLF 90
1 Assault Vest BKT 133
2 Korrina FFI 95
1 Pokémon Catcher EPO 95
1 Shauna PHF 104
2 Team Flare Grunt XY 129
1 Pokémon Fan Club FLF 94
1 Pokémon Center Lady FLF 93
1 Fisherman BKT 136
1 Focus Sash FFI 91
1 Cheren DEX 91
1 Tierno PHF 107
2 Muscle Band XY 121
1 Switch BLW 104
 
Energy - 21
 
17 Fighting Energy Energy 6
4 Double Colorless Energy PHF 111
 
Total Cards - 60
 
****** Deck List Generated by the Pokémon TCG Online www.pokemon.com/TCGO ******

With this one, sometimes it works just wonderfully and just the way I intended it too. But other times I'm out within 10 turns. So I'm just not sure if there's something I'm doing wrong/something that I could be doing better with this deck. I use Korrina/Vs. Seeker to get pokemon and energy out quickly by drawing professor's letters/another Korrina.

 

So I don't know what there is besides that, just asking for some advice or ways to make these better

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I hate doing bad news, but unless you plan on refining these decks for use in the Expanded format, both decks will need to be completely rebuilt once the September 1 rotation comes around. The new cut line is Primal Clash and newer (duplicate reprints allow older cards to still be used if they do the same thing as current cards) and Black Star Promo cards 36 and higher. A lot of people are having their favorite decks hurt by the rotation, but on a positive note, we now have new opportunities to explore since some of the truly sinister decks are leaving the Standard format. :)

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Hi and welcome.

Entering competitive is hard, there are some things to learn. I mean City/Regional/National/Worlds level. Also the TCG needs some money spend for sure.

Happily for all of us we have the Online, where you can test a lot of decks spending very little, or spending nothing! So you could focus on the Online to test your decks before to go playing IRL. Of course, enjoy IRL game as much as you can, it's not everything about win but as to having fun :)

 

I know you're a bit in a budget (because starting we don't have all the card we would like to have of course). In the Online you can play Theme tournaments to get packs and make your collection grow. Also there's a lot of rewards just for playing VS, entering daily, play against the machine (up to 48 free packs more or less!),...

 

To start, some general tips for building decks:

 

If you need anything to make your deck works, add enough (if you need a Muscle band, a link, a stadium or a pokémon, don't add just one, if prized you're lost).

 

Any tier 1 deck use to have 8-16 pokémon, 28-36 trainers, 7-14 energies (and sometimes only 4!). Trainers are the core of a deck, what makes it work fast and strong.

 

Only 2 types (3 if you have colourless attacks/pokémon added) use to be used. It's hard to manage more than that and also would require more space for energies, loosing space for another important things.

 

Your main attacker quantity/line must be consistent. Add 3 or 4 of them or a powerful line 3-3, 4-4, 4-3 sometimes... if Stage 2 /Break go for 3-3-3, 4-4-4, 4-4-3. And always consider the Rare candies, your goal is the higher stage so jumping over the middle ones use to be good and you can go for 3-1-3, 4-2-4 with one or two rare candies. Pyramid lines (3-2-1, 4-2-1, 4-3-2...) are bad because lack of consistency.

 

So if you like Gourgeist and it's your main, maybe a 3-3 or 4-4 line would be nice.

 

Use the right amount of support pokémon. That means not 1-1 lines (if prized...) but neither 3-3-3 (too much space) 2-2 or 2-1-2 use to be enough. Also, when you have more than one evolution line it's difficult to set up everything and also do it fast. Use to be hard and slow to play so maybe you may choose which line of supporting pokémon is better.

 

In this case, if your main attacker is Gourgeist and you have as Support pokémon Milotic and back up attacker Gengar EX, get rid of Golurk and Walrein lines to make space. If you have so much different attackers it's harder to follow a plan because when you need a Gourgeist, you'll draw a Golett and then you'll need to change your mind and set up a Golurk, and after that you draw a Spheal and maybe you don't have the right energy... Also M Gengar EX never has been very played actually. Good trainers for Gourgeist are Cheren/Tierno and Roller skates, which actually are not good traiiners but in this case, fit in the deck to hit harder. Another possible support pokémon could be PHF69 Slurpuff (each one draws a card every turn, 2 if active).

 

Remember the stadiums.They help yourself while counter the opponent's. Having 4 stadiums use to make you win the territory battle but, what if not space enough? I would recommend at least 3 but if no space, play 2. Also the Spirit links will help you if you run Megas. You can't afford loosing a turn just evolving in the competitive fast game.

 

Pokémon drawing engines are perfect if item locked (that awesome Trevenant or Vileplume). There are two big choices, first Shaymin EX (when you play it you can draw up to having 6 cards in hand). The other one is Remoraid-Octillery (draws up to having 5 cards in your hand). Perfect for non EX decks and don't need to be water decks. It's just used as drawing support, not for attacking (Caution, Float stone/Switch is recommended for if Lysandred).

 

Most of the Online theme decks come from the IRL and some are good to focus on building certain decks (like Night march, Greninja BREAK, Dark decks, Fighting decks...) because you can get a lot of trainers and support pokémon from the Theme decks (Sycamore is in a lot of them), also stadiums and some interesting pokémon as Yveltal, Joltik, Aromatisse, Xerneas, Froakie-Frogadier... 500 coins in the shop it's a good business. Take a look at what they contain before to get it to go for what you need. Or maybe it's better to try to change for the exactly cards you look for; that's up to you.

 

Basically, the staple for any deck could be:

3-4 Sycamore > Nothing is more powerful than a 7 cards new hand
3-4 N > 6 cards at the beginning, disrupting if you loosing or you know what your opponent will play because he/she have it in hand from the previous turn. Save you from decking out in late game.
4 Ultra Ball > Look for any pokémon
Level ball > Direct look for any up to 90HP pokémon, sometimes 1 or 2 for support pokémon
4 Vs Seeker > Choose a Supporter from your discard and put it in your hand. If you have Battle Compressor they are a great combo.
2 Lysandre > Aim to any benched pokémon and put in as active

There are a lot more like Skyla which is quite useful (sometimes one is played to look for items/stadiums), Korrina for Fighting decks (choose 1 pokémon+1 item), Dive balls for Water decks (look for any water pokémon), Trainers' mail (look at the 1st four card of your deck and choose a Trainer card)... and others like Max potion, Bursting balloon, Muscle band, Fighting Fury Belt, Float stone...

 

Finally, cut some energies (if you get rid of Walrein, mostly water ones but up to 3 for Milotic maybe). In the second deck, cut the Fighting energies to around 10-11. Should be enough.

 

Of course there's a lot more to say and sure I forgot things but I hope this is kind of fast line guide to aim to a top tier deck. Also will be some new cards soon from the Steam Siege upcoming set, and others (all before Primal Clash) that won't be allowed to play Standard mode September on, so, I would try to focus in building something for he new Standard mainly :)

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Hi and welcome.

Entering competitive is hard, there are some things to learn. I mean City/Regional/National/Worlds level. Also the TCG needs some money spend for sure.

Happily for all of us we have the Online, where you can test a lot of decks spending very little, or spending nothing! So you could focus on the Online to test your decks before to go playing IRL. Of course, enjoy IRL game as much as you can, it's not everything about win but as to having fun :)

 

I know you're a bit in a budget (because starting we don't have all the card we would like to have of course). In the Online you can play Theme tournaments to get packs and make your collection grow. Also there's a lot of rewards just for playing VS, entering daily, play against the machine (up to 48 free packs more or less!),...

 

To start, some general tips for building decks:

 

If you need anything to make your deck works, add enough (if you need a Muscle band, a link, a stadium or a pokémon, don't add just one, if prized you're lost).

 

Any tier 1 deck use to have 8-16 pokémon, 28-36 trainers, 7-14 energies (and sometimes only 4!). Trainers are the core of a deck, what makes it work fast and strong.

 

Only 2 types (3 if you have colourless attacks/pokémon added) use to be used. It's hard to manage more than that and also would require more space for energies, loosing space for another important things.

 

Your main attacker quantity/line must be consistent. Add 3 or 4 of them or a powerful line 3-3, 4-4, 4-3 sometimes... if Stage 2 /Break go for 3-3-3, 4-4-4, 4-4-3. And always consider the Rare candies, your goal is the higher stage so jumping over the middle ones use to be good and you can go for 3-1-3, 4-2-4 with one or two rare candies. Pyramid lines (3-2-1, 4-2-1, 4-3-2...) are bad because lack of consistency.

 

So if you like Gourgeist and it's your main, maybe a 3-3 or 4-4 line would be nice.

 

Use the right amount of support pokémon. That means not 1-1 lines (if prized...) but neither 3-3-3 (too much space) 2-2 or 2-1-2 use to be enough. Also, when you have more than one evolution line it's difficult to set up everything and also do it fast. Use to be hard and slow to play so maybe you may choose which line of supporting pokémon is better.

 

In this case, if your main attacker is Gourgeist and you have as Support pokémon Milotic and back up attacker Gengar EX, get rid of Golurk and Walrein lines to make space. If you have so much different attackers it's harder to follow a plan because when you need a Gourgeist, you'll draw a Golett and then you'll need to change your mind and set up a Golurk, and after that you draw a Spheal and maybe you don't have the right energy... Also M Gengar EX never has been very played actually. Good trainers for Gourgeist are Cheren/Tierno and Roller skates, which actually are not good traiiners but in this case, fit in the deck to hit harder. Another possible support pokémon could be PHF69 Slurpuff (each one draws a card every turn, 2 if active).

 

Remember the stadiums.They help yourself while counter the opponent's. Having 4 stadiums use to make you win the territory battle but, what if not space enough? I would recommend at least 3 but if no space, play 2. Also the Spirit links will help you if you run Megas. You can't afford loosing a turn just evolving in the competitive fast game.

 

Pokémon drawing engines are perfect if item locked (that awesome Trevenant or Vileplume). There are two big choices, first Shaymin EX (when you play it you can draw up to having 6 cards in hand). The other one is Remoraid-Octillery (draws up to having 5 cards in your hand). Perfect for non EX decks and don't need to be water decks. It's just used as drawing support, not for attacking (Caution, Float stone/Switch is recommended for if Lysandred).

 

Most of the Online theme decks come from the IRL and some are good to focus on building certain decks (like Night march, Greninja BREAK, Dark decks, Fighting decks...) because you can get a lot of trainers and support pokémon from the Theme decks (Sycamore is in a lot of them), also stadiums and some interesting pokémon as Yveltal, Joltik, Aromatisse, Xerneas, Froakie-Frogadier... 500 coins in the shop it's a good business. Take a look at what they contain before to get it to go for what you need. Or maybe it's better to try to change for the exactly cards you look for; that's up to you.

 

Basically, the staple for any deck could be:

3-4 Sycamore > Nothing is more powerful than a 7 cards new hand

3-4 N > 6 cards at the beginning, disrupting if you loosing or you know what your opponent will play because he/she have it in hand from the previous turn. Save you from decking out in late game.

4 Ultra Ball > Look for any pokémon

Level ball > Direct look for any up to 90HP pokémon, sometimes 1 or 2 for support pokémon

4 Vs Seeker > Choose a Supporter from your discard and put it in your hand. If you have Battle Compressor they are a great combo.

2 Lysandre > Aim to any benched pokémon and put in as active

There are a lot more like Skyla which is quite useful (sometimes one is played to look for items/stadiums), Korrina for Fighting decks (choose 1 pokémon+1 item), Dive balls for Water decks (look for any water pokémon), Trainers' mail (look at the 1st four card of your deck and choose a Trainer card)... and others like Max potion, Bursting balloon, Muscle band, Fighting Fury Belt, Float stone...

 

Finally, cut some energies (if you get rid of Walrein, mostly water ones but up to 3 for Milotic maybe). In the second deck, cut the Fighting energies to around 10-11. Should be enough.

 

Of course there's a lot more to say and sure I forgot things but I hope this is kind of fast line guide to aim to a top tier deck. Also will be some new cards soon from the Steam Siege upcoming set, and others (all before Primal Clash) that won't be allowed to play Standard mode September on, so, I would try to focus in building something for he new Standard mainly :)

Thank you! These are some great tips! They're great because I've never really known where to go for goods advice, so thank you! I went and got 2 more gourgeist and some lucky helmets to help with drawing cards, and cutting golurk and walrein, considering cutting out all water types, actually. I like how my fighting deck works with only one type, but I'm still not sure lol.

 

And yeah ill see what happens with this new rotation thing, I'll probably just make some new decks and practice with the ones I already have

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