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Scarlet_Thunder

Can't Beat Zach

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Scarlet_Thunder

This is my first day on this game and I can't defeat the first opponent in the trainer challenge because the decks it limits me to are HORRIBLE and Zach has pokemon that can defeat mine in two attacks.

 

I don't understand. There is no difficulty option either. I've been trying to figure this out for hours and I am very irritated. I'd simply go on to player vs. player battles however it's my first day thus, everyone can beat me in a matter of moments. There's no way I can advance in this game. 

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Sakura150612

I'm very surprised to hear you say this since the AI Trainers are generally regarded as being garbage. By you first day, do you mean it's your first time playing online, or your first time playing Pokemon TCG in either online or physical? Also, what deck are you using? All of the default decks should be able to beat the AI Trainers handily, but maybe we can recomend you a different deck to get started.

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GR0

I'm not surprised TC has such problems: the AI itself may be terrible, but the decks they wield are better than most non-Sun/Moon decks. Especially the Starter Decks are trouble since you start with a weaker version you still have to unlock some cards for. An experienced player can work around their deck's weakness and win by skill, but a new player has a pretty low chance to pass by even Zach. The removal of the difficulty options was 1 of the worst decisions ever. Heck, even for experienced players it can be incredibly difficult with some of the weak Theme Decks such as Chaos Control.

 

@TC: the best thing to do is try and get 500 Trainer Tokens, then go to the shop and buy either Imperial Command or Blazing Volcano: they're IMO the easiest decks for the Trainer Challenge. Imperial Command is IMO the best deck overall (even in PvP for Theme Deck duels) and is easy to wield: the most basic strategy is to just load up an Empoleon with 2 energy, fill the bench, then beat everything with its first attack. Blazing Volcano is IMO even better in Trainer Challenge, but it's weaker in PvP and is for a new player harder to handle as it's a combo-oriented deck.

 

Also, a very useful thing to remember is that the AI will NEVER switch a Pokemon (unless an effect forces them to). This is particularly useful against Kendall (who you face 4x in total), as when she has Dedenne in play you can just switch to a Pokemon holding 0 energy and watch as Kendall's unable to do anything and just decks herself out. But also against others it's a very useful thing to know you don't need to be afraid of a switch.

Edited by GR0
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Chasista

...

 

Also, a very useful thing to remember is that the AI will NEVER switch a Pokemon (unless an effect forces them to). This is particularly useful against Kendall (who you face 4x in total), as when she has Dedenne in play you can just switch to a Pokemon holding 0 energy and watch as Kendall's unable to do anything and just decks herself out. But also against others it's a very useful thing to know you don't need to be afraid of a switch.

 

Unless they have a Switch or Escape rope card or another Trainer. But yes, they never (manually) Retreat.

 

AI trainers use all their resources, always. Even if it's the worst play ever. Sycamore the hand with 3 card in draw pile? They do to auto-deck out.

They will always add an energy, even to pokémon are going to be KOed this turn.

They will always use their items/tools, even in useless pokémon or almost KOed ones.

They will always play a supporter, if in hand.

They will always use their abilities, even switching a set up pokémon and promoting a weak with no energies one or leaving the pokémon without energies to attack (if the ability heals them or poison you, or whatever)

 

But still knowing everything and being experienced, there are Theme decks that are so slow and weak that can't beat Zack, or other trainers. Mainly HGSS and some of the B/W ones (Plasma Genesect deck is a pain :( for example).

 

But anyway, one way or another, you should be able to beat the AI trainers with the starter decks, at least in Gold league.

 

Try to promote active any pokémon that can last a couple turns and keep a powerful one in bench. Set up the powerful one and leave the other be KOed. Go on with all the power of the new one. That can work sometimes.

 

The other option is keep trying, once and again, until Zach just have so bad hand that plays only 1 pokémon and nothing in bench and you KO it before he can add anything to bench. And if he can, probably can stand behind you through the whole game not able to set up properly nothing else for a win.

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GR0

As far as I know, none of them use any cards that make them switch (except for some attacks, but those are very obvious). So unless the player itself uses Escape Rope or something, an AI switch will never happen except through an attack.

 

And yeah, the AI always uses abilities. That's particularly hilarious with the Grass/Fire trainer (such a shame you face him only once), since he will keep using Victreebel's ability over and over, burning out all his Grass Energies (which he already has very little of, since he NEVER uses Herbal Energy and has other spaces filled with DCE and Fire Energies). Especially bad if he also has Ludicolo in play, because he will then use Ludicolo's ability giving a 50/50 chance of nullifying the status effects he just placed with Victreebel. He also keeps decking himself out with all his Sycamores, Acro Bikes, etcetera.
 

Edited by GR0
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jpeterson066

Sorry to revive an old thread. I'm new to the game and Zach has beaten me 7 times in a row now and I'm feeling pretty discouraged. Any tips on which of the starter theme decks to use?

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Otakutron
3 hours ago, jpeterson066 said:

Sorry to revive an old thread. I'm new to the game and Zach has beaten me 7 times in a row now and I'm feeling pretty discouraged. Any tips on which of the starter theme decks to use?

 

If it isn't just abysmal luck, it is probably because you're still learning the game.  What do I mean?

 

There are a lot of decisions so fundamental to the TCG that it is easy to forget you're even making them.  I don't know exactly what is happening for you, but an example I've seen before is someone attaching Energy to their Active because they think it is a waste if their Active isn't attacking each turn.  Sometimes, it is better if your Active just stands there being attacked while you power up something better on your Bench.

 

Or maybe the opposite is true; when a player actually should power up and attack with their opening Active but don't.  The computer may (seemingly at random) decide to hold off taking the KO for a while and ends up building a surprisingly good field in the mean time. @_@

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1patrickmcclain

Yeah I had trouble with Zach to, namely because of the deck the game makes you play with.  I'm like Meowths who do 30 damage or something, I have no great trainers to help me get more resources.  Got my **** kicked a few times and never went back to it.  I just don't know if it's even worth it or if there are any quality rewards to it.  However I am playing at a relatively good level after learning the game some, I might go back and try again, yet needing to win to get better cards for the deck you have to use against them is frustrating.  It's like a concept of, you have to use a bad deck to beat an average deck so you can get better quality cards to beat them again, of which would be easier if you had those cards now.

 

Not considering of course the randomness of just having a bad draw could ruin you as well.

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PaulJiggly1989

Lucky enough i started with the Lost Thunder Raikou deck.It was and is very hard to beat Zach (Who is giving good advice).I build a Rowlet & Alolan Exeggutor deck out of the crushing current deck.It is a very nice reward.

Edited by PaulJiggly1989

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Wcndave

I also have this problem, and I don't understand what any of the potential solutions mean.

It seems you have to beat each trainer with each deck, and the decks are fixed.

 

So there I am with a max of 20 attack, and 60 hp, going up against something with an 80 attack and 120 hp.

They just work through all my cards every time.

 

I can't see how you can build or change the decks, and, as a first timer, I don't want to start doing that on day 1....

 

At some point during the whole "intro" process I earned a couple of cards, however I never see them....

 

I am not sure what the purpose is, however day 1 2nd game on "training" being impossible to win is not going to motivate many to want to continue...

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Otakutron
10 hours ago, Wcndave said:

I can't see how you can build or change the decks, and, as a first timer, I don't want to start doing that on day 1....

 

In the Trainer Challenge, you are only allowed to use Theme Decks.  The game should have given you a few for free to get you started, but they aren't particularly good.  If you can save up 500 Tokens, you can purchase a newer, much better Theme Deck. 500 Tokens is a lot when you get started, or if you're extremely busy and can barely play, but not as high a number as it seems.  Once you purchase a new Theme Deck from the in-game shop, I believe it should show up as available for the Trainer Challenge...

 

...but it has been a long, long time since I beat the Trainer Challenge for the first time.  Anyone want to let me know if you have to "unlock" this option?

 

10 hours ago, Wcndave said:

I also have this problem, and I don't understand what any of the potential solutions mean.

 

The TL;DR is that it is mostly a matter of needing to learn how to play the game and not having ridiculously bad luck.  Even with the questionable quality of many of the early freebie decks, once you learn how to play the game you should be able to "brute force" a win... by which I mean just keep challenging that character until their luck is poor and yours is good.

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Wcndave

Thanks for the response.  I didn't want to pay for anything as this is for my 10 year old who wants to learn to play in order to play the live version face to face.

 

I wanted to try a couple first, so I could explain the mechanics to him.

 

Regarding the "learning to play", that mostly seems a case of learning which cards to avoid.  

 

There are some that seem to only be able to destroy themselves, and others who are able to swap themselves out, with a cost, and no attack, so not sure of the benefit of playing them in the first place.  However as you say, need to learn a bit - onward!

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ShannonBK
6 hours ago, Otakutron said:

 

 Once you purchase a new Theme Deck from the in-game shop, I believe it should show up as available for the Trainer Challenge...

 

...but it has been a long, long time since I beat the Trainer Challenge for the first time.  Anyone want to let me know if you have to "unlock" this option?

 

any theme deck in game shop purchase will automatically show as available for trainers challenge. also if you redeem a real life code of a theme. tin decks are not considered theme.

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SandaledOtter
3 hours ago, Wcndave said:

Thanks for the response.  I didn't want to pay for anything as this is for my 10 year old who wants to learn to play in order to play the live version face to face.

 

Nothing you buy in the in-game shop will cost real world money, and the coins you use to buy them also can't be gotten for real money.

 

The coins are rewards for:

  • logging in each day
  • beating trainers in the trainer challenge
  • beating players on the vs. ladder
  • just getting points on that ladder
  • other things

So you just save up 500 of them, then buy one of the newest theme decks. Avoid the old ones for now.

 

 

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Otakutron
4 hours ago, Wcndave said:

I didn't want to pay for anything as this is for my 10 year old who wants to learn to play in order to play the live version face to face.

 

Just to be clear, as @SandaledOtter explained, "Tokens" are an in-game currency that has almost nothing to do with real-world money.  You earn it through playing the PTCGO, you actually can't avoid earning it unless you stop signing into the game. XD

 

I used to play the physical card game, but since I cannot attend League or tournaments, I shifted to PTCGO-only.  Should you decide to pursue the PTCGO more, let us know and we can give you some solid advice on getting started.  Beyond "Buy a recent Theme Deck from the in-game shop using the in-game currency you earn from logging in and just playing the game."  Even that could be more specific, but I don't want to overwhelm you by explaining the metagame (competitive card pool) of the various Formats (real or PTCGO-exclusive).  When you're ready for it, though, it can be explained. :)

 

Oh, and one more thing: if you were unaware, the next set releases February 7th.  Not only is it a new set, but a new Pokémon generation.  Just as there are the Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield video games, soon there will be a Sword & Shield TCG expansion, with a bunch of follow-up sets after it.  Relevant to what we've been discussing is that each new, mainstream set brings with it more Theme Decks.  Sometimes, the newest Theme Decks aren't that great, but usually, they're as good or a little better than what came before.

 

So, if you aren't in a hurry and/or you aren't going to be playing enough to have another 500 Tokens ready by then, you might want to wait to buy a Theme Deck until February 7th, preferably after asking around to see which of the three new Sword & Shield Theme Decks are worth it (if any).  If none of them are worth it, you can still ask about what the best Theme Deck is, whether for playing against other Theme Decks on the PTCGO or getting your start with the physical TCG.

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Wcndave

OK, thanks everyone.  It's fairly maddening, as a noob, to be "training", and they have Lickchop and continuous headbutt deliverying between 120 and 640 damage (trainer got 8 heads in a row in one turn), and I have 1 stage 1 card, with max damage 40, and best HP of all cards is 90.....  Doesn't seem possible, unless the AI goes nuts and keeps looking at it's deck instead of doing real attacks.

 

Just seems very odd introduction to game, not sure why they've done it that way.

 

Anyway, thanks again!

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SandaledOtter
1 hour ago, Wcndave said:

OK, thanks everyone.  It's fairly maddening, as a noob, to be "training", and they have Lickchop and continuous headbutt deliverying between 120 and 640 damage (trainer got 8 heads in a row in one turn), and I have 1 stage 1 card, with max damage 40, and best HP of all cards is 90.....  Doesn't seem possible, unless the AI goes nuts and keeps looking at it's deck instead of doing real attacks.

 

Just seems very odd introduction to game, not sure why they've done it that way.

 

Anyway, thanks again!

That's just bad luck. The AI is quite bad, and usually it WILL do something like "keep looking at its deck" for several turns in a row.

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Otakutron
6 hours ago, Wcndave said:

Doesn't seem possible, unless the AI goes nuts and keeps looking at it's deck instead of doing real attacks.

 

Again, just to stress the point, @SandaledOtter isn't joking.  I've seen it waste multiple turns, powering up their Active to use Call For Family not only with a full Bench, but when I'm OHKOing that Active.  Meaning, the smart play would have been to power something up on the Bench.

 

4 hours ago, SandaledOtter said:

...they have Lickchop and continuous headbutt deliverying between 120 and 640 damage (trainer got 8 heads in a row in one turn)...

 

Yeah... besides the fact that them actually getting a Lickylicky up and running doesn't happen all that often, it usually averages more like 90 damage when I face it.  That is, a lot of turns with the base 60, then some turns with one to three tails.  When luck happens, it really happens at times. XP

 

4 hours ago, SandaledOtter said:

I have 1 stage 1 card, with max damage 40, and best HP of all cards is 90...

 

Yeah, bad luck is bad.  Though I do want to point out that it is the low damage output that probably matters more than the HP.  In Pokémon, offense is usually far more important than defense.  Which doesn't mean there are no defense decks, they just tend to be built around cards with protective effects or HP scores so massive, they're hard to OHKO, backed by healing and/or disruption.

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Wcndave

I managed to get past it finally.

 

I've listed to my nephew talking about playing Magic, and It does seem somewhat perplexing to me that whoever has the better deck will win most of the time, and that you can only beat them with luck.  Waiting to get lucky doesn't feel that interesting to me, and simply trying to outspend your opponent seems only interesting to the card company!

 

I get that there are "skills" to deck building, so I am talking about when all other things are equal.  In my case, the trainer has many much better cards, so I have to wait until they are unlucky enough not to have them in the first 5-6 hands I am am lucky enough to get my one good card + stage1.

 

One odd thing is that each time i get given a new card, yet none of these decks appear under "deck mgmt", and what does appear there does not appear in the trainer.  So not really sure how to use /select those new cards.

 

I think for my son, who will have to play against me, I'll get some ready and evenly matched set, like the "black vs white" one.  Actually it seems surprisingly hard to find 2 player sets like that.

 

Thanks again for the advice and replies!

 

 

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SandaledOtter

Your 3 starter decks aren't complete until you beat 7 different trainers with each. Until then you might not be able to see them in the deck manager. I'm not sure about that as I, like most people, didn't know what I was doing at that point.

 

The starter decks have a locked card list, you can't edit them (to keep theme deck vs. games fair).

 

In Deck Manager, you can create new decks. Right now you probably can't build a Standard-legal deck, as all the starters use old cards. You CAN build Expanded decks, but the Expanded format includes some powerful rare old cards you're not likely to have access to (Ace Spec cards, which are powerful enough that they are limited to only one out of all of them in a deck, for example). So play the trainer challenge, or play Theme vs. games.

 

Until you get a new Theme deck from the shop (your first 500 tokens), you won't do very well in vs, though each loss lowers the match-making rating, meaning you should see fewer better players. No, we can't see that rating. 😕

 

If you get a booster pack as a reward, it will stay sealed until you open it in the "Collection" interface. That's where you can see all your cards, though you can't see what is in decks there.

All your cards are always available, even if they're in other decks! You never need more than 4 of a card, except basic energy cards.

 

There's probably still more to say....

 

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Chasista
1 hour ago, SandaledOtter said:

 

If you get a booster pack as a reward, it will stay sealed until you open it in the "Collection" interface. That's where you can see all your cards, though you can't see what is in decks there.

...

 

There's probably still more to say....

 

 

There are locked (for trade) cards and unlocked for trade cards.

 

Down of each card in Collection (and other game areas) you will see a number down of the card. Black in grey background is locked, and will alwais be locked. There's a lock icon in there too.

White in blue background is unlocked and you can use it for trades in the Trade section.

 

So  5/7 , would mean you have 5 unlocked copies of that cards/pack/etc and 7 locked copies of the same (total 12 in collection)

 

You should open all the locked packs, is the only thing you can do with them. Keep the unlocked packs to make trades for expensive cards.

When you open a pack, the locked packs will always open before the unlocked packs. Back to de5/7, you open a pack and changes to5/6, then 5/5... finally 5/0, and time to stop, usually, as a pack keeps a value that the single cards can or can't have, you're not guaranteed to get anything good but a pack is always a pack. Again, as long as is unlocked for trade 😉

 

When an unlocked card or pack is in a trade for 8h/16h/24h (so you offering the pack or card), it will appear in the Trade locked side of the counter (in black!). You should track what you have in trades in order to don't miss and open any unlocked pack you want to keep. So if you have 5/7 of Cynthia and you offer one of your unlocked Cynthia to get a Guzma, you'll see 4/8.

 

If this would be a pack in a trade and you open the unlocked ones, you'd  go down to 4/7, 4/6... 4/1 and then 3/1, 2/1... the 1 is your unlocked pack, locked in the trade. Can come back to the unlocked counter once the time of the trade expires or if you cancel, or go away if the trade is successful.

 

BTW, if you get something unlocked and you want to trade it away, don't accept the first trade you see out there, There are cards with a lot of value and others, including some Tag teams and GX that cost very low. If any doubt about values, In game item exchange section of the forum is  the right place to ask about it. Also you should check the value in public for any exact card (set and number) before set or accept any trade, to know how many people wants the card, and how many people gives the card. You'll get the approximate value in the market this way between offering and getting, unless you can't find people offering or wanting the card (generally because being an old card) or very low amount of traders, like only 3 trades for a card, that could be a wrong value because if no one offering that card and I have it, I can ask for 60 packs even being a 5 packs card. If I'm the only with a trade you would have to accept it or remain without the card until another trader appears. Is not very common but I've seen it more than once.

 

🤗

Edited by Chasista
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Otakutron
5 hours ago, Wcndave said:

I've listed to my nephew talking about playing Magic, and It does seem somewhat perplexing to me that whoever has the better deck will win most of the time, and that you can only beat them with luck. 

 

That would be because you're comparing apples to oranges, plus starting from a false position. ^^'

 

Your nephew is talking about playing MtG properly, with players and decks of comparable - and a certain minimal level - of quality.  Versus us discussing the extended tutorial for the free-to-play online version of the game.  A tutorial everyone here thinks needs an update.

 

And there is still a reasonable chance it isn't even bad luck, but the fact you're still learning.

 

5 hours ago, Wcndave said:

I think for my son, who will have to play against me, I'll get some ready and evenly matched set, like the "black vs white" one.  Actually it seems surprisingly hard to find 2 player sets like that.

 

Probably because the Theme Decks from a given set are already balanced against each other; no need for a special product.  They still exist, because of course they do, but most aren't worth it. XD

 

Just find some Theme Decks from the same set, and probably ask someplace (like here) to make sure it isn't one of the misfire where Deck A clearly is better or worse than Deck B.  Or find one of the Battle Arena Deck sets.  Think of those as "Advanced" Theme Decks, paired up, and designed to help folks get into the Expanded Format.

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Wcndave

The learning part is true, but I've tended to find fist one to the board with a good card will win easily, and the trainer has a lot more, and a lot better.

 

Probably I'm good enough to lose to my 10 year old properly now 😉

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Wcndave

Good example just now.  Trainer uses Ludicolo uses captivating rhythm to put in my weakest PM, then uses a benched card, I think it was victreebel, to poison and confuse, from the bench, and then Ludicolo comes with solar ray, does 80 damage, and heals itself.

 

I can't really see what defense I have at my disposal when I cannot attack, at all, they self heal, and if I get a good card in, they can just swap it out.  And then confuse it....

 

I just have to hope, to luck, that this combo doesn't come up before I've already won...

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Mod_GuruLot
17 hours ago, Wcndave said:

The learning part is true, but I've tended to find fist one to the board with a good card will win easily, and the trainer has a lot more, and a lot better.

 

Probably I'm good enough to lose to my 10 year old properly now 😉

 

Hello @Wcndave

 

We are glad to hear you learn with the tips you get from other fellow trainers in the forum!

 

We hope you can win now and then too without upsetting your kid. ;)

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