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Wildfan17

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Wildfan17

Hello, I collected cards 15-20years ago but never played. My kids just got really into Pokémon and I would appreciate any suggestions regarding setting them up and helping them out. First off I have started buying them some cards just as novelties. Usually I get them the poke ball tin with three booster packs. Just a quick look at the site tells me Cosmic Eclipse or something is coming out soon, and a brief google search tells me new “sword and shield” cards will be released next month. As a card collector growing up, I think it would be cool for them to collect a complete set as well. In your opinion what would be the best set to do this with (and why). Also where do you recommend purchasing cards? I am not from the area I currently reside and just learned of two “game shops” but have not checked them out yet, other brick and mortar options for me are game stop (bought a few packs but was really unsatisfied), target, and Walmart. I am unsure of any other stores that would carry them. Thank you for your help it is appreciated. One last thing, I have 4 kids, and I would like them each to collect a unique set. (Either cool artwork, or a set that has value etc...) thanks again.

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Mod_GuruLot
2 hours ago, Wildfan17 said:

Hello, I collected cards 15-20years ago but never played. My kids just got really into Pokémon and I would appreciate any suggestions regarding setting them up and helping them out. First off I have started buying them some cards just as novelties. Usually I get them the poke ball tin with three booster packs. Just a quick look at the site tells me Cosmic Eclipse or something is coming out soon, and a brief google search tells me new “sword and shield” cards will be released next month. As a card collector growing up, I think it would be cool for them to collect a complete set as well. In your opinion what would be the best set to do this with (and why). Also where do you recommend purchasing cards? I am not from the area I currently reside and just learned of two “game shops” but have not checked them out yet, other brick and mortar options for me are game stop (bought a few packs but was really unsatisfied), target, and Walmart. I am unsure of any other stores that would carry them. Thank you for your help it is appreciated. One last thing, I have 4 kids, and I would like them each to collect a unique set. (Either cool artwork, or a set that has value etc...) thanks again.

 

Hello @Wildfan17

 

Welcome to the game and to this forum! :)

 

It's never too late to start with playing and deck construction.

 

I'm sure some of our advanced trainers will gladly help you out with ideas and advice. 

 

 

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Otakutron

Are you wanting to get serious about collecting, about playing, or both?  From your post, it sounds like you're just into collecting and unfortunately, I'm no help for you there. ^^'

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Wildfan17

Thank you for replying, I would like to teach my kids how to play, though my experience amounts to playing a couple of hours online today. Ultimately it will be both. Do you have an opinion on the soon to be released sets? I am unsure how the sets work, I imagine they will release a base sword and shield set and then add other expansion sets. 

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Otakutron

When it comes to playing the game, I think I am qualified to offer a little help, @Wildfan17 :)  I will be clear, though I'm not a particularly skilled player.  On the global stage, I'm definitely "below average".  I have been playing for a long time, having started with the physical TCG in January of 1999, though I have taken breaks (sometimes for a few months, sometimes for nearly a year) a few times since then.  If I get too technical, don't explain something clearly, over-explain things, etc. just let me know.  You can read what I'm about to tell you for yourself: the Play! Pokémon Rules & Resources page.  You don't have to read these at all, but let me know if you prefer to have me just explain, to explain and then you read for yourself, or read for yourself and then I answer any questions you have. ;)

 

Here you can find the latest version of the rule book.  You can also find the current Banned List, TCG Errata, and the Play! Pokémon Rules and Formats document.  If that sounds like a lot of reading please don't panic!  As stated, I can explain things here so you don't have to read any of it at all, and plenty of folks never bother looking at those last two documents... though I really think they should. ;)

 

You may be wondering why all this "official" stuff should matter to dad just wanting to teach his kids.  The short version is the powers-that-be who make this game are not perfect.  Shocking, I know. :D They've been making this card game for over 20 years now, and they've made some mistakes along the way, some that even they admit are mistakes.  You can play the game however you want with agreeable friends and family, but knowing how it was designed to be played can save you a lot of guesswork.

 

Knowing how you're going to play lets you know what you'll want to buy!  You mentioned how Sword & Shield is about to release.  Depending on how you plan on playing will affect what you should buy on that front.  This post is already running long, though, so I hope you can hold off on major purchases long enough to reply and then receive more answers. ^^'

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Wildfan17

@Otakutron I will read the links provided tonight. I have bitten the bullet and started getting the Cosmic Eclipse set. My plan is to complete the set myself and pass any doubles down to the kids, and repeating this process until I have 4 complete sets (not All Cosmic Eclipse, depending on future releases I will collect any I find interesting or as my knowledge grows and there are sets I find interesting from the past I will collect them, ultimately each completed set will go to one of the kids and hopefully have value one day). I know you don’t do the collecting so that’s enough of that. Immediate questions I have in regards to building a deck (currently I only play online, but one day I would like to go to the game store when they have a Pokémon tournament and try it out), do the cards in the deck need to be from the same set? Or can they be any mix of cards from any set ever(Obviously banned cards can’t be used)? For example (theoretically, as I don’t know whether any of these exist) if I am building a deck of electric Pokémon could I use 4 Pikachu cards from different sets (also I’m not sure how sets work, are all sun and moon sets complimentary of each other I.e. burning shadows, crimson red etc... are they complimentary with XY?) back to Pikachu could I use one from steam siege, ancient origins, cosmic eclipse, and burning shadows? And then use 3 Riachu from fates collide, sword and shield, and crimson red? This is a lot and I appreciate your willingness to help, last question is: last night I pulled a Tag Team Charizard/??? Can’t think of the other one GX it says it is basic. I assume this means it doesn’t need to be evolved, I will have to look at my other GX cars and see if they require being evolved or if they are basic. Again thank you very much for your help. By the way I am also a fan of the Pokémon games on game boy/ DS. I just recently got started playing and my goal is to complete a game in each generation except 3 and use Pokémon bank to transfer the Pokémon into future games... if you happen to play do you recommend any certain games in each generation? My current plan is Yellow, Crystal, Platinum, black,white2, Alpha Saphire?, X, Sun, Ultra moon, then sword or shield. Thank you again.

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Felidae_
On 10/30/2019 at 11:24 PM, Wildfan17 said:

Thank you for replying, I would like to teach my kids how to play, though my experience amounts to playing a couple of hours online today. Ultimately it will be both. Do you have an opinion on the soon to be released sets? I am unsure how the sets work, I imagine they will release a base sword and shield set and then add other expansion sets. 

Some small notes:

 

  1. The TCG set of Sword and Shield will release in Japan on the 6th of December and in the West on the 7th of February. The game for the Switch is the one about to be released, so you'll have to wait on your cards a little bit :).

    If you are interested to get your kids into collecting, I don't think S&S won't be a bad set though, especially since the base sets usually quite good a covering, well, your basic needs for deck building with a new set (keep in mind though that for tournament play both Sun and Moon and S&S will be legal until the rotation, so depending on the power level not all of your S&S cards will immediately be useful.

  2. As for collecting cards:Bare in mind that in this day and age there are a lot of online retailers specialized in card games (i.e. troll ad toad, cardmarket, starcitygames, hareruya, etc.). For collectors this is simultaneously a blessing and a curse. On the one hand you can easily obtain that one obscure card you need to complete a set. On the other hand it takes a way a bit of the crazy hunt where you drive to that one weird old store in the middle of nowhere that just happens to have he exact card you are looking for.

  3. This might be an odd question, but are you confidant that your kids will like to collect cards (and I mean collecting as in completing sets)? As someone who grew up as a kid with the original Pokemon cards I can safely say that playing the game was always a bigger priority for pretty much every kid I knew and even today the number of players vastly outperform the pure collectors. I'm asking simply because any TCG can be a bit expensive and your money will be spend on vastly different products, depending on your final aim.

Edited by Felidae_
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Otakutron
5 hours ago, Wildfan17 said:

I will read the links provided tonight.

 

Cool. Depending on your time zone, you may already have answers to some of the questions you just asked.  I'll still answer herre, though. ;)

 

5 hours ago, Wildfan17 said:

My plan is to complete the set myself and pass any doubles down to the kids, and repeating this process until I have 4 complete sets (not All Cosmic Eclipse, depending on future releases I will collect any I find interesting or as my knowledge grows and there are sets I find interesting from the past I will collect them, ultimately each completed set will go to one of the kids and hopefully have value one day). I know you don’t do the collecting so that’s enough of that.

 

*nods* As I was typing this, Felidae_ chimed in to shed some light on this.

 

5 hours ago, Wildfan17 said:

Immediate questions I have in regards to building a deck (currently I only play online...

 

For the PTCGO, begin by going through the Trainer Challenge.  It can get really, really boring and the cards it unlocks no longer do you a lot of good but it is probably the best way to make sure you've got the fundamentals of both the TCG and the PTCGO-interface down.

 

Then, even if you think you could skip it, move onto the "Theme Format".  Here, you'll further refine your skills playing the PTCGO against other people, but only using Theme Decks.  I don't want to drag this out, so when you're at this point ask and we'll discuss what Theme Deck to purchase (in-game, using Tokens).

 

5 hours ago, Wildfan17 said:

but one day I would like to go to the game store when they have a Pokémon tournament and try it out), do the cards in the deck need to be from the same set? Or can they be any mix of cards from any set ever(Obviously banned cards can’t be used)?

 

Pokémon has what are called "Formats".  It isn't too complicated, but if I give you a complete, fully accurate explanation it will seem like it and make this a very, very long post.  For now, understand that most places like a Pokémon League will use what is called the "Standard Format".  Cards from SM - Ultra Prism and later sets and SM - Black Star Promos numbered SM94 or higher are allowed.  Some places may use the Expanded Format, which is the same but you can use cards from all the way back to the Black & White expansion, and all BW - Black Star Promos, XY - Black Star Promos, and SM - Black Star Promos are legal.

 

Except the cards on the banned list.  Technically, the Standard Format has a Banned List as well, it is just that it is empty and has been empty since (I think) 2017.  The Expanded Format Banned List is longer than I like, but not too bad.  There is a link to the current Banned List in my previous post.

 

There is also something known as the "Unlimited Format", which lets you use any cards in your regions recognized local languages (ask more about that if you're worried).  The Unlimited Format isn't very fun if anyone plans on playing a slightly competitive deck for it... I think.  I gave up on it over 10 years ago, because it was one of those things where decks either actually won on the very first turn of the game, or effectively did.  There have been some rule changes and effective card errata since then, but it also isn't supported on the PTCGO so... yeah.  The PTCGO has something called "Unlimited", but the PTCGO doesn't have cards from before HeartGold & SoulSilver, so its different.  Still pretty broken, though.  There's also the Legacy Format on the PTCGO; everything from the HeartGold & SoulSilver series, Call of Legends, and the Black & White series.

 

Yeah, this is the short version!

 

5 hours ago, Wildfan17 said:

For example...

 

I think what I just said answered most of this, but now I'm worried I've set a bad example.  My posts tend to be large.  A lot of folks find them too big. I know you want to get everything answered now, but it might be better to ask shorter questions so you get shorter answers. ;)

 

If not, that's okay: I'll still try :) If you're building a Standard Format deck, what matters is if the card is Standard legal - from the permitted sets and promos.  If a card has been released more than once, and the older version has no significant differences to game relevant text, the older version is usually also legal.  Beyond that, the game cares about card names.

 

You might see the 4 Copy Rule mentioned in some of the documents I linked to earlier; unless the cards themselves have a different limit printed on them, or the card is banned or a basic Energy, you can have four cards with the same name in your deck.  The exact same name: a deck can contain four copies of Charizard, four copies of Charizard-GX, and four copies of Reshiram & Charizard-GX (though it probably would be a really bad deck if it did).  If there are multiple versions of those cards - there are, but I don't recall if they are all Standard-legal - then you can use those different versions together.

 

Yes, TAG TEAM Pokémon are Basic Pokémon, regardless of what Pokémon are featured in their card art.  This is a bit of an advanced lesson, but you may find it easier to understand the Pokémon TCG if you learn to "disconnect" certain things from the cards.  As far as the game is concerned, unless a specific card effect names both of them, cards named "Pikachu" are completely unrelated to cards named "Pikachu-EX" or "Pikachu-GX" or "Reshiram & Pikachu-GX" etc.

 

5 hours ago, Wildfan17 said:

By the way I am also a fan of the Pokémon games on game boy/ DS. I just recently got started playing and my goal is to complete a game in each generation except 3 and use Pokémon bank to transfer the Pokémon into future games... if you happen to play do you recommend any certain games in each generation? My current plan is Yellow, Crystal, Platinum, black,white2, Alpha Saphire?, X, Sun, Ultra moon, then sword or shield. Thank you again.

 

Though I got into Pokémon through the Gen I Game Boy games (technically through their pre-release coverage in the pages of Nintendo Power magazine XP), I no longer play the video games. I could probably enjoy them all right now, but not enough to justify buying them (especially as I no longer have the hardware for any of them).  Yeah, I am picky, but I didn't like how the series.... evolved. ;)  I could literally start an entire thread on this, though the PTCGO Forums aren't the best fit for it. XD

 

 

Edited by Otakutron
Premature posting

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Wildfan17

@Felidae_ Honestly I am sure Pokémon will just be a flavor of the month. But we will see they are hooked on anything Mario Bro’s related and have been for years. With the games releasing on the Switch I am sure it will help retain their attention for a while. I also was into Pokémon cards growing up... but no one I knew ever played the game, they just had the cards. I had no clue how to play until 2 days ago, and my hope is that as I learn to play I can teach my kids as it will be something we can do together. 
 

 

@Otakutron I appreciate your answers. I have no problem with the long answers, though they may seem long they are full of information. I am also a full time student so reading something long that I want to know about is a decent change. If I understand correctly the “legal” playable sets change in relation to new set releases? Like I said earlier I will read your links tonight, in a few hours once the kids are in bed. I have 3* all the gold trainer challenges I am hoping to complete the platinum 3 stars tonight and then pick up a new deck to get all the 4 stars. I am leaning towards the new water deck or the previous fire deck with Charizard. As far the the games go (ironically the way I was introduced to Pokémon was I let my friend borrow my game boy and he lost a game and gave the game boy back to me with Pokémon Red. I had no idea what it was haha) is there anywhere around here I should look for help/ opinions? Or is that a completely different corner of the internet? 
 

thank you all for the help, you’ve been great

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Felidae_
7 hours ago, Wildfan17 said:

@Felidae_ Honestly I am sure Pokémon will just be a flavor of the month. But we will see they are hooked on anything Mario Bro’s related and have been for years. With the games releasing on the Switch I am sure it will help retain their attention for a while. I also was into Pokémon cards growing up... but no one I knew ever played the game, they just had the cards. I had no clue how to play until 2 days ago, and my hope is that as I learn to play I can teach my kids as it will be something we can do together.

I feel you. Everyone I knew had the cards, but no one knew how to play / had any energy cards (because they were boring), so we just ended up comparing stats.

The game has gotten a lot more accessible over the years and is definitely the easiest popular TCG out there for kids to play.

If you want to intro them to the game I'd recommend the Sun&Moon Trainer Kits. They contain a pre constructed 30 card decks, coins/counters, a playmate with the important rules and the basic turn structure printed on them and a booklet that teaches the game step by step. All for 9,99$.

 

While the decks/cards themselves are definitely not worth 10$, you get a product that's easy to grasp and contains everything you need to teach someone the very basics of the game.

Afterwards you can look into Theme decks, ideally some that share an energy type with your existing Trainer Kit, to put an emphasize on deck building/improving. They retail at 12,99$.

 

Again, speaking of long term investment you are paying to much for what the cards are actually worth and if you are looking for a cheaper alternative I'd look around your local card shop. Often-times they'll have a bundles of 100-500 cheap cards that they can't sell otherwise and are more than happy to throw at you for nearly nothing.

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Wildfan17

@Felidae_ The trainer kits sound like a good idea. Where are they available? Ive seen the theme decks but no trainer kits. 

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Felidae_

Search for "Pokemon TCG Sun & Moon Trainer Kit" on google. Should bring you straight to Amazon, or PokemonCenter. I'm not sure about retailers, given that I've from the EU.

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Otakutron
14 hours ago, Wildfan17 said:

I appreciate your answers. I have no problem with the long answers, though they may seem long they are full of information. I am also a full time student so reading something long that I want to know about is a decent change. If I understand correctly the “legal” playable sets change in relation to new set releases? Like I said earlier I will read your links tonight, in a few hours once the kids are in bed. I have 3* all the gold trainer challenges I am hoping to complete the platinum 3 stars tonight and then pick up a new deck to get all the 4 stars. I am leaning towards the new water deck or the previous fire deck with Charizard. As far the the games go (ironically the way I was introduced to Pokémon was I let my friend borrow my game boy and he lost a game and gave the game boy back to me with Pokémon Red. I had no idea what it was haha) is there anywhere around here I should look for help/ opinions? Or is that a completely different corner of the internet? 

 

Popping into to answer very quickly with only about five minutes to spare, so...

 

I am glad you are fine with longer answers.  Time permitting, I will not be afraid to explain things more in depth.

 

The Standard Format is a "rotating" format.  New releases become Standard-legal on the third Friday of the month unless they release on or after that date, in which case I believe it is three weeks later that they are allowed.  Releases are fairly standardized, so usually the third Friday of the month date is what matters.

 

Once per year, usually around September 1st, the oldest Standard-legal sets are removed out of the legal card pool (referred to as set rotation).  No, they don't ever come back, though individual cards might return or be retained due to reprints.  Typically 3 to 5 full sets are rotated at a time.  "Full sets" meaning don't include "mini-sets" like the Detective Pikachu one or "bonus" sets like Hidden Fates (neither of which are part of the typical quarterly releases).

 

The Expanded Format has never rotated.  It has only been around since... I think 2014, so it is possible it could.  In fact, I am one of the players really hoping it will, as that could shrink the banned list.  The issue with cards never leaving legality is that you end up with a lot of useless cards, a lot of cards begging for a future release to "break" them, and some that are the former until they become the latter!

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Wildfan17

@Otakutron where is the list of allowable standard sets? I seen ultra prism and newer and something about black star promos that you posted. I will do a quick search online and see if I can find the order of release dates. You also mentioned quarterly releases. Do they release a new set (again is the set considered all Sun & Moon or is each type i.e. burning shadows, cosmic eclipse their own set). 
 

@Felidae_ I am going to a little local game shop this afternoon in hopes of grabbing the trainer kits. Thank you for the advice. 

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SandaledOtter

The current tournament-legal sets are:

  • Ultra Prism

  • Forbidden Light

  • Celestial Storm

  • Dragon Majesty

  • Lost Thunder

  • Team Up

  • Detective Pikachu

  • Unbroken Bonds

  • Unified Minds

  • Hidden Fates

Very soon, Cosmic Eclipse will be added to that list. The announcement here isn't updated for new sets, so bulbapedia might be helpful.

Certain SM Black Star Promos are legal as well, based on when they were printed (Number 94+).

Edited by SandaledOtter

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Wildfan17

Out of curiosity, when cosmic eclipse becomes legal is there a chance Ultra Prism gets kicked?

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SandaledOtter
2 hours ago, Wildfan17 said:

Out of curiosity, when cosmic eclipse becomes legal is there a chance Ultra Prism gets kicked?

 

No. The rotation happens once a year, around the end of summer. It isn't a continuous thing. Also note that in PTCGO, Standard matches outside tournaments will already be using CEc.

Edited by SandaledOtter
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Otakutron
On 11/3/2019 at 2:29 PM, Wildfan17 said:

You also mentioned quarterly releases. Do they release a new set (again is the set considered all Sun & Moon or is each type i.e. burning shadows, cosmic eclipse their own set). 

 

Felidae_ already covered what sets are legal, so I'll just explain this.

 

We usually get a full-sized set four times a year.  "Full-sized" is a bit confusing only because the last few sets have been massive, which may be the new norm.  Anyway, such sets have been releasing on the first Friday of February, May, August, and November pretty reliably for several years now.  If a set releases in a different month, odds are it is a "mini-set" or the like.

 

There is a set named "Sun & Moon", but it is part of the Sun & Moon series of releases as well.  Other than that "base set" - not to be confused with the original Base Set - expansions in a series will carry that era's prefix or even entire series name in front of the set name.  For example, Cosmic Eclipse just released, but you'll see that it says "Sun & Moon" in smaller text above "Cosmic Eclipse".  Something similar has almost always been part of the game to denote the "eras", which don't matter directly to game mechanics but are useful for knowing where to find what cards.  In reverse order we have:

 

SM: Sun & Moon

XY: XY

BW - BEAST WARS Black & White

HS - HeartGold & SoulSilver

PL - Platinum

DP - Diamond & Pearl

EX - See below

Older - See below

 

The EX-series is what corresponds to the Gen III games.  Pokémon likes recycling mechanics, sometimes with relatively minor changes but while still declaring it a new, separate thing.  Right now, we have Pokémon-GX.  Before that, Pokémon-EX.  Go way back to the EX-series and you (confusingly) have Pokémon-ex. XP

 

The e-card series (or card-e series) refers to a set released shortly before Gen III, when something called "dot code" was introduced to the TCG.  You could use a Nintendo e-reader to see Pokédex entries, unlock certain mini-games, etc. by plugging an e-reader into your Game Boy Advance and scanning the correct Pokémon cards.  Expedition, Aquapolis, and Skyridge were the e-card series.

 

The Neo series refers to the Gen II sets, which all had "Neo" as the first part of their name: Neo Genesis, Neo Discovery, Neo Revelation, and Neo Destiny.  After Neo Destiny but before Expedition was a reprint set known as "The Legendary Collection".  Might be some debate over whether to classify it as part of the "Neo" series or as its own thing.

 

The Classic series refers to the sets from before Neo Genesis: Base Set, Jungle, Fossil, Base Set 2, Team Rocket, Gym Heroes, and Gym Challenge.  This was before the idea of sets being part of a "series" had really occurred to the powers-that-be.

 

Oh, and you can always just use the Card Database for help with anything from after Nintendo and what would later become known as TPCi began handling the Pokémon TCG outside of Japan, so EX - Ruby & Sapphire and later.

 

 

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Wildfan17

@Otakutron @Felidae_ I haven’t looked at any of the tcg specialty sites Felidae posted, but I am curious as to a good place to physically buy cards, and a good online source. I am mostly interested in booster packs or boxes currently, once I get a little closer to completing my set I will start looking for individual cards. I would like to grab a booster box of Cosmic Eclipse just to try it out, is $140 a normal prices? Seems a bit steep but I have no clue. Thanks again. 

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Otakutron

I've been PTCGO-only after a long stretch where I could barely afford to attend Pre-Releases, so what little information I can offer on buying physical product you is super old @Wildfan17Still, there may be some advice worth offering.

 

First up, have you checked the official site yet?  https://www.pokemon.com/us/ is the official Pokémon website, and it contains a link to the official merchandise store, the Pokémon Center. This should have been the natural place for you to start, because it's as direct a purchase as you can make.  Not good prices, but it gives you the baseline as the Pokémon Center charges the MSRP for its new product: $3.99 USD per 10-Card Sleeved Booster Pack and $143.64 for a 36-pack Booster Box.  If a vendor can't beat the official source, you know they ain't a good deal. ;)

 

$140 is a small discount, probably not worth it unless there's another factor, like shipping... though right now, the Pokémon Center is offering free shipping on all orders over $50 USD if they're shipping to the United States of America.  Your location will affect what is or is not a good price.

 

Support your local vendor(s).  I mean, if they have a Pokémon League or at least provide a place to play, trade, sell and/or buy singles.  Even the ones that wish they could do it out of the kindness of their hearts still need to pay their bills.  That does not mean you need to buy all your product there.  Some may even be okay with you coming for Pokémon but spending money on other things; as long as hosting League (or whatever) is bringing in revenue.

Edited by Otakutron

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