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TylerFromOhio
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I am in my late 20's so I grew up with Pokemon. Just recently a few buddies started playing the TCG and I want to dive into it. The little reading I have done seem to indicate that Trainer cards and energy cards are very important. That being said I would like some thoughts.... what type of decks are the strongest?? I would like to build a Ghost, Fairy, Lightning or Flying deck. Can these types compete with the best of the best? I want to be a little off the wall. What trainer cards should I look for? What energies? Just overall thoughts and opinions. 

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1 hour ago, TylerFromOhio said:

I am in my late 20's so I grew up with Pokemon. Just recently a few buddies started playing the TCG and I want to dive into it. The little reading I have done seem to indicate that Trainer cards and energy cards are very important. That being said I would like some thoughts.... what type of decks are the strongest?? I would like to build a Ghost, Fairy, Lightning or Flying deck. Can these types compete with the best of the best? I want to be a little off the wall. What trainer cards should I look for? What energies? Just overall thoughts and opinions. 

i advise making a nuzzlechu deck (there are a few threads with lists for the deck) or a pikarom deck 

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Hi there!  I'm an old geezer too!  Level 30.  XD

 

Trainers and energy are indeed extremely important.  Energy is basically the TCG's equivalent of PP in the video games,  without it, your pokemon won't be able to attack.  And Trainers are primarily used for helping you to draw what you want when you need it, but they also have effects such as stat boosting, moving energy between pokemon, retrieving discarded cards, etc.

 

The general recommendation is to choose 1 or 2 energy types, and then choose your pokemon based on those energies.  Flying type doesn't have an energy of its own,  so most Flying type pokemon will either be colorless (meaning then can use any energy type), or whatever their secondary typing was, if they had one.   Ghost also doesn't have a unique energy of its own,  so ghost type pokemon usually use Psychic energy

 

Colorless: The equivalent of Normal and Flying type.  They're the versatile jacks of all trades, being able to use any energy type.  They're usually slightly weaker overall than pokemon with a dedicated energy though.

Grass:  Bug type pokemon usually also use Grass energy.  They're often able to heal themselves, and sometimes also use poison.

Fire:  Fire type pokemon tend to have EXTREMELY powerful attacks.  However they also tend to need a LOT of energy.

Water:  Also includes Ice type.  They're the manipulators of the field, usually characterized by being able to move energy and pokemon around.

Lightning:  They often are able to inflict Paralysis.  They're also good for gathering and recycling energy.

Psychic:  Also includes Poison and Ghost types.  They tend to be status inflicters and tricksters.

Fighting:  Also includes Rock and Ground types.  They generally have a high risk/high reward play style.  Their attacks might involve coin flips, or might be boosted by damage they or their team has already taken, etc.

Darkness:  Status ailments are common with them as well.  They also often force the opponent to discard cards.

Metal:  The tanks, pretty much.  (haven't had much experience using them or fighting them personally, so can't really say much more than that)

Fairy:  Another one that I don't personally have much experience with yet.  According to the rulebook though, they're basically inhibitors, limiting your opponent's ability to deal damage.

Dragon:  Generally high overall power.  However, they also usually require more than one energy type, and therefore are a little more difficult to work into your deck and get set up to be able to attack at full power.

 

As for the types that are the strongest,  well, they all have their different things that they're especially good at,  as well as their downsides.  Unless you're planning on getting into serious competition level play, which I assume you're not if you're just having fun with buddies, I wouldn't worry too much about finding the absolute strongest.  Just about any energy type can be made into a deck with plenty of power.

 

For trainer cards, there are four main staple things to look for. 

First, you'll want to have some that search for your Pokemon and allow you to get them into play when you need them.  For that you would use the various Ball items.  Great Ball and Ultra Ball are both good options.  If you're planning on using Ghost type pokemon, since they're considered Psychic here, Mysterious Treasure would be great for them too. 

Secondly you need a way to reliably obtain energy or retrieve it if it's discarded.  For that you'll want cards such as Professor's Letter, and Energy Retrieval.  Tool cards such as EXP Share also help to keep your energy in play longer.  And while it's not an absolute necessity, supporter cards like Bede can help you in more quickly getting your energy onto your pokemon.

Third,  you need a way to refresh your hand and/or draw more cards.  These cards will save your life when you've got a hand with nothing usable in it.  Cynthia is considered one of the best in that regard.  Professor's Research and Professor Sycamore are also powerful hand refreshers, but they're more risky to use than Cynthia because they discard your current hand instead of shuffling them back into your deck.  Simple draw cards such as Hop, Hau, and Bug Catcher are also useful in cases where you have cards in your hand that can't be used YET, but will be useful later.

And lastly,  you need to be able to keep your own pokemon safe.  This isn't necessarily done with healing items, though healing can certainly be helpful when used strategically.  More often, this refers to cards that switch out your active pokemon and/or force your opponent to switch theirs out.  Don't underestimate the importance of Switch cards just because retreating is an option.  Sure, in some cases a pokemon's retreat cost is low enough for it to be a viable option,  but in most cases, simply retreating will be too costly.  You'll need to have a way to switch them out without having to pay the retreat cost.  There's obviously the Switch card,  then there's also the Escape Rope, Tate & Liza (who can provide either a hand refresh OR a switch), and Guzma (who allows you to choose which pokemon your opponent switches in).

 

Now for overall deck construction...  The general recommendation is to start with roughly an equal number of pokemon, trainers, and energy, and then make adjustments as needed.  Many competitive decks however use a relatively low number of pokemon and energies and a high number of trainers.  That way you have more ways at your disposal to get the specific cards you need at the specific times you need them instead of having to rely on luck of the draw.

Since you're new, I'd highly recommend starting with a Theme Deck, as they're guaranteed to be playable right out of the box, and usually are at least reasonably viable, though not all are created equal.  I don't have much experience with specifically Electric or Fairy type decks,  but for the other types you listed, I think you might enjoy Soaring Storm, Night Striker, or Laser Focus.   And while they don't match the types you listed, Towering Heights and Rillaboom are widely considered some of the best theme decks currently available, so they'd definitely be worth considering.

 

Edited by Vinderex
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1 hour ago, Vinderex said:

...

Psychic:  Also includes Poison and Ghost types.  They tend to be status inflicters and tricksters.

...

Fairy:  Another one that I don't personally have much experience with yet.  According to the rulebook though, they're basically inhibitors, limiting your opponent's ability to deal damage.

....

 

In Sword and Shield, and for the foreseeable future, Fairy types have been rolled into Psychic. The energy still exists for the existing Fairy type cards, but no more Fairies will be printed.

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7 hours ago, SandaledOtter said:

In Sword and Shield, and for the foreseeable future, Fairy types have been rolled into Psychic. The energy still exists for the existing Fairy type cards, but no more Fairies will be printed.

Being a Dragon type user myself, this pleases me.  Bye bye, weaknesses!

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10 hours ago, Vinderex said:

Hi there!  I'm an old geezer too!  Level 30.  XD

 

Trainers and energy are indeed extremely important.  Energy is basically the TCG's equivalent of PP in the video games,  without it, your pokemon won't be able to attack.  And Trainers are primarily used for helping you to draw what you want when you need it, but they also have effects such as stat boosting, moving energy between pokemon, retrieving discarded cards, etc.

 

The general recommendation is to choose 1 or 2 energy types, and then choose your pokemon based on those energies.  Flying type doesn't have an energy of its own,  so most Flying type pokemon will either be colorless (meaning then can use any energy type), or whatever their secondary typing was, if they had one.   Ghost also doesn't have a unique energy of its own,  so ghost type pokemon usually use Psychic energy

 

Colorless: The equivalent of Normal and Flying type.  They're the versatile jacks of all trades, being able to use any energy type.  They're usually slightly weaker overall than pokemon with a dedicated energy though.

Grass:  Bug type pokemon usually also use Grass energy.  They're often able to heal themselves, and sometimes also use poison.

Fire:  Fire type pokemon tend to have EXTREMELY powerful attacks.  However they also tend to need a LOT of energy.

Water:  Also includes Ice type.  They're the manipulators of the field, usually characterized by being able to move energy and pokemon around.

Lightning:  They often are able to inflict Paralysis.  They're also good for gathering and recycling energy.

Psychic:  Also includes Poison and Ghost types.  They tend to be status inflicters and tricksters.

Fighting:  Also includes Rock and Ground types.  They generally have a high risk/high reward play style.  Their attacks might involve coin flips, or might be boosted by damage they or their team has already taken, etc.

Darkness:  Status ailments are common with them as well.  They also often force the opponent to discard cards.

Metal:  The tanks, pretty much.  (haven't had much experience using them or fighting them personally, so can't really say much more than that)

Fairy:  Another one that I don't personally have much experience with yet.  According to the rulebook though, they're basically inhibitors, limiting your opponent's ability to deal damage.

Dragon:  Generally high overall power.  However, they also usually require more than one energy type, and therefore are a little more difficult to work into your deck and get set up to be able to attack at full power.

 

As for the types that are the strongest,  well, they all have their different things that they're especially good at,  as well as their downsides.  Unless you're planning on getting into serious competition level play, which I assume you're not if you're just having fun with buddies, I wouldn't worry too much about finding the absolute strongest.  Just about any energy type can be made into a deck with plenty of power.

 

For trainer cards, there are four main staple things to look for. 

First, you'll want to have some that search for your Pokemon and allow you to get them into play when you need them.  For that you would use the various Ball items.  Great Ball and Ultra Ball are both good options.  If you're planning on using Ghost type pokemon, since they're considered Psychic here, Mysterious Treasure would be great for them too. 

Secondly you need a way to reliably obtain energy or retrieve it if it's discarded.  For that you'll want cards such as Professor's Letter, and Energy Retrieval.  Tool cards such as EXP Share also help to keep your energy in play longer.  And while it's not an absolute necessity, supporter cards like Bede can help you in more quickly getting your energy onto your pokemon.

Third,  you need a way to refresh your hand and/or draw more cards.  These cards will save your life when you've got a hand with nothing usable in it.  Cynthia is considered one of the best in that regard.  Professor's Research and Professor Sycamore are also powerful hand refreshers, but they're more risky to use than Cynthia because they discard your current hand instead of shuffling them back into your deck.  Simple draw cards such as Hop, Hau, and Bug Catcher are also useful in cases where you have cards in your hand that can't be used YET, but will be useful later.

And lastly,  you need to be able to keep your own pokemon safe.  This isn't necessarily done with healing items, though healing can certainly be helpful when used strategically.  More often, this refers to cards that switch out your active pokemon and/or force your opponent to switch theirs out.  Don't underestimate the importance of Switch cards just because retreating is an option.  Sure, in some cases a pokemon's retreat cost is low enough for it to be a viable option,  but in most cases, simply retreating will be too costly.  You'll need to have a way to switch them out without having to pay the retreat cost.  There's obviously the Switch card,  then there's also the Escape Rope, Tate & Liza (who can provide either a hand refresh OR a switch), and Guzma (who allows you to choose which pokemon your opponent switches in).

 

Now for overall deck construction...  The general recommendation is to start with roughly an equal number of pokemon, trainers, and energy, and then make adjustments as needed.  Many competitive decks however use a relatively low number of pokemon and energies and a high number of trainers.  That way you have more ways at your disposal to get the specific cards you need at the specific times you need them instead of having to rely on luck of the draw.

Since you're new, I'd highly recommend starting with a Theme Deck, as they're guaranteed to be playable right out of the box, and usually are at least reasonably viable, though not all are created equal.  I don't have much experience with specifically Electric or Fairy type decks,  but for the other types you listed, I think you might enjoy Soaring Storm, Night Striker, or Laser Focus.   And while they don't match the types you listed, Towering Heights and Rillaboom are widely considered some of the best theme decks currently available, so they'd definitely be worth considering.

 

Great work man, this is a really impressive explanation

I knwo a lot about the TCG but i enjoyed reading this

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7 hours ago, Chasista said:

There's also no Dragons in the new set nor support for them. Who knows if they remove it soon too... 😢

I expect that any future dragons which would have had Fairy weakness will instead have Psychic weakness, which is worse for the dragon.

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10 hours ago, ChawkyV said:

Great work man, this is a really impressive explanation

I knwo a lot about the TCG but i enjoyed reading this

Thanks.  :D

 

11 hours ago, Chasista said:

There's also no Dragons in the new set nor support for them. Who knows if they remove it soon too... 😢

Hopefully they're just planning on including Dragon types in the later expansions, like the next generation of Dragon Majesty/Dragons Exalted.  Been looking forward to eventually adding Dragapult to a "dark dragons" deck I have in mind.  Though even if he ends up not being dragon type, he'd still likely fit right in since I was already going to have psychic energy in it anyways.  If he does end up still being dragon type, I imagine he'd likely use Psychic/Fire energy.  I guess for now we can only hope.  ^.^

 

4 hours ago, SandaledOtter said:

I expect that any future dragons which would have had Fairy weakness will instead have Psychic weakness, which is worse for the dragon.

For the sake of balance, it seems more likely to me that they'd go back to being weak to other Dragons.  No other types have a weakness to Dragon, so it would make more sense for them to have no major weakness in return for having no major strength.

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Hello, I'm also a new trainer, not new to pokemon franchise, but newer to the card game. I touched it briefly as a kid, and now re-playing it as a grown adult. I'm looking to create a psychic deck with a splash of some other element. Is mewtwo strong? Is there a meta to this type? What can I expect to be weak against as psychic?

Thanks in advance.

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On 2/26/2020 at 11:24 PM, DiOrcus said:

Hello, I'm also a new trainer, not new to pokemon franchise, but newer to the card game. I touched it briefly as a kid, and now re-playing it as a grown adult. I'm looking to create a psychic deck with a splash of some other element. Is mewtwo strong? Is there a meta to this type? What can I expect to be weak against as psychic?

Thanks in advance.

 

Welcome.

 

Check Mewtwo and Mew GX Tag team (or Mew3) decks in your browser or YT. Mew3 is very good, later Meta deck paired with Malamar.

 

In general, by separate, both Mewtwo and also Mew cards have been good the 1st by its attacks and very useful the 2nd because of its abilities mainly.

 

Psy use to be weak to psy most of the times.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Wow!!! After a couple of days I gave up but came back to see some great information. I am pleased to say that I am rolling with a Psychic deck... I would like to be sneaky, maybe cause people to constantly not be able to attack me or, draw cards or something of the sort. I have a Gengar & Mimikyu GX tag team, Wobbuffet V and an Indeedee V to start me out. What other sneaky cards should I be looking for out there? If I need to switch up any of these to improve my deck I will, I was basically given these cards from a couple different friends who play that dont run Psychic decks. Thanks guys! Thank you Vinderex.

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