Jump to content
5ilentRequiem

Brand new to PTCGO but grew up with Pokémon (and Pokémon cards)

Recommended Posts

5ilentRequiem

So I'm gonna make this as short as I can because it's 1:30 AM and I'm pretty sure I should have been in bed about two hours ago.

 

I was 8 when Pokémon Red & Blue hopped the pond and ended up in my Game Boy. Me and my friends used to link with the 5' long cable to battle each other. Glorious times. Then the TCG came out and we had to collect all 150 (...151?) cards. It took me and my chore money (didn't get "allowances") about 4 years but I got them all. (I still have them in storage. Maybe worth something? Doubtful. 😜) Pokémon Gold and Silver came out for the Game Boy COLOR. Ahhhhhh. Nostalgia.

 

Even though we collected the cards like crazy, my friends and I never played the card game. We had to be together in the same room, and it was way messier and more time consuming than simply linking our Game Boys and battling "the right way". Ha.

 

Fast forward to a few weeks ago. I'm 33 and have three kids. My mom got them some Pokémon decks. Awwww, qué cute. "Sure mom, I'll get them set up. Hey, just so you know, mom, I never actually PLAYED the game with my friends, we only collected the cards for fun and fanaticism but used our Game Boys to battle."

 

I had to look up the rules. THE RULES!! So where do I go? Online. What do I find? Well no-freaking-duh, of COURSE PTCG went online! This could be fun for my kids!

 

And now, here I am. My kids mostly lost interest (they are still a BIIIIIIIT too young to strategize) but I have fallen in love with the game. So my quandary:

 

I am a life-long Pokémon fan and avid video gamer. I love the idea of strategizing and building decks but I don't have the time for the grind. I satisfy myself with the one Expanded deck I've created and tweaked and currently have a 9-6 record with since last edit* (and at least four of those losses were against insanely stacked and OP decks that I had no chance of beating) which includes, according to my statistics page, 7 upset wins. I feel as though the deck I've created is strong FOR THE CONTENT I HAVE ACCESS TO. That being said, I know nothing of this game's meta; I know nothing of how to viably increase my collection in a meaningful way; I get lost on terminology ("control deck"? "mill deck"? "ADPZ"? ...or was that "APDZ"? 😒 See what I mean?) and I certainly know nothing of the twenty-seven kajillion Pokémon that have sprung into existence in the last two decades.

 

Now, I'm sure many posters here on these boards could write entire handbooks on that missing information, but as I've alluded to twice, I'm not really at a point in my life any more where I can devote a huge chunk of time to mastering the craft. So the whole point of this post is ask for small tidbits of advice or information that I can glean quickly and make use of. As of now, I've merely completed the initial gold trainer cup and played about 40-50 games in Expanded Versus. I have one deck centered around the only two Pokémon V in my possession, InteleonV and more predominantly ZacianV (which, incidentally, I learned was "overpowered" about five minutes before beginning this post). Almost every card in my collection has come from farming Pokémon coins through daily challenges and versus matches and then buying Theme decks, of which I have about 4 (plus the initial 3) now. Couldn't tell you the names without going to look but suffice it to say I've basically tried to cover each element so I redeemed decks that got me Pokémon of elements other than the initial theme decks.

 

Now, I want to be clear that I'm not lamenting my losses and I don't plan on being super competitive or elite in any way. I really am enjoying my time in the game and of course seeing 4 Tag Team or GX cards on my opponent's bench on the first turn is a bit frustrating but I know I'm a few years behind the 8-ball. So if any of you vets out there have a couple lines of sage wisdom you'd like to impart to a new but able-minded player, I'd sure love to hear 'em. Feel free to add me in-game if that's more your style. My tag is the same as here on the boards. Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

*Can someone please tell me if the stats page is bugged? I know I've played close to half a hundred games or so but my stats on the deck manager screen don't seem to reflect that.

 

Definitely spent 40 minutes writing a "quick as possible" post. Guess I'm totally full of ***. 😅

Edited by 5ilentRequiem
Added the time it took me to write this thing. Ha.
  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
PinkyPockyPanda

heh you're welcome.

 

I am a rookie trainer too, but not new to tcg though. With wall of text, not sure if I caught all your questions, but really happy to share my thought from a rookie point of view. ( And I always make a wall even when I intended to give a short comment Post too 😆

 

1. The deck stat is broken and I read somewhere that no plan to fix it any soon

2. Jargon - so far I havn't found any complete online list so I google whenever I see new one

    as for what you asked

    Control deck - a deck that designed to block or break opponent plan rather than just kill kill kill

     Mill deck - a deck that design to win by opponent run out of card to draw (deck out) 

     ADPZ - a deck that use "Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX" and "Zacian V" as a main tactic

      1P - a deck with only 1 Prize Pokemons, no Gx Ex V 

3. with Zacian V, no need to fear those decks with an army of TT Gx Ex etc. 

    I have a deck with only one Zacian V that can counter them 😊

    https://forums.pokemontcg.com/topic/76501-poor-mans-deck-vol1-zacian-v-solo/

    

    It not perfect but help me survive rookie period and it fun especially when I win over army of TT Gx Ex V

 

    Now I got more cards so I don't use a ZV solo anymore but still use ZV as a main pokemon.

    Maybe we can exchange tactic to improve our decks later on. My in game name is same as here too.

Edited by PinkyPockyPanda
misspelling
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Otakutron
8 hours ago, 5ilentRequiem said:

So I'm gonna make this as short as I can because it's 1:30 AM and I'm pretty sure I should have been in bed about two hours ago.

 

So... your "short" is a lot like my "short". XD

 

Welcome to the Pokémon TCG Online!  I will not be quoting most of your comment, but I'll try and answer some of your questions, plus add a little extra to try and improve your base knowledge.

 

8 hours ago, 5ilentRequiem said:

Then the TCG came out and we had to collect all 150 (...151?) cards. It took me and my chore money (didn't get "allowances") about 4 years but I got them all. (I still have them in storage. Maybe worth something? Doubtful. 😜

 

As it sounds like you're not entirely joking, just a reminder:

 

  • The original video games had 150/151 Pokémon.  That number doesn't really describe anything in the TCG.
  • The original Pokémon set (well, in most major markets) was the Base Set, with 102.
  • The game has always featured Trainer cards and Energy cards, so less than 102 Pokémon were in the Base Set.
  • Jungle, the second set, featured the first "repeat": a card named Pikachu but with different attacks than the Base Set version.
  • The original 150 Pokémon did eventually show up in the TCG, but not until Fossil released.  Mew was released around the same time as a promo, and was part of the equivalent Japanese set.
  • Base Set Charizard had big numbers but was slow and required too much Energy; in other words, a bad card.

You didn't say anything about that last part, but I just wanted to be sure you knew.  For many who played the game back then, that last bit is sometimes mind blowing. ;)

 

Moving on to the modern Pokémon TCG Online:

 

Yes, there is a lot of jargon and shorthand.  It is why I usually try to avoid it the first time something is brought up in the discussion.  That isn't perfect, but if you see someone talk about a Zacian V/Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX deck before they start talking about Zacian ADP or ZADP, it is a lot easier for new or casual players to follow the conversation. ;)

 

Pokémon was far from the first TCG, and it definitely isn't the only one now.  Terms from other games joined those coined specifically for the Pokémon TCG, and in either case, the meanings have changed over time.

 

Some refer to win conditions:

  • Beatdown Decks: Wins achieved through the game's primary combat mechanic.  In Pokémon, this means attacking your opponent's Pokémon in order to score KO's and take Prizes.
  • Alternate Win Condition Decks: Not really a term, but the vast majority of Pokémon decks win through KOing an opponent's Pokémon through doing damage to them.  Those that do not typically fall into the following categories:
    • Mill decks: Win through decking out your opponent; running them out of cards so they lose when they go to draw at the start of their turn, but there is nothing there to draw.
    • Bench Out Decks: Win through running your opponent out of Pokémon in play.
    • Effect Win Decks: Not an actual term I've seen, but there are cards printed that sometimes have an alternate win condition, such as Lost World.  Just know they exist.

Others refer to an overarching strategy used to achieve that win condition.

  • Control Decks: Control decks attempt to restrict (control) what your opponent can do.
  • Stall Decks: This is not to be confused with illegal ways of waiting out the clock to win on a technicality.  These are decks designed to endure your opponent's attacks until this deck achieves its win condition.
  • Aggro Decks:  Used to describe decks focused on winning especially quickly, and with an almost reckless disregard for not losing if you don't achieve the win in the first few turns.
  • Setup Decks: However the deck intends to win, it takes a little longer to get going than the rest of the metagame.

Now, let me quickly address How Best To Acquire Cards in the PTCGO:

 

  1. Learn how to grind.
  2. Learn how to trade.

The former refers to completing the Reward Ladder, mostly.  A deck may be good at grinding but not be great at winning tournaments.  The goal of the grind is to win quickly, and barring that, to lose quickly, because what good is a slow win if you could have earned two short wins and a loss in that time?

 

You may have noticed there is a Theme Format.  Only Theme Decks released alongside sets may be used in this Format.  You are not allowed to alter the contents of the Theme Decks.  This is a good place for beginners, as well as busy people who don't have the time or resources to maintain a competitive deck in the other Formats.  There is what we refer to as a "metagame" for the Theme Format; the winning decks and strategies (as opposed to the entire card pool).  Ask about what Theme Decks are best (two just recently released, so I no longer know), but remember to specify whether you're talking about the best at grinding the reward ladder, the best at winning, the best for building your collection, etc.  Yeah, they're not all the same thing!  Your eventual goal is to participate in tournaments, found under the Events tab.  They cost Tickets to enter, but they not only give out booster packs to those who finish in the top half, but what you win is tradable!

 

What may surprise you is that you do not want to open tradable booster packs.  With the physical TCG, this is usually not the case; if you want to buy a card, you'd use real-world money.  You cannot do that with the PTCGO, and finding someone who wants the exact cards you pulled from a pack can be a pain, so unopened booster packs have become the PTCGO's currency.  Our price guides list the conversation rates for different booster packs, and cards are priced in terms of a generic booster pack.  Trading can actually be its own game.  If you're bad at it, you can try one of the few remaining "trading companies".  Think of them like a convenience store; you get what you need, faster than if you were trading on your own and without having to really work for it, but that means you are paying more.  If you're good at and enjoy trading, though, one pack becomes two packs becomes 10 packs etc.

 

Kind of ran out of time, so please forgive me for whatever I left out and feel free to ask about clarifications!

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5ilentRequiem
2 hours ago, Otakutron said:

 

As it sounds like you're not entirely joking, just a reminder:

 

  • The original video games had 150/151 Pokémon.  That number doesn't really describe anything in the TCG.
  • The original Pokémon set (well, in most major markets) was the Base Set, with 102.
  • The game has always featured Trainer cards and Energy cards, so less than 102 Pokémon were in the Base Set.
  • Jungle, the second set, featured the first "repeat": a card named Pikachu but with different attacks than the Base Set version.
  • The original 150 Pokémon did eventually show up in the TCG, but not until Fossil released.  Mew was released around the same time as a promo, and was part of the equivalent Japanese set.
  • Base Set Charizard had big numbers but was slow and required too much Energy; in other words, a bad card.

You didn't say anything about that last part, but I just wanted to be sure you knew.  For many who played the game back then, that last bit is sometimes mind blowing. ;)

 

I threw the "four years later" line in there to illustrate that it wasn't until that long that I had the original 150 Pokémon (+Mew) in TCG form. In my Red game I had all 151, and all at level 100 WITHOUT the rare candy glitch, and at every level of evolution (i.e. I had a level 100 Bulbasaur, a level 100 Ivysaur, and a level 100 Venusaur, all the way down the list). So I anxiously waited for the Pokémon that weren't originally available at launch to become available so I could collect them too. It took the market that long to get them all out there, plus me to collect them. (Although your seemingly photographic memory [or extreme googling skills] definitely drives the point home better than my "four years" line.) ;) 

 

 

I appreciate the tips and the explanation of several types of decks. I suppose my current one is a bit of a hybrid setup/beatdown. I've also got a bit of control facets in there (Tentacruel moving energy and Dewgong keeping opponent helpless). I remember when I played the Yu-Gi-Oh TCG in high school, I used a brilliant mill deck that most of my friends could never beat, so that option is a bit appealing here too. Just never called it "mill". XD

 

 

I haven't even looked at the reward ladder yet, and I grew pretty bored with the theme decks I was gifted and then unlocked so I haven't spent much time pondering playing in theme matches. I'm sure that against real players instead of bots the challenge will make it worth it but I've just been having so much fun with Zacian and Inteleon and Copperajah and all their minions in Versus that it hasn't really tickled my fancy yet. 

 

 

"What may surprise you is that you do not want to open tradable booster packs."

You are definitely right, that DID surprise me. Easily the most helpful knowledge you've dropped on me. I'll keep that in mind if I ever get around to getting any.

 

 

One last thing I'd like to remark on: Did I just get insanely lucky in picking up ZacianV? He's apparently high-degree meta at the moment, and it's one of only two "rare" cards I've gotten in only two weeks of limited play. Or is it more likely that the RNG used for giving rewards is favoring a new player with a leg up in the high-HP, high-damage current state of the game (which I recently read is a thing)? 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5ilentRequiem
8 hours ago, PinkyPockyPanda said:

    Maybe we can exchange tactic to improve our decks later on. My in game name is same as here too.

 

Definitely! Glad to have a fellow rookie by my side. I'll add you in a few minutes. Thanks for your input!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Otakutron
18 hours ago, 5ilentRequiem said:

(Although your seemingly photographic memory [or extreme googling skills] definitely drives the point home better than my "four years" line.) 

 

I began playing the Pokémon TCG with its North American release, which for me happened when I was in high school.  This was the first TCG I actually learned how to play properly.  I have tried to quit once or twice, or had to practically quit because life just got too busy and I couldn't keep up.  Some things stick in my memory better than others... though I also write about Pokémon most days (hobby, not paid), so I have multiple reference sites I use.  I'd list them, but that would go against the board rules. ;)

 

19 hours ago, 5ilentRequiem said:

I appreciate the tips and the explanation of several types of decks. I suppose my current one is a bit of a hybrid setup/beatdown. I've also got a bit of control facets in there (Tentacruel moving energy and Dewgong keeping opponent helpless). I remember when I played the Yu-Gi-Oh TCG in high school, I used a brilliant mill deck that most of my friends could never beat, so that option is a bit appealing here too. Just never called it "mill". XD

 

Yeah, a lot of these terms are only useful when you're frequently discussing the game involved.  As I racked my brain, trying to see if I could remember the deck you were talking about (assuming it wasn't from after I'd stopped playing that game), it did remind me of something else that is on topic:

 

Flexibility in the terms.  Some of this is because people just misuse terms.  There's a term in the fandom called "tech", originally written as "TecH" because early 2000s.  It was short for "technical advantage".  There were some very good mathematicians (statisticians?) who played Pokémon in its early days.  One had crafted mathematical formulas that were pretty accurate at predicting optimal deck builds, save for one aspect.

 

Technical advantage referred to this aspect; adding a single card to your deck should have done more harm than good, as the odds were low you'd have it when you needed it, and any game where you didn't, it'd just be a dead draw.  Nope.  Certain cards proved worthwhile because they countered things like a bad match up.  So TecH became when you added a single card (or minimal count if it was something like a 1-1 Stage 1 line) for those situations.  However, most people didn't know this, and just started using the term however they thought it worked.  Unfortunately, that means people will use "tech" to mean almost anything, from restructuring their deck in general, to countering something, even as a synonym for "add" (Why?  "Add" is one fewer letters! XP).

 

19 hours ago, 5ilentRequiem said:

I haven't even looked at the reward ladder yet, and I grew pretty bored with the theme decks I was gifted and then unlocked so I haven't spent much time pondering playing in theme matches. I'm sure that against real players instead of bots the challenge will make it worth it but I've just been having so much fun with Zacian and Inteleon and Copperajah and all their minions in Versus that it hasn't really tickled my fancy yet. 

 

Don't just the Theme Format based on the freebie Theme Decks you begin with; it'd be like judging facing a human opponent based on facing one of the CPU players (and you've seen how they play!). XP  The short version is that Pokémon TCG Theme Decks were bad prior to the Sun & Moon era.  Obviously, I haven't made an account recently, so I don't know for sure what Theme Decks you still get... but unless I missed it, the most recent online exclusive Theme Deck is from a little over four years ago.  That is pre-Sun & Moon!  Go look up the Relentless Flame Theme Deck at the in-game shop; I don't know if it is still one of the best, but it was the best when it released, and was still one of the best Theme Format theme decks at the beginning of this year.

 

You may still find the Theme Format boring... but at times, doubling up on a Theme Deck is the easiest way to get a budget deck.  Just ask here first before you buy. XD

 

19 hours ago, 5ilentRequiem said:

"What may surprise you is that you do not want to open tradable booster packs."

You are definitely right, that DID surprise me. Easily the most helpful knowledge you've dropped on me. I'll keep that in mind if I ever get around to getting any.

 

Yeah, it catches most of us off guard.  Once you get your Player Level high enough, the Knock Out based Daily Reward Challenge gives you a tradable booster (instead of a trade-locked one).  The 8-person tournaments that cost tickets to enter are are constantly running can also give you tradable booster packs.  I think the Bonus Wheel sometimes has one as well.

 

19 hours ago, 5ilentRequiem said:

One last thing I'd like to remark on: Did I just get insanely lucky in picking up ZacianV? He's apparently high-degree meta at the moment, and it's one of only two "rare" cards I've gotten in only two weeks of limited play. Or is it more likely that the RNG used for giving rewards is favoring a new player with a leg up in the high-HP, high-damage current state of the game (which I recently read is a thing)? 

 

Yes.

 

The Players Cup Finals were held at the end of August.  It was an online tournament, but one you had to earn you way into.  Out of 16 decks, half were decks built around Zacian V.  Zacian V is currently seen as the best Pokémon in the game right now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
GrimBeard
7 hours ago, Otakutron said:

Go look up the Relentless Flame Theme Deck at the in-game shop; I don't know if it is still one of the best

 

Relentless Flame is still one of the best. 

 

I'd also suggest Blazing Volcano and Soaring Storm. If anyone had to buy/unlock any one of these or all of those decks, I'd say they are gonna be set to win the vast amount of matches they play once they get used to the decks.

 

In no way am I or do I consider myself a vet of Pokemon cards but, something I wish I knew when I started using the Pokemon The Card Game Online (PTCGO) was/is that players should tag their collection if/when appropriate.

 

Tagging - I'll explain how in a mo or two - lets you quickly identify which cards you are willing to trade, want to get in a trade and increases the standard of life when creating a deck.

 

To tag a card:

 

  1. Click on "Cards" in the top left corner followed by "Collection"
  2. Locate the card you wish to trade, receive in a trade or that you consider a regular staple in your deck creation
  3. Right click on the located card to enlarge
  4. Now click on the relevant tag located in the top right hand corner of the enlarged card (arrows icon, heart icon and notepad icon)

 

This little tip isn't life changing or anything but it really helps when trading cards as I've found people tend to move on at a glance if you haven't tagged what cards you want to trade for (giving or receiving).

 

The notepad aka "For Review" icon is helpful when creating a deck as you can refine your search in the deck construction screen to show you the cards you have tagged "For Review". Tbh I honestly don't think anyone knows what this icon is supposed to be used officially for but hey-ho it works for this purpose 😄

 

I'm on regular so I'll drop you a friend request, so if you need a friendly face to smack with Pokemon battles or whatever you have it....(?) *I have no idea what that last sentences is supposed to mean but am keeping it*.

Edited by GrimBeard
Fixing spelling and adding thoughts.
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5ilentRequiem
On 11/22/2020 at 10:31 AM, Otakutron said:

I think the Bonus Wheel sometimes has one as well.

 

What is this sorcery you speak type of? I know not of a "Bonus Wheel"! 🤨

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
GrimBeard
3 hours ago, 5ilentRequiem said:

 

What is this sorcery you speak type of? I know not of a "Bonus Wheel"! 🤨

 

When you compete in tournaments you get prizes for your position after it's over but you also get a turn at the "bonus wheel" after each match. Think of it like the wheel in the Wheel of Fortune TV show.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5ilentRequiem
20 hours ago, GrimBeard said:

 

When you compete in tournaments you get prizes for your position after it's over but you also get a turn at the "bonus wheel" after each match. Think of it like the wheel in the Wheel of Fortune TV show.

 

Guess I should try a tournament. Do they have "novice" or "rookie only" tourneys?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
GrimBeard
38 minutes ago, 5ilentRequiem said:

 

Guess I should try a tournament. Do they have "novice" or "rookie only" tourneys?

 

Nope sorry. That said, themed tournaments cost less tickets to enter and - least from my pov - are much easier to win (depending on the theme deck you're using obviously). With that said, I imagine theme tournaments are the closest thing to a "novice tournament" we have access to.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
blacksheep217

I just got back into the game too and I'm loving it! Looking to play all the time. I actually began way back when the basic 1st edition set came out. All those cards are GONE now! I feel like that guy who's mom threw all his Mickey Mantle rookie cards away. Arg!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×
×
  • Create New...