From JRPG-style turn-based battles to match 3 puzzle games, the experience of Pokemon battling each other has been translated into basically every game genre. My favourite of the bunch? Tabletop card game.
Yes, I understand that there’s a little bit of recency bias at play. I only started playing Pokemon Trading Card Game a few months ago. Even so, the way in which I have invested my time and brain power towards playing the game, buying the cards, and understand the nuances of combat is beyond anything I’ve put into any other Pokemon game.
Here are the aspects of the Pokemon Trading Card Game experience that I find incredibly captivating!
The fundamental challenge with collectible card games is that your ceiling as a player is predicated by the cards you have. Even the best players will lose to average players if the power gap between decks is wide enough.
For newbies, the struggle is even worse. The combination of being short on game knowledge and powerful cards is an incredibly steep (and expensive) hole to climb out of. As a newcomer to Pokemon TCG Online, my pre-made decks would routinely get stomped out by players who had every GX/V/VMax card imaginable. Above and beyond learning how to play the game, it’s going to take some combination of time and money – probably lots of both – to avoid losing every match in Standard or Expanded format.
Thankfully, there exists salvation for newcomers, scrubs, and those who want to play Pokemon TCG Online with a more rigid set of balance boundaries. If this sounds more up your alley, then the Theme format is your battlefield of choice.
One of the best ways to start playing the Pokemon Trading Card Game right away is to buy a pre-made deck. They have everything you need to play right away without having to worry about the deck-building part, which can be overwhelming for new players.
Odds are, when you go to the store, you will see pre-made decks in many different formats. What’s the difference between each one? Let’s run through the major formats to help you decide which to pick up!
Having recently started building Pokemon card decks, it became fairly evident that we was short on trainer cards that would have gone a long way towards making these decks flow better. Furthermore, I wanted to add a few more V and VMax cards to expand our options and complete any loose evolution chains we currently had.
With a trip downtown coming up, I figured it would be a great time to order singles from my favourite local game store from the website and pick them up while I’m in the city.
I did order some singles…and some other stuff. Here’s what I got!
Booster boxes are designed for retailers to have a display of card packs that they can then sell individually. They were not originally intended for individual consumers to buy a whole box for themselves, nor were they originally intended for content creators to buy dozens of boxes to then plow through them on stream with others waiting for that ultra rare card reveal.
With all of the hoopla surrounding Pokemon card collecting, it’s easy to lose sight of what booster boxes are intended for. And for serious collectors, they really don’t care what their original purpose was if it means they can get a lot of cards at a discounted rate.
During my initial wave of fandom, I decided to order a booster box for myself. Today, Steff and I open the final pack. Unless we open a god pack, I think I’ve seen enough to document the experience of owning one of these monstrosities.
Finding any sort of Pokemon Trading Card Game products at retail price is a struggle. Finding stuff on sale? Damn near impossible.
And yet, Costco of all places came through! Advertised in their flyer for a stunning $38.99 CAD, that’s about half the price of what other retailers around here would sell the Kanto Power Mini Tins set for. However, I got antsy when word got out that Costco put the stock out early at its still-remarkable regular price of $44.99, still well below market value. Believing that Costco would run out before the start date of the sale, I immediately rushed to my nearest Costco and grabbed a set.
It doesn’t matter how bad the odds actually are, but every time someone opens a pack of Pokemon cards, the dream of landing the big one persists.
Steff and I have opened a few dozen at this point. We’ve landed a few V and VMax cards, along with a weirdly-valuable full-art Pokemon Center Lady card. But landing a big one? We never thought we’d ever be that lucky.