Are theme decks worth purchasing?
In short, no. The most viable theme/starter decks to buy is the Keldeo vs Rayquaza Battle Arena Decks which provide close to $120 in card value for $30. They come with a bunch of staples you should be using in most of your decks and some extra cards that you can use should you compete in any Expanded Format Regionals.
Should I buy singles or booster boxes?
Buying singles is the most efficient way of getting the cards you need for their exact value without risking the variance of not pulling what you need. Most Pokémon cards are bought and sold at the price their marketed at on Ebay, Troll and Toad, and TCGplayer so if you pull something at $20 value you’ll probably be able to push it around that price. The benefit to buying booster boxes is getting the extra code card for the Pokémon Trading Card Game Online program and the commons that come in the packs. Commons, Uncommons, Rares, and Holo Rares are all sold in the Pokémon community at bulk prices. I usually stock up any useless cards/code cards I pull in my winnings then sell them all to a vendor either online or in person at regionals. You’ll usually get offered around 5 or 6 cents a common then the price should scale up ,depending on the vendor you’re working with, for your rares, holos, and Pokémon-EX. Luckily, this game’s market is decided by collector’s and you can usually push anything you’ve got sitting around in your binder for a solid price to a vendor.
Is the game hard to pick up?
No, the learning curve for Pokémon is extremely low and the game is fairly simplistic. I try to think of it as easy to play and hard to master.
I want to play “X” Pokémon, is it good right now?
The Pokémon TCG constantly print cards for Pokémon from every generation. This game, similar to YGO, is revolved directly around the individual cards printed and the strategies that their type has. Dark Magician and Red Eyes Black Dragon were particularly hyped and strong in the show but in the actual card game they never got their time to shine at the top of the Meta. (Red Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon was disgusting during it’s time though) You’ll have to bring the same mindset from YGO over here and drop any particular Pokémon love you have for the sake of the strength of a deck and how it fits into the meta. Hopefully one of your favorite Pokémon is viable and you can use them to win a couple of tournaments.
What website or Youtube channels should I follow to learn the competitive side?
The best competitive Youtube channels are TeamFishKnuckles, Some1sPC, TheChaosGym, and OmniPoke. These should have a blend of Rogue decks, Meta decks, and discussion content that will give you a fairly good understanding of the competitive meta and the community.
The top websites to follow for FREE Pokémon content are Some1spc.com (lul), DeadDrawGaming.com and TheCharizardLounge.com.
The top websites to follow for Premium content are Some1spc.com, Sixprizes.com, Cutortap.com, Pokebeach.com, and 60cards.net.
WTF?!?! Why do I have to pay to see these Pokémon articles? YGO never had anything like that.
I definitely thought this at first and completely understand where you’re coming from. To make this a bit brief I’ll explain how and why this came to be. During the early years of Pokémon, the game was dominated by the same group of players every…single… year. They had not only experience, but the play testing knowledge about particular tech, combos, and strategies that others didn’t which put them far ahead of the pack. Sixprizes.com then started their Underground service content which gave the best players in the game incentive to discuss their ideas and decklists. The community took a liking to the content and the players were paid for their share of knowledge, making it a two-way beneficial experience for the author and reader to improve. Many sites soon followed after (including our own) and began adopting a similar strategy with the intent of providing high quality content for the game to not only make money but better the community.
Is the Premium content worth it?
In short, yes. The only reason I got to the be the successful player I am today in Pokémon TCG is from the help and experience of the friends I’ve made in the community, namely Johnny Rabus and Dylan Bryan. While the game play for Pokémon TCG is simplistic, there are next level strategies, thinking, and progression that can be speed up through knowledge and experience.
The big pitch that most of the subscribers seem to have is, “You’re investing money into the game by purchasing cards, what’s an extra $15 a month if it means you’re going to improve as a player and start topping events?”. I tend to agree with this mindset but I don’t necessarily think each website provides quality writing. Some of the writers are only for the money. Some will lie about their content, knowingly make bad lists, and throw out bad ideas claiming they’re good for the sake of making a buck. It’s insulting and it sucks that paid writers will do this. They basically manipulate their subscribers mindsets for sake of getting paid. You will find we don’t share that mentality here at Some1sPC.
Where can I find events to play at?
Using the Event Locator located at Pokémon.com is the best way to find events and more importantly your local Pokémon League. Each state should have a some form of Pokémon Leagues which hold events such as Pre-Releases, League Challenges, and League Cups. The last 2 will help you earn Championship Points towards your Worlds invite. Pokémon.com will also have a schedule of upcoming events but most of the time I just keep track of it using this thread on Sixprizes.com.
YGO has Devpro and had DuelingNetwork, what does Pokémon have for me to play online?
There are 3 major online programs players use for Pokémon TCG. The best looking and most popular one being the Pokémon Trading Card Game Online also known as PTCGO. PTCGO is the official program from Pokémon where players use code cards that they pulled in their booster packs to unlock cards and play. You’ll find almost every TCG product on the shelves should have a code card with it. You can earn pokecoins and cards by playing the program online for free but it will take quite some time to unlock everything you’ll need to test decks. This is why some players resort to buying code cards at the release of each set in order to unlock packs and either trade or pull the latest cards they need. Code cards range anywhere from $ 0.20 to $2.00 depending on how popular the set is and how important the cards inside it are. There are ladders, tournaments, and rankings in PTCGO but they don’t count towards your Championship Points or provide anything you’ll need to acquire your worlds invite. The 2 free programs used are tcgone.net and playtcg.com. In these programs you’ll build your decks using the card database and either challenge other players or send a link to a friend to play a game. TCGone updates the latest sets slowly and is unreliable when testing new ideas. Playtcg stopped updating sets altogether you’ll have to just proxy cards that aren’t available to you when you’re playing a friend. I recommend just building up your PTCGO collection and slowly but surely get to where you need to be for playtesting. It’s also better to test against friends in PTCGO then entering random matches.