Fatih Akdemir – Card Strategies – How to get started with the Pokémon TCG

Hey Guys, it’s me Fatih and today I want to talk with you about a topic which fits pretty well right now as the season is over for the most players and thanks to the Pokémon Go hype a lot of people gain more interest in Pokémon and therefore the TCG.The topic we will cover today is “How to get started with the Pokémon TCG”.


As you may know I have a YouTube channel where I also upload Pokémon Trading Card Game Online (PTCGO) on a weekly base and I also stream the game sometimes. Because of that I often get asked how to start with the Pokémon TCG and after answering this question a lot of times I think i gained a lot of experience on that topic.


1. Start now!


If you have the opportunity to start now then do it now! The season is almost over and there are only some small League Challenges left to play besides Worlds. But Leagues continue to proceed even in this time and you can always participate at those. You will have more time to prepare for tournaments and you should use this time to get into the game.
Furthermore the rotation for the next season which starts aroung September/October was just announced and you have an assurance on which cards you are guaranteed to play at next seasons Standard format.


There are 2 formats which most likely will be played the next season at tournaments: Standard and Expanded.


Here you can read more about both formats for the next season: http://www.pokemon.com/us/pokemon-news/pokemon-tcg-format-rotation-for-2017/


2. Find help and advice at a local league


Use this event locator to find a nearby league at yours: https://www.pokemon.com/us/play-pokemon/pokemon-events/find-an-event/


What fascinated me the most when I started the Pokémon TCG back then was the community aspect. The people at my local league were very kind and answered all of my question I had and even gave me some cards to improve my card collection. You can find people to test with, people to trade with and also people to just talk about random Pokémon things with like Pokémon Go for example and just have a very fun time there. Also you will receive promo cards for free to further improve your collection and decks. Some of the promo cards are less useful but sometimes even the promo cards are very good ones. You should not waste any time and find a local league as fast as possible.


3. “Should I rather buy boosters or just a starter Deck????”


Neither of those! I used to analyze all starter decks avaiable for the TCG a while ago and I came to the conclusion that there is only 1 deck which is worth buying it (the Greninja one). The problem with boosters is that they are pure random and you cann’t bet on getting multiple copies of a specific card you need except you buy a lot of booster boxes.
If you really want to build a competitive deck for as cheap as possible then you absolutely need to buy single cards. Here are some online card shops I made good experiences with:



4. Learn da rulez!


Get yourself comfortable with the basic rules of the game. Buying yourself a starter deck in order to learn the rules is absolutely right and you should just go ahead and use it against someone else at your local league.

Other than that you can also download the Pokémon Trading Card Game Online Deck for free to play it against the computer or against other real life opponents. You will start with some basic decks for free and thats also a nice way to learn the rules.

If you want to be a bit more retro I can also recommend you the Pokémon Trading Card Game for the Gameboy console. You can also get it at your 3DS eShop for around 10$ to feels the power of the old Base Set cards!
5. Find decklists to start with


Most people struggle with building solid decks. Nowadays there are a lot of sources on where to get some lists to start with. When I started I took my decklists from certain sites like “sixprizes” or “The Top Cut” and improved them as I would like them from that points on. You can also find a lot of lists on YouTube where many people focus on the Trading Card Game. Just take a look for a card you would like to build a deck around with!




I think these are the most important points you should focus on first when you decide to play the Pokémon Trading Card Game in real life.
I hope you liked my first article I ever wrote on Pokémon and don’t be too harsh to me.
In my next article I will write about another topic which should be interesting for a lot of people: “How to start with the Pokémon Trading Card Game Online”.
So stay tuned for it and good luck on starting with the Pokémon TCG!


Fatih Akdemir



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