Thursday, October 16, 2014

Pokemon Trading Card Game Online - Tips and Links *Updated Buying Theme Decks or Packs Section*

Update: There was an update recently that brought the Standard Format cards rotation to the game. It is like in Magic:TG where only cards from the latest sets are allowed in tournaments. I am currently unable to play the Trainer Challenge as I get stuck at the select a deck screen with no decks available. This might be due to the decks being removed from the format. Update#2: I think the Trainer Challenge requires you to have a theme deck that is in the Standard format, whereas all the free ones I got were no longer legal so I'll have save to get one from the shop first.

There isn't much to do for Hearthstone at the moment after Naxxramas other than grinding for more packs and cards so I'll be focusing more on Pokemon Trading Card Game (TCG) Online. It is a free to play game and quite a few things to unlock. You can find out more about the game info from the Bulbapedia Wiki page. (There are daily login bonuses in the game) I've actually bought around 1-2 physical decks around the time when the card game first started way back but I forgotten most of the rules. (Update#3: I found the first deck I tried to make, Haymaker. There was a pre-constructed deck containing the key cards so it was not too hard to build)You can learn about the game from the official website tutorial or in-game while starting. I think we can probably expect the same game when it launches for iPad later this year so the below tips and links should apply then:

Free Redemption Codes
GameFAQS link

You can get hats for your avatar and more importantly a free Rally Cry deck(!) by redeeming the codes in the link. Once redeemed, the deck can be found under your Collection>Packs. You can redeem as many copy as you need so you can get 4 copies of the deck for the maximum 4 copies of the rare card in it. Here's its decklist. The link also contains a list of the other decks in the game. I really like how you can redeem codes from the physical products.

New Player Tips
Reddit link (Lots of valuable tips for new players.)

- You lose the game if you deck out so be sure not to overdraw with the trainer and item cards!

How to earn Trainer Tokens (to buy packs and decks)
Official page info and another page with more info, including daily login rewards info. Note#1: Check your Collection>Packs for the daily rewards. You do not get notifications that you had receive any rewards but the rewards can be found there. Note#2: There may be a notification at the beginning while loading but it flashes by too quickly. Note#3: The daily bonus is found in the bouncing pokeball at the main screen. Note#4: I've been logging in for the first three days and I didn't get 4 theme decks so I guess that has been removed. (from the 2nd link)

How to get more coins by WhiteKnightIRE from Reddit

On Buying Theme Decks or Packs
Reddit link

tl;dr Theme Decks. I read that the current best one is Dark Hammer.

Update#1: I've been checking out the theme deck lists and find that most of them only contain 1-2 useful cards. Therefore, I think only a couple of them is necessary; Dark Hammer for the ease in completing the Trainer Challenge for the prizes as well as Resilient Life for Aromatisse and Fairy support cards. Those 2 alone should provide you with enough staple cards for most decks and if you want to be frugal, just get Dark Hammer for the Trainer Challenge if you are not interested in Fairy Decks. Destruction Rush is not necessary unless you want the 2 Yveltal for Yveltal EX decks but I've seen some decklist cutting them out too.

I don't think it is worth it to grind out 500 coins for additional theme decks (duplicate or new ones) as I found a more suitable use of coins; the 195 coin Legendary Treasures packs. Unlike the other 95 coin packs, they contain 10 cards and guarantee a rare and 1 that is from a 25 card set that includes a few EXs, Reddit source. Judging from the card list for Legendary Treasures from Bulbapedia, there are quite a few cards that are used in competitive decks so check it out if it helps in your deck building. To round up the other missing staples of your deck, I think it is ok to trade for them with packs instead of getting them from additional Theme decks. Just be sure to check around for the best offer! Although you can get one more booster pack from beating 12 trainers in Trainer Challenge, I think the time required to grind the coins is not worth it.

Trainer Challenge Guide (w Theme Deck recommendation)
Reddit link

The Trainer Challenge is not showing the basic decks for me and I'm guessing it is due to the format rotation. The first 2 recommended theme decks by the author is Resilient Life and Dark Hammer, with Dark Hammer the stronger one. However, Resilient Life has interesting synergy with the first mininimini free-cards deck, between Gallade and Xerneas, listed below. *Warning* I bought the Dark Hammer deck but was unable to use it in the Trainer Challenge. I remade a copy of the deck and it showed to be Standard-legal so I do not know what's going on...

*New* I notice in the current version (, in the first Gold league, the AI usually only powers up the active pokemon and subsequently, it will choose energy-less pokemon from the bench when it gets knock out instead of the next "powered-up" pokemon. Therefore, do not give up if you are losing as when you beat the active pokemon, usually the rest of the match is there for the taking. I believe you will still gain exp levels for the required trainer stars even if you lose, so play out all matches to the end.


Deck Building 101 - What the Theme Decks do Wrong article from SixPrizes Note: The author suggested 4-4-4 evolution line but on further reading, that might not be optimal too. The article is also a bit dated as it is from 2012 but I think the gist of Pokemon TCG deck building should still apply.

Here are the most recent competitive decks used in the 2014 World Championship from the official website so you can net-deck/learn the rough composition of cards. Notice how little energy cards are used.

2 Standard-Format Lists with Free Cards Only Excellent deck lists with accompanying strategy by mininimini from the reddit Pokemon TCG Online sub forum. The author recommends the first one and I've tried it to be working quite well in a rank match!

PokeBeach Forum Metagame Deck List with Tiers

General links
Bulbapedia Wiki page

Theme Decklists

Card Price Index (There are trading available in the game so be sure to check this link first before doing so. Do note the pack you are trading away, their value is different and if you are using the latest pack, use ZaftCo instead.)

Subreddit for the game (An unofficial forum for the game)

Official forum (For tournament announcements)

Current 2015 Standard Format Info/Card List
- 2015 Standard Format Info from Official Pokemon Site
Standard Format Card List from The PokeGym