How to Be a Swag-izard in the TCG

Lets cover two important, pretty huge, aspects of the Pokemon TCG. First huge important thing, the national tournament. It’s coming up this weekend. Expect to play against every card in format because as time as proven crazy curveballs tend to do well. I don’t have a top pick but I think player are realizing that instead of playing to a weakness just making a deck that locks someone down is a strong option. Expect to see Acelegor/Mew and Vanilluxe/Fliptini.

KABOOM! Perfect segue to the way more fun and way more important part of this article. Have you seen these playmats that are in the pkmncast store!? If you’re new to the game lets cover some of the swag you need to be thinking about to be taken seriously.

Sleeves, they protect your cards. They have a few major brands each at different prices. My top picks are KMC, Ultrapro, and Dragonshields, in that order. When I bought my first pack of sleeves it’s a tough decision but know they won’t last forever. They get grimy the color chips or they’ll tear and you will need to invest in more. They also typically come in 50 packs so you’ll have spares. I would suggest using them for you’re top trade cards, full arts or whatever else you find to be really valuable.

Trade stuff that is worth trading for should go in a binder. The super cool looking Pokemon binders they sell at Target or Walmart are alright and will last a while. If you want a binder that won’t get wrecked, can get spilled on and beat up Monster binders or Ultrapro Pro-Binders are durable. They’re a pretty penny, around $30 but worth it in my eyes.

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Youngster Vinnie Uses Enrage

Vinnie uses Enrage. It’s Super Effective! Please take a second and strap into your chair. I am disappointed by success of the mono build deck. It’s silly and I feel really works against the spirit of the game. There are so many brilliantly built functions in the Pokemon TCG that reflect the VGC. Some examples, you’re ability to have one active Pokemon and five benched Pokemon, just like the game. The loss of a status conditions when retreating, not exactly the same but very close. The number of prizes you take when knocking out a Pokemon reflects your opponent’s Pokemon. A mono-build, a deck with only four of the same pokemon, works against this. 

There are definitely two sides to the mono-build argument. Yes it is successful and I agree it takes skill to pilot any deck. If you’re playing the Pokemon TCG as game where you want to win then perfect, read no further and build decks with only four of the same Pokemon. But if you have a love of Pokemon in you, if you play the card game not to be successful in any game but because you, pardon the cheesiness, want to be the very best then ignore the mono build deck list. Just as you wouldn’t build a VGC team of only four Terrakion or Groudon use some brain power and build a list that is not only successful but uses a variety of different Pokemon and strategy.

We’re in the middle of the battle roads season and straight Groudon EX has made quite the splash. There are other successful options out there. Darkrai powerful and I had a senior at my league take first with an Accelgor build.

Good luck in your Battleroads, I will be playing next weekend so stay tuned.  Let me know in the comments what you’re playing or what you think might be the deck to knock out mono-build Groudon. 

Helmet Required, Deck Construction in Progress

The worst way to lose is an early game KO where your deck just doesn’t preform. The Pokemon TCG is a game of chance so maybe, by chance, you don’t draw a single energy or Professor Oak’s new theory in the first three turns and your opponent has fully set up and is picking off easy KO’s. Worse maybe you have only that lone basic and all energy, Slowpoke’s Whimsy Tackle can only do so much. The new Poketools in Noble Victories can help you stall for the extra turn that you need or maybe even a KO without even attacking.
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Player Etiquette Can Wreck It

I finished a Battle Roads today (went 3/3) where I played with many different players. Of course everyone reacts differently under stressful situations, like meeting new people or confronting them competitively, but how you deal with your opponent on a social level very much contributes to how much you enjoy the game. The overall goal of the TCG and the VGC is simple, have fun. That was the original idea when developing them both and perhaps the idea that we need to focus on the most. 
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Catcher and the Raichu

If there is a single card in the Emerging Powers set that is making a disruption it is Pokemon Catcher ( This reprint of the old favorite Gust of Wind gives you the ability to disrupt your opponent's field and set up. The simple way to use this card, bring up a Pokemon you can knock out that turn, score an easy prize. This card gives any deck an edge only equal to Quick Claw. It allows for decks with a fast set up the chance for an easy sweep.  What's the best way to shut down a deck running stage 1 or stage 2 Pokemon? Knock out every basic they play to their bench, and Catcher should give you the chance.
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