Playing the Pokémon TCG used to be one of my favourite hobbies. I played competitively in tournaments (and was quite successful) from release to the Rocket expansion and a little bit into Gym Heroes.
Anyway, a group of friends have started playing again and I am tempted to build a competitive deck. Having been away from the game for so long I read a new rule book (quite a few big changes), and did some research online. Before committing myself to returning to the game I have a few queries and I think this is a good place for them. Some of my questions may be speculative and I understand if there isn't a good answer to them.
1. My first concern is the speed which decks become obsolete. Has the Pokémon TCG been/will it be similar to MTG in that I'll have to completely rebuild a new deck (quite expensive in Magic, seems cheaper in Pokémon) every 3 months to a year? Also am I correct in my understanding that with a major Pokémon release, older expansions are rotated out right away? So for example when X and Y come out will all of the BW expansions be rotated out?
2. From what I've read and seen from observing them play, it seems there are quite a few "overpowered" cards that the meta-game seems to revolve around and this seems to make it more chance/luck based than it used to back when I played (i.e. drawing a Mewtwo ex in your first hand is bad news for the other guy). Am I incorrect in making this assumption? If I am correct will it get better in the next expansion?
3.This is related to #1, but I have found a few competitive decks that I think I would like playing. The one I have tentatively selected is a Hydreigon/Darkrai variant:
Pokémon – 15
3 Deino NVI
1 Zweilous NVI
3 Hydreigon DRX 97
3 Sableye DEX
3 Darkrai EX
1 Sigilyph DRX
1 Shaymin EX
Trainers – 33
4 Professor Juniper
2 Random Receiver
3 Ultra Ball
2 Level Ball
4 Max Potion
3 Rare Candy
3 Pokémon Catcher
3 Dark Patch
1 Super Rod
1 Computer Search
Energy – 12
8 Darkness – Basic
4 Blend GRPD
My concern with building a deck now, as I alluded to in #1, is that I don't want to build a deck and then have it become useless in a month. Should I wait to build a deck or would I be relatively safe with something like this, where I can update it?
4. I downloaded the Trading Card Game Online, but I can't really test out decks because I don't have the codes for good cards. Would you ladies and gentleman recommend a program like Redshark to test decks?
5. This is difficult to answer as it is probably quite subjective, but I have read up on the Megalo Cannon Haxorus and I quite like him (the card, the artwork, and I love Axew/Haxorus). Would it be worth waiting to build a Megalo Cannon deck? It seems the English expansions are about 4-5 months behind the Japanese ones, is there any info I've missed to indicate this one will be sooner?
I know I'm quite long winded, so thanks to anyone who reads this!
Hey there! Great to find an old player out for more!
1.Decks dont become as obsolete as fast as you might think. Rotation GENERALLY in my experience happens after worlds (august) every year. No ones really sure how many sets they will rotate to be honest. Sometimes it's 4 or 5, once there was no rotation at all. Older expansions are not rotated out immediately, as last years format ended off from HGSS to Dark Explorers. Which is a black and white set.
2. There are some pretty bad scenarios that can lead you to a quick end game, that's true. Mewtwo EX being one of them, but slowly outdated by the newly founded Deoxys EX. As scary as the idea seems, most games play out pretty decently, unless one deck is built improperly.
3.Darkrai/Hydreigon is a very tentative deck, as dark explorers is very possibly going to be rotated. I'd say you could modify it, but the main pokemon (darkrai/sableye) are two which may be getting the boot. If you wanted to be safe with something modifiable, check out Blastoise/Keldeo, as it definently wont be going anywhere this round!
4.You could always try something like Redshark but I do have very little knowledge of such a thing..
5.I wouldnt bother waiting. The bulk of a deck comes from staple cards; your main supporters like skyla and juniper, catchers, ultra balls, level balls, once these are obtained you mostly only need to obtain the pokemon to build around these cards. If you're eager enough to play, plasma freeze has just come out and is a great time to get in on the action.
If you have any other questions I'd be happy to help you out! Qwaa
Hey thanks for the informative reply. I have decided against making that deck now thanks . I have noticed the Keldeo/Blastoise decks and they do interest me, as they seem to play somewhat similarly to my old rain deck and it would be like a nostalgic throwback. However, I think I would like to try something different and also I don't really like Keldeo as a Pokémon T.T
I'm quite interested in Eelektrik/Rayquaza or Eelektrik/Zekrom type decks but I'm guessing Noble Victories is likely to be rotated out if Dark Explorers is since it's older. Hmm quite the conundrum! Actually what do you think of this idea; I don't know how competitive this deck would be, but do you think this deck would work if I replaced the Garchomp and his lower forms with Megalo Cannon Haxorus and his lower forms when he comes out? Along with a few other modifications as necessary of course. If it worked then I could have a deck that works now and can be upgraded with my favourite 5th gen Pokémon . Don't be afraid to shoot down my dreams if I'm wrong though
Trainers – 27
4 Professor Juniper
3 Level Ball
4 Pokémon Catcher
3 Rare Candy
2 Super Rod
1 Max Potion
1 Computer Search
Energy – 11
4 Blend WLFM
Crap I just realized that Gabite's Dragon Call is quite important to this deck. I'd have to find some way to jam some Haxorus in there :/. I bet I could do it with Cradily, but then I'd need grass...bah!
Just use tcgo, I think redshark server went down a few months ago (if not it will go down pretty soon because the beta test for the ptcgo is pretty much over).
Deoxys is just as good as mewtwo (if you put a DCE on a mewtwo and not play it, yes thats a bad play, but since deoxys is put right on the bench, for decks like keldeo, rayeels, etc who run the heavy energy accel are at a massive advantage in being able to easily one shot them regardless of whatever they could do next turn, which is ohko you if they have a colress machine and a prism) I'll tell you right now, klink klang cobalion is the deck to have (counters everyone minus rayeels or decks that run fire, benchtini).
Garchomp, I don't like stage 2 decks for 1 reason, they have no mid to late game strategy once everything's been mowed down, and against EX decks its easy for these tier decks to start going, it's harder to take them down with stage evo when that happens (mainly because when you make a stage evo deck, there is more on the use of the evolution line and less on the use of energy accel, which every deck needs). Also for cardilly, you only need 2 grass energy (however after testing it's kinda not worth it, it did well with a couple strong EX backers but still it was the fact of using the obtuse evo line that made it harder to play if they we're to counter it, if they didn't know they would still counter anyways).
Garchomp Altaria. hm. Garchomp altaria is rarely competitive. But I find in this current format its been called as dead. Therefore, there arent many counters lying around for it aside from rayeels. It's not good, but it isnt bad. One of my best friends passionately plays it and has since DRX. Replacing haxorus with garchomp wont do too much because Haxorus' thing is its champion's blow. So the altaria do squat.
How interested are you in being extremely successful? Depending on the answer, name some of your favorite pokemon. I'll try to build a rogue the best I can and Ven can help me rip it apart. Qwaa
Oh goodness that's a difficult question. Currently I just want a nice deck that I can use to beat my group of friends and small local weekly tournaments at card shops (but even then I'm still seeing Keldeos and Mewtwos and all those awesome cards). I don't have any aspirations of going to provincials or nationals or any of that like I once did. However I'm a competitive person and I could see myself getting carried away and getting right back into it. I'm sure a deck seen as subpar by the nationals-level boys and gals would still be sufficient for my current needs though. That way I can play and see if I wish to get really competitive, and if that happens the worst case scenario is that I build a 2nd deck. Well, that's worst case scenario for my wallet; having more decks is always more fun than having 1.
I would be very grateful if you would help me build a deck. Can I shoot you a PM with some thoughts and Pokémon?
Just seems like he want's something to play withe the big boys, however I'm not a big fan of blastoise keldeo, just considering the large interest in the thundurus/deoxys the plasma tool box (I want to test it more, it has vast potential), Deoxys sweeps the floor with keldeos large energy count, even using mewtwo, it just makes better sense to run cobalion or meloetta or something.
I'd say just play keldeo blastoise, you could use the list I'm using to get an idea of what to build (the engine is very universal), everything else on this level you have to buy into booster packs, special order pokemon cards, etc, etc, this deck is 3 tins and 3 theme decks, nice and simple.
If you want to play competitively try this format deck out first, keldeo EX is used universally in every deck due to rush-in, and then after that if you want something else you now have some ground to move with to build something like landorus/mewtwo/tornadus, klink/cobalion, etc