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/vp/ PTCGO Pastebin for new and returning players

Apr 30th, 2020 (edited)
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  1. PTCGO Pastebin/FAQ
  2. Updated November 06 2021
  3.  
  4. Q: I'M NEW, HOW TO POKEMON CARD???
  5.  
  6. 1. Download the PTCGO client from http://www.pokemon.com/us/pokemon-tcg/play-online/download/ for PC, or the app from Google Play Store (for tablets) / APKMirror (for phones). Apple users are shit out of luck.
  7.  
  8. 2. Go to the Trainer Challenge page and complete those battles (YES, ALL OF THEM) with each of your Starter Theme decks. Beating the Trainer Challenge will unlock cards for your three starting theme decks, allowing you to use them online as well as granting you tokens.
  9.  
  10. 3. Once you have earned 500 tokens from competing in the trainer challenge, purchase ONE theme deck from the shop. Anything post-Unified Minds (Laser Focus and Soaring Storm) and Relentless Flame are good options, but Dragonite, Kyogre, Groudon, Charizard and Rillaboom should be between your first picks.
  11.  
  12. 4. Complete the Trainer Challenge battles again with your new theme deck. Upon beating each trainer with a new theme deck, you will be awarded one pack, of its respective expansion. You gain a new pack by completing a league with every theme deck you purchase - that is, 12 battles against the AI vs different opponents.
  13.  
  14. 5. Once you have completed the trainer challenge, begin playing versus matches to earn ladder rewards as much as you can each day - up to 11 wins. You also earn points towards versus ladder rewards with each prize you take, even if you lose.
  15.  
  16. Q: OKAY, THEN WHAT?
  17. After this, progression becomes more open ended. Your goal is to accumulate TRADABLE value. All packs and cards purchased with tokens or awarded by the trainer challenge (before level 16) / bonus wheel are no-trade.
  18.  
  19. You can acquire TRADABLE value by
  20. 1. Reaching trainer level 16 and completing daily challenges that award packs (packs awarded before level 16 are untradable)
  21. 2. Entering tournaments; even if you lose on the first round, you get at least one tradable item.
  22. 3. Purchasing TCG paper products and redeeming code cards, or purchasing second-hand code cards from these products.
  23. 4. Playing the market.
  24.  
  25. On the third option, you will usually find the best prices for code cards anywhere except specialized stores. Beware of mixed-code lots that do not list exactly which packs you are getting, people will generally try to inflate pack count with low value packs such as Vivid Voltage, Darkness Ablaze or from expanded sets like Evolutions. Currently Sword & Shield and Evolving Skies are the gold standard of trading packs; every new set is incredibly volatile on release day, then starts to slowly decrease in value as packs are opened, and the value of the set as a whole is gauged. Sword & Shield holds the most valuable Secret Rare item staple in the format - Quick Ball -, while Evolving Skies is the newest set, hence the current pack currency.
  26.  
  27. PTCGO-Zone is a price site with an auto-updating bot that collects information about completed trades, hence it's the most accurate tool when searching for a card/pack/item's current value. When trading for high value cards like popular full arts, meta contenders such as Shadow Rider Calyrex VMax, or SR items, people often won't accept shit packs like Vivid Voltage as part of a trade, even if it's a 'fair' trade.
  28.  
  29. OPENING TRADABLE PACKS IS GAMBLING, since packs are the primary currency of this game, and chances are high you will get less than one pack's value by opening a pack. Sometimes you will hit it big, most of the time you're just burning money.
  30.  
  31. When it comes to playing the market, https://ptcgoprices.com/ is a guide using bots that pick up the value of cards in public trades in real time. Unless you find a reasonable trade listed, it's almost always worth listing your own since people will list looking for more than what they're selling is worth.
  32.  
  33. Q: OKAY BUT WHAT DO I DO WITH THESE F*CKING TOKENS?
  34.  
  35. 1. Purchase a theme deck if it has cards you need for building a standard/expanded deck, saves you tradable value. For example, buying two copies of Charizard Theme Deck (Vivid Voltage) will give you multiple copies of Pokémon Research, Switch and Ordinary Rod.
  36. 2. Purchase Sword & Shield/Battle Styles/Chilling Reign packs praying to pull a valuable Pokémon or a SR item.
  37. 3. Save them until a new set of your interest releases, so you can blow them on said set and get most of its cards without trading. Keep in mind there's a 25,000 token limit.
  38. 3. If you're a hardcore trader, use them to set-up chains of trading for the stuff you want (use the trading guide for reference).
  39.  
  40. Q: WHY DOES THIS GAME PLAY SO SLOW
  41.  
  42. Theme plays very slow compared to standard and expanded, it's a format designed for kids so the decks are built so that it's hard to completely stomp in a game with them.
  43.  
  44. Q: WHAT THE F*CK ARE STANDARD AND EXPANDED?
  45.  
  46. Standard format is the format that most people play. It currently includes every set newer than Sword & Shield. Standard usually rotates every year after Worlds (middle of August), but this year was somewhat different; since TPCi wanted for both the Japanese and international format to differ as little as possible, both set releases and rotation were postponed a month - this year's rotation took place in September 10.
  47.  
  48. Expanded format includes all sets newer than Black & White Base Set. At some point, older BW sets may be rotated out of Expanded, but TPCi has stated they aren't doing it yet. The format tends to play faster and more consistently due to Battle Compressors and VS Seekers, making it easier to rapidly thin your deck and get what you want on demand. The most popular meta choices at the moment include turbo decks like Turbo Dark and Shadow Rider Calyrex, with decks like Ultra Necrozma, Honckrow and Reshizard being cheaper, hence more popular at low ladder.
  49.  
  50. Expanded has a banlist that is growing after many years of it being a minimally regulated format. https://www.pokemon.com/us/pokemon-tcg-banned-card-list/
  51.  
  52. Legacy is the third PTCG format which includes only cards from the HGSS era and BW era, no XY-onwards cards allowed. This format is the hardest to get into since none of the cards that can be used in it are in print or available in the store except as booster packs. The format is mostly a meme with no IRL support and rapidly declining online support but the meta never changes, so if you don't like change, this is the format for you.
  53.  
  54. Q: OKAY I GOT ALL OF THAT AND HAVE SOME PACKS TO TRADE, WHAT NOW?
  55.  
  56. Build a decklist, post it in the general, get criticism. At the moment, Crobat V and Shady Dealings Inteleon are the most popular Pokémon-based consistency enablers, with additional options like Cinccino, Zacian V, Kricketune V, etc., varying on the deck being played.
  57.  
  58. For best results, post your decklist as an image. Most standard decks currently want
  59.  
  60. x3-4 Quick Ball
  61. x2-4 Marnie
  62. x3-4 Professor's Research - your choice and number of draw supporters depends on how much you value additional draws, setup potential, disruption, and saving potentially valuable resources for later in the match. Most decks vary between 8-10 draw supporters, depending on consistency engines and available deckspace.
  63. x2-3 Boss's Orders
  64. x1-2 Crobat V
  65. x0-1 Ordinary Rod
  66. x1-2 Switch
  67. x0-1 Oranguru SSH
  68. x1-2 Air Balloon
  69. x1-3 Stadiums of your choice . Given the prominence of Path to the Peak as a lockdown tool, decks using Pokémon V with abilities want to bump that shit out as fast as possible. Popular choices at the moment include Training Court, Tower of Waters and Rose Tower, but currently there's not a "generic" stadium of choice, so just add one that fits your deck's overall strategy.
  70.  
  71. The Inteleon engine
  72. x3-4 CRE Sobble (Keep Calling)
  73. x3-4 SSH Drizzile (Shady Dealings)
  74. x2-3 CRE Inteleon (Quick Shooting)
  75. x1-2 SSH Inteleon (Shady Dealings)
  76. x3-4 Level Ball
  77. x2-3 Evolution Incense
  78. x1-2 Scoop Up Net
  79.  
  80. Q: WHAT'S THE META?
  81.  
  82. Dragapult VMax took the meta by storm after almost a year of hibernation, killing Sobbles left and right. The meta is extremely diverse at the moment, with the everpresent Shady Dealings engine providing players with trainers on demand, making for extremely volatile early turns and increasing the focus on hitting the bench; there's stuff like Single Strike Urshifu + Umbreon which takes advantage of Dragapult's abundance, decks like Rapid Strike Box - that take advantage of the synergy between Rapid Strike Urshifu VMax, Sylveon VMax, Blaziken VMax and Zeraora V - which mostly center around hitting the bench for massive damage, and there's also Zacian doing its thing with Oranguru. Past tier 1, stuff like Suicune + Ice Rider/Ludicolo, Leafeon VMax, Jolteon VMax and Shadow Rider Calyrex can do well by abusing meta weaknesses and countering common trends. Fusion Strike may change some of these decks, but overall doesn't seem to be a set that will shake-up the meta as much as rotation + Evolving Skies did.
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