Ask a simple question, get a simple answer - TCG edition

Cassie

giant claw
#1
The rules:

1. Your answers should contain at least a brief explanation, even if it was the simplest of questions.
2. While answering Yes/No question, please quote the question you're referring to. It gets confusing otherwise.
3. At least do a simple google search before asking the question here.
 

zero2exe

Veteran Breeder - Expert Translator
is a Contributor Alumnus
#2
Ok I'm gonna repost a question I put in the social group ages ago and no one answered T_T.
In the current meta what are all the POKEMON cards (basic mainly) that have either and ability or attack that lets you search for other pokemon in your deck?
Really I'm only appealing to general knowledge as googling it would take ages to check every set .-.
 
#8
I've seen talk here about the "Ball Engine" and how it + Random Reciever is taking the game by storm. My question is "What exactly is the Ball Engine?" I understand that it makes use of Level, Heavy, and probably Ultra Ball, but Engine makes me think there's a formula or a trick to it. Anyone care to shed any light?
 

Mekkah

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Super Moderator
#9
Most of this game's drawing comes from draw supporters, primarily Professor Oak's New Theory, Professor Juniper, N, and to a lesser extent Cheren, Sage, and Bianca, and Pokegear is used to fetch them. Now Pokegear sometimes whiffs and that's quite annoying.

In addition, people (used to) use Pokemon Collector to get their Basics out as soon as possible. However, that card usually conflicts with Random Receiver, because when you use that you are usually looking for something to get a new hand with (PONT, Juniper, N), and you don't want to run into Collector. So by replacing Collector with the "Ball" Trainers (mostly Dual Ball and Level Ball), Random Receiver increases in effectiveness, because you're guaranteed to hit a hand refresher with it.

The "ball engine" existed before Random Receiver, as people realized the game is just too fast to use Collector - you usually want to get out Basics AND draw through your deck at the same time. Dual Ball + Level Ball is particularly effective in Eelektrik decks because the main target that you want to bench a lot of (Tynamo) is searchable by both of these balls. Ultra Ball is just icing on the cake since it can get Lightning in the discard. Celebi decks have always preferred Dual Ball because it needs so few Basics out at the same time (just Celebi + an attacker, really).

tl;dr using a draw supporter + finding basics > just finding basics
 

Mekkah

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Super Moderator
#11
playtcg.me - has scans and most recent sets, but the chat lags a little
redshark - no scans and requires hamachi to work, but it has a better chat function and it logs every action and i think the interface is just a little better
 

Tolan

Wi-Fi Blacklisted
#13
Personally, once I got used to it, I loved playtcg.me's interface. It's all preference.

Okay, my turn. Pretty simple question, but I can't find anything via Google.
Can any energy be used in competitive play, regardless of the set? I heard that before, but I'm not sure.
 

Huy

INSTANT BALLS
is a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Live Chat Contributor Alumnus
#14
Any basic energy can be used, regardless of set. Special energy needs to be in rotation, however. You can use old special energies if they have been reprinted in a current set, but some may require a reference.
 

Mekkah

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Super Moderator
#15
mekkah forgot to mention that playtcg.me has a terrible interface, but redshark is usually behind on the latest set by a few weeks (or longer).
The playtcg interface is ok imo, except for top deck manipulation (you can't hide cards from your opponent without drawing them to your hand, and you can't let your opponent manipulate any of your cards, so Slowking GS/CL is basically nerfed).

paperfairy stop being busy man D:
 
#16
I'm just starting to get into TCG, so I've been checking the official site and some videos on youtube to get an idea of how the game works, ect. My questions are...

1) As a beginner, are there are sites/resources that I should be aware of that aren't so obvious?

2) How would you rate the learning curve/skill cap for TCG compared to VGC?

Thanks!
 
#17
1) Useful sites for TCG are:

http://www.sixprizes.com/
http://thetopcut.net/
http://thedeckout.blogspot.com/p/decklist-out.html

And in particular, here's a great article on the basics :)
http://www.sixprizes.com/beginner/beginners-guide-current-format/

2) An interesting question... I'd say that TCG requires almost a different skillset entirely. The biggest hurdle to overcome is deckbuilding. After that, strategy (which you've often developed by the time you're an accomplished deckbuilder) becomes key in distinguishing oneself from the masses. Being able to see the best plays and combinations, as well as the correct order comes with time. Finally, knowing the metagame is the most important part in being successful, since you'll want to be able to analyze your opponent's deck and understand the best playstyle to beat it. And that just comes with experience too.

But as far as learning curve, you can do pretty well for yourself pretty quick with a good deck and the knowhow to play it. From there, it gets pretty tough to consistently do well, since the metagame changes drastically on a regular basis (at least compared to VG).
 

Cassie

giant claw
#18
We're currently working on a beginner's guide for smogon, but I think the site that most people don't find without being told is this.

They take about the same amount of time to learn because a lot of what you do in TCG can be related to something you do in VGC. It requires learning the basics, practicing/experience, knowing the metagame, and deck building(it's a lot like team building so it definitely takes a while to get good at). Granted there are some big differences, like rotation or new sets causing a shift in the metagame every once in a while(currently we're getting the Dark Explorers set which should cause a shift in the metagame, and in a few months we may see a rotation happen), but when I was learning TCG I found the best way to learn was to relate it to things I did when learning VGC.

FearZeCrawdaunt explains the differences a lot better than I do, you learn different things of course, but it kind of fits the same flow of learning VGC.
 

Mekkah

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Super Moderator
#20
The multiplayer for that is actually down at the moment. Also it's glitchy and you have to actually buy packs to get codes and then scan/input those codes and hopefully draw the cards you need.
 
#21
I'm thinking about getting back into TCG and playing competitively, but I'm concerned about the cost. About how much do you guys think it costs to play competitively?
 

Cassie

giant claw
#23
I'm thinking about getting back into TCG and playing competitively, but I'm concerned about the cost. About how much do you guys think it costs to play competitively?
Like Tolan said, it depends on what deck you're going for. In my opinion, it's not a good idea to try to use the biggest decks irl when you first start out. Try things out as much as you can on one of the simulators first before deciding on what you want. If you're not going to league/irl events it's usually not worth buying the most expensive decks anyway. Staples alone will take a chunk of money (roughly estimating, I'd say around the 40-60 range?) seeing as catchers are at about 10 a pop and most decks run at least two. Your best bet is to start out by buying some staples and then going on to the rest. You'll run through a lot of decks and deck changes throughout the metagame most likely, so don't be impatient about getting your hands on cards. Oh, and welcome (back?)!

tl;dr Most cost efficient way I've found: Don't be impatient, play with decks online before buying, and start with staples first.
 
#25
Staples alone will take a chunk of money (roughly estimating, I'd say around the 40-60 range?) seeing as catchers are at about 10 a pop and most decks run at least two.
Catchers... as in the uncommon card that switches the opponent's active pokemon with one of his or her benched pokemon? Please do excuse me, as I, too, have recently been getting into the game.
 

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