After many controversies and a lack of information from the Pokémon Company, the Pokécommunity finally got their hands on Pokémon TCG Live, a brand-new title that will serve as the successor to Pokémon TCG Online and aims to make the game more enjoyable for everyone, even if you are a casual player, or you are really into the TCG.
Pokémon TCG Live brought many changes and improvements that changed the whole system for everyone. It was complicated to get used to it at first, but now, after some time, I grasped everything the game has to offer, so I want to share my knowledge with everyone who would like to get into Pokémon TCG Live.
This guide will work for you no matter if you have played the Pokémon TCG for a long time and want to get used to this new iteration or want to start your journey through the world of the Pokémon TCG.
Without further ado, let’s get started!
Before You Begin
There aren’t any important considerations before starting to play for new players; you only have to download the game, install it, play the tutorial, and then you are ready to go.
Nonetheless, I want to kick things off with a controversial topic for those transitioning from Pokémon TCG Online. That’s right; I’m talking about account migration. Migrating accounts is a sensitive topic for everyone with decent progress there, but trust me, this is way simpler than it looks at first sight.
Merging Your PTCGO Account
As soon as you start the game for the first time, you’ll be able to log into your Pokémon Trainer Club Account, and then you’ll be able to migrate your TCG collection from PTCG Online to PTCG Live. I strongly recommend migrate everything to PTCG Live.
It’ll be better if you migrate your account from PTCG Online to PTCG Live because, eventually, The Pokémon Company will shut PTCG Online down, and they will force you to migrate everything you have in your Trainer Club Account to the new game.
Now that the game got released worldwide, this is the best moment to migrate your account, as you have plenty of time to get used to the new game. I know it’s sad, and it’s an abrupt ending for a game that many people loved, but trust me, the game has advanced a lot since the open beta was released only in Canada.
The game is constantly getting updated, and the developers are fixing bugs and issues, so, overall, this is the best moment to migrate everything in your PTCG Online account to PTCG Live. Even though it’ll do it in small steps, I’m sure the game will get better.
Your First Day At Pokémon TCG Live
So, you got into the game, and then did the tutorial. I’m pretty sure you are wondering, “What’s next?” Well, fear not, as I have some tips in case you want to avoid getting lost on PTCG Live.
Learning About the Decks
After finishing the tutorial, you’ll get rewarded with eight different Decks for you to use in matches against other players. Of course, jumping directly into a match is quite tempting, but I recommend to explore every Deck. Take a look at the cards and choose the Deck you like the most, as the objective right now is to learn how to play. To check your Decks, you must click on “Decks.” Pretty simple.
Don’t worry if you choose a Deck to play with and then feel like it’s not good for you; that’s a common thing, as some of these, like the Decidueye and Inteleon Deck, are very hard to dominate. Just go for another one!
Practicing With the Decks Against the AI
Now that you selected the first Deck you want to use, it’s time to put it into action. You can play against someone (even though the possible outcome will be a harsh defeat), but I recommend to play with the Deck against the AI. The AI will be soft with you, as this first match is to learn how to use the cards of your Deck.
To get into a match against the AI, you must go to “Decks” then click on the Deck you want to use, and then click on “Test Deck.” By the way, if you want a recommendation, I really loved the Blissey V Deck; it’s a competitive one that uses a simple strategy that’s easy to set up, so you can get the upper hand fairly quickly into the match.
Now that you chose your Deck, and know how to use it, it’s time to test your knowledge against a player! But wait a minute, don’t play Ranked Matches yet, as there will be many players with great Decks and unique cards trying to get up the ladder. So, if you want a good time, it’ll be better if you try a casual match.
Your First Week At Pokémon TCG Live
At this point of your playtime, you should know the basics of your favorite Deck, and you probably test your ability in a Ranked Match. So, the next step is to improve in the game. I have some tips I want to share with you, so keep reading.
Modify Your Deck
I like the preconstructed Decks the game gifts you, but they aren’t perfect. Let’s use the Blissey V Deck as an example.
I fell in love with the Blissey V Deck; it’s simple to use and has a solid strategy. The thing is that it has a catch; Sometimes, I got stuck with Dunsparce as my active Pokémon (which is a vital part of the strategy but not a card intended to be in the active spot), and I had zero resources to attack or at least take the card back to the bench.
The worst part of this situation is that the Deck setup lacks a proper way to look for a Blissey and bring it to the bench. The solution I found for this was to switch the Potions for Quick Balls. With the Quick Balls, I could get a Blissey V card from the Deck, so I avoid getting trapped with Dunsparce in the match’s early stages.
In short, it’s a good thing to try new cards, as the idea is to adapt your Deck to your needs!
Of course, you must test your new cards and how they work, so remember, it’s better to try your new Deck against the AI first and then take it to the casual mode. Also, it’s ok if you lose; it’s part of finding the perfect cards for the perfect Deck!
Try New Decks!
If you really want to improve in the game, I highly suggest playing with every Deck you have available. The idea behind trying new Decks is to know how to control the situation when you are facing a specific card or a tricky Deck.
Of course, I recommend you try new Decks, as trying new things is always good. Who knows, eventually, you’ll find your favorite Deck!
Core Mechanics Guide
Let’s now talk about the main mechanics of PTCG Live. I won’t talk about the TCG as such; I want to talk about the Battle Pass and the new and improved economy (Coins, Crystals, and Credits), as these are topics that have been confusing everyone out there.
I know that the most experienced players in PTCG Online will not struggle to find their bearings in PTCG Live. Nonetheless, the new players will have a hard time trying to manage their resources.
Coins, Crystals, and Credits
Let’s start talking about the most basic yet game-changing aspect of PTCG Live, the Coins, Crystals, and Credits. These three resources have different usages; let’s check them out:
- Coins: The Coins are the least useful of the resources, as it only works to buy some cosmetic items for your Decks. That’s it. They don’t have any other usage.
- Crystals: The Crystals are like the V-Bucks on Fortnite or RP on League of Legends; with them, you can buy Decks on the shop and buy the Battle Pass!
- Credits: The Credits come into our lives to get rid of the trading system of PTCG Online that made getting a specific card an arduous task. With the Credits, you can buy cards for your Decks! I think that this was really necessary as with this, you are making the game more accessible for those who don’t want to spend money on it!
Now that you know the game’s currencies, let’s discuss what you can do with them.
The Battle Pass works like every other Battle Passes you can imagine; if you play a match, you’ll get points, and with those points, you’ll be unlocking tiers that will give you rewards. Pretty simple.
With the Battle Pass, you can get things like Crystals, Coins, Credits, Decks, Cards, and cosmetic items for your Decks, like boxes or coins. Adding a Battle Pass was a clever move, as it helps the game to appeal to more casual players, while it’s an excellent way to get more cards and Decks for free!
But, there will be even more rewards for you if you buy the Premium Battle Pass. You can do it in exchange for 600 Crystals. Again, a pretty affordable price for the amount of content you can find, and also, the Premium Battle Pass will reward you with more than 600 Crystals, so you will get your Crystals back if you are constantly playing.
Lastly, the Battle Pass includes daily missions. These are pretty simple; you’ll find things like “Put four Pokémon V into play” or “Deal 100 Damage with a single attack.” Every time you complete a mission, you’ll get rewarded with Credits, Coins, Crystals, or EXP for the Battle Pass.
The only snag of the missions is that you can only beat two of them per day, but this isn’t much of a problem, as you can still get EXP by playing.
Let’s now talk about Credits and Card Crafting. In my opinion, the Credits are the most important currency of the game, as they’ll help you buy new cards to build sets. This new mechanic is a breath of fresh air for PTCG because the trading was sometimes annoying, and, in my opinion, I always felt like it forced you to buy Official Products.
But I’m digressing. The thing here is that if you see a card and you want to adapt it to your Deck, you only have to craft it.
To craft a card you don’t have in your collection, you must go to Decks, and click either on your Active Deck or “Create a New Deck.” Then, you can click on “Edit Deck,” and now, you’ll have access to all the cards in your collection.
The next step is to click on “Settings,” and click on the option that says “Show Cards,” then click on “Not Owned,” and you’ll get access to all the cards you can craft with your Credits. There’s something you have to consider; you can only create up to four copies of the same card. That’s the limit, and it is because, in the Standard Deck Format, you can include up to four copies of the same card in a Deck.
Code Card Redemption and Card Limits
For those who don’t know about the Code Cards, they are special cards that come with every official Pokémon TCG Product, and they can give you an online copy of whatever you bought. As example, if you buy a Booster Pack, its Code Card will reward you with an in-game Booster Pack, while if you buy a complete Battle Deck, its Code Card will reward you with the in-game Deck.
Nonetheless, you can’t claim everything you have; the game has a soft limit to be aware of. Every expansion has several products, such as Battle Decks, Promo Cards, and Booster Packs. So, depending on the product, you can redeem a certain amount of Code Cards. If you go above the limit, instead of getting the product, you’ll get Coins.
You can redeem up to 400 Booster Packs per expansion, 4 Battle Packs per product, and 4 Promo Cards per product.
A good thing about redeeming Code Cards is that they not only give you the product you bought but also give you Credits. Remember that you can only craft up to four cards, right? Well, that’s the Card Limit, and if you get a fifth copy of a card you have, instead of keeping the card, the game will reward you with Credits!
Things I Wish I Knew
Being a new player in PTCG Live is sometimes pretty complicated. There are many mechanics to understand, and they can be overwhelming for someone starting to play. So, here are some tips for those having a hard time finding their bearings with the Pokémon TCG.
Pokémon TCG Tips
I’ll start with some gameplay tips for those who still have problems winning a match.
- There will be times when you’ll stumble across a player with the perfect strategy to destroy your Deck, and it’ll be almost impossible to stop it. In these cases, concede the match.
- You don’t always have to go first. Depending on your strategy, going first or last on a turn is vital, and it happens because, in the first turn, the player who goes first will not be able to attack. So, if your strategy needs to set things up, it’s better to go first, but if you have a pretty offensive Deck that can deal damage as soon as the match starts, it’s better to go last.
- V and GX Pokémon Have Rule Boxes, Read Them. I remember losing many matches because I couldn’t create a great strategy with a V card. Don’t let this happen to you! Also, I want to point out that the card “Path to the Peak” is great against V and EX Pokémon; you should try it!
- Don’t rely only on Special Energy Cards. The Basic Energy cards are also handy, even when they don’t have an extra effect. Also, there are many cards that can disable the effects of Special Energy Cards, like Crushing Hammer.
- Contrary to what you might think, a deck with many Pokémon isn’t better than a deck with only a few. A strategy doesn’t depend on the amount of active Pokémon you can have. Instead, it depends on what you can do with all your cards, including the Support, Item, and Stadium ones.
- If you see that the Battle Pass is coming to an end, it isn’t worth buying it. The Battle Pass is pretty long, and it takes many time to complete it. Of course, the missions are easy and give you a lot of EXP, but you’ll only have access to two of them per day. Instead, wait for the next one, so you’ll have plenty of chances to complete it! Trust me; you won’t finish the battle pass in two weeks. That’s impossible.
- Don’t waste your Credits whenever a new Battle Pass starts. When a new Battle Pass starts, it means that it’ll come with new cards to get. Spending your Credits on these new cards can be problematic because getting those Credits back will be very hard, so I prefer to spend some time seeing what the players can do with the new cards, and then I craft the cards I want the most.
Long-Term Goals To Consider
Let’s now head to the future. Now, you know how to play, and you know how to manage your resources to create new Decks and craft new Cards. You might be asking yourself, “What’s the next step?” So, contrary to what you might think, you can do many things in PTCG Live.
Be a Collector
One of the most fun things to do in PTCG Live is to collect cards, even if you aren’t going to use them in a match. I love completing the Battle Pass as it gives you many cards and Credits, which will work like a charm for those who want to finish a card expansion or don’t have access to the official Pokémon TCG products.
So, a good long-term goal would be being an in-game collector! Of course, collecting is more of a casual approach to this game, so if you think that you won’t get far in the ranked ladder or you aren’t good at creating strategies, you can still get fun by trying to collect all the cards of all the expansions!
Get Up in The Ladder
Another great goal is to get really high on the Ranked Ladder. It’ll be pretty difficult because there are professional players out there fighting for a spot at the top, but there’s nothing you can’t do if you put in significant effort and practice. Who knows, maybe you’ll have a chance to be a top-tier Pokémon TCG Player!
Create Unique Decks
One of the things I love the most about the Pokémon TCG is the freedom they give to the players when it comes to creating a deck. Of course, there are rules in the Standard Format, but these rules aren’t strict, meaning you can create as many card combinations as you wish!
With that in mind, a great long-term goal could be being a deck creator! If you love creating strategies and are always looking to innovate, I’m sure you’ll enjoy spending time doing decks and putting them into a match!
Question: Which is the best preconstructed Deck for beginners in Pokémon TCG Live?
Answer: My favorite one will always be Blissey V. It’s pretty easy to stomp with it, and it’s almost flawless. Shadow Rider Calyrex VMAX is also pretty solid, but only if you know how to use Cresselia properly.
Question: Is the Pokémon TCG hard to play?
Answer: No, I remember I grasped everything in a couple of days, as it has simple rules, and the cards are pretty descriptive. Also, PTCG Live offers a great tutorial, in my opinion, so you’ll get used to the game with a couple of matches.
Question: How hard is it to complete the Premium Battle Pass of Pokémon TCG Live?
Answer: It isn’t hard at all, but you have to play a lot to complete it, as it’s really long. If you always keep an eye on the daily missions, and you play every day, you’ll finish the Battle Pass fairly quickly.
Pokemon TCG Live: Conclusion
Let’s face it; the whole PTCG Online system was getting old and rusty, and it was hard to get into the game as a new player. We needed a change; I know it’s sad to say goodbye to a game we played for a long time and got used to, but it was necessary.
All of the changes that PTCG Live introduced are an excellent way to bring more people into the Pokémon TCG, and I really appreciate them, as the PTCG has enough potential to be as relevant as other TCGs like Magic or Yu-Gi-Oh.
So, whether you are a new player or are coming from PTCG Online, let me tell you you’ll have a wonderful experience with this game. It’s pretty far from being perfect, but thanks to the community, the feedback they give, and a more attentive Pokémon Company, PTCG Live will be a great game.
I wish you good luck with your journey!