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Pokemon Trading Card Game - A Quick Guide Of PTCG For Beginners

If you are a fan of Pokémon and you have watched both the animated Pokemon film and its live-action films, then you must know or have heard about the Pokémon trading card game. And what is Pokémon trading card game, how to play it, etc will be pointed out in this blog.

What Is Pokemon Trading Card Game?

The Pokémon Trading Card Game (or Pokémon Card Game), also known as Pokémon TCG or PTCG, is a tabletop game in which players collect, trade, and play with Pokémon-themed playing cards. It has its own playing rules yet incorporates many of the video games' motifs and ideas. 

Pokemon Trading Card Game
Pokemon Trading Card Game

Pokémon cards have a variety of types such as cards for each species, as well as trainer cards featuring characters, items, energy cards to power attacks, and other franchise themes. The Pokemon cards' artwork is frequently created specifically for the Pokemon TCG by various artists, although the existing art created for the core series is occasionally used.

The Pokémon Trading Card Game (TCG) is a popular and consistent aspect of the Pokémon franchise and there are many fans that play and enjoy it. Over 34.1 billion Pokémon Trading Card Game cards have been produced worldwide in 13 languages and sold in 76 countries and regions as of March 2021. 

Along with the video game series, the game is a part of the Play! Pokémon organized play and is also used in the Pokémon Trading Card Game Online.

How Old Is Pokemon Trading Card Game?

And if you wonder how old Pokemon card game, this collectible card game has been in development for about 24 years. The first cards' set, consisting of 102 cards, was published on October 20 1996 by Media Factory in Japan, with drawings of Ken Sugimori, Mitsuhiro Arita, and Keiji Kinebuchi. 

Wizards of the Coast introduced them to North America three years later, in 1999. Nintendo transferred the publishing rights to The Pokémon Company from Media Factory and Wizards of the Coast in June 2003. The game had sold over 43.2 billion cards worldwide as of March 2022.

Charizard 1999 First Edition Base Set
Charizard 1999 First Edition Base Set 

What Do Beginners Need To Start Playing Pokemon Card Game?

If you are a beginner of TCG, and wonder what do you need to start playing Pokemon card game. A Theme Deck is the greatest way to learn to play the Pokémon Trading Card Game (TCG). It includes a 60-card deck, flip coin and damage counters, a two-player paper mat with details on card placement, and a Pokémon's guide. 

Pokemon acrylic damage counter
Pokemon acrylic damage counter

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When you begin to Pokémon card game play, you would want to have more Pokémon and obtain Pokémon-themed items. If you're looking for nostalgia or to invest, there are some sets to look into first such as The original Pokemon Base Set, Jungle Set, Fossil Set, Team Rocket, etc. You can buy not only sets such as Pokemon Booster Boxes but also a single card to fulfill your collection.

Rules For Playing Pokemon Cards

How many cards do you need to play Pokémon TCG?

In the rule for playing Pokemon cards, you will be given a deck of 60 cards, which includes Pokémon cards, energy cards, item cards, and trainer cards. You cannot have more than four cards with the same name in your deck, except for energy cards. 

You will be given a deck of 60 cards, which includes Pokémon cards, energy cards, item cards, and trainer cards.
You will be given a deck of 60 cards, which includes Pokémon cards, energy cards, item cards, and trainer cards.

It would be best to purchase one of the pre-built decks available when you first learn how to play the Pokémon Trading Card Game. When you've mastered the fundamentals, you can learn how to construct a Pokémon TCG deck with all of your favorite Pokémon and adjust your style of playing.

How to play the Pokémon Trading Card Game?

The basic process in the Pokémon TCG consists of a few steps that you must learn before your first battle. To determine who plays first at the start of a game, players can flip a coin. The decks are then shuffled, players draw a seven-card hand, and the top six cards are set aside as prize cards; you add one of these to your hand each time you defeat an opponent's Pokémon, and you win if you collect all six before your opponent.

Both of you can have one face-down basic Pokémon card as active Pokémon, as well as up to five more basic Pokémon on your bench. Reveal it to your opponent and draw seven more hands if you don't have any basic Pokémon cards in your hand after drawing your first seven cards. You can do this as many times as you want until you have at least one basic Pokémon, but each time your opponent draws one extra card.

How to play pokemon card game in real life
How to play pokemon card game in real life

You can have up to six Pokémon in play at the same time, but only one of them - the active Pokémon - is able to attack each turn. The rest are stored on your bench, which is a row of cards behind the active Pokémon where you keep five other Pokémon waiting to battle your opponent, similar to your party in the Pokémon video games. Not only active but also benched Pokémon can evolve and gain energy. When your active Pokémon is defeated, you have to replace it with one from your bench; otherwise, you lose.

How do turns work in the Pokémon TCG?

Each turn, the active player draws a card from the top of their deck; if you run out of cards and are unable to draw on your next turn, you lose. In the second phase of each turn, you can do any or all of the following: 

  • From your hand to your bench, play any number of basic Pokémon.
  • Attach one energy card from your hand to a Pokémon. This can be one of your active Pokémon or one of your bench Pokémon.
  • Play a Stage 1 or Stage 2 evolution over a basic Pokémon or Stage 1 Pokémon to evolve it. A Pokémon can only evolve once per turn and cannot evolve on the same round that it is played. (Except where otherwise noted on an item card like Rare Candy.)
  • Play as many item cards as you want.
  • Play as many trainer cards as you want. (With the exception of supporter and stadium cards, which only allow for one play every turn.)
  • Pay the retreat cost listed on your active Pokémon's card with energy from your hand to send it to your bench. Then you have to swap it out for a Pokémon on your bench.
  • Use any of the abilities found on Pokémon cards.
“Each turn, the active player draws a card from the top of their deck; if you run out of cards and are unable to draw on your next turn, you lose.”
“Each turn, the active player draws a card from the top of their deck; if you run out of cards and are unable to draw on your next turn, you lose.”

Attacking in the Pokémon Trading Card Game

Once you've completed the aforementioned, your active Pokémon can engage the foe in combat. As long as the appropriate quantity and kind of energy are attached to the card, the Pokémon can use one of the attacks specified on the card. (Except as noted, the energy is not wasted.)

The active Pokémon of the opponent takes damage in the form of damage counters; when that Pokémon has taken as much damage as its hit points, it faints. If there are no Pokémon on the bench to replace a defeated Pokémon, the player loses, and the player who knocked it out retains the prize card to add to their hand. They win if they use their sixth and final prize card.

It is then your opponent's turn once you have attacked and assigned any damage and/or status effects. This cycle of play continues until one wins.

“As long as the appropriate quantity and kind of energy are attached to the card, the Pokémon can use one of the attacks specified on the card.”
“As long as the appropriate quantity and kind of energy are attached to the card, the Pokémon can use one of the attacks specified on the card.”

How does the Pokémon TCG's evolution system work?

Your basic Pokémon can evolve into strong Stage 1 and Stage 2 Pokémon, enabling you to employ stronger attacks and abilities to fight your opponent.

A single Pokémon can only develop once every turn, and evolution must follow the pattern of basic, Stage 1 and Stage 2. Evolution is done in stages, and you are unable to skip or jump any stages unless specifically indicated on a card in play. They cannot (along with being played to your bench) be developed in the same turn. GX and EX Pokémon are the exceptions; they may be used right away and do not need evolution.

Simply place the evolved version of a Pokémon on top of one of your active Pokémon or a Pokémon on your bench to evolve it. Any unique conditions that are present are cured by this, but any linked energy and damage remain. You can only use the current evolution of a Pokémon's attacks and abilities once it has evolved.

“You can only use the current evolution of a Pokémon's attacks and abilities once it has evolved.”
“You can only use the current evolution of a Pokémon's attacks and abilities once it has evolved.”

It's strongly advised that you create stronger Pokémon in the bench area of your play area where evolution can take place in case your present Pokémon is knocked out.

How does the Pokémon TCG's status conditions system work?

There are several special conditions that players in the Pokémon Trading Card Game can apply to their Pokémon, giving their rivals a tactical advantage.

Asleep

A Pokémon cannot attack or flee while it is dozing off. To display the state of the card, it is turned 90 degrees counterclockwise. At the end of their turn, the player tosses a coin; if it comes up heads, the Pokémon wakes up and is no longer sleeping.

Paralyzed

A paralyzed Pokémon cannot flee or attack during the player's subsequent round. To display the card's status condition, it is spun 90 degrees counterclockwise. Paralyzed is automatically cured at the end of the player's subsequent turn.

Burned

The Pokémon card is given a burned token to indicate its current status. At the end of each turn, a burned Pokémon gains two damage counters (20 HP). The player flips a coin after taking this damage. Burned is treated on a head.

Pokemon Status Tokens
Pokemon Status Tokens

Confused

“It hurt itself in its confusion!” will be a phrase that confused Pokémon video game gamers will be all too familiar with! The same rules apply to confusion in the Pokémon Trading Card Game: flip a coin when using a confused Pokémon in an attack. The attack proceeds normally when it hits heads. Three damage counters are applied to the Pokémon and the attack is unsuccessful on a tail (30 HP). In order to see the status of a Pokémon, the card must be turned 180 degrees, making it upside-down.

Poisoned

At the end of each turn, a poisoned Pokémon suffers one damage counter (10 HP).

How to win?

  • The most typical way to win is to defeat six of your opponent's Pokémon while obtaining prize cards. One of the six prize cards you set aside at the beginning of the game is yours to keep and you add it to your hand each time you eliminate a Pokémon controlled by your opponent. You win when you pick up your sixth and final card.
  • You can also declare victory if you defeat an opponent's active Pokémon and they don't have an available Pokémon on their bench to replace.
  • You win if your opponent's deck is empty when their turn begins and they are unable to draw a card. This is 'Decking' your opponent.

What Is The Best Pokemon Cards Of All Time

If you also want to know what is the best pokemon card in the game Here are the top Pokémon cards of all time, taking into account each card's features, rarity, social influence, and design:

  • Base Set Shadowless Charizard
  • Shaymin EX
  • Mewtwo and Mew GX
  • Pikachu Illustrator
  • Lysandre’s Trump Card
Shaymin EX
Shaymin EX

If you still wonder if should I collect pokemon cards then the answer is yes. There are many collectors who make money by collecting Pokemon Cards. There is no doubt that there is money to be made in the pastime given the high pricing. Especially at a time, when many people have lost their jobs, learning to buy and sell Pokemon cards online is a legitimate way to make some extra cash online.

Buy Japanese Pokemon Card At Japan Figure

If you still don’t know how to buy Japanese Pokemon cards,  let’s check out Japan Figure website. 

Japan Figure

Japan-Figure provides various collections of the most famous trading cards such as Pokemon, Yu-gi Oh!, etc. The products are all authentic and gathered on one page so you can quickly shop for what you need.

Japan Figure provides authentic figures manufactured in Japan.

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