With the effects of Covid-19 cancelling events all around the world, I decided it’s time to write about how you can still play, practice and improve your game. If you cannot compete at Pokemon League, how can you expect to become a better and more experienced player? Without any events in real life, it may seem impossible. However, Pokemon TCG Online events are proving to be incredibly popular and have drastically increased the value of digital cards with many people exchanging actual tender for PTCGO codes! 

Today we will be discussing how you can become a better player all without leaving the house!

Play As Many Games As Possible!

This is my most obvious tip, but it is the most important tip too! It’s super important to test games as many different decks as possible. This will teach you all about the metagame and what the most viable decks and strategies are and you will also learn all of your positive and negative matchups. In the past when I have been testing decks for League Cups, take notes of why I lost specific games so that I can try to make changes that will prevent this from happening again. This means that when I come to play this deck competitively, I should know the optimum way to play the deck for any matchup I come up against! 
You can also use this time to develop good habits. At the start of every game you play, try writing down all the cards that are prized on a piece of paper. This will encourage you to do it in your head automatically during real tournaments (Something that still haven’t mastered and am currently working on). The more details that you can write about while playing a game of Pokémon, the more you can grow as a player. KEEP PLAYING!

Don’t Be Sloppy

While each TCG game might feel like it needs to be determined on the table, it is often better to ponder upon why it was a lost game later on. An example would be times where you know you have made a misplay, you accept it, and you have an example to grow as a player. It sucks to make mistakes, but the best thing you can do is learn from them going forward!

Explore a New Deck!

With many of us having a little bit of extra time lately, now may be the best time to try out that new deck idea you’ve had in the back of your mind! It doesn’t necessarily need to be the next best deck in the format, but a deck that you just want to see win a couple of games working how you intend it to work! It could be an entirely new deck, or a twist on a deck that you have already played in the past, it could even be in the expanded format as opposed to the standard format! For me, I have been having a blast building a deck that focuses on the Weezing from Unbroken Bonds! I have been using twin, horror and basic fairy energy in my list and building up damage on the board with spell tags and the ability. Once enough damage has been placed around the board, the Tapu Lele from ultra prism can come in and move damage in a way that will win me the game. If you are creative like me, you’ll have no problem displaying your creative side and building unique decks that run smoothly and don’t brick! If you have been binging Non-GX Blacephalon  (Unbroken Bonds) for most of the year now why not try out a 3-Prize Tag-Team GX deck to learn more about yourself as a player. As every real-life event has been cancelled it’s the perfect opportunity to better yourself as a player!

Pokemon

4X Koffing (UNB)

Legit just the Pokemon that evolves into Weezing. I have experimented playing the Dark one from Rebel Clash, purely for the retreat cost of 1!

4X Weezing (UNB)

Dropping damage counters on all basic pokemon between turns is great! The attack going 20 to each pokemon with damage counters already on it is very strong too! Getting a bunch of damage spread around the board allows to active the finishing combo… (Tapu Lele) 

1 x Tapu Lele (UPR)

Tapu Lele allows you to optimise every single damage counter. You can swap all damage around the board which will allow you to close up the game by taking as prizes as possible!

1x Mewtwo (UNB)

If you are about to deck out, Mewtwo can grab a Marnie and place it on top of your deck! Which will reduce a giant hand to a 5 card hand and giving you a few extra turns to place damage.

1x Giratina (LOT)

If you can get this card in the Discard Pile, you are rewarded with 2 extra damage counters on you opponents benched pokemon. You can use scoop up net to re-use this ability up to 5 times! In this deck, every single damage placement counts as Tapu Lele can swap it later in the game!

1x Galarian Zigzagoon (SwSh)

Play this Pokemon from your hand to place an extra damage counter on the board. It’s only 1 damage compared to Giratin’s 2, but it’s far easier to reuse as you do not need the pokemoin discarded to use the ability!

You can use scoop up net to re-use this ability up to 5 times! In this deck, every single damage placement counts as Tapu Lele can swap it later in the game!

1x Ditto Prism (LOT)

Ditto Prism is an extra Koffing, the ability allow’s it to evolve into any Stage 1 in the game!

3x Jirachi (TEU)

Stellar Wish gives you consistancy, as we play 4 Net and 4 Switch, you can use the same Jirachi multiple times in one turn to try and dig for a specific card!

Trainer Cards

4x quick ball

Basic Pokemon search, this card is a 4-of in pretty much every deck nowadays.

4x Mysterious Treasure

All of the attackers you want to start off with are Psychic types, therefore Treasure becomes a great way to set them up quickly!

2x Ordinary Rod

This card allows you to recover your Koffing and Weezing. However, it also allows you to use the Basic Fairy Energy as a discard for the Quick Ball and Treasure as you can recover it with this card too!

4x Scoop up net

This card allows you to reuse Giratina and Zigzagoon’s ability multiple times a game! It also allows you to heal and use Stellar Wish Jirachi multiple times per turn.

4x switch

The retreat cost of many of these pokemon are high and we play 0 Baloon or Escape Board, therefore we play 4 switch.

2x shrine of punishment

This card places extra damage counters on any Dedenne GX, it works on other GX’s too. However Dedenne GX is played in almost every single deck.

3x Marnie

Hand Disruption for your opponent and Shuffle draw for you! This card is especially great for when you get a hand full of special energy that you really don’t want to discard,

2x Professor's research

Aggressive draw, allows you to discard cards such as Giratina and draw 7 new cards. Can sometimes force you to discard special energy though. 🙁

2x Counter Gain

This card allows you to pay certain attacks in a single turn, without the use of twin energy. Mainly used to drop Tapu Lele as a surprise and close the game whilst behind on Prize Cards!

4x Spell tag

This tool allows you to drop extra damage counters when you are knocked out, this again helps you close out a game more quickly by having more damage counters to swap around your opponents board.

Energy Cards

4X Horror Energy

This special energy drops extra damage counters if attached to a psychic Pokemon, although Weezing attacks for a colourless energy it is a psychic Pokemon, meaning it can abuse this.

4X Twin Energy

Pays Weezing’s attack cost in a single turn! Even though Horror energy drops extra damage, attacking for a single energy in a single prize deck can often be importnt too!

3X basic fairy

All of your main attackers use colourless energy, this means that although the psychic tapu lele has rotated, the fairy one isn’t any less awkward to play! (Besides not using Horror Energy) 
 

 

 

This deck requires quick damage calculations in your head to place every single damage counter optimally. If you become very confident at placing the damage in the correct place everytime, you could consider dropping the Tapu Lele tech and use the space to optimise your consistency!

Play in a PTCGO Event

Anyone who has played online has played a game on the Versus Ladder a ticket tournament on PTCGO, there are other external organised events that you can play in the hone your skill and sometime even earn prizes for! LimitlessTCG are running a large series of online events to give our community something to do during the pandemic. With numbers averaging at over 1000 participants per event, it certainly makes these events more prestigious than usual leagues! These events are and continue to be the best way to put your deckbuilding and playing skills to the test in the standard format. It is important to take part in all PTCGO events as it could cause the online game to receive updates and official tournaments, maybe even a way to earn league points. All of these sound positive if we continue to support our online game during this time – try to do so yourself!

My Thoughts

 

Play as many games as you can, with as many different decks as you can, in as many different formats as you can!

Keep your eyes peeled for any digital/discord events if you want to play the other competitive decks in a format.

Build a digital card collection in order to be prepared for any events in the future!

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