The year was 1999 and Pokémon trading cards were taking off in my school. Everyone was willing to trade, buy and, sadly, steal to get the cards they wanted. As it was twelve years ago I only have vague memories of these cards but I learnt how to play the Pokémon trading card game (TCG) through many scenarios and tutorials, and what I learnt I still remember to this day.
Unfortunately many people didn't learn how to play the game and only wanted to collect the cards. Because of this, in the last twelve years, I have struggled to find someone to play against. But all that is about to change.
Recently the Pokémon website has launched Pokémon TCG Online. It's a free online TCG simulator that allows you to battle online opponents, build decks, trade cards, and soon (when it is out of beta) you will be able play your friends.
Many of you will have played games such as Pokémon Black and White but if you are new to the trading card game here are some tips how to get started.
1. Getting Started
Make your way to pokemontcg.com and make an account. After making your avatar, I would highly recommend going through the tutorials first (click on the button that says LEARN). Under this section you will be taught basic, intermediate and advanced skills that will take you through all the rules and what you need to know to be able to succeed in a match. Complete all the tutorials and you will gain an in-game achievement.
2. Play The Trainer Challenge
After learning how to play, try out your newly acquired skills against computerised opponents in the Trainer Challenge. In the Trainer Challenge there are four different leagues to complete. You can choose between three basic decks to battle with. Basic Red (fire), Basic Blue (water), and Basic Green (grass). It doesn't matter which deck you choose as you can change at a later stage if you wish.
You can also challenge yourself by changing the difficulty level in the options. I have been playing on very hard, and it's not nice!
Completing certain criteria on the trainer challenge will also unlock achievements. Winning battles will earn you trainer tokens on your Pokémon.com account which you can exchange for avatar items.
3. Play The Online Multiplayer
So you've defeated all the leagues and are feeling pretty proud of yourself. Now it's time to face real people. Currently as the game is only in Beta, the only options for multiplayer are 'Practice' and 'Ranked'. I've been playing against people in ranked mode and some players have created some really great decks and I've only won once out of about ten games.
Another problem with the game at this stage is that people disconnect from the battle when they are losing. I'm looking forward to playing my friends online when this option goes live.
4. The Real Deal
The new trading card expansion 'Black and White: Emerging Powers' has officially been released. If you purchase the theme decks or the booster packs of this set you will receive a special card with a code on it. This card allows you to unlock the theme deck you own so you can use it online.