Written by Zach Lesage on 5/16/2020
Hey, what’s up PTCGOStore readers? It’s your article writing machine friend here, Zach Lesage, and I have been itching to write about this subject for a while. If you haven’t been able to guess what this article is going to be about, it is all about self improvement. During this time of social distancing, quarantine, coronavirus, aka stay indoors - I have been pondering on how I can improve as a player. Without any events in real life, Pokemon Trading Card Game Online events have taken over as the new normal and that makes this article for a Pokemon TCG Online site even more valuable. In this article I will go over areas of self growth during this time so that you can find ways to grow as a player! And if you are missing any cards from your collection to test or to look at, you are definitely in the right place. PTCGO Store offers a great selection of code cards and at great prices too! As a solid bonus, you can use my discount code, zlesage5, to save 5% on your next purchase.
You might think that this one is obvious, but it seemingly slips the minds of most players will playing Pokemon TCG Online. You actually need to test games with your deck, learn more about the metagame, and welcome the experience. When I am in testing myself to grow as a player, I try to take notes, write the details of my experiences, and find the opportunity to grow. Sometimes I can identify that I haven’t properly checked through my Prize Cards for a few games in a row or I will mindlessly jump into plays that are risky. The more details that I can write about while playing Pokémon, there is a larger chance that I can find an opportunity to grow as a player. All of this isn’t possible if I don’t play Pokémon so that is often the first step!
Explore a New Deck!
With most of us having a little bit of extra time lately, it seems like this might be the best time to explore a new concept. Don’t necessarily read into new concept too easily, that can be entirely new or a new to you deck. For me, I have been having plenty of exploring new-to-me concepts that include Granbull (Lost Thunder) / Magcargo (Celestial Storm), Cinccino (Sword and Shield) / Oranguru (Ultra Prism), and more! I have even created an Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX (Cosmic Eclipse) / Carracosta-GX (Sun and Moon Promos) Pokemon TCG Online deck that I am likely the only player to play it ever! Whether you are an artist, chef, or deck builder - we all have opportunities to display our creative sides to keep our brains refreshed. If you have been stuck to Pikachu & Zekrom-GX (Team Up) like glue for over a year now, try out a control based deck to learn more about yourself as a player. Pidgeotto (Team Up) / Articuno-GX (Celestial Storm) takes quite a bit of skill to play properly and now is the time to learn. We don’t have an onslaught of events in real life so you can totally take the necessary amount of time to learn a new deck!
Build a Better Collection
Considering this site focuses on the online game, read this article as if I am talking exclusively about the Pokémon Trading Card Game Online. If you feel like this can apply to the real life game right now, feel free to use this advice however you like. Without events in real life, a lot of Pokemon code cards have recently dropped in price and that goes for “both” games at this time. Players are discounting cards in the “Trades” section online and it is a great way for you to pick up any of the missing cards in your collection. Do you need a fourth Zacian V (Sword and Shield)? How about a play set of Malamar (Forbidden Light)? Whatever you end up needing, you have the time to flesh out your online collection. If you don’t want to trade for anything, you can always purchase Pokemon TCG codes. If you are wondering where, PTCGOStore.com has a large section of whatever you are looking for - be sure to check it out!
Play in a PTCGO Event
While we have mostly all played a game on the Versus Ladder or even a tournament on PTCGO, there are other events that you can play in the hone your skill. LimitlessTCG announced that they are running a large series of online events to give our community something to do during the pandemic. With numbers looking to be over 1000 participants per event, it certainly makes these events more prestigious than usual! These events would be the best way to put your skills to the test and you can use all of your awesome cards online in these events! I feel like it is our duty to the community to play in these larger PTCGO events because it proves to Pokémon that we want more PTCGO action. Official large events, a better online platform, and more features! All of those things sound positive if we continue to support our online game during this time - be sure to do so yourself!
While each TCG game might feel like it needs to be determined on the table, the best case scenario is often what you can ponder upon later. I’m talking about those times where you know you have made a misplay, you accept it, and you have an example to grow as a player. For me, this happens when I get a minimal amount of sleep before a Cup, play on autopilot mode, and choose the wrong Pokémon to send up. At a Cup a year ago, I had the opportunity to correctly choose a Pokémon to send up to win, but I wasn’t paying attention and immediately lost that game. While it sucks to lose a game at a Cup, and that instance was a win-and-in to Top Eight, I have remembered that play! I have used that example to grow as a player, learn from my mistakes, and proceed forward with my head held high! It sucks to make mistakes, but the best thing you can do is learn from them going forward!
Take a Breath
I often compare players making mistakes to children crossing the road - most authoritative figures have taught us to look both ways. Have you ever thought twice about playing that Professor’s Research (Sword and Shield)? What about that Reset Stamp (Unified Minds) you are baselessly discarding from your hand? Have you contemplated all of your options?!?! Before you proceed with a play in a game, it is best to look at all of your available options, and decide what is ultimately the best choice for you. The more questions you ask yourself, the more you are forced to find answers. The more meaningful the question, the more meaningful the answer! You get it? Take your time (without slow playing that is), and carve out your path to victory!
Make the Most out of Each Play!
Similar to the last two points, I see players discarding cards like Pokémon Communication (Team Up) with other Pokémon in their hand. I often ask myself, “Is that the best Pokémon that they can discard?” Well, I’m never too sure of the answer, but I’m also sure that the thought usually didn’t cross my opponent’s mind! You have a 60 Pokemon TCG card deck, you chose each card in your deck - just use them effectively! It honestly isn’t too hard! It’s not like picking between family members in a burning building, but there is a priority of cards in each individual matchup. Use some common sense, think about your options, and use your resources wisely. Sometimes you are bound to get a hand that isn’t cooperative, like Custom Catcher (Lost Thunder) draw one into a Custom Catcher, but those hands aren’t too common. Focus on the bigger picture, ask if you can do better, and get it done!
The story usually stays the same for most people, “I play-tested so much” or “I was gonna win that game”, but have those players looked at all of the factors? We have so many avenues for research nowadays that it amazes when players are confused by stock deck lists. If you didn’t have a decent idea of my 2020 OCIC Finalist Fire Toolbox deck, how could you ever expect to beat me? I’m not talking about OCIC, I’m talking the week after at Cups... My list was posted on every major Pokémon Facebook group, my Twitter, on the Pokémon official website, the LimitessTCG site, many article websites, and more! If you sat across a similar deck, how many Energy does it play? What about Fire Crystal (Unbroken Bonds)? Tech cards? Etc. Have you heard of Henry Brand’s “Special” Mewtwo & Mew-GX (Unified Minds)? list? Same idea. If you aren’t doing your research, you are putting yourself at a disadvantage heading into your next event. I’m not talking about prepping for college or anything like that, just scrolling through Pokémon social media to find out more info heading into your next event.
While this might not be possible for everyone who reads this article, creating content is a great way to put your skills to the test. When you are showing something to the public, you often take in what you have created and treat it a little bit more seriously. You need to have all of your resources (like PTCGO codes), a decent computer, and some other equipment. You will be able to find out what you have learned, be more vigilant on finding your mistakes, and have the opportunity to share with our community. If it wasn’t for my own path of creating content, I would have never had this opportunity to write articles for PTCGOStore! You never know what type of opportunities are waiting for you so try your hand at creating some content!
I hope that this article will allow you to grow as a player and find the inspiration to play Pokemon TCG Online during this time! I know there are plenty of top players that are relaxing at this time, playing video games, and I want to personally push forward to become the best player I can be. If you are missing any of the Pokemon code cards for your deck, feel free to head on over to PTCGOStore.com and pick up the necessary online code cards to build this deck! As an added bonus, you can use my promo code, zlesage5, to save 5% off your order upon checkout. I have fully enjoyed myself as I wrote this article, tested games online, and went through my vault of notes to write this article. I plan on writing about a few more decks that exist in this current metagame so keep your eyes peeled for future articles that come out from me on PTCGOStore.com! Until then, thanks for reading and have fun playing this great game!