It’s almost the end of an era for Pokemon TCG Online, a decade-old client that you may have used to play Pokemon TCG digitally. As PTCGO begins to wind down, the newly opened Pokemon TCG Live beta is becoming the main way to play Pokemon TCG digitally.
Released on both PC and mobile, Pokemon TCG Live is an easy and affordable way to learn how to play for new players just starting their trading card adventure, as well as seasoned players looking for competitive play. With each new addition to the series, there are a few things that all players should know before getting started.
10/10 Passing your collection is permanent
Right after logging into your Pokemon account for the first time, you will be prompted to transfer your Pokemon TCG Online account to Pokemon TCG Live, which sounds like a great idea. It can be tempting to skip the fine print, but if you’re transferring your collection, you should be aware that this is a permanent transfer.
You will also be permanently banned from Pokemon TCG Online, losing access to exclusive collectibles and items in that client. Also keep in mind that decks you may have created will be lost if you don’t export them before migrating your account.
9/10 You will lose cards when transferring your collection
For some mysterious reason, when you transfer an account, you may lose some cards. Generally, most of the cards you own carry over fine. Up to four copies of each unique Pokémon card will be transferred, so if you have four regular Pikachu cards, they will all be transferred. It’s the same with all your Pikachu holographic cards, reversed Pikachu holographic cards and so on.
The restriction applies to ACE SPEC, Prism Star, and Pokémon Star cards, of which only one will be transferred. The same goes for every part of the Pokemon V-UNION map. Another strange limitation is related to the basic energy cards, which will only be transferred in 59 copies.
8/10 You cannot use real currency to purchase packs
This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to older players, but you can’t spend real money on the Pokemon TCG Live game client to buy packs, decks, or accessories. There are plenty of alternative ways to purchase cards and decks, but you can’t do it directly by spending money.
While Pokemon TCG Online is also mandated by this method, it certainly follows the pattern of other major digital CCGs where it encourages you to spend more time playing than shopping to get to the top.
7/10 There are three types of currency
It can be a little overwhelming to see all the different types of currencies you need to keep track of in Pokemon TCG Live. There are gold coins that you can earn by fighting, completing quests, and leveling up. These coins can be spent on accessories for your decks, that’s all. In addition, there are credits that can be earned by leveling up and reaching higher levels with the Battle Pass. If you collect cards beyond the four card limit, add-ons will also be converted into credits that can be used to create new cards.
Finally, and most importantly, there are Crystals. It is the most valuable currency and can also be obtained by leveling up, completing quests, and reaching higher levels of the Battle Pass. You can unlock more crystals by purchasing the Battle Pass Premium Pass, but this requires crystals first, so you won’t be able to get them right away.
6/10 You can still use the codes from the packages
One of the best ways to earn new cards in Pokemon TCG Live is to redeem code cards from packs. These cards can be found in Pokemon TCG physical sets and come with both a QR code and a character string unique to that card. Either scan the QR code or enter it and you will receive your free package online.
There are many ways to get these codes without buying hundreds of packs yourself, but by redeeming a lot of cards, you will get a lot of cards to start building your decks with.
5/10 There’s a new (and better!) Battle Pass
Briefly mentioned earlier, the Battle Pass is one of the best ways to earn new cards and crystals in Pokemon TCG Live right now. During the free battle pass, players will find rewards such as free packs, credits, decorations, and more.
Typically, a new player starts with around 500 crystals, which they can spend in the store as they see fit. However, if you keep those crystals and get a hundred or so more, you can unlock the Premium Pass, which gives you more crystals, credits, packs, individual cards, and more. Once you sign up, you will also receive a pre-built Regidrago VSTAR deck to start playing.
4/10 There is a battle with friends, but hidden
It’s not that deeply hidden, but it took outside help before the button became visible. On the profile page, to the left of the heading that says “Avatar Settings”, you’ll find a small button that says “Friends”. From there, you can add or remove friends and fight them with your decks.
Keep in mind that none of your friends will transfer from Pokemon TCG Online, so make sure you contact your friends first before transferring.
3/10 You can view your collection in the store
One of the weirdest design features is making your collection available from the store. Once in the store, click on the “Extension” tab right below the “Profile” button. You will be given the option to change the set you are currently viewing by clicking on the set logo. Clicking the “View Card Gallery” button below the set logo will take you to another screen where you can view the cards you currently own and the cards you still need.
In an equally baffling design choice, there is no option to filter cards on this screen. You can switch between Pokemon, Trainer, and Energy cards, but there’s no way to filter out a specific color or stage from this screen.
2/10 No more trading
Despite having a friends list built into the system, Pokemon TCG Live has decided to remove player-to-player trading. This system was quite robust in Pokemon TCG Online and allowed players to trade in cards or decks they didn’t need for new, more desirable cards. This time it seems that there are no ways to exchange your cards among friends.
It is unknown if this feature will return later or if some other system will be released to replace it.
1/10 Blissey V is the best deck to start and upgrade
If you want to impact the metagame and start fighting for the ranked roster, then look no further than the Blissey V precon deck given to new players. Blissie Vee is a tough, basic colorless Pokémon that can attack with just one colorless energy. The attack on its own deals only ten damage, but quickly deals massive damage, adding 30 damage to the attack for each energy attached to Blissey V.
Hit him with a couple of powerful energies to boost his attack and he can take out most Pokémon very easily with just one attack.
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