Pikkdog’s 4 Simple Rules

by Pikkdogs ~ March 9th, 2011.

Hey all members of Omar-Nation.  This is Pikkdogs here with a strategy article.  This seems like a very simple article to write, but it took me a while to come up with the idea.  This article is about the simple rules of the Pokemon TCG that I have learned in the game.  These rules are tips and tricks I have learned that helped me become a better Pokemon Player.  The rules may be simple, but they are trustworthy practices that will help you win more games.

Before we get to the rules, I just wanna remind you of the State Tournaments that are starting this weekend.  Well, State tournaments are starting this weekend.  Even if your state isn’t holding a tournament this weekend, try to sneak across the border to get to another tournament.  They will be a lot of fun and a great way to show off all of your skills.

I have to give mad props to Omar on this article.  This is because most of the simple rules that I have written down here, were taught to me by Omar.  Although he has not played as much since he moved to California, Omar is still one heck of a Pokemon player and could be one of the best if he wasn’t so busy.  So thanks Omar!               

The First Simple Rule- Practice, Practice, Practice.

I hate to start out the article with this rule  because you hear it in every article.  Everyone tells you to test a lot, but it really does make a difference.  The best way to get better at the game is to play every deck and play against every deck.  This way nothing will surprise you in a tournament, and if nothing surprises you you will probably win.

The best way to practice is to get a few friends together for a regularly scheduled testing session.  You each will push each other to become better players and each person will benefit.

But, it doesn’t really matter if you test by yourself, at a league, on Skype, on Redshark/Apprentice, or with a team; testing just makes you a better player.  It’s just like the phrase “basketball players are made in the summer.” The more time you spend practing for a tournament the better you will do at it.

The Second Simple Rule- Don’t Overextend Yourself

This is something that Omar has always harped about, it is one of the fundamental rules of the game.  A lot of Pokemon games now a days are determined by a prize race.  If you make one mistake you can fall behind on a prize race, and lose the game.  One thing that can make you lose a prize race is overextending yourself (using resources when you already have a knock out.)

Overextending yourself is something that is hard not to do.  The setting is this: you have a Luxray Gl Lv. X active with a lightning and an energy gain and your opponent has a Crobat G active.  In you hand you have a Cyrus’s Conspiracy, a DCE, an Energy Gain and an Uxie La with 2 open bench spaces and a Garchomp C.  At this point you would be tempted to put down the DCE and gain on Garchomp C, and “Setup” with Uxie for 6.  But, in most situations this would not be the best play, and here’s why.  Next turn your opponent could “Dragon Rush” your Garchomp C with all the resources for the knockout, and you have lost all of those resources plus you already dropped the Uxie.  If you would have not played down those resources, you would have only lost 1 basic Pokemon, but now you have lost a lot of resources.

The simple rule here is to just get the knock out, do not waste your resources for no reason.  If you play all your trainer cards and get a great hand, your opponent can come back next time and Judge you.  This would force you to return all of your resources to your deck, and you have already used your trainer cards up.  Do everything you need to do to get the knockout, you can worry about you next turn on your next turn.

The Third Simple Rule- Take the easy knockout.

The situation is that you have an active Gengar Sf with 2 energies on it.  Your opponent has a Charizard with 80 Hp remaining and an Uxie on the bench with 1 damage counter on it.  The opponent also has 8 cards in his/her hand, and you have no idea what is in that hand.  So, which attack do you use?  The answer is “Shadow Room” on Uxie La. 

Its almost always better to go for the easy knockout.  This goes back to the principal that most games are prize races.  You need to get a knock out each turn.  It’s true that knocking out the Charizard will be better for you, but its more important to take a prize each turn than to have a shot at getting  a good knockout.  Since you don’t know what is in your opponent’s hand, you may or may not have a knockout.  If you don’t get the knockout it could turn the balance of the game.  In the long run, it’s better to get as many prizes as you can.

The Fourth Rule- Pay Attention

This rule seems like an easy one to do, and you may think you do it, but most players do not.

Heres the situation you and your opponent are playing Luxchomp decks, and you two just unloaded on each other.  You lost two Luxray Gl’s and two Garchomp C’s.  Its your turn and you have 1 prize left, as does your opponent.  You have an active Crobat G and an Uxie and Azelf on the bench, while your opponent has an active Toxicroak G promo.  In your hand you have a DCE, an Energy Gain, a Powerspray, a Cyrus Conspiracy, and a Bebe’s Search.  So whats the play?  If you don’t pay attention to the game state you might think that you don’t have a great choice.  But, if you are paying attention, you would notice that Toxicroak G has a psychic weakness.  So what you can do is retreat for Uxie, attach the DCE to him, Bebe’s for Uxie X, and then “Zen Blade” for the knockout.     

You always need to pay attention to a lot of things. You have to pay attention to how much total HP the Pokemon has left (don’t forget about Expert Belt and resistance, and how much damage you can do (don’t forget about weakness).  Also there are things like effects of previous attacks, Poke-Bodies, Stadiums, Trainers, and Supporters that can effect how much damage is done.  You always have to pay attention to the game state and  about how much damage you need to do to get a knockout and how much HP you need to prevent a KO from your opponent.

I can’t tell you how many times I have seen people say “Dragon Rush” and go to take a prize, only to realize that their opponent has a resistance that prevents the knock out.  It isn’t just on calculating damage either.  I have done this before, I tried to use powers like “Flash Bite” and “Setup” or turns that I was effected  by “Psychic Bind.”  There are a lot of things to pay attention to, so its important not to let your mind wander.  To avoid these embarrassing situations you need to practice hard and pay attention to the game state.

Well those are my simple rules.  4 great rules that can help you win.   If you think I have left out some simple rules please include them in the comments.  Thanks and….

So long and thanks for all the fish.

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  • Anonymous

    yeah pikkdogs awesome article. i liked how you came up with these four, because they do make a difference.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks!

  • Joel Howe

    I used to have the biggest problem with overextending myself. I don’t have that problem as much anymore but my brother does it when he runs SF Tyranitar.

  • Anonymous

    You forgot rule number 5. Don’t let your opponents knows what is going to happen in your hands of cards. Surprising is the keyest of winning ways in this game of chess we play with hidden pieces.

    Solidarity,

    Jahmal

  • TheRadu

    Rule 3 is really really stupid, it happens so often that you dont take the easy ko

  • ^For example you have a garchomp with a double colorless, a sp radar, garchomp x, poke’turn and a Cyrus(an easy garchomp snipe). they have a azelf on bench it is 6-6 prizes and they also have an active random sp with 100 HP that is able to level up(it doesn’t matter) the fact is if that sp stays on the field for one more turn they can level up and hit you hard or stall you out. SO the better play is to radar for a bat and use flash bite twice with the aid of the poke’turn and then search an energy with cyrus in order to knock out the active sp with 100 HP.