So I know you OHKO’ers are knee-deep in Battle Roads right now, battling against all sorts of decks—not just the Reshiram/Typhlosions, Yanmega/Magnezones and Stage 1’s you’ve become familiar with since Worlds, but brand new decks too, like Zekrom/Tornadus, toolboxy Mew decks, Yanmega/Cincinno/Weavile, Gothitelle, Beartic/Vileplume/whatever—all kinds of builds you hadn’t thought of, but yearn to try. But how can you? I mean, you can’t just call up the guys every other day, asking to get together to test out your crazy Wobbuffet-donk deck whenever you please, right? We all have lives—school and college just started up, we’re all working hard to make financial ends meet, and Dancing with the Stars has reclaimed our Monday and Tuesday nights. Personally, it took me like 2 whole weeks to set a series of forest fires in northern Minnesota with the goal of sending a blinding cloud of smoke at Pikkdogs’ Michigan apartment. Let’s face it—we don’t always have the time to playtest like we should.
The Pokémon Company International has just created a new platform—Pokémon TCG Online, or PTCGO—that could make it much easier for us players to build and test decks. It also promises to attract a whole new set of players to the game. But it has its glitches, and its drawbacks. Pikkdogs wrote a brief introduction to PTCGO’s initial release, back when it was just a single-player game with old cards and set decks. Now, in its open beta, PTCGO has many of the features Pokémon players would want: two-player online games, owning and trading of virtual cards, a fully functional deck-builder, and a multiplayer matchmaker. In this article, I hope to bring you up to speed on what has changed with the service since Pikk’s article, and to help you decide whether investing time and money into PTCGO is worth it for you. I’ll also tell you about my own effort to use PTCGO to get ready for my first tournament of the Battle Roads season: the October 9th BR in Coon Rapids, MN.
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