Interested in picking up TCG again. Where do I start?


Hey there, folks.

I’ve been feeling nostalgic recently, and not much is more nostalgic for me than the competitive Pokemon TCG game. I played years ago when I was a junior (back when Pokemon Catcher was just coming out and people were freaking about it), and I’ve been feeling the urge to play again. One predicament though: I don’t have a lot of money to spend. I’m looking for some type of program where I can go on and create a decklist and try out the competitive game, preferably without spending any money - as much as I used to love the game, I don’t want to shell out however much money it would normally cost just to see if I like the game.

Is there an option like that? Or is PTCGO the go-to with everything? Is there a mode on PTCGO where I can build a deck without spending the required money? Is this entire post wishful thinking?

A second question: What would be a good YouTube channel / other source for beginner-friendly content? I realize SixPrizes is one, but I’m looking for something more along the lines of 2011 JWittz. He’s how I got into the competitive TCG in the first place, but as far as I know, he’s a generalized Nintendo YouTuber now, as opposed to a Competitive Pokemon TCG-focused one.

Thanks in advance, and sorry in advance if there’s a better place to post this, or there was already a thread about this. I tried looking for it, but couldn’t find it.


Hello there!

Unfortunately, there aren’t exactly any ways to test decks without having to do a little work (you have to have the cards to play TCGO). However, you can still build decklists there, and export them as a text file.

As far as good resources/YouTubers go, I’d personally recommend The Pokemon Evolutionaries or Yellowswellow, just because they were the place I got most of my info from when I started out. A lot of other strategy sites exist, but for a lot of them, a premium subscription is required. If you are looking for good decks to play, start by finding YouTubers that play a lot, and have a decent variety. Twitch is also a good option if you can find some good streamers.

A bit of the side question though, do you already have cards to work with?

That aside, if you have more questions, feel free to ask! I’m still a bit of a beginner, and the decks I play aren’t exactly the best, but I do at least have a decent idea as to what I am doing.



Not the most amazing platform but is undergoing a bunch of updates and currently has everything up to guardians rising so I’d look out for future updates. Offers unlimited access to cards in many formats so once it is complete for standard you can test anything to your hearts content.

As for YouTube: shadowforcetcg


If you want to play for fun and understand the rules a bit more (there were a few changes in recent history), look at worlds deck. No good for tournaments, sadly, but are fun, tried and true REALLY good decks. Check Tablemon for a competitive YouTube/Twitch channel.


I personally don’t recommend PTCGO. You can’t use the cards in real tournaments, so it’s not a wise investment. Proxy some decks first and see what you like in the format. Some good resources on YouTube are Tablemon (his Sixprizes where he writes articles is @Tablemon) and Derium’s competitive pokemon. The knowledge is coming from tier one players and they know the meta well.
Just my two cents.


Thanks for all the suggestions guys!

@AlphaVoxel: No, I have absolutely no cards on PTCGO outside of the odd packs I’ve won from playing the PvE trainer challenge thing.

@jirachi123: Thanks for the site suggestion! Are there many players on there / Will it be easy to find games?

(SixPrizes won’t let me mention the final two, so I’ll just say the reply number)

Reply 3 : I would buy one of those, but I don’t have a league to play at at the moment, which is why I was hoping to play online.

Reply 4 : Thanks for the Tablemon suggestion! I’ll be sure to check him out.


Don’t use TCGOne. It is only up to GRI, which is 3 sets behind, thus the meta is completely different. There will not be gardevoir, or zoroark, just garb


Dang. Is there another place I can play in the meta without spending money?


I honestly don’t know because I haven’t gone on in a bit but when the site was fully updated there were quite a bit of players so I would expect this once the site it complete

Also, in contrast to @PerkyPanchams post, pretty much everyone uses it as their main online testing site. But yea, irl with proxies is definetly the beat way to go