Pokemon TCG Expensive?


When I was first deciding to get into this game a lot of people told me a benefit was that this game wasn’t super expensive to play.

But every top deck I have seen since I started researching the scene is crazy expensive. It seems to follow the format of: 90% of the cards are dirt cheap and then there’s 8-10 cards you NEED for the deck to even function that are all 50-80 EACH.

Am I looking at this wrong, or is this a thing with this game?


This is a new thing for the game. Supply has not changed, but because of announced (but not yet detailed) changes to the competitive prizing system that involve cash prizes, demand has increased significantly. Time will tell if this is a permanent change (which I find unlikely) or a temporary hype increase that will even out over time.


The game is still relatively cheap to other tcgs, and also has had similar issues in the past. Its worse now because of the amount of players joining the game and low supply. Mewtwos were 100 once, catchers were 20 once, of lowest rarity. Since more people are playing the game cards from older sets or sets out of print are going to go up as there is a limited supply of them.


I dont agree about it being cheap compared to other CCGs. Top decks seem to still run the $3/400+ gamut and i dont consider that cheap. Especially for a game with rotation. I play DBZ and you can have a regional winning deck for $100 or under. Maybe thats just because DBZ is the exception to the rule, idk. but right now it doesnt feel any different from magic or ygo.

But that is good to know about the increase in prices because of OP prizing structure. I almost want to wait until it dies down before i start building. id like to build a mega mewtwo deck but i am not paying $300+ for it. especially when 90% of that cost comes from 10 cards (4 mewtwo ex’s, 2 shaymins, and 4 vs seekers).


Some of what might be important to compare here is - what do you get for winning a DBZ regional? How many players are competing to get it? Compare that to other games and you might get some answers.


Well the smallest regional numbers were around 80 something and the biggest is around 200 and the top prize for all is $1000 and an invite to worlds.


Regionals numbers are going to push 1k this year and have 50k prize pools. The difference in price per card is understandable


if you’re gonna whine about the price of playing competitively, don’t do it lmao
edit: whoever flagged my post is the reason this forum is dead


Even with prices sky rocketing (I’m all set been playing 1 year) I still find this game a hell of a lot cheaper than yugioh I played that for many 3-4 years and for winning a regional you get a $40 playmat. my decks were around 1k+ Pokémon is by far a cheaper card game I mean yea, you need staples shaymins, seekers etc, but once you have then you change probably 20 cards max to change a deck. To compete at the highest level its easily like 1/5 the price of the other popular game in my area (yugioh) and 5x + the rewards.


I’ll go on record saying what others have already said; this is the 2nd cheapest TCG I’ve ever played, right behind Force of Will – And guess what? Even Force of Will had $30 Cheshire Cats that were basically required to play any top-tier deck.
It’s a TCG, and TCGs are not cheap. It’s a product that also has a secondary market; it revolves around money and the cycle of transaction.

I understand your issues; I was a struggling college student once, but you have got to consider that some hobbies are just built for cost. And hey, at least it’s not MTG- or Yu-Gi-Oh-level costs. :slight_smile:


That is true. At least I have a better understanding of why. Thanks for the info everyone. Since I am just starting out I am going to build a competitive deck thats on the cheaper side first before i “graduate” to anything bigger.

Appreciate the feedback.


The Problem is that Shaymin, Mewtwo, Hoopa, etc… were supposed to get a reprint, similar to what Japan had. But it`s just not happening, so the prices are sky rocket now.


Didn’t both Hoopa and Mewtwo get printed in tins???


At one point promo hoopa was as expansive as the tin msrp. That’s change obv but still


I don’t understand why you guys are shooting down the OP. He does have a valid point - this game USED to be among the cheapest but RIGHT now I’d say it’s among the most expensive so anyone who got into it because of the price, has every right to feel cheated.

You can make a competitive deck for roughly $100 to $150 in many other games, whereas in Pokemon two Shaymin and a Hoopa alone are going to set you back ~ $220, and then the rest of your deck will probably go for a decent $100 to $150. I think only MTG is more expensive than that.

Having said that, this game does have the benefit that since 90% of the big decks out there share a trainer core + Shaymin and Hoopa, your second and subsequent decks will cost a lot less than other card games as you only essentially need to buy about 10 cards, which are usually your Pokemon / Pokemon-EX, whereas in other card games you usually have to buy 40/50/60 cards all over again for a new deck as there are very few “staple in every deck” cards.

Though I do think it’s unacceptable that TPCi has let this happen. All they had to do was print Shaymin in a tin if they knew they wouldn’t release the Premium Champion pack in the west and we’d still be mostly alright, even with some fairly expensive trainer cards like Max Elixir, VS Seeker, Trainers’ Mail etc.


At the release of Kaladesh, I am seriously thinking about taking a $20 Standard deck to a Preliminary Pro Tour Qualifier at the end of the month.

Let that sink in for a moment… When a $20 deck can be considered that competitive for MTG, what universe have we stumbled into?


The increase in card prices over the last few generations is one of the major reasons I’m glad I stopped playing competitively a while back, but it’s led to some odd dynamics. I can totally justify spending hundreds of dollars on seat upgrades for flights that last no more than a few hours, but the prospect of paying a similar amount for cards that I’d be using for several years seems unfathomable.


Pokemon is like the stock market in some ways. Prices rise and fall, sometimes predictably and sometimes not.


At least you can make money off the stock market.

Good luck getting a profit off of Pokemon Cards.


I’ve made at least $150 off of Shaymins.