Strategy Question about going first/second


When given the chance to go first or second (after winning the coin toss) is there a position that is typically considered better?

I almost always choose to go second. If I am using Xerneas Geomancy for example or Talon Flame their abilities are only useful if you attack. So getting to attack on your first turn seems like an upside.

This bit me in the butt this last weekend as I played a Treevant item lock deck for the first time and I didn’t get to play an item card the entire game. For this reason it seems that going first is better/safer but I am curious if there is a common opinion on this topic.


It’s safer to go first, as it gives you a chance to set up faster. The only deck I can see you going 2nd is maybe night march and speed decks.


I guess it was a Captain Obvious type question looking back. But after selecting to go second vs a Treevant deck and seeing the look on the persons face I now realize going first is always the goal. I was just making sure I wasn’t missing something.


The only time that I can think of where you want to go second is Night March, but only in the mirror match


In every circumstance, baring the night March mirror or Yveltal in Sudden Death, first is better. Even if you don’t get to attack, doing everything else first is a big advantage, especially in an evolution deck.


I play Passimian on PTCGO and always choose second.


If you know exactly what your opponent is playing, you know that getting the first attack in is crucial to winning the matchup, and you’re confident you won’t whiff the first turn attack, then you should choose to go second.

But most of the time those conditions won’t all be met, so you’ll want to go first. It’ll put you one turn ahead of your opponent in terms of general setup – one energy attachment ahead, one supporter ahead, and so on. It’s advantageous. And this is without even considering the possibility of your opponent locking you out of items by way of a first turn Trevenant or Vileplume.


We began our adventure in this game by just playing inside our house. So we knew the decks and generally it was more perceived that it was better to go second as you got to attack first. However, after trying this out in the world against unknown decks it back fired big time. At first I was surprised by this, but now it seems plainly obvious. The reason you can’t attack on the first turn is because simply going first is a big enough advantage already.

And yeah, I got locked out by a first turn Treveant and it was a slow down hill flow to game over for me.

End of story, go first!