Thoughts on PTCGO Tournament Test Weekend

On Wed Jan 14, I purposed to acquire a few cards in preparation for the inflation you anticipated. I bought 100 FFI code cards on eBay for $30. You can find them a bit cheaper, but the seller I found was willing to email the codes (not all do). My primary intentions were to 1) get three Landorus EX’s; 2) finish out my daughter’s Florges deck; and 3) to complete my metal deck. Secondarily, I intended to get some trainers so that I don’t have to constantly trade to myself over three accounts so my kids can play easily. I traded those hundred packs Thu-Sun for the following:

Landorus EX -17
Landorus EX - 15
Landorus EX - 15
Lucario EX - 5
Florges EX - 2
Florges EX - 2
Yveltal EX - 4
Aegislash EX -4
Dialga EX - 6
Dialga EX - 7
Mewtwo EX - 5
Mewtwo EX - 4
Cobalion EX - 9

With the remaining 5 packs, I got some Muscle Bands, Lysandres, etc.

I typed all that out to show:

  1. PTCGO is accessible and affordable. If I would’ve purposed to compose an entire deck from scratch as a new player, I could’ve been battling in about 2 days (or less) for 30 dollars.
  2. Inflation has not really hit as I expected for standard issue cards. Where I think the inflation hit: FA and SR cards (which makes sense: the experienced players are winning lots of tournaments that they are capable of chaining entry into because of stockpiles of tickets. They then parlay the packs they’ve won into bling and are willing to dump regular art stuff in the process).

Final Note: I played in only one tournament this weekend (I won with Crobat/Mewtwo). The reason: If Tournament Tickets are really going to be worth $1, then I suspect I will get much greater value from them in the future. I am patient, and am perfectly happy to play the long game…


[quote=“bradysmomdad, post:20, topic:4231”]
You could end up being correct. As of right now the value of PHF packs is really low. As I noted earlier, people are offering 100 PHF packs for SR Ultra Ball where 60ish was the norm prior to the tournament weekends. I have noticed a decline in offers using non PHF packs, but the ones that are out there seem similar to the ones that were offered before the tournaments. I feel this will change. Prior to the tournaments I had 3 packs total. My total in now close to 200. So there are a lot more of every pack BC and on. I can’t see how it wouldn’t lead to an increase in the cost in terms of packs for most cards.[/quote]

I think your problem is that you insist on pricing things according to the trade value of a good that doesn’t have a fixed supply versus everything else. When you do not use boosters that were given away as Prizes (especially PHF) you see that things haven’t changed much; a Virizion-EX (regular version) that you could get for 14 boosters of (for example) NXD still goes for about 14 boosters of NXD.

I recommend against using extremes for price comparisons; the Secret Rare Ultra Ball is a chase card; obtaining one is much less about competitive game play than finishing a collection or owning a status symbol. If you do insist on using it as your guideline, see how much it is worth of different boosters; I would be surprised if it was not worth about as much as it was before so long as you avoid boosters given away as Prizes during the tournaments.

…I would hope you realize what they are doing; it should be assumed. This is a basic skill that trading card games in general teach and it is quite a useful one for the real world. Those too young to understand such a thing already need parental permission to participate in the PTCGO: if their parents aren’t helping with this then unless fraud or force are involved on the part of someone, its the parents’ fault for not helping their kids. For those old enough to sign up without parental consent, this is a real world skill such people desperately need to learn.

As long as force and fraud aren’t involved, then even selling low and buying high can be mutually beneficial; it all comes down to what both parties get being worth more than what each party gave up.

I think the feature is really cool. I wish there was a “watch” feature where after your game you can spectate the other(s).

My friend and I played with his night march build. We won the first round and lost the second due to my computer having great timing and running out of battery 1 second before I plugged it in. 1 second!

Well, anyway, it was great fun. I wish you could get tournament tickets in game, like by getting top 3 in a tournament or something.

Also, the time you have to play seems too short. We won our first game mostly due to the person running out of time.

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You can earn tournament tickets in game multiple ways:

  • A ticket is the daily log in bonus for Day 3
  • Its one of the Bonus Wheel Prizes
  • Four tickets is one of the Mystery Box Prizes, iirc
  • During this last two weekends, there were tournaments where first place snagged 4 tickets and second place snagged two. Entry fee was 55 coins.
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The tournament weekends were great! Seeing them happen so suddenly makes me think the rumor I heard that the tournaments will be fully up by March could be true. I had a stockpile of tickets, but $6 to enter a tournament is outrageous, especially when this is a test and there have been occurrences of people getting bugged out of the tournament thus losing their tickets. If I had paid for those tickets I would be upset. I hope they start to include a ticket or two with each booster code.

A ticket or two with each booster code would be really cool. But then you’d have no reason to buy the “official” tickets for $1 each or whatever they cost because you could buy a code with a pack and a ticket for cheaper.

For the eight person tournaments the entry fee does seem a bit steep. Until now you always “won” your tickets back so it didn’t matter. That system isn’t good either, so I’m glad its a bit more straightforward.

I am wondering, as the nature of these tournaments keeps it from being too difficult to accomplish, if the Trophies should actually become some sort of entry fee. I know I am one to worry about focusing too much on the more competitive players, but that would be one of the areas where I think it could be alright.

I wonder if anyone has experienced the frustration of a series of hands impossible in PTCGO .

I have spent my tournament ticket , in 8 tournaments this weekend , with my deck VIRGENESECT in 8 games I started with GENESECT whitout supoorters for 2 turns at least .

1, 2, or 3 is a bad luck day, but 8?

we could discuss the composition of the deck , but it is the same with which I won many tournaments, and is the same with which physical TCG game .

for me it is not just luck , is an algorithm and considering that the ticket is charged , could be a steal, This never happened to me in a row.

Did you happened to anyone?

How many supporters (draw ones) do you run? Also, did you buy tickets online? Or just by spinning the wheel or daily prizes? Maybe it tracks if you bought online with real $$ and gives you better starts? That seems really cheap and unrealistic. I doubt that is what actually happens.

Confirmation bias. There’s definitely no tampering.


Just bad luck.

A thought - because of the amount of games you can get through in a short period of time, it might seem like this is going to happen more frequently.

Bo1 is going to bring about variance. That’s for sure.

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Its why I really think the PTCGO needs to shift to a best of three play in general; while its less frustrating when it isn’t happening in a tournament, it still isn’t fun when you lose in any form of play because your deck hiccuped… or any of the other things best described as “luck”.

I don’t like Bo3 in real life, let alone online. As someone who’s pretty heavily invested in TCGO, mandatory Bo3 would make me run for Playtcg. It’s just not fun to play 2 games against a theme deck. In a tournament setting, it’d make tournaments even more of a time commitment-an hour and a half is pushing it for 3 games.


I thought it was a pretty good experience this weekend. I like the way you can go out of the tournament page and not leave the tournament. I only wish it cost less to enter a tournament, and that there were best of 3, or just more, rounds.

  1. Isn’t that a separate problem entirely? You’re facing a theme deck when you’re an experienced player using a real deck; whether in regular play or tournaments, that seems like a separate issue.

  2. You prefer losing that game instead? That’s happened to me. Opposing theme deck player gets a great hand, I start with something terrible and draw into nothing for the 2-3 turns it takes them to score a KO. It also has happened against modified theme decks, “anything I have that looks good” decks, etc.

  3. Outside of tournaments, you risk facing another theme deck anyway; I don’t know the exact specifics of pairing, but if it isn’t completely random when you lose you do seem to face weaker opponent’s, or at least what the computer thinks are weaker.

  4. If you aren’t getting a bad start, when you don’t have bad luck shouldn’t it be really fast to take out someone using a theme deck?

I will accept “I don’t like best of three play.” Do I understand it? No. Do I share your taste? No. As you can tell, though, I’ve got trouble with what goes with it.

Also I didn’t mean to imply “mandatory”; I definitely didn’t use the word. I would like to see “Best of three, Standard” be the actual standard of game play. You want a single match, it should be an option, just like whether it is ranked or unranked. Sometimes I’ll only have time for a single game as well.

  1. Yes
  2. I’ve not had the problem yet. It’ll annoy me, but I’ll live.
  3. Pairing IS random at this stage.
  4. Doubly long with 2/3.
    Mandatory: I thought this was your proposal. Fine with it existing as an option.

Nothing to really disagree with or ask for further clarification but is a doubly long match for you as irritating as loss due to a bad open for me? Are they equal? Which should matter more?

Of course since it you said you’re fine with it being an option, it isn’t overly pressing. I’d much rather have to take an extra three or four minutes to win against a theme deck again than continue suffering complete losses due to what is legitimately bad luck (or as legitimate as it can be without submitting two deck lists and actually crunching the numbers for probability).

I don’t enjoy taking easy wins against someone with a clearly outclassed deck, but I’m also not that great a player, so its really annoying with how many losses I endure or how many times I’m forced to work extra hard because there is a single game in a match, and my opening was terrible. The times I’ve nearly made a comeback really underscore the issue. It is useful to better realize when its the deck and/or my plays that are lacking.

I tend to agree with @Otaku here. One of the things that makes Hearthstone unique as a “TCG” is that you have guaranteed manna output per turn. You know exactly how to map out a deck based on guaranteed manna availability and the associated distributions. So your only RNG is how the cards are distributed on a turn-by-turn basis. With MTG and Pokemon there is greater variance - you have no guarantee on how much manna/energy you can expect to see on the first five turns of the game. So: the quality of the games can fluctuate much more greatly. Sometimes don’t know if your deck is bad, your play is bad, or your distributions were bad. I agree that Hearthstone should be “best of one” for ranked matches. But I think ranked play for Pokemon should be “2of3.” That being said: I would only be happy with 2of3 if there were 1) something valuable for which to play; and 2) I had a guaranteed quality opponent based on known ranking. Without these two things, it should only a single match.

Throw some comments here.

It looks like a reddit thread started by TPCi?


Honestly I think each games has it about half right… at least in terms of properly handling probability. It is hard to keep this short because as a lot of people know thanks to a “fun” thread late last year, I’m quite the critic of Hearthstone (and yeah, it might be because I’m not that good a player).

So the short version is that efforts to minimize the luck involved in setting up is a very, very good thing. If it isn’t obvious, I suspect this would “break” certain cards if someone waved a wand and made it happen overnight, but I’d love to see Hearthstone decks to be a bit bigger and to be allowed three copies of a card but bigger decks and with better draw/search effects. I’d also like to have a discard pile (and several other changes) but that’s not relevant here and I only mention it to be honest and up front.

For Pokémon, I think it needs one of the changes that makes Hearthstone even remotely enjoyable for me and that would significantly minimize the issues with opening hands unless in conjunction with current cards it allowed even more crazy strategies (which I view as more an issue with the current card pool). Give me that option, with my opening hand, to select from no cards to my entire opening hand to shuffle back into my deck (or bottom deck) and then draw the same amount of cards; it seems unlikely we can design the game so that having two opening Pokémon and a Supporter aren’t essential.