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Balanced Themed Decks Once Again Descend on Pokémon Trading Card Game

The Pokémon Trading Card Game has been going on for over 20 years, and thousands of new players get introduced year after year, slowly growing the base of players around the world. The Pokémon TCG isn’t the easiest game to understand right away, and The Pokémon Company never leaves new players in the dark as new expansions roll out. The latest expansion, Pokémon Sun and Moon: Crimson Invasion, is no different, providing two themed starter decks for new players to use, removing the necessity to build their own decks, or understand the process of doing that.

Included with each themed deck is damage counters, a collectable plastic coin for flipping heads and tales, a full 60 card deck, and a playmate that helps players identify where cards should be played, with a plethora of helpful rules on both sides so players can easily get through the games more challenging situations. For veteran Pokémon TCG players such as myself, these decks are often throw-aways, in that the contents inside – outside of the generally exclusive card included in each – won’t generally be helpful in competitive play with other veteran players. For newcomers and younger fans, however, these are a god send!

Two themed decks launched with Crimson Invasion, and I’ve had the opportunity to play both of them with my son Logan. The first is a Psychic-Dark deck featuring Hydreigon, and a Fighting-Lightning deck featuring Kommo-o. Both decks are more than adequate for a friendly battle between casual fans, but neither – on its own – could stand up to a custom deck of a more experienced player. For myself and my son, we enjoyed 5 back and forth games between the two of us, with him winning 3 and me winning 2. We did pass the decks back and forth from time-to-time, and ultimately the Psychic-Dark deck won three games – 2 for me, 1 for him – while the Lightning-Fighting deck one twice – 2 for him, 0 for me!

What’s great about these decks is how balanced they are. The cards you are likely to pull almost always have a purpose in your overall game, and the Pokémon Company doesn’t try to complicate things too much. In custom decks, you might pop a few cards into the deck that need to come out in a certain order to be affective, potentially opening you up to failure if it doesn’t happen as needed. That isn’t the case here. The cards used are simple, yet powerful, and both decks use useful, albeit fairly simple trainer cards, that will keep you playing without ‘wasting’ a turn.

A lot of people question the need for these Themed Decks each and every expansion release, but they fail to understand how valuable they are to new players. If you are just jumping into the Pokémon Trading Card Game, be sure to grab either the Hydregion or Kommo-o decks, and have fun with friends!




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Adam Roffel has only been writing about video games for a short time, but has honed his skills completing a Master's Degree. He loves Nintendo, and almost anything they have released...even Tomodachi Life.

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Twitter: @AdamRoffel   


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