The Pokémon trading card game is bigger than ever (Image: The Pokémon Company).

GameCentral gives an introduction to the world’s most popular card game and explains why it has suddenly become such a lucrative hobby.

It’s been more than 20 years since the Pokémon trading card game took the world by storm and destroyed kids’ piggy banks. Although the lockout now makes it difficult for players to compete, the purchase of physical cards has seen an unprecedented surge over the past 18 months, meaning Pokémon cards in a box in your room can now be worth six figures. So if you were lucky enough to get your hands on a first edition Charizard 13 years ago and thought it was rare then, you won’t believe what it’s worth now.

Figures from eBay show that sales of Pokémon cards in the U.S. increased 574 percent from 2019 to 2020, and collectors want to buy the Pikachu card they bought as kids with the money they didn’t spend during the pandemic. Even celebrities have embraced the trend: Controversial YouTube personality Logan Paul bought one of the 10 Charizard cards from the first version of the game, which is still in perfect condition, for $150,000. A sealed box of Pokémon cards that cost less than £100 20 years ago can now sell for more than £10,000.

Pokémon is one of the most popular and successful entertainment franchises in the world and includes video games, mobile applications, trading card games (TCGs), animations and movies. Pokémon will celebrate the brand’s 25th anniversary in 2021, with special anniversary celebrations throughout the year. It was hard not to see Katy Perry and Post Malone giving a virtual blockbuster concert and performing with photoshopped Pikachu tails. This wave of festivities is accompanied by exciting new releases that are sure to pique the interest of new players and renew the interest of veterans.

Pokémon, like most trading card games, uses trading cards that allow each player to customize their game. The best way to learn the game is with the V Battle Deck, a 60-card ready-to-play deck that comes with a quick start guide and everything you need to get started. Once you’re done, you can start building your card collection with accelerated packs. You can trade these characters with friends to assemble an elite fighting force of the most powerful Pokémon, or you can collect all of your favourite characters to create a truly custom team.

The basic mechanics of the Pokémon TCG are the same as in the video games, as are the turn-based battles between the two Pokémon. Pokémon attack each other with attacks or abilities based on Energy cards. The first player to have all of their opponent’s prize cards wins, but also wins under other victory conditions if their opponent has no Pokémon in play or no cards to draw at the beginning of their turn.

The abundance of cute pocket monsters can make the game a bit intimidating if you’ve never played it before, as not using the right cards and tiles at the right time can be a matter of life and death. The counters are the same as in the video games and follow an obvious logic, such as fire Pokémon being weakened by water attacks, but it’s worth checking out the glossary before getting into the large number of cards and what they can do. Or just use the cards for a fun version of Snap for much younger players.

During the shutdown, Pokémon has used innovative ways to engage trainers, including a digital version of the game on the desktop that even has its own Pokémon team challenge for tournaments with players who are socially distant from each other. You still have time to participate, global registration will take place on March 26 and the finale will air in August.

Pokémon TCG is one of the most popular trading card games in the world and has spawned an impressive pro league of players. Our fingers are crossed that the next World Championships will be held in London in 2022. Once the lockout is over, people who want to start playing at a non-competitive level should go to a local video game store, for example. B. Playnation Games in Croydon, where you can play with the Build & Battle box before the game goes on pre-order. This is the best place to learn with the latest cards or practice some games in a friendly and relaxed environment.

You know what to do with them (Image: Pokémon Company).

The most recent expansions with new maps and rules are Shining Fates, released in February, and Battle Styles, released on the 19th. The month of March has arrived. Shining Fates includes more Pokémon discovered in the Galar region, as well as new variants of Pokémon VMAX cards that allow players to evolve their Pokémon to huge sizes in addition to the normal Pokémon V evolution (as in Sword and Shield on Switch).

Pokémon Battle Styles introduces new mechanics in Single Strike and Rapid Strike that appeal to fast-paced players and strategists alike.

Not everything went smoothly when Shining Fates was released. An advertising campaign with McDonald’s has led to panic buying of Happy Foods. Some collectors have bought 30 cards at a time, even though the cards in the boxes are not particularly rare and are unlikely to bring in a fortune in the next few years.

But that was just the beginning, as seasoned gamers complained about empty shelves when retailers snapped up the Shining Fates expansion, which is only available in boxes and not booster packs. This made it impossible for regular fans to get their hands on the most exciting expansion in years, as well as coveted cards like the Shiny Charizard VMAX card.

These new sets are highly sought after because they contain many new shiny Pokémon, not just shiny holographic cards – including the coveted seven shiny VMAX Pokémon. Most new expansions include cards with enhanced forms that can be played in place of normal, fully evolved Pokémon, and have had many variations over the years, such as. B. Pokémon Prime, Pokémon EX, and most recently Pokémon V – these can be very rare and expensive full art cards.

Plus: Game News

Pokémon TCG is the first step in many players’ relationship with trading card games, and fans often move on to Yu-Gi-Oh! A collectible card game and then Magic: Gather round.

For others, it becomes a lifelong obsession, and some coaches will almost never attempt to complete their collection. I vividly remember spending a few days navigating the incredibly complex subway system on my first visit to Japan, trying to collect stamps at certain stations to send to Pokémon promotional cards from Japan Rail.

Every coach probably has a similar memory and is now willing to invest his money in buying tickets he could never afford as an adult.

Lucy Orr.

Email us at [email protected], leave a comment and follow us on Twitter.

MORE: Preview of the new Pokémon Snap – part wildlife documentary, part shooting game.

MORE: The real-life Pokémon teacher calls the newly discovered insects legendary birds.

MORE: The remakes of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl are coming to Nintendo Switch this Christmas.

Follow Metro Games on Twitter and email us at [email protected]

You can find more of these stories on our games page.

frequently asked questions

Based on Nintendo’s game and anime franchise, Pokémon trading cards are up 574% from 2019 to 2020, a sign that trading cards are still popular years after their debut in the mid-1990s. … Streamers and content creators have also added to the hype by unwrapping Pokémon cards.

Is Pokémon TCG dead?

Pokémon TCG is dying, but it’s not dead. In fact, the fan base in the US seems to have grown rather than declined in recent years, as it has in other countries.

What is the best deck to start with in the Pokemon trading card game?

Golf Slasher. An excellent starting point for any TCG beginner. Wave Slasher is a good balance between grass and water. Greninha deprives the opponent of skills that can be a winning play in some decks. Such a variety of different Pokémon (and their evolutions) makes it a must-play!

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