Pokémon have taken over our house. I swear, if you have two Pokémon cards, they multiply like bunny rabbits. Since the Call of Legends series came out, we have been gathering cards to make the best decks we can. We may not have a LuxChomp deck that will lead us to win states and regionals (heck, if my 5-year-old could make it through a game before getting tired of reading the cards, it would be a milestone), but we have our favorite Pokémon that will not be dethroned by Black and White new comers (no matter how cute the new otter Pokémon is!)
I often have questions about the rules – especially since some of the rules have changed with the addition of the new Black and White theme decks. The truth is, the new rules had the serious trading card game (TCG) players waiting for the July 1 card rotation changes to go into affect (Before the July 1 card rotation, the new rule of playing any card except an evolution on the first turn made it possible to win a game with certain cards in the first two turns).
But, back to Black and White…The characters are all new and old trainers have been renamed. However, the decks themselves seem to have low power. There are several Pokémon that show promise though (such as the Tepig evolution line). When you get one of the new decks you are given a code to unlock the deck in the new online trading card game as well.
If you are familiar with the Magic the Gathering video games, there are different versions on XBox360, Playstation, and PC. The Pokémon Trading Card Game online is set up in a similar manner. I have been very impressed by it thus far (even though it’s still in Beta). My daughter has even gone through the tutorial online, learning more about the TCG then I was able to teach her. Now, the game testers are accepting codes from booster packs for closed beta testing. You can only get these codes from booster packs sold in hobby shops, but there are still some available if you are interested. I have been addicted to playing through the Black and White decks, and the initial decks, to get all of the accomplishments available in the beta version. The games feel very simple to begin with, but quickly require strategy if you want to be victorious.
The addition of the online play is a definite perk to the new Black and White card decks. Once the BW Emerging Forces is released in late August, my bet is all doubts about the new Pokémon on the block will be put to rest. Originally, I was skeptical about the Black and White series and subsequent rule changes. Now that the card rotation has taken place, I am much happier about the power and compatibility of the Black and White card series.
If you are interested in playing Pokémon, now is a great time to start. The national competition will be a three day event starting July 7, in Indianapolis, Indiana. There are league, state, and regional events and other tournaments throughout the year, and most of them are free to enter.
Pokémon, yet again, doesn’t disappoint the average TCG player. The theme decks and booster packs can be purchased at retail and hobby shops for $3 – $13.
*I received the Black and White theme decks for review purposes.