Gligar's INTRO Articles to Pokemon
PART I: Just Startin' Out: Pokemon

Maybe you've just bought the starter set at your local card shop, or maybe your friend has given you some Pokemon cards for your birthday. You are eager to begin this wonderful game. This article will set you on the right path to becoming a great poke-player.

A beginner's road is often not an easy one. You may not know what cards are good or bad, you may have a very limited amount of cards, or maybe there is nobody around to battle with. These, fortunately, are solvable problems.

There are 3 types of cards: Pokemon, trainers, and energy. Each very important in their own way.

The first is Pokemon.

Pokemon...the most important of the three. Without them, you cannot battle. Pokemon choice is very important. You need about 10-24 of them, depending on the deck and strategy. The Pokemon must flow with the strategy. You should play some Pokemon that can attack or stall for you in the early part of the game. Usually Pokemon with low energy requirements, or moves that can
stall while you set-up the rest of your Pokemon. They should be able to attack mid game when needed also. A good example of this would be
Rocket's Zapdos. It's first attack requires only 1 energy. It can do a decent amount of damage for only one energy. It can deliver a huge amount of damage when necessary in the form of electroburn, which deals 70 damage. Another good starter would be Chansey. It has 120 hp, and has a stalling attack, scrunch. You can scrunch until you have the Pokemon and trainers that you need. There is one more good type of starter. The free rereater. Gligar is a good example. It has a free retreat, so you can immediately switch Pokemon depending on the opponents active Pokemon. Free retreaters allow you to make the best active Pokemon decision. You usually need about 3-10 of these early starters.

The next type of Pokemon that you will want is a big hitter. Big hitters are not always needed, but a smart choice. You may choose a powerful evolution, like
Arcanine, or you may choose the quicker, but weaker Sneasel. They can help you very much, but aren't always easy to use. You will usually use your starting Pokemon to stall or to weaken your opponent, while charging up your "cleaner". Be sure not to play too many cleaners.
You will usually want to open with fast starters, rather than a slow, yet powerful cleaner.

Another type of Pokemon to add to your deck is known as "TecH". TecH is simply a card thrown in to help against a certain deck or card that you are particularly weak to. For example, if you use a deck with Ninetales and
Magmar, you may want to add a neo Electabuzz as TecH. This is because Ninetales and Magmar are weak to water Pokemon. Most water Pokemon are weak against electric type Pokemon, so the TecHed Electabuzz will help whenever you encounter a water deck. You usually don't want to many TecH Pokemon. 1-3 will be enough most of the time.

So now you know the main types of Pokemon. Here is an example of a balanced set of Pokemon:

4 Base Set Electabuzz
4 Rocket Zapdos
3 Promo Pikachu
3 Base Set Raichu
2 Scyther

Electabuzz, Zapdos, and even Scyther are good early hitters. Raichu is the cleaner, and Scyther is TecH against fighting Pokemon.

There is more to Pokemon that balance though. You must have a theme. Your Pokemon and trainers must support the theme. In this next example, the theme is status effects:

4 Rocket Oddish
4 Erika's Oddish (level 10)
3 Erika's Gloom (level 24)
3 Rocket Scyther
2 Wooper

In this, both
Oddishes can attack early. Gloom is a semi-cleaner, rocket Scyther is for support, and is also a semi-cleaner, and Wooper is TecH against fire. You don't have to have TecH in all decks though.

In this last example, there is no TecH. It has two different energy types. It is alright to play more than one type. Just make sure that the 2 types flow together, and don't hog too much energy.
Electabuzz and Hitmonchan work well together. They require little energy type of there own type, and can attack quickly. A bad example would be fossil Zapdos and fossil Moltres. Both require a whole lot of there own energy, and clash strategy wise. Here is an example of a nice deck with 2 energy types:

3 Base Set Electabuzz
3 Base Set Hitmonchan
3 Gligar
3 Chansey

Gligar, Hitmonchan, and Electabuzz require little energy of there own, and can use different energy types. For example, Gligar can use electric energy if needed.

Ratio is also a factor in Pokemon. You should not use a lot of singles. Singles are bad. Singles should be only for TecH. A normal evolution should have 3 to 4 basic Pokemon, 2-4 stage one, and if ya’ need 'em, 2-4 stage 2. The safest way to run a stage 2 line would be like this: 4 basic Pokemon, 3 stage 1, 3 stage 2. Or 4-3-3 for short. A stage 1 will usually look like this:
3-3, 4-3, or 4-4.

Another problem is lack of cards. Some of you may only have singles, and a few doubles here and there. Pokemon-wise, you should trade, trade, trade. Choose your deck strategy, and choose which Pokemon you want in the deck. Keep trading until you get enough of card. Some good cards are very easy to get luckily.
Magmar and Arcanine are great cards. They are both uncommons. Rocket Oddish and Erika's Oddish are great in status decks. They are commons. Just keep tradin' until you get multiples of the cards that you need.

The last problem is if you have no one to play against. Well, you can play online. Go and download apprentice, and you can play who you wish online! Even better, you can have whatever cards you wish. So lack of cards is not a problem! I currently don't have the link to it, but some major sites have the link, and instructions on how to download. Here is one:

That's about it for Pokemon! I will send more articles.
The next one will be on trainers, then energy, then strategy, then finally deck construction. Those will be the articles on starting the game. Then I will send other articles if needed or wanted. ;)



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