TCG Fakes Base Set Rebalanced (feat. Jungle and Fossil)

BenPacífico

Aspiring Trainer
Member
Thank you!

I'm starting to do something similar to what you did but i'm trying to focus on some core gameplay mechanics that we (my friends and i) never liked in the TCG, like:

- Removing Pokémon stages (all Pokémon would be "basics"), allowing us to start with any/all Pokémon;

- Creating Pokemon Boost/Train (or something like that) to replace Stages (even non evolving Pokémon would have boost cards):
For example, Charmander and Charmeleon wouldn't be Pokémon cards anymore, but Boost/Train card (similar to a Pokémon tool card) to any Charizard Pokémon card. This way we could start with strong Pokémon but we need to boost them through the game to actually make them HEAVY HITTERS. So, those Boosts wouldn't be obrigatory, like stages are in the TCG game, and only the heavy hitters/almost OP abilities would need it to maxmize your damage/HP/ability, while "supporters Pokémon" (that are in the deck only for its Ability or tech effect attacks) wouldn't need any boost card;

- the Power creep Ex/Gx/V Pokémon would be limited to Legendaries only. And we could run only 1 Legendary per deck.

The main problem we are having is to balance the hp/attack power/cost ratio on the cards hahaha.

Anway, thanks again, GREAT WORK HERE. Your texts and thoughts will really help us.
 

Yaginku

Aspiring Trainer
Member
- Removing Pokémon stages (all Pokémon would be "basics"), allowing us to start with any/all Pokémon;

- Creating Pokemon Boost/Train (or something like that) to replace Stages (even non evolving Pokémon would have boost cards):
For example, Charmander and Charmeleon wouldn't be Pokémon cards anymore, but Boost/Train card (similar to a Pokémon tool card) to any Charizard Pokémon card. This way we could start with strong Pokémon but we need to boost them through the game to actually make them HEAVY HITTERS. So, those Boosts wouldn't be obrigatory, like stages are in the TCG game, and only the heavy hitters/almost OP abilities would need it to maxmize your damage/HP/ability, while "supporters Pokémon" (that are in the deck only for its Ability or tech effect attacks) wouldn't need any boost card;
I am currently working on a separate card game, but I had a very similar idea. My problem is now you've kind of reversed the issue - Charmander/Charmeleon become useless until you have a Charizard, and the biggest problem of evolution cards is them filling your hand until they're playable.
Off the top of my head, I think it'd make sense to make ALL of these Pokemon playable straight on the bench. So you can play a Charmander/Charmeleon/Charizard immediately, but you can also optionally evolve one into the other, combining their powers. This means none of these cards are ever dead and the "weakness" of a Charmander is countered by its potential to evolve, which Charizard doesn't have.
 

BenPacífico

Aspiring Trainer
Member
Nice catch, never thought about the "reversed issue" and your idea to make make any stage immediately useful is good, but i forgot to say some things we are trying to implement in our "variant" (to emulate rpg core games in it) that would "fix" that:

- Each player will have two separate "decks": a Pokémon Deck and a Trainer Deck:
Pokémon deck: will always contain 6 Pokémon cards only and, before the game starts, both players will put down their 06 Pokémon cards, face-down, choosing wich one will be their Active Pokémon and their benched Pokémon. After that, only the Active Pokémon will be revealed. Only revealed Pokémon could activate abilities and/or do some other things (still woking on that). To reveal a Pokémon you need to switch it to the Active Spot or use items/abilities to turn them up.
Trainer deck: all other cards are here. This deck will work similar to the TCG. We will all draw cards from here and there will be no Pokémon cards here. Only Items, Supporters, Tools, Stadiums, Energies and the new "Boost Card".

- There will be a Pokémon species limit: only 1 of each species (Only 1 Charzard, Only 1 Slowbro...):
But you can have up to 2 Pokémon Boost cards per Pokémon in the Trainer deck (each boost is representing a Evolution/stage). So, There will be 1 Charizard in the Pokémon deck since turn 1, but you will need to search for its boost cards (Charmander and/or Charmelon) in the Trainer Deck to maximize its potential (Non-evolving Pokémon can have up to 2 Pokémon boosts too, to balance things, so, there will be 1 Heracross Pokémon card in the Pokémon deck and up to 2 Heracross boost cards in the Trainer deck. We still don't know what the boost cards will do yet (more HP? new attacks? more damage? double energy for that Pokémon? new ability?).

So, we will always start the game with the 6 different fully evolved/last stage Pokémon in play (and choose who will be our lead) but we need to turn them up to activate abilities first (and maybe to do other things too).

Of course lots of things must be changed to this variant to work. Pokéball/Rare Candy would search for Pokémon boosts instead Pokémon (since the are no Pokémon in the Trainer deck). Also, a ton of abilities/items must be changed to work with this since there will be no more "evolving" or place down a Pokémon card during the game, but revealing cards and boosting Pokémon cards instead.

Anyway, what theme are you using for your separeted card game? Pokémon?
 
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Yaginku

Aspiring Trainer
Member
Pokémon deck: will always contain 6 Pokémon cards only and, before the game starts, both players will put down their 06 Pokémon cards, face-down, choosing wich one will be their Active Pokémon and their benched Pokémon. After that, only the Active Pokémon will be revealed. Only revealed Pokémon could activate abilities and/or do some other things (still woking on that). To reveal a Pokémon you need to switch it to the Active Spot or use items/abilities to turn them up.
We're following very similar paths here, because I have already tried that specific idea and there were a few reasons I didn't like it.
First, and perhaps the biggest one, is that the whole point of deckbuilding is to make a coherent deck. You have to balance draw cards, resource cards, effect cards and "piece" cards (in this case Pokemon). When you remove pieces (Pokemon) from that equation, the deck becomes extremely boring - you're literally just drawing resources (energies) and effects (trainer cards). Granted, your version also has evolution Pokemon as "boosts", but they're very close to resources in the fact you use them to "build up" your Pokemon (and my game also had "mods" and similar cards that did the same thing). So you really have to think of card types in deckbuilding as "angles", a draw Trainer (Bill) and an effect Trainers (Boss Orders) aren't in the same category, even though technically they're the same type of card, but they're used for different purposes. The less angles your game has, the less engaging your deckbuilding is.
This brings me to the second issue, deck size. In extreme cases Pokemon might take only 6-7 slots, but if we consider evolutions and playing multiple copies, that can easily be around 20 (and it should be, in a healthy format). If you just delete that, suddenly your decks are 40 cards big and that's just not a lot of variety. If you try to stuff them with cards from other "angles" - draws, spells, effects - then it'll just be boring. During deckbuilding, cards should fight for deck space, not be thrown in haphazardly. Pokemon cards are just great deck fillers.
Third issue, a small one but it's just another argument, is that it's way more natural to "splash" your into your deck, rather than a separate Character deck. Imagine you want to add a specific Pokemon to cover for a bad match-up, but only in one copy. With a separate Character deck, you'd either have to make special rules, allow for more characters than slots or sideboards. With a deck, it's easy - you put them in your deck and your "punishment" for splashing is deck space.
There were some even more minor things - letting the board state evolve naturally, instead of dropping all cards at the beginning makes the complexity rise gradually, instead of starting at a really high level. If you don't know the cards, you're suddenly hit with six you have to read AND understand immediately. Sounds like not a big deal when you're making these cards, it becomes a big deal when you try to test the game with somebody.
 

BenPacífico

Aspiring Trainer
Member
Hummm, i never thought about those issues you mentioned... Now i have to think a little more about what i'm doing hahaha. Anyway, thanks for you tips. We are in early stage, so it will take some time to even test it. I just favorited this thread because i feel i will come back here a lot in the future ;p

Are you gonna do any rebalances for gen 2 Pokémon? i would love to see what you did here for Gen 2 sets...
 

Yaginku

Aspiring Trainer
Member
Base Set Rebalanced 1.1 Patch

Sup.

Removing Discard Acceleration

While this is not the first change I have implemented, I must explain it first, because it'll make some further choices a bit more obvious. In short, I have removed (almost) all options for discarding Energy cards from your hand straight into the discard pile. The reason for that was simple - regularly, we can treat "hand acceleration" and "discard acceleration" as equal. They have their differences, pros and cons, but the outcome is largely the same. What I have tried doing is move "discard acceleration" more towards "discard re-acceleration", that is a catch-up mechanic that is allowed to have cards that are a bit more powerful. No changes needed on that front - Gym Badge is already a very strong card, perhaps too strong and too universal, so this will make it weaker without any changes to the wording itself.

Below is a Super Potion, a card that got its wording changed slightly to fit this adjustment.

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Supporter Changes

This is a big change, probably the biggest. Many of the Supporters in BSR were experiments and I am happy to say a lot was learned from them. The only "drawing supporter" that remains unchanged is Bill, the classic "draw 3" supporter - everything else is getting a facelift.

Lets start with Professor Oak. My previous Professor Oak had the right idea, but it was simply too strong - it was just a "draw 5" Supporter, which didn't have much downside beside these terrible situations where your hand is already in shambles. I wanted to maintain the general idea, but slow the game down severely, especially since decks tended to draw their entire card stock very quickly. Here's what I have.

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So, Professor Oak is now objectively a "draw 2" Supporter, but you get to see five cards from the top of your deck. Reshuffling is good, especially with how many dead cards tend to be held in Pokemon TCG. The intended playstyle of "holding many cards" is also maintained, as a hefty hand size makes this card more optimal and less of a "draw 2".

Second comes the evil counterpart of Professor Oak - Impostor Oak. Here, no big changes were made - it might be the case that draw 6 is WAY stronger than draw 2, but I am not sure that it'll be completely overpowering. The change that was made is to the discard mechanic, now obviously discarding everything but the Energies, then drawing up to 6. It's not as slick of a wording as it used to be, but gameplay takes precedence here.

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Next is Lass, previously "both players shuffle their hands, then draw 6". I am not a fan of this effect - it's very confusing, it doesn't play well and, most importantly, it makes the players reshuffle their hands constantly. I wanted to keep the effect of messing with your opponent's hand, but leave space for choices to be made, instead of completely nuking their hand arrangement. As such, Lass is now an "equalizer", allowing each player to either draw or reshuffle back to 5 cards. They must reshuffle because, again, they may not discard energies and there's no easy way of policing that.

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Finally, we've got a brand new draw Supporter. This came about, because frankly having just 4 drawing supporters made for a very boring selection - if you are planning on using 12 supporters, you'll be using 3/4ths of the entire cast. Now it'll be just the majority and perhaps with a bit more choice. I always treated Mr Fuji as a "free slot" and gave him a very inoffensive ability previously, although it did turn out that healing decks are absolutely a strong contender. That said, trying to find the right effect was not easy. I will spare you the details and just show you the card.

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So, it's a Supporter that technically can draw a clean 4, but also has the potential of drawing three, two or even a disastrous one. The testing will show how good it is in reality.

Actual Nerfs

Now we will discuss the cards that don't get reworks, but actual nerfs - and the biggest offender here is Raichu. I have talked about this card in my initial release post, but the bottom line is - the wording is confusing and it deals too much damage. Both of these things got addressed, with a simple ability and 10 less damage on its first attack.

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In the same vein, Jolteon got a nerf that also tackled a similar "switch" ability. This is supposed to be a support Pokemon, so it made no sense that it was also a very strong attacker.

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Raichu Counter

On top of the nerfs above, I have changed one more card to tackle the idea of "switching decks". Sandslash had a pretty mediocre ability that was supposed to work in switching decks, but dealing 10 for free wasn't really impressive. I am really surprised I have not gone with this version of the ability instead from the start - it even existed, word for word, on the first Forretress card and even had the name "Spikes" to boot. Now Sandslash is a Raichu killer, hitting for weakness and placing damage counters on every switch.

S1MhPTB.png

Tidying Up

When I was writing about some design rules for this format, one of them was to make the attack costs more colorless. I have sometimes forgot to do this, so a few cards got their attack costs "de-colorified".

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Yaginku

Aspiring Trainer
Member
LAST UPDATE

I want to keep this update short and concise - Base Set Remastered now has a one-page website.
You will find all the card images there, I will also add card filtering and, hopefully, a deckbuilding tool with a PDF export for easy printing.

What has changed?
I have been playtesting this set with friends both at the LGS and my workplace. The biggest change is actually not that significant - I wanted to cut back on the amount of shuffling, which takes a lot of time even in modern games of Pokemon. As such, I have switched most wordings from "shuffling back" cards to putting cards on the bottom of the deck. This makes the games much quicker.

Once the one-page website on Tumblr has all the features I want, I will probably move all the text from this thread to the Tumblr account.
 

Yaginku

Aspiring Trainer
Member
Playtesting

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Yesterday, I have organized a learn-and-play session at my workplace, using BSR decks I've printed out. While I have already playtested this set with friends and players at my local store, this one was somewhat more exciting - I was dealing with brand new players (only one of them has previously casually played PTCG Online) and I have not told any these cards were "custom" until the end of the play session.

The results from this session were better than expected. Firstly, I haven't really seen anyone be confused over how the cards work. I have purposefully designed the decks to feel somewhat like Starter decks, although my own understanding of the format is still limited. I have got remarkably few questions about explaining the cards. To be fair, I was dealing with game developers, so there might be some survivor bias going on, but I was still impressed.
Secondly, my concept of replacing shuffling with putting cards on the bottom of the deck worked like a charm. As I expected, even adult players who haven't played many card games have issues with shuffling decks. Removing all instances of unneeded shuffling cut down the shuffling time drastically and let the players focus on the game.

Some cards will be changed - most notably, all Self-Destructs will become completely Colorless, since they are Normal-type in the games. But most changes will actually happen to the decks themselves - they is way more space for trick cards than I assumed, these decks aren't as engine-reliant as regular Pokemon decks.
 
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