Discussion How TPCI can make better TCG products

Nebby Baggington

Bag Dweller
Member
I want to clarify what I think about all the suggestions/arguments people have, and explain what I think about the discussion so far, since I've gotten off topic discussing the secondary market, and pricing, etc.

Otaku suggested Yu Gi Oh Structure Decks. Decks that can be played in their own format. A structure deck vs structure deck type thing. I don't know much about Yu Gi Oh so forgive me, but what I assume the suggestion is is something like Legendary Battle Decks, but all of them can fairy battle against the rest, unlike Battle Arena Decks, theme decks, etc. For those of you confused by what I meant: My main idea is that if two people were to open a random one of these decks, both can fairy battle, unlike Battle Arena Decks, where if you were to take the Mewtwo EX Deck, and the Xerneas Deck, which are both from different Battle Arena Decks, and battle with them, you would have.... problems to say the least. The two things these theoretical Pokemon Structure Decks and Battle Arena decks have in common is that they still can't be used at a Pokemon Tournament. At least not do well.

MorningSTAR1337 suggested that tins could include multiple copies of a card, and though I agreed with this, this can also bring up problems. Tins almost never have extremely playable cards, (I said almost). I highly doubt anybody needs a playset of Pikachu EX or the newest Charizard. Of course playable cards have been in a few tins, like Hoopa, Volc, and more, but most of the time, tins are appealing mainly to collectors.

The thing I suggested was something like a Magic: Deckbuilders Toolkit. Essentially the idea is that you can open it up and build a deck that can be played fairly against someone else who did the same, i.e. something like a build your own casual deck! Most of the cards could just be trainers, then a few playable rares, like Garb, Trevenant, and more, 4 packs, and some energy. Of course something like this already exists: Prerelease kits. 4 packs, "playable" rare/promo, a couple of trainers, and energy is provided to you there. Now imagine if something like this was made and marketed outside of prerelease! Pokemon already has the concept down pretty well at Premier events, so why not elsewhere?
 

crystal_pidgeot

Bird Trainer *Vaporeon on PokeGym*
Member
The point I'm trying to make is that Battle Arena Decks STILL don't cater to the competitive player. Even if they put in "X" number of "y" it still might not affect the fact that the decks are only meant to be balanced with the other deck is was packaged with. Like I said: If you start mixing the Battle Arena Decks together, it won't be fun. The Xerneas Deck isn't meant to battle the Mewtwo Deck. Adding 2 more VS seeker won't change that either way. I'm not asking for a Battle Arena Deck to be able to win competitively, which is what I meant by a Standard Focused Legendary Battle Deck, what I want is less promo boxes, more products that allow you to play the game casually, and in a balanced format that allows you to have a fun, competitive game. Sure you can always get a Battle Arena Deck, but they can't be played in their own format because each set of two are only balanced against each other

The Battle Arena decks aren't meant to be balanced against others. Its why they are called things like Lugia vs Ho-Oh and Xerneas vs Yveltal. They are meant to be played against each other and that is fine. It's just something fun to do. I guess the question is what products do you want to see? I personally wouldn't mind more promo product that is usable and things to help start a competitive collection like Trainers and maybe things to evolve from.
 

Rocket The Shellos

Aspiring Trainer
Member
The Battle Arena decks aren't meant to be balanced against others. Its why they are called things like Lugia vs Ho-Oh and Xerneas vs Yveltal. They are meant to be played against each other and that is fine. It's just something fun to do. I guess the question is what products do you want to see? I personally wouldn't mind more promo product that is usable and things to help start a competitive collection like Trainers and maybe things to evolve from.
The TCG needs a big overhaul if it's going to be worth buying product in the future. If I was running the show, here's what I'd do:

- Use the Japanese style of booster boxes. All you gotta do is print the cards in English and slip a PTCGO code in the packet. Why do they change them? They are incredibly good value. Even if those 5 card packs are $2-3 each they would still be leaps and bounds ahead of what we get in the West. Instead of someone buying 1 or 2 boxes at $130-$200+ (booster boxes are a nightmare in Australia) you would easily get people buying 4 or more boxes at $60-80. It also surprisingly increases your impulse purchases, using Aus as an example again parents and kids would be more likely to buy 4 or 5 $2 then they would be to buy 1 $6 pack. As for the special Japanese promo products? You can easily throw them in as bonuses for buying packs/boxes, league prizes, promotional events, etc.

- Keep theme decks, but make some key changes. Most theme decks nowadays can run 2 or more Stage 2s. This is just really frustrating as the decks are loaded with pyramid lines with only 1 of each stage 2 (or 2 if it's the focus of the deck) and while some decks did a good job of helping you get your evolutions out (The Garchomp deck from Dragons Exalted comes to mind with Gabite's Dragon Call + Pokemon Communication) they're a rare sight and most decks nowadays are kinda stuck in that department. I propose some decks with a few Stage 1s so that new players learn the rules with evolutions and whatnot, but a few decent basics as well (still have Stage 2s in some decks, but no more than 1 line). And of course, release the Japanese decks with the EXs/GXs such as Zygarde EX and more recently Tapu Bulu GX as decks, not thrown awkwardly into a set.

- Revamp tins. I do think the tins are a good idea as a lot of players use them for storage so they shouldn't completely go, but they do need some changes. Instead of the window tins I suggest a design more like the collector's chests, but with 4 packs, 2 copies of a decent (not spectacular but still usable) GX, a handful of energies, some staple trainer cards, damage counters/status counters and a die (and maybe a strategy/deckbuilding guidebook?). So it'd probably be the same cost as a collector's chest, which is fair given the content. It'd be a good place for new players to start.

As long as they don't keep making "Premium Collections" (which are $75 in Australia for less than $40 worth of packs and a pair of unplayable promos) and the stupid boxes/blisters with three packs and a cheap pin that's supposed to make up the $9-$12 left over in the price once you take away the boosters then I'll probably be happy.
 

Otaku

The wise fool?
Member
- Keep theme decks, but make some key changes. Most theme decks nowadays can run 2 or more Stage 2s. This is just really frustrating as the decks are loaded with pyramid lines with only 1 of each stage 2 (or 2 if it's the focus of the deck) and while some decks did a good job of helping you get your evolutions out (The Garchomp deck from Dragons Exalted comes to mind with Gabite's Dragon Call + Pokemon Communication) they're a rare sight and most decks nowadays are kinda stuck in that department. I propose some decks with a few Stage 1s so that new players learn the rules with evolutions and whatnot, but a few decent basics as well (still have Stage 2s in some decks, but no more than 1 line). And of course, release the Japanese decks with the EXs/GXs such as Zygarde EX and more recently Tapu Bulu GX as decks, not thrown awkwardly into a set.

I just wanted to point out that Theme Decks are still intended as a teaching tool. Structure Decks* may be able to assume this role; if core Type support is too complicate for beginners to grasp/is only available via complex cards, I think that is just a TCG fail in general. In both cases, however, I believe it unwise to strive for an overly competitive product. Instead, doubling a theme deck (or combining two) should provide a mildly competitive "beginner" deck. So go ahead and include one thin Stage 2 line (say 4/3/2 or 4/2/2 plus two Rare Candy), two 2/2 Stage 1 lines, and a few useful Basics. The deck should run Pokémon heavy. Also a bit Energy heavy, as this is a surprising hurdle when starting the game (hence certain other products). Yes, this means the Trainer counts are going to be a bit light; like I said, learning tools and a way to get support for building your real deck. Even if "real deck" status is as simple as buying a second copy of the same deck and cutting out the excess copies of various cards, lowering the Energy count, and dropping an Evolution line or two. ;)

*As Battle Arena Decks aren't quite where I'm proposing, I'll keep referring to them in this way. For those who are Yu-Gi-Oh savvy, remember that I am talking about the World Wide Structure Deck run that sadly stopped several years ago.
 

Nebby Baggington

Bag Dweller
Member
The Battle Arena decks aren't meant to be balanced against others. Its why they are called things like Lugia vs Ho-Oh and Xerneas vs Yveltal. They are meant to be played against each other and that is fine. It's just something fun to do. I guess the question is what products do you want to see? I personally wouldn't mind more promo product that is usable and things to help start a competitive collection like Trainers and maybe things to evolve from.
I understand that. The product I do want to see is something like this but more like Yu Gi Oh Structure Decks mentioned by Otaku. You buy one, and now you can play against any structure deck you want, and they would be focused for standard. Again, the same can't be said for Legendary Battle Decks or Battle Arena Decks.
The TCG needs a big overhaul if it's going to be worth buying product in the future. If I was running the show, here's what I'd do:

- Use the Japanese style of booster boxes. All you gotta do is print the cards in English and slip a PTCGO code in the packet. Why do they change them? They are incredibly good value. Even if those 5 card packs are $2-3 each they would still be leaps and bounds ahead of what we get in the West. Instead of someone buying 1 or 2 boxes at $130-$200+ (booster boxes are a nightmare in Australia) you would easily get people buying 4 or more boxes at $60-80. It also surprisingly increases your impulse purchases, using Aus as an example again parents and kids would be more likely to buy 4 or 5 $2 then they would be to buy 1 $6 pack. As for the special Japanese promo products? You can easily throw them in as bonuses for buying packs/boxes, league prizes, promotional events, etc.

- Keep theme decks, but make some key changes. Most theme decks nowadays can run 2 or more Stage 2s. This is just really frustrating as the decks are loaded with pyramid lines with only 1 of each stage 2 (or 2 if it's the focus of the deck) and while some decks did a good job of helping you get your evolutions out (The Garchomp deck from Dragons Exalted comes to mind with Gabite's Dragon Call + Pokemon Communication) they're a rare sight and most decks nowadays are kinda stuck in that department. I propose some decks with a few Stage 1s so that new players learn the rules with evolutions and whatnot, but a few decent basics as well (still have Stage 2s in some decks, but no more than 1 line). And of course, release the Japanese decks with the EXs/GXs such as Zygarde EX and more recently Tapu Bulu GX as decks, not thrown awkwardly into a set.

- Revamp tins. I do think the tins are a good idea as a lot of players use them for storage so they shouldn't completely go, but they do need some changes. Instead of the window tins I suggest a design more like the collector's chests, but with 4 packs, 2 copies of a decent (not spectacular but still usable) GX, a handful of energies, some staple trainer cards, damage counters/status counters and a die (and maybe a strategy/deckbuilding guidebook?). So it'd probably be the same cost as a collector's chest, which is fair given the content. It'd be a good place for new players to start.

As long as they don't keep making "Premium Collections" (which are $75 in Australia for less than $40 worth of packs and a pair of unplayable promos) and the stupid boxes/blisters with three packs and a cheap pin that's supposed to make up the $9-$12 left over in the price once you take away the boosters then I'll probably be happy.
Your tin suggestion is a great idea, but tins are often a seasonal thing, and collectors chests are once or twice a year. I don't know much about how Japenese products work, so I can't really state my claim on that side of things. Theme decks should stay the way they are. Theme decks are meant to be a learning tool for younger children, or people who are starting to get into the game. It allows them to play a balanced game in its own specific format: Theme deck Vs Theme deck. Much like the Structure decks Otaku suggested, but, in my opinion, those shouldn't be as energy/pokemon heavy. Much like Legendary Battle Decks, but with a Standard Focus, and the ability to have balanced battles against any of the other "structure decks", these can feature a couple copies of staple trainers, two decent EXs or GXs, and a foundation for you to begin building your own deck
 
J

Juliacoolo

I think one important thing to keep in mind is that the market isn't a binary win or lose situation for players or TPCi. I agree with the OP that Pokemon products are lacking in value, and I'm surprised that the company isn't adapting to take business from the secondary markets. People buy products from the secondary market when the current product mix doesn't allow them to obtain certain cards reliably and at a reasonable price. It's a true failure on TPCi's end that the use of secondary markets is a necessity for anyone fielding a competitive deck. Obviously being too generous with promotional offerings can cannibalize the sale of traditional packs, but I think there is plenty of room for improvement to take back business from resellers.
 
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