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Pokémon cards: A Parents Guide to basic understanding!

So your kid’s discovered Pokémon and they’re now obsessed with Pokémon cards. But looking at all these colourful cards, you have no idea what’s what or even where to start. Here’s a basic guide to understanding the basics!

So you’re kid’s started begging you for Pokémon cards because it’s the new craze at school and now all they’re talking about is Pikachu, Ash and their distaste for Team Rocket. But (maybe) you don’t even know what a Pokémon is let alone a Pikawhat? 

In this article we’ll break down everything from what Pokémon is through to basics like trainers and energys. We’ll talk through the basics and the best way to start their collection!

So what is Pokémon?

A light History

Pokémon is a franchise created by Satoshi Tajiri in 1995 and was originally called “Pocket Monsters”. First developed as a Nintendo game by Game Freak, was quickly adapted to a TV series in 1997 before being published into a Trading Card Game (TCG) by Wizards of the Coast in 1999. Since then, there have been a vast range of products ranging from toys, manga (Japanese style comics) and even theme parks!
In the fantastic world of Pokémon, humans catch and team up with Pokémon to become Pokémon trainers and battle each other. With trainers having a wide range of goals (this being your child and/or yourself). Pokémon trainers often fall into two main categories, one being to be the best battler, and the other being to collect them all!

Now what do you do with Pokémon cards?

Pokémon Cards are designed to be played and collected. With younger kids more often collecting and trading as they learn to read and play the game. As their understanding grows, children often like to start playing. A Pokémon card game consists of a 60 card deck per trainer and is full of Pokémon, trainers and energy cards at a unique mix to give each player their own strategic twist to the game. However some kids prefer to focus on the collecting side of things. Attempting to keep their cards as pristine as the day they were bought (as I personally did for many years). A great way to start both collecting or playing is simply through a basic theme deck. Theme decks come with everything you need to either play or just to collect, consisting of 60 cards with tokens, coins and even a play-mat. Another great way to start is with either booster packs (consisting of 10 cards plus an online code to play online), blister packs, tins or even elite trainer boxes

What are the different types of Pokémon cards?

In Pokémon TCG there are three main categories of cards. These consist of the Pokémon creature cards, Trainer cards and lastly Energy cards. Each type of card has a unique position in a Trainers deck and are all vital!

Pokémon creature cards

Pokémon creatures are split into 11 different types. These include grass, water, fire, electric and rock (plus many more!). The Pokémon type will be located in the top right hand corner of the card. Pokémon also have the ability to evolve. Starting at “basic” and evolving from there to a  “Stage one” and from there to “Stage two”, this will be located in the top left hand corner. 

“Coming soon! More information on Pokémon creature cards”

Trainer cards

Trainer cards are broken in three main categories. These are “Supporter”, “Item” and “Stadium” cards. Each have a unique place in battle with their effects/rules listed in the lower half of the card.

Coming soon! More information on Trainer cards”

Energy cards

Energy cards are the fuel your Pokémon creatures need for most of their attacks. You can find energys in booster packs (guaranteed to find 1 basic energy in each pack), Elite Trainer Boxs (comes with a pack of 45 energys on average) or in Theme decks (have the energys listed on the back).

Coming soon! More information on Energy cards”

Pokémon has been going on for many years, is there any difference with new cards and old cards?

Pokémon is split into series and from there into sets. Each new series bringing in new gaming mechanics and each new set bringing in new cards to build on those mechanics. Each new series/set is often slightly stronger than the last meaning that new cards are significantly more powerful than the original cards.
Another key factor is that competitive games only use the last few released sets and is constantly being updated with new cards and banned cards.

Coming soon! Find out what cards/sets are legal in competitive Pokémon!” 

My Child is asking for “EX”, “GX” and “V” cards? What are they and how do I get them?

Pokémon cards that have “EX”, “GX” or “V” on them are on average the most powerful and rare Pokémon creature cards. Often having a unique graphic and sometimes sporting a textured card face these cards usually look amazing! All these different factors make them the most coveted cards in the series.
The easiest way to build a small collection of these cards are through Box sets or Blister sets as you can see what cards you are getting from the box. The other way is to try your luck through Booster packs. With a small chance of receiving one of these cards, this is the way to get the most rare and coveted cards from each set. 

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