When I was young, I learned to play the Pok√©mon TCG with my dad; we learned to play together. It is one of my favourite past-times with him and gave us countless hours of fun. We collected together, we played the game together and we watched the series together. I’m still not sure which of us was the biggest geek!

The competitive side of TCG elevates the concept of simply collecting with strategic planning in the deck building, logical play and good sportsmanship. All traits that I hope my daughter picks up either through playing the TCG or whatever she picks up in life.

It can be quite daunting at first to pick up the game, especially in this current meta of VMAX and countless number of fast-paced gameplay demos online. The best way to learn is to slow down and start from the beginning. It’s not as scary as it seems and it’s one of those things that is easy to learn and hard to master. Within an hour you can be playing with your basic decks knowledgably and having a really good time.

Pokemon TCG: Battle Academy has recently been released at most major retailers that does just this. The Battle Academy includes everything two players need to play, with guides to the decks so your first game is easy to follow. You can choose fan favourites Charizard or Pikachu to lead your deck in a heads-up battle against another Trainer and as you become more comfortable, switch up the decks to play Mewtwo.

If your child already has some experience and you’d like to learn a little first so that your loss isn’t too embarassing, then there are also a series of official tutorial videos on YouTube that can help to give you a running start. You can also purchase some pre-built decks separately if you don’t want to buy the full Battle Academy set.

Once you start to play, if you’re both enjoying it, there are plenty of options to expand your experience. I’ll cover these more in future posts, but for some external reading, check out:

  • Local Pre-Release parties – With a limited number of boosters from a new collection, compete against other local players for prizes. These are really friendly events from the few I’ve been to.
  • Pok√©mon TCG Online – If there aren’t any events near you, then you can always play online through the official Pok√©mon TCG online platform. When you open boosters or deck you can unlock an the virtual equivalent online so you can replicate your collection. Play random people at your skill level online and on the go.