This is a basic guide about Pokemon TCG and how to approach it if you live in Croatia. We will not discuss the game mechanics, as there are a lot of guides online that cover that topic. You may continue reading to find out where you can play Pokemon TCG, buy cards or find out more about the value of Pokemon cards.
What is Pokémon TCG
Pokémon Trading Card Game (PTCG) is a card game made in 1996 (Japan), based on Nintendo’s Pokémon franchise. In the USA it was initially printed and published by Wizards of the Coast. It is the same WotC that currently prints Magic: the Gathering cards (see more in our MTG guide in Croatia), but in 2003 the task shifted to The Pokémon Company who still continues to print cards to this day.
With the release of the mobile game Pokemon GO in 2016, Pokémon TCG had a significant rise in popularity, though it’s biggest comeback was in 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic, nostalgia and the live action movie Detective Pikachu (2019.) all played a major role in the massive rise of Pokemon TCG, which sold over 30 billion cards globally.
Pokemon GO enables real world interaction, but with virtual pokemon
Are Pokemon cards popular and why?
There are multiple reasons behind the popularity of Pokemon cards:
- Nostalgia and the warm feelings we remember in our childhood
- The trend for finding new hobbies
- Increase in purchasing power
- COVID lockdown
Pokémon TCG brings us back to the end of the past millennia and reminds us of our youth, as well as the time when our lives were much more carefree and simpler. Lately, Pokémon represent a huge collectible value and the community grew all around the world, but so did the price of cards.
How to play Pokemon TCG and where to learn how to play
Playing Pokemon TCG is easy to learn. With less than an hour, you are ready for your first match. The learning process is also part of the fun. It's best if you have a friend that already knows how to play. The second best way is to look it up on youtube, where you can find a lot of tutorial videos.
VIDEO (Parts of a Pokemon card -Tutorial): https://youtu.be/7x1WppZKi28
Here -> 5 short videos that show how to play Pokemon TCG. Starting with the first already shown up (about the parts of a Pokemon card).
All rules for playing Pokemon TCG are on the official Pokemon site
Collectable value of Pokemon cards
As a card game, Pokemon TCG is less popular than its rivals MTG or Yu-Gi-Oh!, but its value as a collectible is far greater. Pokemon TCG is mostly a collector’s hobi, with only a few interested in playing the card game.
Opening a booster pack with 1st edition Charizard worth 55.000$
“Grading” Pokémon cards
Pokémon cards are some of the most popular cards to be graded by collector’s. Grading cards is done by specialized companies that rate the state of your cards, most often on a scale of 1 to 10. As you can assume, the better the state of the card, it’s value increases. It especially applies to very old cards that survived dozens of years and the transition in the new millenia, while still remaining in near mint condition. The value of cards drastically declines even if the number on scale decreases by 0.1.
You probably heard all about that Charizard sold for the insane price $300.000. If we could only go back to the late 90’s and store our Charizards for a few decades, we would all be driving Ferrari’s and drinking cocktails in our summer beach houses right now!
Anyways, we should stop daydreaming and get back to reality to talk about the companies behind card grading:
- Professional Sports Authenticators (PSA) - The most well known company with a pretty big waiting list
- Beckett Grading Services (BGS) - Often the second option, right behind PSA
- CGC Comics - Very nice display slabs. They offer a little less pricey service than the other companies
Where’s your Charizard when you need it?
Pokemon online (PTCGO)
If you are more interested in playing Pokemon TCG - there is also an online version. You can get online Pokemon cards by cracking up physical booster packs and typing in the code for the online version in the game. That way you can build your physical collection, as well as your digital one. Also you are able to participate in online tournaments, regular matches, or play with your friends. Pokemon Online is free for download and can be played on PC, Mac, Android and iOS tablets. Available for download here.
Where to play Pokemon TCG tournaments in Croatia
Pokemon TCG-s are more of a collector's hobby. So tournaments are rare. Fortunately, Magic Omens often organizes tournaments and Bazzars (events where you can trade your Pokemon cards).
And be sure to connect with one of the Pokemon communities in Croatia.
Pokemon communities in Croatia - For organised play and purchase/sale of individual cards
Most of the passionate Pokemon card sellers and collector’s can be found in facebook groups, which are very active. If you want to know more and be in touch with all the happenings in the Pokemon scene, we strongly advise you to join one or more of them.
Facebook groups for trading and selling Pokemon cards:
- Magic Omens Community (for organized play)
- Pokémon karte Hrvatska (kupi, prodaj, procjeni)
- Pokemon Karte Hrvatska (Trading Card Game)
Where to buy Pokemon cards in Croatia?
There are few places where Pokemon cards can be bought or ordered. These are the official distributors for Pokemon TCG in Croatia:
- Magic Omens - The newest sets and products with great prices
- Carta Magica - Already well known geek/hobby shop in Frankopanska street
- Pokebros - A new small shop with Pokemon products
Which Pokemon cards sell and what to buy
Beginners - If you’ve never seen Pokemon cards and/or want to get as many cards for a low cost.
Collectors - If you are looking for the rarest, shiny and most valuable products for your collection.
Advanced competitive players - If you want to be the best, have the best deck and win against all your opponents in tournaments. While buying cards at a reasonable price.
Pokemon cards for beginners
The best picks for beginners are:
Theme decks - ready to play and contain a high amount of cards
Pokemon TCG Battle Academy. A Boardgame/card game hybrid containing 3 decks and made for 2 players. It is ready to play and easy to learn, which makes it a grat choice for beginners.
Pokemon cards for collectors
Collectors often buy:
- Collection Boxes - Pokemon special edition cards, usually made in one theme. Very fun and highly valuable.
- Collection tins - This product usually contains 4-5 booster packs with a set special promo card.
Collection Box Galarian Rapidash V - Popular product for collectors.
Pokemon cards for advanced and competitive players and products with a high amount of cards
Here you can often find two kinds of products:
- Elite Trainer Box (ETB) - Usually contains 8 -10 booster packs. With them you get special card sleeves, dice, energy cards and others.
- Pokemon Booster Box - A big box containing 36 booster packs (with 10 cards in each one)
Pokemon Elite Trainer Box (ETB) Chilling rain - A product often bought due to it’s high value for it’s cost.
We can all see that Pokémon TCG has come back with a bang! It ows it’s rise in popularity due to nostalgia and its high collectible value. If nostalgia has caught up with you too, take a look at our guide about all Pokemon card products. It could help you with deciding what to purchase, or knowing if you even want to start with this hoby. We still know of nobody who regretted getting into this - hundreds of fun hours await you! Which Pokemon do you choose: Charmander, Squirtle, Bulbasaur or Pikachu? Or maybe none of them, so you could take a nice long nap with Snorlax.
For more TCG’s, see more in our card game guides: