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My son really likes Pokémon, and owns a lot of cards. He mostly plays the video games and reads the books, but wants to build a Pokemon deck to play as well. We understand the basic rules. I know decks can only have four of each type of card (except basic energy) and must have exactly 60 cards total.

What I would like to know is if there is a recommendation for how many cards of each type to have in a deck. I've played Magic: The Gathering, but applying the same logic used there doesn't seem to work because energy behaves differently than mana. I've read some web sites that have recommendations, but when we play with those ratios it seems like I never draw enough basic Pokémon.

We have been trying to adjust things, but I thought I would see if there were some recommendations from people who are currently playing Pokémon.

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did the recommendations you read mentioned: 20 Pokemon, 12 trainers, and around 28 energies? It fits with most decks you can find at: – user545 May 15 '11 at 13:57
@Repecmps: Yeah, that is what I read. – Jim McKeeth May 24 '11 at 0:47
This heavily depends on the Trainer cards you have available. If you can play a bunch of card that get you new cards or even let you search your deck for Pokémon, you need less Basic Pokemon. If you rely on your one card per turn, you will need many more Basic Pokémon if you want to have them available when you need them. – scenia Feb 20 '14 at 9:42
up vote 10 down vote accepted

I play regularly with my kids. The energy card count depends heavily on the pokemon you use. I have gone as low a 8 in a deck where all the pokemon had effective attacks at 1 energy and a retreat cost of 0 or 1. I have gone as high as 28 or 30 when the deck was based on pokemon that discarded energy to attack and/or took 3 or 4 energy to have an effective attack.

When building a new deck we usually start at 16-18 energy adjusting up or down by a few as outlined above. Then we tweak after some playing games. My kids, who have more time than I do, will often build a deck then "goldfish" it. ie play out a game solo to see if the needed energy arrive as fast as they can be played.

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  • 30 pokemon (includes evolutions)
  • 12 trainer cards
  • 18 energy

Try to focus on two types of pokemon good type sets are water-fire, fire-psychic, and water fighting. You can also have a few normal type pokemon and still be efficient.

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