Browsing "Pokemon"
Mar 16, 2017 - Pokemon    No Comments


As most of you know, I am very new to the world of Pokemon TCG so I’m taking in all that I can. I’m reading up on websites like Pokebeach or the TCGO stuff on Reddit but the main thing I’m doing is listening to YouTube channels during my work day.

My day job is basically maintaining a database and running reports, so it’s perfect for listening to podcasts, videos and stuff that can keep my mind occupied.


I have subscribed to several YouTube channels focused on Pokemon TCG, but, honestly, I’m more excited to see notifications from some over others…all of the ones I follow are good but there are some that I specifically look for on a daily basis.

Here is my list of my top 5 with a couple of “honorable mentions” thrown in….they aren’t in any type of order but they are the 5 I go to first.

The Meta Deck – I posted about these guys before- they are one of the first channels I found and Safraz does a great job of explaining decks- not just building them. I really don’t like videos where someone just shows you their deck build, without showing you HOW to actually play the deck…knowing how to play it is the key point in being successful. He does a good job of making decks for the Shaymin and Non-Shaymin players and he’s videos are a great way to learn the basic techniques to the game.

The Pokemon Evolutionaries – Professor K and N are some of my son’s favorite Pokemon TCG folks, so I had to check them out. The channel is a great combination of the PTCG and PTCGO- from doing fan mail, to decks to opening new product and giving you an idea of what to expect when you spend your money. They also do a great job of trying to focus older set as well, like opening up 1st Edition Jungle packs. I will admit, there is a lot of goofiness going on, which takes a little getting used to but, once you do, every video is highly enjoyable.

Omnipoke – This channel is mostly ran by Joe (who is a commentator for streams) with Jack and a few others making for great conversation. They do a great job of building decks and showing how they work, but I love them for the 3-4 hours long “live” streams that they post…now, when I watch them on YouTube, they aren’t “live” but it’s cool to listen to them answer questions from viewers, build decks suggested by views or just play against viewers. On top of all of that, they are a great channel to get the heads up on the best decks for up coming events and they do an amazing job of really breaking down the current “meta”.

PTCGRadio– AKA The Wossy – this is another one of my first YouTubes and it mostly focuses on the newest stuff coming out. Most of Ross’s videos are quick and to the point and focus on a specific card that is coming up and how it will affect the meta in the future. Ross is also a commenter for streams so he has some great commenting videos of “real life” matchups. If you need to know what is coming out soon- this is the channel to be watching. Ross also has a Podcast called “PTCGRadio” which is way more in depth and is a great way to hear interviews and really know what is going on in the real world of Pokemon TCG (and not just the online version.)

Next up is actually two channels in one- YellowSwellow and YellowSwellow TCG– these are ran by Dennis and this is another great “best of both worlds” channels as Dennis plays in a ton of tournaments but is also big online as well. He does a great job of keeping folks updated as well as building new decks and trying new stuff…such as a an ALL PIKACHU DECK! While The Meta Deck goes into more detail (my opinion), Dennis is more entertaining with his voices and intensity. Also, Dennis has videos that deal with PokemonGo and Pokemon Duel as well.

I do have a few “honorable mentions” that I’m just now following but really seem promising.

Demon Snowking (DSK) – this is kind of a “local favorite” since he is in my area (sort of). He seems to be the “newer” guy on the block but already has a ton of great content focusing on both real and online aspects of the game.

Last, but no where near least is Sheriff Crazy….honestly, he doesn’t post as much as I would love because his videos are entertaining. It looks like he mostly focuses more on the online stuff but I would love to see more uploads from him.

I’m sure there are TONS more channels out there that I just haven’t found yet and hopefully I’ll discover them during a down time when these other guys haven’t posted anything new.

AND yes…there are a few that I’ve found that I just can’t watch….a few folks with HUGE amounts of subscribers but I just can’t do it….I’ve tried! I won’t bad mouth anyone because everyone in this gaming community seems really awesome- let’s just say they don’t match up with my taste buds.

Love, Peace and Sharkyness!

Mar 9, 2017 - Pokemon    No Comments

Call Me Scrubachu

I’ve been playing Pokemon for several months now and I’ve noticed one big thing that I would like to throw my 2 Pidgeys in about…..fancy cards.

I watch a lot of Poke Tubers and they love to use the flashy cards- the full arts, secret rares, etc and that is all fine and dandy but it can really throw people off and on top of that, I think some players find it very intimidating and I’m here to tell you…don’t.

The thing to remember is- the amazing looking secret rare Ultra Ball does EXACTLY what the basic Ultra Ball does- there isn’t anything special about it.

Now, if you are talking about cards as a collector, then YES…that gold Ultra Ball means way more…but when it comes down to the actual game- they are identical.

When I first started playing, I would play against someone with some fancy cards and think “I don’t have a chance against someone this good! Look at them there fancy cards!” Then I started beating a lot of them and I quickly understood that they don’t really mean much.

I remember pulling a full art Shaymin EX when I first started and I traded it for tons and tons and TONS of amazing cards…simply because it was full art….while my regular Shaymin does exactly the same ability.

I pulled one of those fancy cards with some of my first packs, before I even knew what Shaymin EX was…..before I even understood 99% of the game- I was completely lost but I had one of the fancy cards and it didn’t make me any better of a player.

I’ve seen some videos calling folks that use the basic stuff – “scrubs”…well then…call me Scrubachu!

The more I watch the folks on YouTube, the more I understand something else….a lot of those folks get tons and tons of FREEBIES for advertising, so while they have 4 secret rare Ultra Balls, there is a very good chance they didn’t really cost them that much out of pocket, while Scrubby over here is trying to pull together $4.19 to get my Pokemon fix from the local Wal-Mart.

The majority of the Pokemon community I have been in contact with are amazing people but there are a few that look down on us age challenged newbies with the scrubby deck of non-gold Ultra Balls and I’m here to say…don’t let them!

Focus on the mechanics of the game and having fun and if you happen to pull something fancy, awesome…but don’t feel bad because that regular art Ultra Ball for a regular art Shaymin EX will still give you more cards in your hand….it’s WHAT you do with those cards that actually matter.

PLUS…on top of all of this- the regular art Shaymin EX just looks better than the FA Shaymin EX anyway!

Here is an analogy for my redneck readers… can have the nicest looking paint job in NASCAR but it doesn’t matter if you can’t drive in a circle.

Love, Peace and Sharkyness!

Feb 23, 2017 - Pokemon    No Comments

My First Pokemon Card 

Ok, well…not my first but the one that got me into this mess. 

I’ve been a card collector since 1987- I took several years off from time to time but always came back to it…everything EXCEPT gaming cards! I would collect sports cards, movie, music, Garbage Pail Kids…any cards I could get my hands on, but I didn’t get gaming cards and didn’t bother with them.

During my teenage/young adult years, I would buy entire collections at flea markets or yard sales and sometimes Pokemon cards would be in there….I thought Pikachu was cute so I kept a few of those but I would sell the others because I had no interest. 

About 5 years ago, I got back into trading cards and quickly realized the bottom had dropped out and most of the cards I had in my collection was worthless, so I started Commons4Kids and started giving my commons to kids around KY.

Around the same time, my son started getting into Pokemon cards- he didn’t play the game but the cards were kid friendly and he thought they were cute and I really wanted him to get into trading cards so I was all for it. He was strictly Pokemon though…he hated every other trading card, so my only option was just to donate most of them. An addition was that, if he got doubles, I could add them to donations and help teach him about charity. 

He would talk about Pokemon all of the time and show me cards but I still wasn’t really into it….then he brought me a card and told me that it looked like us, so I put it in some plastic and put it on my shelf. I still wasn’t into Pokemon but it was a cute card and there was a lot of meaning behind him giving it to me, so it become special.

Fast forward several years and he loves Pokemon…..then Pokemon GO comes out and I downloaded it for him, quickly realizing that it was amazing so I started playing and he played on his mom’s phone. Eventually, we got him a phone so we could all play. We also realized that the codes in his Pokemon packs were actually for an online game, which he showed no interest in…so I set it up just to see what it was. I already have the Topps Digital Cards on my phone and just figured it was another way to collect them….and it was, sort of. You use the codes to get packs to actually play the game online! 

Soooooo many codes we just tossed because we had no clue…it makes me cry now that I think about it. (RIP all the digital Shaymin’s from Roaring Skies that went into the trash….)

SO…long story short, I started trying to learn to play the game and the more I played the more I got addicted and, now…here I am….PokeMaster sharkAchu. 

Well…PokeApprentice maybe? PokeNotGreatAtTheGameButHighlyEnjoyIt maybe??? 

Who knows…

It’s an amazing lifestyle- it’s not JUST a game…it’s a way of life and it’s WAY better than just stressing on Trump destroying the world. 

Now, the card was Ursaring from Legendary Treasures and it’s extremely cute and does look like my son and I. As far as the card being played in a deck, it’s not that great of a card….4 energy (or 2 DCE) with only a chance of doing 0-150 damage isn’t really great. That much energy to flip zero heads and hit for nothing would be heartbreaking! I could see it being used to maybe discard a few Teddiursas and using the Picnic Weather attack to bring them back to your bench with some energy to build up another Ursaring with better attacks. 

Either way, the card is really cute and all sparkly and that is always awesome!

I did happen to catch one in the wild on the night that Generation 2 was released in Pokemon GO with decent stats and I’ve powered him up to full power and even put him in a few gyms. Easily in the top 5 of my favorite Pokemon.

If you play, add me – SharkyHitchens! 

Love, Peace and Sharkyness!

Feb 16, 2017 - Pokemon    No Comments


My world changes almost daily…the things I was into last week is probably not the things I’m into this week with the exception of a few things- my wife, trading cards and my love for Jennifer Aniston. 

There are things I have remained into but they come and go in intensity like darts, wrestling, Lego Mini Figures, POP figures, video games, etc. 

I got into something several months ago and honestly, I see it becoming one of those things that never goes away; as the kids would said…”it’s life.” (yes, I’m still #nWo4Life as well)

My son has been into Pokemon cards for years now, not so much playing the game but actually collecting the cards, which works for me because I run an international trading card charity that donates trading cards to kids. I didn’t care that much to buy cards for my son because all duplicates went directly into donations so it was a win/win.

Then along came Pokemon GO and we started playing that as a family- going out and driving around or getting some MUCH needed walking in and it was a game that we could all play, regardless of our skill level and something we could do as a family. Sure, we could set around and play board games but why not get out into the world!

Pokemon came out 20 years ago and I never gave a crap about it; I was into sports cards and thought stuff like Magic The Gathering and Pokemon was just stupid, pointless and worthless. (One of my life’s biggest regrets!)

I was buying Pokemon cards for my son and he was talking about Pokemon stuff constantly and he would show me a card and I would be like “eh, that is pretty cool.” Then we realized what code cards were…we had just been throwing them away, but we learned that we could set up an account and use them to get a digital pack of Pokemon cards that you can collect and use to play online…so why toss them? We could also donate those to kids who play online or use them as prizes!

We started building up a decent amount of online cards, his collection was growing and all the duplicates allowed us to be able to give Pokemon cards to kids that we saw out walking around playing…suddenly, this little hobby was doing a ton of things! We even donated a ton of Pokemon cards to charity events that focused on kids and Pokemon GO.

I started playing Pokemon online, learning to build decks and using some of our collection to build real life decks that my son and I play against each other. 

Now…I’m pretty hooked- I’ve been watching YouTube channels like crazy, learning about every card and decks and the best way to play them and it is amazing. 

Now, I’m not great…probably not even good…but I do consider myself an average to decent player. I’ve never been to any real life competitions and I’m still learning….which at almost 40 years old, probably makes me one of the oldest newbies in the game but I highly recommend getting your kids into this amazing hobby. I also recommend getting your parents and grandparents into it as well!!! Everyone can play!

It can be expensive and that sucks but it’s amazing on so many levels and a great way to offset the money you put into the hobby is to donate your doubles. I know that if I buy a booster box for $100, I’m going to get a few cards to add to my collection, a ton of online cards and a TON of duplicates to put into future donations. For me, when you add all of that value, it’s a no brainer! We are already up to about 1500 cards to donate just from OUR collection. In all honesty, we don’t get many Pokemon card donations (about 1 per year) but that is why it’s so amazing; MY donations area a great way to offset all of the sports cards we get and it allows us to get Pokemon cards to younger kids or kids who just aren’t into sports. 

On top of all of this, it allows me to understand the donations my charity gets and allows me to be able to keep our promise, as far as Pokemon cards. When someone donates a card with a book value of $25 or more…we contact them to send it back because we don’t want to rip anyone off. In the past, I made it very clear that I had NO clue about those types of cards so people were donating at their own risk. (If uou donate Magic The Gathering cards or other gaming cards, you are still on your own because I don’t know anything about them and have no plans to learn. Sorry.)

Pokemon is a HUGE hobby, from cards to video games to stuffed animals. YES, I have my two favorite Pokemon setting by my side of the bed- Cubone and Pikachu! (and yes…I’m almost 40 years old…which leads me to my next section of this post!)

I’m almost 40 years old and I play Pokemon TCG and a lot of people can get really disrespectful about that. Let’s get a few things out there- I’m happily married and have been with my wife for going on 14 years. We have a 10 year old son that has more than he needs and we both have full time jobs. I haven’t lived with my mom since I graduated high school, I’ve never gotten government assistance and I’ve had the same job for almost 12 years- even winning an “Outstanding Employee Award” a few weeks ago. 

Basically, I’m not a jobless, lowlife that lives in his parents basement and the folks that I know, who do play Pokemon, aren’t either. 

On top of all of that, I have found a way to take the hobbies that I love and use them to hopefully make the world a better place through my trading card charity- I have figured out a way to do what I love and help others and a way to not feel like I’m just wasting money.

I would call myself a successful adult….and yet “I’m an adult who plays children’s games!”

The Pokemon TCG is basically poker meets chess (I was in the chess club in middle school) and I don’t think many people would make fun of an “adult chess player.”

Not only do you have to be good at math and pretty smart overall to be a decent Pokemon player, you have to constantly have your mind going…honestly, it’s WAY more complex than chess.

But the bonuses continue…at least for me- there is a ton of stress relief in sorting cards, coming up for deck ideas, just wasting a stress free hour or two playing and bringing smiles to kids by handing out Pokemon cards randomly.

So far, the people I have dealt with or watched play have been awesome people and the folks we have met through Pokemon GO have seemed very welcoming and friendly. I went to my first card shop in YEARS and picked up some Pokemon cards (for myself and donation) and those people were extremely friendly.

There is NO downside to Pokemon…unless maybe my son and I drive my wife nuts….but other than that- NONE. The only downside for a regular person would be the cost, but I have taken care of that by donating duplicates to kids. 

YOU can do that too.

Please understand that we LOVE getting your donations but you don’t have to send them to us…YOU can donate your Pokemon cards to kids. Pokemon is HUGE right now, and while we can find homes for all the Pokemon cards we get donated, it’s really easy to find homes in your area as well.

If you play Pokemon GO….keep some cards with you to hand out to kids you see playing- every single kid we have handed cards to have been ecstatic! 

I’m almost 40 years old and have NO shame in saying that I’m working towards becoming a Pokemon Master! 

If you play the Pokemon TCGO- feel free to add me- SharkyHitchens. Maybe we can play a couple games or just chit chat about new sets coming out.

Love, Peace and Sharkyness