Disclaimer: Ludkins Media is a media outlet aimed at providing the most up-to-date TCG news. This is the opinion of one of our writers reflecting on how they juggle two trading card games mainly from a player’s perspective.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many players and collectors have had a little extra time on their hands to focus on their favourite TCGs. For myself, the release of the Digimon ‘Special Booster Ver.1.0’ inspired me to begin collecting from the very beginning. The problem is, I am already an avid collector and player of the Dragon Ball Super CG which has, with the recent release of the ‘Battle Evolution Booster’, left me at a crossroads when deciding which TCG I should spend my disposable cash on. The struggle to split my time and resources between both games has left me asking myself a fundamental question, can players and collectors juggle two TCGs at once?
With the recent and relatively sudden price hikes seen in TCGs like Pokemon, DBS, Digimon, and Yu-Gi-Oh, collecting for most people has become difficult, regardless of putting another TCG into the mix. In many instances, card prices have soared as a result of increased demand leading to market scalpers buying up stock and popular cards for the sole reason of inflating their prices to make a good profit on them. Although this may be good from a business perspective, it is greatly damaging the infrastructure of some TCGs by stopping players from completing their desired decklists or allowing collectors to acquire the cards they want. People trying to battle through price inflation in two different TCGs could find the task impossible or very costly at best.
Entering a new game is becoming impossible
When collectors try and add a second TCG to their roster, they can be met with daunting challenges that aren’t helped by the aforementioned hike in prices. Cards from past sets can get extremely pricey, which might force new collectors to abandon the legacy sets they are interested in. If you are happy to hop into a game and begin collecting from the current set, finding a good balance between two TCGs may come easier.
Even new players are not being spared from market inflation, as the price of some starter decks have risen drastically. In Digimon, for example, new players will have to pay almost triple the amount for the Gaia Red starter deck, as stores are selling out almost instantly. This is scary for new TCGs like Digmon, as these decks are the entry point for a large portion of the audience that they are trying to attract early on. In the DBS CG, new players won’t get the choice of older starter decks, as those that come with a booster pack have now become inflated because of the rarity of the booster pack it comes with. With that being said, there are newer starter decks that have been released by Bandai, so as long as you don’t mind the limited options, those looking to pick the DBS CG to play alongside another TCG won’t have a problem.
When it comes to the Pokemon TCG, multiple decks are still selling at RRP, which gives plenty of selection for new players who favour a particular play style or Pokemon type. Last year, the ‘Pokemon TCG: Battle Academy’ was released, which gave new players the ideal opportunity to enter the game via three themed decks that could be easily understood.
Another TCG that players won’t struggle to enter for the purpose of play would be the Final Fantasy TCG, as all decks are still in print, including the first three, meaning that their prices have remained the same RRP. Collectors will also find it easier to pick the FF TCG as their second game as most Opus sets are still in print and can be bought for RRP on most occasions, although there are exceptions, like Opus XI, which has become incredibly scarce in recent months. You can learn more about this in our article ‘Final Fantasy TCG: Opus XI Price Skyrockets!’
Low stock levels
It seems that every TCG has felt the effect of distribution complications brought on by COVID-19. The lack of available stock has meant that the latest products have been snapped up quite quickly, mostly by pre-orders. This has left many collectors and players struggling to get their hands on packs and boosters to further their collection. Now, if you have a second TCG you are equally interested in, it is not only time consuming trying to track down stock for both, but could also become way too expensive if you are forced to pay the prices set by private sellers.
Will two TCGs be too expensive?
Ignoring the current market prices and distribution issues for the moment, one obvious worry people will have is the expense of buying into two games. You will constantly be asking yourself which one do you invest the most money in, without inadvertently falling behind in the other. When you are focused on just one TCG, you may put funds aside to invest in a new booster set. After that, your bank balance can have a break while you sell and trade unwanted cards from the new set to help get those you need. The problem is, with two TCGs to worry about, the break between having to buy boosters won’t be as long, especially if your other TCG decides to drop one straight after. What’s worse, is when two new boosters drop at the same time, meaning that you either have to focus on one or split your resources – This could mean you miss out on the pulls you were most hoping for.
Of course, if you have enough funds to balance two TCGs, you won’t have a problem buying boosters for both. Also, a savvy collector could sell unwanted cards from both and pool the money together to invest in the cards they want most from any specific game.
A healthy compromise
One way that two TCGs can live harmoniously together is if you choose one to play and the other to collect. This is something I have done myself by focusing more on the competitive side of Dragon Ball Super and collecting Digimon. This means that I can build my deck and pay/trade for the cards I need in the DBS CG, without feeling the urge to spend any more than necessary. This spares me enough money to buy boosters or singles for my Digimon collection and not miss out when buying opportunities arise. Of course, at some point, my priorities may change depending on product releases or my interests.
Another compromise would be to limit the cards you want from both games, whether it is from a collector’s or player’s standpoint, making it easier to obtain both. With that being said, If you are a player that enjoys keeping up with the current Meta, then the money you put aside for your TCGs may leave no room for any other purchases – especially considering the inflation we are seeing currently.
So, can a person juggle two TCGs at the same time? Well, if you can comprise where you make your purchases and won’t feel disheartened or overwhelmed when you are unable to spend as much as you may like in a certain TCG, it’s perfectly achievable. If you have enough disposable income and enough time to dedicate to two TCGs equally, then there will be very little holding you back!
I think it’s important to remember that TCGs are our passion. When they start becoming a financial burden or stress you out, then maybe it’s time to just focus on your favourite one, although that could be a tricky decision to make!
Mathew Parkes – Ludkins Media
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