TCGs: Recommendations & Where To Start!

TCGs: Recommendations & Where To Start!

Are you ready to embark on an epic journey filled with strategy, excitement, and unforgettable battles? Look no further than the thrilling realm of trading card games (TCGs)!

Boosters, sets, and accessories – we have a curated collection for all at Cool! Merch. So, whether you're a seasoned veteran or a newcomer eager to dive in, there's something for everyone in the world of TCGs. In this guide, we'll explore our top recommendations, from the legendary Magic: The Gathering, to the enchanting Disney Lorcana; we also break down where we suggest your start, if you’re new to trading card games or are buying for someone else. So, gather your decks and let's dive into the action.

Magic: The Gathering (MTG)

Magic: The Gathering, affectionately known as MTG, is the granddaddy of all trading card games. Created in 1993 by Richard Garfield, MTG boasts a rich history and lore that spans multiple planes of existence. From high fantasy to sci-fi and even crossovers with beloved franchises like Lord of the Rings and Doctor Who, MTG offers endless possibilities for players with different interests to suit all. (High-fantasy sets like the Wilds of Eldraine and Magic the Gathering: The Lord of the Rings are my personal favourite!)

In MTG, players construct decks using a variety of spells, creatures, and lands, each representing different colours and playstyles. Whether you prefer the aggressive tactics of Red, the cunning control of Blue, or the life-giving powers of White, there's a colour for you. Whichever colour you choose, it’s important to keep the ‘mana-curve’ in mind; having a healthy mix of spells with a high and low mana cost, is a great idea! And different game formats can require a different number of cards in your deck, usually 40-60 cards, with ‘Commander’ games (one of the most popular formats) requiring a minimum of 100 cards per deck. 

To start your MTG journey, consider picking up a Commander deck. Each deck contains 100 cards so it can be played straight out of the box. It also contains a deck box that can store all 100 cards, life wheel, 1 strategy insert, and 1 reference card. Another good shout is a Spellslinger set, which includes everything you need to jump into the action.

Pokémon TCG

Step into the world of Pokémon and experience the thrill of battling with your favourite pocket monsters. The Pokémon TCG brings the beloved video game franchise to life in card form, allowing players to build decks around their favourite Pokémon and trainers. 

With a wide range of cards to collect, from rare holographic Charizards to powerful EX and GX cards, the Pokémon TCG offers endless possibilities for deck building and strategy. You'll need 60 cards, with a maximum of 4 cards with the same name allowed in your deck. Cards like Pokémon V, Pokémon VMAX, and Pokémon VSTAR introduce special rules and all count as separate cards (even if they feature the same Pokemon).

The deck will comprise of Pokemon, Trainer, and Energy cards. Creature cards to engage in battle, action cards used for strategising and cards to power your moves, respectively. A good rule of thumb is to split your deck evenly - 20 of each.

To get started, consider picking up a Battle Deck or a Deluxe Battle Deck, which come ready to play with a 60-card deck and essential accessories with the deluxe. Elite Trainer Boxes are also a fantastic option, providing energy cards, boosters, storage boxes, and more to kickstart your deck-building journey. Additionally, the VMAX League Battle Deck offers a powerful playable deck right out of the box, perfect for those eager to jump into competitive play. So grab your Poké Ball and get ready to become a Pokémon TCG master!


2020 saw the re-release of a new iteration of the Digimon TCG. Much closer to its Japanese iteration, the digital adventure allows players to command their own team of digital monsters in epic battles. In Digimon, players construct decks using Digimon, options, tamers, and digitama cards (to ‘digivolve’ their Digimon in the field), each serving a unique role in the game.

With no resource system like mana in MTG, instead opting for a memory gauge system, Digimon offers unparalleled scope in deck building, allowing players to focus on crafting their ideal strategy. That said, players will actually need two playable card decks. One standard deck, containing 50 cards of Digimon, option and tamer cards. The other, a five card Digitama deck (which can contain the same character so long as the cards offer different effects.) Generally it is best to stick to the same colour for your deck – option cards unusable in tandem with cards of different colour. The same goes for digivolving Digimon!

So what better way to start than with a 50+ card starter deck? Each comes with a carefully curated lineup of Digimon, each with unique attributes and abilities that can be used together. Since you really can lose yourself in building the perfect strategy, booster packs are also a great way to find rare and powerful Digimon to add to your deck (or collection!) Now that the Exceed Apocalypse has dropped, it’s a great time to change into a digital champion (to save the digital world).


Nothing quite beats the OG world of duelling. That’s right, we’re talking about the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG, where players summon powerful monsters, cast potent spells, and set cunning traps to outwit their opponents. With a rich history spanning anime, manga, and video games, Yu-Gi-Oh! has captivated audiences around the world for decades, and it’s not slowing down.

In Yu-Gi-Oh!, players construct decks to carry them through six phases of play – ‘draw’, ‘standby’, ‘main 1’, ‘battle’, ‘main 2’, and ‘end’ respectively. Using monster, spell, and trap cards, each offering unique abilities and effects. That said, players will need a deck of 40-60 cards to play Yu-Gi-Oh, as well as an extra deck of 0-15 special monsters (containing the words: ‘fusion’ ‘synchro’ ‘xyz’ or ’link’ on the card!)

To master the art of duelling and rise through the ranks to become a true Duelist King, we recommend starting your journey with a starter deck. These are generally built around a specific character's deck from the anime series, and are designed with new players in mind. They even include a guide as well as 5 special token cards and playable structure deck. You can even buy 2-player starter decks so you can start duelling with a friend. Explore booster packs, too, containing 9 random cards, for a chance to find rare and powerful cards to further enhance your deck. (They’re also very fun to open…)

Disney Lorcana

The latest selection on this list is Disney’s Lorcana, a unique TCG set in the enchanting realm of Lorcana featuring beloved characters from Disey’s history. Players take on the role of Illumineers, wielding powerful cards inspired by these classic Disney characters and stories. The ‘Lorebook’ is where these stories and lore converge - players must search for missing lore.

In Disney Lorcana, cards are divided into different "Inks" or colours, each representing a different aspect of the game. Whether you prefer the protective abilities of Amber, the brute force of Steel, or the aggro tactics of Ruby, there's an Ink for you. To play Lorcana, you need a 60 card deck - unlike some of the other trading card games on this list, the majority of cards in your deck will be character cards. 

Collector’s (and Disney lovers) will appreciate ‘Storyborn’ and, for example, ‘Floodborn’ designs. These are basic or set specific-themed iterations of beloved characters.

As with other games, start your adventure with a starter deck, which contains everything you need to play against another player. It contains a fully playable 60-card deck, damage counters, a paper playmat, tracker token, and sheet of rules for the uninitiated. It also contains a BONUS booster pack.Speaking of which, dive into 12-card booster packs for a chance to find rare and powerful cards to add to your collection. A little unsure? Build a dream deck online first!

In conclusion, trading card games offer endless opportunities for fun, strategy, and competition. Whether you're drawn to the fantasy worlds of MTG and Yu-Gi-Oh!, the nostalgia of Pokémon, the digital adventures of Digimon, or the enchantment of Disney Lorcana, there's a TCG waiting for you. So gather your friends, build your decks, and prepare for an epic journey filled with excitement and adventure! Already play and need some accessories to store your goodies? We have a huge range of deck boxes, dice, playmats, card sleeves of varying sizes and more. Take a look!
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