You may be an avid Pokemon card collector and a huge fan of the Pokemon franchise, but when it comes to actually playing the Pokemon Trading Card Game, you are totally lost. Having an abundant card collection does not necessarily mean you are going to are be a successful Pokemon card player. The Pokemon TCG takes much more than just having the shiniest or rarest cards of the bunch.
So, how does one tell which cards are good? There are a few things to look for in the attributes of a Pokemon card to tell whether or not it will be good in battle:
1. Attack Efficiency
The first and foremost property to look for in a card is how much damage it can do per energy cost. The best Pokemon cards can do a lot of damage for very little energy cost (1 to 3 energy). This has been a constant throughout the duration of the Pokemon TCG. It does not really matter whether the Pokemon is a basic or evolution, common or super rare, it if does more damage per energy card than the other Pokemon cards out there, it is more than likely going to be a good card. If a card has a bad damage to energy card requirement ratio, then you should think twice about using it.
2. Pokemon Powers and Pokemon Bodies
Many of the great Pokemon card released have had awesome Poke Powers and Poke Bodies. From the early days of Blastoise doing "Rain Dance" to current times where Claydol is a staple in all decks with its "Cosmic Power" Pokemon Power, there have always been decks that have relied on these abilities. Look for Pokemon that have outstanding Pokemon Powers or Pokemon Bodies, they probably are winning cards.
3. HP (Hit Points)
The more HP a Pokemon has, the harder it will be to knock out. This means it will be able to attack your opponent more times than a Pokemon of lower HP would be able to. High HP should not be the first quality you look for in a card, but when comparing two cards with similar attacks, the one with more HP may be a better card.
I hope this article has educated you and given you some insights into the world of Pokemon cards. You should now be able to take a look at your cards from another perspective to tell which cards are "good" and which cards are just rare.