I forgot to send the last post to social networking feeds it seems, whoops.
This is going to a general write up applicable to any game or hobby, simply sticking within your means.
You look around the TCG landscape and associated blogs aand boards you'll always see discussions about meta game and competitive play, but then look at the prices of those play environments and clearly they aren't for everyone, for one playing competitively isn't always affordable.
Now while I typically use GBP sterling when I quote prices due to being based in the UK this time around perhaps it is best to use US$ for my point.
Playing Pokemon standard competitively right now you're going to want to use Tapu Lele GX.
A card with a $33 market price on tcgplayer.com alongside this you're running Mew EX, which is Market Price of >$50 per sheet, (Though I think that card might be phasing out of Standard soon? I don't know the set rotation in Pokémon yet.)
With the most recent Mt:G expansion of Amonkhet, ok sure nothing is overly expensive with the most expensive in set card, Liliana, Death's Majesty only clocking in at $12.97 TCG Market Price but there's more than just Amonkhet in standard even so Magic's Starndard format has a low entry price compared to how it has been but it's still a fair amount of cash to enter competitively when you begin to add individual prices together.
Yu-Gi-Oh is having a rough transitional period as it moves towards what is being called Link Meta and it's hard to see what prices are going to be like when things stabilise but since the new mechanic of Link Summons is forced onto anyone still wishing to use extra deck gambit it it does mean that any good Links will be snapped up and in turn their prices rise up.
Vanguard, my own deck that I've build and updated over time, the current build values in at $400+ and it isn't among the best decks in the format, if you want those you have to go higher still. Even an entirely non viable casual deck right now can set you back $150+ depending on specific inclusion.
For that price you be playing a self contained card game plus ALL it's expansions. And don't even start me on the cost of building a Warhammer army.
My advice is simple, stick within your affordable means and additionally encourage your local game store to host formats that are affordable and welcoming for new players to a game like theme deck leagues in Pokemon, or sealed leagues in any TCG where such a format is functionally supportive. If you, or people you know want to get into a game or games but they can't afford the investment to stand up to veteran players then introduce formats that lowers everyone to fighting on the same playing field. It will prove to be more inclusive and possibly even prove to be more fun than what you may have been doing otherwise. Also if you can't afford to buy a board game for yourself make use of demo games that a store location may allow you to use while within the shop.
I wanted to say this to fill the silence between seasons and in the build up towards Huddersfield Weiss and Buddyfight and beyond that TFN2017 and the subsequent meet-up/indie tournament that takes place there.
Whilst I am here though I shall extend a hand to invite anyone interested to join me over in my own Discord space with a couple of the Brave's Buddies floating around there to.
No pictures involved in this post but really not needed either.
For now V-Out.