Very Quick Tips: Pokemon Shuffle

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Or, how to not get screwed as badly by microtransactions

Pokémon Shuffle has an under-handed microtransaction system that heavily relies on making you wait to play, unless you pay.

But for some of you, casually picking up five games per day will be enough, and there is some fun to be had when you wade through all the nonsense. Here are some tips to help you stay free.

General tips:

  • Do not feel compelled to spend money. The game will always be there if you decide to wait and come back. There are multiple mechanics meant to entice you to spend cash on the spot, like the Great Ball and the “just five more turns for one Jewel” prompt after a failed level. Resist, and know that any stage is doable with a lucky combo.
  • If you’re going to spend money and can’t help yourself, buy Jewels and cash them out immediately for Hearts if you want to play a long session. Don’t be tempted buy Coins — you do not need them unless you really want a specific Pokémon and have tested whether or not the catch percentage is high.
  • As a general rule you are only going to want to spend Coins on the time extender (Moves +5), priced at 800c. Since you get 100 Coins per win, the way the game is paced is that you’ll do five or six manageable levels before getting to a tougher encounter — perhaps something that limits you to only three turns, or a foe with tons of health. On that note…
  • If you encounter a really tough stage, give it “two tries” before you spend any Coins, Gems, or further Hearts on it. What I mean by that is within two attempts, you should be able to assess the situation and decide the best course of action. Are you close to beating it? Buy the 800 Coin turn extender for that session. Do you need more firepower? Go catch some Pokémon in previous stages and return. There’s no need to waste five Hearts brute-forcing a tough level.
  • When you match, try to look for combos, but if you aren’t that advanced yet just look for “swap matches.” What I mean by that is look around at the space where the piece you are swapping startsand try to see any potential matches. That way when you switch the piece, it will create two matches in one turn.
  • Mega Evolutions are a huge deal in this game. They can clear out entire lines and eliminate obstacles like steel or wooden blocks in an instant. For stages where enemies have powers, try to get your Mega Pokémon buffed up at the start. Enemies generally throw out their nastiest powers later in the round, and if you’re ready early, you’ll have a defense.
  • Speaking of Mega Evolutions, at first it can be confusing as to which Pokémon actually triggers it. It’s always the first in line in your party, but you may not always remember that. Unless there’s a weakness involved, always use the same Pokémon to differentiate the icon. I personally always have Mega Sableye out, because I remember his creepy gem-eyed face.
  • “Check in” daily by hitting the button at the bottom left of the screen. You’ll get a small currency bonus.