When we say pay attention to types, we are talking about Weakness and Resistance. In the Diamond & Pearl and Platinum sets, Weakness is a factor, but not as heavily as in the Heartgold Soulsilver and newer sets. In HGSS and newer sets, Weakness is x2, which can either give you a huge advantage or put you in a tough spot from the start. It is not impossible to beat someone who plays a deck that you are weak to, but you will have your work cut out for you.
Your main defense against your Weakness really comes in the way you build your deck. If you build a 2-type deck, you should have multiple options of which pokemon you use to attack, so you may be able to avoid weakness altogether. Even if you run a single type deck (say an all fighting/ground type) choose your pokemon wisely. Some fighting types are weak to water, while some are weak to psychic types. A proper mix of the 2 will give you choices about who to set up first. Although limited, there are a few cards (Trainers, Stadiums and even Pokemon) that remove weakness.
The first and most important thing to look for in your opening turns is what your opponent has in play. If you can’t tell right away, pay attention to any energy that they may use or discard in the first few plays. This may tip you off to what is to come. If you know your opponent has your Weakness, then you may want to hold back your attacker and try to counter-attack with it after they knock out one of your pokemon.
If you opponent’s pokemon have Resistance to your type, you will need to calculate the damage you can do before you decide who to attack with. If Resistance lowers your attack to a very small amount of damage (only doing 10 or 20 points of damage) , then it may be best not to waste your turn doing so little. Keeping your strong attacker on the bench for one more turn may benefit you if you can play another energy and power up a stronger attack. If you have a choice, go with a pokemon that they are not resistant to.
Weakness and Resistance are part of the game. Our hope is to teach you, the trainer, to be aware of it, or more importantly to not be caught off guard by it.
Check back on Friday for the last tip (#5) before the tournament on Saturday. We will also list the prizes for the tournament! See you there!