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Metagame Analysis

Exploring Lost Thunder - The New Decks

This article looks at some of the upcoming decks that are from the newest expansion, Lost Thunder.

11/07/2018 by Metagame Analysis

“Thunder” in the Clouds

Hey 60 Cards readers, we are back with another Metagame Analysis article written by a secretive professional player. This week’s instalment will be going over the new Lost Thunder metagame that will see some new decks emerge heading into the LATAM International and Virginia Regionals.

The goal of this series is to showcase the strength of available content on 60 Cards as we enter a new era of professionalism and content creation. The best part, this series will be absolutely FREE which means that you will always have quality information available to you on a weekly basis. These articles will range in including deck lists, strategies, promo card releases, and other important information as it comes along. That being said, 60 Cards is hoping to win you over with our new strategic plan going forward so feel free to give feedback to help us improve. Let's look at some of the new decks.

Don’t Feel “Lost”

After the release of Lost Thunder, I am sure a few of you might be catching your heads as you try to think of what might be the better decks in our Standard format.

Well, luckily for you, Metagame Analysis is FREE and our team has been testing up a storm. While we aren’t able to cover every new deck weekly, we do have a substantial list of decks to look at. Every deck will use an anchor to take you to that section so you can quickly read about the deck that you want to read about the most.

Lost Thunder Decks

Buzzwole / Lycanroc-GX / Alolan Ninetales-GX

Blacephalon-GX / Naganadel

Alolan Exeggutor / Sceptile

Zoroark-GX / Lycanroc-GX

Lost March

With all of these decks looking strong for upcoming events, let’s look at them in more detail.

Buzzwole / Lycanroc-GX / Alolan Ninetales-GX

This deck will have you excited to play Pokemon again if you were a fan of Buzzwole GX (CIN; 57)  / Lycanroc GX (GRI; 74)  last season because it is an upgrade to that deck. With the release of Alolan Ninetales GX (LT; 132) , quite a few decks are seeing a boost in consistency and this is one of the best examples. Should we use mysterious Guidance to grab a Beast Ring (FLI; 102) ? Sure! How about grabbing a Multi Switch (GRI; 129)  and a  Counter Gain (LT; 170) to use Dangerous Rogue GX with Lycanroc GX (GRI; 74) ? Uhhh, yup! This deck really has plenty of options available and Alolan Ninetales GX (LT; 132)  helps you get there. The strategy of this deck has relatively remained the same, Buzzwole (FLI; 77)  is used to provide chip damage with Sledgehammer, Buzzwole GX (CIN; 57)  can take out big threats, and Lycanroc GX (GRI; 74)  can bring up whatever you want. Alolan Ninetales GX (LT; 132)  adds another element to this strategy by searching out Item cards, having a spread attack, and an option to wipe out an Ultra Beast Pokémon.

One of the cool things in this deck is the inclusion of Ditto Prism Star (LT; 154)  because it can Evolve into either a Lycanroc GX (GRI; 74)  or an Alolan Ninetales GX (LT; 132) . It adds a strategy of flexibility that allows you to surprise your opponent and have more options in the deck. Oh, and before I move onto the next deck, I will tell you one of my favourite plays in this deck. Whenever I am in a pinch, I use Alolan Ninetales GX (LT; 132) ’s Ability, Mysterious Guidance, to search out a Counter Gain (LT; 170)  and an Energy Loto (GRI; 122) . This means that I can use Sublimation GX in a pinch if Alolan Ninetales GX (LT; 132)  is in the Active position or you can use Lycanroc GX (GRI; 74) ’s Dangerous Rogue GX to wipe a big Pokemon off the board. Whichever strategy you use, remember to keep your options open and keep your mind clear.

Blacephalon-GX / Naganadel

One of the new Pokemon from Lost Thunder, Blacephalon GX (LT; 52) , finds synergy with Naganadel in this new archetype, Blacephalon GX (LT; 52)  / Naganadel (LT; 108) . The simplicity in the archetypes name follows through in its linear strategy. The goal of this deck is to use Mind Blown on Blacephalon GX (LT; 52)  over and over again with your stockpile of Energy getting refuelled by using Charging Up on Naganadel (LT; 108) . Beyond that simple two step strategy, the other cards in the deck are used to help expedite that process my making the deck more consistent. Those helpful cards consist of Heat Factory Prism Star (LT; 178) , Sightseer (LT; 189) , Beast Ring (FLI; 102) , and Acro Bike (CLS; 123)

If you have ever found yourself short of enough Energy to use Mind Blown for a bunch of damage, you can always use Burst GX on Blacephalon GX (LT; 52) . Additionally, if you find yourself playing against Pokemon with a low amount of HP, such as Jumpluff (LT; 14) , or Pokemon that suffer from a Psychic-type Weakness, such as Buzzwole (FLI; 77) , you can always use Turning Point on Naganadel (LT; 108) . The idea of this deck is to be as simple as possible to make sure that the deck runs optionally and that has stayed true during our testing. 

Alolan Exeggutor / Sceptile

Do you like eggs? Do you want some green eggs? This deck doesn’t have any ham or any true connections to Dr. Seuss, but it is a lethal threat as we quickly approach the standard format release of Lost Thunder. Alolan Exeggutor (FLI; 2)  gains a huge boost with the release of Shuckle (LT; 16) , a way to accelerate Energy into the Discard Pile, and Sceptile (CLS; 10)  helps out against Ultra Beast Pokemon. The goal of this deck is to do the maximum amount of damage with Tropical Shake while using Grovyle (LT; 21)  to get your Bench setup with more Alolan Exeggutor (FLI; 2) . If you need to do more damage, Shrine of Punishment (CLS; 143) , Choice Band (GRI; 121) , and Lurantis (BW; null)  are all available to help give you a boost if necessary. Sceptile GX (LT; 22)  is more of an afterthought in this deck because it adds the element of having a big HP tank to the deck.

The biggest thing that we can think of when we were testing this deck is to make sure that you can balance using Shuckle (LT; 16)  and keeping a healthy amount of Grass Energy (GEN; 75)  available to attack with. That is likely the biggest flaw in this deck, there just isn’t enough room in the deck to run Energy Recycle System (CLS; 128)  to grab back Grass Energy (GEN; 75)  from the Discard Pile. Looking at the list, it might be possible to cut a copy of Shrine of Punishment (CLS; 143)  for an Energy Recycle System (CLS; 128) , but that would have to be extensively tested. Keep your board loaded with Alolan Exeggutor (FLI; 2) , use Grovyle (LT; 21)  to search out all fo your Grass-type Pokemon, and keep your damage moodier ready to ambush your opponent.

Zoroark-GX / Lycanroc-GX

While the whole community has been drooling over the comeback of Decidueye GX (SUM; 12) , Lost March ( Jumpluff (LT; 14) / Natu (LT; 87) ), and Blacephalon GX (LT; 52) , Zoroark GX (SLG; 53)  has been plotting its revenge in the corner. If you don’t remember, let us remind you, Zoroark GX (SLG; 53)  has been a big deal since its release in Shining Legends a year ago! That being said, it did lose its right hind gal, Brigette (BKT; 134) , but we have our educated friend, Professor Elm's Lecture (LT; 188) , to help us get out our Basic Pokemon. The goal of this deck has largely remained the same, use Zoroark GX (SLG; 53)  for setup, you can attack with Riotous Beating for large amounts of damage, and Lycanroc GX (GRI; 74)  can bring up Pokémon with its Ability. The biggest gains in this deck have been Professor Elm's Lecture (LT; 188)  and Ditto Prism Star (LT; 154) , but those  small shouldn’t be looked down upon, they should be celebrated. The only card that Zoroark GX (SLG; 53)  is missing is Puzzle of Time (BKP; 109) , but not other deck has access to that card either, so there is nothing to worry about.

This list looks like a standard Zoroark GX (SLG; 53)  / Lycanroc GX (GRI; 74)  list, except that the Rockruff (GRI; 73)  and Rockruff (BW; 06)  in this deck have switched to 60 HP, to let Professor Elm's Lecture (LT; 188)  grab them whenever necessary. Ditto Prism Star (LT; 154)  has taken the spot of the third Rockruff (FLI; 75)  in this list because it adds more flexibility by allowing it to Evolve into Lycanroc GX (GRI; 74) , Zoroark GX (SLG; 53) , or even Magcargo (CLS; 24) . The last interesting card in this list is Deoxys (CLS; 68)  because it is especially strong against Chimecho (CIN; 43) , a card that is popular in Malamar (FLI; 51)  variants. Give this list if you are a Zoroark GX (SLG; 53)  fan and let us know how it runs.

Lost March

Long live the spiritual remake of Night March ( Pumpkaboo (PHF; 44) / Lampent (PHF; 42)  / Joltik (PHF; 26) ) in its new form, Lost March, which includes Jumpluff (LT; 14)  and Natu (LT; 87) . The goal of this deck is to boost the damage of the Lost March attack by sending Pokémon to the Lost Zone by using Skiploom (LT; 13) ’s Floral Path to the Sky, Trumbeak (LT; 165) ’s Mountain Peak, and Lost Blender (LT; 181) . You want to observe the maximum amount of HP on their Pokemon and aim to send that many Pokemon to the Lost Zone. Another big pull for this deck is that Professor Elm's Lecture (LT; 188)  can grab three Hoppip on one turn and grab three Skiploom (LT; 13)  the next turn. With all of the consistency available in this deck, like four copies of Tapu Lele GX (GRI; 60) , you should be able to be screaming Lost March for Knock Out turn after turn.

You might be thinking to yourself, is four Tapu Lele GX (GRI; 60)  overkill? Well, don’t forget, this deck needs to play extra Pokemon to send to the Lost Zone with Lost Blender (LT; 181) . We gain the best attributes of the card on both ends because we pick up the extra consistency from being able to use Wonder Tag early in the game and the option to pitch any extra copies to the Lost Zone with Lost Blender (LT; 181) . The Super Boost Energy Prism Star (UPR; 136)  is a slightly odd tech, but it counts as Grass Energy (GEN; 75)  and this deck does have the consistency to get our three Jumpluff (LT; 14) . if absolutely necessary. This strategy is only really strong against Shuckle GX (LT; 195) , a concept that sees light play in Japan, but you can never be too careful, right? Send your Pokemon to the Lost Zone and find your way in the game as you announce Lost March for victory.

What Does This All Mean?

The format has definitely changed from the results of Memphis Regionals and there are some new decks floating around. The biggest thing that we can come to the conclusion to is that decks will all need to be upgraded with Lost Thunder cards to see success heading forward. Blacephalon GX (LT; 52)  / Naganadel (LT; 108)  is super linear which is great for Juniors players, Decidueye GX (SUM; 12)  / Alolan Ninetales GX (LT; 132)  is incredibly consistent, Buzzwole (FLI; 77)  / Lycanroc GX (GRI; 74)  / Alolan Ninetales GX (LT; 132)  is like bringing back an ancient beast, and Lost March can pack a hefty bunch for a deck that looks like bulk.

The key point, we aren’t talking about Buzzwole (FLI; 77)  / Garbodor (GRI; 51)  / Shrine of Punishment (CLS; 143)  anymore, we are moving forward to some new concepts. We are recommending for you to explore plenty of decks in this new Lost Thunder format to make a decision of your own. We can only come out with the new decks right now, but we do expect some of the above listed decks to have a strong showing at the 2018 LATAM International Championships in Sao Paulo, Brazil. With no major tournaments or smaller tournaments featuring Lost Thunder, we are using all of our available resources to make sure we can cover the metagame. If you are going to Brazil, we wish you the best of luck, and if you aren’t, keep your eyes peeled for the results from Brazil. If you still haven’t grabbed cards from Lost Thunder, you should totally check out our updated “buy” list below. 

Updated Lost Thunder Buy List

After testing cards from the new Lost Thunder expansion, we have decided the this "buy" list is more accurate than the buy list that we included a few weeks ago. This should allow you to build every major archetype that has received a thumbs up, with the only exception being the possibility of Zeraora GX (LT; 201)  being playable. If that is so, you can add a playlet of Zeraora GX (LT; 201) , {card 4987}, and a copy of Thunder Mountain Prism Star (LT; 191) . In order to trade for a play set of most every playable card in this set, we recommend investing in 250 - 300 Lost Thunder PTCGO Code Cards. Let’s check out this list of cards.

4x  Hoppip (LT; 11)

4x  Hoppip (LT; 12)

4x  Skiploom (LT; 13)

4x  Jumpluff (LT; 14)

3x  Shuckle (LT; 16)

4x Shuckle-GX (17/214)

4x  Treecko (LT; 20)

4x  Grovyle (LT; 21)

2x  Sceptile GX (LT; 22)

4x  Nincada (LT; 29)

2x Ninjask 30/214

3x  Magcargo GX (LT; 44)

4x  Blacephalon GX (LT; 52)

4x  Blitzle (LT; 81)

4x  Zebstrika (LT; 82)

4x  Natu (LT; 87)

2x  Girafarig (LT; 94)

3x  Shedinja (LT; 95)

4x  Giratina (LT; 97)

2x  Nihilego (LT; 106)

4x  Poipole (LT; 107)

4x  Naganadel (LT; 108)

2x  Onix (LT; 109)

2x  Larvitar (LT; 115)

4x  Alolan Ninetales GX (LT; 132)

4x  Snubbull (LT; 137)

4x  Granbull (LT; 138)

4x  Mimikyu GX (LT; 149)

1x  Ditto Prism Star (LT; 154)

4x  Trumbeak (LT; 165)

2x  Adventure Bag (LT; 167)

3x  Counter Gain (LT; 170)

2x  Faba (LT; 173)

1x  Heat Factory Prism Star (LT; 178)

4x  Lost Blender (LT; 181)

1x  Lusamine Prism Star (LT; 182)

4x  Net Ball (LT; 187)

4x  Professor Elm's Lecture (LT; 188)

4x  Sightseer (LT; 189)

4x  Spell Tag (LT; 190)

Next Stop: Sao Paulo

Well, that concludes this week’s Metagame Analysis! I hope that you have enjoyed this journey and that you look forward to next weeks FREE article.

 

Next week, I will be making an effort to have some more Lost Thunder lists available for your viewing pleasure. It is our hopes that with the content becoming better each week, that you will decide to support our site with a subscription. 

Thanks,

Metagame Analysis

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