Experts' corner

Eye on Japan

Insight on Japan - Lost Thunder Decks

This article looks over some of the top performing decks around local shop tournaments in Japan. These lists feature Lost Thunder Cards so you can start your testing early!

10/25/2018 by Eye on Japan

Hello from Japan

Hello 60cards readers! This series of articles is aiming to give the world the opportunity to peek at decks as they experience success in Japan! This series of articles will be originally written by Yuki Fujimori / PokeAd Team and it will be elaborated by Zach Lesage.

Also shout out to Limitlesstcg and their owesome feature generating japanese proxie. If you have not tried it check it out!

Together we hope that you learn more about the upcoming metagame and enjoy reading about what is going on in Japan. The article today will be focused on some local tournament winning decks that feature cards that will be released in our Lost Thunder set. Hopefully you find a new deck to try out in this article and enjoy this refreshing content. 


Blacephalon GX / Naganadel

Blacephalon GX (SM8) (JP; null)  / Naganadel (SM8) (JP; null)  recently won the MINT Sannomiya local tournament in Juniors, Seniors, and it placed second in the Masters division. With this level of success, the deck has attracted plenty of attention in Japan and is seemingly a strong choice for players worldwide as Lost Thunder gets released. The deck focuses on using Blacephalon GX (SM8) (JP; null)  to do massive amounts of damage with its Mind Blown attack and has a supporting cast of cards to make the deck work all game long.

Naganadel (SM8) (JP; null)  can get these Energy in play with its Charge Up Ability, Beast Ring (FLI; 102)  can quickly get Energy Cards attached to your Ultra Beast Pokemon, and you can always attach an Energy from your hand per turn. In order to make sure that you have Energy in your Discard Pile to use Naganadel (SM8) (JP; null) , this deck places a priority on Sightseer (SM7/SM8) (JP; null)  to allow this deck to work. All of these cards work together to make sure that Blacephalon GX (SM8) (JP; null)  is always getting those big attacks off all game long. Let’s look at the deck list that was played at the local tournament.

The changes that might be made in this deck are enhancing the Supporter cards in this deck to make it more consistent. This may include adding additional cards such as Cynthia (UPR; 119) , Lillie (UPR; 125) , Sightseer (SM7/SM8) (JP; null) , and Guzma (BUS; 115) . I have seen some lists that have included Plumeria (BUS; 120)  as another way to get Energy Cards in the Discard Pile, but it is more of a metagame call. Team Rocket’s Harassment (JP; null)  is similar to the N from our Expanded format, but it is not as lethal. Again, the Supporter line here could see some work, but this looks like a great base list to start your Lost Thunder testing. 

Decidueye-GX / Alolan Ninetales-GX

Decidueye GX (SUM; 12)  / Alolan Ninetales GX (JP; 132)  is a new take on a Decidueye GX (SUM; 12)  deck that recently placed well at the MINT Sannomiya local tournament in Japan. With the ban of Forest of Giant Plants (ANO; 74)  and the loss of important partner cards such as Vileplume (ANO; 3) , Decidueye GX (SUM; 12) took a dip in popularity. However, with new consistency boosting cards like Alolan Ninetales GX (JP; 132)  and Garbodor (BKP; 57)  being rotated out of Standard, Decidueye GX (SUM; 12)  stands to be a true contender.

The strategy of this deck is to get plenty of Basic Pokemon into play, Evolve into Alolan Ninetales GX (JP; 132)  to search out Item Cards with Mysterious Lead, and eventually create an army of Decidueye GX (SUM; 12) . Swampert (CLS; 35)  adds consistency, Alolan Vulpix (GRI; 21)  adds consistency,  Decidueye GX (SUM; 12)  can use Feather Arrow throughout the game, and Alolan Ninetales GX (JP; 132)  can put in work with White Silver Wind. With a strategy this compelling, it looks like it can be one of better decks in the format.

Swampert (CLS; 35)  is a consistency booster in this deck because it can draw cards similar to how Zoroark GX (SLG; 53)  would use Trade. A quick bonus is that Swampert (CLS; 35) is a single Prize Card Pokemon in comparison to Zoroark GX (SLG; 53)  being a double Prize Card Pokemon. You can Evolve Mudkip (CLS; 33)  into Swampert (CLS; 35)  easily because Alolan Ninetales GX (JP; 132)  can use Mysterious Lead to search out Rare Candy (CLS; 142) . The other benefit of playing another Stage Two Pokemon is that it is easier to activate Super Boost Energy Prism Star (UPR; 136)  to gain those extra Energy. Larvitar (SM8) (JP; null)  is not a commonly used Pokemom, but this seemingly random card is strong against Pokemon with a Fighting-type Weakness, such as Zoroark GX (SLG; 53) . Its attack does and additional 70 more damage the opposing Pokemon has 30+ damage on it. How can we make that work? Well, Decidueye GX (SUM; 12)  can use its Feather Arrow Ability a few times and Alolan Ninetales GX (JP; 132)  can use White Silver Wind to add some spread damage. Lastly, Professor Elm’s Lecture (SM7) (JP; null)  is a huge addition to this deck because most of the Basic Pokemon in this deck have 60 HP. During most of your opening turns, you will want to use this card to make sure you can get your important Basic Pokemon down to Evolve next turn.

Lost March

Lost March ( Jumpluff (SM8) (JP; null) / Natu (SM8) (JP; null) ) is one of the most hyped decks in Japan because it is similar to Night March ( Pumpkaboo (PHF; 44) / Lampent (PHF; 42)  / Joltik (PHF; 26) ) from a few years ago. The deck focuses on getting Jumpluff into play quickly, by using Flower Way in the Sky on Skiploom (SM8) (JP; null) , and getting Pokemon into the Lost Zone.

Natu (SM8) (JP; null)  has the same attack as Jumpluff (SM8) (JP; null) for a Double Colorless Energy (SLG; 69) , but you need to watch out for its low amount of HP. Cards like Trumbeak (SM8) (JP; null)  and Lost Mixer (SM8) (JP; null)  allow you to get even more Pokemon into the Lost Zone which means that this deck will be quite speedy. With consistency cards like Professor Elm’s Lecture (SM7) (JP; null)  and Net Ball (SM8) (JP; null)  being released in Lost Thunder, this deck seems like it might be an early frontrunner worldwide.

The one thing that I have noticed when playing this deck is that you need to pace yourself and plan your Knock Outs accordingly. While it is usually beneficial to use Mountain Migration on Trumbeak (SM8) (JP; null)  whenever your get it, you might want to save the Trumbeak (SM8) (JP; null)  to discard with an Ultra Ball (SLG; 68) . Additionally, you can waste plenty of resources by blindly playing Lost Mixer (SM8) (JP; null)  for some extra damage which can quickly put you at risk of losing early. Keep your mind clear, plan out your board state, and march your Lost March deck into victory.


Granbull (SM8) (JP; null)  is a surprising deck that releases with Lost Thunder and it shocked some players at the Card Kingdom Mizonokuchi local tournament in Japan by placing well. Granbull (SM8) (JP; null) ’s attack, Penniless, can do 160 for a single Fairy Energy (GEN; 83)  as long as you have no cards in your hand. Wait, no cards in your hand? ZERO?!?! Yeah, I know it sounds awful at first, but let me dig into this concept a little further.

You have multiple copies of Oranguru (SUM; 113)  to help you get setup after you have no cards in your hand, Magcargo (CLS; 24)  to put whatever card you need back on top, and a slew of cards that you can waste. WASTING CARDS??? Again, I know, this is a tough deck to sell, but stay on board for another minute. You can ‘waste’ cards such as Great Ball (SLG; 60)  and Lost Mixer (SM8) (JP; null)  to either no effect or to get rid of other cards that are clumping up your hand. Remember, hitting 160 damage for a single Energy is busted.

I am not sure if this is the correct build for this deck because Supporter Cards like Apricorn Maker (CLS; 124)  and Guzma (BUS; 115)  can often get clumped in your hand. You can always remove them from your hand with Lost Mixer (SM8) (JP; null)  or Ultra Ball (SLG; 68) , but my point still remains. I have experimented with this type of Oranguru (SUM; 113)  engine when building Feraligator (DM; 24) , but you still end up with clumped cards in your hand sometimes. This is a deck that I will likely cover in the future with my own personal take on the list.

Until Next Time

We hope that you have enjoyed this article and that you learn from the Japanese metagame. We will continue this series every month, to update you to the latest cards and deck lists from Japan! We will be working on producing the highest level of content going forward on a consistent basis as we work on a strategic plan to make 60 Cards a better website. During this time of rejuvenation, we welcome any and all feedback that will help see the site succeed.

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Until next time,

Eye on Japan

[+20] okko


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