Powerful Promos — Lurantis, Tapu Bulu-GX, and Tapu Koko Explorations

Hey, fans and readers! You’re ready for another ‘Beach run already? Since I last wrote for you, I’ve had lots more experience in the Standard format with Guardians Rising. Guardians Rising brought us the rise of Garbodor, which I covered in my last article, as well as many new supporting cards for a variety of decks. As near as I can figure, I don’t think that Sylveon-GX is as good as it was cracked up to be at first, especially with the time constraints most sanctioned tournaments hold. Times are changing again, though, I must say! That’s because we have two brand new cards on our hands thanks to some new sealed products Pokemon has released to us. These are three new Promo cards, Lurantis, Tapu Bulu-GX, and Tapu Koko, and although they may be limited in quantity, their strength might make you think they were the centerpieces of an entirely new expansion! Without further ado, let’s go swimming into a newly discovered Promo card abyss…

Lurantis

Overview

Lurantis is pretty simple, it buffs Grass and Fire Pokemon’s attacks by 20 damage. This doesn’t seem exceptional at first, but when you think about having multiple Lurantis out, that’s when things get crazy. Naturally, I think it goes without saying that Lurantis is geared more towards Grass-type decks, rather than Fire, since the most popular Fire deck out there already has Volcanion-EX and its Steam Up Ability to increase damage. So, Grass decks are going to be the ones that make the best use of this new pretty bug.

Forest of Giant Plants is a no-brainer when it comes to this card, so it will fit fluidly in anything that already plays that wonderfully speedy Stadium card. The thing I like the most about this card is that it can effectively take Pokemon that were unplayable before, and with the damage boost, make them fighting machines. Choice Band obviously helps a lot with that, so be sure to consider it as an option to make your attacker do even more when choosing to play a deck that packages Lurantis.

A damage boost of this caliber is pretty unprecedented when it comes to the game. With so many existing damage modifiers, a simple attack of something as simple as 30 damage can quickly become much more than that, a force to truly be reckoned with. Lurantis is the first of a handful of neat new cards that have been released as Promos lately, and I couldn’t be more hyped on it.

Deck Idea

Lurantis / Vespiquen

Breakdown

Vespiquen is already a solid deck in the Standard format, but with Lurantis, its damage output can get a serious boost. While most times you want extra Pokemon in your discard pile, having the instant gratification of an extra 20 damage without needing a way to discard Pokemon is fantastic. Having Lurantis makes playing Revitalizer even better in this sort of deck, since it can now grab a Lurantis or Vespiquen line. Playing Lurantis means you can focus entirely on Vespiquen, and not have to flit around with any other Pokemon that distract you from the focus of the deck. Expect some huge Knock Outs from any player using this deck.

Matchups

I have tested this deck extensively, so I do feel comfortable spelling out a short piece on how things go against a variety of decks.

  • Darkrai-EX | Slightly Favorable (Unless Giratina-EX is played)
    • Non-EX/GX Pokemon that can reach the OHKO numbers very quickly against clunkier two Prize attackers
  • Garbodor | Slightly Favorable
    • You are more of a streamlined deck with just one main attacker, versus a deck that has less recovery options and plays multiple attackers, some of which are clunky and give up more Prizes
  • Greninja BREAK | Slightly Favorable (If you play a Hex Maniac)
    • With a Hex, you can stop Greninja from racking up Prizes that it otherwise wouldn’t, having a Hex might not be worth it, though, since ‘ninja is really dying down
  • Lapras-GX | Highly Favorable
    • This might be your best matchups, since you can just take OHKOs on any of the Lapras-GX, even if your opponent plays Glaceon-EX, you can just attack it with either Shaymin-EX, or Tapu Lele-GX, and eventually take it down
  • M Gardevoir-EX | Slightly Favorable (If your opponent doesn’t play Karen)
    • Most Gardevoir lists have taken out Rattata, which helps keep your Klefki in play
  • M Rayquaza-EX | Highly Favorable
    • Klefki absolutely wreaks Ray decks, so this is a walk in the park
  • Metagross-GX | Favorable
    • Metagross might take a few attacks to Knock Out, but once you hit the higher numbers, this’ll be cake
  • Raichu| Slightly Favorable
    • Your attackers are easier to stream, since you have Forest of Giant Plants, so trading Prizes with Raichu is simpler for you than your opponent
  • Sylveon-GX | Slightly Favorable
    • With two Special Charge and careful decisions, you shouldn’t have a problem taking OHKOs at some point and taking down Sylveon
  • Tapu Bulu-GX | Slightly Favorable
    • Again, like many of your matchups, you’re just naturally favored because of the one versus two Prize-trade
  • Vileplume / Decidueye-GX | Highly Unfavorable
    • No matter how you look at this one, there’s no way around it, the high HP attackers in your opponent’s deck along with Item-lock make this a nearly impossible matchup to win
  • Vespiquen | Even
    • The mirror match is just back and forth, whoever stops streaming attackers first will likely lose
  • Volcanion | Slightly Favorable
    • Now with Choice Band, you can hit numbers much more easily, and Lurantis helps you out in that department, too
  • Zoroark BREAK | Even
    • You’re both going to be trading attackers, and you might have a small advantage if you can keep your Bench size at two Pokemon, but that’s a tall task to accomplish

Tapu Bulu-GX

Overview

I am really excited about this card, and coincidentally, it works perfectly with the card I just talked about, Lurantis. Tapu Bulu-GX has three amazing attacks, and every single one of them has a unique purpose. The first is the most cost-efficient, and is my favorite attack on this card. On its own, it is a little underwhelming, though. Now it’s next two attacks are incredible, and Bulu is finally the card that another Grass Pokemon, Lurantis-GX, has been waiting for for a while in the Standard format. Lurantis-GX can accelerate Basic Energy to any Pokemon you like, and having a hard-hitting Basic attacker like Bulu is absolutely perfect.

Lurantis, the card we just talked about before this, coincidentally is Tapu Bulu-GX’s best new partner, as well. The extra 20 damage per Lurantis makes Bulu an absolute monster. For a single Energy, if you have four Lurantis out you are doing 110 damage for a single Energy. A Choice Band makes things even worse, and for 140 damage, that sort of attack is legitimately scary.

Aside from its insane potential for damage with a low cost, I’m especially in love with Tapu Wilderness GX. Many of the popular decks out there right now rely on taking Knock Outs in two attacks, but with the added healing potential, Bulu can keep kicking for twice as long, and take plenty of Knock Outs, itself. In a nutshell, this card is going to do two things to the format: kill off Greninja BREAK, once and for all, and insert itself as a new archetype that players need to worry about when choosing a deck.

Deck Idea

Tapu Bulu-GX / Lurantis / Lurantis-GX

Breakdown

I would have mentioned this in the last section, but that would have spoiled this card’s time to shine! Tapu Bulu-GX is clearly a card with lots of potential with its three great attacks. Now, naturally, it has two things that must be accomplished before it’s seen as a proper contender, however. Those two are a damage boost, as well as a way to accelerate Energy. Both Lurantis cards accomplish those tasks, which is sweet since it saves space in a deck that might otherwise be sort of clunky. Bulu is on the rise!

Deck List

Pokemon (15)

2x Lurantis-GX (SM #15)2x Lurantis (PRSM #SM25)4x Fomantis (SM #14)3x Tapu Bulu-GX (PRSM #SM32)2x Tapu Lele-GX (GUR #60)1x Sudowoodo (GUR #66)1x Shaymin-EX (RSK #77)

Trainers (34)

4x Professor Sycamore (BKP #107)4x N (FAC #105)2x Lysandre (AOR #78)1x Olympia (GEN #66)1x Brigette (BKT #134)4x VS Seeker (PHF #109)4x Ultra Ball (SM #135)4x Max Elixir (BKP #102)3x Float Stone (BKT #137)3x Choice Band (GUR #121)2x Rescue Stretcher (GUR #130)2x Field Blower (GUR #125)

Energy (11)

11x Grass Energy (GUR #167)
Matchups

I haven’t thoroughly tried this deck out enough to be an expert, but I will be including my general thoughts on how things go.

  • Darkrai-EX | Slightly Unfavorable (Worse against the Dragonair version)
  • Garbodor | Favorable
  • Greninja BREAK | Highly Favorable
  • Lapras-GX | Highly Favorable
  • M Gardevoir-EX | Slightly Favorable (With a Sudowoodo)
  • M Rayquaza-EX | Slightly Favorable (With a Sudowoodo)
  • Metagross-GX | Slightly Unfavorable
  • Raichu | Slightly Favorable (With a Sudowoodo)
  • Sylveon-GX | Highly Favorable (Lurantis-GX replenishes Energy)
  • Tapu Bulu-GX | Even
  • Vileplume / Decidueye-GX | Favorable
  • Vespiquen | Slightly Unfavorable
  • Volcanion | Highly Unfavorable
  • Zoroark BREAK | Even (With careful benching of Pokemon)


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