Big Set Incoming — A Lost Thunder Set Review By: Grant Manley Posted 11 months ago to Premium Article 5 comments Hello everyone! Grant here once again, this time with an article a little different than normal. I recently took a look at some of the new cards coming out in Lost Thunder and thought they were neat, and that inspired me to write a set review piece on it. Additionally, I just made Top 8 at Memphis Regionals with Zoroark-GX / Magcargo, so I’ll briefly touch on that before getting into the set review. Pokemon (16)4x Zoroark-GX (SHL #53)4x Zorua (PRSM #SM83)2x Magcargo (CES #24)2x Slugma (CES #23)2x Tapu Lele-GX (GUR #60)1x Sudowoodo (GUR #66)1x Oranguru (ULP #114)Trainers (40)4x Guzma (BUS #115)3x Cynthia (ULP #119)2x Professor Kukui (SM #128)2x Lillie (SM #122)2x Plumeria (BUS #120)2x Acerola (BUS #112)1x Judge (FOL #108)4x Ultra Ball (FAC #113)4x Nest Ball (SM #123)3x Great Ball (EPO #93)3x Choice Band (GUR #121)2x Weakness Policy (PRC #142)2x Enhanced Hammer (DEX #94)1x Rescue Stretcher (GUR #130)1x Escape Rope (PRC #127)1x Pal Pad (ULP #132)2x Devoured Field (CRI #93)1x Shrine of Punishment (CES #143)Energy (4)4x Double Colorless Energy (NXD #92) This deck is absolutely not Zoroark Control. It is an aggressive Zoroark deck that uses Hammers and Plumeria to complement Zoroark in certain matchups. Maybe this deck doesn’t do well because people play it like Zoroark Control. I built this deck on the morning of the Regional and didn’t practice with it at all. My friend Eddie (who I seem to mention in articles quite often) did the same thing and he made Top 64. It is a decent deck but I did not feel like I really did anything yet somehow made Top 8. I just had good luck. I cut a Slugma and a Max Potion from my Regional list. I added busted Sudowoodo to beat Malamar as well as another Guzma. This deck is favored against everything when it can get going. Shrine of Punishment might be the most brutally efficient tech card of all time. It makes Rayquaza-GX a laughably easy matchup. The somewhat heavy Cynthia count is absolutely necessary. I used Cynthia on turn one or turn two in almost every game. My friend Corey Mesimer got me on the deck, but he bricked in most of his rounds because he only ran one Cynthia. Oranguru is a tech for mill and I was glad to have it because I faced Sylveon-GX round two. The only matchup I would be worried about going forward is Buzzwole / Lycanroc-GX / Magcargo. A Deoxys tech might be worth including but the Buzzwole version without Magcargo isn’t too much trouble. In Top 8, I dead drew game one against Buzzroc. He dead drew game two. I prized both Plumeria game three for the loss. It was a very unlucky series. I faced four Rayquaza decks without Xurkitree-GX and I beat all of them easily. I faced a Ray player with Xurkitree in both day one and day two and tied him both times. One time I was definitely going to win game three, and the other I was likely going to lose. I played against four Malamar and beat all of them except Gustavo because he ran very hot. None of them ran Chimecho, which is something I was concerned about. I think including Sudowoodo would greatly improve the matchup against Malamar regardless of what techs they run. Now let’s look at the fun stuff. Set Review Meganium Meganium – Grass – HP150 Stage 2 – Evolves from Bayleef Ability: Early Ripening Herb Once during your turn (before your attack), you may choose 1 of your Basic Pokemon in play. If you have a Stage 2 card in your hand that evolves from that Pokemon, put that card onto the Basic Pokemon to evolve it. [G][C][C][C] Solar Beam: 110 damage. Weakness: Fire (x2) Resistance: none Retreat: 2 Meganium has an interesting Ability that allows you to skip a Stage 1 in Evolution once per turn. Unfortunately, it is a Stage 2 itself. I don’t know if building up to a Meganium is worthwhile when you could spend the same effort building up the Stage 2 that you would be supporting with Meganium. However, once Meganium is established, you could fairly easily stream Stage 2 Pokemon. I would consider a thin Meganium line in decks such as Swampert / Empoleon and Swampert / Gardevoir-GX. You could also try it in a deck running many Vikavolt and even Vikavolt-GX. I will try to make Meganium work with something as it seems like a very fun card. Competitively though, I’d give it only a 2/5 at the moment. Spinarak Spinarak – Grass – HP50 Basic Pokemon [G] Web Vanish: Your opponent’s Active Pokemon is now Poisoned and Paralyzed. Put this Pokemon and all cards attached to it into the Lost Zone. [C] Sting: 10 damage. Weakness: Fire (x2) Resistance: none Retreat: 1 Spinarak is a rare case of a Basic Pokemon being better than its Evolution. Its attack only costs one Grass Energy and it Paralyzes and Poisons the opponent’s Active at the cost of sending Spinarak to the Lost Zone. This could be used to stall and power up Lost March, which I’ll discuss shortly. Unfortunately, many decks play high counts of Guzma which enables them to escape Paralysis. Escape Board is heavily played in Malamar as well. A couple ways to counter Guzma do exist though. For example, if you’re feeling brave, you could have only one Pokemon in play. Then your opponent would need a switching Item or an Acerola to escape Spinarak’s attack. You could also have only beefy Pokemon on your Bench. Your opponent would be able to escape with Guzma, but then be left to deal with Hoopa or Steelix. Spinarak’s best option would probably be in Lost March as an early attacker. If you use it early on, the opponent is less likely to have a Guzma and an attacker ready to go. You then get to send Spinarak to the Lost Zone to power up Lost March. Like Meganium, Spinarak earns a meager 2/5 as a competitive card. Skiploom and Jumpluff (Lost March) Skiploom – Grass – HP60 Stage 1 – Evolves from Hoppip Ability: Flower Bridge Once during your turn (before your attack), you may search your deck for a Jumpluff and switch it with this Pokemon. Place this Pokemon and all cards attached to it into the Lost Zone. Then, shuffle your deck. [G] Tackle: 30 damage. Weakness: Lightning (x2) Resistance: Fighting (-20) Retreat: 0 Jumpluff – Grass – HP70 Stage 2 – Evolves from Skiploom [G] Lost March: 20x damage. This attack does 20 damage times the number of your Pokemon in the Lost Zone (excluding Pokemon Prism Star). Weakness: Lightning (x2) Resistance: Fighting (-20) Retreat: 0 Skiploom has an excellent Ability that simultaneously sends itself to the Lost Zone while searching your deck for a Jumpluff and putting it on the Bench. Jumpluff’s Lost March attack deals 20 damage for each Pokemon in your Lost Zone and it only costs one Grass Energy. For some reason it excludes Prism Star Pokemon in the Lost Zone, which is kind of lame but whatever. These two Pokemon make up the basis of the new Lost March archetype. Each Skiploom adds 40 damage to Jumpluff’s attack because it sends itself and the Hoppip underneath to the Lost Zone. Even if you only manage to get three Skiploom out in a game, that is 120 damage before all of the other supporting cards that you can play. I believe that Lost March will be incredibly strong and it is not as hyped as it should be. I’ll give the Jumpluff line a 4/5. Busted Shucks Shuckle – Grass – HP60 Basic Pokemon Ability: Juice Extractor Once during your turn (before your attack), when you play this card from your hand onto your Bench, you may search your deck for up to 3 Basic Energy cards and discard them. Then, shuffle your deck. [G] Energy Drink: Attach 2 basic Energy cards from your discard pile to your Pokemon in any way you like. Weakness: Fire (x2) Resistance: none Retreat: 1 Shuckle gets a lot of love with this new set. First up is the Basic version. Shuckle has a neat Ability that allows you to discard three Basic Energy from your deck. However, you can only use it once per Shuckle. Its attack attaches two Basic Energy from your discard to your Benched Pokemon. I actually don’t think its attack will be used all that much despite its synergy with the Ability. If I’m using a Pokemon to accelerate Energy, I’d rather play Shining Mew due to its free Retreat and its ability to attach Special Energy. I think Shuckle will replace Oricorio in Malamar decks. Additionally, it might make Alolan Exeggutor relevant in Standard. You can also use Shuckle in decks with Aqua Patch, but Volcanion Prism Star‘s Jet Geyser along with Ultra Ball is enough in my opinion. Finally, I’ll definitely pair Shuckle with the soon-to-be-discussed Zeraora-GX. Shuckle gets a conservative 3/5, though an argument can be made for a four. Shuckle may also have an application in Expanded for some decks. While Battle Compressor is better in a vacuum, Shuckle is easier to find via Ultra Ball and Level Ball. Shuckle-GX Shuckle-GX – Grass – HP170 Basic Pokemon Ability: Protective Pot Prevent all damage done to this Pokemon by your opponent’s Pokemon with 2 or less Energy attached to them. [C] Triple Poison: Your opponent’s Active Pokemon is now Poisoned. Put 3 damage counters instead of 1 on that Pokemon between turns. [C] Wrap GX: 40 damage. Your opponent’s Active Pokemon is now Paralyzed. (You can’t use more than 1 GX attack in a game.) When 1 of your Pokemon-GX is Knocked Out, your opponent takes 2 Prize cards. Weakness: Fire (x2) Resistance: none Retreat: 1 Shuckle-GX has a solid Ability as well as two cool attacks. Currently, Shuckle-GX is outclassed by other disruption decks. Unfortunately, Malamar and Vikavolt are very popular right now, which render its Ability useless. Its Ability is its best feature, so when that is nullified, Shuckle is pretty bad. Hopefully it can be viable in the future. Shuckle-GX ranks 1/5 for now. Sceptile-GX Sceptile-GX – Grass – HP230 Stage 2 – Evolves from Grovyle [G] Mach Cut: 60 damage. Discard a Special Energy from your opponent’s Active Pokemon. [G][G] Leaf Cyclone: 130 damage. Move a [G] Energy from this Pokemon to 1 of your Benched Pokemon. [G] Jungle Heal GX: Heal all damage from each of your Pokemon with any [G] Energy attached to them. (You can’t use more than 1 GX attack in a game.) When your Pokemon-GX is Knocked Out, your opponent takes 2 Prize cards. Weakness: Fire (x2) Resistance: none Retreat: 1 I don’t understand why this card is receiving any amount of hype. I get that you can run it with the baby Sceptile to give it invincibility to Ultra Beasts, but both Sceptile are extremely underwhelming. 1/5. The best way to run it would be with healing (similar to Metagross-GX), but then it still loses to Vikavolt and Malamar. If you'd like to continue reading PokeBeach's premium articles, consider purchasing a premium membership! 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