The Lost Zone is Back! — My Favorite Mirage Gate Decks
Hello again everyone! The new season is now upon us, and after an exciting World Championships, I, like many of you, am ready to get down to business and try and get that invite to Yokohama!
The first Regional Championships are right around the corner, in which we’ll see our last event of the Astral Radiance format, and our first glimpse of the new Lost Origin format. The first Regional Championships awkwardly falls right before Lost Origin becomes legal for tournament play, so it will be roughly the same as the North America International Championships and the World Championships. At this point, the Astral Radiance format has had quite a bit of play, so I’m not going to go over it in this article; instead, I would recommend taking a look at the World Championship results, and checking out some of the PokeBeach articles over that format. Rather than keep rehashing things, I’m instead going to share some of my insight into the Lost Origin format, which will be our tournament format for the Peoria Regional Championships and onward.
In the equivalent Japanese Lost Origin format, you see some of the same decks from Worlds at the top of the meta — namely, Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR and Mew VMAX — along with a few new options from Lost Origin. Of the new decks, some of the most successful have been decks built around using the new Mirage Gate card. Mirage Gate is incredibly good once it’s able to be used, as the Energy acceleration it provides is some of the best we’ve ever seen from an Item card. The card is rather reminiscent of Beast Ring, except that it can be used on anything, and can be used throughout the game, not just in a small window. While you do have to build your engine around getting cards in the Lost Zone in order to use Mirage Gate, you aren’t limited beyond that. That is, the kinds of Pokemon you can use with this card are incredibly versatile. In this article, I’ll be going over some of my favorite Mirage Gate-based decks, as well as over how I like to build a deck that uses the Mirage Gate engine.
The Mirage Gate Core
Before you can think about which Pokemon you want to use in a Mirage Gate deck, it’s important to have a strong foundation for getting things into the Lost Zone. After all, if you can’t actually get seven cards in the Lost Zone quickly, you’ll be too far behind for your Mirage Gate Energy acceleration to make up the difference. Luckily, it isn’t all that difficult to actually pull this off. There are three key cards that you’ll want to have in any Mirage Gate deck: Comfey, Colress’s Experiment, and Lost Vacuum.
Comfey is the same as Amazing Rare Jirachi, but instead of putting the card you don’t want back on top of your deck, you put it into the Lost Zone. By using Comfey — and repeatedly re-using it with Scoop Up Net — not only will you have a bit of a consistency boost, but you’ll also be able to quickly get cards into the Lost Zone. Colress’s Experiment will be your main draw Supporter in any of these decks; it’s a bit like Sage's Training or Hapu, but again, the cards you don’t pick go to the Lost Zone. In addition to adding two cards to the Lost Zone each time you use it, Colress’s Experiment is actually a pretty strong draw Supporter, to the point that you won’t feel like you’re at a disadvantage when you have to use it instead of, say, Marnie. Between Comfey and Colress’s Experiment, you’ll have the basis for a good consistency engine, which also gets you plenty of cards into the Lost Zone quickly. If you go second, and use Flower Selecting and Colress’s Experiment each turn, you’ll have six cards in the Lost Zone by turn 2, and that’s without having to use multiple Comfey. Even when going first, these two cards get you your first four into the Lost Zone, so you don’t have to do too much more to get to the point where you can use Mirage Gate.
To help shore things up, we also have our third key card: Lost Vacuum. It may not be immediately obvious how good this card is, but after playing with it a few times, you’ll see why I like it so much in this Lost Zone engine. What Lost Vacuum does is that it acts as a quick +2 to your Lost Zone stack. The trick here is that you rarely want to get rid of your opponent’s card with it; instead, you want to target either one of your Tools or your Stadium. That way, not only do you add a card into your Lost Zone by playing the Lost Vacuum, but you’ll also put that Tool or Stadium card in the Lost Zone. With that extra boost, it isn’t difficult at all to get to the seven cards you need to use Mirage Gate, even when you’re going first and can’t use Colress’s Experiment back to back.
In every Mirage Gate deck I’ve built, I’ve made sure to include four Comfey, four Colress’s Experiment, and two Lost Vacuum, as well as the four Mirage Gate. Aside from those, I’d recommend playing multiple Scoop Up Net (either three or four) so that you can easily use Comfey multiple times, as well as some Air Balloon (typically two or three) so that you can retreat your Comfey. Other than that, there isn’t anything that you need to have in a Mirage Gate deck — you can focus the rest of your list around whatever Pokemon that you’re building around. One of the best parts about Mirage Gate is you can use it on any Pokemon, so you aren’t limited at all in that regard. In theory, every Pokemon in the game can take advantage of this engine, it’s just a question of which Pokemon is the best.
This concludes the public portion of this article.
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