The Unthinkable Crime — Skwovet’s Grand Larceny and the Rise of Kyogre Lost Box

Date: May 7, 2023.
Location: Portland, OR, US
Defendant: Skwovet (set Scarlet and Violet, number 151).
Offense: Grand larceny (amount: $3500 USD).
Weapon: Nest Stash.
Partner(s) in crime: Arceus VSTAR and Giratina VSTAR.
Victim: Yours truly.

Recently, I played Kyogre Lost Box at the Portland Regionals and made Top 4. My run was cut short by an absurd match in the semi-finals, where everything went wrong. This is fine, as the game giveth and taketh away when it comes to rng. However, there was one main culprit behind my demise. This little fella got away with some nasty crimes and he must be stopped. Skwovet’s Nest Stash is intended as a hand-refresh combo alongside Bibarel.

However, when one is faced down with Sableye‘s Lost Mine, there comes a dilemma where you might hesitate to play down Bibarel, as it requires risking the low-HP Bidoof and giving up free Prize cards. This has the potential to lead to a bigger problem of not being able to draw cards, and therefore not being able to play the game. Hypothetically, if one were to be forced into such a situation, Skwovet’s effect of drawing one single card at a time would be the last resort. And if Skwovet’s one card happened to be the perfect card for the situation, saving an otherwise unwinnable game, that would be quite the occurrence. And for that to happen multiple times in one match is unthinkable, isn’t it? If you want to witness the unthinkable in action, check out the VOD of the Top 4 match here.

That’s enough of my story, let’s get into the meat and potatoes. If you want a the sparknotes version of this entire article: Kyogre Lost Box is the best deck in the current format because it is reasonably consistent and has no bad matchups. Kyogre, or Lost Box in general, did not get hurt badly by the rotation. Since it was a powerful contender in the previous format, in which the decks were generally stronger, it stands to reason that the decks that lose the least would remain strongest in the new format. In practice, this turns out to be largely true for Lost Box.

The loss of Scoop Up Net, Ordinary Rod, and Quick Ball certainly isn’t ideal for Lost Box, but the fact remains that the other decks were crippled worse. New archetypes such as Gardevoir ex and Miraidon ex are also fantastic matchups for Lost Box. Among the other meta matchups, most are favorable or at least close to even. This makes Lost Box the most obvious best deck in the format, and all that remains is to try and figure out the best way to play it. That said, playing Lost Box at a competitive level is still comparable to playing 4-D chess or solving sudoku with only one given digit. Lost Box may be good, but it takes a lot of effort and brainpower to give the same output compared to decks with a similar power level that are significantly less complicated. This aspect of the deck has not changed since before the rotation, and it remains the biggest downside of the deck. I certainly make my share of mistakes with the deck, but hopefully this article will give you some tips should you ever find yourself on either side of the table of a Kyogre match.

This concludes the public portion of this article.

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