Versatility Matters — The Lost Zone Decks

Hello PokeBeach readers! Isaiah here, and I am happy to be writing another article for you all. Last time, I talked a lot about how 151 was going to affect the format with the pool of new cards we got. As expected, most of the set was fairly non-impactful, but a few cards — most notably Mew ex — have certainly left their mark already.

As of right now, the one deck that has seen the biggest glow-up from the introduction of 151 has been Colorless Lugia VSTAR, a deck that was previously seen as something of a joke, but a strong finish in the Seniors division at the World Championship as well as the addition of Mew ex have opened up new doors for the archetype going forward. In particular, one of Lugia VSTAR’s most difficult former matchups, against Charizard ex decks, feels considerably better with the addition of Mew ex. It opens up the option for a Mew ex to take a one-hit Knock Out on a Charizard ex if you can force them down to one Prize card, which is surprisingly easy thanks to the wide variety of single-Prize Pokemon you play.

The addition of Charmander has also been surprisingly impactful. It offers Charizard ex slightly safer game plans against Lost Zone decks, since it dramatically decreases the odds that both of your Charmander get Knocked Out by Sableye‘s Lost Mine before they can evolve. This shift has allowed Charizard ex to move from being a decent deck that occasionally did well to — all of a sudden — being one of the most threatening decks in the metagame, especially after the innovation of the Arven-based build at the recent Curitiba Regional Championships.

Giratina VSTAR

When it comes to Lost Zone decks in the current format, Giratina VSTAR is certainly the most widely discussed variant. Between the deck’s raw power and its versatility, it can be on the border of unstoppable once it actually sets up. However, that part is, at times, the hardest part.

Unlike decks like Turbo Lost Zone, Giratina VSTAR decks cannot play as many ways to dig for cards like Battle VIP Pass on the first turn, making it less likely for the deck to have a strong opening turn. This often leads to troubling losses! With that said, it is only truly a problem against decks that can easily Knock Out a Giratina V on the second turn: if the opponent fails to do this, then you can start using Abyss Seeking to at least dig for some cards and throw some other cards in the Lost Zone in the process.

Whether the deck is able to set up flawlessly or it is forced to stumble through some of the worst draws in the world, when the deck finally gets moving, there are very few decks that can reliably beat it. In fact, I would even argue that maybe no deck can even somewhat consistently beat it once it gets set up, other than maybe Lugia VSTAR. Between an incredible damage ceiling with Lost Impact, Star Requiem to break that ceiling when necessary, and Lost Mine from Sableye to pick off little Pokemon in matchups where Giratina VSTAR is inefficient, the deck quite literally has it all. Really, the only thing scaring me away from it is the less-than-ideal Lugia VSTAR matchup. As of right now, my deck list is pretty traditional, which I will include below.

This concludes the public portion of this article.

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