Last weekend, we had the regional championship event in Pittsburgh, in the state of Pennsylvania (USA), where we had Andrew Estrada (a long-time tournament veteran) as champion, with his Lost Box deck.
In his deck, there were certain variations that vaguely resembled the boldness of (https://pokemon.cardsrealm.com/en-us/articles/deck-tech-standard-dragonite-v-lost-box-international-melbourne)(Azul Garcia Griego's decklist), which used an unusual attacker: Dragonite V PR-SW SWSH154.
Lost Box: Raikou V + Dragonite V + Kyogre -Celebrations-
Dragonite V: A Brute Striker
Attack - Shred (C)(C): This attack deals 50 damage and is unaffected by any effects from the opponent's Active Pokémon.
Attack - Dragon Gale (W)(W)(L): This attack deals 250 damage to the opponent's Active Pokémon, but has the drawback of dealing 20 damage to all of your Benched Pokémon.
The first attack goes through any effect, even of those Pokémon which have damage immunity like: "on the next turn, I don't take damage from basic Pokémon", like Eiscue EVS 47.
The second attack has the drawback of dealing 20 damage to your Benched Pokémon, but it makes up for it when facing Pokémon with low HP that are ultra rare in the format, like Raikou V BRS 48 and Miraidon ex sv1 81, that have 220 HP
(usually Electric archetypes), including Chien-Pao ex sv2 61.
Regarding the second attack, it raises a question: “Ok, but Manaphy BRS 41 with its ability Wave Veil prevents damage to your Benched Pokémon, so would you be safe using Dragonite V’s second attack and not taking the negative effects?”
Unfortunately, the answer is no. It prevents attacks that come from the opponent, not from your own Pokémon. So, be very careful when using the attack too much so as not to knock out your more fragile Pokémon that have the Lost Zone setup, such as Comfey LOR 79.
Raikou V: A Fast and Practical Striker
Ability - Fleet Footed: If this Pokémon is in the active position during your turn, draw an additional card.
Attack - Lightning Rondo (L)(C): You deal 20 damage plus 20 to each benched Pokémon in play (both yours and your opponent's).
It comes in handy thanks to the practicality of being able to attack quickly with two energies (one of which is Electric, as the deck uses a lot of them, due to Dragonite V) and also has an ability to draw from the top of the deck, if it is an active Pokémon in your game.
As its retreat is very generous, one energy, the “waste” of energy for the retreat is not a problem, since all Pokémon in this deck have this cost, and they can be recovered easily. It can also weaken decks that use Lugia VSTAR SIT 139.
Cramorant: A Single Prize Fast Attacker
Ability - Lost Provisions: If you have a minimum of 4 cards in the Lost Zone or more, this Pokémon's attacks will not require an energy cost as a tribute.
Atack - Spit Innocently (W)(W)(C): This attack deals 110 damage and is not affected by weakness.
It is possible to use the Comfey LOR 79 and Colress's Experiment LOR 155 combo, to discard cards to the Lost Zone and speed up the activation of Cramorant's ability so that it can attack. It also has the advantage of being a Pokémon with the cost of a Prize Card.
Our list only has one copy, so use it wisely.
Sableye: A “Spread” Attacker
What interests us is its second attack, Lost Mine, which can place damage counters to knockout Pokémon through “spread damage”, completing damage from other attackers in your deck, such as, for example, the damage caused by Raikou VIV 50 or even Dragonite V PR-SW SWSH154. This allows you to knock out any Pokémon that has an HP greater than 250, for example.
Another vital function of it is to hit the opponent's “Single Prize” Pokémon. Sableye LOR 70 shines by being able to choose 10 damage counters on these Pokémon and immediately guarantees the purchase of Prizes.
And then a question arises: “can Sableye bypass the effect of Manaphy BRS 41’s ability?”
It can. Even though Manaphy BRS 41 is an efficient “Bench Protector”, one of the most common in the current meta, the description of Manaphy BRS 41 is very explicit: it prevents direct damage, that is, the famous sniper damage, but it does not prevent marker damage, which is spread damage.
Kyogre: Exotic Sniper
Its first attack is interesting:
- Aqua Storm (W)(W)(C): You discard the top 5 cards of your deck. If these discarded cards are energies, you deal 50 damage to two Pokémon on your opponent's bench for each energy discarded in this way.
In other words, you can have a total of 250 raw damage with this sniper move (if the opponent doesn't have Manaphy BRS 41 to prevent you), and close the match in a very unusual way.
Remember that these energies need to be in the deck and not in the Lost Zone pile, and you need to guarantee that, at least, you have the card Energy Recycler BST 124 to be able to recycle these energies - and what I suggest is that you use this at the end of the turn.
- Comfey LOR 79 has Flower Selecting: if Comfey is in the active position, you can look at the top two cards of the deck and choose a card to put in your hand. The other will go to the Lost Zone.
With this “drawing” power, we can create a combo to speed up the number of cards for the Lost Zone, and of course, mix it with the use of Colress's Experiment LOR 155, which also helps with this filter.
- Radiant Greninja ASR 46 has Concealed Cards, which allows you to discard an energy card from your hand to draw 2 cards from the top of the deck.
It can also be an attacker, as its Moonlight Shuriken attack can deal “sniper” damage to two of the opponent's Pokémon for 90 damage. It requires one Water energy within the total cost, which is (W)(W)(C), which is great because Kyogre CEL 3 and Dragonite V PR-SW SWSH154 also use the Water energies in the deck, so you can reuse them for 3 common Pokémon.
- Manaphy BRS 41 has Wave Veil: it protects your benched Pokémon from the opponent's “sniper” attacks. For example, against the Kyogre CRZ 36, Kyogre CEL 3, Heatmor FST 41, Jolteon VMAX EVS 51 or Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX BRS TG30.
- Hawlucha sv1 118 has Flying Entry: if played from your hand to your bench, it chooses two Pokémon from your opponent's bench and places a damage counter on these two Pokémon.
It is situational and is here to complement a combo with Sableye LOR 70's Lost Mine attack, to complete the damage.
Colress's Experiment LOR 155 is useful to look at the top 5 cards of your deck. You take 3 cards to your hand and the other 2 will be discarded to the Lost Zone.
In addition to Comfey LOR 79 with the ability to send cards to the Lost Zone, Colress’s Experiment is another great accelerator for sending cards to the Lost Zone. It can boost Cramorant LOR 50 to attack as quickly as possible, and also guarantee the use of Mirage Gate LOR 163 with 7 cards in the Lost Zone. Thus, it accelerates the energies to energize your other Pokémon in play, such as Kyogre CEL 3 and Dragonite V PR-SW SWSH154.
Roxanne ASR 150 only works when the opponent has 3 Prize Cards or less to win the game.
Both players shuffle their hands back into the deck and in that, the opponent only draws 2 new cards and you draw 6 cards.
It's an excellent way to sabotage your opponent's hand and take away play options from them.
- Battle VIP Pass FST 225 can only be used on your first turn of the game: search for two basic Pokémon from your deck and then place them directly on the bench.
- Nest Ball sv1 181 is used to search for a basic Pokémon from the deck and place it directly on the bench.
- Hisuian Heavy Ball ASR 146 is used to search for a basic Pokémon in the Prize Cards pile. If you find this basic Pokémon, pick it up and put it in your hand and put the Hisuian Heavy Ball card in its place. Then shuffle these Prize Cards.
If you can't find this basic Pokémon, simply discard this card.
- Mirage Gate LOR 163 can only be used if you have 7 or more cards in the Lost Zone. You can search your deck for 2 different basic energies and attach them to one of your Pokémon however you want.
- Lost Vacuum CRZ 135: You can discard a Tool attached to a Pokémon in play (either yours or your opponent's) or a stadium in play (played by your opponent or by you), but you must discard a card from your hand and send it to the Lost Zone at the same time, instead of the discard pile.
- Switch Cart ASR 154 serves as Pokémon mobility. It can only be used by basic Pokémon, as a Switch, and can even heal 30 damage to that Pokémon that has retreated. Since the deck only has basic Pokémon, it is an extremely useful card.
- Energy Recycler BST 124 serves as a recycling of basic energy from the discard pile. There are 5 energies that you can return to the deck.
- Super Rod sv2 188: is another recycling option, as it recycles 3 cards, them being basic energies and Pokémon, back to the deck.
As there are 3 copies in the deck, we virtually have 9 card recycling options, which can be Pokémon and energies (mainly energies), if you use Kyogre CEL 3's move.
- Echoing Horn CRE 136 forces the opponent to put a basic Pokémon from their discard pile to the Bench. You will use this strategy to complete some damage using the Sableye LOR 70 with the Lost Mine to knock them out and win an extra Prize, or use Kyogre CEL 3 to do the “sniper attack” against this basic Pokémon with low HP.
- Escape Rope BST 125: Your opponent will choose a Benched Pokémon that will be promoted to the active position, and then you will do the same with your Pokémon. The opponent will start making this switch first (and if they don't have any Benched Pokémon to make the switch, they won't need to make the switch).
This card can only be equipped to basic Pokémon V (in this case, Raikou V BRS 48 or Dragonite V PR-SW SWSH154). You can search for any card from your deck and put it into your hand - but it is considered a VSTAR ability, and, within the VSTAR rules, whether they are attacks or abilities, they can only be played one time throughout the game.
- Artazon sv2 171 works for both players: on each turn of each of them, players can search for a basic Pokémon from the deck that does not have Rule Box (V, Radiant, ex, etc.) and put it on the bench.
- Beach Court sv1 167 works for both players: all basic Pokémon in play have a retreat cost of one less colorless energy in the tribute cost - which is perfect for your Comfey LOR 79 to use their abilities to boost right away the process of sending cards to the Lost Zone.
PokéStop PGO 68 is useful for both players: each player, on their turn, can discard the top 3 cards of the deck, and if these discarded cards are Items, you can put them in your hand. Those that are not will be discarded normally (sent to the discard pile).
It is a very versatile deck to respond to any action in the metagame, which are:
- Damage from Cramorant LOR 50, waiving its energy cost if you use the "send cards to the Lost Zone" effects correctly.
- Raw damage of up to 250 points from Kyogre CEL 3, which can destroy high HP Pokémon, many of them basic ex and basic V.
- Sableye LOR 70 to place damage counters on top of the opponent, going over Manaphy BRS 41 (which is present in 80% of decks in the meta), or closing damage against “baby” Pokémon. As it is a “Single Prize” Pokémon, you take no damage if it's knocked out, and there are still two copies of it in your deck.
- And, finally, based on brute force, Dragonite V PR-SW SWSH154 with 250 damage to knock down most opponents, 80% of them.
The Lost Box deck has its peculiarities because it is necessary to have knowledge about the game.
So, we have the problems:
- Count the cards at the top of the deck accurately when using Comfey LOR 79 abilities, as sending a card to the Lost Zone that you can never recover could compromise you in the future. This also applies to Colress's Experiment LOR 155.
It's a very strong and interesting deck, as the regional performances showed. It is also always getting new adaptations, and new forms of attacker combinations. It is very complete, but also quite complex.
See you later!