As time goes on, and new sets are released, by the nature of the trading card game, decks get lost in the shuffle and are sometimes forgotten about as they fade in effectiveness. Some of the time, these decks fade into the abyss, never to be heard from again, and sometimes the meta changes and all of a sudden they burst back into a glorious existence.
To avoid missing out on when a deck becomes good again, it’s important for us as players to keep up with old deck concepts and update them with each passing set, and be aware of the effectiveness of these decks against developing meta games. While more often than not, these decks don’t ever quite make a comeback, but we’ve seen Darkrai decks and TDK decks fade in and out of relevancy the past two years, so it’s always worth taking a look at these things.
So one of these types of decks is what I am going to discuss today, and that is an updated version of Speed Lugia using the new cards in Phantom Forces.
Pokemon – 8
3 Lugia EX
Trainers – 44
4 Professor Juniper
3 Ultra Ball
3 Muscle Band
Energy – 8
4 Double Colorless
The biggest departure that this deck makes from the previous version is that it can no longer rely on Thundurus EX to get setup, or more accurately, re-setup. Previously when playing the deck, you would use your Colress Machine to setup a Lugia EX to start the game, and then use Thundurus EX to setup a second Lugia EX with Raiden Knuckle.
In this new take on the deck, you do the first part the same, going for the turn 1 or turn 2 Lugia EX, but after the first one is knocked out, you simply use Lysandre’s Trump Card to put all of your Plasma Energy and Colress Machine back into the deck, and then you just attempt to redo the entire process over again. With 4 Bicycle, 4 Roller Skates, and 4 Maitenance, you’e setup well to start drawing into these things immediately after using Lysandre’s Trump Card.
That’s the nuts and bolts of the deck, you want to go after a fast Lugia EX, and then use Lugia’s Overflow Ability to take extra prizes on each knock out to make for some very fast and aggressive decks. You use Deoxys EX’s Power Connect and Muscle Band to allow Lugia to hit up to 170 and 180. The deck’s strategy isn’t much more comprehensive beyond that.
I chose Snorlax PLS as my alternate Pokemon, as I find it to be the best Pokemon for when I want to recharge a second Lugia EX. Its Block Ability can allow you to lock something into the Active Spot that you want to knockout with the Lugia EX. Additionally, Snorlax is a capable attacker, especially when you can recycle DCE’s and Plasma Energy back into the deck. I only use Snorlax in maybe 10% of the games I play, but some of the things I’ve used it for is to knockout Safeguard Pokemon and to knockout a M Manectric EX, which Snorlax can actually do with just a Muscle Band, one Deoxys EX and the rest of the bench also being filled.
The Supporter Engine is very light, with 4 Professor Juniper being the main draw Supporter. I mainly just want to draw through my deck on most turns in the game, so Professor Juniper is the main Supporter I would want to use. I still include a single copy of N, as sometimes you absolutely need to disrupt your opponent’s draw to win games. Then I play 2 Lysandre’s Trump Card to recycle stuff back into the deck. Normally I would just play 1 in a deck, as you can always get it back for multiple uses, but if you played one and it was prized, you would simply lose most games where it ends up prized.
It might be worth it to try to cut it down to one, as you theoretically should be able to take some prizes and maybe get it out of the prizes fairly early if it is prized, but it’s not a risk I think I would take.
Then VS Seeker wraps up the Supporter line. It lets you get N when you need it, or Lysandre’s Trump Card if you need to get Plasma back into the deck, as well as allowing you to continually string Professor Juniper too!
Bicycle and Roller Skates were pretty standard fare in Speed Lugia decks, but Maintenance wasn’t highly played. It’s really nice in this deck as you have the extra space for it without Thundurus EX and Lightning Energy, and it does help your consistency on maximizing Colress Machine plays, as you can shuffle a Plasma Energy in hand back into your deck to be gotten with Colress Machine.
I play 1 Target Whistle, which helps you against decks with Safeguard and Pyroar. This helps you prevent being walled by a field of a single Pyroar or Sigilyph, which could happen in the past. Another matchup it comes into play is Metal if they end up with just an Aegislash EX on their field, but have other Pokemon that you knocked out in their discard The one caveat is you need to use Target Whistle before a Lysandre’s Trump Card, otherwise the target you would whistle back onto the bench would just get shuffled back into the deck. And of
The 2 Pokemon Catcher are to let you try to bring out the ideal knockout to finish the game as quickly as possible, as well as to work around Safeguard. Lysandre’s Trump Card really helps this cards effectiveness by letting you play it 6, 7, 8 times if the matchup needs it.
The last new addition is Head Ringer, which is very nice in this deck. This deck works on speed, so every turn that you’re preventing your opponent from getting an attack setup, the higher your probability of winning games will be. For example, Manectric decks are something you would think this deck would be awful against, but like most EX heavy decks, I’ve been finding it at least a little bit favorable. It’s not quite as good as your matchup against something like Virizion/Genesect, but to have a slightly favorable matchup against something your main attacker is weak against is great.
This deck plays relatively well around your opponent’s Head Ringer. You draw through your deck fast enough to usually get a Muscle Band played right away, and if you don’t, you can just search for another Lugia EX and start attaching Energy to that instead of the one your opponent targeted with Head Ringer on turn one.
This is a deck worth keeping on your radar, as I think it can find meta games where it can be effective in. It’s speed and prize gaining ability make it pretty good against decks like Donphan and Night March. Additionally, it can quickly end games with two knockouts against things like Manectric EX, Virizion Genesect, and Bronzong decks. While it will still struggle against something like Pyroar, Target Whistle does make winning much more possible.
The big elephant in the room for this deck is Seismitoad EX, which you really don’t have great options against except getting lucky. This deck plays such a high Item count, that it will naturally be poor against an Item lock deck. To make matters worse, Seismitoad is often paired with Energy disruption and Garbodor, so you lose your Energy while not being able to accelerate back with Colress Machine, and you may lose both Deoxys EX and Lugia EX’s Abilities.
The only thing you can really hope to do is nail some Toad’s with Head Ringer to start the game, and just try to end the game in the first few turns of the game with a fast Lugia EX. The margin of error is so thin on this, as you can’t prize a Deoxys EX, that it will likely not happen for you. Alternatively, going for a fast Snorlax and hoping to sweep with that is another option, but if they pair Seismitoad EX with Yveltal EX or Mewtwo EX, Snorlax can quickly be knocked out, and Energy disruption cards can neuter it as well.
This deck still has a lot of good matchups against a lot of decks, unfortunately it happens to have a terrible matchup against what projects to be one of the best deck cornerstones in the format, in Seismitoad EX. However, during City Championships, meta games can vary wildly, so if you find yourself in a meta with very few Seismitoad players, this is a deck that could be a great play for you.