Lost Thunder Set Review, Part 3 of 4 - Fighting, Metal and Fairy
Lost Thunder is our November expansion set for the Pokemon TCG which will have 214 cards in it, making it the largest set in the history of the Pokemon TCG to my knowledge. Credit to limitlesstcg's proxy generator with translations. I will review the set while doing my best to look at every card objectively and in relation to the standard format I’ll note if I think a card will have an exceptionally different potential in expanded format. If a card is a pre-evolution with nothing special about it or just a filler card that is objectively bad I will simply put FILLER.
Lost Thunder has several notable pre-evolutions, and Onix is one of them. It’s a simple card but will see play because it is a fighting type attacker that has colorless energy requirement. This will be good in Malamar variants as a way to one shot Zoroark-GX. Because Malamar variants can accelerate energy, Onix’s 4 energy attack is practical.
I don’t foresee Donphan being played for its ability because of the heightened potential that damage spread variants have post-Lost Thunder. Spread would have an easy time playing around Donphan’s ability which is what makes it interesting at all.
Second Strike is an awesome attack. For just a DCE on this basic non-GX Pokemon, you will deal 80 damage as long as the defending Pokemon already had 3 or more counters on it. I expect to see this played as a one-of attacker in some spread decks and potentially as a main attacker in a shrine variant of its own.
The ability is good to protect it for a turn until you evolve it into Tyranitar-GX. Other than that this card has no use.
#118 Alolan Meowth
#119 Alolan Persian
The first attack is pretty good, but it is not enough to warrant playing this card.
This is the worst GX card in the set in my opinion. It doesn’t have a reasonable means of energy acceleration, and its attacks aren’t worth working for anyway. Being weak to fighting is the nail in the coffin for this card.
EDIT: I initially thought that the attack costs were too high and that it would be outsped, but I now believe that it could have some potential with the right back up attackers and energy acceleration. I also overlooked how good its ability is against decks that rely on working out of their discard pile ie: Malamar. Some1sPC’s Russell Laparre convinced me of this card’s rogue potential, so I won’t go into detail on the way to build a Tyranitar-GX deck since I believe he will be publishing an article on that over at some1spc.com
That serves as a good example for how to best evaluate cards. Having a rigid view on what a card is or isn't doesn't help the process. If we had infinite time, we could try every card in the set and make sure they all play as they read, but time is finitie, so we need to decide where to focus our attention, and that's what these reviews hope to serve as.
#122 Alolan Diglett
#123 Alolan Dugtrio
If Scizor-GX saw play then I think this would see play as a one-of alongside of its GX counterpart. The card is fairly solid, but I think the Scizor-GX line lacks 1 energy attacks which this card does not change.
The only reason I see any potential for this card is because Espeon-EX is not in Standard. Dialga deals 60 damage before devolving the defending Pokemon which is worth noting.
This card has some potential because of its ability to have two tools attached to it. I see more reason to play this is Expanded because of metal toolbox variants with Bronzong as energy acceleration.
#132 Alolan Ninetales-GX
In my opinion, this is one of the best cards in our Standard format. Looking at its basic stats, it is a Stage 1 Fairy type Pokemon with 200 HP and 2 retreat cost. The two retreat cost is likely the worst thing about this card. 200 HP is fair for a Stage 1 GX Pokemon. Fairy typing is good as it hits Dragon type Pokemon (Rayquaza-GX and Ultra Necrozma-GX) for weakness and resists Dark type (Zoroark-GX).
Alolan NInetales-GX’s ability states that upon evolving this card from your hand, you may search your deck for two Item cards. Searching for any two item cards during your turn can guarantee you some of the strongest cards in your deck, like Beast Ring, Choice Band, Counter Gain (which I will cover in Pt. 4!) or a search card like Ultra Ball to retrieve a Pokemon. This card has immediate synergy with Buzzwole-GX decks as Mysterious Lead will give the player a guaranteed search out for Beast Ring. White Silver Wind, Alolan Ninetales-GX’s first attack, does 70 to the active and 30 to one of your opponent’s Benched Pokemon for 1 Fairy 1 Colorless. With a Choice band, this OHKO’s Rayquaza-GX. Regardless of what deck this is being used in, White Silver Wind is an efficient attack that can potentially set up two knock outs in one turn if it doesn’t take a KO itself.
The final attribute of this card is its GX attack Sublimation GX. For the same energy cost as White Silver Wind, Alolan Ninetales-GX’s GX attack instantly KO’s the defending Pokemon if it is an Ultra Beast. With 1 Fairy Energy and a Counter Gain, this can potentially be used to OHKO an Ultra Beast like Buzzwole-GX or Blacephalon-GX for just one energy. This card has obvious synergy with Buzzwole-GX and also with Stage 2 decks because Mysterious Lead can search for Rare Candy. This card is amazing both objectively and when related directly into our standard format. This will see play and success.
Although the strategy of a deck built around Granbull is considerably gimmicky, I think this card has a very real chance of earning its place in the meta. The attack in the spotlight here is Penniless, which does 160 damage for just one fairy energy if you have no cards in your hand. With many cards available to lower hand size like Ultra Ball, Lost Mixer (Pt. 4 next week!), and Mysterious Treasure and also many cards that you can play down to get them out of your hand like Choice Band and Nest Ball, there is a practical reality of chaining Penniless attacks for 160 Damage. Being a non-GX that only needs one energy to attack, this leaves room for Shrine of Punishment for additional damage and Magcargo (CST) for consistently drawing exactly what you need.
I have not personally tested this card, but Sensitive Ray seems like a really strong attack to have on a non-GX Pokemon. It is a low HP stage 2 however, so building it up for one large attack may not be worth it. With Gardevoir-GX there is potential to set this up in one turn by attaching DCE and then attaching a basic fairy energy with Secret Spring. Of course, this scenario would call for having multiple Stage 2 Pokemon set up at all times. Perhaps something Alolan Ninetales-GX could help with? I will be trying this card out if I test Gardevoir-GX, but its not very high on my list of cards to test with.
#144 Xerneas Prism
This is another nice one prize attacker for fairy decks. I think that its damage output and HP of 160 is incredible, and its ability is fairly useful. As long as you can find a switching mechanism or have enough energy to efficiently retreat, Xerneas Prism can become powered up out of nowhere and be ready to deal damage. This is another card I want to try in a Gardevoir-GX deck.
I could see this card getting play for its Dream Fear-GX attack which resembles Tapu Fini GX’s GX attack. It allows you shuffle one of your opponent’s benched Pokemon into their deck, thus hopefully setting your opponent back far enough that you got value by not dealing damage that turn. Bib Bop Fall is an alright attack which will likely become stronger as the game goes on and you leave more Pokemon damaged.
#150 Tapu Lele
#151 Tapu Fini
I hope you have enjoyed Part 3 of my Lost Thunder Set Review! This set is amazing, and next week I will have my buylist included with Part 4 along with my Top 10 cards of the set.
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