Searching Standard: Shiftry Lost Zone
Hello and welcome to another episode of Searching Standard, where each and every week I look for new, innovative decks for you to play in Standard. This week, I'm looking at a deck that was recently featured on the YouTube channel of Popsicle Knight. It features Shiftry LOR 13, a Stage 2 Pokemon, as one of its main attackers. Let's get started by taking a look at the deck list.
This deck was created to see if Lost Zone strategies would still work after Standard rotation happens. As you can see, Shiftry LOR 13 has a great attack requiring only a single Grass Energy, Tearing Gust, which can deal 210 damage to your opponent's Active Pokemon. The drawback to this attack is that once you use it, you'll need to put Shiftry LOR 13 and all attached cards into the Lost Zone. As you'll see, we'll try to turn that disadvantage into a benefit.
Both Cramorant LOR 50 and Sableye LOR 70 are secondary attackers for this deck, getting powerful attacks once you have cards in the Lost Zone. Cramorant LOR 50's Lost Provisions Ability allows you to ignore the Energy required to use its attacks as long as you have four cards in the Lost Zone. This allows you to attack with Spit Innocently for free, dealing 110 damage to your opponent's Active Pokemon. Similarly, Sableye LOR 70 has the Lost Mine attack, which can only be used if you have at least 10 cards in the Lost Zone. It allows you to place 12 damage counters on your opponent's Pokemon in any way you'd like, allowing you to score multiple Knock Outs with a single attack.
As a means of protection, this deck utilizes Miltank ASR 126, which works well against decks utilizing Pokemon V. That's because Miltank ASR 126's Miracle Body Ability prevents all damage done to Miltank ASR 126 by attacks from your opponent's Pokemon V. When they can't damage you, they can't Knock you Out and take any Prize cards.
In order to get more cards into the Lost Zone, you can rely on Comfey LOR 79's Flower Selecting Ability for help. This Ability lets you look at the top two cards of your deck, putting one of them into your hand and the other into the Lost Zone. It's a great source of card drawing as well as a way to help thin out your deck.
An additional way to get a few cards into the Lost Zone is with Colress's Experiment LOR 155. You can then use Banette LOR 73's Puppet Offering Ability to return Colress's Experiment LOR 155 to your hand. Doing this will place Banette LOR 73 into the Lost Zone, and you'll be able to play Colress's Experiment LOR 155 again on a future turn.
The final Pokemon in this deck have useful Abilities. Radiant Venusaur PGO 4's Sunny Bloom Ability is a great way for you to be able to draw additional cards at the end of your turn. It can help make sure you have plenty of things to do on your next turn. Manaphy BRS 41 is a Standard staple at this point, thanks to its Wave Veil Ability, which helps keep your Benched Pokemon safe from damage.
Once you have a minimum of seven cards in the Lost Zone, you can play Mirage Gate LOR 163 as a way to ramp your Energy attachment. Fantina LOR 157 also requires you to have cards in the Lost Zone to play, 10 or more to be precise, and she can be a great way to avoid suffering a Knock Out late in the game.
To maximize Comfey LOR 79's Flower Selecting Ability, you might need to rely on both Escape Rope BST 125 and Switch SSH 183 to help move your Pokemon around. These cards work great when used on other Pokemon as well, giving you more options when making attacks. Choice Belt BRS 135 gives the Pokemon it is attached to a little extra punch when attacking a Pokemon V. It can be very useful when trying to reach specific damage amounts required to Knock Out your opponent's Pokemon.
Irida ASR 147 is a great way to search out a Cramorant LOR 50 or Manaphy BRS 41. She also allows you to find an Item card, and this deck has a lot of good choices to find. Raihan EVS 152 is a card that can really help catch you back up after one of your Pokemon has been Knocked Out. Any card that allows you to search your deck for any card is sure to get played a lot in Standard.
Both Avery CRE 130 and Judge FST 235 offer you additional ways to draw extra cards. Avery CRE 130 is especially useful when played against an opponent who needs to have specific Pokemon on their Bench. With Marnie SSH 169 rotating from Standard soon, Judge FST 235 might be the best Supporter to play to mess with your opponent's hand.
Both Quick Ball FST 237 and Level Ball BST 129 are Standard staples, giving you a way to search your deck for specific Pokemon you need. Remember that Quick Ball FST 237 can only find a Basic Pokemon, while Level Ball BST 129 can only find a Pokemon with 90 HP or less.
Serena SIT 164 has a pair of modalities you can choose from when you play her. Her first mode offers you a way of discarding cards you don't need, then drawing cards until you have five in hand. Her other mode allows you to switch your opponent's Active Pokemon with a Pokemon V from their Bench. Both options have their uses, and you might need the first mode in one game and the second mode in another. She is very versatile, which makes her a good card to play in most decks.
The final pair of Trainer cards are more all-purpose than anything. Rare Candy PGO 69 can help you evolve into Shiftry LOR 13 more easily, allowing you to play fewer copies of Nuzleaf LOR 12. Ordinary Rod SSH 171 helps ensure that you'll always have Energy available to play, even if some of your Pokemon get Knocked Out.
Lost Zone decks have been pretty popular for a while, and with rotation happening fairly soon, it wasn't known just how good this style of deck would be. After seeing this deck, I think it's safe to say that the Lost Zone decks are here to stay for a while longer.
What do you think of this deck? Do you have any suggestions for improvements? Let me know by leaving a comment below. And be sure to join me here again next week as I continue my search for innovative decks in the Pokemon TCG. I'll see you then!
- Mike Likes