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Top Ten Cards From Lost Thunder

With Lost Thunder prereleases taking place between October 20-28, the internet is all abuzz with discussions about what new decks are going to be created and which cards will slot into existing archetypes. So I figured now is the perfect time for me to voice my opinion on this upcoming set. I'll be counting down the top ten cards that I think look the most fun to play and that I'm most excited to jam into my new brews. Let's get started.


# 10.

Shaymin – Grass – HP70
Basic Pokemon

Ability: Floral Heal
Once during your turn (before your attack), you may heal 20 damage from your Active [G] Pokemon.

[G][C] Ram: 30 damage.

Weakness: Fire (x2)
Resistance: none
Retreat: 1

 

Shaymin looks to be a whole lot of fun for any deck relying on Grass types. The Floral Heal ability has potential to keep your active Pokemon alive longer than your opponent would like. In Magical Christmas Land, the thought of getting four of these onto my bench and being able to heal 80 points of damage from my active Pokemon sounds pretty cool. Chances are slim that this will ever happen, but healing 20 points every turn isn't bad. When this ability is combined with other attacks that heal your active Pokemon, you will most certainly have a very frustrated opponent.

 


# 9.

Whitney – Trainer
Supporter

Draw 1 card. Draw an additional 2 cards for each Whitney in your discard pile (excluding this one).

You can only use 1 Supporter card during your turn (before you attack).

 

Without some way to get copies of this card into your discard pile, the first Whitney you play will likely not be that exciting. You're only getting to draw a single card at the cost of playing your Supporter for the turn. Once you have a couple of copies of Whitney in your discard pile, the payoff begins to be worth the price. Assuming you have no copies in your discard pile through other means, the first one you play allows you to draw one card.  The second one draws you three cards. The next gets you five cards, and the last will draw you seven. The main drawback is that it's not a card you want to play less than a full playset of. For hardcore tournament players, this isn't the Supporter card for you if you want to draw cards, but it looks like a fun card to play if you're a casual player.

 


# 8.

Zeraora-GX – Lightning – HP190
Basic Pokemon

Ability: Electric Zone
Each of your Pokemon that has any [L] Energy attached to it has no Retreat Cost.

[L][L][C] Plasma Fists: 160 damage. This Pokemon can’t attack during your next turn.

[L] Full Voltage GX: Attach 5 basic Energy cards from your discard pile to your Pokemon in any way you like. (You can’t use more than 1 GX attack in a game.)

When 1 of your Pokemon-GX is Knocked Out, your opponent takes 2 Prize cards.

Weakness: Fighting (x2)
Resistance: Metal (-20)
Retreat: 2

 

Including Zeraora-GX in a Lightning deck is a no-brainer. Being able to retreat for free makes it very difficult for your opponent to know what Pokemon they can safely leave as their active Pokemon. But Zeraora-GX doesn't have to only be included in Lightning decks. Thanks to its Full Voltage GX attack, you can attach five basic Energy cards of any types to any of your Pokemon in play. That can allow you to turn the game around in a hurry. That allows Zeraora-GX to be played in a ton of potential decks.

 


# 7.

Scizor – Metal – HP120
Stage 1 – Evolves from Scyther

Ability: Exoskeleton
This Pokemon takes 30 less damage from attacks.

[M][C] Special Blow: 60 damage. If your opponent’s Active Pokemon has any Special Energy attached to it, this attack does 70 more damage.

Weakness: Fire (x2)
Resistance: Psychic (-20)
Retreat: 1

 

The first thing that caught my eye when I first looked at this Pokemon was its Exoskeleton Ability. As a mostly casual player, Pokemon that take less damage from each attack are fun to play. When looking at other Pokemon currently in Standard, I believe this is the only Stage 1 Pokemon that reduces damage by 30 points. All of the others that reduce damage by 30 points are Stage 2 Pokemon. Since this evolves from Scyther, this likely would go well in a deck featuring Grass type Pokemon that can also heal your team. I also like that Scizor can hit like a ton of bricks if the opposing Pokemon has any Special Energy attached to it.

 


# 6.

Alolan Meowth – Darkness – HP60
Basic Pokemon

[.] Spoilsport: 10+ damage. If you go second, on your first turn this attack does 60 more damage.

Weakness: Fighting (x2)
Resistance: Psychic (-20)
Retreat: 1

 

This is a great Pokemon to draw in your starting hand if you're going second. For the low, low cost of zero Energy, you can deal 70 points to your opponent's active Pokemon. If you're lucky, you'll be able to OHKO (one-hit knock out) your opponent's active Pokemon. However, if you draw this card later in the game, I'm still excited about this card since you can attack without having any Energy attached to it. Use it as a way to stall for a turn or two while you work on building up the rest of your team.

 


# 5.

Shuckle-GX – Grass – HP170
Basic Pokemon

Ability: Protective Pot
Prevent all damage done to this Pokemon by your opponent’s Pokemon with 2 or less Energy attached to them.

[C] Triple Poison: Your opponent’s Active Pokemon is now Poisoned. Put 3 damage counters instead of 1 on that Pokemon between turns.

[C] Wrap GX: 40 damage. Your opponent’s Active Pokemon is now Paralyzed. (You can’t use more than 1 GX attack in a game.)

When 1 of your Pokemon-GX is Knocked Out, your opponent takes 2 Prize cards.

Weakness: Fire (x2)
Resistance: none
Retreat: 1

 

Shuckle-GX is another ultra-defensive Pokemon that I like. As long as you're able to prevent your opponent from attaching more than two energy to their Pokemon, you can remain safe. And unless your opponent is really lucky, you'll likely be able to get in some damage with your Triple Poison attack. Shuckle-GX also has a fair amount of HP, so use Shuckle-GX as a speed bump for your opponent while you build up the rest of your team.

 


# 4.

Sightseer – Trainer
Supporter

Draw cards from your deck until you have 5 cards in your hand. Before drawing, you may discard any number of cards from your hand.

You may play only 1 Supporter card during your turn (before your attack).

 

This is my favorite Trainer card in this set. This allows me to get rid of cards in my hand that are not currently useful in exchange for new cards. And, there are lots of ways to get cards back from your graveyard, either putting them into your hand or directly into play. This card allows you to be able to see more cards than normal, which is a form of card advantage, and can help you find the missing pieces for any combo you might be trying to complete.

 


# 3.

Sigilyph-GX – Psychic – HP170
Basic Pokemon

Ability: Mirror Counter
If this Pokemon is your Active Pokemon and is damaged by an attack from your opponent’s Pokemon-GX or Pokemon-EX (even if this Pokemon is Knocked Out), put damage counters on the Attacking Pokemon equal to the damage done to this Pokemon.

[P][C][C] Sonic Wing: 80 damage. This attack’s damage isn’t affected by Resistance.

[P][C][C] Intercept GX: 60x damage. This attack does 60 damage times the number of Energy attached to your opponent’s Active Pokemon. (You can’t use more than 1 GX attack in a game.)

When 1 of your Pokemon-GX is Knocked Out, your opponent takes 2 Prize cards.

Weakness: Lightning (x2)
Resistance: Fighting (-20)
Retreat: 2

 

If your opponent is playing a Pokemon-GX or Pokemon-EX, this is the ultimate Pokemon to slow the game down. By making this your active Pokemon you force your opponent to decide whether they want to attack it, thereby taking damage themselves, or to leave it alone which allows you to build up your benched Pokemon. If you have Energy attached to this that will allow it to attack, your opponent will likely attack it, as it's better to take out Sigilyph-GX and have its Mirror Counter Ability KO the attacking Pokemon rather than holding back and dying by being attacked. Keep that in mind when you make this your active Pokemon.

 


# 2.

Giratina – Psychic – HP130
Basic Pokemon

Ability: Torn Door
Once during your turn (before you attack), if this Pokemon is in your discard pile, you may play it onto your Bench. Then, put 1 damage counter on 2 of your opponent’s Benched Pokemon.

[P][P][C] Shadow Impact: 130 damage. Put 4 damage counters on 1 of your Pokemon.

Weakness: Darkness (x2)
Resistance: Fighting (-20)
Retreat: 3

 

Giratina reminds me of the Energizer Bunny. It just keeps going, and going, and going. If you get this in your discard pile, you can return it to your Bench and deal some incidental damage to your opponent's Benched Pokemon. If you're playing a spread deck that spreads damage out across the opponent's Pokemon, you might be able to KO multiple Pokemon in one turn. While I'm less than thrilled about Giratina's Shadow Impact attack, I'm not opposed to building a deck with this Pokemon in it.

 


# 1.

Zebstrika – Lightning – HP110
Stage 1 – Evolves from Blitzle

Ability: Fast Break
Once during your turn (before your attack), you may discard your hand. Then, draw 4 cards.

[L][C] Head Bolt: 60 damage.

Weakness: Fighting (x2)
Resistance: Metal (-20)
Retreat: 1

 

Card advantage is very important in winning any card game. Zebstrika gives you the ability to see five new cards every turn (one that you draw for the turn and four from Zebstrika's Fast Break Ability). With that sort of card advantage you should be able to find the pieces you need that will allow you to end the game quickly. And, this doesn't even need to be your active Pokemon in order to be able to do it. This is undoubtedly my favorite card in this set.

 


Wrapping Up

There you have it, my top ten cards from Lost Thunder. These are the cards that I'm most looking forward to playing. All of these cards may not see tournament play, but some of them have the potential to. I'm interested in hearing your thoughts on my list as well as what cards you like best from this upcoming set. Let me know by leaving a comment below or you can reply to me directly on Twitter (@mikelikesmtg), or email me directly at mikelikesmtg@gmail.com. And be sure to join me here again next week as I continue my search for innovative decks. I'll see you then!

— Mike Likes

 


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