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The Best Lost Origin Pokemon TCG Cards in Expanded

It’s no secret that I’m a huge proponent of the Expanded format. Even though it seems to have been abandoned by TPCI (although whether it is really gone from major events forever, if it will come back like before, or if new Expanded events will appear at some point, is anyone’s guess), there is still a sizeable community interested in the format, not to mention a lot of players casually playing it online. There are many people around me who gave Expanded a try because I kept singing the format’s praises, and who became fans of it themselves afterwards. That’s one reason why I think it’s worth writing about Expanded once in a while. The other reason is, of course, that so few other people are doing it.

With Lost Origin being released, I’d like to analyze the new set from the perspective of an Expanded player. You might assume that the cards that will be relevant to the Expanded format will be the same ones that are notable in Standard, but you’d be wrong. There are plenty of cards that are unplayed in Standard that have been part of top tier decks in Expanded (Dragonite V, Tsareena V and Volcarona V, to name some recent examples) because they synergize with cards that are not in Standard. Conversely, some cards that are excellent in Standard, such as Bibarel, don’t see any play in Expanded because they’re not enough for the format’s power level.

The goal of this review is to figure out which cards from Lost Origin could have an impact on the Expanded metagame, and how. I will feature my own opinions and deck lists, some of them inspired by ideas I’ve seen from Japan. Keep in mind, though, that these deck lists are not tested, and that the Expanded format is still a wild frontier for the most part, due to the lack of high stakes events that would motivate players to find optimal deck lists instead of playing the same few decks known to be good, or using their pet decks regardless of quality. This means that it’s hard to predict how the metagame will evolve, and how much new ideas will end up being played. However, I hope that at the very least, I can provide a good starting point if you’re looking to explore the format.

 

 

Header - The State of Expanded

Before I mention how Lost Origin will change things, it’s useful to recap what Expanded looked like prior to it.

The best deck in the format is Shadow Rider Calyrex VMAX. It has everything going for it: a powerful attacker that is also a draw engine and an Energy accelerator, healing thanks to Acerola and sometimes Scoop Up Cyclone (that also gets Energy back in hand for more draw power), good consistency thanks to Fog Crystal and Mysterious Treasure and disruption from a variety of cards such as Alolan Muk, Trevenant & Dusknoir-GX, Marnie, Silent Lab and Wobbuffet. Gengar & Mimikyu-GX also provides the deck with the excellent Horror House GX, which gives it a free turn to set up and attach more Energy. Thanks to this huge toolbox, Shadow Rider can outlive aggressive decks and even make surprising comebacks with the help of N, Silent Lab and the natural tankiness of a 320 HP Pokémon. It is also very resilient against disruptive strategies such as Stall, mostly thanks to Alolan Muk and Silent Lab.

Shadow Rider is the deck that performs the best in online tournaments, and has been so for months. However, more and more players are focusing their decks in order to beat it. Turbo Dark, an archetype built around powerful Dark-type attackers powered up by Dark Patch, is making a comeback recently, and one of its strengths is its good matchup against Shadow Rider due to hitting it for Weakness. Mightyena, an anti-Mew tech, is also very good against Shadow Rider. It seems that lately, more players are using Zoroark EVS in their decks, providing them with a toolbox of good stage 1 Pokémon such as Alolan Muk, and Mightyena fits perfectly in there.

The other pillar of the format is the infamous ADP. No, not the deck that won Worlds, the original ADP: Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX. A single Tag Call can search for ADP and Guzma & Hala, which in turn can search for Double Dragon Energy, Float Stone and a Stadium (such as Stormy Mountains). This can be used to retreat the Active Pokémon and allow ADP to use Altered Creation GX on the first turn, very reliably.

ADP’s usual partner is Dragonite V, who is much better in Expanded than in Standard thanks to Double Dragon Energy and Tapu Koko Prism Star. More recently, it has been paired with Palkia VSTAR, who is a bit slower but tankier and more dangerous. Adding Water Energy and Palkia VSTAR to the deck means that it’s easier to add other threats such as Starmie V (a good tech against Shadow Rider) and of course Radiant Greninja.

If you’re still having nightmares about ADP’s reign of terror in Standard, though, don’t worry. Pokémon Ranger can be played to cancel out Altered Creation GX, and it’s easy to draw thanks to Tapu Lele-GX. That doesn’t make ADP a non-factor in the metagame, and having to play a specific Supporter early in the game when you mostly want to set up can be annoying, but having a universal Altered Creation GX counter makes the format much healthier, not to mention that Pokémon Ranger can still be good against other cards.

While Pokémon V and VMAX, and to a lesser extent GX, are at the top of the metagame, single-Prize Pokémon are still around and can be very dangerous. Some of these archetypes include Mad Party (much better in Expanded thanks to Battle Compressor), Ultra Necrozma (not as aggressive, but far more disruptive thanks to Silent Lab and Garbodor) and Meloetta. That’s right, Fusion Strike is played in Expanded, but Mew VMAX is an afterthought: it’s better to fill your Bench with Meloetta and Genesect V, put Fusion Strike Energy in play with Elesa’s Sparkle and attack with Meloetta all game long. This is possible because Meloetta only needs one Energy to attack when Dimension Valley is in play, and Special Energy can be recovered thanks to Special Charge. With all the speed of a Mew VMAX deck but less clunkiness, Meloetta is a dangerous deck, but it has a notable weakness to Faba removing its Energy from play for good.

On the other end of the spectrum, there are slower decks. Eggrow uses Rowlet & Alolan Exeggutor-GX’s Super Growth to set up a Vileplume AOR on turn one and Item lock both players for the rest of the game (ideally). It then stalls with Vileplume BUS or Decidueye DAA while playing many disruptive Supporters such as Team Flare Grunt and Faba, with Lusamine to get these resources back.

And then there’s a variety of Stall decks, usually centered around Snorlax PGO, with an engine based around Steven’s Resolve and Teammates, which aim to run their opponent out of resources. These decks can use a variety of cards to that effect: walls such as Pyroar FLF and Altaria CPA, or Lillie’s Poké Doll; locking a Pokémon in the Active spot with Snorlax and Counter Catcher; Energy denial with Plumeria and Team Flare Grunt, and so on.

Finally, some players enjoy all-in strategies, the most effective of which, Turbo Dialga, was born with Astral Radiance. The idea is to draw almost all your deck and play Cyrus Prism Star to leave your opponent with only three Pokémon in play, use Electrode GX to get a bunch of Aurora and Rainbow Energy from the discard, attach them to Dialga VSTAR and KO a Pokémon with Star Chronos. Then you move the Energy to Garchomp & Giratina-GX with Scramble Switch, and use GG End GX to discard the two remaining Pokémon, winning the game. This can all be done on turn two.

Sometimes, when players hear of Expanded, they imagine that the whole format is full of this kind of combo, but this type of deck is rarely successful. This is because Expanded offers a lot of disruption, and decks that live or die depending on whether they can draw their deck very fast tend to be fold when they are disrupted, for example by a Silent Lab or a Wobbuffet. Decks that integrate counters to these cards tend to be slower, but work better overall.

This is only a brief glance at the metagame, but if you’re planning to play in the format, these are the main kinds of strategies that you can expect. There are also many decks that basically just do damage in various ways; usually, these decks are not that good if they don’t offer something beyond that, whether it’s some kind of disruption (Alolan Muk is a good card in the metagame), the ability to take multiple KOs in one turn (think Jolteon VMAX) or additional Prizes (Guzzlord was a key part of Turbo Dark for a long time), or something else.

 

Header - The Lost Zone is Back

The unique aspect of Lost Origin is the Lost Zone mechanic. Cards such as Comfey and Colress’s Experiment sacrifice some of your cards by putting them in the Lost Zone in exchange for more draw power, and then some cards (Cramorant, Mirage Gate, Giratina VSTAR…) only work, or become better, once you have some amount of cards in the Lost Zone. That is basically the only way the Lost Zone is used in Lost Origin.

Comfey (079/196)Colress's Experiment (205/196)

However, the Lost Zone appeared on cards from other past sets, most importantly Lost Thunder. Lost Thunder had the Lost March archetype, which focused on putting a lot of Pokémon in the Lost Zone to deal lots of damage with low HP, one-Prize Pokémon. It featured cards such as Trumbeak and Lost Blender. Also, Prism Star cards would go in the Lost Zone when they were supposed to be discarded.

There are two ways in which we can combine cards from Lost Thunder and Lost Origin to make Lost Zone-based archetypes:

  1. Use Lost Origin cards to revive the Lost March archetype;
  2. Use Lost Thunder cards to make the Lost Zone-powered cards from Lost Origin more effective.

I have thought about the first option, but it doesn’t seem great. Lost March is harder to build than something like Mad Party, and doesn’t do much more. Plus, the new Lost Zone cards don’t help Lost March that much. Colress’s Experiment is not that good of a Supporter. It’s fine in Standard, but in Expanded, the opportunity cost of playing Colress’s Experiment is higher, because when you play it, you’re losing the opportunity to play much better Supporters, such as N and Guzma. As for Comfey, it’s usable in Expanded, but Lost March requires you to send Pokémon in the Lost Zone specifically, and there’s no guarantee that there will be a Pokémon in the top two cards of the deck when using Flower Selecting. Admittedly, Lost Vacuum is a good card in the deck, but it’s far from enough to make it relevant.

Lost Blender (233/214)Mirage Gate (163/196)

The second option, on the other hand, seems much more promising. Specifically, using cards such as Lost Blender to get to seven cards in the Lost Zone and use Mirage Gate seems amazing. With a fast enough engine, it seems perfectly viable to do so in the first turn of the game, especially if you put some Prism Star cards in the deck. Even if you never use their effects, as long as you discard them (with Dedenne GX for example), they will go to the discard, raising your amount of Lost Zone cards.

But what’s the endgame? Once you can play Mirage Gate… what do you use it for? At first glance, there must be some powerful attack to use on turn one that requires a lot of Energy, but if there is, I haven’t found it. The genius of Mirage Gate’s design is that it searches only for Energy of two different types, whereas Tag Team Pokémon generally need a lot of Energy of the same type: for example, Pikachu & Zekrom-GX needs six Lightning Energy for Tag Bolt GX, and Gardevoir & Sylveon-GX needs six Fairy Energy for Magical Miracle GX. What about Garchomp & Giratina-GX? As a Dragon Pokémon, it requires two types of Energy… but GG End GX requires specifically four Fighting and two Psychic Energy. This is doable on turn one with two Mirage Gate and a Double Dragon Energy.

The issue with this plan is that it isn’t, you know, good. To play Mirage Gate, you need enough Basic Energy in your deck to be sure you can activate it, even after drawing a lot of your deck (and presumably discarding or Lost Zoning Energy in the process). So you have to build your deck to have a lot of Item-based (and Pokémon-based) draw, probably with cards such as Battle Compressor, Trainers’ Mail, VS Seeker, Quick Ball, Dedenne-GX, etc. And you need Double Dragon Energy and Basic Energy. And Mirage Gate. And Comfey and Lost Blender and maybe Colress’s Experiment, or some Prism Star cards you can Battle Compressor away. Once you’ve put all that in your deck, there’s not a lot of space left for cards that can actually win the game. So if you don’t donk the opponent with your turn one all in (whether because you whiff or because they have three or more Pokémon in play), you lose the game.

If there’s a way to abuse Mirage Gate, it’s probably with Amazing Rare Pokémon, since Dragon Pokémon will generally be better off using Double Dragon Energy, but I don’t think that going for a super turbo turn one is the way to go.

As for the other Lost Zone payoff cards, most of them seem underwhelming outside of a Mirage Gate deck. Fantina is a weak Supporter in a format where many attackers are not Pokémon V. Cramorant is fine, but not worth playing just by itself. Sableye is not bad, but its effectiveness depends on a lot on the opponent’s deck. It’s amazing against decks full of low HP Pokémon, like Mad Party, but pretty useless against Shadow Rider.

Giratina VSTAR (212/196)

That leaves Giratina VSTAR, who I think is great! But I don’t think that it can really benefit from Lost Zone synergies. In my opinion, the best way to play Giratina VSTAR in Expanded is as an ADP partner. Apart from the thematic relevance of playing Giratina alongside the three other Sinnoh mythical Pokémon, both cards use Double Dragon Energy and ADP allows Giratina VSTAR to deal 310 damage (which can be boosted up to 340 with Choice Belt), which can KO any Pokémon, including Pokémon VMAX. It is also very relevant that Giratina V has the Shred attack, because that means that the deck has no trouble dealing with Altaria or Decidueye. Giratina VSTAR is an Evolution Pokémon, so Vileplume BUS doesn’t stop it, so the deck can’t be walled.

Here’s what this deck could look like:

PTCGO Code

****** Pokémon Trading Card Game Deck List ******

##Pokémon - 15
* 2 Crobat V DAA 104
* 2 Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX CEC 221
* 3 Giratina V LOR 130
* 3 Giratina VSTAR LOR 131
* 2 Dedenne-GX UNB 57
* 1 Tapu Koko {*} TEU 51
* 1 Tapu Lele-GX GRI 60
* 1 Cramorant LOR 50

##Trainer Cards - 37
* 1 Computer Search BCR 137
* 1 Viridian Forest TEU 156
* 3 Trainers' Mail ROS 92
* 1 Super Rod NVI 95
* 1 N DEX 96
* 1 Lost Vacuum LOR 162
* 4 Quick Ball SSH 179
* 2 Stormy Mountains EVS 161
* 2 Guzma BUS 115
* 3 Ultra Ball BRS 150
* 1 Special Charge STS 105
* 2 Professor's Research SHF 60
* 1 Pokémon Ranger STS 104
* 2 Guzma & Hala CEC 193
* 2 Float Stone BKT 137
* 4 Tag Call CEC 206
* 2 Muscle Band XY 121
* 1 Mallow & Lana CEC 198
* 3 VS Seeker PHF 109

##Energy - 8
* 4 Lightning Energy SWSHEnergy 13
* 4 Double Dragon Energy ROS 97

Total Cards - 60

****** Deck List Generated by the Pokémon TCG Online www.pokemon.com/TCGO ******

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While I don’t think the deck needs to be focused on the Lost Zone, I did include a small Lost Zone package. Lost Impact will most likely only Lost Zone one card (a Double Dragon Energy) per attack, but with Lost Vacuum and Tapu Koko Prism Star, we could get to four cards in the Lost Zone at some point in the game, allowing us to use Cramorant as an attacker. With Altered Creation GX and Muscle Band, it can actually OHKO Dedenne-GX for three Prizes.

Cramorant is also here for decks that will aim to run us out of Double Dragon Energy by playing Faba. If our Double Dragon Energy gets Lost Zoned, Cramorant will become active and be able to keep attacking, even if all our Energy is gone.

All in all, the Lost Zone engine is not as impactful as I expected. Mirage Gate has a lot of potential, though, so I’m sure there will be a way to make it work at some point (I’ll explore one such idea later one). However, it doesn’t seem as strong as I anticipated.

 

Header - Three Cards, Three Decks

The Lost Zone is not all that Lost Origin has to offer, though. In this section, I’ll discuss three other cards that have potential in the Expanded format, with a sample deck list.

Hisuian Zoroark VSTAR

Hisuian Zoroark VSTAR (213/196)

There are multiple reasons why Hisuian Zoroark VSTAR has potential in Expanded, perhaps more than in Standard. It can use Sky Field to potentially deal even more damage by having more damaged Pokémon in play. It can play Double Colorless Energy rather than the worse Double Turbo Energy. It can be paired with Spiritomb UNB, which damages itself and also hits Shadow Rider for Weakness.

While the idea of playing Spiritomb in a Zoroark VSTAR deck is tempting, I actually think it’s not that great. Shadow Rider can actually deal fairly well with it thanks to Astral Barrage, or shut down its Ability with Alolan Muk. Plus, you’d be vulnerable to the common Sudowoodo tech.

It is better, in my opinion, to pair Hisuian Zoroark VSTAR with a Zoroark engine. This lets you play Mightyena as your Shadow Rider counter, but also Alolan Muk to deal with Sudowoodo and many other Pokémon. Just like in Standard, the deck can play Gengar and Damage Pump to make sure there are damaged Pokémon on the Bench.

PTCGO Code

****** Pokémon Trading Card Game Deck List ******

##Pokémon - 23
* 1 Ditto {*} LOT 154
* 3 Hisuian Zoroark V LOR 146
* 1 Bibarel BRS 121
* 3 Hisuian Zoroark VSTAR LOR 147
* 4 Zorua EVS 102
* 1 Mightyena ASR 96
* 1 Zoroark BLW 71
* 3 Zoroark EVS 103
* 1 Dedenne-GX UNB 57
* 1 Tapu Lele-GX GRI 60
* 1 Alolan Muk SUM 58
* 3 Gengar LOR 66

##Trainer Cards - 33
* 4 Damage Pump LOR 156
* 1 Dowsing Machine PLS 128
* 1 Wally ROS 94
* 1 N NVI 92
* 2 Rescue Stretcher GRI 130
* 1 Professor Juniper DEX 98
* 1 Guzma BUS 115
* 1 Pokémon Ranger STS 104
* 2 Battle Compressor Team Flare Gear PHF 92
* 3 Quick Ball SSH 179
* 1 Special Charge STS 105
* 3 VS Seeker PHF 109
* 4 Battle VIP Pass FST 225
* 3 Sky Field ROS 89
* 3 Ultra Ball DEX 102
* 2 Float Stone PLF 99

##Energy - 4
* 4 Double Colorless Energy EVO 90

Total Cards - 60

****** Deck List Generated by the Pokémon TCG Online www.pokemon.com/TCGO ******

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Zoroark BLW is a nice tech to use against Giratina VSTAR, Dragonite V and some other Pokémon. You could even copy Altered Creation GX with it!

Since Hisuian Zoroark VSTAR’s Phantom Star helps with consistency, we play Wally to get it out on turn one so we can draw more cards, hopefully set up our board thanks to Battle VIP Pass and possibly use Ticking Curse as soon as turn one!

Thorton

Thorton (210/196)

Thorton is a card that seems to be made for Expanded. We’ve already seen Ninja Boy in some decks, especially in combination with Ho-Oh-EX. The issue with Ninja Boy is if you’re playing Ho-Oh-EX, you’re playing Battle Compressor to discard it, which means you’re playing other Item cards such as VS Seeker. This encourages you to play a lot of discard effects, and generally use a typical engine with Dedenne-GX and Professor Juniper. All in all, you’ll discard a lot of cards. But if you want to turn your Ho-Oh-EX into, say, Amazing Yveltal, you’ll need Yveltal to still be in the deck, which is counterintuitive (and requires you to play Rescue Stretcher to put it back). Thorton solves this issue: now, you can discard everything with no worries!

I’m sure creative deckbuilders will find many ways to run Thorton, but it seems logical to me to fit in instead of Ninja Boy in the kind of Ho-Oh-EX deck I just mentioned.

PTCGO Code

****** Pokémon Trading Card Game Deck List ******

##Pokémon - 14
* 2 Crobat V DAA 104
* 1 Guzzlord CEC 136
* 1 Yveltal SHF 46
* 1 Naganadel & Guzzlord-GX CEC 158
* 1 Marshadow-GX BUS 80
* 4 Ho-Oh-EX DRX 22
* 2 Dedenne-GX UNB 57
* 1 Tapu Lele-GX GRI 60
* 1 Radiant Greninja ASR 46

##Trainer Cards - 32
* 1 Pokémon Ranger STS 104
* 1 Scoop Up Net RCL 165
* 1 Professor Sycamore BKP 107
* 1 N FCO 105
* 1 Guzma BUS 143
* 4 Quick Ball FST 237
* 4 Battle Compressor Team Flare Gear PHF 92
* 3 Thorton LOR 167
* 4 VS Seeker PHF 109
* 3 Ultra Ball FCO 113
* 1 Rescue Stretcher GRI 130
* 1 Escape Rope PLS 120
* 1 Field Blower GRI 125
* 1 Dowsing Machine PLS 128
* 2 Float Stone PLF 99
* 2 Chaotic Swell CEC 187
* 1 Hisuian Heavy Ball ASR 146

##Energy - 14
* 4 Double Colorless Energy SUM 136
* 4 Darkness Energy Energy 7
* 3 Psychic Energy Energy 5
* 3 Fire Energy Energy 2

Total Cards - 60

****** Deck List Generated by the Pokémon TCG Online www.pokemon.com/TCGO ******

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Miss Fortune Sisters

Miss Fortune Sisters (209/196)

I’ll admit it, I didn’t give this card a second thought when I first read it. However, I’ve seen it in a few Japanese deck lists, and I think it actually makes sense. Many Expanded decks tend to be Item-heavy. Even non-turbo decks will tend to play staples such as Quick Ball, VS Seeker, Field Blower, Ultra Ball, an ACE SPEC, etc. This makes Miss Fortune Sisters better than in Standard, since it can be expected to hit more (and higher quality) Item cards.

Stall decks seem like good candidates to include Miss Fortune Sisters. When they have stabilized the board state, instead of using Team Rocket’s Handiwork to discard cards, they can use Miss Fortune Sisters. It’s not equally effective against every deck, and you can’t use it to completely mill your opponent since at some point, only non-Item cards will remain, but it’s a way to get rid of problematic cards (Escape Rope, VS Seeker, etc.) while leaving useless cards in the deck.

Miss Fortune Sisters also has synergy with Garbodor GRI. If it hits two Items, it increases Trashalanche’s damage by 40. Arceus VSTAR / Garbodor could benefit from this card, although I don’t know if it actually makes the cut.

However, I want to showcase a third and, in my opinion, more fun, way to include this card. That’s right, it’s Durant Mill!

PTCGO Code

****** Pokémon Trading Card Game Deck List ******

##Pokémon - 7
* 4 Durant NVI 83
* 3 Mew FCO 29

##Trainer Cards - 47
* 1 Echoing Horn CRE 136
* 1 Professor Juniper DEX 98
* 4 Clay CEC 188
* 2 Professor's Letter BKT 146
* 4 Level Ball BST 129
* 1 Pokémon Ranger STS 104
* 2 Counter Catcher CIN 91
* 3 PokéStop PGO 68
* 1 Field Blower GRI 125
* 3 Rescue Carrier EVS 154
* 4 Nest Ball SUM 123
* 4 VS Seeker PHF 109
* 1 N FCO 105
* 2 Energy Retrieval SSH 160
* 2 Hisuian Heavy Ball ASR 146
* 1 Miss Fortune Sisters LOR 164
* 1 Life Dew PLF 107
* 4 Cursed Shovel RCL 157
* 2 Lana's Fishing Rod CEC 195
* 4 Trainers' Mail ROS 92

##Energy - 6
* 6 Metal Energy Energy 8

Total Cards - 60

****** Deck List Generated by the Pokémon TCG Online www.pokemon.com/TCGO ******

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In addition to Miss Fortune Sisters, Durant also benefits from PokéStop which, combined with Clay, makes an Item-based engine viable.

 

Header - And the Rest?

Finally, let’s mention a few other cards that could be played in Expanded, though I haven’t made decklists for them.

  • Hisuian Goodra VSTAR, like every Dragon Pokémon, can benefit from Double Dragon Energy. Is it enough to make it work? It’s easier to power it up without having to rely on Mirage Gate; for example, you could heal a Goodra with Max Potion, then play Melony and Double Dragon Energy to keep attacking with it on the same turn. However, I’m not convinced it’s tanky enough to work, especially since Pokémon Ranger can cancel Rolling Iron’s effect. You could pair Goodra with ADP, but at this point, Palkia VSTAR or Giratina VSTAR seem like better partners.
  • Delphox V has a lot more potential in Expanded than in Standard, for two reasons. First, powering it up is much easier thanks to Welder and Blacksmith. Second, Manaphy (or other Bench Barrier Pokémon) are not that popular in Expanded, since they can be countered by Silent Lab (or Alolan Muk). Delphox V could be a great addition to Welder Toolbox decks, which tend to be the epitome of the “dealing damage, but nothing beyond that” issue I mentioned earlier. 120+ damage can be strong, as there are many support Pokémon with 120 HP or fewer in the format: Alolan Muk, Garbodor, Sudowoodo, Zoroark, Oranguru, etc., not to mention attackers such as Mew FCO or Meloetta.
    • Delphox V could also be used with Lost Zone cards, including Mirage Gate. Comfey, Lost Blender and Delphox V’s Magical Fire can all send cards to the Lost Zone, and then you can use Mirage Gate to power up Delphox V (allowing you to play Guzma instead of having to power it up with Welder), or some other attacker, possibly Giratina VSTAR itself. It’s worth noting that Radiant Charizard fits well in any deck using Delphox V, as a one-Energy attacker that can deal significant damage to a single target.
  • If you want something more gimmicky, you can look at Galarian Perrserker V, which deals 20 damage times the amount of cards in hand. With a Cinccino and Exeggcute engine, for example (maybe with Zoroark and Mightyena as well…), you could get a lot of cards in hand. Mew and Dimension Valley can be used to copy Perrserker V’s Treasure Rush for only one Energy card, while also using a one-Prizer to attack rather than a riskier two-Prizer.
  • Hisuian Goodra has some potential. Protecting Basic Pokémon that have Metal Energy on them is pretty specific, but in Expanded, that includes Basic Pokémon with a Double Dragon Energy. I’m not sure it’s reasonable to expect to set up a Stage 2 Pokémon just so that ADP or Ultra Necrozma can’t be hurt by Pokémon V, but it would be a way to improve the Shadow Rider matchup. It’s also worth mentioning that Hisuian Goodra has a good Basic (Goomy FLI 91) and can also be put in play directly thanks to Lance Prism Star.
  • Finally, Lost City could definitely see play, not because it fits a deck’s plan, but because it counters another’s. For example, Shadow Rider could actually play Lost City in order to counter Mightyena. Sure, Mightyena might take three Prizes, but Lost City would ensure that after Shadow Rider takes the easy counter KO, Mightyena is dealt with and can’t be brought back by Zoroark. Since Zoroark decks only play one Mightyena, that would be the main threat dealt with.

 

Header - Conclusion

Even though the card pool in Expanded is already huge, every new set brings something new to the table, as new cards find synergies with older ones. Lost Origin is no exception, and I can’t wait to see what deckbuilders manage to create around Thorton or Mirage Gate. In the meantime, I guess Shadow Rider is still the play!

Thank you for reading, and I hope to see you at an (online) Expanded event one day!

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