Hello everyone! Prereleases for Lost Origin are behind us, and everyone is trying to piece together what the metagame will look like with the new Standard format. While Lost Origin isn’t legal for a couple of weeks, it’s very important to have early evaluations for what cards are going to have a major impact from new expansions. Everybody already knows the big hitters, Giratina VSTAR, Comfey and the whole lost zone engine will be incredibly powerful, and that’s a surprise to nobody. In the Pokemon TCG, overlooked cards have had a history of doing very well; cards like Cross Switcher, Zoroark GX and Inteleon SSH are all examples of these.
There are some cards I have seen while looking through the set list that haven’t been getting much attention. In this article, I’m going to go over some cards from Lost Origin which I feel are flying a bit under the radar and have potential for a massive impact on the format.
The first card I would like to examine is Radiant Gardevoir. While Gardevoir is a solid attacker, the main aspect of the card which I am interested in is its ability, Devotion Veil. While essentially making all of your Pokemon resist 20 damage from Pokemon V seems like a small effect, a similar ability has been incredibly successful in the past with Oricorio FST in the Mew VMAX deck.
Radiant Gardevoir has potential to have a major impact on the format when most attacks are hitting for exact knockouts. While Radiant Gardevoir isn’t very effective against Palkia VSTAR and Arceus VSTAR, it is extremely effective against Giratina VSTAR.
Giratina VSTAR’s main attack does 280 damage, which is exactly enough to one-hit KO most Pokemon VSTAR, as long as they don’t have Radiant Gardevoir in play. While the Giratina VSTAR can have a Choice Belt attached, you can still play Big Charm with Radiant Gardevoir to even prevent this. While Palkia VSTAR decks will need to include Radiant Greninja, most Arceus VSTAR decks will be able to include Gardevoir and Big Charm to prevent their Arceus VSTAR from being knocked out in one attack. While the effect Radaint Gardevoir has on the metagame is minimal, if Giratina VTSAR becomes incredibly popular, then Radiant Gardevoir becomes a very strong card.
Sableye is one of the payoffs from the lost zone engine which is being hyped out of Lost Origin. The whole lost zone engine is built around trying to get cards into your lost zone as fast as possible and has payoff cards for doing so. You can get cards into your lost zone in several ways, mostly using Comfey LOR, Colress’s Experiment and Lost Vacuum.
However, Sableye LOR is another payoff card which can fit right into a preexisting Giratina VSTAR deck thanks to using Psychic Energy. One of the main ways players will try and position themselves well against Giratina VSTAR will be to use single Prize decks, like Regigigas or Radiant Charizard, and Sableye is a solid answer against them. Sableye LOR is very reminiscent of Blacephalon CEC, a card which was very popular against single prize decks.
Sableye is also very useful against other matchups. You can knock out a supporting Bibarel on the bench or use it to attack several multi-Prize Pokemon, putting them all in range of a one-hit KO. Sableye also lets you finish off knockouts on Pokemon which have taken a hit from Giratina VSTAR. However, the cost of Sableye’s attack is very steep. Getting 10 cards into the lost zone is no easy feat and because of that, I can only see Sableye being used as a late game option and difficult to build a whole deck around it. Even so, the attack is still strong and versatile, and I would expect Sableye LOR to see play in lost zone decks.
However, Spiritomb presents a new and interesting one. Cursed Message lets you search your deck for any card when Spiritomb is knocked out by damage from an attack, which is incredible for any setup or control deck. If Spiritomb ends up being good enough, I could see decks playing four Spiritomb to let them get knocked out in the early game, which would set up your hand. However, Snorlax VIV is currently incredibly powerful, and its ability is used at the end of your turn, not just when it gets knocked out. If you are trying to use Spiritomb, your opponent can always just gust around it to knock out a different Pokemon or try and knock out the Spiritomb in a way that isn’t through an attack, and thus not triggering the ability. The outcome of Snorlax’s ability is also stronger than Spiritomb’s, drawing a large number of cards is often a lot stronger than searching out any card, as usually setup decks require multiple cards to function properly. I think that Snorlax is currently just better than Spiritomb, but I wouldn’t sleep on Spiritomb, especially when rotation occurs and we lose Snorlax VIV.
Fantina is another solid payoff for the lost zone engine. Like Sableye, it has the cost of needing to get to 10 cards in your lost zone. However, it’s effect is very different to Sableye. Allowing all of your Pokemon to resist 120 damage is extremely relevant in the current format. In Giratina VSTAR mirror matches, you can completely prevent your opponent from getting a one-hit KO on your Pokemon. However, Fantina doesn’t prevent Giratina VSTAR’s Star Requiem attack from getting an automatic knockout. Fantina is also a lot harder to find than Sableye, while Lumineon V is an option and Fantina still takes up your supporter for turn. I also think that Fantina is competing with Radiant Gardevoir for its effect, and while Fantina prevents more damage than Gardevoir, Gardevoir is also a lot easier to find and use. Even so, depending on how the Lost Origin metagame shapes up, I think that Fantina could be an incredibly impactful card for lost zone decks.
While Lost City doesn’t do much for the lost zone engine, it is a very strong weapon against single-Prize decks. Its effect seems narrow, but it’s backbreaking against Regigigas and Radiant Charizard decks.
With Lost City, you get to lost zone their only Radiant Charizard and prevent that deck from using their main attacher. You can also use it against Regigigas to remove two of their Regi pieces from the game, preventing them from accelerating Energy to any more attackers. Currently, Giratina VSTAR decks don’t really have a good Stadium to use, so Lost City seems like a very solid option to me in order to shore up some scary matchups. Regigigas is looking like a much more solid deck with Lost Origin because you gain Thorton, which allows you to play several different attackers in the Regigigas deck, like Amazing Rare Yveltal or Radiant Charizard.
This, along with a good Giratina VSTAR matchup, will make Regigigas a bigger threat in the new format, so playing Lost City as a check to Regigigas makes sense for Giratina VSTAR decks. Lost City does have the minor benefit of filling your lost zone if your own Pokemon get knocked out, but this requires your opponent to not have a counter Stadium of their own, which makes this plan unreliable. Lost City is a strong option in Giratina VSTAR as a counter to Radiant Charizard and Regigigas decks if they ever get too popular or too threatening.
Overall, there are always cards which fly under the radar when new expansions come out. While I can’t predict the future, there are always ways decks evolve over the course of a metagame and I like to keep cards like these in the back of my mind in case they ever become very well positioned. Thank you for reading and good luck for anyone attending Baltimore, Bilbao or Porto Alegre!