Hey 6P Community, what’s happening? About 3 weeks ago I was reading the Article Request Thread, and someone asked for an article on how to beat LuxChomp.
I thought about the idea and all of the ways to play against LuxChomp and realized something: There have been tons of awesome articles printed on this site such as Deck Analysis’s, COTDs, Tech Guides, Tips, etc., all of which usually contain a little bit of information about how to play the top decks and/or how to play against them.
However, not many articles were devoted solely to it. I’ve said before, my greatest strengths in the TCG is my ability at adapting to the new format, coming up with new techs/decks, and being able to outplay my opponent’s, so those are the most common topics my articles will be about.
The first article in my How to School the Competition series will be about playing LuxChomp and how to beat the other top decks with it.
pokemon-paradijs.comLike LuxChomp, DialgaChomp is another SP variant that uses Garchomp C LV.X. I assume that most of you have heard the phrase “winner of the Garchomp war wins the match”. That’s pretty much true, but there can be a bit more to it than that. Even though DialgaChomp is an SP deck, it is a slower variant. Instead of aiming for speed and disruption, its goal is to tank Dialga G LV.X with as many Special M Energies as possible along with using Garchomp C LV.X’s “Healing Breath” Poké-Power.
The first thing you need to remember when using SP is to not overextend yourself. LuxChomp is a very fast deck that new players often use incorrectly because they try to get everything set up turn 2. There are times when you need to be very aggressive in a match and others when you need to take the game slower. Your best bet at winning this match is to take out their Garchomp C/Dialga G before they can level up. However, it can be difficult to do if they get you in a “lock.”
If you cannot snipe their basic SP forms, that is when you need to be a bit more aggressive in your playing. If you’re more aggressive, you speed up the tempo of the game, making it harder for them to get their Special Metals and Poké Turns. However, like I stated earlier, it’s vital that you don’t overextend yourself. If you do, you will most likely loose.
LuxChomp is a deck that wants a prize each turn, meaning you need to 1HKO things as much as possible. Snipe their Uxie, Azelf, Bronzong, Garchomp C, Crobat G or whatever else you can. This is what I meant by utilizing Luxray GL LV.X: even though it can’t get a 1HKO on a Garchomp C LV.X, it’s great at sniping a Crobat G or member of the Pixie Trio with the aid of “Flash Bite.” You will need to always know if you should try to 2HKO a main attacker or snipe for a cheap prize. This is something that will take a lot of play testing to master.
pokebeach.comPre-Triumphant, Machamp meant a near auto-loss for any SP deck. Now, it isn’t quite that bad as Machamp Prime has entered the format. LuxChomp can handle 1 Machamp, they can usually handle 2, but once it gets to 3+ is when it starts getting hard. Machamp used to be run in a 4-2-3-1 or similar line. However, now the “Machamp” name must be split with Machamp Prime, meaning they’ll have 1-2 less spots for Machamp SF. This match gets a little bit easier because Machamp Prime is a little bit easier for the deck to handle than Machamp SF.
Of course there’s the usual Uxie LV.X + Lucario GL + Flash Bite to 1HKO Machamp SF (not Prime, sadly), but there’s a number of things you should remember in this match. First off, you want to be pretty aggressive in this match, making sure to Power Spray their Uxies to prevent them from furthering their set up. Second, KOing each Machop/Machoke as soon as possible is a good move to make it harder for them to set up a Machamp.
Unfortunately, stopping a Machamp from ever hitting the field will only happen about 15-20% of the time due to SP’s worst enemies: Broken Time-Space and Rare Candy.
You want to be aggressive early in the match, but you will need to be much more conservative later in the match, when they have 1-2 Machamp out on the field. This is definitely a match where you need to be thinking multiple turns ahead, trying to guess out what your opponent will do and figuring out your next moves.
Once a Machamp enters the field, you will be more than likely 2HKOing it, meaning that your first attacker will be KO’d. For that purpose, I recommend using Luxray GL as it is 1HKO’d by Machamp SF, but by the Prime as well, so it will be much harder to keep in play than a Garchomp C will.
Note: The last two seasons, when Lucario GL was in the format, I didn’t like it as it just didn’t seem to do much and felt it was overshadowed by Unown G/Toxicroak G PL. However, now that the first of those is out, the second is rarely played and Gyarados receives a surge of popularity, I believe running it in LuxChomp is a very smart move.
pokebeach.comThis match up, like DialgaChomp, you have a slight edge on, but only a slight one. This is a match that you can loose your edge on very easily unless if you play it right.
There are two ways to play this match: The right way and the wrong way. If you want to win this match, you will have to remember the strategy “6 Prizes any way possible”. With the new Junk Arm, it is a lot easier to get Magikarp into the discard pile. That advantage coupled with Pokémon Rescue, Combee, and the amazing new Rescue Energy will seal your fate if you just attack their Gyarados.
In this match, you want to take as many prizes with Garchomp C LV.X as possible by sniping your opponent’s benched Pokémon such as Regice, Sableye, Combee, Crobat G, etc. If your opponent is smart, they will be very careful with their Expert Belts, because with Luxray GL LV.X + Lucario GL + Crobat G, you’re able to 1HKO them, meaning you would collect 2 Prize cards.
You want to start by using a few Garchomp C’s, sniping the bench of Pokémon to collect a few Prize cards and if possible, disrupt your opponent’s set up. Then, when your opponent gets a Gyarados first set up, it may or may not be a good idea to KO their first Gyarados, depending if they have recovery cards or not (Hint: Smeargle + Unown Q).
If they play a Gyarados + Expert Belt, in most cases, you’ll want to use Luxray GL LV.X to 1HKO it. Basically, you want 1HKOs any way possible. Here should typically be your order of attacking. Keep in mind that this is only if you can 1HKO things, if you’re 2-3HKOing things, it’s a totally different ball game.
Here is an order that is typically true for the things you want to target. Keep in mind, that there will be times when this list should be ignored, this is just a tool to help you with your decision making. Your best decision making guide is your in-game judgment skills that have improved from countless testing games against the deck (I’m not too good at subtle).
1. Gyarados + Expert Belt – The 2 Prizes should rarely be passed up.
2. Regice – Can cause problems by switching around your Pokémon and helping them get KOs.
3. Crobat G – You don’t want them to be able scoop up these up using SSU/Poké Turn/Seeker. This is also a great way to put more pressure on them to use Expert Belt.
4. Uxie – Stop them from reusing “Set Up”for more cards.
5. Other – Basically, other snipe targets such as Sableye, Combee, etc.
After you run out of Poké Turns or ways to snipe your opponent’s bench, that is when you attack their active Gyarados for the last 1-3 Prize cards, granting you the win. Also, something to note, when you are just sniping their bench Pokémon and not KOing their active Gyarados, all of those recovery cards in their hand become useless, which also makes “Set Up” and Volkner’s Philosophy useless as well.
pokebeach.comSablelock focuses on one thing: Disruption. However, because of this, it lacks a lot of late game power as so many of its cards are included in the deck solely for the ability to disrupt your opponent instead. LuxChomp is a lot like that, but it has a better end game than Sablelock because it’s not quite so disruption-based. Resources! Perhaps the biggest thing you need to master (right after the rules) in the Pokémon TCG is knowing how to distribute your resources in each match; When you’re playing a Water deck, get a few Luxray GL set up, if you’re up against the mirror, go for a few Garchomp C.
Let’s take TGI Energy Gain for example; you will need to know when and when not to put them in play. If you just play them the second you get them, the Pokémon you attach it to often will get sniped before it can level up and attack. However, if you wait too long, more often than not, it will be hit by a Judge or Cyrus’s Initiative.
This is a match that varies so much based on each deck’s start and luck, making it very hard to describe. For example, a common move your opponent will make is to use a Judge/”Let Loose”, then “Impersonate” for a Cyrus’s Initiative to reduce your hand even more. The other move they may try to do is use Judge/”Let Loose” as soon as you start a Cyrus’s Conspiracy chain, which will break the chain and put you at a major disadvantage.
There are a number of ways to make it more difficult for your opponent to disrupt you and that is to switch to the offensive. Although, this may be a difficult thing to do, playing more aggressively should make it more difficult for your opponent to disrupt you as they’ll need to use their resources for the turn on getting out more attackers, thus lightening the load on you and allowing you to play a bit more freely. Also, keeping Power Sprays in your hand will help, which will prevent your opponent’s “Let Loose” to disrupt your hand, and “Set Up” to get more cards.
The mirror is perhaps LuxChomp’s trickiest match up to play, with a huge portion of the game riding on luck and each decks start. However, there are a few things you can do to help swing this match in your favor. Most of you know the importance of Garchomp C in the SP Mirror, so I’ll just touch on that a bit and instead go into more detail on how the other cards in the deck can help this match.
Of coarse, the Garchomp C war is very important in this match, but just like the DialgaChomp match, many players albeit forget about Luxray GL LV.X, which can be good for dragging up benched Pokémon for the KO, earning you a Prize card, thus not stopping your “a turn”goal.
However, Luxray GL LV.X does become useful late game that is to attack your opponent’s Garchomp C LV.X. I say it only works late game because you will not be able to 1HKO Garchomp C LV.X, meaning that they can/probably will use Poké Turn to save it or bring up another Garchomp C, level it up and heal it. But late game, most of their Poké Turns will be long gone, making this much easier.
Also, one thing that people often forget is that, while you cannot 1HKO Garchomp C with Luxray GL, they cannot 1HKO you either, unless if they use 3 “Flash Bites”, which may or may not be a good move on their part, using 1-3 Poké Turn to take a single Prize card. While using Luxray GL to fight Garchomp C is not ideal, it isn’t a terrible move.
Perhaps the best target for Luxray GL to snipe is Crobat G. First of all, you won’t need to use any Crobat G/Poké Turn to get the 1HKO. Second, you will be making it harder for your opponent to use Poké Turn/Seeker to reuse it, thus limiting your opponent’s options, which is always a smart move.
Finally, I stress that you do not over extend yourself in this match. If you do, you will often find yourself being crushed late game. There’s a difference between being aggressive and overextending. Finding the difference is a big part of what separates the people who want to win from the ones who actually do.
pokebeach.comThe VileGar match can go either way, depending on each decks start, tech choices and player skill. Winning this match without any trainers can be very difficult. Thankfully, there’s a number of techs and in-game choices that can help you do this more effectively.
First of all, SP specializes in switching out your opponent’s active Pokémon and sniping their bench. However, this is much easier done when you have access to your Energy Gains, Poké Turns and SP Radars. However, when you want to escape a Trainer Lock, you will most likely need to add a tech to do so, otherwise it will be very difficult and luck reliant that you’re able to do so.
For tech choices, the most common are Blaziken FB LV.X and Dialga G LV.X to break the lock, which are pretty straight forward. However, some matches, even with those teched in, you won’t be able to break the Trainer lock. However, there are a number of ways to make your deck easier to play and escape from Trainer Lock. Here’s a list of other options, but remember, doing 1 or 2 of these things alone won’t do that much to aid your match, it will take a combination to win.
Less Trainers – Seems obvious and difficult for SP to do, but reducing your Trainer count by even 1-2 can be worth it.
More Supporters – Increasing your supporter count to 14-15 may be a good choice, allowing you to play a bit easier under Trainer Lock until you’re able to break it.
Regice – I’m sure it will make you a bit nervous running this card as starting with it would be terrible, but playing one could potentially win you the game. Being able to discard useless trainers from your hand as well as switching out your opponent’s Spiritomb start, will often allow you a turn to play Trainers, giving you a huge edge in the match.
2 Pokémon Contest Hall – Is an AMAZING, but still little known tech, it allows you to not only get your basic Pokémon SP in play, but also helps force through your Energy Gains into play. Also, it can remove your opponent’s Broken Time-Space from play, potentially slowing down your opponent. Another good thing about this is, when playing VileGar, you’ll often notice they have trouble with managing bench space, so there’s a good chance that while it’s in play, it will do little to nothing to benefit them.
2-3 Professor Oak’s New Theory/Copycat – It’s a great card for shuffling away a bad hand full of useless Trainers to get to the cards you need. It doesn’t matter too much which you choose, some say that Copycat is MUCH better than PONT while others say the opposite. While I don’t see a huge difference between the two, I personally prefer playing 3 PONT to get the guaranteed 6 cards.
Smeargle + Unown Q – Good way to get a look at your opponent’s strategy as well as being able to use a Bebe’s/Looker’s to get the cards you need or destroy your opponent’s amazing hand. Plus, both cards are easily searched for by Pokémon Collector.
Bebe’s Search – I personally like to play 1-2-of this in SP as it allows you to get the cards you need while under the Lock and shuffle away a Trainer. Just playing this card reduces “Poltergeist’s” damage output by 60.
pokemon-paradijs.comStaraptor FB LV.X – One tech choice that is Staraptor FB LV.X. It works amazingly as an engine instead of Uxie LV.X, you can easily fish out that Cyrus’s Conspiracy/PONT/Bebe’s Search from your deck each turn, which is a big edge in this match. However, do remember that doing this will hurt your Machamp match as well as being open to a Luxray GL LV.X drag up and 1HKO (It has an x2 Lightning Weakness). It’s a good card, but is it better than Uxie LV.X? I am inclined to say no, but try it out and see if it works for you.
Also, when trying to decide between Blaziken FB and Dialga G, it will mostly depend on play style. Do you want a flexible, but not quite as sure-fire Blaziken FB LV.X or a bulkier, but more effective Dialga G LV.X?
I assume most of you know this, but if you don’t, let me touch base on your best ways to get around “Spell”. First off, the most common counter, Uxie LA. The idea is to get 90 damage on Gengar, then attack Gengar with Uxie, shuffling it back into the deck, thus avoiding “Fainting Spell”.
Your second counter comes in two forms, an attack and a Poké-Power and that card is Crobat G. First off, you can use it’s attack, “Fang”to KO Gengar. This is typically ineffective if Gengar has more than 20 HP left as it will most likely just retreat it away, removing the Poison. The second comes with “Flash Bite”, you damage Gengar, then use a combination of Crobat G drops, Poké Turn, Super Scoop Ups and Seekers to KO Gengar. This is especially effective if your opponent does not have another Gengar to bring up, allowing you to typically get a cheap KO without using “Bright Look” or “Dragon Rush”.
Another way to avoid Gengar’s self destruct mechanism is to get 40 damage on Gengar, let them KO one of your Pokémon and use Promocroak to KO it using Poison (40 + 60 +10 = Happy Time). Finally, if you have none of those available, you have one of two options. First off and perhaps the most effective is to simply play around it, focus on those cheap prizes and KOing Vileplume.
However, one thing to remember is, if you don’t have a convenient way avoid “Fainting Spell”, sometimes it’s smarter to charge into it and risk the flip. However, this should only be done if you have a Pawn to bring up or something that doesn’t affect your game strategy if it’s KO’d or something that you know can take a hit without being beaten. Secondly, you will want to make sure you have a string of other attackers ready to continue your “A Knock Out a turn” goal.
Well, that’s it for this part of my “How to School the Competition” series, I hope you enjoyed it and learned more about how to play LuxChomp. Comments, compliments and questions and yeah even your gripes are always appreciated. :)
Against Sablelock, save your Power Sprays for the Uxies and Crobat G’s. Nobody really plays Giratina anymore, and anyone who does definitely wouldn’t drop it in a LuxChomp matchup. It’s too easy to Luring Flame or Bright Look it and hold it active while your opponent flounders, unable to do anything.
Adding a section on how to use Dialga G and Blaziken FB in a VileGar matchup would have also been really helpful. Blaze is pretty self-explanatory — Luring Flame the Vileplumes to give them a hard time, Jet Shoot stuff to do large amounts of damage. Dialga, on the other hand, you /don’t/ want to keep the Lv.X out. The smartest thing to do, IMO, is to promote it, Level Up, play all the trainers you want to play, and then Poke Turn it. A smart VileGar player will be playing a handful of trainers to bolster consistency and speed, and leaving the Dialga G Lv.X out will give them an opportunity to play all their trainers at once to solidify their field, and then Level Down to shuffle all your effort away. If you can Power Spray the Level Down and you need to play trainers the second turn, I can see how you can justify leaving it out, but it’s not worth the effort at all to get the thing to your bench, IMO.
Great job with the article!
Honestly I would not recommend running Professor Oak’s New Theory in almost any deck (obviously there may be some exceptions). I just feel Looker’s is supperior by far. The reasons for this statement are.
1) You get to see your opponents hand this allows you to do multiple thingsL
a) You get to see your opponent’s hand which allows you to better predict their moves.
b) If your opponent has a large hand or a god hand you can disrupt them by having them shuffle it
2) Against Vilegar if you know you have favorable board position and means of recovering after this you can opt to draw 1-4 cards (board position will effect your decision to draw the number of cards.
And honestly the numbers of the cards you recommend are arbitrary as well.
Personally I would only play 1 of a draw supporter in LuxChomp. Honestly for space constraints I feel that you can spend the space on other things that will improve multiple matchups across the board.
As for Pokemon Contest Hall. 3 Is most likely the best number for the reasons you chose to include it in that list. For it to be most effective you want to draw into it early to be most effective in either of those situations. For setting up you want Pokemon Contest Hall turn 1 or 2. After that you’ll probably have your answer to Vileplume set up or almost set up, if not your in trouble. To disrupt your opponent by countering their Stadium it is simply less likely to draw into contest hall early.
Also, Regice is a terrible play in LuxChomp, 1 it only improves one matchup slightly. It is simply not needed by any means and is dead draw in ANY other matchup. I would highly not recommend running it.
I believe in LuxChomp that Uxie Lv.X is a much better engine than Staraptor because of the fact that in the mirror Staraptor is an easy prize via Luxray. Staraptor is best in DialgaChomp because of the large ammount of energy you run Uxie can clog up your hand very fast.
I hope I do not come off and being a bit harsh I’m just trying to clear up a few things for other players that are new at playing the deck or are looking to start.
Don’t worry about it, you aren’t being harsh at all. However, I disagree with a lot of what you said.
@Lookers – In VileGar or any Gengar, it’s definitely the right play. However, sometimes the benifits of seeing your opponent’s hand do not outweigh loosing one card, especially when you can use Smeargle for that. Sure, you can disrupt your opponent, but it’s a lot trickier to do than it sounds. You see, when you play a supporter, you usually want to help further your set up, but if you shuffle away your opponent’s hand, you don’t get any help.
@Draw Supporter Count – I personally play 2-3 in every deck I build because, if you only play 1, you probably won’t get it often in the game, making it near useless.
@3 Pokemon Contest Hall – I don’t play more than 2 because, if you do, it will really hurt your SP match up because remember, they can also use its effect since it’s a stadium.
@Regice – First of all, it can help against SP matches as well, being able to cycle out your opponent’s Pokemon can come in handy. Also, it cannot be sniped by them if you use “Seeker” to scoop it up again.
@Staraptor vs Uxie – It varies by playstyle and player choice. Right now, there are players on both sides of the fence.
Again, I don’t mean to be harsh just like you didn’t, just giving my explanation :P
Looker’s is the play in LuxChomp, it wins so many games. If you test it, the results will show. Late game it can crush any deck that relies on trading off prizes, in the mirror you can shuffle away your opponent’s only means to return a KO.
Regice is terrible in the SP mirror because of the fact that it can be dragged up, and explaining that you would use Seeker is not a reasonable responce. SP decks rarely run the card, and I do not recommend it in LuxChomp, the spot can used for more consistency. Also, the fact that having Regice in your deck makes it a possible start, usually you will play 1-3 Warp Energy in the deck, but they aren’t searchable so you may have no means of recovering.
As for the 1 of hand refresh cards, players can go either way. I prefer, as well as the other good players in my area are running one. We don’t expect to draw into it. When your Cyrus chain is done you can search it with Cyrus. Or you can use Smeargle early game in the mirror for there Cyrus and break there chain. Looker’s is overall more flexible than PONT and Copycat.
Most of this is just preference so we don’t and shouldn’t go back and forth. However, I strongly disagree with Regice, it is a waste of space/risk in a deck that is already tight on space.
Superb article!!! I play a VileGar and was happy to see you give it some props as one of the more difficult decks for LuxChomp to play. In fact, in the Fall Battle Roads, LuxChomp was the only deck that beat my build, and that was 50/50. I look forward to seeing if the new Triumphant cards improves not only my VileGar, but the LuxChomp as well. It’s such a fast and versitle deck, I hate it…..LOL
Vilegar and Gyrados are the two decks that have benefited most from Triumphant. I’ve been testing a revamped Vilegar with triumphant cards and it can give SP problems. Especially Luxchomp
Somebody really doesn’t know how to beat Luxchomp? Wow…
Yeah, there’s totally no such thing as new players to the Pokemon TCG. All these “new” people are just secretly pros trolling the message boards.
Seriously, dude, not everyone has been at this forever, some people just got back into things. If it doesn’t help you, fine, but don’t act like a new player should pick up a theme deck and suddenly the exact method to beat various decks flows into their heads.
I don’t mean to attack you or anything, but i just dislike to see the mentality of elitism here at 6P, when so many new players are trying to find help.
Yeah, I’m with you all the way. A few years back, I took a Hiatus from the game. While I still played, I didn’t do much to actually make a competitive deck or anything, I still had to rely on other people to help me get to know the metagame and get back into things.
Also, it is in our best interest to help new players. You see, every year, there are tons of good players, average players and bad players who quit the TCG for various reasons. So, if we don’t have new players coming into the game, the PTCG community will keep shrinking, which is always bad.
I like the article. If I played LuxChomp I would bring this as cities notes, but, unfortunately, I’m more of a kill kill kill kind of guy (This means I play Gyarados). This will definitely give me notes on how LuxChomp will try to beat me so I can use those tricks against them, however.
I’m sure this article will help any semi-pro LuxChomp players. Thanks for a great article.
the contest hall to get a gain is a good idea.
Thanks, I’m glad you liked it.
what are good techs to run in a vilegar deck to counter luxchomp (sorry sort of off subject)