How to Solve “The Luxchomp Problem”

Hello again fellow UG members! I was originally going to write an article entirely on rogue decks, but realized the relevance of such an article to the majority of subscribers of this site may be questionable.

This is because I believe a lot of you guys will be considering Luxchomp as your States deck. Such an assumption is made due to the fact that is the most played deck in the format at the moment, as well as winning the most Cities & Battle Roads.

As a result of this, I have decided to discuss the various problem cards that Luxchomp players may encounter in an increasingly diverse metagame. I will also include a , but competitively viable rogue deck list and analysis for them at the end of the article just as a fun alternative to the inundation of States reports that will follow in the coming weeks.

So, first of all I think everyone reading this can agree with me when I say that Luxchomp is the most versatile deck in the format. However, even the debatably best deck in the format has its problems with certain cards / decks that can ruin the Luxchomp player’s tournament run if caught off guard.

Although a number of you may know how to deal with some matchups, a lot of newcomers to the deck may not have the in-depth experience needed to tackle them.

I hope that everyone can take something away from this article, so without further ado; here is my list of what to be prepared for as a Luxchomp player at States:

Problem: Machamp SF

Perhaps the most threatening card for any SP player in the format at the moment. “Take Out” is devastating in almost every situation, KO-ing every basic in your deck for one Fighting Energy. Fortunately, there are ways of dealing with such a problematic card, due to its Psychic Weakness. Exploiting this imperfection is the way to win this matchup consistently.

There are numerous methods of doing this, some more effective than others…

1. Drifblim UD + Lucario GL + Crobat G

pokegym.netMy preferable Machamp counter as it allows you to survive a “Take Out,” as it’s an evolved Pokémon and has the ability to 1HKO a Machamp with no realistic immediate response from the Machamp player.

Drifblim will have 70 HP remaining at the end of the turn as a result of using his “Balloon Tackle,” a hard number for Machamp to deal with as it only hits for 40 / 60 damage on average from “Take Out” / “Hurricane Punch” flips.

The backup attacker in most Machamp builds is Uxie LV.X to deal with opponents’ Uxies from KO-ing Machamps. He only hits for 60 and 20 damage, not enough to take down the balloon Pokémon.

The next turn, by simply attaching another energy to Drifblim, it returns the defending Pokémon (Possibly another Machamp) to the deck, as well as recycling Drifblim + 2-3 energy for later use in the game.

2. 3-1 Uxie Lx.X + Premier Ball + Lucario GL + Crobat G

An unusual, but entirely plausibly way to address the matchup. Playing an extra Uxie than considered orthodox is a great way of taking down the four-armed freak if you manage to maintain the flow of the LV.X staying in play. This can be done with the inclusion of 2-3 Premier Ball as well as 1-2 Junk arms.

The fact that the element of surprise is on your side here, as Machamp players will only expecting to see 2 Uxies, and when presented by a third, may not have the resources to deal with it, due to overextending earlier to take down the previous two.

In my opinion, 3 Uxie isn’t a horrible play as with its inclusion, it doesn’t really hurt any other matchups, but doesn’t do a great deal to help any others. However, it does help maximize the ability to use “Setup” as soon as possible, due to the increased chance of starting with it in your opening hand.

3. Neither of the above: Aggro “Bright Look” Garchomp C + Uxie LV.X!

pokemon-paradijs.comSo you decided that neither of the above strategies suit your play style, or don’t consider Machamp a prevalent force in your area to be specifically teched out for. However, round one you have the pleasure of seeing your opponent flip over a Machop turn 1.

Your heart would understandably sink, as you realize the matchup is now weighted far more in your opponent’s favor. But fear not, don’t despair just yet! The match isn’t entirely lost until the last prize is taken!

My strategy in a “panic situation” such as this is the all guns blazing approach, overextending in order to maintain the trade off of prizes, while disrupting your opponent to such a degree as to upset the balance of the Prize trade in your favor.

The best way to do this, in my opinion is to set up a Luxray GL LV.X chain of “Bright Looks” by always having a basic Luxray GL on your bench, gusting up common bench sitters, such as Azelf / Smeargle / Uxie and then Snipe other bench fodder in order to take, quick, easy prizes while forcing your opponent to attach their energy for the turn onto their useless active in order to retreat for their Machamp.

This allows you to set up your precious Uxie X (that I assume most, if not all Luxchomp players run), in combination with Lucario GL & Crobat G to take the last few prizes on their active Machamps.

As a result of overextending their energies by retreating earlier, it limits your opponent’s probability of setting up a response KO, having fewer outs in their deck to draw into to deal with your constant stream of KOs.

Emergency plans include tail coding with Ambipom G, hoping to buy you a turn from your opponents lack of energy to attach or Sniping an active Machamp with Garchomp C LV.X for 80, then next turn, ”Psychic Restoring” for 20+30 weakness for the KO.

Don’t be scared to lose Pokémon in this Matchup, as it’s inevitable. As long as the balance of Prize trades remains close, you’re in with a shot at winning!

Problem: Mewtwo LV.X

pokemon-paradijs.comThe once popular Mewtwo LV.X seems to have undergone a mass trend of being in a deck sleeve to sitting in a binder in recent times due to the increasingly fewer decks it’s realistically playable in.

This is not to say that you should disregard the threat of “Psybarrier” completely, as it could cause you to scoop up your cards and walk away from the table, disheartened after an undeserving loss after having no counter for it.

1. Drifblim UD

Here he is again. That useful ghost Pokémon sure does come in handy! He’s my suggestion for one reason: 60×2 (weakness) = 120 = 1 Hit KO on Mewtwo LV.X. He gets around Psybarrier due to him being evolved. Seems like an easy counter right?

But what if you don’t run this guy, or any other evolved Pokémon for that matter? How could you possibly take down this guy if you cannot even damage him with your attacks?

2. “Bright Look” + Seeker

I’m becoming increasingly fond of a one-off copy of Seeker in my Luxchomp builds as it clears unwanted Pokémon from the Bench as well as re-using that crucial Uxie or Crobat G power. The trick here is to snipe around Psybarrier early game by KOing your opponents support Pokémon on the bench (Uxie/Azelf etc) bar one.

When left in the situation that leaves only a Mewtwo LV.X active and any Pokémon within ”Dragon Rush” or” Flash impact” range on the bench it’s time to implement the play to end the game.

On your turn, Use “Bright Look” with LV.X, bring up the benched Pokémon, play Seeker to force them to scoop up their benched Mewtwo up to their hand, and then Ko their active to win the game by benching them.

The reason that this trick works is that playing down basics to the bench is counterproductive for the Mewtwo player, as it gives you more cheap targets to take easy prizes, reducing the effectiveness of Mewtwo being in the deck. The only way this trick may fail is if your opponent opens with Mewtwo, and proceeds to LV.X next turn with no bench.

Problem: Steelix Prime

pokegym.netSteelix is becoming more and more of a viable deck choice in this format due to its ability to tank Special metal energies and swing for high damage. It has decent matchups against the majority of the top tier decks in the format at the moment, so don’t be surprised if you run into a few of these at your State Championships.

The question is… what is the best way to take down this troublesome tank?

1. Drifblim UD

Seems that a pattern is occurring here. Drfiblim’s “Take away” attack is simply a godsend to the Luxchomp player as it shuffles in the Steelix as well as your Drifblim back into the players’ decks for potential use later on. A decent counter, which removes their main attacking threat from play.

2. Aggro Luxray GL LV.X / Ambipom G to take the game to time.

This play is for use in the case of not including Drifblim in your build. Let’s face it, if Steelix Prime gets up and running with 5 energy; he’s going to run right through your Pokémon with “Gaia Crush” and an Expert Belt.”

The idea here is to use Luxray GL early game, abusing the LV.X’s “Bright Look” Poké-Power in order to take cheap prizes, while taking advantage of the fact the Lightning cat has metal resistance, to minimize damage from Steelix Prime’s attacks.

A Steelix deck has a far slower setup than a Luxchomp build, causing prizes to be given up early game so that he can storm the SP player a few turns later. By taking a few cheap prizes, using your Power Sprays on Pokémon they rely on to set up with their coming-into-play Powers causes your opponent to overextend and potentially drop that extra Uxie (aka, free prize fodder) to maximize your lead.

pokemon-paradijs.comWhen it looks like the Steelix player has a tank on the horizon, use Ambipom G’s “Tail Code” to spread energies over your opponent’s field so that it becomes more unlikely that Steelix will be able to use “Gaia Crush” consistently.

By ensuring that you take your time to plan your turns out so as not to misplay, the clock will hopefully have run out by the time the 30 minutes is over, resulting in your favor, securing the win. A cheap way of winning, but your only realistic way of winning a 30 minute Swiss match.

Problem: Donphan Prime

This elephant sure poses a problem for Luxchomp if it’s allowed to get going. It swings for a 1HKO on Luxray GL LV.X for one energy, as well as KO-ing nearly any Pokémon in your deck with 3 energy and an Expert Belt.

That in combination with the fact that it reduces damage by 20 automatically with its built-in Poké-Body has the ability to stop Luxchomp decks dead in their tracks. How do you take home a win?

1. Crobat G + Garchomp C LV.X (+ FB)

Crobat G is actually an invaluable asset in this matchup. “Toxic Fang” bypasses the Donphan Prime’s Poké-body and double poisons between turns. Why is this so significant? The reason is that if the math is worked out it will take only 2 turns to take down a Donphan! Using a Toxic fang followed by a “Dragon Rush” will spell the end for a non-expert belted Donphan as well as healing the hit your Crobat G just took:

20 (Toxic end of your turn) + 20 (Toxic end of their turn) + 80 (-20 from Poké-Body) + 20 (toxic end of your turn) = 120

This leaves you with a turn in which you can either “Dragon Rush” on a benched target to draw yet another prize, or send up something to sacrifice / use as a wall.

pokemon-paradijs.comThis is where Dragonite FB comes in. This guy is pretty much Donphan-proof as he can’t even be 1 hit KO’d by a belted Donphan Prime due to resistance, and would take a great deal of overextension on your opponent’s behalf in order to do so.

Using him effectively to deny your opponent a prize to increase your lead can only benefit your cause.

In the case of an Expert Belted Donphan, simply “Flash Bite” the offending 2 prize liability, Poké Turn and repeat again. Be prepared to lose your Crobat G at some point in the match and prepare for it by searching out your Aaron’s Collection for recovery.

2. Froslass GL + Crobat G + (2 Psychic Energy)

An alternative approach to the matchup. The inclusion of the overlooked Froslass GL allows you to take down Donphans relatively easily as well. Starting with the Crobat G, “Toxic Fang” the Donphan Prime, then next turn, use “Wake-Up Slap” with Froslass GL for the KO.

20 (Toxic end of your turn) + 20 (Toxic end of their turn) + 100 (-20 from Poké-Body) = 120

This is an incredibly effective way to take down Donphans as it requires less set-up than Garchomp C LV.X and includes added disruption in the form of “Sleep Inducer,” which is really useful in other matchups such as VileGar, in order to bring up their Vileplume to KO with Uxie LV.X or get (AR) out of the active position.

pokemon-paradijs.comIn order for this variant to work efficiently, 2 Psychic Energy are crucial in the list. If one is prized, you’re in a fair amount of trouble, as well as potentially losing one through the discard as a result of having Crobat G / Froslass GL KO’d.

So there you go guys, a few cards I see as problem s for Luxchomp and hopefully ways to address them. As you can see, Drifblim Undaunted would be at home in any Luxchomp build, and highly recommend him if you are relatively new to using the deck competitively as he simply gives you far easier games in unpredictable / an unknown metagame.

For players more experienced with the deck, and feel they are comfortable enough with the deck to maximize cards that improve mirror match (such as Energy Exchanger, VS Seeker & both Dragonite FB + Ambipom G) I wish the best of luck, as I realize this deck takes a lot of skill to master.

So with that out of the way, I present to you a fun, but competitively viable Lost Zone deck that contains no Gengar Prime! Here is Mime Jr!

Pokémon – 21

4 Mime Jr. CL
3 Uxie LA
1 Uxie LV.X
3 Mesprit LA
2 Chatot G
1 Azelf LA
1 Giratina PL 9
1 Skuntank G
1 Palkia G
1 Palkia G LV.X
1 Finneon SF 61
1 Lumineon SF 4
1 Unown Q MD

Trainers – 33

4 Pokémon Collector
3 Pokémon Communication
1 Luxury Ball
4 Super Scoop Up
3 Poké Turn
2 Seeker
3 Junk Arm
4 Twins
1 VS Seeker
1 Pokémon Rescue
2 Warp Point
3 Snowpoint Temple
2 Lost World

Energy – 6

3 Rescue
3 Warp

Strategy

Well, the aim of the deck here is to win by Lost Zoning 6 of your opponent’s Pokémon and playing a Lost World down to seal the game. The Lost Zoning of these Pokémon is done in numerous ways in order to achieve victory.

Step 1:

pokemon-paradijs.comUse Mime Jr. in combination with Chatot G to Lost Zone their Pokémon from the top of their deck, while hopefully giving them dead draws and maintaining a power lock with Mespirit LA.

Also, there is a 50% chance Mime Jr. won’t be able to be damaged by attacks during your opponents next turn. Once 3-4 Pokémon are in the Lost Zone as a result of this process, it’s time to set up step 2.

Step 2: Palkia G + Lumineon SF

By now, a smart player with have got all their Pokémon out of their deck with Pokémon Collector and other search cards, so as to render “ sleepy lost” a redundant attack.

This is the time to surprise them with Palkia G / Lumineon Combo, which should have all the pieces available to you due to being able to chain Twins constantly as the deck doesn’t take prizes as its primary method of winning.

Even snagging one Pokémon with “Lost Cyclone” may spell disaster for your opponent as it could be evolved (in which case all previous stages of evolution go in the Lost Zone as well. Lumineon SF increases their amount of Pokémon in play, as well as disrupting your opponent’s energy attachment for retreat of their new active Pokémon as a result of “Fin Luster.”

Step 3: Lost World

pokegym.netSix Pokémon in your opponent’s Lost Zone. Play down Lost World. Win. Simple!

The deck is still in early stages of development, and shows promise, but suffers from the following:

– An ineffective attacker in sudden death situations.

– Low HP main attacker.

– Poor Gyarados matchup.

These problems need to be addressed, and will be in later builds I imagine, possibly with the inclusion of Honchkrow SV against Gyarados, or a fast sudden death combatant that can survive current metagame pressures.

However, for the moment, it’s proving to be quite the contender, beating Machamp decks 50% of the time, which I believe to be its worst matchup alongside Luxchomp.

Well readers, I hope that you enjoyed my article and that you can take something new away from it. Good luck at States and may Luxchomp do you proud!

Until next time,

Tom H.


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