So, today’s card is Lugia-EX, one of the most hyped cards of the set. Being an EX, it must have something good about it. And it does.
Lugia-EX is an EX. It has the usual 180 HP, is weak to Lightning and resistant to Fighting, having a 2 retreat cost with an Ability and an attack. Being an EX, The attack, Plasma Gale, only does 120 damage for FOUR Energy (albeit with effectively 3 of any Energy and a Plasma Energy) and requires you to discard a Plasma Energy or do nothing. This is nothing special, so let’s look at the Ability. It’s called Overflow, and it allows you to take an extra prize every time it KOs a Pokemon with its attack. This is very good. Taking three prizes when KOing an EX is very good, but the attack is a tad weak though, so you’ll need to be careful when attacking. It’s weakness to Lightning is good, with Raikou-EX, Zekrom, Zekrom-EX, and the wild Zapdos-EX every once in a while being the only real competitive Lightning Pokemon in the format. Being resistant to Fighting is great, with Terrakion, Landorus-EX, and the occasional Terrakion-EX still being played a lot. Having a 2 retreat cost is possibly the worst in the format, being a tad expensive while not being legal to target for Heavy Ball is bad.
Lugia-EX’s main usage is to take a number of prizes at one go. It is best for taking the last prizes of the game, and can also be used to threaten your opponent into needing to catch up by a lot. Lugia-EX itself isn’t a very good attacker, so it is not the best option to go with Lugia-EX being the main attacker and running 3 of them.
Strategies and game play:
When playing this card, you need to be wary of the damage on the board. Having enough damage counters on the board for a surprise OHKO is usually a moment when you want to put it down. When they are playing a non-healing deck, Lugia-EX would be a good time to put down. When putting down Lugia-EX, having a Keldeo-EX or a Switch would be good, but if not, just going aggro is OK, but can be dangerous, especially without Colress Machine to search for Plasma Energy. Against Lugia-EX, it usually isn’t too bad, unless if they start attacking first and threaten taking 2-3 prizes. If you see Lugia-EX, you should either Catcher it up or retreat to another attacker when threatening a KO.
Combos with other cards:
Being a Plasma card, it can combo with other Plasma Pokemon to make a Plasma deck, but this isn’t recommended as there are very low numbers of Plasma Pokemon and support right now.
It could combo with Plasma Snorlax from this set, with both being attackers with Colorless cost, both being Plasma Pokemon and Snorlax doing 180 with all spaces of Pokemon filled up with Plasma Pokemon.
Now, the main combo is with Energy accelerators. Blastoise, Emboar, Eelektrik, Colress Machine, Energy Switch, Hydregion, Klingklang and even just Double Colourless Energy all make great accelerators for Lugia-EX. When playing Lugia-EX, I highly recommend playing it in a deck with one of these.
It also combos well with Keldeo-EX. Using Keldeo-EX to place some initial damage onto the opponent’s Pokemon-EX, Keldeo-EX can then manually retreat into Lugia-EX and take the KO for 3 prizes.
As a final note, Plasma Frigate also combos by negating Weakness to Lugia-EX, though unless if a lot of Eelektrik is being played in your metagame, it is generally advised to avoid it, taking up deck space, and the ability to put another Stadium in play.
Ways to counteract it:
When counteracting it, the first thing to note is that it is an EX. So unless if they are are playing Lugia-EX with Plasma Klang, you should be able to use any Pokemon that can naturally OHKO or 2HKO it easily, so you should be fine in those situations.
When talking about specific Pokemon, the first Pokemon that come to note are Plasma Klang and Sigilyph. These anti-EX Pokemon are great against Lugia-EX, because they prevent damage done to your Pokemon by Pokemon-EX, though Plasma Klang is best off in its own deck.
Lightning attackers like Raikou-EX, Zekrom, and Zapdos-EX can also take advantage of its Lightning Weakness, though these Pokemon are better utilized by decks like Klingklang and Eelektrik.
On a final note, if your area is full of Lugia-EX, Darkrai/Hammers may be a good idea. As Lugia-EX needs 4 Energy to attack, taking away the Plasma Energy and DCE or any other Energy attached through Hammers is a good idea, though paired with card like Blastoise its going to be less effective, especially without using N.
-Good Weakness and Resistance
-4 Energy (1 being Plasma) needed just to attack
-Needs to discard Plasma Energy or do nothing
-Bad retreat cost
Modified: With Overflow, Lugia-EX becomes a potent game in finishing off many Pokemon-EX and taking many prizes in one shot. However, with the huge Energy cost, its best to use Lugia-EX in Energy acceleration decks. 8.5/10
Limited: 4 Energy, sure, but having even just one Plasma Energy from your pulls makes it a must run. Taking half or even 3/4 of your prizes from a Pokemon is no joke. 9.5/10