Hey there, Some1s PC readers, my name is Kirk Dubé, here to discuss with you a new deck on the block; Lost March. Before we get into the heart of this article, I wanted to give a 10,000-foot view of myself as it pertains to the Pokemon Trading Card Game. The 2017-2018 season was my first full competitive season chasing a Worlds invite, obtaining that goal at the end of the third quarter. I am best known for being the founder and host of the Super Rod-cast Podcast, as well as my extensive work on the expanded archetype, Wailord (or as I call it Lawfirm Whales; a tribute to my partner in crime and S1PC’s own Drew Bennett Kennett). Recently, you may have seen me make the transition to a commentary role, as the play-by-play commentator for the Madison Regional as well as the Memphis Regional earlier this season. Now that all my “qualifications” are out of the way, I’m excited to discuss Lost March in the new standard format.
Lost March (LM) is a deck that uses the single prize attackers, Jumpluff and Natu, to unleash devastating attacks by leveraging the number of Pokémon you have in the Lost Zone. With the use of Skiploom’s “Floral Path to the Sky” ability, Trumbeak’s “Mountain Migration” ability, and the Item Lost Blender, this deck can easily banish opponents’ actives to reach impressive numbers in the early turns of the game.
Now. Let’s jump into how to form the list since that is why you all are here. *disclaimer: This article will discuss only “straight” Lost March. This means that there are no secondary attackers, such as Zoroark-GX that found its way into Japanese Lost March Lists.*
* 4 Trumbeak LOT 165
* 4 Hoppip LOT 12
* 4 Skiploom LOT 13
* 4 Jumpluff LOT 14
* 4 Natu LOT 87
Every list will begin with these 20 Pokémon. It is the supporting cast to these Pokémon that will make the difference… We’ll get to that in a moment.
* 2-4 Professor Elm’s Lecture LOT 188
* 1-2 Rescue Stretcher GRI 130
* 3-4 Guzma BUS 115
* 3-4 Cynthia UPR 119
* 2-4 Lillie UPR 125
* 3-4 Lost Blender LOT 181
These are the best trainers to support the Lost March strategy and can be adjusted based on personal preference. It is to note that the “Ball” cards have been left out, but those can be adjusted on preference as well.
* 2-3 Grass Energy
* 4 Double Colorless Energy
*0-1 Super Boost Energy
These are the energy options to use the overpowered and inexpensive Lost March attack.
Most of you are probably reviewing the above breakdown and thinking to yourself, “This isn’t new information. Where is the content?” Below is my current list, and what I would play if I were playing in a cup or regional this weekend.
There are a litany of things to discuss about this deck, so I’m going to start at the top of the list and tackle each line item in order (excluding the Lost March Pokémon).
2 Oranguru SUM 113
Instruct Oranguru pulls in that breath of fresh air you need late game to compose and finish what you started; violent KO’s on huge Pokes. When the game enters the later stages and you’ve been aggressively thinning out your deck, double Instruct will be that final push over the edge to nab the last energy, Guzma or Lost Blender. In a pinch, it can be “lost” with the Blender to push your damage across the One Hit Knock Out (OHKO) threshold, without fear of being without a draw support Pokémon. Oranguru is so, so crucial to have in the late game that having two allows you to pitch one early to Lost Blender without fear of a completely dead hand late game. Often times, when you have 2-3 prizes remaining your bench will be something along the lines of Natu, Jumpluff, Oranguru, Oranguru, tech poke, and having access to double Instruct will allow you to wrap up the game. I wouldn’t play any others than these two.
1 Tapu Lele-GX GRI 60
You don’t notice it until you need it. Wonder Tag is such a powerful ability and can turn around dead draws into a “real” game. This deck will preferably NEVER bench a Tapu Lele-GX, but the contingency plan it provides is unquestionable. One copy will suffice here as it is just to get the wheels churning when you’ve gotten stuck in a complete standstill. Lele has been around for quite some time now, and its merits have been proven time and time again. No need to rehash old stories.
Alolan Vulpix GRI 21
I LOVE this card in the deck. Early game it is amazing to help you set up, getting Hoppips, Skiplooms, emergency Tapu Lele-GX, even Oranguru. Mid-game, it can help you transition a dead hand to something manageable, buy you some time as a sacrificial KO, or simply provide you plus forty damage by nabbing 2 Trumbeaks. Late game you ask? Well, just go on ahead and add Vulpix to the Blender. Many times when discussing tech Pokémon, the primary concern is “But what if I start it?” In this case, that’s a blessing; past that, you don’t even need to bench it if the dichotomy of the game develops as such. One copy has been spot on, and probably the card in the deck I am most biased about… So, keep that in mind.
2 Professor Elm’s Lecture LOT 188
Professor Elm and his Lecture props up this deck. However, contrary to popular belief (in my opinion), Elm is NOT the turn one Supporter of choice. Professor Elm’s is a great Supporter turn 1, but phenomenal turn 2 where his true potential can shine. Being able to grab 3 Skiplooms or 2 Skiplooms and a Hoppip, amongst many other combinations can really keep Lost March standing and ready to plow forward with tons of power. Besides that, you almost never want to see Elm’s Lecture past turn 2, which is why 3 to 4 copies would be cumbersome and hand cluttering; which is horrible when we are working to leverage late game Instructs. It’s easy to discard/Blender 2 copies, 4 is an entirely different story.
2 Rescue Stretcher GRI 130
To be quite frank, you need to recycle early KO’d Pokémon in your Jumpluff line. Buying back a Lele, Oranguru, or Natu never hurts either. Rescue stretcher helps stream Lost Marchers, as missing an attack once the back and forth KOs start can be devastating. Also, sometimes you just have to buy back a Poke to Blender it into the Lost Zone for that damage boost. Missed that play once, never again. All the combined reasons above is why I want 2 copies, so as to not fall victim to the “my one copy is prized” scenario. Don’t forget that often times it’s correct to shuffle 3 Pokémon into your deck if your discard has a few Jumpluff; this allows Skiplooms ability to remain “live”. Not much more needs to be said here.
2 Timer Ball SUM 134
This card fills its role perfectly. An easy card to burn late game, and can totally change the course of the game in the early stages. It gets Skiplooms to help progress your board and keep you on track. I consider it a damage modifier card. In my mind, it’s used to add 0 to 40 damage to your attack… It just has the added benefit of doing other things as well. Of course, sometimes it falls flat, but as long as you don’t rely on it as a consistency card, but a damage output card, everything rights itself.
3 Guzma BUS 115
Pretty straightforward. You want to nab key KOs on squishy GX/EX Pokémon on your opponent’s bench. Guzma also allows you to pivot your tech Pokémon such as Oranguru and Vulpix without having to burn a DCE or Grass Energy for the manual retreat. Guzma plays incredibly well with Skiploom/Jumpluff due to their free retreat they offer the crucial “pivot” Pokémon. Guzma closes out the game and/or allows you to aggressively chase your opponents set up Pokémon (i.e. Malamars, Zebstrikas, etc).
4 Ultra Ball SUM 135
Not much to cover here. Ultra Ball gets you the Pokes you need in the moment, whether that’s a Skiploom to use the “Floral Path to the Sky” ability or a Trumbeak to boost damage. Also to note how important it is to thin your deck so that in the late game you can use Oranguru to maximum value.
1 Lysandre Labs FLI 111
This is the most contested spot in the list for me. It has been Choice Band, Field Blower, Shrine of Punishment, and Sky Pillar. I really like Lysandre Labs because it can turn off Escape Boards and Spell Tags in Malamar as well as an incidental value against Counter Gain. Lysandre Labs is great to bump opposing Shrines for when you are forced to Lele-GX to get your set up going. Lastly having a Stadium this far off the radar almost ensures it to always be playable, again ensuring your late game Instructs retain maximum value.
3 Cynthia UPR 119
Draw Supporter that has the added bonus of shuffling Jumpluff back into your deck when they find their way into your hand before you can “Floral Path to the Sky” for them. We have gone to 3 copies in lieu of adding another Lillie which we will discuss a bit further down the page.
3 Net Ball LOT 187
Net Ball is amazing in this deck for the dual roles it serves in LM. Early-game it grabs Hoppip to assist in your set up; late-game it grabs the Grass Energy you need to take a KO. It maximizes the access to basic Grass Energy since we play no way of recovering them. With 3 Net Ball and 3 Grass in the deck, it helps us convert on the KO stream that this deck demands. As I mentioned before and will again, missing an attack with this deck is devastating.
3 Lillie UPR 125
As pointed out under the “Cynthia” section above, we cut down on the shuffle-draw 6 in favor of Lillie. Lillie is by far the best turn 1 Supporter this deck can play. LM is highly aggressive deck that wants to see its pieces as fast and as early as possible. Lillie can do this, Elm cannot. Since we’ve built this deck with thinning and low hand size in mind, Lillie remains a strong draw supporter throughout the game as well, being able to often Lillie for 4-6 at any time past turn 3.
3 Great Ball SUM 119
Great Ball is, well, it’s great. It helps dig for one of the multiple pieces you want to see in the early game (Hoppip, Skiploom, Trumbeak, Natu, Lele). Since early game you have such a wide swath of Pokémon you want to get to, Great Ball fills that void very well. Great Ball can also be used at any point in time in the game, which again helps reduce hand size, and keeps Oranguru’s Instruct and the aforementioned Lillie as strong as possible.
3 Lost Blender LOT 181
But Kirk, why not 4!? I’ve found 4 to be dead early and cluttering up my hand. They can clutter the hand so easily in the early stages of the game due to the fact that you have so many resources you want to keep, and the Pokémon you are looking for are need to establish your setup… Lost Blender is the antithesis of that. In the late game, you don’t particularly care what goes to the Lost Zone, you are just trying to ramp damage. Outside of that, Blendering away good resources early is a catastrophe… Late-game you know what you need and can Lost Zone the cards that don’t jive with the strategy you need to close out the game.
3 Grass Energy
You need to be able to announce Jumpluff’s Lost March attack… Grass Energy allows you to do that. It plays incredibly well with Net Ball which gives you those crucial late-game outs to energy to stream attackers.
4 Double Colorless Energy
You need to be able to announce Natu’s Lost March attack. DCE also allows Oranguru to retreat off of a single attachment, and Tapu Lele-GX to use Energy Drive, in positions of despair.
I want to discuss a few exclusions of cards that I have seen people discuss and that have found their way into lists being shared currently.
Super Boost Energy
The argument here is that Super Boost Energy on a Jumpluff is quite simply a Grass Energy with upside. I disagree wholeheartedly. I rather play an extra Basic Grass Energy over the SBE in every situation. Let’s look at the strongest defense for SBE; “It gives us an out to Schuckle-GX’s “Protective Shell” ability. But does it really? You need 3 Jumpluff set up, have drawn the SBE, and have enough Pokémon in the Lost Zone for the OHKO. Now my argument is if your opponent is playing a Schuckle-GX-centric deck they will be playing more than 1 copy of Enhanced Hammer, mitigating the strength of SBE almost immediately. If they are playing a deck that isn’t Shuckle-GX-centered, but is simply playing a single copy, then you can use your Guzmas and try and sneak 6 prizes that way. Outside of the Shuckle scenario, Grass Energy is searchable with Net Ball and harder to disrupt as your opponent will have to use a supporter to remove it from the battlefield. I must sound like a broken record, but, YOU NEED TO STREAM KOS ONCE THE FIRST IS TAKEN. Having maximum outs to hit energy, in this case with Net Ball and Grass Energy, is imperative.
I understand what this can bring to the deck against its worst matchup, which is undoubtedly spread decks. In a deck with such a linear strategy anything that can potentially cause the process to stutter or stumble is a no-go for me. Having to jump through hoops to set up something that typically ends up being marginal value is completely detracting from why you sleeved up LM to begin with. Outside of the spread and Decidueye deck variants it does nothing but be a liability. I can’t think of much worse than starting Machop and having to wait to give them a knockout on a useless Pokémon or burn an energy to hard retreat it. My thoughts are you are playing a hyper aggressive deck, and you have to take your losses somewhere. It is to note that the inclusion of Lysandre Labs really helps against Spell Tags, and oftentimes one KO with Spell Tag deactivated can throw off math for future turns and swing the game in your favor.
I find 2 Oranguru to be more dependable, less work, and less susceptible to odd prizes. Lastly, while the goal is to use Zebstrika’s “Sprint” ability with no cards in hand, the collateral damage of discarding cards can often cost you valuable resources in the mid to late game. Historically, I have seen this to be a 1-1 line in LM and at that point I’d rather have 2 Monkeys.
Ditto Prism Star
It doesn’t add to our damage output total and we aren’t playing any of the tech Stage 1 Pokémon (Machoke, Zebstrika). This means it’s only there as a 5th Hoppip and therefore not maximizing the potential it actually brings. Keep it in the binder if you are playing the no tech stage 1s version.
There is such a narrow window where Choice Band boosts you to the OHKO that it almost has to be a perfect storm to make it relevant. Since most lists are playing 1-2 copies, you aren’t guaranteed to find it in the swing turns and in the back end of games, you have so many Pokémon in the Lost Zone, that it no longer makes a difference. I think there are better options out there than Choice Band.
Similar to Ditto Prism Star, since we are not playing niche basics for those tech Stage 1s, Nest Ball dwindles in value. Nest Ball can get stuck in the hand as well, since LM fills its Bench quickly. I would prefer additional Net Balls or Great Balls before the first Nest Ball.
Marshadow (GX and Let Loose)
Marshadow-GX clearly provides an advantage against those pesky Zoroark-GX decks that are sure to rear their ugly head. However, working up to 11 Pokémon (or 220 damage) is not an impossibility for LM to achieve turn 3, especially with Alolan Vulpix in the deck. Since you want to be attacking Zoroarks with Jumpluff (Zoro is resistant to Natu) you will be using Skiploom’s ability to not only boost damage but prioritize getting your main attacker on the field. Combined with Trumbeaks and Blender, 11 Pokes in the Lost Zone is not pipe dream. All of this, to say that Marshadow-GX is a complete liability. We are trying use our single-prize attackers to take 3 GX knockouts. Feeding your opponent a vulnerable GX gives them an opportunity to trade more favorably, and outright hands them the game if you stumble anywhere in your set up or when you are streaming attackers.
“Baby” Marshadow, aka Let Loose Marshadow on the other hand, is currently my 61st card in this list. Being able to essentially double Supporter in a turn is fantastic for Lost March’s aggressive strategy. Not to mention the havoc it can have on your opponent’s hand. If i were to play Marshadow it would be in place of Lysandre Labs. Not to mention it can always be Lost Blender fodder.
Other Card Choice Considerations
Another Lysandre Labs
Shutting down Escape Boards and Spell Tags is amazing as well as having another out to a pesky Stadium.
4th Grass Energy
If you find yourself missing energy to take crucial KOs the easiest way to rectify that is to add another energy to the deck. I’ve found however if you keep track of your energy every ball search, and don’t needlessly Ultra Ball or Blender them away the split of 3 Net Ball/3 Grass Energy/4 Double Colorless has been more than enough.
Since our only method of getting out of the Active is a hard retreat or Guzma, Escape Rope may provide the mobility you need to not get caught in the Active. I would probably consider this more heavily if I was playing a more teched out version, since there are considerably more “bad starting Pokémon” in those decks.
4th Lillie + another “Ball” card
A heavy Lillie count can be great to provide access to more draw throughout the game. The reason I paired this up with another “Ball” card is because the cuts made to encompass a 4th Lillie is most likely a Professor Elm’s Lecture. At that point having one Elm’s serves no purpose due to the fact that we don’t want to be benching Lele just find it and play it. That’s why we would cut it all together and add either a timer ball or great ball… Argument can be made for a Net Ball here as well.
My thought process for the list presented is to maximize the damage output and minimize techs that can hinder your set up. It is quite clear that spread decks are absolutely atrocious as a matchup. For this all I can suggest is avoid putting a Lele-GX on your bench at all costs and try and stagger how you bench your Pokémon. I have won this matchup a few times, it is difficult and you need to have something break your way, however it is doable. Any slow and plodding Stage 2 GX deck should find you on the positive side of the matchup. Hitting for Grass and Psychic weakness allows you to fight toe to toe versus Lycanroc-GX and Buzzwoles. DON’T FORGET THAT YOUR JUMPLUFF LINE IS FIGHTING RESISTANT AND LIGHTNING WEAK!
Lost March has tons of potential, and there are plenty of ways to iterate on the deck list I presented above. Is this the most optimal way to play deck? Honestly, probably not. However, I think it is a tremendous head start on the brewing process and should help you be ahead of the pack for the first couple of weeks of Lost Thunder Standard. When it comes to a new format, it is often a strong choice to play the most hyper-aggressive deck available and take complete advantage of players choosing to durdle around with unstreamlined strategies.
Thanks for reading; Cheers, I love you all.
Kirk “doobsnax” Dubé
***Addition Post LAIC***
Wowzer. After LAIC and another week of aggressive testing this list has changed quite a bit. MAD shoutout to Noel Totomoch who I’ve been in the lab with GRINDING.
Here is the most up to date list:
Let’s talk change!
We have bolstered the ball line in the form of the 4th great ball, trimmed down on conditional search down to just 2 Net Ball, and cut a Natu as well as Alolan Vulpix and Tapu Lele-GX. This has given us the room for 3 Let Loose Marshadow. This change has been revolutionary for the deck. It gives us the ability to have a pseudo double supporter turn, searchable draw, and the massive upside of hand disruption. LAIC has presented so many chunky stage 1 and 2 decks relying on the power of Fairy Ninetales-GX’s Mysterious Guidance ability that Marshadow can shatter their strategy development; not to mention breaking up beacon turns, etc. Of course, Marshadow can be easily tossed in the lost blender to increase damage output.
We also cut down on Net Ball to add the 4th great ball. This change was made to play into the heavy line of Marshadow line since it’s card we want to see at all stages of the game. I was initially very hesitant on making this change because it stresses your access to energy attachments. However if you manage your attachments carefully and keep track of attackers you have available (Jumpluff vs Natu) then you shouldn’t have an issue crossing the finish line.
The last major change made was cutting a Natu for the 4th blender. Originally, I felt having a max blender count could be an early game hindrance. However, having 4 blenders really makes a few key cards better; Rescue Stretcher and Professor Elm. Professor Elm’s Lecture is now a fine card at all stages of the game. Early game, it has great setup utility. In the mid and late game, it can be paired with a Marshadow to Elm’s into 2 Pokémon not relevant to your strategy (you should know if you need more Jumpluff set up or if you are transitioning to Natus to take KOs), blender them away and then Let Loose.
So why cut a Natu? The reason is quite simply because we can. 2 stretchers allows us to recycle them to our bench or multiple back in the deck to shut the door on a game. I prefer to attack with Jumpluffs for the first couple knockouts and use Natu to sweep; so I’ve designed my deck with that in mind.
4 DCE vs 3 DCE & an additional grass energy
We play the fourth DCE to not only ensure our Natus stay marching but to be able to hard retreat Oranguru with a single attachment. Also, since our late game attacker is Natu, we need access to a higher count since the “Natu Plan” might be employed as early as turn 3.
Now let’s talk matchups!
This matchup is dependent on 1 thing: who whiffs the KO first. If you have the luxury, you want to target down Slugma to deny Magcargo, which is the true engine of the deck. Besides that, once they take a knockout with Granbull, KOs are the name of the game. This matchup is slightly (ever so slightly) favorable. The reason being is we can take a KO with Natu before they are set up going second. Going first, we should aggressively chase the Slugma.
We are favored in this matchup. Cake Pop Is forced to bench two prize attackers which obviously plays to our advantage. In a perfect world, we KO two GXs and then mop up the Naganadel. Too easy.
We have no GXs for them to keep up in the prize trade. This is another favorable matchup. Watch out for Jet Punches setting up a counter gain/Ninetales play to take multiple knockouts. Natu shines here, being able to dispatch of Buzzwoles easily.
This matchup is very scary and can get out of control very quickly. It is unfavorable. In this matchup, you want to take out whichever Pokémon they only have 1 of first and combine that KO turn with a Let Loose. This means that if their initial setup shows 2 vulpix and 1 rowlett; hunt down the owl and vice versa. You can leave Zorua because they aren’t the real threat here. Fairy Ninetales able to take a KO and put damage on bench with its Snowy Wind attack can set up very easy KOs in combination with Decidueye’s Feather Arrow ability. If you can cut one of these Pokémon off, and disrupt their hand, you can get far enough ahead to win even if they get fully set up late game.
This matchup is favorable. There are two factors to keep in mind for this matchup:
- Only play an energy when you are taking a knockout
- Get 11 Pokémon in the lost zone before they hit 3 prizes remaining
The last thing to keep in mind is that Jumpluff is your beat attacker here, so if you can use Natu to take early prizes on Zorua and Oranguru do so. Keep in mind that some Zoro/control lists play Muk which effectively shut down your Instruct monkeys and Marshadow. Another huge nod to Lost Blender, we can get these dead cards out of our hand for benefit and marginal draw.
Quite honestly, spell tag hasn’t made that big of a splash and they’re quite easy to work through. If they aren’t playing spell tag, this matchup is favorable. If they are, it’s about even. The thing with these lists are once they run out of spell tags, Giratina doesn’t do anything since everything from their side of the board is an OHKO on your Pokémon anyway. If your opponent’s active is “tagged” simply KO with Jumpluff. If you have the luxury in the early game try and limit their ability to set up Malamar by taking prizes on Inkay. A final key point; if they bench a GX, go for it ASAP. Use it to swing the prize trade in you my favor.
Super Unfavorable. Yes, this matchup is terrible. However, now that we play Marshadow we have a chance to cheese our way into a win. Try and stagger your pokes as you bench them and don’t forget once you “Floral Path” it erases the spread damage. Hold tight, try your best and leverage any advantage you can get of your Let Loose plays.
Good luck this weekend and win something. Shoutout to everyone that has rolled past the stream as we developed and evolved this deck.
Since people are now in the business of tagging their decks with their name…
Snax March. Here to stay.