Mastering the Lost Zone!
29 Mar, 2011
Take advantage of new cards that make use of the Lost Zone!
The Lost Zone has been a major player in recent Pokémon Trading Card Game expansions, so it's a good time to dive into the topic in more detail. Remember, the Lost Zone is much like the discard pile, except that when a card goes to the Lost Zone there is no way to get it back. But that doesn't mean the card has given up its usefulness—indeed, there are some interesting things you can do with cards in the Lost Zone. Let's look at how some recent Pokémon TCG cards let you interact with the Lost Zone!
Get Lost and Win
One Call of Legends card grabbing a lot of attention right now is the Lost World (81/95) Stadium card, which offers exciting potential. While it's in play, if one player has 6 or more Pokémon in the Lost Zone, that player's opponent can declare victory during his or her turn! A strategy that involves putting your own cards in the Lost Zone could backfire very quickly if this card is played!
Players using Mew Prime (HS—Triumphant, 97/102) or Gengar Prime (HS—Triumphant, 94/102), discussed in a previous strategy article, should think about how to adapt their strategy when Lost World is in play. Gengar Prime is an especially powerful companion to Lost World, as your goal is to get as many of your opponent's Pokémon into the Lost Zone as you can. But be careful with Mew Prime—some of its power is derived from sending your own Pokémon to the Lost Zone, which could result in a sudden defeat if Lost World is played.
As we look at other recent cards that use the Lost Zone, definitely keep the Lost World card in the back of your mind!
An Extra Dimension
If you find that many of your Pokémon are getting banished to the Lost World, there's another way you can take advantage of the situation besides using Mew Prime. Check out Lucario's (14/95) Dimension Sphere attack, which delivers 30 damage plus 20 more for each of your Pokémon in the Lost Zone. If you have 5 Pokémon in the Lost Zone, you're dropping 130 damage on your opponent for the cheap cost of 2 Colorless Energy! With cards such as Absol Prime (HS—Triumphant, 91/102) and Mew Prime, Dimension Sphere can quickly become a devastating attack.
Not Just for Pokémon
A couple of Pokémon have attacks that involve putting cards other than Pokémon in the Lost Zone. With Zangoose's (39/95) Lost Claw attack, you choose a card at random from your opponent's hand and put it in the Lost Zone. The attack also does 30 damage to the Defending Pokémon, making it a great one-two punch. You might luck out and put a critical Supporter or Special Energy card out of reach just when your opponent needs it most! Further disrupt your opponent's plans with Tangrowth (34/95), a potent Stage 1 Pokémon. Its Plow Over attack does 30 damage, and depending on a coin flip, the Defending Pokémon will either be Paralyzed or lose one of its attached Energy cards to the Lost Zone. You can keep your Tangrowth out of harm's way by preventing your opponent from getting the Energy his or her Pokémon needs to use more powerful attacks.
A Zone of Your Own
You may occasionally need to sacrifice your own cards to the Lost Zone to get ahead—but remember, the Lost World card makes this a risky prospect! Here are a couple of ways the benefits might outweigh the costs. If your deck has a quite a bit of Energy in it, consider Snorlax (33/95). It's a Basic Pokémon that uses only Colorless Energy, making it an easy fit for any deck. With 100 HP and the Layabout attack, which removes all damage counters, Snorlax is one tough Pokémon. Snorlax can also deliver 80 damage with its Clomp Clomp Clobber attack. The one drawback is that you have to put 1 of Snorlax's Energy cards in the Lost Zone. Regardless, a Basic Pokémon that can do 80 damage and is difficult to Knock Out can be a valuable asset!
Magnezone Prime (HS—Triumphant, 96/102) is another card that requires you to discard Energy from your Pokémon to do damage. Its Lost Burn attack does 50 damage times the number of attached Energy that you put in the Lost Zone. It's a big price to pay, but it does big damage! As a Stage-2 Pokémon, Magnezone Prime is slightly harder to play, but it can be a game-changer once you have it. Plus, its Magnetic Draw Poké-Power helps keep your hand full of cards by letting you draw until you have 6 cards in your hand, once every turn.
Absol Prime is a great supporter for Mew Prime, but it doesn't have to be just a sidekick. Its Vicious Claw attack does 70 damage—a huge attack for a Basic Pokémon, but with the added cost of putting a Pokémon from your hand in the Lost Zone. In the right deck, though, that "cost" can be an advantage: it powers up Mew Prime and makes Lucario's Dimension Sphere attack even stronger.
Because you can't get cards out of the Lost Zone, you must pay close attention to the game state at all times. You won't draw a Trainer card that allows you to retrieve a Pokémon from the Lost Zone like you might from the discard pile, so you have to keep adapting to the situation. These cards should give you a wide range of options when the Lost Zone is a factor!
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