Lost Thunder Prerelease Tips

Posted By: shinobiiceslayer


Today I’ll be sharing my thoughts on the current Lost Thunder prereleases, and my top picks for what you should play, or at least try to use if you’re lucky enough to pull them. I’ll only be looking at cards which I think will do well in the prerelease format, so cards from the prerelease kits or basics that could be useful. I’ll also mention some useful techs that could work well if you pull them, but may not work without other pieces. A full list of what’s coming in Lost Thunder can be seen here, also the English translations of the cards come from Limitless TCG.

Before we get into what to play, let’s quickly go over the prerelease format and what that requires. Each player will be given one prerelease kit which contains one of four promos, an Evolution Pack containing ~22 cards and 4 booster packs. The Evolution packs contain 2 random evolution lines, which correspond to the promos (So for Lost Thunder there are Water, Lightning, Psychic and Fairy evolution lines), along with a random selection of trainer cards including reprints of earlier sets. You are also guaranteed to get the evolution line from the promo you receive (So if you get the Suicune Promo, you will also get a Water evolution line, along with one other from the remaining three). From these cards you will have to build a 40 card deck, and play round where each player starts with 4 prize cards. This is different to the regular rules where players build a deck 60, and start with 6 prize cards.

With that out of the way, let’s take a look these promos, and their corresponding evolution lines. And ladies and gentleman, not all sets are created equal. There are definitely two sets that appear much better, and have been showing more success at early prerelease events. So in order of what I think will be your best bets on the day, let’s go through each set.


#1 Raikou (Lightning)

On the surface Raikou looks like a pretty ordinary card, 120 HP on a basic is decent, while the weakness and resistance aren’t overly relevant in the prerelease format. The attack for one Lightning and one Colourless Energy only does 30, but if you have a Lightning Energy in the Lost Zone is does an extra 90 damage. So now you have a two Energy attack for two energy on a basic, but you need that Energy in the Lost Zone. Sure there are cards that can get energy into the Lost Zone, but how likely is it you will pull these, let alone have them available in a game? Well let me introduce you to the Lightning evolution line.


The Lightning evolution line comes with a 3-2-2 Ampharos line. Now while the Mareep and Flaaffy aren’t bad (For one Lightning Mareep does 10 damage and flip for paralysis, and Flaaffy for two Lightning does 40 damage and confusion), Ampharos is the key to this pack. 150 HP on a Stage 2 isn’t bad, and the attack is half decent (50 damage to any two of your opponents Pokémon is useful for picking off weak basics, or just getting some cheeky bench snipes), the ability is what we really want. By sending two Lightning Energy to the Lost Zone, we can paralyse the Opponents Active Pokémon. Remember earlier when we were wondering how easy it would be to get a Lightning Energy in the Lost Zone to power up Raikou’s attack, that’s right he dragged a friend along to do just that. Even without Raikou, this ability is amazing in this format given the lack of switching cards or status removal (Mixed Herbs is really the only card I can think of that would work consistently, though Life Forest Prism Star and Blissey are options also if you’re lucky and can build them in and pull them.) Ampharos’ ability can be used to Paralyse (pun fully intended) your opponent while you try to build up more resources such as getting out that Raikou, or just setting up another Ampharos, or even while you just snipe their bench with its attack.

Other cards to look out for if you pull the Lightning line are:

Thunder Mountain Prism Star – This card is brilliant with this set, all your main attacks go down to costing a single energy, leaving more energy for Ampharos’ ability, while also allowing you to more easily setup your backrow. With the lack of options to remove this stadium, it’s likely to stick around as well. It also allows other Lightning Pokémon you may draw to become more playable as well with the reduced cost of attacks.

Electricpower – The extra 30 damage could make a huge difference in getting that OHKO on a Pokémon, plus extra damage is always good.

Zeraora-GX – If you’re already playing Lightning and pull this, why not through it in. The ability give your Pokémon with Lightning Energy free retreat, which is also handy, especially with the limited switching options in the format. The attack is good, but getting the energy on will be a hassle without any acceleration or Thunder Mountain, though the GX attack could help in the later game to mitigate this.

Lost Mixer – Just another way to get the Lightning Energy in the Lost Zone quicker without relying on evolving up to Ampharos. Plus draw power is always nice.

The other Mareep – While it only has 50 HP, the ability of putting your Opponents Active to sleep gives you a 50% chance to avoid any attacks, or at least forces evolution or healing card, again switch is quite rare in this set.

Stunfisk – Interesting little tech which could help out in a pinch. 110 HP mean it will be hard to take out, and for one Energy you can quickly turn around any damage done. Also the one off 50 at the cost of one energy could help pick off some early basics.


#2 Giratina (Psychic)

Like Raikou, Giratina doesn’t look that good on the surface, and part of the reason this set is so good is just because you want the Promo Giratina, and one of the other cards that comes with it, Naganadel. Still you can make a pretty decent deck with these Pokémon. Giratina has 130 HP which is great, and an attack which hits for 130 is good, though the cost of three Energy will make it hard to charge up, along with the plenty of having to place 4 damage counters on one of your Pokémon, and given the prerelease format you’re more likely to be playing weaker basics. This demonic dragon has a nice Zombie like ability though, allowing you to bring it back from the discard to the bench, then place a damage counter on two of your Pokémon. That means it can be used with cards like Sightseer to discard it from your hand, then use the ability. This synergy with Sightseer will also pair perfectly with Naganadel as we’ll get to in a moment.


The Psychic set comes with a 1-1 Poipole, Naganadel line, and a 2-1 Natu, Xatu line. Now Naganadel is commonly regarded as one of the best cards in the whole Lost Thunder set, and a 50% chance of pulling one a prerelease pack is crazy. The key point of this card is its ability, Charge Up, which allows you one per turn to attack a Basic Energy from your Discard Pile to Naganadel. Again cards like Sightseer will help you get Energy in the discard, and allows a quick come back after losing one of your Pokémon. The attack shouldn’t be slept on either, three Colourless Energy for 80 damage, but if you have exactly 3 prize cards remaining, it does 80 more. So for one attack you can pull off a powerful 160 damage attack, which will take down almost everything except for the odd GX you may run into.

Natu isn’t a particularly good card, but the Lost March architype is one many players have been looking forward to, excited it could be Night March 2.0. While initial results from Japan seem to indicate that Lost March isn’t as good as its order brother, it could still make a decent budget deck. Xatu isn’t great either, though its first attack for 2 Colourless Energy hits for 30, but you can look at your hand and do an extra 60 damage if they have any Energy in their hand. With the prerelease format, players are more likely to run higher percentages of energy so hitting for 9- won’t be too uncommon, plus a knowledge of your Opponents hand is always useful.

Other cards to be mindful of if you’re building with Psychic are:

Sableye – Cheeky little tech, great starter if you can get it out first, or at least help you get the clutch card in a trick situation.

Shuckle – Shuckle’s ability allows you to get 3 Basic Energy into the Discard Pile when you play it to the Bench, giving you Energy to target with Naganadel’s ability.


#3 Tapu Lele

The last two sets were difficult to order, with the Promo being rather ordinary but the Fairy set was okay. On the other hand the Promo Suicune is an okay card, at least for Prerelease, but the pack isn’t great. Either way this sets could probably be exchanged between #3 and #4.

Looking at Lele, 110 HP is okay and a single attack for 70 but at a cost of 3 Energy isn’t great. It does have an ability though, which allows you to confuse your Opponents active Pokémon when you attach one of the Fairy Charms to it. Given the lack of item removal this is likely to be a one off effect in the game, though may still come in handy. Fairy packs have also been consistently coming with two of the Fairy Charm cards so it’s possible to pull off. Sadly with the how specific the items are, and the rarity of GX cards in the format, they’ll be of little use.


Outside of Lele, the set contains a 3-2 Wigglytuff line. With 120 HP Wigglytuff is an okay card, the first attack for 2 Colourless Energy does 30 damage, but also lowers any damage you take by 30 during your Opponent’s turn. This can help it tank hits. The second attack for 3 Energy does 70 damage, but if you get a Fairy Charm attached it doubles to 140, making Wigglytuff a viable attacker.

Other cards to keep an eye out for if you’re playing Fairy:

Dedenne – For a single Energy this little Pika-clone can cause some disruption for your Opponent, giving you a chance to setup.

Delibird – Can help search and attack a Fairy Charm to Wigglytuff for the attack boost. Sadly as it doesn’t attack from the hand it won’t trigger Lele’s ability though.

Xerneas Prism Star – Powerful attack, which has a useful ability to drag your Energy already on the field to it, so it can perform its big attack for 160. Lack of switching in the format may make it less effective however.

Adventure Bag – Another way to help search out those Fairy Charms to attach. This will allow you to active Lele’s ability also as you’ll be attaching from the hand.

Mina – Given your likely low on supporters anyway, might as well use a slot for Mina to give some energy search/acceleration. Again this card if often popping up with the Fairy Charms.


#4 Suicune (Water)

The final promo, the water doggo Suicune. Tied with Lele for the lost HP of the Promo cards at 110, it’s a good card. It two has a single attack for 3 Energy that hits for 70 damage, but also heals it for 30, so it has some tank ability. The ability is what makes this card potentially useful. One per turn, if Suicune is your active Pokémon, you can force your Opponent to switch their active Pokémon with one of their benched Pokémon. So you basically get a free Guzma each turn which is amazing.


Sadly Suicune’s support is less than ideal with a 3-2-2 Primarina line. 150 HP is good for Primarina, and 80 for 3 Energy plus sleep isn’t bad. The ability is also useful, allowing you to attach 2 Water Energy per turn. If everything comes together it could work quite well actually, consistency and speed is the main concern however.

Other cards you should cross your fingers for with Water:

Lapras – Ability allows you to look at your top 2 cards of the deck and rearrange them, which could help out with that next turn draw. The attack for 2 Energy and potential Paralysis could be useful as well.

Bruxish – A single Energy allows 20 damage and Confusion which could be helpful. Also the second attack for 2 Energy allows you to go after damaged bench Pokémon, which may work well with Suicune’s gusting effect.

Other cards to look for that could be useful in any deck:


Shuckle-GX – If you pull this little beauty, it could do you well. 170 HP for the basic if good, but it’s ability makes it even hard to kill. Your Opponent can’t damage Shuckle unless they have at least 3 Energy attached, making likely common threats like Raikou and Ampharos have to over invest in their attackers to even damage it. Both its attack and GX attacks are for a single Colourless Energy as well, making it able to fit in any deck. Triple Poison is fun in that it will put 3 damage counters on the Pokémon between turns, and Wrap GX can help to stall or even just finish off a weakened foe.

Heracross – Another fun option if you’re running one of the Stage 2 decks. For two Energy you’re hitting for 120 when you have one of your Stage 2s on the bench, You will have to run a split Energy line though as it requires Grass Energy.

Sudowoodo – For a single Fighting Energy, this card can potentially hit for 100 damage. It does require that Sudowoodo was hit the previous turn, but with 110 HP it should survive some hits. This would also require a split Energy line again though.

Alolan Diglett – For ZERO Energy you can search for a basic Pokémon, and bench it. One of the few forms of search and may just be what you need to help populate your bench early on.
Ditto Prism Star – Great card, which will count as any of your Basic Pokémon in terms on evolution, effectively giving you an extra copy. Could also be used to evolve up any of the other Stage 1 tech cards you may draw into that you couldn’t otherwise play.

Kahili – One of the few draw supporters in the set, and has been appearing in the prerelease kits along with some of the older reprints as well. Drawing 2 cards is fine, but with a coin flip you have a chance to return it to your hand, giving you another draw supporter for the following turn. Quite useful given the lack of supporters you’ll likely find yourself with.

Mixed Herbs – Being able to remove a special condition from your Pokémon might be just what you need to work around Ampharos’ ability, or one of the other status inflictors in the format.

Professor Elm’s Lecture – Like Kahili this has been appearing in the kits also. If you can get this early in the game it will help you set up your evolution lines, while also generally increasing board advantage.

Sightseer – Another great supporter, which acts as a discard engine, while also allowing you to draw cards.

So what do you think? Do you agree with my thoughts? Have any other pro stats that you want to share? Did I leave any of the best cards off? And what are you most excited to draw from Lost Thunder. In the coming weeks I'll start to profile some of the decks I think are going to be good from the Lost Thunder era, especially with the Brisbane regional around the corner.

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