Lugia VSTAR: Two Amazing Decks | Pokémon


If you’ve been playing the Pokemon TCG lately, you might’ve noticed that Lugia VSTAR [Silver Tempest] has been crushing the metagame! Lugia VSTAR has been successful since its release in Silver Tempest, and it recently gained Mew ex [Pokemon 151] from the latest set to bring back an underrated variant of the deck, Colorless Lugia. This adds to the currently successful Single Strike Lugia variant to have two powerful decks that currently encompass two spots in the top five decks in Standard.

Why are these decks good? Why should you play Lugia VSTAR? Which deck is better? All of those questions, and more, will be answered in this article, and lists for both will be included. We do have to start somewhere, so let’s go over the rules of playing Lugia VSTAR.

The Rules of Lugia VSTAR


When it comes to playing any deck in Standard, there are quite often "rules" to playing those decks to see the most success. In our current Standard format, gameplay is vicious, and most decks can OHKO a two Prize Card Pokemon as early as turn two. That might require us to have some standards to set up, and other things that allow our deck’s strategy to thrive. Here are my rules that I follow in most games:

  • It is ideal to use Lugia VSTAR’s Summoning Star turn two, summoning two copies of Archeops [Silver Tempest] with that Ability, and attacking that same turn
  • Going with the above strategy in mind, we need to get out at least one copy of Lugia V [Silver Tempest] turn one so that it can Evolve turn two, and we’ll need to get a second copy of Lugia V out if its ever in danger, like if your opponent can score an OHKO turn one with Raikou V [Brilliant Stars]
  • In the process of setting up, you’ll need to make sure that you are able to discard Archeops during your first two turns of the game. This can be achieved by using Ultra Ball [Scarlet and Violet], Professor Burnet [Sword and Shield Promo], and Professor’s Research [Scarlet and Violet].
  • Summoning Star can be shut off by Path to the Peak [Chilling Reign], so make sure that you have a Stadium card or Pumkaboo [Evolving Skies] to bump it (take note of matchups that usually play Path to the Peak so that you can prepare for it if necessary)

Once you get setup, you’ll want to attack with your various attackers against your opponent, and try to choose the best attacker for each situation. There isn’t much attacking crossover between a Colorless Lugia, and a Single Strike Lugia deck, so you’ll have to study both decks to make the most informed decisions. Look for your damage output, Weakness, Resistance, and damage modifiers (buffs and reductions) to make the best decisions. There are a few other recommendations when it comes to playing these decks, so let’s go over those quickly too:

  • Typical Prize Mapping is going to be aggressively 2/2/2 meaning you'll ideally want to OHKO 3 separate two Prizers. If you need to steer off the course, you can go 2/2/1/1 in any order (ie. 1/2/2/1). Use single Prize Card Pokemon whenever possible
  • Order of operations for cards played: Capturing Aroma [Silver Tempest], Mesagoza [Scarlet and Violet], any Nest Ball [Scarlet and Violet] / Ultra Ball (attempt to find the best order), Evolve, Archeops Primal Turbo (if you don't need to draw into an Energy from a Supporter), 2nd Archeops, Energy from hand (if needed), and then Supporter. If you ever have a reason to change this order, make sure you have a solid reason to do so (ie. searching for an Energy or other specific card).
  • Make sure you carefully attach your Energy to make sure you are able to score KOs (ie. Lugia not attaching a DTE so you can do 220 against a Basic Pokemon 2 Prizer)
  • If you have any Energy in your hand, try to attach them as carefully as possible, to leave yourself with 1 Energy in hand (if possible). This is to maximize your Energy attachments, thin your deck / hand size down, and leave you more open to opportunities (playing Prof. Research or drawing cards with Gift Energy [Lost Origin])
  • If it's possible, try to have a back-up attacker ready to go (without Energy so your opponent can't use Boss’s Orders [Paldea Evolved] OHKO it) or a Pokemon that can retreat into that new attacker. I recommend attaching an Energy to Archeops or having a Mew ex in play to retreat into your new attacker
  • Don't be afraid to attack with Lugia V or even Archeops if that's your only choice

Hopefully those rules / suggestions help you out when playing either Lugia variant! Speaking about Lugia variants, I should share the key differences between both decks! Let’s start off by looking at Single Strike Lugia!

Single Strike Lugia Deck

Single Strike Lugia is named after its inclusion of strong Single Strike attackers, like Tyranitar V [Battle Styles], and attaching Single Strike Energy [Battle Styles] to those Pokemon. You get single Prize Card attackers in the form of Stonjourner [Battle Styles] and Yveltal [Chilling Reign] that are both well positioned typing-wise in our current metagame, and Coballion [Silver Tempest] allows you to do extra damage to Charizard ex [Obsidian Flames]. I would suggest playing this deck over Colorless Lugia in a metagame where there are quite a bit of Charizard ex archetypes, and Psychic-type decks are seeing a decent amount of play. We can counter those decks with our Darkness-type attackers, and Coballion + Tyranitar V + three Single Strike Energy takes care of Charizard ex. Let’s check out this list:

Pokémon

3 Lugia VSTAR SIT
4 Lugia V SIT
4 Archeops SIT
2 Tyranitar V BST
2 Lumineon V BRS
1 Radiant Tsareena SIT
1 Cobalion SIT
1 Stonjourner BST
1 Yveltal FST
1 Pumpkaboo EVS 


Energy

4 Single Strike Energy BST
3 Gift Energy LOR
3 Double Turbo Energy BRS
3 V Guard Energy SIT 

Trainer:

2 Mesagoza SVI
1 Collapsed Stadium BRS
4 Professor's Research SVI
3 Iono PAL
3 Boss's Orders PAL
1 Professor Burnet PR-SW
4 Capturing Aroma SIT
4 Ultra Ball SVI
3 Urn of Vitality BST
2 Nest Ball SVI 

Are you looking for a deckbox to hold your new Single Strike Lugia deck? I like pairing this deck with a Blue / White Sidewinder to match Lugia’s color scheme.

Colorless Lugia Deck

Colorless Lugia is named after the types of Energy that we play, which are mostly Colorless Energy, and along with the majority of the attackers in this deck being Colorless-type too. Most games you’ll attack with Lugia VSTAR or Snorlax [Astral Radiance] because you can score some early OHKOs with either of those. Most of the other attackers in the deck are more matchup specific, like Luxray [Paldea Evolved] when you’re behind in Prize Cards to summon it into play, slap on a Reversal Energy [Paldea Evolved], and OHKOing a Lugia VSTAR in mirror.

Drapion V [Lost Origin] is a great answer to Mew VMAX [Fusion Strike], but also works as a Darkness-type attacker against Gardevoir ex [Scarlet and Violet]. Mew ex [Pokemon 151] can copy pretty much anything your opponent throws at you, and Wyrdeer V [Astral Radiance] can score a massive OHKO as long as you’ve been able to collect a few Energy in play for a grand finale attack. I recommend playing Colorless Lugia in a metagame where Lugia VSTAR decks are popular, and the rest of the metagame is diverse. Let’s check out my list:

Pokémon

3 Lugia VSTAR SIT 
3 Lugia V SIT 
4 Archeops SIT 
1 Wyrdeer V ASR 
2 Lumineon V BRS 
2 Snorlax LOR 
1 Drapion V LOR 
1 Mew ex MEW 
1 Luxray PAL 
1 Radiant Charizard CRZ 

Energy

4 Double Turbo Energy BRS 
4 Jet Energy PAL 
2 V Guard Energy SIT 
2 Gift Energy LOR 
1 Luminous Energy PAL 
1 Therapeutic Energy PAL 
1 Reversal Energy PAL 

Trainer

2 Mesagoza SVI 
2 Collapsed Stadium BRS 
3 Professor's Research SVI 
3 Iono PAL 
3 Boss's Orders PAL 
2 Professor Burnet PR-SW 
4 Capturing Aroma SIT 
4 Ultra Ball SVI 
3 Nest Ball SVI 

Looking to sleeve up your new Colorless Lugia deck? Try this deck with Ultimate Guard White Cortex Sleeves to match the theme of the deck!

Time to Summon Archeops

I hope this article has inspired you to build Lugia VSTAR, and maybe even play it at one of your upcoming tournaments. With many tournaments coming up in our new Pokemon 151 format, there will be plenty of opportunities to play these decks, and they seem well positioned at least for now! The best part about both decks is that they have separate advantages against certain metagames, so even if one of them isn’t as well positioned, the other one certainly should be! As for me, I’m going to be playing most Scarlet and Violet: Pokémon 151 majors so I’ll be sure to keep all of you Ultimate Guard readers up to date. Thanks for reading, summon those Archeops, and I’ll catch up with you next time!

Author: Zach Lesage

Zach Lesage is a contributing writer for Ultimate Guard. As a Toronto local, he has been playing the Pokémon Trading Card Game since 2005 and creates Pokémon content as his full time career. With multiple prestigious accomplishments in the game, such as 2020 Players Cup 2 Champion and 2020 Oceania International Championships Finalist, he has proven his success in the game. Outside of the game, he travels the world, enjoys the culture of designer streetwear, and is a professionally trained chef. You can catch him at most Pokémon events and follow him on Twitter.

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