Hello and welcome to another edition of The Expert Belt. We’re gearing up for some intense TCG action later with League Challenges over the weekend so let’s get started!
Personally, our Standard meta-game here in Malaysia is full of both Zoroark-GX variants and Buzzwole-GX variants. Perhaps a few Ho-Oh-GX decks and Garbodor decks mixed in as well. However, Zoroark-GX is being spotlighted as the engine card to beat hence the popularity of Buzzwole-GX. Well, now we have a new “striker” with the aim of taking out Zoroark-GX. Our featured card this time for The Expert Belt is none other than Lucario-GX!
Lucario-GX is a 210 HP Stage 1 Fighting type Pokemon. It evolves from Riolu. Its attacks are as follows:
[F] Aura Strike : 30+ damage. If this Pokemon evolved from Riolu during this turn, this attack does 90 more damage. (Total 120 damage if evolved during this turn)
[F][F][C] Cyclone Kick : 130 damage.
[C][C] Cantankerous Beatdown GX : 30x damage. This attack does 30 damage for each damage counter on this Pokemon. (You can’t use more than 1 GX attack in a game.)
It has a [P]sychic Weakness, No Resistance and a Retreat Cost of 2.
It is illustrated by 5ban Graphics and it is a SM Promo card numbered 100. (SM100)
Advantages and Disadvantages
Lucario-GX’s advantage is its Aura Strike attack, which does a solid 120 damage if it evolved from Riolu that turn. With Zoroark-GXs running everywhere in the meta-game, along with it being weak to Fighting types, Lucario-GX can just OHKO (One Hit Knock Out) a full HP Zoroark-GX.
But that’s not all, being a fighting type Pokémon has its own merits besides hitting Zoroark-GX for Weakness. Strong Energy and Regirock-EX are still legal (in format) and can manipulate the damage output for Lucario-GX. Each Strong Energy adds 20 more damage to your attacks, and Regirock-EX adds 10 more damage as well! On a typical board setup, all you need is a Strong Energy plus a Choice Band, and you will be doing 170 damage with Aura Strike, OHKO-ing Tapu Lele-GX off the field.
Lucario-GX’s second attack is a “vanilla” kind of attack, dealing a solid 130 damage flat. However, like what I discussed earlier, the addition of a Strong Energy, Regirock EX and Choice Band can make Cyclone Kick hit for huge amounts of damage.
Last but not least is Lucario GX’s Cantankerous Beatdown-GX attack. This is essentially Tauros GX’s Mad Bull-GX attack. If you don’t OHKO Lucario-GX, it can retaliate with huge amounts of damage with this GX attack.
Now, for the disadvantages. With Buzzwole-GX also being a popular deck variant, unfortunately, Lucario-GX shares the same Psychic type Weakness as Buzzwole-GX. So Psychic based decks like Espeon-GX/Garbodor can wreck havoc on Lucario-GX decks.
Another disadvantage is the inconsistency of Lucario-GX the turn after you evolved it. Aura Strike does 120 damage if you evolved Riolu during that turn, hence its a one-off attack per Lucario-GX, unless you have back-up Riolu ready on the Bench.
Lastly is the Retreat Cost of 2. Usually after an Aura Strike, you would be in a situation where you would want to attack with another Pokémon on the Bench, but you only have 1 Energy attached to Lucario-GX (due to using Aura Strike the last turn), hence the active Lucario-GX is unable to retreat. A dilemma of having to attach a Float Stone to Lucario-GX (if it doesn’t have a Choice Band attached), banking on a Super Scoop Up/Acerola or the best case scenario of Guzma would be the ideal way out of that situation.
20 more damage for your Lucario-GX! More damage, higher chance to OHKO, better chance to win!
Whenever you evolve your Riolu to a Lucario-GX, you would want to utilize its Aura Strike to its full potential to OHKO a Pokemon. Pair that combo with Guzma and you can OHKO Zoroark-GXs on your opponent’s bench for days. Even Tapu Lele-GX is not safe!
Similar to Strong Energy, Regirock-EX adds more damage for your Lucario-GX. You can have up to 4 Regirock-EX for a ridiculous +40 damage for your Lucario-GX (although it is not advisable to play 4 Regirock-EX, unless you got
Lucario-GX usually gets going after evolving, but its not doing anything when its a Riolu during your Turn 1. Buzzwole-GX can get some hits in with Jet Punch, softening up your opponent’s Pokemon for easier knock outs later with Lucario-GX.
If you can’t beat them, join them. One of the popular Lucario-GX based decks is with Zoroark-GX. Keep on using Zoroark-GX’s Trade to draw more cards out to keep your options open with Lucario-GX.
Lycanroc-GX (Guardians Rising)
If you’re not lured towards the Zoroark-GX’s route, you can pair Lucario-GX with Lycanroc-GX as well. Utilize Lycanroc-GX’s ability Bloodthirsty Eyes (essentially a Lysandre) and pull out a Pokemon from your opponent’s bench to the active position for your Lucario-GX to mow down. Even Lycanroc-GX’s Dangerous Rogue-GX attack is not hard to execute, and can be pretty dangerous for your opponent’s Pokemon. (
Lucario-GX is weak to Psychic, Espeon-GX is a Psychic type. Even its OHKO attack on Lucario-GX (with a Choice Band) is called “Psychic”.
Ew, these trash again, as usual. Trashalanche Garbodor is possibly the biggest threat to Lucario-GX. It has. a high chance to OHKO Lucario-GX during the latter stages of the game. The Garbotoxin Garbodor is not specifically a threat to Lucario-GX, but its there and it
is a Garbodor so whatever burn it will slow down Lucario-GX’s “support” team, Zoroark-GX loses its Trade ability, Lycanroc-GX can’t use Bloodthirsty Eyes and so on. It’s annoying.
Mew-EX and Mew (From Fates Collide)
Both Mew do similar things, are Psychic type and can utilize attacks from other Pokémon. Mew-EX is more often used in Zoroark-GX based decks as Mew-EX can copy Zoroark-GX’s Riotous Beating attack easily. Mew (Fates Collide) is usually used in decks that doesn’t utilize Zoroark-GX and emphasize on Basic attackers, like Tapu Bulu-GX. Either way, Lucario-GX (and Buzzwole-GX too!) does not like the sight of this mischievous Pokémon.
A big basic Psychic attacker. Although it doesn’t OHKO Lucario-GX if it has only 1 energy attached to it, it does pose a threat of a OHKO to a Lucario-GX which has more than 1 energy.
If you ‘brick’ during your setup with just Riolus’ in play and can’t get out a Lucario-GX, well then its Good Game.
Super Scoop Up
One of the best way to keep using Lucario-GX’s Aura Strike to its full potential is returning the card back to hand, and using the picked up Lucario-GX to evolve another Riolu to continue attacking! Sounds too good? Well this all can happen if you flip heads. Your flip, your fate!
Similar to Super Scoop Up’s benefit to keep using Aura Strike to its full potential, Acerola is the same except that you can only pick up that Pokémon if it has any damage counters on it, and Acerola is a Supporter card. Then again, who would want to attack a Lucario-GX directly without knocking it out?
Lucario-GX is a highly aggressive card that thrives in a Zoroark-GX based meta-game. Especially in the Expanded format where Lucario-GX can utilize Korrina to its full potential and consistency. In the current Standard format, I do personally think Lucario-GX can make an impact where Zoroark-GX decks are popular.
However, will it dose the fire that is Zoroark-GX this later at League Challenges? Or will the anti-anti-counter deck (yes double anti) which is Espeon-GX/Garbodor make a scene against the anti-Zoroark decks?
And that is all folks! Thanks for reading this edition of The Expert Belt! All the best to those competing later at the League Challenges. With that, Darren signing off!
*All graphics belong to their original owners and no copyright infringement intended.