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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


Lampent #59

Noble Victories

Date Reviewed: Feb. 1, 2012

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 3.25
Limited: 3.33

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 being the worst. 
3 ... average.  
5 is the highest rating.

Back to the main COTD Page

Combos With: See Below

Baby Mario
2010 UK National

Lampent 59/101 (Noble Victories)

I dunno, you go for what seems like years without getting a good evolving Stage 1 (not since Virbrava RR, I think), and then two appear in the same set. First we had the Energy accelerating Eelektrik, and now we have this. Lampent is nowhere near as good as the Eel, of course, and it’s only going to be used in Chandelure decks, rather than as a support Pokémon in its own right. The great thing about it though, is the way it works so well with decks built around its evolution.

There’s nothing special about Lampent at first glance. It’s just an 80 HP Psychic Stage 1, though it is nice to see that it has Darkness Weakness instead of being Weak to its own Type. There isn’t much Dark around at the moment, so that’s a good thing. The Retreat cost of one is acceptable enough too.

I think we can safely ignore Lampent’s second attack. Will-o-Wisp does a vanilla 30 damage for [P][C], and is neither good nor interesting. Much, much better is the first attack: for a single Energy of any Colour, Luring Light switches out your opponent’s Defending Pokémon and replaces it for a Benched Pokémon of your choice. Now I know that doesn’t sound particularly amazing . . . I mean, don’t we have Pokémon Catcher to do that job without having to waste an attack? Well, normally we do . . . but remember that Chandelure decks almost always play Vileplume UD and that means that Catcher is locked out of the game. More importantly, so is Switch, leaving Lampent free to drag up high Retreat cost Bench sitters like Eelektrik or Reuniclus, or even attacking Pokémon that don’t yet have enough Energy. That way, Chandelure is able to spread around damage with Cursed Shadow on your next turn without being threatened.

So, while Lampent isn’t as powerful as Eelektrik or as threatening as the old Virbrava, it does a very useful job in the deck it was made for. This is the kind of Stage 1 that most Pokémon wish they had. I hope that more of them do in the future.


Modified: 3 (does good work in a top tier deck)

Limited: 3 (annoyingly disruptive here too)


Happy midweek, Pojo readers! Today we're reviewing yet another Psychic-type from Noble Victories, although this one has seen some play as a lower form in a somewhat popular Modified deck archetype. Today's Card of the Day is Lampent. 

Lampent is a Stage 1 Psychic Pokemon. As I've said all this week, Mewtwo is really the benchmark for playable Psychics right now, with Mew Prime and Gothitelle also seeing some play. However, Chandelure has recently seen some play as well along with Vileplume and Tropical Beach as a fairly popular deck, and this is where Lampent comes in. Lampent has 80 HP, which is average for an evolving Stage 1. Darkness Weakness is nice in that there aren't very many playable Darkness-types right now, and it can also hit many of the Psychic Weak Psychic-types in the format without getting hit with double damage itself. To round out the bottom stats, Lampent has no Resistance and a very nice Retreat Cost of 1.

Lampent has two attacks: Luring Light and Will-O-Wisp. Luring Light acts like a Pokemon Catcher for a single Colorless Energy, forcing your opponent to switch out to a Benched Pokemon of your choice. While Pokemon Catcher can be used to better effect when there isn't a Trainer lock, Luring Light is especially helpful when there is a Vileplume or Gothitelle in play, as it can get under the Trainer lock condition. Given this fact, Lampent has a nice niche in Chandelure/Vileplume variants, as it can match the disruption Pokemon Catcher provides while still locking Trainers down. 

Will-o-Wisp does a vanilla 30 damage for a Psychic and a Colorless. Totally uninteresting, and not really useful either. 

Modified: 3/5 This particular Lampent is a very solid choice for a Chandelure build, as Luring Light fulfills the niche of forcing a switch while under a Trainer lock. Will-o-wisp is unimpressive, but really, if you're attacking for damage with a Lampent in Modified, something's probably gone horribly wrong anyway. 

Limited: 3/5 Lampent can be useful in Limited depending on what you are building. Luring Light is a fantastic attack here, as being able to drag up opposing bench sitters and hit them or stall while you build up your heavy hitters is really nice. Will-o-wisp is a weak but solid attack as well. Overall, if you are playing Psychic and need another line, running a Lampent or two won't be a bad idea. If you manage to pull a Chandelure, even better.

Mad Mattezhion
 Professor Bathurst League Australia

Lampent (Noble Victories)

This has been a good week for evolving Poke'mon, as first Elgyem and now Lampent are solid additions to their evolutionary tree. Unlike Elgyem however, Lampent already has a powerful evolution so being a useful Stage 1 is a major plus rather than a missed opportunity.

Lampent is another Psychic type, which has some good energy support and a few in-type options for techs but currently isn't known for exploting Weakness in other Poke'mon to make them unplayable. Mewtwo Ex is expected to change that outlook dramatically, but until then there are only a few Psychics around and none of them are insanely popular.

The lamentable 80 HP won't last a single turn in combat, but fortunately you get a much more acceptable score when you evolve. The retreat cost is low to match, and since any Chandelure deck worth its salt is already running a way to lower the retreat cost of their Poke'mon it will usually be a non-issue.

Now the reason that Lampent is a cut above most evolving Stage 1 Poke'mon is that it has a usually useful and occasionally devastating first attack. Luring Light follows a long tradition of 'lure' type attacks, switching one of your opponent's Benched Poke'mon with their Active for the low cost of [c]. The popularity of Gust of Wind effects through the history of the game (Poke'mon Catcher now, Luxray Gl Lv X last season, the older Torterra Lv X and Metagross LA, the much older Double Gust, et cetera) gives plenty of examples on how this attack can be abused, and the current trend of higher retreat costs coupled with more expensive attacks relying on energy acceleration means that you usually have at least one fat, helpless target you can drag up to buy yourself some time.

Now all of you regular readers already understand that using an attack to do something is nowhere nears as good as using a Trainer, Ability or Poke-power/Poke-body to do the same thing so usually this attack wouldn't be cause for excitement, especially with Poke'mon Catcher in abundance and Junk Arm to make sure you are never short of tricks to play switcheroo with your opponent's Bench. However, if you are already locked in to use evolving Poke'mon for your brutal Stage 2 you might as well get some mileage out of them, especially since the low damage attacks most of them have used throughout the history of the game do diddly squat in this format against common tactics like Outrage, Rocky Helmet and Eviolite. Not to mention that the redundancy is helpful for those odd occasions where you aren't lucky enough to draw Poke'mon Catcher.

Lampent might as well not have a second attack, but Will-o-Wisp is also printed on the card. Sadly, the cost of [p][c] is prohibitive when you consider the minimal HP and the vanilla 30 damage isn't much of an incentive to choose it over Luring Light. Even in Limited you won't want to use this attack.

Lampent can be loads of fun when your opponent has some high-retreat targets in play (Terrakion is a favourtie and the Tao Dragons are a close second) and would make a good argument against using Rare Candy if Memory Berry and Broken Time Space were still in Modified. Without those nasty cheats however, it is still a useful middle Stage that will make a lack or Rare Candies in your opening hand an annoyance instead of a crisis.

Modified: 3.75 (Luring Light has a lot of synergy with what Chandelure does to an opponent and can help with the low survivability as well, so thumbs up for a supporting lower stage!)

Limited: 4 (if you already have other Psychis like Elgyem/Beheeyem and Victini in your deck, you could run this for Luring Light alone nad having Chandelure somewhere in your Limited deck is even better)

Combos with: Chandelure NV (what else?)

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