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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


 Lugia EX  

- Legendary Treasures

Date Reviewed:
December 13, 2013

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 3.75
Limited: See Below

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

Lugia EX (Legendary Treasures) 

We end the week with a look at Lugia EX. Yep, this is a reprint: we first saw it in PLS and then it got a tin version, so it should be pretty easily available to anyone who wants it. 

But would you want it? Lugia EX has an (almost) unique selling point in that it is capable of ending a six Prize game with just two attacks (technically, Rayquaza and Deoxys LEGEND could do the same thing but it was almost impossible to pull off). This is thanks to Lugia’s Overflow Ability which nets you one more Prize if it KOs a Pokémon with its attack (no, finishing them off with Hypnotoxic Laser won’t work), so if it takes out two EX Pokémon, you win right there.  Does Lugia have the kind of attack power to threaten EX’s and Stage 2s and back up that Ability? Well . . . sort of. Plasma Gale does 120 for four Energy of any Colour, and this can be increased by having Deoxys EX Benched. Scoring the OHKO on Stage 2 Pokémon isn’t so much of a problem, but it does come up a little bit short as far as the 170-180 EX Pokémon are concerned. Since PlusPower is no longer in the format, you’ll need some previous damage on the Pokémon to get the job done. Without wanting to spoil things for people who haven’t seen the  . . . ummm . . . spoilers, there could well be something in future releases to help Lugia EX out with this problem. 

That aside, Lugia is a Plasma Pokémon, so he’s well supported and can abuse the you-know-what out of Double Colourless and Plasma Energy/Colress Machine. His HP, Weakness, and Resistance are all nice and you can see why he has found a place in a lot of Plasma decks as a deadly finisher and a way to even the Prize exchange vs non-EX decks. Lugia may have to wait a little while for the card he needs to become the main focus of a deck once more, but in the meantime he remains a card to be feared in decks that run other attackers. 


Modified: 3.75 (talks the talk and just about walks the walk)

Limited: 1.25 (no Plasma Energy in the set, so he’s useless except as a high HP wall)


We close this week out by looking at the reprint Lugia EX (BW: Legendary Treasures 102/113) originally released with nearly identical art as BW: Plasma Storm 108/135 and with the Full Art treatment as BW: Plasma Storm 134/135.  Like so many other older cards and reprints, the new rules and shifting card pool may alter how much it is played.


We first looked at Lugia EX here; it managed to snag the number two slot for out Top 10 Promising Picks of Plasma Storm, loosing out only to Hypnotoxic Laser.  Unlike the other cards we’ve re-reviewed, this time I am not going to restate the fundamentals from my previous review and instead focus on what has changed.  For example, Pokémon-EX now have all the previous concerns to deal with plus Silver Bangle upping the damage of non-Pokémon-EX by 30 points.  As a Team Plasma Pokémon it also has to worry about Silver Mirror and it preventing Lugia EX from being able to harm the equipped Pokémon.  The good news is that by now all Team Plasma support (much of which hadn’t released at the time of that review) is out.


Its Stage, Type, HP, and Resistance are still great, good, great and good, respectively.  Its Lightning Weakness is at present less of a concern because we have fewer Lightning-Type Pokémon as primary attackers, though as players prepare to counter Lightning Weak cards (including Lugia EX) it may not matter much in the long run.  Its Retreat Cost is still poor; something you’ll want to avoid paying.  The Ability remains amazingly useful today, but the attack has lost a slight bit of potency.


The reason the attack isn’t quite as scary is that like everything else, Lugia EX can’t attack the very first turn of the game.  This means you can’t push for a win via donk (good riddance), but also that you can’t look for an easy lead via taking out an Evolving Basic Pokémon (good riddance).  Even though I am glad the card can’t pull off such tricks, please remember that I don’t care for the change in rules; cards that can do such a thing should simply not be designed in the first place.  The change isn’t all bad for Lugia EX, either; this gives it another turn to set-up and the new rules seem to be encouraging more Stage 2 decks… you may not be able to shoot for a donk to win the game, but going second you can still try to OHKO an Evolving Basic Pokémon for two Prizes instead of one.


The nerfing of Pokémon Catcher makes it a lot harder to cherry pick the best KOs for Plasma Gale… but it also protects Lugia EX itself if it is building on the Bench, as well as any Bench-sitters you want to back it up with.  The previous review, for example, predates Deoxys EX, which increases the damage done by Team Plasma Pokémon and thus makes it easier to Plasma Gale for OHKOs.  Shadow Triad and Thundurus EX give you a means of retrieving Plasma Energy from the discard pile.  If you want access to your opponent’s Bench, you can even use Porygon-Z (BW: Plasma Blast 74/101) a.k.a. Porygon-Z [Plasma] and Genesect EX; manually attach a Plasma Energy to Genesect EX to trigger its Red Signal Ability (acts as a pre-erratum Pokémon Catcher), use Plasma Transfer from Porygon-Z [Plasma] to move that Energy to Lugia EX, then Plasma Gale the Pokémon you just forced up.


Opposing decks are also changing; as stated Stage 2 Pokémon are seeing a small increase in play.  The changes to the rules didn’t help most of the card pool, but some decks that were on the periphery are becoming more mainstream.  With Pokémon Catcher being altered to require a coin flip, Mr. Mime (BW: Plasma Freeze 47/116) is seeing a little more play; several decks already made good use of snipe/spread damage and such damage is more important when you can’t easily force up the opponent’s Benched Pokémon, and blocking it is now more effective with Mr. Mime as it isn’t so easy to force it up front as an easy KO… except in scenarios as described above.  While it is less impressive to quickly KO two smaller Pokémon and either a third smaller Pokémon or a single Pokémon-EX than to OHKO two Pokémon-EX, it still wins the game.  Another interesting change is that Frozen City may be becoming a solid play, and provide a good chance to get damage counters onto something before you attack with Plasma Blast.


Spoiler Alert!


Translations of Japanese cards indicate we are getting a new Pokémon Tool, Muscle Band, that increases the damage done by the equipped Pokémon by 20 points, and there appear to be no restrictions on its usage.  This bodes quite well for Lugia EX.


End Spoiler.


So for Modified, things look reasonable good for Lugia EX; some things are better for it, some aren’t as good, but overall the changes seem to be giving it a little more breathing room.  As for Unlimited… I don’t know.  I never got to test the deck and I’ve not seen anyone discuss it.  I originally scored the card low but now I wonder if I should have; under the previous rules it was donk capable, and could even be used as part of a Sabledonk variant.  You just need to open with Sableye (DP: Stormfront 48/100) to use its Poké-Body to go first; then you can spam less damage counters and take advantage of Colress Machine and Double Colorless Energy to shoot for the donk.  Now it can’t do that, but you can still use it as a harder-to-donk deck built almost purely (or perhaps purely) around Lugia EX.  The main catch becomes do you run Trainer denial or take your chances without it; if you run it that means a risk of something easier for the opponent to donk, but with it you should be able to safely maintain a Lugia EX to power through the two to three KOs needed to win via Prizes.


For Limited, I wouldn’t bother at all with the BW: Legendary Treasures release as there is no Plasma Energy for it to use to attack with.  My somewhat misleading score for the earlier releases still stand; you shouldn’t try a +39 deck with it, but adding it for a final push may be worth the risk in a more substantial Limited deck where you have at least one Plasma Energy.




Unlimited: 3.25/5


Modified: 3.75/5


Limited: 1/5 (this printing only)




Lugia EX was a nice way to end the week because it’s the best card we looked at.  I believe it has weathered the changes well, though the card itself is very combo heavy so I don’t want to score it too high.  Whether as the focus of a deck or as a surprise drop in something using Plasma Energy, keep an eye out for it.

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