– Call of Legends
January 11, 2018
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Lost World (Call of Legends 81/106) is our Throwback Thursday pick; I’ll explain why after we discuss the card itself. The card itself says it is a “Stadium Stadium”. Why? For well intentioned but poorly executed reasons, there’s a period in the TCG’s history where the game’s three core categories became the game’s five core categories; Stadium and Supporter cards were split from Trainer cards and each made their own thing. This was changed back because, it didn’t work too well; all the “Stadium Stadium” and “Supporter Supporter” cards looked kind of silly, and someone realized it made more sense to keep the original, core three classes of cards and just give a name to the category that included old school “normal” Trainers, Tools, etc.: Items!
So… Lost World is a Trainer-Stadium, following the usual rules for such cards. Its effect, however, is still quite special: a new win condition! Lost World states that, during a player’s own turn, if the opponent has six or more Pokémon in the Lost Zone, that player may declare him- or herself the winner of the game. So what is the Lost Zone and how do Pokémon get there? The Lost Zone, as a mechanic, debuted outside of Japan with a few cards in the Platinum Expansion, but hasn’t shown up since Call of Legends. Think of it as a distinct, secondary discard pile that doesn’t count as being the same thing as the normal discard pile. This concept may be familiar to you by other names, as it has appeared in other games like Magic: the Gathering and Yu-Gi-Oh). To my knowledge, there are no effects that can reclaim Pokémon from either player’s Lost Zone, a handful that have effects based on what is in the Lost Zone (like Lost World), and slightly more (but still not many) that actually send cards to the Lost Zone. Sending your own cards to the Lost Zone requires combos to be seen as anything but an increased cost, while sending your opponent’s cards to the Lost Zone is usually to your benefit.
Unfortunately, I was just returning to the game from a hiatus, so not only must I deal with memory lapses, but experience lapses in this case. From what I do remember, and what I’ve read, Lost World received a lot of hype prior to its release outside of Japan, but decks built around it enjoyed only a brief window of success, likely to due to several factors: regional differences, new releases, rotation, and (less common) the rule changes and errata that accompanied the release of the original Black & White expansion. The deck that seemed to best utilize Lost World was known as “LostGar”, and featured cards like Gengar (HS – Triumphant 94/102), Mime Jr. (Call of Legends 47/106), Mew (HS – Triumphant 97/102), and Seeker. This deck still exists on the PTCGO, in the Legacy Format; I haven’t seen it much, but that may be because it contains a hefty helping of older cards, many in the premium rarities (the Gengar and Mew in question are “Prime” Pokémon). Additional disruption is also common in the deck; likely because the faster, lower Pokémon-count decks that the BW-era brought with it are still a major part of the Legacy Metagame. Still, I was impressed.
You’re not likely to get to use this in a Limited Format event, given how old the product is. There are no other Stadium cards in this set, so you won’t need it just to discard an opponent’s Stadium. You might risk it, even if you don’t pull one of the few cards you can use with it to try and win – Mime Jr. is in this set – in case your opponent uses something like Relicanth (Call of Legends 69/102) and its “Prehistoric Wisdom” attack for the draw power. Note that even if you do get a card like Mime Jr. alongside Lost World, you have to “banish” six total Pokémon to your opponent’s Lost Zone… but you only need to take four Prizes to win in the Limited Format. As for why we are looking at this card today, the Lost Zone mechanic has been revived; cards using it appear in our next set, and are already out in Japan. If this is fully embraced, it might make a reprint of Lost World worthwhile.
Oh hey! It’s Sonic Lost World, in the form of a stadium card. Just joking!
Today’s Throwback Thursdays is Lost World from the Call of Legends series. That series contains only one expansion, and the card template remains to be the HGSS style. This stadium card allows you to WIN the game if your opponent has SIX or more Pokémon in the Lost Zone. The Lost Zone is a separate discard pile in which cards cannot be retrieved by any means. Treat this as cards being outside the game.
Very few cards reference the Lost Zone mechanic. Some cards that does so were inside expansions between Platinum until Call of Legends. Now, Ultra Prism references this pile once again.
This stadium was regarded the most broken and controversial stadium card to ever exist. There was a deck which focuses on putting Pokemon in the Lost Zone. That deck goes by the name of…
This deck makes use of Gengar Prime (HS triumphant), Mine Jr. (Call of Legends), and Palkia SP LV.X (Platinum). Gengar Prime has Hurl Into Darkness, which costs P, and states for every P Energy attached to this Pokémon, you get to look at your opponent’s hand and put this many Pokemon from their hand into the Lost Zone. It’s poke-body, catastrophe, also lets you send a KOed Pokemon into the Lost Zone. And Gengar’s Cursed Drop placed 4 damage counters, making that poke-body realistic to perform if it ever lands a KO. Mine Jr.’s Sleepy Lost is a free attack which puts the top card from your opponent’s deck into the Lost Zone. And Palkia’s Lost Cyclone Poke Power makes any player with more than three Benched Pokemon puts their other Benched Pokemon into the Lost Zone until they are down to three Benched Pokemon. With several ways to put cards in the Lost Zone, fulfilling the victory condition of Lost World is a manageable task.
The problem would be that the opponent has no way to respond to this stadium card. Once six Pokemon are in the Lost Zone, the Lost World player can simply play this and declare victory. Since LostGar doesn’t focus on taking prizes, N and Ace Trainer would’ve been a useful distraction cards to give the opponent a hard time.
This deck only had four months to enjoy due to card legality in terms of rotation. Call of Legends came out somewhere late January/early February 2011 and the early rotation happened July 1, 2011.
So after the past success has been said, you might be wondering why we’re looking at Lost World again? Let’s assume that this stadium is legal now. There are Prism Star cards that sends itself in the Lost Zone if it were to be landing in the discard pile. Pokemon like Lunala Star, Solgaleo Star, Darkrai Star, and Giratina Star? Those counts as Pokemon that would be needed to fulfill the win condition of Lost World. If a deck were to be made of Prism Star Pokemon, the deck will fall prey to Lost World: Discards from the deck or hand, on top of Prism Star Pokemon getting KOed. I think Lost World won’t be a good card at the moment if it was legal. For now, four Prism Star Pokémon isn’t enough to fulfill the victory condition, but future releases will have more Prism Star Pokémon.
In Legacy, you still have the pieces of sending the Pokémon into the Lost Zone with Gengar Prime and Mine Jr, but without Palkia G LV.X. I still believe the effectiveness of this deck’s concept is diminished due to decks running considerably few Pokemon or even less than six Pokemon in a deck. Pokemon from BW onwards have Basic Pokemon whose HP in the high 130s or the EX’s 180s. Some damage outputs can hit more than 130 HP, making Gengar’s staying power lackluster, even with Giant Cape bolstering it’s HP from 130 to 150.
In Limited, the only source of cards going to the Lost Zone is Mine Jr., which makes the process take forever to achieve the win condition.
Notes: Lost World used to be a scary card when it came out. Even if this card were to be legal, I suspect the surprise use of this card would be your opponent discarding Prism Star Pokemon or you using a variety of discarding effects to hope to send a Prism Star Pokemon away from the game.
Lost World is an interesting card that delved into an alternate means of winning the game. There aren’t very many cards in the history of Pokemon TCG that actually accomplish an alternate win condition. Generally speaking, there are two main ways to win: knocking out enough Pokemon to collect all 6 Prizes, or your opponent loses their Active Pokemon and doesn’t have a Benched Pokemon to replace it. Those are the more common two, although there is a deck-out victory as well, which some decks aim to mill out the cards in to achieve it faster.
Lost World aimed more to revolve around the recent mechanic of the Lost Zone, which acts basically as Pokemon’s version of “removed from the game”. There aren’t any cards that can retrieve things from the Lost Zone, but there are plenty of cards that have the ability to put stuff into the Lost Zone, mainly from the HGSS era of cards. The main win condition comes from having 6 Pokemon in the Lost Zone, and if either you or your opponent has 6 Pokemon there, one of you automatically wins the game.
Keep in mind that if you have 6 Pokemon in the Lost Zone, you lose if it’s your opponent’s turn.
The quickest way to get Pokemon into the Lost Zone revolves around Gengar Prime, a card that came out in Triumphant. His Ability could put any KO’d Pokemon into the Lost Zone as long as he’s Active, and Hurl into Darkness could immediately snag Pokemon from the opponent’s hand and throw them into the Lost Zone based on how much Energy Gengar has. Though it’d be hard for Gengar Prime to stay Active with no real means of damaging Pokemon outside of Cursed Drop, which spreads 4 damage counters around, it could easily lead to devastating blows if Hurl into Darkness catches some Evolutionary Pokemon.
This is the sort of combination that could come back into today’s game and make a niche impact, but Lost World could also create a tense moment with an upcoming set of cards in the next set coming out that features cards that put themselves into the Lost Zone instead of into the discard pile. They’re not all Pokemon, but the ones that are could easily be enough to stave off bringing Lost World back into the game any time soon. The last thing you’d need is accidentally losing simply cause your opponent took out your prism.
Standard: N/A (it’s an interesting Stadium built entirely around its own mechanic)
Expanded: N/A (and in a dedicated deck built around it, the chances of winning with it are fairly likely; otherwise, it’s just a bit gimmicky)
Limited: 1.5/5 (to be honest, in just Call of Legends, there are not that many cards that put stuff into the Lost Zone, least of all Pokemon)
Arora Notealus: Lost World provided the game with its first true alternate win condition outside of the usual. Unlike other card games like Magic and Yugioh, which have several different cards that enable alternate win conditions, Pokemon has stuck pretty true to its main means of achieving victory. In fact, the only other alternate win condition card in all of Pokemon is…Slowbro? From BREAKpoint?…huh.
Side Reviews – #8 Decidueye-GX – Decidueye-GX started out having the disadvantage of being a Stage 2 removed by its typing thanks to Forest of Giant Plants, and this served it well with its Feather Arrow Ability that could dish 20 damage out every turn. Combined with multiple lines, this could bring numbers easily to Grass decks, and it really cemented Decidueye-GX as one of the best early GX up until the rotation of Forest of Giant Plants, and since then its popularity has dropped significantly. He’s still a powerful card to have, but he’s much slower, which lines him up with the other GX of this era.
#7 Golisopod-GX – probably the breakout hit of Burning Shadows, Golisopod-GX has that quality of a cheap move that could dish out a lot of damage. His main means of doing so is in First Impression, a 1-for-30 move that could push for 120 if Golisopod-GX switched out from the Bench. With the right amount of switching cards, like Float Stone, Acerola, Guzma, etc., this card could very consistently dish out 2HKOs and has been the star of its own deck for a little while. It’s likely to remain competitive for a while, even if it’s not more than a Tier 2 deck.
#6 Field Blower – this Item has a lot of power, since it can get rid of not only Stadium cards but also Tools. Not only can you knock out your opponent’s Stadium with ease, but you can also remove their useful Tools like Choice Band and Float Stone easily too. This can hamper your opponent’s strategy while you promote your own, and it’s a very good card to have in Stadium and Tool-heavy formats. The number you run in each deck may vary based on the space it takes up, but I think 2 is a pretty good number as a start.
Next Time: It’s the miracle of…moving things around!
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