Lunala Prism Star
March 21, 2018
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Lunala [Prism Star] (SM – Ultra Prism 62/156) might give you a case of deja vu because it is so similar to Solgaleo [Prism Star] (SM – Ultra Prism 89/156). So, the MOST obvious is that both a Prism Star cards, which means you can only run them as singles, though you can run multiple different Prism Star cards and they go to the Lost Zone instead of the discard pile. Based on the few examples we possess, it is also why both of these cards are Basic Pokémon instead of their usual Stage 2 selves, which makes them a lot easier to use than their baseline or GX-counterparts. Being a Prism Star may also be why they sport 160 HP, which is tremendous (though not the current record) for Basic Pokémon that are not Pokémon-EX or Pokémon-GX. This also makes them fairly durable, sometimes on par with slightly larger Pokémon-GX given how often decks use Choice Band for +30 damage. Though not to the same Types, both cards have a Weakness and a Resistance. Both cards have the same Retreat Cost of [CCC], which can make them hard to get back to the Bench but – in the right deck – is useful because it makes them Heavy Ball targets. Finally, they have two attacks, each with similar costs and similar effects.
Okay, how about the differences? Solgaleo [Prism Star] is an [M] Pokémon, while Lunala [Prism Star] is a [P] Pokémon. [M] Pokémon and basic Energy have more support, though how useful it is at the moment is open to debate, while [P] is probably better for hitting Weakness as Buzzwole-GX is so heavily played (and is [P] Weak) while the main [M] Weak Pokémon is Gardevoir-GX, and its usage has been on a steady decline. Resistance is rarely relevant, but I don’t see a lot of [M] Resistance out there while Zoroark-GX is [P] Resistant. Speaking of Weakness and Resistance, Solgaleo [Prism Star] is [R] Weak and [P] Resistant while Pokémon while Lunala [Prism Star] is [D] Weak and [F] Resistant; Lunala [Prism Star] has the better Resistance but a much more dangerous Weakness. The first attack on each card costs and works almost the exact same, just with different names and Energy Types. So Solgaleo [Prism Star] needs [M] to use “Radiant Star” to attach a [M] Energy from your discard pile to your Pokémon per Pokémon on your opponent’s Bench, while Lunala [Prism Star] needs [P] to use “Full Moon Star” to do the same thing, but for [P] Energy. The second attacks each cost four Energy, and of that Pokémon’s Type, so Solgaleo [Prism Star] needs [MMMM] to use “Corona Impact” while Lunala [Prism Star] needs [PPPP] to use “Psystorm”. Corona Impact does 160 damage but states This Pokémon can’t attack during your next turn.” while Psystorm does 20 damage per Energy you have in play. That is a pretty substantial difference; while Full Moon Star should help you load your Bench with Energy, you’ll need eight total units of Energy to swing for 160. Sure, you don’t have to use a combo to attack twice in a row… but even with 160 HP, you’re not immune to KO’s and with four Energy attached, you’re probably a high priority target.
With all of that said, the reason 21times suggested we look at today’s card is pretty simple; with everything but Weakness and the second attack in the favor of Lunala [Prism Star], why not use the same approach we’ve seen in competitive Solgaleo [Prism Star] decks, and apply it to a [P] deck built around Lunala [Prism Star]? I don’t know if he was aware others had beaten him to the punch as Aaron Wilfong managed to take 30th place at the Collinsville, IL Regional Championship. Pretty impressive, considering the Masters Division had 1066 participants! Still, it seems odd that I’m not seeing anyone using it in more recent events; I’m missing quite a few decklists from them, so it could be a simple oversight, but I suspect people just aren’t using the deck. In fact, the same is true for Solgaleo [Prism Star] decks; we see fewer people using them, and while we still have some solid finishes for the few that do, there is nothing like a Top 8 or Top 16 finish. It could just be something other than the deck’s efficacy resulting in this, and it looks solid enough that it shouldn’t cost you an arm and a leg to build it. Note that we have had all of one Expanded Format event since SM – Ultra Prism officially became legal, so both cards absences there might be due to the lack of opportunities as much or more than the what they can actually do. Still, I’m thinking we have better options for Energy acceleration from older cards.
Newer cards as well; it hasn’t released outside of Japan yet, but there’s a Malamar in our future with an Ability that allows you a once-per-turn [P] Energy attachment from your discard pile to one of your Benched Pokémon. I’m not sure how well Lunala [Prism Star] works in the Limited Format; you won’t have a lot of cards that can discard Psychic Energy cards for you, so Energy hits the discard pile from your Pokémon being KO’d. Unlike Solgaleo [Prism Star], you aren’t getting a reliable, massive hit for four Energy; Psystorm should always do at least 80, but that might be all you get and 80-for-four isn’t a good deal even here.
If I were to use a Prism Star card, I would choose Lunala Prism Star because I actually like this card! A Basic Psychic type with 160 HP, weak to Dark, resists Fighting, and a retreat cost of three, it has two attacks. Full Moon Star costs P and for each Pokemon your opponent has in play, you get to grab that many psychic energies from your discard pile to any of your Pokemon in any way you like. Psystorm costs PPPP and does 20 damage times the amount of energy attached to all Pokemon in play.
So why do I like this card, despite the fact that it is a Prism Star card, which restricts this particular card to one card per deck instead of the usual four, and the risk of being in the Lost Zone if this card ever tries to go to the discard pile via KOed, from play, hand, or deck? Well, the amount of support for this card. Full Moon Star is a very nice recovery move, but with Max Elixir and the upcoming Malamar from Japanese’s SM6 expansion, you can easily fuel up Psystorm even at PPPP. Lunala Prism Star could even work well with Gardevoir from BW Next Destines in Expanded, whose Psychic Mirage ability doubles the value for each Basic P energy to become PP! It also hits key Pokemon for weakness such as Buzzwole-GX and Lucario-GX, needing a minimum of four psychic energies and a choice Band to OHKO them!
Lunala Prism Star (UP 62) debuts alongside Solgaleo Prism Star (UP 89) as two of the new Prism card Pokemon coming out of the Ultra Prism expansion set. Lunala’s first – and primary – attack allows you, for a single Psychic energy attachment, to attach a number of Psychic energy cards from your discard to your Pokemon (however you would like!) equal to the number of Pokemon your opponent has in play. This means if your opponent has a full bench – six total Pokemon in play – and you have six Psychic energy cards in your discard pile, you can attach those six cards to your Pokemon in any way you’d like. And I have done this several times – it’s not hard to attach five or six energy with Full Moon Star.
And it’s second attack, Psystorm is ok, twenty damage times the number of energy attached to all Pokemon (including your opponent’s), but I found that I never used it. You see, I paired Lunala Prism Star with Necrozma GX (BUS 63… yeah remember that one?), so if I’m going to put four Psychic energy on a Pokemon, I’m not even going to worry about doing the math because four Psychic energy on Necrozma = 250 damage.
I actually used pretty much the same archetype that I used with my Mew Metalcrozma deck last week only I built it around Psychic Pokemon: Necrozma GX, Dawn Wings Necrozma GX (UP 63), and even our late game N counter from last week Spiritomb (UP 53). The decklist I used is here, but I didn’t do nearly as well with the Psychic version of this archetype as I did with the Metal version. I only went 9 W 8 L (as compared to 20 W 5 L with Mew Metalcrozma). I’m not exactly sure why, in my brain this seems like it should do about as well, but it just didn’t.
One thing I did notice was that I wasn’t using Looker and Oranguru nearly as much. I was relying exclusively on Full Moon Star. I’m not sure if that was part of the problem, but it just felt like a waste of time to promote Oranguru and try to find Looker when I could easily just promote Mew and drop anywhere from three to six energy easily on my Pokemon.
So I’ll continue to work on this build – it has a lot of promise. I look at it this way – Dusk Mane costs four energy and does 220. Like I said, four energy from Prismatic Burst does 250. Plus, if you only need to do 190, you only need three energy.
Standard: 3.5 out of 5
I played Lunala Prism Star in 16 of the 17 matches – it was prized in the one I wasn’t able to play it. In hindsight, Gladion might be a really good play in this deck (I can see MarquisEXB nodding his head in agreement) on the occasions where it winds up stuck in your prizes. And it can be a quick strike deck too – there were a number of matches where I was hitting for 190 on turn 2.
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