– Rebel Clash

Date Reviewed:
June 12, 2020

Ratings Summary:
Standard: 2.75
Expanded: 2.50
Limited: 3.25

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.

Reviews Below:

vince avatar

Luxray from SS Rebel Clash seemed to have the ideal card for us to use. Both of those attacks are cheap, and Thunder Mountain Prism Star makes them almost free! Raid costs L for 60 damage, which is already good for the cost, but it also does 100 more damage if you evolve from a Luxio. So 160 damage for 1 energy (or no energy) is a massive bargain, and it OHKOes Lapras V-Max!!! But once you couldn’t get the damage boost again, Head Bolt costs LC (or just one energy of any kind if Thunder Mountain is in play) for 120 damage. Electropower can boost the damage output of those cheap attacks! In terms of which Shinx and Luxio to use, use it from SM Ultra Prism. Shinx’s Evolutionary Advantage lets you evolve on your second turn of the game, and Luxio’s Disconnect attack locks your opponent from playing items for a turn!

Most of the Lightning based support and some of Luxray’s evolutionary line is going away on the next rotation, but that doesn’t mean that can’t use them in Expanded, because they still can. I still don’t think it’s a good idea to add Luxray BREAK from XY Breakpoint as this card only adds 10 HP (from 160 to 170) and has a expensive (costs LLCC) flippy (flip coins until you flip tails) attack of Wild Fury, which may or may not OHKO anything you want depending on your coin flips. I rather use cheaper reliable attacks.

I really liked this card, and would use Luxray as one of those rogue decks that might win once in a while. Like all Stage 2s, it’s a matter of getting it out in play soon.


  • Standard: 2.5/5
  • Expanded: 3/5
  • Limited: 3.5/5
Otaku Avatar

We may have a flashy Friday for you, as today we’re looking at Luxray (SSH – Rebel Clash 62/192; SSH – Black Star Promos SWSH023). Luxray’s [L] Typing is technically good; the Type has fantastic support, and we know that because of already strong decks like Pikarom.  Which means Luxray’s competing pretty directly with such decks and [L] Weakness has already been largely chased out of the metagame.  Luxray is a Stage 2, and that’s definitely not a good thing; without evolution acceleration, it’ll take two turns and two additional cards for Luxray to hit the field.  There are tricks to help Luxray hit the field, but we’ll explain why those aren’t so great when we cover later aspects of this card.

160 HP is hardly massive in the modern metagame, but for a single Prize Pokémon, even a Stage 2, it it solid.  OHKO’s will happen, but your opponent will have to make a serious effort, at least.  [F] Weakness is relatively safe right now, but know that the Type has good support and that both current and (likely) future strong decks sport [F] Weakness.  I’m dumbfounded we have so few decks exploiting it, at least, decks that can make the top cut.  No Resistance is typical for most Pokémon, so it’s more a missed opportunity than an actual flaw.  A Retreat Cost of [C] is good; most of the time it is easy to pay and recover from having paid, and cards like Escape Board can zero it out completely!

Luxray knows two attacks, “Raid” and “Head Bolt”.  THe former is the main attraction of this card, so let’s give it its own paragraph after we cover the latter.  Head Bolt requires [LC] to do 120 damage, and that’s decent.  Not great, certainly not enough to justify running a Stage 2, but it’ll OHKO smaller targets, and 2HKO medium-sized ones.  Lightning Type support like Thunder Mountain {*} or Tapu Koko {*} lets Luxray use Head Bolt for a single manual attachment, while together they let you essentially use it for free!  Electropower lets Head Bolt hit bigger numbers, but only when you have them handy.  All in all, not bad.

How does Raid beat it?  Raid only requires [L], making it even faster and easier to use.  Raid’s base damage is 60, which is almost decent in its own right.  It’s effect text states that, if “this Pokémon” evolves from Luxio during this turn, the attack does 100 more damage.  160 for one is great, even on a 160 HP Stage 2.  You’re not OHKOing Basic Pokémon V or the vast majority of Basic Pokémon-EX/GX, let alone their evolved counterparts.  Even the largest single-Prize Pokémon fall just out of range… but you should set up for 2HKO’s most of the time, if you have enough copies of Electropower, you actually could OHKO anything lacking protection.

If you were paying attention, you may have noticed that, even though Raid has the generic “this Pokémon” wording for its effect, which would let attack copiers utilize it, it also explicitly states that it must have evolved from Luxio the same turn you’re using Raid.  So copying this attack won’t do the Pokémon in question any good unless it also evolved from Luxio.  So much for trying this with Luxray BREAK.  It also means Rare Candy is a desperation play, if it should even be considered at all.  So, what are our options for Luxio and Shinx?  Excuse me, what are our worthwhile options for Luxio and Shinx; as with most Pokémon, there are multiple (even in Standard), just not worth discussing.

Shinx (SM – Ultra Prism 45/156) is a 50 HP Basic [L] Pokémon with [F] Weakness, [M] Resistance, [C] Retreat Cost, the Ability “Evolutionary Advantage”, and the attack “Static Shock”.  Static Shock just does 10 for [L] (which is bad, even for filler), but Evolutionary Advantage states that if you go second, you may evolve this Pokémon during your first turn.  Sadly, none of the other Shinx are this good, even factoring that this Ability does nothing outside of Turn 2 (Player 2’s first turn).  Yes, I’m referring to the effect using overall turn counts; if the powers-that-be would just do so in the rule book, notice how much text it would save on the actual cards.

Mini-rants aside, how about our Luxio options?  Luxio (SM – Ultra Prism 47/156) and Luxio (SSH – Rebel Clash 61/192) both show promise.  Luxio (SM – Ultra Prism 47/156) is an 80 HP Stage 1 [L] Type Pokémon with [F] Weakness, [M] Resistance, and Retreat Cost [C].  It knows only one attack, but that attack is “Disconnect”, which it can use for just [C].  Disconnect only does 30 damage, but it prevents your opponent from playing Item cards from their hand during their next turn.  That’s some good disruption, only held back by being on a fragile package.

Luxio (SSH – Rebel Clash 61/192) has 10 more HP, no Resistance, the Ability “Top Entry”, and the attack “Zap Kick”.  Zap Kick does 30 for [C], but has no effet, so its just decent filler.  Top Entry lets you Bench Luxio, but not only do you need an open Bench space to use it, Top Entry may only be activated if this Luxio is the card you drew at the start of your turn.  You also have to immediately decided whether or not to use Top Entry, before you’ve had a chance to add Luxio to your hand.  Thanks to the “Primate Wisdom” Ability found on Oranguru (Sword & Shield 148/202), you have a decent chance of making use of this Ability through more than just luck.

There is one example of a Luxray deck doing well in competitive play: in the Limitless Online Qualifier Series #3, it took 45th place.  You can see the exact decklist here.  45th is good, at least when it is out of 1158 players, which is what Luke Fisher accomplished.  No one repeated his feat in LOQ #4: not a single Luxray deck even made the robust 116 deck top cut.  This could mean Luke’s performance was due to luck, or at least, an underprepared metagame… or it could just be that we’re only going by two events, and not enough skilled players chose to run Luxray decks.  At least we can look at that decklist and get an idea of how to run Luxray.

Luke’s deck uses Shinx (SM – Ultra Prism 45/156) and Luxio (SM – Ultra Prism 47/156).  The rest is pretty much what you’d expect from a contemporary, Standard Format Lightning deck except no Tapu Koko {*} and the Trainers contain four Scoop up Net.  The idea seems to be that Luxray hits hard, and if your opponent fails at OHKOing it back, you use Scoop Up Net to return the entire evolution line to your hand.  Big Charm can give Luxray a little extra bulk to help.  Besides denying your opponent Prizes, this tactic also lets the deck use Raid repeatedly.  Disconnect can buy a little time with the rest of the setup, and maybe between uses of Raid.

We haven’t had a major tournament which includes SSH – Rebel Clash for the Expanded Format.  Luxray would gain a few tricks here, but must suffer facing both anti-Ability and anti-Item decks.  My understanding is that, for the PTCGO, many have been grinding using Donk decks ( meaning decks with the few attacks that work T1).  There are also quite a few Ultra Necrozma (SM – Cosmic Eclipse 164/236) decks.  Even if you used one of the larger versions of Shinx, you’re probably losing quite a bit.  Scoop Up Net is in SSH – Rebel Clash, so you even hav a chance of being able to spam Raid… but thanks to being semi-splashable with solid stats and attacks, its a nice pull for the Limited Format.


Standard: 3/5

Expanded: 2/5

Limited: 3/5

Luxray is a good card in a metagame built around great ones.  Without Scoop Up Net, a card that seems almost too good (even in just Standard), the deck probably wouldn’t work.  You’re just not seeing enough of a return to try your luck with Super Scoop Up, or just streaming Luxray and going from Raid to Head Bolt when a copy isn’t OHKO’d by your opponent.  There’s a chance the card has already known its 15 minutes of fame, and a chance it could become bigger as time goes by, but for now it has to settle for being one of the few Stage 2 Pokémon that are solid attackers… and that ain’t bad.


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