– Forbidden Light
July 27, 2020
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
12th-place in our countdown goes to… Lysandre Labs (SM – Forbidden Light 111/131)! While this Stadium is on the field, all Pokémon Tools in play have no effect. This applies equally to both players, regardless of which of them dropped Lysandre Labs. We originally reviewed Lysandre Labs here, as a normal CotD. Then we looked at it again, about 16 months later here, as… a Throwback Thursday? Yeah, while I prefer Throwbacks be over two years old, Lysandre Labs had already experienced two set rotations by that point, dramatically shifting its prospects. It went from being a specialist without a niche to a great way to counter many problem Tools.
Looking at the recent results available on Limitless, Lysandre Labs shows up only twice since SSH – Rebel Clash became tournament legal, each time as a single. That is two more times than I expected to see it, as I thought Tool Scrapper’s reprint would render Lysandre Labs unnecessary. Looks like it still has a place – no matter how small – in the Standard Format… at least, until August 28, when it rotates from the Format. Pyroar (SM – Forbidden Light 19/131) has an attack that does more damage while Lysandre Labs is in play, and is worth mentioning only so that you don’t think I forgot it. While they gave Pyroar a few nice tricks, it wasn’t (and still isn’t) worth running.
Lysandre Labs has a tiny, theoretical niche in Expanded. I mean, it is quite possible someone did well at an older event while running Lysandre Labs, but if you need to deal with an opponent’s Tools en masse, you can use Startling Megaphone. There are also various anti-Item effects that make certain decks, and they double as being anti-Tool. Did I mention the many great Tools you’ll have to either not run, or accept will be sans effect, if you’re also running Lysandre Labs? Oh, and how Field Blower not only provides yet another way to deal with an opponent’s Tools, but for an opponent to deal with your Lysandre Labs?
If you’re fortunate enough to find a side event or the like using SM – Forbidden Light packs for a Limited Format tournament, here’s what to expect. If you manage to pull at least a 1-1 of the Pyroar line, in addition to pulling at least one copy of Lysandre Labs, then run it. If you’re really worried about an opponent using Ultra Space for more than just looking at and shuffling their deck, or running Dialga-GX (SM – Forbidden Light 82/131, 125/131, 138/131) with Metal Frying Pan, run Lysandre Labs. If you’re not worried about these things, you could actually skip a Stadium Lysandre Labs.
Lysandre Labs didn’t make my Top 15. If SSH – Rebel Clash hadn’t given us back Tool Scrapper, not only would the above scores be better, but Lysandre Labs probably would have made my list. Tool Scrapper did re-release, though, so 12th-place is pretty high for this card. Even with how I scored it, however, it probably is worth being an “Honorable Mention”; Lysandre Labs did see real success while we were between Field Blower and Tool Scrapper.
…huh. This isn’t the card I thought it was.
Lysandre Labs is…well, I pretty much know why it’s up here. It’s a Stadium card that saw a fair amount of play throughout Standard. For some reason, I thought it was because it was the Stadium that shut off Abilities on Pokemon-EX/GX and ranked it highly on my own least as a result. Turns out, that’s 1) a completely different card, and 2) a good reason to always double-check what cards you’re looking at when you’re making a big ol’ list. No, Lysandre Labs instead shuts off Pokemon Tools…which to be fair, is the main reason it saw a fair amount of play in Standard up to a point.
There are a fair number of Tools that this worked to counter in its prime – Choice Band was a pretty substantial card for at least the first year while it was relevant. This also could be handy to take care of Tools like Escape Board and Counter Gain, both of which hit some part of the list one way or the other. Unfortunately for me, this kind of relevance is tied to Tools rather than Abilities, and it could be argued which of these is more important. I’m willing to bet most of the time, people will say it’s Abilities.
I’d put more stock into that than my ranking for this card.
Lysandre Labs is really only useful if you’re working to counteract a particularly powerful Tool in the game, and there are…well, frankly, there are better options. As just one primary example, Tool Scrapper is really powerful in this regard. It not only gets rid of the Tools that would be a problem, but it also doesn’t shut down your Tools as a result. It also won’t get countered by other Stadiums coming into play, like Power Plant (which incidentally is a more powerful version of this card in a lot of ways). And that’s just looking at an Item card! That’s not counting the several different Pokemon effects that break Stadiums or even just other Stadiums in general that beat this card to the punch.
Perhaps if you’re running into a Tool-heavy meta and don’t care one way or the other about running Tools yourself, you could run this. But if you’re like me and prefer playing Silvally-GX with different Memories or having access to easy damage through Muscle Band or Choice Band or Martial Arts Dojo, then maybe you’re better off slotting this one to the side. Keep it in mind for those metas when it’s relevant, but as an option to consider rather than a force to contend with.
Standard: N/A (Power Plant I think beats this out most of the time)
Expanded: 2/5 (while there are a lot of powerful Tools here, they’re usually options for both sides, so you’d want to be cool with losing your Tools and hope your opponent doesn’t counter you…which they likely will)
Limited: 2/5 (you’re only countering Metal Frying Pan or Ultra Space here)
Arora Notealus: How badly did I screw this one up? Well, because of how powerful I thought it was, it made it up to #3 on my list…look, nobody’s perfect. I would probably have rated this much lower if I remembered what card it was. And hey, Power Plant aesthetically looks similar to Lysandre Labs! Underground bunkers lit up with lights? Come on!
Next Time: One of the tools to come from the labs is getting buried along with it…
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