– Forbidden Light
October 10, 2019
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Lysandre Labs is our Throwback for this week. A Stadium card from SM Forbidden Light, it makes Pokémon Tools have no effect. I remember reviewing this last year and I lowballed this card’s usefulness, making me change my mind now. Pokémon Tools hasn’t disappeared from the competitive scene, even with Field Blower removing them. It’s mostly Pokémon Tools that you can make use of your turn that sees more play than other Tools that have to rely on your opponent’s input to activate the effect. However, with Lysandre Labs in play, even direct Pokémon Tool cards won’t help you. You have to remove it via Faba in Standard or another stadium card, but until then, those Tools are dead weight for the turn this Stadium remains in play. I don’t think Lysandre Labs help Pyroar FBL as much even though it interacts with this card.
Lysandre Labs (SM – Forbidden Light 111/131) is something the Card of the Day crew originally reviewed 16 months ago. While that makes it a bit new for a Throwback, I didn’t review it at that time, the reviewers who did were less than thrilled, and we’ve experienced two set rotations since. Lysandre Labs is a Trainer-Stadium, which is a fairly good deal. We actually have some worthwhile general Trainer-support again, and while there are some decent counters, the former outweighs the latter. Being a Stadium is also looking good; while all the familiar Stadium counters are still present in Expanded, in Standard, we’re down to Pokémon-based effects or using another Stadium to discard Stadiums, but we’ve got Lusamine to recycle Stadium cards plus Stadium Nav to help fetch them from the deck.
While Lysandre Labs is in play, both players’ Pokémon Tools have no effect while they are in play. Lysandre Labs does not discard Tools from the field or prevent them from being played. If a Tool has an effect that discards itself then Lysandre Labs will keep the Tool in play! If an effect from something other than a Tool directly references a Tool or Tools in play, that effect still works while Lysandre Labs is on the field; only the effects of the Tools themselves are ignored. There are a few Tools with awkward timing for some or all of their effect, like U-Turn Board, for which I cannot find official rulings. U-Turn Board returns to your hand when discarded instead of going to your discard pile, so is it still considered to be “in play” when the effect triggers and resolves or in some transitional state, since it expressly states it isn’t ever in your discard pile?
There is one other card that references Lysandre Labs: Pyroar (SM – Forbidden Light 19/131), reviewed here. I didn’t review that day, either, so let’s remedy that with an abridged review. Pyroar is a Stage 1 [R] Type Pokémon with 120 HP, [W] Weakness, no Resistance, Retreat Cost [CC], the Ability “Unnerve”, and the attack “Dominating Fangs”. Unnerve prevents your opponent’s Item or Supporter played from their hand from affecting Pyroar. Dominating Fangs requires [RCC] to use and does 80 damage, but if Lysandre Labs is in play, it does an additional 60 damage: 140 in total. The attributes for the card are decent, the Ability good (but not great), and the attack borderline; that it works with Welder and you might want to run Lysandre Labs is what keeps me from dismissing it completely.
Lysandre Labs itself is not a general deck staple but it has seen successful competitive play, including recently. It works best in a deck that runs few or no Tools, but if stopping an opponent’s Tools is important enough, it may be worth disabling your stuff as well. Which brings us to why Lysandre Labs is a good card now but not back then: the cardpool. While we no longer have near-universal Tools like Choice Band or Float Stone, we still have often-played ones like Escape Board or clutch ones like the Fairy Charm series. We also no longer have Field Blower, which was not only a counter to Lysandre Labs when the latter first released but was also a rival to it given that it could discard an opponent’s Stadium and/or Tools.
Field Blower is still an option in Expanded, however, so Lysandre Labs remains unimpressive there. It does have some hope, though, just because it theoretically may partner with an existing or future form of denial to enhance a different sort of lock. As for the Limited Format, Stadium cards are almost always worth it because you can use them against other Stadium cards. Which is good, because the only Tool is Metal Frying Pan and only other Stadium is Ultra Space. Limited is the one Format where you are more likely to have slots to fill instead of desperately trying to make room to add the minimum you need for a deck, so this situation is just fine.
Lysandre Labs is a good card right now, though not for every deck. Quite the change from being superfluous around the time it originally released! Try to snag a few copies of Lysandre Labs for those decks that are enhanced by it.
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