Meganium (Lost Thunder LOT 8)
Meganium (Lost Thunder LOT 8)

– Lost Thunder

Date Reviewed:
January 14, 2019

Ratings Summary:
Standard: 2.83
Expanded: 2.50
Limited: 2.75

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

Reviews Below:

21 Times Avatar

Meganium (LOT 8) caught both Otaku’s and my eye when we initially saw it.  I thought it could potentially be very good, he pointed out that it was more likely than not to be a “trap” card, the kind of card that sucks you in, you spend hours of time trying to get it to work, and it never performs up to your expectations.  There was also some question, prior to the release of its English translation, as to whether or not you could use Quick Ripening Herb on a Basic Pokemon that was put into play on the current turn.

Turns out you can, and that has fueled quite a bit of success for this card.  It’s almost making Stage 2 Pokemon competitive. 

We’ve seen it used with Gardevoir GX and Swampert, Greninja GX and Slaking (although that’s really just a novelty deck), and I’ve even seen it used with Metagross GX and Solgaleo GX on PTCGO (I don’t think that duo has had any success IRL however).  Go grab the best two Stage 2 Pokemon you can find, throw them in a deck with a 2 – 0 – 2 Meganium line and four Rare Candy, maybe even add in Alolan Ninetales GX (LOT), and you’ve got yourself at least something potentially close to a competitive Stage 2 deck.

And with the new Dragonite coming out in about two and a half weeks, Meganium will make it that much easier to get Dragonite on your bench hopefully as early as your second turn so you can get whatever Supporter card your heart desires directly into your hand.

If you haven’t tried Meganium yet, you definitely want to get familiar with it.  Besides Dragonite, there’s a Blastoise that’s essentially a Max Elixir, a Charizard that can potentially hit for 200+ damage, and a Beedrill that simultaneously KO’s both active Pokemon (potentially a one for three prize trade swing against Tag Team Pokemon!).  There are a lot of good Stage 2 Pokemon out there, I’m glad – with Meganium’s help – that we’re finally getting a chance to see if they can be functionally competitive.


Standard: 3 out of 5

Otaku Avatar

Meganium (SM – Lost Thunder 8/214) generated a good bit of buzz when its Japanese counterpart was revealed, all due to its “Quick-Ripening Herb” Ability. This potent lets you select one of your Basic Pokémon in play, and if you have the Stage 2 Pokémon that Evolves from the Stage 1 that Evolves from that Basic, you instead directly Evolve the selected Basic into the chosen Stage 2 Pokémon. This potent Ability may only be used once during your turn per instance of the Ability you have in play before you attack (or do anything else that automatically ends your turn when it resolves). The effect text plainly states that you can use this Ability even if it is the first turn of the game or the first turn that Pokémon is in play… though I do not believe there is any way for Meganium to hit the field during your first turn. I’m glad it clearly states this, as I was under the impression otherwise until reading the actual, English card.

Even though the Ability is fantastic, I’m not seeing any strong finishes by Meganium-using decks except for an 11th and 22nd place finish at the Champions League Niigata event, which occurred on December 2nd of 2018. That certainly isn’t bad, and it is quite plausible that the deck has been doing well elsewhere, falling into the gaps of the tournament results I’ve seen (though the Top 8 is usually intact), and me just not bumping into it since I only average a few Standard Format games per week on the PTCGO. I think there is another reason, and its the reason I wrote this card off as Johnny-Bait (or “trap” as I was calling it before deciding the term was too Yu-Gi-Oh). Meganium is a Stage 2 [G] Type Pokémon; that means it is slow and eats up a LOT of deck space. Its Ability can help speed additional copies of itself into play, but the original has to manually Evolve twice (Chikorita or Ditto{*} into Bayleef, Bayleef into Meganium) or once with Rare Candy (allowing Chikorita to directly Evolve into Meganium). If you want to nitpick, I vaguely recall one or two other Expanded-only tricks, but they never met with lasting success.

Looking at the actual deck lists from that tournament in Japan, we see Greninja-GX backed by Swampert (SM – Celestial Storm 35/168) for fellow Stage 2 Pokémon lines, plus Alolan Ninetales-GX (SM – Lost Thunder 132/214, 205/214, 225/214). The 11th place deck also included Slaking (SM – Celestial Storm 115/168), while the 22nd place deck went with Porygon-Z (SM – Burning Shadows 105/147, 105a/147). Both Meganium and Swampert clock in with 3-0-3 Evolution lines, while everything else is far less. Both builds only run a single Energy card – Super Boost Energy. Based on the lists, I’m assuming Greninja-GX is supposed to almost constantly Evolve from a Froakie thanks to Quick-Ripening Herb, triggering its own Ability “Shuriken Flurry” for some damage counters before Super Boost Energy fuels its “Haze Slash” attack, allowing Greninja-GX to swing for 110 damage while shuffling itself into your deck. Swampert provides draw power because the deck is in trouble everytime it whiffs on all the cards needed for Greninja-GX. Alolan Ninetales-GX snags important Items while the 11th place deck has Slaking to pop into the Active spot after Greninja-GX does its thing (with Trainers to get it out of the way the next turn) while the 22nd place deck is hoping to force the opponent to devolve and thus score easier KO’s.

That sounds like some pretty cool decks, so why do I still think of Meganium as that card that will more than likely waste the time of a creative, competitive deck builder? Having never seen these decks in action, they remind me of several that are pretty amazing when they work but prone to misfires that cost them the game. Quick-Ripening Herb is vital because it’s being used to spam a particular Evolution over and over again… not as a general pick-me-up for Stage 2 decks, nor with Meganium itself as the main attacker and focus of the deck. Which aren’t much of a surprise; the effort required for Meganium means a competitive deck needs to be all about spamming a particular Evolution, whether it is Meganium itself or something like Greninja-GX. Meganium isn’t durable or hard-hitting or fast enough attacking to make streaming them a viable strategy so that just leaves the former.

Which is good but not great in Standard. Expanded brings more opportunities but even more complications. When it comes to the Limited Format, I suggest enjoying Meganiums HP and attack; you’ll almost certainly lack the Pokémon, the deck reliability, and the deck space to do much with Quick-Ripening Herb.


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

Meganium is much better than I expected, but my expectations were quite low. Definitely remember it, because I’m sure we’ll get some other Stage which can take advantage of Meganium, sooner or later.

aroramage avatar

Remember how crazy Forest of Giant Plants was? For a while, I ended up calling it the Forest of Broken Plants for a reason. Well now what if I told you we could pull off something like Forest of Giant Plants, only now you could do it with any Pokemon Type you wanted AND you could do it on your first turn?

Looks like I’m aroramage, and welcome to Meganium.
Meganium is a Stage 2 Grass Pokemon, 150 HP, with a Fire Weakness, no Resistance, and a Retreat Cost of 2. Solar Beam is a 4-for-110 move which harnesses the power of the sun, allowing you to use it as a magnifying glass on your opponent until they start wailing and flailing about uncontrollably from their rare disease to card-based solar-powered assaults. You’ll be able to lord it over them for the entirety of their tournament life, pressing onward as you blind the judges as to how you were able to cut a small hole in the roof of the event stadium that you’re in and chose the exact right seats by which the angle of sunbeams pouring in from the ceiling would bounce off Meganium in just the right way that this would work out.
…hey I gotta make these vanilla moves sound at least halfway appealing.
Obviously Quick-Ripening Herb is the realistic and not-illegal way in which Meganium is good – seriously, don’t go cutting holes in giant stadiums to bounce sunbeams off your cards, it’ll never work – and it does quite a bit. Once per turn, you get to pick a Basic Pokemon you have in play, and if you’ve got the corresponding Stage 2 Pokemon in your hand, you can put it down on that Basic Pokemon, even if it’s your first turn or the turn that Pokemon came into play. And this effect can go off a lot!
But unlike Forest of Once Was Broken But Now is BANNED Plants, this effect only works once per turn, and it only works for Stage 2 Evolutions. It does make for a potential deck to reemerge, but the main difference is that these restrictions would prevent such a deck that might reemerge from being consistent or abusable. Yes, I’m referring to the Shiftry from Next Destinies that was banned because of Forest of Totally Fair Plants, and it wasn’t until Forest of We Didn’t Do Anything Wrong Plants was BANNED from Expanded that it was allowed to come back. Spoiler alert: Meganium doesn’t break Shiftry again to warrant him going back on the list thanks to these restrictions. Now Shiftry can be safe from Forest of We Can Change Plants.
…oh, right, I also don’t see Meganium being that effective in Standard either. At best, you get it out on Turn 2 and start massively evolving a bunch of Pokemon, but that deck would need to have a lot of good Stage 2s and a lot of room to work with each one to make Meganium worthwhile. Decidueye could definitely hang around.
Standard: 2.5/5 (probably a bit too cumbersome to make that impact though)
Expanded: 2.5/5 (a fair alternative to Forest of Gee I Wonder Why Meganium Got Made Plants)
Limited: 2/5 (it’s going to be very hard to pull this off in Limited, but at least Solar Beam is a good attack)
Arora Notealus: Meganium looks really dynamic in this picture. I’d say it’s using Solar Beam, but it’s clearly using Petal Dance. I mean, why else would there be a crazy wind and petals in the air around it? On an unrelated note, it’s probably not-illegal to throw petals in the face of your opponents, but it’s highly frowned upon by the judges anyway, so take that as you will.
Side Review: Magcargo/Cynthia – these cards are both pretty self-explanatory in regards to their spots on the Top 11 list. I don’t think there’s really any need to review them again in-depth, but draw power and stacking cards on top of your deck are needless to say extremely valuable to have.
Shrine of Punishment – on the other hand, this card is definitely worth talking about. We’ve seen Stadiums get similar effects against what is usually “the new mechanic”, re: Faded Town, but Shrine of Punishment not only hit the Pokemon-GX that we’ve come to know in Standard but also hits Pokemon-EX to make it relevant to Expanded, and as a result, the card has a wide margin of versatility. Definitely earns its #2 spot, sandwiched between Magcargo and Cynthia.
Next Time: Can you paint with all the colors of Alola?
vince avatar

We begin the week with Meganium (SM Lost Thunder 8/214), which had been the focus in certain decks because of what it does. Quick Ripening Herb is the name of the Ability, as it lets you choose a Basic Pokémon in play. If you have a Stage 2 on your hand that evolves from that Pokémon, you can put that Pokémon on top of the Basic Pokémon. And you can use this ability on your first turn (useless text because you can’t even play Meganium first turn) or the turn you put that Basic Pokémon in play. This is what the pre-errata Rare Candy does before being nerfed.

Despite how good the ability is, ironically Chikorita has to evolve into Meganium with Rare Candy in order to benefit with this ability, and if you can’t get it into play fast enough, consistency is nearly ruined. It has seen play on multiple Stage 2 Pokémon such as Swampert CES, Greninja-GX, and much more, all in a single deck with just one Super Boost Energy! And although it had placed somewhat well in tournaments, I am not confident to use this Stage 2 toolbox deck. This is a fun deck to play, though, and if I have time for casual play, then I would definitely experiment Meganium.


  • Standard: 3/5
  • Expanded: 3/5
  • Limited: 2/5

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