How to harness the power of the Legendary Pokémon in Pokémon TCG: Sun & Moon

The Pokémon TCG: Sun & Moon expansion is here, and it brings a lot of new and exciting things into the mix. Some of the most intriguing cards are the new Pokémon-GX, many of which boast massive HP, hard-hitting attacks, and game-changing GX attacks. Two of these are the awesome Legendary Pokémon of the Alola region, Solgaleo-GX and Lunala-GX. Let’s look at a strong deck that uses both of these big Pokémon-GX, as well as many other great cards from the new Sun & Moon expansion.

These monstrous 250-HP Pokémon-GX use different Energy types to attack, and at first glance it’s not too easy to see how they could work together. But with the right approach, you can use the unique attributes of Solgaleo-GX and Lunala-GX to create a strong strategy.

One thing that makes them a successful duo is that they both come from the same Evolution chain. Cosmog and Cosmoem aren’t very strong, but they can evolve into either of the incredibly powerful Pokémon-GX.

You can only use one GX attack per game, so you’ll want to use the right one at just the right time to maximize its impact. For this deck, you probably want to use Solgaleo-GX’s Sol Burst-GX attack to quickly attach five Energy cards—which can include Special Energy cards, such as Rainbow Energy—from your deck to your Pokémon in any way you like. Just like that, you can charge up your Pokémon and have them ready to dish out some big attacks. By using a Rare Candy, it’s possible to evolve Cosmog straight to Solgaleo-GX and fire off Sol Burst-GX on your second turn, potentially giving you a tremendous early advantage.

After using the Sol Burst-GX attack, you’ll have a bunch of Energy in play. In our sample deck, it’s mostly Rainbow Energy and Psychic Energy. That’s where Lunala-GX comes in. Its Psychic Transfer Ability allows it to move your Psychic Energy (including Rainbow Energy) freely among your Pokémon during your turn, so you can power up the attacker that’s best for the situation. Then Solgaleo-GX’s Ultra Road Ability allows you to switch between your Pokémon when necessary, giving you the flexibility to use whichever Pokémon you want.

Lunala-GX’s Moongeist Beam attack isn’t especially powerful for its Energy cost, but it does enough damage to take down most Pokémon in a couple of attacks, and it prevents the Defending Pokémon from being healed on the opponent’s next turn. And with 250 HP, Lunala-GX can probably withstand an attack or two before going down. Plus, after it takes some damage, it can use the Psychic Transfer Ability to move its Energy to a different Pokémon, and then you can play Max Potion to completely heal it without discarding any Energy. Players might remember this classic strategy from previous formats with Pokémon such as Aromatisse or Klinklang—the concept remains as powerful as ever.

Solgaleo-GX’s Sunsteel Strike attack does a whopping 230 damage, which is enough to take down almost any Pokémon in one attack. With the help of Professor Kukui, it can even do enough damage to take down an opposing Pokémon with 250 HP. Unfortunately, the attack comes with a major drawback: Solgaleo-GX has to discard all of its Energy every time it uses Sunsteel Strike. And with the three-Energy cost to power up the attack, it just isn’t sustainable to attack solely with Solgaleo-GX the entire game. It’s best to use Sunsteel Strike only against your opponent’s big Pokémon-GX or Pokémon-EX that give up two Prize cards. Otherwise you’re likely to burn out before you take all six of your Prize cards.

Weaknesses

Every strategy has its flaws, and this deck has a few glaring ones. Garbodor’s Garbotoxin Ability shuts down Lunala-GX’s Psychic Transfer and Solgaleo-GX’s Ultra Road Abilities, both of which are crucial to this deck’s success. Since the Standard format currently has no Trainer cards that can remove Pokémon Tool cards, there isn’t an easy solution. This deck attempts to solve the problem by using Mewtwo-EX’s Shatter Shot attack. After using Lysandre to pull Garbodor into the Active spot, all it takes is two Psychic Energy to Knock Out the Trash Heap Pokémon thanks to its Weakness to Psychic. Sadly, this method isn’t always reliable enough to overcome Garbotoxin, so it might not be a good idea to use this deck if Garbodor is popular in your local metagame.

Weakness is a big part of the Pokémon TCG, and both Solgaleo-GX and Lunala-GX have a Weakness to some popular Pokémon. Solgaleo-GX has a Weakness to Fire, meaning it won’t fare very well against cards such as Volcanion-EX. Lunala-GX has an even more devastating Weakness to Darkness, making it vulnerable to the super-popular Yveltal-EX and Darkrai-EX. This deck tries to combat these deficiencies by including the Pokémon Tool card Weakness Policy, which removes the Weakness of the Pokémon it’s attached to. In a strategy that relies on withstanding attacks and healing damage, taking Weakness out of the equation to avoid one-hit Knock Outs can be crucial.

Switching Things Up

With the combination of Lunala-GX’s Psychic Transfer Ability and Rainbow Energy, you can attack with practically any Pokémon. For example, Jolteon-EX can be added to help against Basic Pokémon, Glaceon-EX can help against Evolution Pokémon, and Regice can help against Pokémon-EX. If decks that focus on Mega Evolution Pokémon or Special Energy are a problem, Giratina-EX can be included for its Renegade Pulse Ability and Chaos Wheel attack. Depending on the metagame, it’s easy to make adjustments and add in a Pokémon that’s right for the situation.

Solgaleo-GX and Lunala-GX provide the backbone of just one potent deck featuring cards from the new Sun & Moon expansion, but there are a lot of new cards and strategies to try out. Pokémon-GX, Alolan Pokémon, and more await you in the Alola region, and only time will tell how powerful these new cards can be. Be sure to follow all of the latest Pokémon TCG news and updates at Pokemon/Strategy. Good luck, Trainers!

Source: Official Pokémon website

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