Pokemon TCG Meta Snapshot July 2022: Lunatone/Solrock!

Published 5 days ago by arelios Article Views 370 Estimated Reading Time 16 minutes

The Pokemon TCG Meta Snapshot is an article that aims to encapsulate the state of the meta for a given 1 month period.

The Pokemon TCG Meta Snapshot also aims to rank decks in a somewhat lesser tier system. The tiers that we will use are as follows:

Tier 1: Highly Competitive Meta Decks. 10% or more of tops based on Limitless Online Tournament Platform deck spread and/or at least WIN a big official event once (Regionals, Internationals, or Special Event)

 

Tier 2: Semi-Competitive Meta Decks. Less than 10% of tops are based on the Limitless Online Tournament Platform deck spread.

 

Tier 3: Semi-Competitive non-Meta/Rogue decks. 1-2 tops. Specifically includes decks that only top small events or get lower rankings at medium events. Can also include decks that can potentially top but have not yet in a given format.

 

Tier 4: Casually Competitive non-Meta decks. Decks that can compete at the local level, but cannot top an event.

 

Tops = 1st - 8th place.


Deck Overview

Lunatone will be your main attacker. Its attack is dependent on piling up Psychic energy onto the Lunatone who is going to attack. Solrock will be your energy accelerator and Radiant Greninja will be your draw engine. Trekking Shoes and PokeStop will also be your draw power while also serving as your discarding power. 


Lunatone

Ah, we finally have a very fun Pokemon to play and it’s Lunatone paired with Solrock. Lunatone has a very interesting attack because it is quite similar to Shadow Rider Calyrex VMAX’s attack. However, Moon Kinesis only counts the energy that is attached to the attacking Lunatone. This may be a downside because you can’t do big damage in the early turn. However, it turns out that the new Solrock gives you a very good way of accelerating so you can do a very quick acceleration in the early turn. 

 

Moon Kinesis can do very powerful damage in the early turn if you use Scoop Up Net and Solrock the right way. I will give you an example from Andrew Mahone’s YouTube video. Andrew can do a very easy 240 damage in the first turn where there’s only one Lunatone but 3 Solrock and a Radiant Greninja. The way Andrew play is very fun and it can be a surprising factor because Lunatone’s potential is very big as a single-prize attacker. 

 

Then we look at its HP. 90HP is a very great HP because you can use Level Ball to search for Lunatone. It can ease you up because sometimes using Ultra Ball is quite risky if you have very important cards in your hand and you can’t afford to discard them. However, 90HP is a very easy HP to get sniped so you want to bring Manaphy in case you are facing a sniping deck. 

 

Its retreat cost is also cheap and can be one of the ways to discard more energy so you can use your Solrock’s ability. The cheap retreat cost also helps you to switch easier.

 

I think this is a very fun card to play and of course, bringing 4 copies is a must because it is a single-prize Pokemon and you can’t risk getting some of them prized while having no attacker. 


Solrock

Solrock is the energy accelerator for this deck. Its ability is quite similar to Forbidden Light ‘Malamar’ but Solrock only accelerates to Lunatone and it can accelerate to the active Lunatone. That’s why it is a very great pair with Lunatone because you can attack without having to switch out. 

 

Then, its HP is the same as Lunatone which is very good so you can maximize your Level Ball usage. But, as I already said, it has a really high risk of getting sniped so bringing Manaphy will really benefit you. 

 

Its retreat cost is the same as Lunatone so it may help you in rotating your Pokemon or try to pile up energy in the discard pile. 

 

Because Solrock is an energy accelerator, I think bringing 4 copies is also a must because not only it is a single-prize Pokemon, but because your deck is consist of Basic Pokemon only, there’s no reason to cheap out on the number of cards as you will have more available deck space. 


Radiant Greninja

Radiant Greninja is also an important card in this deck. Because without Radiant Greninja, I think this deck will be harder to play because draw power sometimes becomes the problem in this deck as this deck requires so many resources to play. Radiant Greninja is also a basic Pokemon although its HP is more than 90HP, you can still play Quick Ball to search for it. 

 

However, you need to beware that Radiant Greninja is a Rule Box Pokemon. So when your opponent plays Path to the Peak, your ability will get shut down. Also, based on its rule, you can only bring 1 Radiant Pokemon in this deck so you need to choose wisely. 


Other Things to Consider

 

This time, the card pool in this format is very vast that a single card can make a total difference. In Lunatone/Solrock deck, there are some cards that you can consider important. 

 

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Trekking Shoes is one of the cards that can make some decks more consistent. It applies to this deck as well. It can easily be one of your most used Item cards in the whole game. Many people try to bring at least 3 copies of Trekking Shoes so they can have more consistency in their deck. I think this is a very solid number and you can easily add it so you bring 4 copies to your deck. So far, even when I’m playing another deck, Trekking Shoes really helps me to dig my deck easily and because it is an Item card, I can use it continuously. If you want to find cards that can easily fit your decks, you can try to save up your money to buy 4 copies of Trekking Shoes. I think there’s absolutely no harm even when you are not playing this card as it can come in handy when you need some consistency/draw power.

 

 

Scoop Up Net is the next important card that can make this deck very powerful. Because we play no Pokemon-GX or Pokemon V, we can basically abuse Solrock’s ability by scooping up and putting it down again. You can also use it on Radiant Greninja or other Pokemon just so you can save it from the active spot. Many people try to bring 4 copies to the deck because it can help in reaching the maximum potential of Solrock’s ability to charge Lunatone. However, I think this card is on a D block so it may be gone sooner than we expected.

 

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The next important thing will be Level Ball and Hisuian Heavy Ball. I think these 2 searchers are a must in this deck. Level Ball will be your main searcher because you can use it without any drawbacks such as discarding cards. Also, all your Pokemon except Radiant Greninja are in the range of Level Ball so it will be a very strong searcher to set up your board. Many decks try to bring at least 3 copies of this card and I think that is the safe amount and any less than that is too risky. Then Hisuian Heavy Ball is the second important searcher in my opinion. Because we are playing a single-prize Pokemon, you will likely be knocked every turn and you need to prepare your Pokemon to attack. If some of your Pokemon is prized, it can slow your preparation as you must search for your Pokemon from your Prize card. Hisuian Heavy Ball can do exactly just that and I think bringing 1 copy in the deck is already more than enough because you won’t be searching the Prize card too often. 

As for Pokemon, Manaphy should be on your watchlist because we still have sniping decks like Jolteon VMAX or Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX. Having Manaphy can really help you to prevent your bench from getting sniped especially since all your Pokemon have low HP. Its HP is also still in the range of Level Ball so you can search it anytime.

 

Then, PokeStop is also the stadium that can be worth playing. Its effect allows you to discard 3 cards from your top deck and if you find an Item card there, you can put it into your hand. This can be a very easy way to discard your energy and search for your Item card. Because you will be heavily relying on Item cards, I think PokeStop is worth considering. Many people already play Lunatone/Solrock deck with 2-3 copies of PokeStop as their stadium.

 

Other than that, there will be a personal preference card like Pal Pad where you can recycle your supporters, Ordinary Rod where you can recycle both your Pokemon and your energy, or Fog Crystal as the additional searcher and energy search. To explain it further, let’s hop on to the Winners’ Decklist!


Winners’ Decklist

First, we have sapocururu who win afranco23's Tourney on July 25, 2022. Here is the decklist:

First, we look at the Pokemon list. sapocururu brings a 4-4 line of Lunatone/Solrock while also bringing Radiant Greninja, Manaphy, and a Galarian Zigzagoon. I think this is a very solid composition and by bringing Manaphy, your bench will be safe from snipe decks. Also, Galarian Zigzagoon is very useful if you really need the extra damage. Although, I somehow find it quite risky when Scoop Up Net usage. You really need to calculate carefully and not freely use Scoop Up Net on Galarian Zigzagoon if you need some extra damage because you may need it in the future turn when you want to use Solrock’s ability to the fullest. But I do quite like Galarian Zigzagoon being played even though you need more calculation when using your cards.

 

As for supporter cards, sapocururu brings Professor’s Research, Boss’s Orders, Bruno, and Raihan. Professor’s Research is a great card because you can draw new 7 cards while discarding your hand. Those discarded cards may be energy cards which you can ‘stock’ up in the discard pile. However, you need to be careful when using Professor’s Research because sometimes your hand is too important that you can’t afford to discard all of them. If that happens, sapocururu plays Bruno. I think Bruno is a great supporter of this deck because you can shuffle your hand without having to discard it. Although, in order to maximize Bruno’s effect, you need to be knocked first. In the early game, it may be not too wise to use Bruno, but in the mid to late game, Bruno may become your most used supporter because you will likely be knocked every single turn. As for Boss’s Orders, I think this card is pretty straightforward. Gusting is still a need in this deck as you don’t have any gusting card besides Boss’s Orders (Escape Rope is only a semi-gust because you can’t choose yourself). Lastly, sapocururu plays Raihan. I think this is pretty reasonable because Raihan can help you to increase your Lunatone energy count and you can find one more card from your deck which can be anything such as Rescue Carrier or Scoop Up Net. As for the amount of these cards, I think this is pretty reasonable because sapocururu play Pokegear and Pal Pad. Unless the deck don’t bring at least one of those cards, I think the supporter count is a bit risky. However, you can try to increase the supporter count, especially one of the drawing supporters to 4 copies. 

 

Now we look at the searcher cards that sapocururu brings. For searchers, sapocururu brings 3 copies of Quick Ball, Level Ball, and Fog Crystal followed by 1 copy of Hisuian Heavy Ball. Quick Ball is a very simple searcher as this deck only plays Basic Pokemon, but the effect requires you to discard a card in order to find the Basic Pokemon. This can be very helpful because you can just discard a Pokemon or energy because in this deck those 2 category is recyclable by using Rescue Carrier and Solrock’s ability. As for Level Ball, I think this is your second main searcher besides Quick Ball as you need to set up your board as fast as you can so you can quickly do some damage to the opponent. But you need to remember that Level Ball can’t be used to search Radiant Greninja because of its HP. Then, Fog Crystal will be your secondary searcher because you can only search Lunatone using this card. But the great part is that you can use Fog Crystal to search for Psychic energy which can be used in case you don’t have any energy in your hand to attach. Last but not least, Hisuian Heavy Ball will be your Prize card searcher because not all the time you have a complete lineup of Pokemon in your deck which can be very hard and risky to play. 

 

Then for switching cards, sapocururu plays Escape Rope and Scoop Up Net. Escape Rope can be a semi-gust because sometimes your opponent can only play 2 Pokemon and it can be an instant switch for them. As for Scoop Up Net, I put it in the switching cards category because you can use Scoop Up Net to switch out your Pokemon by scooping the active Pokemon and then bringing the new Pokemon to the active spot. However, Scoop Up Net is more than that because you can abuse Solrock’s and Radiant Greninja’s ability so you can use it again.

 

Then, for other cards, sapocururu brings Trekking Shoes, Choice Belt and Pokegear. Trekking Shoes is a very powerful card in this deck because you can dig cards while also discarding a card which can be an energy card. Choice Belt is an obvious choice in this format because this format is filled with Pokemon V and even when you are not facing any Pokemon V, you can just discard it without having to deal with any drawbacks. Choice Belt can also count as Lunatone extra energy because it provides Lunatone with extra 30 damage. Pokegear is also a strong card if you bring a low count of supporter cards because you can try to search for an exact supporter card rather than just using the supporter that you have in your hand. 

 

Then we go to the recycling items. Rescue Carrier, Ordinary Rod, and Pal Pad will be sapocururu recycling cards. Rescue Carrier is the perfect Pokemon recycler because, besides Radiant Greninja, all of the Pokemon are inside the range of Rescue Carrier’s effect. You also put the recycled Pokemon back in your hand rather than on your deck so you can use it right away. As for Ordinary Rod, this can be your energy recycle card while also acting as the Pokemon recycler because you can recycle Radiant Greninja using this card. Pal Pad, on the other hand, will be your supporter recycler because if you guys look, the supporter count is a bit low and if you already use it twice (especially Boss’s Orders) you can’t use it again unless you have some way to recycle it. That’s where Pal Pad come in handy.

 

For the stadium cards, sapocururu plays PokeStop. I think this is pretty reasonable as this deck play 28 Item cards which almost takes up half of the deck. But sometimes, it can be pretty annoying because I tried to use it once and it discard 3 Pokemon instantly. Although the chance is slim, you still need to prepare for that kind of scenario. That’s why this deck bring 3 copies of Rescue Carrier in order to avoid that kind of scenario.

 

Next, we have Veratis08 who got 2nd in LIGA INTER #10 - Season 2. 

 

For Pokemon choices, Veratis08 only doesn’t play Galarian Zigzagoon and still keeps the standard composition. I think even with only this Pokemon, Lunatone can still go for consistent damage although sometimes those small 10 to 20 damage seems close yet so far to achieve. 

 

As for searchers, there's a slight alteration from Veratis where Veratis08 cut down Fog Crystal to accommodate the 4th copy of Level Ball. I think this is very reasonable as you may want more searching options for all of your Pokemon. Veratis08 also bring 1 copy of Ultra Ball. I think this is just a safe option and a more powerful discarding option so you can fill up your discard pile with energy easier and quicker.

 

As for supporters, Veratis08 brings the good ole’ supporter combination by having Professor’s Research, Marnie, and Boss’s Orders. I think Marnie is still a great option here because similar to Bruno, if you can’t afford to discard your hand, shuffling is the way to go. Marnie also allows you to disrupt the opponent so I think it’s a very good option for you. However, because Veratis08 doesn’t bring any Pokegear, the supporter cards count will increase as you can see Veratis08 brings 4 copies of Professor’s Research, 2 copies of Marnie, and 3 copies of Boss’s Orders.

 

Then for the other cards, Veratis08 still relies on Scoop Up Net, Trekking Shoes, Rescue Carrier, and Choice Belt. However, the card difference finally comes. Veratis08 play 1 copy of Air Balloon and 1 copy of Energy Retrieval. In the case of Air Balloon, I think it is reasonable because you can put Air Balloon on Radiant Greninja and use it to pivot all the time your attacker is knocked so you don’t have to waste your Scoop Up Net in a ‘useless’ scoop. As for Energy Retrieval, I think this is also quite reasonable because as this deck already play Rescue Carrier, there’s no need to play Ordinary Rod anymore because you can just play Energy Retrieval to put the recycled energy back into your hand instead of the deck and search it all over again. 

 

Last but not least, Veratis08 also relies on PokeStop but reduces the amount to 2 copies. I think this is quite risky because you can’t dig fast enough. But if Veratis08 proves that it works, even with 2 copies, the deck still works wonderfully. 

 

The last example will be from tmez who got 2nd on Proud Pancake Cup #2 with a very amazing deck composition. 

You can see clearly that tmez play a 1-1 line of Mewtwo VSTAR. I think this is a very interesting choice because if you proceed with the game carefully, you can finish the game with Mewtwo VSTAR’s VSTAR Power. You can also attack using Mewtwo VSTAR’s attack too because Lunatone and Solrock can give you the energy you need to discard and recycle it back again using Solrock’s ability. I think this is a very fun combo to play because Mewtwo VSTAR can be paired very well with the Lunatone/Solrock combo. However, I think it is quite risky because this deck don’t play Manaphy. But I guess it doesn’t matter as this deck got 2nd place in the tournament. 

 

For searchers' composition, tmez ditch Level Ball and go with 4 copies of Battle VIP Pass. tmez also plays 2 copies of Ultra Ball. I think this is a very unique composition. But I still find it quite reasonable as Battle VIP Pass can really help you to set up the early game and Quick Ball/Ultra Ball can be used to discard unused Battle VIP Pass in the upcoming turns. 

 

Then, for supporter cards, tmez play Professor’s Research, Marnie, Boss’s Orders, and Bruno. I think this composition is more than enough like the other 2 decks above. But it is quite risky because you only bring 1 copy of Marnie and Bruno. In my opinion, if you don’t have an exact search engine like Inteleon, having 1 copy card is a bit risky. But because this is considered a single-prize deck, the game will take a longer time and the exact 1 card can be searched while digging the deck.

 

As for the other cards, the only difference is the amount for each card. I think this goes back to each player on how you are comfortable piloting the deck. That’s it for the winners’ decklist and we are now onto the tier conclusion.


Tier Conclusion

Now we come to the tier conclusion. Based on limitless, Lunatone/Solrock deck spread is below the 10% mark. There’s also no big tournament this month so I think tier 3 and 4 is a no for this deck as all of the tournaments are local tournaments with no big tournaments to compare, it's just not fair giving a tier 3/4. Then, if you look into each result of Lunatone/Solrock this month, this deck is fairly strong even though it only got 1 win, there’re only 3 results that this deck is out of the top 8. In Japan, this deck is also consistently winning the local game shop tournaments.

 

So, I will give this deck a Tier 2 because of its accomplishment this month. I just hope that this deck will keep continuing performing in the upcoming format. 


Afterword

This deck is very fun to play and it cost so much less than the top-tier decks. I think this is what Pokemon should do more in the future set by releasing a fun single-prize deck. Let’s just see what Pokemon TCG offers us in the future! 

 

This is a very new project on Pokemoncard.io and I really appreciate all the feedback. I plan to do this on a monthly basis so you can at least grasp what is happening over the month and I think it is a very safe cycle time considering that our set is not released once a month so you guys can still see how the format goes. 

 

Life is too short to be anything but happy! - Arelios

There may be some mistakes and missing points of review in this writing. Please kindly comment to share your correction and point of view too.


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