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LostGar is a popular deck archetype in competitive Pokémon Trading Card Game play. It is based on the combination of Gengar Prime and Lost World. Variants of the deck dominated Pokémon Organized Play for several months in Japan after Lost World's release in the Lost Link mini-series. Because of the deck's success overseas, LostGar was immensely hyped in the western Pokémon Trading Card Game community. After some initial success, however, it seemed to fade into obscurity. There are differing theories as to why, and it was mostly like a combination of several factors such as the deck being one of many that worked in Japan but not elsewhere, losing access to certain cards during rotation, the pace of the game speeding up, and the rise of decks with lower Pokémon counts.
While most deck archetypes focus on taking six prizes to satisfy the game's traditional win condition, LostGar attempts to place six of the opponent's Pokémon in the Lost Zone to win with Lost World. To do this, the deck employs the effects of Gengar Prime, Palkia G LV.X, and Mime Jr.. The deck has three passable starters, immediately giving it an advantage over decks that run fewer. Gastly can lock down the opponent early in the game by preventing him or her from playing Trainer cards with its Pitch Dark attack. Against Trainer-heavy decks such as Gyarados and LuxChomp, Pitch Dark can buy LostGar valuable time to set up. Smeargle is also a solid start, as it can allow the LostGar player to use an additional Supporter card each turn with its Portrait Poké-Power. LostGar's third good start is Mime Jr.. While the other two Pokémon mentioned here help LostGar stall the opponent and set up faster, respectively, Mime Jr. actually advances the deck's win condition. In combination with Chatot G's Disrupting Spy Poké-Power, Mime Jr. can place multiple opponent's Pokémon in the Lost Zone before he or she can respond by knocking it out.
The deck's primary attacker is Gengar Prime. Using a combination of speed Supporter cards, such as Cyrus's Conspiracy and Pokémon Collector, and drawing Poké-Powers such as Smeargle's Portrait and Uxie's Set Up, LostGar attempts to get multiple Gengar Prime up and running early in the game. Additionally, a miniature SP engine can assist in getting Palkia G LV.X onto the field. From there, the deck simply uses Gengar Prime's Hurl into Darkness attack in combination with Palkia G LV.X's Lost Cyclone Poké-Power to place six of the opponent's Pokémon in the Lost Zone. Seeker is also vitally important to the deck, as it ensures at least one Pokémon in the opponent's hand to target with Hurl into Darkness. Once there are six Pokémon in the opponent's Lost Zone, the LostGar player simply plays Lost World as soon as possible to declare themselves the winner of the game.
- Gengar Prime - As the deck's main attacker, Gengar Prime is arguably the most important Pokémon in LostGar. With its Hurl Into Darkness attack, Gengar Prime can put Pokémon from the opponent's hand into the Lost Zone equal to the number of energies attached to it. Additionally, Gengar Prime's Catastrophe Poké-Body states that any opponent's Pokémon knocked out while Gengar Prime is active are placed into the Lost Zone instead of the discard. With Hurl Into Darkness and Catastrophe, and thus an ability to place Pokémon into the Lost Zone quickly, Gengar Prime provides the perfect complement to Lost World.
- Smeargle - Smeargle is the deck's ideal start. With its Portrait Poké-Power, Smeargle has the ability to allow LostGar an extra Supporter play each turn, which can greatly improve the deck's set up speed early in the game. Additionally, when a Gengar Prime is knocked out, the LostGar player can bring up Smeargle to gain its effect and then retreat it into another Gengar Prime. The deck's dependence on Smeargle for a fast start is the chief reason many builds run two Unown Q; with Unown Q attached, the LostGar player does not have to pay to retreat Smeargle.
- Uxie - Uxie is the deck's primary drawing effect. Its Set Up Poké-Power allows the player to draw until he or she has seven cards in hand when it is played.
- Cyrus's Conspiracy - Although some builds, especially those utilizing Mew Prime, do not run Cyrus's Conspiracy, it is crucial in any variant running Palkia G LV.X and/or the Mime Jr./Chatot G combination. Cyrus's Conspiracy allows the LostGar player to grab any Supporter card, any Team Galactic's Invention, and any Basic Energy card from his or her deck. Since the deck runs a variety of Supporters, two different Team Galactic's Invention cards, and ten Basic Energies, Cyrus's Conspiracy will almost always yield at least two helpful cards, making it one of the most important cards in the deck.
- Seeker - Seeker is the primary card that allows Gengar Prime's Hurl into Darkness to be effective. The card's effect forces the opponent to pick up one of his or her Pokémon off the Bench, placing it in the hand. Seeker guarantees that, regardless of the opponent's ability to get Pokémon out of her or her hand, Hurl into Darkness will be able to send at least one Pokémon into the Lost Zone. Additionally, Seeker can allow the LostGar player to scoop up a damaged Gengar Prime, reuse Uxie's Set Up Poké-Power, or generally open up a Bench spot, making at a versatile card and arguably the most important Supporter in LostGar.
- Lost World - LostGar's entire premise is based on the win condition presented by Lost World. If the opponent has six or more Pokémon in the Lost Zone and Lost World is on the field, the LostGar player can declare him- or herself the winner of the game. The deck's strategy revolves around using whatever means possible to get six of the opponent's Pokémon in the Lost Zone and subsequently using Lost World to win the game immediately following.
- Broken Time-Space - Although some would not consider Broken Time-Space a staple card of LostGar, the ability to evolve quickly is critical. Getting Gengar Prime onto the field early in the game and beginning to use Hurl into Darkness can result in several of the opponent's Pokémon being sent to the Lost Zone before he or she has the opportunity to set up. In essence, Broken Time-Space is the most important card for the purpose of getting Gengar Prime out quickly.
The deck list appearing below is not official; it is meant to represent an average build of the archetype, not specifically constructed for any regional metagame. Being that this is merely an archetype, a player may wish to change any part of this deck when building his or her own version.
One option is Scramble Energy, which can provide Gengar Prime with 3 Psychic energies at a time.
Possible Tech Cards
The following cards are often used in LostGar in place of certain cards included in the above list.
- Vileplume - The addition of Vileplume, generally in combination with Spiritomb, transforms a typical LostGar list into a variant of VileGar. While the objective is still to win with Lost World's win condition, Vileplume's Allergy Pollen Poké-Body allows for significant disruption. By preventing the opponent from playing Trainer cards, Vileplume can greatly slow down his or her set up. This dampens the opponent's ability to take prizes quickly, giving LostGar a longer period in which to place the opponent's Pokémon into the Lost Zone. Vileplume is one of the most common LostGar techs, and it typically takes the place of Palkia G LV.X.
- Spiritomb - Spiritomb is used to force the opponent to shuffle his or her hand into the deck. Although giving the opponent free hand refreshment would often be counterproductive, it actually gives Gengar Prime the opportunity to place more Pokémon into the Lost Zone with Hurl into Darkness. With many decks running Junk Arm and Regice to practice hand control and limit the number of Pokémon in hand, Hurl into Darkness can occasionally prove ineffective. Spiritomb provides the means to erase any form of hand control the opponent has used.
- Gengar - This Gengar assists LostGar with certain difficult matchups where it may be difficult to place the opponent's Pokémon in the Lost Zone. Against certain decks built specifically to counter LostGar, such as some Donkphan variants, the Stormfront Gengar can take prizes to fulfill the traditional win condition.
- Junk Arm - Against opposing LostGar decks, Junk Arm can provide a way to get Pokémon out of the hand while assisting the deck's speed by allowing it to reuse Trainer cards.
- Warp Energy - Warp Energy helps LostGar take advantage of its multiple Seeker. Although Seeker is used primarily to force the opponent to pick up one of his or her Pokémon, Warp Energy allows the deck to take full advantage of it by placing a damaged Gengar Prime on the Bench to be scooped up and healed.
- Rescue Energy - Often used in place of Palmer's Contribution, Rescue Energy allows LostGar to immediately recycle knocked out Gengar Primes. Keeping up a steady onslaught of Gengar Prime's Hurl into Darkness attack is vital to continuously placing the opponent's Pokémon into the Lost Zone, so Rescue Energy is a common addition to the deck.
- Slowking - Players can arrange the cards of the opponent's deck in order to send Pokémon into the Lost Zone using Mime Jr.'s Sleepy Lost attack.
Due to the set rotation, the only currently modified-legal cards in this deck are the Psychic Energy. However, this deck can still be played in unlimited tournaments, as well as any other time.