Game, Set, March: Early Analysis of Lost March by Top Players

✏ Tate Whitesell | @twhitesell42

The latest expansion to the Pokémon TCG, Lost Thunder, brings over 200 new cards--by far the largest set ever released. With so many potential new decks and updates to old decks, I wanted to bring readers some coverage of the new cards and decks to help prepare for your upcoming SUM-LOT League Cups and larger tournaments.

I asked for input on Twitter, and several well-respected players got back to me with some solid analysis of a much-debated new deck: Lost March. Focused on putting your own Pokémon in the Lost Zone and then dealing big damage with Jumpluff or Natu, Lost March is reminiscent of the all-powerful Night March that ruled Standard a couple of years ago (and is still played in Expanded). But not all players agree that Lost March will be even close to as strong as Night March was. In this article you'll hear from several players on why Lost March will or won't be good, the archetype's strengths and weaknesses, some ideas on building the deck, and how the concept could evolve in the future. Their responses are quoted directly, although I have made minor edits for correction and clarity.

Note: At the time this article goes to press, Lost March seems to be an under-the-radar deck on Facebook and article sites, with discussion focused more on Blacephalon-GX/Naganadel, Malamar variants, Zoroark-GX variants, and single-Prize-attacker decks like Alolan Exeggutor and Granbull

Ryan Allred
Pro-Play Games; 34th at 2018 Memphis Regionals; Day 2 at first four Regionals of 2017-18 season

I don't think [Lost March] can be a great deck with the tools it currently has. It folds too easily to any spread, and it has too many moving parts to set up and stream attackers without something like Shaymin-EX in format. It's not a terrible deck, but it's like Tier 3.

The comparison to Night March is valid, but Lost March is just missing a lot of tools [that Night March had]. The biggest one is Battle Compressor, but Shaymin-EX is big too. We're also in a format with a lot of good one-Prize attackers, which is something Night March always struggled against.

Zander Bennett
Rare Candy; 2x Regional Top 64 in 2017-18 season

I think Lost March will work decently well in metagames like what we saw at the 2018 Memphis Regionals, where Zoroark-GX takes a back seat and other decks with lower-HP attackers struggle to deal with non-GX attackers. I think if the new Alolan Ninetales-GX brings along more Stage 2 decks and Zoroark-GX sticks around as a powerhouse, Lost March will be unable to consistently hit the numbers it needs to for important Knock Outs.

The deck also has natural consistency issues because of the lack of cards like Battle Compressor and Trainers' Mail, but Professor Elm's Lecture is a highly underrated card that helps the deck very much.

I see the deck dealing well with Shrine of Punishment decks, Blacephalon-GX/Naganadel, and Rayquaza-GX, while struggling with certain Malamar variants, Zoroark-GX, and any Stage 2 decks with Max Potion that might arise (Gardevoir-GX, Metagross-GX, Sceptile-GX).

Jesper Eriksen
Limitless; 2016 Senior Division World Champion; 3x IC Day 2 including a Top 4

I don't think [Lost March is] the new Night March as some people say. For one thing, the deck poorly handles anything that uses spread damage, such as Tapu Koko, Shining Arceus, and Spell Tag. The low HP of the deck's attackers hurts when playing against Buzzwole-GX and Giratina. While you can trade OHKOs, Spell Tag or double KOs with Alolan Ninetales-GX, Buzzwole-GX, or Decidueye-GX simply kills the deck and I don't think adding Machoke fills that gaping hole.

Going into the SUM-LOT format I think Malamar/Giratina will be the strongest deck and therefore I would only consider Lost March a tier 2 deck. You can look at the Japan Champion's League results to see that the deck didn't perform too well.

The deck is...nothing like the OG Night March.

Peter Kica
Top4Tier Gaming; 2x Regional Top 32 this season; the game's best-known Night March player

Lost March sucks.

It's extremely weak to spread attackers, such as Tapu Koko. It folds to gust effects like Lycanroc-GX's because you need to set up Stage 1s to boost damage.

The deck is not as fast as Night March and takes a bunch of setup.

Unless new [cards] buff it or new innovation on how to play the deck presents itself, the current iteration made popular by Japan is very lackluster and lacks both firepower and consistency. I'd classify it as Tier 3 because it can't even beat Tier 2 decks.

Frank Percic
Team DDG; 2x Regional Top 64 this season

I think the problem with Lost March right now is that without something like Shaymin-EX [in the format] it may be a little slower to get going than Night March. The deck needs a lot of pieces to get moving. The odds that you have Pokémon in hand for Lost Blender are kind of slim given all the other pieces you need for the deck to work. Another problem is your Hoppip getting KOd before you can evolve them to Jumpluff even with Skiploom's Ability. This all ties back to the weaker draw power in the format right now. I'm interested to see what cards [Lost March players] will use to draw through their deck.

I think the inherent ability to take big hits with a one-Prize attacker will propel the deck to Tier 2, but it'll never be what Night March was. That being said, Night March wasn't good until Shaymin-EX came out, and even then it needed Puzzle of Time to really dominate.

I think maybe with Shrine of Punishment, Lost March can supplement its damage output, but other one-Prize decks can still keep up with it in the Prize trade and take advantage of not being Stage 2-focused like Jumpluff.

I think that Trumbeak is really good, and can be used in a lot of other decks.

I'm not worried about Lost March because I'm just gonna slap down a Shuckle-GX and call it a day.