The goal of Lugia-EX decks is to power up a Lugia-EX and quickly take all six Prizes, preferably in two three-prize attacks. Here’s a sample list that I’ve been playing this format, based on one that several Florida players (myself included) played last format.
4 Professor Juniper
4 Colress Machine
4 Team Plasma Ball
4 Roller Skates
3 Muscle Band
2 Ultra Ball
2 Pokémon Catcher
1 Startling Megaphone
1 Escape Rope
1 Dowsing Machine
4 Double Colorless Energy
4 Plasma Energy
4 Lightning Energy
This deck is very aggressive and with the exception of its reliance on Roller Skate flips, quite consistent. The deck maxes out on Team Plasma Ball and Colress Machine with the intent of a turn-two Plasma Gale KO every game, ideally with several Deoxys-EX in play to take out a Pokémon-EX. Thundurus-EX is primarily there as a backup attacker. It’s very strong against Lightning-weak Pokémon with a Muscle Band and a bunch of Deoxys-EX in play and it can help you get Plasma Energy back onto Lugia or even power up a backup Lugia. I wouldn’t go so far as to call Thundurus a lead in this deck (you really want that quick Plasma Gale) but it’s a solid enough opener.
This deck runs a fairly low Supporter count, but this is mitigated by the presence of seven draw-Items as well as ten Items that thin the deck. While drawing dead off an N is a concern, it doesn’t happen terribly often, and this deck can play off the board pretty well given an Energy on Thundurus. On that note, this deck runs a couple N itself. Some players advocate Shauna, but the ability to disrupt the opponent’s hand is a crucial way too keep them off-balance as Lugia destroys their board. Plus, in the first few turns, the extra card that N gives matters quite a bit.
This deck absolutely needs four switching effects. This deck starts with Deoxys quite often and needs to be able to consistently get Lugia active on turn-two. It’s also crucial to conserve Energy, which matters quite a bit with this deck given that Lugia is already discarding Plasma Energy frequently. It’s also crucial to make sure you’re never left without an Energy on a Thundurus.
On the subject of powering up Thundurus, I’ve opted to go with just Lightning Energy. The only alternative in this format is Rainbow Energy and I’m quite hesitant to include it. Quite often you end up attaching one of Thundurus’ Energy to Lugia and the one damage counter from Rainbow matters quite a bit (for instance, an opposing Lugia-EX will only need three Deoxys and a Muscle Band to KO your Lugia). By going this route, I forego Helix Force. Given that it’s a pretty solid attack, I can understand players opting for a few Rainbow despite this risk.
This deck is fast enough to overpower most anything. Seismitoad-EX is a concern given this deck’s high Item count, but the deck can also play a ton of Items on the first turn to compensate. The biggest issue the deck faces is Pyroar. To counter it, I’ve opted for a Toxicroak-EX. The idea is to use Lugia to take as many quick Prizes as possible, using Pokémon Catcher and Lysandre to pick off early-game Litleo and other non-Pyroar Pokémon. Once the opponent’s field is nothing but Pyroar, Toxicroak can come in to put on pressure. It only works in this deck because of the quick lead Lugia establishes. You can also power up a Thunderous Noise to run Pyroar low on Energy before dropping Toxicroak. It’s not a perfect gameplan, but it definitely gives you a chance in the matchup for a much smaller investment than a line of Beartic FFI might require.
Overall, this deck is still quite strong in this format. I can easily see it being a contender in Regionals.