Metal and Psychic with Phantom Forces
Marc Lutz talks about metal and psychic types with the new expansion!
11/30/2014 by Marc Lutz
My greetings, 60cards readers! Now that the release of Phantom Forces has settled down a little bit we can focus on what's coming up. City Championships are just around the corner and for those living in Europe also the next Arena Cup. In Phantom Forces two typings in particular got quite a few cards to play around with – metal and psychic! A new special energy and an alternate version of Eeelektrik as well as many others are available for play now. In this article I will cover those cards and some decent decks you guys can build using those. Let's get right into the article!
Table of Contents
The Psychic Support
The Metal Support
The Master: Bronzong/Dialga EX/Aegislash EX
The Apprentice: Gengar EX/Techs
The Psychic Support
Wobbuffet has a great ability in 'Bide Barricade'. As long as it is your activte Pokémon it shuts down all abilities in play, just like Garbodor except for the ones of psychic type Pokémon. So you can prevent your opponents from using their Metal Links or Fairy Transfer while you can still use the abilities of your psychic type Pokémon like Mr.Mime's 'Bench Barrier' or anything that might be released in the future.
Keep in mind that Wobbuffet's ability only works when it is active so it's best used in combination with 'Hit and Run' attackers like the new Gengar EX or even Donphan. Wobbuffet's attack 'Psychic Assault' is not too bad also. For a psychic and a colorless energy it does 10 damage plus the amound of damage that is already on the defending Pokémon.
If you somehow can't retreat your Wobbuffet after you attacked you can technically finish off the opponent's Pokémon with this attack given the right circumstances.
Gengar EX and its mega evolution are the main stars of the set in terms of psychic types. Its first attack 'Night Attack' is like a very weak Hammerhead. Instead of doing 30 to both the active and a benched Pokémon you're only dealing 30 damage. However since this is a 'put damage counters' effect it bypasses any common damage reduction effects like Jamming Net or even Mr.Mime when hitting the bench.
Gengar EX's second attack 'Dark Corridor' is really good. Like Donphan this attack does a great amount of damage and then retreats to the bench. With Muscle Band and Virbank City Gym it does an effective 110 damage with the defending Pokémon taking even more damage due to poison if your opponent doesn't retreat his active Pokémon.
This can be used with anything that is good promoting after such an attack like Trevenant to prevent your opponent from using any item cards, Wobbuffet or even the newly released Robo Substitute. Another thing that's worth being mentioned here is that the poison effect of Gengar EX's second attack can make good use of Dragalge from Flashfire which prevents Pokémon from retreating as long as they're poisoned.
If you feel like this is too weak against Virizion EX you can also try the old Plasma Snorlax which simply prevents Pokémon from retreating. Gengar EX's fighting resistance is also quite good against the fighting types in the current metagame, especially Donphan has trouble even 2hko'ing this thing.
Mega Gengar EX is the cover Pokémon of Phantom Forces. Usually the mega evolution mechanic is not that good as it ends your turn, but in this set both mega evolutions received their own Spirit Link tool which ignores this rule.
Now you can use Phantom Gate on turn two and copy one of your opponent's 'get stuff done' attacks which are usually more expensive. A good example is Donphan's 'Wreck' attack which does a whooping 140 damage if there is a stadium card in play. Depending on the quality of your hand you can also use something like Lucario EX's 'Corkscrew Smash attack to draw some cards and get into the game.
Nonetheless the value of this attack is always dependent on the current situation on your opponent's side of the field. If he doesn't have a big Pokémon in play this attack is almost useless.
This card reduces the cost for each attack of your psychic type Pokémon by one colorless energy. Dimensional Valley is like a permanent Energy Gain that applies to all of your psychic types. This is incredibly powerful in combination with Mew EX. Now you can copy any attack in the game with reduced energy cost. For example you can use an opposing Mega Manectric EX's 'Turbo Bolt' attack for a single Lightning Energy or even Rainbow Energy which gives you a lot more flexibility as well.
The big downfall here is that Mew EX is such a fragile Pokémon and still gives up two prizes if it is knocked out. Another problem is that Dimensional Valley is a stadium card and can be countered by the likes of Virbank City Gym and Fighting Stadium so you probably have to run a high count of Dimensional Valleys if you're going to focus a lot on using high cost attacks a little bit cheaper with this card.
Mystery Energy is a very mysterious card. Like the two special energy cards it can only be attached to a specific type. This one reduces the retreat cost of the Pokémon it is attached to by 2. Even tho it's just an energy card and doesn't use the tool slot I still think it is inferior to cards like Float Stone, Switch or Escape Rope.
Also with the reprint of Enhanced Hammer in Phantom Forces attaching a single energy unlike Double Colorless Energy which is then removed by Enhanced Hammer can result in a huge tempo swing in your opponent's favor. This card will probably end up like Herbal Energy which is rarely included in any deck.
Remember the old Gardevoir from Next Destinies? Even tough it is no longer legal in the standard format, it is available in the expanded format so I think it's worth mentioning. Gardevoir has never really seen any competitive play and I still think it's not the best deck to beat the top tier decks even in expanded.
However with Dimensional Valley you can set up some nice combos. Gardevoir's 'Psychic Image' ability doubles the energy provided by your basic psychic energy attached to psychic type Pokémon. If you have Dimensional Valley and Gardevoir in play you can use your psychic type Pokémon's attacks that usually require [PPC] or [PCC] to be used for just a single psychic energy.
For example you can use Mewtwo EX's 'Psydrive' attack quite cheap or even some of the older never used attacks like Chandelure's 'Eerie Glow'. Even though this sounds amazing Gardevoir is still too slow for the competitive scene, but I think it's perfectly viable for some fun games.
The Metal Support
Bronzong is the main source of energy acceleration in any kind of metal type deck. Its ability is very similar to the old Eelektrik'S 'Dynamotor' except it attaches metal energy instead of lightning energy. This is great since most big metal type EXs usually require a ton of energy to attack.
In expanded you can also play this with the Black and White Base Set's Klinklang which has the 'Shift Gear' ability that allows you to move around your metal energies as you like. This is great in combination with cards like Max Potion to get full heals at no cost or even Mewtwo EX for some massive X-Ball action.
Be sure to run a solid amount of switching options in those heavy metal decks as they tend to have a high retreat cost. Some switches and Escape Ropes or even the good old Keldeo EX/Float Stone combo should be included in those decks.
Dialga EX is one of the two big metal type Pokémon EX released in Phantom Forces. Dialga EX's has two rather big attacks which deal massive damage for a high energy cost so it is safe to say that it is the perfect partner for Bronzong. Its first attack 'Chrono Wind' does 60 damage for 3 energies and prevents youzr opponent's Pokémon EX that was hit by this attack from attacking next turn.
While it isn't enough to knock out most things it still provides some disruption in your opponent's gameplay and usually forces them to use one of their switch options or in a best case scenario prevent them from attacking that turn if they don't manage to do so. Dialga EX's second attack 'Full Metal Impact' does 150 damage for 4 energy and forces you to discard two metal energies.
With Muscle Band you can deal 170 damage and knock out most EX's in the game. Even tough you are 10 damage short to knock out 180HP Pokémon I think it is not a huge deal because there are enough targets that can be OHKO'd, for example Genesect EX, Virizion EX and Yveltal EX. If you also want to be able to take out the bigger guys like Seismitoad EX or Landorus EX in one hit you can include some Hypnotoxic Lasers as well. However keep in mind that Virbank City Gym is not that viable in metal type decks since you want to run Steel Shelter as well.
If you plan on playing Dialga EX in your metal decks be sure to also include at least 1 Keldeo EX, because you have to retreat Dialga EX every turn in order to get energy attached to it again as it always discards two of those if you decide to use Full Metal Impact.
Aegislash EX has a pretty interesting ability in the current format. Mighty Shield prevents all damage done to it by attacks from opponent's Pokémon that have any Special Energy attached to them. In a format full of Double Colorless Energy and Strong Energy this ability really shines.
Now your opponent can't abuse their Strong Energies and Double Colorless Energies to gain an advantage and even Pyroar which is usually a really bad matchup now has to use 3 fire energy cards to deal with Aegislash EX. Its attack 'Slash Blast' is really strong in combination with Bronzong. Similar to Keldeo EX's 'Secret Sword' attack this one does 40 damage plus an additional 20 damage for each metal energy attached to it.
Unlike Dialga EX's 'Full Metal Impact' this one has no limit in how much damage it can deal. This is especially interesting in expanded with the old Klinklang from Black and White which lets you setup a big Slash Blast in one turn for some surprise knock outs.
Metal types also got their very own stadium card in this expansion. Steel Shelter is the same as Virizon EX from Plasma Blast except for metal types. As long as it is in play all of your metal type Pokémon can not be affected by any special condition and they don't even need to have an energy card attached to them for it to work.
This is great against all those Hypnotoxic Lasers as it technically gives all your steel types an additional 30 HP against decks like Yveltal EX/Garbodor which is a huge benefit. It's also very consistent as it always does something on its own without any other cards played from your hand.
The Master: Bronzong/Dialga EX/Aegislash EX
This is probably the most consistent and most relevant deck including cards from Phantom Forces besides the obviously strong Manectric EX. Like the old Mewtwo EX/Eelektrik deck from two years ago it follows a very simple yet powerful strategy.. It aims to get multiple Bronzongs into play which then allow you to attach additional energy cards from your discard pile to your benched Pokémon each turn.
The newly released Battle Compressor item card is also very good in this deck, because it helps you to get those metal energy cards into the discard pile as soon as possible. To get the most consistent openings as possible you want to run a minimum amount of different techs. Besides the 4-4 line of Bronzong you pretty much only need a good amount of Dialga EX which will be your main attacker and an Aegislash EX as a tech.
You can also run one of each Cobalion and Cobalion EX as they are both very solid cards on their own and both give you a good answer to Safeguard Pokémon as well. One of this decks big downfalls is its very poor Pyroar matchup. You can always play a 2-2 line of the Furious Fists Beartic, but it will hurt the deck's consistency a lot.
If not you have to take the risk of playing against Pyroar tho, which will probably see less play due to the fact that Mega Manectric EX is considered an evolved Pokémon, but you will probably face it every now and then.
- Very consistent
- Recycles energy cards every turn
- Very poor matchup against any Pyroar varient
Bronzong/Dialga EX/Aegislash EX
- 4x Bronzor
- 4x Bronzong
- 3x Dialga EX
- 1x Aegislash EX
- 1x Keldeo EX
- 1x Cobalion EX
- 1x Skyla
- 4x VS Seeker
- 3x Ultra Ball
- 3x Muscle Band
- 2x Float Stone
- 1x Switch
- 1x Dowsing Machine
- 1x Startling Megaphone
- 2x Steel Shelter
- 2x Battle Compressor
- 4x N
- 4x Professor Juniper
- 1x Lysandre
- 3x Shauna
- 2x Pokémon Fan Club
- 9x Metal Energy
- 3x Double Colorless Energy
4 Bronzor & 4 Bronzong
You want to max out on both Bronzor and Bronzong to get the highest chance of getting out 2 or 3 Bronzongs as fast as possible. Both of theis attacks are really nothing impressive so you only want to use them for the ability most of the time. In some rare cases you can probably OHKO an opposing Kyurem which is played in Donphan decks with Bronzong's 'Hammer In' attack and a Muscle Band attached. This also works against Plasma Kyurem.
3 Dialga EX
This is your main attacker. You want to run a high amount of these. I think 3 are enough, because getting 4 into play is not necessary most of the time since you require the room on your bench for your Bronzongs. Dialga EX gives you the highest chance to knock out your opponent's big EXs as it does 170 damage with a Muscle Band attached. You can always include 2 or 3 Hypnotoxic Lasers if you want to OHKO 180 HP Pokémon as well, but it will hurt the deck's consistency.
1 Aegislash EX
I only run one Aegislash EX, because I think it's only good in certain matchups. Genesect EX can simply use G-Booster to OHKO Aegislash EX, Donphan can attack with a single basic Fighting Energy even if it does 20 less damage and Manectric EX doesn't need any Special Energy at all. If you want to run two of those you can certainly do so, I would probably cut either a Shauna or Double Colorless Energy.
1 Keldeo EX
Keldeo EX is in here for the sole purpose of using Float Stone to retreat your Pokémon as they all have a huge retreat cost. Without any Water Energy the most Keldeo EX can do is 50 damage for 3 energy which is just not worth it.
1 Cobalion EX
I run one of these to combat Sigilyph which is played in most Donphan decks. It's also the only Pokémon that can deal with Pyroar in this deck. Other than that it's a very solid attacker against some weaker decks like Tool Drop or Night March as well, because you don't need to discard any energy cards in order for it to attack. Righteous Edge doesn't synergyze very well with this deck, especially not with Aegislash EX's ability, so it probably won't be used that often.
2 Pokémon Fan Club
Pokémon Fan Club is a card that rarely sees play in most decks. That's probably because it is rather weak compared to Ultra Ball which is an item and also lets you trigger something like Jirachi EX's ability. However I think it is very viable in a deck like this, because it is your goal to get as many Bronzongs into play as possible and Pokémon Fan Club lets you do just that. I wouldn't run too many of those though, especially with the reprint of VS Seeker.
4 VS Seeker
With the reprint of this card supporter lines will probably change a lot. In this case I run 4 VS Seeker with a couple of 1-of techs. I think this is very good as it gives you access to like 8 N, 8 Professor Juniper or even additional Lysandres. VS Seeker is great in combination with Battle Compressor as it not only gives you access to any supporter card in your deck, but unlike Skyla you can immediately play it this turn.
2 Battle Compressor
This card serves two purposes in this deck. It puts Metal Energy in your discard pile to make use of your Bronzong's ablitiy and it also activates your VS Seekers. It's also good to get rid of cards you don't want to draw anymore in the lategame.
2 Steel Shelter
Steel Shelter is mostly used to counter Hypnotoxic Laser as it is pretty much the only thing that inflicts special conditions in the current metagame. It's also good against Accelgor if you would ever face it, because it can't be blocked by Trevenant's ability. You can also use this to counter your opponent's Fighting Stadiums.
3 Double Colorless Energy
I chose to run only 3 of these, because I do not play any Mewtwo EX in this list. If you add a Mewtwo EX to your deck you should probably play 4 Double Colorless Energy.
Other card options:
Mewtwo EX is a very solid attacker on its own and the synvergy with Bronzong and Double Colorless Energy makes this card very viable in any Bronzong deck. Its psychic weakness is also covered by your metal type attackers as they all resist psychic.
As an alternative to Cobalion EX you can also play this one. Energy Press is very good against Pokémon that require a lot of energy to attack and its second attack allows you to disrupt your opponent quite a lot depending on the deck he plays.
Since you can always recycle your energies with Bronzong and Dialga EX has a huge body you can chose to play one or two Max Potions. Since most attacks like Spinning Turn, Turbo Bolt or Dark Corridor can't OHKO Dialga EX, you can then use Max Potion to pretty much negate their turn except for the energy acceleration they get with Turbo Bolt.
The Apprentice: Gengar EX/Techs
This deck has the elements of Donphan's 'Spinning Turn' attack as well as some high value attackers like Mega Gengar EX and Mega Manectric EX. The general gameplay of this deck is very matchup dependant. Against Yveltal EX varients you want to focus on using Manectric EX while Gengar EX and Mega Gengar EX will be your best bets against Donphan.
In a very vanilla matchup you usually have two approaches to the game, set up a Mega Manectric EX and start using Turbo Bolt to charge up your benched Pokémon or simply go for the hit and run route with Gengar EX. Kyurem and Sigilyph are both very solid Pokémon to promote after a Dark Corridor as they both counter the metagame very well.
Sigilyph's 'Safeguard' ability makes it immune to any Pokémon EX which is pretty much the whole metagame except for Donphan and some Night March users. In most decks the only counter to Sigilyph will be either a Lysandre or Genesect EX's 'Red Signal' ability. Kyurem is best used against Donphan, because it can't deal with it very well as Fighting Stadium only applies to Pokémon EX.
You can also run a Reshiram in this deck to combat Virizion EX/Genesect EX. Wobbuffet is really good against Bronzong decks as it negates Bronzong's 'Metal Links' ability while its active so it's most likely your best switch in after Dark Corridor if you decide to play it.
Since you run 2 mega evolutions in this deck Pyroar won't be as much of a problem as it is for the metal deck.
- Solid matchups accross the board
- Weakness and resistances cover each other very well
- Weird draws and gameplay due to the double mega evolutions
- 3x Gengar EX
- 1x M Gengar EX
- 2x Manectric EX
- 2x M Manectric EX
- 2x Mewtwo EX
- 1x Wobbuffet
- 1x Kyurem
- 1x Sigilyph
- 1x Skyla
- 2x Lysandre
- 1x Lysandre's Trump Card
- 4x VS Seeker
- 4x Ultra Ball
- 3x Muscle Band
- 2x Manectric Spirit Link
- 2x Float Stone
- 2x Switch
- 2x Battle Compressor
- 1x Professor's Letter
- 1x Computer Search
- 4x N
- 4x Professor Juniper
- 2x Colress
- 4x Lightning Energy
- 4x Psychic Energy
- 4x Double Colorless Energy
3 Gengar EX
Gengar EX is your main attacker. I think 3 is a good number because you can setup a Gengar EX in two turns with Double Colorless Energy. If you open up with a Gengar EX and an energy attachment you're safe to go for a turn two Dark Corridor which is very strong if you also get something like a Sigilyph in play. Be sure to get as few of these into play as possible if you're playing against Yveltal EX.
1 M-Gengar EX
I only run one of these as a tech, that's why I also don't run any Gengar Spirit Links. Since most of the time the attacks on their own aren't too powerful as they gain their damage buff afterwards via cards like Strong Energy, Fighting Stadium or Muscle Band I don't think running multiple M-Gengar EXs is a very good idea. The best M-Gengar EX can copy with its 'Phantom Gate' attack is probably Donphan's 'Wreck' which does a ton of damage if there is a stadium card in play.
2 Manectric EX
Even though it looks really weird Manectric EX fits very well in this deck. It not only counters Yveltal EX which your Gengar EX is weak against, but it's also pretty safe against fighting type attackers like Landorus EX or Donphan because you run a heavy Gengar EX line, which has a fighting resistance!
2 M-Manectric EX
Mega Manectric EX is your alternative attacker in many matchups. A turn two Turbo Bolt can be very devastating, especially if your opponent is playing Yveltal EX or doesn't have a strong start to counter it. It deals massive damage and also sets up another attacker for the following turn. 2 Spirit Links are included to gain maximum value out of these bad boys.
2 Mewtwo EX
With 4 Double Colorless Energy already being in the deck and also a strong energy acceleration in Mega Manectric EX it is safe to say that Mewtwo EX is a good card in this deck. X-Ball is a very solid attack and can deal with most Pokémon in the current metagame. It's psychic weakness is also covered by Gengar EX which is not weak to psychic itself if it would ever come down to something like a 'Mewtwo war'.
1 Wobbuffet, 1 Sigilyph and 1 Kyurem
These 3 guys are my hit and run options for Gengar EX's 'Dark Corridor' attack. Sigilyph is strong against a good percentage of the metagame as it simply sasys 'Pokémon EX'. Kyurem is great against Donphan and Landorus EX which are both seen everywhere at top level tournament play. Wobbuffet is a rather weird card compared to the other two as it has only a few uses int he current metagame, you can also decide to take it out for either another Kyurem or Reshiram if you want.
1 Lysandre's Trump Card
I run one of these in this deck because I run through my cards rather quickly as I run 4 VS Seeker, 2 Battle Compressor and 4 Professor Juniper. This deck isn't very fast in taking prizes and games can take a little longer so Lysandre's Trump Card is a very good choice in this deck. You can pretty much recycle your cards endlessly with the use of VS Seeker.
2 Manectric Spirit Link
The Spirit Link tool card is probably the reason why Mega Manectric EX is so good in this deck. Without the chance to immediately attack after mega evolving I don't think Mega Manectric EX would be as viable. I run two of these to mitigate the chance of them being prized.
Other card choices:
As I already mentioned above Reshiram is a very good choice against both Virizion EX/Genesect EX and Bronzong decks.
Virbank City Gym
Since Gengar EX's 'Dark Corridor' attack also inflicts poison damage to your opponent, Virbank City Gym is a great card as well. I didn't include it in this list, because I run the double Mega Manectric EX line and two Spirit Links and I don't want to deck to be too inconsistent. In a straight Gengar EX deck I would definately play at least two Virbank City Gyms though.
That's all I have for now guys. I hope you enjoyed my insight on these two decks featuring cards from Phantom Forces. I think those two are the most viable decks with the upcoming set and will definately have a place in the current metagame. I will be back mid-december with a metagame review of the past Regional Championships and of course the Arena Cup in Bremen. Until then have a nice day and I will see you next time!
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