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Jose Marrero

"The March of the Machines" - A Top 64 London International Championship Report with Metagross-GX/Solgaleo-GX

Jose discusses his Top 64 finish in London at the European International Championships not too long ago.

12/07/2017 by Jose Marrero

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Introduction

Hey there 60cards readers! I'm back once again with another article. This time I discuss my Top 64 finish in London at the 2017 European International Championships not too long ago. I ended up playing Metagross-GX/Solgaleo-GX last minute due to all the hype Gardevoir-GX had been getting days before the event. Most notably "Brokenvoir," which consisted of a heavier count of Max Potion in Gardevoir-GX. At first, I was sure I would end up playing Decidueye-GX/Zoroark-GX, but then I tested against Drampa-GX/Garbodor and proceeded to lose four straight games even with three Field Blower. Because of this, I immediately dropped the deck and went with a last minute play that had a better Drampa-GX/Garbodor matchup and could stand up against Brokenvoir. I personally think the last minute decision to play Metagross-GX/Solgaleo-GX paid off in the end, literally. Mind you I've never played Metagross-GX a day in my life; however, the deck is pretty straightforward, and I knew if I run into enough Gardevoir-GX then I should at least place where I at least wanted, which was Top 64. I also placed in Top 64 at the last European International Championships in London, except then I played M Rayquaza-EX.

For this article, I dissect my Top 64 list from London, explain other card options, changes I would make moving forward, and a tournament report on my matches.

With that said, let's take a closer look at the Metagross-GX/Solgaleo-GX list I piloted to an overall 40th-place finish in London out of 781 masters.

Metagross-GX/Solgaleo-GX

4-3-4 Metagross-GX

I went with a pretty standard 4-3-4 line of Metagross-GX, because it's the bread and butter of the deck, and without them, the deck doesn't do anything. Metagross-GX is an outstanding card altogether because its ability and both of its attacks are fantastic. Its ability, Geotech System, lets you attach a Metal or Psychic Energy from your discard pile to your active Pokémon. This type of energy acceleration is great, because they stack, meaning if you have multiple Metagross-GX on the board then you can power up your attackers in no time. Its attack, Giga Hammer, does a solid 150 damage and up to 180 with Choice Band, which KOs many relevant EX and GX Pokémon. Now, its GX attack, Algorithm GX, for a single energy can assist you in setting up if you are having trouble finding Energy or other Metagross-GX. On top of that, Metagross-GX has a staggering 250 HP, which is tough for the opponent to take down in one hit unless they are hitting for weakness. Usually, you don't need more than two Metagross-GX in play, and if so, you have to be careful with discarding too much energy. If you can get three Metagross-GX on the board, then you are good to go.

1-1 Solgaleo-GX

I only went with a 1-0-1 line of Solgaleo-GX, because I felt it wasn't the decks biggest necessity--you already win the Gardevoir-GX matchup without it anyway. However, after my nine rounds, I felt that the second copy of Cosmog was ideal so that at least one Cosmog can survive on the field. I loved the inclusion of Solgaleo-GX, because it helped me win some games. It too has a whopping 250 HP, and it's attack, Sunsteel Strike, can one-hit KO most Pokémon; with a Choice Band, it can one-hit KO opposing threats with over 230 HP such as opposing Metagross-GX and Solgaleo-GX. Its ability, Ultra Road, lets you move in and out of the active spot at a moments notice, which is awesome because of Metagross-GX's big retreat cost. Now, its attack Sol Burst GX is situational if you are having a hard time finding energy, Sometimes it's more ideal to just use Sol Burst GX to get your energy because Algorithm GX is susceptible to being countered by your opponent's N. It depends on the situation really and what deck you are up against.

3 Tapu Lele-GX

Consistency is key, and making sure you have a higher chance of a turn one Brigette is what you want the deck to achieve, because you want at least three Beldum on the board by turn one. Also having access to Guzma when needed most is important too, so I recommend at least three copies of Tapu Lele-GX in this deck. You can also use Tapu Lele-GX as an attacker with its Energy Drive attack. The deck also has the option to use Tapu Cure GX, though I never once used it because Algorithm GX and Sol Burst GX were too important.

2 Alolan Vulpix

I played two copies of this card, because I wanted to have access to Alolan Vulpix on my first turn in case it's prized. If you have to retreat the active, it's fine since you can always Geotech System the energy elsewhere. Beacon for no energy requirement is pleasant in this deck, because you can set up fast and not care if Alolan Vulpix gets KOed. A lot of times you don't care if it does, because you want that extra bench space at some point. In the end, I think you can get away with just one Alolan Vulpix. Just hope you don't prize it when needed or else you may have to Algorithm GX early.

1 Magearna-EX

God, I hate this card in this deck, but I'm too scared to drop it. It was honestly so useless in my nine rounds. It's so difficult to play around Plea GX even with Magearna-EX because it's not easy having energy on multiple Metagross-GX while taking a KO at the same time. It was probably useful in one of my games against Gardevoir-GX, and even then it wasn't that relevant. Usually, it didn't matter if they used Plea GX, because you just set up again anyway, and if they don't have a big Gardevoir-GX that can one-shot Metagross-GX the turn after Plea GX, then the effect isn't that strong anyway. Still, it might be needed in other matchups like Decidueye-GX or Buzzwole-GX because of Espeon-EX and its Miraculous Shine attack.

3 Guzma

I didn't play a max count of Guzma because Solgaleo-GX can just one-hit KO the active Pokémon anyway, though I wish I did play four Guzma in the end. Sometimes you aren't able to get Solgaleo-GX out fast enough since a piece may just be prized and so you have to target down the bench sitters with Giga Hammer. At the moment, I think I'll stick to three Guzma. The fourth one only would have mattered in one of my games, so I can't really justify the change off of one game.

2 Brigette

At least two Brigette is ideal for this deck, because it's crucial to the deck's success. The deck is already slow as is, but if you don't get a turn one Brigette, then you will be too far behind especially if you are up against a fast deck like Golisopod-GX/Zoroark-GX or basically anything with Zoroark-GX. Opening Brigette with this deck is the best feeling in the world, because that means that's one less Tapu Lele-GX filling up the bench.

4 Rare Candy

Four Rare Candy is a must in this type of deck, because Miraculous Shine is troublesome. You also want to stay as consistent as possible, so with four Metagross-GX and four Rare Candy you should be set. Solgaleo-GX also needs Rare Candy since there aren't any Cosmoem in the deck.

4 Field Blower

I wanted to make sure I had the best chance against decks with Garbotoxin, so I maxed out my Field Blower count. Funny enough, I didn't play a single round against Garbotoxin making four Field Blower overkill. I would definitely drop one Field Blower moving forward though having it readily available without digging for it was clutch against Parallel City.

3 Max Potion

I felt that three Max Potion was fine since the deck's attackers are so bulky anyway. However, with Decidueye-GX and Tord's deck getting more popular post-London, I feel that a fourth copy is ideal.

3 Choice Band

Three Choice Band was fine since even though I played Solgaleo-GX, I wanted to make sure I was able to comfortably hit 180 with Giga Hammer when needed. I can see going down to two Choice Band if you want another copy of Solgaleo-GX in the deck. Choice Band was nice in the mirror match I faced in round seven, since it let me one hit KO opposing Metagross-GX.

1 Rescue Stretcher

There were times where I wish I had two copies of this card, though that's because Solgaleo-GX was forced to hit the discard early on sometimes. Looking back at my rounds, one Rescue Stretcher was definitely enough, especially if you are running a 4-3-4 line of Metagross-GX. You can afford to lose a Metagross-GX or two depending on the matchup.

8 Metal Energy

I felt eight Metal Energy was fine. A couple times against Gardevoir-GX I whiffed energy when I needed them. However, because it was against Gardevoir-GX, I was able to get away with it, though I can see a ninth Metal Energy for a total of 10 energy.

1 Psychic Energy

I wanted to have the option to use Tapu Cure GX. However, I never used it. But since you can Geotech System the Psychic Energy, there's no reason not to keep one, because you never know if it'll be useful for Tapu Cure GX one day.

Other card options

Necrozma-GX

This card could have been great against Tord's deck if you surprise them with it otherwise they will bench Mr. Mime. Players have been dropping Mr. Mime from their lists, so Necrozma-GX could make a return. Metagross-GX does 150 damage, which if you hit three GX or EX Pokémon then Necrozma-GX can clean up and sweep.

Genesect-EX

This card can be a great attacker against Pokémon with 210 hit points namely Golisopod-GX/Zoroark-GX. Genesect-EX can do 210 damage if it has four Metal Energy and a Choice Band, which sounds like a lot however it's easy to get out as opposed to Solgaleo-GX where Cosmog will get picked off quickly.

Mimikyu

This card can be useful against the Fire matchup because Mimikyu can copy Ho-Oh-GX's attack, Phoenix Burn for a revenge KO if you have a Choice Band attached as well as copy Turtonator-GX's attack, Bright Flame for a revenge KO.

Mr. Mime

There are a number of attackers that can do bench damage such as, Alolan Ninetales-GX, Tapu Koko, Latios, Buzzwole-GX and more. Making it harder on the opponent to Miraculous Shine you for KOs is pretty important though Magearna-EX can help in that aspect.

Gladion

This card can assist in finding that prized Rare Candy or second piece of Solgaleo-GX and make for nice combos. A lot of times you will have an important card prized so really Gladion will almost always be useful and can be searched out with Tapu Lele-GX.

Skyla

This card can help set up faster since you can grab a Rare Candy and immediately evolve right away. Or you can search out a Max Potion if needed.

Hala

The deck will surely use a GX attack at some point making Hala effective though it's not really needed. I probably would add a Skyla over Hala.

Heavy Ball

This card can search out a number of Pokémon in this deck such as Metang, Metagross-GX, and Solgaleo-GX with no drawback.

Changes moving forward

-1 Alolan Vulpix

During my 9 rounds of swiss, I felt that the second Alolan Vulpix was useless though playing two makes it less likely to be prized when you need it. Still, I would take the risk and drop it because you never want to have two of them on the bench anyway. You need the bench space for other Pokémon. It should only take one or two Beacons to set up anyway.

-1 Field Blower

Four Field Blower was 100% overkill as I did not face a single Garbodor deck. Garbodor decks seemed to have died out after London as well due to Zoroark-GX's dominance. I still want to keep it at three just in case but four was too much for sure.

+ 1 Cosmog

The recent success of Golisopod-GX/Zoroark-GX forced me to up the Cosmog count by one because playing one will just keep getting Guzma KOed and sometimes you don't have Rescue Stretcher in hand to recover it. Solgaleo-GX is important against that matchup otherwise they will out heal you as you will read in my report against both Benjamin and Tord.

+ 1 Max Potion

Against decks that can't one-hit KO, it's important to out heal them and have Max Potion readily available when needed most. Adding the fourth Max Potion will surely help achieve this while at the same time great against spread damage attackers and Decidueye-GX's Feather Arrow.

Top 64 London Report

Round 1 - Eirik Paulsen - Gardevoir-GX/Sylveon-GX: WW (1-0-0)

For my round one matchup, I ended up facing my best matchup, Gardevoir-GX. I was excited to already be playing against Gardevoir-GX and made me think my last minute decision to play Metagross-GX/Solgaleo-GX was a great idea. My opponent also played Sylveon-GX, which honestly helps the matchup somewhat; however, I played Magearna-EX. Game one I was able to set up with ease as my opponent struggled to get anything going. Game two is looking better for my opponent, but the onslaught of multiple Metagross-GX was too much for my opponent to handle, so I took a convincing 2-0 win.

Round 2 - Jack Jarlett - Quad Psyduck: WW (2-0-0)

Moving into my second round of the day I'm now up against a newer player. He actually had a no-show round one, which was why he started off 1-0 with his quad Psyduck deck. Funny enough when my opponent was shuffling he sloppily showed me that his deck consisted of Water Energy and Brooklet Hill, and I immediately thought "Noooo Greninja." Before we started our match my opponent actually got deck checked. Still, everyone else was playing, so I had to sit there for some 5-10 minutes. My opponent and a judge comes back and informs me my opponent was received a game one loss due to a decklist error. At this point, I'm like "Okay that's great. I guess now I just have to take one game off Greninja, which won't be easy." When my opponent flipped over Psyduck I almost lost it, because the whole 5-10 minutes I'm like "ugh Greninja" only to find out it's just a quad Psyduck deck. This matchup was pretty straightforward, as I got out three Metargoss-GX and kept switching in and out of them to get around Psyduck's Confusion. My opponent eventually ended with a record of 2-7-0, so I assume his second win was a bye or another no-show.

Round 3 - Zane Nelson - Gardevoir-GX/Sylveon-GX: WW (3-0-0)

Yay, another Gardevoir-GX! Both games I was able to comfortably set up with Alolan Vulpix and get multiple Metagross-GX on board to sweep the series. Starting 3-0-0 felt great especially since I've never played Metagross-GX before. Zane was a great guy, and we had some fun games. It was funny because two out of the four Gardevoir-GX players I faced asked me "how many Gardevoir-GX have you played against so far?"

Round 4 - Harry Smith - Silvally-GX/Metal: LWW (4-0-0)

I'm feeling great at this point starting 3-0-0, and now I'm playing against Silvally-GX/Metal. I wasn't too sure about how this matchup would go, but I knew for a fact I had to play around Rebel GX. I also knew Solgaleo-GX would probably be my win condition, as it can one hit KO all of Harry's Pokémon. I believe in game one I wasn't able to get Solgaleo-GX out, because I had to discard Solgaleo-GX pretty early, and Cosmog was sitting on my bench for so long. I couldn't find my Rescue Stretcher in time, so I lose game one. However, in game two I just ended up using Guzma on three Tapu Lele-GX in a row to take the game with Giga Hammer and a Choice Band. In game three I again take three Tapu Lele-GX KOs with Metagross-GX. I didn't use Solgaleo-GX at all, which was shocking, but I pulled out the win anyway. I was surprised I was able to make a 2-0 comeback to start the tournament with a 4-0-0 record. I was definitely not expecting to start so well with this deck, but I'll take what I can get.

Round 5 - Benjamin Lundtvedt-Martinsen - Golisopod-GX/Zoroark-GX/Puzzle of Time: LL (4-1-0)

Going into this game I felt I had a shot if I could get Solgaleo-GX out. To be honest it was very tough to do so, because Cosmog is so fragile against both Golisopod-GX and Zoroark-GX. I couldn't keep up with Benjamin's Acerola spamming since I only ran three Max Potion, and I could never one-hit KO him unless I used Solgaleo-GX. Both games were the same with me struggling to set up while Benjamin is having the time of his life with Guzma after Guzma after Guzma to pick off Cosmog and Beldums so I take my first loss of the day.

Round 6 - Tord Reklev - Golisopod-GX/Zoroark-GX/Puzzle of Time: LL (4-2-0)

Oh boy, not another one ... I knew for a fact I was now up against another 60 card mirror from the match before against Benjamin only this time against Tord. Benjamin and Tord are great friends, so I knew they had to be playing the same deck let alone decklist. Tord is a phenomenal player and the eventual winner of the event, so congrats to him. Game one and two pretty much went the same as my last round against Benjamin. I tried to get Solgaleo-GX out but most of the time Cosmog was KOed before I could get it out. One game I did manage to get out Solgaleo-GX, but I didn't have enough Metagross-GX on board to heal Solgaleo-GX then hit with it again, since it was hit first, so I was only able to take two prizes before it went down. Still, it was a blast playing against Europe's greatest champion, Tord Reklev.

Round 7 - Simon Thougaard - Metagross-GX/Zoroark-GX: WLW (5-2-0)

This was an interesting matchup because my opponent was playing Zoroark-GX in his Metagross-GX build. I thought that was interesting to say the least, because I honestly hadn't thought about it before. However, my build has Solgaleo-GX and he did not giving me a huge edge in the matchup, because I can one-hit KO all his attackers. Game one goes as planned with a quick Solgaleo-GX taking one-hit KOs on Metagross-GX and Zoroark-GX. Game two, however, I was one turn too late on getting Solgaleo-GX on board, which my Cosmog got Guzma KOed the turn before. At this point, my opponent was so far ahead, so we move onto game three. Again I was able to beat my opponent with Solgaleo-GX. I had to play fast in game three, because we took up a lot of time in the first two games, but I managed to pull it out and move on with a record of 5-2-0.

Round 8 - Jack O - Gardevoir-GX/Sylveon-GX: WW (6-2-0)

Now sitting at 5-2-0 I'm hoping for some more Gardevoir-GX, and what do you know, we got another. This time I'm up against Jack O who actually took down my buddy Grafton Roll on stream playing Silvally-GX/Metal. I was eager to avenge my friend, and so I did with a comfortable 2-0 victory. All the Gardevoir-GX players I played against played Sylveon-GX. Once Plea GX is done and accounted for, you just slowly set up and win most times anyway. You have to save Rare Candy once you see Sylveon-GX being powered up. Getting down four Beldum is important too though you have to watch out for Parallel City. Good games to Jack and I just need one more match win to make Day 2.

Round 9 - Jordan Palmer - Gardevoir-GX/Sylveon-GX: WLT (6-2-1)

I'm now 6-2-0 and I just have to win one more match to make Day 2. I see that I'm up against one of if not the best Australian player, Jordan Palmer. In my mind, all I'm saying is "C'mon flip over that Fairy Pokémon." Jordan proceeds to flip over a Ralts, and my heart sank knowing that I actually have a real shot at making Day 2. Game one goes exactly as planned with multiple Metagross-GX putting pressure on Jordan to take a convincing game one. I just need to win one more game and Day 2 is in the bag. I made Top 64 last year in London, so I really wanted to go a step higher this time. However, in game two, the game gets down to the wire, and eventually I'm at two prizes while Jordan is also at two prizes. I had about eight-10 cards left in my deck, which two of them were outs to winning the series. I had one Rare Candy and one Metal Energy left.

If I drew either one next turn I win the game and move onto Day 2. I draw and it's, unfortunately, a dud card as Jordan proceeds to one-hit KO my active Metagross-GX with just a single energy on a Gardevoir-GX. We move to game three. Both of us knew we had ten minutes left as we both kept looking over at the clock, so I had to play super fast. Eventually, time is called, but I'm turn three and only able to get down to one prize. Jordan was able to use Plea GX to slow me down a turn which was enough for him to tie the series, unfortunately. I had guaranteed game the following turn but it is what it is. I should have honestly won game two but another Top 64 finish isn't something to be sad about, because I went home with 130 Championship Points, $500, and a booster box. Congrats to Jordan for being able to tie the series since I swept the other three Gardevoir-GX I played against. This Top 64 finish now puts me at an even 300 Championship Points, so soon I should be able to get my sixth consecutive invite soon enough.

Closing Thoughts

That will conclude this article on my Top 64 finish at the European International Championships with Metagross-GX/Solgaleo-GX. I feel the deck can still be strong moving forward, as long as you dodge Volcanion and Greninja. I think with the second inclusion of Cosmog it'll help the matchup against Tord's deck for sure, which will see a rise in play. Next up for me is Memphis Regionals next weekend, so be sure to come say "hi" if you see me there. If you are attending Memphis Regionals then the best of luck to you. It'll be exciting to see who ends up winning the biggest Regional to date.

If you want to help support my team, be sure to check out Team ARG's Pokémon page on Facebook: "Team ARG Pokémon-TCG." There you can keep up to date with all the players on the team. My Twitter handle is down below if you want to follow me.

If you have any questions, then please feel free to leave me a comment below or message me on Facebook. I'll be sure to get to them as soon as possible.

As always, if you enjoyed reading this article, then please consider giving it a thumbs up. If you want to see a specific type of article or topic next time, don't hesitate to give me ideas down below, and I'll consider them. As always, keep an eye out for more articles to come. Until next time!

-Twitter @Jose_MarreroTCG

[+17] okko


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