Experts' corner

Jose Marrero

"Squids" - Ultra Necrozma-GX/Malamar and Hoopa/Malamar

Jose examines two variants of Malamar that he believes are strong plays for the NAIC this weekend.

07/05/2018 by Jose Marrero


Hey there 60cards readers! I hope you had a nice 4th of July. I am back again with another article, though this time going over two variants of Malamar that I feel are the best lists out there respectively. The first list I'll be discussing is Zack Taylor's Ultra Necrozma-GX variant from Madison Regionals. Next, I'll transition into the Top 4 list from Mexico Regionals piloted by Fernando Castaneda Perez who played the non-Ultra Necrozma-GX variant but instead played Hoopa. The NAIC is this weekend and is going to be a blast to play in. It'll be exciting to see who and what wins this big event. Personally, all I want is to get enough points to put me back into Top 16 because a Day 2 Worlds invite is all I care about right now. I'm currently sitting at 1192 Championships in 18th place in NA/Canada rankings. I'm hoping I can achieve this because it would mean a lot. I'm confident that a Top 64 at the NAIC should keep me there. I've placed Top 64 in Brazil and London this season and did not attend Australia. Hopefully, I can keep my streak going or do better. 

With that said, let's take a closer look at Zack Taylor's Top 8 Ultra Necrozma-GX/Malamar list from Madison Regionals.

Ultra Necrozma-GX/Malamar

4-3 Malamar

This build likely only plays a 4-3 line of Malamar because the deck also plays Beast Ring. Meaning you don't necessarily have to always rely on Malamar's ability.

2 Ultra Necrozma-GX

Its first attack, Photon Geyser has the means to one hit KO any Pokémon. That is why this version of Malamar has the better Zoroark-GX matchup. Photon Geyser has a base of 20 damage and adds an additional 80 damage for each Basic Psychic Energy you discard off Ultra Necrozma-GX. Its GX attack Sky-Scorching Light GX is very situational to the point where you will likely never use it unless the opponent clumsily plays into it and forgets all about it by benching multiple Pokémon with 60 or fewer hit points once the prize total is six or fewer. Photon Geyser can do 210 damage with a Choice Band or Beast Energy with just two Psychic Energy. That is enough to one hit KO most relevant Pokémon in the format.

2 Dawn Wings Necrozma-GX

Invasion and Moon's Eclipse GX makes Dawn Wings Necrozma-GX an easy inclusion in all Malamar decks. You need to be able to power up Ultra Necrozma-GX in a single turn to get the most out of it which is where Invasion comes in handy.

1 Mew

Mew can copy attacks such as Photon Geyser and because Mew is a one prize attacker means it'll be useful and advantageous for taking KOs on GX Pokémon.

1 Mimikyu

Great one prize attacker that can copy an opponent's attack that they used the previous turn. Except Mimikyu can't copy GX attacks so not a big fan of it.

1 Giratina

A solid attacker in the mirror and against Buzzwole decks. Not to mention useful against Greninja decks.

3 Choice Band

Needing only two Psychic Energy as opposed to three on Ultra Necrozma-GX to one hit KO Pokémon GX with 210 hit points can make a huge difference. That is why Choice Band are needed. They also make Moon's Eclipse GX do 210 damage now which is also useful if you want to take down a Golisopod-GX or Lycanroc-GX while being invincible next turn.

2 Field Blower

I'd like to see a third copy of Field Blower in this deck because the deck doesn't play Parallel City. Also, Buzzwole-GX/Garbodor has been having more success lately so we may see a resurgence in play at the NAIC.

2 Professor's Letter

I like Professor's Letter in this build because it plays two different types of Basic Energy so it makes sense to play them.

2 Beast Ring

The deck doesn't play Max Elixir so having another means of energy acceleration is ideal. Beast Ring makes perfect sense because a surprise Ultra Necrozma-GX or Dawn Wings Necrozma-GX out of nowhere can win games.

7 Psychic Energy/3 Metal Energy/1 Beast Energy Prism Star

I'd like to see an 8th Psychic Energy because of Beast Ring. However, this list got top 8 in Madison so maybe you can get away with playing just 7 Psychics. Especially since there is also two Professor's Letter. Three Metal is fine and what most if not all lists play. Beast Energy is a must in this build because of Ultra Necrozma-GX. Beast Energy is basically a Choice Band except for all Pokémon. Ultra Necrozma-GX can do 130 damage with just one Psychic Energy assuming you also have Beast Energy attached to it. That is enough to take out Baby Buzzwole, Hoopa, Baby Volcanion, and plenty more.

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