Experts' corner

Jay Lesage

"Meta-NOT-Gross" - Post-Rotation Metagross!

Need a League Cup finish? The Metagross list included in here will help get you where you need to go.

09/03/2018 by Jay Lesage

Good morning 60Cards readers! My name is Jacob Lesage, and as of now we are officially entering the 2019 season! Worlds has concluded, and Robin Schulz has now become the 2018 World Champion. Jeff Kolenc fell just short of the win in finals, allowing ZoroGarb to become the new top deck, earning a first place finish with it. Maybe Stephane was onto something when he won NAIC with it, and then took another win at Valencia with the same deck. Who knows, all that’s left to focus on is the 2019 format, where we lose a lot of key stuff that was usually in our decks. Let’s take a brief moment to look at some of the stuff we’re going to lose: 

•  Professor Sycamore (STS; 114)

•  N (FCO; 105)

•  Evosoda (XY; 116)

•  Octillery (BKT; 33)

•  Max Elixir (BKP; 102)

•  Puzzle of Time (BKP; 109)

•  Greninja (BKP; 40)

•  Garbodor (BKP; 57)

•  Float Stone (PF; 99)

•  Super Rod (DRV; 20)

•  Brigette (BKT; 134)

•  Strong Energy (FRF; 104)

• …and many more!




This is just a very brief glimpse of some of the cards we’ll be losing in the rotation, and it’s very important that we note what cards we can use to replace them. Here’s a couple good replacements for cards that we’ll need in the 2019 format. 

Brigette (BKT; 161)  – Replaced with  Apricorn Maker (CLS; 124)

Apricorn Maker allows you to search your deck for two “Ball” cards, which somewhat can replace what Brigette did. Players are opting between Pokemon Fan Club and Apricorn Maker for basic search, and I’m almost certain that Apricorn Maker is better. By grabbing two copies of Nest Ball, it’ll allow you to not only thin your deck, but give you some utility to also grab an Ultra Ball if you popped off and have a ton of basics in play already. Fan Club also has its own strengths though – by not having to grab directly two Ball cards, it can preserve them in the deck for future basic Pokemon searches; Fan Club can also net you a Tapu Lele-GX for a Supporter, whereas a card like Nest Ball can’t (since it forces you to bench said Pokemon).  

Float Stone (PF; 99)  – Replaced with Escape Board (UPR; 122)  

Escape Board (UPR; 122)  actually isn’t the worst replacement, and it’s good for many decks that run on 1 or 2 Retreat Cost per Pokemon. This isn’t a one-stop shop for most decks, as it doesn’t fulfill all Retreat Costs, but I mean the card itself isn’t bad by any means. Switch and Escape Rope are also mildly important in decks as well, but if your Pokemon only have a single Retreat Cost, then Hover Board is the way to go! 

Professor Sycamore (STS; 114)  – Replaced by Lillie (UPR; 151)  

Lillie is going to be the new queen of standard, especially on the first turn! This card mimics Bianca from older eras, but with a twist: if it’s your first turn, draw until you have eight cards in your hand. This can give many decks a significant boost in their opening turn, and can preserve the other combo pieces you may have wanted to hold onto. I’m open to this card coming to life over Professor Sycamore because it allows you to preserve resources you may have discarded. This card will most definitely show more skill that Sycamore ever could.  

N (FCO; 105) – replaced with Judge (FLI; 108)  

This is a replacement that I’m not okay with – I loved N to bits in every format when it came out, and now that it’s being dropped from standard. Judge does a mediocre job at recovering what N did as a whole, and can actually aid the opponent most of the time when it comes to hand disruption. The only thing Judge excels at is disrupting the opponent at the very beginning of the game when they have a hand size of seven, and it gets dropped down to four – with Brigette exiting the standard format, this can severely detriment specific types of decks. I favour 1-2 copies of this card. 

Evosoda (XY; 116)  – replaced with  Timer Ball (SUM; 134)

While Timer Ball relies on coin flips, it should workout in our favour most of the time! It isn’t too bad of a card to not run, and can actually aid in some effects that are triggered by evolving from your hand (ex. Lycanroc-GX’s Bloodthirsty Eyes would not be triggered from Evosoda because that involves searching your deck, and not playing it from your hand). This replacement should go over just fine.  

Super Rod (DRV; 20)  – replaced with Rescue Stretcher (GRI; 130)  

Super Rod is going to be very missed, especially since it can get back energy and Pokemon alike. Rescue Stretcher will be a fine replacement, however since it is unable to get energy back, it will make players think twice about discarding energy when they use cards such as Mysterious Treasure or Ultra Ball. Decks that can recover energy from the discard pile are at an immediate advantage at this stage in the season. This replacement is seemingly fine, since Sycamore is rotated and there is no longer many cards that can toss resources.  

These are all just staples in decks that I know people want opinions of going into the next season – a lot of these purposes are essential to most decks, especially setup decks. Zoroark decks are probably feeling the burn now that Brigette is gone, and they’re forced into only netting two basics based off their turn one Supporter instead of three.  

Today, I wanted to talk about a deck that I found to be quite strong in my testing. Metagross, the deck in particular, has a very strong spread against most of the metagame, and can take many OHKOs very easily. Recovering energy makes it very simple to chain attacks, and just being able to heal off damage makes this deck top tier in its own right. The only downfall that this deck has is the fact that it is a Stage 2 deck that can suffer from bricked draws – however, if we play consistent, thick counts of cards, we should have no issues setting up whatsoever. Here's my sample list that I’m currently working with for the post-rotation format! 

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