04/14/2018 by Zach Lesage
Table of contents
You are now watching the throne, don’t let me get in my Zone... Ahem, what’s up 60 Cards readers, it’s me Zach Lesage (and not Kanye West or JAY-Z) bringing you some new flavour for the format! After discussing the current meta game with 60 Cards' very own Chris Fulop, we came to an agreement that a Magnezone (UPR; 83) deck can make waves in Standard right now. In this article, I will explain why Magnezone is playable in Standard, give you a deck list, explain options in the deck, and list some potential changes to include. While it would take another meta game shift for Magnezone to become the best deck in format, it can be one of the best decks in certain meta games. Let's go over the reasons why Magnezone decks can become a force to be reckoned with right now!
With Portland, OR Regionals, we saw how the meta game changed into something different from Charlotte, due to the release of Lucario GX (BW; 100) , so was it a ‘solved’ meta game? I think we grew closer to perfection, but there are also cracks to fill in. Let's look at the meta game that existed within the Top 32 players of Portland Regionals:
- Espeon GX (SUM; 61) / Garbodor (BKP; 57) / Garbodor (GRI; 51)
- Tapu Bulu GX (BUS; 130) / Vikavolt (SUM; 52)
- Zoroark GX (SLG; 53) / Lucario GX (BW; 100)
- Buzzwole GX (CIN; 57) / Lycanroc GX (GRI; 138)
- Sylveon GX (GRI; 92) / Gardevoir GX (BUS; 93)
- ‘Attacking’ Hoopa (SLG; 55)
- Greninja BREAK (BKP; 41)
- Lucario GX (BW; 100) / Lycanroc GX (GRI; 138)
- Buzzwole GX (CIN; 57) / Carbink BREAK (FCO; 51) / Garbodor (BKP; 57)
Looking at these decks, we can also make some wild predictions about upcoming League Cups that will help evolve the meta game. With all the talk about Espeon GX (SUM; 61) / Garbodor / Garbodor and the stranglehold of the ‘Attacking’ Hoopa Deck, Gardevoir GX (BUS; 93) variants may find a way to wiggle back into the meta game due to a perceived strong match-up against those decks. In order for a Magnezone meta game to exist, it is in our best interest for Gardevoir GX (BUS; 93) to reappear as a contender in Standard! Gardevoir GX (BUS; 93) has a glaring Weakness to Metal-type Pokemon, a feature that Magnezone decks boast, which leads us into having our first good match-up. Furthermore, the deck that dominated Portland Regionals, Espeon GX (SUM; 61) / Garbodor (BKP; 57) / Garbodor (GRI; 51) , will do less damage to most attacking Pokemon in a Magnezone deck due to Psychic-resistance being a predominant theme on Metal Pokemon. Sylveon GX (GRI; 92) is in the same boat as Gardevoir GX (BUS; 93) due to Weakness from Metal-type Pokemon, so we can add another strong match-up into our arsenal.
Fulop and I used theory to determine that if we used Dialga GX (UPR; 146) to acquire a double-turn versus a Tapu Bulu GX (BUS; 130) / Vikavolt (SUM; 52) deck, that we should be fine in that match-up, as well. The sheer damage output of Dusk Mane Necrozma GX (UPR; 90) can give us the necessary numbers to have a fair match-up with any deck that includes Lucario GX (BW; 100) , Zoroark GX (SLG; 53) , and/or Buzzwole GX (CIN; 104) . That being said, we do suffer from a tough match-up versus Ho-Oh GX (BUS; 131) , Volcanion EX (STS; 26) , and Greninja BREAK (BKP; 41) decks. Just to reiterate, here are the reasons why a Magnezone variant can be a strong contender right now:
- Pokémon that suffer a Metal Weakness in Standard are popular in the form of Sylveon GX (GRI; 92) and Gardevoir GX (BUS; 93)
- Espeon GX (SUM; 61) and Garbodor with Trashalanche will do less damage to most Pokemon in a Magnezone deck due to Psychic Resistance
- Dialga GX (UPR; 146) can use its GX attack to gain an extra turn when playing against Tapu Bulu GX (BUS; 130) / Vikavolt (SUM; 52) to gain a perceived stranglehold in that match-up
- Dusk Mane Necrozma GX (UPR; 90) can do large amounts of damage to popular Pokémon such as Lucario GX (BW; 100) , Buzzwole GX (CIN; 104) , and Zoroark GX (SLG; 53)
- Magnezone can attack Hoopa with Scoundrel Guard because it is a non-EX / non-GX Pokemon
Magnezone / Dusk Mane Necrozma -GX / Dialga-GX Deck
I’m sure, after looking at all these points of interest, that Magnezone sounds like it is a great deck, but how does that deck list work? While Chris Fulop and I are still going back and forth to decide on a finalized list, here is the most recent list we could come up with.
Magnezone / Dusk Mane Necrozma-GX / Dialga-GX
- 3x Magnezone
- 4x Magnemite
- 1x Starmie
- 1x Staryu
- 2x Dusk Mane Necrozma GX
- 2x Dialga GX
- 3x Tapu Lele GX
- 1x Solgaleo Prism Star
- 1x Oranguru
- 1x Mew
- 3x Mt. Coronet
- 4x Cynthia
- 3x Guzma
- 2x Brigette
- 2x Skyla
- 2x N
- 1x Professor Sycamore
- 4x Rare Candy
- 4x Ultra Ball
- 3x Professor's Letter
- 2x Choice Band
- 2x Field Blower
- 1x Super Rod
- 8x Metal Energy
In this section of the article, I will go over the unique and interesting cards in the deck list above. In most circumstances, cards that see strong play, such as Rare Candy, will be omitted from this section in order to focus more on the core strategy of the deck.
Three Magnezone, One Starmie, Three Mt. Coronet, and Three Professor’s Letter
Magnezone is the core of this deck because it allows us to power up our various Pokémon with the energy necessary to attack! In order for this deck to achieve its ‘pool’ of energy available to use Magnetic Circuit Ability, cards such as Starmie, Mt. Coronet, and Professor’s Letter are all vital to retrieve energy in various ways. The supporting cards in this list are played in counts that reliably get out a Magnezone as soon as possible which is going to be the first step in most games. When starting a game out, it is recommended to use Brigette to get out Two Magnemite and another Pokémon that you can use depending on your situation. After that, you want to quickly use Rare Candy to get out a Magnezone, acquire the necessary amount of Metal Energy, and attack with the right Pokémon for the current situation.
Four Magnemite, One Staryu, One Mew, and Two Brigette
While this looks like a list of basic Pokémon and Brigette, these Pokémon have one thing in common - free Retreat! You can start with any of this Pokémon during a game and you will be able to Retreat into a bulky Pokémon such as Dialga GX (UPR; 146) or Dusk Mane Necrozma GX (UPR; 90) ! It is vital to get out many of these Pokémon is most match-ups which means that Brigette is a strong consistency crutch.
Two Dialga-GX and Two Choice Band
While the Supporter count in this deck may seem low, don’t sleep on other possibilities to draw cards, such as Dialga GX (UPR; 146) using Overclock on the first turn of the game. Most of the other Basic Pokémon in this deck have free Retreat, which means that you can reliably use Overclock when you need some new cards. Dialga GX (UPR; 146) can also make strong plays when using Timeless GX in combination with a Choice Band such as Knocking Out an opposing Tapu Bulu GX (BUS; 130) and gaining an extra turn in the process.
Two Dusk Mane Necrozma-GX
This Pokémon is a powerhouse once it is powered up! Use this card in match-ups where Dialga GX (UPR; 146) cannot reliably Knock Out EX / GX Pokemon with Timeless GX in order to get ahead in the match-up! Furthermore, you can use Sun’s Eclipse GX when you fall behind to quickly catch up in most match-ups!
One Solgaleo Prism Star
This card can be a set-up Pokémon in some match-ups when you are locked out of using Magnezone or if you have a slower start! Alternatively, you can attack with Corona Impact to Knock Out pesky Pokémon such as Hoopa with Scoundrel Guard or Pokémon that suffer from a Metal-type Weakness.
Two Field Blower
In most cases, this card is used in match-ups that utilize Garbodor with Garbotoxin because this is an Ability-heavy deck that relies on Magnezone to attach energy, Tapu Lele-GX to search our Suporter cards, Starmie to retrieve energy, and Oranguru to draw cards. There are some other niche uses such as discarding a Fighting Fury Belt after an attack to draw a Prize Card or two or even reducing your opponents damage by taking away their Choice Band.
In this section of the article, I will go over some possible card changes that may get added in this deck in the future! While some of these cards may never make it in the deck, it is interesting to look over the potential ways that this deck can grow!
A Larger Starmie / Staryu Line
This idea is more Fulop’s than my one, but I did want to cover it! In most match-ups, it is imperative to the success of the deck to get out as many energy as possible during a game to use Magnezone effectively. An additional line of Starmie /Staryu in the deck to bring it to a two / two line would improve the amount of energy that we could get back per game. With Dialga GX (UPR; 146) requiring five energy to use Timeless GX and Dusk Mane Necrozma GX (UPR; 90) requiring four energy to use Meteor Tempest, it is necessary to use the same energy over and over again! I think that a two / two line of Starmie seems like overkill, but I am willing to admit that I will personally try this suggestion out based on Fulop’s recommendation!
Four Order Pad
Similar to some of the Tapu Bulu GX (BUS; 130) / Vikavolt (SUM; 52) decks lurking around, Order Pad has seemingly made its way into the format to nab important cards from the deck such as Rare Candy! The inclusion of this card within the list would require a full overhaul of the current list because the deck would need to be more Item-based. In theory, the deck would need to omit cards such as Skyla and Brigette to make room for Order Pad, Nest Ball, and Heavy Ball. This is another variant that shows promise which means that I am likely going to have two copies of Magnezone built at all times. When in doubt, you can usually fit a Magnezone deck into the shell of a Tapu Bulu GX (BUS; 130) / Vikavolt (SUM; 52) deck because they are similar concepts! A shoutout goes to Danny Altavilla for giving me this idea - thanks man!
Good Luck at League Cups
Well, that’s it for today 60 Cards readers! I hope that you have enjoyed reading this article as much as I have enjoyed writing it because I enjoyed writing this interesting piece a lot! I recommend all of you to at least build this deck on PTCGO to test it out and to seriously consider it for some local League Cups! I know that I will be testing this deck to see if it is a potential play for me as we approach the 2018 Latin America International Championships in São Paulo, Brazil later this month! Hopefully my testing proves to be fruitful as this deck is a blast to play! Over the next week, I am planning on dropping an Expanded article for all of you who are planning on going to Stuttgart, Germany Regionals or for those of you who are lucky enough to get a handful of Expanded League Cups.
Until then, I will be playing in local League Cups in the Greater Toronto Area so feel free to chat with me at any time. I always enjoy talking to new players, people from around the world, and aspiring Pokemon trainers! For updates on my travel plans, tournament schedule, premium deck lists, strategies, and my most recent articles, feel free to check out and follow my professional Pokemon Twitter @ zlesage_pokemon. Also, remember to give this article a ‘like’ to let me know what you thought of this article! Thanks for supporting 60 Cards, reading my articles, and watching me grow as a player!
Until next time,
Greninja BREAK (BKP; 41)
Garbodor (BKP; 57)
Carbink BREAK (FCO; 51)
Volcanion EX (STS; 26)
Espeon GX (SUM; 61)
Vikavolt (SUM; 52)
Garbodor (GRI; 51)
Lycanroc GX (GRI; 138)
Sylveon GX (GRI; 92)
Gardevoir GX (BUS; 93)
Ho-Oh GX (BUS; 131)
Tapu Bulu GX (BUS; 130)
Zoroark GX (SLG; 53)
Hoopa (SLG; 55)
Buzzwole GX (CIN; 104)
Buzzwole GX (CIN; 57)
Dialga GX (UPR; 146)
Dusk Mane Necrozma GX (UPR; 90)
Magnezone (UPR; 83)
Lucario GX (BW; 100)
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