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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


Metagross EX

- (XY Promo 34) 

Date Reviewed:
Feb. 5, 2015

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 2.00
Expanded: 1.95
Limited: Promo

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 being horrible.  3 ... average.  5 is awesome.

Back to the main COTD Page

Baby Mario
2010 UK National

Metagross EX

Outside of tin reprints, promo EX cards are pretty rare things. Even rarer are the promo-exclusive EXs. Generally, they turn out not to be very good: that’s probably just as well, considering that it’s not always easy for people to find all the various Collection Boxes, Elite Kits and the like. I think most of us remember promos that were virtually unavailable in certain geographic regions (like the Plasma Landorus in the USA). 

Being a Metal Type Pokémon means that Metagross has potentially somewhere to go already: the Bronzong PHF-based Metal deck that has seen some success recently. With such excellent acceleration available, the fact that his attacks are expensive shouldn’t be so much of an issue. What is an issue is that they are quite bad. Magnetic Laser’s Energy manipulation may dovetail nicely with Bronzong’s Metal Links Ability, but 20 damage is not what you want from an EX Pokémon (unless it came with an utterly devastating effect like Seismitoad EX). The bigger problem, though, is Squared Attack. It doesn’t matter how much Energy acceleration you have if it is being used to power an awful attack, and this one is pretty awful. Four coin flips for 50 damage per heads may offer the promise of 200 damage, but rarely is this achieved (even with Trick Coin or Fliptini), and never reliably. If you really want to play a ‘flip and hope for the best’ card, you’re better off with Malamar EX (relatively speaking). 

However . . . Metagross does have a Mega Evolution which we will be looking at tomorrow. If that turns out to be any good, then Metagross EX’s deficiencies won’t matter so much, as it could function as a step on the road to something better. Will that turn out to be the case? Tune in tomorrow to find out (though you probably know already . . .). 


Modified: 2

Expanded: 1.75

Limited: 3.75 


Metagross was already an interesting Pokemon, but the SHINY version of Metagross? Just SO COOL!! And the geniuses over at the Pokemon Company designed a card to commemorate the Shiny Beldam giveaway that was going on for Pokemon ORAS as a Shiny Metagross - not to mention his Mega Evolution is a card too! Did they also design him well enough to be playable? 


The basic Metagross-EX only has two attacks, and...well, neither's overwhelming. The first attack, Magnetic Laser, does a measly 20 damage for 2 Energy, but it does give the player the option to move Metal Energy off of a Benched Pokemon to Metagross-EX. That's actually not that bad, since it leads up into M Metagross-EX's own attack, but we'll save that for tomorrow. Right now, the big thing is that Metagross-EX can effectively equip Metal Energy from the discard pile via Bronzong's Metal Links. Granted the initial damage output could've been much MUCH higher. 

And speaking of high damage outputs, Squared Attack can potential do a lot! Or pretty good! Or decent. Or terribly...or nothing at all. Yeah, it's one of those "flippy" attacks that relies on coins to deal damage. Granted, it's four coins for 50 a piece before any Muscle Band is involved, so you're aiming for around 0-200 damage before that. You're going to average out 100 damage a piece, which is still enough to 2HKO most Pokemon-EX, but while there are attacks that CONSISTENTLY do this, Squared Attack is NOT one such attack. 

So regrettably this Metagross-EX isn't a great attacker, but hey, maybe Mega Metagross tomorrow will be worth it! If not...well, don't expect to see much of them in play. 


Standard: 2/5 (a disappointing EX to say the least, though Magnetic Laser will set-up his Mega counterpart) 

Expanded: 2/5 (let's be honest, you've got better EX to use here) 

Limited: N/A (if he were in a set, you'd run him, but since he's not, you won't)




This week we are going to look at some of the recent Black Star promos.  Today we look at XY Black Star Promos XY34, Metagross-EX.  Of its Type possibilities, this one is Metal; besides being fun to say this means it can tap direct Metal-Type support like Steel Shelter and will likely work well with indirect Metal-Type support like Bronzong (XY: Phantom Forces 61/119; XY Black Star Promos XY21).  Metal Weakness isn’t abundant but several sets after the introduction of Fairy-Type Pokémon its no longer especially rare (as it was when it was only really found on certain Water-Type Pokémon that represented the video game Ice-Type).  While not yet relevant to Organized Play, XY: Primal Clash looks like it might provide a great attacker to Fairy Transfer decks - this could become an important Weakness to hit or it might just remain handy.  Metal Resistance is something you’ll probably come across as most Lightning-Type Pokémon (namely those released in the XY sets) once again have it.  All in all, I’d consider this to be a slightly beneficial type, maybe even a “good” Type though its far from as potent as being a Fighting-Type (for example).

Being a Basic is currently the best and that seems unlikely to change soon.  Metagross-EX is of course a Pokémon-EX and that’s actually a drawback; all the bonuses associated with it technically are a matter of suspected design templates and we’ve seen plenty of Pokémon-EX with attacks and/or Abilities that aren’t significantly better than non-Pokémon-EX and the HP tends to only exceed what you’ll find on a “regular” version of that Pokémon… but the only things guaranteed is that the card will be worth an additional Prize when KOed and cards which counter Pokémon-EX or which exclude Pokémon-EX from receiving benefits will still apply.  Metagross-EX did cash in on the higher HP cap; its got 180 which has only finally been surpassed on a Basic Pokémon-EX by Wailord-EX (XY: Primal Clash 38/160, 147/160) and which there is little chance of seeing anything else hit.  180 is usually going to survive a hit but OHKOs are still somewhat common, with some decks specializing in them and most capable of pushing for one.  Fire Weakness will definitely matter; while Fire-Types are prone to overkill with 180 HP this will at least save them resources.  The Psychic Resistance is useful though Resistance itself is usually only dangerous (for your opponent) when it is forgotten or it was already a borderline case.  The massive four Energy requires your deck dedicate slots to reducing it or bypassing manually retreating entirely or “tanking” or some combination (including all three)!  Fortunately that’s still a pretty common part of competitive decks, so its not adding much of a burden and in Expanded, it means you could search this card out via Heavy Ball.

Metagross-EX has two attacks.  For [MC] Metagross-EX can use Magnetic Laser for 20 points of damage, plus the option of moving a [M] Energy from one of your Benched Pokémon to Metagross-EX itself, while for [MMCC] Metagross-EX can use Squared Attack, allowing you to flip four coins good for 50 points of damage per “heads”.  That gives Squared Attack a minimum damage of zero, maximum of 200 and mean/median/mode value of 100 damage.  Before even addressing whether these attacks have good damage/effects, I want to draw attention to how the Energy costs do and don’t work well together.  You’ve got no attack you can fuel with a single manual Energy attachment (even when using Double Colorless Energy).  This is good for the long term health of the game: part of why big, Basic Pokémon have run amuk is that they tend to hit either fast or hard and fast.  It is not, however a good thing for Metagross-EX, though neither is it a huge negative.  The second attack can make use of Double Colorless Energy (and many other forms of Energy acceleration) which can shave a turn off of hitting Squared Attack ready, though it is important to note that without more significant assistance than Double Colorless Energy, three turns is still counting on one more turn than even big, Basic Pokémon-EX are likely to survive.

So what about after we consider what the attacks do?  Unless we get some bizarre reprintings/rotation happening this card shouldn’t breaking the format.  Given the damage output we’ve been seeing on competitive Pokémon-EX, 20 for two just doesn’t cut it.  This isn’t another Seismitoad-EX; moving an Energy up onto Metagross-EX is no where near as good as blocking Items… and Quaking Punch hits for 30 damage and only requires [CC].  Squared Attack demands four units of Energy, so it needed to at least average 100 damage.  The odds appear to be in your favor at a glance, but while at a glance it is mathematically sound, with odds being about two-in-three that you’ll at least get 100 damage, those times when you hit for 50 or nothing are usually devastating, and as it is all coin flip based so far too often damage received will likely be much less than damage done.  With Mega Evolutions becoming less and less fringe, it also helps to show how the damage is lackluster at all levels; I already said I don’t like attacks that can completely fail but a single “heads” can fail to KO even many small-but-played Pokémon, two “heads” can fail to KO moderately sized Pokémon, three “heads” won’t take out larger Pokémon and the largest will survive even all four coins coming up “heads”.  Even with a Muscle Band, the numbers are only a little bit better.  For taking my chances with an expensive, coin flip based attack I really want to know I’m taking everything out (at least that isn’t boosted).

You’ve got far better options for a big, Basic Pokémon-EX Metal-Type attacker.  Fortunately we’ll be looking at M Metagross-EX tomorrow to see if it is good enough to get this card into decks and if that is the case, this isn’t a terrible card to Evolve from, just not very good.


Standard: 2/5 - Through the inherent benefits of being a big, Basic Pokémon, this card still isn’t as bad off by being mediocre as something much harder to get into play.

Expanded: 2.1/5 - As above, but with a slight bonus for access to cards like Heavy Ball.

Limited: N/A - Not legal, but if it were released in a manner to make it legal and the set was neither overly biased nor in favor of Metal-Types, this would be something you’d make room for with whatever else you were running unless you pulled a different big, Basic Pokémon for to build a +39 deck around.  Metagross-EX itself would not be worth the risk of that little trick; the effect of the first attack becomes even less useful while you’d be at the mercy of the coin flips.  As such I suspect It would be KOed before you took four Prizes, at least often enough you should just make a full-fledged deck.

Summary: Metagross-EX doesn’t really do anything exciting, and in a sense its because the effects are backwards.  I’d much rather have a flippy but potentially hard hitting alternate attack, and then a big attack that moves Energy off of my current Active instead of on to it.  We have a format of 2HKOs and OHKOs; moving Energy onto the Active is going to increase the damage done by many popular attacks against your Active and as such seems like a risky way to build but moving it onto somethings else can prep your next attacker while reducing the damage taken from several attacks… and if said Active survives it can use its less expensive fallback attack.  At least, that what seems like it might have worked better than the reality; sorry for ending this with a Create-A-Card.

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