Huzzah! More cards than ever before
to review! Like Bronzong! My speculation is that he's
going to be the new Bronzong players still playing Steel
decks will use once Phantom Forces maybe rotates. We
shall see though, eh?
So what can this Bronzong do? Well,
like the Phantom Forces version, this one's got an
Ability, but it's not an Energy accelerator like the PHF
version. Metal Fortress isn't to be underestimated
though; it alone is powerful enough to keep all effects
of attacks including damage from your Benched Pokemon.
Truly it is an impenetrable wall to put up in front of
your opponents...aside from any Items, Supporters,
Stadiums, and Tools that could hit the Bench, but other
than, say, Lysandre and the Hammers, there's not that
much in that regard to worry about while there are
plenty of attacks that this works against.
Course, you still gotta worry about
Lysandre, but moving on.
The other part of Bronzong is his
attack, Guard Press. At 3-for-60, it's not that crazy an
attack, but at least it prevents 20 damage from getting
through to him. That's always nice, since it can
temporarily "buff" his HP up to 120 from 100, but it's
not "main attacker" material. So that means Bronzong
here is meant for the Bench, where he'll be safe within
his Metal Fortress...except for if the opponent uses
Lysandre on him to take care of him.
In fact, really, Lysandre is
Bronzong's biggest weakness! As long as he's in play and
on the Bench, attacks just won't do anything, but the
moment he's Active, he can be beaten, and the Metal
Fortress will crumble. But what about cards like Mr.
Mime? Does Bronzong beat them out? Well sure - he's not
just preventing damage, he's preventing effects too! And
that's justifiable for the extra evolution.
Not to mention Bronzong has one
more trick up his sleeve...er...bell?
Standard: 3/5 (the ultimate defense
against all things attack!)
Expanded: 2.5/5 (though whether
that's worth more than Energy acceleration? only time
Limited: 4/5 (but for now, you can
pick to mix the two version together! best of both
Arora Notealus: I do like that this
art is all crazy with Bronzong. Just punching out with
this shining radiance behind him and everything! TAKE
Next Time: BREAKing into that
(XY: Fates Collide 61/124) is a Metal Type which
is neither impressive nor problematic as most aspects
seem to balance out. Weakness is found on almost
all Fairy Types and some Water Types, but the former
aren’t heavily played right now. Resistance is
found on all XY-era Lightning Types, but Resistance
itself tends to only matter in edge cases. The
Metal Type doesn’t have a huge pool of explicit support
but what it has is solid as the easy to run support has
has useful effects while the killer effects are
difficult to run (but at least see fringe play).
They are probably strongest in what is not restricted to
the Metal Type but which does favor it, like Energy
acceleration for [M] Energy and some notable Metal Type
attackers. Being a Stage 1 is similar; being a
Basic is best but being a Stage 1 usually just means
running one extra card and waiting one extra turn or
using Wally if speed is essential. At least
if the Stage 1 is central to the deck; it can be a deal
breaker for a less important role. 100 HP is low enough
that Bronzong is more likely to be OHKO’d than
not, but it isn’t super easy; a weak set up or attacker
means Bronzong lives. Fire Weakness creates
an exception as it means most attackers count as
“strong” with their damage output doubled. Any
Resistance is welcome, even though it doesn’t often
matter, and there are some decent Psychic Type attackers
out there that will need to double check their math to
ensure a OHKO against Bronzong. The Retreat
Cost of [CCC] is too much to pay most of the time, so
include something to reduce or avoid paying it.
Three is a chance it might help a little though by
making this card Heavy Ball and Heavy Boots
has one Ability and one attack. The Ability is
“Metal Fortress” and it protects your Bench from both
attack damage and effects by your opponent’s Pokémon; in
short a better version of the “Bench Barrier” found two
different versions of Mr. Mime: BW: Plasma
Freeze 47/116 and XY: BREAKthrough 97/162.
Unless you needed to protect against damage from your
own attacks, but as it might get complicated with
protecting against your own attack effects done to your
Bench (many of which you likely want to happen) that is
probably for the best. The attack on the card is “Gaurd
Press” for [MCC]; it does 60 damage and during your
opponent’s next turn damage done to Bronzing
(“this Pokémon”) is reduced by 20. Though
overpriced for what it does, it is still far better than
nothing as it works with off-Type Energy acceleration
(like Double Colorless Energy) and helps a likely
Bench-sitter try to survive.
Evolves from Bronzor and we’ve got a decent
assortment to look at: BW: Next Destinies 75/99,
XY: Phantom Forces 60/119, XY: BREAKthrough
95/162, and XY: Fates Collide 60/124. There
are also other Bronzong to consider: BW: Next
Destinies 76/99, XY: Phantom Forces 61/119
(also available as XY: Black Star Promos XY21),
and XY: BREAKthrough 96/162. All are Metal
Type Pokémon with Fire Weakness, Psychic Resistance and
no Ancient Traits. All Bronzor are Basic
Pokémon with no Ability and and all Bronzong are
Stage 1 (…yes sometimes we get odd mechanics that change
Stages). BW: Next Destinies 75/99 is the only
Bronzor that is not Standard legal; it has 70 HP,
Retreat Cost [CCC] and two attacks. The first
attack is “Knock Away” which does 10 damage for [MC] and
has you flip a coin, with “heads” adding 10 more damage.
The second is “Spinning Attack” for [MCC] to do a
vanilla 40. XY: Phantom Forces 60/119 has only
50 HP and a Retreat Cost of [C], with just one attack
(Tackle) that does 10 for [M]. XY: BREAKthrough
95/162 has 60 HP and a Retreat Cost of [CC], with the
attack “Payback” that costs [CC] and does 10 damage
(plus another 60 if the opponent has only one Prize
left). XY: Fates Collide 60/124 also has 60 HP
and a Retreat Cost of [CC], but with the attacks “Iron
Defense” and “Hammer In”. The former costs [M],
requires a coin flip, and does nothing on “tails” but on
“heads” prevents all damage and effects from attacks by
your opponent’s Pokémon during your next turn. The
latter needs [MC] and does 20 (nothing else). The
only Bronzong I can’t see helping you out is
XY: BREAKthrough 95/162; if your opponent is down to
one Prize, Payback needs to win the game or you just did
a fancy forfeit.
is where we get some interesting options. BW: Next
Destinies 76/99 has 110 HP and Retreat Cost [CCCC],
the Ability “Heal Block” and the attack “Oracle
Inflict”. Heal Block keeps damage from being
healed from either players’ Pokémon. It won’t stop
effects that move damage counters between Pokémon, and
if a deck is running bounce effects like AZ you
can still bounce something to hand then play it back
down to shed all its damage counters. There are
some decks that make good use of straight up healing,
but not a lot of them. Oracle Inflict does 30
damage plus 10 more for each card in your opponent’s
hand. The amount of cards you need in hand to OHKO
anything is staggering; even with Muscle Band
helping out the typical 170 or 180 HP Basic Pokémon-EX
needs your opponent to have a six or seven card hand.
Sometimes you’ll see hands that big, but your opponent
usually wants to make use of what they draw and normally
you would be trying to keep your opponent’s hand on the
smaller side to reduce his or her options.
Probably not worth it but it could be if something with
healing starts to dominate.
XY: Phantom Forces
61/119 shouldn’t need much of an introduction. It
has 90 HP, Retreat Cost [CCC], an Ability and an attack.
The Ability is “Metal Links” which we see often enough.
Plenty of decks don’t use Metal Links to attack [M]
Energy from their discard piles to their Benched
Pokémon, but anything with sufficient [M] or [C] Energy
requirements probably has a deck variant which does.
It also has the attack Hammer In, this time costing
[MMC] to do 60. Not a good attack, but overpaying
for vanilla damage is better than something with a near
useless effect. This one has been popular enough
we’ve reviewed it twice:
as second place pick from XY: Phantom Forces and
as part of our 9th best card of 2014. XY:
BREAKthrough 96/162 has 110 HP with a Retreat Cost
of [CCC] has two attacks. For [CC] it can use
“Pain Amplifier” to place three damage counters on each
of your opponent’s Pokémon that have at least one damage
counter already on them, while for [MCC] it brings back
Knock Away, this time doing 70 damage (+20 if you get
“heads” on the coin flip). Knock Away is a solid
filler attack; 90-for-three without the coin flip would
have been better, but it isn’t painfully low like most
of the straight damage attacks. Pain Amplifier had
people trying to come up with good combos, but falling
short. It isn’t brilliant, but if you can get a
damage counter on everything then you get some good
damage counter placement spread.
Lastly there is
Bronzong BREAK (XY: Fates Collide 62/124),
however we are looking at that one
so I’ll just say that it will probably prefer XY:
Phantom Forces 61/119. So where does that
leave today’s card? Bronzong (XY: Fates
Collide 61/124) isn’t out of luck, but it is in an
odd place. Decks maxing out XY: Phantom Forces
61/119 obviously won’t have room for it, but a lot of
decks that use XY: Phantom Forces 61/119 do
not run a full 4-4 count and should consider making
room for a lone XY: Fates Collide 62/124.
Not every deck uses an attack to mess with your Bench,
but there are notable examples like Trevenant BREAK
and Trevenant (XY 55/146) that hit the
Bench. The former in particular gets around
protection offered by Bench Barrier (from the two Mr.
Mime) or the effect of Mountain Ring.
So what about other decks? Should they
consider working in a Bronzong line to protect
their own Bench? While the protection offered by
Bronzong is superior to the three alternatives I
just mentioned, it is much easier to run a Basic Pokémon
and (if you don’t need a different Stadium)
another Stadium. Just a single Bronzong
means running two cards, not one. So many decks
just lack the space. There may be a third category
though; decks that have space but don’t need Bench
protection bad enough, don’t need Energy acceleration
bad enough, but could work in a split line now that it
is doing two things.
Do any such decks
Not that I know of and it may turn out none do.
Just a thought about what to look for; anything remotely
close I can think of already has a variant using
Bronzong (XY: Phantom Forces 61/119), so it
probably matters more for future releases.
Especially of course if come September (the usual time
for set rotation) XY: Phantom Forces gets the ax
and Bronzong (XY: Phantom Forces 61/119)
doesn’t avoid it with a reprint. For now though
the best shot for Bronzong (XY: Fates Collide
61/124) is to ride on the coattails of Bronzong (XY:
Phantom Forces 61/119). Hopefully in another
two weeks I’ll have time for the PTCGO again; I really
ought to see if this makes the Night March/Bronzong
variants worthwhile for Expanded or Standard play.
For Limited, the card is a decent pull but not great.
A lot of effects you wouldn’t normally care about begin
to matter here, but many (perhaps most) matches
Bronzong (XY: Fates Collide 61/124) is just a
mediocre-to-decent Stage 1 that only requires you work a
few basic Metal Energy into your deck to include.
Bronzong (XY: Fates Collide 61/124) offers
total Bench protection from attacks, but think of how
often your Bench is assailed by non-attack effects.
Total protection would have to include Pokémon effects
(attacks and Abilities), Trainer effects, and
even Energy cards should any be released. I
believe this Bronzong has a small place due to
some decks using Bronzong (XY: Phantom Forces
61/119) having space for it and benefitting enough to
justify using that space on Bench protection. Even
though all decks would enjoy the Bench protection, most
don’t need it enough to include a Stage 1 and will
continue using a Mr. Mime with Bench Barrier.
That is even less complete protection, but for half as
many cards and no waiting to Evolve.
Had we done a Top
15, then Bronzong (XY: Fates Collide
61/124) would have made it as it earned 11 voting
points, tying with
(XY: Fates Collide 50/124). I broke the tie in
favor of Carbink because while they had the same
points, Bronzong got all its points from just one
reviewer, who ranked it pretty high. Carbink
didn’t rank as high but made two lists instead of just
one, plus our
second place pick
for the set was Carbink BREAK.