– Team Up
September 11, 2020
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
If you’re just joining us, this week we’ve been looking at cards from the decks that made up the Top 16 of the Players Cup Finals. They’re not the main cards from the deck; those were all reviewed recently, and/or potential picks for the year-end list. It was my call, and I decided something like Zacian V didn’t need to risk three CotD reviews in a single year. Now, I did have to leave out a representative for Decidueye Obstagoon decks, because there really was nothing worth reviewing that hadn’t already been covered… plus I didn’t feel like having any of these be weekend reviews. and TecH attacker Suicune The rest have been
I’m fudging things again, by using Bronzor (SM – Team Up 100/181) to stand in for Zacian ADP and Zacian Lucario & Melmetal decks. No, Bronzor is not in Zacian ADP, but it is still a Metal-type, and both decks are built around Zacian V so… close enough. Zacian ADP was the 3rd-place finisher, one of the 5th-place finishers, two of the 9th-place finishers, and two of the 13th-place finishers. The Zacian Lucario & Melmetal decks (ZLM for short) took first and second place!
Bronzor is a [M] type Pokémon, which is well supported right now, though not especially useful for exploiting Weakness. Being a Basic means you can drop Bronzor without waiting to evolve. 50 HP means Bronzor is an high probable OHKO, which means the [R] Weakness isn’t quite as bad as it could be, and -20 [P] Weakness is likewise unlikely to make much of a difference. The Retreat Cost of [C] is easy to pay and recover from having paid. Bronzor has the Ability “Evolutionary Advantage” and the attack “Tackle”. The former let’s you immediately evolve Bronzor Turn 2; that is, if you go second, you can evolve Bronzor right away on your first turn. The rest of the game, the Ability does nothing. Tackle costs [MC] an does 20 damage, which is pure filler.
Yes, Bronzor is played for its Ability… but what Bronzong is being used with it? That would be SM – Team Up 101/181. It is a Stage 1 [M] type with 130 HP, [R] Weakness, -20 [P] Resistance, Retreat Cost [CCC], the Ability “Heatproof”, and the attack “Shady Stamp”. Heatproof prevents all damage done to Bronzong by your opponent’s [R] Pokémon. Shady Stamp does 70 damage for [RCC], plus it confuses your opponent’s Active. Being a Stage 1 is decent, as is 130 HP. [R] Weakness doesn’t matter so long as the Ability is working, and the HP means the Retreat Cost might actually matter. The Retreat Cost of [CCC] is bad. Heatproof is great if you need a [R]-proof wall for your deck, and Shady Stamp is underwhelming – but not worthless – on its own, and decent when backed by Heatpproof.
It all gets even better in a ZLM deck. Lucario & Melmetal-GX, coupled with other [M] support, means even dropping an off-type attacker isn’t guaranteed to drop Bronzong. With Metal Goggles and the effects of Lucario & Melmetal-GX’s “Full Metal Wall-GX”, it takes 190 damage from a non-Fire type (210 from Psychics!) to OHKO Bronzong. Bronzor’s Evolutionary Advantage makes it a lot more likely your opponent can’t take out Bronzor to prevent Bronzong. Zamazenta V gives the deck a wall against all Pokémon VMAX, so Zacian V only has to deal with non-Fire, non-VMAX Pokémon. Zacian ADP decks still have the potential to stall – some were running Zamazenta V themselves, but were focused on taking actual KO’s as well.
Bronzor has the potential to be the best Bronzor for years. Not just in Standard, but in Expanded. Even such highly restricted evolution acceleration is good. Unless you fail to pull Bronzong or pull a Basic Pokémon-GX worth running in a mulligan deck, definitely run Bronzor/Bronzong in your Limited Format deck.
While I’d prefer a different form of “support” from my evolving Basics, because this still keeps the pace of the game in the “too fast” column, Bronzor is a very good card and probably the best Bronzor we’re going to see for the net few – maybe next several – years.
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