– Rebel Clash
May 2, 2020
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
I think this might be the first time I’m writing a Saturday review…huh. Well not a bad Pokemon to work with on that!
Duraludon is a Basic Metal Pokemon, 130 HP, with a Fire Weakness, a Grass Resistance, and a Retreat Cost of 2. We’ve seen stuff like Metal Sharpener before, a 1-for-30 that lets you attach a Metal Energy to one of your Pokemon from your discard pile. And then there’s Power Beam, a 3-for-110 that lets you finally put all that yelling in the mirror to try and turn your hair blonde to good use, as you blast away at your opponents with your hands dramatically while slowly realizing that you’re the only one screaming in the middle of the tournament.
If you’ve ever seen a Pokemon with an attack like this, you’ve probably already guessed that Metal Sharpener is the reason we’re looking at Duraludon. And considering it’s another Metal Energy recycler alongside Metal Saucer, it goes without saying that it’s likely to play a large part in Metal decks. Zacian-V happens to be the deck to beat at the moment, specifically the ADP-Zacian variant, so naturally it makes for a very prominent candidate when it comes to putting Duraludon to work. It’s a pretty easy fit too – you use Duraludon to fuel up either your Zacian-V or your ADP-GX (the latter for its Altered Creation GX attack), and then you get it out as quick as you can one way or another so you can do what you do best: deliver mighty blows that completely wipe out Pokemon from the face of the Earth, or at least enough for stuff like Shrine of Punishment to finish them off.
Whether or not Duraludon makes it into the final cut for Zacian-V decks is up to personal choice, but I think that it’ll make a nice addition to it. Sure, Metal Saucer is generally better since you’re not having to use your attack for the turn, but it’s a good way to keep your Prize-heavy Pokemon in the back for a bit while you set-up for a massive sweep.
Standard: 3.5/5 (debatable for the top-tier deck, but absolutely a great Metal-support Pokemon regardless)
Expanded: 3.5/5 (there’s lots of good Metal Pokemon here that Duraludon helps out too!)
Limited: 4/5 (can’t argue with nice Energy acceleration, even in a slower format)
Arora Notealus: Duraludon is one of the stranger Pokemon to come out of Galar, since it doesn’t really become obvious what it’s based on until you see what its Gigantamax form is – which that’ll likely hit the TCG at some point in the future! Duraludon takes inspiration from the tallest building in the UK, The Shard, which suggests its body is made of duralumin, and suddenly you see where the name comes from. Apparently it’s also got a rivalry with Tyranitar, hearkening back to the Johto-based mountain muncher’s kaiju-inspired design!
Next Time: Time to get up to go to the temple and pray to your local fox-based deity!
Our 14th-place pick is Duraludon (SSH – Rebel Clash 138/192). Its Metal-Typing is good right now due to support like Metal Saucer and Metal Frying Pan, as well as strong members such as Zacian V. It isn’t all that great at exploiting Weakness right now, and does have to deal with some unfortunate examples of Resistance (like Pikachu & Zekrom-GX). Duraludon is a Basic Pokémon; minimum deck space, time to field, etc. This is still as good as it gets Stage-wise, which comes as no surprise.
130 HP is about as likely to be OHKO’d as not, which is decent as it isn’t that hard to get Duraludon on the field. [R] Weakness is dangerous right now, with small comfort coming from big [R] attacks usually OHKOing 130 HP before Weakness. Any Resistance is appreciated; Grass Resistance isn’t too useful right now, but there’s still a chance Rillaboom (Sword & Shield 014/202; SS – Black Star Promos SWSH006) with start to live up to the hype. A Retreat Cost of [CC] is typical, and neither difficult nor easy to pay; Air Balloon can still zero it out, at least.
Duraludon knows two attacks. For [C] it can use “Metal Sharpener” to do 20 damage and attach a [M] Energy from the discard to one of your Pokémon. There are no attachment restrictions on the Pokémon receiving the Energy, other than being one of your own. The wording doesn’t specify “basic” Metal Energy, but that’s the only kind that counts as [M] while in your discard pile. It is a handy little attack, but only worth using if you’re willing (or even wanting) to sacrifice Duraludon, or it is very early game. “Power Beam” costs [MMC] for Duraludon to use and does 110 damage. It should be doing about 20 more damage for the asking price, but at least Metal Sharpener makes it a bit easier to power-up.
Duraladon seems like a solid opener for [M] Type decks, in the vein of Registeel (SM – Crimson Invasion 68/111; SM – Black Star Promos SM75). I don’t seem to recall Regiseel being in a lot of winning [M] Type decks; a few for a time, but no where near as many as I predicted. Which is part of why I have expectations for this card. The other part is even easier to understand. Unless the slot has to be used for a Basic Pokémon, I think I’d rather use it to increase my odds of an early-game Metal, or of Zacian V’s “Intrepeid Sword” Ability hitting the card I want. Energy Switch means I may even be able to get those Metal Energy cards attached to non-Metal targets.
That Registeel still isn’t seeing success in Expanded, and if I had a deck where I wanted to attach basic Metal Energy quickly, not only do I still have Metal Saucer, but Max Elixir and Bronzong (XY – Phantom Forces 61/119; XY – Black Star Promos XY21). Duraludon can be found in the Zamazenta Theme Deck. I’ve only just started to test the two new Theme Decks, but so far, I’m not too impressed. Duraludon doesn’t have a lot of ways to get basic Metal Energy into the discard pile as I’d like, either, hampering its performance. Which sounds about like the Limited Format. Duraludon might be at its best there, where it can justify adding Metal Energy to a mono-Type or multi-Type deck without it, just to cover the [C] Energy requirements and have another solid beatstick.
Duraldon is decent card, but with fantastic competition (Metal Saucer and/or Zacian V). It is a long shot, but if you back it with Galarian Perrserker (Sword & Shield 128/202; SS – Black Star Promos SWSH008; SSH – Rebel Crash 205/192) and other [M] support, maybe you can craft a decent single-Prize deck. As you may have gathered by now, Duraludon didn’t make my Top 15, though I do understand why it made someone else’s.
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