Dusk Mane Necrozma-GX
– Ultra Prism
February 19, 2018
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
When one looks at Dusk Mane Necrozma-GX, one might wonder how to make use of this Pokémon. The attacks are nothing special, just some attacks that does damage without other useful effects. Claw Slash does 60 for CCC; Meteor Tempest does 220 for MMMC with a forced three energy discard; and Sun’s Eclipse does 250 for MMM if you are behind on prizes.
This Pokémon gives me the impression that it is a solid beatstick that needs support because the energy costs take a long while to get powered up. Fortunately, this set also brings Magnezone and Mt. Coronet. Magnezone provides unlimited Metal energy attachments while Mt. Coronet recovers two Metal energies. Thus, you have a lot of reliable engine to meet any attack costs associated with metal or Colorless with ease.
With those supportive pieces, Dusk Mane Necrozma GX can reliably use Meteor Tempest with ease while smacking for 220 damage, and backed with Choice Band means you can OHKO any Pokemon. Discarding three energies also means that opposing Gardevoir or X-Ball variants can’t punish you too hard due to having fewer energies. Sun’s Ecplise can actually be good if you lacked Choice Band or fall short of an OHKO due to Metal Resistance and/or other damage reduction cards.
Overall, Dusk Mane Necrozma GX is the new Black Kyurem EX of BW Plasma Storm. If you can get going in your setup and your opponent can’t respond quick enough, you could win the game! In Limited, if you pulled this, it would be a must run for using Claw Slash and Sun’s Ecplise, but if you get 2-2-2 Magnezone line, then Meteor Tempest becomes easy to spam as well.
Lo and behold, the best recipient for Magnetic Circuit is here. As well as being the main face of Ultra Prism, Dusk Mane Necrozma may just be the face of nuking Pokemon in the 2 years it will be in the Standard format.
As it is a nuker, its build isn’t designed to be that high – 190 HP is quite high for a Basic Pokemon-GX, its a Metal type which carries the standard type matchups and a heavy 3 retreat cost, the same as what a normal Solgaleo might have. But come on, we don’t look at Dusk Mane for the stats; Celesteela-GX is the Metal Pokemon you might want to look if you want to be impressed by card stats.
All eyes are headed towards one attack – the very aptly named Meteor Tempest. For [M][M][M][C] it deals a whopping 220 damage (250 with a Choice Band) and it discards 3 energies attached to it after attacking. On its own, this is a terrible attack. It doesn’t have build in energy acceleration or energy recovery abilities or attacks to stream Meteor Tempest every turn. But when Magnezone’s Magnetic Circuit ability and engine is thrown in… there’s where the party starts! Now you have a mon which can now stream 220 damage every turn and loop in the energies discarded by Meteor Tempest via Magnetic Circuit, OHKOing everything in sight. It also has two other attacks in Sun’s Eclipse GX for [M][M][M] that deals 250 damage but you can only use it only if you have more prizes left than the opponent and Claw Slash for [C][C][C] that deals 60 damage. Both attacks also have their situational uses – Sun’s Eclipse GX can be use if your setup is a bit laggy and can afford to use an overkill nuke, and Claw Slash can be used to OHKO evolving basic Pokemon which has 60 HP without having to discard 3 energies every turn. 190 HP also means that it isn’t easily retaliated back as well. Being a Metal type also has its merits – it overkills all Fairy decks, deals heavy dents in any other decks, and the main rival of Metal decks which are Electric decks are not very popular. They might though, if Dusk Mane sees a lot of play.
However, as good as Dusk Mane is, it is one of those cards whose weakness is dependency. Just like Black Kyurem-EX (BW PLS) Black Ballista which is bad normally but with the help of Blastoise becomes a nuking god, Dusk Mane is very dependent of Magnezone to be able to actually do anything. If Magnezone gets up late, Dusk Mane might has just been an easy two prizes because it failed to get anything out. Nevertheless, Dusk Mane is one of the few actual chase cards from this set and it’s a good one at that, and surely, like Buzzwole-GX did, the hype it gives will transform into multiple successes in tournaments, both big and small. Just be careful of Greninja and ability lock.
Dusk Mane Necrozma GX (UP 163) descends into the meta from the recent Ultra Prism expansion set. This Basic Pokemon has 190 HP (which is becoming SO much more valuable than 180 HP) and three attacks. For three Colorless, Claw Slash does 60, for four energy (three Metal and a Colorless), Meteor Tempest does an astounding 220 (discard 3 energy), and for three Metal energy, Sun’s Eclipse GX does 250 damage (but can only be used if behind in prizes).
I am now 4 W 12 L with Dusk Mane Necrozma GX. I did finally win with a version of it given to me by FayId (I’ll post it over on my website Pokedeck Central when he gives me clearance). I actually went 4 W 4 L with it tonight, and I horribly misplayed (story of my weekend) in a couple of games, so I wouldn’t be surprised if I shouldn’t be 5 W 3 L or even 6 W 2 L.
Overall, however, Battlestar Necrozma has just not lived up to expectations so far. I’ve gone 7 W 5 L against it, and I don’t think it did much in Collinsville. As of the time of this writing, I only know top 8 in Collinsville and the winner of Malmo (you can see those also over on PDC), and I know that Dusk Mane was not among them.
Standard: 3 out of 5
I will definitely say that I think that Dusk Mane still has upside, and I still think that someone will put together a top notch list in the next couple of weeks that will do very well. I know there is a strategy to success with it, it’s just somewhat difficult to achieve that strategy, but it does have a path to victory against pretty much every deck not starting with the letter V and rhyming with Volcanion. I’m still going to mess around with this deck and see if I can’t get it to live up to the hype it received prior to UP’s release, it’s got way to much potential to give up on it.
What do you review the week after covering your top 10 picks from the latest expansion? The runners-up, of course! We begin with Dusk Mane Necrozma-GX (SM – Ultra Prism 90/156, 145/156, 163/156). This Pokémon just barely missed taking 10th place: both it and Dialga-GX earned 33 voting points, but Dialga-GX did so by appearing on three lists, while Dusk Mane Necrozma-GX only appeared on two. With how the math has to work, that means Dusk Mane Necrozma-GX either showed up really high on one list or showed up fairly high on two and in this case, it was the latter. So, what impresses about Dusk Mane Necrozma-GX?
Besides the art – whether you like it or not, it [b]is[/b] eye-catching – Dusk Mane Necrozma-GX is about big numbers in most regards. The biggest of these numbers come “Sun’s Eclipse-GX”, swinging for 250 damage. You’ll OHKO anything if it only depends on printed HP, and even with HP boosts and other defensive buffs, almost everything you’re likely to encounter in competitive play is going down in one hit. The catch? There are actually three significant drawbacks to this attack. The most obvious is that it is a GX-attack, so you can pull this trick off once per game at best. The second – and still quite visible – is that it requires [MMM], enough that any deck using it will need to specialize in meeting such a cost. Not just running on basic Metal Energy, but being good at accelerating them or – even more rare – a Special Energy that can provide [M] Energy. The third isn’t exactly hidden, but it can easily be overlooked at a glance; the effect text for the attack states that Sun’s Eclipse-GX may only be used if you have more Prizes remaining in play than your opponent. Hardly a deal breaker, but it means minding the Prize count, which sometimes doesn’t reflect which player is actually ahead.
The next biggest number and largest Energy cost belongs to the card’s second biggest attack, “Meteor Tempest”. Meteor Tempest hits for 220 damage, enough to OHKO all but a few exceptional Basic, Pokémon-EX/GX like Wailord-EX. It also is enough to OHKO all Pokémon which are neither Pokémon-EX or Pokémon-GX, as well as many Mega Evolutions and Evolved Pokémon-GX. Please note that I am, again, speaking based on printed HP scores; damage reducing effects, HP buffs, etc. provide enough exceptions to matter, even after we consider using something like Choice Band so that Meteor Temptest hits for 250 against the biggest targets. With all that said and done, this is a terrific amount of damage, but this is an example of “you get what you pay for” as the attack not only requires [MMMMC] but that you discard three Energy from the Pokémon using it. Actually, I’m not 100% certain that you’re even getting what you paid for with a price that steep. I am not saying that this ruins the card; far from it, this is still a great attack! It just means decks that plan on using it will definitely need a good chunk of Energy acceleration, preferably of the reusable variety.
The final big number does not come from an attack, and needs more context to fully appreciate. As you know from the name alone, Dusk Mane Necrozma-GX is a Pokémon-GX, and worth an additional Prize when KO’d and has to deal with certain detrimental card effects specifically because of being a Pokémon-GX. It is also a Basic Pokémon, and this is the best Stage for a Pokémon to be (even if I rant about how it should be an effectively neutral trait). It hurts when this card gets KO’d, but you can easily get it to the field. Which is why that 190 HP is great but not impossibly so; this isn’t the largest HP score we’ve seen on a Basic Pokémon-EX or Pokémon-GX, but it’s on the high end of what is typical and being just 10-20 above the norm is enough to create significant instances where it can survive a hit to attack again. This is on top of the durability share by most cards in the 160 to 240 HP range; OHKO’s can happen, but 2HKO’s are likely. Weakness is one of the things that can shift the numbers dramatically, so while it isn’t a number itself, [R] Weakness lets you know the most likely attackers to take Dusk Mane Necrozma-GX down in a single hit.
The rest of the card isn’t insignificant but will matter much less. Being a [M] Pokémon is much less important to Type support than utilizing [M] Energy, at least right now. Exploiting Weakness is normally a huge deal, and will allow this card to hit some crazy numbers, but not only are [M] Weak Pokémon not as common a sight as they were a few months ago, but two of the three attacks on Necrozma-GX are already OHKO’s for most of what they would hit before Weakness. At least [M] Resistance, while present in the cardpool, isn’t common in the top cut at the moment and has to be on something fairly big to matter even when present. Resistance is a small bonus, anyway, unless it affects key matchups, which is why the [P] Resistance here is appreciated but not a big deal. The Retreat cost of [CCC] is chunky; make sure you’ve got alternatives to retreating at full price. It probably matters more than the Resistance, but most decks already pack multiple options for dealing with this issue; if you’re lucky, you might find a deck that can actually benefit from the Retreat Cost thanks to Heavy Ball. Probably the least important aspect of Dusk Mane Necrozma-GX is its first attack, which is why I saved it for last. “Claw Slash” needs [CCC], which is good for a card’s priciest attack but worrisome for its budget option. It does 60 damage, which isn’t awful for three of any Energy, but even as a vanilla hit you expect at least 70 and prefer 80 to 100. If you can’t use anything else, it is here and a Choice Band allows it to 2HKO up to a 180 HP Basic Pokémon-EX/GX (sans protection or healing, of course).
Alright, with all that out of the way how do you use Dusk Mane Necrozma-GX and in what decks? Thanks to this last weekend, we’ve pretty much got confirmation on both of these things, with the only remaining question being whether these decks are on their way up or on their way out after just 15 minutes of fame. This past weekend there were two Regional Championships, one in Collinsville, IN (USA) and another in Malmö, Sweden, the first where SM – Ultra Prism is legal. I don’t have any results for Collinsville, but Limitless has extensive lists of players, their decks, and how they placed for Sweden’s event. The most hyped and newest are decks built around Magnezone (SM – Ultra Prism 83/156) and its [M] Energy accelerating “Magnetic Circuit” Ability. This, backed by a solid deck, will allow you to constantly attach and re-attach the needed Energy for Meteor Tempest, allow you to include a few other useful alternate attackers, and probably results in a slower start so your opponent will really have to work to avoid enabling Sun’s Eclipse-GX. I don’t know how heavily played this deck was going into the event, but only the one piloted by Ryan Moorhouse of Great Britain managed a Top 32 finish in the Masters Age Bracket (specifically, 23rd place). Definitely not living up to the hype the deck had going into the event, but we’ve seen slow starts for decks that would eventually dominate the metagame, so it is far too early to count it out yet.
The next options for Dusk Mane Necrozma-GX is putting it into already existing Metagross-GX decks, utilizing its Ability to – again – rapidly reload after attacking. A build sporting two Dusk Mane Necrozma-GX managed a 25th place finish at the same Regional Championship, this time played by Jimmy Wuyts of Belgium. Again, I have no idea of Metagross-GX was played heavily or sparingly going into the event, but in the top 32, we have only this one instance. The option I didn’t see coming, but which managed an 18th place finish in Sweden was used by Seb Symonds; at four copies, Dusk Mane Necrozma-GX was clearly the deck’s main attacker, but based on the list it was making good use of Mew (XY – Fates Collide 29/124), Registeel (SM – Crimson Invasion 68/111) and Solgaleo [Prism Star] to fuel the beast… well, those and four Max Elixir. Actually, I did see this deck coming, I just dismissed it outright. As with the other two, it neither proves nor disproves that future versions of the deck are going to perform. This is already more from it than I expected, and it is enough to persuade me that I’d better reserve judgment for when I’ve got more data.
Of course, the Regional in question was a Standard Format event… how about Expanded? I’m not seeing one scheduled until April, so I’d stick with “cautious optimism” until then. Dusk Mane Necrozma-GX is using a formula we’ve seen work many times over the history of the game; the big, Basic beatstick fueled by other cards, creating an offense meant to overwhelm the opponent. I expect something similar to Standard, but less pronounced. For Limited Format play, this is a good pull, but not a great one. Why? So much overkill; most of the time, Claw Slash hits too soft – yeah, even here – and everything else hits too hard. All attacks hit too slow to risk a +39 approach; even if that wasn’t the case, running Dusk Mane Necrozma-GX as your only Basic would also mean Sun’s Eclipse-GX was unusable. The reload time on Meteor Tempest already makes it so that you’re best off reserving this kitty-kat(?) for a big, final blow. If you pull one and a solid Magnezone line, you’re incredibly lucky but will probably only lose if your luck suddenly sours. Finally, while I explained how Dusk Mane Necrozma-GX ranked in general earlier, for my personal list, it was a no-show. Unless this card falls off the face of the Earth for the rest of its Standard-legal lifespan, that was a mistake; it has already done enough that it should have made my list which, even in 20th place, would have bumped it up to our 10th place finisher. Instead, it has to settle for 11th place.
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