– Cosmic Eclipse

Date Reviewed:
January 14, 2020

Ratings Summary:
Standard: 3.00
Expanded: 1.75
Limited: 3.00

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

Reviews Below:

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Magneton (SM – Cosmic Eclipse 69/236) is an evolving Stage 1 Pokémon, something we don’t often give much thought.  Why is this one an exception?  The Ability, but let’s cover the rest of the card first, though I’m telling you now, the Ability will make it mostly irrelevant.  [L] Typing means you can access a decent pool of support but Magneton doesn’t utilize it especially well.  80 HP makes it fairly easy to OHKO, [F] Weakness isn’t as bad as I think it ought to be, [M] Resistance is better than nothing but not likely to matter all that often, and the Retreat Cost of [CC] is low enough you can probably afford it but high enough you’d rather not pay it.  Magneton can use the attack “Magnetic Blast” for [LLC] to do 50 damage, which is badly overpriced.

Okay, now for the Ability, “Call Signal”.  This Ability lets you fetch three Supporters from your deck to add to your hand, then you KO the Magneton whose Call Signal you used.  Which means you’re not going to be evolving into Magnezone, which may be why SM – Cosmic Eclipse doesn’t even contain that evolution!  Is it sacrificing a Stage 1 while going down a Prize to get three Supporters?  In isolation, I’d say “no” but the PCL likes to create cards that reward you and/or punish your opponent for having taken more Prize cards than you.  Some of these are Supporters, and one of them is Lt. Surge’s Strategy.  Yeah, they’re spoon-feeding us this combo; it would only be more blatant if Lt. Surge had shown up in the artwork… and he is displayed prominently in the art of Magnemite (SM – Cosmic Eclipse 242/236), the Secret Rare version of Magnemite (SM – Cosmic Eclipse 68/236)!

If you need it stated explicitly, Magneton’s big use in the Standard Format is to all but ensure you’re down a Prize and have Lt. Surge’s Strategy plus whatever other two Supporters you need in hand at the exact right time.  Carter Barsh ran a single Magneton in the Pidgeotto (SM – Team Up 123/181) deck he piloted to a 17th-place finish at San Diego, CA Regional Championship on December 7, 2019.  The deck didn’t even bother with Magnemite, though it did have Ditto {*}.  If placing that high doesn’t sound impressive, remember that this was out of 580 players in the Masters Division.  However, I actually expected Magneton to have already seen more success than this.  What gives?

You can’t evolve into Magneton on your first turn, and the Standard Format is aggressive enough that odds are good you’ll be down a Prize without needing to use Call Signal.  This specific Pidgeotto Control lists maxes out Acro Bike, Pokégear 3.0, and runs a 4-4 Pidgetto line.  Magneton is there to help push the deck’s reliability over the top, but there were five other Pidgeotto-backed lists (some control, some beatdown) that finished higher and did not bother with Magneton.  I really do like Magneton for that added bit of reliability, but based on the results, I can’t say it is clearly needed.  If you really need to work on your setup and give up a Prize, you have Mismagius (SM – Unbroken Bonds 78/214), which can hit the field on a player’s first turn (even T1!) thanks to Dusk Stone.

In the Expanded Format, we regain access to more Supporters that reward a player for being “behind” in Prizes, however, Lt. Surge’s Strategy is banned.  There are a few other decks where having multiple Supporters in hand could be useful, but we still have other (often deck specific) options.  Nor am I aware of any of these decks being particularly successful.  As for the Limited Format, I would risk the Magneton line but remember that you only start with four Prizes, and even here its stats and attack aren’t good.  Bench it when you can, then (unlike in the Constructed Formats) wait until there’s a turn when you can really capitalize on the Ability.  Though go ahead and use it right away if that really is the best play.


  • Standard: 3/5
  • Expanded: 1/5
  • Limited: 3/5

Magneton isn’t strong in and of itself, but its combo potential is quite high, and likely to get higher.  It almost seems inevitable that this will greatly empower – perhaps even break – some future Supporter because of an effect that absolutely should not be able to be used twice in a turn and/or where searching it out while giving up a Prize is just that important.  Maybe both at once!  Some of what I just said is also with an eye on future potential bans.  So, even in Expanded – where I awarded the minimum possible score – keep an eye on Magneton!

aroramage avatar

Pidgeotto Control continues to be a pretty powerful deck in its own right. It may not be outright winning tournaments, but it’s got a good following and lands near the top a lot of the time, and sometimes it’s those crazy tech cards you never see coming that actually makes the deck even stronger.

Magneton is a Stage 1 Lightning Pokemon, 80 HP, with a Fighting Weakness, a Metal Resistance, and a Retreat Cost of 2. Magnetic Blast is a 3-for-50 that hits the opponent with a powerful magnetic wave, scrambling their electronics and preventing them or anyone else within a 5-meter radius from using their cell phones in the midst of a tournament, so they better get used to writing things down on paper if they want to keep track of what’s Poisoned and what-not. More importantly, Call Signal is an Ability that lets you search for 3 Supporters from your deck and add them to your hand, but if you do add them, Magneton gets KO’d.

Sounds like a big risk, right? Well, when you’ve got powerful Supporter techs like Will and Rosa, as well as powerhouses like Lt. Surge’s Strategy, Mars, and Professor Elm’s Lecture, it’s not hard to see why the risk was well worth it for Carter, who made it all the way to 17th place with Magneton in his Pidgeotto Control build at San Diego last month! Even with just Ditto <Prism> as his Evolution target, he felt that it was worth running Magneton to get his Supporters out of the deck whenever he needed them for whatever situation he needed them for. Considering the results, I can’t say I disagree with him.

That said, this is one of the only decks out there that’s even running Magneton at all, despite the massive gains it can provide. As a Stage 1 Pokemon, it’s got easy access through Ditto <Prism>, but you won’t be able to play it on your first turn or the turn you play your chosen evolving Basic – whether that’s Ditto or Magnemite. On top of that, it’s a set-up requiring 2 cards to get you only 3 cards, which doesn’t seem worthwhile outside of a slower control-oriented playstyle, so it’s understandable why it doesn’t make the cut for a lot of other decks.

Still, when you can play it to such startling efficiency that you can land near the top of a major tournament, it’s something that’s bound to turn heads and get people looking at cards like Magneton, and I think we can all appreciate that for sure.


Standard: 3/5 (a solid tech option in a pretty strong deck)

Expanded: 2.5/5 (while there are more powerful Supporters to choose from, there’s also the matter of competition to what can be used to get those Supporters)

Limited: 3/5 (though there are a lot of Supporters here, losing even 1 Prize out of 4 is a tall order)

Arora Notealus: Like many middle stages, I think Magneton is the kind of Pokemon that could be easily overlooked in favor of the bigger Stage 2 Magnezone or the various EX/GX/V/VMAX Pokemon that feature prominently in many decks. But it’s like one guy with spiky hair riding a motorcycle once said, “Any card, so long as it exists, has the potential to be useful.” Course that’s a lot more true for something like Yugioh or Magic, where a legacy-style format exists with every card ever created, but hey, Pokemon cards can be useful too!

Next Time: Starting up the bonfire of victory!

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