– SM Ultra Prism
February 13, 2018
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
It’s interesting to see how different cards rank on different lists simply based on the presence of other cards more than just their own moment. Magnezone is definitely one of those cards, and seeing his Ability is enough to note why he’s our #4.
Magnezone is a Stage 2 Metal Pokemon, 150 HP, with a Fire Weakness, Psychic Resistance, and a Retreat Cost of 2. His most noteworthy attribute isn’t his stats though – although 150 HP is still as respectable these days as it was as far back as the BW era – but rather it’s his Magnetic Circuit Ability. Think like Blastoise’s Deluge or Emboar’s Inferno Fandango, but now for Metal Pokemon. We’ve already seen a couple good partners for this Ability with Dialga-GX in Standard and…Dialga-EX in Expanded…huh. But don’t be fooled, there are other capable Metal Pokemon that have come out to take advantage of this as well. Dusk Mane Necrozma-GX is actually best supported with this guy tagging along! To cement his Bench-sitting status, Magnezone comes complete with Zap
Cannon, a 4-for-130 move that prevents you from using the same move on your next turn.
So the idea is simple – evolve your Magnemites to Magnezone and start reaping the benefits of Magnetic Circuit. As I mentioned before, Dusk Mane Necrozma-GX – while not exactly the better between the two Necrozma-GX variants, in my opinion – does come with a powerful set of moves that frankly benefit from having Magnezone around. Think of it like the new Black Kyurem-EX, with its Meteor Impact becoming the new Black Ballista
and only using one Type of Energy. The main difference I see between the two though is that Black Kyurem-EX was KOing every Pokemon at the time with its attack, as long as they didn’t have a Safeguard-esque Ability, while Dusk Mane Necrozma-GX only would be KOing most outside of a Stage 2 GX with his move, though with Choice Band around that likely doesn’t matter too much.
The only other thing needed to complete the set-up is a few recovery cards, and this set also gave us a Stadium to do just that in Mt. Coronet, which brings back 2 Metal Energy from the discard pile back to your hand. It’s also a handy Stadium for Alolan Dugtrio for recycling Energy as well, so you can imagine the kinds of shenanigans you can pull off with Magnezone – and that’s really all in just one deck! So keep an eye on Magnezone, cause as long as there are Metal decks in the format, chances are they will be benefiting strongly from his presence.
Standard: 4/5 (Metal’s in a pretty good position because of this set in Standard – Energy recovery, acceleration, and big attackers)
Expanded: 4/5 (it will likely give Gardevoir-GX a run for her money, considering she’s weak to Metal)
Limited: 4/5 (and of course Magnezone helps support this deck quite well)
Arora Notealus: Magnezone, like Blastoise and Emboar before it, is only really as good as the partners he has, and he has some great partners to work off of. Usually the trend of these sets tends to be to not focus so much on a Type that just got strongly boosted, so we likely will have to wait a couple of sets for more Metal Pokemon that Magnezone can support…although I can’t say that I’m 100% on that either.
Next Time: Speaking of Necrozma-GX, let’s talk about the one from the night…
Taking fourth place in our SM – Ultra Prism countdown is Magnezone (SM – Ultra Prism 83/156), and it is here because of its Ability “Magnetic Circuit” and what it can do for various Energy-hungry attackers (but mostly [M] Types). The wording can be a bit misleading if you’re new or just aren’t familiar with the sometimes peculiar nature of effect wording in TCG’s as a whole. Magnetic Circuit allows you to attach as many [M] Energy from your hand to your Pokémon in play as you wish. For the purposes of triggering certain effects, each [M] Energy it attached one at a time; you can attach them all to a single Pokémon or divvy them out between all or just some of your other Pokémon in play. Only basic Metal Energy cards count as [M] while in hand and you can only use this effect during your turn before you attack. Unless an effect forces you to skip your normal draw for the turn, you also cannot attach Energy until after that has occurred. We’ve had non-attack, Pokémon-based effects like this since the first release of Blastoise (Base Set 2/102; Base Set 2 2/130) back in January of 1999; sometimes they fall flat, but they can also dominate the metagame and usually produce at least one marginally competitive deck.
The rest of the card matters, but mostly to give you an idea of how much effort it’ll take to get Magnezone into play (and keep it there). As is often the case, the fact that this Magnezone is a [M] Type is largely irrelevant; there are times when it will come in handy, maybe even a select few times when it will be a drawback, but mostly it is a non-issue as (spoiler) you aren’t going to be attacking with this Magnezone unless you’re desperate. After all, it is a Stage 2; you’re going to have to invest time and other resources to get it to the field. It has 150 HP, which is very good for a Stage 2 but still within OHKO range of many competitive decks; put the Ability, Stage, and HP together and you should probably have a Magnemite, Magneton, or even spare Magnezone on the Bench as well so that you don’t have to go without Magnetic Circuit the turn after your opponent KO’s Magnezone. [R] Weakness isn’t the worst, but it’s still dangerous, while [P] Resistance isn’t a big deal but it is still a welcome bonus; the Retreat Cost of [CC] is high enough you won’t want to pay it but low enough you usually can. Zap Canon needs [MMMC] to do 130, and it prevents the user from using Zap Cannon on the next turn; a little overpriced or underpowered, but decent enough in a pinch thanks to Magnetic Circuit.
There are a few other members of the Magnezone card family worth mentioning quickly here: Magnemite (SM – Ultra Prism 81/156) has an Ability that protects it from damage while on your Bench, Magnezone (BW – Plasma Storm 46/135) a.k.a. Magnezone [Plasma] has an Ability that allows you to use a second Supporter during your turn, and Magnezone (XY – BREAKthrough 54/162) has the first version of Magnetic Circuit, which worked with [L] Energy instead of [M]. The new Magnemite seems extra important if Buzzwole-GX is going to remain a presence in both Standard and Expanded; sure, you could run something else to protect your Bench (and may even need to), but built-in protection is too good to pass up. If you’re going to use this in Expanded, even though it eats up a precious spot on your Bench, an extra Supporter each turn seems too good to pass up (and the Ability doesn’t stack, so just one is plenty).
I did not bring up the older [L] version of Magnetic Circuit, and its Magnezone, because you should run the two together. Unless we get some surprise release that requires both [L] and [M] Energy and is great, anyway. I brought it up because we actually picked that as our eighth place pick back when we selected our top 10 cards of XY – BREAKthrough. This Magnezone has regularly had folks trying to build a competitive deck around but it never seemed to happen. We’d come close, but in the end, relying on a Stage 2 that was neither a Pokémon-GX nor protected in some manner just didn’t work out. Which isn’t to say we haven’t seen such effects prove competitive, even recently. Blastoise (BW – Boundaries Crossed 31/149; BW – Plasma Storm 137/135; BW – Plasma Blast 16/101) was one of the best decks in the game for a time nearer its release and even enjoyed at least one resurgence when augmented by Archie’s Ace in the Hole. Blastoise is only legal in Expanded right now, but I’m not sure if it is still especially competitive. Cody Graham managed to take 36th place with it at the recent Regional Championship in Dallas, TX so perhaps it still has life in it.
For the Standard Format, many are expecting Magnezone to become the backbone of a hard-hitting [M] deck, using Dialga-GX and/or Dusk Mane Necrozma-GX as key attackers. This would provide both brute force and some technical trickery, and we do have some additional supporting options to help deal with issues like Ability denial. We are also lacking vital support like Superior Energy Retrieval; yes, we have Mt. Coronet but we don’t have Tropical Beach. Perhaps I am just being pessimistic, but I keep running into small, key differences like that between when Blastoise was good and what this Magnezone faces now… plus the failure of its [L] Type sibling make me wonder if the current metagame is adequately friendly to this deck. If Gardevoir-GX was still the deck to beat, I’d be a lot more confident. Instead, [M] decks are the ones that seem to be on the menu, even before they’ve proven themselves. In Expanded, Magnezone doesn’t have Archie’s Ace in the hole but it has Magnezone [Plasma] and that actually counts for a lot with me. If you pull the entire line in the Limited Format, unless you just can’t get enough other Pokémon that can run on Metal Energy, or pull the right Basic Pokémon-GX, you’re going to build your deck around Magnezone.
Magnezone takes fourth place in our countdown by appearing on all five of our personal lists, but on mine, it was in 14th place (remember, I submitted a top 20). I think I’ve explained why reasonably well in the article above; it has a lot of potential, but even if Magnezone becomes the next big thing it will be through supporting several other cards, and I wouldn’t count on it staying on top all that long even if it makes it there.
Magnezone has placed high on the list, and that’s because it has an ability which is familiar to players because they know how to best utilize such abilities. Magnetic Circuit allows unlimited basic Metal Energy attachments to any of your Pokémon. No matter what the energy costs are, you’ll be sure to meet them with ease, as long as attack costs consist of metal or colorless energy.
This ability is good. Is it broken? I don’t think so. Despite meeting attack costs with ease, the amount of energy on that Pokémon is stuck there, waiting for opposing Pokémon that can punish your Pokémon for having too much energy. Gardevoir-GX or any of the “ball” trinity consisting of Mewtwo-EX, Lugia-EX, and Yveltal-EX can return fire for a possible KO. Even if that’s not the case, there are other abilities related to Metal energy cards that seem to be more efficient than going all out. Klinklang BW has Shift Gear, which moves Metal Energy around, and is viable for the Max Potion strategy. Bronzong has the ability called Metal Links in which you put a Metal energy from the discard to one of your Benched Pokémon, and that ability actually conserves resources and fuel up attacks to some extent. Coincidentally, even the BreakThrough version of Magnezone is being competed with Eelectrik, which did the same as Bronzong, but with Lightning energy.
Magnezone has an attack, which while being filler, actually does enough to make it worthwhile as an attacker. That MMMC cost can be easily met with Magnetic Circuit, and 130 damage is the magic number needed for 2HKOs since the highest printed HP is currently 250. Any Pokémon weak to Metal, which is mostly Fairies and certain Water Pokémon who represent Ice types in the games, will get OHKO by this support Pokémon.
This card will have it’s place in Standard and Expanded for the ability alone. In Limited, one of the Evolution packs has 3-2-2 Magnezone line, so you should be ready to swing for big damage regardless of the attack costs. Obviously, you have to deal with fire weakness and ability denial, which would completely ruin this Pokémon’s value.
Oh Maggie I couldn’t have tried any more
You lured me away from home just to save you from being alone
You stole my heart and that’s what really hurt
Magnezone (UP 83) has attracted the attention of many TCG players since it was revealed a couple months ago. The idea of pairing it with Dusk Mane Necrozma and Dialga and Solgaleo (Big Daddy, Baby, and Prism) had many players brimming with excitement over the prospects of this deck. Being able to hit for 220, 230, 250, 870, 1510 … as William H Macy says in Jurassic Park III, “I could write all kinds of numbers on this check, Dr. Grant,” well, the possiblity of consistently executing that kind of damage was something we all wanted to try to exploit.
Unfortunately, like both “Maggie May” and Jurassic Park III, Metalcrozma has been somewhat disappointing. Remember how ten years ago the big banks were “Too big to fail?” Metalcrozma, to me, seems to be too big to succeed. It just takes too much to get it set up and then too much to keep it going. Like Leafeon yesterday, it also is very susceptible to Parallel City and Cyrus, and ability lock from Greninja or BKP Garbodor significantly limits it (although you could use Pokemon such as Solgaleo Prism or Rayquaza (GRI 106) to potentially quickly reload it. And I’ve mentioned a number of times now, the value of being able to OHKO a 200+HP Pokemon is becoming more and more significant. I used to say, “If you hit for 200 one turn but zero the next, you’re really only hitting for 100 a turn.” However, if that 200 (or more) is OHKOing your opponent’s feature Pokemon, yeah maybe you can afford to take a turn off, so long as you can sustain that 200+ damage in the next turn. Also like Leafeon yesterday, it’s something pretty close to an autoloss against Volcanion.
Standard: 3.5 out of 5
I have said on a couple of different occasions that I think someone will come up with a Metalcrozma list that will dominate in Collinsville. I am less certain of that now that we have had a week plus to actually live in this new post UP meta. I’ve gone 0 W 8 L now with a couple of different iterations of this deck. However, let me also say that I am in a HUGE slump right now. I’m actually barely winning more than 40% of my games on PTCGO, whereas I finished January at almost 60%. I won five PTCGO tournaments the last weekend of January (the weekend of Dallas Regionals) and came in second in a couple others. I am really struggling to find my footing in this new meta, and I definitely haven’t found it with Metalcrozma – I will not be taking this behemoth to Collinsville.
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