Mega Sableye & Tyranitar-GX
– Unified Minds
October 4, 2019
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Rounding off the week comes Mega Sableye & Tyranitar-GX, and this card is pretty devastating to have and face against!
To start with, these Pokémon are about big numbers, and some aspects of this card shows that. With a 280 HP Pokémon (the second highest of the game) that has two attacks that does 200+ damage for five energies, you’ll be hard pressed to find someone that would have a chance to 1v1 these Pokémon. It goes without saying that there something to work with and proudly becomes one of the members of the Dark toolbox.
Greedy Crush costs DDDDC for 210 damage, and if your opponent’s Pokémon-EX or Pokémon-GX is Knocked Out by this attack, you get to take a prize card. Pokémon-EX and Pokémon-GX already give 2 prizes by default, so knocking them out with Greedy Crush makes you get three prizes. If a TAG TEAM Pokémon gets knocked out by this attack, then you get to take four prizes! This attack can make games extremely short when facing opposing EX/GX Pokémon. As for dealing with single-prize attackers, you won’t get the bonus. But I doubt that any non-EX/GX Pokémon has more than 200 HP, so Greedy Crush takes them out one by one even though the process takes a bit longer than EX/GX Pokemon. Speaking about EX/GX Pokémon, Greedy Crush can KO most of them: Basic EX, Basic GX, some Mega Evolutions, and some Stage 1 GXs. With a little bit of help from Choice Band and maybe Reverse Valley or Devoured Field, 250 damage can extend the list of OHKOs you can do: all Stage 2 GXs and some low end TAG TEAMs.
Gigafall also costs DDDDC, but doing 250 damage, which can help reach certain KOs that Greedy Crush won’t be able to do. If it has five extra energy attached to them, then you discard the top 15 cards of your opponent’s deck. All I can say is……………WOW! 15 cards is almost 1/3 of someone’s deck (after factoring drawing 7 cards to find a basic and putting 6 more cards down as their face down prizes). It takes a moment for your opponent to realize that they’re digging too deep of their deck, only for Sabltar (customized shortened name of this Tag Team) to come in and mill the last remaining cards and win via deck out. It does more than Charizard’s Raging Out attack, which only mills ten cards instead of fifteen. The timing is important though; you do not want your opponent to know (or to put it into play) that you can potentially do this.
So those attacks are nice and all, but the problem is getting those energies in the first place. Five energies is pretty steep, even more so at ten. For standard, I can only think of using Darkrai Prism Star to instantly attach two dark energies from your hand to this Pokémon. There’s also Naganadel’s Charging Up to attach a Dark energy from the discard pile to this Pokémon. And then you have Weavile-GX’s ability to move basic dark energies around. Expanded has Dark Patch that further loads Dark energies, though I don’t know how much you really need as adding too many darkness support becomes redundant. I feel like you’ve got enough to work with regarding the ability to put energy cards on the board.
But if milling cards isn’t for you, then loading up five energies for Greedy Crush is good enough. I don’t see Standard card pool trying to compete against Sabltar, but in Expanded, there’s Guzzlord-GX that can create challenging conflicts. Glutton-GX may be a weaker attack than Greedy Crush and is a one time GX attack, if you knock out a Pokémon with Glutton, you get to take two more prize cards! You can use Nanu to switch from Sabltar to Guzzlord while those five energies are intact. Three, four, five, or even all six prizes can be taken at once (assuming it has beast bringer attached to Guzzlord). Overall, this is another good dark Pokémon that can be experimented. The only format that it probably doesn’t do well is in Limited, where you could be spending four turns not being able to attack.
We close this week with Mega Sableye & Tyranitar-GX (SM – Unified Minds 126/236, 225/236, 226/236, 245/236). As a [D] Type, this TAG TEAM isn’t overly useful for exploiting Weakness or avoiding Resistance; only some [P] Types are [D] Weak while all [Y] Types are [D] Resistant. The [D] Type still has a few decent pieces of support in Standard and a few more classics in Expanded that haven’t yet fallen to power creep. There are anti-[D] effects, but they’ve never really been worth it. As a TAG TEAM all Pokémon-GX support, counter, and exclusions apply to this card, in addition to those specific to TAG TEAM Pokémon, and that they give up three Prizes instead of two (like other Pokémon-GX) or one (like most Pokémon).
Being a TAG TEAM also means being a Basic Pokémon with elevated HP and having a GX-attack that has a bonus effect if enough extra Energy is attached. Yes, this is still a Basic Pokémon even though “Mega” is in the name. Which is good, because being a Basic is the best, the fastest and most reliable of the Stages and naturally working better with certain game mechanics. Mega Sableye & Tyranitar-GX also deliver on the elevated HP; 280 is beaten only by the 300 HP of both Magikarp & Wailord-GX, as well as Moltres & Zapdos & Articuno-GX. This is enough to tank most hits, but not all. Among the exceptions are medium-to-large attacks from [F] Types, due to this card’s Weakness; at least it isn’t too severe a Weakness at the moment, at least in Standard. This duo is extra durable against [P] Types thanks to Resistance, which isn’t a major advantage but is a nice change of pace. A Retreat Cost of [CCCC] is as high as it gets, so make sure your deck can deal with it… and possibly exploit it by including cards like Buff Padding.
Mega Sableye & Tyranitar-GX has one regular attack and a GX-attack, both with printed attack costs of [DDDDC], which is a massive amount that demands significant Energy acceleration. “Greedy Crush” does 210 damage and – if used to KO an opponent’s Pokémon-EX/GX – lets you take an additional Prize. The damage is solid for the Energy involved, given that this is a TAG TEAM Pokémon. The effect means OHKOing an opponent’s Dedenne-GX is as rewarding as OHKOing a TAG TEAM Pokémon for others while taking down an actual TAG TEAM Pokémon has the Prize payout of taking out two non-TAG TEAM Pokémon-GX. Pretty spiffy, if you can afford it.
“Gigafall-GX” can hit for 250 damage, enough to OHKO anything shy of a TAG TEAM Pokémon – and even some of those – at least before effects HP buffs, Resistance, or other protective effects. That is a little disappointing for a GX-attack, but still reasonably good. If you have at least five Energy beyond Gigafall-GX’s attack cost, its secondary effect kicks in, which discards the top 15 cards of your opponent’s deck. Barring combos I can’t even recommend using, 10 Energy is beyond a massive Energy cost; you’ll need a fantastically effective form of Energy acceleration to pull it off. The payout, however, is phenomenal. Though decks contain 60 cards, after subtracting your opening hand, Prizes, and draw we’re all starting with no more than 44 cards; many decks dramatically reduce this after only a few turns. Gigafall-GX delivers a probable OHKO with a good chance of decking an opponent out!
Yes, I find Mega Sableye & Tyranitar-GX very impressive, and we already have a deck that can unlock its potential. Probably only one deck, however; Naganadel/Weavile-GX decks, usually known as Dark Box and which I stubborn refer to as Black Box because of the power of alliteration and there being a real-world device known as such. Black Box decks aren’t performing anywhere near as I expected since their release, though that was only with the dawn of the current Standard Format. They don’t have any major wins, but Zachary Krekeler took 16th place with one at Worlds while Andrew Spence finished 54th at the Regional Championship in Sheffield, Great Britain. The deck only runs one copy of Mega Sableye & Tyranitar-GX, but that’s all the deck likely needs.
I am curious how Mega Sableye & Tyranitar-GX would fare in Expanded; that [F] Weakness is much more dangerous here but you gain access to old tricks like Dark Patch. Then again, Dark Patch probably wouldn’t matter given how much Energy this card needs even when not shooting for the full version of the GX-attack. The real strength is likely how, for as fast as decks are in Standard, draw, search and general deck-thinning is insane in Expanded. It seems quite likely that, if you pull off the full Gigafall-GX, you’ll deck out your opponent. It seems plausible that a Weavile-GX deck could work here, so I’m going to go ahead and guess at a score. For the Limited Format, even with that massive 280 HP, I don’t like the idea of running Mega Sableye & Tyranitar-GX completely solo, but if your deck can center around [D] Energy, include it alongside others!
Mega Sableye & Tyrantitar-GX is an impressive behemoth, but the massive Energy requirements mean it only works in a single deck right now, and that deck hasn’t ever cracked the top eight of recent, major events. That might make it seem like I’m scoring it too high, but I am admittedly quite fond of milling strategies.
If you guys have seen any of my previous reviews on Tyranitar, you know I love his crazy big costs for crazy big effects. Just the idea of pushing for a ton of Energy into a single Pokemon to utterly devastate an opponent fits in so well with Tyranitar. Nowadays he’s taking that to a new extreme with his newest partner in crime, Mega Sableye.
MegaSableye & Tyranitar-GX is a Basic Darkness Tag Team Pokemon-GX, 280 HP, with a Fighting Weakness, a Psychic Resistance, and a Retreat Cost of 4. Both of their attacks cost 5 Energy apiece, and for the bulk of what they are, they have some hefty effects. Greedy Crush is a merciless 5-for-210 that lets you take 1 more Prize card if you use it to KO a Pokemon-EX/GX, something that’s easily manageable given the immense amount of damage being put out. Or if you’re aiming to completely devastate your opponent, Gigafall-GX is a 5-for-250 that’s just about guaranteed to OHKO most anything outside of another Tag Team-GX, and if you have another 5 Energy attached to the duo, the attack discards 15 cards from the top of your opponent’s deck.
Let’s be realistic about all of this for a second though – there is no way you’re going to ever get Gigafall-GX to the level it needs to be to outplay your opponent. 5 Energy is on its own considered a hefty cost in this game even with Energy acceleration, but even just comparing this attack to other Tag Team-GX, it’s not even reasonable to assume you’ll be able to get this attack off with 10 Energy during any game. Now the good news on that is, if you do end up playing against an opponent that lets you put 10 Energy on your MegaSableye & Tyranitar-GX and then use Gigafall-GX, chances are you’re winning by a lot anyway, since discarding what would be half of your opponent’s deck at the least, or all of their deck at its best, would probably net you a deck-out win if the claim of 1-3 Prizes doesn’t already do it with this attack, but if we’re being honest? That’s not likely to happen against Reshiram & Charizard-GX or Pikachu & Zekrom-GX. Those guys have some crazy support for themselves.
I’m not gonna try to upsell you on Greedy Crush either, since it’s still 5 Energy that has to come from other spots in order to use an attack that still has to put in the work to KO a fair number of things, but at the very least, there is a lot of support in Expanded that helps this guy out, with the only real question being would you prefer to boost up this Pokemon in your Dark deck or focus on something else. In Standard though, 5 Energy is a lot, and there’s not a lot of support for Dark decks specifically in Standard.
So for the most part, this card comes to a bit of a stand-still. It’s too slow for Standard play, comparing it to other Tag Team-GX that can perform similarly without as much consumption of time and resources. I mean most competitive level decks don’t run that much Energy – usually about a 12-15 cards in the deck is Energy – and you’re expected to put 10 of those on these guys? That’s a lot to ask for, and it’s the main reason you’re not seeing MegaSableye & Tyranitar-GX lay waste to the competitive scene.
Standard: 2.5/5 (powerful effects nerfed down by extremely restrictive costs, a balancing act that keeps this card fair)
Expanded: 3.5/5 (with the extra batch of Dark support available, including Darkrai-EX’s ever useful Dark Cloak, they’re much more viable here)
Limited: 4.5/5 (can’t argue with the results here, even if it’s slow on the start-up)
Arora Notealus: MegaSableye & Tyranitar-GX is pretty much the M Charizard-EX of the game in this format – they’ve got tremendously powerful attacks that do obscene amounts of damage that get mitigated by hefty costs that are just too great to keep up with on a competitive level. Sure, the effects of MegaSableye & Tyranitar-GX offer some excessive potential by comparison to milling out your deck or dealing damage to yourself, but this draws in people who see how flashy the card is and try to enact only to realize how impractical these costs really are. I’m not saying this makes it a bad card, but it’s just not as good as some other cards out there in the world.
Weekend Thought: This week had a great assortment of interesting cards – which ones do you think are pretty good? Do you plan to run any of these in your decks or build around them? What are your thoughts on Chip-Chip Ice Axe getting banned in Japan’s Expanded format? It’s certainly not the only card, but it’s by far the most out there option. Does MegaSableye & Tyranitar-GX have a chance with all the Dark support?
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