– Celestial Storm
September 4, 2018
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
…oh right…cause Steven’s Resolve is a card.
Metagross is a Stage 2 Metal Pokemon, 170 HP, with a Fire Weakness, Psychic Resistance, and a Retreat Cost of 4. Extend is the Ability which lets you keep the rest of your turn after using Steven’s Resolve, so pretty useful. And then Meteor Mash is a 1-for-60 that can deal an extra 60 damage on the next turn when you use Meteor Mash again.
Admittedly, Metagross is a pretty solid Pokemon. He’s got the stats of a Pokemon-EX/GX without the Prize cost, and his Meteor Mash can in fact 2HKO other Pokemon-EX/GX – not to mention it can just keep hitting for a straight 120 for 1 Energy every time it uses its Meteor Mash on the next turn. Couple that with Extend, which removes the “end your turn” clause of Steven’s Resolve – a Supporter which I’ll remind you gets you 3 cards from your deck – and Metagross looks to be a top contender.
So what’s the issue? Well mainly it’s in the actual set-up versus the payoff. Metagross has to contend with other Stage 2 Pokemon, including Pokemon-GX, and that’s a hard fight unless you’ve got really good moves. Meteor Mash puts him in the running for sure, but Extend is…well, it makes for a hard choice. While the Ability is good to couple with a Supporter, it only works with that one Supporter, and it only removes the one negative aspect of it. Meanwhile, there are other Stage 2 Pokemon that have either a better Ability that’s more versatile or another attack that makes for a solid attacker, and Metagross doesn’t really have that.
If you’re playing Metagross, it’s because you’re playing Steven’s Resolve and not wanting to lose your turn – which means you’re playing an entire Stage 2 line-up just to get around the effects of 1-4 cards in your deck. It’s not that good of a trade-off, and it hampers Metagross in the end, cause it Steven’s Resolve doesn’t see play, neither does Metagross.
Standard: 3/5 (a solid attack and good stats don’t make up for a lack of an Ability)
Expanded: 2/5 (though Metagross is pretty hefty in his own right, he’ll fall behind relying just on Meteor Mash)
Limited: 3.5/5 (which makes for a rough time going forward)
Arora Notealus: I wonder if the Pokemon Company has ever thought to have Supporters that have effects regarding Pokemon to avoid negative effects, rather than requiring one or the other to be playable. Bonnie was a step in the right direction, but it still needed Zygarde-GX in play, not to mention a Stadium card to get rid of. I think a better version of Steven’s Resolve ultimately would’ve been to have a Metagross in play to avoid ending one’s turn, but then you run into the problem of a Supporter requiring a specific Pokemon to be playable, and that can lead to all kinds of problems for a group of cards that are usually much more universal. Still, it could be an interesting balance of sorts – require a Pokemon in play, but then you get a really good effect for it because of that Pokemon, perhaps!
Next Time: Creeping through the shadows, a lost soul waits…
This is yet another card that I’ve ran out of things to say, and that’s because I’ve mentioned about it in our review of Steven’s Resolve, which took 6th place of the set. I am more than happy to copy and paste relevant paragraphs pertaining to this card.
“…except that Steven wasn’t finished with me without his signature Pokémon in tow. You see, Metagross (SM Celestial Storm 95/168) is based on Steven’s Metagross due to the artwork, and it has the attributes and effects to prove its worth. It is a Stage 2 Metal Type with 170 HP, weak to Fire, resists Psychic, and a retreat cost of 4. Its ability, Extend, states that as long as this Pokémon is your Active Pokemon, whenever you play Steven’s Resolve, your turn doesn’t end. That makes it so that you can use Steven’s Resolve without ending your turn, and you can continue to do your usual business: making use of cards that you’ve just grabbed and finally using an attack.
So having some sort of ability-based Spirit Link seems nice as it addresses the only problem presented on this Supporter card, but is there any reason to use Metagross besides the ability, especially when it is on the Active spot? Actually, there is! It’s only attack Meteor Mash, costs a single Metal energy for 60 damage, and does 60 more damage if you used Meteor Mash last turn. As long as Metagross is not switched, retreated, or scooped, this attack becomes 120 damage for one Energy, which can reach 2HKO potential (and potential to OHKO any Fairy Pokemon). It’s only attack that cost one Energy also means that it is feasible to use Max Potion to flush all the damage away. Despite losing all energy attached to it, Meteor Mash is just one manual attachment away. And you can add Metal Frying Pan to the mix for removing its Fire weakness and taking 30 less damage (50 less against Psychic Pokemon due to the Tool and it’s own resistance).”
Yup, that much hasn’t been changed because that is what I think of about Metagross. You can make a functionable Metagross deck that has the capability of 2HKO the game as long as Meteor Mash isn’t interrupted, and you can use Steven’s Resolve to get the cards that you need to keep Metagross longer. Ideally, the three cards that you would fetch would be a Basic Metal Energy (or Shield Energy in Expanded), Max Potion, and Steven’s Resolve. The good old Cyrus Conspiracy chain can be performed in a similar manner with Steven as well. I do recall there was a 2-2-2 line on one of those build and battle kits by watching a video, but I don’t recall any other contents. Regardless, that makes it accessible for any occasion.
Standard: 3/5 (a good stage 2 Pokemon with a cheap attack)
Expanded: 2.5/5 (but gets its CPU fried by Volcanion decks)
Limited: 3.5/5 (if you pull it with pre-Evolved forms, you’ll run it)
Conclusion: I rated Metagross higher than Steven’s Resolve because even though Steven’s Resolve needs Metagross, Metagross can still do well without the Champion. And because of that, it does not care about ability lock if Metagross decks don’t use Steven, though Weavile from both Ultra Prism and Burning Shadows will lay the hurt on any Pokemon with Abilities. So a disabled Ability is still an existing ability.
Metagross (CES 95) stomps its way into the format out of the Celestial Storm expansion set. This 170 HP Stage 2 Metal Pokemon has an attack and an ability. Its attack, Meteor Mash, costs only a single Metal attachment, but does sixty damage and hits for 120 damage on your next turn. And as a non GX Pokemon with 170 HP, it’s far more likely than not that Metagross won’t be OHKO’d, so chances are that you’ll be able to hit for that additional sixty on your next attack, meaning that you’ll be hitting for a total of 180 damage over two turns. And most times that I’ve seen Metagross, he’s got a Metal Frying Pan attached to him, meaning that it would actually take 200 damage to OHKO him. Zoroark GX, in fact, with a full bench, actually three shots a Metagross with a Metal Frying Pan attached. Of course, Metagross also three hits Zoroark GX, but Metagross is a single prize Pokemon.
Metagross’ ability, however, is what really drives players’ interest in this Pokemon. If you can get Metagross in the active position, and you play Steven’s Resolve as your Supporter for the turn, your turn does not end! You get to hand pick any three cards you want out of your deck, and you still get to continue using those cards and even attack. And you can certainly take a Switch or Escape Rope as one of those three cards, making it possible to attack with something other than Metagross that turn as well.
Unfortunately, the fact that Metagross is a Stage 2 Pokemon and that it has to be in the active to overcome the limitations of Steven’s Resolve still make it difficult to take advantage of this ability on a consistent basis. Furthermore, if you have to take some kind of non Supporter switching card as one of your three cards, well, then you’re really only getting to tutor two cards out of your deck. This is still good – I’ve been playing a ton of Mallow with my Promo Koko Baby Lele spread deck because I run double Oranguru, and Mallow guarantees that I’ll get the Pokemon and energy card that I need for that turn. Steven’s Resolve functions essentially, then, in the same manner as a Mallow, but doesn’t require the ability driven draw support. So it’s not that Steven’s Resolve is bad, but considering everything you have to do to ensure you can bypass the Supporter card’s inherent limitation, it really makes you wonder if it’s worth it to go through all of that trouble for essentially two cards.
Standard: 2 out of 5
Maybe if Metagross had a better attack and maybe if Steven’s Resolve let you grab four cards, maybe then it would pass a cost benefit analysis. As it is right now, however, this is pretty much just a novelty card, and not even really a good one at that. Especially with how much Fire is getting out of Dragon Majesty (which drops this Friday BTW), considering a single Leaf Blower will knock off both your Frying Pan and Altar of the Sunne, Metal is just not going to be playable.
Here’s a placeholder review because I’m running behind. I’ll try to expand upon it later.
Metagross (SM- Celestial Storm 95/168) actually as a few key things going for it. It has solid – pardon the pun – [M] Typing. 170 HP is very good, and this is NOT on a Pokémon-EX/GX so it isn’t as easy to OHKO as – for example – Tapu Lele-GX, as tricks like Choice Band don’t help. [P] Resistance makes it a little more durable against popular Pokémon like Garbodor (SM – Guardians Rising 51/145). “Extend” is what caught most folks eyes, an Ability that only works while Metagross is Active, but it keeps your turn from ending when you use Steven’s Resolve. You know, that Supporter that lets you search your deck for any three cards you want BUT isn’t a four-per-deck staple in Standard because it of the whole “ends your turn” thing. Nowhere near as large of a selling point is “Meteor Mash”, the card’s lone attack… but it is still a positive, as it only requires [M] to do 60, and if you use it again the next turn, Meteor Mash will do 120. The effect happens each time you use Meteor Mash, so Metagross does 60 then 120 each subsequent turn the chain isn’t broken… but Meteor Mash, unfortunately, places the effect on the Pokémon which uses it, so if the attacking Metagross is KO’d, Benched, etc. then the next Meteor Mash does 60. In other words, pretty easy to keep an opponent only swinging for 60 damage, but for [M], that still ain’t bad.
What is bad is – regrettably – being a Stage 2. The short version is the game’s pacing ain’t right, so being a Basic is an inherent advantage while being a Stage 2 is almost as slow as it gets. The game is also terrible at specialization, so being a Stage 2 is also a blow because it means at least two turns and three cards for Metagross to hit the field, and that’s using Rare Candy. [R] Fire Weakness and a Retreat Cost of [CCCC] aren’t helping either, with the Retreat Cost being the biggest issue because the best usage for this Metagross is probably as a single in Metagross-GX decks in Standard, but I’m not 100% sure about that either. Some Metagross-GX builds I’m seeing are banking on a player setting up two to four Metagross-GX and just never allowing them to be KO’d. 170 HP isn’t easy to OHKO, but Metagross-GX has 250, which is tricky to OHKO; giving yourself one fewer Metagross-GX in play, making it important to your deck’s flow, AND presenting something with 80 less HP when you’re banking on no OHKO’s creates quite the vulnerability.
I still think it might work in Metagross-GX decks, maybe even in a control deck build around itself, but I’m not holding my breath. At the same time, I’m not dismissing it outright, either. Time will tell.
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