Metal Frying Pan
– Forbidden Light
July 25, 2020
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Well, I suppose this card would make the list, but it’s…kind of a funny one that way.
Metal Frying Pan’s yet another Tool card that I didn’t have on my own list, but again, I can see how it made this list here. To be honest though, I wasn’t even looking at this card in terms of “high-impact will-be-missed cards”, because for the majority of its lifespan in Standard…it really wasn’t. All it does is reduce the damage a Metal Pokemon takes from opposing attacks by 30 after Weakness/Resistance are accounted for.
When it first came out, it did have a couple of good partners – stuff like Dialga-GX and Dusk Mane Necrozma-GX were pretty powerheavy Metal Pokemon to work with. Heck, we even had Solgaleo-GX and even M Steelix-EX – yeah, remember when those were a thing? – to benefit off of the card if only for a short time. Metal Frying Pan certainly wasn’t short of partners, but compared to the flux of the format, it never really held up against some of the more powerful decks at the time. Buzzwole-GX dominated early SM formats, and about a year after Metal Frying Pan’s release, we had Reshiram & Charizard-GX tearing up the scene. In short, the biggest reason Metal Frying Pan wasn’t impactful was…well, Metal wasn’t really that competitive.
That is, of course, until we get to Sword & Shield.
Zacian-V is without a doubt the best partner for Metal Frying Pan. Since his attack is likely to OHKO anything, having a means of reducing the incoming damage he takes even for only a little bit will more than likely let Zacian-V live long enough to KO again. It’s one of the reasons Tool Scrapper is SUCH an important reprint! If you don’t get rid of the Metal Frying Pan, Zacian-V just stays bulky! And that’s one of the reasons the card saw a good bit of play in these kinds of decks.
Of course, there are plenty of other great cards to put in before Metal Frying Pan, and nowadays it’s run usually at 1 copy but not always. But I’m sure you’ll really start to notice the drop in defensive power when that 1 copy is completely gone!…or you won’t, cause you’ll be getting OHKO’d anyway.
Standard: N/A (a fairly solid option in Metal decks)
Expanded: 3/5 (has a lot to compete with all over the place)
Limited: 3.5/5 (but at least there’s more Metal support in Expanded)
Arora Notealus: Metal Frying Pan to me is lesser compared to Counter Gain, since the latter is more usable in a variety of decks, whereas Metal Frying Pan only really sees use in one kind of deck: METAL. Not to sell the kitchen implement short, though, since it does do quite a bit for Metal Decks. It’s just kind of unfortunate that a lot of the time, Metal decks weren’t really topping the charts from what I recall. And no, ADP-GX doesn’t count.
Next Time: We’re flipping the switch and shutting off the power…
Metal Frying Pan (SM – Forbidden Light 112/131, 112a/131, 144/131) was reviewed by us once before, here. Personally, this will be my first review of Metal Frying Pan; I didn’t realize I’d missed that day, but the evidence is right there. The review was just a regular one, not part of a countdown for either the top cards in the set, or the top cards from the year of its debut (2018). Metal Frying Pan is a Pokémon Tool which can be attached to anything, but its effect only works for Metal Pokémon. Actually, I should say “effects”: the [M] Pokémon with Metal Frying Pan attached takes 30 less damage from the attacks of opposing Pokémon and is treated as having no Weakness.
It is an easy thing, whether you’re a novice or veteran player, to forget that just because a card has an effect, doesn’t mean it is actually doing something. Metal Frying Pan is what I think of as a “passive” Tool; yes, it does things, but they only matter in direct response to your opponent’s actions, during your opponent’s turn. Metal Frying Pan released when Choice Band was still a choice Tool for many decks and Float Stone was fabulous. When most decks were packing at least one copy of Field Blower. When Fire-type attackers – the almost universal Weakness of Metal types – weren’t even flickering, and when Metal decks were anything but precious.
Then the 2018 Standard Format gave way to the 2019 Format, and things began to change… but not enough for Metal Frying Pan. There were some Metal decks, but Fire didn’t really ignite until later in the Format, around which point those earlier Metal decks became scarce. Plus, Field Blower was still a fairly common sight in decks; it might get scarce for a bit, but then Tool and/or Stadium usage would creep back to the point where Field Blower was a no-brainer for your deck (again). We finally get to the 2020 Format, the one about to end, and some very important changes happen.
No Field Blower. We would – less than three months ago – receive Tool Scrapper as a replacement, but for most of this past year, we’ve had to settle for Faba or other expensive forms of Tool removal. Fire was still fierce. There were times it threatened to go out, but we didn’t seem to go long without a competitive Fire deck during this time. We finally received some strong Metal Pokémon. I could be mistaken, but Melmetal & Lucario-GX seemed to be the tipping point; a major, Metal-meatshield with an inexpensive GX-attack that offered even more protection to itself and your other Metal meatshields.
Even if you wanted to attack for damage, by this point Choice Band was Expanded-only, and 30 less damage taken the previous turn meant big Pokémon surviving longer, getting to attack again, and (maybe) having the time and Energy to access heavier attacks. In the present, we’re back to having an easy, Item-based answer for an opponent’s Tools (Tool Scrapper), but we have both competitive Fire decks and competitive Metal decks. Zacian V is their current poster-mon, and the biggest threat to Metal Frying Pan still being their go-to Tool is… Metal Goggles.
Metal Goggles is also a Tool with two effects that only work when it is attached to a Metal Pokémon. In fact, one of those effects is the same as one of Metal Frying Pans: taking 30 less damage from an opponent’s attacks! The other effect is, instead of letting you ignore the Weakness on your Metal Pokémon, it is protected from damage counter placed by either the attacks or Abilities of your opponent’s Pokémon. With recent tournaments being won by both Dragapult VMAX decks and Blacephalon (SM – Unbroken Bonds 32/214) decks, it can be a tough call to make as to which of these Tools your Metal deck ought to run. You can even try to cover your Weakness in a different manner; it’ll use up an Energy attachment, but Weakness Guard Energy works for anything.
At this late hour in our Standard Format metagame, I can only speculate based on the results of the last few tournaments, but Zacian V decks still seem to be highly competitive, and also seem to (at worst) alternate between Metal Goggles and Metal Frying Pan, based on what that player anticipates for the event’s metagame. Which also means, after Metal Frying Pan rotates, these decks – as well as future Metal decks – can indeed fall back on Metal Goggles and Weakness Guard Energy, assuming -30 damage and Weakness nullification are still worthwhile.
In the Expanded Format, we don’t have any remotely recent major events. Going all the way back to February 29th, at the Collinsville, Illinois* Regional Championship, at least one Zacian V deck using Metal Frying Pan had a decent Expanded Format finish, and unlike in Standard, Boss’s Orders and a Tool Scrapper reprint aren’t going to make a huge difference for “then” versus “now”. Stall/Control also seems like a more viable approach, though other Stall/Control decks might make one using Metal Frying Pan unlikely. I’m going to be a bit optimistic and say that Metal Frying Pan should remain a solid pick here for a little while longer.
When it comes to the Pokémon TCG, the Limited Format usually only matters at Pre-Releases, because those are the only major events that use them. You may have better luck finding a Pre-Release tournament being run as a side event, though, so I’ll still address Metal Frying Pan’s usage there. There are only four Metal Pokémon in SM – Forbidden Light; one is a Stage 2 that you can’t play due to its lack of lower Stages, the others are all Dialga (SM – Forbidden Light 82/131,125/131, 138/131). Unless you want to bluff. Yes, there’s Rotom (SM – Forbidden Light 40/131), with an Ability that lets it attack for zero Energy if you have 9+ Tools in your discard pile. Metal Frying Pan is the only Tool in this set, and even if you somehow pulled and ran a dozen copies of Metal Frying Pan… how are you getting them all into your discard pile?
Metal Frying Pan will be missed by Zacian V decks – and future Metal decks – once it is gone, but they do have a replacement waiting in the wings. Zacian V decks were the face of the metagame not that long ago, and are still a strong contender, which lead me to ranking Metal Frying Pan as the 5th biggest loss due to the rotation… but I think I goofed. Still a great card. Probably still worth making our countdown, but 14th-place now seems a lot more appropriate. Granted, if I hadn’t overrated it on my list, it wouldn’t have made our countdown, so all’s well that ends well.
*Strange footnote: have I been referring to it as the “Collinsvile, Indiana” in my reviews? I almost did it this one, and I lack the time to dig through my older reviews to see if I made such a blunder. If so, my apologies to residents of both states. I’m originally from Iowa, so I know how annoying it is when someone incorrectly attributes a location.
Our 14th best card lost to rotation is Metal Frying Pan from SM Forbidden Light! This is a Pokémon Tool card which supports Metal Pokemon by reducing the damage it takes by 30 AND makes them have no weakness. This is actually a very good effect and depending on the card pool, certain Metal Pokemon could abuse this defensive tool to great effect.
Granted, when it came out, there weren’t many Metal Pokemon that can benefit from this effect, mostly because the Pokemon could still be OHKOed despite the damage reduction and not even relying on weakness. Perhaps the Pokémon that benefit the most would be if they have lots of HP such that the damage reduction does matter. Before there’s Solgaleo-GX with its 250 HP; Metal Frying Pan makes Solgaleo act as it if was a 280 HP Pokémon without weakness. Later on, there’s Lucario & Melmetal-GX with its 260 HP, and with Metal Frying Pan and it’s once per game GX attack of Full Metal Wall, it becomes a 320 HP Pokémon without weakness. And now, Zacian-V and even Copperjah V-Max gets to benefit the most! A V-Max with the equivalent of 370 HP without weakness?! Good luck dealing that much damage! Not many cards can achieve such high amounts of damage unless the goal of your deck is to deal unlimited damage if you meet certain conditions.
With Metal Frying Pan leaving rotation, there’s one more tool card for Metal Pokémon, and it’s Metal Core Barrier from Unbroken Bonds. It might not remove weakness and last for only one turn, but it reduces a whopping 70 damage that you would’ve taken, and that might be a decent replacement, even if Tool Scrapper is there to ruin your day. Even that doesn’t come close to what Metal Frying Pan does.
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