– Sword & Shield
February 14, 2020
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Topping the bottom half of our countdown is our 6th-place finisher, Metal Saucer (Sword & Shield 170/202, 214/202). This Trainer-Item lets you attach a [M] Energy card from your discard pile to one of your Benched [M] Pokémon. We’re now six-for-six when it comes to brand new Pokémon cards featuring very familiar effects, and you should expect it to happen more next week (hint hint). In this case, Metal Saucer does for the [M] Type what Aqua Patch did for the [W] Type and Dark Patch for the [D] Type, both in terms of Energy and Pokémon. Dark Patch helped define the metagame the entire time it was Standard-legal, and is still good in Expanded. Aqua Patch has known success, but nowhere near as much as Dark Patch. Why?
Dark Patch released alongside Pokémon better suited to make use of it, with better additional Type support, and when the first turn rules only prohibited manually evolving. Aqua Patch didn’t get those same breaks, but what about Metal Saucer? It released when [M] Type Pokémon not only have some good attackers and Type support from the previous generation, but are already getting it from the current generation, as well! Zacian V is already the best example, just from what Japanese tournament results I have available. Yes, has its Ability, and sometimes it has an attacker like Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX that can lead into it, but you cannot rely on such things all the time. I confess, I haven’t been able to see Zacian V in action yet, but from what I understand, you’re not relying on its Ability for Energy acceleration most of the time.
Most games, you’ll at most be able to use Metal Saucer four times. I’m sure some builds will have methods of recycling Metal Saucer and still prove competitive. No one seems to be doing so, but Molayne seems like it could be an option there. However, it seems most decks just know they only get to use so many instances of Metal Saucer, and plan accordingly. It isn’t about taking a Zacian V from zero-to-attacking over and over again in a single game, it is about helping to quickly prep one or two. Maybe having one copy of Metal Saucer in reserve for late game, so that one more attacker can be prepped more quickly.
As for the Expanded Format, I think it will work in a similar manner but with increased competition, counters, and combo partners. As always, deck space is tight. Some past, current, or new [M] decks may prefer to stick with a reusable option, like Bronzong (XY – Phantom Forces 61/119; XY – Black Star Promos XY21). Decks that can’t wait for Bronzong already have Max Elixir, which works with any basic Energy cards. Metal Saucer could also be used to complement these cards, or replace them in lists that lack room for the former and don’t care to rely as much on luck with the latter.
As for the Limited Format, as long as you’ve got enough [M] Type Pokémon worth running in your deck, this is a great pull! Exactly how much is “enough” is a judgment call you’ll have to make, depending on the rest of what you pull. If you are super-lucky and pull Metal Saucer a copy of Zacian V or Zamazenta V and decide to run them solo, with zero other Basic Pokémon to ensure you open with that Basic Pokémon V, skip Metal Saucer. You’ll have no Bench, after all! If you’re running either of those two alongside other Pokémon, see the first sentence in this paragraph.
As I said in my Zacian V review, it is the best new Pokémon V because it has Metal Saucer (and other [M] support). At least for now, the same reasoning goes for Metal Saucer; its great because it helps fuel Zacian V! The difference is that Zacian V doesn’t help out other Pokémon unless they need a particular kind of attacker. Metal Saucer also helps out most (if not all) other [M] Types, and probably won’t fall prey to power creep for many years, if even then. Like I said, Dark Patch is still great, and Aqua Patch is just waiting for [W] attackers that need it to make good in Expanded. Which is why I had it as my 7th-place pick; Metal Saucer placing one higher is well within reason.
Details: Our 6th best card is an item card that hopefully needs no introduction as it is the third type to benefit such an effect. Metal Saucer does almost the same thing Dark Patch and Aqua Patch does since day one (albeit type differences): you attach a basic Metal energy from the discard pile to one of your Benched Metal Pokemon. With that, Metal attackers can easily go from zero to attacking, and it makes certain discard fodders like Roller Skater inconsequential because you’re going to get those Metal Energies back.
This is no doubt a must run for Metal decks and it might be efficient (running a full four) than having a bench sitter like Bronzong PHF or Magnezone ULP doing the work…and risk having their abilities turned off or being catchered and KOed. At the same time, however, if Cyrogonal keeps locking down your items, then I guess you need Magnezone or Zacian’s ability to accelerate Metal energies.
First it was Dark Patch, then it was Aqua Patch, and now it’s Metal…Saucer? Come on guys, you had one job!
Metal Saucer functions pretty much exactly the same as those other two cards I mentioned, but it attaches a Metal Energy from your discard pile to your Benched Metal Pokemon. Yet another historically strong effect that now supports a new Type, it’s going to be no surprise to see this in every Metal deck going forward, but are there any decks that can make use of it right now?
A lot of people may look towards ADP-GX, since they use Metal Energy, but you have to keep in mind that you can’t attach the Energy to the Dragon-Type ADP-GX itself – you’d have to attach it to something else. That’s where something like Lucario & Melmetal-GX looks a lot stronger, especially with its GX move, Full Metal Wall-GX. Getting a massive game buff early on is the biggest appeal of Lucario & Melmetal-GX, but combined with Metal Saucer, you can not only use Full Metal Wall-GX to get the damage reduction – you can power it up to discard all the Energy from your opponent’s Active Pokemon too! And that’s not even getting into the quicker pace of getting to Heavy Impact, which can carry you through the rest of the game.
Metal Saucer definitely has a spot in the game, and every Metal deck is going to love to have it – just as every Water deck did Aqua Patch, and every Dark deck did Dark Patch!
Standard: 4/5 (definitely a solid card in every Metal deck)
Expanded: 4/5 (will no doubt see a lot of play)
Limited: 4/5 (strong if you’ve got the Metal Pokemon for it)
Arora Notealus: There’s a good chunk of Metal support that came out in this set – in addition to the new Zacian-V and Zamazenta-V showing up, there’s even Galarian Perrserker, which increases the damage Metal Pokemon do by 20! It’s exactly the kind of high impact support that’ll power Metal decks for a long while.
Weekend Thought: As always, do you agree with our rankings so far? Think there ought to be something higher up on the list? Maybe something a bit lower? What didn’t make the list so far that you’re looking forward to seeing on the list higher up, or what didn’t make it that you think should have?
Next Time: Lift your spirits up, and hopefully things will turn around!
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