– Unified Minds
October 25, 2019
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Necrozma might not be fusing with either Solgaleo or Lunala, but that doesn’t make it less powerful, isn’t it? I mean, this is Necrozma we’re dealing with as its pretty good on its own. As for the TCG, Necrozma joins the ranks alongside White Kyurem LOT and Blacephalon UNB as being one of the best heavy hitters that only gives up a single prize card.
Why is that, you might ask? Certainly not for its Barrier Attack, although this attack might lead into Special Laser by soaking up small hits and deal damage. Without DCE, however, this is hardly impressive. All eyes turn to Special Laser, which costs PPC for 100 damage, plus 60 more damage if this Pokémon has any Special Energies attached to it. There’s almost no drawbacks to that attack with the exception of Xurkitree-GX and Aegislash-EX, whose respective abilities prevents damage from Pokémon with Special Energy attaches to them. 160 damage is good, and backed with other forms of damage boosters – which aren’t that many in Standard – such as Choice Band, Shrine of Punishment, and maybe Hypnotoxic Laser, and Necrozma can deal a total of 200+ damage against EX and GX Pokemon. Most Basic EX and Basic GX as well as some Mega Evolutions and some Stage 1 GX are OHKOes by Special Laser when backed with those resources. Even without using up additional resources, this attack is a 2HKO at best. Without any Special Energy attached to Necrozma, it is underwhelming.
So Necrozma already has potential in Standard and Expanded for being a backup attacker in Psychic decks. Sure, there is Psychic Resistance found on Metal and Darkness Pokemon, but the damage output is still enough to land 2HKOs. There’s a lot of Special Energy to choose from, whether it be Weakness Guard for Standard and/or Mystery Energy from Expanded. Yes, there are anti Special Energy cards that can get rid of those, and while Standard might not have much to recover Special Energies with (unless I missed something), Special Charge can recover 2 Special Energies even if it has to be put back into the deck. However, I believe that because of those anti-Special Energy cards that can sometimes even prevent you from attaching any Special Energies makes Necrozma not being played as much, but that pretty mandates opponent’s to run particular Pokémon such as Honchkrow-GX or Chaos Wheel Giratina-EX/Mismagius just to stop them. Even if it’s not the case, there’s a lot of Pokémon that can OHKO Necrozma’s 130 HP. Still, you could potentially trade prizes and come out ahead. Facing Psychic weak Pokémon such as Mewtwo/Mew and Espeon/Deoxys? Necrozma takes care of them fast! Even the PPC attack cost can be easily filled by Max Elixir, Counter Gain, and/or Dimension Valley.
In regards to Limited, you could potentially pull one from one of the four prerelease promos from the build and battle kits. There are some Special Energies to work with from the his set: Weakness Guard Energy and Recycle Energy. Even if you’re facing a GX or Tag Team, as long as Necrozma sets up fast, you can 2HKO them for two or three prizes. As for Theme Decks, there’s a decent amount of support to help Necrozma. 2-2 Malamar line (to replenish and fuel Psychic energies), 2 Mesprit (for summoning 3 Basic Pokémon), and 2 Weakness Guard Energy (a Special Energy that removes Weakness) can help facilitate fueling up Special Laser, boost damage output, and maybe be a bit durable against bad matchups. 160 is the magic number for OHKOs for the Theme format, as most of the Stage 2s have that much HP, so a Pokémon that can potentially OHKO any Pokemon is worth consideration to be used.
I like this particular Necrozma card mostly because it is one of the best single prize Basic Pokémon that can dish out a lot of damage. I already got one Laser Focus Theme Deck, but I’ll probably need a second one to round of the 4-4 Malamar line and 4 Mysterious Treasures. The Battle Arena Deck of Ultra Necrozma-GX always sold out due to being guaranteed 2 copies of Jirachi from Team Up, so Laser Focus would have to do.
We close out this week with Necrozma (SM – Unified Minds 101/236; SM – Black Star Promos SM204), which you can get not only through booster packs from by purchasing the “Laser Focus” Theme Deck. This is a Basic [P] Type Pokémon with 130 HP, [P] Weakness, no Resistance, Retreat Cost [CC], and two attacks. For [CC] it can use “Barrier Attack” to do 30 damage while also reducing the damage Necrozma (or whatever used the attack, in the case copying), by 30. [PPC] pays for “Special Laser”, which does 100 damage unless you have a Special Energy attached to the attacking Pokémon, in which case it does an additional 60 or 160 total.
Necrozma isn’t a spectacular Pokémon, but the main knock against it is that it joins a crowded field; good attackers for Malamar (SM – Forbidden Light 51/131; SM – Black Star Promos SM117; Shiny Vault SV18/SV94) decks. Include some Recycle Energy – or whatever other Special Energy works for that build – and you have a solid Basic beatstick that easily 2HKO’s just about anything in the game, and has a decent shot at OHKOing almost any non-GX. Barrier Attack doesn’t figure much, though if you’re having a slow start it isn’t a bad fallback.
Except I’m not finding any tournament results supporting this. Seems like the Malamar decks that still do well don’t need it, which isn’t a surprise as they have several options from which to choose. Which worries me about the card’s Expanded Format prospects; even more options on top of having to deal with strong anti-Ability effects. Though it is nice that you can slap a Choice Band on Necorzma and one-shot many Basic Pokémon-EX/GX with Special Laser (assuming you also have a Special Energy attached).
Necrozma only gets to shine in the Limited and Theme Formats. Recycle Energy and Weakness Guard Energy are in the same set as Uncommons, so being able to fully cash-in is possible… but even if you’re just running it for Barrier Attack and its impressive (for Limited) stats, most decks should still include any Necrozma they pull. As for the Theme Format, Laser Focus doesn’t appear to be the best current Theme Deck, but it does perform quite well, with Necrozma being a large part of that. It can be finicky, though, as the deck only has two Weakness Guard Energy for Special Energy cards.
I can’t tell if I’m being generous or stingy with the Standard and Expanded Format scores; it hasn’t lived up to my expectations there but still has most of what it needs. For the Limited and the Theme Formats, I worry I scored it a bit high, but when it works it works.
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