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Pojo's Pokemon Site - MonsterOfTheLake's Lake - Dearth of Dark and Metal in HP-On
MonsterOfTheLake's Lake
MonsterOfTheLake's Lake

 Dearth of Dark and Metal in HP-On 

Viele apologies for the lack of articles, but it's the dead season for competitive Pokémon. I like that phrase.

Today, I will be ranting about the two types that are virtually, literally, and quite inconspicuously betraying a hint of existence in HP-On, for want of a better word. That should gain me enough cool points with the Tycho Brahe Fan Club.

What are the types, you might ask? Certainly not Psychic, with Plox being the BDIF. Grass also lives thanks to the ridiculously good Leafeon Lv.X and Colin "swanton1717" M.'s efforts. Water had Empoleon, Fire had Magmortar, and Colorless had Blissey dominating back in late 2007 and two people running Garchomp. Fighting has two of the best cards in the format in Claydol and Gallade. Lightning has given us Pachirisu, which single handedly got rid of every single Tool in the metagame.

Yet the two types introduced in the Neo era, Darkness and Metal, have simply died off in HP-On. Who can even name a single Dark type other than Absol, and Umbreon at a stretch? Sure, there's Darkrai, but we're talking about usability, and Darkrai does not belong anywhere outside a binder. Scizor is the sole Metal type that anyone has ever considered using. Even with the introduction of Basic Darkness and Metal Energies in the Diamond & Pearl era, the types themselves have been too underpowered to make use of.

Is it the increasing amount of HP and damage output that the special Darkness and Metal energies simply could not provide enough of an advantage to justify their use? Would Darkness doing +20 damage and Metal blocking 20 damage make these types viable again? Or is there a conspiracy against the two non-original types, to keep them weak and powerless? Probably not, but the article should waste a few minutes of your life with witty Pokémon banter! So read.
Neo Genesis Sneasel
The first and one of the only two cards to ever be banned in tournament play. Well, excluding Ancient Mew. And the Imakuni cards. And the Birthday cards. And the Gameboy promos. And MonsterOfTheLake's Travels.

Sheer disadvantage in numbers

There are 51 Dark type and 64 Metal type Pokémon cards in HP-On, including reprints and dual-types. While this may seem like a lot, keep in mind that there are 142 Colorless types, 143 Psychic types, and 149 Water types! There is a clear lack of balance when there are thrice as many cards available for one type compared to another.

Darkness and Metal types are, respectively, #1 and #2 from bottom on the list of the most populous type in HP-On. Metal and Darkness combined make up 12.1% of all the Pokémon cards in HP-On. Psychic makes up 15% by itself; and yet still can't produce a single viable Psychic type to one shot Gallade without a Lake Boundary.

Type# of Cards
Including reprints and dual-types.
Data obtained through use of www.pokepedia.net

Absol ex: the only Dark type you'll see at Worlds

A tech that does a few tricks for both Gardelade and Empoleon, this is the sole Darkness type you can safely expect to play against at Worlds. Gardelade loves this thing, as it helps it Bring Down stuff faster. Empoleon likes it for obvious reasons. I'm not going to elaborate on why a damage spread deck would have a use for a card that can move damage around. I believe in you, readers! All 3 of you!

While the glaring 2x Fighting Weakness, being an ex, and having an attack that no one would ever try to use in the current format might make it look worthless, but you aren't supposed to drop it until you have the upper hand. Or as a desperate last second measure. I tend to go for the latter; because danger is my middle name, baby.
Absol ex
It won Worlds '07, can it help win '08?



Absol and Mawile: the 70 HP techable basics

While my scare tactics and words of doom and gloom regarding Darkness and Metal might have you lying in the fetal position, fear not!, for in Absol and Mawile, these two types can both proudly proclaim themselves for having two mediocre basics.

Absol was one of the most annoying cards to play against early in the season, as it could easily ruin your setup by grabbing both Celio's Network and Rare Candy in one vicious Baleful Wind. Thanks to the arrival of Great Encounters, or more importantly, Claydol, this lone semblance of disruption in Pokémon vanished faster than little kids around The Ace.

Mawile's Pick Out takes away 20 further damage that Gallade would do by flipping the prizes before Psychic Cut gets there. The second attack is quite horrendous, but the first attack not only stops Gallade from doing a BILLION damage, it can also come in handy in flipping a few Supporters to thin your deck. The cons? You're hoping that a 70 HP basic will get to attack for 6 turns, and you get stuck with a Pokémon that just looks really stupid.

Both these basics have 70 HP, can't retreat for free, have cheap disruptive attacks, and most importantly, resist Psychic. Gardevoir needs to Psychic Lock twice to knock either out, giving you a larger timeframe to disrupt. Of course, a single Psychic Lock is a lot more dangerous than two Baleful Winds, unless you donk four Rare Candies, and we both know that's not going to happen very often.

These things are certainly no Pachirisu; a further blow to Darkness and Metal in that two of their best basics are practically unusable.
They both have a retreat cost of one!


Scizor: a good Metal Pokémon?!

Unlike every other Dark/Metal type in HP-On, Scizor is actually good. Its first attack, in a format where everyone uses Plox Special Energies, is simply amazing. With a single Multi/Metal can hit anything with a Call Energy, DRE, Scramble, Boost, a Holon Energy, Cyclone, and/or a Multi Energy of their own for 80!

The problem stems from Scizor being a Stage 1, and having no buddies to accompany it. Not many run Multi, and no one wants to throw in Metal Energy for a single 1/1 line.

Why a single 1/1 line, you may ask? Because your best option for Scizor is to use it as a tech. When your best combo option for a Metal deck is a Stage 2 that does 60 for FOUR METAL ENERGIES, you know running that type won't win you Worlds.

The problem is the utter lack of options and variety in Metal. With a Psychic resistance, and the ability to use the Special Metal Energy, Scizor could have done a good job in countering Gardelade. Why Psychic Lock when you can do 30 at best, and get hit for 80 in return? I don't want to get into a whole "how to counter Gardelade" argument here; the point is, Scizor is criminally handicapped in a format that it should do wonders in, simply because he has no friends.

DP-On will take away our precious DREs and Scrambles; however, Call Energy will remain. Yet a glorious opportunity for Scizor to shine with Special Energy everywhere in HP-On will have passed.
-20 Psychic Resistance, AND can abuse Special Metal?!

The Future for Darkness and Metal (DP-On and beyond)

Just 23 Dark and 19 Metal types will survive the axe; with the EX sets finally leaving Modified. Absol ex won't be in DP-On, Absol and Mawile will have succumbed to Claydol and Gardelade losing power, respectively, and Scizor won't enjoy a metagame where everyone runs Double Rainbow and Scramble.

Yet the future isn't too bad. Magnezone Lv.X will help Metal and Lightning, and there's also Jirachi. Things aren't looking up for Darkness, with an energy hog Tyranitar being the only interesting Darkness type that is going to be released in the near future.

With Psychic (Azelf/Mesprit/Uxie/Mewtwo/Gardevoir) becoming more and more powerful, Psychic resistance will come in more and more handy. And Darkness can always look back on how broken Sneasel was, and reminisce its glory days.

This article was finished at 2:30 a.m. So if Scizor with Absol ex wins Worlds, there's my excuse.

Have a happy Monday!


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