How to School the Competition – Metagross

pokebeach.comI was on Redshark about a year ago (before I test my deck against people, I do a few solitaire matches on Redshark) and stumbled upon Metagross from Legends Awakened. I was quite surprised that I had never heard of the card. I quickly read it, but then I had a question about “Extra Comet Punch”.

I know that the first time you use the attack, it does 50 damage and the second it does 100. However, my question was if you attack with the same Metagross a third time, does it stay at 100 or revert back to 50 (at least once, then back to 100, then back to 50, etc.).

I had meant to quickly Google the card in hopes of finding a ruling, but forgot about it. About four months ago, I stumbled onto it with the same reaction and realized that I had totally forgot about looking up the ruling. I planned to look it up right away, but got sidetracked.

Now, about a month ago, I found the card once again, and right away looked up the ruling. I was pleased to hear that after the first 50 damage, it will stay at 100 so long as you use the same Metagross to attack with.

Here is the final list that I created along with a card-by-card analysis:

Pokémon – 20

4 Beldum LA #84
2 Metang SV
3 Metagross LA
1 Metagross SV
2 Uxie LA
1 Smeargle UD
4 Spiritomb AR
1 Unown Q MD
1 Mesprit LA

Trainers – 26

4 Bebe’s Search
3 Broken Time-Space
1 Conductive Quarry
2 Expert Belt
3 Judge
1 Luxury Ball
4 Pokémon Collector
2 Pokémon Communication
3 Rare Candy
3 Twins

Energy – 14

4 Double Colorless
3 Basic M
4 Special Metal
3 Warp

The Cards

Beldum LA #84

pokebeach.comAt first, I was going to use the LA #83 Beldum, which allowed you to search your deck for another Beldum and put it on your bench when you attach a M Energy to it. However, I quickly abandoned this card after I realized it had two Retreat Cost. I need to be able to Unown Q it out of the way when I need it, so I ended up ditching it.

The next Beldum I chose was the one from Supreme Victors, which for C could search your deck for a Stadium card. I thought this would be a great way to get Broken Time-Space out of the deck and perhaps even allow me to run only two.

However, I never got to testing that out because this Beldum had two Retreat Cost as well, which was unacceptable to me (some of you may not have a huge problem with that, but I do).

Finally, I settled on Beldum 84 from Legends Awakened (one Retreat Cost!) which for C would let me draw a card. It isn’t the best attack in the world, but can be used if I have no way to attack with anything else early game.

Metang SV

When I’m looking at evolving Stage 1 Pokémon, I usually don’t take into account their mediocre attacks and instead focus on their stats (unless if it has a good attack, like Vibrava RR does). I quickly chose this one because of its “Metallic Lift” Poké-Body, which reduces its Retreat Cost from 2 (which is the lowest any of the Metang get) to 0 if it has a M Energy attached to it.

Metagross LA

pokebeach.comThe main attacker of the deck, Metagross is easily one of the most underrated cards in the game. While its stats (120 HP, Metal, +30 Fire Weakness, -20 Psychic Resistance, 3 Retreat Cost) aren’t that impressive, its power lies in its Poké-Power and Attack.

Its Poké-Power, “Magnetic Reversal” allows you to flip a coin. If heads, you may switch your opponent’s active Pokémon for one on their bench. Luxray GL LV.X’s “Bright Look” is very similar (does it only when it comes in play, but doesn’t need a coin flip) and is considered one of the best cards in the game.

The two best aspects of “Magnetic Reversal” are 1) You can use it each turn, meaning that you can keep dragging up Pokémon your opponent doesn’t want active and 2) it’s stack-able, meaning if you have 2-3 Metagross in play, you get that many coin flips. After you think about this, you can easily tell that this is a strong Poké-Power with a lot of potentially interesting combos.

To top it off, Metagross comes with a very solid attack, “Extra Comet Punch”. For MCC (meaning it works great with Double Colorless Energy, which is key to making this deck fast) does 50 damage. However, from now on, when Metagross uses ECP, it does 100 damage instead, which is very powerful for potentially two Energy.

I know that each time a Metagross is KO’d, the new one will have a turn of doing a low 50 damage, so you’ll need to leave Uxies and Azelfs on your opponent’s bench. That way, when you bring up a new Metagross, you can still get a KO that turn. The question is, how do you get Metagross’s damage output high enough to 1HKO them?

The other problem is that, once you are hitting for 100, you’re 10 damage short of 1HKOing Garchomp C LV.X, so it’s obvious that something needs to be done to get these Pokémon within 1HKO range.

Metagross SV

pokebeach.comThis is one of the things that were doing to get 1HKOs. Since I run a thick Metagross line, sliding one of these into the deck is no problem. While its attack will rarely be used, “Gravitation” is amazing for the deck. Since it reduces each in-play Pokémon’s HP by 20, it means that getting KOs just became a whole lot easier.

Now, during the first turn of attack, Metagross can KO Smeargles, Uxies, Azelfs, Mesprits (granted you aren’t under a Power lock to prevent you from dragging them up). After that first turn, you’ll now be able to KO any Pokémon with under 120 HP (which includes the ever-popular Garchomp C LV.X).

While this decks strategy is to disrupt your opponent and collect easy prizes, being able to 1HKO one of the most popular attackers in the game never hurts (at least during most match ups). Unfortunately, since this is a Poké-Body, Dialga G LV.X will shut it down, meaning you could have some difficulty getting 1HKOs against DialgaChomp (I go into further detail in the match up section).

Smeargle

This should be pretty obvious, it helps get desired starts by copying your opponent’s Supporters, can help ensure a Spiritomb start (by “Portraiting” a Pokémon Collector or, if necessary, a Bebe’s Search) and can be used mid-game (along with Unown Q) to keep up a constant stride of attackers.

Unown Q

This card is just amazing, being able to give tons of Basic Pokémon free Retreat Cost is an amazing effect. It’s a great way to get Spiritomb out of the active slot, saving an Energy Drop and potentially increasing your attacking speed by a full turn (so you don’t need to wait an extra turn to drop an Energy on Spiritomb to Retreat it). It is slightly more powerful since Beldum only has 1 Retreat Cost as well, so it gives me more ways to use Unown Q.

Mesprit

pokebeach.comProbably the strangest addition to the deck, but it is a vital one. Mesprit is a very good card for countering DialgaChomp. Metagross cannot 1HKO Dialga G LV.X (unless if it has no Special Metals, no Expert Belt and Metagross has an E-Belt on it), but I can reliably 2HKO it.

However, the problem is Garchomp C LV.X which keeps healing Dialga G LV.X, making it impossible to KO. That, combined with it consistently “Remove Losting” my Energy makes Dialga G a difficult match up.

But, if I have two Metagross LA in play (which is quite easy in this deck), I can put down Mesprit, do 50-120 (depending on what is in play and what isn’t). Then, since I put down Mesprit, they can’t heal it via “Healing Breath”.

Now, they must decide between using TGI Poké Turn to scoop it up (butting them way behind in Energy drops) or letting it die. Either way, it is good for me and gives Metagross a much better chance.

One other option they have is to use Warp Energy or manually retreat Dialga G. However, once I get a few Metagross in play, unless if they have 2-3 Power Spray in hand, I have at least a 50% chance of dragging it back up to be KO’d once again.

Uxie

I’m sorry, I have nothing against new players, I was once one myself (a long time ago) and I appretiate the importance but if I need to explain how good Uxie is, I think you need to start out with a more beginner-friendly article before this one.

The same story as Uxie, an amazing card that gives you the reliable search you need. It also works nicely in conjunction with Uxie to draw additional cards as well as helping slightly against Gengar to reduce the number of Trainers in your hand.

Broken Time-Space

BTS has been a key card in most Stage 2 decks for the past three years. Its ability to speed up your ability to get Evolution cards by as much as two turns is unrivaled by anything besides Rare Candy. While a lot of decks in today’s format run four, I think that three would be enough because VileGar and Gyarados are very popular right now. Both of these decks usually max out Broken Time-Space.

Also, since I run a high Twins count, it allows me to run a slightly decreased BTS count.

Conductive Quarry

pokebeach.comI had never really used this card in most of my decks because in most cases, it’s inferior to Broken Time-Space or, in some rare cases, Sunyshore City Gym. However, I think running one Conductive Quarry is a good way to help recycle my Special M Energies.

In previous formats, which included the Supporter Scott, you could easily run a single copy of a Stadium and still have a pretty reliable way to get it. However, in this format, there is almost no Stadium Search. However, thanks to Twins, I have a way to consistently get Conductive Quarry when I need it.

Expert Belt

One of the most important cards in the deck, Expert Belt provides me with a very easy way to get that extra 20 damage needed to KO a lot of Pokémon. Not only do I gain an additional 20 HP, but I can now put 70 and 120 HP Pokémon in KO range, which is something that is very important to do.

This is because 50 damage isn’t enough to 1HKO many Pokémon, but 70 is definitely a magic number.

Also, if I attach an Expert Belt to a Metagross LA and have Metagross SV in play, I can 1HKO a non-Belted Gyarados, which often comes in handy.

Twins

Metagross is a somewhat slow deck which will end up giving the first one or 2 Prize cards to your opponent before you are set up. However, in order to make Metagross work, you need to include cards that will allow you to get exactly what you need, when you need it. Twins fits that description.

In addition, Twins allows me to run a lot more 1-of cards than a lot of Stage 2 decks can. While I’m not capitalizing on this too much and instead opt for the most consistency possible, as a deck builder, it’s a nice thing to have.

Also, when you are behind, a great way to catch up is to use the Twins Engine. Play Twins, get any card you need along with another Twins. Rinse and Repeat.

Judge

pokebeach.comWhen Judge was first released, I wasn’t a huge fan of it, but as soon as I tried it out, Wow! The ability to reduce your opponent’s 6,7,8,9,10+ card hand to a mere four cards is simple too powerful.

While Judge works best in decks that include a third Uxie or Magnezone Prime to help you recover, it is still an extremely powerful card that should not be underestimated.

I have said this before and I will say it again: Often times Stage 1/2 deck isn’t working, so by adding 2-4 Judge can easily give it a huge edge when you’re playing against SP, Gyarados or VileGar.

Luxury Ball

Pretty Simple, Luxury Ball should never be played as more than a 1-of (I will say that some Gyarados lists can support two, though). Being able to search my deck for ANY Pokémon for free is an amazing effect. While some SP lists will debate over adding in Luxury Ball or a(nother?) Pokémon Communication, since this list plays no Level Ups, its a no-brainer.

Pokémon Collector

This card is essential for getting your set up going properly. Some decks can play a reduced count (and a few rare ones can go with none), but most decks that don’t play Call Energy need to max out Pokémon Collector (even some players that use 3-4 Call will still play 4 Collectors, it’s that good). Since I don’t run any Call Energy, it is obvious that I will be maxing out Pokémon Collector.

Pokémon Communication

Our 2nd and 3rd Luxury Ball, Pokémon Communication is a great way to make mid- and late-game Pokémon Collectors a lot better. In addition, since we’re reducing our hand size by one (-1 for Communication, -1 for the Poké that’s shuffled into your deck, +1 the Pokémon you select), it can make Uxies slightly more effective because you’re getting rid of useless late-game Spiritomb for a useful Metagross SV.

Rare Candy

pokebeach.comJust like Broken Time-Space, Rare Candy is ESSENTIAL in ensuring we can get set up as quickly as possible. The downsides of this card when compared to BTS is its useless under Trainer Lock and is only a one time use. However, it gives you the great advantage of being able to skip Metang and evolve straight into Metagross(!), which is why I can play no less than three.

Basic M Energies/Special M Energies
Altogether, I play seven M Energy cards, which makes it pretty easy to power up multiple Metagross each match. I max out the Special Energy count so I have a higher chance of being able to give my Metagross’s slightly more defense, but run three Basic ones as well for the sake of keeping the deck consistent.

Double Colorless Energy

Any deck that can use DCE, will use DCE. Being able to reduce the amount of time it takes to power up a Metagross from three turns to two suddenly changes Metagross from a Pokémon that is too slow to keep up into a semi-slow powerhouse. If Double Colorless Energy wasn’t in the format, I don’t know if a Metagross deck would be possible.

Warp Energy

The final card in the deck, I run a high Warp Energy count of three mainly as a counter to LuxChomp, Regigigas and perhaps Blaziken FB. All of these cards are able to drag up Pokémon from my bench, which can be troublesome as all of the Metagross has a high CCC Retreat Cost. While this usually isn’t a huge problem if they bring up a fully charged Metagross LA and can’t KO it, it is a big problem if they attempt to drag up Metagross SV and use Garchomp C to snipe around it.

Strategy Analysis

By now, you should have a pretty solid idea of what the deck is all about, but just incase you don’t, here’s is a quick Strategy Guide.

To help us get set up, we run the usual Bebe’s Search, Pokémon Communication, etc. However, since this deck is a bit slower, I opted to include four Spiritomb, which go a long way toward slowing your opponent down and speeding up your set up at the same time. In addition, my inclusion of three Twins is a great way to make a fast, unexpected comeback.

pokebeach.comThe idea behind this deck is to get multiple Metagross LA into play, ready to attack. By using 2-3 “Magnetic Reversal” each turn, there is a very good chance that you’ll get an effect that is equivalent to “Bright Look” every turn, which as you can assume, is very powerful.

During the first turn that Metagross attacks, it does a low 50 damage, which won’t do much to kill a Garchomp C LV.X, Charizard or a lot of other main attackers. However, if you were to use “Magnetic Reversal” to drag up a Bench-sitter, you could be onto something.

But, in order for this strategy to be effective, we will need to come up with a way to get KOs on these Pokémon. To help accomplish this, I include Expert Belts and Metagross SV, each of which will allow you to get a 1HKO on these Pokémon.

After the first turn of attacking, (assuming you weren’t 1HKO’d) you will be doing a big 100 damage. Again, this is just short of the magic number needed to 1HKO Garchomp C LV.X. Again, this is where Expert Belt and Metagross SV come in, either one of them provides you with a 1HKO.

In order to 1HKO Luxray GL LV.X (-20 Metal Resistance) or a non-Belted Gyarados, you’ll need both Metagross SV and Expert Belt in play. While it can be slightly tricky at times, there are two things you should I would like you to keep in mind.

First of all, it isn’t as hard as it sounds, especially when you have access to Twins when you’re behind on prizes. Secondly, just like SP’s goal is often to avoid your main attacker and kill things on your bench, that is the same goal that this deck has. Keep dragging up and KOing benched Luxray GLs, Garchomp Cs, Bronzong Gs, Crobat Gs, Uxies, etc.

Changes

Like every deck builder should be doing, I am always looking for ways to improve and push my decks (as well as myself) to be better and better. Since this is a relatively new deck (at least for me), here is a list of changes that I am considering.

Uxie LV.X

pokebeach.comWhen I first constructed the deck, Uxie LV.X was included in the list. However, as time went on, Uxie LV.X proved less and less useful. However, I do plan to try it out again because the list has changed quite a bit since Uxie LV.X was in it.

Seeker

Easily one of the best cards from Triumphant, Seeker has so many uses, it’s mind-blowing. Being able
to reuse Uxies, potentially get the donk at times (when my opponent has two Pokémon left, drag up the weakest one, then Seeker up the other one and get the KO) and a lot of other neat tricks. Also, if I need to hit a vital heads on a “Magnetic Reversal” coin flip, but miss it, I can use Seeker, then BTS it back in play and get another shot. I can also think of a few ways to abuse it with Metagross SV as well.

-1 Warp Energy, +1 Energy Exchanger

While this card has certainly proved useful, I am considering adding in an Energy Exchanger in the place of one copy. In theory, it wouldn’t hurt my ability to get Warp Energy when I need it and would probably be more useful in match ups that don’t involve dragging up my Pokémon.

Metagross LA/Machamp SF

While this would be a completely different deck, I think that it could work out well. I use Metagross LA to consistently drag up Basic Pokémon and use Machamp to 1HKO them. It could be very disruptive, being able to always kill their most important benched Pokémon.

Crobat G

pokebeach.comWhile Expert Belt and Metagross SV do a great job at allowing me to get 1HKOs on Garchomp C LV.X, Luxray GL LV.X, Gyarados, etc., but having a very searchable way to do this (Since it’s a Basic Pokémon) could be a good thing.

Match Ups

To finish off this article, I would like to talk about what each of Metagross’s match ups look like, as well as a few quick tips on how to play it.

Note: These match ups are based on your playing against good players with near-perfected lists. If your opponent isn’t very good with the deck or the list isn’t too good, you can expect your chances in the match to be raised by 5-10%.

General Tip for All Match ups: Use Judge to ruin their hand, especially if it means breaking a Cyrus’s Conspiracy Chain!

LuxChomp 50/50

I would say this match up is about even. They will try to disrupt you and snipe around for the victory. In addition, they will attempt to use “Bright Look” to prevent you from reaching 100 damage with Metagross. Of coarse a Spiritomb start is your best one, so try to get one out on Turn 1, if possible.

To win against LuxChomp, try to get out two Metagross LA as quickly as possible. Try to disrupt them by KOing their benched Dialga Basic Pokémon SP that Level Up (IE Luxray, Garchomp). If you have a choice between the two, you typically want to KO Luxray because 1) “Bright Look” can cause you trouble and 2) Luxray GL LV.X is harder to 1HKO than Garchomp C LV.X.

DialgaChomp 40/60 (very consistent version) – 45/55 (includes more techs)

pokebeach.com

This will be your hardest match up, Dialga G LV.X will be difficult to KO because of “Healing Breath”, it will make Metagross SV useless and will “Remove Lost” your Energies. To remedy this problem, I had tried running an Arceus Fire along with a Rainbow Energy, so I could get a 1HKO when I needed it.

Surprisingly, it worked out quite well (only because of Twins). However, I eventually realized that Mesprit was more effective and took less deck space.

However, despite all of this, your best bet is to get a fast Metagross LA set up and attempt to disrupt them as much as possible. Often times, you’re able to prevent them from every getting a Dialga G LV.X fully powered up because you KO it before then.

Machamp 60/40

One of your easiest match ups, Spiritomb makes it difficult for them to get the donk and an Expert Belt + Crobat G/Metagross SV easily put Machamp SF in 1HKO range. Also, placing Mesprit at a key time to prevent a key “Fighting Tag can easily get you the win.

Sablelock/Chenlock ~50/50 ~45/55

As with many disruption based decks, start and luck as well as player ability play such a huge role, that it is very difficult to predict who will win. However, you can expect your match up against Chenlock to be harder because Blaziken FB LV.X can 1HKO Metagross.

A Spiritomb start is your best friend, locking them out of Trainers and giving you a chance to set up. A Smeargle start (even if you can’t “Portrait” a Pokémon Collector) is very powerful as well. Also, Judge is key in this match. Obviously, your opponent will be heavily disrupting you throughout the match, but being able to throw back a few Judge really helps you out (especially if you can ruin a Cyrus’s Conspiracy Chain).

VileGar 60/40

pokebeach.comVileGar should be another one of your easier match ups. Since we run Spiritomb, we have access to a great Starter Pokémon as well. Twins will really give us an edge if they get an early lead. Your best bet is to play around “Fainting Spell” via “Magnetic Reversal”. First, drag up and Vileplume for a 2HKO, then keep playing around Gengar as much as possible.

Something to note, it is most likely a very bad idea to use Expert Belt on Metagross! Not only will it make a “Fainting Spell” flip incredible risky, but just being KO’d in general. However, one card that CAN use Expert Belt quite well is Uxie. If you manage to get Gengar down to 40 HP or less, bring up Uxie, attach Expert Belt and Knock it Out.

Should YOU use Metagross?

If you’re reading this article and thinking, “Should I take Metagross to States (or any other tournament this year)?”, you will first need to take a look at what you believe the Metagame will look like. In order to answer this question, you will first need to answer this one: “How popular will DialgaChomp be?”. If you foresee it being the most played deck, Metagross is an okay play at best. However, if you are predicting (based on RESEARCH, not a wild guess) that DialgaChomp will be played less than LuxChomp, VileGar and Gyarados, then Metagross is a smart play.

Well, that’s it for this article, I hope you enjoyed hearing about Metagross LA, a very underestimated card that deserves to see a lot more play than it does.
Until next time,

-Dakota Streck

dstreck96@yahoo.com

If anyone would like some help constructing their deck for States, I’m always more than happy to help, just send an email to dstreck96@yahoo.com and I’ll be sure to get back to you asap.

Reader Interactions

10 replies

  1. Jonah Davids

    I really liked this one Dakota! I think your list needs a Black Belt. It would allow you to do 90 damage with a new Metagross. Good job!

  2. Joshua Pikka

    Great article, I like the deck and the article

    Though I think Luxchomp would outspeed it.

    I think it would be a good idea to try like a Healix deck with Metagross in instead. With special metals and healing, it could be a tank.

  3. George

    Dakota,
    My son played a list similar to this at the last Cities tournament and had his best showing of the year. It has some potential, but suffers against Blaziken FB. The Magnetic Reversal PokePower can really disrupt. And, unlike Luxray GL Lv X, it can be used every turn to pull up OHKO targets.

  4. George

    Dakota,
    My son played a list similar to this at the last Cities tournament and had his best showing of the year. It has some potential, but suffers against Blaziken FB. The Magnetic Reversal PokePower can really disrupt. And, unlike Luxray GL Lv X, it can be used every turn to pull up OHKO targets.

      • George  → Dakota

        Sorry, I tried to send you the list last night and really wiffed on it. I fixed it this morning and resent it. I had forgotten the changes we made to it and didn’t take a couple Warps out of the new version.

        • George  → George

          Just to follow up
          Harrison went 3-3 at States in Florida with his Metagross/Scizor/Dialga deck. It was his best States results in the 4 we have attended and three more wins than he had in the last two States tournaments combine!
          Thanks for sharing ideas, they really helped!

  5. theo Seeds

    One time (for some reason) i ran a 1-1-1 with 1 rare candy line of this in Regigigas as A: OHKO Mewtwo with belt and B: Kill Claydol (note: this was before regigigas was popular). I used it against CurseGar and broke the Spiritomb lock and killed gengar with the combo

  6. Frank P

    Great deck – thanks for the article. My daughter and I changed a couple things to suit her style of play. Here are changes we made. She won a tournament at our league this week — out of 18 pretty competitive players. A lot of Kingdra Prime, Donphan, etc.

    -3 ‘tomb
    +1 sableye, jirachi, crobat G

    -1 bebes, collector, judge, conductive quarry
    +4 poke turn

    There are other ways to “fall behind” to abuse “twins”, and having other optional starters, plus a couple free retreat starters is nice. Worked out well for her. Thanks again!

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