Tales from the Scrapyard

A 10th Place NH States Report and Bronzong Deck Analysis

Hello SixPrizes readers! My name is John D’Alotto, and since I’ve never written for this site before, I’d like to give a brief introduction. I’m currently a sophomore in high school from the South Shore of Massachusetts and a first-year Pokémon player in the Masters Division. I haven’t had many significant accomplishments yet, but so far this year I’ve managed to Top 8 a City Championship, Top 16 a larger City Championship, and Top 16 the New Hampshire State Championship. (Note: If any of you have been active on the forums for a while, you also may know me as Gelato, the champion of the 6P TOTC last year.)

As for hobbies outside of Pokémon, my favorite subject in school is chemistry, and I enjoy snowboarding as well as playing and watching soccer. However, what I am here to write about today is my experience at the New Hampshire State Championship, along with an analysis of the deck and list I used to reach a 10th place finish at the event.

The Deck

bronzong heatran mangaphantomvile.tumblr.com
Metal had mettle in the meta. (Say that five times fast!)

Leading up to the event, I was very unsure of what deck to play. I was coming off of a mediocre finish at Massachusetts with a M Manectric-EX/Seismitoad-EX/Garbodor LTR deck, and I knew that I needed to change things up. I had very limited time to test between the two events, but I was able to spend my daily train rides to and from school thinking about potential deck choices. After hours of consideration, I was able to narrow my options down to three choices: Primal Groudon with Masquerain PLB, VG with Mega Manectric, and Bronzong PHF/Dialga-EX. When I arrived home from school on the Friday before the tournament, I played a few games and drew test hands with each deck. However, I still could not bring myself to rule out any of the three decks. At about 10 PM, I decided that I would be better off getting a good night’s sleep and make the decision on the two-hour car ride to New Hampshire.

After I had woken up and showered on Saturday morning, I was finally able to rule out a deck: I decided that I would not be playing Primal Groudon because I felt it to be too prone to drawing clunky hands and missing important pieces of its set up. That left VG/Manectric and Bronzong as my options for the event.

To help myself decide, I tried to think about the meta I was expecting at the event. Since Seismitoad-EX had dominated the first week of States, I expected there to be lots of VG, especially because it has always been popular in New England. Yveltal was very popular in Massachusetts and ended up winning the event, and I expected its popularity to remain at about the same level. I also anticipated that most builds would not be running Garbodor, as it was largely ineffective against Seismitoad decks. Finally, I knew that some people would stick with Seismitoad, and there would likely be a few Flareon, Donphan, Groudon, and Manectric decks.

VG/Manectric could beat Seismitoad and Yveltal, while Metal had good matchups against Yveltal without Garbodor and VG. When I arrived at the venue, I saw a good amount of Straight Yveltal decks and VG, so I finally made the decision to play Metal. As I made my decision final by turning in my decklist, I realized that I should have been playing Metal all along. It was the first deck I tested in the BCR–PRC format and the deck I have the most practice with overall.

Without further ado, here is the list I used:

Pokémon – 16

4 Bronzor PHF
4 Bronzong PHF
3 Dialga-EX
2 Mewtwo-EX NXD
1 Aegislash-EX
1 Heatran PHF
1 Keldeo-EX

Trainers – 32

4 Professor Sycamore

4 N

2 Colress

2 Lysandre

1 Skyla


4 VS Seeker

4 Ultra Ball
2 Battle Compressor
3 Muscle Band
2 Float Stone
2 Head Ringer
1 Startling Megaphone
1 Computer Search

Energy – 12

8 M

4 Double Colorless

Card Choices

3 Dialga-EX

For this particular meta, I knew I wanted Dialga-EX to be the main attacker of my deck. Both of its attacks are amazing against VG, with Chrono Wind being able to prevent Virizion from using Emerald Slash in the early game, and a Muscle Banded Full Metal Impact can Knock Out a Genesect-EX or Virizion-EX in one attack. In addition to Virizion and Genesect, a Muscle Banded Full Metal Impact can Knock Out other common Pokémon such as Yveltal-EX, Mewtwo-EX, and Gardevoir-EX after it has used Shining Wind. Chrono Wind was also extremely useful against Seismitoad-EX, as it could earn me a turn of Items by preventing a Quaking Punch if my opponent did not have some way to switch into a new Seismitoad.

2 Mewtwo-EX

Mewtwo is great in decks like Metal that have inherent Energy acceleration, as loading up a Mewtwo with 7 or 8 Energy can easily finish out a game. While accumulating lots of Energy onto a Mewtwo on the Bench, I was able to put pressure on my opponent to eliminate the Mewtwo so that I could then respond with a Dialga or another threat. However, I never really found myself in need of the second copy throughout the event, so I’d consider dropping the count down to one in the future.

1 Aegislash-EX

So nice I’d play it twice.

Despite Aegislash’s ability to completely wall some attackers, I felt as though Yveltal and VG could easily play around it, making it less effective. Mighty Shield was still extremely useful in some matchups, notably decks with Seismitoad. After looking back on the tournament, I’d drop the second Mewtwo for another copy of this, and add in some Steel Shelter to completely wall against Seismitoad.

1 Heatran PHF

For my non-EX attacker, I elected to use Heatran over Cobalion LTR. To me, Cobalion seemed more like a disruptive option, while Heatran was an amazing attacker against Donphan PLS, Mew-EX, and Yveltal XY by being able to Knock them Out with Steam Blast. Due to its relatively high HP of 130, some Pokémon are not able to Knock it Out with one attack, making 2HKOs with Steam Blast a feasible option in some situations.

1 Keldeo-EX, 2 Float Stone

Keldeo was absolutely incredible for me in testing with this deck and in actual tournament play. The ability to Rush In with Keldeo, Metal Links to any Pokémon on your Bench, and then retreat into that Pokémon with Float Stone allowed me to stream attackers and keep pressure on my opponents for the entire game. Keldeo was also useful in other situations, such as removing Special Conditions and preventing my opponent from stalling by using Lysandre to lock a Pokémon that can’t retreat Active.

1 Skyla

I chose to include a singleton copy of Skyla to give me increased access to important Items, or any card in the deck by grabbing Computer Search. I noticed in testing that I would often be missing one piece for a particular combo to work, and once I added in Skyla the deck ran much more smoothly. Because I run two copies of Battle Compressor and four copies of VS Seeker, I would often use Battle Compressor or Ultra Ball to discard the Skyla early, so I could access it when necessary with a VS Seeker.

2 Battle Compressor

Bronzong requires Energy in the discard to begin accelerating with Metal Links and applying pressure, and Battle Compressor is the most efficient way to ensure Energy reach the discard. This also combo’d well with VS Seeker, as I would frequently use Battle Compressor to discard a Supporter I needed and then immediately VS Seeker it back and use it. This synergy definitely reduced the amount of times I dead-drew in the tournament. Finally, I sometimes used Battle Compressor to discard dead cards from my deck, so as to increase my odds of drawing useful cards if I was N’d to a low hand size late game.

2 Head Ringer

I actually got the idea to add these into the deck from my good friend Adam Tuttle, who has had a lot of experience with Bronzong. Once I added them in, I never looked back. Dialga’s Chrono Wind and Head Ringer are a deadly combo against VG for preventing a turn two Emerald Slash from Virizion. Also in the VG matchup, putting Head Ringer onto a Gensect is an effective means of preventing a G Booster from causing damage to my board. Head Ringer was also great against any EX attacker that I was worried about, such as Yveltal, Seismitoad, and Landorus, and it prevented cards like Kyogre, Groudon, Manectric, and Gardevoir from Mega Evolving without ending the turn. Finally, being able to search out a Head Ringer on the first turn with Skyla or Computer Search was an asset in hindering my opponent’s set up.


dialga-ex attacks
These attacks are used time and time again.

Virizion/Genesect: Favorable

Due to the Dialga-centric strategy of my deck, this matchup is extremely easy to win. In the early turns of the game, the combination of Head Ringer and Chrono Wind from Dialga is effective at preventing Virizion from using Emerald Slash. If the opponent does manage to start building up a field of attackers, a series of Muscle Banded Full Metal Impacts is nearly impossible for the opponent to stop. The one threat to watch out for is G Booster onto an attacking Dialga, which can be a setback if you have no backup attacker ready on the Bench. However, the single copy of Startling Megaphone can really shine here if the opponent places down their G Booster before being able to use the attack.

Yveltal Variants: Slightly Favorable to Slightly Unfavorable

Against the non-Garbodor version of the deck, the game plan is about the same as it is in most matchups. Full Metal Impact can Knock Out Yveltal-EX, while Heatran easily dispatches Yveltal XY. If the opponent is attempting to use a Seismitoad to Quaking Punch, a proactive Head Ringer can protect from that play. Head Ringer can also be used to force the opponent to commit more Energy to Yveltal-EX to attack, allowing a Mewtwo-EX to potentially pick up a KO with an X Ball. An important thing to note is that Darkrai-EX’s Dark Cloak greatly reduces the effectiveness of Chrono Wind because the opponent can retreat their Pokémon for free to remove the effect.

If the opponent is in fact playing a Garbodor variant of Yveltal, the matchup is slightly worse, but Startling Megaphone instantly becomes a crucial card. The best use of the single copy of the card is to play it on a turn in which you can Metal Links onto an attacker to respond with a surprise knockout on an opposing Pokémon.

While Garbotoxin is activated, I prefer Mewtwo-EX as my primary attacker. A first or second turn X Ball places a lot of pressure on your opponent — and the attack becomes more potent as the game progresses and more Energy is attached to the Mewtwo because the Energy is not discarded in a way such as Dialga’s attack. Also, a Mewtwo with a DCE and a Muscle Band, or just three Energy of any kind, can Knock Out a Garbodor should you have a Lysandre to use.

Finally, this deck will likely have Garbotoxin active, which shuts off Dark Cloak and allows Chrono Wind to be used to full effectiveness.

Seismitoad Variants: Unfavorable

This is easily the hardest matchup for Metal. Being locked out of Items is detrimental to the strategy of the deck. Without the ability to use Keldeo and Float Stone as a switching effect, or Battle Compressor to discard Energy, it is significantly harder to be able to use Metal Links onto a desired attacker. Each variant of Seismitoad has its particular problems, but I’ll focus on two of the most prevalent variants.

Seismitoad/Garbodor: This is by far the worst variant of Seismitoad to play against, as Aegislash will be unable to wall against damage from Seismitoad, Bronzong cannot use Metal Links to build up a threatening board, and Keldeo cannot use Rush In to bail out of Special Conditions. For this matchup, I tended to use Mewtwo to try and 2HKO Seismitoads, and Knock Out Garbodors that I had Lysandre’d. As always, Dialga’s Chrono Wind can grant me a turn of Items if my opponent whiffs a Switch to remove the effect of the attack.

Seismitoad/Slurpuff: Playing against this variant is easier than the Garbodor variant because I am still able to use Abilities here. Metal Links now gives the potential to build a strong field of attackers to dominate the late game, and Rush In prevents Laser damage from accumulating too much. In fact, my usual first turn strategy in this matchup was to push for a first turn Keldeo with a Float Stone to guarantee that I could use Rush In for the entire game, barring any Xerosic plays from my opponent. Unfortunately, this variant of Seismitoad is largely immune to the Chrono Wind strategy, as Slurpuff’s Tasting Ability increases the odds that the opponent will be able to find a switching card to remove the condition.

Landorus/Crobat: Slightly Unfavorable

This matchup can be very difficult to navigate. The combination of Landorus’ Hammerhead snipe and Crobat’s and Golbat’s Surprise Bite and Sneaky Bite Abilities, Bronzor and Bronzong are never entirely safe on the Bench. To be successful against this deck, it is often best to try and bench as many Bronzor as possible in the first few turns to ensure that at least one Bronzong can stay on the field and use Metal Links. A turn one Head Ringer onto a Landorus is also extremely helpful, as well as using Chrono Wind. Because of Landorus’ hefty Retreat Cost, it may be stuck Active and be forced to miss a turn of attacking. Finally, a late-game Aegislash can disrupt an opponent who has been careless with their Strong Energy attachments.

Aromatisse Variants: Highly Favorable

Variants of Aromatisse centered around Mega Gardevoir are incredibly simple to beat. Dialga’s Full Metal Impact can Knock Out any Fairy-type Pokémon in the deck, which for most lists is every Pokémon included. If the opponent tries to use regular Gardevoir’s Shining Wind attack to remove its Weakness, Dialga can still Knock it Out with a Muscle Banded Full Metal Impact.

Mega Manectric toolbox variants pose a bit more of a challenge, but are still not incredibly hard to deal with. The best strategy is to use Aegislash as the main attacker, as the only Pokémon that can damage it are M Manectric (only with a basic Lightning attached) and Seismitoad. Because most lists run neither Hypnotoxic Laser nor Muscle Band, Aegislash can easily outdamage Seismitoad and trade effectively.

Donphan: Even to Slightly Favorable

Great against Donphan and Night March.

The 4 VS Seeker really shine against Donphan. Because of that count, there are essentially six Lysandre to be used, which is incredibly useful with all of the viable ways to Knock Out a Donphan in one shot. Dialga’s Full Metal Impact, Keldeo’s Secret Sword with a Muscle Band, and Heatran’s Steam Blast all get the job done. The best option out of these is Heatran, as it is only a 1-Prize attacker that will likely not be Knocked Out in one hit unless the Donphan player uses Wreck, which then leaves the Donphan open to being Knocked Out by another attacker. Again, Aegislash can be useful later in the game against this deck once most of the opponent’s Donphans have Strong Energy attached to them.

Night March: Even to Slightly Unfavorable

Against Night March, I prefer to start attacking with Aegislash as soon as possible. This forces the opponent to use Mew-EX with a basic Energy to copy Joltik’s Night March to even damage Aegislash at all. If the Mew is Head Ringer’d, then the opponent will have to spend two turns attaching basic Energy to Mew to attack, while Aegislash can Knock it Out before it even becomes a threat. Because Aegislash resists Mew’s attacks, the opponent will need ten Night Marchers in the discard to Knock Out Aegislash in one attack (or nine with a Muscle Band).

Heatran is also extremely useful here, as it can Knock Out a Mew and then resist a retaliatory attack from another Mew or a Pumpkaboo. To Knock Out a Heatran, the opponent would need seven Night Marchers in the discard (or six with Muscle Band). Finally, Heatran’s Steel Drop is great for Knocking Out Joltiks and Pumpkaboos with either a Dimension Valley in play or a Muscle Band on Heatran.

Flareon: Highly Unfavorable

Nearly every deck in this format has an auto-loss, and Flareon certainly fulfills that role for Bronzong. Due to the Fire-type Weakness of Dialga and Heatran, those attackers are veritably unusable against Flareon. Aegislash again has some use because of its Ability, which forces the opponent to commit two basic Energy to a Flareon to Knock Out Aegislash. Although Keldeo can Knock Out Flareon with Secret Sword, the opponent can respond with a knockout from a Leafeon with a Silver Bangle attached. Mewtwo is decent at Knocking Out Flareons with DCE attached with a three-Energy X Ball, but the opponent usually has no trouble discarding enough Pokémon to Knock Out the Mewtwo with another Flareon using Vengeance. Overall, this matchup is nearly unwinnable.

The Tournament

As for how my actual matches with my deck went, here’s a brief overview:

Round 1 vs. Yveltal/Manectric – LL
Round 2 vs. Aromatisse XY Toolbox – WW
Round 3 vs. M Gardevoir/Aromatisse – WW
Round 4 vs. VG – WW
Round 5 vs. Seismitoad/Slurpuff PHF/Swampert PRC 36 – LL
Round 6 vs. Plasma Lugia/Genesect/G Booster – LWW
Round 7 vs. VG/Empoleon/Archie’s – WW

Final Record: 5-2, 10th out of 84

Too. Much. Consistency!

Other than Round 1, my matches played out nearly the exact same way in testing. The loss in Round 1 was very unlucky on my behalf — I was donked in Game 1 and then lost to a Lysandre the turn before I would have taken my last 2 Prizes in Game 2. As for the loss in Round 5, my opponent was able to constantly find his switches with the Swampert + Slurpuff combo to remove the effect of Chrono Wind, and then recycle them with Lysandre’s Trump Card, so I was never really able to gain any traction to build up a threatening field of attackers.

After the conclusion of Round 7, my friend Adam Tuttle (my Round 3 opponent) used the pairings to determine that one of the four players with a 5-2 record would sneak into Top 8 as the last seed. Adam was also at 5-2, so I knew that that helped my resistance. However, I knew that my Round 1 and 2 opponents had ended up dropping from the tournament, so that would not be doing me any favors. I was extremely nervous while waiting for the final standings to be posted, but I tried to remain calm.

I passed the time by talking to people about how their tournaments went, and was excited to hear that my friends Kevin Drolet, Raymond Cipoletti, and Chris Murray were all guaranteed to make Top 8! Then, a tournament staff member walked to the pairings board with the final standings, and I looked and saw that I had … bubbled at tenth place. Luckily, Adam was the 5-2 that made it in as the eight seed, which was to me almost as satisfying as if I had made it in myself. After a closer look at the standings, I realized that despite the fact that Adam finished eighth and I finished in tenth, his resistance was only .3% higher than mine! Also, I had the exact same resistance as the ninth place player.

Despite the disappointment of being on the bubble, I was pleased with how my day went. I got to spend time with my friends and younger brother, play Pokémon, and on top of it all received some Championship Points and packs as prizes.


After playing through a tournament with my deck, I made a few changes to fix some of the flaws I noticed:

-1 Dialga-EX, -1 Battle Compressor, -1 Bronzong PHF
+1 Aegislash-EX, 2 Steel Shelter

The idea behind the addition of the Aegislash and Steel Shelters is to improve my Seismitoad matchup by making Aegislash completely impervious, since Steel Shelter prevents Hypnotoxic Laser damage, and Aegislash’s Ability prevents Quaking Punch from doing damage when used with a DCE.

Finally, I’d like to give a huge thank you to all of the friends I’ve made this year — and specifically Chris Wilkinson. I can honestly say I wouldn’t have done as well as I did in New Hampshire without all of the testing we did together and the advice you’ve given me from personal experience. I’m definitely looking forward to cheering you on at Worlds this year.

I’ll also be at Massachusetts Regionals this spring, and the World Championships in Boston this August, so feel free to say hello if you see me there!

Until next time,
– John

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