Hello everyone! If you guys are like me, the past few weeks have been quite the experience in trying to figure out what to play for the tournaments in Nashville. Whether you are playing in the World Championships or you are playing in the Nashville Open, your next tournament is easily one of the most important tournaments of the season. With so much on the line in a format that has a whole new set introduced into it, things can get very confusing. Well today, I thought that I might bring you guys something a little off-meta that is actually quite well positioned in our new meta. That deck is Dusk Mane Necrozma/ Magnezone.
This deck has been slept on and pushed to the side since its release despite impressive performances by those who chose to play it. At the very least, you could keep this deck as a back up pick in case everything goes wrong in testing so you can rest easy in the weeks to come as Worlds inches closer. I will first explain to you all why Dusk Mane Necrozma is in an even better position than it was before Celestial Storm’s release, and then I will give you guys some lists and talk about the matchups. Let’s get into it!
Breaking the Rules in a Control Meta
US Nationals was very informative in that it showed us where we were headed with the play styles of the upcoming top decks. Both the 1st and 2nd place decks were focused around disruption, and the 2nd place deck attempted to do almost nothing but disruption. The reason decks like this are able to succeed is because they take advantage of a metagame where decks give up their safety nets to opt for high-power aggression, a.k.a. Buzzwole-GX. I would not be surprised to see our entire meta shift toward control decks as more and more players realize this strength. We could even see new control decks gain popularity such as Mismagius/Garbodor.
We all know that one of the most basic rules of Pokémon TCG is that you can only attach one energy per turn. You could look at Magnezone as a particularly special card in the game because it is able to forego that rule as long as we are attaching Metal energy. In control metas like the one we are in now, decks attempt to play off of the restrictions of the game. In theory, if one were to play a slightly slower deck that was able to cover their bases when it came to getting Counter Catcher stalled or had their energy discarded from play, then it should be able to easily go up against a control deck. This is exactly what we can accomplish with Dusk Mane Necrozma/Magnezone
Pokémon – 16
Trainers – 33
Energy – 11
This list might catch you a little off guard with how risky some of the counts are—I know the first time I saw the original list for this deck, I was caught off guard as well. However, somehow this combination of Supporters, along with Octillery, seem to be in a sweet spot for pulling off a consistent t2 Magnezone, and at the very worst a turn 3 Magnezone. Octillery works great in this deck because your opponent can’t afford to kill it unless they want to get Sun’s Eclipse-GX’d, 1HKOing whatever Pokémon they have in play.
This means your early game draw can be reliant on Octillery, unlike in other decks where Remoraid gets targeted. This threat is one of the main reasons I think the deck is so good compared to other set up 1HKO decks. Before you pass any judgement on the list or the deck as a whole, build the 60 card deck, and play a best 2 out of 3 with it.
Dialga-GX is such a powerhouse in this deck. Being able to take 2 turns in a row puts you at such an advantage, and with Octillery in the deck, pulling off a Timeless-GX is a lot easier than you would think. Timeless-GX can single handedly win you the Buzzwole.dec matchup, but we will go over that in the matchup section. You can use combinations of Shred and Timeless-GX to put your opponent in checkmate positions if they do not respond quickly. To top it all off, Dialga-GX’s first attack Overclock is extremely useful, and you might find yourself furthering your board state in the early game with it quite often.
As we discussed earlier, Octillery is especially effective in this deck because your opponent has to constantly worry about getting Sun’s Eclipse’d after they go up in the prize exchange. If you are playing against a smart player, this means that at least in the early game, they will not touch your Remoraid, giving you access to a lot of potential draw. This in combination with attaching infinite energies with Magnezone can put you in positions to very easily run away with a game.
We play 2-2 Octillery to make sure we do not prize a piece and give us a slightly easier time to find it. Also, both Octillery can be very important to have on board. An opponent’s game plan may be to N you to 2 and Counter Catcher your Octillery in hopes that you cannot draw out of that position. Having 2 Octillery in play, or an Octillery and a Remoraid, effectively negates that potential play and secures you the game.
“Isaiah, how could you possibly play so few supporters?? There is no way this works!”
When I played the deck for the first time, I thought the same thing. It turns out though, that you can be greedy with Supporters in this deck because of all of the draw power that Octillery provides. This means we can do things like play 2 Skyla to essentially insure we can pull off an early Magnezone and find things like the Rare Candy or Ultra ball. Of course, we still play 6 draw Supporters in the circumstances we don’t really have anything to play.
I’ve found this to be the perfect count when it comes to having enough energy to close out a game. Mt. Coronet is easily the most efficient energy recycler because it stays in play and can be used in every turn. It also acts as a counter Stadium against things like Parallel City. Energy Retrieval is there to use in combination with Mt. Coronet to get an easy 4 energies back from the discard. Fisherman is the only card I am not 100% on, but it proves itself to be worth the spot in the deck as a last turn of the game finisher in countless different games.
Three Field Blower is necessary in this deck if you do not want to lose to Garbodor’s Garbotoxin. The deck is insanely reliant on Abilities between Magnezone and Octillery. Having 3 Field Blower as well as 2 Skyla gives you 5 outs to the ability lock. In testing, this proved to be quite sufficient in taking down the match up.
I have tested 10 Metal and 3 Professor’s Letter, and I have tested 12 Metal and 1 Professor’s Letter. This split seems to be the most optimal. It flows the best, and I rarely feel like I ever miss early energy.
All of my matchups are positive, and that is the case assuming you are able to set up. Like with any set up deck, sometimes the deck just beats itself. The list I have above, however, has shown to be quite consistent in setting up and should get the job done in a Bo3 match.
This is a match up where you really have to feel how the pace of the game is going. If your hand is really good, then don’t be afraid to jump up in the prize exchange by taking a 1HKO on a Zoroark-GX. A good opponent will not attempt to kill your Magnemite/Remoraid, but instead will just start hitting your GXs for 2HKOs with a ‘Toxin in play. To counter this, you can Timeless-GX a Garbodor/Trubbish to remove the Ability lock from play. Having to take an extra KO in the game can be worth it if it means you get free reign to Abilities for the rest of the game. Using Timeless-GX gives you back that turn anyway. If you can find the Field Blower/KO the Garbodor, then the match up should not be too hard for you, as you 1HKO all of their GXs and they do not 1HKO you back.
This matchup is one of your easier ones if you play it correctly. Since your opponent can never 1-shot you, they will attempt to disrupt you into a dead hand before they start taking multiple KOs. You really need to be ready for the turn where you go down to 2 Prize cards, and your opponent plays Counter Catcher on Octillery followed up by an N. If they do this and you do not have a response, it is very easy to lose. There are three ways to avoid this play. The easiest is to just attach 7 energies to your Dusk Mane Necrozma the turn before so your opponent cannot take the KO on Octillery, since you already have the necessary energy to use Meteor Tempest for your last 2 Prizes. If need be, do not even take a KO to take the prize lead if you think your opponent can pull off the Counter Catcher/N play. Octillery is always your first priority.
The 2nd way is to hit your opponent with Dialga’s Shred when you have 4 Prize cards left. If your opponent does not heal that damage, then you can GX them for KO to go down to 2 Prizes. Then you can retreat your Dialga and Meteor Tempest for game to completely skip over the possibility of getting N’d to 2. Keep note that this play works just the same if you use Dusk Mane Necrozma’s Claw Slash.
The 3rd way is to just have 2 Octillery in play when you take your 2nd to last KO. This way, your opponent cannot counter catcher both of your Octillery. Having a Remoraid in play works similarly, but is a bit riskier. When you have this board state, your opponent will attempt to make you discard your 2nd Octillery by playing Parallel City. DO NOT discard your 2nd Octillery! Just take your bench down to 2 Octillery and a Magnezone. A board state with no attacker is much better than a board state with no Octillery after an N to 2. It is likely you still can take the KO for game that turn if you have access to both Octillery.
Other Zoroark decks 65-35
Other Zoroark matchups are the easiest because they attempt to do what ZoroGarb or ZoroDisruption do, but they are not build to streamline it like those two decks are. Just approach the matchup in the same way and it should be very easy.
This match up is pretty easy as well, especially if you are able to set up. The first time I was introduced to this Magnezone deck was at Mexico City Regionals where my opponent bodied me during Day 2 while I was piloting BuzzRoc. The way you win this game is by attacking with Dialga-GX and Magnezone. If your opponent is good, they will attempt to overwhelm you with multiple baby Buzzwole. You should do the same thing back to them by hitting them with Magnezone’s attack for 130.
There is no way a baby Buzzwole will be able to swing for 150 damage to 1HKO you back. If you are able to use a Timeless-GX and take your opponent from 5 Prizes to 3 Prizes to skip their Sledgehammer, you have such an advantage. If you are able to do this same play to skip from 5 to 2 by taking a GX KO, you have won the game.
This is a matchup that I need to put more testing into. However, the games I have played of it seem to go as I would expect them to. Do not be afraid to let Rayquaza go up in Prizes as they do with their early pressure. You can follow up their KO with a Sun’s Eclipse. Most likely, they will not be able to 1HKO you back because of 3 energies they just lost. Even if they are able to, you can just power up another Necrozma with Magnezone and take a KO. 2 KOs back to back and they will definitely not be able to kill you again. Try to have a Guzma in your hand for the turn they use Latias to finish the game.
A New List to Try
Pokémon – 13
Trainers – 36
Energy – 11
This list is much more heavily Item based and may prove to be more consistent in setting up. It uses the newly printed Acro Bike and Order Pads in order to find the items you might need, instead of going for Skyla. I have a played a few games with this list, and I personally prefer the other list because this one seems fragile. You either dominate the game, or lose hard. The other list has a more solid feel to it for me in that I can figure out most situations in order to get back in the game. Maybe it works different for you, however, so I thought I’d include the list in the article.
Dusk Mane Necrozma/Magnezone sits in a pretty good place in our current meta, more so than it has in any other meta. A list that is very similar to the one in the article got 19th place at both Charlotte and Mexico City Regionals. Another list quite similar got t64 at NAIC. Given the very few people playing this deck at those events, these finishes should not just be brushed off. If you are completely lost in this meta, I would highly recommend giving this deck a go. To the very least, keep it in your back pocket as a pick as you see the meta develop more. I personally am highly considering playing this deck for Day 1 of worlds. It is my #2 pick as of the moment behind Zoroark-GX.
Well, that is all I have for you guys with this article today! Thank you so much for reading through this, and I hope I have been able to contribute to your testing for Worlds/ Nashville Open. I will be writing one more article right before Worlds so be on the lookout for that! I am very excited for Worlds and I cannot wait to see all of you guys there! Until next time, good luck at Worlds/ Nashville Open and good luck at your future tournaments.
…and that will conclude this Unlocked Underground article.
After 45 days, we unlock each Underground (UG/★) article for public viewing. New articles are reserved for Underground members.
Underground Members: Thank you for making this article possible!
Other Readers: Check out the FAQ if you are interested in joining Underground and gaining full access to our latest content.