If you’re familiar with my work over from Discount Pokemon Decks, you’ll know my affinity for a good deal. While it’s easy to win with that deck that everyone else is playing, there’s a lot of good decks out there that get overlooked and infrequently played. Part of the joy of Pokemon The Card Game is finding combinations of cards that work well together and building decks around them. And while some might saying going with a well-known battle tested deck is the way to go, I say there’s a lot to be gained with the surprise of a lesser-played deck.
Which brings me to today’s seldom-used card: Metagross GX. Right now Metagross is trading for about 1 to 1.5 “packs” online, which makes it one of the less expensive competitive GX cards. However, MetaGross GX has just about everything you’d want in a card. High hit points? Check! Energy acceleration ability? Check! Strong attack? Check! Ability to draw cards? Check! Synergy with itself? Check! So where’s the love?
In an attempt to get the most out of this beast of a card, I’ve created this deck, loaded with synergy.
****** Pokémon Trading Card Game Deck List ******
##Pokémon - 17
* 4 Beldum GRI 83
* 3 Metang GRI 84
* 4 Metagross-GX GRI 85
* 4 Mimikyu GRI 58
* 2 Tapu Lele-GX GRI 60
##Trainer Cards - 31
* 2 Rescue Stretcher GRI 130
* 1 Sophocles BUS 123
* 2 Lillie SUM 122
* 1 Gladion CIN 95
* 1 Heavy Ball BKT 140
* 4 Ultra Ball FLF 99
* 2 Field Blower GRI 125
* 2 Guzma BUS 115
* 4 N FCO 105
* 2 Choice Band GRI 121
* 3 Max Potion BKP 103
* 3 Rare Candy PRC 135
* 2 Professor Sycamore PHF 101
* 2 Brigette BKT 134
##Energy - 12
* 9 Metal Energy Energy 8
* 3 Psychic Energy XYEnergy 8
Total Cards - 60
****** Deck List Generated by the Pokémon TCG Online www.pokemon.com/TCGO ******
The focal point is obvious. Get 1-3 Metagross GX, and shuffle between them for 150 (or 180 with choice band) damage per turn. Once this is achieved, the high hit points and energy acceleration makes these tanks difficult to knock out. If your opponent can’t muster 250 damage in a single attack, and doesn’t have a Guzma to target a damaged bench Metagross they may have a difficult time collecting their prize cards.
Think of Metagross GX as a heavy weight fighter with a strong chin and nimble feet. While it lacks a knock out punch, it can go toe-to-toe and eventually wear your opponent down. Think of Floyd Mayweather, not Mike Tyson.
There’s lot of synergy to go along with our focal point. Since MetaGross’ Ability (Geotech System) attaches energy from the discard pile ( or ) to the active pokemon, anything that discards energy is welcome: Ultra Balls, Sycamore, Sophocles, and even retreating! Max Potion fits here as well, as both discarding energy and making it difficult to knock out Metagross is part of the deck’s theme.
One thing that I haven’t seen elsewhere (but correct me if I’m wrong) is that I’ve paired it with Mimikyu. The standard pairing is Alolan Vulpix. I’m not sure that’s an ideal match. While Vulpix provides the ability to get pokemon in your hand, it’s a uni-tasker. Outside of that role, there’s no benefit.
On the other hand Mimikyu is a stronger sidekick to our focal point. Early on, drawing 2 cards is a bonus and helps this slow deck along. Later in the game, the ability to mimic opponent attacks (Copycat) can blindside your opponent. Additionally, Metagross can power your Mimikyu, since it can place psychic energy () as well.
If you put this deck together, you’ll notice lots of ways this deck plays nice with itself. There are tons of micro-synergies within these 60 cards. If you’re lucky to get a Metagross active early but only have a single energy, its GX attack (Algorithm) can place 5 selected cards in your hand. Meanwhile later in the game, Tapu Lele’s GX attack (Tapu Cure) can heal your whole bench. With a single Metagross GX and one energy, you can power it fully in 1 turn if you have an energy in your hand and one in your discard. Tapu Lele’s attack (Energy Drive) becomes powerful when your Metagross can place multiple energies on it.
That said this deck has its weaknesses. It is a slow starter as you have to get one or more stage 2 pokemon, which is difficult in any deck. Hence, speed decks can knock out beldums and metangs before they are fully formed. An obvious weakness is fire type decks; so Ho-Oh is a big Uh-Oh!
Two other cards to watch out for are Espeon EX (devolve Metagross GX) and Garbodor (shut off abilities), and dealing with them early is imperative. Wall cards (Alolan Ninetales, Hoopa, Glaceon EX, etc.) can be problematic, but there are ways to deal with them. Evolving short to Metang or using Mimikyu usually helps out in these situations.
All in all this deck is strong and inexpensive. The price of 4-4-4 Metagross GX on PTCGO, is equal to a single Gardevoir GX or Silvally GX. It performs well against many top tier decks, and completely crushes lesser decks. Back in July, tablemon made a video about a Metagross GX deck that surprisingly placed 2nd. A quick scan of September tournament decks reveals just a smattering of Metagross decks in Standard competition. So there’s no doubt this card has a place in the meta, it just suffers from under-usage.