Ultra Prism Draft – Round 1

In preparation of the release of Ultra Prism, we decided to hold a “draft” as an exercise to determine which cards might be the most relevant. We looked for the 4 greatest Pokemon Card players in the land, and when they didn’t respond to our messages, we found Harvey, Mike, Juan, and FayID to take up the task.

Round DRAFT SPOT DRAFT PERSON Number Name Type Rarity
1 1 Harvey 119 Cynthia Su Uncommon
1 2 FayID 90 Dusk Mane NecrozmaGX Metal Ultra-Rare Rare
1 3 Mike 39 GlaceonGX Water Ultra-Rare Rare
1 4 Juan 120 Cyrus Prism Star Su Rare Holo

Mike: Cynthia is a great card. No doubt everyone will run 4 in their decks. I’m shocked that the Pokemon Gods released this card, because there was a penalty for redrawing more than 5 cards, either by gifting your opponent (N) or throwing out your current hand (Sycamore). However this wasn’t #1 on my board. I think it’ll radically reduce the amount of N/Sycamore in people’s decks. But I don’t think it’ll change the meta in a radical way.

Harvey: So who knows what this card will do to people’s decks. I did an informal survey a couple weeks ago on reddit and I got answers all over the place. The only consistency I found was that most people were NOT going to reduce the number of N’s that they played.

And that made me very happy. I’ve talked about it plenty: N helps your opponent more than it hurts him. Giving your opponent even a single additional card in hand makes it more than 50% likely that you’re improving the cards in his hand. And the late game N is a myth because of Octillery, Oranguru, and Zoroark. Also, I actually had someone hit me with a late game N in a match this weekend. I only had two cards in my deck. I don’t think there was any way I could win in two turns. After the N I had six cards in my deck and had plenty of time to relax and cruise to victory.

So by all means Collinsville players, keep running four of N’s!

I will say this though: one person mentioned that if we look back in the past to the last time we had shuffle and draw six cards in the format, the fastest, most consistent draw support structure included Sycamore, Cynthia, and four Random Receivers. I’m a big believer in learning from the past, so this might be the best way to go. However, we do currently have Lele, so that might alleviate the need for the receivers (esp. If you use Scoop Up… I’m just saying, when I hit heads with my SSU’s, I’m unbeatable).

FayId: Best card in the set.

Juan: Cynthia is what this game needed for the longest time, simple as that. With Vs. Seeker gone, and N having the risk of backfiring on you during the late game and when attempting to disrupt the opponent, this is the draw supporter that Shauna should have been but wasn’t. Sad to see my full art go from my builds, but I have to represent my favorite Champion in the entire series. As for the amounts needed, it’ll vary (but in decks such as Harvey’s GolisoGarb build, definitely a welcomed addition to the build).

Mike: Debbie downer time, but I’m not crazy about the second pick (Dusk Mane Necrozma GX) either. The first attack is garbage, and the second attack is 4 energy and only 1 colorless. That’s still a lot, right? Well at least when you don’t lose the energy when you attack, right? Wait you lose three of them? I know metal is getting a boast from this set, but does that boost justify this insanity? I’m not sure.

via GIPHY

Harvey: Yep I was like everybody else, totally floored by all of the Metal Pokemon coming out of this set. Clearly a counter reaction to Gardy, which means that SM7 should be all about Fire types right? Maybe they’ll reprint Blacksmith. Geez, that would make Volcanion a monster play at worlds….

Sorry, back to reality. One of the things I learned from Chess was as you transition from the opening to the middle game, you need to think about the perfect position for your pieces. Where is the best place for my Rooks to be to attack? Where do I want my Queen to go to align with my Bishops and Knights? When I do that with this card, I imagine a fully powered DM Necrozma, with a Starmie and Magnezone on the bench, and a Mt. Coronet out in play. When I imagine that scenario, I think this deck might be unbeatable.

As I go to create decklists for Metalcrozma, I have a difficult time getting everything this deck needs in a 60 card list. I’m guessing that someone will do it, but right now this seems to me to be one of the bulkiest decklists in the game. Granted it’s not as slow as Garchomp and Greninja, but it’s not nearly as fast as Volcanion, Golisopod, Zoroark (fill in the blank), and many other decks that can hit for triple digit damage on turn 2 or 3 at latest.

Like I said, I think somebody will come up with the list, but I don’t see it yet. But Collinsville is still 19 days away.

FayId: It is amazing.

In expanded, this will team with Bronzong and Solgaleo prism star to make the old Tyrantrum Bronzong deck a stupidly strong one that should be insanely fast.

How do I know this? Because I played Ray Eels and made that stupidly fast. Because I played Bronzong Tyrantrum and that deck was stupidly strong (though not as fast)

This deck will do both because it doesn’t have the dual type energy requirement. Stupidly good.
In Standard, this plus Magnezone plus Solgaleo prism star will likely be at least a tier 2 deck. I worry about the consistency though.

Juan: Dusk Mane was certainly a card I had to think about when putting him so high up on my list, more specifically if he deserved one of the top ten spots. Regardless, this Pokemon hits like a truck. Inflicting enough damage to OHKO virtually everything in the game that is not a Gyarados GX with Bodybuilding Dumbbells, Dusk Mane shouldn’t be viewed as the MVP of the Metal deck to be, but rather the beast that one can rely on to sweep through the opposition. Yes there are reasons for why I didn’t have him ranks any higher than the 8th spot on my list.

First, Fire will be making a resurgence in the meta to combat MetalCrozma, which for those that intend to use that build in their games should be very concerned about. You cannot afford to squeeze in Altar of the Sunne when Mt.Coronet supports the Main engine of the deck (which is Magnezone). Which leads me to the next Achilles Heel of the deck itself: Magnezone. Many will certainly look to utilize Garbotoxin to handle the threat of a barrage of Meteor Tempests coming their way. And a bigger threat to the deck is Cyrus himself. Water and Metal, Empoleon, Glaceon, and Greninja decks, as well as the mirror will look to use Cyrus to set back MetalCrozma a couple turns, and the last thing you want is to have Dusk Mane out in the active, with no energy on it, a powered up attacker in the back, as well as your only Magnezone out. If they Cyrus your bench, and you have no means of throwing down another Magnezone out, you are at risk of losing the game without a doubt. And that’s not counting the likelihood of Gardevoir not making an appearance in tournaments at all either, which would make it seem as though you purchased Raid to combat the roaches, but the roaches aren’t nowhere to be found. Luckily for Dusk Mane he is more of a nuclear bomb than a can of pest control.

Incredibly hyped, overwhelming power…just hope the hype isn’t in vain.

Mike: Glaceon GX is an excellent pick! Pure brilliance. Genius. Wait I took it? Had no idea. 😉

Seriously though, this card could change the meta. Most importantly, you’re going to take away your opponent’s ability to Lele/Zoroark their way out of a bad hand. Remember the term “Turn 1 Lock”? It’s back. You just need an eevee and a water energy.

And let’s say it takes you a turn or two to get The Ice Lock™, you’re still stopping them from using all those abilities they love. Good night Gardevoir. So long Solgaleo. No no Necrozma. Later Lycanroc. Oh no Koko. Bon Voyage Volcanion!

You’ve just killed like 10 decks.

Harvey: Man, Mike likes Glaceon so much, does this mean he might even try it with Greninja?

I’m guessing his face is something like this when he thinks about that:

This is definitely one of my candidate decks for Collinsville, and I like the Theorymon behind it more than I like that of Metalcrozma, Garchomp, Luxio, and some others.

The only problem is if you go second, your opponent gets to play Lele at least once, if not twice. Even if you run four Eevees and twelve Water energy, and Ninja Boy, and who knows what else that might help you ensure that Eevee is sitting in the active on turn one, it’s still only going to happen maybe a little bit more than half of the time. Still, if you win 80% of your matches 50% of the time and 50% of your matches the other 50% of the time, you’re going to do ok. And you know somebody is going to run this in Collinsville and turn up Eevee in the active every time.

I’m with Mike, I think this could change the format. I’ve been running a ton of 4 Sycamore, 1 Lille, 1 Lusamine as my main engine, and it’s actually worked great. If I can’t use my Leles, though, I’m going to have to think about that Sycamore – Cynthia – Receiver combo.

Mike: My actual reaction:

I love this card so much, I just created a deck list for it:

4x Glaceon GX
4x Eevee
52x Water Energy

Bring it on Gardevark!

FayId: When you see decks being created for a card before the set is even out yet, you know it is getting a lot of hype.

Personally, I think the 1 way block is good, but underwhelming. I do like how the GX and primary attacks synthesize.

Juan: I gotta agree with you Fayld. Granted it isn’t that underwhelming, but with things like Buzzwole roaming around and Golisopod hitting hard, Glaceon won’t be the nail on the coffin for a lot of builds. But Lele, for better or worse, has become a staple, For decks that need to whip out Brigette turn 1, they better hope that they go first, or a turn 1 Glaceon will inhibit that play easily. Counters to Glaceon should it become a hassle: Nest ball the basics, Brooklet Hill for Fighting and Water based decks, and to a lesser extent: Alolan Vulpix or the Shaymin that are coming in this set. But who am I kidding: that last suggestion might not be the best idea at all. Glaceon GX is certainly going to leave his mark in the meta. Volcanion…yeah, I’m worried for you.

Mike: I can’t say I see Cyrus as a game changer. It would seem to be useful against any stage 2 decks (Gardevoir, Buluvolt, Metagross, etc.) and maybe decks that rely on abilities like AnythingArk. But for the most part they’ll keep the good pokemon, and send back the rest or injured. On the other hand, if you’re still running Passimian or Rainbow Road, you’re screwed.

Harvey: Had the errata not been issued, Cyrus would have been the best card in the set. Even still, it’s going to be a huge card. So many decks rely on a full bench. It destroys Metalcrozma, Leafeon, Volcanion, Zoroark, and many other decks. Seriously, Zoroark hits for 60 after this. Volcanion doesn’t work without steam ups. Anything that uses Rare Candy is screwed. And that’s before variants with Milotic or Sylveon GX leave you with two or (GULP) even just one Pokemon on the board. I’d take my chances running a Sylveon Gardevoir deck against Metalcrozma if DM Necrozma is the only Pokemon on the board.

And don’t forget, all those cards go back into your deck. That clogs up your deck and makes it harder for you to find draw support. “Well, I’m just going to throw my Leles back into the deck then,” you say. Uh huh. What if Glaceon is that Water Pokemon in the active position? Cyrus is potentially devastating.

FayId: Even with the errata, this could be a very powerful card. It doesn’t take a lot to get W/M to the active.

Especially in expanded where Keldeo is a thing. Hit them with Parallel to 3 or Sudowoodo to 4, use this, then Plea GX and you have completely wiped a board. That’s hard to come back from if timed correctly.

Juan: In some ways I’m happy to see my picks on here, with Cyrus being one of them. Not much I can say about him other than he’s a Plea Gx in a card, but better. Just mentioning him in my Dusk Mane review can give you an understanding of how he’s going to be utilized, but it goes beyond that. Any and all decks that can afford to tech in Cyrus should carefully consider adding him. This card has the potential to either help you snatch victory from the jaws of defeat or effectively secure your victory with no chance of a comeback from your opponent. Metal isn’t the only typing getting support and in the set to come after Ultra Prism, Wake will make his debut. So the future’s looking bright for the marine life (just hoping that it helps Primarina later down the line, but I digress).

3 comments

  1. Love the decklist for Glaceon Mike, but I think you have room to squeeze in a Greninja or two.

  2. So, I was testing exclusively for Dallas prior to writing any of this and hadn’t gotten much of a chance to do much testing with the new set. I have gotten a little time with UP now and can honestly say that I may have underrated how stupidly powerful Dusk Mane is.

    Using this exceptionally rough list, I found that the deck was indeed a bit inconsistent with setting up. However, it just didn’t matter. Not much naturally hits 230 for an OHKO in the standard format and conversely, not much survives a hit of 230 in the standard format. Essentially, what I am getting at is this. Once Magnezone set up, the game was over within 4 turns because it is that easy to get energy and that easy to smash someone’s face with Dusk Mane.

    As I disclaimed though, this list is stupidly rough. It needs a lot of work, but it also just flat blew everything up.

    Pokemon 13
    4 Magnemite BKT51
    3 Magnezone UPR83
    3 Dusk Mane Necrozma UPR90
    2 Tapu Lele GX GRI##
    1 Dialga GX UPR100
    1 Solgaleo UPR##

    Trainers 35
    3 N
    3 Cynthia
    3 Guzma
    2 Professor Sycamore
    2 Skyla
    1 Cyrus (1st cut)

    4 Ultra Ball
    4 Rare Candy
    2 Pal Pad
    2 Heavy Ball
    2 Field Blower

    3 Fighting Fury Belt

    3 Mt. Coronet

    Energy 12 (metal)

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