There’s never any messing around with an
Aggron card: you pretty much
know what you are going to get right out of the pack: a
big tank-y Pokémon with massively expensive attacks and
a horrific Retreat cost. The question is: is there any
way such a Pokémon can be made to work?
This Aggron sure has that
tank quality: 140 HP, and a Metal Type (meaning access
to the damage-reduction effect of Special Metal).
Psychic Resistance is pretty good too, making this a
tough KO for common attackers like
Gengar and Uxie LV X.
The Fire Weakness may or may not be a problem:
Blaziken FB is seeing a bit
more play these days, but Aggron
is tough enough to even withstand a
OHKO from that Pokémon under the right circumstances.
The Retreat cost is four: is that horrific enough for
comes with two expensive attacks. The first, Second
Strike, costs [M][M][C]. That
is somewhat annoying, as it won’t work with Double
Colourless (which would speed things up a little). It
also conflicts with the Energy needs of the second
attack which CAN use a DCE. As Second Strike only does
40 damage, or 80 if Aggron
has any damage counters on it, making it DCE-compatible
would not have been in any way broken. That’s poor card
design in my book.
Guard Claw, Aggron’s other
attack, is much more appealing. We have seen this type
of ‘reduce damage by 20 next turn’ attack before, and it
has even seen some moderate success in
Garchomp SV decks.
Aggron’s version is much
more expensive, costing [M][M][C][C],
but is actually a lot better. For a start, it does
60 damage (as opposed to
Garchomp’s 40). For
another thing, it has great synergy with
Aggron’s type: stick a
couple of Special Metals and an Expert Belt on this
thing and you will have a 160 HP beast dishing out 80
per turn and reducing any damage done to it by 40. That
means even a Fire Pokémon will need to do
100 base damage for the OHKO.
Combine it with healing cards (Blissey
PL, Nidoqueen RR,
PokeHealer+), and your
non-Fire playing opponent will have a serious headache
getting rid of this thing.
So . . . is all that enough to make this
Aggron a contender? Sadly
(because I do like the card), I suspect not. The attacks
are extremely costly and slow (even if you can get some
acceleration with Lairon
flippy attack), it’s vulnerable to Status
Conditions (watch Crobat G
Toxic Fang it to death), and many SP decks will just
snipe around it while Poke Turning anything that
Aggron damages (seeing as it
is unable to OHKO anything apart from Basics).
That said, throw this together with
Spiritomb AR (to slow the opponent down), a few
Twins and Black Belt (for when you go behind in Prizes),
and maybe even a Skarmory UD
to help with the Energy, and you have a deck that is
fun, league-viable, and will at least surprise your
opponents. For actual competitive play, though, I
consider the even tougher and harder-hitting
Steelix Prime to be the
Modified: 2.5 (too slow for this format . . . which is a
shame because it does have its good points)
Limited: 3 (well, if you get it out, it will be very
hard to KO . . . but Stage 2s aren’t that easy to use
Before we cease COTD reviews early this week for
Thanksgiving, we review a Pokemon that to my knowledge,
has received absolutely no love from anyone.
At this point, it's way too easy to dismiss a new Aggron
as a heavy-energy attacker for dismal damage, and leave
it at that. This one doesn't seem much different at
first glance, what with its four-energy attack for 60
damage. And yet, that four-energy attack is what could
make Aggron playable someday.
Guard Claw seems really basic, and it is: 60 damage and
reduce 20 damage to yourself. However, another Pokemon
shares the same attack: Garchomp SV, an often overlooked
card, possibly due to how basic Guard Claw seemed, but
more likely because with Garchomp C also in Supreme
Victors, it was the 2nd best Garchomp in the set.
Nevertheless, despite its obscurity, it made Top 8 at US
Nationals. Its strategy was simple; Guard Claw with a
Nidoqueen on the Bench to heal, slowly whittling down
the opponent and using Garchomp's second attack whenever
necessary. Now, Guard Claw has been printed, now doing
more damage, on a card with 20 more HP, and the ability
to abuse Special Metal Energy to defend further...with
the drawbacks of a four-energy retreat cost, a less
damaging second attack, and two more metal energies in
its attack cost. Here lies the problem.
Unfortunately, not even Garchomp may be playable after
Claydol rotated; though, no one played it despite its
success, so who knows. In this format, however, Aggron
might be the better choice; it doesn't need to run
Nidoqueen because Special Metals help Aggron about the
same, only with less setup. It has some very real
problems with speed, especially in this format, but I'd
say it's the best Metal-type tank in the format...except
Steelix. And Scizor. And Dialga G. And Metagross UD,
whom I've already written about. Still, I feel
comfortable ranking Aggron TRI no less than the
fifth-best Metal -type tank in the format.
Modified: 3/5(I'm overrating here, but I feel that it's
Combos With: Skarmory UD