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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Phantom Forces Top 10

#10 - Manectric

Date Reviewed:
Nov. 3, 2014

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 3.63
Expanded: 3.63
Limited: 4.63

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 being the worst. 
3 ... average.  
5 is the highest rating.

Back to the main COTD Page

Baby Mario
2010 UK National
Seniors
Champion

#10 Manectric EX 

It’s top 10 countdown time again on Pojo’s CotD. The Phantom Forces set has a lot of interesting and potentially good cards . . . things that would usually make a top 10 list have missed the cut as a result.

We kick off with Manectric EX, which gives us a powerful, fast Lightning Type to counter all those Yveltal EX (and the occasional Lugia EX) that have been so successful. For a single Colourless Energy, Overrun is a scaled-back version of Landorus EX’s notorious Hammerhead attack, doing 20 to the active and 20 to a Benched Pokémon. While not as devastating or as well supported as Hammerhead, it’s still a more than decent opening attack, and snipe can be a handy way to finish off damaged Pokémon for easy Prizes. Assault Laser is even better though, for just two Energy it will do 60 damage, plus another 60 if the Defending Pokémon has a Tool attached. That’s 120 to anything that has a Muscle Band or a Float Stone, or you can force the issue using one of the Team Flare Tools that appear in this set. Use a Muscle Band yourself and the Laser/Virbank combo, and a lot of EX Pokémon are within OHKO range. 

Manectric’s Metal Resistance is nice, given that some good Metal Pokémon are featured in this set, but the Fighting Weakness could spell big problems for the card, given that we are coming off a set where Fighting got ridiculous support. Donphan PLF, Landorus EX, and Lucario EX are all capable of giving Manectric a very tough time indeed. 

He will need the right deck build with the right supporting cast of anti-metagame attackers, but things that hit hard for very low cost very rarely fail to make an impact. 

Rating 

Modified: 3.5 (Typing may be an issue, but Manectric is too good to ignore)

Expanded: 3.5 (may find its way into Dynamotor decks)

Limited: 4.75 (it would be greedy to ask for more . . . like a Flare Tool in the same draft)


aroramage

Welcome to our official Top 10 List for the new Phantom Forces set just released this weekend! We did our usual thing, looking through the list of cards to find the best ones, and now we're taking a look at #10-6 this week! Today's card is probably one of the best EX cards to date, Manectric-EX!
 
"Really? One of the best?" I know, that's a tall order when you've got Mewtwo-EX, Yveltal-EX, Lucario-EX, and Seismitoad-EX somewhere on that list of names, but trust me, Manectric-EX has a good bit going for it. For starters, both of his attacks will only cost 2 Energy. That's right, you can power him up for just 2 Energy! That's a fantastic start, but as we should all know, you never wanna look a gift-Stantler in the mouth!
 
Manectric-EX's first attack isn't overly impressive, but it can still dish out a little damage. Overrun has the added benefit of being colorless, and while it's not as fulfilling or game-changing as Seismitoad-EX's Quaking Punch, it does a decent 20 damage to the Active and another 20 to a Bench-sitter. From an EX, 20's pretty low, and even though we got a lot of damage-boosting cards in the last set, Manectric-EX won't be taking advantage of any of them. For now, he's only good enough for Muscle Band and HTLBank.
 
So what about his second attack? For an extra Lightning Energy, Manectric-EX can use Assault Laser for 60 damage. That seems about as underwhelming as Overrun, but when you take into account that it does more damage if the opponent's Active Pokemon has a tool attached, that gets a whole lot better! How much more? Well, considering the attack does 60 to start, if your opponent's Pokemon has a Tool on it, that's another 60 damage for a total of 120! Against something like Yveltal-EX, that's enough for a KO!
 
That's not all though - Assault Laser can be used against anyone who runs Muscle Band, Rocky Helmet, the G Booster for VirGen decks, Eviolite, Float Stone - you name a Tool, and Assault Laser can dish out double the damage in essence! On top of that, in this set we're getting Pokemon Tool cards that you can attach to your opponent's Pokemon-EX - meaning you can set-up Manectric-EX against anyone!
 
Obviously though, Manectric-EX has a couple of problems. His cheap attacks do cheap damage if he doesn't get the Tool-bonus off on Assault Laser, meaning he's not very strong on his own. On top of that, he's an Electric-type coming into a Fighting-heavy format, meaning his weakness will be played heavily against him. It's a bit of a rough time for Manectric-EX to shine, but given the right set-up against the right opponent, not only can he come through - he can come out on top!
 
Rating
 
Standard: 3.5/5 (not the greatest EX to show up in the current format, but he's not too bad given the "support" he's got)
 
Expanded: 3.5/5 (about the same here, probably better with Eel-support)
 
Limited: 4.5/5 (pretty solid, especially if you get one of those Tools to attach to an opponent)
 
Arora Notealus: Manectric's not the most memorable Pokemon in my book, but he does get points for looking pretty cool! His Mega Evolution may vary.
 
Next Time: Speaking of Tools to attach to your opponent's Pokemon...


Otaku

Welcome dear readers as we embark on our Top 10 Promising Cards of XY: Phantom Forces!  As a reminder, reprint cards are not eligible as the review crew each submits a 10 card list to Pojo, who then averages them out to produce the master Top 10 list we use for the review order.  The official release date for this set in the U.S. is November 5th, so XY: Phantom Forces cards aren’t tournament legal until November 21st; however we’ll be scoring them as if they were indeed legal. 

Taking the number 10 spot is Manectric-EX (XY: Phantom Forces 23/119; 113/119).  First the obvious; this is a Pokémon-EX, so it is worth an additional Prize when KO’d, it can’t use certain pieces of support, and there are multiple cards with effects that specifically punish Pokémon-EX usage.  In fact this set adds something new; part of the Team Flare Hyper Gear series of Items are Pokémon Tool F cards, Pokémon Tools you can attach to your opponent’s Pokémon-EX.  The mixed blessing is that they do use up the regular Pokémon Tool slot so your opponent can’t attach them to something that already has a Pokémon Tool equipped.  The benefits of being a Pokémon-EX are mostly insubstantial; Pokémon-EX are capable of what seems to be the cap on maximum printed HP scores and have better effects than a Pokémon of that species regularly would.  What is concrete is that Pokémon-EX are either Basic Pokémon or Mega Evolutions, and so “regular” Evolved Pokémon end up as Basic Pokémon-EX, like Manectric-EX. 

Being a Basic is of course the best, as it means minimal space and no set-up time while being a Lightning-Type can hit a few key cards for Weakness, chiefly Yveltal-EX.  We will have to see how the dust settles from this new set to be sure, but while Yveltal-EX is likely to lose some ground again, its less “... because it is now bad.” versus “...because there are some more good cards coming, carving the pie up into smaller slices.”  You will occasionally run into Resistance and the Type lacks any direct support and the indirect support is definitely wanting, and I consider these two things to more or less even out.  Its HP is 170 which is the second highest allowed to Basic Pokémon-EX (at least for printed maximum HP scores); this is solid and usually let Manectric-EX survive a turn.  “Usually” because hitting 170 damage is a goal for many decks and while only a few can do it consistently, most can at least do it once or twice with the right set-up. 

The Fighting-Type Weakness is one of the worst to have in the game; the HP at least is enough to make Manectric-EX an difficult, unlikely OHKO for Fighting focused decks, but many preferred Fighting-Type attackers can do it with Muscle Band (or Silver Bangle), Strong Energy and Fighting Stadium.  Manectric-EX does enjoy Metal Resistance, something that seemed to go away in the BW-era sets but has returned in the XY; it won’t make Manectric-EX a wall but it will be handy, especially given that this set bolsters Metal-Types quite a bit.  Finishing off the Attributes is the Retreat Cost: a single Energy is fairly easy to pay and recover from and is very good for this card. 

Manectric-EX has two attacks.  The first is Overrun and it requires the minimum cost of [C] Energy and does 20 points of damage to the Defending Pokémon and another 20 to one of your opponent’s Benched Pokémon.  While not brilliant, it is still pretty potent for such a small cost.  For [LC] you can use Assault Laser instead, scoring 60 points of damage, plus another 60 (so 120 total) if the Defending Pokémon has a Pokémon Tool attached.  It is nice to see one of these attacks where the initial damage is worth the Energy invested and the bonus damage is worth being a Pokémon-EX.  While it will require a lot of bonuses, you can combo to get this up to an effective 170 points of damage, however there is incentive not to focus on such a thing… 

M Manectric-EX and Manectric Spirit Link.  When you Mega Evolve, you tend to get a slightly bigger Pokémon-EX, and even if it has a great attack or two on it you also have to instantly end your turn; no Evolving multiples in a single turn or attacking or anything else.  The Spirit Link mechanic allows you to use your Pokémon Tool slot (as that is what the Spirit Link cards are) on the appropriate version to negate the “end your turn” effect.  They have no other effects so at that point they become deadweight (save blocking Pokémon Tool F cards).  M Manectric-EX brings the same Type, Weakness and Resistance to the table but increases the HP to 210, enjoys a perfect Retreat Cost and of course has its own attack: for [LC] it hits for 110 damage while attaching two Basic Energy from your discard pile to a Pokémon on your Bench.  The damage and Energy acceleration are good, though the HP is still dangerously low in light of all that Fighting-Types can bring to the table. 

For Standard I expect to see M Manectric-EX decks and thus Manectric-EX itself being used in those.  I don’t think its good enough to use on its own, but it comes close.  Namely if for some reason XY: Furious Fists had released after XY: Phantom Forces, I wouldn’t be so worried about a Landorus-EX, Lucario-EX, etc. taking it down in one hit.  Still, perhaps its biggest foe is Hawlucha when it is backed by Garbodor (BW: Dragons Exalted 54/124; BW: Plasma Freeze 119/116; BW: Legendary Treasures 68/113).  Hawlucha without its Ability begins to apply Weakness and Resistance to its attacks, and its attack already did 60 for [F] to Pokémon-EX.  With a Silver Bangle that’s another potential single Energy OHKO.  Of course, that is also probably at least close to the scenario I outlined above; I mean you need a Stage 1 and another Pokémon Tool (to trigger Garbotoxin).  Well, that’s the thing… besides being at least a somewhat common sight in Fighting decks that already run Garbodor, slap one other boosting effect on there and M Manectric-EX also goes down in a single hit. 

For Expanded, I’m honestly unsure; I think it has a shot even though its got some rival Lightning-Type decks to deal with here.  It doesn’t really gain or lose anything.  In Limited, it is a potential +39 build candidate.  Remember that your opponent is unlikely to have any Pokémon Tools equipped, so it maxes out at 60 points of damage, but its fast so as long as you don’t run into anything of a similar speed (or Fighting) you have a good chance of winning.  You can even soften up stronger targets on the Bench from time to time. 

Ratings 

Standard: 3.75/5 - The required stepping stone to get to M Manectric-EX, Manectric-EX does have some solid attacks; my big concern is having such a vulnerable Weakness and struggling to make big hits without further investment.  Pokemon Tool F cards are important; you can use them to trigger the bonus damage clause for Assault Laser, but if you aren’t careful an opponent can use them to prevent you from equipping a Spirit Link card, which admittedly you don’t probably want to attach too soon for fear of it being discarded via Startling Megaphone. 

Expanded: 3.75/5 - I do not believe anything in this format will make things significantly better or worse for Manectric-EX or M-Manectric-EX, so the score remains the same. 

Limited: 4.5/5 - The risk is low but there that this card will not take four Prizes before being KOed, so I can’t give it a perfect score.  It is probably going to be okay unless your opponent has some significant luck with their pulls and set-up for the game, and if you are risk averse you can just work it into a normal deck with little effort. 

Summary: Manectric-EX is a very good but not quite great Pokémon-EX in its own right, but its Mega Evolution and Spirit Link card should make it something people play even if it surprises us by not being very good at all, so no matter what you should be expecting it for at least the short term.  On its own is less likely though: very good Pokémon-EX often are skipped over in favor of the many great or truly great Pokémon-EX we still have available.  I actually left this card off of my own Top 10 list.


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