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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 M Metagross EX

- XY Promo 35

Date Reviewed:
Feb. 7, 2015

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 2.50
Expanded: 2.60
Limited: Promo

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 being horrible.  3 ... average.  5 is awesome.

Back to the main COTD Page

Baby Mario
2010 UK National
Seniors
Champion

M Metagross EX (XY Promo 35) 

Yesterday, I did my best to try and hold out the possibility that today’s card might be good. To be fair, M Metagross EX seems to be doing the same thing: there are some enticing numbers on this card . . .  

The 220 HP for one: that’s very substantial, and even the dreaded Pyroar can’t OHKO M Metagross (though it will still devastate any Metal deck in the end). Then there’s the attack: Gattling Slug does 130 damage, plus 10 more for each Metal Energy attached. If you pay the whole cost with Metal, then you are in EX OHKO territory, and adding a Muscle Band will seal the deal against anything short of another Mega. Pretty impressive, right? You can imagine using this as a tank/sweeper in a Metal deck, with Bronzong PHF supplying the ammunition. 

Except that if you thought that, you were forgetting that this is a Mega Evolution, and the ‘ends your turn’ mechanic is a nightmare. Only M Kangaskhan has ever really got over that drawback and achieved a certain limited playability. Of course, the more recent Megas (Manectric, Gengar, the Primal Clash ones) have come with a handy Spirit Link Tool card which provides a way around the problem. However, it seems that Metagross was away on holiday when they were handing those things out, so he didn’t get one. 

The absence of a Spirit Link is a fatal blow to M Metagross’s aspirations to be playable. That and the poor EX Basic means that you are much better off sticking with Dialga EX PHF as your big hitter in a Metal deck.  

Rating 

Modified: 2

Expanded: 1.75

Limited: 4.25 (assuming you pull the Basic EX, which is unlikely)


aroramage

Following up from yesterday's card, we have here the first ORAS Mega, Mega Metagross in glorious shiny silver and gold! He's not crushing gemstones or anything like that, but he is rocketing at high speeds off the card, so let's see what he can redeem from his regular counterpart's missteps. 

His one and only attack here is Gatling Slug, a 4-Energy Colorless attack that indicates it could be splashed into anything - but let's be honest, you want Metal Energy on this guy. The damage output STARTS at 130, which is already massively superior to Metagross-EX's attacks, and it's not a silly coin-flip attack like Squared Attack so he'll be doing this EVERY turn! On top of that, for every Metal Energy attached to him, he deals an extra 10 damage, which seems a little small but considering what he's doing already, that's just adding insult to bone-crushing injury! 

You can see how these two EXs work together then; the idea is you use Metagross-EX to store up a bunch of Metal Energies via Bronzong and Magnetic Laser before Mega-Evolving into M Metagross-EX and finishing them off with Gatling Slug! If all 4 Energies used for the cost are Metal, then he's already dealing 170 damage, enough to KO most Pokemon and the smaller Pokemon-EX - add on a Muscle Band, and M Metagross-EX beats out anything that isn't another Mega Evo! 

So what's going to stop him from seeing play? Probably the lack of a Spirit Link card. Especially in the upcoming Primal Clash set, Spirit Link cards are starting to pop up for a number of EX, and while several Megas don't have them, the ones that do tend to be running 2-3 of them, depending on their Evo output. Without the Spirit Link, Megas like M Metagross-EX here are too slow and need to rely on some means of safely Mega Evolving while ending one's turn - and that's the kind of risk a deck like this can't run Magnetic Laser on. 

M Metagross-EX is a powerful attacker and could very well see play, but it's going to take some good strategy to get around the Mega Rule. I wonder if Qwilfish (FLF) or Druddigon (LTR) are still getting used... 

Rating 

Standard: 3/5 (a powerful striker that's just too slow to bring out, but when he does come out...) 

Expanded: 3/5 (I don't imagine much will change here) 

Limited: N/A (oh you would ABSOLUTELY run this guy if you get him and Metagross-EX in the same set-up) 

Arora Notealus: Compared to Metagross' 5'3" height, Mega Metagross is enhanced to 8'2" in height! Tack on the 2078 lbs compared to his regular counterpart's 1212 lbs, and you've got a real...heavyweight on your hands! Huh? Huhhhh? :D 

Weekend Thought: Excited for Primal Clash stuff to come out? Ready for us to get around to them? Oh but what about the promos from this week? Any of them useful? Any strategies you can think of to work with them?


Otaku

We at last come to the final review for our week of catching up on XY Black Star Promos.  We finish with the natural follow-up to yesterday’s CotD: M Metagross-EX (XY Black Star Promos XY35).  I’ll be referencing it quite a bit, so click here if you missed it or need a refresher (I confess, it was another late one).  Being a Metal-Type hasn’t changed with yesterday; its still pretty good but hardly the best.  Our first difference (besides name) is that M Metagross-EX is of course a Mega Evolution; not only does it have all the inherent downsides of being a Pokémon-EX, but the Mega Evolution mechanic is like Evolving into a Stage 1 except it doesn’t count as a Stage 1 (so a card like Training Center won’t boost your HP) and most importantly Mega Evolving ends your turn!  This huge drawback is why most Mega Evolutions are there to look good in your binder and as far as I can tell, there is no Spirit Link card to help you bypass this painful drawback, unlike for some other recent Mega Evolutions.  This means M Metagross-EX has to be pretty fantastic, either directly or via combos, to have a hope of seeing successful competitive play.

M Metagross-EX has 220 HP; this is near the maximum printed HP score in general but for Mega Evolutions its low-middle as they range from 210 to 240.  Its enough that it will take some massive hits to score a OHKO, but there are decks that can do it… especially Fire-TYpes as 110 before Weakness is quite reasonable for them to hit.  The Resistance will make things quite annoying for Psychic-Type attackers, at least the ones that rely on actual damage; the 220 HP will last even longer making it a bit more relevant than on Metagross-EX and a lot more relevant than on something fairly small like say the 90 HP Jirachi-EX.  The massive four Energy Retreat Cost still warrants packing something to bypass it, something lower it, something to allow M Metagross-EX to safely soak/heal damage, or some combination of these.  Heavy Ball may be nice for Expanded as it can grab both Metagross-EX and M Metagross-EX. 

M Metagross-EX has just one attack -  Gatling Slug - that requires [CCCC] and does 130+ damage, where the “+” is an additional 10 points of damage for each [M] Energy attached to M Metagross-EX.  So besides being yet another promo with an awesome attack name, what does this attack have going for it?  The base damage is really good; ignoring the hassle of getting M Metagross-EX into play you’re hitting that threshold I really like for four Energy attacks.  If you didn’t have the effect to boost damage, a Muscle Band, Hypnotoxic Laser and Virbank City Gym would put almost everything in the card pool within OHKO range (well, at least for printed HP scores).  The effect is solid; fueled purely by [M] Energy, Gatling Slug does 170 damage, so a Muscle Band takes out most competitively played Pokémon (well, lacking protection like Safeguard).  Or you can risk adding more Energy, though that will make you more vulnerable to being countered by already great attackers like Yveltal-EX (thanks to its Evil Ball). 

So with good attributes and a good attack, what are this cards prospects?  Not too bright; the Mega Evolution rule means even if you take advantage of Bronzong (XY: Phantom Forces 61/119; XY Black Star Promos XY21) for Energy acceleration, anytime you need to set-up an M Metagross-EX, you’ll lose an attack and badly telegraph what you intend for the next turn.  If this was the only great attacker Metal-Type Pokémon had, it might still be worth it but Bronzong decks already have several great attackers that won’t require Mega Evolving and make up for not hitting as hard so long as they exploit that extra attack that Mega Evolving costs. 

Ratings 

Standard: 2.5/5 

Expanded: 2.6/5 

Limited: N/A - If legal and you pulled a Metagross-EX it would be definitely worth a slot; after all you should have room in decks in this format and you can just not play it if you can’t afford to give up an attack.  Of course, the contents of this hypothetical set containing a hypothetical reprint could skew things quite a bit.
Summary: A bittersweet ending; while hardly brilliant this overall seems like a pretty solid attacker, however like almost all Mega Evolutions that lack a Spirit Link card the loss of an attack each time you Mega Evolve into an M Metagross-EX knocks it down below its relevant competition.  Still, should we ever get some Spirit Link cards for these older Mega Evolutions or another solution to the turn loss, this could well be worth looking at again… and if you insist on running it, this actually could give you a pretty solid deck.


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