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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Steam Siege Top 10

#8 - Magearna EX
- Steam Siege

Date Reviewed:
Aug. 10, 2016

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 3.00
Expanded: 3.50
Limited: 3.50

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

Back to the main COTD Page


aroramage

Hey what's this gal doing here? Shouldn't she be getting ready for Sun & Moon? Well I guess she is, along with the new movie. 

Magearna-EX, aside from looking like Diancie-EX roboticized, is a pretty nice new shiny asset to the Metal decks that still hang around, so let's take a look at what she brings to the table! Soul Blaster isn't too bad an attack, doing 3-for-120, but the effect does show that Magearna-EX is better left on the Bench, since it makes the base damage 60 instead of 120 on the next turn. Sure, that still means Magearna-EX hits for 180 HP over two turns, but all it takes is a good switch into something that can take out the 160 HP she's got - which isn't that too much more than 120 in the grand scheme of things. 

That leaves Mystic Heart, her Ability. Effectively this prevents attack effects from harming your Pokemon in any way, outside of damage - the only thing they need is Metal Energy. It's a pretty decent Ability in and of itself, and that's a reasonable amount of protection for such little requirement. And since it's not restrictive to a certain Type, Magearna-EX can splash into any deck running Metal Energy for whatever reason - like Dragons, for instance! 

Course, it's not foolproof protection, and Magearna-EX isn't gonna be a main attacker with it, but it's a start for Metal decks, which are going to be losing a lot of support with Phantom Forces rotating out. They're gonna need all they can get, and Magearna-EX may be the new head once rotation hits. 

Rating 

Standard: 3/5 (on her own, she's not terribly impressive, but...) 

Expanded: 3.5/5 (combined with the Metal support, she can really pull out some good combos) 

Limited: 3.5/5 (and though a Limited setting lowers her Mystic Heart synergies, Soul Blaster does become much stronger) 

Arora Notealus: Magearna is an interesting Pokemon to say the least. I've heard theories about her being the first "Pokeball" invented by man, like she's ancient technology or something. I'll stick with Robo-Diancie all the same. 

Next Time: Time to bring back something...special!


Otaku

Number eight in our top 10 countdown for the latest expansion is Magearna-EX (XY: Steam Siege 75/114, 110), and the debut of Magearna in the TCG.  Missing out on the resurrected Dual Type mechanic, Magearna-EX is a mono-Type Metal Pokémon.  All Fairy Type Pokémon and some Water Types (the ones that actually represent the video game Ice Type) are Metal Weak; not the most abundantly used in competitive play, but they are there.  Metal Resistance became the default for Lightning Pokémon in the XY-era, though there are a few that Resist something else instead.  While in terms of Type matching Metal is a bit of a disappointment, it does have an almost surprising amount of support.  You have two Stadiums from which to pick, Steel Shelter and Reverse Valley, though the latter is a two-sided Stadium where one side favors Metal and the other Darkness Types.  Shield Energy is a solid (savor the pun) Special Energy card; not essential but helpful when you have room for it.  There are some great Metal Type attackers, many of which can either be the focus of a deck like Genesect-EX (XY: Fates Collide 64/124, 120/124) or act in a supporting role like Heatran (XY: Phantom Forces 63/119).  Bronzong (XY: Phantom Forces 61/119) can use its “Metal Links” Ability to attach Metal Energy from the discard pile, which has enabled a competitive Metal Type deck or two, as well as several variants with a non-Metal Type main attacker.  If the support doesn’t seem impressive, remember that I’m leaving out a lot in terms of Pokémon for the sake of (relative) brevity. 

As a Pokémon-EX, Magearna-EX gives up two Prizes when KO’d, must deal with Pokémon-EX counters, and cannot use certain supporting card effects (the later being trivial in most instances).  This is typically offset by a Pokémon-EX having better stats and effects than their regular counterparts, though we have no regular Magearna with which to compare (yet).  This version has 160 HP; lower than is typical of a Basic Pokémon-EX but still large enough that surviving a OHKO is more likely than not.  As I constantly stress, everything can be OHKO’d right now with specific decks managing to do so rapidly, reliably, and repeatedly: 160 is still adequate provided the rest of the card doesn’t disappoint.  Fire Weakness is typical of Metal Types and fortunately for them, Fire Type decks haven’t been so hot lately.  No Weakness is safe and between older archetypes that could reheat or new ones players are burning to try (whether they can be a sustained success or not), it might just take the metagame shifting a bit more to reignite the Fire Type (yes, I am enjoying my word play).  Still, despite my caution (pessimism?) it is far better than being Weak to a Type currently active as a competitive deck’s main attacker.  Any Resistance is appreciated; normally -20 against a single Type wouldn’t mean much but this might be an exception because it can throw off Night march calculations.  Magearna-EX has a Retreat Cost of [C], which is easy to pay and recover from having paid (most of the time). 

Magearna-EX has an Ability and attack.  The Ability is “Mystic Heart” which protects Pokémon with at least one unit of [M] Energy attached from the effects (but not damage!) done by your opponent’s attacks.  Damage counter placement, Special Conditions, changing out your Active, etc. are all denied by Mystic Heart as long as their source is an attack by your opponent’s Pokémon.  Mystic Heart doesn’t care about any aspect of your Pokémon save that they have a source of [M] Energy attached.  It will not remove effects of attacks already in place, probably as most of these aren’t marked on a card, making it difficult to track.  The attack on Magearna-EX is “Soul Blaster” and it requires [MCC] to do 120, but places an effect on itself that makes Soul Blaster only do 60 damage the next turn.  120-for-three is reasonably good, and you’ll average an adequate 90 per turn if Magearna-EX can’t reset the attack effect.  As there really is a risk Magearna-EX could be OHKO’d, it is better that instead of the effect increasing a lower amount of damage to a useful level, it hits for a decent amount and then is lowered.  The attack is good quality “filler”, but the Ability is why you should consider Magearna-EX in your decks that can supply [M] Energy. 

So what decks qualify?  Bronzong decks are a start, but so is anything that runs Blend Energy WLFM, Double Dragon Energy, Prism Energy, and/or Rainbow Energy.  Now notice I said “consider”; maybe you won’t need Magearna-EX, maybe you will, but mostly I expect it to prove useful without being necessary.  Decks may already include enough other forms of protection that much of Mystic Heart is redundant.  For example Bronzong (XY: Fates Collide 61/124) and its “Metal Fortress” Ability protects your Benched Pokémon from attack effects while Steel Shelter can protect your Active from Special Conditions; that’s a lot of what Mystic Heart can also protect against.  I think Magearna-EX is going to show up often enough in decks that can provide [M] Energy reasonably well, but isn’t going to be a staple.  Some decks don't have enough room while others won’t have enough of a need.  So that is the verdict for Standard and Expanded; in Limited go ahead and take it.  Too much Fire in this set to risk building a deck entirely around Magearna-EX, but attack effects tend to be more important here; as long as you can spread some Metal Energy around then a Benched Magearna-EX can offer protection from said effects, and maybe rush forward to push for the win.

Ratings

 

Standard: 3.35/5 

Expanded: 3.25/5 

Limited: 4.5/5 

Summary: Magearna-EX offers a nice bit of protection while sitting on the Bench, provided your deck can meet the Energy requirement.  Where it fits, it really fits and where it doesn’t, it really doesn’t, giving it an above average but not stellar score. 

Magearna-EX managed eight voting points, four more than our 9th and 10th place finishers, and two below tomorrow’s subject.  Magerna-EX only got one of those points from me, for I had it as my 10th place pick.  Not too worried about it scoring a bit higher because again, the bottom half of my list seemed to be on more or less even footing.


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