Taking a look at Lucmetal Zacian
Hello Flipside readers! Before I get into the meat of the article, I wanted to introduce myself as I am new to Flipside Gaming and the overall Pokemon TCG Community. My name is Jonathan Lopez. By day I am a Software Engineer and by night a PokeManiac who loves all things Pokemon. I have always loved Pokemon and played a lot of the video games competitively, mostly on the Smogon singles ladder. I started playing the TCG right around the Unbroken Bonds release. I went to a pre-release and have been hooked ever since. My biggest accomplishment in the game thus far is getting 112th at the Limitless Qualifier 3. I also recently started a YouTube Channel on the side, where I create not only TCG content, but VGC and Let’s Plays. So feel free to check it out here!
With Rebel Clash shifting to a more two shot meta with the release of many more powerful VMAXs such as Dragapult and Toxtricy, the bulk of Lucario & Melmetal GX, and the shear power of Zacian might catapult this deck to a top contender in the meta. New cards such as Boss’s Orders and Eldegoss V help the deck setup KOs and provide some consistency with being able to recover lost supporters dumped in the early game. This decklist is the one i’m currently experimenting with, which is the same list Kevin Clemente AKA Mellow_Magikarp used to win one of Neil Pie’s Sunday Opens with.
This is the main attacker of the deck. For a simple three metal energies, Zacian can attack for a whopping 230 damage! This attack two-shots everything in the meta, including VMAXs, even after Mallow & Lana heal 120 damage( 230 - 120 = 110 + 230 = 340!! )! On top of that, Zacian provides consistency and Energy acceleration with Intrepid Sword on those turns where you can’t get an attack off.
Lucario & Melmetal GX
This is the secondary attacker of the deck. Lucario & Melmetal’s main role is to provide more bulk for the team with Full Metal Wall GX. Full Metal Wall GX reduces all damage of your Metal types by 30 damage ( 60 damage if they have Metal Frying Pan attached as well ). For an extra energy, the attack also removes all the energy of the active pokemon. Removing energies off of a main threat can win you games on its own, as some decks cannot recover quickly enough. In some cases, Lucario & Melmetal GX can even provide chip damage with Steel Fist and Heavy Impact so that Zacian can come in and finish it off.
1 Dusk Mane Necrozma & 1 Tapu Fini
Dusk Mane Necrozma is mainly here to set up/finish off GX Pokemon that are waiting on the bench with Dusk Shot. In a pinch, Rusty Claws can also take KOs when the opponent is down to their last prize card. Tapu Fini is just a tech attack to help with the Baby Blowns matchup.
3 Jirachi & 1 Oranguru & 1 Eldegoss V
Jirachi provides consistency for the deck, allowing you to search for trainers using Stellar Wish. Oranguru provides further consistency by allowing you to dig one card deeper into the deck. Oranguru also allows you to set up some energy attachments to Zacian via Intrepid Sword by placing energy on top of the deck. This also allows you to preserve key cards like Boss’s Orders when you are about to play cards like Professor’s Research to draw. Eldegoss V helps you by returning supporters such as Boss’s Orders and Mallow & Lana that you dumped or used in the early game.
1 Escape Board
Used mainly with Jirachi to make it a great pivot but can also be used with other Pokemon to make them pivots or just make it easier to get Zacian out of the active to attack again if needed.
4 Metal Saucer
Metal Saucer help the deck set up attackers quickly by accelerating Energy from the discard. Metal Saucers also can alway attackers to be set up out of nowhere after an opponent has taken out a KO on your active attacker. Without this card, the deck would not work nearly as well as it would be very difficult to recover and set up back to back attackers.
4 Crushing Hammer
Crushing Hammer gives the deck time to set up. It also has synergy with Lucario & Melmetal GX, following the theme of energy denial with Full Metal Wall GX. Just like Full Metal Wall GX, landing Crushing Hammers at the right times can win you games.
3 Acro Bike
Acro Bike provides the deck with a little more consistency and also has discard synergy with Metal Saucers.
4 Quick Ball
Quick Ball gives the deck more search for Pokemon as the entire deck is basic pokemon. It also has discard synergy with Metal Saucers.
3 Metal Frying Pan
Metal Frying Pans give the deck great bulk and can add some fire resistance. With Full Metal Wall GX, this card gives Zacian and Lucario & Melmetal an effective 280 and 320 HP respectively!
Switch is a classic that provides easy movement of Pokemon on and off the bench.
1 Tool Scrapper
Tool Scrapper gives the deck an option to remove problematic tools such as Metal Frying Pans and Big Charms on the opponent’s Pokemon that can mess with math and cause it to miss key KOs.
2 Mallow & Lana
Mallow & Lana is a great healing option to keep the opponent from getting key KOs. It also provides additional switch options for getting Zacians in and out of the active to chain back to back attacks.
2 Boss’s Orders
Boss’s Orders gives the deck a reliable gust option. This allows the deck to take KOs on Pokemon that may have retreated earlier in the game in fear of KO. Since the deck can easily set up KOs using chip damage from Lucario & Melmetal GX and Dusk Mane Necrozma, this makes it a great end game card.
4 Professor’s Research
Professor’s Research provides the deck with great draw power and consistency.
Marnie not only provides more consistency to the deck, but adds an element of disruption as you can really get rid of an opponent’s great hand.
2 Power Plant
Power Plant stops the opponent from being able to use Dede Change to get out of a bad hand after you Marnie them. It can also stop other GX abilities such as Zeraora giving PikaRom free retreat.
11 Metal Energy
This number of energy feels good, but you can make arguments to bump it up to 12. If you want to make it 12, Tapu Fini might be the card to cut as its main usage is for the Baby Blowns matchup.
The Aipom from the PikaRom Battle League Decks can definitely be an option for this deck. It can buy the deck a couple of turns by sometimes destroying your opponents hands.
Resource Management Oranguru
With Resource Management, Oranguru can return some key resources like Mallow & Lana and Metal Saucers.
Mawile can be a great two energy attacker in the deck. With its ability it can also pull more support Pokemon such as Dedenne and Eldegoss, preventing their ability activations and locking their bench. It could also be a great counter to Obstagoon if it ever creeps back up.
Bellelba & Brycen-Man
Bellelba & Brycen-Man can be a great tech against mill if the deck ever sees more play. Also, the supporters secondary effect can also remove damaged liabilities from your bench and prevent the opponent from taking those KOs.
Reset Stamp combined with Power Plant can easily disrupt your opponent.
VS The Meta
As stated before, the current meta consists of mostly heavy VMAXs that take two shots to KO. Against Dragapult, the deck can do great. Lucario & Melmetal is a great attacker as it can get rid of energy. With its resistance to psychic, Dragapult does 50 damage to it after Full Metal Wall and attached Metal Frying Pan. If they are able to KO Lucario & Melmetal, then you can finish the job with Zacians easily. Just be careful with benching, as the spread damage can add up.
Against PikaRom, KOs are easy to set up using Dusk Mane Necrozma. After that, Zacian can KO, even with Big Charm attached. Lucario & Melmetal can also slow them down by removing a ton of energy from the board.
Combo Zacian finds it difficult to take KOs against our deck as we have a lot of damage reduction options with Full Metal Wall GX and Metal Frying Pans, so this is definitely a positive matchup.
The two matchups I see the deck struggling with are Baby Blowns and any variant of Spirtomb. Baby Blowns can easily just blow up your main attackers, even with Metal Frying Pans. I don't even think the Tapu Fini helps the match up that much. Spiritomb can just do a big amount of damage very quickly and the prize trade is not favorable for us.
In the current meta, playing Lecmetal Zacian isn't necessarily the obvious choice. The deck certainly has merits of its own, but what is stopping the deck currently is the fact that it is very reactive and can sometimes lose if the opponent is able to take a quick unexpected one hit KO. It is also not the easiest deck to pick up. As the great Azul GG said, “It’s kinda like a control deck, kinda not”. I look at the deck as more of a tempo control deck. You use energy denial and damage reduction to slow your opponent down and have them play at your deck’s speed. Overall, the deck has not changed much since Sword & Shield’s release. As for the future, I do not think the deck will survive much longer. With cards like Turbo Patch and Rose coming out in Darkness Ablaze, I do not think the energy denial of the deck will be good enough to keep it a contender once the new set drops.
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