Hello Some1spc readers! Its Israel and today I will be talking about a deck I have been hyped for in the standard format. I will also talk a little bit about my run at worlds and give a small bit on the cup I played the deck for. So, let’s look at what I’m going to talk about in this article.

I. Worlds
II. DuskMane/Magnezone
IV. Matchups
V. Conclusion

Worlds

The last season that just passed was probably my worst season as a competitor. I was on an eight-month slump where I couldn’t make a Day Two at any of the Regionals I attended or NAIC and in some, I couldn’t even finish with a strong record. I couldn’t find the flow of any deck and Zoroark was the bane of my existence. This Worlds was important to me because I wanted to end this slump in a big way and win Worlds. So, leading up to the tournament I was testing all different kinds of decks and decided to pack Passimian and Zorogarb with me for worlds. However, when I was testing, before the decklist was due, I couldn’t win a game. It was the first time for the world championships where I was at a loss for what to play the day before the tournament. I started to test everything besides Buzzwole due to the fact that I hated the deck and I didn’t feel comfortable in the mirror. Finally, with two hours left before decklist submission, I still couldn’t find a deck and I had settled on making Passimian my choice. My friends Russell, Mark and Kenny told me to just try Buzzwole one more time and run the same 60 as them. So, I watched them play mirror for an hour to learn the matchup and finally got in a single game of testing and decided to roll with it for the tournament. As I walked to the tournament I was really thinking; “Am I really going to do this, am I really playing a list that I literally played one game with and watched for an hour?”. The guys saw my unconfident expressions and Mark told me he’ll play a couple games after dinner to teach me more of the deck. We played for an hour or so and after some explanations and some run through of scenarios I felt a little more confident (about 40% percent confident, 45% we’ll see what happens and 5% I really regret doing this). The day of the tournament I had the worst case of anxiety and it started to overwhelm me, but the decision had been made and the tournament was about to begin.

Day One Record

R1 Rayquaza LL
R2 Greninja WW
R3 Metal Beastbox WW
R4 Mirror LWW
R5 Mirror LWW
R6 Mirror WLW
R7 Mirror LWW
R8 Mirror WW

So, I managed to grind through Day One having played against five mirrors through the day. I was extremely shocked that I pulled through all of them with just four games of the mirror under my belt prior to this tournament. That night we celebrated at a rooftop bar and while we were there I was talking to Kenny and Mark the majority of the night because I wanted to figure out what I should play for Day Two (they got me through Day one so, why not). However, through the night, the beers started to kick in and exhaustion started to play a role and I decided I was going to play the same 60 and continue to ride the hot run.

Day Two Record

R1 Golisopod Zoroark WLW
R2 Buzz/Shrine/Garb/Banette GX LL
R3 Mirror WLW
R4 Zorogarb WLW
R5 Buzz/Shrine/Garb/Banette GX LWT
R6 Rayquaza LL
R7 Rayquaza LWL

Another year where I make Day Two and have a good start and then just fall flat in the last couple rounds. Do I regret my deck choice for Day Two? Absolutely not! The deck played how it’s supposed to play, and I’ll move on from this and work extremely hard the next season. Will I ever make a deck choice two hours prior to the decklist being due? Absolutely not! This was a one-time deal as the anxiety was too overwhelming to deal with.

Duskmane Necrozma

Moving on from worlds, I want to talk about Duskmane/Magnezone, a deck that I have been enjoying in Standard recently. Why Duskmane? I found it’s one of those decks where if it sets up, there’s no stopping it. It will beat anything in this format and will make games go as quick as possible. It is a stage 2 deck so when it runs cold……it runs cold. So, let me go over my cup run with the deck and then go into detail about the cards itself and matchups

 

Cup Results

R1 Lycanroc Zoroark W
R2 Ludicargo W
R3 Vikaray L
R4 Ultra Malamar W
R5 Ultra Malamar W
R6 Ultra Malamar W
R7 ID (if we played it would have been another Ultra Malamar)

T8 Buzzwole Magcargo LL (Didn’t see a Magnezone both games)

I am not the originator of this list and I give full credit to Joe Sanchez for the list that I used for the cup. After playing it in the cup, I wanted to add more outs to find turn two Rare Candy with Magnezone because in the eight games I played I got the turn two combo 50% of the time. Of the four games that I didn’t get the combo, three of them led to a loss and one of them I somehow won by having a Stevens Resolve go through without a following Judge and a misplay from my opponent. So, here’s more of an updated list I have for the current format:

Card Choices

3 Duskmane Necrozma GX

The main attacker of the deck. This card has three useful attackers where Claw Slash can kill Zoruas (beast energy kills any basic that leads to a Stage One GX), Meteor Tempest that kills almost everything (with Beast Energy it kills everything) and the GX attack that kills everything with no discard of energy. Ideally, you don’t want to use this attack unless you can take full control of the match because you want to save it for Stakataka GX attack to set up a checkmate. I feel three is the perfect amount and you should not play anything more or less.

1 Stakataka GX

This card is usually your last attacker with its GX attack. Assembly GX which does fifty times the number of prizes you have taken, if you take four to five prizes then this GX attack will kill about everything in the format. The first attack Gigaton Stomp can be a good early pressure attack since it only needs three energy to attack. It does only hit for 120 so it can be annoying to deal with Buzzwole if they don’t attach Rainbow Energy to it. Also, funny enough, it gives a buff to your Dusk Mane Necrozma since it’s an Ultra Beast and the ability of Stakataka reduces all attacks to Ultra Beasts by ten damage.

4-0-3 Magnezone line

So, why the no ability Magnemite? Well, I chose it for two reasons. One, it allows your deck to not get stomped on by Weavile and the second is that it has a neat attack for one energy. For one Metal Energy, it allows you to add three energy from your deck to your hand. It doesn’t seem good at first but picture this scenario; you Lillie yourself into a Magnezone hand for next turn, with this attack not only do you have the Magnezone play in hand, but now you have energies to start loading onto your attackers. Of course, you don’t want to use it if it’s the only Magnemite. Three Magnezone, I feel, is the standard count and playing it at two was annoying in my opinion. With three you increase the odds of getting your turn two Magnezone which, the deck heavily relies on getting Magnezone as fast as possible. Also, something to note is, Magnezone can be a good attacker to deal with Buzzwole, for four energy it hits for 130, but you can’t use it again but with Mt Coronet and eleven Metal Energy you can retreat and send up another Magnezone or another attacker to keep applying pressure. One more note is you should only attack with Magnezone against Buzzwole/Shrine. Do not use it in any other matchup unless you’re forced into odd prizes.

3 Tapu Lele GX

I played a decent amount of games with three Tapu Lele and every time I drop to two I regret it. Giving yourself more outs to pretty much any supporter is too good to pass up. In this format, you want to get a turn one Lillie about 90% of the time, the other 10% is the combination of Stevens Resolve, Judge and Apricorn Maker. It can also be an attacker, but that’s only if you’re desperate. It’s the support of the deck and if you see Sneasels hit the bench, do not play more than one Tapu Lele onto the bench.

11-1 Energy Split

For the cup, I played no Beast Energy and I kind of regretted it in some scenarios. The first scenario was not having it to take out Grubbins and Rockruff’s. It’s extremely annoying to have to use Meteor Tempest to kill the little guys. With Beast Energy, you can Claw Slash or even Gigaton Stomp will get that missing numbers to knock them out without overreaching with your energy. Eleven Metal energy, I feel, is perfect, but you can probably get away with ten Metal Energy if you wanted to.

1 Energy Retrieval, 1 Lady, 1 Fisherman

From the cup list, I decided to drop the Ribombee line and added a Lady in its place. Lady can be extremely good to dig out those metal energies and start killing things off the board. The dream setup is having turn two Magnezone with a Lady in hand to get off a quick attack. Of course, your main attacker discards energy so you want to have outs outside of Mt Coronet since it only retrieves two. Energy retrieval has good synergy with Mt Coronet since it gets you four energy to reset and load your Dusk Mane Necrozma. Fisherman is another supporter that brings back four energy, but in late games, you can Fisherman and Mt Coronet six energies and set it up to where you have Dusk Mane ready to kill and Stakataka to finish the game. If Super Rod was in the format then I wouldn’t play Retrieval, but since it isn’t, Energy Retrieval is needed.

1 Escape Rope

At first, I took it out of the cup list, but there are some scenarios where Escape Rope is needed. The biggest instance is in the Malamar matchup where, if they use Dawn Wings Necrozma’s GX attack, you won’t be able to hit it. However, with Escape Rope and Guzma, you can pick it off. The other scenario is moving your heavy retreaters to get to another attacker so that you won’t have to discard the energy.

4 Rare Candy

It gives you a better probability to get turn two Magnezone. You can get away with three, but you do not want to whiff the Magnezone otherwise, you will lose.

4-4 Ball Count

Nest Ball is there to find your basic Pokemon so that you’re not discarding cards and it has good synergy with Lillie. Ideally, you always want two Magnemites at all times so Nest Ball helps with that. Ultra Ball is here to find any Pokemon especially, Magnezone and Tapu Lele GX.

4 Mt Coronet

You want to have an out to shrine decks so by playing four you can get rid of them if they drop the first stadium. But, the biggest usage of this card is to bring back energies throughout the game.

1 Judge, 1 Volkner

I was having a major debate with myself trying to decide which was better Judge or Stevens. Both are good for the purpose they have, but I decided to go with Judge to have some type of disruption in the deck to prevent plays like opposing Stevens and late game disruption to prevent winning Guzma. One Volkner is the Skyla of the deck to find stuff like Rare Candy and Ultra Ball. It creates another out for turn two Magnezone.

Other Choices

Dialga GX

This card was replaced by Stakataka and I feel that it can find its spot into the deck again because of the format being filled with Buzzwole Shrine. Not only does it help you draw cards with its attack, Overclock, but the biggest thing is its GX attack. For five energy you can hit for 150 and you get to take another turn. This can be huge in the Shrine matchup where you kill something with the GX attack going down to four prizes then kill something else to avoid the Sledgehammer option of the Shrine player. It would be useless against other matchups since you’re capped at 150 damage, but it provides an option for that particular Buzzwole matchup.

Ribombee engine

The Ribombee engine is the most popular way to play the deck, but honestly, in a format where Weavile is becoming popular, you want to avoid additional abilities that boost Weaviles attack. However, outside of Weavile, it has probably the most disgusting ability which allows you to grab two energy from the deck and put them in your hand. This makes it to where you don’t need Lady in the deck and you can just grab energies and play a different supporter for the turn. What’s also nice is that Cutiefly has free retreat so it creates an option for you to promote and see what you draw before promoting your attacker. It’s a high-risk high reward engine, but if you get the setup of Magnezone and Ribombee, it’s over you won.

Order Pad

This card has been popping up here and there in some decks for over half of the year, but in this format it’s amazing. I personally was hyped to see it when Jeremy Jalen posted his list on Heyfonte and wanted to try it myself, but I decided to scratch the idea because of Garbodor still be relevant. If Garbodor is not relevant, then this card can make a difference. By flipping a coin and getting heads you can get any item from the deck which, means getting more outs to your turn two Magnezone. So, just like the Ribombee engine, it’s high risk high reward and if you feel lucky enough to consistently roll heads, why not give it a try.

Celesteela GX

Another attacker that can be good for this format due to its fighting resistance. What makes it better than Dialga is that this card can be used outside of the Buzz/Shrine matchup and it can use Beast Energy which can make it hit up to 210 with its GX attack. The only problem I have with this card is its weak against lighting and being attacked by Vikavolt is not as appealing. But, it’s something to consider if you’re trying to beat Buzz/Shrine with Magnezone.

Stevens Resolve

It was in the original list, but I decided to cut it for Lady due to the drawback of ending my turn when I use it. It’s probably the best card in the format if it goes through to your turn. Judge and Marshadow are a thing in this format, but it’s worth the risk. If you decide to add it back in, the one note I want to leave for you is that if you’re going second, DO NOT play this card as your supporter of choice. You only play it going second if you 100% know they don’t play either of those cards.

Shining Lugia

The Bouffalant of this format (there was a Bouffalant that hit for 120 damage to EX Pokemon. It’s not quite the same, but it’s a good comparison) for three colorless energy you can hit a Pokemon with an ability for 120 damage. And for four energy you hit for a solid 130 which is good for the Buzzwole Shrine matchup. Everything in the deck has 130 HP or less so, Lugia can take a couple prizes in the right scenario. The downside of the card is that it is capped at 120 and you aim to one shot things. So, if the meta is Buzzwole Shrine heavy or heavy ability, I would definitely add this for a one prize attacker.

Acerola

This card has been lingering in the back of my mind and probably is next in my things to test. Acerola can be extremely useful in Shrine matchups where you can pick up a damaged Lele or anything close to a knock out to prevent easy prizes. In these blow-up decks, I always like to have at least one way to heal my Pokemon. This also creates another way to bail your Pokemon out of the active position if somehow you get trapped.

Tate and Liza

For what it’s worth, I actually liked the card when it was in the deck. I personally think this card shines in the Ribombee engine variant and not the straight one because Ribombee is able to take out the energy from the deck and makes it, so the five cards are more likely to be useful cards instead of energy or/and other useless cards. The biggest thing I liked about it is that it saved me from staying asleep from Inkays attacks by giving me another switch effect.

Field Blower

In the format, we’re in, I feel that Field Blower is not as strong. Without the worries of Garbodor or Fighting Fury Belt, it has come to the point where we don’t mind what’s on the board. Its either we bump the stadium or kill the Pokemon with the tool. But, a one of wouldn’t be bad since you may want another out to bump Shrine off the board. You do not want the stadium to sit there long. Currently, Field Blower is not among my top choices for inclusion, but it’s still something worth looking at.

Matchups

Buzzwole Shrine (Weavile and/or Garbodor) 45/55

This matchup is probably your trickiest matchup as a Magnezone player. The reason why is you must figure out which one is which and what you have to play conservative on. Let’s start with the Garbodor variant, Garbodor hits you for twenty times the number of items in your discard pile. The deck plays a heavy count of items since we’re aiming to get turn two Magnezone. So, ideally, you want to get Magnezone while using as few items as possible. The max number of items you can play before Garbodor can kill you without Shrine damage involved is eleven items. With one turn of Shrine its ten items and with Choice Band its nine items. Not to mention, Buzzwole is will start to apply pressure to your board so that Garb needs fewer items. So, in this matchup target down your opponents Garbodors. You can deal with the Buzzwole once you’re at four prizes. Never bench more than 2 GX and don’t be afraid to attack with Magnezone in this matchup, Magnezone is probably your best attacker to deal with the Buzzwole and Garbodor since shrine doesn’t affect Magnezone. Same logic for the Weavile variant, but instead never bench more than two abilities. If you have three than a Choice Band on a Weaville and Shrine will be able to knock out your GX and its a clean hit to Magnezone without any modifiers. Something to consider when you know Weavile is in the deck, always count Magnemite as an ability Pokemon (even though they’re the non-ability one) because, once you evolve it, it becomes an ability Pokemon. Your ideal board setup is one attacker, two Magnemite and a Tapu Lele GX (perfect world you don’t drop a Lele, but its expected) once you get to this board state don’t put down any more ability Pokemon. Instead, just hit away with something like Dusk Mane for the first two prizes and take the hit from Buzzwole then swing with Magnezone and try to load up another attacker. They thrive on GX Pokemon kills so, avoid dropping multiples of them and try to get down to four prizes as fast as possible. If they play both then try to execute both strategies at once, but usually play off what they bench. For example, if they go heavy on Trubbish then conserve items, if it is more Sneasel, then don’t put many abilities, if it’s a one-one split, deal with the one that’s going to hurt you more down the road. The matchup is unfavorable since you are a Stage Two deck and the Shrine damage just adds on, but if you draw well and execute the strategy you’ll be able to break through.

Vikaray 50/50

This matchup is pretty much a tempo matchup. Whoever sets up first will win the matchup. So, something to take note of in this matchup is do they play Marshadow or not? Most of them do, but there are some cases where they don’t. Here are some things about Marshadow: if you go first then all you have to do is get lucky off the Judge and blow up, but if you go second then you’re hoping to draw an Ultra Ball to get Lillie and set up from there. One little card can make a huge difference in this matchup and honestly there’s really no tech you can add to help you with Marshadow. The second thing is if they play Choice Band if they do then the matchup becomes a little bit trickier because they would only need six energies and a Band to kill anything. Which would put you in a scenario where if you don’t respond, you will lose. The third thing is you never have to worry about Vikavolt to kill you (it caps at 180 with Band) so, it’s straight up Dusk Mane Necrozma vs Rayquaza. The question is should you kill the Vikavolt? Only if Ray doesn’t have four energy on board already. If they do kill Ray, you got to the point where they will get six to seven energy next turn no matter what. If it’s at two to three energy, then you must look at the board and their hand size, if they have a Grubbin, kill the Ray, if they don’t then kill the Vikavolt. The reason why is if they can’t get another Vikavolt the next turn then Ray has to get lucky off their abilities and even then, they might lose important resources to do it. Then you can take advantage of Dusk Mane’s GX attack and get ready for the next Ray. They lost Elixir so, they don’t have the speed to get a lot of energy in one turn without the help of Vikavolt. Zero to one energy, kill the Vikavolt, you will have no worries of a return kill the following turn unless they go completely nuts and hit everything perfectly.

Zoro Variants 60/40

Pretty much anything with Zoroark is a matchup you want to face. You can one-shot them easily while they have to really work to kill you. Let’s start with the Lycanroc variant, the one thing you have to keep an eye out for in this matchup is bench space. Never do past three to avoid Dangerous Rogue plays. Yes, they can kill you with Professor Kukui, but like I said they really have to work for the kills and if you’re applying pressure early then it becomes more difficult for them. Some things to note is that once Dangerous Rogue is used then you can start dropping some things down. However, don’t bench dumb things like excessive amounts of Magnemite or load your bench with multiple Lele. They can still make it a game if Leles are still involved so only use Lele if it’s going to net you a knockout. If you can do that and get energies on the board for knockouts and keep streaming Magnezones then you can walk through this matchup. The Banette variant is a little bit trickier since with Devour Valley plus moving a damage counter, Kukui, and Choice Band on Zoroark can lead to a one-shot of your Dusk Mane. The one random damage can make a difference down the road in the matchup so if there’s anything that needs to die in this matchup, it’s the Banette. The Weavile variant is treated the same way I highlighted in the Buzzwole Shrine matchup, don’t over bench abilities and you’ll be fine.

Malamar Variants 55/45

This matchup can be won on both sides, but I gave the favorable to Magnezone because in my testing I found that if I get turn two Magnezone and just put the pressure on it’s so hard to lose the game. I’m not saying it’s a free matchup by any means, but it feels pretty easy once I get turn two or three Magnezone. One of the things that I fell needs to highlighted in this matchup is, kill the Dawn Wings at all cost. If they bench it or start with it, just kill it. Don’t even worry about the other things, just kill the Dawn Wings and go from there. Why? Dawn Wings Necrozma GX attack literally prevents you from attacking it the next turn. Yes, we play one Rope for this scenario, but in some cases, you won’t be able to find it and just have to sit there. Dawn Wings Necrozma can only kill you if they have a Choice Band or Beast Energy attached (they need both if you have Stakataka on your bench) so, that’s why I mention if you start taking over early then it’s hard for them to keep up. They have to respond quickly or give you another prize in order to find the missing thing the following turn. If they whiff one turn and you take a knock out, then just use Guzma on Malamar and just set up checkmate the following turn. The second thing to note is if they play Mimikyu it’s an underrated card at the moment, but in this matchup, Mimikyu can ruin your day since they kill you for two energies and you have to deal with a one prize attacker. If it comes up just take the turn to kill it, get it out of your way and just finish cleaning up the rest. If you must choose between Mimikyu or Dawn Wings, just kill the Dawn Wings. They are both equally bad, but you can deal with a Mimikyu with a Magnezone the following turn. So your ideal board is an attacker, two Magnemite and Stakataka GX on the bench with two free spots open depending on board and pace of game.

Metagross ???

I have to mention it due to the fact it just made Top 8 at Philly Regionals. Surprisingly, I played against a couple in the last 24 hrs and it’s actually a pretty weird and crazy matchup. It’s the two-shot war (if you bench Stakataka) and the only way you’re able to one shot anything is if you get the Beast Energy on Dusk Mane Necrozma. Otherwise, you’re just hitting yourself into a Max Potion play. The things I found out in this matchup are about 85% of the time you will take the first couple of prizes so, it takes away one of your options of hitting for 250 with Dusk Mane’s GX attack. So, you would need to either find Beast Energy or get five prizes in order to hit 250 with Stakataka GX attack. Also, kill Solgaleo as fast as possible, it’s a plus if it never comes out because Metagross can’t kill you (unless they play a Kukui or two Dhelmise). Also, don’t be afraid to take the game slow. What I mean by that is, using Magnemite to get energies into your hand and build a board. It’s an extreme plus if they get the first knockout then the GX attack is open for Dusk Mane Necrozma. Do not over bench Lele on the bench, they can’t kill Dusk Mane Necrozma (with Stakataka on your bench), but they certainly can kill the Tapu Lele GX. The last note is always Judge if they use Algorithm GX for the turn. That would set them back in their set up and force them to work for those evolutions.

Conclusion

Magnezone can be a winner for Memphis, it’s not a joke. If it sets up it will beat anything and it’s something that people should test in their circle. Unfortunately, I will not be able to make it to Memphis this year due to both my jobs needing me that weekend. However, I am open to coach for anyone that wants to test for their upcoming regionals. I will be attending Portland regionals and I’m looking forward to my next article in October where I will be talking about Tapu Koko spread for expanded. I want to give a shout out to everyone in Some1spc including the readers and shout out to TCEvolutions for sponsoring me this past season. If you haven’t already, add me on twitter @Drdy_Sosapc for my latest updates on tournaments and articles. Lastly, thank you for reading!

 

-Sosa