"Return of the King" – The Meta, LeBronzong, and a Ton of Toads

This is the companion discussion topic for this article.

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wow Chris! that deck looks awesome! I cannot wait to try it out!

What… the… heck…

Also, as a huge fan of rhyme, I feel like loads of toads was almost too obvious Adam, you let me down.

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That would have been better. I looked in a thesaurus for a few minutes to find a better word than “ton” and must have glanced over that if it was listed.

That Seismitoad/Delphox list actually looks very interesting @Ruiner !

Delphox was definitely my favorite card out of XY (along with Yveltal), so I’ll definitely be testing this deck out soon. Along with this notion, I had one thought for the deck that I wanted to get your opinion on: with Delphox, you have almost guaranteed draw every turn once it’s set up, so I see this a s a great opportunity to run some disruptive supporters like Cassius and Team Flare Grunt instead of a high count of hammers. Do you have any thoughts on this idea?

I was in dire need of fresh Bronzong ideas, so this article is exactly what I needed. One question though; there was no mention of the Pyroar matchup - how have you approached that one or is it just down as an auto-loss?


Fantastic article! The Bronzong writeup is very useful, just noticed you didn’t mention Steel Shelter anywhere. It has the Shadow Circle problem of being useful on your opponents turn where they can easily remove it, but it seems that it could be useful to clear poison/virbank on your own turn as well. Did you experiment at all with it? I’ve found it invaluable in the gengar lock matchup (surprisingly popular in my local meta), but probably not useful in quite a few matchups other than clearing out their gym.

Gelato: You want to be able to play these disruptive cards prior to getting Delphox out, as it isn’t something that just hits turn 2 reliably. The Delphox line is thin, and expected to be obtained midgame. Also, having the disruption be item based allows you to play them post Trump Card more easily in mass afterwards. You could justify maybe one of the Supporter choices, but I’d prefer to focus more on the Hammers.

Smudgerrr: Oh, Pyroar is unwinnable. There aren’t even ways to tech to fix it. Its bad on so many levels. You can’t damage them at all, and they one shot everything. Anything you could tech in cannot beat a whole deck full of Pyroars. Pyroar is poorly positioned due to being bad vs Donphan, and Toad Garb.

Brunas: Steel Shelter was only really impactful against the Toad decks, and Az was just better. Gengar struggles to one shot your things anyways, and the deck is chock full of switching effects as it is. When you have access to your item cards, you have enough cards able to mitigate the status conditions anyways. It is also annoying because every deck that wants to hit you with status conditions runs a bunch of stadiums too.

Really, very well-written article!
I want to build a metal deck too, and I need some ideas and your article filled my head.
Just one question: why not Cobalion LT?

Heatran is the best non EX attacker, as it hits Donphan for lethal. Cobalion is ok, but I’d run the 3rd Heatran before I’d run one. Not that I’d want the 3rd at all, just that Heatran is superior to it by a lot.

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Ive been testing the Delphox list all day online and I LOVE IT SO MUCH. These changes I made reflected testing

-1 Charizard
-1 Battle Compressor
-1 Skyla
-1 Rare Candy
-2 Skyla

+1 Braixen
+1 Xerosic
+2 Head Ringer
+1 Vs. Seeker
+1 Shauna

Charizard honestly never did very much for me. only to give me another basic to start with, but i never wanted to start with him. There just isn’t enough energy in the deck and I almost am considering cutting blacksmith too because it was very situational when i needed it. LYSANDRES TRUMP CARD IS ABSOLUTELY AMAZING IN THE DECK. The speed at which this deck flies is astounding at times. Especially if you can get two Delphox out. LTC keeps you from milling yourself and is reliable card draw. Basically at point in games my hand was clogged with supporters, which makes Shauna awesome. I started to notice how thin my deck got and figuring out when to trump card was necessary. The Quasmitoad mirror is really the reason for Braixen. Getting it out gives you more card draw than them and the more at your disposal. I personally really like head ringer and it helps against Virgen which is the decks weakness/strength if you can set up a delphox and not get it gusted out by Genesect. Xerosic is for the mirror because it gets rid of the DCE or It gets rid of the head ringer on your toad. ALSO It gets rid of wall float stones in the Donphan matchup, I already enjoyed Seismidor but I think i actually like Delphox better than Garb. Only real weakness that sucks is safeguard pokemon can be troublesome, but lasers and hammers can work wonders. Plus tech keldeo can be killer too and thats really when i wanted garbodor.

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Hey I am glad you’ve been playing and enjoying the deck! Like I said, the deck and list were far more theoretical than anything else, and its very reassuring to know it has been working well for you! The Charizard really is to help vs VG. I feel like the Blacksmith and Zard do far more in that matchup than the Head Ringers do. I’d like Head Ringers too, but I like them less than Hammers so they got the cut there. I’d def love to get them in there though. I think I’m fine with -1 RC +1 Braixen, although I was really hoping the deck would be fine without the stage 1. It is difficult to be able to even get under QP lock, since you cannot Ultra Ball. I’m sue the deck needs work for mirror. Az could be a great inclusion for that, by the way.

In our testing, we worked with a similar version of the Bronzong deck from a draw perspective but found that 9 draw supporters was not enough in the early game. Even when we upped it to 10 (we had a one-of Skyla), we struggled. Would love to add 2 or 3 more draw cards. Did you find yourself playing Jirachi all the time? In testing, we have felt like VS Seeker means people have a Lysandre in their hand at all times and have been averse to playing it. While all of the Ultra Balls give you an out to Jirachi, in the early game you would like to be using them to grab Bronzors.

Yes, you play Jirachi a lot. Az helps offset it some. Ideally you provide enough pressure to make Lysandre’ing Jirachi early game a bad play, and you can save it late game. I’ve actually had games where players craft a game plan expecting Jirachi to be those last 2 prizes, and could make it bait. Spiritomb is also “draw” power, oddly enough, which shouldn’t be overlooked either.

Another thing to look at is that there are only 8 good opening hand Supporters anyways, in Juniper and N. Skyla and Colress are draw Supporters, but don’t really lead to good starts off themselves either. I’m also not going to run Shauna. Additional Colress don’t really solve the problem. VS Seeker cover you midgame for Supporters. The number is low, but I don’t notice a huge difference in consistency from other decks. I think the best way to up the draw Supporters would be to pad the BC and VS counts and aim for that synergy, because the answer just isn’t there in Supporters. I’d also point out that myself and Carl Scheu did both make it all the way to the finals with the engine, so it can’t be too inconsistent from that standpoint. Jirachi EX is such a good card, and I feel like people overrate how much of a liability it can be. It will lose you games occasionally, but less often than common presumption suggests. It saves you far more than it costs you.

@Ruiner you should check out @bhalliburton’s article on Jirachi:

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Adam Capriola: Will do anything for additional hits. :wink:

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All I learned from that is I’m way too lazy to compute the math around how adding VS Seekers and Battle Compressors impact starting with playable Junipers and Ns :wink:

Just a thought but what about just making room for 1-1 Leafeon Team Plasma. This is in response to the Metal Deck Meta-Gaming techs. A well timed Leafeon will wreck Seismitoad EX. I’m going to test this out in the Metal Deck I built. I realize it’s a simple tech in a very thin line but honestly if it were any heavier I feel that it would just throw off consistency that is needed and just be a lot more obvious with-out any sort of shocking factor. Anways…

Great article, Meta-Gaming Analysis has always been a somewhat weak point of mine. The way you summed it up actually changed my entire outlook on it.