Lucario and Melmetal Tag Team GX (LucMetal) combined with Zacian V and Zamazentais a force to be reckoned with on the online scene. After winning the first Player’s Cup, it went on a tear online getting various cosigns from top players – the main strength of this deck is the high skill ceiling it can have. As a LucMetal player, you tend to play very methodically and slow the game down to a hault. Hiding behind Lillie’s Poke Dolls, you can buy yourself infinite amounts of time just using Zacian’s Intrepid Sword ability to attach extra energy, and draw into extra resources. Reducing damage is something that is always good, but this deck is arguably the tankiest one in the entire format – decks are going to have an extremely hard time taking down most of the Pokemon in this deck once you place some damage reduction buffs on them. I could talk about LucMetal all day, but let’s dissect what really makes this deck tick, and what the strategy is. Without further ado, let’s talk about LucMetal Zacian today!


Strategy


As I’m sure you can guess from the introduction paragraph, this deck’s main job is to tank its way through anything the opponent wants to throw at us. Our deck naturally is full of already high-HP basic Pokemon, however we have a few ways of making the cookie stretch.
Full Metal Wall GX, LucMetal’s GX attack, can prevent damage in the long run for just a single energy! It also has the secondary effect of being able to discard your opponent’s energy which comes in handy all the time since most LucMetal games go longer than other decks. This is often what we’ll open most games with, however there are times where we want to hold this GX attack for later on.
Metal Goggles are great at reducing damage, but also simultaneously reduce ability-based damage. Cards like Galarian Zigzagoon won’t be able to touch us with their Zigzag Headbutt ability due to one of the clauses on our Goggles. We play a ton of this card because we want to make sure every Pokemon that hits the field has a pair of them on.
By sitting back and attaching energy using Intrepid Sword over and over, we can wait until the last moment to strike. As long as we have the resources to keep up with our opponent, we can almost always win the Prize Trade by forcing our opponent to 3HKO us instead of 2HKOing us. Sometimes, these extra turns our opponent will need to KO our Pokemon can make the difference between a win or a loss. Once we have a ton of damage on our Pokemon, we can safely use Mallow and Lana to alternate into a new attacker, and heal off any damage that may have been done.


Deck List


Pokémon (8)

Trainers (38)

Energy (14)

2x Lucario & Melmetal-GX1x Cynthia & Caitlin14x Metal Energy
4x Zacian V4x Metal Saucer
2x Zamazenta V2x Mallow & Lana
1x Galarian Stunfisk4x Switch

4x Marnie

3x Tag Call

4x Metal Goggles

3x Boss's Orders

3x Lillie's Poké

1x Tool Scrapper

4x Professor's Research

4x Quick Ball


Key Cards


2 LucMetal – This 260 HP monster is going to be our main starter most of the time – it has a high-retreat cost, some costly attacks, and a relatively low damage output, however it is highly disruptive and able to pry our opponent’s strategy away from them by reducing damage one counter at a time. We aim to use LucMetal’s GX attack early in order to bulk up our other attackers, however sometimes it is best to wait until later on in order to discard many of our opponent’s energy cards.
We only play two of this card because it is not our main attacker, however it can attack in a pinch. Once we use LucMetal, we typically want to get them to the bench ASAP; we want our opponent to have to use Boss’ Orders in order to drag it up. Attach extra energy to this Pokemon only if necessary to drag out the game, but if you have the choice, Zacian or Zamazenta are usually better choices to expend your resources on. 230 damage seems a lot better than 150 to me!

4 Zacian V – Zacian is the main attacker in this deck, and always will be. We have a stellar ability (that we absolutely depend on in this deck), a high-damage attack (that doesn’t cost too much to use), and a Pokemon that can utilize Metal Goggles. What more could we ask for?! With a Full Metal Wall GX in play, as well as Metal Goggles attached, we can reduce damage done to us by 60 all while not being able to be damaged by any abilities. This gives our Zacian 290-320 HP effectively, which is enough to take hits from a fully powered up Eternatus VMAX, a Pikarom, or even another Zacian V (even after Altered Creation GX has been used). The perfect partner for LucMetal really is Zacian – it even allows us to not play Dedenne GX or Crobat V. While for most people this is rather intimidating, we can always Marnie + Intrepid Sword to refresh our hand and hang out behind a Lillie’s Poke Doll. A draw engine, attacker, and tank? We couldn’t ask for any more.

2 Zamazenta V – This is our last main attacker in the deck, and this one has a very key purpose – to take down Eternatus VMAX, and a few other VMAX decks. Its Dauntless Shield ability is one that is able to prevent all damage done to it by VMAX Pokemon, which means it can shutoff any deck that is entirely based around a VMAX attacker (or its subordinate attackers aren’t strong enough to take down a tanky Zamazenta). This is also our most efficient attacker in the deck, as it can attack consecutively (whereas a Zacian has to move to the bench in order to reset its attack clause). Zamazenta is also cruel to decks that use Special Energy, as its attack is able to discard them. Coming in at 130 damage with Assault Tackle, this Pokemon is typically going to 2-3HKO most Pokemon V/VMAX, but it’s the ability we like the most.

1 Galarian Stunfisk – Galarian Stunfisk is in here to take down Decidueye decks. It has resistance to Grass, and with Full Metal Wall GX and Metal Goggles, Decidueye effectively does 0 damage to it, and we can attack it. If an Obstagoon comes after us, we can easily just let them keep attacking until they discard all energy (due to Stunfisk’s ability), and we can just heal all of the damage they do to us with Mallow and Lana.

1 Cynthia and Caitlin – This is a draw Supporter we can find off of Tag Call. It can also net us a Supporter from our discard pile, which is very strong.

2 Mallow and Lana – This card not only heals us and acts as a switching card, but it is also searchable via Tag Call. This card is very strong in our deck, and can turn your opponent’s 2HKO into a 3HKO very quickly.

3 Tag Call – This ensures us a quick Full Metal Wall GX, and a Mallow Lana/Cynthia Caitlin depending on the situation. We want this card early so we play many copies of it.

4 Switch – All of our Pokemon have very high retreat costs, so we play a full suite of Switch in order to mobilize. We also use these to reset Zacian V’s Brave Blade attack.

3 Lillie’s Poke Doll – These serve as pivot points after we play a Switch, or if we just need to buy time at the beginning of the game (or really any point of the game). They aren’t searchable, but when we find them they are strong to immediately bench in most matchups. Since we don’t play many Pokemon, ALWAYS bench these because you’ll more than likely always have bench space.

1 Tool Scrapper – This is to remove cards like Cape of Toughness, Big Charm, and other Pokemon Tools in order to ensure we don’t have to attack more times than we want to. In the mirror match, it can be strong for removing your opponent’s Metal Goggles.

4 Metal Goggles – This card is essential in this deck, and we want a pair of Goggles on all of our attackers. This is part of what makes the deck so good, and allows us to reduce 60 damage from all of our Pokemon when combined with Full Metal Wall GX. This card also prevents us from getting damaged by Galarian Zigzagoon, which is huge.

14 Metal Energy – We play a high amount of Metal Energy in order to accelerate more energy using Intrepid Sword. More energies in our deck also ensures that we are able to power up more Pokemon than our opponent, which means we will win the resource game if the game goes long (which it usually does).


Matchups


ADP – Slightly Favourable
We don’t play any sort of Dedenne-GX or Crobat V for our opponent to prey on, and all of our Pokemon are pretty bulky, so I tend to favour LucMetal in this matchup. It’s also great when we use our GX attack to remove their Water + Metal after an Altered Creation GX – it prevents our opponent from using Ultimate Ray, and is a pivotal point in the game. GX early in this game and you should be fine.

Eternatus – Favourable
Their entire deck is centred around Eternatus VMAX, and their supporting cast is full of fairly weak Pokemon (Hoopa, Spiritomb, Eternatus V, etc). The only thing that can really touch your Zamazenta and do enough damage is Sableye V, which not too many people play anymore. Sableye can generally get through 1 Zamazenta, but has a difficult time getting through our second copy. We win this matchup quite easily.

Pikarom – Even
I have to be honest, I’m unsure of this matchup as I haven’t played it a lot, however I can only assume discarding the opponent’s energy is very hurtful to them. They can get off a Full Blitz, but they will walk directly into a Full Metal Wall from Zacian. We have to watch out for their Boltund + Big Charm, so try to hold onto Tool Scrapper as that is the only thing in their deck that can OHKO us after Full Metal Wall + Goggles.

Centiskorch – Very Unfavourable
They are Fire-type and can OHKO you – to win this matchup you should include 3 copies of Weakness Guard Energy.

Baby Blacephalon – Very Unfavourable
They are Fire-type and can OHKO you – to win this matchup you should include 3 copies of Weakness Guard Energy.


Conclusion


There’s a reason why this deck is doing so well right now – it’s got solid matchups on all of the top decks right now, and when piloted by a strong player, it can take down mostly anything (except Fire). I’d suggest nabbing some PTCGO codes and building this deck online, because this deck will only get stronger. Until next time, have fun!