A Different Take On Broken LMZ — Grow Your Lucmetal Hubris Today!

Hello CFB Pro readers, my name is Daniel Altavilla. I was recently offered a guest writing slot this month! If you do not know who I am, I have played the Pokemon TCG for about 17 years now (playing in every age division) and I have seen multiple levels of success. I currently work full-time and put whatever I have left into into content creation. I mostly do Twitch, but intend to branch out to YouTube soon! I also have a Patreon where I post each of my lists as I update them and I am currently working out other forms of content to post through the medium.

I have been given the liberty to write about something I am engrossed in, so I decided to do a primer on Lucario & Melmetal-GX / Zacian V / Zamazenta V, henceforth referred to as LMZ. This deck has been putting up strong results since the release of Zacian V, seeing many different variations of play from Japanese lists up to the ones you see today, slowly phasing out all support Pokemon in favor of cards like Lillie’s Poke Doll and more copies of cards for consistency purposes. Most lists have completely given up on niche one-of techs like Tapu Fini or Galarian Stunfisk, allowing for a clean eight Basic Pokemon. Four of those Basics are your ideal opener, Zacian V, not only for Intrepid Sword but for the opportunity to pressure a Brave Blade attack as soon as turn two.

Right now lists seem to be at their peak, with the latest build Joshua Sutherland has brought to the forefront, “Broken Lucmetal”:


##Pokémon - 8
4 Zacian V PR-SW 76
2 Zamazenta V PR-SW 77
2 Lucario & Melmetal-GX PR-SM 192
##Trainer Cards - 37
4 Marnie SSH 200
3 Boss's Orders RCL 200
2 Mallow & Lana CEC 231
2 Guzma & Hala CEC 229
2 Cynthia & Caitlin CEC 228
4 Tag Call CEC 270
4 Switch PRC 163
4 Metal Saucer SSH 214
3 Metal Goggles TEU 195
3 Lillie's Poké Doll CEC 267
2 Quick Ball SSH 216
2 Cape of Toughness VIV 200
1 Wondrous Labyrinth {*} TEU 158
1 Power Plant CEC 269
##Energy - 15
10 Metal Energy 8
3 Coating {M} Energy VIV 163
2 Capture Energy DAA 201

Why Should You Play LMZ?

I have genuinely shocked myself with how often I want to play this deck…

  • It seems to come up a bit short when compared to other high caliber decks – Pikarom and its mountain of options; Rapid Strike Urshifu’s aggression that can put any deck on a five- or six-turn clock – LMZ plays out somewhat linearly.
  • Its matchups are straightforward and its attacking options are limited to just five different attacks, only four after you use your GX move.
  • Aside from that, it has some pretty poor matchups in Fire decks with Energy removal techs or big attackers like Blacephalon that are hard to manage.
  • Additionally, Phoebe is included in most VMAX decks like Eternatus so they can get around Zamazenta.
  • Allow me to defend these statements, before providing my own.

LMZ certainly does tend to play out in a linear fashion. You pick a doggo based on if your opponent’s main attacker is a VMAX or not, and sometimes Lucmetal comes out to use Full Metal Wall. That’s about as simple as it gets, the rest comes not from the what, but the when and the why?

  • Should I use Steel Fist this turn, knowing I can two-shot this Pikarom with Brave Blade on my next turn, or would it be better to use Full Metal Wall GX here?
  • Do I want to put damage on the board even though my hand doesn’t have too great of a follow-up, or would it make more sense to use Intrepid Sword for a turn?
  • I have two copies of Boss’s Orders left, and I need one copy to win – I just drew it off my own Marnie – do I Intrepid Sword this turn, risking drawing my second copy and having both cards bottom-decked with a Marnie, or do I pass and effectively let my opponent know that I have game in hand already?

lucario gifs | WiffleGif

There are plenty of decisions that, as you would imagine, lead to more decisions on both sides of the board.

  • If you chose to Steel Fist over Full Metal Wall, are you giving away that your hand is allowing for a Brave Blade next turn, or is your hand completely dead and this play is solely to bait out a Marnie from your opponent?
  • If you don’t Full Metal Wall, how is the extra Energy helpful to your opponent?
  • How does the extra damage affect your math in the coming turns, and does Mallow & Lana’s heal fix the issue?

So many decisions can come up on either side of the board. LMZ plays out in a fashion where the game isn’t as cut and dry as one might assume.

Sure, the matchups are straightforward, but this never truly means what it should for a deck – the reality of this statement is that you are going to have games where plan A cannot come into effect.

For example, you whiffed a Full Metal Wall GX turn two after Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX used Altered Creation GX. Do you feel confident that you can navigate the rest of the game accordingly?

You hit a Fire deck that isn’t playing any techs for Coating Metal Energy, but it still has some pressure at its disposal using Reshizard’s Outrage attack and the potential for a six-Fire Double Blaze GX.

Do you have the decision-making skills necessary to earn the win?

As far as the hard counters go, there’s nothing you can do about them, but that is why meta calls are predictions, after all!

I always feel comfortable with this deck at Standard event.

Whenever I am debating the best play for a Standard event I always start with this question before moving forward:

Will there be many Fire decks, with Coating Metal techs, that have an opportunity to do well?

After asking myself this question, I usually allow the overconfidence that LMZ seems to grant you, now dubbed the “Lucmetal Hubris”, to take over and I quite often convince myself then and there to play the deck. Sometimes, though, the devil on my shoulder wins out and I get the urge to go in with Pikarom because, to be honest here, Chaotic Swell and Marnie paired with Reset Stamp and a plethora of attacking options looks incredible on those nights that I do not want to take the L to Fire.

This deck selection process works for me, it feels like a very well-balanced relationship.

Both decks feel amazing, but Pikarom can have a shaky Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX matchup and a rough Eternatus VMAX pairing; LMZ thrives versus these two decks and the opposite is true for LMZ and its Fire matchups.

This is where the second question comes up, which I’m sure you have surmised by now:

Do I expect it to be a rough night for Pikarom?

When the answer here is yes, there are two options:

  1. Take the tournament as a testing ground for a deck I haven’t had much experience with.
  2. Go in with LMZ and hope to avoid bad matchups.

I don’t think I have played a deck that wasn’t LMZ or Pikarom in a Standard event since my one where I went with Green’s Reshizard last month. This is because the decks are both consistent and feel rewarding to play. In scenarios where your plans have gone awry, I feel like you can still win if you play to your outs.

Edits to Josh's List and Their Relevancy

I have tried out my own list for LMZ time and again, stubbornly forsaking Joshua’s consummate build, not yet willing to give up Professor’s Research or a playset of Quick Ball. I saw varying degrees of success with this version, and slightly edited it to the point that I was soon matching Joshua’s list, which I then piloted in the Sunday Open on May 17 to a tenth place finish (dead draw in my win-and-in round).

After the event, I saw aspects of Joshua’s list that I respected, and others that I felt hurt the deck – I was not a big fan of Wondrous Labyrinth, zero Professor’s Research, and a greedy three Coating Metal. I was a huge fan of five Tools though, and two Cynthia & Caitlin provided some much-needed utility. I particularly enjoyed two Cape of Toughness, which has use in the Eternatus VMAX matchup that I was not expecting.

Toss in a couple of other edits I feel are necessary based on where the meta seems to be heading, and you have my current list for the deck:

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