Radiant Light: Ultra Necrozma in Expanded

Published 7 months ago by Haydair Article Views 1251 Estimated Reading Time 9 minutes

Welcome back to Pokemoncard.io! I hope that everyone has had a great day so far!


Today, we'll be taking another dive into the Expanded format, this time taking a look at a largely overlooked deck: baby Ultra Necrozma/Garbodor. This deck has been around every since Necrozma has been released in the Cosmic Eclipse era (late Sun and Moon), but I personally think that it has the tools required to do well in today's Expanded meta. Without further ado, let's get into it! 


wy keen, 1st Place, Atlas Season 3 Mini #23

3 Trubbish PLS 63

1 Trubbish PLS 64

2 Garbodor BKP 57

2 Garbodor GRI 51

4 Ultra Necrozma CEC 164


4 Professor's Research CEL 23

2 N FCO 105

2 Teammates PRC 141

2 Guzma BUS 115

2 Guzma & Hala CEC 193

1 Marnie CPA 56

1 Cynthia UPR 119

1 Pokémon Ranger STS 104

4 Nest Ball SUM 123

4 VS Seeker PHF 109

3 Mysterious Treasure FLI 113

2 Field Blower GRI 125

1 Computer Search BCR 137

1 Rescue Stretcher GRI 130

1 Special Charge STS 105

4 Lucky Egg SSH 167

3 Float Stone BKT 137

4 Silent Lab PRC 140


4 Double Dragon Energy ROS 97

2 Horror Psychic Energy RCL 172


  1. Deck Strategy

Ultra Necrozma’s most notable feature is its relatively strong attack, Luster of Downfall. It costs a mere 2 energy, and deals a significant 170 damage. Luster of Downfall doesn’t have any drawbacks, and has the added benefit of discarding the opponent’s energy. All of that, on a one-prize Pokemon! 


Obviously, there’s a catch to this seemingly perfect Pokemon. The first issue is Necrozma’s restrictive ability, Ultra Burst. Ultra Burst prevents Necrozma from dealing damage until the opponent has taken 4-5 prize cards, which is often too late in the game for Necrozma to be of much use. Secondly, Luster of Downfall requires two different types of energy to fuel, making Necrozma difficult to set-up. 


Fortunately, with the help of some older cards available in Expanded, Necrozma's issues can be addressed. For a start, the special energy Double Dragon Energy can conveniently cover Necrozma's full attack cost with just a single attachment. Next, the multitude of ability denial cards in Expanded offer multiple ways to shut down Ultra Burst and allow Necrozma to attack as early as T1. I'll be covering the details in the next section! 


  1. Key Cards


4 Ultra Necrozma

Ultra Necrozma’s Luster of Downfall attack is insane. 170 is enough to 2HKO most Pokemon in the Expanded format, including Tag Team Pokemon and VMAXes. 170 may not be that great, but it’s sufficient on a 1-prize Pokemon like Ultra Necrozma, which can then trade favourably against multi-prize Pokemon. For example, against a Calyrex-Shadow VMAX deck, Ultra Necrozma needs 2 hits to KO Calyrex-S and take 3 prizes, while Calyrex-S needs 3 hits to take 3 prizes (by KOing 3 Necrozmas).


Luster of Downfall also comes with energy denial abilities, being able to discard 1 energy off the opponent’s Active Pokemon. Energy discarding acts as a way to slow opponents down, and even act as a win condition against decks which run a low count of energy (not likely, but possible). 


4-2/2 Garbodor + 4 Silent Lab

2 separate Garbodors, namely Garbodor GRI and Garbodor BKP, are played in this deck. Garbodor GRI serves as a hard-hitting late-game attacker. Its attack, Trashalanche, deals damage according to the number of item cards the opponent has played. As the game progresses and more items are played, Trashalanche’s damage increases sharply. Most decks play ~25 item cards, so hitting upwards of 200 damage isn’t an issue, and dealing 400+ damage is a real possibility. As an added bonus, keeping a Garbodor GRI on the Bench could dissuade opponents from playing item cards excessively, for fear of being OHKOed by Garbodor. 


Garbodor BKP’s role is probably the more important of the two. If there’s a tool card attached to Garbodor BKP, its Garbotoxin ability activates, negating the abilities of all Pokemon. In tandem with Silent Lab, Garbotoxin Garbodor can block Necrozma’s Ultra Burst throughout the game, so that Necrozma can attack freely. Silent Lab is more easily put in play compared to Garbodor as Garbodor needs a turn to evolve, so Silent Lab is usually used in the early game. Although Silent Lab may be faster, it is more easily countered (any opposing Stadium/Field Blower can remove it from play). As such, Garbodor usually takes centre stage in ability denial as the game progresses.


Apart from enabling Necrozma to attack, the ability denial offered by Garbotoxin Garbodor and Silent Lab can really slow down the opponent’s set-up, or in some cases even prevent them from attacking. For example, Tsareena V is really dependent on the abilities of Giratina LOT and Exeggcute PLF to chain attacks: When these abilities are blocked, Tsareena has limited opportunities to attack. Almost every deck in Expanded relies on abilities to function; these include ADP variants (ADP stands for Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX), Calyrex-Shadow, Mew VMAX and RowEggs (Rowlet & Alolan Exeggcutor-GX). Without their abilities, they can still function, but suboptimally. 


Reminder: Garbotoxin Garbodor can shut off the abilities of ALL Pokemon, including Calyrex-S’s Underworld Door. However, Silent Lab only works for basic Pokemon.



Original image credits: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/209698926383162947/ (apologies for the low resolution)


0 Dedenne-GX, 0 Crobat V, 0 Tapu Lele-GX

The famous trio of Bench sitters. When these Pokemon come into play, their abilities activate. Dedenne and Crobat draw more cards, while Tapu Lele allows the player to search for a supporter of their choice. However, this deck doesn’t play any of them, since their abilities are negated by Garbotoxin Garbodor and Silent Lab. As a bonus, since this deck doesn’t play any two-prize support Pokemon, the opponent will be forced to take 6 KOs to win the game (unless they’re ADP). 


4 Professor's Research, 2 N, 1 Cynthia, 1 Marnie

Normal Expanded decks would only play ~2-3 draw supporters. However, since this deck can’t draw extra cards with Dedenne and Crobat, it has to play a significantly higher count of draw support. This deck can also have issues finding Double Dragon Energy sometimes, so maximum draw power is certainly appreciated. 


2 Teammates

Ultra Necrozma’s low 110 HP leaves it open to being OHKOed by just about anything. As such, one issue that this deck could face is being unable to consistently set up consecutive Necrozmas. With Teammates however, this shouldn’t be an issue. After every Necrozma goes down, Teammates can search for a new Necrozma + Double Dragon Energy, allowing the new Necrozma to attack that same turn. If there’s a second Necrozma already set up, Teammates could search for other strong options such as N, Guzma, VS Seeker, Rescue Stretcher, any tool card and Special Charge


4 Lucky Egg

Although Teammates is a great ‘comeback’ card, we might have some difficulty searching it out. As such, this deck plays 4 Lucky Egg to draw cards after Necrozma goes down. Hopefully, the extra card draw can find the VS Seeker/Teammates we need. 


2 Guzma & Hala

Guzma & Hala gets us the majority of the things we need to attack. Although it doesn’t search out Ultra Necrozma itself, it does provide Silent Lab, Double Dragon Energy and a tool card of our choice. If we go second in the match, G & H can help us get off the turn 1 attack and keep us ahead throughout the game. 


4 Double Dragon Energy

Dragon Pokemon are notorious for their atrocious energy requirements that often require 2 types of energy to fuel (Necrozma is one of them). Thankfully, Double Dragon Energy can provide 2 energy of ANY type to ANY Dragon Pokemon, and with no drawbacks! As such, Necrozma’s 1 Metal 1 Psychic energy cost can be met in a single turn with Double Dragon Energy. 


Double Dragon Energy is not easy to search out; thankfully, we have Guzma & Hala, Computer Search and Teammates to help us find it. That being said, whiffing DDE can still occur at times (especially on turn 1).


  1. Other Options


1-2 Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX + Muscle Band

ADP can theoretically provide a better matchup against opposing single-prize decks and allow Necrozma to OHKO opposing basic Pokemon V thanks to the damage boost from Altered Creation GX. However, the widespread presence of Pokemon Ranger, which can remove the effects of Altered Creation, reduces the effectiveness of ADP. Additionally, having a three-prize Pokemon in play against a single-prize deck might not be the best idea. 


Energy Loto

This deck can sometimes whiff on Double Dragon Energy, since there are only ~7 cards that give access to it. Energy Loto can increase the deck’s chances of finding the Double Dragon Energy, thereby increasing consistency in terms of energy). 


Echoing Horn

Since this deck trades favourably against multi-prize Pokemon, an Echoing Horn + Guzma can help this deck take the last 3 prizes it needs to win the game. For example, against RowEggs decks, Ultra Necrozma can KO the first Rowlet & Alolan Exeggcutor-GX, retrieve it from the discard pile with Echoing Horn, then KO it again to take 6 prizes. 


  1. Matchup Spread


ADP Dragonite: Pokemon Ranger is key in this matchup. With its Altered Creation GX attack, ADP can end the game in 3 turns, only needing to KO 3 Necrozmas to take 6 prizes. But with Pokemon Ranger, Altered Creation’s effects are negated. Silent Lab and Garbotoxin Garbodor can block the abilities of the 3 Bench sitters (Dedenne, Crobat, Tapu Lele), as well as Tapu Koko Prism Star’s Dance of the Ancients, somewhat slowing down ADP’s set up. However, the best way of dealing with ADP is still playing Pokemon Ranger, so focus on searching that out. 


Tsareena V: As mentioned earlier, Tsareena V relies heavily on abilities to function. Try to set up Garbotoxin Garbodor as quickly as possible to lock Tsareena out of its attacks. Tsareena is not an autowin however: Tsareena plays Field Blower, which can switch off Garbotoxin by removing Garbodor’s tool card. Even if it's for 1 turn, being free of the ability lock can allow Tsareena to recuperate from its losses. Compounding matters is Necrozma’s low HP; Tsareena V only needs to discard 3 Pokemon to take a prize. This deck can’t trade favourably with Tsareena either, as it can’t OHKO Tsareena V while Tsareena OHKOs back. 


Shadow Rider Calyrex: Calyrex-S has been dominating events recently, and the combination of Alolan Muk, Silent Lab and Gengar & Mimikyu-GX can significantly slow down opponents. Marnie + Trevenant & Dusknoir-GX from Calyrex can also leave this deck having difficulty drawing cards. Fortunately, this deck is not only immune to Calyrex’s ability denial, but also benefits from it. Garbotoxin Garbodor can also block Calyrex’s Underworld Door, preventing the latter from accelerating energy and drawing more cards. In terms of attacking options, Necrozma trades favourably against Calyrex; additionally, Trashalanche Garbodor has the potential to OHKO Calyrex VMAX late game.


RowEggs: This is one tough and messy matchup. RowEggs plays two Vileplume; a wall Vileplume and an item-lock Vileplume. The wall Vileplume has an ability that makes it immune to basic Pokemon like Necrozma. Without Necrozma, this deck struggles to deal damage. I know Garbodor GRI (the one with Trashalanche) isn’t affected by wall Vileplume because it’s an evolution Pokemon, but since RowEggs doesn’t play many item cards, Trashalanche cannot deal enough damage to KO wall Vileplume. 


Theoretically, Garbotoxin Garbodor could just negate wall Vileplume’s ability. However, this is not possible because of the item-lock Vileplume: Item lock Vileplume prevents us from attaching a tool card to Garbotoxin Garbodor, since tool cards are considered item cards. Without the tool card attached, Garbotoxin cannot activate, and wall Vileplume’s ability cannot be disabled. 


To have a chance at winning, this deck should try to gust out item lock Vileplume with Guzma and take a KO. To attack Vileplume however, Silent Lab needs to be in play to deactivate Necrozma’s Ultra Burst (remember, Garbotoxin isn’t working). After item lock Vileplume is KOed, Garbotoxin can start working again, allowing Necrozma to sweep through the rest of RowEggs. It does take a bit of luck though. 


  1. Conclusion

If you want a fast, consistent and straightforward deck, this one ticks all the right boxes. The core strategy is simple: set up Necrozma, activate ability denial, then spam Luster of Downfall. Decent damage coupled with the fact that Necrozma is a 1-prize Pokemon means that the deck can trade favourably with multi-prize Pokemon in Expanded. Where required, Trashalanche Garbodor can provide much needed OHKO potential for this deck. Finally, ability denial provided by Garbotoxin Garbodor and Silent Lab can stifle opponents and inhibit their set up. (As an added bonus, Ultra Necrozma/Garbodor is not too expensive to purchase and play!)


I hope you enjoyed reading the article as much as I did writing it. That’s all from me, goodbye! 

Other Articles on Pokemoncard.io