Yo! As promised in the last piece, this article is covering the Malamar variant I prefer. The formatting is pretty similar to the last article with details about the list, techs, and other Worlds info. I also cover the general strategy of the deck, but this time with descriptions of match ups. Towards the end I briefly explain another variant of the deck focused on Spell Tags that I will be testing in the near future. Before I get to the list, the following explains why I chose this variant of Malamar over Ultra Necrozma.
Giratina Garchomp rather than Ultra Necrozma
My first Malamar build for this format was using Ultra Necrozma. Having not tried out Garchomp Giratina it seemed to me that Necrozma was a better variant because of it’s GX attack and un-capped damage output. It took me about two games with this deck to realize how wrong I was. The fact this variant uses Fighting rather than Metal energy makes it possible to include the tech Aerodactyl GX, which alone might be worth the transition. It works as a counter to PikaRom, a free-retreater, a great way to slow opponents down (check out the ability) and has a solid GX attack that is relevant in format full of high energy-cost attackers. The Garchomp Giratina Tag Team is similarly powerful with it’s bulky 270 HP that keeps almost anything from taking a one-shot on it. That HP is the biggest reason I prefer this variant. With Ultra Necrozma, 190 is easy for PikaRom decks to hit; Zeroara GX only needs one Electropower, Tag Bolts needs no damage modifier, and Full Blitz gets there with two Electropower. With Garchomp Giratina, the only way they ever get the knock out if by using Tag Bolt with three Electropower or by using Alolan Raichu & Raichu’s GX attack. Sure, they can do Full Blitz or Plasma Fists with four E-Power, but lets be realistic. This high HP means you need one to two ChompTina to take all six prizes, whereas I frequently felt that a third Ultra Necrozma was needed to beat some of the Tag Team decks.
There is a lower level of maintenance required with ChompTina as well because Calamity Edge does not discard energy the way Ultra Necrozma does, while it hits for 240. Ultra Necrozma would need four energy to do 260, which is very significant because that energy cost is the difference between two and three Malamar in play. We need to ping a Pokemon with Distortion Door to get the full damage output of Calamity Edge, but doing so is not difficult. Using Linear Attack to set up the damage on turn one works as a way to hit the active as well (Distortion Door only works on benched Pokemon). Linear Attack actually sees more use than you might imagine because it frequently provides a decent early-game attack, which is another benefit that other variants of Malamar do not have. Lastly, the GX attack on ChompTina is pretty incredible giving you the option to deal with big threats like a Tag Team with six energy. You may not take a prize with the attack, but devastating your opponent’s board state is enough to get you the win in a slower fashion.
To only address Ultra Necrozma as the alternative to this variant does not give credit to the third version which would be very Giratina-based with an emphasis on Spell Tags. I expect that variant of Malamar might be a solid option in a meta where Field Blower and Guzma are no longer present, but have not gotten to testing it yet. Check towards the bottom of the page to see the list I will be testing this coming week. But first, let’s talk about the big guys.
Garchomp Giratina Malamar