pokemon-paradijs.comHello, and welcome fellow nerds players! My name’s J-Wittz, you might know me by my unbelievably long posts and commentary on articles from time to time. Well guess what? Now my long posts are up here at the front of the page with pictures too, so you almost HAVE to read them! I’ve decided that while I COULD write my Battle Roads tourney report in the fullest of detail with my most exquisite memory, it was actually the worst tournament of my career and my first drop below a .500 record, so I’m far too embarrassed to share! What’s that, you’re still curious? Okay, fine, I’ll share my pain with you all in what I declare the most concise tournament report ever. And THEN let me get to my darn article!
J-Wittz’s Tiny Tourney Report (still not the article yet). I played Regigigas. I thought it would be a surprise. He power locks with Mesprit LA but does bad against other power locks. He’s an old deck but I played him anyway. Game 1: I play my brother. No surprise. He mewtwo X’s and Toxicroak G’s (0-1). Game 2: Amphytric. Manectric and boths Amphys on t1. I cry. Everything on the bench has a power (0-2). Game 3: Straight Machamp. WHAT. The miracle here is that I WIN THIS RIDICULOUS MATCHUP through constant Uxie LV.Xs armed with unknown G’s (1-2). Game 4: Flyqueen (no champ)– I take 5 Prizes over a 6 turn power lock. On the 7th turn he draws into Flygon LV.X and extreme attacks. Boo (1-3). Game 5: Flychamp. He doesn’t draw into Flygon LV.X this time. I go ape with Regigigas (2-3). The End. My brother gets 3rd in masters and my cousin wins seniors.
Now normally, most people would lead to this kind of conclusion: “J-Wittz, just because a deck USED to be good doesn’t mean it all of a sudden could be. Also, Power Lock doesn’t work anymore except for with Palkia G LV.X”. But in this article I’ll discuss how both of these statements are wrong.
Attention everybody! The article is ALMOST starting now! For those of you who already know about GG’s legacy and have been playing for a while, feel free to skip forward to deck analysis. New players might get a bit of enjoyment for reading my next section for some good old Pokémon history. It’s the kind of learning you actually WANT to do!
Gardevoir Gallade: A Brief History
pokemon-paradijs.comEverybody and their mother knew this deck in the 2007-2008 season. It dominated Nationals and Worlds through famous names like Jason K. aka “Ness” and Gino Lombardi. With scramble energy and double rainbow energy, Gardevoir’s “Psychic Lock” attack provided instant power lock + damage, and Gallade’s “Psychic Cut” were fueled so easily. Only a few other deck variants were seen this year by the time Nationals came around, and GG (as I will henceforth abbreviate) was clearly the “Best Deck In Format”.
In the next season, (2008-2009) GG was initially considered to be a dead deck. With Scramble, Boost, and Double Rainbow Energy gone, and the introduction of Kingdra, the speedy one-energy attack “donk” (early game wins via quick attacks) decks became all the rage. However, moving more toward City Championships GG saw a revival. I compare this revival much to the time when Michael Jordan came back (once again) to play basketball for the Wizards. He wasn’t really that bad, but he had lost his luster, flair, and overall dominance he once had as the NBA’s best basketball player.
If the Wizards were Michael Jordan’s revival, Weavile SW was GG’s. With Weavile’s “Shadow Charge” attack, one could add two special dark energies and attack a psychic to a Gardevoir or Gallade in one turn, thus only slightly slowing down GG’s speed and mildly harming its consistency. With the special darks attached we now had the added bonus with Weavile’s “Shadow Charge” Poké Power: 10 extra damage for each special dark energy attached! The deck fared fairly well, won a couple of City Championships, and expanded even more when it had the added speed of “Broken Time-Space” from Platinum for the year’s Spring Battle Roads. However, cutting edge decks like Flygon and SP took hold for the rest of the year and GG was once again returned to binders of players everywhere.
So why am I still talking about this dinosaur of a deck? It’s because the deck is STILL GOOD! Here in Illinois, most Masters players are familiar with the infamous Jeremy Adams, who has played GG variants in at least 95% of his tournaments since the deck has existed. He is in my mind the best current GG player, and his statistics back him up quite a bit. He’s played the build down to the precision of science or possibly religion, and he continues to perfect it to this day. As of right now, he’s won BOTH of our Illinois Battle Roads with an impressive record of 10 wins, 1 loss. While Battle Roads have such a low ranking value and we’re so early into events right now, just for kicks you can check the US rankings and he is the 3rd highest ranked player.
Despite the fact that Battle Roads are more fun and less competitive events, Illinois is no pattycake of an area to play in. We host some of the best-known players Globally: Jason K. aka Ness (two time world Champ), Alex B. aka Chuck (99 time worlds qualifier), Rob Downs (05 worlds qualifier), Jimmy Ballard (2nd place worlds 06) — who just retired but is still a legend, and Kyle S. aka Pooka (National champion of last year) is just a state away and often here, so Jeremy’s wins here are nothing to scoff at! But now that you have possibly all the pretense in the world, I’m going to take a look at the deck itself (a very close identical to his list–he keeps changing it by a card or two so this is the best I’ve got right now) and tell you all why I think it’s so good. Ready? On we go!
The Part You Came Here For: The Decklist / Analysis
4 Ralts PT
3 Kirilia SW
3 Gardevoir SW
2 Gallade SW
3 Sneasel DP
2 Weavile SW
2 Baltoy GE
2 Claydol GE
2 Uxie LA
1 Nidoran + RR
1 Nidoqueen RR
1 Unown G GE
4 Roseanne’s Research
3 Bebe’s Search
1 Lucian’s Assignment
1 Luxury Ball
4 Rare Candy
2 Broken Time-Space
4 Poké Healer + (can be substituted for more draw, such as Cynthia or more Night Maintenance)
2 Warp Point
1 Night Maintenance
|Energy: 123-4 Call
4 Special D Energy
4-5 P (the call is sometimes substituted for an extra psychic, I believe)
Once again, for newer players, the strategy is this– get an early Weavile and use his “Shadow Charge” attack to put energy on a benched Ralts/Kirlia. Then, evolve Ralts/Kirlia into a Gardevoir to stop your opponent’s Pokémon Powers or a Gallade if you need to do maximum damage to a high-threat or high-HP Pokémon. Rinse and Repeat.
The first thoughts of most players, including myself, with this deck are usually “this deck is grossly inconsistent”. Jeremy himself often says “yeah, if I don’t get a Weavile T1/T2 or a call energy I usually lose”. The deck has a concise search engine and a massive amount of Pokémon. It’s tech cards are all based on healing or moving energy, and it runs minimal metagame techs. Just looking, and sometimes even actually building and playing this list still leads the researcher bewildered at how someone could keep winning with this archaic deck.
There are two ways to play any kind of deck. High Consistency or High Risk/High Payoff. I have never met a more daredevil player than Jeremy concerning this list. The Poké Healers seem to be suicide– FOUR spots out of cards that could be making the deck more consistent??? Yet, he still plays them and often does uses them for the win. Only 4 psychic energy? Where’s the consistency?
A huge boost this deck receives in searchability is Gardevoir’s amazing power “Telepass”. This power lets you play a second supporter during your turn, and it can be anything your opponent has ever played in their discard pile. This not only adds a huge boost to your search engine by being able to reply your opponent’s Bebe’s, Cynthia’s, Roseanne’s, etc. every turn– but it can also frighten opponents into NOT playing a key supporter in fear of letting you use it. It’s one of the best powers in the game and really makes up for the low trainer/supporter count and low draw power.
pokemon-paradijs.comGG is a deck similar to Flygon in that it is a stage 2 utility deck with plenty of options. The best of which usually remains an early Gardevoir assault. The “Psychic Bind” attack does 60-80 damage depending on if you have Weavile’s “Dark Engage” power in effect, but the effect is sinister. Some might think, “3 energy and only 80 damage is a high price for just a power lock” but it really isn’t. Decks like Flygon especially have a high reliance on Claydol draw and Pokémon SP like Luxray GL LV.X and Palkia G LV.X need powers to work their magic. With energy acceleration through Weavile and a power that adds speed to the deck, GG is actually moderately fast for a stage 2 deck.
The Nideoqueen/Healers tech creates a longer Psychic Lock on the opponent and longer durability. In desperation, Nidoqueen too can be shadow charged and attack with “Ruthless Tail” for 70-120 damage. A lot of readers will seem iffy about this strategy, as I am, but it’s the winning formula Jeremy seems to be riding on. Plus it’s common rumor that Poké Healers are Nation Champ Pooka’s true weakness (he ALWAYS loses to them =P ). A common play is to retreat/Warp Point a damaged Gardy/Gallade for a new one, and then using Lucian’s Assignment to move all the energy over to the new Pokémon. The damaged Pokémon heals on the bench through Nidoqueen’s “Maternal Comfort” and wastes the time your opponent spent doing the damage in the first place.
Gallade is a true tank with 130 HP and his “Psychic Cut” attack– which can do an absurd 200 damage with a “dark engage”, or the prizes can be split for two 140 damage attacks, three 120 damage attacks, or up to 6 100 damage attacks depending on how you distribute your prize-flipping. This makes an easy KO for large tanks like Flygon LV.X, and his fighting type 1HKOs Luxray GL LV.X without flipping a prize.
pokemon-paradijs.comJeremy switches on and off with running Gardevoir LV.X , but for a while has dropped the card. It’s a little inconsistent in a deck that already runs such a high amount of inconsistencies. Gardevoir LV.X’s attack “bring down” is situational and avoidable with Unown G. So all you really get from her (I really want to refer to it as a “him”, it just sounds right :P ) is a Poké Power that acts as a free switch between Gardevoir and the bench, both ways, and 20 more hp. Plus, leveling up leaves you open to a 1HKO by Flygon’s “Extreme Attack”.
Some people might argue the use of upper energy in GG because it’s similar to the big card “Scramble Energy” that made GG so powerful back in the day. However, with the need for call and special dark for acceleration, and then just regular psychics to attack, I just can’t see any space for it. Alternate decks will drop the Weavile and dark altogether for uppers, but I don’t recommend it.
So what is this deck good against/ bad against? The answer is a lot like the one you get from Flygon– “it has a competing matchup against a variety of decks and no clear auto-loss”. Its big enemy lies within Toxi-Tank. Remember when I said Jeremy has just one loss this year? That was to my brother’s crazy Mewtwo-Toxitank-Garchomp C-Luxray GL SP build. Toxitank is quick and takes a big advantage out of the the deck’s almost entirely psychic weakness. Plus, poison prevents you from using “Telepass”. The deck has no real auto-win matchup, it just performs consistently and provides trouble for everyone– nobody likes their powers locked except Scizor/Cherrim, and that deck sees very very little play.
pokemon-paradijs.comA lot of people think that this build has a lousy Flygon Lock matchup. Just one Unown G and a couple of Warp Points? That’s it? Yet I’ve seen it clear lots of Flygons just recently. It just relies on out-speeding Flygon with “Shadow Charge” and “Telepass” while slowing its setup down with “Psychic Lock”. When the level X does come into play, it will find ways to bring out Gallade for the 1HKO. On the offensive, todays “popular” Flygon/Machamp deck doesn’t do enough raw damage to 1HKO Gardevoir or Gallade most of the time. Often a set of Healers with Nidoqueen can wipe away a turn of damage.
And that (phew) is all I’ve got on the subject matter. I think I should add that Jeremy has the supernatural akin to that of Yu-Gi-Oh’s “heart of the cards” where he can mystically draw the one card he needs at any given time. That, my friends, is pure luck and it will certainly help any deck.
Never before have we seen a lack of card rotation in POP– and so for the first time, a deck has remained competitive for THREE SEASONS. What a run! I’m having a ball testing the deck out myself, and I hope you will too. Hope you had fun reading my “Novelette” of an article! Peace!
Here’s the usual question: What do you guys think? Can Gardevoir/Gallade/Weavile remain a competitive deck for a third season? Do you like Jeremy’s healing techs or would you prefer more consistency? Is the deck stable or does it rely on the power of luck?