Johnny Rabus’ Cities and Regionals Run + A Look at Probopass/Garbodor

Here’s Johnny!

Hi, my name is Johnny Rabus and today I’ll be writing my Cities reports and Regionals report.

I’ll start off by saying I went to a total of 11 Cities (4 from the Jersey Marathon) so I’ll just be going skimming over them for the most part. I will go in depth on one City though as I have received a ton of praise and questions on my deck choice, so hopefully this will help.

Also, I won’t be able to remember all of these so I will also cut some Cities out.

City #1 – Fairfax, VA

Deck – Darkrai EX/Landorus-EX

Round 1 – Empogor – W
Round 2 – ??? – W
Round 3 – ??? – W
Round 4 – Darkrai/Hydreigon – L
Round 5 – ??? – W
Round 6 – Darkrai/Hydreigon – L
Top 8 – Darkrai/Hydreigon – LL

Overall I was slightly dissapointed, but satisfied with where I ended up. I think I could’ve done better as I was 1 card off winning Game 1 of top 8 and drew dead Game 2, but that happens sometimes.

City #2 – Worcester, MA

(I was visiting family for Thanksgiving so I figured, why not?)

Deck – Darkrai EX/Landorus-EX

Round 1 – Terrakion/Landorus/Mewtwo/Terrakion-EX – L
Round 2 – Darkrai/Tornadus – L
Round 3 – RayEels – W
Round 4 – Darkrai/Mewtwo – W
Round 5 – Darkrai/Mewtwo – W
Round 6 – RayEels – W
Miss Cut

Slightly dissapointed with this one. Same record as the last week after making improvements to the deck.

City #3 – Warrenton, VA

Deck – Darkrai EX/Landorus-EX/Terrakion NVI/Ho-Oh EX/Shaymin EX/Mewtwo EX

Round 1 – RayEels – W
Round 2 – Blastoise/Keldeo – W
Round 3 – ??? – W
Round 4 – Darkrai/Hydreigon – W
Round 5 – Blastoise/Keldeo – W
Round 6 – Ho-Oh – L (scooped)
Top 8 – Hammertime – WLW
Top 4 – Darkrai/Hydreigon – WW
Top 2 – RayEels – LWW

Very happy with this. I felt like I had made the right choices on the day, going heavier on Landorus than I was planning to. After I scouted the field, I saw almost no Blastoise/Keldeo and lots of Darkrai varients and RayEels so I decided Landorus needed a bigger role.

I’m going to skip the next 5 Cities as I went 3-2 (or worse) with the following decks: Darkrai/Ho-Oh/techs, standard Ho-Oh, Empogor, Landorus/Mewtwo/Tornadus, and Darkrai/Hydreigon.

ash ketchum dejected
How I felt. Pikachu didn’t catch the memo.

I was feeling down as I hadn’t been doing well, and the first 3 Cities I did well by most standards. I knew I had to get out of this slump and my friend said I should play Blastoise/Keldeo. I knew I could get the cards so I started looking at lists for it online. I do this with every deck I make to see if people come up with something I just missed or didn’t think about.

Then I saw The Top Cut post a video of Jason Klaczynski playing the deck and decided to take a look. I saw he wasn’t playing N and was just going for the 1HKO and just let the power of the deck, plus straight draw, take effect, and dominate. I decided I really liked this idea and made a list for it and play it the next day.

City #9 – Burlington, NJ

Deck – Blastoise/Keldeo

Round 1 – Garbodor/Terrakion-EX/Mewtwo – W
Round 2 – ??? – W
Round 3 – Blastoise/Keldeo – W
Round 4 – Blastoise/Keldeo – W
Round 5 – Darkrai/Landorus – W
Round 6 – Darkrai/Landorus/Mewtwo – W
Top 8 – Blastoise/Keldeo – LWL

So I went 6-0 in Swiss and then get the loss in top 8 to the mirror. Quite sad but it is what it is. I decided to play it again since it was seemingly the only thing working for me at this point.

City #10 – Northfield, NJ

Deck – Blastoise/Keldeo

Round 1 – Sigilyph/Tornadus – W
Round 2 – Darkrai/Landorus/Mewtwo – W
Round 3 – Blastoise/Keldeo – W
Round 4 – Darkrai/Mewtwo/Roserade – W
Round 5 – Ho-Oh – L
Round 6 – Garbodor/Mewtwo/Terrakion – W
Top 8 – Blastoise/Keldeo – WW
Top 4 – Darkrai/Hydreigon – WW
Top 2 – Blastoise/Keldeo – LL

Despite drawing dead in the finals, I was pretty happy about how the day went. Now I was pretty focused on Regionals with only 1 Cities left. I was having trouble deciding if I should play Blastoise/Keldeo again, play Darkrai/Mewtwo, or go with my fun deck Garbodor/Probopass/Mewtwo.

My friend asks me if he can use the Tropical Beaches I had been borrowing, so Blastoise was no longer an option. Driving to the event I still had no idea which to go with. I start talking to people and realized most of them had dropped Tool Scrapper. That made my deck choice simple.

City #11 – Virginia Beach, VA

Deck – Probopass DRX/Garbodor DRX/Mewtwo EX

I built this deck as a joke in November. Started playing it online. Started winning with it, giving my friend and I a TON of laughs and we were done with it.

I decided to bring it back because the deck isn’t THAT bad (in the right field) and it’s a ton of fun to play. We have 33 Masters so 6 rounds and a top 8.

Round 1 vs. Landorus-EX/Mewtwo EX/Tornadus EX
Do you smell what the Rock Probopass is cooking?

This first round I ignore getting Garbodor out as Trubbish would be more useful if need be. He starts by using Hammerhead on my Nosepass and Trubbish (after Catchering my Trubbish).

I decide to go ahead and use Trubbish to get a N back that I played turn 1. He uses Hammerhead again taking a KO and putting 30 on my Mewtwo. I proceed to use Probopass to move a F Energy to his Bouffalant.

He uses Energy Switch and PokΓ©mon Catcher to do 150 to my Mewtwo to KO it. I use N and hit his Landorus for 90 with Heavy Nose. He uses Hammerhead and does 30 to Trubbish.

I KO him with Heavy Nose after attaching Exp. Share and a DCE to my Mewtwo. He KOs my Probopass with Tornadus EX, I get a M Energy off Exp. Share. I attach a DCE to Mewtwo and use PokΓ©mon Catcher on his Mewtwo and N him to 2 and KO him.

He doesn’t have the response and I KO his Tornadus EX with X Ball next turn.


Round 2 vs. Black Kyurem Theme Deck

I Heavy Nose till the game ends.


Round 3 vs. Empoleon/Accelgor

I don’t remember too much about this match. I remember KOing some Shelmets early and he couldn’t Diving Draw because of Garbodor. He uses PokΓ©mon Catcher and KOs it (exactly 100 damage as I wanted a 2nd Trubbish down and another attacker), but Rescue Scarf keeps it in my hand.

I have the Tool to attach and keep moving Energy to his Emolga, but he keeps having Energy! I’m a little frustrated but know that I can win a long game as he won’t have Energy as these decks don’t play too many and there’s 4 on the Emolga at this point.

I think he realized this as well because he used Switch to go to Emolga and pass. As I was down a Prize I couldn’t pass back and stall it out so I took the KO. Around here time was called. It’s 3 Prizes each with him being turn zero. He gets to KO on my Probopass. I use Mewtwo to take out a Piplup. He hits me and I have an Energy so I can KO his Empoleon (had 60 on it) and win the game on Prizes.


Round 4 vs. RayEels

I know this player and know he put it a DCE into his deck before the tournament (not sure why but hey, his call). He happens to start with it and his Mewtwo and takes a Trubbish out early. Then he attaches and takes out Garbodor.

I miss the DCE so he gets to take out another Trubbish. I get a Tool on Garbodor and get the DCE to take out his Mewtwo. He uses Rayquaza EX to take my Mewtwo EX out. I then use Probopass to move his Prism Energy onto Eelektrik. He then uses Celestial Roar and hits a R Energy.

I use N and move his Fire to a different Eelektrik. He draws to 2 and decides to retreat into a Tynamo and pass. I KO it. He does this again but has the energy to try to Paralyze me, but misses the flip. I KO it again and he concedes.


I’m now very happy and will probably make top cut barring everything breaking down and a horrid tiebreak percentage.

Round 5 vs. RayEels

I go first and X Ball a Tynamo for a quick KO. He then hits me with Shiny Rayquaza and has some bad discards. I use X Ball again on a Tynamo. He hits me again and has more bad discards. I KO it with Mewtwo EX and he scoops.


Round 6 vs. ???

I’m ecstatic that I will get a top cut with this. I decide to scoop my final round as there was no luch break (dut to time constraints) and I wanted food. My opponent felt the same way.

5-1, 2nd seed

Top 8 vs. Darkrai/Hydreigon/Hammers

I felt that I could win this do to him playing Hammers as this would hopefully destroy his consistency.

Game 1

We both draw bad but I’m able to use Cheren about 6-7 times thanks to Garbage Collection. I eventually setup and he scoops.


Game 2

He starts quick and I have to Juniper away 2 Skyla and some Cheren. I scoop 2 turns later.


Game 3

He can’t setup again and I have a roaring start. T2 Garbodor and Probopass taking out a Sableye and it all falls dowhill for him.


Top 4 vs. Darkrai/Hydreigon

This is a friend of mine that I seem to play in every tournament we have both played in for the last few months.

I know he doesn’t play Tool Scrapper (nor does anyone else left), so I have a clear advantage against the field, and feel good about my chances about going the distance.

Game 1

I go first with Mewtwo EX to his Darkrai EX. I bench Trubbish and attach DCE and X Ball. He passes. I attach another DCE and X Ball. He uses Max Potion and passes. I attach a 3rd DCE to Mewtwo EX and X Ball. He uses Max Potion and N. I keep attaching to Mewtwo EX and eventually hit his Mewtwo EX for 400 and win the game.


Game 2

He goes first and draws bad again. I go with Probopass this time as I didn’t have the Mewtwo EX and get out Garbodor T2. He is frustrated and I just sweep with Probopass.


Top 2 vs. RayEels (Round 5 Opponent)

Game 1
Nosepass donk. BDIF.

I go first. Nosepass > Tynamo. GG.


Everyone (including my opponent) is laughing so hard at this point.

Game 2

He goes first and this is a very long game from a very long day so I don’t remember too much. I do remember he used Dragon Pulse to discard 2 Tynamo, 2 PokΓ©mon Catcher, and a Super Rod.

Eventually he is at 2 Prizes and has an Eelektrik active (I used a PokΓ©mon Catcher on it to try and stall some so I could setup more) and he has a 4 card deck. He goes to Juniper and shows me his deck, and that he can’t win.


We are all hysterical at what has just went down. We are all in shock that this went as far as it did, let alone getting a win. I was ecstatic at this point and started debating playing this for Regionals.

So with Cities done, I had to make a choice for Regionals. I had some success with Blastoise. Garbodor seemed like a really good play if you got the right matchups. Darkrai is always a safe play in my eyes.

In the end I decided to go with Blastoise as I felt it had the best overall matchups in the field. I added in a couple N as I felt it was necessary over the long day. I won’t go over every match but provide the basic turning points of each. I’m doing this mostly because Blastoise/Keldeo is a boring deck, but has a ton of power behind it.

Regionals – Sandston, VA

Deck – Blastoise/Keldeo

Round 1 vs. RayEels

keldeo ex 142 boundaries crossed bcr full art
Hi Ho Keldeo!

I got a T2 Blastoise and attacking Keldeo-EX, he never saw a R Energy.


Round 2 vs. RayEels

He goes and Ultra Balls for his last Eelektrik (tied a 2-2 Prizes), but he Prized it so he hits my Keldeo-EX for 120. I Skyla and see my last Energy Retreival is prized. I retreat and X Ball. He has the PokΓ©mon Catcher for the win.


Round 3 vs. Landorus/Tornnadus/Shaymin/Bouffalant

I get a T2 Blastoise and swing into his Tornadus EX, he uses a Gold Potion. He then benched a Landorus-EX. I take the KO on the newly benched Landorus-EX. (4-4 on Prizes.) He hits me with Tornadus EX and I 1HKO him. He then benches a Shaymin EX and passes and I KO it for the win.


Round 4 vs. Darkrai/Hydreigon

I get a T2 Blastoise and 1HKO whatever I want as I always had PokΓ©mon Catcher. He never got out Hydreigon. We do play a fun game after and I ended by putting all 14 of my Energy on Blastoise so I could 1HKO anything with it!


Round 5 vs. Blastoise/Keldeo

We both do the same things but he went first so he is always a turn ahead. After he KOs my Keldeo-EX I promote Blastoise and Juniper into no W Energy or Energy Retreivals. He Catchers and 1HKOs my Keldeo and then I know I can’t win.


Round 6 vs. Darkrai/Terrakion/Mewtwo/Roserade

He gets a T1 Night Spear and KOs a Squirtle. I miss the T2 Blastoise because of this and he rolls me.


Round 7 vs. Blastoise/Keldeo

He has no Energy forever and I am forced Juniper away 2 other Juniper and 2 Energy Retreival. I win because I see Energy.


Round 8 vs. Darkrai/Mewtwo/Bouffalant

We both have slow starts, I get the first KO on his Mewtwo EX and the 1HKO his Darkrai EX and win from there.


Round 9 vs. Hammertime (?)

I win T2 by KOing his lone Sableye.


I check standings and see that I miss cut by about 20 spots. Wishing I could go back and change my deck choice to Probopass.

Closing Thoughts

jerry springer final thoughtsThis format is one of the craziest I think I have ever been a part of. So many deck choices combined with the natural inconsistency of EVERY deck makes it hard to pick decks and win events.

After looking through some of the cards from the next couple sets though, I like where we are heading. It looks scary, but in time, I think we can learn to love it. I hope you enjoyed reading through this.

I will leave you guys and gals with my Probopass list. I have gotten a ton of praise for it and even have been asked a ton of questions about its viability after the next set’s release.

The List

PokΓ©mon – 14

3 Nosepass DRX
3 Probopass DRX
3 Trubbish NVI
2 Garbodor DRX
3 Mewtwo-EX NXD

Trainers – 35

4 Professor Juniper
4 N
3 Cheren
3 Skyla


3 Rescue Scarf

2 Exp. Share


4 PokΓ©mon Catcher
3 Heavy Ball
3 PokΓ©mon Communication
3 Switch

2 PlusPower

1 Computer Search

Energy – 11

7 M – Basic
4 Double Colorless

The Strategy
Credits to kasumishiro!

The strategy I came up with for this was to use Magnectic Lines to move my opponent’s Energy onto whatever I decided was a threat, and then X Ball it down since it would have all the Energy on it, therefore taking all the Energy on the field out of play.

There were some games that did play out nicely. Other games went onto a full on Mewtwo war. I was ok with this seeing as I have 3 of them and some PlusPower, so I can take on theirs with confidence.

The Garbodor is the obvious inclusion as the deck can’t compete without it because of things like Blastoise, Hydreigon, and Klinklang being obvious threats.

I won’t go into matchups with this, but I hope that you all will do your own testing, if you so choose, and will find out if it’s viable after Plasma Storm’s release.

Reader Interactions

13 replies

  1. Benjamin Haun

    Wow. I’m pleased to see such a creative approach to a tournament (Sorry; I focused only on Cities #10, as that had the most curious approach). Kudos for taking Probopass/Garbador so far! (I knew there was a reason I still ran Tool Scrapper)

  2. Jonathan Scott

    Empoleon/Accelgor/Mew player here, our game was the best one I had that day. I will admit I did get lucky with the energy as every-time you moved it I top decked another. Though the more prepared player won as I had no idea what Probopass did going in and would have played it differently had I known.

  3. Grant Manley

    Believe it or not I was actually testing Probopass as a serious deck choice for Regionals! I saw that it had won a Cities and remembered testing it in August/September for Battle Roads and I was like: “huh”. My list was pretty far off from yours and ultimately didn’t work for me, and my friends were laughing at it. Once, I played it against one of my friends on PlayTCG, and he said: “I thought we were testing for Regionals?” lol, good article.

  4. theo Seeds

    Nosepass Donk is the best.

    I now feel like I have to do that.

  5. Rory Hatchel

    Dude, awesome article and grats on Probo going the distance

  6. Julia Follan

    Donking with innocent-looking basics = win :)
    Nice article, and a deck I’ve honestly never heard of before.

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