Back to My Rogue Roots: Virginia States Finalist Report + Deck Analysis

Hey SixPrizes! Today I’m going to talk about my time at the Virginia State Championships this past weekend and explain my deck a little bit. I even surprised myself after going with a rogue deck instead of RayEels, which I was originally planning to play.

Here is the decklist I used:

Pokémon – 12

3 Trubbish NVI

3 Garbodor DRX

2 Registeel-EX

2 Cryogonal NVI 33

1 Mewtwo-EX NXD

1 Cobalion-EX

Trainers – 38

4 Professor Juniper

4 N

3 Colress

3 Skyla


3 Rescue Scarf

2 Eviolite


4 Switch

3 Pokémon Catcher

3 Ultra Ball

2 Level Ball

1 Heavy Ball

1 Escape Rope

1 Super Rod

1 Tool Scrapper

1 Hypnotoxic Laser

1 Energy Search

1 Computer Search

Energy – 10

4 Double Colorless

3 M

3 W

First of all, I want to say that I absolutely love this deck! It is very strange, so let me get to explaining it. The basic strategy is to lock stuff with Garbodor, Catcher-stall with the help of Cryogonal’s Ice Chain attack, which acts as a Catcher, and spread to death with Registeel EX.

Here’s a card-by-card breakdown to explain this deck in-depth.


Trubbish NVI

trubbish-noble-victories-nvi-48pokemon-paradijs.comI chose this Trubbish, even with higher HP alternatives, because of two things that I’ve found very handy. The first is the Retreat Cost of 1. Since this deck is going to be starting with it a lot, and you’ll not always have/want to use Switches, the one Retreat is actually nice to have.

The real kicker, however, is Garbage Collection, costing an easy C. I’m sure that most Garbodor players will tell you how good Garbage Collection can really be. It lets you put any card from your discard on the top of your deck. While it could be N’ed away, at least that card’s still in your deck!

I myself have used Garbage Collection many times in testing and have found it worth the 10 less HP that some Trubbishes can offer. Also, I didn’t think that Tornadus EX will be very common, which can easily donk Trubbish.

Garbodor DRX

This is the backbone of the deck, shutting off all Abilities and severely crippling most of the popular decks. I didn’t think Tool Scrapper will be played much at all on week 1, so that just gives Garbodor another boost. This helps with Catcher-stalling because it shuts off Dark Cloak and Rush In.


The card that never got much love, Registeel-EX is the main attacker of this deck. For CCC, its Triple Laser deals 30 damage to any three of your opponent’s Pokémon. This is what I’m planning to use most of the time, while one of my opponent’s Bench-sitters is stuck uselessly in the Active Spot.

It does have another attack, Protect Charge, that costs a massive MMCC and does 80 damage, while blocking 20 from your opponent’s next attack. This is not used very often, but is useful. Believe it or not, the Catcher-stall and spread to death is a very viable strategy! I’ve won many games in testing, and most of them were 6-2 or 6-1 comebacks.

Cryogonal NVI 33

cryogonal-noble-victories-nvi-33-no-watermarkpokemon-paradijs.comThis is a hidden gem that has popped up as an idea for many of my decks in the year or so that it’s been out. I’ve already covered its first attack and purpose, but its second attack is useful and frequently used as well.

Frost Vanish costs WW and deals 40 damage (being a W type perfectly 1HKOs a Victini NVI 15), and gives you the option to return Cryogonal and all cards attached to your hand. Countering Victini serves a dual purpose for Cryogonal, as a counter is sorely needed with the main attacker being Fire-weak.

Mewtwo EX

Mewtwo is simply a nice attacker that I like to have one of. It can also catch your opponent off guard as they may not think you run Mewtwo after seeing the nature of the deck. Mewtwo has been a solid and helpful attacker in this deck multiple times, but I’ve never needed more than 1, especially with Super Rod.


Cobalion is an interesting little tech that I’ve included to annoy decks that use Special Energy. Since most decks using Special Energy are Basic Rush decks, and those are this deck’s worst matchup, Cobalion-EX was included to help against Basic Rush variants. I’m not sure if it will be worth it, however.

One thing interesting is that Steel Bullet can provide a nice attack, but I almost never used it in testing.



Honestly, 4/4/3/3 Juniper/N/Skyla/Colress is the only Supporter split I could see in this deck. They’re all useful, and I’m not sure how I can really explain how much it fits. I just don’t like Bianca, Cheren, and Random Receiver in this format; they’ve really fallen from grace.

4 Switch/1 Escape Rope

escape-rope-plasma-storm-120pokegym.netIf you didn’t read my last article or some of the comments there, you’ll know that I am NOT a fan of Escape Rope. However, with all the heavy-retreating Pokémon, I thought that 4 Switches is just not enough. I tried Scramble Switch in this deck, but ultimately have found that Computer Search is needed.

3 Catcher

I’d like to run four, but with Cryogonal also providing unlimited Catchers through its attack, four is not mandatory.

3 Rescue Scarf/2 Eviolite

Five tools is enough for Garbodor, though admittedly, barely enough. Rescue Scarf is a staple in Garbodor decks and with the low counts of Pokémon it can help the deck run smoother. Eviolite was the secondary choice for Tools because it supports the bulky nature of Registeel and Cobalion-EX. I’ve found a 3/2 split to be nice for me but it can come down to personal preference.

3/2/1 Balls

A fun little ball line is 3 Ultra, 2 Level, and 1 Heavy. After testing a lot with 2/2/2, I always found the second Heavy Ball to be a waste, but wanted to retain my search power, so I just replaced it with an Ultra Ball. Level Ball has its uses in the early game to get out Trubbishes and Cryogonals, and can also be used after Super Rod.

One Heavy Ball is nice to have here, to Skyla for Garbodor and Registeel when needed, and Ultra Balls are just mandatory search for almost any deck.

Tool Scrapper

I included this mainly after realizing how crappy the Victini-EX matchup was, but then realized that it also helps a lot against Darkrai, ruining so many magic numbers the Darkrai deck would otherwise have against this.

Hypnotoxic Laser

hypnotoxic laser plasma storm pls 123pokemon-paradijs.comSomewhat of a gimmicky tech in here, but it helps a lot against Virbank decks, giving a triple PlusPower when least expected; and late game with the Catcher stall strategy, the damage can and will add up.

Computer Search > Everything Else

After testing a lot, Computer Search has saved me too many times. Getting out DCEs is always nice, and it can also provide a Supporter out in the early game. So much versatility, so good. Scramble Switch was never really overly useful, and I already have 5 Switch outs.

Dowsing Machine does not seem like it would be good in this deck because it really doesn’t need much support in the late game. Really, it’s funny how many games turn out like this: “Triple Laser across the bench.” “Draw, pass.” “Triple Laser across the bench.” “Draw, pass.” “Triple Laser across the bench.” etc.


I find 3 Water/3 Metal to be a good balance with Energy Search and Super Rod. Also, 4 DCE is almost a staple in a deck with this many attackers that can utilize it.


The matchups for this deck are pretty unexciting. Against Eels, Klinklang, Blastoise, and Hydreigon (not that anyone plays that), you just incessantly Catcher and Ice Chain the Bench-sitter and Triple Laser the bench to death.

Against Darkrai/LaserBank, anything can happen. My deck will ALWAYS beat Darkrai if they bench Keldeo-EX, because it is so much more of a liability than it seems. When they’re just charging up Darkrais, the Keldeo is such Catcher bait. Also, paired with Ns, they will not get Energies enough to retreat it in time before Triple Laser becomes devastating.

The Darkrai matchup is overall positive, but it is extremely simple. If the Darkrai player knows how to play against my Garbodor deck, then it is very easy to win, but usually at first glance they won’t know how to.


traveling-salesman-aquapolis-aq-137pokemon-paradijs.comMy brother and I were visiting our grandparents in Florida, and when we flew back in to NC on Friday night, (my parents came back from a business trip/vacation in Hungary) we drove straight up to Virginia from the airport, so I wasn’t able to pick up some cards I would’ve liked to for the tournament. We got to Virginia at like 12:30 AM and had a horrible night’s sleep.

On the day of, there were not many North Carolina players because there was North Carolina States that day, but some friends of mine from NC and VA were there. I only had to borrow an Escape Rope before registration. It turned out that the field was ENTIRELY Garbodor variants, with only a handful of other decks.

Also, I was lucky enough to go first through Swiss all day! I played one game beforehand against my friend’s good and cool Darkrai/LaserBank/Hammers/Techs deck and had a 6-2 comeback! I took 4 Prizes on the last turn to win! It was fun.

So, it turns out that there’s 31 Seniors, one away from top cut of 8, and 15 Juniors, making one away from a top 4 cut for them. Masters have a lot of players and top 16. Us Seniors are having 5 rounds and a top 4 cut.

Round 1 vs. Zeels/LaserBank

So, I go first and start double Registeel to his Zekrom and 30 HP Tynamo. I just attach a M Energy to Registeel and pass, giving the illusion that I’m playing PlasmaKlang. I believe he gets out another Zekrom and searches out another 30 HP Tynamo! I don’t even know why he played that Tynamo, but it was evident he thought I was playing PlasmaKlang so I wouldn’t be able to Triple Laser next turn and he could just evolve to Eels next turn.

Well, he was wrong, and I attached DCE and Triple Laser’ed across the bench for 2 Prizes on T2. He was probably not very happy about this but maintained a perfect poker face all game. It was easy pickings from there because I got set up on T2 and just overpowered him.


Round 2 vs. Stephan/Vablakes w/ Darkrai EX/LaserBank

pokemon-catcher-dark-explorers-dex-111pokemon-paradijs.comThis game was really close. I think we both got set up on T2 and Mewtwo shenanigans really helped here as I knew he didn’t run Mewtwo. His deck ran smoothly and me getting Garbodor out on T2 or T3 really helped, shutting off Dark Cloak. Anyway, I was ahead on Prizes by three at one point, but then he KO’d an EX and time was called.

I don’t have a great position but I noticed that he had used a lot of Energies, all of his Hypnotoxic Lasers (HTLs), Energy Switches, and Catchers, as well as an un-energized Keldeo-EX on the bench. I misplay at this point by Catchering BEFORE I Escape Roped which (maybe) would’ve cost me the game.

However, he let me take it back, so I could use Escape Rope then Catcher. Thanks Stephan! I Catcher the Keldeo-EX and wait for time to run out because I am ahead 1 Prize. He gets an Energy on it on Turn 1-of time, and then I just pass I think. It all comes down to whether or not he can get the Energy to retreat Keldeo-EX and Night Spear for game (my un-Eviolited benched Cryogonal has 60 damage on it).

He Junipers his deck out and doesn’t get the Energy so I win on time (not that he would’ve won if he had unlimited time)! Phew, that was one of the closest games I’ve ever had! Good game man.


Now, I am happy at this point, but a little worried because there have been too many tournaments this season where I’ve been 2-0 then lost two straight games after lunch break (it’s lunch break now), and it’s the worst feeling. Well, nothing else to do but eat, keep a clear head, and go for it!

Round 3 vs. Garbodor DRX/Accelgor DEX

He starts two Shelmets and I have to burn a Catcher and Escape Rope via Juniper on the first turn. This was a little painful especially in the matchup where I knew I would need switching cards, but at least I still had four Switches left. This game is very interesting and very close, but I only remember bits and pieces, so keep that in mind when reading this match.

Cobalion-EX was the MVP, even though I started out attacking with Mewtwo EX. I didn’t use Registeel-EX at all. I got Cobalion powered up after Mewtwo EX got KO’d and took a couple Prizes with Steel Bullet.

One turn, I Switched out of Deck and Cover with 160 damage on my Cobalion, retreated back, and KO’d something. Then, he used Accelgor’s first attack, Hammer In, to finish the Cobalion-EX! At least it was Scarfed though. He was, at one point, up 4-1 in Prizes, and used up three Catchers. It was pretty nerve-wracking.

cobalion-ex-plasma-storm-pls-93pokemon-paradijs.comAnother thing that I did, when he had a Virbank in play, is used my HTL and Righteous Edged (after being Scarfed back) an Accelgor. If he couldn’t get it out of the active, then it would get KO’d by Poison going into my turn!

Unfortunately, he flipped heads out of sleep and Deck and Covered. He did whiff a Deck and Cover though so that gave me an easy Prize. Twice, when I N’d him to one, he topdecked Juniper! It was pretty annoying.

I did make an awesome comeback though by hitting Switches like mad and him not running a fourth Catcher. It was a really close game and cool comeback by me.


Round 4 vs. PlasmaKlang

We both have cruddy starts and have Righteous Edge “scrub battles” against each other for the first like five turns. In the first few turns, he uses THREE Catchers, which makes me happy. Eventually I get powered up and have to N. At one point, I do get a KO on a completely energized Cobalion-EX thanks to HTL’s Poison going into my turn, which was extremely helpful.

About 20 minutes in, I was sure he wasn’t running Tool Scrapper, especially when he opted to Skyla for Max Potion on a turn or two previously. I have a pretty comfortable lead, but he has a neat turn. I’m trying to Catcher-stall and spread things to death, but he attaches, Tool Scrappers me, HTLs me, Switches (using his 4th Switch), Shift Gears to Cobalion NVI (only having two Energy on the field), and uses Energy Press.

This, with Eviolite on my Registeel and normal Poison damage, puts my Registeel at 140 damage or so. I can reattach my last tool to Garbodor to maintain the lock, but I don’t really remember how the next turn or so played out, it was really intense.

I do remember that he somehow finishes of my Registeel, and I think that time was called with us each at 4 Prizes. I Catcher a non-energized Cobalion NVI and it’s locked up in the Active Spot (an N might’ve helped me as well). After a few turns I finish off with Righteous Edge and win because of sudden death.

Yet another GREAT game that really came down to the wire. His tech turn was pretty interesting.


Round 5 vs. Garbodor DRX/Landorus-EX/LaserBank

registeel ex dragons exalted drx 81pokemon-paradijs.comI started Registeel to his what I recall as a Terrakion-EX (he ran 1). I started Triple Lasering early and he got a T2 Rock Tumble and T3 Pump Up Smash, at which point I had 3 Triple Lasers.

He did use a Max Potion to clear some damage of a Landorus-EX which was annoying. Then I came in with Mewtwo and KO’d something (I don’t remember this game too well). Then he was all set up and I didn’t take anymore Prizes.

4-1, 3rd seed

The top 4 is entirely Garbodor decks! Also, one funny thing is that the top two seeds are playing the exact same 60 cards! I’m super excited to be in top 4, but I want to take this rogue all the way!

Top 4 vs. Garbodor DRX/Landorus-EX/LaserBank

I win the flip and… cannot remember the first two games of this match. Sorry. The first game I won comfortably by 4 Prizes, but the game took like 45 minutes! The second game I get steamrolled 6-0. These games were really fun and laid back as he and I are joking along with the judge the whole time and it’s overall a pretty funny top 4.

Game 3 is sudden death and I win the flip. He starts Terrakion-EX to my Trubbish. I Ultra Ball for Mewtwo, attach Eviolite to Trubbish, and start laughing as I realize what I’m about to do. I flash the N and it take him awhile to register before an: “Oh!”, then we proceed to dead-draw for a few turns with him getting one Energy on Terrakion-EX at some point.

I rip the Juniper on like T4 or T5 and get a Switch and DCE to X Ball for 60. He then gets a Colress for 4 (I stupidly benched two Basics during my turn), benched Trubbish, though I’m not sure if it was before or after Colressing, and tried to Catcher stall my Trubbish.

I don’t remember if he got a Rock Tumble off or not, but it didn’t matter because I had the Escape Rope for game. I switched to Mewtwo and he had to switch to Trubbish. GGs Alex!


Top 2 vs. Garbodor DRX/Landorus-EX/LaserBank

I wasn’t excited to play against this deck again, but was decently confident because I had just beaten it.

Game 1

garbodor-dragons-exalted-drx-54pokemon-paradijs.comI don’t get much going this game and draw dead for awhile before Garbage Collectioning a Juniper I had used earlier. Meanwhile he is set up and just wins fairly easily, but I do get 2 Prizes in this game.

Game 2

This is a good game, and takes up almost all of the remaining time. I get ahead by using Cryogonal shenanigans, utilizing both attacks alongside X Ball to get ahead, but then he KOs Mewtwo. I may’ve used Triple Laser once or twice on T2/T3, but I don’t remember for sure.

Eventually it is his 3 Prizes to my 2, and I think I can win this with Cryogonal. However, he has the Laser and Catcher to my Registeel that I have benched and damaged, and I whiff the Switch off my Colress to attack with Cryogonal and clear the damage by returning it to my hand.

So, I have to let Poison KO Registeel and Cryogonal get finished by Landorus for his last 2 Prizes. Terrakion-EX made no appearance in that match.



Overall, I am very happy with my placement! With a rogue no less! It was funny because the guy who beat me in the finals never went first all day yet never lost a game all day! One thing I would change about my deck would be -1 Cryogonal, -1 Switch and +1 Escape Rope, +1 Hypnotoxic Laser.

Hypnotoxic Laser allowed me to make many key plays during a lot of my games, and Escape Rope really sold itself to me through this tournament, though I still slightly prefer Switch in most situations. Cryogonal was a nice card to have in some matches, but it really only shines against Blastoise, Klinklang, and Hydreigon decks the most, and there weren’t many of those.

I’m not going to play this deck again for a few reasons. First, the surprise factor is gone, and this one-trick-pony has done its trick. People probably now know what Cryogonal does and are at least aware of the threat Registeel can present. The people in that area are no doubt ready for Garbodor decks for week 2 and 3-of States, because Garbodor completely and totally dominated Virginia States (at least in Seniors).

Well, thanks for reading, I thought I’d share this report with you guys so I hope you liked it! Not everyone is reading this report though so if you like this deck than give it a try! You will surprise some people and I can assure you that it can and will beat most top tier decks fairly easily. However, one thing that is has issues with is time. Most of my games went a very long time, and being a slow setup deck, it can have issues with that.

Well good luck at your remaining SPTs, and don’t forget to leave a rate and leave a comment to express your opinions on this article!

Reader Interactions

20 replies

    • Grant Manley  → Brandon

      Good or bad? Garbo did dominate States, so people will be ready to play against it. I think that Garbo’s still a good deck, but keep that in mind when building and playing Garbo.

  1. killerpotatoe

    Just as a heads up, you faced Micheal Catron Round 3 and Henry Ross-Clunis round 5 and finals.

  2. Jake Dudzik

    nice job grant at nc states i got 8 david won and micheal got 3. and i think either daniel or brandon got 2. see you at sc, i ll be waiting =o

    • Matthew Bocox  → Jake

      I was there.. also going to SC… I was running keldeo blastoise and got
      supporter dead the first 3 rounds :/ … then after that it was
      pokemom’s and dads ended up 4-3 after a 0-3 record. It seemed Ray eels
      was in big swing along with darkrai decks I think I only saw a few other
      blastoise decks along with tornadus/lando.

      • Grant Manley  → Matthew

        Are you talking about Masters or Seniors… or Juniors? Because I know in Seniors and Masters Garbodor dominated. Were you the one play Blastoise without sleeves?

  3. Dane_Carlson

    Absolutely awesome, dude. Registeel/Cryogonal/Garbodor isn’t a deck you see every day, let alone make the Finals of an event.

    +1 from me. :D

  4. Beau LeBlond

    Nice, i wiffed cut at 5th

    I like the list a lot but i would consider cutting down on the coloress and adding bianca, when are you going to really need ten cards?

    • Grant Manley  → Beau

      sorry for taking so long to get back to you! Looking back, three Colress does seem overkill. However, when playing the deck I’m never in a position where I’d like to use Bianca. The four Juniper is what I’d prefer and often the hand is a little clogged up. Colress was a nice hand-refresh suppporter. Also, you’d be surprised at how helpful massive Colresses were! Our game in Maryland Round 6 was pretty funny. Did you go to any week 3 States?

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