Give It Up for Gardevoir

Orlando Report, Aside on Shuffling, An Evolving List, and Matchups Examined
A sound mind yearns to wander.

Hey everyone! It seems like it has been so long since my last article, “Nearly Nirvana.” For the past year or so, I had been enjoying my regular schedule of producing monthly pieces but as I’m sure you’re aware, my activity within the game has been on somewhat of a decline recently. This is not to say that I do not enjoy the game or do not plan on playing for my invite, but merely that I am not as dedicated to this task as I once was. As a result, I have elected to only write every other month in an attempt to maintain the quality of my articles. I am sure that I could produce subpar pieces if truly forced to, but it is my belief that SixPrizes is the best site out there for Pokémon content and it is my job as a writer to try keep the bar set high rather than forcing the writings out.

All this being said, I am very excited to come to you today with an in-depth look at what I believe to be the best deck in the Standard format: Mega Gardevoir. A trend I’ve noticed recently in Pokémon writings is that players want to hash out lists of the five or ten best decks in the format and to me, this seems like mostly a method to fill space and meet a certain word count rather focus heavily on one to two decks. I believe this because if you think that deck #1 is the optimal play for any given event, then what use is there in detailing decks that you are clearly not considering? Talking about multiple decks that you think are subpar is not dishonest or wrong, per se, but I do believe that it is a somewhat inefficient way to produce content, particularly in a world where writers are already often accused of keeping secrets or glossing over certain information to retain what could be considered an advantage against the competition. It is one thing to write an article with multiple decks where your rationale is essentially “If X, play Y. If ~X, play ~Y.” and another to somewhat arbitrarily list nine decks with little more than a paragraph on why would play them only to conclude with a final deck that you clearly find superior to the rest.

To further clarify, I am not trying to point any fingers here, as this is something I’ve noticed across all sites and not just SixPrizes. I know for a fact that I have been guilty of this very thing in the past but as deck information has become more and more readily available for the public, I have done my absolute best to be upfront and open with my thoughts, deck choices, and so on and with this in mind, Mega Gardevoir STS will be the only deck that I discuss in this article. If you have any questions about any other deck or quandary, I encourage you to leave a comment and I will do my best to address them posthaste.

The Initial List

Pokémon – 14

3 Gardevoir-EX STS

1 Gardevoir-EX GEN

3 M Gardevoir-EX STS

4 Shaymin-EX ROS
3 Hoopa-EX AOR

Trainers – 38

2 Professor Sycamore

2 Hex Maniac

1 N

1 Lysandre

1 Karen

1 Giovanni’s Scheme


4 Trainers’ Mail

4 Ultra Ball

4 Gardevoir Spirit Link

4 VS Seeker

3 Escape Rope

3 Super Rod

2 Fairy Drop

2 Mega Turbo


4 Sky Field

Energy – 8

8 Y

This is the very beginning list that Mees Brenninkmeijer and I came up with and played for our first Regional Championships of the year. Initially, we tried to base the deck off older lists for Mega Rayquaza and then we diverged to try and include cards better tailored for Gardevoir. Conceptually, both decks are very similar but Gardevoir, in my opinion, is far superior because it has better typing, is far less reliant on Sky Field, and has better recovery options versus the dreaded Parallel City + N. The deck has picked up considerable amounts of popularity since the start of the format and I truly believe that my team’s list laid the foundation for this deck to become a solid tier 1 force rather the sleeper hit that it was upon initial inception. The split between the Gardevoir-EXs is mostly irrelevant and there are few scenarios where playing all STS or GEN would affect you, but I simply like the utility of having both as potential options should I fail to ever Mega Evolve them but still have attached enough Energy in order to attack.

I remember talking to friends about Supporter counts in various decks and saying how I don’t think I’ve ever played a deck with less than four Professor Juniper or Sycamore since around 2012 and so looking at a list with only two copies (and only one N!) was something I was skeptical about, but truthfully in all my experience with the deck, I can only think of 1–2 instances where the build did not perform satisfactorily. Your ideal opening each and every game is to have an explosive start with Hoopas and Shaymins and ideally end the turn with Hex Maniac — and while those games are rare, it is not difficult to open well. An Ultra Ball is usually the only card you need in order to begin your stream of Pokémon, and with maximum copies of this card and Trainers’ Mail, I think that the odds of starting dead are below 1/8. It goes without saying that this sort of build is inherently weak against Vileplume, and while that may true, Vileplume is far more navigable than one might think (as we’ll see in my report below).

At a glance, Mega Gardevoir does not seem to be something that many would consider “BDIF” material and I will admit that it took me a considerable amount of convincing as well. As I’ve said before, I think the “test” to evaluate the strength of a card is to examine the extent to which said card “breaks” or “bends” the rules to its advantage and Gardevoir does not have any clear instance where such an occurrence is present. If anything, however, I believe Gardevoir gains its foothold as a power presence in the format with its ability to essentially control which Prizes are able to be taken. Bench management is the most important mechanic to playing Gardevoir successfully and often the discard effect of Despair Ray is used in excess simply in order to free up space in order to Shaymin or Hoopa every single turn or to strip your Bench of liabilities. Only in rare circumstance is the attack used to pump out 170+ damage. Instead, I recommend taking a much more methodical approach to all of your turns and instituting a game plan several turns in advance rather than developing tunnel vision over taking your first couple of Prizes. While this is not as bold of an instance of “bending” the rules as something like Garbodor or Giratina-EX, I think that it still fits into the definition. After this, Gardevoir is simply just an inexpensive and efficient attacker that can 2-shot (at worse) everything else in the game while being somewhat bulky and having two powerful types and a mostly irrelevant Weakness.

In my testing with the deck, I noticed multiple times where I had the option to try and go for consecutive Shaymin KOs in order to try to win a fast game, but instead opted to Lysandre up threats like Fright Night Yveltal or a Volcanion-EX with two Energy to try to take an advantage in tempo instead of Prizes. When you have the freedom to never allow your opponent to take a cheap knockout on your own Shaymin-EX, you have that much more control over the flow of the game which gives you the space to think far and advance and formulate a game plan where — barring the catastrophic Ns or Ace Trainers — you have absolutely no chance of losing.

Orlando Regionals: So Close, Yet So Far

“Life begins on the other side of despair.”

Though I was unable to travel to Phoenix as I had initially hoped, I was able to secure travel to Orlando in order to compete in my first Standard tournament of the year. For the first time in my history as a competitive player, I traveled to the event bringing only Gardevoir with me. This may not sound like a huge deal to many of you, but for me, I have always strived to maintain a collection where I could play any deck at a moment’s notice and so to intentionally limit myself to Gardevoir should be indicative to the amount of confidence I had in it. Assuming that Scizor would be in minimal supply, I highly believed in my chances with the deck and settled with the list detailed above after playing a few games against my friends’ Volcanion and Greninja decks.

Day 1: Magic Kingdom

Orlando Regionals // Day 1 // 616 Masters

R1 Primal Kyogre (2-0)
R2 Yveltal/Garbodor (2-0)
R3 Greninja (0-2)
R4 Primal Kyogre (2-0)
R5 Mega Gardevoir PRC (2-1)
R6 Yveltal/Gardevoir (2-0)
R7 Mega Mewtwo (2-1)
R8 Rainbow Road (1-2)
R9 Rainbow Road (2-0)

Final: 7-2-0 // Advance to Day 2

Round 1: Primal Kyogre (WW. 1-0.)

This was not a deck that I had really anticipated playing against at this event but Gardevoir’s default strategy almost counters Kyogre on its own. Kyogre thrives in an environment where it can prey on Volcanion decks and try and use its bulky HP and spread ability to take cheap Prizes off weaker Pokémon on the Bench. Considering Gardevoir denies the spread strategy, it became a game of exchanging 2HKOs, and seeing as Gardevoir attacks for two and Kyogre requires four Energy, it was hard for me to lose. The inclusion of Regice into my opponent’s list proved somewhat problematic, but triple Escape Rope essentially negated that strategy and this proved a quick first round as I was able to take Games 1 and 2 with ease.

Round 2: Yveltal/Garbodor (WW. 2-0.)

Though I knew that my matchup against the Dark decks was favorable, I did not anticipate that the archetype would be as prominent as it was at the event. A quick Garbodor is very annoying to deal with as our deck wants to use Shaymin, Hoopa, or both almost every single turn and so once Garbotoxin hits the field, your turns become far less powerful. However, the Resistance combined with Fairy Drop makes it very difficult for Yveltal to 2-shot your Gardevoir while you have the power to 2-shot everything or focus on taking Prizes around their attackers. Both these games ended on the closer side as I struggled in the early game to find my Hex Maniacs in order to bypass Fright Night and thus lost considerable amounts of tempo by having to end my turn in order to evolve, however I still won both games.

Round 3: Pablo Meza, Greninja (LL. 2-1.)

My opponent this round was Pablo Meza (aka Tablemon) who is almost assuredly the best player currently and historically from Mexico. I figured he would be playing Greninja still as he favored it at Worlds and to win his National Championship in the previous season, and though I believed this matchup to be favored for me, nothing seemed to go my way this set. I recall failing multiple turns in a row in attempts to evolve into Mega Gardevoir despite having a promising start and conceding early on in the first game. In the second, things were much closer and I think I had a chance to win after being N’d to two if I was able to find a second Mega Gardevoir and a Spirit Link. Unfortunately, my two cards off the N were both of my remaining Mega Gardevoir and a Trainers’ Mail, which yielded only a Sycamore, which could not help me. I learned a lot from this set and was confident going forward despite losing somewhat handily.

Round 4: Primal Kyogre (WW. 3-1)

To my surprise, I was able to face this deck a second time and this instance essentially played out exactly like my first round series. My opponent quickly abandoned the idea of attacking with Kyogre and attempt to defeat me only using his two Regice but in both games, he made the mistake of benching too many Pokémon and I was able to go around Resistance Blizzard with ease with Lysandres and Escape Ropes.

Round 5: Mega Gardevoir PRC (LWW. 4-1)

My opponent this round was playing the much more traditional Mega Gardevoir deck which focused around using Xerneas’s Geomancy throughout the opening turns and then attempting to sweep with large Brilliant Arrows once 4–5 Energy had been stuck on the board. I had tested this matchup previously and although I lost those practice games, I knew that it was still a fairly close matchup and I would simply need to open very quickly and try to prevent my opponent from setting up to have a chance. I believe I conceded the first game somewhat quickly after seeing that I would not be able to win against the board state. I then won the following games by starting ideally and using Lysandre to bring up the Gardevoir-EX he had devoted Energy to. This deck requires so much time to get to the point where it can produce threatening amounts of damage and so a turn 2 Gardevoir almost guarantees a knockout every game and then further removing them of 2–3 Energy puts you that much further ahead and from there you can KO another Xerneas and a Shaymin to seal the game.

Round 6: Yveltal/Garbodor (WW. 5-1.)

The draws I saw this game where much better than the ones I saw during Round 2 and so I was easily able to dispatch this opponent. In each game, I had a means around his Fright Night Yveltal as soon as I needed it which allowed me to get multiple Mega Gardevoirs into play. At that point, I am at an incredible advantage and between rotating my attackers and Fairy Drop, my Pokémon are much harder to KO than my opponent’s and I am able to win another series. I will note here that I believe both this opponent and my Round 2 opponent were playing Azul’s winning list should that give you any indication of the builds they were playing.

Round 7: Mega Mewtwo (LWW. 6-1.)

Finally, I get the matchup that I wanted to see all day. However, things did not start ideally for me and I conceded the game pretty quickly after I failed to find a Mega Gardevoir and my opponent had multiple Mega Mewtwos with 3+ Energy on both of them. The following games thankfully went according to plan. With average or better draws from the Gardevoir player, this matchup is close to unloseable as its Psychic typing and bulky HP are too much for Mewtwo to overcome.

Round 8: Rainbow Road (LWL. 6-2.)

Going into the tournament, I essentially expected this to be my deck’s worst matchup. There was a time when my list featured two copies of Parallel City in order to try to limit Rainbow Road’s damage as much as possible but they were removed from the list for consistency and largely because I did not think this deck was all that great. Though these games turned out to be considerably closer than expected, it was still a loss for me. My opponent featured the list with less Pokémon-EX and more of the dual-typed non-EXs like Bisharp and additional Galvantula. I lost the first game badly and then was able to suppress my opponent’s setup with chained Hex Maniac and key Lysandres to win the second. In the final game, my opponent was able to take a huge 1HKO when he was forced to N himself to four in order to find a new type of Pokémon. Had he whiffed, I would have won this game, and although this loss was somewhat disheartening, it gave me confidence moving into the final round. It’s also worth noting that had I kept the Parallel City in the deck, this matchup would probably shift to a favored one.

Round 9: Rainbow Road (WW. 7-2.)

My opponent opened Volcanion-EX in our first game and I immediately began formulating a plan of attack to beat a straight Volcanion deck. I expected much more of this deck at this event and it was one of the decks I prepared the most against, but to my surprise, my opponent began his first turn by using Scoundrel Ring for Genesect-EX, Flygon-EX, and Shaymin-EX and quickly benching multiple Xerneas and attaching some Exp. Share. I was saddened to be facing another Rainbow Road in such a crucial round but my opponent’s list seemed substantially different from the one I had faced in Round 8 and his inclusion of many more Pokémon-EX gave me the advantage. I won the first game by simply having the Lysandre every turn in order to pick off his Xerneas before they had the correct amount of Energy in order to attack. In the second game, I had the dream opening, attaching multiple Spirit Link and ending with the Hex Maniac and I was able to Hex consecutively until I benched my opponent.

. . .

Looking at the results of Top 32, I saw that the field seemed perfect for Gardevoir to breeze into Top 8. There was simply so much Dark and Mega Mewtwo, as long as I could dodge the Vileplume, I felt comfortable about my chances.

Day 2: Missed Connections

Orlando Regionals // Day 2 // Top 32 Masters

R10 Mega Mewtwo (2-0)
R11 Greninja (1-2)
R12 Yveltal/Mew (2-0)
R13 Vileplume/Regice/Jolteon (1-2)
R14 Greninja (1-2)

Final: 9-5 // 20th Place

Round 10: Mega Mewtwo (WW. 8-2.)

I was very thankful to start the day off with this matchup and both games played out in my favor. Although both games were close on account of my opponent going first in both instances, there is just not much Mewtwo can do if I set up my attackers quickly. The resources for a Mewtwo to KO a Gardevoir are simply too much to compete with my easy 220 Despair Ray.

Round 11: Greninja (LWL. 8-3.)

After learning some lessons from playing Pablo the previous day, I began the series with a quick start that appeared to favor me, but I was unable to bounce back after many turns in a row of Ace Trainer and N. The second game essentially went the same way but I was able draw out of his disruption and then the final game was another scenario where I simply could not hit what I needed after having my hand reset to lower numbers.

Round 12: Yveltal/Mew (WW, 9-3)

Though it was another Dark deck, this inclusion of Mew made it more difficult than any of my previous matches against Yveltal. Although it is susceptible to Hex Maniac and easily Knocked Out, Mew gave my opponent an attacker that could reach higher numbers since Gardevoir does not resist it and using Mew to copy Evil Ball made his math much harder to play around. He also got “the drop” on me by stripping my hand with Delinquent on more than one occasion and so the final turns of each game were nail-biters, but I was fortunate enough to draw out of the Delinquent on both occasions and even though I won 2-0, both games were incredibly close.

Round 13: Alex Hill, Vileplume/Regice/Jolteon (LWL. 9-4.)

I distinctly recall texting some of my friends between rounds about how I believed to have top cut secured if I could just dodge Vileplume one more round. There were a handful of other Darks and Mewtwos I easily could have played but unfortunately I was paired against fellow Underground writer Alex Hill here. To my surprise (or perhaps unfortunate draws on Alex’s part), this matchup played out much differently than I had expected.

In the first two games, I was somehow able to answer his Vileplume with Hex or Lysandre every time and it took several turns for Regice to become a threat. With no answer to Resistance Blizzard, I had to hope that I could also go around it and things continued to look promising until I made a huge blunder. For some reason, I thought that I had an Escape Rope prized and after using one to take a Prize, I calculated that I would only need one more to win the series and Sycamore’d one away. Unfortunately, the final Rope was not in my Prizes and actually had been discarded on my opening turn. I am not certain how I overlooked this but the mistake forced me to concede that game, and while I’m not certain if I would’ve won had I played properly, it certainly does not help to have misplayed so egregiously. The final game saw Alex doing exactly what his deck needed to do and he evolved a quick Vileplume into play and stuck me with a hand full of useless Item cards.

Round 14: Greninja (LWL. 9-5.)

Once again, the luck of the draw was against me here and despite being well favored to be paired against Dark or Mega Mewtwo, I got a matchup that was too close for comfort. Greninja is so streamlined that there is not much more I could really add to the description of this matchup as things essentially played out as they did in the previous times I had faced them.

I would like to take the time to address something serious here and that is I believe my opponent tried to pull a fast one on me. I am not going to name names as I do not wish to incite a witch-hunt, but seeing as my opponent has faced accusations of misdeeds in the past, I will say that my confidence in them as a player is essentially non-existent at this point. In an attempt to save time, my opponent carried out multiple searches at the same time on his second turn, and knowing he was going to end with Frogadier’s Water Duplicates, he placed the remaining Frogadiers on the top of his deck and shuffled the rest (and maybe even completed a Dive Ball or a Level Ball). After this, he paused and asked if he could use Octillery’s Ability for one card as he had forgotten to do so and I let him — but he drew a card from under the Frogadiers rather than from a properly randomized deck.

Obviously, this is wrong as you could draw into one of your Frogadier and so the card was from a deck devoid of three bad draws. I caught it immediately and gruffly told him he could not do that, and while there was no penalty and it was easily fixed, brushing it away as “silly mistake” in a rush to save time is something I do not believe to have occurred, particularly from an opponent as skilled as this one.

The series itself ended up in a tie but we had agreed to let some decider determine the game and while I think I would have taken Game 3 with more time, I conceded at the end of +3.

. . .

Though my record was somewhat abysmal in the second day, I really think that the odds were in my favor to take the event. The Darkrai/Giratina deck that saw such good results were successful in dodging me the entire event despite the fact that everyone but Rahul Reddy was in my bracket for the entirety of Day 2. However, it was not too disheartening as I was happy with my choice and had little to complain about outside of my mistake against Alex. It proved to me that Gardevoir was indeed a powerful deck and one that I looked forward to working on with the release of Evolutions.

Aside on Shuffling

Beginning at Worlds this year, I completely removed pile shuffling from my ritualistic shuffling habits in a means to save time and I think that after reexamining my reports from both of those events, that it has incredibly aided my efforts to avoid tying. Between both days at Worlds and 14 rounds of Regionals, I only tied twice which is absolutely incredible to me. My biggest self-criticism in the past was that I was too slow of a player and seeing as I have previously finished 3-1-3 drop, 4-1-4, and 2-0-5 drop at Regionals before, I am incredibly happy with these results and plan to continue this practice and encourage others to try it if they are still skeptical that riffle shuffling alone is not sufficient to properly shuffle their deck.

Please note that I still think there is nothing wrong morally or statistically with the pile shuffle (as I spent a large portion of an article on), but would encourage others to consider only riffling as a means to give their games more time to complete.

An Evolving List
I think there might be some synergy here … ?

One of the main things I learned from my tournament experience in Orlando is how useless Karen is. I cannot speak to its power in Expanded as I have tested next to nothing for it recently, but in Standard, this was a dead card for me the entire tournament. It is simply too slow and even dangerous to play against decks like Greninja. Throughout 14 rounds (over double that in total games) I think I played the card one single time and it was in a position where it was not needed whatsoever. Theoretically, you’d think that the card would have a lot of synergy with a deck like Gardevoir where you are constantly discarding Pokémon but as it would turn out, Super Rod is simply better.

With the release of Evolutions, I think that Gardevoir gets an incredible new tool in Dragonite-EX. Though people have discussed this card seeing play in a plethora of decks, I do not think that it could belong anywhere better than it does with Mega Gardevoir. In conjunction with Buddy-Buddy Rescue and Super Rod, Dragonite becomes a very efficient way to get multiple uses out of your Shaymins and Hoopas. As Mikey Fouchet pointed out in his last article, Rattata has a lot of utility in the deck now as well and I would absolutely include it in my current list. Outside of these new cards, there are not too many changes that I would make to the deck, but let’s examine the list I am currently testing:

Pokémon – 16

3 Gardevoir-EX STS

3 M Gardevoir-EX STS

4 Shaymin-EX ROS

2 Hoopa-EX AOR

2 Dragonite-EX EVO

1 Rattata EVO

1 Raticate EVO

Trainers – 36

3 Professor Sycamore

2 Hex Maniac

1 N

1 Lysandre

1 Brock’s Grit


4 Trainers’ Mail

4 Ultra Ball

4 Gardevoir Spirit Link

4 VS Seeker

2 Escape Rope

2 Buddy-Buddy Rescue

2 Fairy Drop

2 Mega Turbo


4 Sky Field

Energy – 8

8 Y

In addition to the new Pokémon in the list, I have swapped around a few card counters in favor of a little more consistency in order to continue avoid games where you lose simply because you cannot set up. The card I am most uncertain of is the Raticate. While it seems like it may solve the deck’s problem against Regice, I think I would only keep it in the list if I am really expecting lots of Vileplume, and at that point, the Item lock still ought to make it incredibly difficult to draw into both rats and create a board state where it is an effective attacker.

I am still toying with the most optimal recovery options but so far I have found the Buddy-Buddy Rescues to be far superior to Super Rod as they allow you to get incredible mileage out of a Dragonite. Brock’s Grit, like Karen, is likely too slow but overall I think it is a better card since it does not do anything for your opponent. I would encourage anyone who tries this list out to be somewhat creative in his or her combination of cards used to get Pokémon and Energy back. Let me know what you think the most optimal combination might be!

Examining the Matchups

I will try and go into detail with every deck than I foresee being popular at Fort Wayne but I would like to briefly note here that Gardevoir is at an incredible advantage when it goes first. Despite some less favorable statistics listed below, I am comfortable in almost every matchup when I have the first turn. Even against decks like the Vileplume Toolbox, I think that going first is sometimes the only thing you need in order to win.

Darkrai/Giratina — Favorable

Despite what you may have heard from other sources, I promise you that this matchup is very favorable. The Fairy Drops are incredibly beneficial in making knockout numbers difficult for your opponent to manipulate and Giratina is a big liability against Gardevoir. The Darkrai player is put into a rough position where they have to choose whether or not they want to get Garbotoxin or Renegade Pulse, but seeing as they cannot get both, a good portion of their deck becomes useless and I don’t think that Darkrai alone is enough to carry the matchup.

Yveltal/Garbodor — Favorable

I think this is a much closer matchup than the Darkrai/Giratina matchup since there is a heavier emphasis on non-EXs and they can get Garbodor online without losing some of their options against you. Once again though, I think that Fairy Drop is the biggest card in this matchup and if you are able to play both of them at opportune times then I think it is very difficult for you to lose.

Volcanion — Even

I think in testing, I have a slightly losing record to this deck but the matchup hinges entirely around the build of the Volcanion player. In my experience, sometimes the builds that have opted to run Max Elixir can get too fast of a start for you to stabilize against and simply run you over and 1-shot your Mega Gardevoirs as you try to 2-shot their Pokémon. However, the slower builds lack this potential for such fiery openings and are much more favorable. I am unsure what the norm for building Volcanion is at the moment but it is still a tough matchup to call.

Greninja — Even

I think this matchup more than any other one revolves around who goes first. I do not think I have ever lost to Greninja when I have gone first and similarly, I do not think I have ever won going second. As the Gardevoir player, you have to race Greninja from the very first turn and hope to take 4–5 Prizes within the first 5 turns and then struggle to Knock Out a BREAK or two. In the games where Greninja has the time to Water Duplicates before you can even attack, they tend to overwhelm your board by getting multiple BREAKs into play, and at that point, it’s very hard to keep up the pressure while they assumingly deny your Abilities.

Vileplume — Unfavorable

I think this new post-Evolutions list is in a much better position in this matchup than the one I played in Orlando but it still seems incredibly difficult. It is unclear to me whether or not this deck will be popular for Fort Wayne, and while Raticate ought to be very helpful, I’m not sure it is enough to swing the matchup on its own.

Rainbow Road — Even

This matchup is again very dependent on who goes first but I think it is very manageable. Raticate is a huge card in this matchup as it can trade with a Xerneas fairly easily and force your opponent into the 7-Prize game. As mentioned in my report though, if I expected a lot of this deck, I would throw some copies of Parallel City and feel considerably more confident.

Mega Mewtwo — Favorable

My experience in testing this matchup is simple. If you do not draw dead, you win. It can be close sometimes but even in the game where the Mewtwo player draws perfectly, I would highly favor Gardevoir. The Weakness is just too much to overcome.

Fringe Decks — Mostly Favorable

I will try to lump every other deck into this category. With the exception of Gyarados, I think that the Gardevoir skeleton is very good against strange decks. Things like Serperior, Kyogre, and such tend to try and find weaknesses in the metagame and exploit them, but through the strength of our tech Trainers like Fairy Drop and multiple Escape Rope, this deck is incredibly hard to target. Gyarados is unfavorable but could easily be swung by including the Hoopa STS which has been in various iterations of the deck before and was the final card I cut from the list before Orlando. Of course things like Scizor are very unfavorable but at the moment, I do not foresee that card being popular.

On the off chance that Fort Wayne looks like a poor choice for Gardevoir, I think that the other deck I would most consider is Volcanion. I think a good build of it has the power to beat every deck in the format with a good enough opening, but I have little more to offer about this other than I do not think I would change more than 1–2 cards from Daniel Lopez’s Top 8 list were I to play it.

Closing Thoughts

The future is looking bright.

I hope I’ve been clear enough today in my huge write-up on Gardevoir. I am not sure how it will end up faring with the release of Sun & Moon and the new GX mechanic but I anticipate that I will keep playing it throughout this PRC–EVO format, which Fort Wayne, Dallas, and Athens. I think a good player with a good Gardevoir list has the potential to go very far at any given tournament and I hope to come back next time with another positive report about the deck. It’s been a long time that I have been so fond of a deck but I think a large part of this fondness is due to the fact that it is something that started as a pet project and turned into a deck that feels like it can actually outplay an opponent compared to most decks from recent years that were more or less about drawing into the right cards at the right times.

I have some League Challenges that I hope to attend in the next week or so but I will definitely see everyone Thanksgiving weekend for the Fort Wayne Regional Championships. If I have any updated thoughts about the deck or my play for the weekend, I will try to detail them in the comment section and as always, please feel free to ask me any questions there as well.

Until next time!

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