Hello SixPrizes readers! I am back from Dallas Regionals, where I finally made it all the way to the Top 8, something I have been trying to do all season. I played a Garbodor deck that Azul, Igor, Brad, Ryan and I made, and we all did great with the deck. Three of us made it to top 8, while Azul placed in the top 32. We were all dreading the idea of playing Zoroark mirror matches all day, so I am really glad that we figured out the counter just in the nick of time. That being said, let’s take a look at how my event went, and then talk about my favorite deck in Standard at the moment.
Drampa-GX/GarbodorMy Dallas Experience:
Pokémon – 15
3 Trubbish PLS
Trainers – 36
Energy – 9
Tauros was the MVP of my weekend for sure. I actually donked two players in day two with Horn Attack, which was quite unexpected, but just another reason why I love this bull. Horn Attack in the early game against decks like Zoroark and Gardevoir applies a decent amount of pressure, and can draw you a couple Prize cards. In addition to this, Tauros is a terrible Pokémon to just deal damage to because of Mad Bull-GX. Allowing the Tauros to take three or 4 Prizes will almost always result in a horrific loss, which often made my opponents do some pretty silly things to avoid such a situation.
3 Trubbish PLS, 1 Trubbish NVI
Tool Drop Trubbish was obviously the best one in the deck, even though this list does not play any Dimension Valley. Decks like Night March will play down the Dimension Valley for you, thus making the Trubbish a very efficent attacker in the matchup. More importantly, a majority of the Trubbish options are simply useless, as Acid Spray and Stomp off are just not going to cut it. The reason why the Garbage Collection Trubbish made it’s way into the list is because of Mill decks such as Wailord. Being able to put Super Rod on top every single turn while the opponent is forced to discard trainers is a great way to gain an edge in the matchup.
Teammates was not a card that I used frequently, but I made some pretty awesome plays with it when I did get to use it. Against Zoroark, simply finding a Parallel City and an energy for the turn can put you in a great spot. In other situations, grabbing Field Blower and a Choice Band can mean Trashlanche hitting that perfect amount of damage.
While I certainly agree that Computer Search is almost always better on the first couple turns, this is a deck that aims to go to the late game and slowly run the opponent out of resources. That being said, Dowsing Machine is a very nice inclusion because it provides additional key resources such as Acerola or Parallel City.
They key card of the deck! This was certainly the highlight of this new Garbodor deck, and is the main reason why Zoroark is such a favorable matchup. Running three of them means you find it when you need it, and you can simply use it more times. Parallel City can also be nice for reducing damage from Pokémon such as Golisopod-GX or Seismitoad-EX.
4 Psychic, 1 Rainbow
The one Rainbow Energy I played replaced a P Energy the night before the tournament. This allowed me to have an activator for “Beserk” without having to rely on my opponent attacking one of my other Pokémon. While the overall energy count may seem low, it was never a problem during the tournament. Super Rod, Teammates, and Acerola really helped to make up for the seemingly low energy count, and all the attackers in the deck are very low cost anyway.
Last Cards Out
Seismitoad was a card that I thought for sure would be in the final list, and was something I liked having around. I liked having this card in the deck, but a second Drampa-GX was simply too important to not have. Seismitoad is better in some matchups, such as Night March, Gardevoir, and Volcanion. However, Drampa-GX was better against almost everything else, including Zoroark-GX, which was the most popular deck by far.
Acerola is a strong tool in this deck as you are almost never getting 1HKO’d and being able to negate an entire turn from the opponent is always very strong. With two copies of Acerola, four VS Seeker, and Dowsing Machine, I am still able to do this consistently enough to the point where a third copy just feels unnecessary. The 3rd Acerola was removed for the Teammates, and that is definitely a card that I like in the deck.
5th P Energy
This card was removed for the one Rainbow Energy, and I was very pleased with the changed throughout the tournament. Having a way to activate “Beserk” is HUGE and I didn’t run into much of any energy removal anyway.
This was the anti-Wailord tech that didn’t quite make it into the final list, but it was quite close! My friends and I determined that Bunnelby wasn’t really worth it, and that we could give ourselves a chance to beat Wailord by playing a Super Rod and Trubbish NVI. The Super Rod was better against every other matchup, and it came in clutch for me a few times during the tournament.
This is a card that was never actually tested, but was briefly in the list in replace of the Bunnelby. It was quickly removed for the Super Rod, but Delinquent is a card I will certainly test for future tournaments.
This is the matchup I tested the most heading into the tournament because I felt it was the trickiest matchup to navigate, and I also expected it to be a very popular deck at the tournament. Parallel City plays a huge role in this matchup because it can be used advantageously no matter which way it is facing. When limiting their bench, Zoroark-GX is a horrendous attacking option for them. Meanwhile, when limiting your own bench, you reduce all the damage Golisopod-GX does by twenty.
This might not seem that significant, but it is very important in two situations. If the opponent hasn’t used a GX attack yet, Crossing Cut-GX is usually a very easy way for them to KO your Drampa-GX or Tauros-GX and get out of harm’s way, but Parallel City prevents that. Another situation where the reduced damage matters is when you’re attacking with Garbodor. At the end of the game, a very strong play is to limit your own bench with Parallel City, use N, and attack with Garbodor. This makes it so they can’t just KO it with First Impression, and if they’ve alrady GXed, it usually requires them to fill their whole field and take the KO with Zoroark-GX. Even one turn of them missing the KO on Garbodor can make all the difference, as Trashlanche is usually taking 1HKOs by that point in the game.
This is the hardest of the Zoroark matchups, just because Lycanroc is the best backup attacker out of Zoroark’s partners. However, Tapu Lele-GX is a very reasonable response to a Lycanroc-GX if it ever attacks, so it certainly doesn’t mean the end of the world. If a Rockruff ever has en energy on it, I will always try to KO it before it becomes a Lycanroc. In a similar fashion, if the opponent ever takes a turn to attach to a bench Lycanroc-GX, I will do my best to focus my attention on it.
Usually this means using Guzma to bring it up and giving it a smack with Energy Drive, but I will always Righteous Edge the energy off if they put a Special on it. That swings tempo in your favor because their last turn was essentially wasted, and they now have an energyless Lycanroc-GX stuck active. Trashlanche will eventually be 1HKOing everything in their deck as they will have to play items to keep attacking. Parallel City, Tauros-GX, and Drampa-GX all require a decent amount of resources to deal with, especially for a deck like Zoroark that only plays four energy cards.
This is the easiest of the Zoroark decks because it has no secondary attacker, and usually plays a tad more items than the other builds. Drampa-GX is especially strong in this matchup, as you only have to deal with Zoroarks. Parallel City is very crippling for the opponent because they will be unable to take 1HKOs, which is the entire point of Sky Field in Zoroark. In addition to this, they will end up discarding a ton of items in an attempt to keep attacking, otherwise Drampa or Tauros will slowly but surely take KOs. When they discard their items, Trashlanche will 1HKO everything in their deck, and Parallel City can prevent them from being able to KO it back sometimes. Situations like this are why you can very frequently win games that you are pretty far behind in, as you eventually just run them out of resources and dominate.
This is a pretty straightforward matchup, as you definitely don’t have as many options as you do against the Zoroark-GX variants. Attacking with Tauros-GX is something I try to avoid all together because it is strictly worse than attacking with a Tapu Lele-GX due to weakness. Marshadow-GX is very punishing of the fighting weak attackers in this deck, but it is usually kept at bay by Garbotoxin. Drampa-GX is an okay attacker in the late game, but only in pretty specific situations.
In a situation where the opponent is attacking with Zoroark-GX and I am unable to 1HKO it with Trashlanche, which usually isn’t the case in the mid-late game, I would consider Righteous Edge as long as I have Garbodor out. This makes them find the next Double Colorless Energy, but they can’t even do much with it because they have a Zoroark-GX active. The main attackers in this matchup are definitely Oricorio and Garbodor, as the opponent will be discarding a slew of Items and Pokémon. Teammates is a great tool in this matchup, as it can get those key one ofs, such as Rescue Stretcher or Dowsing Machine.
This is a matchup that I have little in-game experience with, just because I always thought it was somewhat of a wash and I never expected Wailord to be as popular as it was. The night before Dallas, my group decided to put in a Trubbish NVI and a Super Rod, which improves this matchup greatly, at least in theory. The plan is to use Garbage Collection to repeatedly put Super Rod on top, that way you force them to use Team Rocket’s Handiwork. In theory they will be forced to use items, such as VS Seeker and Puzzle of Time to gain access to Team Rocket’s Handiwork.
Assuming the plan works, the eventual goal is to be able to 1HKO Wailords with Trashlanche. A Bunnelby would certainly make this matchup an auto-win, as the Rabbit single-handedly destroys Wailord. Being able to put back whatever you want into the deck is the same concept as the Trubbish, but it gets to put two cards back and the deck is shuffled, making Team Rocket’s Handiwork a much worse response. In addition to this, the Bunnelby can also discard cards from the opponent’s deck.
Looking at Australia
Pokémon – 17
Trainers – 34
Energy – 9
Tapu Koko isn’t the greatest attacker in this deck, but Flying Flip does setup some nice numbers with 170 HP Pokémon-GX. Other than against Fire decks, I think I have only used it’s attack once or twice. The main reason this card is in the deck is it’s free Retreat Cost, which is probably way more important than it sounds. When using Wimp Out on the first turn, putting up Tapu Koko is the best option for multiple reasons. Mainly: the Tapu Koko does not require any additional cards to get out of the active on the next turn, which makes attacking with Golisopod-GX quite easy. I would also much rather have my Tapu Koko get Knocked Out than something more important such as a Trubbish or Wimpod.
This is a great non-EX/GX attacker for several reasons. It attacks for just a DCE, which makes it very easy to attack with despite the deck’s relatively low energy account. It has a respectable 130 HP, which means you can Acerola it in some cases, especially against Buzzwole-GX. Speaking of Buzzwole-GX, that is the main reason that Mewtwo is included in the list.
4 Enhanced Hammer is not something we have seen before in a deck that aims to take prizes, but has become more and more popular since Azul got 2nd place at Memphis Regionals. You will usually not use all four of them in a game, but having them every time they attach is a great way to gain tempo in the game and get ahead in the prize race.
5 G Energy
This might seem like a low count, but I have hardly noticed the difference between five and six energy. After you get your first G Energy on the field, you don’t really need to find another one right away. Double Colorless Energy becomes a fine attachment for the turn in most cases, and using Acerola allows you to reuse the original G Energy.
This is a weird inclusion in the deck because limiting the opponent’s bench is great, but it means reducing your damage output. Most of the time this won’t matter, but it does force you to find a Choice Band or use your GX attack to two shot a Zoroark-GX. Parallel City would be a nice inclusion against Zoroark and setup decks such as Gardevoir, so if you find yourself struggling in those matchups, I would recommend this card.
If you find yourself whiffing energy then look no further! Just put back in the sixth copy of G Energy in place of either the 3rd Acerola or 4th Enhanced Hammer. This will reduce the disruption options you have, but make you a bit more consistent in the early game.
This is a matchup that I have always found to be favored, but ranges in difficulty based on how many Field Blower the opponent plays. The game will get to a point where the opponent will only be able to attack if they use Field Blower to gain access to Strong Charge, and assuming they don’t win with their first Field Blower, this will likely be the truth again next turn. Targeting down Grubbin always feels like a waste of time because they will almost always get out a Vikavolt anyway, so I feel the correct strategy is to just attack into their Tapu Bulu-GX unless you can leave them with no way to get a Vikavolt out.
Attacking into the Tapu Bulus makes it much easier to KO them later, as you can only 1HKO one of them using Crossing Cut-GX. Since you aren’t-one shotting them anyway, I have found using Mewtwo as a 1 Prize attacker in the matchup is great whenever it does enough damage to setup a KO the next turn. This makes the opponent waste resources dealing with a Pokémon that doesn’t really get them any closer to winning. Armor Press is a very useful attack in the matchup, as it prevents your Golisopod-GX from being 1HKO’d, and you can then follow up with an Acerola.
This is another great matchup for the deck, especially when the opposing decklist plays zero Field Blower, like the list that Pablo Meza got top four at Memphis with. An early Garbodor is key in the matchup because it will deny the opponent Abyssal Hand, which will often slow them down quite a bit. In addition to this, not being able to use Bloodthirsty Eyes will make it much harder for them to take prizes. Mewtwo is also a superstar in this matchup because it will make them think twice about powering up a Buzzwole-GX.
They are left with little choice though, as most of the time sticking to Jet Punch won’t get the job done. Their other attacking option is Lycanroc-GX, which is something they should really try to avoid unless it is a last ditch effort or their way of drawing that sixth prize. Lycanroc’s GX attack can 1HKO a Golisopod-GX with little effort, but it will then get 1HKO’d right back for just one grass energy. As you may have already noticed, the Prize trades in this matchup is very favorable for Golisopod/Garbodor due to how limited Buzzwole’s options are.
In my experience, all Zoroark-GX decks have unfavorable matchups against Golisopod-GX/Garbodor, and I would have to say this is the easier one to beat because Lycanroc is a huge liability in the matchup. It is a GX that is weak to Grass, which means even putting it on the field is like benching a free 2 Prizes. Enhanced Hammer and Acerola are key cards in the matchup because they will help swing the game in your favor. The use of consecutive Enhanced Hammers makes it very difficult for the opponent to keep finding Energy, and even one missed attack can be enough for you to take a huge lead.
Acerola completely eliminates the opponent’s previous attack, and is even deadlier with Enhanced Hammer. Garbodor is definitely a key piece to the matchup because it prevents the opponent from using Wonder Tag and Trade to help find those crucial Double Colorless Energy. Field Blower is a great tool for the opponent as it will help to deal with Garbodor, but Field Blower is probably at an all time low when it comes to being included in decklists, and you will usually find zero or one in Zoroark lists.
This is the hardest matchup on the list, which is a super weird thing to think about. Earlier this year, there’s no way you could’ve convinced me that Gardevoir-GX would not be a popular deck by February 1st. While the matchup is not the best because Gardevoir still plays multiple Field Blower and can reuse them due to Twilight-GX, it is still very winnable. Getting Garbodor out ASAP is key because you will need to be up a couple prizes before they start attacking to really have a chance.
Garbodor will slow them down significantly because it denies them the use of Abyssal Hand and Premonition. In addition to this, their damage output will be relatively limited because they can’t use Secret Spring without the use of a Field Blower. This probably makes the matchup sound great, but this is a pretty ideal situation. Gardevoir-GX can start attacking on turn two, and it isn’t too hard for them to find Field Blowers before it’s too late. Them going first also guarantees them at least one turn of Abyssal Hand, and gives them some additional time to evolve their precious Ralts and Kirlia.
I hope you enjoyed taking a look at the Drampa-GX/Garbodor that we should be seeing more of in Expanded! We also went over the Golisopod-GX/Garbodor deck that I consider the BDIF pre-Ultra Prism, so I would highly recommend playing that at any tournaments you can before the new set drops. Anyway, my next tournament is the Oceania Internationals and I am super excited for the event! It will be the farthest I have ever traveled for an event, and has the potential to be the coolest place I have ever played at! If you happen to be there, feel free to come up and say hi! Otherwise, good luck at finding the best deck to come out of Ultra Prism.
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