Hello again readers, I’m back with you for the last time this month, and I have a couple of different decks from last time. I’m going to bring you a rather off-the-wall deck as well as what is my current top “meta” pick. I have been testing and coaching extensively over the past few weeks, and I feel that I have a rather solid grasp on the format.
While I may despise the Green’s version of ReshiZard in the current Standard format, it is unfortunately the only available option when it comes to post-rotation.
Pokémon – 7
Trainers – 42
4 Green’s Exploration
4 Pokégear 3.0
Energy – 11
From what I have seen, ReshiZard lists have become pretty standardized, and that is both a good and a bad thing. It is good because you can usually know what to expect from your opponent when playing against the deck, but it is bad in that if you’re playing ReshiZard yourself, your opponent knows most of your deck.
Pokémon Fan Club1
Sometimes, you absolutely need to be able to find that Volcanion on your first turn, and having an out to it off of Pokégear 3.0 is helpful. You probably won’t be playing this in the late game, but in theory it allows you to search out 2 Volcanion at once. You can then use them to stall for a few turns while you set up a ReshiZard.
This is another card that can be hit off of Pokégear 3.0, and it is certainly helpful at times. You might ask why I bother to play Judge when I can play Reset Stamp. It’s a fair question, but if you think about it in the sense of the early game, you’ll realize just how devastating a Judge coupled with a Power Plant can be.
1 Pokémon Communication
Searching out a Volcanion on your first turn when going second is the most important thing you can do. Assuming you have either a Cherish Ball, Pokémon Communication, Switch, or an extra ReshiZard, you can play a Green’s Exploration and guarantee a Flare Starter.
Ability-locking a GX deck is one of the biggest things you can do to swing the matchup. Couple that with an early Judge or a late Reset Stamp, and you can completely ruin your opponent.
Shrine of Punishment1
This card is necessary for the PikaRom matchup because it is the only damage modifier that we can easily play.
While it would take up your Supporter for the turn, Koga’s Trap doesn’t have the same drawback of Shrine of Punishment, namely the fact that Shrine damages your own ReshiZard.
Lt. Surge’s Strategy
This would really only be played if you opted to play Koga’s Trap as well, but being able to play Surge, Green’s, and then Welder or Koga’s Trap is incredibly strong whenever you’re able to pull it off.
This deck is all about the healing, and playing a 4th Great Potion wouldn’t be a bad thing. If you’re struggling with Malamar, this is probably the first card that I would add to the deck.
I like this card, but I don’t think it actually deserves a spot in this deck. I believe that Fiery Flint is better because of how easy it is to chain multiple Welder with it. Sure, Giant Hearth could allow you to do that, but it gets discarded before you can actually use it twice.
The Matchup Spread
This matchup comes down to how well you are able to deal with the first PikaRom. If you are able to hit the KO on the PikaRom on the same turn, it is very hard for your opponent to deal with you. Your first ReshiZard will likely fall to a Lightning Ride-GX. You will then have at least one turn to set up a new ReshiZard because it is extremely difficult for them to Custom Catcher and 1HKO your fresh ReshiZard. You’ll likely sacrifice a Volcanion in your first turns, then lose the first ReshiZard, lose a Volcanion while powering up the 2nd ReshiZard, and then win or lose the game with the 2nd ReshiZard. A well-timed Reset Stamp coupled with Power Plant can also completely swing the matchup back into you favor. If your opponent is playing Reset Stamp, it is important that you manage to use your Stamp first in an effort to prevent your opponent from disrupting you. If you manage to stick the Stamp and not get Paralyzed at a bad time, the matchup is perfectly fine. It is important to save your Mixed Herbs for when you need to remove Paralysis.
Obviously, the difficulty of this matchup depends on which version you are playing against. If your opponent is trying to stream Giratina, then you can usually keep pace with them with your healing and then trade a Volcanion for an already damaged Giratina. It doesn’t matter if your opponent takes KOs on 2 Volcanion because you will then force them to KO 2 ReshiZard. To this point, it is not the end of the world to trade 2 Volcanion for a Giratina. You have actually come out ahead on the exchange. A well-timed Custom Catcher can also steal a free Prize card off of a Malamar in the early or late game. Ultra Necrozma is definitely the most difficult variant to play against because they have the ability to 1HKO a ReshiZard fairly easily.
Dark Box (Naganadel): Favored
This matchup is extremely favored for the ReshiZard player because you give your opponent two choices: (1) Either play the game with 2 Weavile-GX or Sneasel in play or (2) risk being crippled by a Custom Catcher on their single Weavile in play. Either one of these answers is good for us because we “win” no matter what. They’re either crippled or their board is terrible. To this point, it is important to find your Power Plant and Reset Stamp in the late game after you have lost a ReshiZard. Your opponent will likely be unable to deal with this. Unlike the Sharpedo version, Naganadel Dark Box cannot blow up in the early game, which means an early Dark Moon-GX is much more unlikely. With more turns for us to set up, take KOs, and KO a Weavile-GX, this matchup becomes a cakewalk.
Dark Box (Sharpedo): Slightly Favored
I have had to revise last week’s opinion on this matchup. After testing it some more, I realized how hit-or-miss Sharpedo can be, and ultimately I realized that I cannot expect to beat ReshiZard a majority of the time with the deck. Yes, it is possible your opponent gets 6+ Energy in play on turn 2 or 3, but it is unlikely enough for me to not be overly worried about it. Again, it is important to hit the Power Plant + Reset Stamp, but you can also hit a Power Plant + Judge in the early game and hope to cripple your opponent that way. That strategy is slightly better against Sharpedo because your opponent plays a much faster pace game, which means if you don’t cripple them early, they can sweep you if you’re not careful.
Gardevoir & Sylveon-GX
Yes, that’s what I said. It hit me recently that the biggest issue this deck faced in our current Standard is that ReshiZard can 1HKO it fairly easily. This is no longer true, as we have lost Choice Band. Another major boon for this deck is that we have lost Field Blower and can now stick Fairy Charms much easier.
Pokémon – 8
Trainers – 44
4 Green’s Exploration
4 Pokégear 3.0
Energy – 8
This is no foreign concept in this style of deck, but I feel that it is worth mentioning because of how well this deck works with Mismagius. Not only does it provide strong draw support, the lost Prize card doesn’t harm us at all; it actually helps us because of Reset Stamp.
I knew that this card was going to be good somewhere. Being able to draw 4 cards for a Supporter is a step above the “draw 3” Supporters that we have seen in the past. 4 seems to be the magic number when it comes to what is acceptable. This may be true only because the rest of the format is so mediocre, but I like to think that it’s because a balanced and playable “draw X” Supporter was finally printed.
Pokémon Fan Club1
This in in here for the same logic as ReshiZard, expect you don’t even need a switch for it to be helpful in this deck. Yes, Fan Club counts as your Supporter for the turn, but with Dusk Stone and Mismagius, it is easy enough to draw more cards than any other Supporter would have gotten you.
Super Scoop Up, 3 Tag Switch4
These two cards combo so well together. You can Tag Switch off of a damaged Gardevoir & Sylveon-GX to another, then Scoop the damaged one up, effectively playing a Max Potion while conserving the Energy.
The Fairy Charms
Each of these has a place in this deck because they can singlehandedly swing a matchup in your favor. Fairy Charm L allows you to deal with PikaRom fairly well. Fairy Charm N makes it so Ultra Necrozma-GX and Garchomp & Giratina-GX cannot hurt you. Fairy Charm Ability allows you to deal with Mewtwo & Mew-GX as well as a bunch of other random things. Finally, Fairy Charm UB makes Blacephalon a breeze.
Wondrous Labyrinth p1
I’m not actually sure that this card is worth the slot in the deck. Logically, it should always have a slot because it should harm your opponent so much. Unfortunately, there are a plethora of playable Stadiums in the game that are seeing high amounts of play. It is currently not realistic to expect a Stadium to last through your opponent’s turn anymore. However, I am still playing it in hopes that I can catch an opponent in the late game after I have forced them to bump all of my Power Plants.
This is a deck that actually has the ability to search out Custom Catchers, so why am I not playing them? Well, the deck doesn’t exactly have a bunch of space, and playing 4 more cards that don’t have the express purpose of winning a matchup, healing, or adding to consistency seems like a terrible idea. However, if further testing shows that there are 4 cards that become unnecessary, then I will attempt to test Custom Catchers.
The deck seems to want 4 of these, but space doesn’t exactly allow for it. I figure that you’ll likely only use 2–3 a game anyway because you’re going to flip tails on Super Scoop Up at some point. If I find myself wanting a 4th copy, then I will probably cut the Wondrous Labyrinth p for it.
The Matchup Spread
ReshiZard: Even–Slightly Favored
This matchup used to be impossible for Gardevoir & Sylveon. Now, without Choice Band, ReshiZard can only 1HKO a TAG TEAM once, and that requires 6 Energy. Between Magical Miracle-GX and Reset Stamp, you should be able to keep your opponent’s hand low enough to not have to worry about crazy combos. In this matchup, you’re likely going to have to deal with 2 Volcanion before you can touch a ReshiZard. Both of these decks are forced to KO 2 TAG TEAMs, your deck just so happens to have more healing and Energy manipulation (not acceleration). As long as you manage to Magical Miracle-GX at some point or Stamp to 1, you should be in the clear; however, be aware that your opponent can do the exact same thing with Reset Stamp. There is definitely logic in saving a Mismagius to give yourself cards after a nasty Stamp.
This matchup can come down to whether or not your opponent is playing Lysandre Labs or a different Stadium. If they do not play Labs, you can slap a Fairy Charm L down and almost always win the match. An early Power Plant and Reset Stamp to 4 after using Mismagius twice could easily cripple your opponent, and using Magical Miracle-GX to KO another TAG TEAM could be enough to win the matchup singlehandedly. Watch out for that pesky Raichu TAG TEAM and its Paralysis, as a late Stamp could easily be enough to cause you to lose.
Malamar: Slightly Favored
Ironically, this matchup is almost identical to the ReshiZard vs. Malamar matchup. The biggest difference is that you can disrupt their hand more, and you can heal more through Super Scoop Up. Fairy Charm N provides protection against Ultra Necrozma-GX and TinaChomp-GX, but leaves you open to Mewtwo & Mew-GX, as well as regular old Giratina LOT. Fairy Charm Ability covers one of those and should be played if they try to transition into Mewtwo & Mew-GX. They will have likely discarded all of their other GX attackers, so you are relatively safe to play the Ability Charm down. Even if they do use a TinaChomp, you can easily deal with that because it is weak to Fairy.
Dark Box: Even
I don’t think the variant of Dark Box even matters here. Your opponent has exactly one way to 1HKO a Gardevoir & Sylveon-GX, and that is through Umbreon & Darkrai-GX. One important thing to note here is that Greedy Crush has the ability to take 4 Prize cards at once, so it is massively risky to use both Mismagius. Play around their outs, don’t let yourself get decked out, and don’t dead-draw, and you’ll be fine.
I hope this has been helpful in some way. I personally believe that both of these decks are very strong and, in the case of Gardevoir & Sylveon-GX, need to be explored further.
If Worlds was tomorrow, I would almost certainly be playing ReshiZard. I believe that this format is wide open to exploitation, and I hope to be the one that actually breaks the format open for once.
Well, that’s all I have for today. I’m certainly very excited to continue testing this format. I’ll be back soon in August to bring you my first of two pre-Worlds articles.
As always, feel free to message me with any questions that you might have about anything related to Pokémon. I also now offer coaching! Either email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or PM me if interested.
Until the next one.
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