Stampede!

On Countering Ability ReshiZard, Another Reset Stamp PikaRom, and GardEon v. ReshiZard
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The other kind of stampede.

Hello 6P! I’m back for another article with our brand new site layout just deployed! I know Adam worked really hard on it and it’s fitting to start a brand new season with a brand new layout!

We have three major events right around the corner, all on the same weekend: Atlantic City, Cologne, and São Paulo. The last five major tournaments in UPR-on have been won by five different decks, all of which have featured a wide but predictable array of decks, especially at the top.

As of now, I don’t have plans to attend any of the events this upcoming weekend, as we are still in the dark as to how exactly the BFL for each International Championship will work, which is baffling to me. It feels like every year TPCi does a few things right and gets one very important thing completely wrong. I’ve made my peace on aiming simply for Day 1 this year, and even though I was a little disappointed by that earlier, you have to plan to your strengths and what is more viable for you, and at this point in time it’s not financially viable for me to go travel-crazy like I did the past two seasons. Nevertheless, I’ll evaluate my options as usual after every quarter, and I’m still for sure attending LAIC as long as I have the travel award, which I think I do (once again, it’s incredible that it’s still not confirmed).

Having said that, I’m of course still going to stay up to date on anything and everything related to competitive Pokémon, competing in League Cups and Challenges, and, of course, creating all sorts of content.

Tier List

The tier list I posted a few weeks ago still holds as of today, especially the Tier 1 and 1.5 decks, as we have seen those decks keep dominating League Cups and Challenges per Facebook posts detailing results. I do believe, however, that it is worth making one small change and separating the Malamar variants, as shown below:

Tier 1

  • Ability ReshiZard
  • Mew Box

Tier 1.5

I’m not including any Tier 2 decks this time because, frankly, they’re not good enough. They might seem cool in concept (like Dark Box), but in the end, they’re more balanced (or “less broken,” if you will) than the decks above.

The Tyrant: Ability ReshiZard

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Out of all of these, Ability ReshiZard is the only one that has yet to win a big event since the new Standard format came into place, but I’m certain that before the next set, Cosmic Eclipse, comes around, it’ll have a couple of big wins under its wings. I also think this deck is going to be the most targeted deck going into this weekend’s events, purely because of the high numbers of it that are expected to show up. How do you counter such a powerful deck though? There’s no way to stop Jirachi’s Stellar Wish Ability as of now, so you can’t disrupt that part of the deck’s consistency. Power Plant is an option to slow down the Dedenne-GX and Heatran-GX, but the deck itself plays 4 Stadiums and Stellar Wish is usually reliable enough to find them. They have a myriad of non-GX attackers in Blacephalon UNB, Victini p, and Turtonator DRM, so GX protection is not enough.

The real answer is you can’t hard counter this deck, aside from maybe playing a weird Froslass UNM deck that succumbs to pretty much everything else. What you can do is prey on the deck’s weak points, which include the Jirachi reliance, along with needing to continually find Welder.

Ability ReshiZard is like a very fast train in that you can’t put anything in front of it to stop it fully from blazing through its Prize cards, but you can, however, put a few obstacles in its way that force a bumpy ride and make it crash.

Countering ‘Zard

Absol TEU

The first card that I think is being overlooked is Absol TEU. Dark Ambition raises Retreat Costs of Active Basics by C and thus renders Jirachi’s Escape Board ineffective. The deck relies on Welder continually to keep attacking, and even though the deck plays 4 Switch, it usually can’t afford to Stellar Wish for a Switch because it would rather hunt down a Welder. Even if they are able to bypass the first few turns without any hiccups because of their high Switch count, that is where our next tech card comes in.

Reset Stamp

Reset Stamp! What a great new revelation, right? Obviously it is no secret how good the card is, but I’m talking about a 3-of inclusion of the card, not the measly 1-of that seems to be the norm lately in many decks. Once again, the idea behind playing Reset Stamp is not to make your opponent dead-draw, as Jirachi basically renders that strategy impossible. However, if you are able to continually Reset Stamp your opponent down to 4-, 3-, and 2-card hands, they’re going to have a hard time finding the right combination of cards to respond each time as their resources deplete. The 3-of Reset Stamp count is something I’ve been really liking lately in certain decks, especially PikaRom.

We already saw 3 Reset Stamps show up in the Top 8 of Sheffield, as played by Bryan de Vries from the Netherlands, which reinforced my commitment to the idea. I think PikaRom is the best deck to commit to this tech because it also helps indirectly against other decks.

PikaRom

Below is the list I’ve been playing with, which is similar to my Worlds list. I tried Jirachi variants (like Rahul’s), but the Bench space lost and potential Prize liability were too much for my liking.

Pokémon (13)

3 Dedenne-GX

2 Pikachu & Zekrom-GX

2 Raichu & Alolan Raichu-GX

2 Zeraora-GX

1 Tapu Koko p

1 Zapdos TEU

1 Hoopa UNM

1 Absol TEU

Trainer (36)

4 Cynthia

4 Volkner

 

4 Custom Catcher

4 Electropower

3 Electromagnetic Radar

3 Energy Switch

3 Pokémon Communication

3 Reset Stamp

2 Switch

2 Tag Switch

1 Stadium Nav

 

2 Lysandre Labs

1 Thunder Mountain p

Energy (11)

11 L Energy

 

Copy List

****** Pokémon Trading Card Game Deck List ******

##Pokémon - 13

* 3 Dedenne-GX UNB 57
* 2 Pikachu & Zekrom-GX TEU 33
* 2 Raichu & Alolan Raichu-GX UNM 220
* 2 Zeraora-GX LOT 221
* 1 Tapu Koko p TEU 51
* 1 Zapdos TEU 40
* 1 Hoopa UNM 140
* 1 Absol TEU 88

##Trainer Cards - 36

* 4 Cynthia UPR 119
* 4 Volkner UPR 135
* 4 Electropower LOT 232
* 4 Custom Catcher LOT 231
* 3 Electromagnetic Radar UNB 230
* 3 Energy Switch CES 129
* 3 Reset Stamp UNM 206
* 3 Pokémon Communication TEU 152
* 2 Tag Switch UNM 254
* 2 Switch CES 147
* 1 Stadium Nav UNM 208
* 2 Lysandre Labs FLI 111
* 1 Thunder Mountain p LOT 191

##Energy - 11

* 11 L Energy Energy 4

Total Cards - 60

****** via SixPrizes: https://sixprizes.com/?p=75042 ******

Compared to Rahul’s List

This variant is more straightforward than Rahul’s Jirachi-based list in that it takes away the Jirachi “fluff” and focuses on grinding through the deck with Dedenne-GX while gaining a few extra attacking options.

The extra space gained means you have the possibility to play a 2nd Raichu & Alolan Raichu-GX and a 2nd Zeraora-GX. These two cards I believe are vital pieces to beating Mew Box as the continuous Paralysis + Reset Stamp when they only play 2 Switches means they are going to be missing out on turns of Tag Purge purely due to the Paralysis.

The 2nd Zeraora-GX also means a bigger emphasis on switching Energy around as seen by the higher Energy Switch and Tag Switch counts compared to Rahul’s, which also facilitate “hidden” Tag Bolt-GX plays with the plus bonus, or even surprise attacks from Zeraora-GX or Dedenne-GX at different points in a game in order to manipulate the Prize trade in to your favor.

Card Choices

The last card I’m debating in the list is a 3rd Lysandre Labs over the 2nd Tag Switch because GardEon winning the last Regional is a pretty big deal.

Without Jirachi, the deck can’t afford to play Power Plants like Kaiwen Cabbabe’s Champion Melbourne/Top 8 Worlds lists, so we do take a hard loss to anything that plays 2 Keldeo-GX. This is not great, but we can’t beat every deck.

The 2 Raichu & Alolan Raichu-GX along with 3 Reset Stamp is extremely good against Mew Box decks, which usually power through this deck with Tag Purge.

I used to have a 2nd Zapdos in place of the Absol, but I have since found Malamar to be problematic still, and Absol helps in slowing them down in the early game and potentially making them whiff the early attack. If you really want to hard counter Malamar though, you’d probably want to play a 2nd Hoopa over the Absol, but I figured the extra firepower versus any Jirachi-based deck was a welcome addition.

I’ve really liked 3 Pokémon Communication in the list as well to help find Tapu Koko p.

GardEon

pokemonkorea.co.kr

The other deck that I think benefits from 3 Reset Stamp is GardEon, which was playing a high count of it at Worlds, but since seems to have gone down to 2. Despite people saying how bad of a matchup ReshiZard is, I think it’s not completely unwinnable, and there’s a clear path you can take in order to beat it.

Decklist

First off, I really liked the David Ferreira’s Champion list from Sheffield. The lack of healing cards had me nervous at first, but I found it overall good enough with the extra Charms included. As it turns out, preventing damage is even better than healing it. Here’s the list for reference, with only one change: -1 Switch, +1 Reset Stamp.

Pokémon (5)

4 Gardevoir & Sylveon-GX

1 Xerneas-GX

Trainer (46)

4 Coach Trainer

4 Green’s Exploration

1 Bill’s Analysis

 

4 Custom Catcher

4 Pokégear 3.0

3 Cherish Ball

3 Great Potion

3 Reset Stamp

3 Switch

2 Energy Spinner

2 Tag Switch

1 Adventure Bag

 

2 Fairy Charm UB

2 Fairy Charm L

2 Fairy Charm P

1 Choice Helmet

 

4 Power Plant

1 Wondrous Labyrinth p

Energy (9)

9 Y Energy

 

Copy List

****** Pokémon Trading Card Game Deck List ******

##Pokémon - 5

* 4 Gardevoir & Sylveon-GX UNB 204
* 1 Xerneas-GX FLI 126

##Trainer Cards - 46

* 2 Tag Switch UNM 254
* 4 Green’s Exploration UNB 209
* 4 Custom Catcher LOT 231
* 1 Bill’s Analysis TEU 133
* 2 Energy Spinner UNB 170
* 1 Adventure Bag LOT 228
* 4 Power Plant UNB 183
* 4 Coach Trainer UNM 233
* 3 Switch SUM 160
* 3 Great Potion UNM 198
* 4 Pokégear 3.0 UNB 233
* 1 Wondrous Labyrinth p TEU 158
* 2 Fairy Charm UB TEU 142
* 2 Fairy Charm L UNB 172
* 1 Choice Helmet LOT 229
* 3 Cherish Ball UNM 250
* 3 Reset Stamp UNM 253
* 2 Fairy Charm P LOT 175

##Energy - 9

* 9 Y Energy BUS 169

Total Cards - 60

****** via SixPrizes: https://sixprizes.com/?p=75042 ******

How to Beat ReshiZard

The overall strategy for the deck is to find 2 Gardevoir & Sylveon-GXs, Fairy Song, and then attack plus disrupt with Power Plant and the Charms. There is no Fairy Charm R though to help against ReshiZard, so this is usually what you will try to do:

  • Step 1: Load up until they 1HKO a Gardevoir & Sylveon-GX with a 6-Energy Double Blaze-GX. If they didn’t draw perfectly, you may even have a chance to preemptively attack the Reshiram & Charizard-GX yourself, but alas, the important thing is to not be left without Energy on the field.
  • Step 2: After your first Gardevoir & Sylveon-GX goes down, you retaliate with a Kaleidostorm + Reset Stamp in order to limit their resources. All the while, you’ve hopefully built up a decent hand and are holding the combination of Xerneas-GX, Tag Switch, and Switch.
  • Step 3: The ReshiZard deck will hopefully not have too many options available other than to attack into you, leaving you heavily damaged but not completely KO’d, while powering up something on the Bench.
  • Step 4: This is where you go ahead and bench Xerneas-GX, Tag Switch and Switch into it, attach an Energy, and use Sanctuary-GX in order to fully heal your Gardevoir & Sylveon-GX while KOing their Reshiram & Charizard-GX.
  • Step 5: Usually you’ll want Xerneas-GX to go down here, at which point you will go ahead and Reset Stamp them again, and potentially clean up with your last Gardevoir & Sylveon-GX as they struggle to get their 6th, 7th, and 8th Prize cards off of 1 card and Power Plant or Wondrous Labyrinth p in play.

These steps actually apply to almost every deck, but you need them to happen almost perfectly against ReshiZard in order to have a chance. Green’s ReshiZard is a bit harder because your Power Plants do not disrupt them whatsoever, but they can still be useful in order to counter their Giant Hearths.

Other Matchups

Malamar (Psychic)

The big downside of this deck without extra healing is it can sometimes struggle against the pure Psychic Malamar decks. However, smart healing with Great Potions to make Giratina 3HKO you, while also cleaning up damage counters with Sanctuary-GX in order to bypass Spell Tags and fully heal, is key as well.

PikaRom

The 2 Fairy Charm Ls plus 5 Stadiums plus 3 Reset Stamps should help in slowing down PikaRom to a crawl. Though the continuous Paralysis from Raichu & Alolan Raichu-GX could be annoying, they shouldn’t be doing any damage, so it’s not that big of a deal. This is the only instance where the lack of the 4th Switch is detrimental, though.

Mew Box

Fairy Charm P should let you auto-win Mew Box, assuming they don’t play more than one way to bypass Fairy Charm. Even if they do play Giratina, powering up 2 Mewtwo & Mew-GX takes so much effort that it shouldn’t be an issue at all.

Blacephalon

Finally, Fairy Charm UB helps shore up the Blacephalon-GX matchup. Even though dealing with Confusion is annoying, you can afford to flip a few tails if it means preventing the 1HKOs from Mind Blown.

Conclusion

If I were heading to an event this weekend, these two decks would be at the forefront of my choices simply because I think they can go all the way and don’t have a big target on their backs like Mew Box or ReshiZard do. PikaRom is hurt a bit by the Power Plant hate that is targeted toward Mew Box, but with 3 Stadiums and a way to search them out (i.e., Volkner into Stadium Nav), I’m not super worried about that.

I wish the best of luck to anyone reading this who is attending this weekend’s tournaments, and let me know if you use any of these decks as inspiration for your own! Typing this article got me hyped over these decks and the idea of going myself… Thanks so much for reading, and if you enjoyed this article, leaving a like lets me know that you enjoyed it and encourages me to keep writing more! Until next time, 6P!


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