The Space-Time Conundrum

Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX (ADP) and GardEon for LAIC
Only six days and 4,600 miles away…

Hello 6P! A change of plans means my next article is happening earlier than expected—that is, today! We are less than a week away from the first International Championships of the season and my first big tournament since Worlds, LAIC. Between the new set (Cosmic Eclipse) having just come out, my love for Brazil, and the support I get every day from people all over the world, I’m hyped and ready for my season to truly start after a series of frustrating Cup runs this quarter.

The big question on everyone’s mind is, “What are the best decks since Cosmic Eclipse has been released?” Well, I unfortunately don’t have a clear answer myself, but I have delved much deeper into the two decks I posted in my last article (Ability ReshiZard and Mew Box), as well as many others, and some have certainly piqued my interest more than others.

I think a big highlight of the new set is the two Dragon-type TAG TEAMs, Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX (henceforth referred to as “ADP”) and Reshiram & Zekrom-GX.

On paper, ReshiRom seems like it would translate into an amazing deck with the possibility to 1HKO most of the format with a relatively simple setup of 2 Naganadel LOT + 1 Energy for turn. On top of that, we also have Welder and Volkner, along with Tapu Koko p. It seems like a recipe for success, but I have not been made a believer.

The deck has felt super clunky—both Welder and non-Welder variants of the deck—and getting that fabled turn 2 1HKO hasn’t been common enough for it to warrant it being dubbed the best deck. Perhaps there is a way to play it that I have yet to discover, but I certainly haven’t been a fan of it so far.

Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX (ADP)

On the other hand, ADP impressed me quite a bit after giving it a try and focusing on getting attacks off on turn 1 with N’s Resolve. My initial thoughts for it were that it was going to be too slow overall. Using up a GX attack and not dealing any damage? That felt awful to me. However, N’s Resolve helps you attack with Ultimate Ray so quickly that often it’s fine if you don’t end up using Altered Creation-GX+ at all. The second part of the deck, walling with Keldeo-GX and Chaotic Swell, has also proven to be more effective than I initially considered.

The deck has an impressive overall gameplan, between the GX protection afforded by Pure Heart and the cost-effective trades to be made against non-GX decks thanks to the extra Prize effect of Altered Creation-GX+. Below is currently where I’m at with the deck, with 59 cards listed as it’s been very difficult to figure out the last spot.

The List

Pokémon (11)

2 Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX

2 Keldeo-GX

1 Mega Lopunny & Jigglypuff-GX

4 Jirachi TEU

2 Dedenne-GX

Trainer (32)

4 N’s Resolve

3 Cynthia

2 Mallow & Lana

 

4 Cherish Ball

4 Pokégear 3.0

4 Switch

2 Great Catcher

2 Tag Call

1 Reset Stamp

 

2 Escape Board

 

4 Chaotic Swell

Energy (16)

9 W Energy

7 M Energy

 

Copy List

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

##Pokémon - 11

* 2 Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX CEC 220
* 2 Keldeo-GX UNM 219
* 1 Mega Lopunny & Jigglypuff-GX CEC 225
* 4 Jirachi TEU 99
* 2 Dedenne-GX UNB 195

##Trainer Cards - 32

* 2 Escape Board UPR 167
* 2 Great Catcher CEC 264
* 2 Mallow & Lana CEC 231
* 4 Switch SUM 160
* 4 Chaotic Swell CEC 187
* 2 Tag Call CEC 270
* 4 Pokégear 3.0 UNB 233
* 4 N’s Resolve CEC 232
* 3 Cynthia UPR 119
* 4 Cherish Ball UNM 250
* 1 Reset Stamp UNM 253

##Energy - 16

* 7 M Energy SUM 163
* 9 W Energy CIN 124

Total Cards - 59

****** via SixPrizes: https://sixprizes.com/?p=75805 ******

Key Cards

4 N’s Resolve, 9 W Energy, 7 M Energy

The more I tried out the deck, the more I realized it needs to be focused on the turn 1 N’s Resolve to be able to pressure immediately. That is why we have a similar structure to the Ability ReshiZard decks that have been so successful since Worlds. Their game plan is the same—find Welder at all costs—but N’s Resolve provides different limitations, such as only being able to attach Energy to the Bench.

This version has been able to pull it off consistently enough, it’s just sometimes frustrating to deal with the RNG of whiffing enough Energy, or finding only a single type instead of a combination of both. The deck has to be skewed more to Waters due to Sonic Edge‘s WWC cost, hence the 9/7 split rather than an even 8/8. I initially had a 10/6 split, but I was noticing how I struggled to find the Metal sometimes, and the debate for the 60th card also made me lean toward what I have right now.

1 Mega Lopunny & Jigglypuff-GX

LoPuff is a fantastic wildcard to help get bursts of extra damage that this deck truly appreciates. It is fantastic against Mew Box and PikaRom especially, as both only require 4 or 3 Pokémon-GX in play for Jumping Balloon to be able to 1HKO their attackers. If you’ve used Altered Creation-GX+ though, even Mewtwo & Mew-GX can be taken down with 3 GXs in play. Given how both of those decks work, it’ll be pretty difficult to play around that scenario.

The 60th Card

Option 1: Lucario & Melmetal-GX

The 60th card in the list has been 2 different ones, both with different purposes. First off, you can include Lucario & Melmetal-GX, as it can almost singlehandedly cover the GardEon matchup. Without it, you rely on Keldeo-GX’s Pure Heart + Chaotic Swell to prevent them from overrunning you, but there are a few problems with that plan.

  1. If you choose not to utilize ADP at all, you’re at best 3HKOing the Gardevoir & Sylveon-GXs with Sonic Edge. This wouldn’t be a problem if it weren’t for their new Tag Call engine which allows them to very easily heal off a few attacks with Mallow & Lana. Of course, having 4 Chaotic Swell is immense in preventing them from even damaging you.However, it is expected of them to start playing Faba along with their already established 4 copies of Power Plant, meaning they will be able to push attacks through and their engine is much better at getting back-to-back Stadiums than ours.It also takes us a total of 6 turns to power up 2 attackers, whereas they have so many ways to manipulate Energy, so the deck simply falls behind way too quickly against their onslaught of attackers.
  2. If we do choose to utilize ADP, which I think is always correct, we get a faster setup for our Keldeo-GXs and possibly extra damage output, allowing us to 2HKO them barring any healing they utilize.

It’s still very tough though, and that is why Lucario & Melmetal-GX is quite necessary. By simply 1HKOing back-to-back Gardevoir & Sylveon-GXs with Heavy Impact, that’s the 6 Prizes right there. You also can forego the early Altered Creation-GX+ in favor of Ultimate Ray, thus establishing Energy on board and creating a very simple “attack twice” win condition.

Option 2: Drampa CEC

The other option I’ve been considering and toying around with is Drampa CEC. The Dragon Arcana attack works very nicely in this deck by dealing 170 damage after Altered Creation-GX has been used, as long as Drampa has both Energy types that we play attached to it. It’s great to pick off Dedenne-GXs or simply to throw off the Prize trade by being a single-Prize attacker that can be powered up in the late game with N’s Resolve too.

As I type this, I definitely think I’m favoring Lucario & Melmetal-GX going into an unknown metagame, as I do expect GardEon to be quite popular in Brazil, and having a counter for your counter seems like the way to go.

This deck has everything in it to become a tier 1 deck, while also being volatile enough due to the uncertainty of N’s Resolve to make me question whether I would risk it all on such a big all-in turn 1 strategy.

Other Options

Acro Bikes

Other options I’ve considered for the deck, but ultimately wasn’t the biggest fan of, were Acro Bikes in place of Cynthias to have that extra dig for N’s Resolve on turn 1, but the deck felt incredibly fragile after the first explosive turn.

Tag Switch

Also, Tag Switch is a potentially fantastic card in this, but even at counts of 2 or 3, there is a lot of discarding going on between Dedenne-GX’s Dedechange and N’s Resolve to the point where it’s very difficult to have it at the right time. You could forego a copy of Reset Stamp and Tag Call to include 2 of these though, as they might also be helpful in the mirror match.

Silvally-GX CEC, Rayquaza-GX

There are other different approaches to the deck with Silvally-GX CEC or trying to power up through Rayquaza-GX’s Stormy Winds, but I’ve found them to be too slow and clunky to compete in this hyper aggressive metagame.

Final Thoughts on ADP

The only thing holding back this deck from being very clearly the top contender is the very same card that gives it its potential, N’s Resolve. Unfortunately, there’s no way to guarantee you’ll hit Energy in the top 6 cards of your deck. Sometimes you’ll hit 1, other times 4, and it is this randomness that makes the deck so fragile early on. In the delicate balance between early-game resources and late-game options, that is where the deck is its own enemy and has a hard time going all-out.

I think this deck’s second biggest issue is the fact that Great Catcher exists now, and thus having the Keldeo-GX protected by Chaotic Swell might not be as impressive if your opponent can simply target down Dedenne-GXs on the Bench, so managing that is bound to be important.

GardEon

pokemonkorea.co.kr

Another deck I’ve been really liking so far with Cosmic Eclipse is the nemesis of the previous deck, Gardevoir & Sylveon-GX. Not only does the Fairy typing make it viable by hitting for Weakness on one of the perceived best and most popular decks at LAIC 🇧🇷 (i.e., ADP), but it has a great balance of disruption and offense thanks to the Green’s Exploration engine and Magical Miracle-GX+.

The List

Here is my current list:

Pokémon (6)

4 Gardevoir & Sylveon-GX

1 Xerneas-GX

1 Mega Lopunny & Jigglypuff-GX

Trainer (45)

4 Green’s Exploration

3 Cynthia & Caitlin

2 Mallow & Lana

1 Faba

 

4 Custom Catcher

4 Pokégear 3.0

4 Switch

3 Reset Stamp

3 Tag Call

2 Cherish Ball

2 Energy Spinner

2 Tag Switch

 

2 Fairy Charm P

1 Fairy Charm UB

1 Fairy Charm L

1 Fairy Charm N

 

4 Power Plant

2 Chaotic Swell

Energy (9)

9 Y Energy

 

Copy List

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

##Pokémon - 6

* 4 Gardevoir & Sylveon-GX UNB 204
* 1 Xerneas-GX FLI 126
* 1 Mega Lopunny & Jigglypuff-GX CEC 225

##Trainer Cards - 45

* 2 Tag Switch UNM 254
* 4 Green’s Exploration UNB 209
* 4 Custom Catcher LOT 231
* 3 Cynthia & Caitlin CEC 228
* 2 Energy Spinner UNB 170
* 2 Mallow & Lana CEC 231
* 4 Power Plant UNB 183
* 4 Switch SUM 160
* 2 Chaotic Swell CEC 187
* 3 Tag Call CEC 270
* 4 Pokégear 3.0 UNB 233
* 1 Fairy Charm UB TEU 142
* 1 Faba LOT 208
* 1 Fairy Charm L UNB 172
* 1 Fairy Charm N LOT 177
* 2 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=75805 ******

Key Cards

1 Mega Lopunny & Jigglypuff-GX

The new inclusion of Mega Lopunny & Jigglypuff-GX to the original Pokémon lineup seems obvious thanks to the possibility of being able to bench it and power it up out of the blue with Tag Switch + 1 Energy attachment. Before, you could make plays against this deck knowing full well that their maximum damage output was 150 with Kaleidostorm or 200 with Magical Miracle-GX. Now, however, the threat of Mega Lopunny & Jigglypuff-GX is always something you need to be aware of and possibly try to play around.

1 Xerneas-GX

Xerneas-GX remains in the deck as Sanctuary-GX and the healing possibilities it offers are crucial against Malamar, though there’s a lower reliance on it now that we have access to Mallow & Lana.

4 Green’s Exploration, 3 Tag Call

Being able to search out cards like Reset Stamp and Power Plant with Green’s Exploration in back-to-back turns is very powerful and disruptive to whatever plans your opponent might have. On top of that, the deck can now very easily rely on the Tag Call engine, searching out Gardevoir & Sylveon-GXs along with all the new TAG TEAM Supporters, of which Cynthia & Caitlin and Mallow & Lana stand out as great options for the deck given their effects.

3 Cynthia & Caitlin, 0 Coach Trainer

Cynthia & Caitlin replaces Coach Trainer, as even though you draw 1 card less, the effect of recovering a Supporter, namely Green’s Exploration, is fantastic for the deck’s mid–late-game setup. The discarding is also appreciated to get rid of excess Fairy Charms that are not necessary in a particular matchup.

2 Mallow & Lana, 0 Great Potion

Mallow & Lana replaces Great Potions as the Switch effect can be useful as well, and being able to recover these as well with Cynthia & Caitlin has been crucial in matchups where you can’t fully prevent damage with the Fairy Charms.

1 Fairy Charm N

Fairy Charm N makes it into the list as protection against ADP and Reshiram & Zekrom-GX. ReshiRom in particular can take over a game if they’re able to quickly deny your Energy from Fairy Song on turn 2. This isn’t exactly easy, but nevertheless still possible. The Fairy Charm N helps protect a bit against that as you try and stabilize in your first turns. Preventing the first Ultimate Ray against ADP can also be important; however, if they power up the Lucario & Melmetal-GX it will usually be game over right there unless you are the one to take the initiative and manage to attack it first before they attack you and they also miss the Mallow & Lana healing.

1 Faba

Finally, Faba is included to be able to bypass the Keldeo-GXs that think they are safe hiding behind Pure Heart and a Chaotic Swell. As I described above, Faba nullifies this and is the best way around it. I’ve seen people including Marshadow UNB in both this deck and in Green’s Charizard & Braixen-GX decks, but starting with it means completely forfeiting the use of Green’s Exploration in the beginning of the game, which is not ideal at all.

Final Thoughts on GardEon

Between the damage output, Energy acceleration, and disruption of constant Reset Stamps plus Power Plants, the deck has all the right tools to succeed in the upcoming metagame at LAIC.

Conclusion

pokemonkorea.co.kr
Pikachu & Zekrom-GXMewtwo & Mew-GX…is ADP next in succession?

There’s a myriad of decks that I still need to thoroughly test, but I’d confidently say these are my two front runners so far. Mew Box, Ability ReshiZard, and Malamar are also decks I’m considering playing, but so far, every time a new TAG TEAM set has come out, the biggest TAG TEAM of the set ends up becoming the best deck in the format, which gives huge merit to ADP.

I’m looking forward to traveling next week, and I’ll be vlogging the experience as part of a new team/venture I’m doing with some of my friends. Definitely be on the lookout for that over on my Tablemon social media! Thank you so much for reading and your continued support. As always, feel free to reach out with any questions and wish me luck in São Paulo!


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Reader Interactions

1 reply

  1. Scott OConnor

    Nice construct!
    What about adding a Great Catcher in for one of the Customs?
    Also finding a spot for an Adventure bag to search for tools without using Green as the turn’s supporter?

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