The Sylver Bullet

Closing the Book on RoxieChomp in Standard, and GardEon for Dallas

What’s up, readers! I hope you had a wonderful holiday and a strong start to the new year. (Insert cheesy or inspirational statement about New Year’s resolutions here.) The goal I set for myself was to eat a little bit healthier and exercise more often, which are pieces of my life I’ve lost out on since I stopped playing tennis. Anyway, enough about that, and let’s get talking about the important thing: Pokémon!

Expanded is hard on my allergies. (Lock, or avoid being locked somehow.)

I’ve always been more of a fan of Standard than Expanded. I don’t enjoy the large card pool, and I’ve always found that a diverse meta doesn’t equal a good one. The current state of Expanded is a perfect example of that statement. Though there are 10+ decks I’d consider playable, I’d only consider about 3–4 of them when choosing for a tournament. That number is certainly better than the 1–2 viable decks of some past formats, but has problems of its own.

Currently, it is possible to lock your opponent out of using something: Items, Special Energy, Abilities, to name a few. A majority of the good decks lock your opponent out of something. The resulting meta is one in which everything from A to Z can be locked, and if your deck doesn’t have a sufficient answer for the important letters, you’ll be stuck taking a few losses once you sit down across your opponent.

The current Standard format isn’t plagued by lock decks other than Pidgeotto Control. I’d also argue that Pidgeotto Control is an attrition/mill deck rather than a lock deck, as lock decks in Expanded still win by taking Prize cards, albeit slowly. My favorite deck in Standard right now is RoxieChomp—it’s flexible and enjoyable to play, and the BDIF.

My Final RoxieChomp List

I’ll be brief here, because I know UPR–CEC Standard is waning and unimportant. I had a string of League Cups and Bochum Regionals 🇩🇪 where I played RoxieChomp, so I’d like to post my list here one final time for anyone going to tournaments before Sword and Shield sets come out. Not that anyone cares now, but I think TinaChomp will still be an incredibly strong deck with the rule changes and the new cards. Time will tell what new additions should be made, and which version (Roxie or non-Roxie) will prevail.

Pokémon (16)

2 Garchomp & Giratina-GX

1 Blacephalon CEC

1 Gengar & Mimikyu-GX

1 Mimikyu CEC 97

4 Misdreavus UNB

3 Mismagius UNB

4 Weezing CEC

Trainer (35)

4 Green’s Exploration

4 Roxie

1 Cynthia & Caitlin

1 Faba

1 Guzma & Hala

1 Lt. Surge’s Strategy

1 Mallow & Lana

 

4 Mysterious Treasure

3 Pokégear 3.0

3 Reset Stamp

2 Great Catcher

2 Lure Ball

2 Tag Call

1 Energy Spinner

1 Switch HS 102

 

1 Counter Gain

1 Dusk Stone

1 Karate Belt

 

1 Power Plant

Energy (9)

4 Psychic Energy

2 Fighting Energy

2 Rainbow Energy

1 Weakness Guard

 

Copy List

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

##Pokémon - 16

* 2 Garchomp & Giratina-GX UNM 146
* 1 Blacephalon CEC 104
* 1 Gengar & Mimikyu-GX TEU 53
* 1 Mimikyu CEC 97
* 4 Misdreavus UNB 77
* 3 Mismagius UNB 78
* 4 Weezing CEC 77

##Trainer Cards - 35

* 4 Green’s Exploration UNB 175
* 4 Roxie CEC 205
* 1 Cynthia & Caitlin CEC 189
* 1 Mallow & Lana CEC 198
* 1 Guzma & Hala CEC 193
* 1 Lt. Surge’s Strategy UNB 178
* 1 Faba LOT 173
* 1 Power Plant UNB 183
* 4 Mysterious Treasure FLI 113
* 2 Tag Call CEC 206
* 3 Reset Stamp UNM 206
* 3 Pokégear 3.0 UNB 182
* 2 Great Catcher CEC 192
* 2 Lure Ball CES 138
* 1 Dusk Stone UNB 167
* 1 Switch HS 102
* 1 Energy Spinner UNB 170
* 1 Karate Belt UNM 201
* 1 Counter Gain LOT 170

##Energy - 9

* 4 Psychic Energy XYEnergy 136
* 2 Fighting Energy SMEnergy 6
* 2 Rainbow Energy SUM 137
* 1 Weakness Guard Energy UNM 213

Total Cards - 60

****** via SixPrizes: https://sixprizes.com/?p=79068 ******

Take this list to League Cups! It has good matchups against a majority of the format, with a slightly unfavorable matchup to AbilityZard and an unfavorable matchup to Green’s Baby Blowns. I’ve never played the PikaRom matchup, but I’d consider it a toss-up so long as they don’t get lucky and attack with Full Blitz on the first turn. If you expect people to pick up Green’s Baby Blowns, play Pidgeotto Control instead.

Expanded GardEon

Now, with that aside, let’s move on to the chunk that’s most relevant for you this weekend: Expanded. Dallas 🇺🇸 currently has 705 TCG Masters on the live roster, and I’d expect that total to climb to at least 725 or even 750 before Saturday. Tons of people register at the last minute. In my opinion, the best approach to these large tournaments is to not overthink what you’re metagaming against. The tournament is so large that you’re gonna need a good finish to get Points, and choosing something based on a whim is a good way to do poorly.

I’ve sat down and tried to break Expanded so much this past week, but haven’t been able to simply because of the amount of decks in Expanded. As I said previously, dealing with Item, Special Energy, and Ability locks (just to name a few) can make some concepts immediately unplayable. This is why GardEon has always been underestimated, and will be a good play for Dallas.

GardEon doesn’t rely on Special Energy, Items, or Abilities. It’s arguably the most linear deck in Expanded, but that doesn’t undercut its viability—it succeeds due to its linearity. In both formats, the deck is built to Fairy Song on T1 and roll from there.

The List

Pokémon (8)

4 Gardevoir & Sylveon-GX

2 Spritzee UNB

2 Aromatisse XY

Trainer (41)

4 Professor Sycamore

3 N NVI 92

2 Cynthia

2 Guzma

1 AZ

1 Acerola

1 Coach Trainer

 

4 Max Potion

4 Ultra Ball

4 VS Seeker

1 Field Blower

1 Great Catcher

1 Nest Ball

1 Switch

 

4 Fighting Fury Belt

1 Float Stone

 

1 Computer Search

 

3 Power Plant

2 Silent Lab

Energy (11)

7 Fairy Energy

4 Wonder Energy

 

Copy List

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

##Pokémon - 8

* 4 Gardevoir & Sylveon-GX UNB 204
* 2 Spritzee UNB 141
* 2 Aromatisse XY 93

##Trainer Cards - 41

* 4 Professor Sycamore STS 114
* 4 Fighting Fury Belt BKP 99
* 1 Computer Search BCR 137
* 1 Acerola BUS 142
* 1 AZ PHF 117
* 4 Max Potion GRI 128
* 1 Nest Ball SUM 123
* 1 Switch PRC 163
* 1 Coach Trainer UNM 192
* 2 Silent Lab PRC 140
* 3 Power Plant UNB 183
* 1 Great Catcher CEC 192
* 4 Ultra Ball SUM 135
* 2 Guzma BUS 143
* 2 Cynthia UPR 119
* 3 N NVI 92
* 1 Field Blower GRI 125
* 1 Float Stone BKT 137
* 4 VS Seeker PHF 109

##Energy - 11

* 7 Fairy Energy Energy 9
* 4 Wonder Energy PRC 144

Total Cards - 60

****** via SixPrizes: https://sixprizes.com/?p=79068 ******

Here’s the list I’ve settled on; I tested various aspects of the lists that did well from Richmond and Portland Regionals. I like the straightforward approach that Preston Ellis and Drew Cate took rather than what Ivan Stoyanov took with the thin Garbodor BKP line. Garbotoxin doesn’t do much against the format because of Stealthy Hood. It’s only good against EggRow, but Faba can remove the Tool and re-establish Item lock.

Key Cards

4 GardEon-GX, 2-2 Aromatisse XY

The Pokémon line is key because the deck sticks to the bare essentials. Anything that doesn’t help in raising the percentage of T1 Fairy Song or in healing doesn’t improve the deck. GardEon aims to outlast other decks with 2HKOs, and prevent the opponent from making any progress while setting up Magical Miracle-GX.

I’ve thought about playing Scoop Up Cyclone because it’s another healing card and can do wonders under Garbotoxin. If I were to ever change the ACE SPEC in the deck, I’d play this instead. However, Computer Search is tried and true. It can help with hitting Fairy Song or healing, which is why it’s superior. Consistency always helps.

4 Fighting Fury Belt

Drew Cate’s Richmond list had 4 Fighting Fury Belt, and I find that to be the optimal choice in order to have the best chance against Turbo Dark. Fighting Fury Belt means that Greninja & Zoroark-GX will 1HKO with 10 Energy in play rather than 9 (or 9 instead of 8 when attacking with Mew FCO). Anything helps in guaranteeing survivability, as the game is practically over once they score a 1HKO with something other than Dead End-GX.

1 Switch, 1 Float Stone

I’ve also taken the 2-count of Switch/Float Stone from Drew’s list. Ivan played 3 and Preston played 1 with 3 copies of Trainers’ Mail. I think 2 is the perfect middle point while maintaining copies of other pieces I want to keep. I chose to cut a Float Stone for a Switch in order to give this deck some chance against Shock Lock, though it is a small one. Without Switch, your only chance would be to keep a Spritzee Active until you can Magical Miracle-GX. However, that doesn’t win you the game because they can likely recover before you take all 6 Prizes. Switch allows you to do this faster because you can Fairy Song, then Switch and Magical Miracle-GX.

In a perfect world, my list would have a 2nd Float Stone as well. The first card I’d cut is a Fighting Fury Belt despite its benefits. 4th VS Seeker and Nest Ball are options as well.

1 Coach Trainer

Lastly, I’ll touch on Coach Trainer, which Preston Ellis played in his list. Coach Trainer is strong because it allows you to draw cards while maintaining your current hand. Cynthia and N can be played when you want to save resources, but Coach Trainer is the optimal Supporter if you already have strong cards you want to keep like Max Potion, Energy, or VS Seeker. The single copy is enough, and drawing 4 is pretty strong when all you need to do is attach an Energy and heal once every turn.

Other Ideas

Trainers’ Mail

Preston played 3 Trainers’ Mail and fewer or 0 copies of cards like Fighting Fury Belt, VS Seeker, and Field Blower. I find this increased consistency to be interesting, but not worth playing in a meta where I want to have my options covered against Turbo Dark and Zoroark-GX/Garbodor. I expect these to be two of the more heavily played decks. Field Blower gives this deck access to a turn or two of Max Potion by turning on Fairy Transfer. It’s best played in conjunction with Magical Miracle-GX and a Power Plant, forcing your opponent to try and draw into another Tool with a limited or non-existent hand.

Stealthy Hood

Stealthy Hood is another answer to Garbotoxin. If you put it on Aromatisse, you can have access to Fairy Transfer even while Garbotoxin is online. This is an alternative to Field Blower.

Tag Call Engine

Another option that debuted with Cosmic Eclipse is the Tag Call engine. Tag Call would give this deck a guaranteed Fairy Song on the first turn of the game with Guzma & Hala. It’s also good for winning some games on T1 by locking out decks immediately. Here’s what my Tag Call list looks like:

Pokémon (8)

4 Gardevoir & Sylveon-GX

2 Spritzee UNB

2 Aromatisse XY

Trainer (41)

4 Professor Sycamore

3 N NVI 92

2 Cynthia

2 Guzma

1 AZ

1 Acerola

1 Cynthia & Caitlin

1 Guzma & Hala

 

4 Max Potion

3 Tag Call

3 Ultra Ball

3 VS Seeker

1 Field Blower

1 Great Catcher

 

3 Fighting Fury Belt

2 Float Stone

 

1 Computer Search

 

3 Power Plant

2 Silent Lab

Energy (11)

7 Fairy Energy

4 Wonder Energy

 

Copy List

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

##Pokémon - 8

* 4 Gardevoir & Sylveon-GX UNB 204
* 2 Spritzee UNB 141
* 2 Aromatisse XY 93

##Trainer Cards - 41

* 4 Professor Sycamore STS 114
* 3 Tag Call CEC 206
* 1 Computer Search BCR 137
* 1 Acerola BUS 142
* 1 Cynthia & Caitlin CEC 189
* 1 Guzma & Hala CEC 193
* 4 Max Potion GRI 128
* 1 AZ PHF 117
* 2 Silent Lab PRC 140
* 3 Power Plant UNB 183
* 3 Fighting Fury Belt BKP 99
* 2 Guzma BUS 143
* 3 Ultra Ball SLG 68
* 2 Cynthia UPR 119
* 3 N NVI 92
* 1 Field Blower GRI 125
* 1 Great Catcher CEC 192
* 2 Float Stone BKT 137
* 3 VS Seeker PHF 109

##Energy - 11

* 7 Fairy Energy Energy 9
* 4 Wonder Energy PRC 144

Total Cards - 60

****** via SixPrizes: https://sixprizes.com/?p=79068 ******

As you can see, I cut some of the extraneous Supporters and Tools for those that support the Tag Call engine. Guzma & Hala and Cynthia & Caitlin are our two Supporters, as Mallow & Lana doesn’t heal for enough. I inevitably cut a VS Seeker because Cynthia & Caitlin fulfills a similar role.

I only play 3 Tag Call because the deck still relies on Ultra Ball to search for Aromatisse pieces. I couldn’t find space for 4, and ultimately find it unnecessary because we don’t plan on using TAG TEAM Supporters throughout the game.

Matchups

I consider Turbo Dark, GardEon, Mew Box, Ultra Necrozma variants, Lucario-GX, and EggRow to be the Big Six. I’ll briefly cover these matchups, but know that most of them aren’t any more difficult than the following steps:

  • Step 1: Announce Fairy Song while you have a Benched Pokémon
  • Step 2: Set up Aromatisse
  • Step 3: Attack and heal
  • Step 4: Take your remaining Prizes with Guzma or Great Catcher

Turbo Dark

Turbo Dark has two ways of winning this game. The first involves taking 6 Prizes via Dead End-GX and Dark Pulse. Given that you’ll always have a Wonder Energy on your Active GardEon, the opponent will Guzma for a Benched one when they have the KO with Dead End-GX. Their ZoroNinja attack will happen if they’ve gotten enough Energy in play, which should happen by turn 3. Your best way of winning this matchup is by making sure every GardEon has a Wonder Energy, and by using Guzma/Great Catcher to pick off easy Energies on their board. If they have a slow start, it may be worthwhile to Fairy Song twice and hope to steamroll with Silent Lab + Magical Miracle-GX.

Their other way of winning involves Guzzlord CEC and Sableye & Tyranitar-GX. They will take 4 Prizes on your first GardEon with Greedy Crush, then KO an Aromatisse with Red Banquet, taking 2 Prizes. The best way to be mindful of Guzzlord is by shutting off Weavile-GX with Power Plant.

Mew Box

This matchup is pretty difficult because they have lots of options. They can take a 1HKO by copying Calamitous Slash from Garchomp & Giratina-GX, or deny your attacks with Altaria-GX. They can also use Damage Change, healing and rebounding 150 damage.

Your best chance is to Magical Miracle-GX while putting down a Silent Lab. The opponent will need to topdeck an answer because their deck can’t function unless they’re attacking with Mewtwo & Mew-GX. If you’re mindful of Jumping Balloon, you have a shot.

Ultra Necrozma variants

The Garbodor version can be tougher because they shut off Aromatisse. The Octillery version should be easy because you have a plethora of healing cards and they can’t 1HKO. Wonder Energy prevents the discarding effect of Luster of Downfall, so make use of that and should be able to keep Energy in play to continuously attack.

Lucario-GX

This matchup is like the one against Ultra Necrozma—they usually can’t take a 1HKO. The two rebuttals to this statement are Cantankerous Beatdown-GX and Lucario UNB. Lucario UNB is unlikely because it requires 2 Metal Energy, and would require a reworking of the deck’s Energy line. Cantankerous Beatdown-GX is a real threat, though. Make sure you prioritize healing.

One small piece that can be useful is knowing if your opponent has a threat. If they only have 1 Lucario-GX and 0 Riolu, they can’t swing for big damage again. On this turn, it would be permissible to use Guzma and take a Prize elsewhere rather than allowing your opponent to attach again and take a 1HKO with their GX attack.

EggRow

The Eggrow matchup comes down to how badly you or your opponent prize key cards like Vileplume AOR and Guzma. You want to KO their Vileplume AOR to re-establish Items, allowing you to use Max Potion and VS Seeker for more Guzma. You should then have enough healing to counter Vileplume BUS with Aromatisse. Magical Miracle-GX does wonders in this matchup too, as EggRow has zero ways of recovering without topdecking a draw Supporter.

If you’re scared of this matchup, cut Field Blower for Stealthy Hood and add a 3rd Guzma. This gives you additional outs to both Vileplumes, and you should be able to win comfortably then.

Conclusion

That’s it! Thanks for reading another one of my articles and continuing to show your support. Dallas Regionals is always one of my favorites, not only for its convenience but sentimentality. It was the first Regional Championships I won upon aging up to Masters in the 2016–17 season, and was also the tournament that started my Underground career!

Finally, here’s a shameless plug to my Twitter, @xanderpero. I tweet about things besides Pokémon, and you can always follow along with recent decklists and life updates there. Good luck to all in Dallas!

Xander


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Reader Interactions

2 replies

  1. jedisurvivor

    Thank you for creating the Gardeon list! I ended up piloting your list (-1 Coach Trainer, +1LoPuff) at Dallas, to a 44th-place finish!

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