A Fortunate Catch of the Eye

The Debut of Gothita Lock
willfosho.tumblr.com
“I see, I see…”

On the morning of Limitless Qualifier #4, I woke up and started to mentally prepare myself for a tournament run that could mean my fourth second-stage placement in a row and possibly earning my invite to the Limitless Invitational. For me there was a lot on the line, and my anxiety was naturally pretty high. I was talking to my teammates in order to get myself to calm down while I waited for the first round to be posted when someone informed me that new cards for our upcoming set, Darkness Ablaze, had been revealed. Naturally, everyone started debating the viability of the new Vs and VMAXs, and how they might hold up in a theoretical future metagame. The attention of many people was captivated by Eternatus VMAX, and people started conversation over its place in this speculative meta. However, another card piqued my interest far more than any other card revealed. While everyone else was distracted with Eternatus, I was fixated on a widely overlooked pre-evolution: Gothita.

Gothita has the attack Fortune Eye, which, for a single P Energy, allows you to look at the top 5 cards of your opponent’s deck and reorder them as you please. This is unbelievably good and could be the saving grace for post-rotation Cinccino Control that I had been looking for. I was ecstatic.

As soon as I saw Gothita, I immediately started drafting a list. It not only excited me, but also gave me something to work on and get my mind off a stressful tournament, especially after a loss. Throughout the day, I slowly pieced together a list. Eventually, I finished a very rough draft and put it aside to focus on the tournament; I needed to win 4/4 of my next rounds to make Phase 2 once more. After finishing my final Limitless run, having just barely whiffed the invite, I continued to work on my Gothita list. Initially, I was trying to make Excadrill UNM work with it. There were obvious issues with the concept, as Excadrill not only took up too much space, but also required a F Energy in order to use its Rototiller attack. This meant that I would need to find room in an already extremely space-tight list and run two different types of Energy. I contemplated Aurora Energy, but I wanted to be able to reap the full benefits of Ordinary Rod, and run basic Energy. I pondered over my conundrum when I had an epiphany: Drilbur CEC.

When crafting an Excadrill list, the optimal Drilbur to run is obviously the Drilbur printed in Cosmic Eclipse, as it has Rototiller as well, but it only shuffles in 1 card instead of 4. On paper, in a more traditional Control build, that’s relevant because you are trying to lock your opponent’s hand with Chip-Chip Ice Axe and you can easily maintain the lock with Drilbur, recycling a Chip-Chip Ice Axe to cover the next turn, when you can evolve into Excadrill and start aggressively accelerating your win condition. However, Drilbur on its own is oddly versatile, as its Rototiller attack only costs a single C Energy.

Applying this back to Gothita, the biggest question was explicitly apparent: “Is one card enough?” Could Drilbur actually hold up a Control deck by retrieving a single resource per turn? The answer was a very surprising and very resounding “Yes.” Drilbur and Gothita individually are both slightly underwhelming in that Gothita needs a partner that can recycle resources in order to carry out its strategy throughout a long, drawn-out game. Drilbur needs a way to reliably fix the opponent’s topdeck, while also retrieving Bellelba & Brycen-Man to accelerate its win condition and discard the good cards that you don’t want your opponent having access to. However, Gothita and Drilbur are very synergistic in that they cover each other’s weaknesses. Gothita can rig 5 cards in any way it wants (meaning that multiple turns can be covered), while Drilbur can retrieve much-needed resources on turns where another Fortune Eye isn’t necessary. Together, as long as you can reliably pivot between them, they can maintain a complete hand lock and stop the opponent from finishing the game.


To read this article, you must be an Underground member.

  • Already a member? Log in
  • Not a member? Join below ↓

Join Underground

Joining Underground gives you (and a friend!) complete access to our latest Underground articles plus their companion discussion sections to ask our writers questions.

New Underground (i.e., UG/★) articles are published on average 3× per week and are written by our staff of competitors + correspondents who report on an array of topics helpful for any Pokémon TCG player.

Choose a subscription:

Each subscription comes with automatic renewal, but you may disable automatic renewal at any time. If you are not completely satisfied with Underground, you can request a full refund within your first 30 days of joining—no questions asked.

FAQ

Q. Who writes for Underground?
A. Our current writing staff consists of:

  • 12× Worlds invitee · Playing since 2003 · “El Table”
  • 9× Worlds invitee · Playing since 2009 · “Purple Princess”
  • 8× Worlds invitee · Playing since 2010 · “The Worst Schemanske”
  • 8× Worlds invitee · Playing since 2012 · “1 of each Pokémon > 1 billion lions”
  • 8× Worlds invitee · Playing since 2010
  • 7× Worlds invitee · Playing since 2012 · “All the way from Brazil”
  • 6× Worlds invitee · Playing since 2012 · “Consistency is a tech for every matchup”
  • 4× Worlds invitee · Playing since 2011 · “Bee Revenge is best served Cold”
  • Playing since 2017

Extended bios can be found on each author page.

Q. When are new Underground articles published?
A. There are on average three (3) new Underground articles published each week, Tuesday thru Thursday, at ~12 PM EDT (GMT-4). We schedule more content before major tournament weekends than after, so you may see four articles one week and then only two the next. Our objective is to help you prepare for events. A calendar of upcoming articles and events can be viewed here.

Q. What topics are included in Underground articles?
A. An Underground article could…

  • profile the best decks for an upcoming tournament
  • discuss how to play the crucial matchups
  • analyze decklists
  • talk about upcoming card releases
  • report on a first-hand tournament experience
  • offer tips for high-level play

…or include any combination of above! We cover a range of topics to help competitive players elevate their game. If you’ve never read an Underground article before, start here: 👉 these ones are free to read.

Q. Do your articles apply to Juniors and Seniors?
A. While our focus is on Masters play, our commentary is applicable for all age divisions. Many of our writers have earned Worlds invitations as Juniors and/or Seniors, and many have also coached Juniors and Seniors, so we have experience in navigating those divisions. Please ask if you ever read an article and would like to clarify how it applies to Juniors or Seniors.

Q. How can I ask your writers questions?
A. You can connect with our writers in three ways:

  1. in the discussion sections for each article,
  2. by messaging through our forum,
  3. or via social media, like Twitter or Facebook, if the writer mentions they are open to connecting that way.

We encourage you to reach out whenever you have questions.

Q. What happens after I join?
A. The current page will refresh and you will have immediate access to all of our Underground content.

Q. Can I upgrade or downgrade my subscription?
A. Your subscription can be upgraded, downgraded, canceled, or reenabled at any time. If you upgrade, you will be immediately switched over to and charged for the new plan, minus a credit for unused time on your current subscription. If you downgrade, you will be switched over to the new plan after your current subscription ends. To manage your subscription, visit your payment profile.

Q. How do I add a friend to my subscription?
A. To add a friend to an existing subscription, enter their SixPrizes username in the Shared Account field on your user profile. If your friend doesn’t already have a SixPrizes account, they can register free.

Q. How can I request a refund?
A. If you would like to request a refund for your subscription—for any reason—you can do so within your first 30 days of joining Underground. Contact Adam with your account details, and he will issue your refund shortly.

Join Now

Choose a subscription:


Reader Interactions

4 replies

  1. To view this discussion or leave a reply, join Underground.