I take a closer look at Gardevoir, in particular how she fits into our current meta and her synergy with the popular Fairy decks.
03/18/2015 by Matthew Koo
This is a very special article for me since Gardevoir is my favorite Pokemon (with Bidoof and Flareon very close behind) and has become playable once again. With that being said, I'm also terribly sorry for being late on this article. It was not without reason though! I was busy attending any and every League Challange I could find and I'm happy to say that I have successfully earned my invite to the 2015 World Championships!
Now, back to the topic at hand...
Table of contents
With the introduction of Primal Clash, a lot has changed for Fairies. First off, with a lot more Mega EX's being playable in Primal Clash, Pyroar has slowly become extinct in the meta. With no Pyroars in sight, speed decks such as Night March began appearing again. Fairy decks need a couple of turns to set up before being able to take control of a game, so it's reasonable to see why the emergence of Night March could cause problems for Fairy decks.
In this article, I'm going to do my best to give each matchup a tech that will help it. Of course, not all matchups are terrible for this deck (or else it'd be a pretty pointless article haha), so for those I have included cards that will basically make your opponent want to forget they ever faced you. I will also be including an indepth analysis on the deck's tempo and flexibility. Basically, as the game progresses, your deck should have acheived certain "milestones" and this is what I define as controlling the tempo of the game. Flexibilitly, on the other hand, is how well your deck deals with surprises you don't see coming. Of course, the more experience you have playing, the less surprises (hopefully) you'll be seeing from your opponents. However, when they do come, how does your deck fair against them? The greater the flexibility of a deck, the better it is at dealing with surprises while the opposite also holds true. If there are questions about tempo or flexibility in any of the matchups, feel free to send me a message and I'll be more than happy to try and explain my opinion.
Let's get started then, shall we?
I made this decklist to focus on consistency and to battle the general meta of Lando/bats, Toad Variants, and Night March. Below in my "Matchups" section, I will add a "Add/Remove" list that I think would help the deck become a favorite against the particular matchup. This is so that if a particular deck is popular in your area, you will have an idea of how to tune up the Gardevoir deck to combat the meta.
- 3x Gardevoir EX
- 2x M Gardevoir EX
- 3x Xerneas
- 3x Spritzee
- 3x Aromatisse
- 3x Florges EX
- 4x Ultra Ball
- 2x Hard Charm
- 1x Battle Compressor
- 4x Professor Sycamore
- 3x N
- 1x Colress
- 1x Lysandre
- 1x Lysandre's Trump Card
- 1x Teammates
- 2x Gardevoir Spirit Link
- 1x Startling Megaphone
- 4x Fairy Garden
- 1x Computer Search
- 3x Max Potion
- 4x VS Seeker
- 10x Fairy Energy
Now for some justifications for my choice of cards. I chose to pair Gardevoir with Florges EX solely because Florges is a cheap attacker that can handle most of the non-ex attackers in the meta. It will help you maintain pressure while a Primal Groudon EX is setting up or help maintain the prize trade against faster decks such as Night March. I have added Hard Charms and a Lysandre's Trump Card to help combat against Night March and Flareon. With all of your deck being Fairy types, it won't be too difficult to have your Florges EX swinging for 120 (enough to knock out a Landorus and definitely enough to knock out Hawluchas). Florges EX, paired with the Max Potions, can hold its own against heavy EX attackers too, having the potential to two hit any EX attacker (except Wailord EX :P). Overall, a very solid Pokemon to help your Fairies deck keep tempo and pressure within games.
I also want to touch on the one Battle Compressor I have in the deck. Recently, I've been having a lot of success with using the Battle Compressor to thin out my deck and get the Teammates, Lysandre's Trump Card and Lysandre into my discard so that I can VS Seeker for them at any time during the game. Having a Teammates in your discard pile also makes your opponent think twice before knocking something out. "But how do you get that ONE Battle Compressor into your hand early on?" The answer to that is simply: I don't have to. Having the compressor gets those three Supporters into the discard for easier access, but if I don't get it, I still have a chance to discard them along the way with my Sycamore's or Ultraball's and I can use my Battle Compressor to just thin out my deck later on. The beauty is that the Battle Compressor is an option in the deck.
Lastly, I want to touch on the versatility of the deck. I have always loved decks that could manipulate their damage output because it always keeps your opponent wondering "Can they knock me out?" Flareon, Night Marchers, and Yveltal EX are all examples of Pokemon that can change their damage output depending on either how many energies are attached to them or how many Pokemon are in their discard pile. M-Gardevoir EX also has such an attack! Although it's not as great as the other forementioned Pokemon, (your opponent knows you can only attach one energy per turn meaning they know exactly how much damage you're doing) it's still nice to not have a static damage output. With that being said, it's clear that keeping energies on the board is vital for this deck. This brings to light, that although extremely powerful, Fairies is still very fragile. An experienced played with this deck will always have their energies spread out so that if a surprise Lysandre came from their opponent they would lose only a minimal amount of energies. At the same time, a Lysandre on an Aromatisse can prove deadly if your energies are too thinnly spread (e.g. if Gardevoir needs three to attack and you only have one energy on it, if they knock out your Aromatisse you can no longer move energies to power up your Gardevoir for the turn after). Balancing these two ideas is key in being successful with this deck. Of course, practice and knowing your deck inside out will get you there in no time!
Overall this matchup isn't too bad. Your rate of setting up is about the same as Virizion Genesect, except that you can keep constant pressure with Florges EX using "Bright Garden" by turn 2. With Hard Charms and Max Potions, your Florges can survive multiple hits from Virizon "Emerald Slashes" and Genesect "Megalo Cannon's" forcing them to use "G-Booster" on your Florges at some point. As long as you are consistently attaching energy for your turn, your M-Gardevoir EX should be ready for the counter knock out. I would highly suggest keeping a Teammates in your hand or in your discard pile as quickly as you can so that you can utilize it when your opponent uses "G-Booster" for the first time. Eventually, I don't see Virizion Genesect keeping up with your tempo.
+1 Tool Retriever/Spiritomb
-1 Max Potion
This add is to help swing your matchup against Virizion Genesect to a huge favorite. By no means is the Spiritomb necessary to win this matchup, since you have an "ace in the hole" in M-Gardevoir EX (which can OHKO anything on their side as long as you manage your energy correctly) and with consistent pressure from Florges EX, it should be no problem to keep the prize trade going in your favour.
On the other hand, you can replace in a Tool Retriever instead, so that you retriever the Gardevoir Spirit Link back and replace it with a Hard Charm. This will ensure your M-Gardevoir's survival against a G-Booster attack from Genesect. The best way to pull this off will be to ensure a Teammates in your discard pile or have a Teammates ready in hand so that when one of your Pokemon are knocked out, you can easily grab the Tool Retriever and Hardcharm with Teammates in one swell swoop.
This is a fairly tough matchup. With no answer to their amazing speed, you'll just have to hope to set up a Florges EX as soon as possible and attempt to grab some quick knock outs. Setting up an Aromatisse in this matchup isn't a priority since Night March is looking to OHKO your Pokemon anyway, so go straight for the M-Gardevoir EX first and while your Florges' are trading away, try and get your M-Gardevoir powered up.
The one saving grace in your deck is the Lysandre's Trump Card. You have to time this card wisely and not rush using it. An ideal scenario would be when your opponet has 2-3 prizes left and you need to Geomancy this turn to set up your M-Gardevoir EX. A Lysandre's Trump Card in this instance would be great, because it not only forces your opponent to set up their discard again, but it also gives you two extra energies on the board. Your opponent will most likely want to use a Professor Sycamore to discard their Night Marchers again, which will mean they can't Lysandre and threaten your M-Gardevoirs. If they can somehow get everything back in their discard pile again, you can always VS Seeker when your M-Gardevoir is ready and reset them once more.
DISCLAIMER: THIS IS MUCH EASIER SAID THAN DONE. We always like to speak of ideal scenarios, but to actually acheive these scenarios consistently is very difficult, but it is the strategy in beating this deck. By practicing the matchup, you'll gain a sense of when to use Lysandre's Trump Card and when not to use it.
+1 Hard Charm
+1 Seismitoad EX
-1 Florges EX
-1 Max Potion
The Seismitoad EX comboed with Lysandre's Trump Card will put an immediate halt on Night March's damage. Your opponent will no longer have any Night Marchers in their discard pile as well as not being able to use Item cards such as "Battle Compressor" and "Ultraball" to reset their discard pile. If you manage to throw a Hard Charm onto your Seismitoad EX as well, their Mew EX can only retaliate with a 10 damage Quaking Punch (Using their ability and your Seismitoad's attack). If both of you have Hard Charms on, then it'll be a long match, but you'll come out on top in the end. These additions will turn this matchup heavily to your favour, please remember that you're never battling just one matchup in a tournament.
With the introduction of Primal Clash, Primal Groudon is beginning to make its mark on the meta. With nothing being able to target Primal Groudon EX, you have your work cut out for you as the Fairies player. The good thing is, there aren't many hard attackers besides the Primal Groudon, which allows you time to set up your side and take some cheap knockouts with Florges. It becomes a race against time, as you try to take as many knockouts as possible before their Primal Groudon comes online and starts running through all your EXs. At this point, you'll have to hope there are enough smaller Pokemon to Lysandre around and take prizes off or you can manage to set up a two turn KO on their Primal Groudon EX. However, this usually proves difficult, because they begin targeting your Pokemon that has the most energies attached to them (this is why it's important to always spread your energies wisely). With the addition to "Strong Energy", Primal Groudon will have enough to OHKO your M-Gardevoir EX's too, which becomes a huge problem. This matchup is at best 50/50, unless of course, you tech against it.
+1 Genesect EX
+3 Plasma Energy
-2 Hard Charm
-1 Fairy Energy
-1 Max Potion
The cards substituted in here are all viable for other matchups as well as helping this one, but it depends on playstyle. The Genesect EX allows the use of Plasma Energies to "Red Signal" up their Primal Groudon EX before it comes online. This allows you to take some hits at it with Florges and forcing them to use some sort of switching card to get them out of the active spot. Even when it does come online, it'll already be damaged enough that you can KO it with a secondary attacker. On top of that, since Florges' "Bright Garden" attack includes Grass Pokemon, Genesect EX will add an additional 20 for Florges' attack too! I've also tried replacing some Fairy Energies with Rainbow Energies to allow Genesect to attack, but with the amount of times I'm using "Geomancy" I would hate to not be able to attach two Fairies because I ran out of them. Overall, adding in Genesect EX and "Red Signal" will help turn this matchup (you even run enough "Fairy Gardens" to counter their "Silent Labs") around for you.
This is a very favorable matchup for Fairies (about time we found one). Even though you'll be under Item lock for most of the game, Seismitoad EX has no real answer in getting rid of your Xerneus. This means that you can "Geomancy" at least twice before it gets knocked out by the Seismitoad. Once you have six Fairy Energies on the board, your M-Gardevoir EX is ready to OHKO all Seismitoad EXs. At this point, there's nothing much the Seismitoad player can do but watch as all of their Toads go down! Aside from that, always counter their "Virbank City Gym" with your "Fairy Garden," and the rest should be pretty straight forward.
If they play Garbodor instead of Slurpuff, then the matchup becomes a little bit more difficult but not that much. With Item lock on, your Aromatisse's ability will be shut off, but that's okay! As long as you can continue to use "Geomancy" to fill up your board with energies, then M-Gardevoir EX can still OHKO the Seismitoads. If you're really itching for that Aromatisse's ability to be unlocked, feel free to Lysandre up a Garbodor and knock it out to free yourself of Ability Lock as well. I find that with this version, that although they are shutting your abilities, their lack of draw power will make them vulnerable to "Ns" and a lot more dead draws. Overall, the matchup is still favorable as long as you stick with the game plan outlined here.
-1 Max Potion
If you REALLY want to go over the top with this matchup you can add in an AZ Supporter card which basically acts as a Max Potion under Item lock. This is highly unnecessary as you have a pretty solid matchup to begin with, but just in case you want to seal the matchup even more, AZ is the answer!
By now, you'll begin to notice a trend of the flexible cards in this deck. I honestly don't think you need as many Max Potions as you did before in Fairy Toolbox, just because M-Gardevoir hits so hard and Florges with Hard Charms are pretty durable as well. On top of that, against Pokemon that can OHKO your EX's regardless of Hard Charm or not, it's useless to be holding a Max Potion in your hand anyway!
This is another favorable matchup! (That's 2 now!) With Hard Charms and your resistance, Florges should have no problem cleaning up all of the Pokemon on their side. On top of that, Max Potions will reset all the damage off your Florges and seal the game for you. Even if they manage to use a "Hypnotoxic Laser" and put you to sleep on your turn, you can simply move all of your energies off with Aromatisse's ability and wait until you wake up. Odds are, they can't keep up with the Stadium war with you since you run 4 "Fairy Garden" and with the reistance, it's just too much for them to handle. M-Manectric EX, although strong, can't OHKO your Pokemon either and with a fully charged M-Gardevoir EX, you can threaten the OHKO on them. They will eventually run out of energies, or run out of attackers against you.
Our arch nemesis Garbodor is back, shutting off our abilities! Good thing we play a "Startling Megaphone"! With this, we can access our abilities when we need to and potentially pull a surprise knock out on their Pokemon! "But how do we get this ONE "Startling Megaphone"? Easy! We play our Battle Compressor / Teammates combo as well as Computer Search, which gives us a lot of chances to nab that Megaphone. Even without our abilities, Florges with a Hard Charm is able to tank so much of Yveltal EX's damage that it alone will win the matchup for you. Enjoy the matchup if you see it in tournaments!
+1 Mewtwo EX/Dedenne
-1 Max Potion
If you know they'll be stacking as many energies as possible onto their Yveltal EX to try and do enough damage to your Florges. So when you see this, bring out your Mewtwo EX or Dedenne and in one satisfying blast, eliminate all of your opponents energy and seal the game. The matchup is good without the adds, but it's almost unstoppable if you do decide to add these techs in. Honestly though, it might be easier to focus on techs for some harder matchups.
This matchup is disgusting! (and not in the good way) Not only are you faced with weakness, but your opponent also has energy acceleration! However difficult, you still have to go in with a strategy though. Set up as you normally would, but if you can get an early Battle Compressor and start knocking out all of their Bronzongs using Lysandre/VS Seeker then you might stand a chance. The Hard Charms might save you from a OHKO, but don't be too optimistic. Gardevoir EX also has an attack called "Shining Wind" which gives it no weakness the turn after -- Use it. It'll guarantee you two turn knock outs on their EXs as well as providing you with a barrier. Only Mega Evolve when your opponents board would be wiped of energy, otherwise try your best to switch between Gardevoir EX's and Max Potions to generate momentum. The matchup is definitely winnable, but your margin of error is also very thin. Practice this matchup and go in with confidence. You'll be surprised how well things can turn out!
+1 Charizard EX (Combustion)
-1 Florges EX
The Charizard will grant you a wall to battle these Metal fiends. You should be able to maintain it with Hard Charm and Max Potions while taking two turns to knock out their Pokemon. Follow the same strategy as outlined above by targeting their Bronzongs first before their bulky EX's. When you have enough energies on board, bring out your Gardevoir EX and start piling on the pressure. If you are running low on Max Potions, remember you still have a Lysandre's Trump Card to place them all back into your deck. Teammates will be crucial here to get the cards you need, and sometimes a surprise Charizard from your deck is enough to turn the tides in your favour. Good luck Trainer!
One of the most popular decks currently in our meta, also is saved for last in my article. The matchup is actually not too bad and might even be in your favour. Landorus EX and Hawlucha's will swarm your EX's but not to fear, your Florges doesn't need that many energies to charge up either! As long as you can minimize the damage that is placed on your field from the Golbat and Crobat drops then you should be fine. Be VERY careful when calculating the damage on your side. For example, if an Aromatisse has 30 damage on it from a Landorus EX's "Hammer Head," don't assume that 30 is as much it can do the following turn. With multiple bats at their disposal as well as Lysandre, they can very easily knock the Aromatisse out in one go. For this reason, it's wise to set up as many Aromatisse as possible for this matchup and if needed use a Max Potion to offset the math for your opponent. It is also extremely important to watch all of your energies on the board to make sure they're properly spread out and that no one Pokemon has a whole stack of energies on them. The matchup definitely requires practice before going into a tournament and REMEMBER: It's better to be caught by surprises in practice games than in tournament games. Learning from your mistakes is a huge part of the game!
+1 Mr. Mime
+1 Mewtwo EX
-1 Max Potion
-1 Startling Megaphone
The Mr. Mime is to help protect any bench damage from Landorus EX's "Hammer Head" attack. It'll stop some of the additional damage up until they Lysandre it up and knock it out but that should buy you enough time to set up what you need to. Now the Mewtwo EX might seem out of place here, but if you have enough energies on board, you can make a big enough Mewtwo EX do some pretty big damage on their Pokemon. It also provides another attacker for you to handle some pesky Hawluchas. Just make sure that when you put your energies onto your Mewtwo EX that you MAKE SURE it will survive the turn after. If you lose all your energies in one go, you will more than likely lose the game. Again, practicing the matchup will give you a lot of insight of what I'm talking about and why it's so important to make sure your Mewtwo isn't in knock out range either from another Mewtwo or a very angry Crobat.
I'd just like to thank all of you for taking the time to go through this and I really hope it helped you if you were considering playing Fairies for a tournament. I strongly beleive that no matchup is unbeatable, but how you handle yourself in the tougher matchups will decide how far you go in the tournament. Understanding what makes your opponents decks run the way they do is also very important when approaching a matchup. This is why I outlined the importance of practicing the matchups and seeing first hand just how each deck operates so that you can strategize around them. Regardless of whether you choose this deck for your upcoming tournaments, I hope you enjoyed your visit here. Thanks again to all 60card members for making this possible and I'll see you next time!
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