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Caleb Gedemer

"Forgotten Deck" — Secret Garbodor / Buzzwole-GX Deck for Memphis

Garbodor/Buzzwole-GX was lost in translation before the European International Championships. Will it pop up at Memphis Regionals? Caleb thinks there's a strong possibility of just that!

12/12/2017 by Caleb Gedemer

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Remember Garbodor? Buzzwole-GX was supposed to be the partner that the deck would use to bring itself to the next level, but after quite literally no results in the European International Championships, the deck has been passed over again and again. The initial idea was sound: use Buzzwole-GX to pressure the opponent, set up Knockouts, and even a Devolution strategy with Espeon-EX against Evolution-based decks. Personally, I abandoned the deck for things I was better-versed with, like Gardevoir-GX (what I ultimately ended up using in London).

The deck was a little underwhelming in testing heading up to that event, but the metagame has changed drastically since then, and Buzzwole-GX and Garbodor are better positioned than ever. The biggest thing Garbodor with Trashalanche has going for it is that it hits Buzzwole-GX for Weakness. Conversely, Garbotoxin is dominant right now with so many Ability-based decks crawling back into the game (Decidueye-GX, namely).

So really, should Garbodor/Buzzwole-GX have fallen off the map? No. Whenever Garbodor becomes underrepresented, it always seems to make a glorious resurgence the next time it has the opportunity to do so. By my figuring, I’m thinking that surge will come at Memphis Regionals, if at all. I think this deck is extremely well poised and should be on everyone’s watch list for decks to either think about playing, or decks to watch out for. Need convincing? Let me help with that…



3 Trubbish, 2 Garbodor, and 2 Garbodor

As with almost any Garbodor deck, I feel this is the correct count in the Standard format. Three Trubbish is perfectly fine as you have Rescue Stretcher to recover them in the late game and Garbodor wars certainly won’t be prevalent in Memphis. Two of each Garbodor is awesome, and if I were to take one of them out it would probably be a single copy of the Trashalanche one. Garbotoxin is way too powerful not to be playing two copies of in the current metagame, so I certainly recommend that number. I don’t see myself changing anything about this lineup.

3 Tapu Lele-GX

For optimal consistency and higher odds of having both a Brigette on your first turn and a draw Supporter on your second, I recommend playing a third Tapu Lele-GX. The addition is so significant that it increases your odds of meeting both of those requirements by almost 5%. I don’t want to drop another and let my consistency suffer.

3 Buzzwole-GX

Buzzwole-GX is your optimal starter in this deck and your main attacker. You want to lead off almost every game with it to get closer to Knockouts with Trashalanche from Garbodor. Knuckle Impact and Absorption GX are strong attacks as well, but it will take a while to power them. You could maybe cut down to one, but I like drawing into them more consistently for places to play Strong Energy. Having less copies means that when you have Strong Energy you might not have a place to attach it.

1 Espeon-EX

Miraculous Shine is a crazy-good attack and deserves a lot of respect. In fact, it’s been quite literally Standard format-defining for much of the season. Any deck that’s not an Evolution deck itself has ought to play a counter to the powerful Stage 1 and Stage 2 decks in the format (most notably Gardevoir-GX and Espeon-EX is the absolute best option to do just that. This card is a must in pretty much any Garbodor deck, especially this one, since you spread lots of damage with Buzzwole-GX.

4 Professor Sycamore and 4 N

Consistency is king. Each of these counts are incredible in a deck that will lose if you’re not consistently drawing lots of cards.

3 Guzma and 3 Acerola

Guzma isn’t huge in this deck, since you won’t be taking down a lot of big Knockouts, in contrast, you’ll be working hard to soften things first and then finishing them. Guzma is primarily strong against little things you can one-shot like Zorua. Acerola is my favorite part of this deck so far as your Buzzwole-GX almost never gets knocked out. Each of these are very important to the deck. I’ve tried Max Potion over Acerola sparingly, and it does seem to have some potential. There’s a swap that could be made.

1 Lusamine, 1 Lillie, and 1 Brigette

For one-of Supporters, I like Lusamine to retrieve Po Town from the discard as well as key Supporters. Noel Totomoch is a big supporter of the card and let me know how much he likes it. Lillie is great as another draw card, most cards you can play down quite a bit to make it so that you draw a respectable number of cards, too. Brigette is obviously something you want for the early game to set up. A second Brigette is always a consideration in most of my decks, but it’s a little too luxurious in the face of other cards.

4 Ultra Ball

An obvious inclusion, it gets all your attackers, thins your deck, and gives you extra outs to the turn-one play of Tapu Lele-GX for Brigette. What’s not to love?

4 Float Stone and 4 Choice Band

Maxing out both of these Tool cards is splendid for a few reasons. Maxed out Float Stone makes it much more likely you’ll be attacking with Buzzwole-GX at the first opportunity. In addition, you won’t be losing the power of Garbotoxin for a turn if your opponent uses a Field Blower. You likely will have another Tool to slap down and reactivate it right away! Lots of Choice Band are incredible to make sure that you’re getting the best value you can out of each and every Buzzwole-GX. Jet Punch gets a huge boost with a single Choice Band, and having four ensures you’ll be getting the buff throughout the entire game!

1 Rescue Stretcher, 1 Field Blower, and 1 Enhanced Hammer

I’d like to have two Rescue Stretcher, but it’s likely not essential. You have enough Buzzwole-GX to last you the whole game already, so you won’t be wanting back any of those, and as far as your Garbodor line, if you use a Stretcher to get a piece of the Garbodor line back, that’s perfect. You should be sitting with at least two users of Trashalanche a game, a perfect number. Field Blower is fine in this deck in a one count since most decks are running low Tool counts, and you’re totally okay with just getting two in the discard pile to fuel Garbodor and Trashalanche. Enhanced Hammer is a neat tech that I like a lot against almost every deck. It’s very strong against the Zoroark-GX / Decidueye-GX that’s been running around, for one. I like it a ton against Gardevoir-GX decks as well to keep your Buzzwole-GX kicking for more turns. Acerola is super nice to keep buying you more turns of Jet Punch attacks and you will eventually be able to execute the Devolution strategy by knocking out multiples of your opponent’s Evolved Pokemon.

3 Po Town

This card is included as a counter Stadium card as well as a way to supplement your damage. It can make Knockouts much easier if your opponent Evolves with it in play and serves as a boardlock condition against Gardevoir-GX decks. You can use Miraculous Shine over and over from Espeon-EX to force your opponent to do something with Po Town in play, and if they decide not to Evolve again, you can switch back to Buzzwole-GX and take easy Knockouts on weaker unevolved Pokemon.

4 Strong Energy, 4 Rainbow Energy, and 3 Fighting Energy

I really like this Energy count in this deck. Strong Energy is amazing to increase damage from Buzzwole-GX. Rainbow Energy can count as both Fighting and Psychic Energy, unlocking access to attacks from both Buzzwole-GX and Garbodor. Buzzwole-GX is your main attacker in this deck, so when picking Basic Energy, I have to side with it as for which type to pick. I quite like this count and haven’t had any problems with it.


Fighting Fury Belt

You could choose to play two Choice Band and two Fighting Fury Belt or a counter more heavily weighted to one side, too. I like Fighting Fury Belt in this deck, because it makes it harder for your opponent to knock out Buzzwole-GX, which plays into your healing strategy with Acerola.

Max Potion

Instead of Acerola, you can play Max Potion. I’m not sold on this idea just yet, because you do have to discard the Energy attached to your damaged Pokemon, but it’s certainly a strong idea. You would likely have to make room for a Special Charge, Super Rod, or higher Energy count to make this a viable idea, though. I like it especially since with a matchup against another Garbodor deck unlikely, you can feel free to play as many Items as you please. Max Potion has great synergy with the high HP of Buzzwole-GX.

Special Charge

This card has utility even if you don’t play Max Potion, as it can get you back the very important Rainbow Energy in the late game for your Garbodor to attack with. I like it as just general Energy recover as well, but it’s main purpose is to provide extra Energy for Trashalanche.

Matching Up

Buzzwole-GX/Lycanroc-GX | Favorable

First of all, your opponent’s deck uses a lot of Items. Second, Garbotoxin is very strong against it. Your opponent’s own Buzzwole-GX are easy prey to Garbodor, so you have a very strong set of attacking options all around from the get-go. You want to lead with your own Buzzwole-GX and give your opponent a reason to feel pressured. If they feel like Knockouts need to be taken, then it could be more likely for them to play a surplus of Items to do more damage. Max Elixir is normally a big part of the Buzzwole-GX/Lycanroc-GX deck strategy, so putting your opponent on a clock to limit Items can be super difficult.

You want to make sure to limit your Bench starting the game, so that Dangerous Rogue GX doesn’t become a big problem for you. Bloodthirsty Eyes from Lycanroc-GX can snag up your Trubbish before they’re able to Evolve, so prioritizing your Evolutions is quite important to making sure things go your way.

Powering up Acid Spray for two Energy on your Garbodor is a viable strategy. With a Choice Band, it can take down a Buzzwole-GX in one attack, no questions asked. If you're looking to deal with a Buzzwole-GX and maybe run away with a win right there, aim to get an Acid Spray off quickly. If you’re able to get back to back Knockouts like that, you’ll definitely be in a good spot to just win outright and even have the option to use Trashalanche to finish the game towards the end.

Garbodor/Drampa-GX | Slightly Favorable

This matchup isn’t quite a blowout because your opponent has their own Garbodor with Trashalanche that can be a huge cog to deal with when you’re using your own Buzzwole-GX. By starting with a Buzzwole-GX, though, your opponent is likely to shy away from using Drampa-GX right off the bat. Using it to attack would be incredibly foolish, as it has a Fighting Weakness and can be dealt with super easily with a Buzzwole-GX. You only need an Energy to put a Drampa-GX into two-shot range and Choice Band along with Strong Energy can make things even more efficient and frightening for your opponent.

Your opponent is a little better equipped for the Garbodor war, most likely, so you’ll want to remember that you need to save your Rainbow Energy for your own Garbodor and keep your Rescue Stretcher live to retrieve a Garbodor in the late game. You can really get off to a good start by pressuring your opponent’s Trubbish early with Jet Punch with a Strong Energy, allowing you to take two-hit Knockouts on Trubbish at the same time if you use Guzma to move things around and set up double Knockouts if your opponent doesn’t Evolve his or her Trubbish.

You don’t have much incentive to power up a Buzzwole-GX past the point of two Energy, because if you do, it will likely be blown up in one attack by an opposing Garbodor. Try to limit your Items to the point where Garbodor can’t take your Buzzwole-GX in one hit, and remember about the Acid Spray threat if your opponent gets the chance to get some extra Energy attachments down. This’ll be closer than you’d think, because you and your opponent both have Weakness plays on each other, but you should have the quicker upper hand.

Garbodor/Golisopod-GX | Slightly Unfavorable

Golisopod-GX is difficult to deal with in this matchup. Towards the end of the game, it’s likely that your opponent has played quite a few Items. This will allow Garbodor to be a great attacker, but the early game is where you have a bit more trouble. You’re going to want to just get right into things with Buzzwole-GX, and you can try to start setting up Devolution Knockouts with your Espeon-EX. You’re going to be doing 80 damage to a Golisopod-GX with a Choice Band and a Strong Energy which is perfect math to use Miraculous Shine to take a Knockout on your next turn.

Acerola is going to be huge in this matchup to keep your Buzzwole-GX alive and well. You can offset pretty much any damage that your opponent does but using Acerola. Lusamine can retrieve you extra Acerola on a turn where you have a chance to use it and with that you can outlast your opponent with your own healing cards.

Enhanced Hammer has some value to stop your opponent from using Armor Press or Crossing Cut GX. If your opponent Evolves into a Golisopod-GX when you have Po Town in play, then you can take Knockouts with Garbodor more easily. If you’re lucky enough to power up one of the bigger attacks on Buzzwole-GX, you’re almost bound to take a one-hit Knockout that should get you into the Prize race for good. Try to be as cautious as you can in this matchup, and try to deny your opponent Prizes for as long as possible. If you can, you might be able to take down this unfavorable matchup.

Gardevoir-GX/Max Potion | Slightly Favorable

This matchup is one of your better ones, but then again, it’s still “Broken Deck," so anything is possible. You’re going to want to get Garbotoxin online as soon as you can and just spam away with Jet Punch. Enhanced Hammer should prevent your opponent from getting the chance to take a huge one-hit Knockout on your Buzzwole-GX and Acerola should deny those opportunities even further.

Once you’ve spread damage all around, you can swoop in with Espeon-EX and finish things with Miraculous Shine. Even if your opponent is playing something silly like Mr. Mime, you just shut it off with Garbotoxin.

Late-game Trashalanche can be super potent, because if you’re pressuring your opponent a lot in the way that you will be with Buzzwole-GX, they more than likely won’t have as many chances to use Twilight GX to return Items to their deck. Don’t let yourself overextend with Energy attachments to a Buzzwole-GX, too!

Gardevoir-GX/Sylveon-GX | Favorable

This Gardevoir-GX matchup is easier than the Max Potion variant. Without Max Potion, or at least with a lower count, you’ll be free to get more damage spread around sooner. Sylveon-GX is an amazing card, but Plea GX doesn’t really hurt you in this matchup, and as long as you can use N effectively, your opponent might not even get a chance to keep any of the cards they would like from Magical Ribbon. Many of the same things carry over from the other version of this matchup, so I won’t bore you by reiterating many of them. Remember to get Garbotoxin down right away and to spam your Acerola to keep your Buzzwole-GX kicking!

Greninja BREAK | Unfavorable

This matchup is not a good one. Buzzwole-GX can be strong in the early game and you’ll want to get Garbotoxin down quickly to stop Giant Water Shuriken as well. Acerola has a lot more value if Garbotoxin sticks, but most Greninja BREAK decks play two or more Field Blower copies that really hurt you. Trashalanche in the late game can be powerful, but most times your early game is going to be rough, because Buzzwole-GX just doesn’t hit Greninja BREAK hard enough. Fighting Fury Belt could slightly help this matchup, since you can take down a Froakie if you attach a Strong Energy to a Buzzwole-GX and do 60, but that probably still won’t be enough. Sure, you’ll steal games sometimes if your opponent just bricks into oblivion.

Silvally-GX/Metal | Favorable

Silvally-GX decks really aren’t playing Psychic Memory. Do I think that’s bad? Certainly, but that’s good news as a player of Buzzwole-GX. You can go in on any of your opponent’s Silvally-GX as they are weak to Fighting Pokemon. The array of Metal techs that your opponent will be using aren’t particularly strong against you, even though they do have Resistance to your Psychic Garbodor.

Buzzwole-GX is just very strong against Silvally-GX decks in general. They are so weak to it that you will have ample time to set up your bigger attacks and maybe even take a few Prizes that way. Garbodor is still an option you can use in the later stages of the game to clean things up if you need to.

Garbotoxin is valuable in this matchup as well because it turns off Gyro Unit on Silvally-GX, and that can punish your opponent for having some abnormally large Pokemon that will struggle to find their way out of your opponent’s Active spot. I think this matchup is favorable, but might be a little bit closer to the “slightly favorable” category.

Vikavolt/Tapu Bulu-GX | Slightly Unfavorable

Vikavolt will clock you right away, even if you get Garbotoxin online (which is your number one priority). Tapu Bulu-GX needs a Choice Band to one-shot a Buzzwole-GX, which can be problematic. But each Tool played by your opponent is another win for Garbodor, increasing that ever-so-important Trashalanche damage output.

Jet Punch can make Knockouts much easier on your opponent’s Tapu Bulu-GX, and if your opponent is unable to find Choice Band when they need it, you have some awesome survivability with Acerola.

Buzzwole-GX can gun down Vikavolt after a Jet Punch hitting the Bench and a Guzma with two Strong Energy. You’ll do 140 after Weakness and the damage from Jet Punch sniping the Bench earlier will finish things. This is kind of a lot to ask for, but it’s certainly an option in a matchup that’s somewhat devoid of strong options.

Volcanion | Slightly Unfavorable

Volcanion has a good time against most Buzzwole-GX decks. It can take one-hit Knockouts with a handful of Steam Up uses against a 190 HP Buzzwole-GX. Jet Punch is useful to set up Knockouts and with a Choice Band, and with a Strong Energy you can two-shot your opponent’s 180-190 HP Pokemon if you hit them first on the Bench with 30 damage from a Jet Punch.

Trashalanche is obviously incredible in the later game. Garbotoxin is something you should try to get going in this deck since it can prevent your opponent from taking those one-hit Knockouts that the Volcanion decks thrive on. Most Fire decks have cut down on Field Blower counts as well, so you might actually gain a huge advantage by shutting down Abilities.

Powering up a Buzzwole-GX on your Bench to use Absorption GX or Knuckle Impact will almost certainly score you two Prizes. If you do it while your opponent is setting up, you might be able to chain together even more Prizes than that. Kiawe makes things a lot harder for you, so hope your opponent isn’t using it like some of the more popular lists out there.

Zoroark-GX/Decidueye-GX | Favorable

This matchup is one of the main reasons I like this deck so much right now. Zoroark-GX is already inherently weak to Fighting Pokemon, and Garbodor with Garbotoxin stops Decidueye-GX from using Feather Arrow. If you play this deck you’ll be using exactly what your opponent doesn’t want to see and you should have an almost easy time!

Rowlet and Zorua are easy to knock out in the early game, and Trashalanche will be absolutely devastating for your opponent in the later portions of the game. I like to pressure my opponent as much as possible starting off by using Guzma to pick off Rowlet and Zorua, of course.

Mewtwo from Evolutions is the biggest problem you can run into, but even if your opponent gets a free tap on a Buzzwole-GX, you’ll know that your opponent has the Mewtwo going forward and you can change your gameplay accordingly. You can use Garbodor to Trashalanche the Mewtwo for an easy Knockout to get it out of the way. The biggest thing in this matchup is getting Garbotoxin early because then your opponent will be extremely crippled to N in the late game as much of your opponent’s deck relies on using Zoroark-GX to Trade and draw more cards to keep things going.

Zoroark-GX/Golisopod-GX | Slightly Favorable

Buzzwole-GX with Acerola is slightly stronger than Golisopod-GX with Acerola. Your opponent can’t possible take a one-hit Knockout on your Buzzwole-GX without a Professor Kukui or some random shenanigans, so you will be able to keep spamming your own Acerola to heal your Buzzwole-GX. Wimpod needs to hit the Bench for your opponent to get another Golisopod-GX into play and on those turns you can Guzma it out and stop your opponent in their tracks.

Garbotoxin and Trashalanche are incredible in this matchup, as they are in pretty much every other one. Trade is absolutely crucial to your opponent’s strategy so shutting it off (even temporarily, barring a Field Blower) will be huge. Trashalanche can become a major player if your opponent has to play plenty of Items to keep things going.

While your opponent’s deck can certainly limit Item use, the deck plays a ton of them. A less-skilled player might be more likely to go wild with them and make you the happiest Garbodor player around. I wouldn’t mind facing this deck at all.

Zoroark-GX/Lycanroc-GX | Favorable

Your opponent’s deck is a lot more dependant on Zoroark-GX than any other Zoroark-GX deck, unless he or she plays something like Buzzwole-GX. Either way, you have options for whatever your opponent decides to do. Garbodor for his or her Buzzwole-GX or just your own Buzzwole-GX for his or her Zoroark, Zoroark BREAK, or Zoroark-GX.

Lycanroc-GX might land your opponent some cheap Prizes, but you can easily knock it out after it uses Dangerous Rogue. Dangerous Rogue is basically only good on the turn you use it, and from there the Lycanroc-GX is a sitting duck.

Claw Slash is an okay attack, but it’s not powerful enough to do enough to pressure you. You can even set up Knockouts on your opponent’s lower Stage Pokemon to later Devolve with Miraculous Shine for Knockouts. This is your best Zoroark-GX-themed matchup.

See Ya!

This deck is truly flying under the radar. There’s been little to no talk about it since before London Internationals! It’s one of the decks I’m testing like crazy to make sure that it’s a good play for Memphis. I urge you to do the same and don’t be surprised if this deck takes the tournament by storm. Good luck if you’re heading to Tennessee, and may you have good fortune in all you do. See you next time, take care!


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