"Still Broken" — Gardevoir-GX on the Rise
"Broken Deck" saw a major power slide from back in 2017 to now. Will revised lists playing Mysterious Treasure give it the consistency boost it needs to rise to the top once again?
08/19/2018 by Caleb Gedemer
How the mighty have fallen…
Gardevoir GX (BUS; 93) began the season as a front-runner, and rightfully so after a fantastic Worlds run in many top player’s hands. It won that event, and won many more in during the first quarter of the 2017/2018 season. What happened? Well, Buzzwole-GX / Lycanroc-GX took a surprisingly strong stand at the European International Championship, and from there the deck has soared and soared to new heights, only until recently. Buzzwole is on the decline now, and I expect that to stay the same going into the World Championship. While it’s still a strong deck in the right hands, it struggles with consistency issues and while it lacks any definitively poor matchups, it’s just an outlier at this point, as odd as that may be to believe.
Gardevoir GX (BUS; 93) saw moderate success at the North American International Championship in the hands of some of its most dedicated fans, but it did not make a day two appearance in any form. While it was originally slept on, the inclusion of Mysterious Treasure improves the consistency of the deck significantly, providing more outs to Tapu Lele-GX for Brigette, as well as ways to snag Ralts, and then Kirlia later on.
With Zoroark-GX decks making a strong resurgence, especially the control variants, Gardevoir GX (BUS; 93) might just have a great place in the metagame and be poised for a strong World Championship run. With its strong array of matchups, Gardevoir GX (BUS; 93) looks to be a good call for day one, and even into day two with the raw power of the deck. If you play it quickly, you should usually finish games on time which is extremely important in the Worlds setting without a large cut of players making it the following stages of the tournament.
Broken Deck, the time is now, make your comeback, rise…
- 4x Ralts
- 3x Kirlia
- 3x Gardevoir GX
- 2x Gallade
- 3x Tapu Lele GX
- 1x Oranguru
- 4x Professor Sycamore
- 4x N
- 2x Guzma
- 2x Brigette
- 1x Cynthia
- 4x Ultra Ball
- 4x Rare Candy
- 3x Mysterious Treasure
- 2x Super Rod
- 2x Max Potion
- 2x Field Blower
- 2x Choice Band
- 1x Parallel City
- 7x Fairy Energy
- 4x Double Colorless Energy
Pretty obvious to see why you’d want four of these, with your main attacker being a Stage 2, you’ll need plenty of time to solidify a strong board much of the time and Ralts will only get you to that point. Having four ensures that you have a strong chance of drawing into it via draw Supporters, and protects you against bad Prizes for the most part with Brigette being such a key part of this deck’s success starting off.
Relying on Rare Candy is never a good idea when you’re using a Stage 2 to do all your attacking is never a good idea. Two Kirlia is fine, but I like three, again, since it’s fetchable with Mysterious Treasure and just another way to get more Gallade and Gardevoir GX (BUS; 93) out. Stage 2 attackers aren’t usually reliable, but this deck has a lot more tools to bolster its consistency now which makes it viable again, and a higher count of Kirlia is essential to accomplishing that goal.
Three Gardevoir GX (BUS; 93) is enough to get the job done. While a fourth would help your odds of getting multiple into play quickly via Rare Candy, three is still enough since you will often opt to get Gallade out in addition to Gardevoir-GX, taking one of those Rare Candy plays in a different direction. Having access to multiple Secret Spring Abilities at once is perfect, so playing three of this is an absolute necessity.
With Zoroark-GX decks extremely popular right now, you’re going to want two Gallade so you can deal with them very easily. Premonition is always a great Ability to have access to, so you should almost never mind having two Gallade. The big thing is having more of them to get them out quicker against Zoroark-GX, and just have a consistently strong answer to the power of Riotous Beating and Trade.
Three Tapu Lele-GX
Wonder Tag gets Brigette, and this deck needs Brigette to set up. Mysterious Treasure very conveniently grabs Tapu Lele-GX, making it a no-brainer to play, and three copies is preferable when you’re looking to rely on them somewhat to snag Supporters. This deck cannot afford to draw poorly in the mid-game, so having extra Tapu Lele-GX to fetch Supporters is a good idea to make sure that you always are doing something productive on your turn. Besides, Tapu Lele-GX can even double as a fine attacker for Gardevoir GX (BUS; 93) , as you usually want to protect your Gardevoir-GX until they’re all ready to go and start attacking.
Instruct is amazing with Premonition, and it’s something that’s much easier to swallow discarding when you are faced with a Parallel City limiting your Bench. Octillery is better in some ways, but Oranguru is immediately attainable with Brigette, making it faster and more consistent in the short run. The Parallel City problem is truly a big deal, so having Oranguru instead of Octillery is important.
Four Professor Sycamore
For a Stage 2 deck to compete at the highest level, it needs to be made as consistent as possible. Playing four Professor Sycamore is going to be a must to ensure that you can plow through cards and find more Energy as well as the Evolutions you need to make your game worth playing.
To the same note as Professor Sycamore, Gardevoir GX (BUS; 93) wants a lot of draw Supporters. N is particularly great because it disrupts your opponent when you’re coming from behind like you often can be. On top of all that, shuffle draw Supporters are really nice for Gardevoir-GX in the beginning of a game because you won’t necessarily be able to play your Rare Candy and the N will give you a means of putting your hand back into your deck without discarding resources that you may be looking to hold on to.
Gardevoir GX (BUS; 93) usually wants to knock out your opponent’s Active Pokemon, so Guzma isn’t as effective most of the time. For that reason a lower count is perfectly acceptable, and you can use Twilight GX to recover them in the late game if need be to give yourself more opportunities to attack your opponent’s Pokemon on the Bench. The concept of a deck not “needing” Guzma very often might be difficult to understand… Gardevoir GX (BUS; 93) relies on building up big attackers to address opposing threats, and usually your opponent’s biggest threat by the time you set up is going to be what he or she is attacking with. It is very likely that the Pokemon your opponent has out with the most Energy will be in the Active spot as well, so you will want to address that immediately with Infinite Force. If your opponent is safeguarding something important on the Bench, then that’s where your Guzma that you do still have can come in, otherwise, rest easy, you won’t be needing them very often.
While you don’t want to play as many Brigette as Zoroark-GX decks do, you’ll still want two so that you can start with it naturally a little more often and defend yourself against bad Prizes. The later being the more important of the two, as you naturally play a high count of Mysterious Treasure which just gives you another out to Brigette from the get-go. Save yourself and play a second copy just in case, setting up will be the difference between winning and losing, as if this deck sets up well it usually does not lose games
A ninth draw Supporter for this deck, I still like the higher count to make sure that things go smoothly. You almost certainly want at least one Cynthia as having a copy will give you a way to shuffle things you don’t want to discard back into your deck when you also don’t want to give your opponent a new hand with N. Obviously having more draw is just generally strong, so Cynthia should make the cut in this deck.
Four Ultra Ball
Having as many ways to get Gardevoir GX (BUS; 93) and its previous Stages is important. More outs to Brigette is imperative as well. I can’t say enough about the price on consistency for this deck, you just need to have it. Ultra Ball is the best Pokemon search card in the game, so playing four copies is the best practice.
Four Rare Candy
Maximizing your ways to get Gallade and Gardevoir GX (BUS; 93) into play is also a must. Four Rare Candy is absolutely necessary with your reliance on using a Stage 2 to be your main attacker. Zoroark-GX with a Mallow engine is the only kind of deck that can skimp on Rare Candy counts because it has ways to find them. This deck being completely draw-based makes a maxed out set of Rare Candy imperative.
Three Mysterious Treasure
More search to get your lower Stages and increase your outs to Tapu Lele-GX is always welcomed. I would play a fourth if I could, but I’m not sure if it’s even necessary. Since your Gallade and Gardevoir-GX aren’t fetchable with Mysterious Treasure, it’s less good in the deck making it less important to play a maxed out count for any reason other than bolstering your turn one Brigette odds.
Two Super Rod
Max Potion has great synergy with Gardevoir GX (BUS; 93) decks, and when you’re discarding Fairy Energy frequently, and in discarding Energy, you’ll want an easy way to get them back! Super Rod also gets Pokemon back which can help your consistency in the long run, giving you the firepower to last in long games.
Two Max Potion
Gardevoir-GX is broken for a reason, and Max Potion are a big part of that. With a massive 230 HP and small chances of being knocked out, you can reliably dodge Knockouts by using Max Potion to heal up and be on your way. Since you only need one Fairy Energy to do significant damage, Max Potion is very strong in this deck.
Two Field Blower
Garbotoxin wasn’t the threat it used to be, but Field Blower is still a strong card for other reasons. Removing Tools to get your Abilities back and removing opposing Parallel City is quite strong. You can then place your own Parallel City down and be on your way. It’s a utilitarian card that isn’t always great, so it’s something you could cut if you’re not worried about certain matchups to make space for other cards.
Two Choice Band
Increasing your Infinite Force damage is simple with lots of Energy, but you can push it even further with Choice Band. It effectively serves as another Energy for your Infinite Force, so I would definitely recommend playing at least two to give you another way to do more damage with ease.
One Parallel City
Opposing Parallel City are annoying for Gardevoir-GX to handle itself, so playing one of your own can circumvent that. The sheer disruption of limiting your opponent’s Bench size is so powerful, that when you couple it with a deck like this you can create some scary situations for your opponent. Not only that, but it can even serve as a way to clean off your Bench and discard annoying things like Tapu Lele-GX that your opponent could potentially win the game from, so getting them out of harm’s way is a nice thing indeed.
Seven Fairy Energy
I like this number for this deck, although if you’re feeling lucky and want more ways to get Double Colorless Energy you could cut one of them for an Energy Loto. Having a number like this is nice enough to ensure some frequent Secret Spring drops and should ensure that you never run out of them.
Four Double Colorless Energy
These are simply damage modifiers for your Infinite Force, but they also allow you to get some use out of Tapu Lele-GX and its Energy Drive, and not to forget Gallade can Sensitive Blade for a Double Colorless Energy as well! A full set of these is the optimal number, and there should never be deviation from that.
Abyssal Hand has always been strong in Gardevoir-GX decks, it’s just something that’s been left at the wayside in favor of other consistency options like Mysterious Treasure, obviously. While having Ability-based draw is nice, Oranguru fills this role in rather well for half the space commitment and serves a similar purpose but more efficiently by being a Basic. I like Octillery, but I’m afraid it’s not just a thing of the past in another time.
Magical Swap is kinda cute for games where you aren’t taking one-hit Knockouts, but I don’t foresee that happening often. Psychic is more useful, providing you a one Prize answer to Rayquaza-GX when you have a Choice Band attached and the Rayquaza-GX has three Energy attached to it. This isn’t necessary by any means, so I’m not going to recommend it, but it’s an option if you’re struggling with the mighty Dragon Pokemon.
Another way to get Double Colorless Energy out of your deck is never a bad thing. Energy Loto isn’t an Energy itself, but very often Double Colorless Energy is the different between taking a Knockout or not, so having another way to get it outside of Supporter draw cards or your draw for turn is really nice to have. I could see this taking the place of the seventh Fairy Energy, perhaps, similar to what Mike Fouchet did for the North American International Championship in his list.
Another way to get your Pokemon out, but this can actually get Gallade and Gardevoir-GX. That’s quite literally the only positive effect it has over Mysterious Treasure, for one, and I don’t think it outweighs the other to a point where you’d ever want to make a swap over to this. It’s a nice card if you can find space on top of what you already have, but the next card I’m going to mention is just better to me…
Timer Ball is a risky card, but it has high reward since the Pokemon go straight to your hand. With that, you can then Rare Candy into your Stage 2 Pokemon, avoiding the slowness of other draw cards. If only there were something that just searched for a Pokemon with no downside… Always has to be something!
Buzzwole / Lycanroc-GX: Even
This matchup varies on a few things, but obviously, most importantly, your ability or inability to set up consistently. Gallade is very good against Buzzwole, taking it down in one hit with Sensitive Blade as long as you played a Supporter card on your turn. With most Buzzwole decks moving towards the baby-focused strategy, as opposed to heavier Buzzwole-GX, your Gallade will have a good time. It is important to have two Gallade for this matchup as well as against Zoroark-GX. Usually a single Gallade can withstand multiple attacks because in order to one-shot it Buzzwole will have to overextend and likely attack with a Buzzwole-GX using Knuckle Impact to eliminate it. Lycanroc-GX is another option, but the biggest threat is simply Buzzwole-GX, which you can take down with a big Infinite Force.
190 HP is a little awkward starting off, but it means you’ll need four Energy or three and a Choice Band to one-shot an opposing three Energy Buzzwole-GX. In the past in this matchup, the biggest problem was Jet Punch, running down your Ralts from the Bench if they failed to become an Evolutionary form. This led to higher Kirlia counts to give you another way to avoid Jet Punch Knockouts on your Bench Pokemon, good thing for this list, as it still has that!
This matchup ultimately comes down to if you can stay kicking for long enough to solidify a big Gardevoir-GX and then you should be safe for the rest of the game. Lycanroc-GX can be menacing with Dangerous Rogue, but you can attempt to keep your Bench at three and that it’s not as bad. Your own Parallel City can be used to limit your Bench, playing around and eliminating that option for your opponent. I wouldn’t feel bad about this matchup unless you’re drawing poorly, which can happen as with any Stage 2 deck.
Non-EX/GX Decks (Passimian; Xerneas BREAK; Yveltal BREAK…): Favorable
These decks are traditionally easy for you to beat for a wide variety of reasons. In the case of Passimian, you can Parallel City to limit your opponent’s Bench, and well, just like that the game should be over. On top of that your massive HP and Max Potion should seal any chance of winning that the Passimian player had off. Your large HP and capability to take a one-hit Knockout each turn is the icing on the cake of a favorable matchup.
Xerneas BREAK is very easy to beat as well, as you can quite simply one-shot it with Infinite Force, and since your opponent will be a bit more slow moving to take one-hit Knockouts then you’ll have time to target Bench Pokemon with lots of Energy with Guzma to eliminate those and in turn reduce your opponent’s damage output. Electrode-GX gives Xerneas BREAK a bit more firepower, but I don’t think it’s enough to make it a contender with a Pokemon like Gardevoir-GX that just has so much HP.
Yveltal BREAK is quite possibly the easiest of all non-EX/GX decks, as it relies on so many Energy to attack in the first place, making it super easy for Gardevoir-GX to one-shot, and on top of that Gardevoir-GX has Resistance to Yveltal BREAK making it even more difficult for your opponent to ever win. The damage from Shrine of Punishment can be offset with Field Blower, Max Potion, or Parallel City, or just taking Knockouts quickly enough that it doesn’t even matter.
Rayquaza-GX: Slightly Favorable
Up against a deck with Fairy Weakness you wouldn’t think that you’d ever have a chance of losing, but it turns out that Rayquaza-GX can still give you a run for your money and it’s not an automatic win by any means. Rayquaza-GX can easily do upwards to 180 damage on the first turn (on average) and anything past that by the second… This means your Gardevoir-GX will be in risk of being knocked out rather quickly. Taking this into account, you’ll want to be as conservative as possible.
I’ve found that putting down Tapu Lele-GX is not something you want to do, even if it means setting up much slower. The easy two Prizes that it provides a Rayquaza-GX player with is too much to handle, and you want to try to force your opponent to take two Prize Knockouts on only Gardevoir-GX.
A second turn Gardevoir-GX swinging for a Knockout on a Rayquaza-GX is almost always a win condition, as your opponent will struggle to scrape together the Energy necessary to one-shot it in return. Again, I like to opt for a slower strategy, ignoring Tapu Lele-GX unless absolutely necessary as it opens so many possibilities for your opponent to win. Focus on building up Gardevoir-GX and you will be fine, but use N in the late game as a crutch if needed, don’t undersell its disruptive value.
Zoroark-GX / Control: Favorable
This matchup is part of the reason, aside from Rayquaza-GX, that Gardevoir-GX is getting a lot of attention right now. Gallade is already pretty strong against Zoroark-GX on its own, but Gardevoir-GX seals the deal in this matchup since it comes built-in with defense against disruption in the form of Twilight GX, and the two Super Rod that Gardevoir-GX usually plays make this matchup even better. So Zoroark-GX isn’t really a problem, so is Oranguru, or is there something else to worry about?
Not really, just getting a single Gallade out and some Gardevoir-GX should be all you really need. I like playing a slower game in this matchup, focusing on conserving resources to the best of your Ability while getting as many Gallade and Gardevoir-GX out as possible. The simple risk you run by doing this comes from your opponent trying to run down your pre-Evolution Stages before they Evolve for easy Prizes, but I’m not convinced this is reliable because then he or she leaves a Zoroark-GX exposed for a Knockout response from something like Gallade.
What it boils down to is that you have two main attackers that can one-shot any of your opponent’s Pokemon, and they also have built-in recovery. On top of that recovery, you also have a lot of Energy to begin with, so disruption isn’t something you typically have any fear of. I don’t mind this matchup, just be ready to play a long and grueling game if things go awry, your Gallade is the Pokemon most likely to be trapped in the Active spot.
Zoroark-GX / Garbodor: Favorable
Similarly to Zoroark-GX / Control, your deck has a natural advantage just on its typing, and Gallade specifically. Trashalanche can still wrack up to large numbers, but your Twilight GX keeps it in check by pushing your excess of Items back into your deck if you ever need to. Garbotoxin can present a problem, but your Field Blower will bail you out as long as you’re playing them.
In any of these Zoroark-GX matchups, be ready to face Parallel City, and be prepared to discard some valuable Pokemon occasionally. Oranguru is pretty useless in most Zoroark-GX matchups, so focus on getting as many Ralts out as possible and getting them up to Gallade and Gardevoir-GX as soon as possible.
N can be stifling in the late game, so be ready for that as well. Thinning your deck accordingly as you go will be important, and when you get the chance be sure to limit your opponent's own Bench with your own Parallel City, reducing the damage output of Zoroark-GX and making gameplay more trivial. This matchup is within reach for the same reasons as any other Zoroark-GX matchup because of Gallade and specifically to this one, your Field Blower.
There we have it, this is going to be my last article for the site before Worlds, so I hope you liked it. Gardevoir-GX is one of my top picks for this tournament right now, so be sure to test it out yourself. Sometimes the metagame runs in circle story fashion, bringing us back to where it all began a year prior… Who knows, maybe Gardevoir-GX will win Worlds two years in a row! Now take care and thanks for reading.
Gardevoir GX (BUS; 93)
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