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Jay Lesage

"Enraged Rampage" - A Look at Tauros GX/GiratinaEX/Garbodor

Jay goes over Mees Brenninkmeijer's unique deck that he used to win a League Cup in the Netherlands with!

03/17/2017 by Jay Lesage

Hey there, 60cards readers! I'm back with a short article on a deck that caught my eye the other day, and I was instantly intrigued upon seeing it. I've been preparing very anxiously for the Oceania International Championships taking place circa March 10th, and I've been eager to search curiously for new concepts.

Upon skimming through my Facebook feed, my friend Mees Brenninkmeijer had posted his deck list that he had used to win a League Cup over in Netherlands. The deck he posted was none other than a Tauros-GX/Giratina-EX/Garbodor deck! I instantly thought the deck was brilliant, and posed a large threat to the metagame we currently play in. It had answers to virtually everything, and seemed very consistent considering the deck is almost purely basics – it would parallel how Yveltal/Garbodor was played. We'll go into how the deck is played a bit more, but first we'll take a quick peek over the deck list and analyze the cards he chose to play.


This deck is based around Tauros-GX's pure bulk in terms that he can't be KO'd in a single shot – this opens up an opportunity for us to use Rage, or even our Mad Bull GX attack to dish high amounts of reactive damage. If the opponent opts to not attack us, we can slowly chip away with Horn Attack for 60 damage at a time.

Our Giratina-EX poses as a backup attacker, who can help us to mitigate threats that can OHKO us. These threats contain (but are not limited to) Vespiquen, Yveltal-EX, opposing Giratina-EX, Mega Pokémon, and many others. Both Pokemon compliment each other because without the other, they would not be able to remain independent within one deck; however, the two together form a dynamic duo that cover all the bases.

Mewtwo is a quick splashable attacker that helps us to deal with Mega Mewtwo, a Pokémon that would otherwise OHKO our Tauros. While it may seem like Giratina would be able to handle that scenario, the Mega Mewtwo player would simply either establish a Garbodor into play, or use Hex Maniac to shut down Giratina's ability. There are also a plethora of disruption cards at our disposal in this deck, which also help to create annoying scenarios for our opponent to contend with.

Card Choices

3 Tauros-GX

The bread and butter of our deck. This 180 Pokémon-GX is able to take a few hits before going down, and in that time will be able to score at least one OHKO with it's Mad Bull GX attack. It's useful especially against Pokémon that rely on taking 2HKO's, such as Darkrai-EX and Yveltal-EX. Likewise, it's very easy for this Pokémon to faulter to cards that can OHKO it, such as Solgaleo-GX or Lurantis-GX. The main source of skill coming from this cards stems from Mad Bull – when you use the attack will directly impact your chances of winning the game. Combo Tauros-GX with a Fighting Fury Belt, and we have an instantaneous beast of a Pokémon! 

2 Giratina-EX

The glue between our cracks, Giratina aids us against Pokemon that could potentially threaten Tauros. Against hard hitting Mega Pokémon, we have Giratina's ability to defend us from their attacks (provided Garbodor isn't in play). This is mainly useful against Mega Gardevoir, and Mega Rayquaza (coupled with a copy of Parallel City, of course). Chaos Wheel allows us to negate all Double Colourless attackers, and synergies with our arsenal of disruptive Trainer cards. A Chaos Wheel coupled with Energy removal can sometimes put the nail in our opponent's coffin when timed right, and we can consistently spam this strategy provided we can make sure Giratina's HP holds longevity. Vespiquen is a good example of a Pokémon that can OHKO Tauros relatively simply in the late game, but when faced with Chaos Wheel, Vespiquen decks will simply crumble due to their absence of Basic Energy and Pokémon Ranger. Darkrai/Dragons was also a deck that became very relevant once again after Kenny Britton's big win this past weekend at Anaheim Regionals, so a speedy Giratina also negates our opponent from using their own. 

2-2 Garbodor

Garbodor is the last part of our main strategy, and does it's part by negating all abilities in play. This axes off decks like Greninja, Volcanion or Decidueye from being a threat, mainly because they spawn damage based off of abilities rather than attacks. Garbodor also proves to be very disruptive against most Mega Decks as well due to their reliance on Hoopa-EX and heavy counts of Shaymin-EX. Overall, Garbodor helps us improve many matchups in a broad field of decks, and holds various niche uses. 

1 Mewtwo EVO

Mega Mewtwo can sometimes pose an issue for this deck as discussed above, and Mewtwo EVO can help dispose of a “fat” Mega Mewtwo. Sometimes, our opponent will get greedy, and over-extend by attaching too many Energies onto a single attacker – this allows an opening for us to OHKO them (or come very close) by using this little tech to our advantage. This single prize attacker also proves merit against Energy-stacking attackers such as Lugia-EX, or Yveltal-EX.

3 Lysandre

In most deck lists, we typically use two copies of Lysandre, whereas in this deck list we use three. This is for the sole purpose of killing Trubbish while versing Mega Pokémon decks (such as Mega Mewtwo); if our opponent establishes a Garbodor against us, they'll be able to get past our Giratina-EX's ability, and most likely OHKO us. Lysandre also allows us to take cheap KO's via Horn Attack, and to 2HKO most Pokemon in the format once they have retreated to the bench. 

1 Delinquent

For anybody who's ever read my articles, you'd know I love it to bits. The purpose for this card is two-fold, with the first reason being for Stadium control: if we can Delinquent, and then use Chaos Wheel, we can prevent our opponent from using Stadiums. Also, when we opt to begin attack with Tauros instead of Giratina, we can use Delinquent to discard our opponent's valuable resources that they couldn't play under Chaos Wheel. This disables them from playing those cards the next turn. 

1 Ninja Boy

This card holds perfect synergy with Tauros GX, and is able to catch opponent's off guard. It also allows us to use Tauros turn one, and then follow up with a Ninja Boy into a Giratina the following turn, and begin using Chaos Wheel as early as turn two. The benefit of this is that some opponents will opt to not attack the Tauros on the beginning turn in fear of a Mad Bull attack. Another niche use for this card is to remove Shaymin-EX off of your field so your opponent can't target down easy Prize Cards.

2 Nest Ball

Since we can't abuse Hoopa-EX to its full potential (Tauros is a GX Pokemon and is therefor unsearchable with Scoundrel Ring), we abuse Nest Ball to search out our Pokémon. It helps to smooth the consistency of the deck, as well as increase our odds of establishing a Garbodor onto our field in the early game. 

4 Crushing Hammer, 1 Team Flare Grunt

We sport an entire playset of Crushing Hammer in this deck accompanies by a Team Flare Grunt in order to remove all sorts of energy from our opponent's board. Team Flare Grunt is an amazing card in its own right, simply because of how we can consistently recycle it throughout the game via VS Seeker. Mees opted to not play any Enhanced Hammer, which I can presume would be due to Chaos Wheel's preventive measures. 

4 Float Stone

A full suite of these are to ensure that we can get a Float Stone onto our Garbodor safely, as well as to promote Tauros into the active position as soon as the first turn. This deck involves both attackers to comfortably win a game, and being able to remain mobile is a huge deal in these high-retreat style decks. 

2 Special Charge, 3 Double Dragon

Mees made the executive decision to play only three Double Dragon, but I believe this is the correct call – Tauros can't use Double Dragon Energy. Instead of a fourth Double Dragon, Mees played two copies of Special Charge, which I think is key in situations where too many Energies hit the discard pile. This could potentially go down to one copy of Special Charge, but in testing it seemed fine. 

Why Tauros-GX/Giratina-EX/Garbodor? 

This deck holds up well against a metagame full of things that two-shot, most specifically the Dark decks of the format right now. It also poses a positive matchup against Mega Rayquaza, as well as Vespiquen/Zoroark, a relatively old concept that has reemerged within the past few Regionals. Where Giratina struggles, Tauros really picks up the slack and vice versa. This deck could have a relatively hard time against something like Volcanion, but even so it's not an auto-loss. This deck can really hold its own ground, as well as carry consistency throughout long tournaments. Longevity in tournaments is one of the biggest things I look at in a deck – usually big, defensive, bulky basics paired with disruption can buy some time until you draw into a Supporter! I usually feel insecure when I enter a tournament with fragile basics (think Froakie) simply due to their low HP, on top of their need to evolve. Things like this can develop natural inconsistencies that sway me away from playing those types of decks. 

Going into the Oceania International Championships, I think that Dark is going to be the prime archetype – of course, I’m referring to Turbo Darkrai as well as Yveltal/Garbodor. Following this, I'm very sure that Vespiquen and Mega Rayquaza will also follow, and just as I discussed earlier, Tauros/Giratina holds very square matchups against most of these decks. The only disadvantage our deck has in a metagame full of aggressive decks, is that our deck is sheerly reactive – if our opponent doesn't do damage to us, they can predict our relative damage cap. Same with Giratina, if they are aware that we're powering up a Giratina, they can prepare their field by playing down several Special Energy before a Chaos Wheel is established. With a mixed-attacker deck like this, always try your best to catch your opponent off guard, because those will be the moves that will win the game – Ninja Boy does an excellent job of this!

A Classic Outro

All in all, this is one of my top contenders going into the tournament, and once again I'd like to credit and pay homage to Mees Brenninkmeijer for making his list public. I thoroughly enjoy playing decks, whereas deckbuilding would be one of my weaknesses over the course of my time playing Pokémon. Personally, I tend to be the influencer on most peoples “60th card” choice in their deck, and pride myself on doing so. When I analyzed Mees' list, I realized how solid and well thought out each card was, and figured it would make an excellent example of a potential play for Oceania. With a little less than two weeks until I fly out, I'm ecstatic as this is my first trip to the continent! Pokémon is beginning to make more and more dreams come true, and if all follows suit with a travel award for Brazil, I should find myself also attending Sao Paulo for the third International Championships of the year. Thanks for reading my article folks, if you need any advice or have any questions, feel free to message me on Facebook or come chat with me at any upcoming tournaments. Until then guys, see you in the land down under!

 -Jacob Lesage

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