01/16/2018 by Chris Fulop
Today I am going to focus exclusively on Gardevoir-GX, the deck I have been putting a lot of work into the past few weeks! I wanted to try and update Gardevoir with a more consistent engine and a more aggressive approach to keep up with the new metagame, which is far more punishing than what it used to be. Gardevoir-GX is a comically powerful Pokemon, and in theory has all the tools to be able to compete with anything in this format. With its results tapering off, I felt it was necessary to go back to the drawing board and try something a bit more unorthodox with the deck since the old builds had been struggling.
First, lets look at the stock "Brokenvoir" list:
- 4x Ralts
- 3x Kirlia
- 3x Gardevoir GX
- 1x Gallade
- 3x Tapu Lele GX
- 1x Alolan Vulpix
- 1x Oranguru
- 4x Professor Sycamore
- 4x N-supporter
- 3x Guzma
- 2x Brigette
- 4x Ultra Ball
- 4x Rare Candy
- 4x Max Potion
- 2x Choice Band
- 2x Super Rod
- 2x Field Blower
- 2x Parallel City
- 7x Fairy Energy
- 4x Double Colorless Energy
I've been a big fan of Gardevoir decks for awhile now, eventually fully embracing Seena Ghaziaskar's "Brokenvoir" approach, which utilized a full playset of Max Potion and a very defensive overall game plan. I firmly believe it was the best build at the time, but I also feel like it is no longer the correct approach to the deck, and is outdated. I think that the results at recent tournaments support this claim. Despite being one of the most notable archetypes in the format, it has put up weaker and weaker results as time progresses. This isn't even to suggest that the build was incorrect even, merely that other decks have evolved. The release of Zoroark GX in particular has really warped the format in a certain direction, and I feel like it is important to adapt in return.
Now, this is my build, featuring a more aggressive take and a heavier focus on Gallade to help combat the popular tier 1 decks in today's standard format.
- 4x Ralts
- 3x Kirlia
- 3x Gardevoir GX
- 2x Gallade
- 3x Tapu Lele GX
- 1x Regirock EX
- 2x Remoraid
- 2x Octillery
- 3x Professor Sycamore
- 3x N-supporter
- 2x Professor Kukui
- 2x Brigette
- 3x Guzma
- 4x Ultra Ball
- 4x Rare Candy
- 2x Evosoda
- 1x Super Rod
- 1x Field Blower
- 1x Parallel City
- 3x Choice Band
- 7x Fairy Energy
- 4x Double Colorless Energy
Originally, Gardevoir lists would run a couple of Max Potion. With a 230 HP attacker who has a cheap attack as well as built-in energy acceleration, the card was just strong in the deck. I'm not only abstaining from the full playset that had become stock recently, I'm running absolutely ZERO copies of the card in the deck. Why is that? There are a lot of factors going into that decision, and I'd like to break them down.
Max Potion is a very reactive card. A very powerful one, but it is still reactive. It is defensive by nature. Unfortunately, two cards which are gaining in popularity really make this type of strategy a bit dubious. First, we have the rise in the popularity of Lycanroc-GX. Lycanroc is not only a great attacker to capitalize on Zoroark-GX's weakness to Fighting, but it is also great at augmenting aggressive game plans with its ability. With multiple tier-1 archetypes running Lycanroc alongside Guzma, playing a defensive strategy is suspect. These decks are faster than Gardevoir and can pick apart your bench as you try to set up.
Second, Buzzwole-GX is extremely powerful. On the surface, you'd think that Max Potion would be great against Buzzwole...and in some ways, it is. Buzzwole's 30/30 split attack puts up a lot of bench damage, and healing that is certainly beneficial. The problem is, Buzzwole's 190 HP makes for a really, really difficult OHKO for Gardevoir due to its low energy cost attack. Walking into Max Potions and Acerola while they accumulate chip damage isn't great. You actually need to focus more on getting up to OHKOs on Buzzwole to actually progress the game state. You need 5 energy cards PLUS a Choice Band to be able to OHKO a Buzzwole with a Gardevoir, and that is extremely difficult to pull off if you end up using Max Potion frequently. Max Potion helps some with the bench damage, but it doesn't really address the bigger problem in the matchup, which is actually OHKOing the Buzzwole. This may not seem like a major argument to forego Max Potion entirely...the card IS good, no matter how much I criticize it; I don't want the message to come off as it being bad...but I included the stock Brokenvoir list for reference, and its inclusion comes at a major cost to deck space. Cards that address more pressing issues had to be added, and that space needs to come somewhere.
Max Potion is strong against Greninja... the problem is, that deck is not very popular (I also am not convinced it is that good. It is too inconsistant, without enough raw strength to make me want to gamble with it.) And more so, you still lose to it even with the Max Potions. If the deck were more popular, and if it actually swayed the matchup more, I'd consider that a compelling case for the card.
Max Potion is also fairly useful against Decidueye/Zoroark decks. I actually really like this deck, and think it is undersold by a lot of players. This is generally a fairly close matchup, but I think that the game plan I have with my build for the matchup gives me a better win percentage than the Max Potions do in the traditional list.
Arguably, the biggest selling point for Max Potion was in the Gardevoir mirror match, as neither player wanted to be the one to commit enough energy onto a Gardevoir to get a KO and just get obliterated in return. This led to a stalemate of chip attacks, and whoever wound up being able to pull off the most Max Potions to negate these usually won. (This is, of course, an oversimplification of the mirror match, but having Max Potion superiority over an opponent was a huge advantage. With Gardevoir's GX attack, each extra Max Potion effectively translated into 2 extra copies over a long game.) Gardevoir's metagame share has plummeted, so disadvantaging yourself in the mirror match in exchange for a better shot in more popular matchups is totally fine. I actually expected the mirror to be fairly problematic, but it has been really close, as this build has some strategies available to it that give it a pretty solid shot. ( I'll be breaking down the deck's matchups later on.)
If I cut Max Potions, I had to re-allocate those spots somewhere, so lets look over the major improvements the deck got in return. The BIGGEST improvement comes to the deck's consistency, which is needed as decks have gotten faster and more punishing. Compared to Brokenvoir, this deck converts a lone Oranguru and an Alolan Vulpix into a 2-2 Octillery line and 2 Evo Soda. This is a major upgrade in terms of consistency. After playing roughly 100 games with the deck, I cannot ever see not playing the 2-2 Octillery. Evo Soda is a card that is gaining traction amongst players already, but it is still underappreciated. If you run multiple Evolution lines ( particularly if you play Octillery or Zoroark, which help further your set up ) you really should be playing a few copies of this card. It really helps getting multiple lines going early into a game. Gardevoir has never been inconsistent necessarily, but it also benefitted from being able to wall up and force a prolonged late game through Max Potions before. Now, it is way too easy to fall fatally behind. Stumbling is much less of an option against the current stock of tier 1 decks, and the deck's engine needs to evolve to keep up.
I'll use this as a brief aside to complain about Oranguru as well. Oranguru is a great safety net against N. It isn't really an engine. It is great in streamlined aggressive decks that jump ahead and have undemanding set ups. In slower, slightly more clunky decks that often play from behind, Oranguru is EXTREMELY underwhelming. The gap in the amount of cards you see off of Octillery in an average game opposed to Oranguru is staggering. It isn't as easy to get out, clearly, but the return on investment is very much worth it.
Octillery is another reason why I like cutting Max Potion. By cutting 4 Max Potion, and in turn the 2nd Super Rod ( Which is unnecessary when you do not expect to be constantly discarding your Energy cards and thus needing to replenish your supply. ) you trim 5 clunky cards from the deck. These are situational and/or reactive cards which sit in your hand and bog down Abyssal Hand draws.
And there's more
The big "gimmick" I am running in this deck is the package of 2 Gallade, 2 Professor Kukui and a Regirock EX. Gallade is absolutely incredible in the format right now. First off, it mauls Zoroark-GX, and isn't even KOed back by it even if they have their own Kukui. By running 2, you no longer force Zoroark decks to try and deal with a lone copy of it, which is annoying but not the end of the world, and instead put them in an extremely bad spot where you can consistently prevent Zoroark from being a viable attacker. They can't even really bench them, as they are huge prize liabilities. Seeing how a lot of the decks running them have engines which assume they have access to Trade, that can be really backbreaking to their consistency as well.
By running 2 Gallade (alongside the Super Rod to recover them) you can also leverage your non-EX attackers in the exchange. Traditionally, you want an odd number of non-ex attackers, to force the awkward additional KO. You can't really expect to reliably get out 3+ Gallade with Super Rod, often because you get stressed on Ralts available. That being said, this is a stage 2 deck, and you often end up getting a non-EX KOed while setting up, so the 2nd non-EX regains value in the exchange again.
By emphasizing Gallade in this build, you gain a ton of great advantages by pairing them with Kukui and Regirock-EX. With Regirock-EX, a Choice Banded Gallade hits for 170 damage to an EX/GX. This lets you OHKO a Tapu Lele for a DCE off a Guzma. This actually comes up a lot, and helps steal games. Against a deck like Decidueye/Zoroark, you often get 4 easy prizes off of Zoroarks/Tapu Lele, and just need to take 2 real prizes in the span of a game.
Professor Kukui lets you hit 180 damage, which gives you a OHKO on a Volcanion-EX, and a Tapu Bulu-GX. Bulu is particularly important because otherwise it strips itself of energy when attacking and makes for a really difficult KO for a Garevoir. The Vikavolt matchup is actually extremely favorable because of this. What is also extremely cute, but also really relevent, is that with a Kukui and benched Regirock, Gallade can smack a Buzzwole for the necessary 190 damage for a OHKO. These Buzzwole decks don't even have a good return KO option, and you can often KO back to back Buzzwole. What is nice is that this works well even if they manage to hunt your energy attachments with a good start, because you can power it up out of no where in a turn. The stock Buzzwole lists run Brooklett Hill, and this lets you actually grab a Regirock out of your deck the turn you want to pull it off so you telegraph it.
I mentioned how the deck has some game against the Gardevoir mirror match, and a lot of that is due to Regirock. By being able to pick off Tapu Leles, you have an inherent advantage over an opponent. Also, a Gardevoir needs 3 energy to OHKO a Gallade, which forces them to walk into an easy return KO from your own Gardevoir. Your Gallades, with a Kukui, can OHKO an opponent's Gallade while they do not have the same opportunity. Kukui also gives you favorable Gardevoir math. Gardevoir has 230 HP, and they deal damage in increments of 30. With a Kukui, you only need to aim for the 210 mark, which is 7 total "Energy" (a Choice Band constitutes one Energy for this math obviously) while the opponent needs to hit 8. You actually end up being able to OHKO an opponent without presenting a potential return KO a decent amount of games. If you force a KO on Gallade, which takes 3 energy from the opponent ( as Guzma'ing your Tapu Leles or Energy-less Gardevoirs is pretty anemic ) you can DCE + Fairy + Choice Band + Kukui for the return KO, and your opponent needs to have 4 energy plus a Choice Band to get the return KO back...which in turn makes for an easy KO back from you. In the mirror, your Guzma pressure is substantial, where as that of the traditional builds is far weaker.
Kukui also lets Gardevoir more easily hit the 200 mark. Celesteela GX and Lycanroc GX both have 200 HP...Celesteela isn't really popular, nor is it hard to KO otherwise, but hitting the KO on Lycanroc for one less Energy actually comes up a lot. Something else that comes up a lot if using Kukui early to hit the 60 damage mark with Tapu Lele GX against small basics. Even Zorua falls victim to it because Lele ignores resistance with it's attack.
Kukui isn't normally very effective draw power, as it is used almost exclusively for the damage boost. In this deck, it actually ends up being quite a bit better. If you have Gallade in play, you can use Premonition to stack the top 5 cards of your deck, letting Kukui draw you the two best cards in the top 5 of your deck. Gallade and Octillery have similar synergy, especially in instances where you have a larger hand size and can only Abyssal Hand for 1-2 cards. The 2 Kukui replaced an N and a Sycamore each. With 3 Tapu Lele, and a 2-2 Octillery line ( with 2 Evo Soda to get it out ) the loss of these "staple" Supporters is felt far less than you would otherwise think.
One thing I love about this build is that I am able to run only 1 Super Rod, 1 Parallel City, and 1 Field Blower. Parallel City is... interesting. I've been very unimpressed with it as an anti-Zoroark card, as it never sticks. The more popular the card is, the more prepared decks are to deal with it, and the worse it is. On top of this, you actually don't want to give the opponent an opportunity to get rid of their Tapu Lele. I honestly would be fine with running 0 copies of the card in this deck if I didn't really like using it on myself. It is nice when you have to bench multiple Tapu Lele ( if you open with one...which isn't super uncommon with only 10 Basic Pokemon...and have to Lele for a Brigette ) as you can dump them off to clear space later. It is also good for clearling off prize liabilities in a long game. It fulfills the Max Potion role at the end of a game to deny prizes to the opponent. It is really important against Lycanroc decks. You want to minimize your bench so you can play around Lycanroc's GX attack. Also, you want to get rid of Tapu Lele to avoid Zoroark with a Choice Band and a Kukui paired with Lycanroc's Ability. The one Parallel City is also clutch against Greninja and Decidueye.
Field Blower is actually in an interesting spot right now. On one hand, Garbotoxin is not seeing much play right now. You also are reasonably able to fight even without Abilities in a lot of these matchups. Guzma and Gallade can clear a board of the Garbodor altogether. Field Blower is important to cancel your own Parallel City in some games. Most importantly, it deals with Fighting Fury Belt, which is popular in Volcanion builds and is starting to show up more in Buzzwole builds. If these builds continue to gain popularity, a 2nd Field Blower may end up being necessary. I've played a few games online against Espeon Garbodor, and the matchup actually felt pretty difficult because I did not have a great attacker against Espeon, and the games went long enough for Garboor to really leverage itself against me. I don't thin that deck is particularly good, nor popular, so I'm not that concerned.
Here is a brief breakdown of the matchups.
Gardevoir/Gallade: You have a consistency advantage, and are built more aggressively. You have an advantage by being better able to use Gallade in the matchup as you can OHKO Gallades and Tapu Lele. You don't have Max Potions, so you want to focus on getting cheap KOs, and then just accepting the awkward role of forcing the big Gardevoir OHKO and dealing with the resulting exchanges. This is also important: You do not have Max Potions. Your opponent does not know you do not have Max Potions. They will almost assuredly play as if you did, so use this to your advantage. This is the matchup it matters most in, but it comes up in every game. Opponents will usually avoid plays which are disastrous if you have a Max Potion, so play accordingly. Against builds that run Sylveon GX, there isn't a tremendous amount you can do, you just have to try and get out a safe enough set up that you can survive getting 2 Pokemon bounced. I try to get my first few Stage 2s out with Kirlia to retain as many Rare Candy as possible to rebuild. It isn't that hard to get a KO on a Sylveon with 3 Energy on it, so you just need to keep enough Ralts in play to be able to re-evolve.
Zoroark/Lycanroc: This matchup is pretty favorable because they really don't have a lot of options against Gallade. You can pick off Zoroark and Tapu Lele easily, and Lycanroc isn't a primary attacker. As long as you play around it's GX attack and try to limit the amount of bench targets such as Tapu Lele, you should be alright. If they run the one of Buzzwole, that helps them a bit, but you are well equipped to beat a lone Buzzwole, especially since they will certainly not have access to Fighting Fury Belt. This deck doesn't run much healing either, so just two hitting a Buzzwole is fine. I also like how Mewtwo, which some decks play, can't even OHKO a Gallade even with Kukui.
Buzzwole/Lycanroc: This is an extremely competitive matchup, even with the Kukui/Regirock gimmick. They are super fast and aggressive, and a Buzzwole with a Strong Energy and Regirock in play can OHKO your basic Pokemon on the first turn. If both decks set up at decent parity you are pretty favored, but you do lose a reasonable number of games against a great start or when you stumble a bit. If they run Fighting Fury Belt, it gets a bit tougher, as the lone Field Blower will be insufficient to actually keep Buzzwole's HP manageable. Sudowoodo is also a major pain, as it is able to retaliate with KOs pretty easily. Dealing with it for only 1 prize is also a pain. Of the popular decks, this is still my least favorite matchup.
Zoroark/Decidueye: This matchup is competitive, but I feel slightly in Gardevoir's favor. Gallade is great at negating their main attacker, but it is also important to realize that this deck demands a lot of set up, and therefore they can't really just avoid playing Zoroarks down to avoid the liability. They also often have to bench Tapu Lele, which means you should get 4 cheap prizes a game minimum. If they get an extremely strong start, getting out multiple Decidueye early, then you can certainly be in for a rough game, but if they have an average start or worse you are certainly favored. Games where they can just pick apart your board before you can apply any pressure are tough. I'm all about a t2 Rare Candy to get an attacker in play, but beyond that, focus on using Kirlia because you need to play around Espeon-GX in close games, as it is the primary reason you end up losing games in this matchup. This is also another matchup where ignorance of your list benefits you greatly. You know you do not have Max Potions, but your opponent does not. This makes a complex, long-term plan of spreading damage counters across your board for an Espeon play a bit dubious as it can backfire so badly. You can a bit of an edge in the matchup because of this. The lone Parallel City is great here because it can ACTUALLY punish them for hanging Pokemon on the bench too long, opposed to your passively bluffed yet non-existant Max Potions.
Zoroark/Golisopod: This matchup is harder than the other Zoroark decks, simply because you do not have a particularly clean answer to Golisopod. I don't feel Golisopod is that great against you either, but it is certainly better than Lycanroc is. I generally just try to use Gallade for early KOs ( ignoring Golisopod to the best of your ability ) and midgame you can tank a Gardevoir with enough Energy to OHKO a Golisopod...they can't really OHKO it back, so you can sweep from there. Its okay to go down a few prizes trying to stabilize, too, as once you set up you can really overpower them. I mentioned this as harder than the other Zoroark decks, which is accurate, but it is also still favorable.
Golisopod/Garbodor: I have yet to play against this matchup, honestly, but I actually assume it is challenging. You can't really OHKO a Golispod, at least not under Ability lock, so you just end up bashing into their healing. I like the Zoroark/Golisopod matchup quite a bit, but the addition of both Garbodors and the lack of lucrative Zoroarks to pick on changes things quite a bit. If you can get out a quick Gallade and Guzma up Garbodors, this matchup should be pretty manageable, but if they go first and get Garbotoxin online and have Golisopod applying pressure, it seems really tough.
Vikavolt/Bulu: This matchup is pretty favorable. Both decks are about similar of speed. Gallade does so much work in this matchup. It can OHKO a Tapu Bulu-GX. It picks off Vikavolts for a DCE. One of Tapu Bulu's biggest strengths in this matchup normally is that it leaves an Energy-less attacker behind which makes for a tough KO for Gardevoir, but Gallade and Kukui throw that issue out the window. I've actually yet to lose this matchup, and I've had some pretty poor starts against it.
Volcanion: Volcanion decks, in the vein of what Dean Nezam played to a t16 finish recently, are actually a bit challenging for this deck. Baby Volcanion can OHKO your basics early, putting you on the back foot, and they run a ton of Fighting Fury Belt. A Baby Volcanion with 170 HP is actually really difficult to KO, as you can't use Choice Band against it. Volcanion-EX isn't really great against you, but that too can be a chore with a Belt on it too, as 220 HP is not a gimme for OHKOs even with 3 Energy attached if they have pressured your board early on. There are two major problems regarding this list in this matchup. First, the loss of Max Potion matters. Max Potion does a good job of mitigating Power Heater damage while you set up. Instead, you run the risk of a Baby Volcanion 2 hitting a Gardevoir, and thats pretty rough. Gallade is actually great in this matchup...as I mentioned in the above write up, it can do 180 against a Volcanion-EX and 130 against a Volcanion...but with only 1 Field Blower, you fall victim to their high count of Fighting Fury Belt. This matchup isn't nearly as bad as this fretting makes it sound, but it does go against conventional wisdom of Gardevoir being good against Volcanion. With a 2nd Field Blower, this matchup gets a lot better.
Metalbox: Despite being a Metal deck, which has type advantage over Gardevoir, this matchup isn't actually that bad. Gallade is a really strong attacker in this matchup. It handles Silvally and Registeel well, and is a hard KO for the other attackers. Their bigger attackers are fairly hefty of energy cost, and can be KOed by a Gardevoir fairly easily. They have energy acceleration, but not an overwhelming amount, so they can't effortlessly keep up. This matchup is close, but I'd say mildly favorable for Gardevoir.
Metagross: This matchup is a nightmare, but I guess technically winnable. Metagross has a ton of HP, and OHKOs all of your attackers. The lone saving grace is they are a very slow deck. They need 3 Energy to attack, so it is possible to OHKO a Metagross with a Gardevoir. You want to avoid evolving into a Gardevoir GX early, as getting one Guzma'd and KOed is really bad. You really want to lead with Gallade and hopefully get the jump on the Metagross that KOs it. Luckily, I do not feel like this is a good deck, nor is it popular.
Greninja: This is probably your worst matchup. Greninja doesn't attach much energy, so you really have to tank a Gardevoir heavily to get OHKOs. Unfortunately most lists run Enhanced Hammer now, so its really hard to stockpile. Shadow Stitching turns off Gardevoir's Ability, which further crimps your Energy acceleration. Even if you get a better start and manage to get a stacked Gardevoir, once it goes down ( and it will, since they have all non-EX Pokemon and you need 6 KOs ) it is really difficult to rebuild an attacker of any relevence. Of course, this is Greninja, by far the least consistent deck in the format, so you will be able to win games when they really stumble, but it is pretty bad.
Some Extra Condsiderations
Finally, I want to go over a few of the cards I am not running, and some potential changes.
Alolan Vulpix: A mainstay of clunky evolution decks everywhere since it is so nice to be able to Brigette into, as you can retreat a Pokemon and use it's attack for free. I like Vulpix. I just like Evo Soda more. Vulpix is really only strong in games where you go 2nd and have a Brigette. Thats a sizeable amount of games, admittedly, but it also gets worse in games where you have to Tapu Lele for the Brigette as that is eating up a lot of bench space. If you open Regirock or Tapu Lele and THEN have to Lele for a Brigette, you basically can't get Vulpix at all because your bench is ruined. On the topic of Regirock, that is another Pokemon which eats up a bench slot in certain matchups. Admittedly, it usually comes down late game when you want to go Lele hunting. Finally, because the deck is pretty aggressive about using Guzma and Kukui, you actually end up using midgame Wonder Tags frequently and want to extra bench spaces for that. All of that combined makes me give the nod to Evo Soda over it.
8th Fairy Energy: When I started testing the deck, I had 8 Fairy Energy and 0 Soda. I cut the Vulpix first for one, and then the 8th Fairy for the 2nd. I really wish I had the 8th Fairy back, actually. This deck cares about being aggressive, and missing drops is disastrous. You really benefit from being able to Secret Spring multiple times in a turn. Eight seems like the perfect number since I am only running 1 Super Rod. I'm still on the fence about this vs the 2nd Soda, and am also looking for other potential cuts. It is difficult when the cards which look most expendable...the 2nd Gallade, the 2 Kukui and the Regirock...all lose a tremendous amount of value if any one of the four get cut and are locked in as a package deal.
2nd Field Blower: The deck struggles with Fighting Fury Belt, and Garbotoxin. Looking at recent tournament results, both of these issues are very underrepresented in the metagame. I don't expect much Garbodor, but I do expect Fury Belts, so a 2nd Field Blower is really alluring. Tentatively, it occupies the "2nd Evo Soda" slot in the deck.
Mallow/Skyla: I'd LOVE one of these cards. I have a lot of thinner Item counts in the deck, and some of them are very situational. Being able to have a 2nd "wildcard" Supporter to double my odds of drawing them seems really strong. ( It's actually a lot higher than doubling the odds due to Wonder Tag. ) Skyla is so good at getting the t2 Rare Candy, and it is also better at getting Field Blower vs Garbodor. Mallow is so strong with Abyssal Hand, but does require you to get Octillery out first. Skyla is a little bit better on t2, and I feel like Mallow is better beyond that. Skyla benefits from being better under a bad start, though, too. I'm really content with a 3-3 split on N and Sycamore, but I'm not sure I could bring myself to go any lower than that, which is where space for either of these Supporters would have to come from.
Sycamore/N Split: I'm at a 3-3 split right now, but legitimately could see a 4-2 split in favor of N. N is so good with Octillery, and this is a deck that doesn't really like discarding resources, either. Due to the less defensive nature of the build, you actually rarely even use Gardevoir's GX attack outside of extreme fringe scenarios, so you can't assume you'll be replenishing cards you have to pitch.
As a bonus, I'm including a brief tournament report from a League Challenge I played in this past Saturday, which earned me my first Play Points for the season! I played this deck, and went 4-1 with it, and unfortunately wound up in 5th place on breakers, missing out on my first Championship Points for the season too.
Round 1 vs Decidueye Zoroark
I lose the die roll ( Which ends up a theme as I go second the first four rounds. ) but my opponent's hand is really slow. My start is also not the best, but far better than his. By the time he draws into a better hand, I'm set up vs his Tapu Lele and two Rowlett. He does eventually get set up but by this point I've got a fully tanked Gardevoir that can just chew through even Decidueyes and I win a fairly uneventful game that never really was fair due to his poor start.
Round 2 vs Metalbox
I lose the die roll here, but I have a pretty strong-ish start. I have the turn 1 Brigette, but don't have any Energy in hand. I opened Ralts, and my opponent got out a t2 Celesteela with a Metal and a DCE and KOs my Ralts. Now this is where it gets really awkward. I prized one Ralts, and lost the one really quickly, and this is really bad for the whole game, as it takes me forever to find my Super Rod. I actually pull off a nice play on my second turn, as I Rare Candy into Gardevoir GX and have a DCE and a Fairy Energy and the Kukui to hit 200 and KO his Celesteela. ( No Ralts ) This devolves the game into a slow slog, as he misses a Max Elixir and an energy drop, but I'm not able to hit anything for relevent damage. He stumbles a bit more, and I end up taking another non-Ralts prize, as I Guzma anything I can get my hands on just to try and get a Ralts. I end up in a really awkward spot near the end of the game, where I have to Sycamore away my last 2 Rare Candy. I never actually got a Gallade out at this point. I'm mildly ahead on board, and have the choice of going down to 1 prize, or using my GX attack to shuffle back in my Rare Candies and Guzmas and such, as I had finally freed a Ralts from my prizes. He KOs Gardevoir, and I have a really high chance of seeing a Rare Candy the next turn to win...I have 2 Octillery in play, and had shuffled in 4 Rare Candy and 4 Ultra Ball. I end up seeing a ton of cards and still miss the Rare Candy, but burned a Guzma chasing an EX KO to optimize my Abyssal Hands. He whiffs his last Guzma for a KO on me, and I try to dig for my last Guzma...whiff. On the last turn of the game he is able to power up a Cobalion to KO my Tapu Lele I tried to hide behind. I felt I played a little sloppy towards the end, but also had to get fairly unlucky to whiff multiple high odds draws to win off of. That being said, I also feel like I was only still in the game because he missed attachments and Exilir reveals midgame as my Ralts situation should have caught up to me. I think I can still win this game with tighter play.
Round 3 vs Sylveon Toolbox
I get paired to a player at 0-1-1, which bodes swimmingly for my resistance, too. He is running a Zoroark Sylveon deck full of...good cards? I'm not sure how much synergy there really was here, as he was running cards like Team Rocket's Handiwork and Delinquent alongside Parallel City. He kept trying to set up big turns with Sylveon's first attack and I kept N'ing. I was actually at a point where it's GX attack would have been really backbreaking, but he kept whiffing the DCE. I eventually fell victim to him Guzma'ing up a Tapu Lele and Parallel/GX'ing, leaving me with a lone Ralts. I have the Rare Candy and KO, and rebench some Ralts. He played pretty slowly ( He finished 1-2-2 ), and his deck was defensive and disruptive so the game took awhile, so I ended up taking a pretty aggressive line to assure I just take prizes and start hunting Tapu Lele with Gallade early just to make sure I don't draw on time. It doesn't matter, as I end up winning with like 5 minutes left.
Round 4 vs Gorgeist
I got paired against my friend Josh, who was playing Gorgeist. The deck runs a 3-3 Octillery line, and a ton of tools ( and Klefki, the make-shift tool, as it attaches itself as an anti-Mega Pokemon buffer with it's Ability ) as Gorgeist does 40x for each Tool you discard from play for only a DCE. It has 120 HP and a resistance to Fighting. I lose the coin flip again, and open with my boy Regirock. Josh gets a slow start, missing the t2 attack, and I have a chance to KO his Octillery off a Guzma with a Gallade if I hit an Energy off my Abyssal Hand. I whiff, and have to pass. He Guzma's my Regirock up to try and KO and ends up whiffing his DCE again, but he had to attach some Klefki to his Pokemon to free up bench space to empty his hand for Abyssal Hand, and that ate into his Tool count quite a bit. I end up taking the first KO with Gallade on a Gorgeist ( Thanks to the 10 damage from Regirock, as otherwise I'd be 10 shy due to Gorgeist's resistance. ) He gets a KO on Gallade, and I KO it with Gardevoir, and he gets the 6 Tools needed to KO that, but is unable to accumulate enough Tools the next turn to hit the 230 mark again and he is out of gas at that point.
Round 5 vs Gardevoir
I get paired against my friend Logan, and this is the first time I've gotten to play him in a tournament. To celebrate, I win my first flip of the tournament and get to go first. My hand is extremely good, starting off with a Brigette. He ends up getting Sylveon GX out and bouncing some of my Pokemon but I am pretty far ahead at this point and his draw, while functional, was far from great. That coupled with me winning the flip made it a pretty lopsided game.
I highly suggest taking this deck for a trial run, and not just to see the look on an opponent's face when they see a Regirock EX in a Gardevoir deck. Enjoy!
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