Experts' corner

Gabriel Semedo

Brazilian Gardy for Brazil

I'm back again to bring a deck that I feel like it's quite good to the Latin America International Championship (LAIC).

04/10/2018 by Gabriel Semedo

Hey there 60cards readers! I'm back again to bring a deck that I feel like it's quite good to the Latin America International Championship (LAIC). Some of you know that I won São Paulo Regionals a while back using a rather different version of the usual Gardevoir GX deck, which was later known as "Gardy Milk". I usually say that this version of a Gardevoir GX deck is so different from the other ones that it makes it hard for comparison. And it really is different. The gameplay turns out completely from the other versions and it takes a while to understand how powerful the deck is. That at least was the case for me. I used to play for fun with it on Pokémon Trading Card Game Online and then I realized it was actually a good and competitive idea. Right after I won Regionals and my list was made public, something occured and it had occured before in some other ocasions -- the community did not seem to take the deck seriously. Some weeks after this, Tord Reklev won Oceania International Championship (OIC) with Zoroark GX / Gardevoir GX and it took away the little hype Gardy Milk had. Since then, the most popular and successful version of the deck it "ZoroGardy", leaving "Brokenvoir", "Gardy Milk" and "Sylveon GX / Gardevoir GX" out of the competitive format. My goal with this article is to show that there is no better or worse. I want to show the most adequate version of Gardevoir GX to be used atLAIC. And for me, the best version is Gardy Milk and I'll talk about why in the upcoming parts of the article.

Before I jump onto the Gardy Milk itself, I'd like to take a moment to briefly talk about other Gardevoir GX decks out there. Obviously each and every one of them has its merits and flaws but I would to say why I would not run any other version of the deck. I also would like to clarify that each Gardevoir list has its own peculiarities, being always complex and different from each other. That being said, Gardevoir GX takes tons of skill and playtesting to be played at a high level.

Brokenvoir - would not play at LAIC

I've always found the deck inconsistent and I do not think the deck fits into the current metagame. It must be understood that Brokenvoir was created in a metagame totally different from what we have right now. When the deck was created, the most important game to worry about was the Gardevoir GX mirror, and Brokenvoir was far superior in this matchup. Brokenvoir uses a high number of Max Potion, between 3 and 4 copies, to keep the Gardevoir GX alive and that makes it "immortal", counting that you can still return those 3 ~ 4 copies to the deck with the Gardevoir GX attack. The problem is that every time you use Max Potion, you lose energy and this prevents Gardevoir GX from hitting for high damage to knock out a Golisopod GX or Lucario GX, for example. Viewing from my sprectrum, Gardevoir GX has to hit for big damage and get knockouts, otherwise it is difficult to compete. The two copies of Gallade are interesting on the deck, since Zoroark GX is extremely popular. The problem is the deck is inconsistent to the point where it is not possible to bring the Gallade to the board in the correct and necessary way to beat Zoroark GX decks. Also, I see the deck dependency on the Rare Candy + Stage 2 combo as soon as possible and the deck fails to achieve this consistently. When you cannot get the combo, the game delays and the current decks are very fast and can consistently knock out anything active or on the bench without major problems. Buzzwole GX / Lycanroc GX can knock out Ralts and Kirlia on the bench consecutively in the first rounds. If the Brokenvoir deck can't keep up the flow, the deck loses before you put down the first Gardevoir GX in play. The same goes for Zoropod, who can use 6 Guzma if necessary. Finally, I think the deck uses a lot of items and the Trashalanche Garbodor becomes dangerous, with the Espeon GX / Garbodor back in the format. If you play correctly and use Gardevoir GX's GX attack to remove items from the discard pile, you can win, but it's still not easy.

Zoroark GX / Gardevoir GX - the deck is awesome but I would not play it at LAIC

Although it is a much better choice than Brokenvoir, I would not use it in LAIC either. I think the deck is amazing, the consistency that the Zoroark GX brings is very good and the deck manages to extract Gallade's power as no other version of Gardevoir GX does. It's very easy to bring Gallade or Gardevoir GX into play via Mallow, and also Gallade's Ability is perfect with Zoroark GX and it makes very easy to find Double Colorless Energy and Guzma with the insane card-drawing power that Zoroark GX has. The deck is strong against any other version of Zoroark GX thanks to Gallade, it is the version of Zoroark GX that has more chance to win against VikaBulu thanks to Gardevoir GX's 230 HP and is the version of Gardevoir GX that has more chances to win BuzzRoc thanks to Mew EX. Other than that, it's a standard Zoroark GX deck, with Puzzle of Time, Enhanced Hammer, Parallel City, Max Potion, plenty of card-drawing, and easy access to everything your deck needs. In addition the deck has features to beat "Mill decks" like Quad Sylveon GX or Hoopa SHL decks. For all these reasons, the choice of this deck for the LAIC would already be justified, but the current metagame changes worries me a lot, so much to the point that I do not want to use this deck. The Lucario GX already became popular in the metagame soon after it was released and proved to be a great Zoroark GX hunter. I do not think Mew EX is a timely response to beat Lucario GX and the Gardevoir GX would need a 5 energies + Choice Band to knock out a Lucario GX that has no damage counters on it. Another reason is the greater attention that Buzzroc players have given to Mew EX, using cards like Mew FCO, Mewtwo EVO and Oricorio to counter Mew EX. 

Old School Gardevoir GX - would not play at LAIC but it has been looking great lately

I really like a version of Gardevoir GX with Sylveon GX, not a lot of healing cards and a lot of energy to get that big damage output. With the arrival of Cynthia and other format changes, I see that players are using less and less Supporter "N" in decks. The default now are 3 copies, but there are people using only 2 copies or even just ONE copy of the card in a deck. That's one of the factors that explains the success of Quad Sylveon GX recently. Using the Magic Ribbon attack without your opponent shuffling your resources back in the deck is truly great to the Sylveon GX player. In addition, I like to see a lethal Gardevoir GX that manages to reach 200 plus damage output. It is undeniable that the healing cards are sort of missing in the deck, and cards like Max Potion and Acerola are super welcome in most of decks. In the classic version I give priority to Acerola, because I can get the energies back to hand and attach them again thanks to Gardevoir GX's ability. It is not simple to use Acerola in Gardevoir GX, you need a good board state for Acerola to help you instead of harming you.

Gardy Milk - would play in LAIC, but it is a risky choice

When I decided to play Gardy Milk at Regionals I knew all the things that could had happened with my deck choice. I knew that Buzzroc was a difficult matchup, that Zoroark Lycanroc has an absurd power to destroy my Ralts and Kirlia on the bench and that Zoropod is a balanced match. However, as I was training with the deck, I realized that I was getting better and that the deck was much more complex than it seemed to be. It is a difficult deck and requires a lot of training. Each error can be fatal and gradually I was adapting the list to the metagame and learning to use the deck more and more. During the 17 rounds of the regional, I felt I was still learning how to use the deck. I thought I had a bad matchup against Zoroark GX / Lycanroc due to the results in my training, but in the end I faced ZoroLycan 6 times, where I won 4 and tied 2. Well, that means no losses. With the current metagame changes, I believe that "Gardy Milk" is again an interesting option for LAIC. It is a version that can play well against Lucario GX, Quad Sylveon GX and Espeon / Garbodor, for example. I thought Buzzwole / Lycanroc was also a horrible matchup, but in practice it's a lot more playable than I thought and my results showed it too.

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