Experts' corner

Jose Marrero

Welcome to the Sunshine State- A Look at Necrozma-GX/Garbodor and Seismitoad-EX/Golisopod-GX

Jose examines two strong plays for the Daytona Regional Championships this weekend.

10/05/2017 by Jose Marrero

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Hello, 60cards readers! This time around I'll be discussing two strong plays for the upcoming Daytona Regional Championships this weekend, which many of you know will be in the Expanded format. With the conclusion of Hartford Regionals last weekend, which was Standard gives little to no time for players to transition over to Expanded as Daytona is right around the corner. The first of two decks I'll be analyzing is Brad Curcio's League Cup winning Necrozma-GX/Garbodor list, which is a couple cards shy of his (Top 32) and Azul's (Top 64) Fort Wayne list. Brad's list I feel is a great starting point for the deck in general, which is why I'll be discussing his list. I know many top players have Necrozma-GX/Garbodor on their radar and for good reason, which I'll go more in-depth soon enough. There was a recent Special Event in Bilbao Spain, which was played in the Expanded format and actually two Necrozma-GX/Garbodor decks were in Top 16 with one making it into the Top 8. This should prove to you that the deck in question is very much playable and can net you a comfortable finish if you pilot it correctly.

Next, I'll follow up with my own personal list on Seismitoad-EX/Golisopod-GX, which is pretty similar to that of the list both Enrique Avila (Top 32) and Cody Walinski (Top 16) used at Fort Wayne Regionals. I did, however, make a couple of my own changes so shout out to Enrique and Cody on providing the initial list. I've always been a fan of Seismitoad-EX. Ever since it's release about three years ago I've been playing Seismitoad-EX in a number of decks, for example, paired with Giratina-EX, Yanmega, Crobat, and now with Golisopod-GX. Item lock, I personally feel is extremely powerful in the current meta, which is why it's my top choice going into Daytona Regionals this weekend. Make sure you check out the list I'll be presenting because it has some crafty spice going for it. Most players that do end up playing Golisopod-GX will likely pair it with Garbodor. This is because the Garbodor variant has had a lot more success than the variant with Seismitoad-EX. This could just mean that players much rather have a stronger backup attacker or simply that players haven't realized how valuable Seismitoad-EX in conjunction with Golisopod-GX is. Seismitoad-EX gives you an improved Night March matchup, which will surely see a resurgence in play after Michael Pramawat's Fort Wayne Regional win with the deck.

With that said, let's take a closer look at Brad Curcio's Necrozma-GX/Garbodor list.

Black Crystalline


Like I said, the list above is Brad Curcio's so a huge shout out to him for providing the initial list. First, let's go over the general concept of the deck, then I'll talk about most of the cards one by one so you know why each card may have been included. You may be asking well why is the deck called Necrozma-GX/Garbodor when the deck only plays one Necrozma-GX? Well, that is a great question. This is because the deck thrives on Black Ray GX to be effective in which you then attack with Garbodor to finish things off with Trashalanche. Shutting off Black Ray GX makes the deck a lot weaker. I can see a second inclusion of Necrozma-GX in case it's prized because like I said it's a big part of the deck's success. However, if prized then Garbodor on top of the other attackers, which I'll get into should hold their own until you fish Necrozma-GX out of the prizes. You can set up your game plan either which way. Whether it's going aggro Garbodor first then transitioning to Necrozma-GX, or vice versa. It all really depends on what deck you're facing up against on which approach is best to go with first. Now that you know what the general concept of this deck does, let's now take a closer look at the Pokémon and why they were potentially included starting with Trubbish. As you can see, Brad opted to play all four copies of the Tool Drop Trubbish. What this means, if your a newer player is that the Trubbish above once was it's own deck as the main attacker. However, now the deck has Garbodor but at the same time, Trubbish can be used as an attacker as well. This is because of its attack Tool Drop, which does 20 damage for each Tool attached to all Pokémon on the field including your own. The main reason this attack, and deck is so powerful is that of Dimension Valley, which makes this deck a force to be reckoned with.

Dimension Valley makes Trubbish attack for a single Psychic Energy as well as Tapu Lele-GX. More importantly, Dimension Valley makes Necrozma-GX's Black Ray GX attack only need a single Double Colorless Energy to use. An attack that does 100 damage to each of your opponent's Pokémon EX and GX for just a Double Colorless Energy will put tons of pressure on your opponent. Now, moving onto Garbodor you can see Brad decided to play three copies with two of them being Trashalanche, and the other being Garbotoxin. Trashalanche is very powerful in both Standard and Expanded, which is why you see a number of decks playing them. In Expanded, Trashalanche is more effective because there is a wider range of cards that are items that a lot of decks play. Some of these items are Ace Specs, Dark Patch, and even Battle Compressor. As for Garbotoxin in Expanded, there are plenty of decks that get shut down if you shut off their abilities, which is another reason why this deck is probably in a lot of the top players top three choices. The deck plays so many one of supporters. Because of this, at least three Tapu Lele-GX is ideal especially since you want to stay as consistent as possible without clogging the deck with nonsense. Talking about Necrozma-GX some more you can see it has an ability called Light's End, which prevents all damage done to Necrozma-GX by Colorless Pokémon, namely M Rayquaza-EX, and Drampa-GX. This ability can assist you with stalling for a couple turns so that you have enough time to set up other attackers.

Necrozma-GX's first attack, Prismatic Wave doesn't do too much damage. Usually right after you use Black Ray GX you want to get Necrozma-GX out of harm's way as soon as possible. This is because it's vulnerable to other Psychic-types namely Garbodor. I noticed from seeing both of Brad's lists that he kept Drampa-GX in the deck. Drampa-GX's versatility means you can include it in any given deck as long as it plays Double Colorless Energy. Righteous Edge can aid in discarding opposing Double Colorless Energy or even Rainbow Energy. Berserk, on the other hand, can take one hit KO's on Pokémon EX or GX with at least 170-180 hit points assuming Drampa-GX has either a Muscle Band or Choice Band attached to it. As for Big Wheel GX, you may not ever use it unless in dire need. Otherwise, Black Ray GX is the ideal GX attack so make sure to use your GX attack wisely. Now, Turtonator-GX is a new inclusion in Brad's list since Fort Wayne. This is particularly due to the deck's toughness against Golisopod-GX. Turtonator-GX having 190 hit points puts the Golisopod-GX player in a troublesome situation because they can't one hit KO Turtonator-GX. Shell Trap can deal 20-100 damage per turn while threatening 80 more damage if you hit into Shell Trap. Other than the use of Shell Trap, Turtonator-GX in this deck isn't that useful. Now, the last Pokémon inclusion is none other than Oricorio, which can take advantage of Dimension Valley since it's a Psychic type. It's attack, Supernatural Dance is mainly to help fight against Night March decks. Oricorio can be used multiple times if you recover it after it's KOed which it will likely be on the following turn, but that's okay if you're taking multiple KO's at a time. That's it as far as the Pokémon in Brad's list goes. As you can see every Pokémon I discussed have their own merits and have their place in the deck for good reasons.

Hopefully, I was able to provide enough detail on Brad's Pokémon counts and inclusions. Moving onto the supporters now and right off the bat, we can see Brad played three Professor Sycamore/Juniper as well as three N. It's odd seeing three and not four copies of Professor Sycamore/Juniper in this type of deck, however VS Seeker you can use in Expanded so you can get away with it. Garbotoxin shutting off abilities is crucial to a part of the deck's success so with a late game N in conjunction with Garbotoxin you can make it an even higher chance of your opponent bricking for a turn or two, which can ultimately lead to stolen games. Acerola if not AZ I feel should be in most if not all decks in Expanded. I would definitely recommend playing one or the other. Turtonator-GX, Drampa-GX, and even Necrozma-GX can benefit from Acerola, which can be clutch for saving them while still dishing out damage at the same time. By doing so, this game plan will surely make it more difficult for your opponent to take prizes in the long run. I'm sure many players couldn't wait to use Colress again in Expanded. Netting more than six cards, which N wouldn't have done otherwise is always a pleasant feeling. Colress can potentially ditto Big Wheel GX in a sense because they both can net you ten cards depending on the circumstances. There may be times where you may open with Colress and unfortunately would have an undersized bench. However, a lot of times Colress will net you just as much as N will or in a lot of cases even more. A turn one Brigette is ideal for this deck to pop off. By playing at least three copies of Tapu Lele-GX you shouldn't struggle to achieve this. You want to make sure you have enough Trubbish on the board to give you options later on.

Brigette can also catch hold of all the GX Pokémon as well as Oricorio. Teammates in this deck can do wonders too as it lets you grasp any two cards from your deck if one of your Pokémon were KOed last turn. Brad, as you can see, went with a 1-1 split of Guzma and Lysandre, which makes complete sense in a deck like this because there may be times where your active attacker may not be taken down thus making Lysandre more viable at the time than Guzma. Brad's list only plays three Float Stone so you may not be able to afford to Guzma at times if your opponent plays multiple Field Blowers. Now, Ghetsis is a stealthy addition to this deck because normally when a player sees Ghetsis in a deck It's in a deck that can item lock. However, this deck doesn't have any item lock going for it, but then again Ghetsis can be crucial against decks such as Turbo Darkrai-EX and even Blastoise no matter if you play item lock cards or not. Even if Ghetsis buys you one turn, it may be just enough to turn the game into your favor. You never know when a clutch Ghetsis will catch your opponent off guard knowing you don't play item lock cards. Eliminating your opponent's mid to late game VS Seekers can be game-changing. Brad's Tools of choice to add damage modifiers are three copies of Muscle Band and one copy of Choice Band. It may seem odd playing more Muscle Band over Choice Band, however in Expanded, it's necessary because a lot of decks in Expanded aren't EX or GX heavy and if they are they have other attackers as well.

Not to mention, Trubbish can attack the first turn, which makes it a superior attacker going second. The auto 20 damage that Muscle Band provides no matter what Pokémon you're attacking makes Muscle Band more flexible. Muscle Band essentially adds 40 damage alone, which is why it's the preferred bonus damage Tool for the deck. Brad still played one Choice Band in case the extra 10 damage warrants itself. As for Float Stone, they are mainly to abuse Garbotoxin, but at the same time if needed, to retreat Turtonator-GX because of its hefty retreat cost. I like the two Rescue Stretcher over any Super Rod because you're mainly attacking for one energy at a time anyway so you shouldn't have trouble finding or running dry on energy. It's important to use Rescue Stretcher's first effect to get immediate threats on board. Brad only played a single copy of Field Blower, which may contradict the deck, however you have to remember that Trubbish thrives on Tools being on the board to dish out damage so you want Tools in play as long as possible. Unless you know for a fact that Trashalanche will do more damage. Computer Search is Brad's Ace Spec of choice, which is a no-brainer especially since it can search out Dimension Valley and even energy cards. The energy count at seven Psychic and four Double Colorless seems pretty normal, so let's move onto other card options you can run in this deck.

Other card options


Against evolution decks that rely on EX and GX Pokémon, Espeon-EX can do extreme things against, especially after you have used Black Ray GX. They combo so well together, however, Garbodor should be able to clean up after Black Ray GX just fine.

Tapu Koko Promo:

This card can comfort more spread after or before Black Ray GX as well as the free retreat Tapu Koko provides.

Giratina Promo:

We all know how annoying Trevenant can be so having Giratina can make for an easier time against their item lock. If they ever BREAK evolve and attack with it you should be in a much more winnable situation now. Although the deck plays Garbotoxin, Giratina can still be convenient against Greninja BREAK, to shut off Giant Water Shuriken.


Brad and Azul both played a copy of this card in their Fort Wayne lists. By playing three Dimension Valley, you can catch your opponent off guard with Delinquent and steal games this way. However, Brad's most recent list didn't include it as you see above so maybe it's not worth the inclusion anymore.

Po Town:

This stadium can assist with more damage manipulation, however, Dimension Valley may have too much value in this deck, especially for Necrozma-GX and Trubbish as they can attack for one energy card.

With that said, it's time to switch over to Seismitoad-EX/Golisopod-GX which is my favorite deck at the moment.

Toad's and Arthropod's


At last, we finally get to my pet deck, and the list I'm likely playing this weekend. Well, let's begin with the general concept of this deck, which is to chip away at your opponent while denying them of items with Quaking Punch. Eventually, you're going to transition into Golisopod-GX to clean things up for the final blow if it warrants itself. The combination of Quaking Punch and First Impression is immensely strong going into Daytona Regionals this weekend. There are a few decks that I don't want to face up against specifically Trevenant and Fire-based decks. However, against Fire-based decks, you have somewhat of a chance depending on their start thanks to Seismitoad-EX and it's Water typing. Against Trevenant you have to get Keldeo-EX with a Float Stone down as soon as possible so you can repeat First Impression over and over again. Two Quaking Punches and then a follow up with First Impression can KO a Trevenant BREAK. Wimpod has free retreat on the first turn, which means you can go straight into Seismitoad-EX and if your opponent doesn't see it coming then Quaking Punch can be game-winning.

Golisopod-GX's Crossing Cut GX can do 180 damage with a Choice Band, which in a lot of cases is usually a guaranteed two prizes. Now, there is also a one of Golisopod which isn' the GX. In Expanded, Golisopod I believe is more useful than in Standard. It has an ability called Armor, which reduces 30 damage done to Golisopod next turn from any attacks. Armor basically makes it's hit points 160 while being a non-EX or GX. On top of that, it's attack, Resolute Claws can do 180 damage with a Choice Band. Unlike Crossing Cut GX you can hit for 180 every turn with Resolute Claws, which makes Golisopod a huge threat against Darkrai-EX, Drampa-GX, and much more. All this while only giving up one prize should Golisopod be taken down. Now, I've added a 1-1 Flareon line, which Enrique nor Cody played and this is because I wanted to have the edge against the mirror match. More specifically Golidopod-GX/Garbodor. Even if Flareon is able to assist with at least one, one-hit KO on an opposing Golisopod-GX makes it well worth the inclusion. If that isn't the case then your opponent has to use a Guzma/Lysandre to take a KO on a one prize Pokémon, which is fine by me. This means the same Golisopod-GX gets to attack once more before being hurt and if Flareon stays on the field then it'll make for an even easier game. Sure they can shut Flareon off with Garbotoxin, however, I have two Field Blowers for that scenario. Enrique and Cody played three copies of Seismitoad-EX, however, I feel that two is fine because you don't want to open it in the mirror match of course.

I decided to keep it at Two Tapu Lele-GX and one Shaymin-EX as I feel it's the way to go in this deck. There are times where you may need to dig for more cards to find that Double Colorless Energy or whatever it may be and Shaymin-EX can potentially help with that or else I would go with a third Tapu Lele-GX. Keldeo-EX makes the deck run smoothly because Rush In helps you go in and out of attackers, which is particularly nifty for when you have to transition over to Golisopod-GX at a moments notice after Seismitoad-EX has done its job or vice versa. Keldeo-EX also helps get out of status conditions, which is always gracious to be able to get out of Poison, Confusion, or even Paralyzation. Sudowoodo, I like to keep because it helps against pretty much every deck because limiting any deck to four bench spots can hurt them no matter the deck really. However, Sudowoodo was mainly included to make the M Rayquaza-EX, and Turbo Darkrai-EX matchups more favorable. I did take Sudowoodo out at first, but then it just didn't feel right taking it out because this deck doesn't ask for much with having one energy attackers, which are Basic's and stage 1's. Moving on, I went with four copies of Professor Sycamore and two copies of N. A late-game N combined with Quaking Punch can cripple your opponent so keep that in mind. I also went with two Guzma and two Acerola. The reason there isn't a 1-1 Guzma and Lysandre split is that of Golisopod-GX's First Impression attack even though there's Keldeo-EX to refresh it. Acerola can also refresh First Impression, while at the same time heal Golisopod-GX, and Seismitoad-EX to full, which is most cases can be game changing if used at the right time. Finally, we get into the one of supporters starting with Pokémon Fan Club, which Enrique and Cody didn't play but did suggest.

The fact that you can search out both a Wimpod, and any other Basic Pokémon, and still be able to use their effect is the reason I went with Pokémon Fan Club over Brigette. I just felt that getting a turn one Seismitoad-EX, and Wimpod was enough to persuade me. Or even to grab Keldeo-EX when you have a Float Stone in hand so you can roam freely. Ghetsis is an easy addition when you're playing Seismitoad-EX because if you're not using Pokémon Fan Club on the first turn then Ghetsis is the second option assuming your playing first. If not playing first then do not Ghetsis going second. A turn one Ghetsis while transitioning into Seismitoad-EX can steal games which is important to note. Teammates, for now, I'll keep because it can be clutch for when you need to find Double Colorless Energy and Choice Band. This way you can use Crossing Cut GX or Resolute Claws for a 180 damage KO. Karen is strictly in the deck for Night March, since Quaking Punch plus Karen wins that matchup. First Impression plus Karen can also be outstanding because Golisopod-GX has 210 hit points, which your opponent will need eleven Night Marchers in the discard to one hit KO Golisopod-GX. Another scenario they need is ten Night Marchers in the discard and a damage modifier. One more scenario can be having nine in the discard and a Choice Band. Either which way it's not easy to achieve unless you go all out. If you're able to use Armor Press plus Karen then even more exceptional. The rest of the list is pretty straightforward so I'll end it here.

Other card options

Dedenne FFI 34:

This card was in Enrique and Cody's Fort Wayne list, which was strictly for Ho-Oh-GX. Dedenne can also do great things against M Rayquaza-EX. I still feel the matchup against Ho-Oh-GX is rough since they can easily have another fully powered up attacker thanks to Blacksmith. I wish I had space for it but at the moment I'm content on dropping it for now.

Oranguru SUM 113:

The deck plays two Tapu Lele-GX and one Shaymin-EX to help stay consistent. However, in the late game is where Oranguru shines. Especially if you're taking quick prizes against a deck that can one shot you and potentially make a comeback. Oranguru I'll have to keep contemplating on since I love this card and the deck isn't playing Garbodor anyway so I'll think on it some more.

Vaporeon AOR 22:

This card can do wonders against Turbo Turtles or Fire-based decks in general. Seismitoad-EX may not be enough to handle a swarm of Blacksmithed attackers so Vaporeon may just be the answer. I'll have to debate on this card some more before I decide to include it since it really only helps against one matchup.

Jolteon AOR 26:

This deck can struggle hard against Ho-Oh-GX as I said so having Golisopod-GX turn into a Lightning-type can be very much helpful for one hit KOing those pesky Ho-Oh-GX's. Jolteon can also be clutch against M Rayquaza-EX although Sudowoodo is enough to win that matchup as is. The free retreat Jolteon provides is a solid option to go into once you have used Guzma or Acerola to refresh Golisopod-GX's First Impression attack.

Giratina Promo:

If you expect a flock of Trevenant then Giratina may be the way to go because this deck may not do too well against Trevenant BREAKs, let alone a turn one item lock. Shutting off their ability helps a ton and will let Keldeo-EX roam free with Golisopod-GX. Having the added bonus against Greninja BREAK can be useful as well.


At the moment I currently have Pokémon Fan Club. This is particularly due to having a number of EX Pokémon in the deck mainly Seismitoad-EX and Keldeo-EX. I know that Brigette can grab Wimpod's, however, Pokémon Fan Club can grab a Wimpod and a Seismitoad-EX at the same time or any two combinations and still being able to use their abilities, unlike Brigette. Sure you get one less Pokémon with Pokémon Fan Club and in most situations, that's okay as Seismitoad-EX can help buy time to set up.

Hex Maniac:

I know Enrique and Cody played this card in their Fort Wayne lists, however, I'm not a huge fan of the card because I feel that it's rare to use it effectively. For example against Raikou/Eels because that deck won't really see play. Against some decks that Hex Maniac can be great against for example M Rayquaza-EX and Greninja you should beat anyway so I feel that Hex Maniac is more of a luxury card as far as this deck goes. Sure it can be useful against Fire-based decks, however, Ho-Oh-GX and a Muscle Banded Turtonator-GX can still one hit KO Seismitoad-EX.

Scoop Up Cyclone:

It's tough to change to a different Ace Spec seeing how powerful Computer Search is. Especially in a deck that play's Seismitoad-EX where you can search out a Double Colorless Energy. However, Scoop Up Cyclone can be extremely clutch in this deck as it can pick up Golisopod-GX as well as Seismitoad-EX without any drawback. A Very dominant card in the mirror match or any deck in general that mainly two shots things.

Closing Thoughts

That will close out this article on two strong plays for the Daytona Regional Championships this weekend. I'll be there since it's fairly close to me as I live in Florida myself as most of you know. If your reading this part of the article then you are a Pro Member so shout out to you, and if you are interested in the Seismitoad-EX/Golisopod-GX list I provided and have some questions on it or suggestions then, by all means, toss me a message and I'll hear you out as I'm always down to hear other players perspective on decks and ideas. This month I'll be doing a handful of articles so make sure to keep your eyes peeled when they are published. I'm excited about this new format, and season and can't wait to see everyone this weekend in Daytona.

If you want to help support my team, be sure to check out Team ARG's Pokémon page on Facebook: "Team ARG Pokémon-TCG." There you can keep up to date with all the players on the team and we recently added three new players. My Twitter handle is down below if you want to follow me.

If you have any questions, then please feel free to leave me a comment below or message me on Facebook. I'll be sure to get to them as soon as possible.

As always, if you enjoyed reading this article, then please consider giving it a thumbs up. If you want to see a specific type of article or topic next time, don't hesitate to give me ideas down below, and I'll consider them. As always, keep an eye out for more articles to come. Until next time!

-Twitter @Jose_MarreroTCG

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