Experts' corner

Jose Marrero

"Darkness Reigns Down on Florida" - A Look at Yveltal-EX/Garbodor and Darkrai-EX/Giratina-EX/Garbodor

Jose goes over two of the Dark decks ...

10/21/2016 by Jose Marrero

Jose goes over two of the Dark decks that performed well at Florida Regionals including the winning list piloted by Azul.


Hello once again, 60cards readers! With Florida Regionals done and accounted for I wanted to talk about two of the most successful Dark variants that performed well at Florida Regionals this past weekend with one of them ultimately winning. As stated in the title the two decks are of course Azul's winning list for Yveltal-EX/Garbodor and the 3rd, 4th, and 5th place list piloted by Ryan Sabelhaus, Brad Curcio, and Rahul Reddy as well as myself. This list was brewed by The Chaos Gym most notably by myself and Ryan Sabelhaus. We all ended up playing the same 60 card list (pun not intended). I myself did not make Day 2 like the other's, however I did finish 6-2-1 to finish 49th of 641 which is still awesome in my eyes since I still got points and half a box. Some other notable players that also played the list was Russell LaParre who made Day 2 and finished in Top 32 as well as Franco Takahashi who unfortunately went 5-3-1.

I've been messing around with Darkrai-EX/Giratina-EX for about a month prior to Florida Regionals and finally got most people on bored after tweaking cards here and there. I first started with the Crushing Hammers variant without Garbodor which actually ended up winning in the Juniors division which was awesome to watch. But then I noticed Volcanion and Greninja decks started to get more and more popular so I had no choice but to add Garbodor in and drop Crushing Hammers altogether which end the end was the right call. By the way it was great having Brad Curcio, Brandon Cantu, William Hermann, Shaye Gille, and Azul stay over my place. We had tons of fun playing Resistance and what not. With that said, let's go over Azul's winning list.

Azul's 1st Place FL winning list


Azul's list is quite interesting because I doubt people would have guessed Yveltal-EX with Garbodor would have won. But the more I look at the list the more it makes sense. Azul played three Yveltal-EX so he truly believed in the power of Evil Ball that's for sure. He also played two Fright Night Yveltal which helps to set up KO's for Yveltal-EX to clean up. Pitch-Black Spear is extremely powerful in Standard because most people rely on Float Stone. Azul also ran one Oblivion Wing Yveltal just in case he runs out of energy or simply to get some chip damage off while powering up a benched Yveltal at the same time. It did come in handy in Azul's finals match. Two Shaymin-EX of course for consistency. When running a deck with Garbodor a 2-2 line is ideal because I've tried 1-1 and 2-1 and many times I either prize a piece when it's needed or I would have to force discard Garbodor while Super Rod is prized so I recommend going with a 2-2 line that way you at least have a way to get one out for sure. With Garbodor Azul can either choose to negate Fright Night to make Fighting Fury Belts active or keep Fright Night active to deny Float Stones and opposing Fighting Fury Belts. Azul's Supporter counts are pretty standard except the Olympia. You will see we also ran Olympia in the other list. Olympia is just an overall solid card. Being able to heal 30 damage and switch to bench is great especially since it's reusable with VS Seeker which is one of the main reasons it can come in clutch. Something I noticed is that Azul ran only three Max Elixir and two Trainers' Mail.

You would think you would want four Max Elixir and either three or four Trainers' Mail in a deck like this which has the potential to get a turn one Pitch-Black Spear. However, that wasn't the case for Azul. But looking at the rest of the list I can see now why he played three Max Elixir and two Trainers' Mail. This is because Azul also played two Enhanced Hammers which if you were to drop those then you can go to four Max Elixir and three Trainers' Mail or vise versa. My guess was that Azul added the Enhanced Hammers last minute and went with his gut which ultimately was a great call as you will see in his finals match which I'll post down below. On top of that Azul played two Parallel City and one Reverse Valley as his Stadiums. Both Stadiums have thier merits. Reverse Vally adding an extra 10 damage out of left field can surprise the opponent into what was not a KO into a KO. Parallel City is great against Volcanion, Rainbow Road, and M Rayquaza-EX basically decks that rely on big benches. Overall Azul's list was pretty well thought out and had great matchups against most if not all decks. It was a pretty good counter to the other Dark deck I'll be getting into next because Azul ended up beating about four or five Darkrai-EX/Giratina-EX/Garbodor decks. With that said, down below is Azul's finals match from Florida Regionals versus Alex Schemanske.

Azul's finals match

I don't want to get into the game much since I don't want to spoil it even though you obviously know who wins. But both players played extremely well with Azul coming out on top. Very close games coming down to game 3 where Azul barely pulls it off with his last VS Seeker thanks to Garbodor to become the 2016 Florida Regional Champion.

The Chaos Gym's 3rd/4th/5th Place List


As I said this list was bascially made by The Chaos Gym. I kept working on this deck even though others were playing other things such as, Greninja and M Rayquaza-EX/M Gardevoir-EX. I still had hope for this deck even though Fairy decks were starting to pop up more. Most notably Rainbow Road and as we saw M Gardevoir-EX. Ryan Sabelhaus as well as Brad Curcio and I had been talking about the deck to see what last minute changes we wanted to do the day before the event. We ultimately decided on dropping Escape Rope and one Trainers' Mail for a third Darkrai-EX and an Olympia. The Escape Rope I was on the fence about because that meant we literally had no way to go around Regice or Jolteon-EX but we all agreed to hope to dodge that matchup and also we just didn't expect much Vileplume. As you may have seen there were a couple high caliber players playing the deck which all went pretty far. Brad Curcio actually lost to the deck in top 4. Ryan Sabelhaus lost to Azul in top 4 and Rahul Reddy lost to Ryan in top 8 which of course was a 60 card mirror. All three of them played the same 60 card list I presented to you above. Let's talk about the list a little more.

We kept it at two Giratina-EX but I did mention possibly addding Hydreigon-EX not only for a third Dragon type for Double Dragon attachments but also for it's Shred attack to get around Regice and Jolteon-EX. Some of us debated it but in the end we figured it wasn't necessary and it wasn't a great opener. The rest of the Pokemon line is pretty straight forward. The Supporter count is almost exactly like Azul's except he ran three N. As I said the Olympia was an Escape Rope at first which was meant to get around Fright Night and heal some damage from Pitch-Black Spear. We kept one Enhanced Hammer in because you just never know when it can come in handy especially in the mirror match. I also mentioned Silent Lab because it can stick earlier against Volcanion since Garbodor takes time. However, Silent Lab was scrapped fairly quickly because running both Silent Lab and Garbodor didn't seem right since Silent Lab doesn't help in the Greninja matchup and can make the deck less consistent against Mega decks since you don't want Garbodor out against those decks. With that said, down below is Rahul's road to worlds report presented by The Chaos Gym.

Rahul's Road to Worlds Report

Short Tournament Report (Top 64)

You can see I started the tournament with a record of 1-2-1 which wasn't my best day. My round 1 was against M Mewtwo-EX/Garbodor which is a great machup, however games 1 and 3 I drew dead and ended up losing. Game 3 I opened lone Darkrai-EX and drew pass against a turn 2 M Mewtwo-EX attacking with Garbodor out. Round 2 I played against M Scizor-EX/Garbodor with Crushing Hammers and Team Flare Grunts. This was a very tough matchup, but I put my thinking cap on and 2-0ed my opponent and funny enough I only attacked once in both games. I actually ended up decking my opponent out both games because I kept Lysandre stalling his Hoopa-EX. Round 3 I'm now up against Greninja which is a great matchup for me. However, game one I drew so bad but then out of nowhere I started making a huge comeback but then my opponent made some nice plays to lock himself the game as I decked out game 1. I knew I had to play fast since game 1 took up most of the time. Game 2 I end up winning pretty handedly with a turn 2 Garbodor and Darkrai-EX one hit KOing everything. As we are setting up for game three time is called so we end in a tie. Round 4 I'm up against Brandon Salazar the 2014 National Champion pilotting Greninja as well. By the way Brandon's never beaten me in a non League Challenge tournament. We get into game 1 and it's really close to where at numerous times all I need is a Float Stone for Garbodor to lock up the game. But after a number of N's and Sycamores I couldn't find any. I had about 10 cards left in deck and two Float Stones still in there so I barely lose game 1. I had Garbodor out the whole game but just couldn't find a Tool for it.

This is when I noticed Brandon didn't play Lysandre. So Game 2 I'm putting in work and taking prizes every turn. But Brandon is playing a little slow to be honest and I tell him to make a move a one point and of course time is called when I'm at three prizes so Brandon wins because I could only take two since Greninja doesn't play EX's. So at this point I'm pretty infuriated with Brandon because he slow played me into a win. I actually wrote Drop on my slip and sign it because I was so tilted I didn't care about the tournament anymore. As the round kept going I cooled off and said to myself "wow did I really just get that mad?" I went up to Brandon as people were still playing there turns out on time and I said to him that I wasn't mad at him anymore since it was silly to be. I knew I had written drop on my slip because I knew I wasn't going to make Day 2 even if I win my next five rounds since I was 1-2-1 at this point. Next round pairings go up and I see my name on there so I decide to keep playing and boy am I glad I did. Turns out you had to go up to the counter and personally tell them that you were dropping. Rounds 5, 6, and 7 were all against M Mewtwo-EX which I won. Round 8 was against Gyarados which is an autowin for Giratina-EX so I took a quick 2 convincing games there. And round 9 as you can see was against Jacob Dudzik playing Volcanion. I ended up 2-0ing him there. Game 2 was actually pretty close but a well timed N and Garbodor drop sealed it for me. So I ended my Florida Regionals run at 49th. This was actually the first time missing Day 2/Top 32 at Florida Regionals since I started playing back in 2010. Still in the end I was happy with my positive record.

Closing Thoughts

There you have it guys and gals. Both decks are very strong in Standard and if there were a Standard tournament tomorrow I would definitely play one of these decks. I'll have another short article coming soon so be sure to say tuned for that. Even though I was a little bummed to have missed Day 2 with 19 points which is usually Day 2 worthy, but because we had over 600 Masters meant everyone with 19 points missed the cut as well as five people with 20 points which is crazy to think about. I was still happy to walk away with some points and prizes at least. I'll be at Philly Regionals in a couple weeks so be sure to see me there. Don't forget to check out our YouTube channel, The Chaos Gym on Facebook. If you enjoy what you see please consider subscribing for more updates on player interviews and more. If you have any questions about these lists or decks in general then please feel free to leave me a comment down below or message me on Facebook and I'll be sure to get to them as soon as possible. As usual, 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, then don't hesitate to give me ideas down below and I'll consider them. Or if you have any other deck ideas and want to see an analysis on it, then by all means post it and I'll take a look. As always, keep an eye out for more articles to come. Until next time!

[+9] okko


Thank you for your time. Please leave us your feedback to help us to improve the articles for you! 





Make sure to follow us on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook to see the latest stories. 


Pokémon and its trademarks are ©1995-2018 Nintendo, Creatures, and GAMEFREAK. English card images appearing on this website are the property of The Pokémon Company International, Inc. 60cards is a fan site. Our goal is to promote the Pokemon TCG and help it grow. We are not official in any shape or form, nor affiliated, sponsored, or otherwise endorsed by Nintendo, Creatures, GAMEFREAK, or TPCi.



Welcome to our Pokemon Community Portal. Have a look around and enjoy your stay!