Experts' corner

Jose Marrero

"Two Unique Decks From San Jose Regionals" - Zygarde-EX/Carbink BREAK, and Sableye/Garbodor

Jose goes over two unique decks that did well at San Jose Regionals: Sableye/Garbodor and Zygarde-EX/Carbink BREAK.

12/26/2016 by Jose Marrero


Hello again, 60cards readers! This article will be another short one covering two decks that performed better than expected at this past Regionals in San Jose. Those two decks are Sableye/Garbodor piloted by Alex Koch, and Zygarde-EX/Carbink BREAK piloted by Sam Chen, Jeremy Jallen and Russell LaParre. I didn't attend San Jose myself because I decided to play in the ARG tournament held in Florida that weekend (which I did Top 4 in). Congrats to all these players for performing well. With that said, let's start with Alex Koch's Sableye/Garbodor deck.


I want to start off by saying that piloting this deck to a 8-0-1 finish Day 1 is ridiculously hard to do. I would say this deck is probably one of the hardest decks to pilot that well and Alex Koch obviously knew what he was doing. You also need a tremendous amount of patience with the deck because games will take up most of the time; but that's what the deck strives to do: you bascally run your opponent out of resources and then mill them out. Eventually you will win a long game 1 and then force game 2 to be invalid. Worse case, you end in a tie most of the time, assuming you know what you are doing.


Of course, the deck has it's ups and downs, however it really only has two very bad matchups: Greninja and Trevenant. But you can also argue that Seismitoad-EX and Keldeo-EX/Blastoise decks can be tough matchups, and of course veteran Yveltal players can also come out on top, if played right. Alex Koch actually lost in Top 8 to Kenny Britton's Greninja BREAK deck because that's honestly a really tough matchup for Sableye/Garbodor; Greninja one hit KO's Sableye for a single energy and because the energy goes to hand, it's safe from Hammers and Team Flare Grunts. Let's now go over Alex's list some.

Four Sableye is pretty standard as you want to open with it, however, Trubbish isn't a bad opener either. A 2-2 Garbodor line is also standard in this deck because you still need it to shut off abilities that can be troublesome. Two Shaymin-EX are included because you never know when they will dig you out of a dead hand, so they are needed. One Latias-EX is interesting in this deck but makes perfect sense: It's used to counter Trevenant decks as well as Keldeo-EX/Blastoise. Latias's ability, Bright Down, prevents all effects of attacks, including damage done to Latias-EX by Pokemon with abilities (Trevenant, Trevenant BREAK, Keldeo-EX, and Blastoise all have abilities). You obviously can't attack with Latias-EX because the deck doesn't run Fire or Psychic Energy so instead you simply pass until you deck them out.

As far as the supporters go, there are quite a handful, as you can see. Two Lysandre is needed to drag Pokemon up with big retreat costs to stick them active until you deck them out. Two Team Flare Grunt and one Xerosic are for discarding Energy in order to deny attacks. However, Xerosic can also get rid of Tools if need be. One Delinquent is included because you want to catch your opponent off guard and discard their whole hand, which makes for easier wins.

The one Pokemon Center Lady is odd, however I see it coming in handy against Greninja decks, because if you stick Parallel City to reduce their damage to 40 and they don't have a Muscle Band they can only do a max of 60 damage, and then you heal off and repeat to deny prizes. I like this inclusion now that I think about it, seeing as Greninja is a tough matchup as I mentioned already. One Hex Maniac is included just in case Garbodor takes too long to set up. One AZ is for picking up Shaymin-EX so that they aren't Lysandre bait, but at the same time used to heal Sableyes if need be. One Team Rocket's Handiwork is included to make for faster wins since it can potentially discard four cards at a time from your opponent's deck.

Moving out of the supporters, you can see Alex played a number of three-count Items. This is mainly due to having Sableye's attack, Junk Hunt, which lets you put 2 Items from your discard into your hand. There's only a need for three VS Seeker, Ultra Ball, Puzzle of Time, and Crushing Hammer. Running four Puzzle of Time is overkill and running two isn't worth it. Puzzles can also grab 2 Items back if need be. The Crushing Hammers are to help disrupt energies to try and survive longer. Alex also played two Trick Shovel; I usually see only one in these decks, however, running two makes it easier to manipulate the opponent's top deck and of course leads to faster mill wins.

Super Rod is needed to get back energy and Sableyes because they don't have a lot of health, which means they can be taken down easily assuming you have the energies. Target Whistle is meant to help you put down a big retreater from the discard that your opponent might not have wanted to play down. This is a big part of the deck's win condition--stalling. One Enhanced Hammer makes sense on top of the Crushing Hammers because sometimes the opponent may just have a Special Energy on the board and if you don't want to risk the Crushing Hammer flip then Enhanced Hammer comes in handy for those situations. The Tool Scrapper is mainly for Float Stones but also good to get rid of Muscle Bands and really any Tool that may need to be discarded at a moment's notice. Two Float Stone are, of course, for Garbodor. The Ace Spec of choice in this deck is none other than Life Dew and for good reason: Not only does Life Dew deny prizes, but you can keep Junk Hunting it back which is even more troublesome for the opponent. The Stadiums Alex decided to go with were one Parallel City and one Team Aqua's Secret Base. Parallel City, as I said, is helpful against Greninja, and Team Aqua's Secreat Base makes Pokemon have an extra retreat which helps you stall whenever your opponent's Pokemon have high retreat costs. With that said, if you want to see Alex Koch's interview by Josh Squeaky Marking then be sure to click the video down below which will take you to Josh's YouTube, Team Fish Knuckles.

Zygarde-EX/Carbink BREAK

This deck was piloted by Sam Chen, who made it all the way to Top 4 before losing to Kenny Britton's Greninja BREAK deck. The deck was also played by both Russell LaParre and Jeremy Jallen who both finished in Top 32.


Let's start with the Pokemon counts. A 4-3 line of Carbrink BREAK seems ideal. Carbink's ability, Safeguard, prevents all effects of attacks, including damage done to Carbink by Pokemon EX. In Expanded there are tons of decks that rely on EX Pokemon, most notably Yveltal-EX/Maxie's, and Turbo Darkrai-EX with and without Giratina-EX and Salamence-EX. Carbink BREAK, however, is the bread and butter of the deck because it's attack Diamond Gift lets you attach 2 Energy cards from your discard pile to 1 of your Fighting Pokemon.

Which brings me to the two Zygarde-EX and Landorus-EX. Both of which can do lethal damage if they have the right amount of energies. Zygarde-EX has three attacks which all are good in their own way. It's first attack, Land's Pulse, is used to take small KO's, which can do a max of 60 damage with a Strong Energy and Stadium in play. Zygarde-EX's second attack, Cell Storm, does 60 base damage and heals 30 damage off itself. This attack can come in handy against Trevenant decks, as well as to heal off damage from a Shaymin-EX that used Sky Return to break Focus Sash. And it's third attack, Land's Wrath, has a base of 100 damage but with damage modifiers it can do up to 180. With Zygarde-EX having 190 health it's no easy task taking down.

Moving out of the Pokemon and into the Supporters, we find some unique ones but let's start with the obvious ones. Three Professor Sycamore and three Korrina are staples for sure in this deck, or even four of each just like N. But if that's the case, the deck doesn't need four N. Four N seems overkill but the more I think about it I guess it makes sense because you don't want to toss away resources that are needed. The deck plays two AZ and two Pokemon Center Lady which is mainly for Trevenant decks, as well as Yveltal-EX/Maxies decks. The more the supporters the better against Trevenant because in Expanded Trevenant decks are popular.

Let's move onto the Items starting with the four Puzzle of Time. These can be searched out with Korrina which is awesome. Four Max Potions makes it harder for the opponent to take KO's. Four Focus Sash to ensure that decks that play EX Pokemon can't one hit KO Carbink because they can't use both Hex Maniac and Xerosic at once. At the same time, Focus Sash makes Zygarde-EX less vulnerable to one hit KO's against Pokemon such as M Rayquaza-EX and Yveltal-EX.

The one-of Items include Escape Rope in case you need to take a cheap KO on the bench and to get Zygarde-EX out of the active spot since it has a three retreat cost. Battle Compressor helps put energy for Diamond Gift in the discard as well as helps you discard supporters for VS Seeker uses. Enhanced Hammer is included since it can be reused with Puzzle of Time and searched out with Korrina, and it's great against Giratina-EX decks and huge Yveltal-EX. Their Stadium of choice was Magnetic Storm, which makes sense since it shuts off Resistance on all Pokemon. Because Yveltal-EX/Maxies is such as popular deck in Expanded, Magnetic Storm is needed to do that extra damage seeing how the whole deck is basically Fighting types. If you want to see Sam Chen's interview by Josh Squeaky Marking then be sure to click the video down below which will take you to Josh's YouTube, Team Fish Knuckles.

Closing Thoughts

That will conclude yet another short article. I'll have one more short article as well as a long article later this month. Both these decks, as you can see, are strong contenders in Expanded if piloted correctly. I'm sure there will be an increase in Zygarde-EX/Carbink BREAK decks at the next Expanded Regionals. Not so much Sableye/Garbodor because it's a tough deck to pilot and most players just don't want to deal with long games every round so they prefer to play something else.

With that said, please don't forget to check out The Chaos Gym on YouTube and Twitch for updates on player interviews and when Grafton Roll goes live. 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!


[+8] okko


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