Experts' corner

Jose Marrero

Top 32 VA Report, M Rayquaza-EX and Gyarados Post Guardians Rising

Jose briefly analysis his Virginia Regionals top 32 finish and then talks about M Rayquaza-EX as well as Gyarados post Guardians Rising.

05/19/2017 by Jose Marrero


Hello, once again my fellow 60cards readers! First off, congrats to fellow ARG teammate Grant Manley on his 2nd place finish at Virginia Regionals with his crazy concoction of a deck, Quad Wobbuffet, and friends. I know Virginia Regionals has since past so I won't go too in-depth on my report because I know your here to see the updated lists post Guardians Rising and if you aren't a Pro Member yet then you are missing out and should join us even if it's just for a week. I ended up playing M Rayquaza-EX (what a shocker) at Virginia Regionals, however with a little twist. I ultimately decided on playing both the Fire variant along with Gumshoos-GX. Because I played the Fire variant I, of course, played Salamence-EX and Volcanion-EX, however, you can opt not to play Volcanion-EX in place of Oranguru if that's what you prefer. The list I played was just three cards shy of my last article on M Rayquaza-EX. Those changes were dropping one Hex Maniac and Oranguru for a 1-1 line of Gumshoos-GX and one Colorless Rayquaza-EX for a Dragon one.

So really the biggest change was Gumshoos-EX which I felt did more than Espeon-GX which was another variant I was leaning towards. However, Salamence-EX convinced me to go with the Fire variant instead. I ended up going undefeated actually Day 1 of swiss with a record of 6-0-3 with the last round being an intentional draw with the one and only Igor Costa and former teammate who has top 8ed 5 Regionals this season which is crazy and proves that he deserves the new supreme title of "The GOAT". Unfortunately, I hit back to back rough matchups in Day 2 to Christopher Watkins of Some1sPC who's a great guy piloting Darkrai-EX/Giratina-EX/Salamence-EX which Chris made Top 16 so shout out to him and then a hard loss to Jared Zander piloting Decidueye-GX/Vileplume with Regice and then finally to Main Ahmed playing Volcanion who made Top 8. That's all I'll get into for now since you can just read the rest of the report after I talk about the list I played a little more.

With that said down below is the list I took to a 20th place overall finish in a field of over 660 players at Virginia Regionals.

M Rayquaza-EX/Gumshoos-GX/Fire

1 Dragon Rayquaza-EX

I decided to play just one copy of the Dragon one simply because it has higher hit points than the Colorless one and in some situations, more hit points can make a difference. Not to mention they have two different weaknesses so by playing both you have both options to stall if need be against both Lightning based decks and Fighting based decks. 

1-1 Gumshoos-GX

Awesome against Giratina-EX which was one of the main reasons why I decided to play it. For a single Colorless Energy, Gumshoos-GX can one hit KO Pokémon that gives the deck trouble such as, Giratina-EX, M Mewtwo-EX and even Regice. Its GX attack and ability pretty much hit the nail in the coffin to convince me to play it over Espeon-GX.

1 Salamence-EX

This card can do wonders against Turbo Darkrai-EX and even in the mirror because they both play Hoopa-EX and rely on it to set up and search for attackers. Salamence-EX can also be useful against M Mewtwo-EX since they too rely on Hoopa-EX and even against Yveltal-EX/Garbodor it can do work because these days they play four Yveltal-EX plus other EX like Shaymin-EX. Against the mirror, you want to attach to Salamence-EX first this way you threaten both Salamence-EX and M Rayquaza-EX because you can always power up M Rayquaza-EX in a single turn while Salamence-EX you can't. Surprisingly Salamence-EX was good against Decidueye-GX/Vileplume because they rely on EXs such as, multiple Shaymin-EX to set up and Lugia-EX as the main attacker.

1 Volcanion-EX

Having the option to discard a Fire Energy from hand should you draw into a Fire Energy after you have used Ultra Ball seemed too good not to pass up. By having Volcanion-EX you have a more consistent way of getting Fire Energy in the discard for Mega Turbo and plus it's another EX that Hoopa-EX can search out to fuel Emerald Break.

1 Hex Maniac

I had two Hex Maniac at first but then I thought even with two the Decidueye-GX/Vileplume matchup is still 50-50 and you still should be favored against Volcanion so I had to make a tough call and dropped it down to one to make room for Gumshoos-GX which in the end I think was a solid call.

2 Lysandre

I can't stress this enough on why you should be playing two Lysandre in every M Rayquaza-EX list. I see people playing one and I just cringe. When you're playing a deck like M Rayquaza-EX where you set up fast you want to be able to KO anything you want whenever you want thus why two Lysandre is needed especially to take out a quick Garbodor or Vileplume.

1 Skyla

The only reason I'm keeping Skyla is because of Puzzle of Time or else it would probably be another N. You don't know how many times a Hoopa-EX or Dragonite-EX has been Lysandred up and I just simply Skyla for Float Stone or Escape Rope. Even if you open with Skyla it's not the worst thing because you can grab an Ultra Ball for Hoopa-EX and start setting up. Skyla gives the deck more outs which I recommend playing a copy if you don't already.

1 N

As much as I want to go up to two I think playing one N is fine because M Rayquaza-EX will likely take the prize lead making a late game N not as appealing as an early game one.

2 Puzzle of Time

Yes, that's two Puzzle of Time I didn't have a typo there. I made the call to play just two simply because when you're playing four you only really use two successfully which I've said before and by playing four you do not want to open with them or else they are wasted. So by playing two, it's less likely to open with them and now you can save them mid to late game if need be. You can see the deck still plays three Trainers' Mail so the list is still as consistent as any other top list out there without Puzzle of Time except now the deck has the added bonus of playing two which in my eyes is even better.

2 Float Stone/1 Escape Rope

Personally, I recommend running at least three ways to switch your active out whether its Float Stone, Escape Rope, Olympia or Switch itself because you don't want to be that person that lost by being decked out from being stalled. Also by running a handful of switching cards, it makes for easier turn one Emerald Breaks.

1 Super Rod

Once Sky Field is replaced with another stadium it's nice to just be able to Super Rod three Pokémon back into the deck making it so you can still use a supporter to potentially draw into them whereas if you Brock's Grit you have to have Ultra Ball, or Hoopa-EX in hand as well which isn't always the case. Being able to Puzzle of Time for another Super Rod is so good as well.

Why I chose what I played

As a long time fan of M Rayquaza-EX ever since it's Roaring Skies release I knew I was going to play some form of M Rayquaza-EX for Virginia Regionals. Especially since there were five that made Day 2 at Utah Regionals a month before. This overall factor is what lead me to play M Rayquaza-EX but the million dollar question was what variant do I play? I was going over how matchups would play out in my head with both the Fire variant with and without Salamence-EX as well as the variant with Espeon-GX. But then I noticed Gumshoos-GX were being splashed into M Rayquaza-EX decks and so I thought about what it would be good against and BAM it hit me knowing that Gumshoosh-GX just seemed overall more effective than Espeon-GX because not only for its attack but for its ability, Search the Premises. They both help against M Mewtwo-EX/Giratina-EX/Glaceon-EX/Regice and even a big Yveltal-EX so I said to myself, okay but Gumshoos-GX can one shot for a single non-Special Energy and its ability is an added bonus which lead to Gumshoos-GX going in the deck over Espeon-GX. Now I could have just played them both and went with Psychic Energy but I didn't really want to play two 1-1 lines so I went back to the Fire variant and tweaked some cards around to finally come up with the list you see above.

I was torn between playing Volcanion-EX or Oranguru. I wanted to play them both but space was tight as is. The biggest reason I opted to go with Volcanion-EX over Oranguru was for the fact that Hoopa-EX can search out Volcanion-EX which is crucial for hitting the correct numbers at a moment's notice. Looking back I think I made the correct call going with Fire Energy because you can even take advantage of your opponent's Scorched Earth as silly as it sounds but that's just another plus to playing Fire Energy over Psychic. I knew the three biggest decks would be Decidueye-GX/Vileplume which is a 50-50 matchup no matter what you play in M Rayquaza-EX and Turbo Darkrai-EX which is favorable as well as Volcanion which is another favorable matchup and I had Gumshoos-GX to deal with other threats which I think my list was near perfect once you see how my matches went and I wouldn't change a thing pre-Guardians Rising.

With that said, down below is how my rounds went.

Quick rundown of my matches

Day 1: 6-0-3

Round 1 - Tristan Macek- Yveltal-EX/Garbodor: WLT (0-0-1)

This round I actually was on stream for. TheMetaDeck ended up streaming and doing a great job at Virginia Regionals so shout out to them. The video is down below if you want to check it out. Spoiler alert in game 1 I missed the lethal because I was too focused on trying to KO Shaymin-EX and I forgot I was at 1 prize and in game 2 I prized Yungoos or else I think I would have taken the series instead of a tie.


Round 2 - Daniel Polo - Decidueye-GX/Vileplume: WW (1-0-1)

My first Decidueye-GX/Vileplume of the day and I knew I was bound to hit one eventually. To my surprise opening Salamence-EX in both games actually did more work than I thought because it took three prizes game one and two in game two which made Daniel play around it because he actually discarded Lugia-EX with his Professor Sycamore. Still, Daniel didn't get a turn one let alone a turn two Vileplume neither game which if you know how M Rayquaza-EX works you are basically handing them two free games which went exactly how you think it would play out.

Round 3 - Joseph Shriver - Quad Lapras-GX/Box: WW (2-0-1)

To my surprise these games were closer than I wanted it to be but that was particularly my fault because I was playing way too conservative since I thought I was facing the disruption type of Quad Lapras-GX so the whole time in game one I'm waiting for Crushing Hammers and Enhanced Hammers to hit the field but my opponent didn't play them. I eventually noticed this after game one goes down to 2-2 prizes since my opponent was taking KO's on Shaymin-EX with both Lapras-GX and Suicune. I still managed to barely pull out the win in game one and now I know I just need to go in earlier in game two which is exactly what I did so I take the series with a 2-0 victory. Joseph played really well given that he basically faced an auto loss.

Round 4 - Jeffrey Deka - Decidueye-GX/Vileplume: LWT: (2-0-2)

A turn one Vileplume from Jeffrey was all it took to make quick work of me game one. However, game two Jeffrey drew so bad that the game only lasted a couple turns. Unfortunately game one took most of the time so we didn't have too much time in game three even though I was playing pretty fast and was in the lead the whole time. We end in a tie but I was confident I had that game in the bag from both our board states.

Round 5 - Tyler Turner - Turbo Darkrai-EX: LWW (3-0-2)

I finally hit a Turbo Darkrai-EX which I was praying for. I absolutely love this matchup especially now that I run Salamence-EX. Game one I was in the lead until my opponent dropped down Silent Lab and my hand was literally as dead as it gets so a couple turns of draw passing I concede. I bricked when I was Ned to four or five the previous turn which I was shocked because it was so early in the game that my opponent got very lucky to stick that Silent Lab. Still, I know M Rayquaza-EX can win two games against Turbo Darkrai-EX pretty handily. Games two and three went as planned as M Rayquaza-EX went on a rampage so I make a 2-0 comeback pretty convincingly.

Round 6 - Zach Bivens - M Mewtwo-EX/Wobbufett: WW (4-0-2)

The last time I played Zach was actually last season in the finals of Georgia States where I was the victor. Usually, M Rayquaza-EX can struggle against M Mewtwo-EX decks if they play Garbodor. Unfortunately for Zach, he didn't play Garbodor but instead played Wobbuffet which gave me a huge edge in the matchup because once Wobbuffet is no longer active it's clobbering time. Game one and two I was fairly confident even though in game one we both drew pretty poorly and I was afraid I was going to get benched by Zach's lone M Mewtwo-EX against my lone Gumshoos-GX but luckily for me I drew out of the poor draw first thus letting me set up attackers and eventually winning. Game two I was able to threaten both M Rayquaza-EX and Salamence-EX putting tons of pressure on Zach and again I take the game pretty convincingly. I knew there were a handful of good players piloting M Mewtwo-EX with no Garbodor which I was hoping to face and finally got my wish.

Round 7 - Alex Smetana - Darkrai-EX/Giratina-EX/Salamence-EX: WLW (5-0-2)

Some of the best games I've ever played honestly. Game one I was able to one hit KO Giratina-EX with Gumshoos-GX and from there it was downhill for Alex. However, in game two I drew poorly but in game three was where I had one of the closest and best games I've played as I said. Eventually, both Alex and I are at two prizes apiece and Alex has a chance to win first. All he needs on his following turn is to hit one Max Elixir and an energy attachment for the turn since my active M Rayquaza-EX had 100 damage already on it and Alex had 3 energy on board. Mind you I N Alex the turn before to two and off his three cards including top deck were Professor Sycamore, a Dark Energy, and a Max Elixir. Alex uses Max Elixir and whiffs it and I'm just in shock at this point knowing I just barely missed a loss there. Alex then Professor Sycamores digging for the last Max Elixir and misses it but uses Trainers' Mail and whiffs to find the last one as he only finds a Fighting Fury Belt to put me at 210 damage just 10 damage shy of the win. So I take my turn and take my last two prizes in a very good series. There were a handful of people watching since we were in game three with little time left which made for an even more exciting game three.

Round 8 - Alex Hudson - Decidueye-GX/Vileplume: WLW (6-0-2)

My opponent struggled to get Vileplume out in games one and two which ultimately gave me a huge edge. As for game two, I believe Alex got Vileplume out on the first turn and made quick work of me. Game three was really close but eventually, I KOed Vileplume and from there I was free to use Items which led to one hit KO's on Decidueye-GX.

Round 9 - Igor Costa - Decidueye-GX/Vileplume/Regice: ID (6-0-3)

Because I know this match is pretty much a 50-50 for M Rayquaza-EX I ask Igor if he wants to ID. Igor thinks about it and decides to play it out and then all of a sudden he asks if I played Gumshoos-GX. I then tell him if I show you I play it will you take the ID and so he agrees and I show him so we ID. The whole situation was a lot funnier in person. Igor was able to make Top 8 for the 5th time this season at a Regionals so congrats to him.

Day 2: 2-3-0

Round 10 - Christopher Watkins - Darkrai-EX/Giratina-EX/Salamence-EX: LL (6-1-3) 

I thought I had a slight chance in this matchup even knowing that Chris played two Salamence-EX but boy was I wrong. Game one Chris takes two quick EX KO's and so I scoop pretty quickly. However, in game two I play first and get M Rayquaza-EX on the bench with an energy and next turn I have the follow-up Double Colorless and Lysandre to take out one of Chris's Salamence-EX. But this is when all hell broke lose because Chris proceeds to attach a Double Dragon Energy onto one of his Salamence-EX then hits Max Elixir and then Float Stones out to Lysandre up my only M Rayquaza-EX for a turn one KO. I was like what just happened!!! Still, I know I can make a comeback because Chris whiffed his second Max Elixir for his other Salamence-EX. The turn before I had grabbed an N off my Skyla just in case he somehow took a turn one KO which I was right so I play the N on my second turn of the game and I have to hit M Rayquaza-EX, Spirit Link and Mega Turbo off six cards which was possible because I still had all three Spirit Links in deck. I look at my hand and I'm just missing the Spirit Link so I Shaymin-EX for a couple cards and whiff so I just concede knowing it was over. I wasn't salty at all knowing I lost to a great friend who went on to finish in Top 16.

Round 11 - Jared Zander - Decidueye-GX/Vileplume/Regice: LL (6-2-3) 

Not much to say about these games other than Regice putting tons of pressure on me. I didn't draw too well thanks to my opponent's turn one Vileplume while going first. In game two it wasn't much different and to make matters worse I prized Gumshoos-GX which if I hadn't I think I could have pulled out the win because my opponent attacked with Regice when I had Yungoos on the bench and he didn't even have Vileplume out. But because I prized Gumshoos-GX I wasn't able to capitalize in the KO on Regice. I even had the Ultra Ball and Energy in hand but what could you do...

Round 12 - Main Ahmed - Volcanion: LWL (6-3-3) 

Game one I draw very poorly and eventually just concede the game after I'm staring down three fully powered Volcanion-EX. However, game two is looking a lot better for me with some quick KO's and well timed Hex Maniac plays so I take this game. Game three is where it gets spicy because we are going back and forth with KO's and eventually I'm in the winning position just needing to hit one of my last two VS Seeker so I can Lysandre for the game. With about 10-12 cards left in the deck I Trainers' Mail and whiff so I use my opponent's Scorched Earth to draw two cards and whiff again. So all I can do is Skya for VS Seeker to hope to win next turn. Mind you my opponent is also at two prizes however his field only threatens a one energy Fighting Fury Belted Volcanion-EX. Another thing to note was that my active M Rayquaza-EX already had 20 damage on it from a previous Volcanion hit. My opponent proceeds to attach a Fire Energy than Max Elixir onto his Fighting Fury Belted Volcanion-EX then uses Steam Up two times since all he had left was two Volcanion-EX for an exact 200 damage just enough to win the game. This loss put me out of contention of Top 8 and even Top 16 at best which was unfortunate. Main Ahmed was able to squeak into Top 8 at 8th seed so congrats to him, unfortunately, that meant that my buddy Ryan Sabelhaus got 9th and bubbled out due to me winning my last two rounds.

Round 13 - Stephan Blake - Volcanion/Entei: WW (7-3-3)

After taking a very unfortunate loss the round before to Volcanion I was hungry to redeem myself. My opponent opens with Entei and I immediately notice it's another Volcanion and I know I have to take care of Entei as soon as possible or else it can threaten lethal KO's. Unfortunately for my opponent, his deck decided not to work for him thus letting me steamroll through him. Game two is basically the same although it was slightly a better match than the first game for my opponent. However, Stephan couldn't handle the swarm of M Rayquaza-EXs and Hex Maniac so I take a convincing 2-0 series.

Round 14 - Simon Trottier Lacasse - Volcanion/Salamence-EX: WW (8-3-3)

This round my opponent yet again didn't draw too well and even though he played Salamence-EX I was able to best him in a quick game one with my own Salamence-EX. Game two, however, my opponent just conceded right off the bat knowing this round was irrelevant for the both of us so I take the series with a quick 2-0.

Final Record: 8-3-3 in 20th place out of over 660 players. Winnings, of course, were $250, a Booster Box, and 52 CP which puts me at 677/500 for the season thus far.

Let's now get into what most of you have been waiting for, post Guardians Rising updated lists.

Post Guardians Rising

M Rayquaza-EX/Metal

3 Dragon Rayquaza-EX

You can see I changed back to all Dragon Rayquaza-EX which is particularly due to Tapu Koko-GX and Raikou based decks and I guess Raichu while we are at it. Since I think Giratina-EX will slowly die off I think playing all Dragon ones is the way to go because sometimes you may need to stall against those pesky aforementioned Lightning decks and plus GX Pokémon are seeing more play, making Intensifying Burn not as relevant anymore.

1 Magearna-EX

Now that Guardians Rising yielded both Drampa-GX and Sylveon-GX I think its now time to switch back into the Metal variant thus making Magearna-EX great against those two cards. Denying Drampa-GX's Righteous Edge from discarding Double Colorless Energy and being able to one hit KO a Sylveon-GX and Glaceon-EX due to their Metal weakness should indicate that Metal Ray is the best M Rayquaza-EX variant to play post Guardians Rising should you decide to play the deck.

1 Tapu Lele-GX

Easily one of the best inclusions from Guardians Rising. I can even see playing two Tapu Lele-GX, however, I think one is enough because Hoopa-EX can't search it out. Being able to basically Ultra Ball for a supporter of choice is too good not to play in any given deck, not just M Rayquaza-EX. The cool thing about Tapu Lele-GX in this deck is that it's a counter to both Glaceon-EX and Regice even though Magearna-EX is more effective against Glaceon-EX.

1 Oranguru

I didn't play this card at Virginia Regionals, however, now that there's more room I most definitely would play Oranguru because it's great against low hand Ns and Parallel City.

1 Field Blower

Another new inclusion thanks to Guardians Rising and because you can reuse it with Puzzle of Time makes it even better. We all know the power of Garbodor and Parallel City as well as Silent Lab against M Rayquaza-EX so by having a way to discard all those stadiums and a Tool on Garbodor at the same time is way too good to pass up and should be played in every M Rayquaza-EX list.

Other card additions


You can still play this card post Guardians Rising, however, I don't think there will be as many M Mewtwo-EX and Giratina-EX making Gumshoos-GX not as viable. Tapu Lele-GX can be the new Regice counter not to mention Oranguru and the deck has Magearna-EX for Glaceon-EX and even Tapu Lele-GX can go through it.


Very good against the mirror match which will down right win you the matchup. Even if they Hex Maniac they are shutting off their Shaymin-EX's making it hard to fill the bench needing four more Pokémon. Sudowoodo is also good against M Gardevoir-EX which they surely will play it. Not to mention Raichu based decks which M Rayquaza-EX struggles against limits their damage to 160 damage, however with Choice Band they can hit 220 even with Sudowoodo on board so you probably still lose to Raichu decks.


Having two solid attacks for a single Colorless Energy that can get back resources while at the same time discarding cards from your opponent's deck seems very good especially given that Quad Sylveon-GX and Lapras-GX are annoying decks right now that thrive on draining your resources.


A new supporter which lets you search for any 2 cards and put them on top of your deck in any order. Mallow is essentially like Teammates except they don't just go into your hand and you don't have to wait to be KOed. You can Mallow and then Shaymin-EX for the cards you put on top. You will be surprised to see how many players Shaymin-EX for just two-three cards.

Brock's Grit:

With the new Garbodor seeing a huge play post Guardians Rising you can opt to play Brock's Grit over Super Rod giving you one less Item in your deck. Even against Quad Sylveon-GX Brock's Grit may just overall be more effective in the long run but that's a personal opinion.


You can also drop Escape Rope for Olympia to make for one less Item against Garbodor just like Brock's Grit in place of Super Rod as I mentioned. Being able to reuse both Olympia and Brock's Grit is a nice option to have though thanks to VS Seeker. By switching to more supporters over Super Rod and Escape Rope will also help against Vileplume based decks.

Special Charge:

Great for getting back multiple Double Colorless Energy against decks that play ways to disrupt your energy attachments such as, Quad Lapras-GX and the newly formed Quad Sylveon-GX deck as I said that will surely see play thanks to Japan.

With that said, let's see how an updated Gyarados list looks like post Guardians Rising.


1-1 Octillery

This card I personally think is needed in Gyarados decks so that you don't get cheesed out of a win by getting Ned into an unplayable hand. Plus Octillery doesn't care about Silent Lab. Basically, Octillery makes the deck that much more consistent.

1-1 Machoke

Ahhh now we get into one of the newest additions. This card is honestly good against so many things that can hit the bench or place damage counters such as, Decidueye-GX, Spinda, Espeon-GX, Umbreon-GX, Galvantula, Hoopa STS, Greninja BREAK, and lastly the new Tapu Koko promo as well as Oricorio. I'm sure there are other things but these are to name a few of the ones we've seen before and may see in the near future.

1 Shaymin-EX/1 Tapu Lele-GX

Even with Octillery you still want to play these two cards because the deck plays a handful of supporters and Shaymin-EX can always be returned back into the hand. Playing these two cards makes the deck even more consistent so you shouldn't have a dead hand most of the time. But be wary when playing these two down because they do give up two prizes and the best thing why Gyarados is so good is that it forces the six prize trade. You can just Rescue Stretcher them back if you have to so don't hesitate to discard them both. Don't forget Tapu Lele-GX is a Glaceon-GX counter which most likely won't see play at all given that most if not all decks will play Tapu Lele-GX but its still worth keeping in mind.

2 Teammates

Because Magikarps have such low hit points it's easy to chain Teammates. Even Gyarados only having 110 hit points once the first one with no damage on it goes down because the rest will have 20 damage on them due to Team Magma's Secret Base. Teammates are ridiculously good in this deck because once a Gyarados goes down you only really need two or three cards to have another ready to go which Teammates can grab two of the three pieces unless you have one Puzzle of Time in hand already then Teammates can essentially grab three pieces of the puzzle (pun intended) since you then grab one Puzzle of time and another card then use both Puzzle of Time and just like that that's three cards which is something you need to know if you want to master playing Gyarados.

1 Professor Kukui/2 Choice Band

I'm considering going up to three Choice Band because of how good they are and the fact that you can stack them. But by playing Professor Kukui and Choice Band you can hit lethal numbers easier such as against an EX or GX with 180 hit points or less. All you need is two Magikarp on the bench and one Choice Band and if it's something with 200 hit points then Professor Kukui can help there. But let's say it's something with 210+ hit points then you either can drop down three Magikarp or two and two Choice Band. Gyarados can now max out at 290 thanks to Choice Band if you combine everything together which is enough to one hit KO a Fighting Fury Belted Wailord-EX not that that should ever matter.

4 Rescue Stretcher

This card is basically Buddy-Buddy Rescue on steroids because not only do you have the option to get back a Pokémon from the discard to your hand but you also have the option to put back three Pokémon into your deck so really you have four built-in Super Rods which is ridiculously good in this deck and why I think Gyarados is that much better now.

1 Town Map

In the case of Magikarps being prized you need to be able to get them out of the prizes as soon as possible or else Gyarados's damage output is severely diminished. A single prized Magikarp deducts 60 damage which is too much of a decrease when trying to one hit KO things with over 200 hit points. Even if no Magikarp are prized just being able to manipulate what prize you take is extremely good.

Other card additions


I ran this card in my 9th place Anaheim Regionals list. It was very good against Yveltal-EX/Garbodor and somewhat good against Turbo Darkrai-EX except they can just stack energy and pass until they can one shot Tauros-GX. Both of these matchups are favorable for Gyarados anyway and you don't really need Tauros-GX for the more soon to be popular decks post Guardians Rising. Tapu Lele-GX as I said can be the new counter to Glaceon-EX.

Giratina XY184 Promo/Mr. Mime:

Giratina is strictly for Greninja if you expect it to come back. As for Mr. Mime, it's great against decks that do bench damage and not damage counters such as, the new Tapu Koko promo and Umbreon-GX. Machoke is a stage 1 compared to these two who are Basics, however, Machoke blocks more things such as damage counters which neither of these do so really it depends on what you think the meta will be otherwise Machoke blocks all the above except its a stage 1 as I said.


Because the deck plays Machoke means against Decidueye-GX/Vileplume you may need time set it up so by having Wobuffet active you can deny being item locked and Feather Arrowed at the same time. Once Machoke is out you can start doing what you need to do. The matchup is probably still rough even with Machoke because they can still one shot it because it's weak to Grass but if that happens you just go back into Wobbuffet and set up again. With the release of Choice Band Gyarados can now one hit KO Decidueye-GX if you have three Magikarp on the bench plus a Choice Band which totals 240 damage just enough to one hit KO Decidueye-GX.

Pokémon Ranger:

Useful against both Glaceon-EX and Giratina-EX but space is really tight and I don't think Giratina-EX will see much play now that Garbodor and Quad Sylveon just demolish it.

Hex Maniac:

Can do what Wobbuffet does except not as well because you can reuse Wobbuffet easier than Hex Maniac. Shutting off Vileplume also shuts off Feather Arrow so shutting off Machoke is irrelevant in this situation. A turn 1 Hex Maniac cripples Sylveon-GX because they can't evolve turn 1 thus you may be able to cheese out a quick win.

Field Blower:

Not sure how needed Field Blower is in Gyarados because you still can one hit KO stuff with or without Fighting Fury Belt attached to things. However, getting rid of a Tool on Garbodor could be clutch because you want to have access to Octillery and Machoke if they play some form of bench hitter. Now with the release of Choice Band, I'm sure we will start seeing less and less Fighting Fury Belts anyway and plus Choice Band does not effect Gyarados since its neither EX or GX. You still have to watch out when benching your own EX's and GX's though such as Shaymin-EX and Tapu Lele-GX.

Lucky Helmet:

Gyarados used to run a handful of these, however now with Choice Band being a lot stronger and already having plenty of ways to draw cards thanks to Shaymin-EX, Tapu Lele-GX, and Octillery I don't think you need as many Lucky Helmet now. Even in my 9th place Anaheim Regionals list I only played 1 so they aren't too needed.

Escape Rope:

This card can be clutch for when your opponent has only EX's or GX's on the bench. Even against cards that keep you from retreating such as Rockruff Escape Rope can be great against so they don't try to deck you out by dragging up something that can't do damage such as Machoke and Octillery.

Enhanced Hammer:

Reusable with Puzzle of Time making Enhanced Hammer great against Giratina-EX or decks in general that play heavy Special Energies.

Closing Thoughts

That's all I have for you guys at the moment, but don't fret because there are plenty of articles more to come. If I were attending Seattle Regionals next weekend which is the first Regionals with Guardians Rising I would definitely be playing one of these decks and if you know me you know that's not surprising. I think Gyarados right now can make a huge comeback now that Quad Sylveon-GX and Garbodor/Tapu Lele-GX/Drampa-GX/Tauros-GX are the new top deck's post Guardians Rising. We may even see Volcanion see more play due to Turtonator-GX making Gyarados an even better play. However, you still have to be wary about Decidueye-GX decks even though the deck plays Machoke. As for M Rayquaza-EX, there are talks about people teching Sudowoodo but honestly, I think that's more bark than talk trying to scare people from playing Sudowoodo. It has a two retreat cost and it's only really good versus three decks one, of course, being M Rayquaza-EX and the other two being M Gardevoir-EX and Raichu based decks. If you are playing in Seattle Regionals next weekend then the best of luck to you. It should be exciting to see what will do well with Guardians Rising added into the mix.

If you haven't already check out The Chaos Gym on YouTube and Twitch for updates and player interviews, as well as live streaming from Grafton Roll and Rahul Reddy. If you want to help support my team, be sure to check out Team ARG's Pokémon page on Facebook, Team ARG Pokemon-TCG for tons of deck lists from great players. My Twitter is down below if you want to follow me then, by all means, go for it. If you have any questions about these lists or decks in general or about Team ARG then please feel free to leave me a comment 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, 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!

-Twitter @Jose_MarreroTCG

[+10] okko


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