11/08/2017 by Jay Lesage
Since we're super close to seeing Crimson Invasion's release into the standard format, I figured I'd like to talk about one of my favorites from the set, Buzzwole-GX.
Buzzwole-GX is an amazing addition to this format and balances many things that were... erm... unfair to say the least. One example of this was the rock-paper-scissors dilemma that has seemed to develop over the past few months. Whether it was between Golisopod, Garbodor, Gardevoir, Volcanion, or even Greninja, it seems like every deck just had some sort of auto-loss. While these terrible matchups still exist, Buzzwole adds in a new dimension to the metagame by introducing a very strong Fighting-type attacker. Fighting has always been a type that seems to setup slowly but has inherit strength within raw damage; Buzzwole is not your average Fighting-type though!
Table of contents
Let's have a peak at what makes this hornet so buff:
(F) Fighting Type
Fighting type is really strong right now, being able to take down Drampa-GX and the newly released Zoroark-GX in one hit. Likewise, Phinnegan Lynch has just released a new article on Darkrai-GX, which Buzzwole can also put in work against. There's currently not many Pokemon that are relevant in the format that resist Fighting - Yveltal-EX is the only Pokemon that comes to mind currently. It's also important to keep in mind all the support Fighting has currently, such as Strong Energy and Regirock-EX.
HP - 190
This is above average for a usual basic EX/GX. It seems either this card will tend to have higher HP upon future prints of this Pokemon. Either that, or GXs are just getting stronger as the game goes on. Regardless, that 10 HP extra helps to put us out of Drampa-GX Berserk range, as well as Gardevoir-GX range (we'll have 10 HP more than a regular 180 HP GX, which means Gardevoir-GX will need a total of 7 energy between both Pokemon). Solid hit points.
(F) Jet Punch - 30
"This attack does 30 damage to 1 of your opponent's Benched Pokémon. (Don't apply Weakness and Resistance for Benched Pokémon.)"
This attack is very reminiscent of Landorus-EX's "Hammerhead" attack, which had the exact same effect. Being able to put 30 damage on two Pokemon is inherently strong, especially when combined with damage modifiers such as Strong Energy and Regirock-EX. You'll see that very early on in the game, you'll be able to spam off speedy damage to opposing Pokemon, while putting a ton of pressure onto your opponent. This type of attack is especially effective against low-HP Pokemon, which entails mostly basic non-EX/GXs. Mr. Mime will become more popularized with this attack being introduced into standard, but that's okay provided you can put enough pressure on with Buzzwole-GX's second and third attack. That brings me to....
(F)(F)(F) Knuckle Impact - 160
"This Pokemon can't attack during your next turn."
As if Jet Punch wasn't enough, Pokemon decided to give this honeybee a OHKO style attack as well, which allows you to base this guy as a whole deck on his own! Popping off a couple of Max Elixir will aid you in powering up in order to use this attack. The cost is a little hefty, but between Carbink BREAK and manual attachments, you should be fine with maintaining tempo of attackers. With Strong Energy, Fighting Fury Belt, Choice Band, Regirock-EX, as well as any chip damage from Jet Punch, you'll be able to OHKO anything in your path. Not much to comment on besides this being a powerhouse of an attack.
(F)(F)(F) Absorption GX - 40x
"This attack does 40 damage for each of your remaining Prize cards. (You can't use more than 1 GX attack in a game.)"
Besides Jet Punch, this attack is going to be your go-to first attack. You're going to want to hit this as early as turn two and land a big OHKO on something most of the time, followed up by a Knuckle Impact afterwards. This'll give you an aggressive start, which is what this card is all about - explosiveness. Think about it: if you have six Prize Cards left, you can hit 240 damage without any damage modifiers. Talk about powerful!
Buzzswole-GX was doing so well until I read its weakness: Psychic-type. Garbodor is looming all around standard right now, so it's important that we figure out a way to counter this trash heap. My initial go-to thought is to include Zygarde-EX due to its Grass-type weakness; Zygarde-EX can abuse all of the Fighting-type support that Buzzwole-GX abuses, but with a different moveset and different utilization.
This is alright, considering this deck is going to have a fair bit of space. I'll be including a high count of Float Stone in my list in order to combat Knuckle Impact's setback. Being mobile in a deck that's otherwise stagnant will allow it to achieve an ideal setup, as well as position its optimal attacker within the active slot.
With all of these factors in mind, I decided to create a base list similar to what Igor Costa piloted at Hartford. I wanted a deck that could explode, but had a really simple premise setting up. I included things to counter Garbodor, as well as give you longevity against other OHKO-based matchups such as Gardevoir-GX. Below is the list I've been toying around with:
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