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Aaron Tarbell

Mismagius, The Mysterious Treasure of Expanded

Hello 60cards readers and welcome to my hyped article covering my unique deck choice for Roanoke VA Regionals. Come learn about how to use a rogue concept for a big tournament!

06/19/2018 by Aaron Tarbell

Mismagius, The Mysterious Treasure of Expanded

 

Hello 60cards readers! You may have heard about my unique deck choice for Roanoke Regionals, Mismagius. Here is the story behind the deck and my top 16 finish! 

The pre-tournament thoughts

 

Prior to the tournament, the obvious decks on everyone’s mind were Drampa, Buzzwole, and Zoroark. Whether the information was from 60cards.net, Seagrove’s YouTube channel, or the Super Rod Cast’s 69th episode, it was hard to find an open source of information that could dispute this mindset.  With myself being in almost complete agreement with these sources other than some of the guests downplaying the impact Trevenant could have on the format, it was time to look at all the potential options. 

Zoroark-GX had been the top expanded deck for a minute and a half. Having the ability to consistently draw through its deck, play an insane amount of techs for any metagame, and overwhelm almost anything using its high damage output, Zoroark remained a threat to any deck that was widely known about.  Unfortunately, Zoroark's impact is neatly capped in strength due to the limited amount of cards people can play; and whenever people begin to play the deck with a hive mind, the deck loses a lot of its strength. Zoroark can be built in a myriad of ways, from implementing quick Stage 2’s with rare candy, playing secondary Stage 1 attackers, taking advantage of counter-energy-based basic attackers, locking opponents with Muk or Seismitoad, or just relying heavily on Zoroark’s damage output with the best support and item cards in the game. Due to the sheer amount of strength Skyfield gives the deck, and Expanded opening up far too many strong item/supporter/support Pokémon options, the hive mind mentality had soon limited Zoroark options to become a deck that is 100% reliant on special energy and large amounts of strong items. And, given the hype behind Buzzwole prior to the tournament, most of the lists going into the tournament had to use most of their tech spots on overcoming those aggressive Pokémon with a type advantage over the primary cards in the Zoroark deck. 

Buzzwole-GX was the hype man for the tournament. All but one of the new relevant cards in the most recent set were support for this beast, and prior to the tournament, it had seemed like people would line up in droves to play this beautifully aggressive new deck. The combinations of Wide Lens, Beast Energy, Diance, Korrina, Choice Band, Beast Energy, and Weakness on the standing best deck in format led to the perception of the format being A) left to if the deck being played had a chance against this monster,  and B) the commonplace Zoroark deck. People needed to play Zoroark builds that could consistently return knockouts without solely relying on Skyfield, cards that could abuse Buzzwole’s weakness, or cards that could prevent Buzzwole decks from playing their "buzzted" cards such as Beast Ring or Beast Energy. 

Thus far, the outcome of any discussion was summed up as: Zoroark and Buzzwole should be insane and obviously were expected plays for anyone and everyone. The rest of the discussions would always devolve to what could pull games off of these 2 decks. The next deck on everyone mind was Garbodor/ Drampa-GX. This deck was able to pull off combos of Righteous Edge, limiting Zoroark’s bench, and ability lock, so it was perceived to have an even or almost favorable matchup against the straight Double Colorless Energy reliant Zoroark Deck. Garbodor was a psychic type that has historically put out a high damage output, so the deck was supposed to have an even or better Buzzwole match up. Prior to the tournament, discussions would leave the deck’s ability to compete against the better decks in the hands of the pilot due to having to make micro decisions that were not always straight forward. Honestly, in my opinion, the deck just struggled against the two best decks in format, and the micro decisions were only enough to do slightly weighted coin flips against the best decks. Garbodor was so reactive that it was hard to overwhelm opponents in quick game 3s, so many people were pulled away from the deck, including Igor Costa, who was one of the main advocates of it, though he later suggested that he regretted his choice. 

Next in my thought process: Trevenant was a deck that has always been in the back pocket of anyone heading into an expanded tournament. Trevenant could shut anything down before it even got a turn, and it had weakness on the new baddie, buzzted Buzzwole-GX. Unfortunately, Trevenant had two major factors working against it: Zoroark obviously had a strong matchup against Trevenant, even though some people thought it was even or better. Also, the more hype the deck gets, the stronger its hard counter (Giratina Promo) got, so it was one of those decks that many felt was intentionally being downplayed. 

Finally, Mega Gardevoir and Night March were two decks intended to be the rogue plays. Mega Gardevoir got a little boost from Diantha in the new set. It was a deck could boast a solid match up against Zoroark, due to them not being able to easily one-shot it; Buzzwole, due to taking easy one-hit knockouts on Buzzwole; Garbodor, due to them not having great control over the deck; and Trevenant, due to easily having space for a Giratina promo. Unfortunately, Mega Gardevoir was not a deck that could consistently perform the game plan it needed to win.

Night March, on the other hand, netted a strong matchup against anything not playing Oricorio. Also, with the belief in Night March’s ability to perform, Oricorio was less played, so Night March was even stronger of a concept than before. Night March players could also be scared of Trevenant hype, but due to most Trevenant decks boasting Rescue Stretcher over Bursting Balloon, Night March was set up for an unwinnable matchup to be turned into a coin flip. 

The personal thought process in creating a rogue deck

 

Although Roanoke was the first Regional where Mismagius has had a solid performance that I know of, this was not the first time I had entertained the idea. Back in Dallas, the top performance being taken away by Zoroark was very predictable, and since Crimson Invasion had just been released, I had seen Mismagius' impact at a prerelease. Mismagius/Garbodor was definitely on my mind as I cycled through the predicted meta for that tournament. Unfortunately, I had felt at the time that Golisopod/ Zoroark would be a solid variant of Zoroark for Dallas, and Mismagius’ game plan was trash against a deck that could attack with a single basic energy. Also, there was no true way to turn on Trashalanche against Zoroark decks that recycled Exeggcute, so I settled on a Zoroark counter box with 1-prize attackers that had advantage over Zoroark decks. 

This time around, for Roanoke, I was sold on playing Trevenant tournament due to the strength of Mysterious Treasure, its ability to play down 3 Tapu-Lele-GC in a game, and the advantage of playing 4 Mystery Energy with just Psychic Pokémon in the deck. On the way up to Virginia, my amazing girlfriend Joni was going through her Drampa/Garbodor deck and talking about not wanting to play Drampa as she realized how much of a liability it was against Buzzwole. To this, I again humorously brought up playing a 1-1 Mismagius line. I knew that it was not enough to consistently beat Zoroark. But then, upon continuing to entertain the idea, I realized that with a thick line of Mismagius and the ability to consistently remove special energy, the deck could be built to quickly run over Zoroark, given that nobody or even their long-lost cousins were playing Pokémon Ranger at this tournament. 

Going down the rabbit hole, I started gathering up the cards I thought would be necessary in the deck. Everyone in our car began to ask and answer questions about how to make Mismagius work. Deon Lunsford and Bryan Bendele helped out and considerd playing the deck as well, as everyone began messaging friends, trying to find cards. We eventually stopped by Riley Hulbert's house and picked up as much Mismagius and Misdreavous as we could get from him. Continuing on, I realized the deck could boast a truly great Zoroark matchup, while enjoying that psychic-based pressure that can run through Buzzwole. In order to be successful while doing 10-60 damage per turn, the deck needed a way to prevent attacks could easily overpower it, so, obviously, Enhanced Hammers would be a must to stop easy access to strong attacks. 

The next hurdles in my mind were to beat mill decks, decks that would try to run you out of resources through 8-12 Guzma, and decks that would draw every card in their deck and attempt to either deck you out or stall to a tie. To this, the clear and simple  answer was Noibat! Noibat was the threat that Mismagius was missing in order to compete in the expanded format. Firstly, on a perfect hand, it could act like a Ghetsis going second. It could take away Puzzles of time or VS seekers that people might be holding for their following turns. Mismagius doesn’t have a strong turn 1 attack otherwise, since damage isn’t necessarily the goal, so Destructive Sound was more than enough to suffice.

Against Zoroark, the plan was to engage in both energy removal and setting up Chaos Wheel lock, or Trashalanche prize trading. When Zoroark opponents would draw through their deck and get to all but one card left, Noibat could come in and just end the game by removing all VS Seekers, Red Cards, Field Blowers, and Puzzles of Time left in the deck (in their hand at the time). Noibat had dual versatility by being able to push Trashalanche over the edge against Garb mirrors, and remove Beast Rings from Buzzwole decks before they could play them. As for its evolution, unfortunately, Noivern-GX (which has a cool combination of attacks) requires a dark energy, and I don’t like splitting colored energies in decks that don’t have ability draw support.

Finally, the last hurdles were dealing with Stadiums that were already in play and occasionally pesky Tools. Joni suggested Tropical Beach and it was a strong idea for turn 1 to help with any possible dead drawing, but we didn’t have any on us due to being sorely unprepared to play rogue decks. I also thought that if we only had one stadium, there was the chance it would get bumped before Chaos Wheel or that it would benefit our opponents as much as it would us. Instead, we opted to play a Delinquent, my absolute favorite card in the game. Delinquent could put Buzzwole decks to zero-card hands frequently, bump Dimension Valley’s against Trevenant, and get extra items in the discard against Garb while removing Parallel City. I then also added a Xerosic over the 4th Enhanced Hammer, since we could grab it with Wonder Tag, and we could rely on it to remove Fighting Fury Belts. These last two cards were also VS Seeker targets that allowed the deck to use them multiple times, for example:  3 Enhanced Hammer, a Xerosic, and 4 VS Seeker was more energy removal than 4 Enhanced hammer. 

The Mysterious Mismagius List

 Here is our list!

After arriving at the hotel room after midnight in Roanoke and begging friends to pick up Mismagius and Tool Drop Trubbish for me, I sat down to play against Joni and our friends. I played 6 games against Bryan's Buzzwole/Lycanroc. I started off 1-3 since he had cut a Strong energy for an extra basic and set up Lycanroc for Dangerous Rogue GX each game. After I ended 3-3, I called it a night and said the next day would likely go poorly. I only gave the list out to Sam Elliot, the owner of Team Pokeyoke, the best place to see some coaching vids, and to Jo, who was the clear inspiration for the deck. 

The Tournament Experience 

 

R1- Grant Manley w Zoroark Toad (4-4-1)

In the sweetest coincidence I could imagine for playing a silly deck that took auto wins against the best decks in format, I get to play against Grant Manley in round 1. I had some great streamed experiences with Grant in the tournament last year where I got to play against an unwinnable matchup so I was stoked to hopefully have the scenario reversed. If you would like to see one of the coolest streamed games ever, I do suggest watching G1 of T4 of Virginia Regionals the previous year if the video still exists. 

Grant ends up being on Zoroark-GX/ Seismitoad-EX. I get the Turn 2 Chaos Wheel, Enhanced hammer on his one Double Colorless Energy, and we are off to the races. Grant’s version had a both Team Flare Grunt and Acerola as well as enough field blower to consistently remove Float Stones/Choice Bands. He also gets several Seismitoad ready to Quaking Punch if I ever missed the Chaos Wheel, so though this was the first time I played against a Zoroark based deck with it, I felt the experience was representative of everything Zoroark could do other than play a Pokémon Ranger and get quick donks. In game 1, I realized that I was lucky enough to have my energy counts bolstered due to the Team Flare Grunt and I was now able to use my Super Rod on 3 basic Psychic Energy. He eventually realizes he is going to deck out and either decks out or concedes. In Game 2, he tries much harder to take Chaos Wheel do 10 damage and just attempting to deck me out rather than break the Chaos Wheel lock since he knew that Garbage Collection Trubbish could lead to me having a nice chain of basic energy. With this, I wait till he has a 22 card hand and drop the Noibat that he wasn’t allowed to see in Game 1, and I discard 10 beautiful item cards to turn on my Trashalanche Garbodor to win the game through taking knockouts with non GX’s. At that time I believe we had gathered a crowd around as I said "Chaos Wheel" for the 300th time. 

After the round, Joni sadly reported playing against a Zoroark deck that played a Pokemon Ranger and throttled her. Afterwards, Sam came up raving about how he beat a Zoroark deck with it, and I realized that random Zoroark decks with techs that upper level players would not be playing were obviously the scariest matchups. 

R2- Nicholas Moffitt w Drampa Garbodor (2-3-3)

I play against my first Garbodor deck of the tournament. This was my first time playing against Garbodor with the deck, and the game plan was to Chaos Wheel to prevent DCE from getting on Drampa until they had played enough items to turn on Trashalanche for big Knock Outs.  Game 1, he gets an early double Prize penalty which was unfortunate for him, because after realizing how strong a Tapu Lele GX that could be manually attached to is for Mismagius and missing crucial energy attachments, he likely would have won the game without the prize disadvantage. Game 2, I draw poorly pretty poorly and he throttles me. Going into game 3, time is called in the first few turns, and we tie a match I likely would have lost.

R3- Trey Reese w Seismitoad EX Garbodor (5-1-3)

This round I got to play against my boy playing Seismitoad/Garbodor.

He started off nervous of the match up, but when I drew passed in Game 1, he donked me promptly with a Mewtwo-EX.

Game 2, I got an early Brigette and was able to establish Chaos Wheel and was able to Xerosic the DCE off of his toad early enough. He ended up conceding a few turns into the game to provide plenty of time for game 3.

In Game three, I establish the lock a few turns late. I eventually take my hand at using Garbodor’s Acid Flips that eventually go my way and I was able to establish the lock after dropping all of my Enhanced Hammers to remove his Double Colorless Energies. He did manage to load up a Seismitoad EX to grenade hammer, but by the time that was accomplished, Trashalanche was doing enough damage to deal with the Seismitoad, and the game ends shortly after.

 

R4- Igor Costa w Zoroark Exeggcute

Going into this round, I get kind of excited knowing I get to play against another Zoroark deck, but this time, I figured Igor probably would not be running heavy Team Flare Grunt and Seismitoad-EX lines, so I didn’t have to be worried about getting locked out of the game myself if I missed a turn of Chaos Wheel. Game 1, I go second, and off of a lone Tapu-Lele-GX start, Igor just barely misses a donk by having just 1 too few Exeggcute in the discard to Propagation and fill his bench.  I draw the Brigette going into my second turn, and Igor concedes on his 4th turn after I hit double Enhanced Hammer and a Chaos Wheel.

Game 2, my lone Misdreavus gets donked after I miss extra basics and a T1 supporter again.

Game 3, I get to start my first turn with a Brigette, and I get Enhanced Hammer and Chaos Wheel off on Turn 2. Igor opts to play at a relatively fast pace to try to win the game off of allowing me to take 4 prizes early and then N’ing me to 2 cards, trying to hit a Guzma, and trying to keep his energy in play after. After the N, I am able to Guzma up a Shaymin to take a knock out with Trashalanche.

 

R5 Nick Chimento Trevenant

I play against my first Trevenant of the tournament. I had realized before the tournament that this would be a bad matchup, but I had hoped that the Zoroark players would have weened them out before the later rounds. Obviously, this was a poor assumption given 3 placements in T8 were Trevenant. My game plan going into this match was to hopefully get a Chaos Wheel off and delinquent the Dimension Valley while getting Garbotoxin online and setting up Trashalanche Garbodor to close out the game.

Game 1- I start Tapu Lele, get item locked, and never draw another basic.

Game 2- I start Tapu Lele, get item locked, and never draw another basic.

 

R6  Edwin Lopez Zoroark Exeggcute

Before the round, Sam comes over to tell me he tied against a Zoroark player that knew how to play the match up, and Sam tells me the matchup is basically unwinnable if they play it right. I kind of brush him off, but then I end up getting paired with the person he had just tied with.

Game 1- I did not necessarily get donked, but by the time I am able to Chaos Wheel, he has 3 Double Colorless Energy Attached, and I am unable to remove them.

Game 2- I get set up on my second turn, and I remove all of his energy. Even without my opponent playing real techs for the matchup, he knows he has enough options to do a bunch of actions that do not impact the game state but he can do to say he is not slow playing. In this match, I realized how important a 3rd Trashalanche Garbodor is in this type of deck. If the deck can have 3 Trashalanche set up at any time and take a Dark Arts knock out, Zoroark decks are not able to deal with 4 non EX/GX attacker taking OHKOs each turn, but I had been drawing too poorly prior to this game for me to feel I could reliably hit the energy and Super rod for the 3rd Garbodor when I needed it. We play a 47ish minute game where he eventually decks out, anmd he concedes with just enough time to see if he can donk me in Game 3.

Game 3- I establish the lock Turn 2, he states we do not have enough time to finish the game, and time is immediately called. This is how the matchup needs to be played as a Zoroark player if the player can afford a tie. I do feel like this method can be stopped entirely by having 3 Trashalanche Garbodor Set up and using Noibat in the mid-game to make the games last 20 minutes at most on solid Mismagius hands.

R7 Deryk Rothenberger Garbodor 

Game 1- I set up Mismagius and remove energy from Drampa and am able to get my Trashalanche Garbodor doing 60 + damage first, but the game is still very close.

Game 2- I go super far ahead, and my opponent sets up his board to the point where he cannot have 2 Trashalanche Garbodor in play at the same time. He N’s me to 2, I draw nothing, and he slowly pulls out Game 2.

Game 3- Time is called relatively early in the game, and my opponent concedes.

R8 Jeff Smith Buzzwole

Going into the round, I imagine Buzzwole is pretty 50/50 matchup, given the games I had played the night before.

Game 1- My opponent starts off pretty slow, and I am able to get in a few hits with Mismagius. I saw no VS Seeker, Computer Search, Baby Buzzwole, or Diancie in his deck until the final turn of Game 1. He ended up using absorption in order to get multiple attacks off with his first Buzzwole GX, and after I knock it out with Dark Arts on the following turn, Lycanroc never becomes a real factor due to needing 3 attachments to attack over 2. 

Game 2- The game is much closer, and my opponent is able to get some beast rings off after I do an early Dark Arts from N’ing him to 5 and taking prizes off of his Buzzwole he again used Absorption GX with. I still manage to close out the game with Trashalanche after softening up his Buzzwole with another Mismagius

 

R9 Sydney Morisoli w Buzzwole 

As I sit down to partake in a Win-and-In to T32, I tell Sydney that she had already beaten my deck once today due to beating Sam in an earlier round. She states that Mismagius is a free matchup, and my chest tightens thinking that if she knows how to play the matchup I am at a clear disadvantage.

In both games she starts off strong and I struggle to establish a board. I remember clearly that at the end of Games 1 and 2, I had only a single benched Pokémon at the end and I was forced to play most of the cards in my hand each turn just to not get benched. 

Game 1- She uses Absorption GX early and I am unable to take a return knock out the following turn due to Fighting Fury Belt, but I do manage to hit for about 200/220 that lets me take a knock out the following-following turn with the Xerosic. She ends up going down to 1 or 2 prizes, and I am able to N her into a dead hand while dealing with her threats.

Game 2- My start was not quite as bad as in game 1, but history sort of repeats itself as I N her to a dead hand in the late game and pull out a grindy win.

Mismagius makes Day 2 at 6-1-2!!

 

R10 Chis Siakala Trevenant

Game 1- I start Tapu Lele and get Item locked before my first turn. His hand is pretty dead otherwise though, and I am able to energy drive his Trevenant to a knock out before he gets going.

Game 2- I start Tapu Lele and get Item locked before my first turn. His hand is not dead, so I am unable to overwhelm a lone Trevenant.

Game 3- I start Tapu Lele, Brigette, Float Stone, and no draw supporter. I manage to establish Garbotoxin turn 3, but my hand stays pretty dead and I don’t get a good chance to abuse any items. I Tapu Cure the Garbodor, and after 4 turns of Silent Fear, the Garbodor is knocked out before I can establish the Trashalanche Garbodor I need to close out the game.

R 11 Daniel Altavila w Garbodor

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNj5h6vEZH0

R 12 Christopher Schemanske w Zoroark Exeggcute

Game 1- I get readily donked

Game 2- I get the lock going on T2 and remove his Double Colorless Energy. He tries to deck me out through playing Colress and use Hypnotoxic Laser to try to break Chaos Wheel for a turn, but he ends up decking out pretty quickly.

Game 3- I have 2 basics and end up drawing a Brigette on turn 3 to come back into the game. I hit all of the enhanced hammers to come back and establish the lock to win the game. 

R 13 Noah Sawyer Seismitoad Disruption 

This round I am thankful to sit down against another Seismitoad deck. For the most part, I imagine Seismitoad has an easier time locking Mismagius out of a game early, but the aggression from Zoroark can be harder to deal with given that they knock out each Mismagius in one attack if they can keep energy. Seismitoad typically have a slim advantage over Zoroark decks in the matchup if they play basic energy. Fortunately, my opponents deck was heavily control based Seismitoad with a bunch of disruption but no extra draw and only 4 Double Colorless Energy.

Game 1- In this game, I again start with a loan basic. My loan basic this time around is a Trubbish and, of course it is liable to get donked with a Mewtwo EX X Ball that my opponent plays. Due to my opponent’s perception of how bad the matchup can be whenever he misses energy on his first turn, he immediately drops a Seismitoad EX and a Double Colorless Energy to accompany it. Unfortunately, he had access to Ultra Ball and Float Stone for his active Pokémon to donk my Trubbish with a Mewtwo, and my opponent misses his easy chance at a turn 1 donk for the second time in the tournament. The game still progresses poorly on my end for the next 3 turns, because even though I end up drawing more basics, by the time I am able to put a Mismagius play, he already has 3 Doble Colorless Energy on his Seismitoad EX and a Keldeo EX with a Float Stone on it in play. My only option to get access to more than 1 card (Xerosic) for Energy removal is to break the item lock, so, as I learned to do back in the good ol’ days of Toad Jynx, I first Xerosic the Float Stone on the Keldeo as I Chaos wheel to ensure another Float Stone is not attached. Then I used Guzma on the Keldeo to force it active and break Quaking Punch lock. My opponent was unable to drop a Guzma that turn, I hit 3 forms of energy removal, and my opponent concedes a game I had no business winning.

Game 2- I run much hotter and get set up early. My opponent is unable to even attach an energy on his first two turns, and I begin to Chaos Wheel on my second turn. I strategically Guzma out of his barrage of Hypnotoxic Lasers and Guzma, and I pull out the game with just Chaos Wheels.

 

Round 14 Alex Wilson w Zoroark Exeggcute

I feel pretty fortunate walking into the final round of the tournament against a deck I had already played against 4 times, especially given that we were in a situation where we could not tie and make T16. 

Game 1- I go first and hit a turn 1 Brigette.  Alex hits energy and plays a Brigette for 3 Zorua. Turn 2, I use Noibat to discard all 6 cards in his hand. Turn 3 I knock off the Double Colorless Energy with an Enhanced Hammer and begin to Chaos Wheel. Alex does his best this game to play cards to break the lock with Hypnotoxic Laser, Red Card, and Guzma, but he is never able to, and I win game 1 with plenty of time to spare.

Game 2- For what felt like the first time in both days, I get a comfortable set up in both games that I play, and I end up setting up quickly and ending the game through just Chaos Wheels.

 

Final Record 9-3-2

 

Final Thoughts on the rogue experience

The Deck In Expanded 

Mismagius is surprisingly strong in Expanded currently. The deck, as I built it, probably cannot beat many things that play Pokémon Ranger. I definitely felt like the list was not perfected for the tournament though. Here are some more thoughts for how you might like to build the deck for your next Expanded tournament!

Expanded Card Choices: 

3 Tapu Lele GX- As I was playing throughout both days, I kept getting into situations where I would start a Tapu Lele and never be able to draw out of it due to not having two opportunities to use Wonder Tag. Wonder Tag is a necessary ability whenever the deck falls behind due to having the opportunity to turn games around with the right supporter with Delinquent/Xerosic, especially under item lock. 

3 Trashalanche, 1 Garbotoxin- Honestly, I only played against 2 decks where Garbotoxin was wanted (Trevenant), and in the match up, the deck needs to steadily stream Trashalanche at the end of the game to win. 3 Trashalanche also allows the deck to readily break Chaos Wheel lock at the end of a game against Zoroark. If there are 4 ready attackers in Dark Arts that takes the first 2 prizes and 3 Trashalanche that can take the last 4 prizes even after Dark Arts is able to be played around, Zoroark’s outs to in are removed. The problem with breaking the lock with just 2 Trashalanche Garbodor is that, after Dark Arts is used, the Zoroark player can force their hand size down, knock out one of the Trashalanche, AND disrupt the Mismagius’s hand to prevent Chaos Wheel lock from being turned back on or hitting the Super Rod and putting the 2nd Trashalanche Garbodor back in play. This being a consistent and realistic foreseeable outcome had me never break Chaos Wheel against a Zoroark deck until I won the game with just one Trashalanche. 

3 Trashalanche also help curve the games that I struggled with against other Garbodor decks. Whenever the matchup was played, I always just ended up playing a less consistent version of my opponents deck, because, even though Chaos Wheel can help when they play few basic energy, it felt very difficult to ever set up enough Trashalanche to finish out the game against these decks.

The decks that two Garbotoxin Garbodor would be good against were not played, other than Trevenant. Decks that 2 Garbotoxin would be good are all of the basic energy accelerating decks and heavily ability reliant draw decks that ran basic energy. These decks include Gardevoir GX, Gardevoir EX, Blastoise, Tapu Bulu, and eventually Rayquaza (next set). Gardy was a real threat going into the tournament, but I should have realized that the Gardy players were still very intimidated by the strength of Beast Ring. I also should have realized before the tournament the lack of utility Garbotoxin has against Zoroark after a Chaos Wheel. One of the thoughts that I had was that Garbotoxin would prevent the Zoroark decks from wasting as much time by limiting their actions, but by day 2, I was not even setting up Garbotoxin against them due to it being the biggest liability for Zoroark decks to try to trap active. 

Noibat- This card is a Ghetsis that you can use after using a Brigette that turns on Trashalanche Garbodor when you need it. This card is very good at bringing Zoroark hand down and removing all of the threatening cards like Puzzle of Time, VS Seeker, and Hypnotoxic Laser. The card is also very good against Garbodor when Mismagius can hit energy or other attackers.  It also beats mill deck, and Lusamine/Acerola chains. 

2-1-1 Trubbish- Garbage collection is the best Trubbish against everything except Buzzwole, but the Buzzwole matchup is one of the pros to playing the deck, so it is hard to justify more than 1. Acid spray is likely better than tool drop just due to being an answer to opponents getting too much energy in play before Mismagius can Chaos Wheel. Tool Drop is still a cool attack against Buzzwole and Garbodor mirror if they play Dimension Valley, but it is very rare that Tool Drop can even be used.

Delinquent- This is the best card in the deck, and it is the perfect form of stadium removal for a deck that needs to gain card advantage, get cards in the opponents discard, and only has to discard a stadium once to keep its effect. Playing this card with a stadium like a single Dimension Valley or Parallel city would be helpful, but space is tight, and activating the combo by playing both cards in the same turn when an opponent’s opts to go to 2/3 cards in their hand is a pretty greedy scenario.

I do believe a more consistent build of Mismagius has a solid place in the Expanded meta for next year. Currently, I do believe the Trevenant matchup is winnable, Zoroark is free and much quicker with 3 Trashalanche Garbodor, Garbodor is a fixable matchup, Seismitoad is free, Night March is free, and Buzzwole will continue to be free. The only new deck that looks scary for Mismagius to come out of Japan’s Nationals is the new Rayquaza deck. The deck has high damage output and works off of basic energies. Oh no! Nicely though, Garbotoxin and Trashalanche seem pretty solid against it. A Seismitoad Ex might be enough to crudely convert to a Seismitoad Garbodor deck against it, but we’ll continue to wait to see how it plays out. Anyone considering this deck, do not be scared of ranger. No one plays or should ever play Pokémon Ranger. If the opposing decks do, the deck can go in with Noibat and turn on 3 strong Trashalanche.

But, Standard though?

No. Mismagius is bad in standard. Zoroark decks playing basic energy is an awful hurdle for the deck to get over. Mismagius also require access to 4 VS Seekers to account for various situations to maintain chaos wheel lock. Noibat and Garbodor might have a place in standard but Mismagius is not even, necessarily, the strongest early game psychic attack to combat Buzzwole. Instead of going through the uselessness of Mismagius in a format where it has lost access to what it needs to win,

My Favorites in standard right now 

I will instead list my favorite psychic answers to Buzzwole that you may or may not be looking for while reading this article.

 

In no Particular order:

Dawn wings Necrozma GX:

The card OHKO’s everything in Buzzwole, has fighting resistance, and has a GX attack that allows the deck to recover from the early aggression of Buzzwole, what more do you really need on paper? 

Drawbacks: only played with Malamar due to energy restrictions. Being a 2 prize attacker can make it difficult for it to consistently beat Buzzwole decks that rely heavily on Baby Buzzwole.

Mewtwo EVO/Mew EX: 

These two are also currently being heavily implemented by Zoroark decks to combat the terror of Buzzwole. Mewtwo clears a fully loaded up Buzzwole off of the board while still be a non GX attacker that likely has to be dealt with to prevent it from taking more knockouts. Mew EX is versatile and can consistently pop Buzzwoles with Riotous Beating, even without the Buzzwoles having 3 energy on them.

 

Disadvantages: Mewtwo needs the energy on Buzzwole to be a threat and can be played around, and Mew EX is terribly flimsy and gives up 2 prizes.

(Spice)

 

Baby Buzzwole (in Zoroark):

When the opponent is on 4 prizes, a Strong Energy, Professor Kukui, and Choice Band can push the damage from Buzzwole up to 190 to take a knockout out of nowhere.

Disadvantages: the card only really works against Buzzwole once per game, it can be played around, it’s heavily combo reliant, and it does not force the Buzzwole deck to deal with it. To elaborate on the last point, a Buzzwole player could instead take a knockout on a Zoroark GX that turn, and Baby Buzzwole’s damage output drops to the point of being not a threat for the remainder of the game.

Mesprit/Uxie!

These two are my current favorite way to deal with Buzzwole. Mesprit’s damage output can be upped to 70-100 damage on the first turn and take quick knockouts on Buzzwole, so this is the most aggressive Zoroark can be to take knockouts against Buzzwole. They also have solid numbers against the rest of the field that tries to counter Buzzwole.

Disadvantages: These two don’t really have an answer to a Lycanroc-GX or Ultra Necrozma-GX and take up a lot of space. The combo of having both in play can also be cumbersome. The attack also requires energy the deck would like to use on Zoroark. The Azelf sucks.

 

Hoopa STS:

This boy can hit for 130 as a non-gx, and it clean up knock outs that were just missed with Necrozma. 130 is great number on a non GX in psychic decks, because it can put a ton of pressure on Quad Hoopa, and, for just 1 energy, it can clean up knock outs on benched Hoopa SLG.

Disadvantages: The energy cost limits it to being played in Malamar decks, and Dawn Wings Necrozma has a very similar attack that is just slightly less situational.

There it is, all my rambling thoughts on Expanded through Standard formats and deck building as a process. I hope you all enjoyed it, and please come say hi at NAIC in Columbus! See you there! 

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