Experts' corner

Seth Budrik

60Cards Tournament Series - September Results


10/13/2017 by Seth Budrik

Hello, for those who do not know me, I've been playing since the 2012-2013 season. At the start of the 2015-2016 season, Cody Kressmann created a group for PTCGO because of how our league could not always go out to play and because of a lack of online tournaments. He then later added me to help him out and we continued to grow the Facebook group. In March 2017, we partnered with 60Cards.
September Tournament
This tournament is our second tournament of the year, and once again, it is in the standard format, with 58 players playing. This started right after worlds and before any standard regionals here in the US, so the format mostly reflects what has been played, with a little experimenting here and there. This time it also appears that the meta was more diverse in terms of what decks were played, but the most popular decks were Volcanion EX Variants and Garbodor, partnered primarily with Drampa GX and Golisipod. GX, though Espeon GX was also played as a partner.


Volcanion EX/Fire GX Variants - 8
Garbodor/Golisopod GX - 8
Garbodor/Drampa GX - 7
Greninja BREAK Variants - 5
Tapu Bulu GX/Vikavolt - 5
Alolan Ninetales GX - 4
Metagross GX - 4
Gardevoir GX Variants - 4
Garbodor/Espeon GX - 3
Lycanrox GX/Carbink BREAK - 1
Lapras GX: 1
Rogue/Other – 6

Tapu Koko Promo Counts

0 Copies: 34/58
1 Copies: 12/58
2 Copies: 9/58
3 Copies : 1/58

Guzma Counts
0 Copies: 1/58
1 Copies: 0/58
2 Copies : 11/58
3 Copies: 38/58
4 Copies : 6/58

Standings Going into Top Cut


Final Standings



*Evan Coats did not play Ninetales, but Garbodor/Golisopod GX

As you can see above, while the most popular deck was Volcanion EX with four people going X-2 or better and making cut with it, there were several other decks that had a couple of people make it in. However, just because a lot of people played the deck did not mean there would be people who made cut with it. Surprisingly, no one who played Tapu Bulu GX made cut, even though five people who entered played the deck. This is the same number of people played Greninja and Ninetales. All in all, it seems that, for the most part, the decks that did the best were the ones that had the most people playing them. But let's hear from those who made top 4.



“I chose to play Espeon Garbador because I felt like it has a decent match up against almost anything in the current standard meta. The ability lock and soft item lock of the Garbador component isn't fun for anyone to play against. I like Espeon more than Drampa in the current meta because confusion is more annoying than special energy removal for one energy, and it still has high damage output, especially against Gardevoir. Espeon's GX attack is also great for putting early pressure or making sure the numbers work out for you.

As far as specific card choices, I think I ran a pretty basic list except for 3 cards that were different: Necrozma GX, Altar of the Moone, and Red Card. Necrozma GX was probably a mistake. My thinking was it'd be nice to have another GX attack as an option, but in the end, I almost always wished it was another Espeon GX. That being said, the only time I actually used it was in top cut, so maybe it has a place for the brave that believe that a 3-2 line of Espeon is enough. Personally, I'd go back to a 3-3. Altar of the Moone was included to allow an Espeon GX that just used Psybeam with a choice band to retreat for free. Just like the Drampa version of the deck, energy attachments are very important because you need 2 turns of energy attachment to use the big attack. This came in handy against Gardevoir particularly. You can hit 60, confuse, and then they have to work hard to get the OHKO against a 200 HP Pokemon with only one energy on it, all through ability lock as well. If they can't take the knockout, you can just retreat to a fresh one and start again, or punish them for overextending with Psychic. This card could easily be cut for a 2nd Parallel City though. Besides limiting your opponent to 3 or cleaning up damage on your own side, Parallel City also changes the numbers on Golisopod, one of your hardest match ups, so they can no longer OHKO your Garbadors easily. Finally, Red Card was my 60th card I included on a whim. Nobody expects it and it can really mess up someone's day. That being said, it could also give someone a better hand, so play it at your own risk. If you don't want to play it, I would play a 3rd Field Blower. If your opponent sees 2 in the discard, they start playing tools down carelessly because they think you're out. 40 extra damage with Garbador can make all the difference in those situations.

Also a big shout out to my testing group, the Six Prize Syndicate, for helping me make the deck!”


"I choose Alonan Ninetales to play because the versatility of the card seemed best able to handle anything that might pop up through the tournament. The list I played doesn’t have the Espeon or 2nd Koko that seems standard in Ninetales now. I didn’t have the 2nd Koko online so decided to focus more on Ninetales instead of splitting the concept of the deck.

The 1 Koko gives you a free retreat and the 20 spread is incredibly relevant against big GX Pokémon. Most notability putting Gardevoir at 210 and anything with 210 just needed a choice band to KO after a flying flip

I had the 2 Kukui in there so I could hit 180 with blizzard edge and 210 if I had a choice band attached. It also came in handy if my opponent had a dead turn and started a 60 or 70 HP Pokemon(which only happened once)

The double Mallow was my way to makeup for the consistency that was loss with Vs seeker and Dive Ball. Once getting Octillery up it becomes incredibly easy to not only stream Blizzard Edges but to “catch up” if you are off to a slower start."


“I decided to play this Garbodor Box Deck because I feel that it has the ability to beat any deck in the format. I played a spread version of the common Garbodor Deck using cards like Tapu Koko to soften up Pokemon for attacks like Berserk for knockouts, a devolution from Espeon EX or Black Ray GX for multiple knockouts at once. I decided on a pretty staple trainer line, but did include a few techs. I played Professor Kukui for things that have 200+ hp. This helps if you can't get multiple Tapu Koko attacks off. Acerola was a card that I did not enjoy in the deck and if I was to play the tournament again, I would play ninja boy instead so Necrozma would not get knocked out from a Guzma.

Shout out to my friends Ethan and Ryan for the deck list.”


“I chose to play Golisopod/Garbodor, as I saw it at the worlds finals and it is easier to play than most decks (I started playing Pokemon TCG in may). I made some bad choices i really don’t like Lillie, and I would have preferred to have run an additional Tapu Lele, that’s something I saw on the game against James Horvath, as he had a better choice of cards for this deck.”


Now, let's look at those who while did not make top 4, had interesting decks that did well enough to get them into top cut.


“I chose Greninja for this tournament due to the abundance of ability reliant decks played the previous tournament, namely Volcanion. I liked the idea of having one prize attackers, because most decks in the format are reliant on EX or GX Pokemon, allowing to trade with those decks efficiently. I mainly focused on consistency, using a 2-2 Starmie line to ensure I would be able use giant water shuriken constantly. I also ran one Tapu Lele GX, which could be used to bail me out of dead hands, as Greninja decks are usually known for. I played Timer Ball, Nest Ball, and Evosoda because both Dive Ball and Level Ball rotated, so I needed to ensure that I could consistently find my various Pokemon. The Rescue Stretcher and Super Rod were to help me rebuild my board after one of my Pokemon was knocked out, as having 2 breaks out is usually the ideal. The two Splash Energy I played also helped with this, and I do not feel that they interfered with Giant Water Shurikins for the most part. I would probably cut down on Guzma, as it did not do as much as I had hoped, but one spot is definitely still warranted in the deck. The goal of this deck is to give up a few prizes early in the game, while using Frogadier's attack Water Duplicates to get setup. From there, I aimed to setup as many Greninja Breaks as possible, and attempt to overwhelm my opponents with a combination of ability lock with Greninja's attack Shadow Stitching, the 60 damage snipe from Greninja Break's ability, and the bulky 170 hp of the non EX or GX Pokemon. I did not want to face Drampa Garbodor, or Golisipod Garbodor during the tournament, as the ability to one shot Greninja Break while maintaining ability lock was usually too much to overcome. Overall, I liked the deck but I feel it may be to inherently inconsistent for me to play again.”


“I decided to play Gardevoir GX/Sylveon GX because it is the the main deck I was testing for an upcoming league cup. The deck is very strong as it has more positive match ups than most other decks at the moment. Some interesting card choices I made is 4 Gardy GX and a Gallade as opposed to the typical 3/1 split. This is because i wanted to maximize my chances of getting multiple Gardy into play in games or match ups where the Gallade is average. I also played a 9th fairy energy mainly to increase the chance of opening with a turn 1 Sylveon but its also very useful having that little bit of extra damage potential in the late game with an extra fairy. Max Potion is another interesting card which was actually pretty useful in many of my games for the tournament however in hindsight I would rather play Acerola instead, if not as well as.”


"I picked Metagross GX mainly because it was the deck I was most familiar with, having played it off and on since the card was released. Hex Maniac and Flareon put a damper on the deck but, once rotation was announced, I thought it would be a decent pick in the meta with Gardevoir GX being as hyped as it was. Fire was still an issue going into the tournament but I was anticipating Gardevoir to be heavily played. I also didn't hate the Golisopod matchup and expected that deck as well. Overall, the deck has no bad matchups outside of fire and Greninja.

Necrozma GX served to help with the Fire matchup as well as a devolve play with Espeon EX against Metagross. A Necrozma GX with 3 Psychic Energy and a Choice Band also OHKO’s Golisopod GX. Mimikyu was included as a utility attacker mainly to copy Ho-Oh’s attack with a Choice Band for a OHKO. The supporter lineup is pretty straightforward. Skyla was MVP in a lot of games, allowing me to find clutch items. I went with a 6/6 split on energy to make it easier to power Necrozma GX up when it was needed. I didn't run into any issues getting the two metal energy I needed for Metagross so the split worked well."

“I ran Lycanroc GX for the September tournament for the PTCGO tournament series. Moving into an undefined format with rotation happening at the beginning of the month, I opted to run a deck I was comfortable and experienced with. I fell in love with Lycanroc GX as soon as the card was revealed and spent a lot of time playing with it since the release of Guardians Rising. I recognized the difficult match ups that Lycanroc faced in Gardevoir GX, Golisipod GX, and Tapu Bulu GX so I just hoped to avoid them. I felt pretty confident with the rest of the format at that time, which worked out for me through the first 5 swiss rounds.

2-2 Carbink/Carbink BREAK - this card is purely for energy acceleration and recovery with the BREAK’s Diamond Gift attack. I chose to use the Safeguard Carbink over the Energy Keeper version since the main attackers of this deck are evolved Pokémon, and it’s helpful to wall against Volcanion EX. Diamond Gift’s chip damage helps Lycanroc hit KO numbers as well later in the game.

4-4 Rockruff/Lycanroc GX(Midnight) - Bloodthirsty Eyes is an amazing ability and the main strategy behind the deck; pull up benched Pokémon and pound away. Dangerous Rogue GX can end games with enormous damage provided your opponent is filling their bench, which is helpful against big HP Pokémon like Gardevoir, Metagross, Turtonator, and Espeon. Claw Slash at 110 is a bit underwhelming but coupled with a few Strong Energy and a Choice band you can hit the right numbers on basic GX and EX Pokémon. I chose not to run any Midday Lycanroc GX because I found that it was not helping out in any of the unfavorable match ups, and I was almost always reaching for Bloodthirsty Eyes first.

2-2 Remoraid/Octillery - Having the ability to draw cards with Octillery, pull up Pokémon with Lycanroc, and play a supporter card in one turn can be very powerful, so including a thicker Octillery line was important to the game plan. Getting set up is usually smooth between Brigette and Brooklet Hill. This card also keeps you from getting N’d out of a game late.

1 Tapu Koko - This deck plays max Double Colorless and the chip damage from Flying Flip helps Lycanroc take knockouts. This is also the only free retreat Pokémon in the deck, which is valuable with Guzma.

1 Jirachi - This was my attempt at a tech for Gardevoir and Golisipod, but didn’t end up seeing too much use. Guzma makes this card easier to play around than in previous formats, and I would probably cut it in favor of an Enhanced Hammer or a second Tapu Koko.

2 Tapu Lele GX Two copies of Lele felt like enough. With both Bloodthirsty Eyes and Abysmal Hand having supporter-like effects, the only supporter I am usually reaching for is Brigette on the first turn or Accerola in the mid-late game.

As for items, I have a pretty standard set of items, intentionally keeping that area relatively limited so Garbodor has a more difficult time going off. My 61st card would be either a 3rd Float Stone or a 2nd Rescue Stretcher. Supporter count was fairly standard. Two Accerola was handy for reusing Bloodthirsty Eyes and denying my opponent prizes if Lycanroc is not taken down with one attack.”


Once again, I would like to thank all 58 players who participated in our September Tournament. Our September tournament is currently underway. The new season has just gone underway, so it is exciting to see who else does well!
If you want to join for more great tournaments and free prizes, definitely click the group link below, where you can win points towards the 60Cards Online Invitational, PRO Memberships, Play mats and PTCGO CODES. It is free and anyone can participate.
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