11/13/2017 by Zach Lesage
What’s the buzz about, 60Cards readers? I am beyond excited to write an article before our first major tournament in the 2017-2018 season, the European International Championships! I will gladly note that I have been putting in quite a bit of testing for the tournament and I have a few interesting decks that I am going to outline in this article. The two decks that I am going to write about are Buzzwole-GX/Carbink BREAK and Raichu-GX/Raikou! Buzzwole-GX is definitely one of the more hyped cards from Crimson Invasion going into the European International Championships and I feel like both of my lists are strong enough to take on the competition.
Table of contents
Around this time last year, I wrote some personal notes down about myself mentally versus London Internationals. For those of you who don’t know, I was supposed to attend London Internationals with my brother, Jay Lesage, but I eventually had to back away from the opportunity. I was going through a financial rough patch because my car needed new brake pads and new tires, which was very unexpected at the time. That being said, I did not go to London last year. However, I did get the opportunity to watch my brother become a finalist at that tournament which re-inspired me to play the game at my fullest. Here is what I wrote last year:
“I have been on a slippery slope of emotional highs and lows this past weekend where I got to watch my brother climb through the ranks in London to eventually lose in the finals to a respectful Michael Pramawat. I have barely slept due to the alarmingly large five-hour time difference between EST and GMT and I have been on pure hype-based adrenaline since I first heard the word of Jay crushing the competition out there. I must admit, I have felt like I have been in a player slump since I Top 4’d Ontario Regionals last year and I am sure others feel the same way about themselves from time to time. Sometimes players feel like they are worthless or not at their “once-prime”, but they can usually overcome it by fielding through the mist and into a top tournament placing.
Pokemon at times, to me, is a roller coaster of semi-fame, success, failure, and success again! I have had great highs during my “player-prime” such as multiple States wins, very high Regionals placings, and even winning a National Championships, but I have hit some lows too such as placing mediocre at major events recently such as 2016 Fort Wayne Regionals or not making Day 2 at Worlds 2016. It can sometimes be scary at a player low-point because you feel like you are not worthy of placing well or that you don’t belong with the other “top” players who were once your side-by-side peers. Playing Pokemon at the top can sometimes feel like an inclusive and very exclusive group; sometimes the group accepts you because you are considered good or well liked and other times players will not talk to you the same way because you have had a few rough tournaments in a row.
I would like to state that I am on a new-found high after being refreshed by watching my brother claw his way through many matches in London, and I plan on getting together a regular testing day weekly with our local “crew” where I live in Barrie, ON. This past weekend has been like waking up by dumping ice-cold water on yourself and jumping straight into the air, Pokemon is the drug I need now, I just need to taste victory. I know this might all sound cheesy, but I believe that I have found the inspiration that I needed to play this season to my “new” level I have discovered. Hopefully I am right, but I have found that most of success in this game is by finding inspiration wherever I look.”
That being said, I was able to grow myself as a player and I have worked very hard to put myself in the position I am in! Since writing this, I have become sponsored by Pro Play Games and I have not missed Championship Points from any major events in over six months. I have surrounded myself by some fantastic players who I can bounce some deck ideas off of, I have been putting in the effort for each major event, and I have been really focusing on ideas that could be viable. I have used these strategies to propel myself into a much better player and I have even created some new decks in the process. I don't want to toot my own horn too much, but I was a major component in creating the new Turbo Darkrai-GX deck that did extremely well in Daytona Beach Regionals. Quite a bit of my success can be applied to most of you who are reading this article and we can look at my recent success in the game. You could say the past six months have been fairly good to me:
- May 2017 - T64 Roanoke Regionals
- June 2017 - T16 Origins Special Event
- July 2017 - T128 North American International Championships
- August 2017 - Day 2 Worlds Competitor
- September 2017 - T16 Fort Wayne Regionals
- September 2017 - Sponsored by Pro Play Games
- October 2017 - T32 Hartford Regionals
- October 2017 - T64 Daytona Beach Regionals
If you take a deep look at yourself, you need to be able to recognize where your faults are coming from and turn them into a success story. It will most likely not be instant, but you can keep track of your growth over time. As I have been preparing for London, I plan on continuing this streak as I hone in on all available decks that I have been testing for London. One card in particular has peeked my interest from Crimson Invasion due to how powerful it looks. Sometimes it is best to look at a new set and find cards that pique your interests and you really need to start to involve a strategy revolving around that.
Let’s see what makes this card so hyped…
Buzzwole-GX 190 HP (F)
Buzzwole-GX is a bulky Basic Pokemon that can withstand a few blows from most opposing Pokemon. It has a decent type advantage over some fairly popular Pokemon such as Drampa-GX, Tapu Koko, Zoroark-GX and the newer Sylvally-GX. Some of those Pokemon are Evolution Pokemon, meaning that Buzzwole can do some extra damage to their Basic forms such as Zorua and Type: Null too!
(F) Jet Punch 30
This attack does 30 damage to one of your opponent’s Benched Pokemon. (Don’t apply Weakness and Resistance for Benched Pokemon.)
While this is the first attack of the three attacks that Buzzwole-GX can call it’s own, it is often looked at as its best attack. Jet Punch pays homage to Landorus-EX from Boundaries Crossed and this attack stays true to the original strength of that card! As I stated above, this card has the power to Knock Out Pokemon such as Zorua in only one hit! However, the card does not stop it’s rampage there, it can often do much more. With damage modifying support such as Choice Band, Fighting Fury Belt, Regirock-EX, and Strong Energy, it is possible for Buzzwole-GX to Knock Out many other Pokemon for a single Energy. Let’s look at some quick math:
- Jet Punch base damage = 30 damage to the Active Pokemon in total
- Add a Strong Energy = 50 damage to the Active Pokemon in total
- Add a Fighting Fury Belt = 60 damage to the Active Pokemon in total
- Have a Regirock-EX on your Bench = 70 damage to the Active Pokemon in total
I have omitted Choice Band from the math because I want to stress the point of being able to attack non-EX/GX Pokemon on the first turn of the game for a Knock Out. It is possible for a Buzzwole-GX to OHKO a Drampa-GX on the first turn of the game, but that is going to be more of an outlier in my math as Drampa-GX is going to be less common than all other 70 HP Pokemon in total.
(F)(F)(F) Knuckle Impact 160
This Pokemon can’t attack during your next turn.
This is where Buzzwole turns from a turn-one hard-hitter into a late-game powerhouse! The first deck that I will be going over, Buzzwole-GX/Carbink BREAK tries to utilize this attack as quickly as possible for the possibility of some major OHKOs. With a few damage modifiers added on, Buzzwole-GX has the capability to take out some massive Pokemon! Let’s check out how Knuckle Impact’s math works:
- Knuckle Impact base damage: 160 damage in total
- Add a Strong Energy = 180 damage in total
- Add a second Strong Energy = 200 damage in total
- Add a Choice Band = 230 damage in total
- Have a Regirock-EX on your Bench = 240 damage in total
That being said, Knuckle Impact can Knock Out many popular Pokemon such as Gardevoir-GX, Tapu Lele-GX, Golisopod-GX, Volcanion-EX, and Greninja BREAK! As for the draw back of not being able to attack during your next turn, Guzma is an easy fix to get around this otherwise nuisance of a side-effect. That being said, remember that this side-effect does exist and it can put a halt on your game plan.
(F)(F)(F) Absorption GX 40x
This attack does 40 damage for each of your remaining Prize Cards. (You can’t use more than one GX attack in a game.)
And we get to Buzzwole-GX’s final move, the “I can Knock Out whatever I want” attack! Yup, this attack is meant as a vanilla OHKO move! Well, as long as you use it before you draw any or many of your Prize Cards that is. Absorption GX has the power to OHKO a fresh Metagross-GX, sitting at a hefty 250HP, by simply attaching a Choice Band, a Strong Energy, or having a Regirock-EX on the Bench. If I have the choice to use Absorption-GX or Knuckle Impact for an OHKO early game, I quite often use Absorption GX because it gets weaker as the game progresses forward.
Retreat Cost: (C)(C)
This is where we get to the worst part of the card. Unfortunately, Buzzwole-GX needs to have a downfall, its Weakness to Psychic type Pokemon. Normally Weakness would not make or break a card, but our metagame has quite a few powerful Psychic Pokemon reigning supreme. Unless you have been hiding out for the past six months or so, you’ll know Garbodor GRI has truly been a force in the game and it looks to stampede forward going into London. Trubbish with a Choice Band also seems crazy when it can hit Buzzwole-GX for a turn one 80 damage! Latios has also been picking up quite a bit of play on PTCGO lately, so that is yet another card that can be a forceful foe. For the issue of Psychic Weakness alone, Buzzwole-GX must always be paired with either a Psychic Pokemon, something that negates its Weakness, or a Pokemon that is not Weak to Psychic Pokemon. Both of my lists below have one or some of these attributes to help make Buzzwole-GX a proper force going forward. Speaking of lists, let’s check out my Buzzwole-GX/Carbink BREAK deck out:
- 3x Buzzwole GX
- 2x Carbink BREAK
- 2x Carbink
- 2x Tapu Lele GX
- 1x Regirock EX
- 1x Zygarde EX
- 1x Espeon EX
- 1x Sudowoodo
- 1x Oranguru
- 3x Brooklet Hill
- 4x Professor Sycamore
- 4x N
- 3x Guzma
- 1x Acerola
- 4x Ultra Ball
- 4x Max Elixir
- 4x Choice Band
- 3x Float Stone
- 1x Field Blower
- 1x Super Rod
- 1x Rescue Stretcher
- 9x Fighting Energy
- 4x Strong Energy
I will go over some of the more interesting cards in this list because some of the cards are common knowledge and I have already gone into depth for some other cards, such as Buzzwole-GX, earlier in this article!
Two Carbink BREAK and Two Carbink
Carbink BREAK is used almost purely for its Diamond Gift attack, allowing the deck to have a way to quickly power up Buzzwole-GX! Another use for Carbink BREAK is to have an out in the deck to attack Pokemon such as Alolan Nintetales or Hoopa. It is unfortunate that Carbink has been hit with the burden of being from a few sets back because Safeguard could have been a much better Ability! If you don’t understand what I am saying, you need to do a double-take on that card. Safeguard only blocks EX Pokemon, a breed of dying cards in the game, and it cannot block the newer GX Pokemon. That being said, Power Gem can be a useful attack when you add in some damage modifiers to do some extra damage.
As I briefly went through above, Zygarde-EX meets the criteria of not having a Psychic Weakness and therefore has the capability to comfortably tackle Garbodor. In my testing, Cell Storm in combination with two Strong Energy attached in combination with them Evolving with your Po Town in play has been the most efficient way to KO a Garbodor. If Strong Energy are not readily available, Land’s Wrath will have to make due with it’s extra Energy requirement.
As with most decks that have a spread aspect, De-Evolution will always be a popular option in the deck. That being said, Espeon-EX is the best vessel for De-Evolution in the game right now. If you use Jet Punch twice versus a Gardevoir-GX that has used Rare Candy to Evolve from a Ralts, you can now De-Evolve it for a Prize Card. Espeon-EX De-evolves all Pokemon on your opponent’s board which means you can spread your Jet Punch damage to possibly take multiple Prize Cards.
Well, this is my personal touch to the deck and I have been going back on forth on where to cut space to add more. This card wins Buzzwole-GX mirror by using Watch and Learn to copy Buzzwole-GX’s Knuckle Impact or Absorption GX. In most cases, Sudowoodo actually does more damage than the Pokemon it is copying because it has access to Strong Energy and Regirock-EX. That being said, Sudowoodo can also copy other powerful attacks that were just used such as:
- Garbodor GRI’s Trashalanche
- Drampa-GX’s Berserk
- Alolan Ninetales-GX’s Blizzard Edge
- Gardevoir-GX’s Infinite Force
- Golisopod-GX’s Crossing Cut GX
- Ho-Oh-GX’s Phoenix Burn
- Kartana-GX’s Blade GX
- Raichu GX’s Thunder
- Shining Mew’s Legendary Guidance
With all of these great attacks being a possibility, you can use Watch and Learn to copy the best aspects of your opponent’s deck.
If you are planning on playing any kind of spread deck in the near future, I would highly recommend scouring the internet to see if this card is getting hyped going into your next event. For those of you who don’t know, Mr. Mime prevents Benched damage from occurring, which means Jet Punch is not as strong. I have heard of multiple professional Pokemon players bring this card up over the past month or so, but I am not too sure if they are going to play it. It isn’t unheard of for some of the best players to hype certain cards or a deck concept only to dismiss their own thoughts. Yeah, you read that correctly, people will try to abuse their fame in the game for their own benefit. However, I believe only a select few do this and most premium information available will try to be as legitimate as possible. Either way, if you are considering Buzzwole-GX, you need to worry about this card and whether it will be played.
If Buzzwole-GX has a partner, such as Garbodor BKP, you can turn off Abilities which allows Buzzwole-GX to attack Benched Pokemon again. Actually, let’s look into that deck right now:
- 1x Zygarde EX
- 3x Buzzwole GX
- 1x Espeon EX
- 2x Tapu Lele GX
- 2x Garbodor
- 2x Garbodor
- 3x Trubbish
- 3x Po Town
- 4x Professor Sycamore
- 4x N
- 4x Guzma
- 1x Lillie
- 1x Brigette
- 4x Ultra Ball
- 4x Choice Band
- 4x Float Stone
- 2x Field Blower
- 1x Rescue Stretcher
- 1x Super Rod
- 5x Fighting Energy
- 4x Strong Energy
- 4x Rainbow Energy
Two Garbodor BKP, Two Garbodor GRI, and Three Trubbish
This is the line of Garbodor that is the best for any deck that wants to use both Garbodor BKP and Garbodor GRI. Garbodor GRI is used to counter decks that use many item cards and it can punish players if they don’t play around it. You may be asking yourself, “How does Trashalanche actually stack up to the Pokemon in my deck?” Well, let’s give that a look here:
One Item = 20 damage
This amount of damage can Knock Out a Shining Mew due to Weakness
Two Items = 40 damage
This amount of damage can Knock Out a Frogadier if they Evolved with your Po Town in play
Three Items = 60 damage
This amount of damage can Knock Out a Ralts without using any damage modifier
Four Items = 80 damage
This amount of damage can Knock Out a Wimpod without using any damage modifier
Five Items = 100 damage
This amount of damage can Knock Out a Buzzwole-GX without using any damage modifiers
Six Items = 120 damage
This amount of damage can Knock Out a Type: Null without using any damage modifiers
Seven Items = 140 damage
This amount of damage can Knock Out a Tapu Lele-GX when you have a Choice Band attached
Eight Items = 160 damage
This amount of damage can Knock Out a Zygarde-EX when you have a Choice Band attached
Nine Items = 180 damage
This amount of damage can Knock Out a Golisopod-GX that Evolved with your Po Town in play
Ten Items = 200 damage
This amount of damage can Knock Out a Gardevoir-GX when you have a Choice Band attached
Eleven Items = 220 damage
This amount of damage can Knock Out a Silvally-GX without using any damage modifiers
Twelve Items = 240 damage
This amount of damage can Knock Out a Metagross-GX that Evolved with your Po Town in play
Thirteen Items = 260 damage
This amount of damage should be suffice to Knock Out over 90% of Pokemon in the format without any damage modifiers or worrying about Resistance.
After looking at this chart, you can quickly see how Trashalanche can add up damage and it can get even better in this deck. Using Trashalanche in combination with Buzzwole-GX’s Jet Punch, Po Town, and Choice Band can expedite ‘magic’ numbers to Knock Out Pokemon.
Garbodor BKP is used to combat many different Pokemon in the format that have some worrisome Abilities. Here are some of the most common Pokemon with Abilities that you will see in London:
- Octillery BKT
- Gardevoir-GX BUS
- Oranguru SUM
- Tapu Lele-GX GRI
- Alolan Ninetales BUS
- Hoopa SLG
- Kartana-GX CRI
- Mr. Mime GEN
- Volcanion-EX STS
- Zoroark-GX SLG
- Zoroark BKT
All of these Pokemon have Abilities that can win entire games on their own so being able to shut them off with Garbotoxin is going to be a huge deal. If you look at the most popular archetype, Gardevoir-GX, you can shut off their Ability to draw, their Ability to attach extra Energy cards, and their Ability to search their deck for Supporter Cards. Well, what is left? They can attack with a moderately useful Infinite Force on a Stage 2 Pokemon. That being said, Garbodor BKP wins games through it’s hard lock on your opponent.
Usually most Basic Pokemon get left out of the discussion, but Trubbish can serve a purpose in most games. Acid Spray, while seemingly minuscule in importance at first, can do a significant amount of damage. It can do 80 damage with a Choice Band attached to a Buzzwole-GX and it can possibly discard a Strong Energy to reduce opposing damage.
Three Po Town
This card, while I have lightly discussed it above, deserves its own section. Po Town ultimately crushes Evolution based decks that have been popular as of late. If you look at the chart that I outlined with Garbodor GRI, you can see how quickly Po Town makes damage turn into Knock Outs.
With the limited selection of support we have in the current card pool, Lillie is often the ninth draw Supporter in most decks that need a boost in consistency.
I know that many of you will be looking for a match-up section and I am not a personal fan of them at all. I feel like most decks will never produce the same seven card hand every game which means that every player will have to produce different a different strategy every game. Of course, there are guidelines, but if you can’t evolve into a Garbodor GRI at the exact moment you need it, you need to come up with an entirely different plan. However, I think either Buzzwole-GX deck can hold it’s own going into London based on two conditions:
- Mr. Mime is not played in many decks
- Psychic-type decks are not a large portion of the meta game
Looking at match-ups, you just need to use the information I have given you in this article to tackle most of the decks in the format today. If you do decide to play Buzzwole-GX, you can’t instantly concede if you face a Psychic-type deck or if you see a Mr. Mime on your opponent’s Bench. You need to look at the answers that are in the deck and put your mind to the test. I believe that Buzzwole-GX will see some success at London, so use my inspiration to fuel your fire. If I find any more ways to elevate Buzzwole-GX, I will write about it in my next article for 60Cards that will be launching the week before London Internationals. Until then, I am very happy with both of these lists because I have been polishing them both off over the past month or so.
Well, I hope that this article has satisfied that Crimson Invasion deck list craving for those who are attending London Internationals or for those who will be watching from home. These are two interesting decks that I have tested and are my back-up decks for London. I would prioritize these decks higher on my list, but I am worried about the possibility of Mr. Mime making a huge splash at the event. As for the talk on event caps, I have gone ahead and registered for the event! I think this is an awkward stage in the Pokemon world, but it is a growing pain that we will have to deal with as our game soars to attendance records. I will have one more article here on 60 Cards heading into London, so feel free to check that out later this week and follow me on my Twitter: zlesage_pokemon to see if there are any changes to my lists. I am personally excited to see the results of the London International Championships and hopefully I will continue to ride the wave on top of the competitive spectrum. I wish everyone the best of luck who is living out their dream trying to compete for a World Championship invite or for those who are loving and supporting the game from a casual standpoint.
I will see everyone at the 2017 European International Championships, if you haven’t met me in person or if we have just briefly met, feel free to actually introduce yourself to me because I love knowing everybody. Thank you for all of the support, I truly appreciate everyone who take the time to read one of my articles and for supporting 60 Cards.
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