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Zach Lesage

Revisiting Buzzwole for Memphis

Zach, while not attending Memphis, details the deck that he would play going into the event, Buzzwole/Lycanroc

12/05/2017 by Zach Lesage

This article brought to you by CCGcastle.com The best place to get your Pokémon singles!

The Buzz for Memphis

Hey, what’s up 60Cards readers, I want you to get amped up for this article because it will be your guide to Buzzwole-GX if you are planning on attending Memphis Regionals in about two weeks! After I already released an article here before London about Buzzwole-GX, I have revisited a few of my earlier thoughts, updated them after London results, and I think Buzzwole-GX is the best play for Memphis currently. I will share my current list that I would gladly play heading into the event, a few other Buzzwole-GX to gather ideas from, and an actual match-up section! If you don’t know what Buzzwole-GX does, let’s look at this card from a glance:

Examining Buzzwole-GX

In order to understand some concepts, I like to break down some cards step-by-step to fully explain where their strengths come from.

Buzzwole-GX 190 HP (F)

Basic Pokemon

Buzzwole-GX is a Basic Pokemon with plenty of HP 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 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 it’s 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

Have a Regirock-EX on your Bench = 60 damage to the Active Pokemon in total

Have a second 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 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.

Weakness: (P)
Resistance: N/A

Retreat Cost: (C)(C)

This is where we get to the worst part of the card. Unfortunately, Buzzwole-GX needs to have a downfall, it’s Weakness to Psychic type Pokemon. Normally Weakness would not make or break a card, but our meta game has quite a few powerful Psychic Pokemon reigning supreme. Unless you have been hiding out for the past six months or so, 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 it’s Weakness, or a Pokemon that is not Weak to Psychic Pokemon. After looking at London’s results, we can safely assume Garbodor-based decks are not on the radar at this current moment. This card seems great, but let’s look over some of the most anticipated deck’s heading into Memphis Regionals to see if it will fit in!

Targeting Threats in the Meta Game

We are still within our infancy stage in this new Shining Legends/Crimson Invasion meta game so we are still all trying to figure out what the best decks are! The format right now, still revolves around Gardevoir-GX, in it’s newest iterations BROKENVOIR; the version that saw the most success in London! This version plays four Max Potion, but is otherwise similar to the original Gardevoir-GX lists we have seen this season! Interestingly enough, the original Gardevoir-GX/Sylveon-GX lists are still having success at League Cups; that deck just won’t die! Beyond that, we have Zoroark-GX/Golisopod-GX, the deck that Tord Reklev won London with. Zak Krekeler made the finals of London with an anti-Gardevoir-GX deck, Silvally-GX/techs so we can also assume that will see some play. We have recently seen some increase of play in Volcanion-EX, most likely due to the hype around Metal-type decks that are being used to counter Gardevoir-GX! With Fire-type decks popping back into the meta-game and lowering the share of Golisopod-GX decks that have recently become popular, I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw a few Greninja BREAK decks played at Memphis! With Buzzwole-GX having some success at London and having some success, we will also see this deck at Memphis. Lastly, we have Decidueye-GX/Zoroark-GX, a deck that also made a splash in London, that has also been having success at League Cups recently. 

Looking over all of these decks, we have about eight decks that are floating within the upper half of the meta-game and about another 20 decks that have seen minor success between London and recent League Cups. I will go over each highly-tiered deck in this section, common cards in each list, and their strengths and weaknesses:

Gardevoir-GX/Four Max Potion (BROKENVOIR)

Common Card Inclusions:

3 Gardevoir-GX
1 to 2 Gallade
1-1 Octillery Line
1 to 2 Alolan Vulpix
4 Max Potion
1 Parallel City
2 or 3 Field Blower

Strengths:

- Has solid match-ups across the board due to its ability to use Infinite Force for “infinite” damage
- Has a healing loop that can use Max Potion up to eight times due to Twilight GX
- Has a consistency engine revolving around Gallade, Octillery, and Alolan Vulpix
- Can attach multiple Energy per turn due to Gardevoir-GX’s Secret Spring Ability
- Has multiple type advantages in the form of Fighting, Fairy, and Psychic-types 

Weaknesses:

- Has a hard match-up versus Metal-type decks due to it’s obvious Metal-Weakness
- It is a Stage 2 deck which can halter set-up if you have a slow start to the game
- It is the most popular deck at the moment so it will often be hard countered

Gardevoir-GX/Sylveon-GX

Common Card Inclusions:

3 Gardevoir-GX
1 Gallade
2-2 Sylveon-GX Line
1 Oranguru
1 Parallel City

Strengths:

- Has solid match-ups across the board due to its ability to use Infinite Force for “infinite” damage
- Has a more consistent engine than BROKENVOIR revolving around Sylveon-GX, Oranguru, and Gallade
- Can attach multiple Energy per turn due to Gardevoir-GX’s Secret Spring Ability
- Has multiple type advantages in the form of Fighting, Fairy, and Psychic-types
- Can use Sylveon-GX in combination with Parallel City to bring your opponents field to only two Pokemon total

Weaknesses:

- Has a hard match-up versus Metal-type decks due to it’s obvious Metal-Weakness
- It is a Stage 2 deck which can halter set-up if you have a slow start to the game
- It is the most popular deck at the moment so it will often be hard countered
- Has limited healing potential in comparison to BROKENVOIR

Zoroark-GX/Golisopod-GX

Common Card Inclusions:

4 Puzzle of Time
3-2 Golisopod-GX Line
3-3 to 4-4 Zoroark-GX Line
1 Zoroark BKT
1 Mewtwo EVO
1 Mr. Mime BKT
3 to 4 Field Blower
2 Enhanced Hammer

Strengths:

- Has quick attackers that can do 120-150 damage for a single Energy card
- Has many neutral match-ups that can be won based on the skill of the player
- Can retrieve back important cards from the Discard Pile with Puzzle of Time
- Has multiple type advantages in the form of Grass, Darkness, and Psychic-types
- Has a consistent engine revolving around Zoroark-GX, Puzzle of Time, and Brigette

Weaknesses:

- It just won London so it might be targeted as much as Gardevoir-GX or potentially even more targeted
- It plays minimal Energy cards which allows the deck to whiff more often than other decks
- It is possible to deck out if you are not careful with Zoroark-GX’s Trade Ability
- I have experienced many weird starting hands that seem clunky
- Techs such as Mewtwo and Mr. Mime are fairly match-up based in which they can become dead cards in some match-ups

Silvally-GX/Techs

Common Card Inclusions:

3 Silvally-GX
2-2 to 3-3 Zoroark-GX Line
0 to 2 Celesteela-GX
1 Coballion STS
0 to 1 Kartana-GX
2 to 3 Registeel CRI
0 to 1 Necrozma-GX
0 to 1 Scizor-EX
other assorted techs
0 to 2 Psychic Memory
2 Fighting Memory

Strengths:

- This deck has a strong match-up against  Gardevoir-GX based on it’s type advantage of Metal-type
- Has Energy acceleration in the form of Silvally-GX’s Turbo Drive attack and Registeel’s Turbo Arm attack
- Has multiple type advantages in the form of Metal, Colorless, Darkness, Psychic, and Fighting-types
- Has diverse Weaknesses in the form of Fighting, Lightning, and Fire-types which can allow you to change up your game plan accordingly
- Has a consistent engine revolving around Zoroark-GX and Brigette

Weaknesses:

- It came second at London which may allow for Fire and Fighting-type decks to jump back into the format 
- The deck has many different attackers that all have different uses; this makes the deck a more skillful play which can allow for mistakes to happen
- It has a lesser draw engines than other decks on this list which can make it inconsistent
- Most Pokemon in this deck require many Energy which can make energy whiffs hurtful to its winning percentage

Volcanion-EX

Common Card Inclusions:

3 to 4 Volcanion-EX
1 to 3 Turtanator-GX
0 to 2 Ho-Oh-GX
0 to 2 Kiawe
2 Enhanced Hammers
13 to 15 Fire Energy

Strengths:

- This deck is extremely fast, allowing it to take some big Knock Outs early in the game
Volcanion can power up some hard-hitting EX and GX Pokemon quickly
- It uses an engine in the form of Tapu Lele-GX and Oranguru
- Has a strong match-up against Golisopod-GX decks, the deck that just won London
The deck consists of only Basic Pokemon requiring minimal cards to set-up

Weaknesses:

- Has a bad match-up to Greninja BREAK, however that deck isn’t played too much
- Has a relatively low HP cap compared to the dominating Stage 1 and Stage 2 decks in format
- With many Energy cards in the list, it can often have clunky hands
- It doesn’t have a dedicated consistent draw engine such as Octillery or Zoroark-GX

Greninja BREAK

Common Card Inclusions:

3 Greninja BREAK
0 to 1 Tapu Fini-GX
0 to 1 Espeon-EX
1 Tapu Lele-GX
0 to 1-1 Starmie Line
0 to 1-1 Octillery Line
1 to 2 Enhanced Hammer
4 Splash Energy
0 to 1 Guzma

Strengths:

- Has a strong match-up versus Gardevoir-GX, Silvally-GX/Techs, and Volcanion-EX
- It can use Giant Water Shuriken to Knock Out many Pokemon in one turn or to produce a lot of damage at once
- Froakie has the attack Bubble, which can Paralyze your opponent’s Active Pokemon
- Most Pokemon in the deck are single Prize Card attackers, requiring the opponent the necessity to draw six full Prize Cards in most cases

Weaknesses:

- The most inconsistent highly tiered deck in format; it usually doesn’t have a dedicated draw engine
- Suffers from an awful Golisopod-GX match-up, the deck that just won London
- Plays either zero or a limited amount of Guzma
- The deck relies on a Stage 2 BREAK Pokemon, requiring many turns to set-up
- The deck, once set-up, requires plenty of skill to pilot to optimal results

Buzzwole-GX/Lycanroc-GX

Common Card Inclusions:

3 to 4 Buzzwole-GX
1 to 2 Regirock-EX
2-2 Octillery Line
0 to 1 Zygarde-EX
0 to 1 Zygarde FCO
0 to 1 Sudowoodo BKP
1 to 2 Field Blower
3 to 4 Choice Band
4 Strong Energy 

Strengths:

- This deck is extremely fast, allowing it to take some big Knock Outs early in the game
Buzzwole-GX and Lycanroc-GX can both OHKO Pokemon with their GX attack
- Has varied Weaknesses in the deck in the form of Psychic, Grass, and Water-types to avoid losing to decks directly
- Can donk Basic Pokemon with 70 HP on the first turn of the game
- Has a dedicated draw engine in the form of Brooklet Hill and Octillery
- Lycanroc-GX’s Blood Thirsty Eyes can be used as additional support to drag up important Pokemon to Knock Out

Weaknesses:

- Has a relatively low HP cap compared to the dominating Stage 1 and Stage 2 decks in format
- Can suffer from opposing Psychic-type Pokemon such as Garbodor GRI and Mewtwo EVO
- Regirock-EX, Lycanroc-GX, and Octillery all has Grass-type Weaknesses that can lead to some easy Prize Cards for an opposing Golisopod-GX

Decidueye-GX/Zoroark-GX

Common Card Inclusions:

3 to 4 Decidueye-GX
2-2 to 4-4 Zoroark-GX
0 to 3 Max Potion
1 Espeon-EX
2 to 3 Field Blower

Strengths:

- Doesn’t require many Energy to attack; Decidueye-GX’s Feather Arrow Ability can do damage without Energy
- Has a dedicated draw engine in the form of Zoroark-GX and Brigette
- Similar to Greninja BREAK, this deck can spread damage with Decidueye-GX’s Feather Arrow to take multiple Knock Outs in a turn
- Has varied Weaknesses in the deck in the form of Fighting and Fire-types to avoid losing to decks directly 

Weaknesses:

- Suffers from a bad match-up to Buzzwole-GX variants if you do not play enough healing cards
- Suffers from a bad match-up to Volcanion-EX due to Decidueye-GX’s Weakness to Fire-type
- As a Stage 2 deck, it can have clunky starting hands
- Despite playing two or three Field Blower, this deck can struggle versus Garbodor BKP’s Garbotoxin Ability

The Other Decks

While I won’t go into full details about every other deck in the format, I do want to list them so you can see what lurks in the shadows:

Metagross-GX
Drampa-GX/Garbodor
Espeon-GX/Garbodor
Vikavolt/Tapu Bulu-GX
Golisopod-GX/Garbodor
Buzzwole-GX/Garbodor
Zoroark-GX/Zoroark BREAK/Drampa-GX
Ninetales-GX/Zoroark-GX
Sylveon-GX
Zoroark-GX/Lycanroc-GX
Buzzwole-GX/Zoroark-GX
Silvally-GX/Volcanion-GX

Some of these deck may be more common than others, but it should be noted that it is likely for you to have a high percentage chance to play against some of these decks heading into Memphis. While the eight decks listed above are obviously the format front runners, there are more of these “lesser” decks floating around at tournaments than the top decks! Whether this is due to the most popular decks being more skill-based, more expensive, or generally less fun, we still will see these decks pop up around Memphis. Most of these decks have been floating around since their inception, and have likely been knocked out of a higher percentage as newer decks have released. 

Based on all of the information above for popular decks, it made me think of other decks that I have been testing and where we could place them in in the meta game if all of the information above stays true for Memphis. This regime brought up my Buzzwole-GX/Carbink BREAK list that I created prior to London…

Re-Visiting Buzzwole-GX/Carbink BREAK

After viewing the results from London, I revisited my Buzzwole-GX/Carbink BREAK deck because I had a thought that it could work in the current meta game. I added a few new things into the deck such as replacing my original Oranguru for an Octillery line. Beyond this change, I minority changed a few other cards throughout the list to make it more consistent. Here is my reasoning on why I believe that Buzzwole-GX is strong in the meta game right now:

- Psychic type decks are at an all-time format low
- Zoroark-GX has seen a huge upswing in play after the results of the London International Championships based on Tord Reklev winning the event
- Silvally-GX was pivotal in Zak Krekeler making it into finals of London and should see significant play based on this alone
- Buzzwole-GX, similar to my pet deck of Golisopod-GX, has fairly neutral match-ups across the board; this can allow for skilled players to go far with this deck
- The deck is consistent because it doesn’t need to set-up to win; the deck relies mostly on Basic Pokemon that don’t require clunky Evolution cards in the deck
- Knuckle Impact and Absorption GX are extremely powerful and can Knock Out almost any Pokemon in format
- The deck can steal games in the form of a turn one or turn two donk, this ideal at big tournaments because more time playing games equals less brainpower

Based on these reasons, Buzzwole-GX seems like a safe and consistent play heading into Memphis. Let’s look at my updated list to see what I ended up with:

Buzzwole-GX/Carbink BREAK List

{Deck 3425}

Card Explanations

As this deck is similar to my final Buzzwole-GX/Lycanroc-GX list at the end of the article, this deck does feature some differences! I will explain the cards in this deck that are different from my personal list:

Two Carbink BREAK and Two Carbink

Carbink BREAK allows for the option to power up a Buzzwole-GX quickly during the late-game to use Knuckle Impact for the last of your Prize Cards. Carbink’s Safeguard Ability can provide some use as Volcanion-EX is slowly creeping back into the meta game. Both of these cards have decent attacking potential due to Strong Energy, Choice Band, and Regirock-EX; use them in a pinch to do some chip damage or take a Knock Out.

One Zygarde-EX

Zygarde-GX is usually played over the fourth Buzzwole-GX to provide additional support against Psychic-type Pokemon that can overpower the deck quickly. Beyond this reasoning, I find Zygarde-EX underwhelming in comparison to Buzzwole-GX.

One Acerola 

I truly enjoy the healing aspect of this card, but it is a hard spot to justify with the lack of VS Seeker in our Standard format right now. I find in most games that a single Buzzwole-GX can draw upwards of four Prize Cards, in which it doesn’t require much life at that point. However, I do like the option to pop back a heavily damaged EX or GX Pokemon to deny our opponent precious Prize Cards.

Buzzwole Makes a Buzz at London

After reviewing what happened at London, I realized that quite a few players used Buzzwole-GX to great success! The deck that stuck out of the pack to me the most was Teodor Skjaeveland and Fredrik Wold’s Buzzwole-GX/Lycanroc-GX deck! They both piloted the exact same deck list to an impressive fifth and sixth place finish respectively and that fact alone gives me hope for the future of the deck. It is also notable that the following great players piloted Buzzwole-GX variants to success at London:

10th Joao Juaquim with Decidueye-GX/Zoroark-GX/Buzzwole-GX

27th Simon Humphrey with Silvally-GX/Buzzwole-GX

36th Leon Goellner with Buzzwole-GX/Garbodor

55th Goncalo Ferreira with Decidueye-GX/Zoroark-GX/Buzzwole-GX

56th Pedro Eugenia Torres with Buzzwole-GX/Zoroark-GX

That being said, let’s check out their list here:

Skjaeveland and Wold’s Buzzwole/Lycanroc List

Card Explanations

Not to be repetitive in stating what I did in the Buzzwole-GX/Carbink BREAK Card Explanation section, I do go through all of the cards in my personal Buzzwole-GX/Lycanroc-GX list so if you were interested in those cards, feel free to apply those missing cards to this section. That being said, I will explain the cards in this deck that are different from my personal list:

Two Rockruff GRI 73

This Rockruff has the attack Corner, which can prevent your opponent’s Active Pokemon from Retreating during their next turn. I personally enjoy the benefits of the promo Rockruff because it can do some important chip damage. 

One Zygarde-EX

As explained in my Buzzwole-GX/Carbink BREAK list, I view this card as a Psychic-type counter but after looking at the meta game, Psychic doesn’t seem like a solid type going into Memphis Regionals.

One Zygarde FCO 53

Similar to Zygarde-EX above, this seems like a card to sway the Garbodor match-up in the decks favor. Unfortunately for Zygarde, I feel like this card is underwhelming in comparison to my Sudowoodo BKP and seems like an instant cut from their list. 

Updating the Buzzwole Standard

So after looking at Skjaeveland and Wold’s list, I wanted to see if I could make the deck any better. I went through and replaced the Rockruff with the superior promo version to do some chip damage, cut out the dead weight of Zygarde-EX, and ultimately replaced Zygarde FCO with another superior card. I did find that their Trainer line was spot on, and did not need replacing. Sudowoodo is the cards that really changes the lists and I want to focus on that card and showcase some of its strengths:

Sudowoodo Explained

Well, this is my personal touch to the deck and it holds quite a bit of strength in the current meta game! I have a strong fascination with cards that copy attacks and Sudowoodo is no different, let’s see some of the attacks it can copy:

Garbodor GRI’s Trashalanche

Drampa-GX’s Berserk

Gardevoir-GX’s Infinite Force

Golisopod-GX’s Crossing Cut GX

Volcanion-EX’s Volcanic Heat

Kartana-GX’s Blade GX

Zoroark-GX’s Rioutous Beating

Zoroark BKT’s Mind Jack

Silvally-GX’s Turbo Drive

Silvally-GX’s Rebel GX

Buzzwole-GX’s Knuckle Impact

Buzzwole-GX’s Absorption GX

Celesteela-GX’s Rocket Fall

Celesteela-GX’s Moonpress

Celesteela-GX’s Blaster GX

Ho-Oh-GX’s Phoenix Burn

Lycanroc-GX’s Dangerous Rogue GX

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. Furthermore, Sudowoodo can copy them better than the original attack because we gain the advantages of Strong Energy, Choice Band, and Regirock-EX to do more damage. Either way, let’s see where my list ended up and go through some card explanations below:

Buzzwole-GX/Lycanroc-GX List

Card Explanations

I briefly want to go through the entire deck so that you can see where the strengths of individual cards come from overall.

Four Buzzwole-GX

This is our main attacker and it has some great attacks that can be used in almost any situation! If you look at the Examining Buzzwole-GX section of this article, I go through many great uses there!

Two Lycanroc-GX and Four Guzma

Lycanroc-GX and Guzma can both be used to gust up one of our opponent’s precious Pokemon so that we can seamlessly Knock it out. Lycanroc can be a strong attacker in the form of Dangerous Rogue GX, an attack that Knock Out any Pokemon if our opponent plays enough Benched Pokemon. Claw Slash can also effectively Knock Out either a Zoroark-GX or Silvally-GX. You may be thinking that it is hard to power up a Lycanroc-GX and to solve that, you need to use Max Elixir on a Rockruff before you Evolve into a Lycanroc-GX!

Two Rockruff PR SM06

I like this promo Rockruff better than the Rockruff GRI because Tackle can do damage for a single Energy card. If you attack with Tackle in combination with a Strong Energy and two Regirock-EX, you can OHKO many 60 HP Pokemon. This attack can become even stronger when you face against a helpless Zorua that you can Knock Out with a single Strong Energy.

Two Octillery and Two Remoraid

This is the draw power behind our deck and it allows us to remain consistent throughout the entirety of the game! Remarried has incredible synergy with Brooklet Hill and that allows us to get our set-up started  early in the game.

Two Regirock-EX, Four Choice Band, and Four Strong Energy

These are our damage modifiers of the deck and allow for us to make numbers happen that otherwise would be unreachable. With the potential of adding an additional 70 damage (two Regirock-EX, one Choice Band, and one Strong Energy) to almost any attack in our arsenal, these cards are vital to this deck being successful! You can add even more damage when you attach more than one Strong Energy to any of your Pokemon.

One Tapu Lele-GX

While it may look weird to only play one Tapu Lele-GX in a deck nowadays, this deck really doesn’t need more than that. The deck, with two Regirock-EX is already strapped for Bench space and we already have Brooklet Hill to expedite our set-up. With a thick Octillery line and Lycanroc-GX’s Blood Thirsty Eyes, we don’t need to use Tapu Lele-GX late game. This one Tapu Lele-GX is more of an early game guarantee to avoid dead draws when they occur by giving us an out with an Ultra Ball.

One Sudowoodo

As expamined in the Sudowoodo Explained section of this article, Sudowoodo is a strong one Prize Card attacker that can swing games by using Watch and Learn!

Three Brooklet Hill

This card speeds our deck up by allowing us to search for any of our Pokemon, excluding Tapu Lele-GX! We can utilize this card to cater to the match-up at stake to grab an attacker, a Remoraid to set our deck up, or a Regirock-EX to do some extra damage.

Four Professor Sycamore, Four N, and Four Ultra Ball

These cards are common sights in almost all deck lists in our Standard format and there isn't much of a difference here. We need strong Trainer cards to keep our deck ticking and these are currently the best options we have.

Four Max Elixir and Nine Fighting Energy

In order to get our Knuckle Impact attack in play as soon as possible, this deck needs to run off a Max Elixir engine to keep the Energy flowing. Nine basic Energy is likely the lowest amount of energy that you can run with a Max Elixir engine and that is where the number comes from. Max Elixir has a healthy probability of hitting with the amount of cards that we can use to thin our deck and the amount of energy fits into the deck nicely.

Three Float Stone

With all of the Pokemon in this deck having a high Retreat Cost, a large amount of Float Stone seems like the ideal inclusion into this deck. My gut is telling me to cut a Float Stone for an Acerola to use that as a pseudo-Retreating card and reap the benefits of the healing aspect, but that would require some more testing. I usually attack Float Stone to Regirock-EX, but I have been finding it useful to attach one to a Buzzwole-GX after I use Knuckle Impact. This play opens up the possibility to Retreat a Buzzwole-GX after using Knuckle Impact, playing a Guzma, and using the same Buzzwole-GX again to draw another two Prize Cards.

One Field Blower

With this deck having a decent amount of Abilities, this number is low and I want a second Field Blower in this list in case I run into a Garbodor BKP’s Garbotoxin Ability. I have been reasoning with myself that I can get away with only running the one Field Blower due to Garbodor’s current lack of play right now, so that may hold strong heading into Memphis. That being said, I may change my mind to add the second Field Blower if Psychic Memory becomes popular in Silvally-GX based decks.

One Rescue Stretcher

Sometimes you need to make a tough decision to discard a key Pokemon during the game or your Sudowoodo may have just been Knocked Out; we need to have an out to getting things back and Rescue Stretcher does that. I may want to turn this into a Super Rod due to the synergy with Max Elixir, but I like Rescue Stretcher in faster decks. This is a spot that I will contemplate on going forward in my testing sessions heading into Memphis!

Additional Thoughts

The only other things that I would like the mention are a list of things I may want to add into the deck. These are all on my mind and they may not even exist:

a Psychic-type single Energy attacker (Mew FCO comes to mind
a Fighting or Water-type free Retreater
a second Sudowoodo BKP
a single Fighting Fury Belt
a second Field Blower
an Acerola
a Super Rod
a 1-1 Carbink BREAK Line
Obviously these potential changes would alter the structure of the deck and would require some more testing as we quickly approach Memphis Regionals in two weeks. If I do any changes, I will include an updated list in my next article that should be coming out a week after this article launches. Either way, let’s see how this deck does against the eight most popular decks in the format:

Match-Ups

In this section, I will be going over the expected eight popular decks that will likely see a majority of play at Memphis Regionals:

Gardevoir-GX/Four Max Potion (BROKENVOIR) - Even

This match-up can become very tough because Gardevoir-GX can use Infinite Force to quickly overpower your field. I try to break this game down into four steps:

1) Knock Out a single Prize Card attacker such as Ralts or Alolan Vulpix with Jet Punch (30 base damage + Strong Energy + Regirock-EX = 60)
2) Knock Out a single Prize Card attacker such as Ralts or Alolan Vulpix (30 base damage + Strong Energy + Regirock-EX = 60)
3) Knock Out a Gardevoir-GX with Knuckle Impact or Dangerous Rogue GX
4) Guzma or Blood Thirsty Eyes up a Tapu Lele-GX and OHKO it with Knuckle Impact
Obviously our opponent can change our plans by avoiding this plan or we might not have all of the necessary cards to pull off a four turn game, but this is the most ideal path to win the match-up. Alternatively, if they power up a Gardevoir-GX with a lot of Energy, you can use Sudowoodo’s Watch and Learn to copy Infinite Force for an OHKO! I wouldn’t recommend spreading damage based on the amount of Max Potion their deck plays!

Gardevoir-GX/Sylveon-GX - Slightly Favourable

This match-up follows very similarly to BROKENVOIR, except we don’t need to worry about Max Potion as much and we can Knock Out their Oranguru in one hit with Jet Punch. 

Zoroark-GX/Golisopod-GX - Slightly Favourable

This match-up follows the deck’s strategy of drawing six Prize Cards very efficiently between using big attacks in the form of Absorption-GX, Knuckle Impact, Dangerous Rogue GX, and Watch and Learn! This match-up can follow a four turn step as well:

1) Knock Out a single Prize Card attacker such as Wimpod or Zorua with Jet Punch (30 base damage + Strong Energy + two Regirock-EX = 70 or simply base damage multiplied by two to OHKO Zorua)
2) Knock Out a single Prize Card attacker such as Wimpod or Zorua with Jet Punch (30 base damage + Strong Energy + two Regirock-EX = 70 or simply base damage multiplied by two to OHKO Zorua
3) Knock Out a Zoroark-GX with Knuckle Impact, Watch and Learn, Absorption GX, Claw Slash, or Dangerous Rogue GX
4) Knock Out a Zoroark-GX with Knuckle Impact, Watch and Learn, Absorption GX, Claw Slash, or Dangerous Rogue GX
Alternatively, if our opponent relies on their slim Golisopod-GX line to attack us, we can use Knuckle Impact with a Choice Band and Strong Energy to OHKO it. Watch out for Mewtwo EVO, which can potentially OHKO a fully powered Buzzwole-GX if they attack a Choice Band.

Silvally-GX/Techs - Favourable

This match-up follows the deck’s strategy of drawing six Prize Cards very efficiently between using big attacks in the form of Absorption-GX, Knuckle Impact, Dangerous Rogue GX, and Watch and Learn! This match-up can follow a four turn step as well:

1) Knock Out a single Prize Card attacker such as Type: Null or Zorua with Jet Punch (30 base damage + Strong Energy + two Regirock-EX multiplied by two = 120 or simply base damage multiplied by two to OHKO Zorua)
2) Knock Out a single Prize Card attacker such as Type: Null or Zorua with Jet Punch (30 base damage + Strong Energy + two Regirock-EX = 60 or simply base damage multiplied by two to OHKO Zorua
3) Knock Out an EX or GX Pokemon with Knuckle Impact, Watch and Learn, Absorption GX, Claw Slash, or Dangerous Rogue GX
4) Knock Out an EX or GX Pokemon with Knuckle Impact, Watch and Learn, Absorption GX, Claw Slash, or Dangerous Rogue GX
Silvally-GX/Techs is a better match-up for us than Zoroark-GX/Golisopod-GX due to the fact that the deck plays both Silvally-GX and Zoroark-GX. We can quickly acquire our Prize Cards based on their obvious Weakness. We need to worry about the possibility of Psychic Memory gaining popularity as Buzzwole-GX gains a strong meta-share heading into Memphis. If Psychic Memory does gain some traction, we can fight this by including Zygarde-EX back into this list over a Buzzwole-GX and finding space for another Field Blower.

Volcanion-EX - Slightly Favourable

This match can be closer than you think based on their ability to take large Knock Outs in a similar way to us! For this game, it is ideal to draw six Prize Cards in three turns:

1) Knock Out a Volcanion-EX or Turtanator-GX with Knuckle Impact
2) Knock Out a Volcanion-EX or Turtantor-GX with Dangerous Rogue GX (they should have multiple Pokemon on their Bench the entire game)
3) Guzma or Blood Thirsty Eyes up a Tapu Lele-GX and OHKO it with Knuckle Impact or Watch and Learn
They can use Ho-Oh-GX, which has a Fighting-type Resistance, to gain some traction early game! However, Ho-Oh-GX may not see play in lists heading into Memphis. If you are forced to Knock Out a Volcanion, you need to look into at least a four turn plan. You can use Jet Punch to chip some damage away on a Volcanion all while setting up other Knock Outs on their field. It is important to Knock Out their Volcanion in at most three turns by using Strong Energy and Regirock-EX.Remember that their Oranguru can be Knocked Out in one hit with Jet Punch to draw your last single Prize Card.

Greninja BREAK - Slightly Favourable 

This match-up can be close, but we have a strong early-game advantage! This game will often take six turns to win, but if they Bench a two Prize Card attacker, we can win in five turns…

1) Knock Out a Froakie with Jet Punch (30 base damage + Strong Energy + Regirock-EX = 60)
2) Knock Out a Frogadier with Jet Punch (30 base damage + Strong Energy + two Regirock-EX = 70)
3) Knock Out a Greninja with Knuckle Impact
4) Knock Out a Greninja BREAK with Dangerous Rogue GX
5) Use Guzma or Blood Thirsty Eyes to Knock Out a Tapu Lele-GX, Espeon-EX, or Tapu Fini-GX on their Bench with Knuckle Impact
The Greninja player likely won’t have a way to recover chip damage from Jet Punch, so that can help make some math easier as the game progresses. Watch out for Tapu Fini-GX sending a full powered Buzzwole-GX back into your deck!

Buzzwole-GX/Lycanroc-GX - Even to Slightly Favourable

Like most of the other decks in this match-up section, this deck follows the same premise of using big attacks to Knock Out multiple two Prize Card Pokemon throughout the game. The biggest advantage that my list has is Sudowoodo! We can copy big attacks at a fraction of the original attack cost to gain some return OHKOs and gain some Energy back on our field!

Decidueye-GX/Zoroark-GX - Slightly Favourable

This match-up follows a similar win condition to Zoroark-GX/Golisopod-GX and Silvally-GX/Techs! We have some type advantage against the Zorua and Zorark-GX in this deck so we need to use that to win the game easier:

1) Knock Out a single Prize Card attacker such as Rowlet or Zorua with Jet Punch (30 base damage + Strong Energy + Regirock-EX = 60 or simply base damage multiplied by two to OHKO Zorua)
2) Knock Out a single Prize Card attacker such as Rowlet or Zorua with Jet Punch (30 base damage + Strong Energy + Regirock-EX = 60 or simply base damage multiplied by two to OHKO Zorua)
3) Knock Out a Decidueye-GX with Dangerous Rogue GX
Knock Out a Zoroark-GX with Knuckle Impact, Watch and Learn, Absorption GX, Claw Slash, or Dangerous Rogue GX
In this match-up, we need to watch out for a Mewtwo EVO that can potentially OHKO our Buzzwole-GX or a Razor Leaf from Decidueye-GX that can potentially KO our Lycanroc-GX. If we play around those cards, this match-up should be on our side!

Good Luck in Memphis

As for me, I will be taking a minor break from major competitive tournaments to focus on coaching players, writing articles, and most importantly relaxing. It can get very tiresome playing at the top of the game or even learning the ropes as a newer player; sometimes you just need to pause your Pokemon life to regroup.Now this is not to say that I don't want to be playing the game right now, I wish I could, I just have other priorities that I need to focus on.

Either way, feel free to 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 upcoming Memphis Regionals 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 Dallas Regionals in January, 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 60Cards.

- Zach Lesage

[+20] okko


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