Experts' corner

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

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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


- 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 


- 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


Common Card Inclusions:

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


- 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


- 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

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