Experts' corner

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Zach Lesage

Mosquitoes From The Future - Forbidden Light Buzzwole-GX

Zach goes over a Buzzwole-GX deck that exists with the new Forbidden Light cards!

05/11/2018 by Zach Lesage

Hello From The Future

Whats happenin’ 60 Cards readers? I am back from the future and I can surely exclaim that there are multiple mosquitoes with four legs (yeah, Buzzwole actually has four of them)! If you don’t understand what I am saying, I will make it very clear… FORBIDDEN LIGHT MAKES Buzzwole GX (CIN; 104)  BETTER!!! Now that I have got that out of my system, we can continue as planned. In my article today I will be going over some cards that Buzzwole GX (CIN; 104)  gains from the currently unreleased Forbidden Light set, a new Buzzwole GX (CIN; 104)  deck, and explanations on how to properly play that deck. I know this article may seem like it is slightly early, but it should be known that Pre-Release tournaments are being held in North America as early as this weekend. That being said, after reading this article, you can piece together a brand new deck to get in some early play testing for League Cups and the 2018 Madison, Wisconsin Regional Championships. Without any further hesitation, lets jump into some of the awesome cards that Buzzwole GX (CIN; 104)  gains from Forbidden Light:

What Do We Gain From Forbidden Light 

Buzzwole (FLI; 77)

(Ultra Beast) - Fighting - 130 HP

Pokemon - Basic

F Sledgehammer 30+

If your opponent has exactly 4 prize cards left, this attack does 90 more damage.

FFC Swing Around 80+

Flip 2 coins. This attack does 20 more damage for each heads.

Weakness: Psychic

Resistance: none

Retreat: 2<img 

This card has two attacks and both of them are seemingly strong. Sledgehammer can do a strong amount of damage if your opponent has four Prize Cards left and that pairs up nicely with some damage modifiers in this deck. Looking at that situation, you can do your base damage of 30, add 90 damage from your opponent having four Prize Cards remaining, add an additional 20 damage with Diancie PRISM STAR, add an additional 30 damage with Beast Energy, and add an additional 30 damage with a Choice Band (GRI; 121) . Adding all of that up (30 + 90 + 20 + 30 + 30), you can do 200 damage for a single Energy. Now even if you don't have all of the extra damage from your opponent having drawn two Prize Cards already, you can still do enough to Knock Out a Zoroark GX (SLG; 77)  in one hit. Swing Around can also do quite a bit of damage for a single Prize Card attacker, especially if you got Beast Ring out to power this card up quicker than ever. 

Diancie Prism Star (FLI; 74)

Fighting - 120 HP

Pokemon - Basic

Ability: Princess Cheer

While this Pokemon is on your bench, your fighting Pokemon do 20 more damage to your opponent's active Pokemon.

FFF Diamond Rain 90

Heal 30 damage from all of your benched Pokemon.

Weakness: Grass

Resistance: none

Retreat: 2

While this card does not have a strong attack or a massive amount of HP, it does offer an advanced replacement for Regirock EX (FCO; 43) . Diancie PRISM STAR is actually better than Regirock EX (FCO; 43)  because it provides double the damage output (20) and it is a single Prize Card Pokemon. With all of these improvements upon Regirock EX (FCO; 43) , Diancie PRISM STAR is instantly a spot in any Buzzwole GX (CIN; 104)  deck.

Beast Ring (FLI; 102)

Trainer - Item

You can only play this card if your opponent has exactly either 3 or 4 prize cards left. Search your deck for up to 2 basic energy cards and attach them to 1 of your 'Ultra Beast' in play. Then shuffle your deck.

This card allows you to fully power up a Buzzwole GX (CIN; 104)  out of nowhere, as long as your opponent has drawn two or three Prize Cards. Ok, looking at the card, you might thing that it might be optional to shut off Beast Ring, but how can you do it? Your opponent can Knock Out a Remoraid (BKT; 32) to put them at five Prize Cards, but what else can they Knock Out? They can Knock Out an Octillery (BKT; 33)  to put them to a further four Prize Cards… Wait… THAT DOESN’T WORK! Ok, scratch Knocking Out Octillery (BKT; 33) , they can Knock Out a Buzzwole GX (CIN; 104)OOPS… That still brings them to three Prize Cards. Scratch everything! Lets start off the game and they Knock Out just a Tapu Lele GX (GRI; 137) , that puts them at four Prize Cards… OHHHHH… yeah, there isn't any conventional way to get past this. The only way that I can see a deck getting past Beast Ring is that they either spread to draw multiple Prize Cards at once, shut off Beast Ring by blocking the use of Item Cards, or they have an alternative win condition such as deck out. 

The best way to currently get past Beast Ring is to allow them to use it, but only for that turn! There is NO guarantee that Beast Ring will be able to be found or that your opponent will need to use it (maybe they have Beast Ring, but they don’t have a Buzzwole GX (CIN; 115)  to power up). The worst case scenario is that any opposing deck that plays Beast Ring goes Beast Ring, Beast Ring, and a third Beast Ring gets played to create a monstrous board state. The fact that there is no way to currently easily circumvent a Beast Ring from happening shows how busted this deck can be.

Beast Energy Prism Star (FLI; 117)

Energy - Special

This card provides 1 colorless energy. While this card is attached to an 'Ultra Beast', it provides all types, but only 1 energy at a time and the attacks of this Pokemon do 30 more damage against the opponent's active Pokemon.

This card is like a Strong Energy and a half which means it is a must play in any deck that can run it. With cards such as the new Buzzwole and Buzzwole GX (CIN; 104)  both being able to abuse this card, there are new possibilities. As explained above, with some other damage modifiers, a Buzzwole GX (CIN; 104)  can now Knock Out a fresh Zoroark GX (SLG; 53)  with a single Jet Punch. It looks like this:

Use Jet Punch to do your base damage of 30, add an additional 20 damage with Diancie PRISM STAR, add an additional 30 damage with Beast Energy, and add an additional 30 damage with a Choice Band (BUS; 162) . Adding all of that up (30 + 90 + 20 + 30 + 30) equals to 110 damage. When facing against a Zoroark GX (SLG; 53) , it has Weakness to Fighting-type multiplied by two so that damage will quickly become 220 damage. 220 damage will Knock Out a Zoroark GX (SLG; 77)  in one hit because Zoroark GX (SLG; 53)  has 210 HP.

Looking at that situation, Buzzwole GX (CIN; 104)  gaining Beast Energy as an extra damage modifier makes for some boastful plays that can cement it as one of the best decks until it is rotated out of format.

I’m sure after looking at all of of these cards we can all agree that Buzzwole GX (CIN; 104)  has gained some major support from Forbidden Light, but how does the actual deck look? I have fortunately had some spare time to test this upcoming format to kickstart your success come the first weekend of League Cups. I took one of my Buzzwole GX (CIN; 104)  / Lycanroc GX (GRI; 156)  skeletons to start with, realized that Buzzwole GX (CIN; 115)  is likely too fast for Lycanroc GX (GRI; 74)  right now, and created the list below. I don’t see how Buzzwole GX (CIN; 104)  can take on another version besides this straight version without straying too far or not being the star of the deck. Lets check out the list below:

Buzzwole-GX Deck (Forbidden Light Format)

A Brief Strategy

So this deck follows a similar strategy of most Buzzwole GX (CIN; 57)  / Lycanroc GX (GRI; 138)  decks except it does not play Lycanroc GX (GRI; 138)  at all. In the early stages of the game, it is best to use Jet Punch to handle as many small Pokémon as possible or to provide chip damage as necessary to deal with threats in the upcoming turns. We want to use an effective Prize Trade strategy as outlined from one of my previous articles:

‘Now I am not talking about trading a play set of Dark Patch (DE; 93)  for a Zoroark GX (SLG; 53) ... I want to explain that some Pokemon hold different values to our deck throughout the game. Looking into a past article on Buzzwole GX (CIN; 57)  / Lycanroc GX (GRI; 74) , I introduced the value of Sudowoodo (BKP; 67)  and how it can be a game-changer! If your opponent uses a Buzzwole GX (CIN; 115) ’s Knuckle Impact with three Fighting Energy, we can quickly respond with Sudowoodo (BKP; 67) ’s Watch and Learn to trade a Knock Out. The difference is that Buzzwole GX (CIN; 57)  is worth two Prizes and used three Energy while Sudowoodo (BKP; 67)  is a single Prize Card attacker that uses only two Energy. Try to find opportunities to exploit other cards in a similar way when you play your next game. All of these rules can be used in each game that you play and are part of the reason why top players continue to be top players. However, there is more to the game than these simple rules, the game can be looked at in more complex ways!’

So our goal within the early stage of the game is to force our opponent to Knock Out a Buzzwole GX (CIN; 104)  so that we can activate Beast Ring as soon as possible. If our opponent decides to not take our Buzzwole GX (CIN; 57)  threat seriously, we can simply overtake their board state without the need for Beast Ring at all. It should be known that this deck still plays Max Elixir (BKP; 102)  which can allow us to power up our Pokémon without the immediate need of Beast Ring. To speak about our other newest addition, Buzzwole, we can use that Pokémon in a similar way that we used Sudowoodo (BKP; 67)  in the past. It should go without saying, but Buzzwole is better when your opponent has already drawn two Prize Cards. In fact, let’s say they Knocked Out our Buzzwole GX (CIN; 115)  with a Mew EX (DR; 120) , we can then use Sledge Hammer to OHKO the opposing Mew EX (DR; 46) . With all of these reactive plays in the form of Buzzwole’s Sledge Hammer and Beast Ring to power up your Pokémon you can always have a move to bring the game back. Furthermore, with all of the damage modifiers in the form of Diancie PRISM STAR, Beast Energy, Choice Band (GRI; 121) , and Strong Energy (FCO; 115)  you can always have the option of Knocking Out any Pokemon that opposes you. Let’s look at some of the cards that are featured in the deck and explain those cards slightly further:

Card Explanations

In this section of the article, I will explain some cards that are important for the success of the deck. I will not be going over all cards in the deck because some cards, such as Professor Sycamore (STS; 114) , are common to many decks in our current format.

Four Buzzwole-GX

As explained throughout this whole article, Buzzwole GX (CIN; 104)  is first and foremost the core of our deck. It is the core of our deck because we are mostly relying on this Pokémon to use all of its attacks throughout the game. Our goal in each game is to get as many Buzzwole GX (CIN; 104)  powered up as possible by either manual attaching, Max Elixir (BKP; 102) , and / or Beast Ring. Furthermore, this deck uses Order Pad (UPR; 131)  to search out acceleration cards such as Beast Ring and Max Elixir (BKP; 102)  in order to expedite this deck. In most games, we will use Buzzwole GX (CIN; 104)  to poke at Pokémon with Jet Punch until they are able to Knock Out that Buzzwole GX (CIN; 104) . As soon as they Knock Out that Buzzwole GX (CIN; 104) , the goal of the game is to use as many Beast Ring as possible to set-up an impenetrable board state. It is at this moment that it is advisable to use an Absorption GX or Knuckle Impact to sweep your opponents field.

Two Octillery and Two Remoraid

Similar to Buzzwole GX (CIN; 104)  / Lycanroc GX (GRI; 138) , this deck needs to set-up and Octillery (BKT; 33)  is the best option due to our inclusion of Brooklet Hill (GRI; 120)  in the deck. In order to maximize the amount of cards drawn with Abyssal Hand, you want to use cards that you can play down from your hand immediately such as Float Stone (PF; 99) , Choice Band (GRI; 121) , and Energy Cards. Furthermore, cards such as Ultra Ball (DE; 102)  can be used to clear your hand of unnecessary clutter to boost your draw potential. In the case where you have to choose to use a draw Supporter or Abyssal Hand first, you need to figure out which path will allow you to draw more cards. In most cases, you need to use Brooklet Hill (GRI; 120)  to find out your disposable card such as Ultra Ball (PLB; 90)  to see if you can use Professor Sycamore (XY; 122)  first. This is due to you needing to have the ability to use Professor Sycamore (XY; 122)  to draw into those card to thin out your seven card hand to use Abyssal to further thin it your hand. In other cases, you want to thin out your hand, use Abyssal Hand, and then use your draw Supporter.

One Buzzwole

This card has become a staple going forward because it costs less Energy than a Sudowoodo (BKP; 67)  and can quite often do the same amount of damage that would have happened with Watch and Learn. In a similar sense of Beast Ring, this is very much a come back card so it might eventually get replaced with either a Mew (FCO; 29)  or a  Sudowoodo (BKP; 67) . The only reason why I am hesitant on Buzzwole is because it loses strength after the small window you have to use it’s first attack to its full strength. However, there is also a case to be made with Beast Ring and Buzzwole using its second attack because you can easily power it up to do quite a bit of damage. This card will require some thought going forward, but I urge you to give it a try as this deck becomes more and more solved going forward.

One Diancie PRISM STAR, Three Choice Band, Four Strong Energy, and One Beast Energy PRISM STAR

In this deck, it is important to know ALL of the damage modifiers you have and how they can swing certain Knock Outs or match-ups. Here is a list of the cards that add damage to your attacks:

Beast Energy PRISM STAR = 30 damage
Diancie PRISM STAR = 20 damage
Choice Band (BUS; 162)  = 20 damage
Strong Energy (FRF; 104)  = 20 damage

In most cases, these cards will allow for you to do reach an average amount of additional damage hovering around 60 damage. That isn’t to say that you can’t attach a Strong Energy (FRF; 104)  and a Beast Energy PRISM STAR, but you can totally have that option in your arsenal. The biggest thing that Buzzwole GX (CIN; 57)  gains from Forbidden Light is the option to hit basic Pokémon for 80 damage (30 from Beast Energy PRISM STAR, 20 from Diancie PRISM STAR, and 30 base damage from Jet Punch). While this may sound like a minuscule amount of damage, this now allows for us to two shot most EX / GX Pokemon and have OHKO potential against Pokémon such as Wimpod (BUS; 16) . I think the biggest gain is the ability to Knock Out a Zoroark GX (SLG; 77)  in one hit by using Jet Punch, have a Beast Energy PRISM STAR, have a Choice Band (GRI; 121) , and have a Diancie PRISM STAR (30 + 30 + 30 + 20 = 110 x 2 = 220). My best advice is to look for the amount of damage that you need to do, find the easiest way to achieve that damage with the damage modifiers, and proceed from there.

One Tapu Lele-GX

In most other decks, Tapu Lele GX (GRI; 155)  is played in counts of two, three, or surprisingly four in the occasional list. In this deck, it is ideal to play one to lower your chances of starting with it and because Octillery (BKT; 33)  is such a strong draw engine. In some rare occurrences, Tapu Lele GX (GRI; 60)  can be used to attack for minimal damage, but with the speed of this deck, it is often unheard of. Most of the time, Tapu Lele GX (GRI; 137) will be used to search out whatever Supporter we need when we need it during the late game.

Three Brooklet Hill

Similar to Tapu Lele GX (GRI; 155)  and Octillery (BKT; 33)Brooklet Hill (GRI; 120) is a consistency crutch in this deck because it allows for us to search out our important Fighting-type / Water-type Pokemon with relative ease. This might sound simple, but it allows us to nab a Buzzwole GX (CIN; 57)  from our deck, use Beast Ring, attach an energy manually, and swing with a Knuckle Impact out of thin air. Furthermore, Brooklet Hill (GRI; 120)  can be used to grab consistency cards such as Remoraid (to Evolve into an Octillery (BKT; 33) ) or grab a tech card such as Buzzwole when the timing is right. Additionally, Brooklet Hill (GRI; 120)  can be used to ‘bump’ out your opponents Stadium Card if it is really bothering you or if it is beneficial to you opponent.

Four Guzma

This count has been staple in the deck since the beginning of time because it can allow you to spread your damage strategically with Jet Punch or swing at a scary board state with a gusted Absorption GX. It should be known that Guzma (BUS; 143)  resets  Buzzwole GX (CIN; 104) after using Knuckle Impact which means the ‘same’ Buzzwole GX (CIN; 104)  can use Knuckle Impact twice in a row. Furthermore, Guzma (BUS; 115)  can be used a pseudo-Switch in order to get out of positions when your opponent brings up an Octillery (BKT; 33)  to stall in the Active Position for a while.

Four Beast Ring, Four Max Elixir, Four Order Pad, and Nine Fighting Energy

Attach Energy, Attack, get Knocked Out, use Order Pad (UPR; 131) , flip Heads, play Beast Ring, attach two Energy, use Max Elixir (BKP; 102) , Attach Energy, Attack, get Knocked Out, use Order Pad (UPR; 131) , flip Heads, play Beast Ring, attach two Energy, use Max Elixir (BKP; 102) ... If this has confused you or made your brain melt, it probably should! This string of potential plays is realistic and it could happen in your next game. All of these cards are meant to either attach Energy to Buzzwole GX (CIN; 57)  or to expedite the attachment of Energy to Buzzwole GX (CIN; 115) . The ultimate goal is to set-up two or three Buzzwole GX (CIN; 104)  with Beast Ring, manual attachments, and Max Elixir (BKP; 102)  to completely dominate your opponents board. In order to attach more Energy, I may decide to cut a Strong Energy (FRF; 104) y for an additional Fighting Energy (XY; 137)  to improve the chances to nab Energy with Max Elixir (BKP; 102)  and to have a pool of Energy for Beast Ring. While I am not certain of the other that I am going to take, I want to test many games with this exact list. It should also be stated that Order Pad (UPR; 131)  can also grab important cards such as Float Stone (BKT; 137)  or Order Pad (UPR; 131)  when you are in an absolute pinch.

Two Float Stone

This count of Float Stone (BKT; 137)  is less than the current three in a Buzzwole GX (CIN; 104)  / Lycanroc GX (GRI; 138)  nowadays, but this is due to the deck not playing Regirock EX (FCO; 43)  anymore. Regirock EX (FCO; 43)  has since been replaced with the better Diancie PRISM STAR that can allow you to get away with the tough cuts such as the third Float Stone (BKT; 137) . It should also be said that with the new enhanced Energy acceleration in the deck that you can manually retreat or just attack with other Pokémon. Guzma (BUS; 143)  helps out with the lack of free retreating options in this deck, so that is an additional option. Maybe the third copy of Float Stone (BKT; 137)  will make it back into the deck eventually, but I am going to continue to test the deck in this form until that happens.

The Match-Ups

In this section of the article, I will briefly state some of the more popular match-ups that this deck will likely face in our current Standard format. As this article is written ahead of the release of Forbidden Light in English, some of these match-ups are in theory only. I will not be going over all match-ups because some decks are more popular than others in our current Standard format.

  • Zoroark-GX (Lucario-GX, Golisopod-GX, Lycanroc-GX, etc.) - SLIGHTLY FAVOURABLE
  • Buzzwole-GX / Lycanroc-GX - SLIGHTLY FAVOURABLE
  • Ultra Necrozma-GX / Malamar - EVEN
  • Attacking Hoopa - FAVOURABLE
  • Espeon-GX / Garbodor / Garbodor - EVEN
  • Tapu Bulu-GX / Vikavolt - FAVOURABLE

In most of these match-ups, you will use the thought process that I laid out in the Brief Strategy section of this article. Buzzwole GX (CIN; 104)  has become so quick after the release of Forbidden Light with Beast Ring and the addition of Order Pad (UPR; 131)  to the point where Weakness doesn’t overly matter anymore. The general consensus is that powerful Psychic-type decks such as Espeon GX (SUM; 152)  / Garbodor (BKP; 57)  and Ultra Necrozma-GX / Malamar can dish out the damage, but are unable to keep up to a barrage of Knuckle Impacts. While some of these match-ups may be tested less than other match-ups, it should be a decent starting point of what to expect out of this speedy deck going forward.

See Ya Around

Well, thats a wrap 60 Cards readers! I hope you enjoyed a brief break from our current Standard format as I have looked into the bright future of Buzzwole GX (CIN; 57)  after Forbidden Light is released. The deck included in this article seems like a great plug-and-play version of the deck as Forbidden Light quickly becomes legal in the next few weeks. As for me, my next major tournament should be the 2018 Latin America International Championships in Sao Paulo, Brazil (if my Visa gets back to me on time) and the week after that is the 2018 Salt Lake City, Utah Regional Championships. This year has been a grind and I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to write for such a wonderful website.

Until then, I will be playing in local League Cups in the Greater Toronto Area so feel free to chat with me at any time. I always enjoy talking to new players, people from around the world, and aspiring Pokemon trainers! For updates on my travel plans, tournament schedule, premium deck lists, strategies, and my most recent articles, feel free to check out and follow my professional Pokemon Twitter @ zlesage_pokemon. Also, remember to give this article a ‘like’ to let me know what you thought of this article - it gives me the motivation needed to write! Thanks for supporting 60 Cards, reading my articles, and watching me grow as a player!

Until next time,

Zach

[+19] okko


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