Experts' corner

Frank Percic

Holy Buzzwoley! Trashing my Opponents in Memphis

A Regionals tournament report featuring Buzzwole/Garbodor!

01/22/2018 by Frank Percic

Preparing for Memphis Regionals

Something I have been asked many times is how I prepare for bigger tournaments. Funnily enough, that question almost always yields a different answer. Each individual tournament involves a separate type of preparation depending on a lot of factors. Are any new cards legal? How much time do I have to prepare? How many people do I expect to be there? Is this tournament Standard or Expanded format? What decks can I expect to see? All these factors are things I consider before even touching a Pokémon card. 

Coming out of EUIC, Memphis was the first thing on my mind. Having earned 274 championship points with Gardevoir/Sylveon that far in the season, I felt the deck was getting a bit stale, and the rise of counters toward it really made me shy away from the deck. I did a bit of testing around with the new Zoroark/Golisopod deck that had won EUIC and even thought of playing Gallade/Octillary. However, once I was better acquainted with my newfound team, Team DDG, fellow 60Cards writer Caleb Gedemer and I brewed up Buzzwole/Garbodor.

With no prior testing, I brought the deck to a local League cup and ended up winning the tournament pretty easily. After that tournament, the deck felt like it had a lot of potential, and with some additional testing the night before the tournament, this list was concocted.

The Buzzwold/Garbodor List

Memphis Tournament Report

I was still a little nervous going in to the tournament, as the deck still hadn't had much testing, especially with the last minute addition of Parallel City. However, I ended up doing quite well with it!

Day 1

Round 1 vs. No Show: WW

We take those!

Round 2 vs. Gardevoir GX: WW

This matchup is normally a bit shaky. The main goal is to hinder your opponent enough early on so that they can't overpower you. In this specific series, I had two amazing starts. In the first game, I was able to parallel my opponent T1 while also getting a Float Stone on a Trubbish. My opponent then passed with a vulpix active and in the following turn I was able to knock it out with a Strong Energy and a Fighting Fury Belt while putting Garbotoxin online. The game ended shortly thereafter, as my opponent couldn't do much else. In the second game I was able to again get a turn 1 Parallel city, Floated Trubbish and KO. Both of these extremely fortunate setups were because of a Lillie for 8 cards both games in a row. The first turn supporter let me hit everything I need to win both games.

Round 3 vs. Gardevoir GX: WW

I had the same strategy going in to this match as the first. My first game didn't go as swimmingly as the two in my last round. However, after both my opponent and I set up, I was able to stall and take some KOs on the bench with an active Buzzwole while charging up a second Buzzwole on the bench, which cleaned the game with an Absorption GX followed by a Knuckle Impact. The reason I was able to get this attacker set up was due to a large amount of disruption. My opponent couldn't OHKO me since Garbotoxin locked any energy acceleration, and Enhanced Hammer was able to discard two DCE from my opponent's field. I even used Espeon-EX in this match to stop a bulky Gardevoir that had enough energy to finally take an OHKO on my Pokémon. It was a tight game, but in the end I edged out my opponent just slightly by having a 3-energy Buzzwole on board. The second game was much less intense, as my opponent started dead drawing early on and I just cleaned up all of his basics with Jet Punch to win by bench out.

Round 4 vs. Zoroark/Lycanroc: WLT (But actually a Loss)

So I guess I was having a little too much fun in between rounds at the DDG booth, as I actually was late to my round. I just remember hearing "TCG masters, you may begin," and couldn't believe I had missed pairings going up. I ran to my match as fast as possible but I still received a penalty for being late, meaning I could not tie or win on time.

I began game one just zooming through my cards and dead-eyeing my opponent to make his decisions as fast as possible. Game one was super close, as my opponent was able to get out Mewtwo immediately and start hitting my Buzzwole for 130 damage. Prizes were tied up for most of the game, and the final play came down to me top decking a Guzma for game off of an N to 1. The second game was just poor. My opponent again started smacking me with Mewtwo and I just could never draw what I needed to win and we went on to a third game with 5 minutes to spare. I eventually lost as time was called. However, I learned my lesson to pay attention for pairings next time.

Round 5 vs. Zoroark/Lycanroc: LL

I took two FAT L's this round. After a lunch break spent hitting myself in the head for being late to round 4, I came in to the next round ready as ever. However, my deck did not have the same Idea. Both of these games were almost identical, as my opponent was able to attack T1 with Mewtwo twice in a row and I could just not hit anything I needed. My opponent was super conservative with items as well and there was nothing I could do in either game. I went packing after about 20 minutes of play.

Round 6 vs. Golisipod/Zoroark: WLW

Normally this matchup is pretty good. However, Mewtwo once again showed how good of a counter it is for Buzzwole. Still, in both of my wins I was able to sneak in an early Trashalanche to eliminate the only threat on the board and then begin to dominate with Buzzwole once again. Garbotoxin was a huge help in slowing this deck down and not getting overwhelmed early on. Then, to finish the game, if I could not get off an Absorbtion/Knuckle Impact, Trashalance was always there to help seal the game.

Round 7 vs. Zoroark/Lycanroc: WW

I was not very happy to see this matchup once again. At this point, I was pretty used to getting around the Mewtwo most players put in their deck. Going in early with Trashalanche was a huge advantage, especially since it allowed me to charge up a Buzzwole early on. In both games my opponent went a little too heavy on the items and I was able to just sweep the last remaining prizes with more trashalanching. This was over in about 20 or 30 minutes. 

Round 8 vs. Decidueye/Zoroark: WW

Finally! This is probably your best matchup. Even with Mewtwo in the deck, the slow setup and reliance on items and abilities really swings this matchup in your favor. My opponent was dumping Rare Candy and Evosoda left and right. I was able to stall his attempts at attacking with both of my Enhanced Hammer in the first game and eventually just trashalanced his decidueyes when he dropped more than 12 items. In the following game I had a T1 KO on Rowlette and had a slick Guzma in the following turn to clear two other basics. He just couldn't get set up after that, and I quickly trotted onward to my Win-and-In. 

Round 9 vs. Golisopod/Zoroark: WLW

The first two games involved both me and my opponent bricking very hard, respectively. This left about 35 minutes going in to game 3. This was probably my closest game of the day. Luckily, he prized his Mewtwo in the 3rd game and I was able to focus on the main strategy of my deck without having to worry about early counters. It eventually turned in to a war of Acerola, keeping both of us tied in prizes all game. Eventually my opponent dropped a ton of items after getting rid of the trashalance threat, so my goal was to hopefully set up a second one and use it to win the game. In the end, it came down to me having a Guzma to take the final KO with the 2nd Garbodor I was able to set up. However, if it weren't for that, I surely would have lost in the next turn.  

I breathed a long sigh of relief and prepared for the second day of the largest Pokémon Regional in history.

Day 2

As the 35th seed going in to day two, I was extremely nervous. My teammate Ryan Grant and I had been mentally preparing ourselves since our team dinner the previous night. There was so much weight on my shoulders that morning. This was really my first chance to porve myself as a serious player and worthy Pro-Team member, as well as potentially prove my unique deck decision as a worthy contender.

Round 10 vs. Buzzwole/Lycanroc: WW

I'll be perfectly honest, I was not as prepared for this matchup as I thought I was. However, I quickly learned how insane Trashalanche can really be. Each game I would Brigette for 3 Trubbish and try and set up Garbodor (GRI) as fast as possible. I really never even bothered with Garbotoxin, as Bloodthirsty Eyes wasn't too strong in this matchup. Walling with an early Buzzwole while setting up was rough, as Max Elixirs and Choice Bands on the opposing side really outclassed my Buzzwoles. However, once I was able to stream Trashalanches, the game was mine. I moved into round 11 feeling quite good.

Round 11 vs. Buzzwole/Lycanroc: WLT

Game 1 went as smooth as the two games in my last round. However, game 2 was pretty tight. I could never quite hit exactly what I needed when I needed it, and Trashalanche was not coming as easily as before. I tried my best but eventually lost to a late game Guzma, having game in hand next turn. There was very little time going in to game 3, as my opponent was a little on the slower side. We barely got set up before time was called.

Round 12 vs. Buzzwole/Lycanroc: LWL

This series was really ugly. I was misplaying all across the board, and to top it off my opponent played almost no items both games. I was able to squeak in one cklose win after turning off abilities early and quickly overpowering my oppononent. Yet, other than that I don't have much to say really. Not my proudest point of the day at all.

Round 13 vs. Volcanion: WW

I lucked out here hitting the only Volcanion left in the tournament. This deck is super item-heavy and ability-reliant. I was able to get turn 2 garbotoxin both games, and on top of that my opponent drew horrid all game. Early Power Heaters only dealing 20 damage let me get a 3 energy Buzzwole on board both games and just take the win easily from there with Absorption/Knckle Impact.

Round 14 vs. Golisipod/Garbodor: LL

Sitting across from the eventual runner-up of the tournament, I actually had no idea what to expect to play. I soon would find out that 4 Enhanced Hammers did very well against my deck. I wish I had more to say about this matchup. However, this round was over in about 10 minutes I never even played a Supporter the entire series. It was really sad to have my top8 dreams die due to not drawing well, but that's just the way tournaments go some times.

Round 15 vs. Zoroark/Lycanroc: WLT

I was super bummed that this ended in a tie. There wasn't anything crazy special to be said about this match in particular. It went how most of my previous series had the previous day. I really thought I had game 2 in the bag, as I was ahead on prizes most of the game. However, my opponent stuck me with a low N and took his remaining four prizes before I could do anything else. All I needed was an Energy for game, but sadly it was not in the cards. We went in to the third game with almost no time left and neither of us got top 16.


For what it's worth, I had an amazing time at this tournament. Even though I didn't do as well as I wanted to, I am very proud of getting 20th place. The best part honestly came from bonding with my newfound team and experiencing Memphis for the first time. On top of that, this event was extremely well-run and I loved every aspect of the tournament.

Moving forward, I still think Buzzwole/Garbodor is the best deck in the format currently. I have since won another League cup with the deck making me 2 for 2 on cups this quarter with Buzz/Garb. I am very much looking forward to playing this in Sydney before the legalization of Ultra Prism and think that the 60 cards posted in this article have the potential to make me an International Champion.

Lastly, I just want to thank all of you readers for making it through my first article. I am so honored to be writing for the community, and hope that I can give as much back as it has given to me. Thank you to everyone that's helped me to get to where I am now, as well as all of those who have followed me along the way. Also, just a friendly reminder that if you ever find me at a tournament feel free to say hello, as I love interacting with other players. Also feel free to message me through the Team DDG page. I would love to chat and answer any questions, Pokémon or not. 

[+11] okko


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