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Ryan Sabelhaus

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A Look at Two League Cup Victories and 5 Favorites to Beat Decidueye-GX/Vileplume

25. 03. 2017 by Ryan Sabelhaus

Ryan's back again with a look at two League Cup victories with his Mega Mewtwo-EX/Espeon-GX/Garbodor deck, along with going over his 5 favorite decks in the current standard format that can beat Decidueye-GX/Vileplume.


What’s happening, 60cards readers! Since the last time that we talked in February, there have been some big tournaments taking place and some new top contenders have come about. It’s almost without a doubt in the Pokemon community right now that Decidueye-GX/Vileplume is the deck to beat. It has been tearing tournaments apart for the past month or so, winning countless European Regional Championships, taking top spots at Regionals in the United States, and running through the Oceania International Championships (only to lose in the finals to a Volcanion-EX deck). Through the use of Forest of Giant Plants, Decidueye-GX and Vileplume come down quickly to slow opponents, while also dropping damage every turn from constant Feather Arrows. The main question on everybody’s mind right now: How do I stop this deck?

Well everybody, I’ve been playing the current Standard format a lot lately and there is a good amount of decks that can put up a fighting chance against “DeciPlume.” For my article today, I’m going to cover one of my favorite decks right now that already won me two League Cups for this quarter of the Pokemon season. Coincidentally, they were the first two League Cups that I chose to attend and I went undefeated at both tournaments. After covering these tournaments and discussing the deck, I’ll finish the article by discussing my top 5 favorite decks to use in the current format. All of these builds have semi-favorable to favorable matchups against DeciPlume and can help anyone that is struggling to beat the current “best deck in format.” Through finding weaknesses to focus on, these 5 decks can either shut down Vileplume’s ability and allow Item cards to be played, utilize the inherent Fire weakness of that deck to capitalize on fast knockouts, or to fight fire-with-fire through utilizing Forest of Giant Plants and also abusing Decidueye-GX’s ability. Let’s get right into the article!

Ryan’s Current Favorite Deck – Mega Mewtwo-EX/Espeon-GX/Garbodor

If you have followed my Pokémon season at all this year, you would know how much I love to play M Mewtwo-EX with his good pal Garbodor. I was able to use this deck to great success at League Cups earlier on in the season, which peaked my interest in finding a perfect 60-card list to use. It was easy to spot from just testing games that “Damage Change” is one of the most broken attacks in the Pokemon Trading Card Game right now. With the added HP from mega-evolving up to 210 HP, it’s very difficult to reach that high of damage in one swing. This allows M Mewtwo-EX to simply throw the damage directly back into the opponent’s face and take a huge knockout, while also completely swinging the momentum through negating the last attack that an opponent just did. For most matchups in the current metagame, that’s just simply too much of a momentum swing to deal with. I’ve even stated to multiple friends that have asked about playing M Mewtwo-EX/Garbodor at their local tournaments, if you can hit one good “Damage Change” knockout to swing the board state, the game is effectively over.

The deck was put through the strenuous task of Anaheim Regionals, which showed extremely positive results of M Mewtwo-EX/Garbodor taking two spots in the final Top 8 (one of which being myself). My list was the normal straightforward version of the deck that focused on consistency and setting up a strong board as often as possible. There were no true tech cards to help in any specific matchups, as the deck just focused on getting setup and abusing “Damage Change” to swing momentum. The other list that happened to make the Top 8 of Anaheim Regionals was Travis Nunlist, who played the same 58 card deck as myself, but with a 1-1 Espeon-GX line. Espeon-GX can help in the mirror match through taking fast knockouts and being tough to return KO, as an opposing M Mewtwo-EX will need 4 Energy cards to deal with a fully loaded Espeon. Other uses come from the first attack that automatically confuses an opposing Pokemon, which is extremely underrated right now. Without many ways of switching, aside from every deck playing a big amount of Float Stones, an enemy Pokemon that has any other tool will effectively be trapped.

After Anaheim Regionals, there was a good number of players switching to M Mewtwo-EX in my local area of South Carolina. Since I didn’t want to play the mirror match and just rely on trying to draw better than my opponents all day, I inevitably added in the Espeon-GX line to help that matchup. This decision ended up helping against many other matchups throughout my weekend of League Cups and truly helped me to win these tournaments. The first tournament happened to be right near where I lived, so I was hoping for a small turnout and some free Championship Points to get closer to that World Championships invitation.

Anderson, SC League Cup – 1st Place

There was a good number of players that showed up to this tournament, which was a little surprising to see for South Carolina. I had talked the previous night with Anthony Nimmons about heading to the tournament, so I knew that he was going to be attending and feeling hot after his recent Top 8 Regionals finish in St. Louis. He showed me his M Mewtwo-EX/Espeon-GX/Garbodor that was nearly identical to my list, so I knew that we would have a tough round if we ended up playing each other. The first-round pairings went up.

Round 1 – M Mewtwo-EX/Lunala-GX

I saw a Mewtwo-EX as we were shuffling and figured this was going to be a mirror match right from the start. The game began with my opponent flipping over two Cosmog and immediately falling behind to early knockouts from “Shatter Shot.” The game steamrolled out of control quickly after that, as my opponent wasn’t able to hit anything off his next supporter and ended up getting benched for the loss.


Round 2 – M Mewtwo-EX/Espeon-GX/Garbodor (Anthony Nimmons)

I knew from the beginning of the day that I would probably have to go through Anthony to win this tournament, as he was playing a good deck that has strong matchups in the current metagame. Anthony explodes on the second turn with two Mega Turbos and a Mega-Evolution to hit an early knockout, which unfortunately left him wide open to a counter knockout from my own M Mewtwo-EX (if I could find all the pieces). After having to just use a Professor Sycamore, I hit the Trainers’ Mail into an Ultra Ball, which ended in a M Mewtwo-EX hitting the board for a big “Psychic Infinity” return KO. Momentum was completely on my side at this point of the game and I was able to pick off any remaining attackers to draw my last prize cards and get the win.


Round 3 – Decidueye-GX/Vileplume

Winning the initial flip against this deck is always a huge sigh of relief, as I now have time to search for a Trubbish and a Float Stone to shut down their entire deck, instead of just immediately being deprived of Item cards. Since I went first, I found the Float Stone to attach to my Trubbish, and also got down some Mewtwo Spirit Links to save myself from having to end my turn for mega-evolving. With Garbodor locked in, I was able to play my Items and could do exactly what this deck was meant to do, while my opponent was struggling to get damage down. A good majority of damage from this deck comes from consistent Feather Arrows raining down. Without that added damage, knockouts are very hard to reach.


Round 4 – Greninja

Did not expect to see this deck at the top tables for this round. With the first table being the other 3-0’s in the tournament, I was the undefeated that got paired down. With a great matchup against a friend that I wanted to see make it into cut, I offered the ID to give him an extra point towards finding his way into the Top 8. He agreed, but we played it out just for fun and I ended up sweeping the game handily. It’s a near auto-loss for Greninja players when the Garbodor finds his way onto the field. They are unable to reach enough damage to take knockouts, while M Mewtwo-EX can just use “Damage Change” whenever they are getting close to being knocked out. With this ID, I was sure to make it into the Top 8.


Round 5 – Decidueye-GX/Vileplume (Ryan Allred)

Another ID for this round to assure making it into the Top 8.

Top 8 – Vespiquen/Mew-EX/Zoroark

Although this matchup may look a little one-sided on paper, Garbodor has a way of shutting down every single threat that the Vespiquen deck can throw at M Mewtwo-EX. Without Klefki to stop attacks, Vespiquen just starts to fall behind on prize cards from early aggression. Garbodor also shuts off Mew-EX from taking those easy knockouts on M Mewtwo-EX’s, since their entire attack relies on an ability to do damage. Without an easy way of reaching that 210 HP, “Damage Change” becomes a serious threat that can just erase any attack that comes around. For both games, I was able to find the early Garbodor and shut down all threatening abilities. Espeon-GX also found an extremely clutch “Divide GX” attack in the first game to knockout two of my opponent’s benched Combee.

Top 4 – Decidueye-GX/Vileplume (Ryan Allred)

With how this matchup is supposed to go, Ryan and myself weren’t able to get anything going through all 3 of the games played. I couldn’t hit a Garbodor to save my life, or the single copy was just prized and never hit the board. While I was struggling to shut Ryan down, he was just struggling to setup and find attackers. In this crazy matchup that did not go as planned for either party, the game ended in an extremely weird manner. All 3 of my M Mewtwo-EX were in the discard pile and Ryan had a Vileplume to shut down any chance of Super Rod being played. With a Trubbish active and a normal Mewtwo-EX on the bench, I began to swing into his attackers with “Acid Spray” to discard their energies. Ryan finally ended up retreating to a Tauros-GX and just passed for the turn. I brought up the Mewtwo-EX with 4 psychic energy attached and used “Damage Change” to push 60 damage onto his Tauros-GX. Without a way of retreating, I used “Shatter Shot” for the win and moved into the finals.

Top 2 – Espeon-GX/Wobbuffet

This is another matchup that looks very poor on paper, but wasn’t as bad as I was expecting. This may have been due to my opponent not drawing very well throughout the series, but that’s just how the games go sometimes when a deck doesn’t run supporting Pokemon like Shaymin-EX. With only an Oranguru as his draw engine, my opponent struggled to get setup with Garbodor and his own Wobbuffet shutting off his abilities. Both games ended rather quickly and involved my own Espeon-GX taking a good number of knockouts and confusing many of my opponent’s Espeon. The match could have completely flipped with more draw supporters being hit in the initial turns of the game, but I was happy to pull out a League Cup win at my first tournament of this quarter.

Duluth, GA League Cup – 1st Place

This League Cup had around 50 players in the Masters division, so I was ready for a much tougher tournament with a wider variety of decks to play against. Without much thought, I picked up my favorite deck again and went to work with my army of Mega Mewtwo (and everyone’s favorite pile of garbage). With enough luck, I would be able to win this League Cup and finish off both my placements for this quarter of the season, while also getting dangerously close to reaching the Top 16 in North America. This would earn me a free $1000.00 stipend to fly over and play in the Intercontinental in Brazil, so there was definitely a big prize on the line.

Round 1 – Waterbox (Lapras-GX/Manaphy-GX/Glaceon-GX)

During some games of Pokémon, I genuinely feel bad for opponents that can’t seem to find anything while my deck explodes out of the gate. Nobody likes to be a part of a one-sided match that doesn’t allow one of the players to actually do anything (*cough* Vileplume *cough*). This was one of those games for my opponent. I went first and attached a Double Colorless energy to my Mewtwo-EX and got setup for the following turn. My opponent got two Energy onto a benched Lapras-GX and used a Switch to “Collect” for the turn. I followed this up by mega-evolving and attaching another Double Colorless Energy, which was followed by two Mega Turbos and ended up one-shotting his only attacker. The game was over in two more turns after that, as my opponent couldn’t really recover from such a threat so early in the game.


Round 2 – Vespiquen/Eeveelutions

Just like with the earlier Vespiquen matchup, Garbodor is key to shutting down any threats that this deck can throw towards M Mewtwo-EX. With a quick Garbodor, I was able to shut down his Klefki and go up on the prize exchange. Without any way of reaching 210 damage to take a knockout, “Damage Change” found some easy prize cards and swung the momentum towards my side.


Round 3 – M Rayquaza-EX/Jolteon-EX (Ryan Peterson)

This was certainly not a matchup that I was excited about seeing, but with a copy of Parallel City and Garbodor in my deck, I should be able to outlast M Rayquaza-EX and win the game. All it takes is one good combination of N + Garbodor + Parallel City to seal the deal. This game begins with Ryan and myself using N for 7 turns in a row as we both struggle to find anything. Ryan was stuck with a Dragonite-EX in the active position (and his last Float Stone prized), while I was stuck with a Hoopa-EX in the active position and just couldn’t find any of my Float Stones. With enough time to setup the combo, I finally retreated, dropped the Parallel City, used an N to refresh both of our hands, dropped the Float Stone onto my Garbodor, and took a knockout on his Beedrill-EX that was in the active position. With a prize lead and Ryan struggling to find 7 Pokemon for his bench to get a return knockout, I ended up taking the game after two more “Psychic Infinity” attacks.


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