Experts' corner

Drew Cate

Kaleidostorm in Daytona, 1st Place Report

Drew Cate took down Daytona Regionals with Gardevoir Sylveon - check out how here

12/06/2019 by Drew Cate


Hello 60 cards readers! My name is Drew Cate and I'm very excited to be writing this article about one of my favorite decks, Gardevior & Sylveon-GX (Gardeon). This past weekend I won the Daytona Regionals using the Gardeon deck. I will be going over why I decided on this deck and the list, as well as Gardeon's matchups, how my rounds went, and my thoughts moving forward.

Going Into Daytona


When testing Gardeon initially I was amazed at how many matchups that the Omastar actually solved. Successfully preventing your opponent from playing items, or forcing them to play around Omastar's Fossil Bind ability can really force your opponent into a rough spot, and in some cases just win you the game. The Omastar package fits well into the deck with the Green's Exploration engine allowing you to search out the parts. Even with the thin line of Omastar I figured that I could afford to have a bit greedier of a list going into the best of 3 format. I was ecstatic to discover this potential as Green's Exploration engine decks are currently my favorite to play in the standard format. I love being able to play out of the resources in my deck and plan turns in advance, rather than hoping I hit what I need to. I felt like if I could make Gardeon work and tried to even out my matchup spread It would be an unexpected threat for the event. I worked with my friends on the list to round out some of Gardeon's harder matchups, putting in tech cards that we saw fit for the more expected decks. When we finally got the list down I was feeling really confident going into the tournament.

The List



Card Choices Explained


Lugia-GX & Stealthy Hood

I needed a 2 prize attacker option to prize offset versus Ability based Reshiram & Charizard-GX decks, forcing them to play an 8 prize card game in combination with Stealthy Hood. The Stealthy Hood blocks the Nine Temptations ability on Ninetails forcing them to have to go through the Lugia-GX. The Lugia-GX's GX Attack is also a very powerful option to have, being able to lost zone a Lucario & Melmetal-GX tech or a 6 energy Reshiram & Charizard-GX can swing harder games and matchups in your favor.

Coach Trainer

Coach Trainer was a good include as I needed a strong draw supporter for games that I had  Omastar out as I'm not able to play Green's Exploration with it out. The Coach Trainer also serves as a good target for Cynthia & Caitlin in those games. The heavier supporter count lead to an overall very consistent list.

Tag Call & Tag Team Supporters

The other core of the engine of the deck is the accessibility that Tag Call provides with getting out your Supporters and Gardevoir & Sylveon-GXs. Being able to get a draw 3 supporter and recovering a supporter in a pinch with Cynthia & Caitlin, and having an out to your healing and switching card Mallow & Lana was really useful and added to the overall consistency of the deck.


Faba was a really important card to have versus decks that were running Chaotic Swell as it allowed me to be able to play down a Power Plant in combination with a Reset Stamp or Magical Miracle GX+. Faba in combination with Power Plant also allows me to have a turn to attack into Keldeo-GX to bypass their Pure Heart Ability.

Fairy Charm Psychic

I wanted to have a solid answer to Mewtwo & Mew-GX decks as they have multiple ways to knock out a Gardevoir & Sylveon-GX in one attack. Fairy Charms force them to use alternative attackers or use attacks like Greninja-GX's Mist Slash to bypass the Charms. This can really slow down their gameplan and Mist Slash is a lot easier to manage with our Mallow & Lana healing 120.

Gardeon's Matchups


VS Pidgeotto Blacephalon: 60/40 Slightly Favored

In this matchup, you want to get Omastar out as fast as possible if you can. Omastar blocks their Fiery Flints and Fire Crystals which really hurts their ability to put out damage, combine this with Reset Stamping or Magical Miracle GX+ and you put them in a situation where they need to hit a lot in order to get a knockout.



VS Ability Based Reshiram & Charizard-GX: 60/40 Slightly Favored

In this matchup, you want to use Lugia-GX as your 2nd attacker after a Gardevoir & Sylveon-GX gets KO'd. While you attack with Lugia-GX you need to set up a Gardevoir & Sylveon-GX on the bench with a Stealthy Hood attached to block Nine Temptations. The turn you attack with Lugia-GX you want to Reset Stamp them down to 3 in combination with Power Plant, making it harder for them to respond to you either lost zoning or knocking out their threat. From this point its easier to take control of the game and come back in prizes.

VS Mewtwo & Mew-GX Toolbox: 70/30 Favored

In this matchup setting up the board state of double charms and power plant in play puts you in a really strong spot to control the game. I would try to get the charms out as fast as possible to make them find alternate ways of attacking. Turns that I'm looking to stick them with Power Plant and Reset Stamp I might play double Custom Catcher on a Reset Hole Marshadow even if it is not gonna help me on the prize trade, just to stick them in a rough spot and heavily limit their options.


VS Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX Keldeo-GX: 70/30 Favored

If you are able to respond to their Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX(ADP) by knocking it out before they can use the Ultimate Ray Attack it puts them at a huge disadvantage as they have to manually attach their energies, this is easily achievable as ADP is weak to Fairy type. You can use Power Plant in combination with Faba to attack their Keldeo-GX when they have Chaotic Swell in play.  If your opponent plays a 1 of copy of Lucario & Melmetal-GX you can use Lugia-GX's Lost Purge to permanently get rid of the threat.


VS Clefairy Doll Stall: 80/20 Very Favored (if no techs for Gardeon/Omastar)

Getting out Omastar wins you the game in a lot of situations as they cant play down their Clefairy Dolls and have to give up prize cards. I think that moving forward more Doll Stall decks will play answers to Omastar or Gardevoir & Sylveon-GX. If your opponent is playing a card like Mimikyu-GX to shuffle back the Omastar you want to reset their hand the turn that you get it out. Their only reliable search for most techs like that is Stephen's Resolve which leaves them open to you Reset Stamping or your Magical Miracle GX+.


VS Mallamar Variants: Matchup can range from 45/55 to 70/30 depending on the list

Against the standard psychic build of Malamar you are pretty favored, you can use Mallow & Lana to heal and eventually out prize trade them. Against variants that play other type attackers, it can get rocky. Pay attention to what other basic energies they play as it can give away their techs. Ultra Necrozma-GX has made a resurgence and it can threaten to 1 shot a Gardevoir & Sylveon-GX if they have 3 Mallamars in play, late game you want to gust up and KO malamars in combination with Reset Stamp, making it harder for them to pull off the 1 shot on your Gardevoir & Sylveon-GX. If you are able to get out Omastar before they set up it can win you the game in a lot of situations, keep that in mind as an option if you start with a hand that allows for you to set up Omastar easily.


VS Pidgeotto Control: 80/20 Very Favored

Getting out Omastar forces them to choose between card draw and their disruption capabilities. If they lower their bench size you can constantly reset stamp them to make them find all of their resources again, and if they don't you don't have to worry about getting reset stamped and can respond easily.


VS Blacephalon-GX: 45/55 Slightly Unfavored

If they are able to just hit a ton of Welders and Energies the matchup becomes quite hard. If you can set up Omastar you can block their Beast Rings and Catchers but Omastar isn't always the easiest card to get out. Good Reset Stamps combined with Power Plant can let you steal some games, but if they get to a point where they develop their board enough and get a ton of energies in play it becomes very hard to win.

Tournament Report


Day 1 Swiss Matchups: 6-1-2 


R1 Alolan Persian-GX Silvally-GX WW

R2 Ultra Necrozma-GX Mallamar WLT


R4 Pidgeotto Blacephalon WW

R5 Beheeyem Clefairy Doll W

R6 Pidgeotto Blacephalon LL

R7 Clefairy Doll Stall WW

R8 Mewtwo & Mew-GX Toolbox LWW

R9 Mallamar with Ultra Necrozma-GX and Guzzlord & Naganadel-GX WLW


I had a rough start to the day, taking 2 early unfortunate ties against matchups i could've won. I didn't sleep very well over the weekend and it negatively affected my pace of play as well as some of my decisions. I ended up taking an unfortunate loss to some really rough draws in my round 6 putting me at 3-1-2 and having to win out to make day 2. I don't know if it was the pressure from the win-3-and-in or I had just warmed up, but i started playing a lot stronger and faster and was able to clutch out my final 3 rounds to make it into day 2.


Day 2 Swiss Matchups: 3-0-2 (9-1-4)



R11 Mewtwo & Mew-GX Toolbox WLW

R12 Mewtwo & Mew-GX Toolbox LWT


R14 Blacephalon-GX WW


I was able to have a solid day 2 run as the field was mostly my stronger matchups. I did take 2 unfortunate ties which can mostly be attributed to not playing fast enough as I didn't get much sleep the night before. Once again towards the end of the day I started to play faster and stronger after getting warmed up. After pulling out a very intense set vs Blacephalon-GX for my win-and-in I managed to make it into top 8 at the 8th seed.


Top 8 VS Will Jenkins ADP: WW

Game 1 was very awkward for both of us, he was missing the Metal energy for multiple turns and I was missing Supporters, I was the first to break out of the dry streak and was able to respond to his Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX before he could attack, swinging the game in my favor. Game 2 I started really strong and was able to use Fairy Song on my first turn and respond to Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX on my second turn, once again swinging the game towards me.


Top 4 VS Michael Catron Mallamar: WW

Michael was playing the more standard Mallamar variant which is a more favored matchup for Gardeon as he doesn't have too many ways to reach into taking a big knockout. In the first game, he wasn't hitting Spell Tags and I was able to heal a ton by recycling Mallow & Lana with the first effect of Cynthia & Caitlin. In-game 2 I started really strong and was able to get out a really fast Omastar before he was able to set up which led to him eventually scooping because I was at such an advantage on top of him having prized 2 Malamars.


Finals VS Xander Pero ADP: WLW

This set was really close and Xander played it really well, he had smart Reset Stamps and went for the Altered Creation GX without the bonus effect because that's all you really need vs Gardeon. I was able to win the set because Xander had to play around only having 2 Reset Stamps, and the times I did get Stamped in the games I won I was able to pull out of them as I play a lot of outs to supporters in my deck, with the game I lost being the one where I got stuck. I was also trying to save my resources to increase my outs knowing that he was going to try to stamp me down after I took knockouts.

Gardeon Moving Forward

While I think that Gardeon is still a really strong deck, it, unfortunately, loses the surprise factor that it had this past weekend. Because it did win Daytona it has a target on its head. People will be prepared now with techs like Alolan Ninetails to block your GX Pokemon from attacking, and even Mimikyu-GX or Unified Minds Celebi to get rid of Omastar in the stall/control type decks. Going into San Diego I think that Gardeon players should keep this in mind when deciding on techs so that you can be prepared for the counters and counter-strategies. 

I hope you end up enjoying my Gardeon list as much as I do, Good Luck and thank you for reading!

[+36] okko


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