Experts' corner

Ondrej Skubal

Obstructing In Malmo

Two time IC top 8 Competitor Ondrej Skubal goes over his latest Doll Stall list in this new format. Post paywall he goes over his most likely play for Malmo - Galarian Obstagoon. In depth - he provides how to play matchups and explores the game plan to each matchup. If you are interested in Gooning it up. This is the primer for you.

03/05/2020 by Ondrej Skubal

Hello and welcome to my Malmö preparation article. The Swedish Regionals are always very different from the UK or German ones as there's usually fewer people attending, last season the Swedish Regionals in June didn't even hit 200 Master players. 

This year the organizers once again made the cap for this tournament very low to this year's demand and after some time we are facing another 6-3 Day 2 bubble Regionals. While this might seem like a plus for many players, it's often the contrary. Less players attending means mostly the people, who really want the points, will be playing in the tournament, therefore the chances for you to hit a bunch of easy rounds is very low. 

With that being said let's get into the results of OCIC and what I think might happen in Sweden this weekend. 


First I need to say that I didn't go to Melbourne. So I started testing this format on 27th February. I didn't know what was going on imat Ocic, I had no idea ADP would do that good, I thought Obstagoon was a prerelease deck and from all the fuss before OCIC I thought Cincinno Mill was too broken and should be banned. 

Later I slowly realised that Mill might just be another Florges deck (LAIC format). Its match ups were kind of similar. It didn't have the greatest match up against ADP. And now it also had a very hard time against Firebox and I didn't see a way to fit enough Stealhy hoods in the deck. 

With this in mind the old friend of mine started tempting me once again. Unfortunately I sort of forgot that the new no Supporter T1 rule is affecting some of its match ups. You can't T1 Steven's into Latios pieces against Mewtwo these days. Mewtwo is even strongest now with the Stinger + Baby Blacephalon strategy. What I figured out was that the only viable build of Florges might be the Professor Magnolia speed version where you just go for the T1/T2 Latios with Quick Balls, Dedenne and Magnolia. I didn't like this new concept of playing Florges much, so I just threw it away and started concentrating on other decks that just seemed more powerful. I'll threw in the decklist for anyone to experiment, but it honestly might not even be working.

2 Flabébé(FLI; 84)
2 Flabebe(CoE; 150) x
3 Florges(FLI; 86) x
2 Munchlax(UB; 173) x
2 Mew(UBO; 76) x
4 Jirachi(TM; 99) x
1 Latios GX(UB; 78) x
4 Lillie's Poke Doll (CoE; 197) x
1 Spiritomb(UBO; 112) x

Trainer (36)
4 Steven's Resolve(CLS; 145) x
3 Lusamine(CIN; 96) x
2 Bellelba & Brycen-Man (CoE; 186) x
4 Pokégear 3.0(UBO; 182) x
4 Acro Bike(PRC; 122) x
3 Rare Candy(DE; 100) x
4 Stealthy Hood(UBO; 186) x
2 Escape Board(UPR; 122) x
2 Sky Pillar(CLS; 144) x
4 Professors' Research(DE; 98) x
4 Quick Ball(SUM; 158) x

Energy (3)
3 Rainbow Energy(XY; 131) x



Let's move on onto the important decks of the new metagame.

With half of the OCIC day 2 being ADP it became rather logical that the deck was the BDIF. The deck is incredibly strong with new inclusion of Zacian V and Metal Saucers and no longer has the weakness of being able to do nothing after your ADP got knocked out after (or before your GX). 

In Melbourne we witnessed some experiments with Energy Switch or Clay Engines, but I believe each of the top 8 lists from OCIC is very solid and there's no need to experiment on the core level no more. 

No matter the new T1 rule we saw the Mewtwo lists cut the healing cards and once again go fully aggressive. With the option of Stinger GX and Baby Blacephalon, the Mill match up became manageable. These two cards fully replace Espedeo GX. Also, there was no need to play the Greninja GX anymore, as Keldeo was gone. 

If you believe Galarian Obstagoon is going to be very popular at your locals, you might consider teaching in 1 Muk & Alolan Muk GX. It doesn't automatically win the match up, but it for sure makes it better than before. I don't think teching in for this match up is correct though, because Goons will never be very popular and they might just brick anyway as a Stage 2 deck. If you want to play a solid list, just take the Nico/Tord list from OCIC, there's nothing much to cut (and that's just fine). 

What I've been testing for the last few days is the Obstagoon deck. As most of you surely know, it focuses on the new Stage 2 160 HP Pokémon who's attack basically says no to most Basic Pokémon. We've seen this effect being very effective with Pyroar and Jolteon EX. Galarian Obstagoon might be another case and maybe it's his time to shine. 

I felt no hype around the deck before OCIC and I was very surprised, once I saw it almost taking down the whole event. 

The biggest issues with the deck are probably its fragility and that it just has hard time against certain techs. 

Here's the list that I came up with:

I was inspired greatly by the list that Tim Bartels used in Melbourne. I didn't like the way he tried to use Sableye V as the second big attacker. He tried to use the Supporter card Bede, that allows you to attach an Energy card from your hand to 1 of your Pokémon. With only 9 energy overall, it's really tricky to hit the combo in the right time sometimes even in the combination with Great Catcher. I also cut one energy, 8 should be fine. I didn't like the Mimikyu. It doesn't help against Mewtwo, because they play 2 Stealthy hood anyway. I cut 1 Linoone, too eventually for the 2nd doll but I don't really like this exclusion much, there's nothing else to be cut, though. I'm playing a different Pokémon search line, no Evo Incense felt just fine. 

So the main strategy of this deck to win is using Obstruct until you take the last prizes. It's obviously not that easy and you have to get to that point somehow. Let me demonstrate this on a simple example. 

Let's take Firebox as a match up. It might seem like a really tough one. It's actually the exact opposite. You just need to kill those 2 Ninetales/Vulpix before your opponent is on 1 prize. Then they can just GX with Reshizard for the win. So this is the reason why I'm running 2 Mew here, to have easier access to the spreading part of the match up. Once you've managed to knock out those 2 Ninetales, you start Obstructing, they GX into 1 and then you win. Simple as that. 


Virizion GX is a card that might help you with the spreading part. You evolve early with Linoone and then pick up everything and evolve with Candy. Just count until you've reached those 20 damage counters (sometimes less, if you're able to kill Vulpix instead of Ninetales). 

In different match ups, we have different tasks to do and different threats to face. The list provided above should give you reasonable outs to help you work that Obstruct plan. 

Dolls help you with slower starts and Phione. Can be also used with some niche Night Slash plays (Linoone’s attack). Hood helps against Phione and sometimes against Ninetales. Yveltal GX takes those important big knock outs on things like Alolan Raichu & Raichu GX. Virizion is useful, as already mentioned above, in the Firebox match up and is a key card to the ADP match up. 

I feel like Counter Gain is just too important not to play 2. It's a key card of functioning of the whole deck. 

For now, I will also stick with 4 Obstagoon, but there have been some lists in the last week with only 3.

With all the general Goons informations behind us, let's get into the most important match ups of this deck you might see and how to play them properly. 


Your goal is to set up a lone Goon. Early Goon with Stealthy Hood might also be good against ADP lists with no Lysandre Labs. 

You can achieve the lone Goon either by drawing fire and having 2 Goons very early or setting up a normal Jirachi board and then using Virizion GX to effectively negate anything you've done but 2 Zigzagoon/Linoone/Obstagoon. 

It's seems easy in theory, but Marnie is a card that exists and might cause you some problems. ADP is definitely not an autowin by any means. Second Linoone might be very helpful, though. 

I'm running Marshadow UNB in this list mainly against ADP. If they set up their board with good kills and Lysadnre Labs, you sometimes don't even have a chance.


I've already covered this. But be careful, your opponent might run things like Cramorant V or Mega Lopunny & Jigglypuff GX, so have another Mew ready for potential snipes as well as don't use all you Switches early as you might run into some unfortunate flips with Puffy Smashers GX. 


Mewtwo with no techs is very easy. You have multiple ways to win here. Their plan is to Stinger + Firework Bombs. You have to prevent that. Either by getting rid of the Mewtwo itself or taking some prize after Stinger GX therefore not being on 3 prize cards anymore. 

For their strategy to be fully effective, they need Mewtwo with Stealthy Hood and Blacephalon with Hood + Weakness Guard Energy. If they have Stealthy hoods, you obviously can't put damage counters on them, but you still run Mew, so if you manage to Spread early with Mew, basically anywhere (Mewtwo, Blacephalon, Jirachi to take an easy prize, Dedenne to tak an easy prize), your life will be much easier. If you spread the Mewtwo, then you can just use Yveltal GX’s Doom Count GX to finish the game. 

If they don't Stinger at all, you just Obstruct with Mew on Bench. 

What might be a problem in this match up is Alolan Muk & Muk GX. You don't straight up lose, if your opponent runs this card, but it's definitely harder. Keep those Switch in hand/deck.


This is probably the hardest match up for Goons. You have to figure out very early, how you're going to take this 6 prizes. It might look like Obstruct is just enough. But no, they run Phione. Ok, you are saying Lone Obstruct. Well no, they run that Alolan Raichu & Raichu. This Tag Team puts paralyze on you and you are in a bit of trouble. 

I think the correct way to approach this match up is going Obstruct with Hood, provoke Raichu, kill the Raichu with Yveltal GX/Sableye V and then try to take the last 3 prizes as fast as possible. 

Baby Blacephalon

There's nothing much this deck can do. They play Cramorant V, so bench Mew. They also play Blacephalon GX, but it's fairly easy to deal with the Confusion. If they decide to run Ninetales, do the same thing as in the Firebox match up. If they run Phione, try getting Stealthy Hood on as early as possible. 

Cinccino Mill

This is a funny one. You don't straight up lose here. You can try to push with Mew and other snipe, but it never really worked for me. They can just discard their Pokémon with Bellelba. Instead you can try putting back in your list the Sableye V and start looping with it. The most obvious cards to loop are Cynthia and Ordinary Rod. If you can successfully manage to loop this combination and keep your Energy cards flowing, you might steal the tie. If they start attacking you, though, with Profound Knowledge and they actually take those prizes, then you can use Obstruct to take some prizes yourself and they still won't me able to use Lt. Surge. What I'm basically saying here is, that if they start hitting you, you might just win. But if they don't, it's a dead locked tie. At least sometimes… 


You want to face Malamar. Basically your only goal in this match up is to skip the 3 prize turn. And that's fairly easy. There's not much they can do. Be mindful of stuff like Ultra Necrozma GX, though. 

Mewtwo Malamar

This match up might catch you unprepared. What can happen, is basically they GX with Horror House T1/T2 and if you have Jirachi active, Bench Zigzagoon Zigzagoon Mew and no other Jirachi, you might lose to T2/T3 Night Watch in combination with Marnie. Sometimes there's nothing you can do to prevent that so just go game 2. Consider going second. Not just here, but playing different match ups. It has its pros and cons. 


Finally a tip for the mirror match. Try to take the easiest prizes possibly. Snipe those little Zigzagoons. Put 4 counters on Obstagoon and kill it with Yveltal. Be smart with your 1 Stealthy Hood. Night Slash into Doll, possibly. There are many interesting things you can do in mirror. 


Possible techs:


Sableye V - another big attacker. It requires 2 Energy, though, and it isn't easy to charge it.

More Dolls - to give you even more time against Phione.

2nd Stealhy Hood or Escape Board - I really like the Tool cards package I'm running right now, but I could see someone going for 2 Escape Boards, cause having to attach the only one early anywhere else than Jirachi hurts. 2nd Hood might be, once again, good against Phione and Ninetales.

Spiritomb UNB - 1 Energy attacker. Might be helpful against Mill - you kill your own Tomb, then kill their Pokémon, therefore you do not trigger their Lt. Surge.


I'll be most likely playing Goons in Malmö. I'm not entirely confident in my pick, my testing in  the last few days has been rather disappointing, but I didn't test ADP enough to make a last minute change and play it. ADP should be generally the safest pick, in my opinion. 

Thanks for reading and good luck to all participants. 





[+25] okko


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