Hi Some1sPC readers! It’s been a while since I’ve written to you all so I thought I’d vomit some thoughts of how I feel about the current state of the game. After my purge of feelings, I’ll dive into Buzzwole GX and all the different ideas I have for him in the upcoming months. I think Crimson Invasion and Shining Legends provide a ton of supportive ideas that are easily overlooked by a majority of players. Let’s do this!

State of the Game

The Expanded Format is in a great spot at the moment. We’ve seen decks go from dominating a tournament to almost nonexistent the next namely Turbo Turtles and Garbodor Golisopod. I think Necrozma Garbodor is by far the best deck in the format but with proper tech and deck building to counter it, some of its more advantageous matchups can be brought down to 50/50 by including Mr.Mime and Energy hate. Turbo Dark got a facelift with the latest version that plays no Dark Pulse Darkrai EX and opts to go for a rush approach with Darkrai GX and a heavy Hypnotoxic Laser line which I honestly think is an all-around better deck for most matchups and the mirror match. We saw that even after winning Ft Wayne Regionals, Night March can top events as Gustavo made Top 8 playing against all the hate of Karen and Oricorio throughout the weekend. I also feel like the speed at which the game is played with most of the expanded decks allows us to play a full set of three games if both players scoop when they realize that they have no win condition and play in a quick manner. I think this is due to the strength of the decks and the inclusion of Shaymin EX, Trainers’ Mail, and easy Battle Compressor discards (meaning every deck has fairly straightforward Battle Compressor targets) in a majority of the Meta. I’m excited to see how the Meta further develops off Shining Legends and Crimson Invasion in San Jose Regionals. I think Zoroark GX/Lycanroc GX is going to push the Meta into a new healthy direction.

Standard Format is another story. I think Drampa Garbodor and Gardevoir are by far the two best decks in the format. While I don’t think Gardevoir is without its flaws, it is a powerhouse that each deck must consider and have a game plan to beat it before going into a tournament. I also think the mirror match between two good players is completely toxic. Most of the mirror match games are decided between which player hits Parallel City and Brigette first and how they’ll be able to counter their opposition’s board state. If neither is able to get off a valuable Plea GX with Sylveon GX then it comes down to simply hitting the right resources for an OHKO on opposing Gardevoir GX and hoping that N sticks on them to the point where they can’t OHKO you back. The mirror match is probably the worst experience I’ve had playing this game as I feel like I’m just hoping to hit resources before my opponent can and hoping N’s don’t give me a dead hand. Drampa Garbodor, on the other hand, takes quite a bit of skill to pilot and I think it’s become a norm that each list play a copy of Espeon EX to deal with all the evolution decks in the format. I will say, I think a majority of the Gardevoir player base doesn’t understand how to properly pilot against Drampa Garbodor so the matchup seems worse than it actually is. When you’re going against Drampa Garbodor and the opponent goes to Espeon EX / Po Town lock you, just load up a Tapu Lele GX and pop them for 60-90 with an Energy Drive. Nine times out of 10 they’re going to retreat the Espeon EX and you can freely evolve into your Kirlia without banking on top decking a switch card + Rare Candy. Either way, I think Drampa Garbodor is the go-to deck for skillful players that are looking to secure points and not have to go through the dreaded Gardevoir life of avoiding the mirror match and dodging metal.  I’m hoping Shining Legends and Crimson Invasion will shake up this Meta a bit but I highly doubt that’s going to happen. At most, we’ll see Zoroark GX find its way into older decks for updates like Golisopod and Drampa Garb but it won’t necessarily be better than what we currently have.

Buzzwole GX

Okay, I think this card has a ton of potential similar to what Landorus EX had during the time of Big Basics. While the card might not be completely game breaking, I think it adds a healthy new attacker for Rainbow Energy and Fighting decks to utilize. Let’s take a look at everything that makes him tick.

Buzzwole-GX – Fighting – HP190
Basic Pokemon (Ultra Beast)

Weakness: Psychic (x2)
Resistance: none
Retreat: 2

Buzzwole's 190 HP makes it a tanky problem for an opponent to deal with. I think the biggest takeaway we have here is his Psychic weakness which everyone believes automatically takes him out of contention to see play. I'll go over how we can play against Psychic decks (namely Garbodor) below.

(F) Jet Punch: 30 damage. This attack does 30 damage to 1 of your opponent’s Benched Pokemon. (Don’t apply Weakness and Resistance for Benched Pokemon.)

Jet Punch is the sole reason I want to attempt to include Buzzwole GX in some of my decks. Coupled with Strong Energy and Fighting Fury Belt, Jet Punch can OHKO a 60 HP Basic Pokémon and deal 30 to another copy of it on the bench. This is the main strategy I’m using to apply pressure to Gardevoir GX. Since Jet Punch only requires one Energy attachment to attack, we can utilize Acerola with this quite well without fearing a strong Energy Drive or Infinite Force to KO us.

(F)(F)(F) Knuckle Impact: 160 damage. This Pokemon can’t attack during your next turn.

This attack would be amazing if it didn’t cost three Fighting Energy. This cost is incredibly hard to pay with the current speed of most decks. Normally, we’d opt to use a Carbink BREAK engine to attach Energy ASAP but Carbink’s Safeguard ability has such little impact on the current Meta that the engine would end up hurting the deck more than helping. Sadly, this attack is underwhelming for how much it costs and will hardly be used once in a best of three match.

(F)(F)(F) Absorption GX: 40x damage. This attack does 40 damage for each of your remaining Prize cards. (You can’t use more than 1 GX attack in a game.)

Much like Knuckle Impact, this attack costs too much to be been the primary attack for a deck to revolve around. While it can dish out between 160 and 240 depending on how early you use it in the game I think the only way you’d be able to get this attack off against a deck in the Meta is to play a heavy line of Max Elixir. Since the attack is based upon remaining cards you have left, you’ll need to have another Buzzwole GX active tanking damage and hitting for small Jet Punches to soften up the future prizes you’ll need to take after hitting them with an Absorption GX. Since Buzzwole is weak to Psychic and Gardevoir thrives off of the opponent having a bunch of Energy attached, tailoring your game plan to swing with Absorption GX or Knuckle Impact may result in it in getting Guzma’d for an early OHKO without getting the opportunity to attack with it. I won’t completely count out this idea but it is underwhelming compared to everything we can utilize with Buzzwole.

Clearly, if I’ve destroyed his 2nd and 3rd attack I should find some value in Jet Punch to the point where I’d make a few decklists around him. Let’s take a look at the two options I think we can make for Buzzwole GX and the partners I think will compliment him.

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