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.
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)
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.
Buzzwole Lycanroc GX
- 3 Buzzwole GX
- 3 Rockruff
- 3 Lycanroc GX
- 3 Tapu Lele GX
- 2 Regirock EX
- 1 Espeon EX
- 4 Professor Sycamore
- 4 N
- 3 Guzma
- 2 Acerola
- 1 Brigette
- 4 Ultra Ball
- 3 Fighting Fury Belt
- 3 Choice Band
- 3 Float Stone
- 2 Field Blower
- 1 Super Rod
- 3 Brooklet Hill
- 4 Strong Energy
- 4 Fighting Energy
- 4 Double Colorless Energy
3 Buzzwole GX
You want to increase the odds of starting Buzzwole GX while also not having useless copies of it in your deck once you’re able to get it active. Since we have a significant speed boost to grabbing our basics via Brooklet Hill, three is more than enough to get this deck going. We’ve already gone over all his moves earlier but I don’t recommend playing less than two at any given point as forcing yourself to find a Float Stone + Strong Energy to attach to him early is a daunting task.
2 Regirock EX
Regirock EX is that forgotten card that people thought was going to be decent with proper Fighting attackers until we got a flurry of strong Psychic and Grass Pokémon that kicked Fighting decks off the map. We use Regirock EX for one reason only and that’s its ability Regi Power. Regi Power is going to bolster the damage output of our Lycanroc and Buzzwole to help secure solid 2HKOs by just sitting on the bench. Since some of our bench spaces are going to have Tapu Lele, Rockruff, and another Buzzwole GX I wouldn’t anticipate having out more than two at a time making a two count perfect for our goal. Brooklet Hill can fish out Regirock EX to the bench so the consistency is going to be there when we want it for critical turns.
3 Lycanroc GX
After piloting Lycanroc GX/Carbink at Ft Wayne Regionals, I fell in love with the utility I got from Lycanroc GX and Brooklet Hill. We’ll be playing the 3/3 of Lycanroc as it’s a solid secondary attacker to Buzzwole GX and it can effectively sweep some Meta decks on its own. Being able to Bloodthirsty Eyes and N an opponent in the same turn can be devastating in close games. Considering we’re going to poking down our opponent’s bench for the first three to four turns of the game, being able to bring a bench sitter active for a KO is critical towards keeping an advantage over evolution decks. Dangerous Rogue GX is going to be our go-to GX attack for a majority of our matchups. Since Brigette is extremely popular and powerful in our current Meta, we should be able to get an OHKO off of our GX attack a huge portion of the time. Boosted with Strong Energy, Choice Band, and Regirock EX, Lycanroc GX can sweep a majority of the decks in the format after using Dangerous Rogue GX to OHKO any opposing high HP Pokémon. Lastly, Claw Slash helps us hit insanely strong damage for efficient Energy attachments. Two Energy attachments allow us to take quick KO’s against Pokémon poked down by Jet Punch and even threaten Stage 2 evolutions after we add all the damage boosts mentioned above. After two Jet Punches a Gardevoir GX will get KO’d by a Strong Energy, two Regirock EX, and Choice Band with Claw Slash. However, we should be looking to Dangerous Rogue GX any opposing Gardevoir GX that hits the board.
1 Espeon EX
If we’re looking to get full value out of Buzzwole’s Jet Punch we need to be able to spread damage early and then use Espeon EX’s Miraculous Shine to slow down their attackers that evolved through Rare Candy. Epson EX is going to set your opponent’s onslaught back a few turns and buy you some time to build up Lycanroc and Buzzwole.
3 Tapu Lele GX
I wanted to press for consistency with this build so I opted to play three Tapu Lele GX. We get to utilize its Energy Drive damage output a bit more since we play four Double Colorless Energy in this build which can complement our early Jet Punches. You’ll find that you’re able to create unique options to reach 2HKO and 3HKOs with this deck after applying early pressure with Jet Punch, Regirock EX, and Choice Band.
4 Professor Sycamore/4 N
Maxed out count of Sycamore is fairly obvious at this point in the metagame and I wanted to also play a maxed out count of N to complement our concept of Jet Punch 3-4 times during the early game. We may be forced to sacrifice the initial Buzzwole to our opponent then clean up later on with Lycanroc GX and a backup Buzzwole.
This may be a bit high considering we have three Lycanroc GX Bloodthirsty Eyes to work with. I wanted to have a high number of options to retreat the initial Buzzwole GX if it’s threatened to be KO’d so I decided on still playing three Guzma which works out perfectly to keep control of any opposing benched Basic low HP Pokémon.
Buzzwole’s 190 HP and one Energy attachment lets it survive multiple hits from most of the cards in the Meta. The ones that hit hard and quickly usually can’t deal with games where you spread damage against them then Acerola up your main attacker. I wanted to include two in this list to pick up Lycanroc GX and Buzzwole GX that get poked early. This allows me to use my Strong Energy and Fighting Fury Belt multiple times throughout the early game before my opponent can establish solid attackers. A combination of Acerola and Lycanroc GX’s Bloodthirsty Eyes makes some ridiculous plays where you apply too much pressure with Jet Punches to their attackers.
This has become one of the best opening supporters in the game and even with Brooklet Hill in the deck I wanted to include one copy of Brigette to get multiple Rockruff and Buzzwole GX down early.
4 Ultra Ball
This is standard, we’re going for consistency and plucking out our Pokémon, we need them.
3 Choice Band/ 3 Fighting Fury Belt
I’ve been going on and on about how Jet Punch is insane especially in the current format so I wanted a Pokémon Tool line that compliments that aggression. Three Choice Band is to help us pressure against Tapu Lele GX, Golisopod GX, and Gardevoir GX. It also allows us to OHKO Drampa when combined with Strong Energy and Regirock EX so that matchup is a breeze. Fighting Fury Belt is here to help us OHKO 60 HP Basic Pokémon and Tapu Koko Promo consistently. Fighting Fury Belt also bolsters the tankiness of our Buzzwole so if your opponent can’t find a Field Blower when trying to take one down on the 2nd or 3rd turn you can Acerola the Buzzwole and negate their past couple of attacks.
3 Float Stone
Some of the Pokémon in our deck have incredibly high retreat costs like Regirock EX and Buzzwole so we’ll need to play a high number of Float Stone to keep applying early pressure. I’d consider even upping this count to four if you notice that you aren’t able to get Buzzwole to the active on turn one in a majority of your testing games.
2 Field Blower
We’ll need to clear Garbodor’s Garbotoxin ability at times so we can get clean KO’s with Lycanroc GX against opposing Garbodor so I included two Field Blower to help us remove any opposing Float Stones. Additionally two Field Blower allows us to remove multiple Float Stones from the opponents field, use Lycanroc’s Bloodthirsty Eyes then N an opponent out of their Guzma.
1 Super Rod
I wanted some form of Pokémon or Energy recovery should we be forced to Professor Sycamore away valuable resources so I felt like Super Rod is better than Rescue Stretcher in this build. I could see the Rescue Stretcher helping to create instant Lycanroc GX or grabbing back any KO’d Regirock EX but I valued putting back Energy over those plays that may rarely happen.
3 Brooklet Hill
I think this card is insane and is the main reason why I wanted to give Fighting decks another look in the Standard Format. Being able to instantly throw down Rockruff, Regirock EX, or Buzzwole lets us consistently hit our wanted attackers and support without being forced to use a draw Supporter every turn.
4 Strong Energy
This card is a free + 20 damage to your attacks for Buzzwole and Lycanroc GX. We want to max out our count of them so we can get to it as soon as possible.
4 Fighting Energy/4 Double Colorless Energy
Max counts of Double Colorless Energy lets us attack freely and quickly with Lycanroc GX and Tapu Lele GX.
Brooklet Hill can fish out Remoraid instantly and since we already play Brigette, I think we can consistently get Remoraid down on turn one to help our mid-game progression. I choose not to include it as I haven’t tested it in this list yet but it dawned on me how useful a 1/1 line might be. I’d cut a 1/1 Lycanroc line or potentially a Tapu Lele GX/ Lycanroc GX for these spots.
1 Zygarde EX
It’s no secret that Garbodor will be able to Trashalanche for massive damage against Buzzwole but playing a Zygarde EX in this list can help out our early game against Psychic decks. Normally, you’d just fight them with Lycanroc GX or try to keep items out of the discard and sweep them with Jet Punch but toss this in your list if you expect your local Metagame to have a bunch of Garbodor. Zygarde’s early game damage output is quite high and the healing from its 2nd attack partnered with Fighting Fury Belt lets you overcome any opposing Tapu Lele GX that may poke you with Energy Drive.
3 Po Town
You can opt to not play the Brooklet Hill version if you feel like the deck can hit its Pokémon quick enough. If you want to remove that then play Po Town in its place so you can stack more bench damage alongside Jet Punch to swing your 2HKO game.
1 Lycanroc BUS
Some decks are popping up with Alolan Ninetales and Hoopa (Shining Legends) so we need an attacker that can hit them that’s not EX or GX which is where Lycanroc BUS comes into play. Not only can it hit both for massive damage but it becomes a solid one prize attacker with Corner when paired with Strong Energy, Choice Band, and Regirock EX.
1 Giratina XY149
Expect any Greninja in your Meta? You destroy them if you play Giratina.
Gardevoir GX 50/50
This matchup comes down to the early game pressure each deck is able to create. Buzzwole GX can clear off two Ralts early in the game then you can Dangerous Rogue GX one of the Gardevoir GX that finally hit play. Ideally, you’ll be able to use Jet Punch to OHKO their Alolan Vulpix or Ralts in the early game then hit a benched Ralts for 30. Once they create a Gardevoir GX, hit it with a strong Dangerous Rogue or poke it down with a Jet Punch followed up with a Claw Slash. Bloodthirsty Eyes lets us snowball our lead if they don’t get a turn one Brigette and we’re able to OHKO their only Ralts in play so just run down their Ralts for two prizes, KO one Gardevoir GX, and find the final KO against a Tapu Lele GX. If they make two Gardevoir GX just look to 2HKO and 3HKO it with Claw Slash, Jet Punch, and Energy Drive. Espeon EX can help us end the game by devolving a few 60-80 damage Gardevoir into free prizes. Po Town will hurt them a lot but not as much as early game Jet Punches will. Be mindful of the Double Colorless Energy you attached to any benched Pokémon as they’re easy targets to get Guzma OHKO’d by Infinite Force.
Drampa Garbodor 70/30
As I addressed earlier we can OHKO Drampa GX with ease so the card to worry about in this matchup is Garbodor. If you have to burn a ton of Items on the opening turn to pressure with Buzzwole GX, you’re better off just creating a solid board state. Try to create three Lycanroc GX and two Regirock GX to sweep your opponent’s Garbodor. Strong Energy allows Claw Slash to sweep all the attackers in their deck minus Tapu Lele GX with ease so if you’re attacking early with Buzzwole, look to place its damage on their Espeon GX or Tapu Lele GX instead of Garbodor. If you didn’t play any items to get the Buzzwole attacking then leave it active and play an incredibly patient game to sweep them with Jet Punch and never put Items in the discard pile.
Golisopod Garbodor 40/60
I believe Golisopod Garbodor is going to see a lot less play due to the release of Zoroark GX but I figured I’d include it in the matchup profile as it is still in the current Meta. Garbodor hits our Buzzwole for weakness and Golisopod GX sweeps our Lycanroc GX so naturally this is a bad matchup for the deck. However, if they have a slow start and you can get a Buzzwole attacking before dumping a bunch of items in your discard, you can out pressure their Tapu Koko, Trubbish, and Wimpod during the early game. At this point you should put two Rockruff on the bench without evolving it so they don’t get two free prizes off of Guzma and First Impression. Next, look to load up a Lycanroc GX for a Dangerous Rogue GX against their Golisopod GX while hitting them with an N in the same turn. I tend to never Field Blower away the Tool on Garbotoxin Garbodor so it’ll cut off their late game consistency with Tapu Lele GX. Considering we’d only want to use Bloodthirsty Eyes and Regirock EX’s ability with deck, we don’t need it to win this matchup. In short, don’t make your Lycanroc GX until you’re attacking with it and clear off any Wimpod you see ASAP. Trading Acerola for Acerola with Buzzwole should be easier for us than them considering they have to evolve into Golisopod and we don’t. Zoroark will only make the matchup easier for us as it’s weak to Fighting, cannot OHKO either attacker, and doesn’t limit our abilities.
Volcanion Turtonator GX 40/60
Since Volcanion can hit hard and quickly without needing to evolve, it’s a tough matchup for this deck. Buzzwole can apply early pressure to Volcanion EX but ultimately their speed and ability to swap between Volcanion EX after loading Energy with Baby Volcanion is too much for this deck to handle. Either way, I try to use Buzzwole GX early to hit Baby Volcanion and Volcanion EX with Energy on it then use Lycanroc GX to sweep their Volcanion EX with Claw Slash and Dangerous Rogue GX. Field Blower helps us remove their Fighting Fury Belt to reach easier OHKO’s but after one or two Jet Punches, Lycanroc’s Claw Slash should be able to KO their Volcanion EX with ease. The speed at which they accrue their Energy is what makes the matchup so difficult. Turtonator GX can be somewhat annoying with Shell Trap but multiple Bloodthirsty Eyes should allow us to bring up a Volcanion EX active then damage the Turtonator that just attacked while it’s on the bench removing Shell Trap’s effect. If they have a slow start then you’re definitely favored during the Mid Game swing as they’ll need multiple Volcanion EX, Energy in hand, and Choice Band on a Volcanion EX to OHKO Lycanroc GX. Run down their Staryu if they play one as Starmie is a key win condition for them to beat you in the late game.
Now the other option I wanted with this deck is to put Jet Punch, Po Town, and Garbotoxin together for some big evolution deck hate. Here’s my latest testing list:
- 3 Buzzwole GX
- 1 Drampa GX
- 4 Trubbish
- 2 Garbodor
- 2 Garbodor
- 3 Tapu Lele GX
- 1 Espeon EX
- 4 Professor Sycamore
- 4 N
- 3 Guzma
- 1 Acerola
- 1 Brigette
- 1 Gladion
- 4 Ultra Ball
- 4 Choice Band
- 4 Float Stone
- 2 Field Blower
- 1 Rescue Stretcher
- 3 Po Town
- 4 Strong Energy
- 4 Rainbow Energy
- 4 Double Colorless Energy
1 Drampa GX
I wanted the option to take advantage an opponent’s mediocre opening or ridiculously strong opening by creating my own Drampa GX to Berserk. Since we’re already playing Po Town and Rainbow Energy, getting Berserk online should be fairly easy. Also, as I mentioned earlier we will probably never get to use Buzzwole’s GX attack so having Drampa GX here to Big Wheel is a nice plus to our consistency.
2 Garbodor BKP
We want two Garbotoxin in the deck so we can shut down our opponent’s abilities while we apply pressure with Jet Punch. Playing one means we have the opportunity to prize it and while we do play one Gladion, I think it’s best to still play two copies so we can draw into it faster.
2 Garbodor GRI
We might as well play our own Trashalanche attacker if we’re going to be weak to their Garbodor and we already have Rainbow Energy in our deck.
Since we’re going to be playing Rainbow Energy, Strong Energy, and our own Garbodor Garbotoxin line, I wanted to include a copy of Gladion to help fish out key cards we need to swing the game in our favor.
4 Choice Band/4 Float Stone
We’re going for consistency on the tools and Choice Band is too valuable for Garbodor’s Trashalanche that I can’t afford to include Fighting Fury Belt in the list. I cut its spot to make room for Gladion, 4th Float Stone, and 4th Choice Band.
This version has a much easier time handling Gardevoir as you can destroy them early with Garbotoxin and Jet Punch. Po Town sets up easier KOs with Garbodor and Drampa’s Righteous Edge gives you a nice way to set back any overloaded Gardevoir GX they may hit you with early. We also get the added value of having Espeon EX with Po Town forcing our opponent to play into Energy Drive against us which is easier to deal with than a Gardevoir. Much like the other deck’s matchup, Jet Punch early and rush for a Garbotoxin and Po Town. Keep stringing Jet Punches on all their Ralts until you can clear a majority of their board with a Miraculous Shine then clean up with Trashalanche. Usually with this build, they don’t have the turn to Twilight GX without using a heavily damaged Gardevoir to do so.
Drampa Garbodor 70/30
With our other build we’d fear using items against their Garbodor but now we can combat Trashalanche against Trashalanche. Buzzwole is going to come out severely ahead of Drampa so he’ll be key to beating them. This matchup plays out the same as the previous one but we’ll require less resources to take KO’s due to the bench poke we can get in.
Golisopod Garbodor 20/80
This matchup actually get worse without the inclusion of Lycanroc GX. Golisopod variants can generally setup quite well without using many items and we don’t have a way outside of Drampa to hit Golisopod for massive damage. When we’re able to then they’ll just Acerola and keep sweeping us. The best way to play this matchup is to spread with Jet Punch, Po Town, and Miraculous Shine away the Golisopod and turn them into Wimpod for free prizes. From there just trade Garbodor for Garbodor after you’re able to dump their Float Stone and Choice Band into their discard.
Volcanion Turtonator 50/50
Garbotoxin is going to be the main difference in this matchup compared to the first build. It’s critical we use Garbotoxin to shut down their option to OHKO Buzzwole and if can’t do that then we’ll slowly grind them out of the game and sweep late with Trashalanche. Play the matchup close to the same but you can gain more value out of your attacks with Garbodor than you would Lycanroc GX.
I think Buzzwole has some solid matchups in the future meta and if players still neglect to play Mr.Mime its going to have a field day at London Internationals. I’ll be grinding out a few more builds with this deck before London but the general concepts and tech for Buzzwole should all be mentioned throughout this article. I’m hoping I find some secret Fighting attacker that could swing a few matchups in our favor but the typing doesn’t have all that many options.
Thanks for all your support!
Edited by Neil Essmyer