What's good with it Some1sPC readers?!? My name is Russell LaParre and I'm back to bring you a detailed article on a deck I've grown to love, Vikavolt GX. Before I get into the deck, I wanted to discuss my outlook on the "oppression" of Garbodor GRI in the format and why it dominated Seattle Regionals. I'd like to give a special shout out to my European friends, Complexity Card Gaming's Benjamin Pham and Galaxy Card Gaming's Nicklas Danielsen, for helping me make the final picks for my list for Seattle. Goncalo Ferreira's League Cup winning list also had a heavy influence on how I went about building the deck. Let's get started.

I.Garbodor's Dominance of Seattle
II.Vikavolt GX/Vikavolt
III.Vikavolt List
IV.Matchups
V.Conclusion

Garbodor's Dominance of Seattle

If you didn't already hear, Garbodor had an overwhelming presence in Day 2 of Seattle Regionals, comprising 22 out of the top 32 spots. From what I'm hearing from veteran players of the game, no deck has ever been that dominant in the Pokémon Trading Card Game. With such a dominant impact, many players' initial reaction is to think "we need to ban Garbodor. It's ruining the format." I'm actually part of the few people who believe it's perfect for the meta, so let me explain why.

While Garbodor's high percentage of the Day 2 meta is off-putting for those who favor a diverse format, I believe it was piloted by the best players in the tournament in a highly skillful format. Along with being piloted by a majority of the top players, the deck made up almost 55% of the Day 1 field. After the first couple of rounds, we all knew Garbodor was going to dominate Day 2. So, two parts so far: a high percentage of the field was Garbodor and it was piloted by the best players. The final piece to Garbodor's "oppression" is the general player base's inability to adapt to the evolving meta.

Without trying to sound like an elitist or a jerk, I don't believe the middle tier of competitive players properly adapted to the oncoming storm of Drampa GX/Garbodor. Whether it was due to a lack of play testing, testing against non-optimal lists, or just ignoring the strength of the deck altogether, I think players just kept building decks filled with Items and didn't respect the power of Trashalanche. The next few weeks of Regionals and League Cups will properly show the evolution of the meta and how these players will adapt to the new era of Garbodor. I think the knee-jerk reaction for players will be to play less Items in their list and throwing Lycanroc GX in random decks just for the sake of OHKOing Drampa GX. While I don't disagree with the former, I think Lycanroc GX, while strong, doesn't just instantly beat any Garbodor deck. Drampa GX/Garbodor did have the best showing of the variants but there are plenty of ways to build Garbodor to adapt to these changes.

With Garbodor out of the way, it's time to get to Vikavolt!

Vikavolt GX/Vikavolt

At the release of Guardian's Rising, I said to myself "Vikavolt GX is going to be a threat." Let's take a look at it and Vikavolt SUM to get a better understanding of how the deck functions.

Vikavolt-GX – Lightning – HP240
Stage 2 – Evolves from Charjabug

To start, let's talk about Vikavolt GX's insane HP and superb typing (for this meta). Right now, the only thing in the meta that can OHKO Vikavolt GX (without having an absurd number of items in discard) is Volcanion EX via Steam Up, Lycanroc GX, and Mega Rayquaza EX. Lycanroc can hit it for weakness but that deck hasn't really picked up steam and should fall lower into the playability tiers as Tapu Bulu GX is released. Volcanion EX has almost disappeared from the meta due to Garbodor and we can hit Mega Rayquaza EX for weakness, so it's a favorable matchup if we're able to set up. Its innate tankiness really helps it against a majority of the rogue decks that look to OHKO anything that has 220 HP or less with the help of Choice Band.

[L] Charge Beam: 50 damage. Attach 1 Energy card from your discard pile to this Pokémon.

Charge Beam is an insane 1 Energy Attachment attack for Vikavolt GX. This is going to be the attack you opt during the early game after you're forced to use one of Vikavolt SUM's Strong Charge attachments to your active to retreat. Note that you can grab any Energy Card from your discard pile to this Pokémon so I can plan out some attacks where I'm looking to attach Double Colorless Energy and plan out a stronger attack the following turn.

[L][C][C][C] Super Zap Cannon: 180 damage. Discard 2 Energy attached to this Pokémon.

This is your Go-To attack against the field. 4 Energy may seem like a hefty cost but after establishing a Vikavolt in play, it's really easy to get it going. You can also discard a Double Colorless Energy to pay its cost to retreat. This is the best option to play when against Garbodor BKP. I'll dive into that a bit later on.

[L][C][C][C] Gigatron GX: Does 60 damage to each of your opponent’s Benched Pokémon. (Don’t apply Weakness and Resistance for Benched Pokémon.) (You can’t use more than 1 GX attack in a game.)

Gigatron GX is hilariously useful in our current format. While some of you may be thinking "Okay how does the 60 help your numbers?" Well, most of the time it doesn't unless you're against another Stage 2 deck like Decidueye GX or Solgaleo GX. My list, in particular, plays Wide Lens, so I can take instant OHKO's against any benched Shaymin EX for game ending attacks.

Weakness: Fighting (x2)
Resistance: Metal (-20)
Retreat: 1

There's not much to note here but 1 Retreat plays a huge role into why Vikavolt GX is so successful. Its basic form, Grubbin, has 2 retreat cost, Charjabug has 3 retreat, and finally, Vikavolt GX has 1 retreat. This lets you absorb a gigantic attack, then subsequently retreat into another Vikavolt GX while you heal up with Rough Seas.

Vikavolt – Lightning – HP150
Stage 2 – Evolves from Charjabug

Ability: Strong Charge
Once during your turn (before your attack), you may search your deck for a [G] Energy and a [L] Energy and attach them to your Pokémon in any way you like. Shuffle your deck afterwards.

Strong Charge is the reason we play this card. Its ability to attach to 2 different Pokémon plays a significant role in how we'll pilot the deck. The decisions required by this ability can make this deck incredibly difficult to pilot. In order to fit all the cards you'd like to make the deck run efficiently, you’ll need to keep your Grass/Lightning counts to a minimum. Doing this means any Energy you prize, have in hand, or need to attack during the early turns makes it more difficult to gauge when you're going to attach the following turn.

[L][C][C][C] Electrocannon: 150 damage. Discard 3 Energy attached to this Pokemon.

You shouldn't be using this attack that frequently, but is it an option to OHKO an opposing Pokémon EX or GX. (if you attach Choice Band) The 3 Energy discard is just too costly to make it worth attacking and possibly getting it KO'd.

Weakness: Fighting (x2)
Resistance: Metal (-20)
Retreat: 3

This Pokémon’s 3 Retreat is ridiculously tough for the deck to deal with. For its retreat alone, we should be playing a switch card like Float Stone or Olympia.

With the 2 main Pokémon out of the way, let's fly into the decklist.

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