Hey, guys! It is time again for another article! First off, let me just say WOW, it has been an exciting time for Pokémon. With the Intercontinental out of the way, people are beginning to plan around a brand new set. Whether they plan on attending The World Championships or the Anaheim Open, everyone seems so excited! There are countless things that are running through my head (and I’m sure yours too) to maximize our August performances to their fullest.
I.Recapping North American Intercontinentals
VI.Golisopod GX/Decidueye GX
First, I will talk about a little recap of the 2017 North American Intercontinental. I chose to play Greninja for this tournament and ended 5-2-2 with my losses being to a mirror match that played Pokémon Ranger and a Mega Gardy that I dead drew against. I decided that for a tournament that had so much riding on it (including my top 16 seat for a Day 2 invite) I should play something I am extremely comfortable with and something that I trusted I was able to get 209th place in the tournament. With this placement and some lucky results from day two, I was able to secure myself the 15th position in the North American Championship Point rankings and get my free invitation to the second day of Worlds this year in Anaheim. I still believe that Greninja was the best deck option for the tournament and know a few did very well.
With that said, we are putting that tournament behind us and even though we got a lot of knowledge about the format from that tournament (and the risks that people are willing to take), we are getting a brand new set that feels to have come instantaneously after Guardian Rising. This set will not have as big of an impact on the format as Guardian Rising did with TapuLele GX (and so many other cards that took tournaments by storm), but it will be a very impactful set for Worlds and tournaments to come and I want to take a moment to talk about a few cards before moving on to my main topic:
This card is going to be on just about everyone’s list of top tier cards in the set and with good reason. It is the most game-changing card in the set and is something that has to be on everyone’s radar when going into a tournament. Gardevoir GX is basically the deck CMT (Celebi/Mewtwo/Tornadus) all put together into one card. It gives the energy acceleration that Celebi provided and the damage output that Mewtwo dished out.
This card will be extremely impactful in the Volcanion decks that are running around. Not only is it a heavy hitter being able to attack for 180 Damage, but it is also unique because it is weak to lightning instead of Water. This will make it so Volcanion decks no longer have to fear Vaporeon as much because of that weakness. The downside to this card is that it takes four full energies to attack which makes it easy prey for something like Gardevoir GX. When you pair it with a card like Kiawe, it makes it a little bit quicker and easier to set up.
This card is one that I personally do not like but it might be something needed in Volcanion decks. I absolutely despise the idea of needing to end my turn just to put energies on the board, but we are in a much slower format and that might make it okay. With the power of Tapu Lele GX, you are able to go first and get Kiawe very easily. Ending your turn on the first turn of the game is a very small price to pay for four energies, however, the more turns that go by, the harder it will be for this card to be impactful.
This card adds a lot to the previous lack luster Darkrai deck that we had for the Intercontinental. It makes the deck much faster by adding a Dark Patch kind of effect to the deck. The deck will not be as dominant as it was before the release of Guardian Risings, but I personally think that it will be a much more popular deck than it was at the Intercontinental.
I really want this card to be good. It takes me back to the type of decks that I use to play and build. Pangea was the first one: a deck built around trying to knock out any Pokémon that is a non-EX by using Landorus and Tornadus EX and then switching over to Safeguard Sigilyph to finish up the game after they are out of Pokémon that can hurt me. After Pangea, this strategy shifted over to Pyroar: a card that dominated Nationals and with its only real contender being Flygon (which was a rogue deck at the time). Now we get yet another safeguarder with both negatives and positives. The positives are that it evolves from one of the better cards to come out in Guardian Rising, Alolan Vulpix. That card has already proved how good it is at keeping decks consistent. Ninetales also dominated the swiss rounds at the Intercontinental and adding something with safeguard into the deck makes it even harder for an opponent to play around. The downside is that Hex Maniac Is still a card that we have to worry about. When Hex Maniac rotates it will make Alolan Ninetales much better. Additionally, if we get a format where Hex Maniac is not in every single deck then this card will shine. With Volcanaion gaining popularity, is the main deck that I think right now will get destroyed by Alolan Ninetales. This is not just because only the Baby Volcanion can attack it, but also do not play Hex and are weak to Water.
This card was something that I honestly did not know existed until a couple weeks ago. Discarding two cards in order to draw four is good for a few different reasons. In the new Darkrai deck, it is another way to get Dark energies into your discard pile along with the new Darkrai GX. Outside of that it does not have very many immediate uses in my opinion but could see potential in Volcanion or Mega Rayquaza.
Now on to today’s topic where I will be talking about a few different Golisopod GX variants that I have been testing and trying to perfect for worlds. I think that this is a type of deck that will dominate in the current meta and could take the Anaheim open or Worlds by storm. It is definitely an excellent deck for smaller tournaments where the meta is very defined. In my area, we have a lot of Garb players and not many Volcanion players and that produces a great atmosphere for a deck like Golisopod GX. Let’s dive right in with some key cards in this deck:
This one is pretty obvious considering he is the main attacker in the deck and without him, this would not even be a thing. He is a bulky stage 1 with 210 HP and attacks for 1 energy. Right off the bat, we immediately see this is a strong card (although I initially thought this card was going to have poor attacks). I was constantly told that his attack, First Impression, only did 90 damage when it came active, but after looking up the set, I found out it actually does 120 which opens up so much more options for this deck. It one shots Garbodors very easily and it will also be two shotting (or potentially one shotting) a lot of the GXs in the format depending on the build of the deck that you want to try. His second attack and GX attack are not very relevant because that is not the game plan you are going with. Typically if I found myself using them it was because I was in a desperate position and couldn’t really do anything else.
This card is obviously going to have excellent synergy with Golisopod GX (especially considering Golisopod is his number one Pokémon). Not only do you get to target exactly what you want, but you can activate First Impression extremely easily by having a free retreated or another Golisopod set up on the bench. This card is actually extremely silly and probably should not have been printed, however, without it this deck would not stand a chance against the meta at all.
This card was also something that seemed to have been made with Golisopod in mind. They definitely tried making a balanced AZ with this card and I think they did a very successful job. I think that this card is fairly well-balanced thanks to needed damage on whichever Pokémon you bring up, the issue I see is that I already believed AZ was a non-balanced card, and this card will ultimately become non-balanced. It may only be a one off in most decks, but it will be format changing and game changing for many people. When VS seeker rotates after worlds, our lives will be a little bit better and more balanced, but for August it should be interesting on how people manipulate this card to their advantage. The obvious play in this deck is to Acerola your Golispod every turn and just bring up a new one. If you are up against a match up that does not one shot, you should always win because the trades are just too favorable for you.
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