Hello Some1sPC readers! My name is Kenny Britton and I’m an experienced competitive Pokemon player from California. I’ve been playing for a while now and have earned multiple invitations to the World Championships. This season has definitely been my best yet as I’ve earned 1107 CP, won Anaheim Regionals, top cut three Regionals, made Day 2 six times and gained Championship Points at every Regionals I’ve played in so far. I’m excited and honored to be able to write an article for Some1sPC so let’s get to it! In this article, I plan to discuss one of the newest additions to the format which is Tapu Bulu GX. I will explain its impact on the format and the best ways to play it. Enjoy!
I.Tapu Bulu GX
II.Tapu Bulu GX\Lurantis GX
V.Vikavolt\Tapu Bulu GX
Tapu Bulu GX Analysis and Deck Breakdowns
Tapu Bulu GX became legal last weekend and saw immediate impact at the Madison and Birmingham Regional Championships. This card stood out to me as soon as we got news about its release and it makes sense that people were able to catch on and see success at the first tournaments you could play it in. Tapu Bulu GX has many strengths that put it into top-tier contention. It has 180 HP, no weakness, is a basic Pokemon, and most of all, is a grass type. Tapu Bulu GX is a fantastic attacker in the game right now as it can put down pressure instantly and survive attacks from just about anything in the game. The HP and no weakness gives it survivability, and being a basic Pokemon gives it immediate pressure as an attacker. The biggest reason for the success of “big” basic Pokemon in the past has been it’s accessibility, quickness and the power to completely take over a game. The flaws are the average damage output and the three retreat cost, but we have enough support in this format to neutralize this problem. The two versions I’m going to explain in this article are the best ways I see to support and play Tapu Bulu GX, which are Vikavolt and Lurantis GX. Vikavolt’s Strong Charge ability allows you to power up multiple Tapu Bulu GX in a single game and in no time at all. This is assuming you acquire the necessary set up so that you can attack by turn Two or Three and continuously power up Tapu Bulu GXs as responses to their threats. The other version is to take advantage of Max Elixir and both Lurantis cards (Lurantis Promo and Lurantis GX). You can power up Tapu Bulu GX with Max Elixir and reach crazy damage outputs with Lurantis Promo and Choice Band. For Example, you could potentially one shot a Metagross GX with Nature’s Judgment + Two Sunny Days from Lurantis Promo + Choice Band. That’s a whopping 250 damage! The downside of this crazy upside is your Energy recovery, which we have Lurantis GX’s Flower Supply to help rebuild our board and get energies back. The final advantage of having Lurantis GX is being able to use a turn two Flower Supply to power up a Tapu Bulu GX. Let’s take a look at the lists!
Tapu Bulu GX/Lurantis GX
- 4 Fomantis
- 2 Lurantis GX
- 2 Lurantis Promo
- 3 Tapu Bulu GX
- 1 Shaymin EX
- 2 Tapu Lele GX
- 4 Professor Sycamore
- 3 N
- 2 Lysandre
- 1 Hex Maniac
- 1 Professor Kukui
- 1 Olympia
- 1 Pokemon Center Lady
- 1 Brigette
- 4 Ultra Ball
- 4 Max Elixir
- 3 VS Seeker
- 3 Choice Band
- 2 Field Blower
- 1 Super Rod
- 2 Float Stone
- 13 Grass Energy
3 Tapu Bulu GX
The star and main attacker of the deck. I explained in my card analysis above why I love this card so I will just go over the count here. Three feels like the correct amount for me since he is your main attacker and you want to be able to attack with him as soon as possible. Four is excessive with Super Rod and he isn’t the perfect starter for the deck so I don’t feel the extra copy is warranted. Two would be too low because of 1 could be prized and you may have both of them get knocked out or damaged within a single game.
2 Lurantis Promo/2 Lurantis GX/4 Fomantis
Lurantis Promo has the ability Sunny Day which provides +20 damage to grass and fire attackers. This ability also stacks which is simply amazing support for Tapu Bulu GX and Lurantis GX. It makes their average damage output a real threat and swings the advantage in most matchups. I went with two here because I think that’s the lowest amount you can get away with playing and three would be a tad excessive. I could see the third being included if you’re having trouble reaching for damage in a specific matchup but for right now I think two is enough.
Lurantis GX is our form of Energy recovery (after using discard all of them using Nature’s Judgement) and a strong secondary attacker. The drawback of Tapu Bulu’s Nature’s Judgment is it forces us to discard all of our Energy that we had gained from Max Elixir and attachments. This is where Lurantis GX’s Flower Supply comes into play as it allows us to get Energy back into play to be able to attack with Tapu Bulu GX. Lurantis GX also has Solar Blade for 120 damage which is a strong attack with the buffs from Choice Band and Lurantis Promo. You will be surprised at the effectiveness of Solar Blade with damage multipliers. Last but not least is the GX attack Chloroscythe GX, which can knockout basically any Pokemon in the game with the right amount of Energy and damage buffs.
Four Fomantis is to maximize getting out our Lurantis lines and the attack could play a small role in accelerating a Tapu Bulu GX on turn one.
2 Tapu Lele GX/1 Shaymin EX
Tapu Lele GX is the best card from Guardians Rising and is the best consistency card out in the game at the moment. Being able to search for whatever Supporter you need at the current moment is too good to pass up and something you want to play multiple copies of. For this specific build, the ideal opening would be to use Wonder Tag for Brigette on turn one, searching out multiple Fomantis or Tapu Bulu GX. During our Mid to Late game, we can search out any of our Supporters to help for specific situations. We can use Pokemon Center Lady to heal and take an extra hit, Olympia to heal and switch out of a tough situation, Professor Kukui to get that extra 20 damage to pick up a critical knockout, or Lysandre to bring up an important knockout to win the game. The final thing about Tapu Lele GX is it’s another strong Basic attacker. Energy Drive can put just about anything within range of getting 2HKO’d on the following turn. This format has a bunch of two shot exchanges and Energy Drive is one of the best at achieving this.
Shaymin EX is in here for the ability to reach for some cards you need for the current turn. I’ve faced many scenarios where I needed one more card to get a knockout or set up for the turn but all I could get is a Tapu Lele GX. If I were able to Ultra Ball for a Shaymin EX I could potentially draw three to six extra cards and hit the ideal turn I was looking for. Shaymin EX is indeed a liability but I still think it’s important to maintain the maximum consistency for each turn and Set Up allows us to do that.
4 Professor Sycamore/3 N/4 Ultra Ball/3 VS Seeker
These are the typical consistency cards of the current Standard format and are pretty much included in almost every deck. I went three N because I think it’s a good amount of opening turn consistency and I don’t think it’s necessary to go up to four. You could go up to four if you’re worried about Garbodor’s Trashalanche attack but that matchup is fine. Three VS Seeker is the right amount to play in this current game state and I don’t think you need forth right now.
Two Lysandre over three because you have a ton of damage output with the support Pokemon. You can knockout whatever threat is active and you don’t need to avoid them. I could see bumping up to three if Garbodor is giving you trouble but as of right now I think two is correct.
1 Pokemon Center Lady/1 Olympia/1 Professor Kukui/1 Brigette/1 Hex Maniac
These are my tech Supporters which I feel are extremely useful in this deck. We have a Pokemon Center Lady in here because of the plays you can set up with Lurantis GX. Lurantis GX has 210 HP and the effect to heal 30 damage with Solar Blade. You can get into situations where you hit for 170 to 190 damage and heal 90 damage with Solar Blade and Pokemon Center Lady. Olympia is my retreating crutch to help me get out of bad situations that might occur since the deck has heavy retreaters. I love this card and play it in just about everything. The 30 heal can come in the clutch and play a role with Solar Blade as well. Professor Kukui allows us to reach that extra damage to pick up a valuable knockout. Being able to knockout something that’s a threat can completely change a game compared to leaving it 10-20 damage short and alive. Brigette is our ideal turn one play from Wonder Tag and allows us to set up our deck and board. It’s a consistency crutch and becoming a staple in this format. The last card is Hex Maniac, which has importance based on the metagame. With the rise of Vikavolt’s Strong Charge, Metagross GX’s Geotech System, Volcanion EX’s Steam Up, Decidueye GX’s Feather Arrow it’s very important to stop their one turn of abilities to come away with a win.
4 Max Elixir
The four Max Elixir is one of the most important parts of the deck and the engine. Max Elixir allows us to support our Tapu Bulu GX from the very first turn of the game. Being able to power up a Tapu Bulu GX immediately gives us pressure and the early lead against most decks. It’s one of our main source of acceleration and something we are dependent on from the early stages of the game.
3 Choice Band/2 Float Stone
I decided to go with this Tool split because I think it’s important to be able to reach higher numbers with Choice Band. As I mentioned earlier, I think the potential flaw of this deck is the damage output and going three Choice Band allows us to fix that. Two Float Stone allows us to have some mobility along with our 1 Olympia because Tapu Bulu GX does have a three retreat cost.
2 Field Blower
Field Blower is an extremely strong card in this current format because of the threats it counters. Tools, Stadiums, and the ability Garbotoxin are incredibly strong in the current format. This is why I chose to play two Field Blower as it allows us to counter them. It can help us set up plays for knockouts because our opponent thought they shut off Sunny Day with Garbodor’s Garbotoxin. Clearing one of the many strong stadiums in the game that our opponent is trying to take advantage of, or removing a tool that helps them carry away with their plan of getting return knockouts is too good to pass up.
1 Super Rod
I picked Super Rod here because it has more synergy than Rescue Stretcher does in this deck. We can put grass energies back into the deck and increase our odds with Max Elixir. Super Rod and Rescue Stretcher are very similar but the synergy with Max Elixir is too hard to ignore in here.
13 Grass Energy
From my experiences with Darkrai EX, Max Elixir, and the Energy line. I’ve learned that 13 Energy is the ideal amount you want in a Max Elixir deck. You can certainly get away with 12 Energy and fit techs of your choice but if you want to maximize your consistency then 13 is the way to go. It’s too critical to hit your Max Elixirs in here that I wouldn’t cut an Energy for a tech spot.
I think Max Potion is an interesting inclusion to this deck but I’m not sure if it’s necessary. It sounds useful to be able to heal and reaccelerate to any attacker. However, I’m not sure how effective or important that would be towards matchups and gameplay. The idea of healing and tanking with this deck has a ton of potential and Max Potion could be the way to go. If I were to play it I would consider two copies to see it’s effectiveness.
Oricorio / Karen
Oricorio and Karen don’t really improve the deck or have synergy but they’re in here to make a close matchup better. It’s basically a counter to Vespiquen that saw a ton of success in Madison and an attempt to make that matchup favorable. If you’re worried about Vespiquen, I would probably try out Oricorio over Karen. The best way to utilize Oricorio is to force them to reach and overextend to get an important knockout with more Pokemon in their discard than they wanted to. After that, you follow up with a strong supernatural dance and that should swing the game state into your favor.
Sudowoodo is a fantastic card and has usefulness in just about every matchup. Limiting your opponent’s bench to four is insanely strong and will win you games. Getting into more specific matchups it hurts just about every Sky Field deck which could pose threats to Tapu Bulu GX and Sudowoodo would make those matchups extremely favorable. Sudowoodo also cripples decks that are very dependent on Shaymin EX’s Set Up like Decidueye Vileplume and Vespiquen Zoroark. I didn’t include it in my list as I wanted to aim for pure consistentcy and damage ouput.
Drampa GX Garb 60-40
Drampa Garbodor is a favorable matchup because we control the exchange more effectively. Drampa Garbodor doesn’t have an attacker to deal with Lurantis GX’s 210 HP. As long as you control the number of Trainers you play, you can get ahead on the exchanges by using Lurantis GX. When you’re ready, you can bring up your Tapu Bulu GX to one shot a Drampa GX and try to maintain the lead from there. You have two strong attackers who can knockout anything on their side of the field and they have no answer to a 210 HP Lurantis GX. The ways to misstep this matchup is allowing them to use Garbodor effectively by using too many Trainers or letting their Drampa GX get knockouts on your Tapu Bulu GX first. This should be preventable as long as you are cautious of it and take things slowly. It’s acceptable to use Max Elixir in this matchup as long as it lets you get a Tapu Bulu GX going to knockout a Drampa GX.
Espeon GX Garb 60-40
This matchup is going to be a bit similar to Drampa Garbodor because they’re variations of Garbodor. The important thing is Espeon GX has an annoying confusion attack in Psybeam and it has 200 HP. It’s a bit harder to knockout but still very doable with the buffs from Choice Band and the Sunny Day ability from Lurantis. You don’t want to use Lurantis GX in this matchup if they get out a Flareon AOR as they can easily pick up the knockout. As long as you play around it by not evolving into Lurantis GX, you can take the other measures necessary to win the matchup. We can play around confusion with Olympia and respond with Nature’s Judgment or Chloroscythe GX for the knockout on Espeon GX. Field Blower also helps us maintain our buff damage with Lurantis by removing Garbodor’s Garbotoxin from play. Lastly, just like the Drampa Garbodor matchup make sure to be cautious of a number of Trainers you play. As long as you control their Garbodor’s damage output you should be in control and ahead in the game.
Vespiquen Zoroark 30-70 (50-50 w/ Oricorio or Karen)
This is probably the hardest matchup for the deck but it’s definitely winnable if played correctly. The most popular Vespiquen variants will probably be running Flareon AOR which makes Lurantis GX a liability and not worth getting out early or at all. The game plan is to hope Tapu Bulu GX can put pressure as soon as possible to get quick knockouts and then pick up the final two to four prizes from EX and GX Pokemon to win the game. This is quite the task which is why it’s an unfavorable matchup.
Now if you include Oricorio or Karen into the list the matchup becomes a lot easier. Karen is pretty easy to use as you can search with Tapu Lele GX’s Wonder Tag or recycle with the help of VS Seeker. This will eventually wear them down and as long as you take care of Zoroark you will be fine. Oricorio is the harder one to use against a difficult opponent who tries to limit their discarded Pokemon. You want to force them to extend to get knockouts on Tapu Bulu GX which requires a good amount of Pokemon in the discard. From there you can play down Oricorio to either take two prizes or two attackers from the game. Either one of these plays will swing the tempo and momentum of the game into your favor.
Vikavolt Tapu Bulu GX 50-50
This matchup is essentially a Tapu Bulu GX exchange (war). Lurantis builds power up with Max Elixir or Flower Supply and Vikavolt is able to Strong Charge instantly. They have the edge of having easier access to getting their Energy in play but they’re still a stage two deck which could make them fall behind. They don’t really care about Energy as they can relentlessly discard Energy and swing for 180 damage. If you find yourself behind in this matchup trading Tapu Bulu GX, then you have to change it up by taking advantage of Lurantis GX and force them to have a Choice Band to get the knockout. The difference maker here to make the matchup winnable is being able to use Hex Maniac at key moments of the game. If you can loop or string together multiple Hex Maniacs you can run them out of Energy and force them to fail to respond to your attackers.
This is another matchup in which Hex Maniac is extremely important and Lurantis GX is a liability. Thankfully Tapu Bulu GX has no weakness to Fire but that still doesn’t fix this matchup. Losing out on our secondary attacker who is weak to fire is rough and it puts a lot of stress on chaining Tapu Bulu GX with Max Elixir and attachments. We do have Hex Maniac to slow them down and prevent return knockouts on Tapu Bulu GX. The ideal exchange would be able to get knockouts on Volcanion EX or Turtonator GX with a Hex Maniac. However, they will most likely control this exchange and only give up a regular Volcanion since you can’t Lysandre + Hex Maniac in the same turn. They should be able to control the matchup and that makes this one a tough one. The only hope is to rush them down with Tapu Bulu GX and get off well timed Hex Maniacs to win the matchup.
Metagross GX 55-45
A very interesting matchup is Metagross GX. Tapu Bulu GX certainly has the speed and early game pressure advantage whereas Metagross is spending time setting up and getting going. You can pick up some cheap prizes and take a small lead before they’re able to respond. The advantage of the Metagross player is they’re able to streamline attacks and attackers as efficiently as possible but they’re still capped at 180 damage with Choice Band. This means they can’t one shot a Lurantis GX and you could potential stagger the trade into your favor. The other thing Tapu Bulu GX has going for it is it’s possible to get the knockout on Metagross GX if you have two Lurantis Promo (or Professor Kukui) and a Choice Band. You can do a ridiculous amount of 250 damage with Nature’s Judgment and get a clean knockout on Metagross GX. The game plan is to pick up cheap knockouts while they’re setting up, get a Nature’s Judgment knockout and then find different ways with either Lurantis GX or Tapu Bulu GX to get the last prizes. A well timed Hex Maniac can also prove wonders in swinging the prize trade in your favor.
Decidueye Vileplume 60-40
Assuming you don’t go second to a turn one Vileplume this matchup is very manageable. Lurantis GX is a great attacker against Decidueye Vileplume because you can keep Energy in play and recover it under Trainer lock. Tapu Bulu GX provides a strong attacker to do 150 to 180 without buffs and if we manage to get the Lurantis Promo or Choice Bands out then even more! Being able to heal and accelerate under Trainer lock with Lurantis while still hitting for a good amount of damage puts a lot of pressure on the Decidueye Vileplume player. With the one turn of Items you will probably have, it’s important to be able to get Choice Bands and Max Elixirs down to help you exchange and play the two shot game more effectively than them. Decidueye focuses more on setting up their Trainer lock and Feather Arrow over actually winning the two shot war. We also have the many one-of Supporters which puts this matchup over the top like Hex Maniac, Pokemon Center Lady, Professor Kukui and Olympia.
That’s all for Tapu Bulu GX/Lurantis! This deck has a lot of potential with the strong early game from Max Elixir and Tapu Bulu GX. You also have an exceptional secondary option and attacker with Lurantis GX but that’s not even the best part of the deck. The problem with Lurantis GX before Guardians Rising were the numbers you were able to reach and that’s now fixed in my opinion. Lurantis Promo allows both Lurantis GX and Tapu Bulu GX to hit a crazy range of damage which makes it a solid contender in this format.
Tapu Bulu GX/Vikavolt
- 3 Grubbin
- 2 Charjabug
- 3 Vikavolt SUM
- 3 Tapu Bulu GX
- 1 Shaymin EX
- 2 Tapu Lele GX
- 3 Professor Sycamore
- 3 N
- 2 Lysandre
- 1 Olympia
- 1 Brock’s Grit
- 1 Teammates
- 1 Skyla
- 1 Brigette
- 4 Ultra Ball
- 3 Rare Candy
- 3 VS Seeker
- 3 Choice Band
- 2 Field Blower
- 2 Heavy Ball
- 2 Float Stone
- 1 Super Rod
- 1 Energy Recycler
- 7 Grass Energy
- 5 Lightning Energy
Note: Some of these are duplicates since these two decks are variants of Tapu Bulu GX so I didn’t want to be redundant and excluded the repeats.
3 Vikavolt SUM 2 Charjabug 3 Grubbin
This is the core and support of Tapu Bulu GX. Vikavolt’s Strong Charge is an overpowered ability that allows you to accelerate two Energy from the deck onto 2 or 1 Pokemon. This is absolutely ridiculous and creates tempo when paired with strong attackers like Tapu Bulu GX or Tapu Koko GX. The other advantage from Strong Charge is being able to recovery quickly via an ability. After you discard your Energy with Nature’s Judgment or if you were knockout last turn you can easily power up another attacker in an instant. I decided to go with a 3-2-3 Vikavolt line because of space and the importance of having more than one Vikavolt out. It’s perfectly fine to only have one out and it doesn’t affect your gameplan or matchups. Two Charjabug and three Grubbin are just enough with three Rare Candy. You could play more to boost consistency but I don’t believe it’s necessary.
3 Tapu Bulu GX
Tapu Bulu GX has a slightly different use in here in comparison to the Lurantis/Max Elixir build. Vikavolt’s Strong Charge lets you streamline much more effectively and at will. You can power up multiple Tapu Bulu GX and the recovery flows a lot more. Three is the correct count as it’s your main attacker and the one you want to power up with Strong Charge.
3 Professor Sycamore
I went three Professor Sycamore because I think it’s fine this format. We had a huge consistency boost from Tapu Lele GX and we can make cuts like this now. The main thing behind three Sycamore in this deck is you have a lot of combo pieces that you don’t want to discard. Odds are during the first turns of the game you’re going to want to N to keep the pieces in your deck over discarding them with Professor Sycamore.
1 Brigette/1 Olympia/1 Skyla/1 Brock’s Grit/1 Teammates
Turn one Brigette is our ideal Wonder Tag target and lets us search out Grubbins and potentially a Tapu Bulu GX. Olympia provides flexibility with switching and a reliable crutch in the discard pile. I love Skyla in stage two decks because if you don’t already have Rare Candy + Vikavolt then you possibly have at least one piece of the combo. Skyla can search out either Rare Candy or Heavy Ball to complete the combo and get you a turn two Vikavolt. Tapu Lele GX’s Wonder Tag makes Skyla easily accessible now and this allows us to have a consistent way at turn two Strong Charge.
I have one Teammates in here because it’s a very strong card if you’re able to get it out which we can now with Tapu Lele GX. It allows us to search out our combo or the pieces necessary to get the return knockout. One of the most satisfying plays it to get knocked out by your opponent on turn two and you’re able to teammates into Rare Candy + Vikavolt to get a turn two knockout.
The last Supporter is Brock’s Grit which is in here for Energy recovery. Strong Charge can burn through your energies very quickly and you can run out. Having searchable Energy recovery through Wonder Tag or VS Seeker is amazing and has lots of synergy in this deck. It also has the added bonus of being able to put back pieces of your Vikavolt line if you’re in a pinch.
3 Rare Candy
Rare Candy is in here to allow us to get a Turn two Vikavolt. We have a lot of combo pieces to search it out and make it consistent on turn two. I choose to play three over four because of space issues but I think three is a decent amount since we run 2 Charjabug.
2 Field Blower
Two Field Blower is necessary in here because of our dependence on abilities. We need Strong Charge to be able to stream attackers and put pressure. Garbodor’s Garbotoxin could be a huge problem and because of this, we need multiple Field Blowers to get in at least two uses of Strong Charge. Field Blower has other utilities as I mentioned before which makes it a great use of a card slot in this deck.
2 Heavy Ball
I love heavy ball in this deck! Any Pokemon search that straight up grabs your desired Pokemon is fantastic. It puts less strain on your hand size because Ultra Ball makes you discard and other forms of search have drawbacks. Heavy Ball in this deck has multiple targets such as Vikavolt, Charjabug and Tapu Bulu GX. This allows us to boost our consistency to improve our early game set up.
1 Energy Recycler 1 Super Rod
Energy Recycler and Super Rod are additional Energy recovery cards. Super Rod can get us Pokemon back so it’s a bit more versatile but Energy Recycler is arguably more important. Energy Recycler lets us have a Trainer out to get more Energy into the deck. There are situations where you need to get Energy back into the deck but at the same time play a crucial Supporter for the turn. This provides flexibility and an out to make this play work. The other niche play you can make is searching it out with Skyla. We have a lot of ways of chaining, from Trainers to Pokemon to Supporters and then back to Trainers which give us a ton of options!
7 Grass 5 Lightning
This is the most logical Energy line from my experience. Grass Energy is more important than Lightning Energy as you want to attack with Tapu Bulu GX. We have to maintain a decent balance because of Vikavolt’s Strong Charge requirement, which needs one grass and one Lightning per turn. The Lightning Energy does give us the option of attacking with Vikavolt and using Electro Cannon.
1 Alolan Vulpix
Beacon is an amazing attack and would be a nice consistency boost to the deck. While I don’t think it’s necessary it’s something you can consider if you’re having trouble setting up.
1 Tapu Koko GX
Tapu Koko GX is an interesting big basic attacker to include in this deck that already plays acceleration and Lightning Energy. Tapu Koko GX is another no weakness attacker that has a great ability in Aero Trail. Aero Trail allows you to power up Tapu Koko GX and move it to your active the moment you play it down during mid to late game. This play can let you change up the exchange and potentially get knockouts with the Tapu Thunder GX attack. I would really like to find room to fit it in here but once again I don’t think it’s completely necessary.
1 Hex Maniac
I put this in here as another tech option because of the shift to an ability reliant format. Hex Maniac can buy you critical turns to win games and matchups. It’s definitely worth considering.
1 Oricorio or Karen
I included this in here as it’s a solid counter against one of our hardest matchups. I explained how to use these correctly above in the Lurantis portion.
Drampa Garbodor 60-40
We don’t rely on many Trainers to set up and once we evolve into Vikavolt we can power up our Tapu Bulu GX army by using its ability. Tapu Bulu GX can one shot Drampa GX very easily and we can put faster pressure since we won’t be using our Trainers that much to allow Garbodor to be effective. The problems that could occur in this matchup is an aggressive Drampa GX to your slow start but we have a better recovery system if we do fall behind and get into an exchange. The other problem is Garbodor’s Garbotoxin ability but we have two Field Blowers and the opportunity to just Lysandre to knock it out. I think this is a favorable matchup as long as you manage your Trainers wisely and deal with Drampa GX correctly.
Espeon Garbodor 60-40
Much like the Drampa Garbodor matchup, you want to control the number of trainers you use and regulate their Garbodor’s Trashalanche attack. The difference for Espeon Garbodor is their ability to use Espeon GX to try to confuse you with Psybeam. As long as you play your Float Stones and Olympia correctly this should be no problem as you can retreat out of it and respond with a knockout. There last play to make is to try to lock you out of Strong Charge with Garbotoxin. Once again, we have the two Field Blowers to give us enough uses of Strong Charge to win the game through Tapu Bulu GX.
Vespiquen Zoroark 30-70
This matchup is difficult and similar to the Lurantis Bulu route. They trade an efficient one prize attacker to our two and can either get too far ahead or come from behind. The game plan is to be able to race them because they need to bench two prize EX or GX Pokemon to set up. It’s possible to get quick knockouts on Pokemon and then clean up by knocking out two GX or EX Pokemon to win the game. You can approach the same method I explained above in the Lurantis build. This is a matchup that you might consider teching in Oricorio or Karen to help bring it closer to a 50-50 and much more manageable.
This is a back and forth exchange matchup. It really comes down to opening draws and who can put on pressure first. Vikavolt Tapu Bulu GX has a more consistent recovery and immunity to N which can allow some crazy comebacks but Volcanion is a deck that can stream attacks forever as well. This matchup is about setting up faster than Volcanion and taking the prize lead early. From there you should be able to streamline Tapu Bulu and try to N to disrupt them. This is the typical one shot exchange of the format that can come down to luck off early game set up and draws off N. Hex Maniac is an interesting inclusion because you can Hex and knock out with Tapu Bulu GX which has 180 HP. This puts it out of range for Volcanion EX which could put you way ahead in the exchange assuming they don’t have a Turtonator GX + Choice Band response.
Metagross GX 40-60
These two decks are very similar being that they’re stage two, hit for 180~210 damage, and provide Energy acceleration. Vikavolt’s Strong Charge gains an additional Energy compared to Metagross GX’s Geotech System which gives it the slight edge in speed. Tapu Bulu GX can put an earlier one to two turn pressure on Metagross GX to start taking prizes. This is necessary to have a chance to win this matchup because if both decks set up at similar pace and speed then Metagross has a significant advantage. Metagross can do 180 damage and has built in recovery with multiple in play. The difference maker here is they have 250 HP and you can only do 210 damage. We will hit a wall and eventually fail to pick up the knockout on a Metagross GX while they can easily return knockout every turn. The best approach to this matchup is to win by early game pressure and speed. Follow it up with cleaning up their support Pokemon like Tapu Lele GX and Shaymin EX. It’s possible to race and potentially pick up two shot knockouts if they can’t hit their Choice Bands. The final key turn you can have is you can play Hex Maniac to prevent them from having the response which can help bring the prize trade into your favor.
Decidueye Vileplume 45-55
Vileplume’s Trainer lock can be quite disruptive to this build of Tapu Bulu GX. Feather Arrow is also quite annoying when you aren’t healing or able to one shot a 240 HP GX Pokemon. Vikavolt can still power up some turn two or three pressure with Tapu Bulu GX or Tapu Lele GX and overwhelm the Decidueye player. We can flood the board with Energy and play a two shot war that can eventually beat their clunky board. In this matchup, your game plan is to pick up some two shot knockouts and trade more efficiently since you will double their amount of Energy in play. This is an unfavorable matchup because of the disruption to our engine and Decidueye GX’s Feather Arrow damage consuming our board.
That’s all folks! Tapu Bulu GX has a ton of support in the format right now that gives us many ways to take advantage of this powerful GX Pokemon. I believe we will certainly find a contender for this current format through some form of acceleration with Tapu Bulu GX whether it be through Max Elixir, Lurantis GX’s Flower Supply or Vikavolt’s Strong Charge. The support it has is very strong and gives this card some crazy potential for the upcoming major events. I believe both versions of this deck that I posted are extremely powerful and viable to play in this current Standard format. Thanks for taking the time to read my first article and I’m grateful to have this opportunity to write for Some1sPC!