Hey Some1sPC Readers! I’m back with a short article update on my testing for London Internationals. So far, I’ve been grinding a bunch of games with Gardevoir, Zoroark/Buzzwole/Alolan Muk, Crabominable, and this new Gengar/Buzzwole deck that my friend Johnny Rabus is working on. I’ll be posting my testing lists for Crabominable and Gardevoir below then updating my Buzzwole GX article with my latest list. The Gengar deck may drop sometime this weekend after I brainstorm a for hours more with Johnny on how seriously I want to take the deck and whether or not I can get it to consistently beat Garbodor. First, I wanted to get a few thoughts on the format and how I think London will shape up. Let’s get started!

Gardevoir

It’s no secret that Gardevoir is going to be the deck to beat going into London Internationals. As the meta has slowly evolved, I think the build that includes Parallel City, Sylveon, and some sort of healing (2 Max Potion or 1 Acerola) will be the most popular in the meta. Along with this, the hype of Buzzwole, Ninetales GX/Zoroark GX, and presence of Latios SHG/Tapu Koko will provoke extremely safe Gardevoir players to include Mr.Mime.  While it is certainly a “win-more” card for the deck, I’ve been trying to include it in my testing as playing decks that spread vs a Mr.Mime is completely different than playing against one that doesn’t have it. I honestly think it’s worth it to play Mr.Mime going into next weekend as getting free wins vs spread matchups is certainly a plus in big events/ League Cups. Now to finish up on Gardevoir, there is one reason I wouldn’t take this deck into a major event. The mirror match. I absolutely hate it. I think in a game against 2 high caliber players may be skillful at times where both players are able to establish their early setup but if one player falls behind and gets their Remoraid/Octillery Guzma’d, it can slowly snowball out of their control. Playing a higher count of Field Blower, Max Potion, and Parallel City can certainly swing things into your favor but only in times when the early game is somewhat even. If you can’t seem to get a critical Ralts onto the bench during the mid-game exchanges after you’ve gained a lead, you pretty much lose the game. I’m still unsure if I’m willing to take this gamble with a deck that takes so long to setup and could potentially tie a lot due to a simple dead draw during Game 1. Either way, if I went to London tomorrow, here’s what my Gardevoir list would look like give or take a few tech cards mentioned above.

Gardevoir

Pokemon (18)

  • 4 Ralts
  • 2 Kirlia
  • 3 Gardevoir GX
  • 1 Gallade BKT
  • 1 Eevee
  • 1 Sylveon
  • 1 Mr.Mime
  • 3 Tapu Lele GX
  • 1 Remoraid
  • 1 Octillery

Trainers (30)

  • 4 Professor Sycamore
  • 4 N
  • 3 Guzma
  • 1 Brigette
  • 1 Acerola
  • 4 Ultra Ball
  • 4 Rare Candy
  • 1 Float Stone
  • 2 Choice Band
  • 1 Super Rod
  • 2 Max Potion
  • 2 Field Blower
  • 1 Parallel City

Energy (12)

  • 8 Fairy Energy
  • 4 Double Colorless Energy

One last thing I wanted to mention about Gardevoir is the possible inclusion of Miltank from Crimson Invasion. It’s ability Moo Moo Ale can be absolutely devastating in the mirror match with the proper build. You can push your Float Stone count to 2 or 3 and up your Guzma count to 4 and get off some hilarious Moo Moo Ale turns. Ideally, you get them to poke your Gardevoir or Ralts for minimal damage. You can Guzma up a bench sitter or threat, promote Miltank, manually attach for the turn to 1 Pokemon activating Moo Moo Ale, then Secret Spring to another Pokemon to proc Moo Moo Ale on that one and finally retreat to the proper attacker for the scenario. You might be able to find cute turns to attack with its Sitdown Splash but this is going to be his primary purpose in the deck.

 

Crabominable

I came across this video on Virbank City recently and after discussing the deck with Kenny Britton a few times, I decided to give it some serious testing in the last few days. I reached out to Brian Ortiz, a Crabdominable player from California, who has been topping a few League Cups over the past 3 months finally bringing home a win 3 weeks ago with his most recent build in the video for a bit of advice and how the deck functioned going into London. I always wrote the deck off as a joke or underwhelming until I noticed he beat some of the Some1sPC players in his recent run to win his League Cup while they were piloting Garbodor variants (which normally destroy Crabdominable according to my initial thinking). The deck is basically a watered-down version of the 2015 Donphan deck which used Spinning Turn to slowly grind away at opposing 2 Prize Pokemon. You make as many Crabominable as you can, play a few Rescue Stretcher, then rush out the opponent with sheer aggression. Here’s a look at the list I’ve been testing after talking a bit with Brian.

Crabominable

Pokemon (17)

  • 4 Crawbawler
  • 4 Crabominable
  • 2 Regirock EX
  • 1 Hoopa STS
  • 1 Buzzwole GX
  • 1 Sudowoodo BKP 67
  • 2 Tapu Lele GX
  • 1 Oranguru

Trainers (35)

  • 4 Professor Sycamore
  • 4 N
  • 4 Guzma
  • 2 Acerola
  • 4 Ultra Ball
  • 4 Choice Band
  • 2 Float Stone
  • 1 Switch
  • 2 Rescue Stretcher
  • 2 Field Blower
  • 1 Super Rod
  • 1 Max Potion
  • 3 Brooklet Hill

Energy (10)

  • 6 Fighting Energy
  • 4 Strong Energy

Card Selections

Brian does an amazing job going over his card explanations in the video so I’d definitely give that a watch if you’re interested in the deck. I’ll go over some key points below.

4-4 Crabominable

This is key to the deck. We want to spam as many of these are possible. You’ll also have turns where you need to Gutsy Hammer and sacrifice your attacking crab in order to take the important KO. When this happens we want at least 2 crabs on the bench as a backup. Gutsy Hammer is going to be the main attack we utilize but you’ll occasionally find yourself using Double Stomp to go for OHKO’s in dire situations. Hitting 1 heads and netting the extra 40 damage can make or break a game.

2 Regirock EX

Similar to the matchup with Buzzwole, we want Regirock EX to hit critical OHKO numbers against the meta. A Gutsy Hammer with a Strong Energy and 2 Regirock EX lets you OHKO a Garbodor GRI which is key. Strong Energy on Buzzwole with a Regirock EX allows you to turn 1 60 an active Basic Pokemon. They also help bolster your Sudoowodo numbers which is an amazing option to OHKO Gardevoir after they hit you with an Infinite Force.

1 Hoopa STS/1 Buzzwole GX

Both of these Pokemon are included to spread damage early so you can work in clean KO’s off a single Gutsy Hammer. Hoopa STS, in particular, is necessary for it’s 130 HP which is just under Golisopod’s First Impression and makes for awkward numbers for an opponent to hit considering they can’t get any value out of Choice Band against it. Because of this, it often can get at least 2 attacks off being going down putting a solid 40 damage down against cards we want to KO with a single Gutsy Hammer. Note that it can hit for weakness against Psychic Pokemon so hitting an Espeon GX with it plus a Choice Band is critical in this matchup.

Buzzwole was a recent addition I added so we can get an early 30/40/60 spread out to the active and a 30 on a bench to once again help our Gutsy Hammers numbers. He plays a small role during the Mid to Late game exchange where you can Guzma back a Crab then KO the opposing active that was hit with a Gutsy Hammer off the 30 bench poke. This doesn’t happen too often but when it does and you follow up with an Acerola on Buzzwole, the game just tends to snowball out of an opponent’s control.

1 Sudowoodo BKP 67

Sudowoodo is both a deterrent and amazing revenge attacker in the current meta. Its attack Watch and Learn is critical to succeed in games where your opponent has an amazing opening and you’re struggling to keep up with Mid game exchanges. Basically, you want to get a Crab to get a Gutsy Hammer against the opponent and attaching an Energy to Sudowoodo in the same turn. They’re not left with the option of using a Guzma to get the Sudowoodo and dedicate Energy to KO him or just take out a Crab and getting KO’d by Sudowoodo in response. I’m usually just copying Trashalanche, Psychic, Infinite Force, and First Impression with this attack so partnering it with Strong Energy, Choice Band, and Regirock EX helps us reach OHKO numbers that our opponent is either not expecting or forced to just accept that it’s going to happen. We also play a thick line of Rescue Stretcher and Super Rod to fetch this back whenever they take the Guzma/KO option essentially buying us a free turn to Gutsy Hammer for no damage.

4 Guzma/2 Acerola/2 Switch/2 Float Stone

As you notice, Gutsy Hammer has this awkward drawback where you deal damage to yourself based on the amount of damage you already have on you. This deck needs multiple Switch options to play around this drawback and as a way to rush down our opponent. Sometimes you’ll open up Regirock EX or Buzzwole GX and need to move it ASAP to start rushing down the opponent so we need to hit a switch card early to get going. 2 Acerola lets us heal the early game spreaders as well as pick up our Strong Energy on damaged Crabominable and are insanely clutch during our Mid Game exchanges.

Tech Options

1-1 Octillery

Since we already play Brooklet Hill we can drop out an Oranguru and probably a Max Potion to play a 1-1 Octillery which will bolster our Mid Game draw. I tested this concept out and couldn’t decide between the 2 so I went with Oranguru for the consistency of not having to burn an Ultra Ball to evolve then draw.

1-1 Lycanroc GX

We don’t have a GX attack in this deck so we can play a 1-1 Lycanroc GX to get the Bloodthirsty Eyes ability and use it to attack with Dangerous Rogue GX. This usually OHKOs any opposing attacker as the meta is full of decks that require a huge bench setup to function properly. Strong Energy, Choice Band, and Regirock EX also add to help out against extremely high HP GX attackers and could single-handedly win the game. I choose not to include it in the main list as I haven’t worked out exactly what to cut from the deck yet for its 2 spots. I really enjoy having the consistent 4 counts of the rush cards.

Matchups

Gardevoir 55/45

This matchup really comes down to how fast you can race their early game Ralts and how much healing Gardevoir has. I usually go for quick Guzma KO’s against any Ralts on the bench then go for 2HKOs against Gardevoir. They need 4 Energy to OHKO you which is extremely frustrating for them to get after you consistently string Crabdominable into play. Parallel City hurts badly if they stick one on you and you can’t seem to find your Brooklet Hill or Field Blower. What I found is that it’s best if they take a route to make Sylveon GX and Gallade + Octillery to poke down your Crabominable without you OHKOing it in return. You can thwart this via Hoopa STS or Buzzwole or even hitting a nicely timed Acerola but it’s frustrating to accomplish this without our own Octillery line. If you notice your opponent is struggling with their hand, using an early Guzma to take out their Remoraid is a fantastic play and usually finishes them during the Mid game exchange as they can’t stringing consistent KO’s against our Crab. I still haven’t figured out the given scenarios when its worth it to take out the Remoraid or Ralts during the early game yet so I’ll try to update this once I get in at least 10+ more games against the deck.

Drampa/Garbodor 55/45

While we may be weak to Psychic, we don’t need to play a ton of items during the early game to fight our opponent. The worst part would be a turn 2 Garbodor using Acid Spray to take a KO on our Crab without us having 2 more Crab on the bench. You should be able to play around strategy in the early game by keeping a Regirock EX or Tapu Lele active to absorb a hit before you start swinging at them with Gutsy Hammer. Lucky for us, more and more Garbodor decks are cutting down on their Trashalanche Garbodor count so we get more value out of them playing 2 Garbodor Garbotoxin since they can’t OHKO us with much else. You may think, “well the Garbotoxin shuts off your Regirock EX so you can’t OHKO the Trashalanche Garbodor that easily”, but after some testing, I noticed that Rainbow Energy and Po Town actually hurt them quite a bit in this matchup. If they want to Po Town and to proc Drampa GX or hurt our Crabominable, they end up getting OHKO’d off a Strong Energy Gutsy Hammer which is extremely easy for us to get going. As I mentioned earlier, if they got the Espeon GX route then 2HKO it with 2 Crab or use Hoopa + Choice Band to smack it for 100 and a 20 spread to a bench. This actually works a bit in our favor for a solid 1 for 2 tradeoff plus we take away 1 of their critical Double Colorless Energy in the matchup. Try not to evolve your Crabominable under Po Town as it is quite important for us to not take any damage before using Gutsy Hammer as it can set up some quick KO’s for them to get with Energy Drive.

Golisopod/Garbodor 45/55

Hoopa STS is the hero of this matchup as it can spread damage to Wimpod and Trubbish during the early game so we can sweep with Gutsy Hammer late. I think Golisopod is quite clunky and people may be opting to play the Zoroark version now which is immensely easy for this deck to handle but if you are playing against the Garbodor version then keep spreading damage until Hoopa STS goes down and just trade your Crab with their bench Pokemon as early as possible. Just keep using Guzma on Wimpod, Trubbish, and Garbodor until you get to the game state where they’re forced to First Impression a Crab and have no option to Acerola and First Impression again. This is why 4 Guzma is so critical for the deck to have, you want to race resources and make them hate the fact that you’re hitting for heavy damage early with a 1 prize attacker.

Alolan Ninetales GX/Zoroark GX 50/50

This matchup is extremely close considering we can hit Zoroark GX for weakness because of Ninetales ability to hit our bench as well as Ice Path GX which basically takes away one of our attacks. As always, rush down any Alolan Vulpix ASAP then start poking away at Ninetales GX when possible. They can OHKO us with Blizzard Edge but in doing so they can lose a Double Colorless Energy or multiple Aqua Patch which means we’re looking to just throw 2 Gutsy Hammers at it or use Sudowoodo with Choice Band and Strong Energy to OHKO it. If they evolve under their own Po Town then we can spread with Buzzwole GX or Hoopa STS to setup for an OHKO off Gutsy Hammer backed with Regirock EX, Strong Energy, and Choice Band. Overall, Po Town and Espeon EX make this matchup close and the bench poking during the early game from Ice Blade. Our Acerola and Max Potion are critical here to keeping their devolve option and Ice Path GX from destroying us.

Conclusion

London is going to be absolutely insane. I think we’re going to see a high number of Gardevoir, Garbodor/Espeon/Drampa, and Zoroark decks come out on top with a few rogues like Darkrai, Metagross, and Ninetales making a big splash. With Australian Internationals so close and top 16 in almost everyone’s grasp, I don’t expect many top players to take big risks this event. You’ll see a high number of Gardevoir decks and potentially Counter Energy + Cobalion teched into a few decks to make up for some difficult Gardevoir match ups. Overall, I expect Gardevoir to win with Garbodor taking up a majority of the spots in top cut. I want Crabominable to work and I think with a bit more time to grind out the list and how the matchups play-out with the current meta tech, I might pull the trigger on playing it for London. Thanks again for always supporting Some1sPC and see you guys soon!

 

-Russ