What's good with it Some1sPC readers? The time has finally come... the era of Guardians Rising! I'm hyped to discuss all the new decks and strategies that will benefit from the release of this set and the diverse meta we should expect for Seattle and Madison Regionals. For now, the team is grinding out testing sessions and ideas on what to play so there will plenty of articles coming out with constant updates due to any new data we collect during practice. I wanted to start off our Guardians Rising articles with the most anticipated deck of the format, Tapu Lele/Garbodor. Let's get into it.
I.Tapu Lele/Garbodor/Tauros GX
V.Tapu Lele/Drampa GX/Tauros GX
It should be no surprise to any competitive players that Tapu Lele GX is going to change the format in some fashion. It's ability, Wonder Tag, allows the player to search their deck for a Supporter card and put it in their hand, when they play Tapu Lele from their hand to their bench, and it is something that the Standard Format has needed for some time. I feel as though the consistency in games has been a bit off, due to the high number of dead hand each deck is capable of drawing. I've witnessed far too many "draw pass" games throughout multiple tournaments to think that the current format is fine the way it is. For the most part, 1 player draws well while the other starts out slow and ultimately has to hope to N an opponent into a dead hand and make a comeback. While this isn't completely unhealthy, it makes for some rather non-interactive and boring game play. I'm hoping Wonder Tag will give the format the consistency it's needed, instead of Shaymin EX which sometimes turns into "I hope this setup for 4 gets me a Draw Supporter."
With its amazing ability out of the way, I wanted to talk about what makes a high number of Tapu Lele GX and Garbodor great in this deck together. Let's look at its first attack, Energy Drive.
Energy Drive 2 Colorless
This attack does 20 damage times the amount of Energy attached to both Active Pokémon. This damage isn't affected by Weakness or Resistance.
At first look, this attack looks insane. You get the benefits of Lele's Wonder Tag, coupled with the strength of Mewtwo EX's X-Ball to create an overall amazing Pokémon. Energy Drive lets us push decks that need to over commit Energy to a single attacker while only needing a single energy attachment. The best thing about this attack is its limitation of being unaffected by Weakness or Resistance. This keeps the format from turning into a mayhem of Tapu Lele wars. Combined with Garbodor, this decks is able to output solid 2HKO scenarios on a consistent basis. Let's look at its GX attack.
Tapu Cure GX 1 Psychic
Heal all damage from 2 of your Benched Pokémon.
Tapu Cure GX is being overlooked by a majority of the player base. I believe it's because a high number of the current Standard Format decks aim to OHKO an opponent instead of working on 2HKOs, or rather focus on a control based deck where an opponent burning an attack to heal 2 Benched Pokémon doesn't change their game plan too much. While Tapu Cure GX doesn't completely break the game state, I believe in the future healing 2 of your damaged Benched Pokémon can be the turning point in a game where each player needs to 2HKO or 3HKO the opposing Pokémon. Considering how Garbodor should slow down the speed of the format, I think we'll eventually reach a state in the meta where Tapu Cure GX is going to be a nice win condition. For now, I'd say this attack is good but not great.
Tapu Lele GX should sculpt the meta quite a bit. Having no Weakness certainly brings a nice flavor to the game so many decks that are focused on taking quick prizes off OHKOs will have a problem KO'ing it since they can't deal double damage against it. This means every deck in the format can play it without being punished too heavily. Let's move onto the best attacker coming out of Guardians Rising, Garbodor.
I'm going to put this frankly, Garbodor is busted. Its attack, Trashalanche, is going to sculpt the meta in an aggressively healthy way. If you don't know, Trashalanche does 20 damage for each Item Card in your opponent's discard pile for a single Psychic Energy. Some may think "Okay, so just don't play your items and you're fine." The problem with this logic lies in our current fashion of deck building. Most decks play 4 Ultra Ball, 4 VS Seeker, 3 Trainers' Mail, 3 Float Stone, ETC. We got Items for days! Can you consistently avoid playing that many throughout a game or even avoid discarding them through Professor Sycamore? I believe that definitely won't happen, so the solution will be found in adapting our deck building habits around Trashalanche and further pushing the meta to a slower game state. I'd love for this to happen. I think it's going to bring our game into a great spot where Max Elixir and the speed of a player's opening hand will not dictate the entire game. I don't want to go too much into Acid Spray as it's not nearly as impactful as Trashalanche and I think it's a nice backup attack if your opponent was able to keep their discard pile free of items.
Tapu Lele GX/Tauros GX/Garbodor
- 4 Trubbish
- 4 Garbodor
- 3 Tapu Lele GX
- 2 Tauros GX
- 1 Wobbuffet
- 1 Tapu Koko (Hoopa STS until it's legal)
- 1 Shaymin EX
- 4 Professor Sycamore
- 3 N
- 2 Lysandre
- 2 Hex Maniac
- 1 Professor Kukui
- 1 Ninja Boy
- 1 Olympia
- 1 Pokemon Fan Club
- 4 Ultra Ball
- 4 VS Seeker
- 3 Choice Band
- 3 Float Stone
- 2 Field Blower
- 1 Super Rod
- 1 Rescue Stretcher
- 7 Psychic Energy
- 4 Double Colorless Energy
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