Following the Collinsville Regional Championship, many players were disappointed with the lack of change in the decks that performed well. At the beginning of a new format, older, more consistent decks tend to have a good showing. This trend was more profound in Collinsville because most of the best players had been testing for Dallas or the International Championship in Australia rather than trying to innovate new decks.
In my last article, I wrote about two pet decks that I thought showed promise with their new tools from Ultra Prism, Metagross GX, and Lapras GX. Lapras would have been a bust in Collinsville as Lapras’s auto loss, Golisipod Zoroark, stole the show. In retrospect, I think Ho-oh GX has become a better version of Lapras anyway. Metagross with Dusk Mane Necrozma, I believe, could have performed decently if it had been widely played. Its matchup with Zoroark Golisipod is pretty close to 50-50, and with max potions or mime, Buzz can be handled as well. In my article before that, I wrote about Glaceon GX and some of its potential partners. I wrote most extensively about Lapras GX, and it was very exciting to see Glaceon Lapras do well (I have no idea if Wamboldt read the article or not, and his list was significantly different)!
Today, rather than talking about a pet deck, I want to try to approach a very popular archetype from a different angle. Of the top tier decks, Buzzwole GX is the most interesting to me. While I would take one of the higher performing versions to a regional if it were happening tomorrow, I think this approach is very fun and has some merit.
Rather than focusing on the big second attack, this version focuses on the first attack. It only looks to use its second attack once per game. This version is really fun, and it uses Max Potion to trade while two shotting most relevant things in the format.
Here is the list:
- 4 Buzzwole GX
- 4 Regirock EX
- 2 Remoraid
- 2 Octillery
- 1 Tapu Lele-GX
- 4 Guzma
- 2 N
- 3 Professor Sycamore
- 3 Cynthia
- 4 Ultra Ball
- 4 Max Elixir
- 4 Choice Band
- 4 Float Stone
- 2 Max Potion
- 1 Enhanced Hammer
- 1 Field Blower
- 1 Special Charge
- 3 Brooklet Hill
- 4 Strong Energy
- 7 Fighting Energy
I originally played the list with more Max Potions and an Acerola, but there were too many decks that are one shotting, rendering those cards useless. I decided to drop them to make way for Elixirs. The games I lost could have been won had I been able to use Knuckle Impact.
With this list, it is very easy to fill your bench with Regirocks. You usually don’t need Lele GX at all, so you can easily get at least three Regirock out every game. This allows for you to make some sweet math early on. It is very conceivable that you will hit for 100+ on your first turn, for one energy, not to mention the bench damage. OHKOing Zoroark GX for a single energy is also an obvious plus. 70 HP basics, like Wimpod and Trubbish, are easily KOd with a Strong Energy and two Regirock. With four Guzma, and a focus on taking out Trubbish, it is not hard to mitigate Garbotoxin, even with only one Field Blower.
Against Golisipod Zoroark, it will feel like a game of Hide and Seek. You have to take out their Wimpods, but at the same time, once you have a couple prizes, you can OHKO their Zoroarks. On the other hand, a single Golisipod can OHKO multiple Regirock. It is an extremely volatile matchup, and it is not one that I hope to face. Obviously, that presents a problem for the deck’s current viability. That said, a Zoroark deck that is afraid to evolve Zoroark is going to have a hard time.
Garbodor variants don’t have an easy time with the deck either. You just put on so much pressure so early. Yes, you are weak to Psychic, but you don’t need to use items, almost at all. The last time I played the matchup, my opponent used Trashalance on their final turn for 40 damage. You need to focus on the Trubbish as much as possible. You can limit them to only one Garbodor and then they have to choose which to use. Either way, a couple bench hits followed by a Guzma will make quick work of the filth.
Gardevior is a scary matchup, but it is quite winnable as well. If they stumble, even just for a single turn, they will lose three Ralts. It is not hard to knock out a single Gardevoir. However, if they get a couple set up, they can out heal you.
In this matchup, you usually have to limit your Regirock count to two. This just means you will be using your bench damage to set up a knockout later. Mewtwo or Sudowoodo don’t bother you in this matchup like they bother a normal Buzzwole.
You lose. They resist you, so you have to three shot them while they one shot you.
This basically comes down to how many more Elixir they hit than you. If they hit multiple early Elixirs and you don’t, you will lose. If you whiff significantly more than they do, you will lose. If neither player hits more than one early (or if you both hit a couple), you have a really good shot since you should two shot them with Jet Punch. Enhanced Hammer can also come in clutch.
Volcanion can really go either way. I have only tested it a few times, but I won the majority of my matchups. Volcanion tends to have to reset regularly, so you get a few extra punches in. If they are playing a more traditional, speed Volcanion list with Dawn Wings Necrozma, it turns into a Ho-oh situation, and you will probably lose. The good news is they don’t resist you and they don’t have Kiawe, so I am saying, there’s a chance.
Vika Bulu is very winnable. Normally, I am not an advocate for taking out the Vikavolts, but in this matchup, it is often your best route. Well, maybe I should say Grubbin. You can keep using Guzma to take them out. This has become easier because of the popularity of KicaBulu, which runs 0 Brigette. Yes, Tapu Bulu GX can Guzma to OHKO your Regirock without discarding, but if they do that, you can usually respond with a Knuckle Impact.
While this list isn’t one I am planning to take to a regional, I have a lot of fun with it. It is definitely something I might try at a local League Cup once I have earned my two finishes for the quarter. Thanks for reading, and I hope you find the list as fun as I do.