What’s going on Some1sPC readers? I’m back again to bring you an article on a fairly hyped deck for the upcoming World Championships, Gardevoir GX. I understand a majority of our readers won’t see much benefit from this article’s decklist, matchups, and my meta-analysis for worlds so I wanted to start by giving a brief write-up on my anticipated rotation and how I would approach testing going into the first circuit of Regionals in September. Let’s just jump into it!

Ushering in the Rotation

It’s a weird time for the world of competitive Pokemon TCG. Players who are qualified for worlds are printing Burning Shadow Proxies and running through a slew of ideas to try and take home that sweet $25k. Players who didn’t qualify are either debating if they’ll return to play next year, go hard at their invite next season, or will continue to play just for their love of the game and see the World’s invite as a cherry on top of this fun hobby. Assuming you want to get a head start on training for next season, I recommend testing new concepts from Burning Shadows under the assumption that we’re competing in a format BKT-ON starting in September. Thankfully, we’re losing a few cards that I think are currently toxic for the game namely VS Seeker and Forest of Giant Plants so I have incredibly high hopes for next year’s format. As far as testing for next year’s meta, I’d try to focus primarily on Alolan Ninetales, Metagross, Greninja, Gardevoir GX, and Darkrai EX, in no particular order.

Gardevoir GX

Now let’s get into what I believe will be the deck to beat at World’s 2017, Gardevoir GX. Gardevoir GX feels like a new, and more consistent, M Mewtwo EX deck that can also take on Garbodor GRI with ease. Let’s breakdown Gardevoir GX and why it has such outstanding potential.

Gardevoir-GX – Fairy – HP230
Stage 2
Ability: Fountain of Secrets
Once during your turn (before you attack) you may attach 1 [Fairy] Energy from your hand to 1 of your Pokemon.

Right off the bat, we can highlight some key components that make Gardevoir a solid card. It’s a stage 2, 230 HP Fairy Pokemon which is insanely tanky when compared with the current damage output of the format. The great thing about this huge HP Stage 2 Pokemon is that it’s only really threatened by its weakness, which only exists in this format in the form of Metagross GX. Since the threat of being OHKO’d is limited to really only one match up, we can take advantage of Gardevoir GX’s high HP in many ways such as retreating and forcing them to 2HKO it, removing damage with Pokemon Center Lady or Fairy Drop, or just having it sit on the bench and forcing them to Lysandre or Guzma it out twice to take a single KO.

Fountain of Secrets may seem like the best reason to play Gardevoir GX but it’s basically a luxury on top of Gardevoir’s already insane attack, Infinite Force. Note that Fountain of Secrets can attach a Fairy Energy from your hand to any Pokemon, Fairy type or not. This means you can use it to pump up Tapu Lele or Shaymin EX on your board to switch up your route of attacking.

[Fairy] Infinite Force: 30x damage. This attack does 30 damage times the amount of Energy attached to both Active Pokemon.

This ridiculous attack makes Gardevoir GX one of the contenders for Best Deck in Format. With M-Mewtwo EX we needed to have a Double Colorless Energy on it to attack or usually have a Psychic Energy then Mega Turbo to it, but Gardevoir just comes out swinging with a single Energy attachment. This attack can even come through a single Fountain of Secrets alone, so you can attach an Energy for the turn, play your supporter to get your Gardevoir pieces then evolve and Fountain of Secrets and attack. It’s impressive to see the deck flow once you get 2 Gardevoir GX on board.

[Fairy] Twilight-GX: Search your discard pile for 10 cards, show them to your opponent, and shuffle them back into your deck. (You can only use one GX attack per game.)

There’s not much to say about this attack besides it being an anti-Trashalanche. I haven’t used it in many matchups or at all during testing outside of Garbodor matchups. The attack is incredibly good, but I just don’t find the time to shuffle cards back when I’d rather be kicking down the opposing Pokemon with Infinite Force.

The Decklist

Gardevoir

Pokemon (16)

  • 4 Ralts
  • 2 Kirlia
  • 3 Gardevoir GX
  • 1 Gallade BKT
  • 1 Diancie BUS
  • 1 Oranguru
  • 1 Mr.Mime
  • 2 Tapu Lele GX
  • 1 Turtonator GX

Trainers (36)

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

Energy (12)

  • 8 Fairy Energy
  • 4 Double Colorless Energy

Here is the latest list I won my League Cup with. I’ll go over a few key choices.

Mr. Mime

I think the meta has pushed itself to the point where almost every top tier deck minus Gardevoir is reliant on Tapu Koko or Alolan Ninetales GX’s bench damage to take quick KO’s against Gardevoir. In order to counter this and any Weavile variants out there, I will always play a copy of Mr.Mime in my evolution lists. This card inclusion won my entire top cut against Golisopod, Weavile/Golisopod, and Alolan Ninetales GX. My opponent’s never got a chance to spread massive damage with Tapu Koko. I’d remove any early damage with Acerola/Max Potion forcing to take 2HKOs or 3HKOs against my Gardevoir GX. I think every Gardevoir list should be playing this card.

Turtonator GX

Yup! There’s only 1 copy of this card. As much hype as this variant has been getting, all I really did was toss in a Turtonator GX for the Golisopod/Metagross matchup alongside some healing cards to have some favorable trades. The goal with this card is to Shell Trap them with a Mr.Mime on the bench. To reach the numbers you want you can hit their Golisopod GX or Wimpod for some critical damage. You’ll also be forcing them to take 80 from Shell Trap then you can either Acerola Turtonator GX or retreat him and heal with Max Potion then KO them with Gardevoir GX. Since you have Mr.Mime down, Gardevoir should be free of any damage unless you got hit by a Po Town but they’ll still have no route to OHKO Gardevoir GX letting you snowball it into a win.

Oranguru

I didn’t like this card at first but after playing through a League Cup with it, I’ll 100% include it in my lists instead of Octillery. I found myself in scenarios where I would have an Ultra Ball or Tapu Lele for a turn 1 Brigette but have either no Energy or 2nd Draw Supporter to keep my progression. I’d pull up Oranguru via Brigette alongside 2 Ralts then attach my Choice Band, Float Stone, etc in my hand and draw into my Supporters or Energy that way. I feel like the extra spot I get from not playing the 1-1 line of Octillery can got correctly utilized towards Turtonator GX and Acerola. Lastly, Oranguru can OHKO an Alolan Ninetales which is problematic for this deck if you prize Gallade.

Tech Options 

1-1 Sylveon

Over the past few weekends, Gardevoir lists have been winning and topping left and right. Most are playing a 1-1 or 2-2 line of Sylveon for the early setup of Magical Ribbon and game-changing Plea GXs. I’m testing out if I want to add a 1-1 line into this list to help with the mirror match as having a single Sylveon GX use Plea GX in the mirror is game breaking. What I struggle to find is the space to fit this in while still including my Max Potion, Acerola, and Turtonator GX.

1 Clefairy EVO

Tapu Bulu has been on the rise in the Midwest and North, Golisopod Gabodor recently won a European Regionals so we might see a rise in Ho-oh Salazzle Decks, and Clefairy’s Metronome is insane in the mirror match. All these elements make up the perfect reason to include a copy of Clefairy to take favorable trades against 2 prize attackers but again the issue will be finding the space to play one. I may end up not playing the Sylveon GX line and playing a copy of Clefairy to copy a Plea in the mirror.

1-2 Parallel City 

While I don’t think this deck necessarily needs to play a Stadium, I would consider playing a copy or 2 of Parallel City to counteract any Rainbow Road/Xerneas BREAK decks that may see a rise in play. Parallel City is also quite strong in the mirror match as you can put your opponent down to 3 bench spaces then use a Plea GX to force them to pick up 2 Gardevoir GX after clearing off any benched Tapu Lele GX they have. This is completely unnecessary in the list though.

Matchups 

Golisopod Garbodor – Favored

This matchup is the main reason I included Turtonator GX. Not for the Metagross matchup but for the early pressure Turtonator GX applies on Golisopod Garbodor with a Mr.Mime on the bench. Think of Turnator GX as the stalemate to an aggression that Golisopod may apply to you as Shell Trap will keep them at bay or force them into an unfavorable position. What you’re looking to do is use Tapu Lele GX or Turtonator GX early to poke their Wimpod or Tapu Koko. If they evolve into Golisopod and first impression into your Turtonator GX they’ll take 80 damage and get KO’d from a return Choice Banded Shell Trap. (barring that you Wimpod hit for 40 damage with Shell Trap or Energy Drive) The next option is your opponent swings with a clean Golisopod into your Shell Trap which should prompt you to either Max Potion the Turtonator GX then hit them with a Choice Banded Shell Trap or Acerola it, promote a Gardevoir GX and OHKO that Golisopod with Infinite Force. You may be thinking “What if they just Guzma around Turtonator all game?” Well, then you are forcing them to waste Guzma early and hoping it is only being used to take out a Ralts or put 120-150 damage on your Gardevoir or Tapu Lele GX. Again, this is where our Max Potion and Acerola will turn the tides of trades of which your Max Potion and Acerola can cancel out any progression they made during their last turn off First Impression. Once you retreat and heal, hit them with another Choice Banded Shell Trap and threaten the Golisopod with another 100 damage. At some point, you can make a Gardevoir GX that will sweep 4 of their Pokemon and you’ll see the advantage in resources take its toll on their Late Game damage output. The most recent Complexity TCG list is sporting 1 copy of Tapu Fini GX with the intentions to Tapu Storm GX a loaded up Gardevoir GX or fire Pokemon back into your deck so don’t let yourself fall into this trap without being 100% needed to commit to a single Gardevoir GX.

Tapu Bulu GX/Vikavolt – Favored

Now that you have Mr.Mime in the list you deny any option for Tapu Bulu GX to OHKO Gardevoir GX. If they cannot damage your bench with Flying Flip, you’re going to come out far ahead with Gardevoir GX in trades. Max Potion also gives them an insane amount of trouble, they tend to run out of resources before being able to take 6 prizes, let alone 2 clean Gardevoir GX. Just set up a Mr.Mime, make your Gardevoir GX and OHKO Vikavolt when possible. Force them to work extremely hard to take a single KO against Gardevoir and punish them in return with KO’s on their Vikavolt or Tapu Bulu GX. Don’t be afraid to work in 2HKOs against their Tapu Bulu as they’ll run out of resources far faster than you. Twilight GX will support this concept a lot as you can grab back Max Potion and Acerola to snowball your gameplan.

Ho-Oh GX/Salazzle GX – Heavily Favored

This is a fairly easy matchup for Gardevoir as long as you can setup a Gardevoir GX in play. If they hit a turn 1 Kiawe against you just OHKO them with Infinite Force or work a 2HKO on them via Energy Drive. If you’re able to get a turn 2 Gardevoir and clear off their Kiawe targeted Pokemon then they all but lose the game from that point on. Should you have a slow start, try to trade with Energy Drive against their Kiawe’d Pokemon then create a game plan to take out any loaded up Salandit or Salazzle GX on their bench. The reason you want to target it over the active is Salazzle GX’s Diabolical Claws with a Choice Band is their game-ending win condition against a fresh Gardevoir GX you may have active.

Alolan Ninetales GX/Tapu Koko – Heavily Favored

With Mr.Mime this matchup becomes incredibly easy. If they attach multiple Energy to an active Alolan Ninetales you can either OHKO it with Gardevoir GX or go for a 2HKO via Energy Drive. I try to use early game pressure to eliminate the option of them looking to Guzma OHKO my Mr.Mime so they can start to work on my benched Gardevoir lines. I expect all Alolan Ninetales lists to be playing 3 Po Town so you’ll want to be plan your evolutions according to the scenario if your Mr.Mime is prized or not and whether Po Town is in play. This way you can avoid evolving a Ralts into a Kirlia under Po TOwn and getting KO’d by a bench Snipe off of Ice Blade. Remember when you’re trading with Energy Drive don’t overload the damage on their Ninetales GX and get Ice Path’d for a clean OHKO on your Tapu Lele GX. Finally, you want to prepare for Alolan Ninetales (non-GX) as soon as possible so get an Oranguru on the bench then attach a single Fairy Energy to it. This gives you 2 options to answer Alolan Ninetales with Gallade BKT or with Oranguru who takes a clean OHKO on it with Psychic should they have 3 Energy attached.

Drampa/Garbodor, Metagross, Greninja, and Espeon/Garbodor are about the same as mentioned in the previous article.

 

The Decklist

Gardevoir

Pokemon (17)

  • 4 Ralts
  • 3 Kirlia
  • 3 Gardevoir GX
  • 1 Gallade BKT
  • 1 Remoraid
  • 1 Octillery
  • 2 Tapu Lele GX
  • 2 Diancie

Trainers (32)

  • 4 Professor Sycamore
  • 3 N
  • 1 Guzma
  • 1 Lysandre
  • 1 Brigette
  • 1 Fisherman
  • 1 Hex Maniac
  • 4 VS Seeker
  • 4 Ultra Ball
  • 3 Rare Candy
  • 2 Choice Band
  • 2 Rescue Stretcher
  • 2 Field Blower
  • 2 Float Stone
  • 1 Professor’s Letter

Energy (11)

  • 7 Fairy Energy
  • 4 Double Colorless Energy

Deck Breakdown

I took a very safe route with posting this list and specifically made it for players to test if they like the way the deck flows then make numerous changes to it based on all the tech I’m going to list in the next section.

4-3-3 Gardevoir GX

We want to be able to get multiple Gardevoir GX in play in every game. For this to be accomplished we need to run a full line of Ralts and 3 Kirlia to back up our use of Diancie SM3. With 2 Rescue Stretcher you’ll be fine playing only 3 Gardevoir GX as you can easily fish it back to your hand.

1 Gallade BKT

Since we already have 4 Double Colorless Energy in the deck, a 4-3 Ralts/Kirlia line, and a 1-1 Octillery, playing a single copy of Gallade BKT is an easy inclusion. Gallade serves as a 1 prize attacker in close games and a way to stack your deck with Premonition to draw into exactly what you want using Abyssal Hand.

1-1 Octillery

As recommended by my friend and world’s qualifier, Nicklas Danielsen, I play a 1-1 line of Octillery. Nicklas pushed the line to a 2-2 for consistency but I found I wanted more routes to retreat or focus on Ralts and Diancie so I can get Gardevoir GX online ASAP. Since our opening play is to grab Brigette with Tapu Lele GX, we can add a ton of speed to our opening turns by opting to get a Remoraid and 2 Ralts with it.

2 Diancie SM3

Diancie is like a stronger Alolan Vulpix in this deck as it allows us to immediately evolve our Remoraid, Ralts, or Kirlia into our wanted Pokemon. Since Vulpix gets struck by N, Diancie’s immediate evolution does wonders for the deck’s consistency. On multiple occasions, I have gotten out a turn 2 Gardevoir GX after I open Diancie with Brigette then evolve a Ralts into a Kirlia and immediately evolve it into a Gardevoir GX from my deck. Its 2nd attack helps heal damage against Ninetales/Decidueye but more often than not you’d just want to be swinging with Gardevoir GX against them anyways.

1 Guzma/1 Lysandre

This could easily jump up to 2 Guzma but I wanted to play a copy of each so I can have both the switch effect from Guzma and a single Lysandre to keep my Gardevoir GX active, barring I have no Float Stone to retreat back into it. If I decided to cut down on a Float Stone then I’d make this a 2 Guzma count.

1 Fisherman

Considering we’ll be losing our Energy on any Gardevoir GX that gets knocked out, or when we need to pay to retreat, playing a single copy of Fisherman can net us back multiple Fairy Energy to rain down with Fountain of Secrets. I’m not sold on whether this card is necessary in the deck or not but I’ve decided to keep it in the deck as it has bailed me out of sticky situations multiple times throughout testing.

2 Rescue Stretcher

The way the deck functions, you’ll want to be able to burn through your hand with ease and without hesitation. Playing multiple copies of Rescue Stretcher alongside the thick line of Gardevoir GX lets us be a bit more reckless with our Ultra Ball and Professor Sycamore discards, knowing that we’ll fish the Pokemon back soon enough.

2 Float Stone

I found that at times when I opened Diancie plus a benched Pokemon, my opponent would opt to Lysandre or Guzma the benched forcing me to attach an Energy to retreat the active and lose the full utility of my Diancie. After this happened about 2 or 3 times during the initial testing, I was fed up with the play and decided to add 2 Float Stone to help combat this and any other constraints I have from utilizing Diancie.

1 Professor’s Letter

During my first couple games of testing, I realized I wasn’t drawing into my Energy quickly enough to utilize Fountain of Secrets. I would either have to discard Double Colorless Energy to Professor Sycamore to push for more Fairy Energy or end up taking a slower 2HKO route with Infinite Force. Considering this deck plays no healing options, I’d rather be able to OHKO everything with Infinite Force through the help of Fountain of Secrets. The Professor’s Letter has definitely earned its spot in the deck.

Tech Options

2-2 Octillery

As I mentioned earlier, you can push the Octillery line to a 2-2 if you enjoy having the Abyss Hand paired alongside Fountain of Secrets. I’d recommend tossing in a Level Ball as well if you take this route.

2 Hex Maniac

I’m anticipating there will be a ton of Greninja, Volcanion, and Metagross next format so having the 2nd copy of Hex Maniac can help out this deck’s ability to snowball a game into our control. Much like M-Mewtwo EX, the best way to combat the heavy ability decks is to Hex Maniac and overwhelm them with Infinite Force.

1-3 Pokemon Center Lady/Fairy Drop/Max Potion

I found that a few decks can go head to head with Gardevoir with 2HKOs where a Pokemon Center Lady, Fairy Drop, or Max Potion can swing the hit exchange. You’d only play Pokemon Center Lady for the option to VS Seeker it back from the discard pile. Moving into the next format, I’d go pure Fairy Drop or Max Potion. They have been a few games where a turn 3 Guzma or Lysandre on my Gardevoir GX ended up putting me too far behind in the game to keep up with pressure so I’m using this tech to test a new concept of having a heavy healing Gardevoir list.

2 Silent Lab

Even though Field Blower is in the format, playing 2 copies of Silent Lab can be enough to lock down an opponent who desperately needs a Tapu Lele to fetch a supporter or a Steam Up from Volcanion EX to KO your Gardevoir. Silent Lab won’t help against every matchup so I decided to leave it out the list and the Volcanion matchup seems favored enough without the Silent Lab that I don’t think it’s necessary to include.

2 Wonder Energy

Espeon GX’s Psybeam still gives this deck a few issues when it comes to attacking and being forced to retreat, even with the help of Guzma. Playing 2 copies of Wonder Energy helps protect Gardevoir GX from Psybeam as well as Espeon EX’s Miraculous Shine which swings the matchup for Decidueye/Ninetales.

Matchups

Espeon/Garbodor 65/35

While it may seem like Gardevoir GX’s Twilight GX makes this matchup completely free, it isn’t. A combination of Espeon GX and Tapu Lele can make getting multiple Gardevoir GX in play a difficult task. Even when your Gardevoir GX finally hit board they can put immediate pressure on it through a Guzma or Lysandre combined with a Trashalanche. There are a few games where you can completely run them over, barring you don’t need to play too many Items early but I wouldn’t count my win against this matchup until I take the final prize. Either way, we need to approach this matchup in a passive manner. You take the simple Tapu Lele for Brigette approach then use Diancie to get 2 Gardevoir GX in play. Wonder Energy helps Gardevoir GX from being confused by Psybeam and keeps Drampa GX from removing a Double Colorless Energy on Gardevoir, which could otherwise risk taking it out of OHKO range. If you start Tapu Lele, try to fight them with it while you make 2 Gardevoir GX on the bench and go for a well-timed turn where you play a bunch of items and Twilight GX. Don’t over commit to a single Gardevoir GX as Tapu Lele can still get solid 2HKO’s on it as they prepare to hit you with an N and get a Garbotoxin Garbodor online.

Drampa GX/Garbodor 70/30

Drampa GX is easier for Gardevoir GX to handle as they don’t have access to a turn 2 Divide GX and they have a harder time KO’ing Gardevoir. Much like the Espeon matchup we want to use Twilight GX to play around Trashalanche and overwhelm them with Infinite Force. Wonder Energy can regulate Drampa’s Righteous Edge, but if they’re taking the time to remove your Gardevoir’s Double Colorless Energy then you’ll probably be in a spot where you can just run them over with multiple Fountain of Secrets. Outside of that, apply the same route to win against this deck as you do against Espeon Garbodor and it should be relatively easy. Just remember, Tapu Lele hurts if you overload a single Gardevoir.

Volcanion EX/Turtonator GX 60/40

In theory, I thought this matchup was going to be 50/50 considering Volcanion’s speed and consistency. It simply cannot handle multiple Gardevoir GX in play coupled with a Hex Maniac. I usually load up 3 or 4 Energy on a Gardevoir GX then Guzma/Lysandre any Volcanion EX or Turtuonator GX that have Energy attached to them on the bench. Once one of their big attackers comes active, you can Hex Maniac and KO it with relative ease, forcing them to take a turn to attempt to recover. By the time that happens you can usually win off a Lysandre, Hex, or Guzma the following turn. Diancie helps match Volcanion’s early game speed and as I mentioned earlier lets us establish our desired multiple Gardevoir GX.

Greninja 30/70

This matchup is incredibly hard to navigate and offers so many different levels of gameplay. Sometimes I run Greninja over if it has a poor start and other games I’ll have a single Gardevoir GX out against 2 Greninja BREAK, with no hope of winning the game. I wanted to gauge this matchup based upon Greninja having an ideal start and Gardevoir having an average one. Even with Gardevoir GX’s high HP, having no option to Heal or remove the damage done by Choice Band and Moonlight Slash, you simply cannot keep up with the damage Greninja is able to put down with ease. Hex Maniac alleviates some of the pressure done by BREAKs but we need to over dedicate energy to a Gardevoir GX to OHKO a Greninja BREAK and it’s easy pickings for them to KO it off the bench with Lysandre and Water Shuriken.

Metagross GX 20/80

Metagross is the clear counter against Gardevoir GX but it has it’s inconsistencies as all stage 2 decks have. This why I give Gardevoir GX the small 20 percentage chance to win. Metagross can OHKO Gardevoir with ease and in a quick fashion thanks to its ability, but Gardevoir GX also has the opportunity to OHKO Metagross right back, assuming it has a Choice Band and a ton of Energy on it. I’ll need to test this matchup a bit more with Turtonator GRI and Turtonator GX to see if playing a copy of either of them makes the matchup 50/50. My theory is with a Choice Band and Double Colorless Energy, Turtonator and Turtonator GX can put a hefty amount of pressure on Metagross where I can keep a Gardevoir GX in play, and use the 2 Turtonator, and a Tapu Lele or Gallade to combat their Metagross. I’ll update this later on in the month.

Gosliopod (no Decidueye) 60/40

I tested primarily with a Gosliopod deck that aims to get a Gosliopod out on turn 1 with Forest of Giant Plants then rush downs the opponent with First Impression. The games where I was able to get 2 Gardevoir GX in play, I swept Golisopod extremely hard during the late game after I hit them with an N. If they rushed me down early and by the time I got a solid Gardevoir GX in play they had 3 prizes left, I usually lost due to late game top decks. I think Gardevoir can get overwhelmingly strong and OHKO Gosliopod around turn 5 or 6, allowing it to Take 6 Prizes in a row via Guzma or Lysandre. Basically, the early game goes to Golisopod and you should slowly make a comeback through Gardevoir’s beefy HP and ability to OHKO while they cannot OHKO you. For this matchup, I’d stick to my standard “Bread and Butter” setup with Diancie and Brigette then get 2 Gardevoir GX out to start picking off Golisopod and Tapu Lele GX. Most lists are going to be using a Zoroark to get First Impression online every turn, especially after N, but its inclusion hurts the consistency of their deck. Sometimes I’ll take a turn to target it down for a KO but this opportunity doesn’t happen all that often.

Conclusion

Gardevoir has been dominating a majority of my testing games. I think it’s the front runner as of this moment for World’s, but the ARG Invitational should bring about a small portion of the meta and may influence how players will decide their decks for Day 1. While Metagross and Greninja are fairly abysmal matchups, I think it’s a huge problem for the rest of the format to deal with. I think Zoroark is going to get bumped slowly out of the format along with Espeon/Garbodor, but I’ll need more time to test and try out my other ideas. As always, if you’re reading this now it means you haven’t unsubscribed during the off season of Tournament play and I absolutely appreciate any support you may have for Some1sPC.

Thanks for reading!

Russ