Hey, guys! It’s Justin, back again to talk about my Dallas run, about the cards in Team Up that I think have potential, and to tell you about a new deck that I’ve been testing recently. Let’s get into it.

Dallas

Before I get into my tournament experience, I want to give a shout-out to our own Russell LaParre, for his Top 8 run. He was on a tear throughout the tournament and would have had a good shot to take down the whole thing if he didn’t draw poorly in his Top 8 match.

Going into the tournament, I was highly unsure of what to play. I knew that Magikarp & Wailord GX was going to have an impact and I wanted to find the best way to utilize it, so I tried testing a few ideas but Archie’s ended up testing the best. I had been testing the deck a lot with Isaiah Bradner and Will Jenkins, and though we felt like we had a really strong list, I decided not to play it because I just never felt comfortable with the deck. Isaiah decided to play it and barely missed Top 8, losing his win-and-in. I did a bulk of my testing the night before, and I tried a variety of decks but nothing felt good enough to me so I settled on ZoroGarb, my fall back deck. Having a comfortable deck to fall back on is something I believe everyone would benefit from having when testing decks before an event. Always have a fall back deck that you’re comfortable with, so if your other deck ideas fall through you have something to go back to. After settling on ZoroGarb, I ended up finalizing the list with Will, Jon Eng, Tran Nguyen, and Harris Noor. Everyone except Will ended up playing the deck, and we all did well in our own right. This is the list we settled on:

 

 

Key Card Choices

1 Shaymin EX

Our Anaheim list played two Shaymin, but we felt like we never needed the second one. We also didn’t want to start it, and it was a liability against Wailord’s GX attack. The single copy was definitely correct for the event.

1 Oricorio

This was a Sudowoodo right before the event, however, we had heard that there was going to be a lot of Vespiquen and we wanted to have a counter to that. Vespiquen is a tough match-up for ZoroGarb without a counter, and I think Oricorio is the best counter to play. Oricorio can also be used against Buzz decks, and in the mirror against opposing Eggs if your opponent has to bench them to take knockouts. The Sudo was a tough cut, but finding space was hard and we felt like Sudo just didn’t impact our percentage of winning enough for us to keep it.

1 Wobbuffet

This was our Archie counter. We found this to be better than Mime because most Archie decks were playing at least one Silent Lab. Archie decks could usually burn through their deck turn one or two to find the Silent Lab and make the Mime irrelevant. We found the Wobbuffet didn’t usually stop them from getting the turn one Archie, but it almost always stopped them from attacking for at least one turn, and sometimes even a few turns. This buys you enough time to evolve your Pokemon and establish “Garbotoxin.“ We found that we usually won the games in which we were able to evolve our Pokemon, and Wobbuffet gave us the necessary time to do so. Wobbuffet can also be used in other match-ups such as Zoro Hand-Control. It also has niche uses that can come up throughout a match. For example, against a Zoro Control deck Day 2, I was able to use it to stop my opponent from winning the next turn and ended up winning that game. I had a Zoroark on the bench with 120 damage on it from earlier in the game, and my opponent had just used Resource Management to get the cards necessary to win on the next turn. My bench was locked to four because of his Sudo but I only had three benched Pokemon in play, so I ended up benching the Wobb and using Guzma to bring it active. I then filled my bench to five because the Sudo was shut off, then retreated my Wobb into Oranguru and got rid of the damaged Zoro because Sudo reactivated. This prevented my opponent from winning the next turn and gave me the extra turn I needed to win the game. The Wobbuffet ended up being super strong throughout the event and I’m glad we played it.

1 Mysterious Treasure

We wanted another out to turn one Brigette and wanted another way to find Garbodor. This is better than another Lele because we usually don’t want to start that.

 

Everything else in the deck is just the usual stuff and every card provided value throughout the event. Here’s how my matches went:

 

R1 Drampa Garb LL

R2 Lost March WW

R3 Blacephalon WW

R4 Zoro Hand-Control WW

R5 Alolan Egg LWT

R6 Buzz Shrine LWT

R7 Buzzroc WLW

R8 Trev WW

R9 Trev WW

R10 Vespiquen WW

R11 Zoro Control W

R12 ZoroGarb LWL

R13 ZoroPod LWW

R14 ZoroGarb L

R15 Archie ID

 

9-3-3 (29th Place)

 

I think this is the most versatile deck in Expanded and can be built to deal with anything. This is going to be my go-to deck in Expanded and I’ll probably just update the list for each specific event. Before I wrap up here I just want to touch on the state of Expanded. I personally don’t believe anything needs to be banned in Expanded, though there are definitely some degenerate combos such as the Red Card/Delinquent/Peeking Red Card combo. However, these combos don’t work all the time and there are counters to keep things like this in check. As long as these combos are known and respected they can be dealt with accordingly. I know some people want to see Zoroark get banned, but I don’t feel that the card needs to be removed from the game. The card is certainly ‘broken’ in Expanded, but I feel that the games involving Zoroark usually reward better players, and you see that in the results of Expanded tournament after tournament. I felt that I was able to play most of my games, outside of the occasional Red Card or N into an unplayable hand. That is one of the reasons I like Expanded over Standard right now. Enough of that, let’s get into the interesting stuff.

 

Team Up

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