Greetings, my fellow Pokémon companions! My name is Le Bui, and I am excited to bring you my first Some1sPC article! The Expanded format this season has been wild and unpredictable, with creative new decks seeming to pop up out of nowhere at almost every event, however one thing remains the same: Zoroark GX continues to dominate the field in Expanded Regionals. Zoroark variants consistently make Day 2 of competitions, having taken home four Expanded Regional titles up to this point (Portland, Anaheim, Dallas, and most recently, Daytona). Daytona Regionals saw the return of Zoroark/Seismitoad, this time being paired with Hypnotoxic Lasers and Virbank City Gym after Lusamine received the ban in the Expanded format. The deck saw a ton of success at Daytona, with a handful of Zoroark/Seismitoad/LaserBank making Day 2, and Caleb Gedemer eventually took home his third Regionals win of the season (and another win for Team DDG) with the deck.
Zoroark GX’s “Trade” Ability is the primary reason why the card is so powerful, and it seems like the only way to slow Zoroark decks down is to shut off their Ability. With that being said, this is why I strongly believe Drampa/Garbodor has a chance to truly shine in the Expanded metagame. Drampa/Garbodor has been around for quite a while, since the release of the Guardians Rising set. The beauty of Drampa/Garbodor is not only being able to keep Zoroark decks in check through the use of Drampa’s “Righteous Edge” attack and Garbodor’s “Garbotoxin,” but also its ability to win against any unexpected decks that may appear in the Expanded field. Turn two “Garbotoxin” has proven to be truly devastating against decks that rely on their Abilities to function, and “Trashalanche” can punish players for their excessive use of Items, which may be unavoidable since they may be forced to play their Items in order to play the game, such as decks like Archie’s Blastoise.
With Hartford Regionals right around the corner, I will go over the ins and outs of the Drampa/Garbodor deck, and give detailed explanations as to why it is a solid play for the last Expanded Regionals event of the season.
I.Recent Tournament Results with Drampa/Garbodor
II.Explanations for Specific Card Choices
III. Possible Inclusions
Recent Tournament Results with Drampa/Garbodor
League Challenge 2/23/19: 3-0 (1st place)
League Challenge 2/23/19: 3-0 (1st place)
League Cup 3/10/19: 4-2 (Top 4)
League Cup 3/30/19: 4-2-1 (2nd place)
League Cup 4/7/19: 8-0-1 (1st place)
As you can see, I love playing Drampa/Garbodor in Expanded events and have had a fair amount of success with the deck (have not missed a cut with Drampa/Garbodor as of yet). While Drampa/Garbodor may not necessarily be a very aggressive deck compared to the current top decks in Expanded, it is a deck that rewards you for intelligent play and helps slow the game down to your preferred pace. Drampa/Garbodor has a unique way of punishing decks for their quick and aggressive starts to the game, which I will explain in further detail in the matchups section. After testing Drampa/Garbodor extensively for the past two months, I have landed on this exact 60, which I believe is close to ideal given the current Expanded meta.
Explanations for Specific Card Choices
Four different Trubbish (“Acid Spray,” “Stomp Off,” “Tool Drop,” “Garbage Collection”)
My reasoning behind running four different Trubbish is simply because you never know when one of these unique attacks will come in handy. “Acid Spray” possibly discarding an Energy from the Active Pokémon could potentially make a difference. I have seen “Stomp Off” win games from time to time, either by discarding the only card left in your opponent’s deck or discarding a valuable resource they can’t get back. “Tool Drop” can put in decent damage if there are a good amount of tools in play, and you could use the attack for a single Psychic Energy if you go against decks that play Dimension Valley, such as Night March or Trevenant. “Garbage Collection” is extremely useful against mill decks, being able to reuse Super Rod or Rescue Stretcher to prevent you from decking out. It can also be good for recycling important resources such as VS Seeker or Double Colorless Energy, and can act as an out when you’re dead-drawing by throwing a Supporter card back on top.
These two cards are primarily served to counter Archie’s Blastoise, one of the most popular decks in the Expanded format right now. Wobbuffet’s “Bide Barricade” can also be particularly useful against decks that run Shaymin EX, and can be used to slow down Zoroark by shutting off their access to “Trade” while you set up “Garbotoxin.” In addition to keeping Archie’s Blastoise in check, Sigilyph GX is extremely effective against PikaRom decks due to its “Mirror Counter” Ability being able to deflect damage back to the attacking Pokémon. Its “Intercept GX” attack can also punish a PikaRom or Magikarp & Wailord if they have too many Energy attached to them.
While Mysterious Treasure may not be able to search out the non-Psychic Pokémon (Drampa GX and Sudowoodo), being able to search for a Pokémon by discarding one card instead of two makes a big difference. There are not many cards that you can afford to discard in this deck, besides the one-of Supporters that are accessible with VS Seeker. Mysterious Treasure is quite efficient in being able to search out any of your Psychic Pokémon for the price of one discard, helping set up your board and conserving your valuable resources for the long haul.
While Fighting Fury Belt only increases your damage output by ten, the extra 40 HP it gives your Basic Pokémon can be rather beneficial. This boosts Drampa GX to 220 HP, putting it out of knockout range from Zoroark’s “Riotous Beating” with Choice Band and a full Bench. It also boosts Tapu Lele GX and Sigilyph GX to 210 HP, putting them out of range of getting sniped on the Bench by PikaRom’s “Tag Bolt GX.” Unfortunately, it does not provide any damage or HP boost for “Trashalanche” Garbodor, but considering the extra protection it gives your fragile 170 and 180 HP Pokémon, I believe it is worth the spots. The extra twenty damage from Muscle Band is extremely helpful in helping one-shot the non-GX Pokémon, such as those played in Archie’s Blastoise and Hitmonchan/WobbuffTapu Lele GX with a Double Colorless and Muscle Band can one-shot a fully charged Articuno (“Tri Edge”), Vespiquen, and Zorua with “Energy Drive.” Oricorio with a Muscle Band can one-shot Hitmonchan with “Revelation Dance.” Muscle Band can also be useful in reaching numbers against baby Buzzwole if they have not played enough Items to be one-shotted with “Trashalanche.”
Computer Search over Dowsing Machine
One of the most important reasons why I prefer Computer Search over Dowsing Machine in Drampa/Garbodor is due to the fact that it provides a little extra consistency and reduces your chances of dead-drawing, especially at the beginning of the game. There may be times where having Dowsing Machine instead of Computer Search may cost you games, such as having Dowsing Machine in your opening hand with no draw Supporter leading to your quick annihilation. There may be other times where you have Dowsing Machine in hand along with a Professor Sycamore or Juniper but you have nothing to reuse in the discard pile, causing you to discard it while getting no use out of it. Additionally, the deck is susceptible to whiffing Energy, since it only runs nine total. The ability for Computer Search to find Double Colorless Energy to use Drampa’s “Berserk,” Psychic Energy to use Garbodor’s “Trashalanche,” Rainbow Energy to boost Drampa’s “Berserk” damage output, and the one-of Supporters (Colress, Guzma, Acerola, Teammates, Brigette) is too good to pass up.
This is meant to serve as a counter to the Trevenant Break decks. While Trevenant is not necessarily an unfavorable matchup (assuming you are able to get a tool onto Trubbish on your first turn), the game can get pretty dicey if they are able to prevent you from getting “Garbotoxin” out, or knock out your Trubbishes and Garbodors with “Silent Fear.” The high counts of Counter Catcher and Enhanced Hammer are also a pain to deal with, and if they catch you with a perfectly timed Ace Trainer, it could spell trouble. While Drampa’s “Berserk” (with Fighting Fury Belt) and Garbodor’s “Trashalanche” are usually enough to string knockouts against Trevenant, Giratina Promo would certainly make the matchup less scary.
This is meant to serve as a counter to the Zoroark/Seismitoad decks. While Drampa/Garbodor does not necessarily have to rely on Items to function, there can be moments where your hand may be cluttered with Items such as Mysterious Treasure, VS Seeker, and the various Pokémon Tools. You may also need a turn to use Super Rod to shuffle your Psychic Energy back in the deck, since they will most likely be discarded with Plumeria throughout the course of the game, and VS Seekers to access your Supporters, especially Acerola, which is key in the matchup. Pokémon Ranger can be easily accessible with Tapu Lele GX’s “Wonder Tag” (assuming you’re not under your own “Garbotoxin” lock) and provide an alternative escape for these situations.
Fifth Psychic Energy
Since the deck has no form of Energy acceleration, missing an Energy attachment on the first or second turn of the game could be truly detrimental to your board state. On the first turn, you typically want to attach an Energy to either your Drampa GX or Sigilyph GX to threaten a turn two attack. While this situation varies depending on certain matchups, it is still important to be able to find your Energy in order to attack. Additionally, you would hate to whiff a Psychic Energy to attack with “Trashalanche” when you need it the most (this has happened to me a couple of times). The fifth Psychic Energy is meant to slightly increase the odds of having a turn one attachment, as well as reduce the odds of whiffing a Psychic Energy for “Trashalanche.”
Understandably, there may be a bit of skepticism in regards to Fighting Fury Belt due to the fact that it does not provide any additional boost effects for “Trashalanche” Garbodor. If you are among the people who do not like the inclusion of Fighting Fury Belt, the two spots reserved for it can be used for Choice Band instead. There are times where Choice Band may be more beneficial and give you the capability to reach numbers that Muscle Band and Fighting Fury Belt cannot provide. For example, Choice Band allows Drampa to one-shot Shaymin EX without needing the necessary “Berserk” booster. It also gives Garbodor the ability to “Acid Spray” a Buzzwole GX for knockout if there aren’t enough Items in the discard for “Trashalanche.” While I personally like the two Fighting Fury Belt, I would not be opposed to anyone choosing to run Choice Band instead.
The only reason I chose not to run this card was simply because I could not find the space for it. However, I believe the ability to grab any two Tools with a single Item card is fantastic. It can help tremendously in finding your Float Stone in order to provide versatility for free retreat, and assist in preventing situations where you have to attach a Tool that isn’t a Float Stone to your “Garbotoxin” Garbodor, which could potentially get Guzma stalled. It also provides you the option of choosing which damage or HP-modifier you would like to have at a particular moment in the game. If you do not necessarily need any Pokémon Tools in your current board state, it still allows you to thin two cards out of your deck and gives you higher odds of drawing important cards that you may need to close out the game. It is definitely a worthy addition to the deck if you are able to find the space for it.
Ever since I picked up the Drampa/Garbodor deck, there is no other deck that I have faced more times in Expanded events than Zoroark/Garbodor. This is the matchup where Drampa/Garbodor truly gets to shine, because you are able to use all the Pokémon in the deck to great effect. Your foremost objective on the first turn is to Brigette for double Drampa GX and Sudowoodo because those are arguably the most important Pokémon in the matchup, but are not accessible with Mysterious Treasure, which makes it difficult to get them out without the use of Brigette. Hopefully, you are able to have at least one Trubbish down on the field along with your Drampa GXs and Sudowoodo because turn two “Garbotoxin” is extremely pivotal to slowing down the aggressive nature of the Zoroark/Garbodor deck. There may be times when the turn two “Garbotoxin” could win you the game automatically because shutting off Zoroark’s “Trade” before they get to use it hinders their setup tremendously. Other times, it turns into a grindy match where it boils down to who conserves their resources better. For the majority of the game, your Energy attachments should be primarily reserved for Drampa GX because you want to use Drampa’s “Righteous Edge” attack to remove your opponent’s Double Colorless Energy and apply pressure with the “Berserk” attack. One of the most important resources in the matchup are your Parallel Cities, and you typically want to wait for your opponent to play their Sky Fields and fill up their Bench to take a knockout with Zoroark GX before you play them down. Zoroark/Garbodor tends to go up on prizes rather quickly compared to Drampa/Garbodor so as the game draws on, catching them with the combination of Parallel City + “Trashalanche” + “Garbotoxin” + N could be the deciding factor.
Archie’s Blastoise and Rayquaza
Wobbuffet is truly the MVP in these two matchups. If you are able to go first, your main goal on turn one is to Brigette for Sigilyph GX and Wobbuffet and find a way to retreat into Wobbuffet immediately, either with Float Stone or Energy. You also want to get a Trubbish or two down on the board to threaten the turn two “Garbotoxin” and ensuing “Trashalanche.” If you go second, your course of action may change depending on your opponent’s board state and how many Energy they have in play on their first turn, but more often than not, retreating into Wobbuffet is still a good play. You can also use Parallel City to limit their Bench size to three and make it even more difficult for them to get their attackers into play. While Wobbuffet is slowing down your opponent’s explosive potential by shutting off Blastoise’s “Deluge,” Rayquaza’s “Stormy Winds,” and Shaymin’s “Set Up,” you take the time to set up both “Garbotoxin” and “Trashalanche” Garbodor on the Bench. From then on, your ideal plan should be to continually string “Trashalanche” attacks, since your opponent will most likely have a large number of Items in their discard, meaning “Trashalanche” would be dealing significant amounts of damage. Meanwhile, you would still have a Sigilyph GX on the Bench ready to go with its “Intercept GX” attack as an insurance policy for both Rayquaza GX and Magikarp & Wailord GX.
Pikachu & Zekrom GX
Similar to Archie’s Blastoise and Rayquaza, you should aim for the turn one Brigette of Sigilyph GX and Wobbuffet, followed by a retreat into Wobbuffet to prevent them from using Tapu Koko’s “Dance of the Ancients” and Shaymin’s “Set Up.” “Tag Bolt GX” definitely has to be respected, as it’s able to snipe a GX Pokémon off the Bench for an additional two prizes. My approach toward this matchup is to attempt to slow down my opponent with Wobbuffet and charge up Sigilyph GX on the Bench to start attacking. One important thing to remember is that Fighting Fury Belt puts Sigilyph GX out of range of getting knocked out on the Bench from a “Tag Bolt GX.” My strategy is to attack with Sigilyph GX and put them in a complicated situation where my opponent might be coerced into attacking into it in order to accelerate their Energy, which would trigger the “Mirror Counter” Ability and cause the PikaRom to be knocked out as well, since the minimum damage it could do to the Lightning-weak Sigilyph GX is 300 with “Full Blitz.” If a PikaRom ever finds itself with a fourth Energy attached to it, “Intercept GX” would swoop in and wipe the Energy, as well as the PikaRom off the board. These PikaRom lists tend to rely on their Ultra Balls, Max Elixirs, Trainers’ Mails, and Energy Switches to get them going, meaning “Trashalanche” would put in a lot of work and damage against the PikaRoms.
Even with the Lusamine ban, this particular Zoroark deck tends to give Drampa/Garbodor a lot of trouble due to its constant Energy denial. As I mentioned before, Energy attachments in Drampa/Garbodor are sometimes hard to come by, and with disruption cards such as Enhanced Hammer, Plumeria, and Faba consistently removing your Energy from the field, it is extremely difficult to maintain a proper board state. My central strategy going into this matchup is to try and establish the “Garbotoxin” lock while using Drampa’s “Righteous Edge” to remove Double Colorless Energy from the attacking Seismitoad. I would have to get a Pokémon Tool attached to my Trubbish before “Quaking Punch” and hope they don’t have a Field Blower or Faba to remove it in that period of time. Turn two “Garbotoxin” to shut off Zoroark’s “Trade” may be the best chance to slow down their set up and buy you some time to establish a board presence. I would also attempt to capitalize on key moments to use “Trashalanche” before they have a chance to Resource Management back their Items with Oranguru. Overall, it is quite an unfavorable matchup, but turn two “Garbotoxin” combined with Drampa’s “Righteous Edge” is the right way to go about it.
This is certainly one of the more 50/50 matchups for Drampa/Garbodor without the inclusion of Giratina Promo. The most important thing you want to do on your first turn against Trevenant is attach a Pokémon Tool to a Trubbish (preferably a Float Stone so it can’t get Counter Catchered) and attach an Energy to Drampa GX (preferable a basic Psychic Energy that can’t be Enhanced Hammered) in preparation for “Berserk.” Fighting Fury Belt is insanely useful in this matchup, not only for providing Drampa GX with the extra ten damage needed to one-shot Trevenant Break with the full effect of Berserk, but also the 40 HP boost that will make it more difficult for Trevenant to take a knockout on Drampa. Once Trevenant Break uses “Silent Fear,” that is your chance to start being the aggressor and constantly take knockouts on Trevenants with “Berserk” and “Trashalanche.” You are basically trying to out speed them and stop them from using “Silent Fear” enough times to knock out your “Garbotoxin” on the Bench. It is important to avoid Benching any Pokémon that could possibly be Counter Catchered and stuck in the Active. The most nerve-wrecking component of this matchup is the combination of Enhanced Hammer and Ace Trainer, which could possibly cause you to miss an attack and swing the favor back to the Trevenant side. Overall, be wary of which Pokémon you choose to Bench and your Energy attachments.
This concept made its return after the release of Hitmonchan in the Team Up expansion, bringing back old memories of Donphan from quite a while ago. Hitmonchan/Wobbuffet is somewhat easy to deal with as long as you are able to find your Acerola and Guzma early on in the game. You use Sigilyph GX at the beginning, since it not only resists Fighting types, but also can also easily one-shot Wobbuffet with its “Sonic Wing” attack. You can also attach a Fighting Fury Belt to it and make it even more difficult for your opponent to knock it out. Towards the middle of the game, you use “Trashalanche” in combination with Guzma to repeatedly chase down the Hitmonchan with Energy on it and knock it out. The unique aspect of Hitmonchan/Wobbuffet is being able to run many different techs with Abilities that people may not be prepared for, so getting “Garbotoxin” out early may be a good idea. With four Parallel City, you constantly have a counter to their Shrine of Punishment and can limit their Bench space in the process, but the best thing to do is keep Tapu Lele GX off the board if possible. The only thing you need to be wary of is the Buzzwole “Sledgehammer” turn but other than that, the game plan is pretty straightforward.
With Psychic-type attackers such as Sigilyph GX and “Trashalanche” Garbodor the Buzzwole matchup is not particularly worrying. Sigilyph GX is absolutely incredible against baby Buzzwole and Buzzwole GX, since it resists Fighting types, and its “Sonic Wing” attack can one-shot Baby Buzzwole by itself, and can even one-shot Buzzwole GX with a Muscle Band. Its “Mirror Counter” Ability can also put in tremendous work, since Buzzwole GX typically likes to one-shot Pokémon with its “Knuckle Impact” or “Absorption GX” attacks, and Sigilyph GX could deflect all that damage right back to it. While your opponent is struggling trying to deal with your Sigilyph GX, you will have time to set up your “Trashalanche” Garbodor on the Bench to clean up the game, and maybe “Garbotoxin” Garbodor as well if your opponent is playing Octillery. If not, “Garbotoxin” is not completely necessary but could be helpful in shutting off Diancie’s “Princess’s Cheers” if needed.
Vespiquen and Night March
To put it simply, Oricorio makes these two matchups extremely favorable with its “Supernatural Dance” attack. It is honestly very difficult to lose against these two decks, assuming you do not prize Oricorio. The way I typically like to approach the matchup is to start off using “Energy Drive” with Tapu Lele GX to take a prize or two at the beginning, since their Pokémon are fairly easy to knockout. Attaching a Fighting Fury Belt to Tapu Lele GX would put even more pressure on them, since it is very difficult for them to reach 210 HP at the beginning. Towards the middle of the game, I would use “Trashalanche” to exchange knockouts with them, since it would be a 1-for-1 trade, and only activate “Garbotoxin” if necessary. Finally, I would spring the Oricorio on them towards the end, which should most likely end the game at that point. If not, then I would Teammates for Rescue Stretcher or Super Rod to reuse the Oricorio one additional time for game.
Drampa/Garbodor is at the top of my list of decks to play at Hartford due to its versatility and ability to beat most of the decks that may pop up in the Expanded field. I believe Zoroark/Garbodor and Archie’s Blastoise to still be the most popular decks in the Expanded format, both of which are favorable matchups for Drampa/Garbodor. I think the pairing of “Garbotoxin” shutting off Abilities and “Trashalanche” punishing Item usage is a deadly combination that can certainly bring a lot of success to those who choose to play the deck. The thing I love the most about Drampa/Garbodor is that it rewards you for your skill-intensive play, since there are many routes you can take to victory. Each Energy attachment decision is crucial, and with a variety of different attackers available within the structure of the deck, it will be up to you to decide which attackers should be used in certain matchups. It is a deck that responds well to many different situations and is capable of adapting and beating even the craziest Expanded decks that no one expects. If you are seriously contemplating playing Drampa/Garbodor at Hartford, I would kindly suggest you spend a good amount of time testing the deck in the week leading up to the event. Even if you have played Drampa/Garbodor before, there is always something more you can learn about the ins-and-outs of the deck, along with the many micro-decisions that may make or break the game. These are some of the many reasons why I believe Drampa/Garbodor is the play for Hartford, and I hope I was able to convince some of you to consider it as one of your options.