A Formidable Friendship — A Look at How Giratina-EX and Garbodor May Seize the Format

Welcome all Beach Goers! I am Padraic McSwain and this is my first ever article for PokeBeach. A quick shout-out to the Spokane Pokemon community for helping me become the player I am today! I am going to be writing about two cards that I believe will have a powerful influence on this upcoming Standard format. The chaotic duo that I am referring to is Giratina-EX and Garbodor. While they are both tremendous on their own, as a pair I believe they will make a formidable friendship in this open Standard Format. I will start by reviewing both Giratina-EX and Garbodor on their own, and then provide some insight on how these two cards can make some good chemistry in a couple of decks for Standard. The decks that I will present to you are fast decks that are able to hit for high amounts of damage in early stages of the game, while also having the ability to control the state of the game if you so wish. While Giratina-EX and Garbodor are not the main attackers in these lists, they are necessary for damage output and to prevent your opponent from executing their strategy. With the Standard format being Primal Clash – Steam Siege, I believe the climate is just right for these two to pair up and show the World exactly what they can do!


The Renegade Dragon is here to claim his reign in this new format! With the Fall of Night March and the Rise of Mega Mewtwo, Giratina-EX is going to be a central role in the battles to come. Its unique Ability, Renegade Pulse, will prevent all effects of attacks, including damage, done to Giratina-EX from Mega Evolution Pokemon. With Mega Evolution Pokemon being more prevalent in the format, this ability gets more relevant. Giratina’s attack Chaos Wheel, for one Grass, one Psychic, and two Colorless Energy, does 100 damage while also preventing your opponent from playing any Tools, Stadiums, or Special energy from their hand. This attack cost may seem high at first glance, but with the help of Double Dragon Energy and Max Elixir it becomes effortless to load up.  My personal Tool of choice to put onto Giratina-EX is Fighting Fury Belt. Fighting Fury boosts its HP to 210 while also giving Chaos Wheel the extra 10 damage, giving it the power to 2HKO both M Mewtwo-EX and M Rayquaza-EX.


  • Renegade Pulse prevents effects of attacks, including damage, done by Mega Evolved Pokemon
  • Chaos Wheel prevents your opponent from playing Tools, Stadiums, and Special Energy.
  • Dragon typing allows the use of Double Dragon Energy


  • Heavy Retreat Cost
  • Weak to Fairy-type Pokemon


He is back and has less competition then ever. With the rotation of Startling Megaphone and Xerosic there is no long any Trainer cards to knock off Garbodors sticky hold on Tools. This means Garbodors Ability isn’t going away unless you knock it out or discard the Tool card by a Pokemons attack. Garbotoxin has been one of the best Abilities given to a Pokemon since it’s debut with the original Garbodor. The ability to turn off Pokemon Abilities is really good in this format because of how many decks rely on their Abilities. This can sometimes be an instant win against some top tier decks because of their inability to function without Abilities. I’m talking about you Greninja BREAK.


  • Garbotoxin removes all Abilities except for Garbotoxin
  • Discarding Tools is almost impossible in the current format


  • It is a Stage 1 Pokemon
  • Heavy Retreat cost
  • Useless attack

Dark Giratina / Garbodor

Pokemon (13)

2x Darkrai-EX (BKP #74)2x Giratina-EX (AOR #57)2x Garbodor (BKP #57)2x Trubbish (BKP #56)1x Yveltal-EX (PRXY #XY150)2x Shaymin-EX (RSK #77)1x Hoopa-EX (AOR #36)1x Yveltal (STS #65)

Trainers (34)

4x Professor Sycamore (BKP #107)2x N (FAC #105)2x Lysandre (AOR #78)1x Pokémon Ranger (STS #104)1x Olympia (GEN #66)4x Trainers' Mail (RSK #92)4x Max Elixir (BKP #102)4x Ultra Ball (FAC #113)4x VS Seeker (RSK #110)1x Super Rod (BKT #149)1x Escape Rope (PRC #127)2x Fighting Fury Belt (BKP #99)2x Float Stone (BKT #137)2x Parallel City (BKT #145)

Energy (13)

4x Double Dragon Energy (RSK #97)9x Darkness Energy (GEN #81)

A straight forward strategy that is similar to Liam Williams’ Top 4 U.S. National Championships list which can be found here. This has been converted to the new Standard format and has also replaced Hydreigon-EX and Latios-EX for the Garbodor line. The idea is to use Double Dragon Energy and Max Elixer to maximize damage with Darkrai-EXs attack, Dark Pulse. Since Double Dragon Energy counts as two of every Energy type, it can be used as Darkness Energy to give Darkrai-EX more attack power. Hoopa-EX and Shaymin-EX are for setting up Giratina-EX and Darkrai-EX early game, while Garbodor is there to maintain control after you are done with using your Abilities to gain board advantage.

Card Choices

There is a couple of cards that I feel are really needed in order for the deck to succeed. Let me go over the reasons why I have chosen to play some cards that haven’t had much time in the competitive spotlight.


This is probably the biggest surprise on the list. In most decks I would not recommend playing Olympia. Originally I was playing two Escape Rope for extra maneuverability in the deck since Max Elixer requires your Pokemon to be on the Bench in order to accelerate Energy to it. Since we play Float Stone for free retreat we can use the classic trick of switching our Active Pokemon with one of our Benched Pokemon that has a Float Stone attached and then retreat back into the same Pokemon if we desire. But what happens if you have to discard both Escape Rope away early game? With no way to get back Item cards, you will lose essential maneuverability. You fix this with Olympia. Normally using a Supporter as a Switch would be terrible, but sometimes a switch can lead to big game changing plays. And since Olympia is a Supporter you can always access it with a VS Seeker. Also the healing 30 damage can be clutch. This card has won me games that I would have lost if I didn’t play it.

Pokemon Ranger

This card prevents you from getting walled by Jolteon-EX and Regice, which are two cards that can just ruin your entire day. Remember, Pokémon Ranger saves lives.

Parallel City

This Stadium card swings some of your worst match ups into your favor. With M Rayquaza and Xerneas getting more and more popular, this card is perfect to devastate your opponents. Since both M Rayquaza and Xerneas do more damage based off the number of Benched Pokemon, you can restrain their power by restraining their Bench. With Sacred Ash being rotated, there is no longer an easy way to get a lot of Pokemon back after they have been discarded. That means when you bump your opponents Sky Field with your Parallel City they will be dropping their bench of eight down to three, and won’t have good odds of refilling it with those same Pokemon.

Yveltal and Yveltal-EX

Since this is a Dark deck, we have to play at least one copy of Yveltal and Yveltal-EX. Baby Yveltal accelerates energy like a Pro, while Yveltal-EX is a great secondary attacker! With Manectric-EX and Joltik being rotated, it looks like Yveltal will have high chances of success


Here is a quick outline of some Positive and Negative Match-ups

Positive Against

Negative Against

Fairy Giratina / Garbodor

Pokemon (13)

2x Xerneas BREAK (STS #82)3x Xerneas (STS #81)2x Giratina-EX (AOR #57)2x Garbodor (BKP #57)2x Trubbish (BKP #56)2x Shaymin-EX (RSK #77)

Trainers (34)

4x Professor Sycamore (BKP #107)3x N (FAC #105)2x Lysandre (AOR #78)1x Pokémon Ranger (STS #104)4x Trainers' Mail (RSK #92)4x Max Elixir (BKP #102)4x Ultra Ball (FAC #113)4x VS Seeker (PHF #109)1x Super Rod (BKT #149)2x Exp. Share (PRC #128)2x Float Stone (BKT #137)3x Fairy Garden (FAC #100)

Energy (13)

4x Double Dragon Energy (RSK #97)9x Fairy Energy (GEN #83)

Very similar to the Dark Giratina / Garbodor list, this deck relies on Max Elixer and Double Dragon Energy in order to maximize damage with Xerneas BREAKs Life Stream attack. Life Stream does 20 times the amount of Energy attached to all of your Pokemon in play! Xerneas also has the magnificent Geomancy attack that accelerates two fairy energy to your Bench! With so many ways to get Energy out, you should be hitting high numbers in no time!

Card Choices

EXP. Share

This card is the best way to conserve Basic Energy in this format. With no good way to discard Tool cards, you can keep your Energy in play easier then ever before! Attach an Exp. Share to a Benched Xerneas Break and you will always have a back up attacker to replace the one that just got Knocked Out.


While Garbodor isn’t a necessity for the deck, it does thrive in this deck! This is another deck that doesn’t rely on its Abilities after the original setup. Garbodor will stop all the decks that have to use their Abilities through out the game. With this deck running off of the same consistency as the Dark version is, setting up Garbodor should be no problem at all. This will require some skill to also know when is the best time to shut off Abilities.

Fairy Garden

With Fairy Garden all Pokemon with Fairy Energy attached to them will have a Free Retreat Cost. Having Free Retreat gives you the extra maneuverability you need in order to always have advantage over your opponent and to consistently stay ahead on Prize Cards.  You won’t need to worry about being stuck not attacking because you should have an easy time retreating to one of your attackers!


A quick mention of some Positive and Negative Match-Ups.


  • Greninja Break
  • Dark Giratina
  • Speed Rayquaza
  • Volcanion


  • M Mewtwo
  • Rainbow Road

Thank you to everyone who stopped by to read my Article! I would also like to thank my beautiful girlfriend Nichole for helping me go over all my grammatical mistakes. I hope that you all found this article to be as fun and infomative! Remember to always have fun and have a wonderful day!

-Padraic McSwain