Back to the Grind — Four Expanded Decks and Standard M Gardevoir-EX

Hey PokeBeach! My name is Zander Bennett, and I’m one of the newest writers coming into the season! Many people have asked about my articles from before wishing that I would get back to writing, and it’s about the time that I do so! The last article I wrote was about M Rayquaza-EX last October, almost a year ago! But now, I’m back in business, with multiple new takes on Expanded with Steam Siege.

Many people like to admit that the majority of my CP comes from Expanded, and to that they are correct, so I’m going to take the time to delve into this format later on with some exclusive deck lists, but a quick pause for the PokeBeach Writer’s Battle Royale event! This format was Primal Clash through Steam Siege and was a great dive into what happens when we lose important cards like AZ, Startling Megaphone, Night Marchers, Trevenant, Seismitoad-EX, and my personal unfortunate loss, Battle Compressor. Throughout the tournament, we had eight unique decks, there were two Vespiquen decks but the differences between Andrew Mahone‘s list and John Kettler‘s decks were so significant that they almost can’t be compared. This was not planned out, and it’s amazing that this new metagame can open up such diversity.

There are some obvious higher tier decks coming into the PRCSTS format. Without Night March hitting them for Weakness, Colorless M Rayquaza-EX and M Mewtwo-EX / Shrine of Memories both jump up in amazing power. We’ve already seen what M Rayquaza-EX can do in Standard, but with the only card it loses being Battle Compressor, the deck can easily fill those slots with some extra Energy to Mega Turbo, having a 220 HP Pokemon attacking for 240 maximum as early as turn one is no slouch. M Mewtwo-EX on the other hand, which also only loses Battle Compressor, can easily deal with any deck that can not one shot it due to Mewtwo-EX‘s Damage Change. Another powerhouse from this format, which will not be the only time that you hear about this deck is Rainbow Road. The new dual types coming out from Steam Siege (which mainly means Volcanion-EX) combined with the influx of Mega decks that you can easily OHKO and no Tool removal to discard your Exp. Share, this deck can stream advantageous Prize-trades easier than ever before. With these three decks in mind, as well as numerous other things considered, I went with a deck that my good friend James Hart came up with a little bit before Worlds, M Gardevoir-EX.

M Gardevoir-EX

M Gardevoir-EX, like M Mewtwo-EX, forces your opponent to take their Prizes on three full HP Mega Pokemon. As M Gardevoir-EX can discard all used Shaymin-EX and Hoopa-EX, as well as damaged M Gardevoir-EX, Despair Ray does not need to be taking OHKOs to be gaining an advantageous game state. Here’s the list that I ran in the event.

Pokemon (13)

4x M Gardevoir-EX (STS #79)4x Gardevoir-EX (STS #78)4x Shaymin-EX (RSK #77)1x Hoopa-EX (AOR #36)

Trainers (39)

4x Professor Sycamore (XY #122)2x N (FAC #105)2x Lysandre (FLF #90)2x Hex Maniac (AOR #75)1x Pokémon Ranger (STS #104)4x VS Seeker (PHF #109)4x Ultra Ball (DEX #102)4x Trainers' Mail (RSK #92)4x Gardevoir Spirit Link (PRC #130)4x Mega Turbo (RSK #86)2x Super Rod (BKT #149)2x Enhanced Hammer (DEX #94)1x Professor's Letter (XY #123)3x Parallel City (BKT #145)

Energy (8)

8x Fairy Energy (XY #140)

I’m not going to breakdown every card in this list, but there are some more interesting choices that I certainly will discuss.

Card Explanations

4-4 M Gardevoir-EX, Four Spirit Link

The beauty of this deck is its’ consistency, and this allows you to do that. Gardevoir Spirit Link is in a sense the Rare Candy of Mega Evolutions, and it would make no sense in a Stage 2 deck that needs to attack with its attacker to run any less than the full four Rare Candy, hence the full counts of both the Mega and the Spirit Link.


You’d think in a deck like this that you’d want multiple Hoopa-EX to fill your Bench, and this is true, but with double Super Rod you can shuffle it back for whenever you need it. Also, starting it is abysmal, and every time it was Lysandre‘d (games two and three versus John Kettler), it was a huge problem. If I were to play this now, I’d cut one of the Enhanced Hammer for an Escape Rope, but without knowing the metagame the Enhanced Hammer needed to stay.

Two Enhanced Hammer

I guess I’ll go a little bit out of order here since I already mentioned the Hammers, but without knowing what you were going against, these are great in so many matchups. To name a few there’s Colorless M Rayquaza-EX, M Mewtwo-EX, M Steelix-EX, Rainbow Road, Carbink BREAK / Zygarde-EX, Vespiquen, and Xerneas BREAK / Giratina-EX. The main ones they were in here for were M Rayquaza-EX and M Steelix-EX, as Steelix hitting you for Weakness is highly annoying. Most people aren’t believers in M Steelix-EX yet, and it was not played in the Invitational, but I see it as a highly strong contender for next format as well as a deck worth teching against in the free slots in this list.

Two Lysandre, Two Hex Maniac

Higher counts of tech Supporters need to be ran in the new format with the loss of Battle Compressor. Two Hex Maniac was mainly for Greninja, another top deck for next format, as well as Volcanion-EX, a deck that I didn’t expect much of, but it could easily destroy us if we weren’t prepared for it.

Three Parallel City

This is the point where some of you all looking at the list stopped and said “doesn’t he already discard his own Benched Pokemon with Despair Ray?” and to this I say yes. However, Parallel City is amazing in so many matchups. In fact, I’ll say this now, Parallel City will be the premium game-changing Stadium for the new rotation. With the Ability to limit M Rayquaza-EX, Rainbow Road, and Raichu‘s damage outputs with the blue side as well as Vespiquen, Volcanion-EX, Greninja, and Primal Kyogre-EX‘s damage output with the red side, the card is a unique staple that disrupts decks not prepared for it. With Parallel City’s existence in the metagame, decks can fall behind fast from whiffing their Stadium to return.

Eight Fairy, Four Mega Turbo, and Professor’s Letter

These counts were exactly where they need to be, with being able to discard damaged M Gardevoir-EX with another Despair Ray, you need the four Mega Turbo to cycle attackers.

Two Super Rod and the Addition of Karen

This main change to this list for the first Standard Regionals is the addition of Karen. The tournament was held before the news that Karen will be legal after the upcoming Keldeo versus Rayquaza decks come out, and so I could justify (and highly recommend) cutting a Super Rod for a Karen. I still really like one Super Rod as you could get some Pokemon back and then play a draw Supporter, but if you really wanted to, you could cut both.

So that’s the deck! I see this as a high contender in the next Standard format, with it being versatile and highly consistent it can be a large threat to many a matchup. But it’s time to go back to Expanded, and pick up where Spring Regionals left off! If you’d like to see new exclusive deck lists for M Rayquaza-EX, Rainbow Road, Archie’s Blastoise, and Volcanion, get yourself a subscription! These lists are unique and entirely different than anything that I’ve seen thus far for these lists, and so I’d highly recommend checking them out.

This concludes the public portion of this article.

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