Hey everyone, hope you’re enjoying your time here on the ‘Beach. Thanks for heading over to my corner of the sand again, because I’ve got something new and pretty revolutionary to talk to you about today! There’s this new card that came out in the new set that turns the game as we know it on its head! That new piece of cardboard is a Garbodor, not the one we’re all so used to that stops Abilities, but something with an attack so unique, that it has the potential to change deck building as we know it. I won’t spoil the fun for you in my introduction, but if you bear with me for just a couple more seconds, we’ll be jumping right into my rundown on this new card, before we chat about how to combat it. This deck won’t be defeated that easily, though, and I have many different builds of the deck to show off. All right, off to the water, get off your towel, follow along, and come with me, let’s go PokeBeach followers!
Garbodor: Public Enemy Number One
A Lame Dialogue For Your Reading Pleasure
Ash: “Gross, what’s that smell?!”
Gary: “Well, it’s Garbodor, of course! I’ve been calling the sanitation department for days now, and they haven’t shown up yet.”
Me: “Sorry I’m late, I’ve got a special batch of Poke Balls to take this guy off your hands!”
What’s This Stinky Card Do?
Wow, Garbodor from Guardians Rising has only been on the street for a couple of weeks, and he’s already in trouble! How do you deal with him, you say? Well let me tell you, because I’ve been thinking about this predicament a lot. Let’s start off with a simple breakdown of what this card does, and what makes it so darn good, shall we?
When writing articles, my superiors generally advise myself, and others, not to spell out a card’s text verbatim, but for today’s purposes, since I’ll be going so deep on just a single card, I’m going to go ahead and break the rules for you. Garbodor clocks in as a Stage 1 Psychic type Pokemon with 120 HP, a Weakness to its own Psychic-type, and a Retreat Cost of three Energy. To start off, it Garb is an above-average sized Stage 1 Pokemon, something suitable of running the role of an attacker within a deck. Additionally, I can’t notice any sizable defects that prevent its playability so far.
Moving onto attacks, Trashalanche is not only an amazing name, but an amazing attack. For a single Psychic Energy, a pretty cost effective attack, might I add, you can drop 20 damage times the number of Item cards your opponent has in his or her discard pile. This is why this card is bonkers, nothing more, nothing less. Now hold on one more second, Garbodor has a pretty stinky second attack, which you’ll probably never use, but I should mention it just for consistency’s sake. Acid Spray swings for 70 damage, and lets you flip a coin in hopes of discarding an Energy from your opponent’s Active Pokemon. Now this would normally be decent, but for a Psychic, and Double Colorless Energy, this probably won’t be seeing much action.
At first sight, maybe you’re skeptical about the strength of Trashalanche. While I wasn’t completely in the dark, I was a bit too, at first, but since then I’ve become terrified of this card, as I’m sure you may have too. Garbodor can either be a main attacker all on its own, or something to be paired alongside another strong attacking Pokemon. Its dominance is certain if we don’t start doing something now, and get prepared to face this new powerhouse.
I love hammering a point home, and in my next section, I’ll be putting numbers down to the non-believers about this card. Before I get to that, though, let me wrap this up with a call to arms. You guys better be ready to think in different ways than ever before with this card now in the mix! Every Item card you play is a damage multiplier, now. A Garbodor can be lurking, waiting for you to just overstep a little too far, and then you’ll be punished for your efforts. Now don’t let me scare you too much, let’s address this problem, together.
Putting Numbers on Item Cards
Using Item card counts from popular decks is a fabulous way to make the math of Trashalanche come to life. To do this, let’s look at some “average” Item counts of some of the most popular decks, currently. These “averages” will be loosely based off the counts I currently have in some of the decks I have built. These decks are some that I think will survive in some way with the release of Guardians Rising, and the obvious changes in the format that come with the new set’s release.
- Darkrai-EX / Yveltal: 24 Items (six Tools)
- Decidueye-GX / Vileplume: 15 Items (two Tools)
- Lapras-GX / Wobbuffet: 23 Items (four Tools)
- Volcanion: 23 Items (four Tools)
- Vespiquen / Zoroark: 18 Items (two Tools)
So, looking at these numbers, I’m sure you notice that most decks play a lot of Item cards! Not only that, but many of them are Tool cards, which can be removed from play, and into your opponent’s discard pile, of course, by the new Field Blower card that also dropped in the new set. Basically, if you take an average of the total Item cards from these five decks, for example, you’re looking at around 21 Items in most decks. This said, it’s very reasonable to see at least nine of these being played by an opponent quickly, which will put Garbodor’s first attack damage output to 180, just like that.
I think by this point it’s fairly clear to see that as a competitive player, it’s probably time to either start playing differently around this advent of Garbodor, or changing up deck building itself to retroact Garbodor’s existence. Another option would be to simply ignore it, and while I can’t say for certain how many people will be playing a Garbodor-based deck for upcoming tournaments where Guardians Rising is legal, I can say that I’ve personally seen a ton of hype for this card, and that generally means that it’s being considered by the masses.
Building a Better Tomorrow, Around the Trash
One deck has already fallen as a direct result of Garbodor, in my opinion. That would be one of my old friends, M Mewtwo-EX. It’s sad to see such a staple of our 2016 – 2017 season Standard format move onto greener pastures, but Garbodor’s Psychic type and natural dominance should be enough to move Mew’s clone all the way to the back of the pack. In general, anything weak to the Psychic type is sure to fall out of favor just from the release of Garb.
Now to start, let me be clear that I think Garbodor is mostly strong against Pokemon-EX/GX, not non-EX/GX Pokemon, like Vespiquen, for example. The non-EX/GX things of the world can effectively trade with Garbodor, one Prize for one Prize, with no downside. Garbodor is obviously a Pokemon that can hit for incredibly high numbers, and therefore things with higher HP will be its forte, if you will.
List, List, List
Since these new Garbodor archetypes are very new to the game, I’ll be using a list very close to one from Japan, provided by Ross Gilbert, to generalize some of the intricacies of a Standard format Garbodor build. With the set being released so recently, it’s probably a good idea to go over a list before I get too deep into this piece. Let’s do that!
2-2-3-1 Garbodor Line
Here we have the biggest Garbodor line you can play, but with a small split of 3-1 in the different Garbodor that are available for play in Standard. Having Garbotoxin as an option with many decks still relying on Abilities is a fantastic option that’s too good to pass up.
Here is the biggest difference between the list from Japan, and what I think will be popular over on our side of the globe. With Decidueye-GX / Vileplume being the centerpiece of the format, one should absolutely be playing at least a single Wobbuffet in this deck, and it has great synergy with a heavy Tapu Lele-GX line, which is the next card I’ll be going over.
Three Tapu Lele-GX
Getting any Supporter from your deck is wonderful, so of course, Wonder Tag is the best part about this card, but Energy Drive is a great attack in this deck as well. Garbodor in the early game can be just a little bit off a Knock Out, and Tapu Lele-GX is a great finisher, or starter, depending on the order you utilize the two attacks in this combination.
As with many decks, Tauros-GX provides a GX attack, as well as a beefcake to put in the Active spot in certain matchups where the opponent cannot take a OHKO on it anytime soon. It’s just another great attacker to complement a deck that relies solely on Garbodor for offense, otherwise.
While Tapu Lele-GX might be “replacing” Shaymin-EX in many ways, in almost every deck, it’s still a fine idea to play a single copy. You can even get Shaymin with Pokémon Fan Club, another card I’ll chat about in a moment, and start using Sky Return often to set up Knock Outs for later in the game.
Four Professor Sycamore, Three N
Here we’ve got draw Supporters, and since this is a deck that just needs a very basic setup, it’s a good idea to not be extremely adventurous, and stick to the basics of a simple draw Supporter line so you don’t dead draw too often within a match.
Two Lysandre, One Pokemon Fan Club, One Ninja Boy, One Hex Maniac, One Brigette
Welcome to tech city, sort of. Two copies of Lysandre is the industry standard, but the other Supporters in this deck all have a newfound purpose with the addition of Tapu Lele-GX to the game. Pokémon Fan Club can fetch another Tapu Lele, and maybe a Trubbish, or a Shaymin-EX and a Trubbish, the possibilities are endless! Ninja Boy is clearly to pull off a Tauros-GX combo with Mad Bull GX, or Rage, and it also can clear the many Tapu Lele-GX that you’re bound to use. Hex Maniac is for the many decks in the format with Abilities, to lock them down, and Brigette is for a premium catch of Basic Pokemon, when you’re fine with playing them all down on your Bench immediately without the chance of putting them in your hand, like with Pokemon Fan Club.
Four VS Seeker, Four Ultra Ball
Powerhouse Items for you, in the highest count you can play. While I think Garbodor decks themselves should keep Item card counts the same, I’ll touch on it later, but these counts might be on their way downwards in other decks, to counteract Garbodor decks.
Four Float Stone, Three Choice Band
Four Float Stone is fantastic for the many pieces of this deck that need to Retreat around, and it’s especially useful since you almost always want Wobbuffet in your Active position at the end of your first turn. Three Choice Band are to shore up numbers with Garbodor’s Trashalanche, and it can also come in useful at other times when attacking with other Pokemon. You’re bound to use all three copies in a game, and that’s why they’re included.
Two Rescue Stretcher, Two Field Blower, One Super Rod
Here are the tech Item cards for this deck, and they, too, make a lot of sense. Since the game’s rules limit you to a maximum of four copies of a non-Basic Energy card, one must play Rescue Stretcher to make up for your limited pool of Garbodor. Field Blower is a way to add more Items to your opponent’s discard pile, and keep raising the roof on Garbodor’s damage output. Super Rod, just like Stretcher, can get back attackers, but it’s also nice to get back Psychic Energy that have been lost in battle.
Seven Psychic Energy, Four Double Colorless Energy
This is a little on the beefier side of things as far as average Energy counts go, but it’s fantastic to make sure you always have something to attack with at all times. This is an area you can cut into when trying to fit other options into this deck.
This concludes the public portion of this article.
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