Buzzwole, Buzzwole, Buzzwole! Today’s article is all about Buzzwole-GX decks: various versions I’ve tested, my impressions of the decks, and even some game-play advice. Ever since Crimson Invasion‘s release on the Pokemon Trading Card Game Online, I’ve been testing like crazy with everyone’s favorite Ultra Beast, and feel it has great potential for the upcoming Standard format European International Championship. I also have a fun Expanded format idea, which could be a decent choice for the San Jose Regional Championship at the end of November.
Buzzwole in Standard
Except for the Psychic Weakness, everything about this card is great! It has above-average HP, an efficient first attack, and two other attacks that can easily OHKO your opponent’s Active Pokemon. Without a doubt, this card is one of the stars of the new set, both for enhancing old concepts (e.g., Garbodor variants and Decidueye-GX) as well as being the center of its own new deck. Furthermore, Buzzwole-GX plays an important role in Standard by supplying several decks a cheap and efficient spread attack. It isn’t a format-breaking card, but it deserves a seat at the table among Standard’s best.
Here are some of the Standard versions of Buzzwole-GX I’ve been testing the most since Crimson Invasion‘s release on November 3rd, as well as a couple ideas others have posed to me and my initial impressions.
Buzzwole / Max Elixir
This was originally the first list I posted in the second part of my “Lull Before London” series, the main idea being to charge up a Buzzwole-GX and then score multiple Knock Outs. My testing results with this concept have been sub-par: past the first Buzzwole-GX, it’s hard to keep up momentum, and you either fizzle out slowly or just get Knocked Out with a low chance of securing the win.
Below is a slightly revised version of the list I posted. For an overall idea of basic inclusions and quantities, see my first write-up on Buzzwole in Lull Before London. However, for every list in today’s article, I’ve included some comments on the most unusual or questionable calls I might have made:
It’s slightly non-intuitive to run a Pokemon for its Ability in a list including Garbotoxin, but there are lots of spots where Oranguru irons out bad hands.
Four Float Stone
Despite Standard’s emphasis on setting up, it truly is a fast format, and every game where you miss a Float Stone really, really hurts.
Four Choice Band
I originally ran a split between Choice Band and Fighting Fury Belt, but for consistency’s sake I am now emphasizing on the big damage. This is a “work-in-progress” element of the deck; I don’t know the best count and have found both to be decent.
Buzzwole / Carbink
Unlike the Max Elixir version, my opinion of this version has grown. It’s more or less the same idea as the above, only now you’re running a Carbink BREAK line in order to accelerate the Energy with its Diamond Gift Attack. I think this might be better than the above list because you can reuse Diamond Gift multiple times, and because it doesn’t strengthen an opposing Trashalanche Garbodor.
Two Carbink BREAK, 2/1 Carbink Carbink Line
I run a thick Carbink BREAK line to be sure we can get it into play , and to reduce the risk of important cards being in the Prizes. Presently I use two Carbink and one Carbink: #50 for its Safeguard from Pokemon-EX and 90 HP; #49 for its Energy Keeper Ability and a noticeably stronger Attack. Testing has shown this to be a fine split, but neither Ability is that good: Safeguard’s only relevant use is against Volcanion-EX, and Energy Keeper only blocks the discarding of Basic Fighting in this deck. That means your Strong Energy , which are special Energy, are still fair game for Enhanced Hammer and Kartana-GX.
Two Scorched Earth
I’ve gone back and forth between these and Brooklet Hill, but for now I like Scorched Earth because it helps get even more Energy into the Discard Pile for Diamond Gift. Alternatively, if you’re looking for a bit more disruption, you could cut these and a few other cards to fit in Po Town and Espeon-EX, which we’ll discuss later.
This concludes the public portion of this article.
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