Hello everyone! This is Grant here with an article dedicated to the Standard format for a change. I do not have any events in between Daytona and Memphis, which is a full two-month gap. However, I have still been playing a bit of Standard in my spare time, and I’ve grown fond of two decks in particular. Coincidentally, they both start with G (the best letter), and they can both be extremely clunky at times.
I am, of course, talking about our aquatic friends Greninja BREAK and Golisopod-GX. While I’ve been playing Greninja the most online, Golisopod is the deck I chose to bring to a recent League Cup. I was only able to get second, but I still believe both of these decks are the strongest options in our current Standard format.
Crimson Invasion is on the horizon as well, but the set seems underwhelming to me. I am not nearly as hyped on Counter Energy or Gladion as it seems some other players are. One card that does stick out to me, however, is Buzzwole-GX. I had some outstanding success with Landorus-EX back when I was in the Senior division, so Hammerhead is near and dear to my heart. I haven’t tested out Buzzwole yet but I do want to briefly share some of my plans for it. I am very excited to get Buzzwole!
Well, let’s get right into it! Here is my second place Golisopod list from the League Cup.
Golisopod-GX / Garbodor
I suppose this Goli list isn’t too out of the ordinary. It is the second clunkiest deck in the format (second only to Metagross-GX), but it has a lot going for it. Nearly every Pokemon is a strong attacker, it has Ability-lock, and it has solid matchups across the board. Some lists run only one Garbodor, which is acceptable, but I prefer two simply because of how powerful it is in most matchups. The only matchup where you don’t want Garbotoxin is Drampa-GX / Garbodor, and that matchup is favorable anyway.
The only odd things about this list are the inclusions of Jolteon-EX and four Acerola. I run Jolteon-EX to help with the Fire matchup which is otherwise a lot worse. With Jolteon, the matchup is around 50-50 to slightly unfavorable. I run four Acerola because the card is busted and works especially well with Golisopod in particular. Acerola makes it easy to switch and re-use Golisopod, satisfies the condition of First Impression, and completely erases opponent’s attacks by healing all damage.
The five most popular decks in the current format are (in no particular order): Gardevoir-GX, Volcanion-EX, Greninja BREAK, Alolan Ninetales-GX, and Drampa-GX / Garbodor. They define the meta — you should expect to primarily play against these archetypes. I do not expect Crimson Invasion to drastically alter our meta, so this article should still be relevant for the next format. Therefore, I will discuss the matchups against only these five decks.
Gardevoir — Favorable
Some people will disagree with me about this one. Most players view Goli / Garb vs. Gardevoir as a 50-50. However, Garbotoxin cripples Gardevoir. Thanks to Ability-lock, Gardevoir has trouble accumulating enough Energy to OHKO a Golisopod. You can rest easy with heals from Acerola and guaranteed 2HKOs. Tapu Fini-GX is the failsafe in the event your opponent does drop six Energy on Gardevoir and threatens to wipe your board. Tapu Storm GX plus Garbotoxin all but ensures that your opponent won’t be able to get another enormous Gardevoir. Some games won’t even require Tapu Storm GX, so you can use Crossing Cut GX to OHKO a Gallade. If you think you may need Tapu Storm later but still have to deal with Gallade, you can either use Trashalanche to exploit its Psychic Weakness or accept a 2HKO and use Acerola to cover healing.
Turn two First Impression is the name of the game. Golisopod’s speed helps it out in this matchup. Garbotoxin is important, but if it’s between that and a turn two First Impression, always go for the early pressure. Golisopod can sometimes take out two Ralts before your opponent can challenge you, or it can pile some early damage on Sylveon-GX and take two early Prizes. If your opponent ever attacks with Lele, keep in mind that a Choice Banded First Impression plus Flying Flip is a KO. You can potentially OHKO Lele with a Banded Crossing Cut as well. Whenever you consider pulling the trigger on Crossing Cut GX, think about the possibility of needing Tapu Storm GX later.
Drampa / Garb — Favorable
I haven’t actually played this matchup to be honest, but I don’t see why Golisopod would struggle. Half of the deck’s Items are Tools, and there aren’t many Items at all. Both Garbodor variants are ineffective against Golisopod. Drampa-GX can exchange 2HKO’s with Golisopod, but Drampa requires two Energy attachments and cannot heal as much as Goli can with four Acerola. Crossing Cut GX with a Band also OHKO’s Drampa which is an easy two Prizes while wiping some Energy from the board. You can use your own Garbodor to blow up opposing Espeon-GX or Espeon-EX if your opponent dares to attack with them.
Greninja — Autowin
Greninja has absolutely no chance to beat Goli / Garb. Not only does Golisopod OHKO everything every turn easily, but Garbotoxin shuts off Greninja’s late game as well! Additionally, Armor Press reduces damage taken, which makes the matchup even more of an uphill climb for Greninja. Running two Garbotoxin seals the deal, as they cannot rely on a Field Blower plus Double Shuriken play to remove Garbotoxin for good.
This concludes the public portion of this article.
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