Picks for Leipzig Regionals — VikaBulu and Gardevoir-GX

Hey there PokeBeach! The new year is upon us, and that means exciting new sets, interesting new formats, and most important — new tournaments. For me, the new year brings a Regional right at the end of January in Leipzig, Germany. For now, there isn’t any addition of Ultra Prism cards, but  we can still work to refine the current format decks to the best they can be.

I’ve been hard at work looking at what could be viable for the day, and here are two of my picks that could definitely see success before the format leaves us. We have a potential powerhouse in Tapu Bulu-GX / Vikavolt that can deal 210 damage every turn once set up, enough to deal with a good chunk of the format. After that we have Gardevoir-GX, the strongest Stage 2 in the game, along with its evolutionary pal, Gallade, to help clean up any Zoroark-GX you might come across. Both of these decks have strong potential to get into cut and beyond at Leipzig, and here’s my take on them!

Back to Bulu — Taking a Powerhouse to the Tournament

Tapu Bulu-GX / Vikavolt has a ton of positives on its side at the moment, albeit one or two negatives as well. Once this deck gets a Vikavolt into play via Rare Candy, the deck has access to constant acceleration to power up Tapu Bulu-GX’s Nature’s Judgement attack. After discarding all the Energy attached, Nature’s Judgement hits for a huge 180 damage or the magic 210 damage with a Choice Band

It’s all about the numbers here. The format is brimming with GX’s that cap out at 210 HP, such as Zoroark-GX, Buzzwole-GX and Golisopod-GX — all of which Tapu Bulu-GX can easily dispatch in one single hit. The main issue is actually getting Vikavolt into play early enough for the deck to keep up with early damage pressure from opposing decks. Problems arise when the deck runs into trouble getting the Rare Candy / Vikavolt combo. If the opponent can take out your Grubbin before you can get a Vikavolt, getting back into the game can be a hard task. Here is the list I’ve been toying with right now:

Pokemon (14)

3x Tapu Bulu-GX (PRSM #SM32)3x Vikavolt (SM #52)4x Grubbin (SM #13)2x Tapu Lele-GX (GUR #60)1x Mew (FAC #29)1x Oranguru (SM #113)

Trainers (34)

4x Professor Sycamore (BKP #107)4x N (FAC #105)4x Guzma (BUS #115)2x Skyla (BKT #148)1x Professor Kukui (SM #128)1x Brigette (BKT #161)4x Ultra Ball (SM #135)4x Rare Candy (SM #129)4x Choice Band (GUR #121)2x Field Blower (GUR #125)2x Energy Recycler (GUR #123)1x Rescue Stretcher (GUR #130)1x Heavy Ball (BKT #140)

Energy (12)

7x Grass Energy (GUR #167)5x Lightning Energy (GUR #168)

The Pokemon

Since Tapu Bulu-GX is our main attacker, I opted to make sure we have enough with three copies, plus a Rescue Stretcher just in case you’re in dire need of an attacker. Mew also provides us with a ‘pseudo’, single-Prize Tapu Bulu-GX, due to its Memories of the Dawn Ability that can copy any of Tapu Bulu’s attacks. Free Retreat on Mew means we now have a great pivot to send up when one of our Pokemon gets Knocked Out. Its Psychic-typing proves to be extremely useful against things like Espeon-GX and Buzzwole-GX, although sometimes it can backfire like in the case of missing a OHKO on a Zoroark-GX due to Resistance. Four Grubbin maximizes the odds of hitting at least one on the first turn, whether you manage to obtain Brigette or not. Three Vikavolt also felt like the correct number, as with it’s three Retreat Cost, Heavy Ball acts as an extra copy at times when you need it to. This makes sure we have enough early in the game, plus and extra copy or two for later on when we want to replace a Vikavolt that was Knocked Out, or get a second into play for extra Energy acceleration.

Oranguru is a huge help in consistency later on in the game. Once this deck gets going, Prizes come quick and fast, leaving us very susceptible to a late game N when our leftover Energy in the deck is low. Instruct lessens the odds of getting stuck by letting us draw up to three extra cards, hopefully leading to a Supporter which can then find you the all important Energy Recycler to make sure Tapu Bulu-GX can continue to be powered up by Vikavolt’s Strong Charge. Finally as Oranguru is a non-GX attacker, Psychic can provide a mid-range attack that’s quite good for chip damage or a finishing blow in a pinch while only giving up a single Prize. To finish we have two Tapu Lele-GX for consistency purposes, and although I would like three at times, there usually isn’t enough room on the Bench to even fit three Tapu Lele.

This concludes the public portion of this article.

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