The Buzz in Sydney — Thoughts on Standard

Hey PokeBeach readers, if you haven’t guessed it by now, I am in an airplane right now. Obviously the flight is Pokemon related, so I am on my way to Dallas, TX to play in an Expanded Regionals. While I want to be successful this weekend, I am thinking ahead to a much bigger tournament — the 2018 Asian Pacific International Championships in Sydney, Australia. I have been going back and forth deciding if I wanted to discuss this already well explored format instead of diving into Ultra Prism decks, but this format will still be used for Standard League Cups. In this article, I will go through our current metagame, share my thoughts on the format currently, and showcase my brainchild of a deck that should answer the format. Without wasting time, let’s peer into my thoughts as we look towards Sydney:

Lookin’ Towards Sydney

As we look towards Sydney, we need to look at the information that is available to us and that takes place in the form of looking at major events that have taken place in this Standard format. These are the events completed with the Top 8 results for each event from the Master’s Division:

London Internationals – United Kingdom – November 2017

1st 1. Tord Reklev with Zoroark-GX / Golisopod-GX
2nd 2. Zakary Krekeler with Silvally-GX / Registeel
3rd 3. Christopher Schemanske with Gardevoir-GX
4th 4. Michael Long with Greninja BREAK
5th 5. Teodor Skajaeveland with Buzzwole-GX / Lycanroc-GX
6th 6. Fredrik Wold with Buzzwole-GX / Lycanroc-GX
7th 7. Eemeli Reijonen with Volcanion-EX
8th 8. Magnus Helle Kalland with Zoroark-GX / Golisopod-GX

Brisbane Regionals – Australia – December 2017

1st 1. Tyson Maggio with Zoroark-GX / Golisopod-GX
2nd 2. James William with Buzzwole-GX / Lycanroc-GX
3rd 3. Blake Davies with Volcanion-EX
4th 4. Matthew Bray with Zoroark-GX / Decidueye-GX
5th 5. Brent Tonisson with Zoroark-GX / Golisopod-GX
6th 6. Sameer Sangwan with Buzzwole-GX / Lycanroc-GX
7th 7. Jake Cruwys with Metagross-GX / Solgaleo-GX
8th 8. Bodhi Cutler with Zoroark-GX / Golisopod-GX

Memphis Regionals – United States – December 2017

1st 1. Michael Pramawat with Zoroark-GX / Lycanroc-GX
2nd 2. Azul Garcia Griego with Golisopod-GX / Garbodor
3rd 3. Pablo Meza with Buzzwole-GX / Lycanroc-GX
4th 4. Andrew Mahone with Buzzwole-GX / Lycanroc-GX
5th 5. Ahmed Ali with Zoroark-GX / Lycanroc-GX
6th 6. Rahul Reddy with Zoroark-GX / Lycanroc-GX
7th 7. Ben Potter with Zoroark-GX / Lycanroc-GX
8th 8. Benjamin Behrens with Zoroark-GX / Lycanroc-GX

Turin Special Event – Italy – December 2017

1st 1. Robin Schulz with Zoroark-GX / Golisopod-GX
2nd 2. Adrian Gomez with Buzzwole-GX / Lycanroc-GX
3rd 3. Ojvind Svinhufvud with Gardevoir-GX / Sylveon-GX
4th 4. Alex Frindt with Zoroark-GX / Golisopod-GX
5th 5. Nicolo Catignoli with Zoroark-GX / Golisopod-GX
6th 6. Philip Schulz Drampa-GX / Garbodor
7th 7. Ondrej Skubal with Greninja BREAK
8th 8. Simone Soldo with Greninja BREAK

Sao Paulo Regionals – Brazil – January 2018

1st 1. Gabriel Pino Semedo with Gardevoir-GX
2nd 2. Vinicius Lapadula with Tapu Bulu GX / Vikavolt
3rd 3. Alexandre Braga with Zoroark-GX / Lycanroc-GX
4th 4. Pedro Dossi with Buzzwole-GX / Lycanroc-GX
5th 5. Andre Bortoni Miranda with Tapu Bulu GX / Vikavolt
6th 6. Nicolas Galaz with Buzzwole-GX / Lycanroc-GX
7th 7. William Azevado with Zoroark-GX / Lycanroc-GX
8th 8. Rodrigo Ferreira with Regigas / Hoopa

Leipzig Regionals – Germany – January 2018

1st 1. Bert Wolters with Buzzwole-GX / Lycanroc-GX
2nd 2. Sen Caubergh with Tapu Bulu GX / Vikavolt
3rd 3. Jonathan Hansen with Greninja BREAK
4th 4. Marc Lutz with Buzzwole-GX / Garbodor
5th 5. Benjamin Cheynubrata with Zoroark-GX / Lycanroc-GX
6th 6. Tommy Roberts with Gardevoir-GX
7th 7. Patrick Landis with Volcanion-EX
8th 8. Adam Hawkins with Zoroark-GX / Golisopod-GX


With all of these results, the decks that placed more than once are:

I think that all of those decks seem like strong deck choices heading into Sydney because they all have well-defined lists that top players have perfected over the past few months. After looking at these results, if I don’t end up playing one of those decks, I will need to play a deck that does a great job countering those decks.

What I Want in a Deck

Continuing on my thought of a counter deck, I need to find a deck that can do multiple things, and do them well. It might not be easy, but here is my list:

  • Consistent deck that sets up more games than not
  • Can do enough damage to KO a Gardevoir-GX, the most played Pokemon with the highest amount of HP
  • Can either Knock Out opposing Pokemon who use Abilities or block them entirely
  • Can take Prizes quickly to set games up for success
  • Has favourable typing or has a lack of bad matchups

With all of those factors in mind, I am experimenting with a Buzzwole-GX / Lycanroc-GX / Garbodor deck that seems to be a hidden gem in the format. I have taken inspiration from my older Buzzwole-GX / Lycanroc-GX from League Cups earlier in the season and I have mixed it with the concept of Frank Percic’s Buzzwole-GX / Garbodor list that allowed him to make day two at Memphis Regionals. I decided that I wasn’t a fan of playing Garbodor from Guardians Rising in the deck because I found it almost entirely useless when I played it at a League Cup a few weeks ago. Overall, I am going to playtest the below list extensively heading into London so expect me to play something extremely similar. Let’s peep this list out:

This concludes the public portion of this article.

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