Almost Charlotte — Two Decks for Standard

As I am writing this article, my mind is hyper-focused on the upcoming Charlotte, NC Regionals this weekend. I am sure that most of you reading this article either are playing in the event, know someone who is playing in the event, or will be watching the Twitch stream from home this weekend.

With that being said, we need to be able to prepare for this event and we need to pick a deck to play, learn how to play it, and have a bit of luck on our side to prosper. In this article, I want to explain how I am picking my deck choice for this event, go over lists for Buzzwole-GX / Garbodor and Zoroark-GX / Golisopod-GX, and share some strategies about those decks. As always, I put in the effort to put all of my ideas and theory to the test to provide you with a valuable article. So without hesitating, let’s jump into how I am picking my deck for Charlotte:

Picking a Deck

My thoughts on this subject have bounced around for various tournaments and I decided on a slightly different method for my deck choice in Charlotte. Now before I get into the exact method of picking my deck for this event, it is necessary to go over the different methods to picking a deck for an event — here they are:

  • Picking the perceived best deck in format (i.e. Zoroark-GX)
  • Countering the perceived best deck in format (i.e. Buzzwole-GX)
  • Picking a deck that has mostly 50-50 matchups across the board (i.e. Gardevoir-GX)
  • Picking a deck that is inconsistent, but is extremely powerful (i.e. Greninja BREAK)
  • Picking a deck that is brand new to catch players off guard (i.e. Rampardos / Talonflame)
  • Picking a deck that you are comfortable with, but might not be the best deck
  • Picking a deck that you are not comfortable with, but is likely the best deck

While there may be more methods of picking a deck or slight variations to the methods listed, that list is sufficient for most. For me, my deck choice isn’t unique, but I am fine with that because I know how to play my deck.

In an unlikely turn of events, I had the opportunity to meet up with my long-time friend Raymond Cipoletti, an ex-Pokemon player and current professional Hearthstone player, and he brought some important insight. We randomly met up in Toronto with a clash of my League Cup and his Hearthstone tournament so we decided to kick it for a few hours. After a few hours of discussion, I ultimately asked Ray what I should play for Charlotte — Buzzwole-GX / Garbodor or Zoroark-GX / Lycanroc-GX. This question may seem awkward at first, but I am always interested in hearing from a fresh perspective and Ray offered me some compelling advice.

In the most basic way, Ray asked me which deck I would rather play versus a professional player. My answer immediately was Buzzwole-GX / Garbodor; it was that simple. His premise was that if you played a Zoroark-GX deck that you could play well, but not as well as another player, it was simply a bad choice. While I do think Zoroark-GX decks are strong, I have played them less than Buzzwole-GX decks and would not play as optimally as I would with a Buzzwole-GX deck. In the end, I decided to go with the deck that I was most comfortable with instead of playing the perceived best deck in format.

Overall, I was happy that I had picked my deck early enough before the event and that I could use that time to decide on the last few spots of my list. Luckily for me, I recently played in a League Cup in Niagara Falls, ON where I was fortunate enough to win the whole event with Buzzwole-GX / Garbodor. I will share the list I am currently planning to play for the event below:

Buzzwole-GX / Garbodor List

Pokemon (14)

4x Buzzwole-GX (PRSM #SM69)2x Garbodor (BKP #57)2x Trubbish (BKP #56)1x Carbink BREAK (FAC #51)1x Carbink (FAC #49)2x Tapu Lele-GX (GUR #60)1x Sudowoodo (BKP #67)1x Mewtwo (EVO #51)

Trainers (32)

4x Guzma (BUS #115)3x Professor Sycamore (BKP #107)3x Cynthia (ULP #119)3x N (NVI #92)1x Lillie (ULP #125)4x Float Stone (BKT #137)4x Max Elixir (BKP #102)4x Ultra Ball (SHL #68)3x Fighting Fury Belt (BKP #99)1x Choice Band (GUR #121)1x Super Rod (BKT #149)1x Nest Ball (SM #123)

Energy (14)

10x Fighting Energy (HS #120)4x Strong Energy (FAC #115)

This concludes the public portion of this article.

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