With Collinsville Regionals behind us and only two weeks of Cups to explore the format before Charlotte, innovation in Standard is currently in a difficult spot. There is little time to explore new concepts, and many of the game’s best deckbuilders are playing Expanded in Costa Mesa this weekend. In an attempt to sate the appetite of our readers looking for a new, unexplored deck, I would like to share the product of my last couple weeks of testing: Golisopod-GX / Lurantis.
While I am currently uncertain as to this deck’s staying power across metagames, a strong basic game plan and some solid matchups among the top decks have given the deck quite a bit of early promise. In this article, I’ll go over the deck list that I currently have with a list of potential changes, finishing out with a matchup discussion and where the deck falls into the current format.
My original inspiration for this deck came from Ian Robb and Joe Ruettiger’s runs to first and Top 8 of Collinsville Regionals. Their Golisopod-GX / Zoroark-GX deck was unusual in that it included a 2-2 Lurantis Promo line to fix some of the deck’s damage issues. I tested this deck fairly extensively, finding the Lurantis line to be extremely powerful against nearly every matchup. That said, I was finding it difficult to set up more than a single Lurantis each game, and I wanted to investigate the potential of having two or three on board reliably. From this, I built Golisopod-GX / Lurantis.
The original list was close to the winning Zoroark / Golisopod list, but I made some changes after a few games to buff out the deck’s consistency and remove some of the fluff. After a fair bit of testing and alterations, the list came out to look like this:
Some of the deck’s strengths are:
- You don’t rely on Tapu Koko to set up your numbers. This makes your damage faster in terms of turns spent attacking and also does not come with the liability of giving up extra Prizes.
- You hit nearly every relevant damage number in the Standard format: 170 for Tapu Lele-GX, 190 for Buzzwole-GX, and 210 for a large variety of attackers, the big ones being Zoroark-GX and Golisopod-GX. With a fourth Lurantis Promo or Professor Kukui, even Gardevoir-GX is within First Impression’s one-shot range!
- Your attacker is easy to set up and has low Energy requirements. In addition, if your opponent decides to Guzma around your Golisopod, a Double Colorless Energy allows you to push even more damage with your GX attack.
- Any deck that has to bench Tapu Lele-GX grants you a huge advantage in doing so. 170 can be achieved in a variety of ways, and none of them are terribly difficult. I often take four Prizes strictly off Lele.
- You have the ability to end games lightning quick if you draw moderately well, putting any deck on a short clock to respond to your pressure or lose. In many cases, your opponent will be unable to do this.
- Your GX attack deals a crazy amount of damage thanks to Lurantis. One Lurantis in play puts you at 200 with Choice Band, and two puts you at 220, one-shot range for the lion’s share of this format’s attackers.
- The deck is easy to play. You just set up your Pokemon and attack; in general, the decision making is basic. This is great for players of all levels, lowering the number of games you can lose to misplays and easing the mental strain of a long event.
As of now, I am uncertain that this is the optimal build for the deck. I am constantly making changes and, therefore, I want to go into detail on the list of cards that either have been in the deck or could be in the deck. This should give you an idea of some good changes that can be made, and it will also give some insight into my deck building process.
Potential Techs and Changes
3-3 to 4-4 Lurantis
This is the count that I’m not sure about. I started with 4-4 and found it to be too heavy, but I’m terrified of prizing Lurantis Promos at three. Finding multiple Fomantis early on is a must, so I would play at least three.
3-2 to 4-3 Golisopod-GX
I’ve been a little more stable on this count. In general, finding your Golisopod is more important than it is in, say, Zoroark / Golisopod, but you don’t need to set up more than one early on. You will usually only need one or two in a game, so a four-count of Golisopod is unneeded. A Wimpod start is always nice, but your Float Stone count is high enough that it doesn’t matter enough to add a fourth.
1-1 to 2-2 Octillery
While I have 1-1 Octillery in my current list, I really want 2-2. It makes you far more resistant to prizing, and you can more easily respond to having it Knocked Out at any stage in the game. That said, I find Octillery to be a luxury in many games, and I’m typically able to thin my deck enough toward the late game to find what I need after a low N. For this reason, I’ve kept it at a 1-1.
One Tapu Koko
Tapu Koko can help clean up difficult or messy numbers. It is also an excellent pivot off of a Knock Out or Guzma. The reasons it is not in the deck at the moment are that I find Lurantis Promo to be quite effective at fixing your numbers already, and Bench space is unbearably tight for this deck.
This concludes the public portion of this article.
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