Hey PokeBeach readers, I am back from the 2018 Latin American International Championships in São Paulo, Brazil and the subject of the article today is going to be Buzzwole-GX / Lycanroc-GX. While the deck has been on fire since its inception at Crimson Invasion, it is shaping up to be one of the most played decks heading forward. The best way to look at this deck is that it has proven itself to be one of the best decks in Standard, it just came off an International Championship win, and it is shaping up to be the best deck to play for the upcoming Toronto Regional Championships! In this article, I will go over my Buzzwole-GX / Lycanroc-GX deck that I played in São Paulo, a brief tournament recap, an updated list for Toronto Regionals, and an explanation of the matchups for this deck.
São Paulo Buzzwole-GX / Lycanroc-GX
This list is an inspiration of me talking to my friends at São Paulo and networking with other players. The changes that I made to get to this list were cutting a Super Rod and a Float Stone for a Fighting Energy and another Cynthia. While these changes sound minuscule, they were rewarding throughout the tournament by allowing my Max Elixir to hit Fighting Energy more often and to make my deck more consistent. Both Mew and Oricorio played a strong role in São Paulo by allowing me to always have a comeback option against an opposing Mew-EX when I was facing Zoroark-GX decks. I also switched my split of Rockruff from one Rockruff from Sun and Moon Black Star Promos and one Rockruff from Guardians Rising to both Rockruff having Corner. That last-second change was an idea by Daniel Altavilla because the promo Rockruff does the same thing as a Jet Punch to a Zorua so unless you’re expecting a lot of Hoopa, Corner is more valuable and can become a win condition sometimes.
Overall, this list was consistent, quick, and powerful for the event, and I don’t regret playing this deck at all. If you have never played a Buzzwole-GX / Lycanroc-GX deck before, here is a quick strategy:
In this deck, your goal is to foresee your win condition as early as possible and to chase that win condition until the end of the game. In most games, you want to use Buzzwole-GX to soften up your opponent’s board state with Jet Punch and possibly even try to draw some quick Prize cards. It is at this point in the game where you either need to play aggressively by using Knuckle Impact / Absorption GX or, if you can finesse your way into using Lycanroc-GX, to use Dangerous Rogue GX. Alternatively, you may find yourself playing against a Zoroark-GX deck that uses Mew-EX so you will want to have either a Mew or an Oricorio to react to the Mew-EX. Both of these cards can OHKO a Mew-EX with a Choice Band (Oricorio requires a Stadium Card in play). Furthermore, if you find yourself playing against a Tapu Bulu-GX deck, you can use Sudowoodo to copy their Nature’s Judgement attack, discard all of your Energy and OHKO that Pokemon. This deck is all about using your resources at the right time, picking when and where to use your GX attack, and using damage modifiers to OHKO Pokemon with the right amount of damage.
So at this specific event, I ended up with a record of 6-3-0 after starting 6-1-0! It is a slightly bittersweet finish, but I can’t complain because I still made Top 64, won $500, and earned another 130 Championship Points. Here are the matchups that I played against:
Round 1 vs. Zoroark-GX / Lycanroc-GX — WW 1-0-0
Round 2 vs. Espeon-GX / Garbodor — WW 2-0-0
Round 3 vs. Buzzwole-GX / Lycanroc-GX — LWL 2-1-0
Round 4 vs. Zoroark-GX / Lycanroc-GX — WW 3-1-0
Round 5 vs. Espeon-GX / Garbodor — WLW 4-1-0
Round 6 vs. Zoroark-GX / Lucario-GX — WW 5-1-0
Round 7 vs. Buzzwole-GX / Lycanroc-GX — LWW 6-1-0
Round 8 vs. Tapu Bulu-GX / Vikavolt — LL 6-2-0
Round 9 vs. Dusk Mane Necrozma-GX / Magnezone — LL 6-3-0
As you can see, I had a strong run right out of the gates even through facing some close to unfavourable matchups, such as Espeon-GX / Garbodor twice during Swiss. If you want to read about how the matchups went, check out the matchup section below to get a general idea.
The one thing I would like to point out is that the 2018 Latin American International Championships had a strong metagame with some well built archetypes present. It was during this experience that I came up with the inspiration for this below list after seeing top players such as Azul Garcia Griego and Jimmy Pendarvis play similar lists at the event. Let’s check out the how my list is shaping up for Toronto Regionals:
Toronto Buzzwole-GX / Lycanroc-GX
Why the Changes?
So the only changes that I made from my São Paulo list were cutting the Oricorio for a second copy of Mew and cutting a Strong Energy for another Fighting Energy. I like the addition of a second Mew because it has free retreat, and it is functionally the same as Oricorio since its main purpose is to Knock Out an opposing Mew-EX. Interestingly enough, Mew can open up strong plays when playing against Tapu Bulu-GX because you can use Memories of Dawn to copy Sudowoodo’s Watch and Learn. This can be used up to two more times to copy Nature’s Judgement to always have a reaction play up your sleeve whenever you need to attack! The eleventh copy of Fighting Energy is useful for when you want to hit your Max Elixir throughout the game. It is unfortunate that the eleventh Fighting Energy came at the cost of a Strong Energy, but it keeps the equilibrium of the deck at par and it doesn’t hurt the damage output of the deck too much.
This concludes the public portion of this article.
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