“Staks-on-Staks” — Stakataka-GX / Naganadel-GX for Worlds!

Good morning, PokeBeach readers! I’m finally back from NAIC and what a doozy — it’s always one of my favourite events of the year. With over 1500 Master-division players, this was no joke. I went with my brother and fellow writer Zachary Lesage, my friend Dakota Gillanders, and my girlfriend Rochelle Fortier, and we all managed to reach our corresponding goals: I managed to go 6-3 in order to get my World Championship invite, Zach managed to obtain Championship Points in order to lock in his Top 16 NA spot, Dakota went 7-2 in order to make it to day two which has been a long-time goal of his at NAIC, and Rochelle went 5-3-1 at her first big tournament.

My NAIC Synopsis

Here’s a quick roundup of my matchups throughout the day playing Buzzwole / Lycanroc-GX.


  • Round 1 — Zoroark-GX / Golisopod-GX WW
  • Round 2 — Buzzwole WW
  • Round 3 — Zoroark-GX / Golisopod-GX WW
  • Round 4 — Buzzwole / Lycanroc-GX LL
  • Round 5 — Ultra Necrozma-GX / Malamar LL
  • Round 6 — Zoroark-GX / Lycanroc-GX WW
  • Round 7 — Ultra Necrozma-GX / Malamar LL
  • Round 8 — Buzzwole / Garbodor WW
  • Round 9 — Necrozma-GX / Malamar LWW

It was a long day that consisted of many Malamar builds! I couldn’t beat the Malamar players mainly due to suboptimal draws, as well as their ability to get Beast Energy Prism Star and use Moon’s Eclipse GX to KO my Lycanroc-GX with their Dawn Wings Necrozma-GX. This is one of those plays that absolutely seals the deal for most Buzzwole players because you can’t find a way to both target around Dawn Wings Necrozma-GX and muster up an attacker in the same turn. This proved difficult for me as this scenario occurred two-thirds of the time against the two Ultra Necrozma-GX decks I faced. My final round opponent conceded to me upon hearing it was my win-and-in after pounding me to a pulp in this matchup–I was highly appreciative of that, as without it I wouldn’t have achieved my Worlds invite. The Zoroark-GX variants were particularly simple to play against, as I’m comfortable in that matchup as a whole.

Here is the list I used:

Buzzwole-GX Deck List

Pokemon (14)

4x Buzzwole (FOL #77)1x Buzzwole-GX (CRI #115)2x Lycanroc-GX (GUR #156)2x Rockruff (FOL #75)1x Octillery (BKT #33)2x Remoraid (CRI #22)1x Tapu Lele-GX (GUR #155)1x Diancie Prism Star (FOL #74)

Trainers (32)

4x Guzma (BUS #143)4x Professor Sycamore (STS #114)2x N (NVI #101)2x Cynthia (ULP #148)4x Ultra Ball (SM #161)4x Max Elixir (BKP #102)3x Beast Ring (FOL #141)3x Choice Band (BUS #162)2x Float Stone (BKT #137)1x Super Rod (BKT #149)3x Brooklet Hill (GUR #120)

Energy (14)

9x Fighting Energy (EM #106)4x Strong Energy (FAC #115)1x Beast Energy Prism Star (FOL #117)

If I had to do it again, I would’ve still played Buzzwole / Lycanroc-GX because I like the way that the deck operates. I chalk up this performance to playing against three Malamar decks and less Zoroark-GX than I initially expected to play against.

That said, this article isn’t about Buzzwole, or my NAIC performance — this is about preparation for Worlds and, as the title suggests, Stakataka-GX!

Stakataka-GX Overlook

I always look for powerhouses within new expansions — I’m never a fan of sleeper ideas, and tend to go for the more obvious plays. I like to take a concept and take it to the max. Whether I have the most optimal list or some pioneering asset to the deck, I want to add something new to it. In this case, we have a brand-new set that just released and I want to talk about one of my new favourite cards! Let’s take a look at the sum of Stakataka-GX’s parts.

180 HP

This is regular HP for a Pokemon-GX, but this will soon be seen as a lower amount for Pokemon-GX as power creep takes over. This is sufficient in combination with its Ability.

Ability: Ultra Wall. “Your Ultra Beasts take 10 less damage from your opponent’s attacks (after applying Weakness and Resistance).”

This is a crazy Ability that makes any of your Ultra Beasts far more tanky than other Pokemon, namely because this Ability “stacks”… c’mon, that was funny! If you have all four Stakataka-GX in play, that successfully reduces 40 damage from your Ultra Beasts that are in play! No matter what you choose to partner this guy with, they’re bound to be able to take a few shots.

[M][M][C] Gigaton Stomp: 120 damage.

This is a vanilla attack with a mediocre attack cost. At worst, it will two-shot most Pokemon-GX in the format. This attack becomes better with Beast Ring if the player chooses to go that route.

[M][M][C] Assembly GX: 50+ damage. This attack does 50 more damage for each Prize card you have taken. (You can’t use more than 1 GX attack in a game.)

This is a handy GX attack in order to finish the game. If you’ve taken four Prize cards, this immediately becomes a beast of an attack that will OHKO almost anything in the entire game. The best part is that this giant Tetris block can take multiple hits due to its Ability, so it can square off against most Pokemon in a 2HKO showdown.

Weakness: Fire (x2)

This is an uncommon Weakness as Volcanion-EX isn’t nearly as popular as it once was. This poses little-to-no threat against the deck’s viability.

Resistance: Psychic (-20)

This is a great Resistance against things like Garbodor, or against other random Psychic-type Pokemon like Mewtwo. This resists the entire Malamar deck basically! This is an excellent type to be resistant to, and boosts this Pokemon’s viability.

Retreat Cost: [C][C][C]

The Retreat Cost on this card is the worst part about it, mostly because it forces us to play a bunch of Float Stone, Guzma, and Acerola. It’s workable though!

Ultra Beast

Important to note is that this Pokemon is an Ultra Beast, and can utilize the Ultra Beast support such as the aforementioned Beast Ring, Beast Energy Prism Star, Ultra Space, and others. It also works perfectly in harmony with its partner, Naganadel-GX. Let’s look at the deck list that I’ve whipped up!

This concludes the public portion of this article.

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