Hey there PokeBeach readers! Last time, I talked in depth about the strength of Zoroark-GX and looked at three different builds for the deck. While Zoroark certainly is a strong card that has become the center of our metagame, that does not mean there are not other decks that are viable in this meta. Today, I will be looking at the only two other decks I consider to be viable plays for the World Championships and the Nashville Open this weekend: Buzzwole / Lycanroc-GX and Gardevoir-GX. I will be taking a look at both, and talk about some important cards in my lists and why I play them.
As long as Zoroark is around and a threat in the metagame, Buzzwole decks will always have a place near the top of any tier list. With multiple strong attackers to abuse, plenty of damage modifiers, tons of Energy acceleration, and different Weaknesses for its attackers as well as hitting for Weakness against the best card in the format, Buzzwole has tons going for it that make it a huge threat headed into the World Championships.
While most BuzzRoc lists are only a few cards off nowadays, there were three things I made sure to include in my list when I went about building it: a 2-2 Lycanroc-GX line, a 2-2 Octillery line, and two Field Blower. Now that we know the objectives I was aiming to hit, let’s take a look at my list and discuss why I wanted these specific card counts.
Three Buzzwole and Two Buzzwole-GX
While many lists leading up to NAIC started swapping to four baby Buzzwole in order to play a non-GX game, I have chosen to switch one out for a second Buzzwole-GX for the Zoroark Control matchup. With many Zoroark decks playing multiple copies of Weakness Policy at the moment, I found myself struggling to keep up with the two-shot trading that Zoroark Control aims to do. Whether it be because they were playing Reverse Valley and one-shotting my baby Buzzwole or trading two-shots with us while healing their Pokemon with Max Potion and Acerola, I was not coming out ahead on the Prize trade often even though I was using non-GXs to attack.
As such, I have chosen to play two Buzzwole-GX, as it can easily one-shot Zoroark even if it has a Weakness Policy attached. Buzzwole-GX is also difficult to Knock Out unless Zoroark uses Mew-EX, which should then be two free Prizes for Buzzwole to take as long as our board position is not horrendous. In this situation, we would be ahead on Prizes 2-4 with a baby Buzzwole in the Active versus whatever they decide to put Active, making this a favorable trade that we want to take.
Lycanroc-GX has been my absolute favorite Pokemon to play this season, and that has not changed with the release of Celestial Storm. This card has so much packed into it: the second best Ability in the game behind Tapu Lele-GX, a 70 HP Basic that gives it extra tankiness before it evolves, an incredibly strong GX attack that can potentially one-shot any Pokemon in the game, and a Weakness to an underpowered type.
While Lycanroc is incredible in every matchup, it specifically shines in the Zoroark / Garbodor matchup. Since all of your other attackers are weak to Psychic, it is imperative that you get a Lycanroc attacking before you have played too much into Trashalanche. An early Lycanroc can sweep through ZoroGarb’s board with no trouble at all, as many ZoroGarb lists aren’t playing Shaymin and Counter Energy or are cutting their Enhanced Hammers. Once your first Lycanroc goes down, you should have hopefully had enough time to get another Rockruff on board with an Energy that can keep up the pressure. If you can seamlessly transition from one Lycanroc to another in the ZoroGarb matchup, you will win handily.
This concludes the public portion of this article.
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