Sup’, PokeBeach readers? Have you started testing for Worlds yet? If you haven’t, I am pleased to say that I have done extensive testing in the new format that now has Celestial Storm. One deck has proven itself as a front runner in the format and that deck is Buzzwole / Buzzwole-GX / Lycanroc-GX. I will go over why Buzzwole is still a great card, checking out two lists for the deck, and popular matchups.
Why is Buzzwole Still Good?
Buzzwole is a deck that has gone through many forms. It first appeared at the European International Championships last November and recently had some strong showings at the North American International Championships last month! Looking forward at the World Championships and the Nashville Open, Buzzwole has proven itself in testing to be one of the best decks heading into both events.
Looking at the history of Buzzwole in the game, the deck has faced many counters in the form of Psychic-type attackers, wacky disruption decks, and decks such as Attacking Hoopa have stopped it in its tracks momentarily. The key word there is “momentarily” as Buzzwole has adapted from starting off as a Buzzwole-GX deck, adding partners like Garbodor and Lycanroc-GX along the way, and has settled on focusing on the “baby” Buzzwole as of late. Whenever there is opposition towards Buzzwole decks in any particular format, it always finds a way to crawl back into the metagame.
Zoroark-GX has blasted off on the metagame lately and it doesn’t look like it will be slowing down. The resurgence in Zoroark-GX is due to its recent success at the NAIC with Stephane Ivanoff and Tord Reklev both playing Zoroark-GX decks in the finals. With other top players playing Zoroark-GX variants, including Jimmy Pendarvis playing Zoroark-GX / Golisopod-GX, Zoroark-GX decks were able to make their mark at the NAIC. Fast forward to where we are at now, most players have been experimenting with the new Celestial Storm set and the metagame is largely remaining the same. Celestial Storm is an interesting set to say the least, but in all reality the set hasn’t added much into the metagame. The most promising thing for Buzzwole right now, combined with Zoroark-GX being played at an all time high, is that this new set only added two potential new Psychic-type Pokemon into the metagame. Those Pokemon, Banette-GX and Deoxys, are also deemed as techs in this metagame due to playability flaws. That said, the metagame is shaping to be something like this.
Tier 1 (Highly Played)
- Buzzwole / Buzzwole-GX / Lycanrock-GX
- Zoroark-GX / Magcargo / Oranguru
- Zoroark-GX / Garbodor
Tier 2 (Moderately Played)
- Zoroark-GX / Golisopod-GX
- Zoroark-GX / Lycanroc-GX
- Rayquaza-GX / Garbodor
- Buzzwole-GX / Garbodor
- Stakataka-GX / Dusk Mane Necrozma
Tier 3 (Lightly Played)
- Dawn Wings Necrozma-GX / Malamar
- Ultra Necrozma-GX / Malamar
- Zoroark-GX / Banette-GX
- Yveltal BREAK / Mewtwo
- Volcanion-EX / Volcanion
- Hoopa / Mewtwo
- Greninja BREAK
Looking at Celestial Storm being an unimpressive set, most players had to look at the success of the top decks from the NAIC. That transitions well into Ivanoff’s Zoroark-GX / Garbodor deck being one of the most hyped decks for Worlds. Similarly, Reklev’s success of a player and strength of his Zoroark-GX / Oranguru deck was able to freely transform into a much more refined Zoroark-GX / Magcargo / Oranguru deck to make Reklev’s deck more consistent. Buzzwole has been everywhere this season and it continues to hold its own against most decks in the format. Rayquaza-GX, a promising newcomer from Celestial Storm, arguably rounds out the tier-one decks in the format. There is skepticism around Rayquaza-GX from players of all skill levels, but I give that deck my stamp of approval. My favourite aspects from Rayquaza-GX are its strong Tier 1 matchups — sans any Rayquaza-GX specific techs, its ability to “pop-off” on games, and the sheer consistency of the deck. The rest either have deck list flaws in terms of consistency, or they have too many poor matchups between the top tiers of the metagame. The only thing that has remained consistent overall is that Buzzwole has the best matchup spread out of any deck on that list.
I can’t be too crazy for my continuous support for Buzzwole, right? Looking back on this entire season, Buzzwole / Buzzwole-GX / Lycanroc-GX is the most successful deck when compared to all other decks in the format throughout the year. My question is, “why would you not play Buzzwole at Worlds?” I can’t find an option as compelling as Buzzwole / Buzzwole-GX / Lycanroc-GX. Between the deck’s raw power, great matchup spread, and proven success, I highly recommend this deck to anyone playing at the Nashville Open and Worlds.
This concludes the public portion of this article.
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