Order Up! Two Brand-new Lists for Sun and Moon-on
What’s up ‘Beach goers? I hope you all had a great summer and are getting geared up for the new season. It’s been a while but I’m happy to be back writing again — and what perfect timing! The new rotation is nearly here.
In this article I’m going to help you all break in the new format by revamping some old favorites while offering my predictions on the future of the Standard format. Old staples like Professor Sycamore, Brigette, Float Stone, Max Elixir and N are completely gone while everyone’s favorite hand refresher, Octillery, is banished to Expanded. The removal of these cards will completely change the way we play the Pokemon Trading Card Game and, to the delight of many players, slow the format down considerably.
Sun and Moon-on is a different beast. Many archetypes survive the transition while some (I’m looking at you Rayquaza-GX) are going to have a much more difficult time staying relevant. Two decks that make the transition effortlessly are Buzzwole-GX / Lycanroc-GX and Gardevoir-GX. I will be detailing each deck and talking about their strengths and weaknesses in the upcoming year!
Buzzwole-GX / Lycanroc-GX
Love him or hate him, Buzzwole-GX is going to have a stable presence in the upcoming Standard format. A slower format without Float Stone, Mew-EX or Mewtwo means that early pressure with Jet Punch is a potent strategy without much repercussion. Even without Strong Energy, both Jet Punch and Sledgehammer can hit for considerable numbers when paired with Diancie Prism Star on the first turn of the game.
Spreading early with Buzzwole-GX is essential in the next format since the deck loses Strong Energy to help hit those Knock Out numbers later in the game. That being said, the deck isn’t completely devoid of OHKOs! With Diancie and Choice Band, Knuckle Impact still hits for 210 damage. If you happen to have your Beast Energy Prism Star equipped, that’s a 240 damage Knuckle Impact. And, as usual, a well timed Absorption GX or Dangerous Rogue GX can wipe out anything on the opponent’s side of the field.
Losing Max Elixir is a big deal for this deck, but by no means a deal breaker. As we saw last season with Buzzwole GX / Garbodor, a Beast Ring focused version of the deck can be explosive and consistent. Without Octillery or Professor Sycamore to help draw into our valuable Beast Rings, the list has compensated by including Order Pad to not only help with hitting Beast Ring on the right turns, but also early aggression and consistency. Let’s talk about the overall changes in this deck and why certain cards are included.
Three Buzzwole GX and Two Little Buzzwole
I originally started my list with three copies of Buzzwole and three copies of Buzzwole-GX. The more I played, however, I realized that Buzzwole-GX is your ideal starter. In fact, it could be beneficial to cut the Rescue Stretcher or the second little Buzzwole for a fourth Buzzwole-GX to increase the odds of starting it.
As was the case with Buzzwole-GX / Garbodor this year, you want to allow yourself the most amount of turns to hit Beast Ring as possible. Spreading with Buzzwole-GX allows Buzzwole the most opportunities to take early Prizes and set up KOs while pressuring the opponent to set off your own Beast Ring. Once Beast Ring is activated, a baby Buzz can usually be promoted to take out a damaged attacker with Sledgehammer while you build up Buzzwole-GX on the Bench. If your opponent then KOs the little Buzzwole, they will be at three Prizes, allotting you one more turn to hit Beast Ring to ensure that you have enough Energy in play to clean up the game. Now this is admittedly a pretty linear strategy, but that’s how these Beast Ring decks work. You have a game plan to get your Energy into play and it more or less happens the same way every game.
2-2 Lycanroc GX
Lycanroc-GX is as strong as ever. Without Parallel City in format, setup decks will be filling their Bench to their hearts content. Also, without a number of strong draw options to choose from, more and more Tapu Lele-GX will be making their way onto the Bench, crowding things up.
Unfortunately, without Max Elixir, the days of the surprise Dangerous Rogue are over. I considered playing Energy Switch in this list to give you the option to pull off that maneuver if you wanted to, but I found that the format is so slow that there is usually plenty of time to slap a single Fighting Energy onto a Rockruff while you Jet Punch with Buzzwole-GX during the opening turns.
Getting an early Fighting Energy onto a Rockruff is important so that Dangerous Rogue can be a live play for the rest of the game. Though Lycanroc’s Dangerous Rogue is amazing, you will be primarily using it for Bloodthirsty Eyes to help pull up damaged targets to be aggressive and finish off games with Buzzwole-GX.
This concludes the public portion of this article.
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