Buzzwole / Garbodor / Weavile / Shrine of Punishment is one of the best decks I’ve ever played. I won the Pennsylvania Regional Championship with the deck, and I’m here today to explain the build, the thought that went into it, and more. Next time I’ll be going over the deck’s matchups in depth. Let’s just begin right away with the list…
At first sight this list looks messy, it really does. There’s a lot jammed in here and it might not even look like the most competitive thing in the world. I assure you, however, every card had its place and it was built to handle anything. Going into this tournament I worked closely with Daniel Altavilla and Isaiah Williams for different opinions and takes on the deck. We started with a consistent base of a list, boasting higher counts of the integral cards to the deck like Acro Bike, Nest Ball, Professor Kukui… the list goes on! Here’s where things started to get interesting, as we bounced around ideas like a thin Banette-GX line, a thin Weavile line, and even things like Field Blower and Counter Energy. I was very adamantly opposed to playing Weavile until the night before, but I was a huge supporter of some of the other options. After using Banette-GX at a League Cup to lackluster results, I made sure to switch gears away from that option and towards testing Weavile. Like I said, I wasn’t a big fan, but I’m very glad that I impulsively decided to play it, it was one of the best cards in the deck.
List and Card Choices
Originally a split of Buzzwole and Regirock, I found that Regirock was too fancy, and the potential to do a little bit more against 70 HP Pokemon (Regirock does 20, then 20 more with a Tool attached, 20 more from Diancie Prism Star, and finally 20 more from Professor Kukui) wasn’t worth missing an important Sledgehammer turn. The whole purpose of this deck is to optimize the power of your Sledgehammer, and without a maxed out line of Buzzwole it’s hard to do that sometimes. It’s the best starter in the deck, so opening up with it naturally is incredibly important so you can stay away from burning Guzma or Switch early just to get it as your Active.
Three Trubbish and Two Garbodor
I never tried a smaller or thicker line of Garbodor. This just always felt like the right count, and before adding anything to the line, I would have preferred to go for a higher Rescue Stretcher count. I saw some lists throughout the event go for counts of four Trubbish and three Garbodor, but I was still able to beat those in mirror matches. I would always rather have a completely different attacking option, something unique like Weavile, rather than buffing out a card that already does its job in its current form. I think of Garbodor as a check measure for decks that are equipped to deal with multiple Buzzwole, and assurance against other non-GX decks like the Shining Lugia variants of Malamar. The logic for playing more mainly rests in the mirror match realm of things, and I found that even though you might have a larger line, it’s more about the Energy counts and overall consistency if you even want to make good use of it. Again, the double Rescue Stretcher suffices in place of this, so I have always been on board with keeping this as the optimal line of this extremely important Pokemon.
Two Slugma and Two Magcargo
Setting up two Magcargo was never specifically part of my strategy, but what was is having a second Slugma in case the first was taken down. Often opponents will target your Magcargo, or a Slugma before it, in hopes to dismantle your setup. This can work, so Magcargo is incredibly important to the deck’s strategy. Like its spiritual predecessor Octillery, Magcargo just has this target written all over it that draws players to want it gone as soon as possible. Smooth Over takes the one-of techs that this list plays out of the deck and allows you to maintain a consistent approach that awards intelligent play by giving you instant access to all of the cards in your deck with the right ways to draw cards (Smooth over then play Lillie or use Oranguru to Instruct). Magcargo is even good at the end of your turn, just putting something you want on top for your next turn, and one of my favorite plays is to Smooth Over an Acro Bike to the top so that you can decide what you really want on your next turn. You can do the same thing with Professor Kukui, just reserving your Smooth Over on your next turn for a card better suited for the developing situation you find yourself in. It isn’t wrong to not always know what you want to get with Smooth Over, or even what you’ll want to do on your coming turn. Predicting your opponent’s play is one thing, but what they actually do is another. It could drastically change on their own decision making, or simply based on what they draw. Perhaps they get unlucky and don’t have the luxury of making the best play possible; in those situations you’ll be gifted with an Acro Bike as previously mentioned to help guide your decision within your turn itself.
One Sneasel and One Weavile
Some of the best cards in the deck, I originally wasn’t enthralled with them as I am today. I thought it deviated too far from the general strategy of the deck, which is true in a sense, but playing it gives the deck a much needed dimension of play that creates unwinnable scenarios for opponents as well as another check measure for if an opponent plays around Trashalanche by limiting their Item usage. At worst it was a Pokemon that my opponent’s needed to take down quickly with a Guzma, ignoring a different threat, and at best it was a juggernaut one-shotting large HP Pokemon-GX that I desperately needed to take down. I’m enthralled with Weavile, and I will be keeping it in this deck.
This concludes the public portion of this article.
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