Armstrong and Mr. Bink — A Buzzwole-GX Toolbox Exposé

Buzzwole-GX decks just can’t be held down, they’re always doing well. Most recently, Connor Pedersen took a Buzzwole deck to a Top 8 finish at California Regionals, his list only two cards different from Austin Ellis’s from Oregon Regionals about a month earlier. It’s interesting to see nearly identical lists do well in events back to back, with a new set introduced to the game, no less. Buzzwole has been at the forefront of the metagame since its inception, but what’s curious is why it’s been so under the radar in the Expanded format. See, it has done well, so the strength of the deck is there, but is it just not popular enough to garner the hype it seems to deserve? People do play Buzzwole; however, they are playing inferior lists. This list, popularized by Ellis, is the best way to play the deck in the Expanded format and clearly can be added to, making it even better depending on what you want to tech for.

The main attraction to this deck is Korrina, an Expanded-only Supporter that ties everything together for Fighting-type decks. With four copies, you almost always have access to everything you could ever want and you’ll only lose games to outright bricks or bad matchups. Expanded Buzzwole decks can play a variety of tech attackers since the Fighting type has a very wide pool of options to shore up threats. My favorite techs in the deck right now are Carbink and the Carbink BREAK; the Energy Keeper Ability is extremely problematic for all the control decks running around. Zygarde-EX is another great tech, using it can demolish Trevenant BREAK decks on its own.

For all the options this deck has it seems to fall short of winning events. Perhaps it’s because of drawing poorly in top cut or hitting bad matchups or opponents drawing super hot. Whatever the case may be, Buzzwole is perennially an Expanded format contender and this is the best way to play the deck. Let’s take a look at Pedersen’s list.

List and Explanations

Pokemon (12)

3x Buzzwole (FOL #77)2x Buzzwole-GX (CRI #57)1x Carbink BREAK (FAC #51)1x Carbink (FAC #49)1x Zygarde-EX (FAC #54)1x Sudowoodo (GUR #66)1x Landorus-EX (BCR #89)1x Giratina (PRXY #XY184)1x Diancie Prism Star (FOL #74)

Trainers (35)

4x Korrina (FFI #95)3x Cynthia (ULP #119)2x Professor Sycamore (BKP #107)2x N (FAC #105)2x Guzma (BUS #115)1x Lysandre (AOR #78)1x Colress (PLS #118)1x Acerola (BUS #112)4x VS Seeker (PHF #109)2x Float Stone (BKT #137)2x Choice Band (GUR #121)2x Beast Ring (FOL #102)1x Rescue Stretcher (GUR #130)1x Nest Ball (SM #123)1x Muscle Band (XY #121)1x Field Blower (GUR #125)1x Energy Loto (GUR #122)1x Computer Search (BCR #137)3x Brooklet Hill (GUR #120)

Energy (13)

8x Fighting Energy (EVO #96)4x Strong Energy (FAC #115)1x Beast Energy Prism Star (FOL #117)

That’s right, upon first glance you might notice this deck isn’t playing Ultra Ball at all; none. Korrina is going to be your main source of getting the Pokemon you want, and with a single copy of Nest Ball you can accelerate that a little more if needed, as well as with Brooklet Hill. Nest Ball can snag the only Pokemon that’s not Fighting-type from the deck so there’s how you solve that issue. In other considerations, you might see that there are a ton of Supporter cards. This deck wants to do one thing: attack every single turn with no interruptions. Having a ton of Supporter cards will insure you can do that over and over and with the right supporting cast of Item techs and Pokemon, you’ll be churning out wins in no time.

Three Buzzwole and Two Buzzwole-GX

The main attackers of this deck, three baby Buzzwole is essential for many matchups. The strategy starting off is to either lead with a Buzzwole-GX, or a two-Prize Pokemon in general, let it get Knocked Out then go for a Sledgehammer. You can do that or go Buzzwole into Buzzwole into yet another Buzzwole for the same effect. Either way you do it, three baby Buzzwole is great to have that option, or in an event you start with a different one Prize Pokemon. Swing Around is even good in the late game if you’re trying to limit your Pokemon-EX/GX. Two Buzzwole-GX allows you to have some maneuverability to give one up early and then still have one for when Beast Ring is activated. While this isn’t a deck that plays many Beast Ring, it’s main target is still Buzzwole-GX to power up Knuckle Impact for big one-hit Knock Outs.

This concludes the public portion of this article.

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