Six Feet in the Dirt — Expanded Garchomp and Giratina-GX Rises

Hello! Are you hyped for 2020? Dallas regionals is approaching. I had a great time there last year for my first Regionals outside of Europe, even though my performance was mediocre. Unfortunately, I won’t be there this year. I waited for a long time not wanting to book anything since we were expecting more tournaments in Europe, and by the time it became clear that there wouldn’t be an European Regionals or SPE on that weekend, the tickets had become a bit too expensive. I’ve made a resolution to attend Toronto regionals in March, though, so I’ll still compete in North America this year.
The good part for you is that since I’m not attending Dallas, and there’s no other Expanded event in this format, you can enjoy this article on the deck I would have played with no fear that I’m hiding anything!

As I’ve mentioned last time, Expanded has changed quite a bit since before Cosmic Eclipse, with the addition of Arceus and Dialga and Palkia-GX putting Double Dragon Energy back on the map in a huge way. The deck I want to talk about today both uses and counters Double Dragon Energy, and has strong gameplans against big Tag Team Pokemon-GX decks (like Turbo Dark) and non-GX decks (like Ultra Necrozma) alike. That deck is Garchomp and Giratina-GX.

Garchomp & Giratina-GX is far from unknown at this point. It won San Diego Regionals, and has had good showings at both major and local events since then, with a Roxie variant being pioneered at Kuala Lumpur Regionals. In Expanded, with Double Dragon Energy, the deck seems even stronger. However, you’ll remember that Mismagius is now banned in Expanded, which shuts down the usual engine of the deck.
Fortunately, there are other Pokémon in Expanded that can be sacrificed for a cool effect, giving the opponent a Prize lead so you can use cards like Counter Gain and Counter Catcher. There is no Lt. Surge's Strategy here, though. That’s where a completely forgotten card comes in: Cofagrigus from Plasma Freeze, which can place three damage counters on the opponent’s board. The synergy with Calamitous Slash is easy here: you can either put one damage counter on several Pokémon so that Calamitous Slash deals 240, or put three counters on a 270 HP Pokémon (Mewtwo and Mew-GX, for example) to KO it with Calamitous Slash on turn 2, no Linear Attack needed.

Now, let’s add Noivern-GX to the mix. Noivern-GX also benefits from Double Dragon Energy and possibly Counter Gain, and has two great attacks. Distort is not going to be too important, but it can be strong, especially against control decks. The status of control decks is currently unknown, but should something like Sableye / Garbodor come back, Distort is our best option against it, since it deals decent damage and prevents the use of all the Items (such as Crushing Hammer) that make control decks strong. Noivern-GX’s second attack, Sonic Volume, is also fantastic in many matchups, including Ultra Necrozma and Zoroark-GX variants. Although both of these opponents can use basic Energy, they rely mostly on Special Energy and spamming the attack is often the best way to win.
Even Boomburst GX can find occasional uses, should you face Pidgeotto Control or Lost March for example.

All in all, the deck has a lot of options, made consistent by the Green's Exploration engine. It has done very well in Japan, where it won multiple City Leagues. Although Japanese lists have access to Puzzle of Time, which is fantastic combined with Green’s Exploration, I don’t think that it’s needed for the deck to do well, and I believe that Garchomp and Giratina-GX / Cofagrigus is a very strong contender for Dallas Regionals. I’m almost certain that it’s the deck I would play if I was attending!

First of all, here’s my list.

Decklist


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