Reworking Calamitious Slash — Garchomp and Giratina-GX in Expanded

Hello PokeBeach readers! In this article I’m going over an Expanded deck that took the format by storm right before the season was cut short due to the pandemic — Garchomp and Giratina-GX. This deck was popularized by Hunter Butler when he won the Dallas Regional Championship.

This deck hits hard and fast with the ability to one shot nearly anything in the Expanded format. Hunter was able to dominate in a format where most decks couldn’t one shot in return. However this was almost two years ago. The meta has evolved with each set release, so the deck needs to adapted to handle the current Pokemon VMAX and stall dominated Expanded format. Before I explain the deck list, I’m going to give a deeper look at the Expanded format as it stands.

A Look At Expanded

The Expanded format is in a unique state right now. It is currently dominated by stall, with many decks unable to adapt to deal with this. The main archetype that has plagued the format is Snorlax stall, which can easily lock a support Pokemon in your Active Spot and completely keep you out of the game. Aside from Snorlax, the other main stall deck variant is Vileplume / Decidueye, which makes it so you have no way of taking your Prizes.

With this in mind, the main attacking decks are Pokemon VMAX decks that can both out-speed these decks or have an answer to every strategy these decks can use. The question is, where does Garchomp and Giratina-GX stand in comparison to these decks?

The Snorlax variant can be easily teched for with cards such as AZ or Mallow and Lana that will bypass Snorlax’s Ability and allow your attacker to remain in your Active Spot. Additionally, Garchomp and Giratina-GX can play a copy of Arceus and Dialga and Palkia-GX (ADP-GX) which will apply a ton of pressure to these stall decks. When it comes to Vileplume / Decidueye decks, there isn’t much this deck can do that was really secure the matchup. It’s not really worth teching for, so this deck will take a lost to Vileplume. However, this deck’s best matchups are opposing Pokemon VMAX decks — this deck is so much faster compared to Pokemon VMAX decks, so it’s very easy to take an early Prize lead and keep it. All in all, Garchomp and Giratina-GX is losing to only one of the three main archetypes, which means it us perfect for any event you feel Vileplume wont be popular.

Garchomp and Giratina-GX Deck List

Pokemon (13)

2x Garchomp and Giratina-GX (UNM #146)3x Weezing (COE #77)2x Galarian Moltres V (CRE #97)1x Arceus and Dialga and Palkia-GX (COE #156)1x Darkrai-EX (DEX #63)1x Crobat V (DAA #104)1x Dedenne-GX (UNB #57)1x Galarian Zigzagoon (SSH #117)1x Exeggcute (PLF #4)

Trainers (38)

2x Roxie (COE #205)2x Professor's Research (CPA #62)1x N (NVI #92)1x Mallow and Lana (COE #198)1x Leon (VIV #154)1x Guzma (BUS #115)1x AZ (PHF #91)1x Colress (PLS #118)4x Energy Switch (LTR #112)4x Quick Ball (SSH #179)4x VS Seeker (PHF #109)2x Battle Compressor (PHF #92)2x Ultra Ball (DEX #102)2x Muscle Band (XY #121)2x Float Stone (PLF #99)1x Field Blower (GUR #125)1x Special Charge (STS #105)1x Rescue Stretcher (GUR #130)1x Target Whistle (PHF #106)1x Great Catcher (COE #192)1x Computer Search (BCR #137)2x Parallel City (BKT #145)

Energy (9)

5x Darkness Energy (HS #121)4x Double Dragon Energy (RSK #97)

Two Garchomp and Giratina-GX

As the main attacker, it might seem weird that I only include two copies of Garchomp and Giratina-GX. However, this is because in most games you will use ADP-GX’s Altered Creation GX. This means you only need to find two Knock Outs so the extra copies would likely be useless. You also have some secondary attackers in ADP-GX and Galarian Moltres V. Garchomp and Giratina-GX is the main attacker for the deck because it can utilize Double Dragon Energy, making it a fast and efficient attacker as well as having the damage output to deal with any deck in the format.

One Arceus and Dialga and Palkia-GX

When this deck was first popularized, ADP-GX wasn’t needed because you already had the damage output to one shot other Tag Team Pokemon-GX, plus most other decks in the format were focused around Tag Team Pokemon-GX anyway. However, now we are seeing more Pokemon VMAX that Garchomp and Giratina-GX cannot handle on its own. ADP-GX allows this deck to one shot Pokemon VMAX, as well as apply more pressure due to the extra Prize from Altered Creation GX, meaning some games will finish as early as turn 3. ADP-GX is also an extra attacker with a decent damage output and a plethora of ways to buff it. ADP-GX can take some crucial Knock Outs on Basic Pokemon V or Pokemon-GX. This fast paced game plan is easy to execute because of Double Dragon Energy and the extra speed that Galarian Moltres V brings with its Ability.

Two Galarian Moltres V

This is the biggest new inclusion to the deck.  In the original version, deck this slot was taken by Tapu Koko Prism Star. This allowed for a similar strategy that lets you set up Garchomp and Giratina-GX in a single turn. However, the Lighting-type doesn’t bring any other utility aside from the potential of Zeraora-GX and Tapu Koko Prism Star is not a good attacker. With Galarian Moltres V, you can play Darkness-type Pokemon like Darkrai-EX giving your Pokemon free Retreat Cost. Galarian Moltres V is a good attacker on its own, especially with many prominent Pokemon weak to Darkness-type such as Shadow Rider Calyrex VMAX and Dragapult VMAX. Overall, Galarian Moltres V was a huge buff to this deck and I believe that without Galarian Moltres V this deck would be nearly unplayable as it would struggle against most decks in the format.

This concludes the public portion of this article.

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