Hello everyone! It’s time for another Gym Leader Challenge article!
The GLC Format
This interesting format is no less fun and exciting than when I first wrote about it, so if you’re unfamiliar with what I’m talking about, check out my previous article about the format!
There are still tournaments being run with this format and some interest in it among the community online, so I thought I’d write another article on it.
While my last one was more of an introduction to the new format, today I’m going to be covering two decks specifically.
The two decks that I believe are the strongest in the format and honestly quite broken: Colorless Control and Amazing Rare Kyogre.
Let’s get into it!
Playing the Deck
Control as an archetype benefits greatly from the singleton rule, though the monotype rule restricts it to Colorless. No other type has the options and tools that Colorless does, though the thought has crossed my mind to try Lightning or Psychic-type control variants. Anyway, this deck is broken. It functions almost exactly like the Pidgeotto Control deck that has had success in past Standard formats. If you’re unfamiliar with this strategy, it may look confusing and complicated at first, as you’re basically playing a completely different game. Like most GLC decks I’ve played with, I built this one with some help from my friend Chip.
The goal of the deck is to lock your opponent out of the game — this is accomplished by turbo drawing through the deck so that you have no cards left, and then using Oranguru‘s Resource Management to ensure you draw into exactly what you want on the following turn. Your aim is to take away your opponent’s hand, and this deck also has the capability to chain Hex Maniac if needed. Most decks have a support Pokemon for draw, such as Octillery, Zebstrika, Musharna, etc., so Hex Maniac is needed to hand lock those decks.
Once, you’ve drawn through most of your deck, you need to start piecing together the hand lock combo between your own hand and deck. The combo cards consist of Lt. Surge's Strategy, Hex Maniac, Delinquent, Counter Catcher, Chip-Chip Ice Axe, Reset Stamp, and sometimes Galar Mine. Once you hit your opponent with all of these at once, they are completely locked and can never come back into the game. Depending on the situation, you may not need all of these cards at once, however. This may seem like a lot to ask for, but this deck can and will consistently find the lock to enforce against the opponent, and there’s plenty of time to dig through the deck and find this combo, as the format is slow and you also have plenty of stalling cards.
Once your opponent is locked, you use Oranguru’s Resource Management to recover Scoop Up Net and Chip-Chip Ice Axe every single turn. Scoop Up Net lets you use Delcatty‘s Ability every turn, usually recovering some combination of Hex Maniac, Lt. Surge’s Strategy, Bellelba and Brycen-Man, and Lusamine. This way, you can use Hex Maniac every turn, and some turns you’ll be afforded the opportunity to use a second Supporter as well, which will usually be Bellelba and Brycen-Man. The third card you recover off Resource Management will usually be Trick Shovel or VS Seeker.
At this point, you’ll be using Trick Shovel every turn. If the opponent’s top card is a card that helps them escape the lock, such as a draw Supporter, you’ll discard it. If the opponent’s top card is useless, like a Pokemon, leave it. Only if you discard the top card will you have to use Chip-Chip Ice Axe. With the Chip-Chip Ice Axe, look at their top three cards and select the most useless one for them to have.
If the opponent’s top four cards are all useful, they may be able to temporarily escape the lock, however, this is an incredibly rare occurrence. If you wish to avoid this possibility, include Hiker in your list — given how rare the occurrence is and how fast you can mill the opponent, I’ve found Hiker to be unnecessary, however, if you’re risk-averse, you do have the option to include it. Even if they can temporarily escape the lock, they do not automatically win because you typically can lock them while they’re at two or three Prize cards left. Furthermore, thanks to the Chip-Chip Ice Axe, you’ll have advance notice of what they’ll draw, and you can plan your Resource Management accordingly.
Because of the mill effects of Trick Shovel and Bellelba and Brycen-Man, you win the game when the opponent reaches seven cards in their deck, as you’re able to discard all of them at once. To put it simply, this deck’s win condition is getting the opponent down to seven cards in deck. Lt. Surge’s Strategy allows two uses of Bellelba and Brycen-Man, but you won’t do that until the very end of the game.
This concludes the public portion of this article.
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