Mastering Tord’s Gardevoir ex — The Most Optimized List in Standard

Hello everyone! Gardevoir ex has been a mainstay powerhouse in the Standard Format since its release in the Scarlet and Violet base set, but the lists for it have evolved considerably. Although Obsidian Flames does nothing for Gardevoir ex, the normal Gardevoir list is significantly different than it was at NAIC and Worlds. Tord Reklev, widely regarded as the best player in the world, has innovated the perfect Gardevoir list. After missing day 2 at NAIC, Tord went on to cook up the sauce and place second at Worlds, Top 32 at Pittsburgh, and Top 8 at Barcelona with the deck I simply call “Tord Garde.” After testing with the deck myself and winning a League Cup with it, I have come to believe that this is the absolute peak of Gardevoir ex. I do not think the deck is game-breaking or anything, but I do think the list has been optimized for the current meta, and I do not think Gardevoir ex will get much better in the meta than it currently is. The list is no secret, and only one card has changed since its second-place finish at Worlds — Gardevoir ex has reached its final form.

Tord’s Gardevoir ex Deck List

Pokemon (18)

2x Gardevoir ex (SVI #86)2x Gardevoir (SWSH6 #61)3x Kirlia (SWSH12 #68)1x Kirlia (SWSH6 #60)3x Ralts (SWSH10 #60)1x Ralts (SWSH12 #67)1x Zacian V (CEL #16)1x Mew (CEL #11)1x Cresselia (SWSH11 #74)1x Lumineon V (SWSH9 #40)1x Radiant Greninja (SWSH10 #46)1x Manaphy (SWSH9 #41)

Trainers (30)

3x Iono (PEV #185)2x Boss's Orders (SWSH2 #154)1x Professor's Research (SWSH1 #178)1x Worker (SWSH12 #167)4x Battle VIP Pass (SWSH8 #225)4x Level Ball (SWSH5 #129)3x Ultra Ball (SVI #196)3x Rare Candy (SVI #191)2x Fog Crystal (SWSH6 #140)2x Super Rod (PEV #188)1x Pal Pad (SVI #182)1x Lost Vacuum (SWSH11 #162)1x Forest Seal Stone (SWSH12 #156)1x Artazon (PEV #171)1x Collapsed Stadium (SWSH9 #137)

Energy (12)

10x Psychic Energy (SWSH12PT5 #156)2x Reversal Energy (PEV #192)

Over time, this list has slowly grown on me more and more. I originally thought it was bad, and my opinion has gotten slowly more favorable to the point where I now fully embrace all 60 of these carefully chosen cards. Lost Vacuum, in particular, was a card I did not think was good in Gardevoir for the longest time. There was a reason nobody played it. However, with the recent rise in Miraidon ex packing Bravery Charm and / or Path to the Peak, Lost Vacuum finds some more value. Furthermore, since Worlds, Mew VMAX lists have commonly included Box of Disaster, which counters Gardevoir quite hard if Gardevoir doesn’t have the Lost Vacuum to counter it. Lost Vacuum ends up being a nifty tech that is helpful in two contentious matchups, while maintaining its utility as a counter to Path to the Peak. Previously, I would instantly cut the Vacuum for another Artazon, but that is no longer the case with the way the meta has developed.

This concludes the public portion of this article.

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