Reviving Sablezard — Still Viable With New Techs

Hello, PokeBeach readers! I’m back with another Pokemon TCG article, this time focusing on the Lost Box deck Sableye / Radiant Charizard, better known as Sablezard. Can one of the first Lost Box variants to achieve competitive success still perform well in the current Standard format?

As we conclude another year filled with tournaments, these days between Christmas and New Year offer a chance to slow down and reflect on the competitive season. It’s a time to correct mistakes, think of new solutions, and identify unknown or forgotten decks that could thrive in the current format. During this period of reflection, Sablezard caught my attention. While it has sporadically produced results in past tournaments, it’s been a while since it consistently matched the success of a Tier 1 deck.

With the introduction of Paradox Rift, some dynamics have shifted in favor of Sablezard, potentially bringing the deck back into the competitive spotlight. At the same time however, new challengers have emerged, threatening to retire the deck unless it adapts to the evolving metagame.

Jirachi and Iron Hands ex Retired Sablezard?

The question arises: Has Jirachi and Iron Hands ex forced Sablezard into retirement? The answer depends on the deck’s adaptability. If you’re using the previous format’s Sablezard list, Jirachi and Iron Hands ex pose significant threats. However, with the right adjustments, these challenges can be overcome.

To deal with Jirachi, the most effective strategy involves taking a Knock Out with Cramorant. You need to use cards such as Boss's Orders, Cross Switcher, or Counter Catcher to target the Jirachi on your opponent’s Bench. While Cross Switcher stands out for its effectiveness, you need to play the maximum four copies of this Item in your deck. Counter Catcher is a more viable option, despite being slightly less effective.

Dealing with Iron Hands ex demands a swift response, necessitating an immediate return Knock Out as soon as it takes a Knock Out on your Comfey or Cramorant. Radiant Charizard proves to be a potent solution, capable of attacking in the second turn with Mirage Gate, especially if Iron Hands ex is able to pick up two Prize cards in the first turn. Another alternative addition to consider is Roaring Moon ex, although its second attack, dealing 220 damage, falls slightly short of Iron Hands’s 230 HP. You would be forced to use its first attack to Knock Out Iron Hands ex, but taking 200 damage as a drawback and getting Knocked Out on your opponent’s turn is another problem altogether.

In this article, I’ll unveil my Sablezard list and explain how it can navigate the current Standard format metagame, offering solutions to counteract these primary threats.

This concludes the public portion of this article.

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