Embracing the Twilight — Gardevoir ex for NAIC & Beyond

Hey PokeBeach readers, Ciaran here for another article on one of my favourite decks! I’ve been hard at work testing the new Twilight Masquerade format, as I’m sure many of you are as well. It seems like we are in for another diverse format where no one deck truly reigns supreme. I am sure NAIC will help solidify the meta, but until then all of us are doing our best to figure out the best decks and lists for all our upcoming tournaments! I personally love the uncertainty of a new format, usually more decks are viable, and there is massive diversity across deck lists, even within the same archetypes!

Unfortunately, my initial testing has shown me that my go to deck (Chien-Pao ex) has fallen a bit in terms of strength so I have been re-visiting some old favourites to see if they can step up! One of those decks is the one I want to talk about today, Gardevoir ex. I played a lot of Gardevoir ex before rotation, but if you have played the deck recently you will know it plays much differently! Instead of relying on Mirage Step Kirlia and Shining Arcana Gardevoir, the deck now plays as more of a toolbox utilizing Pokemon such as Drifloon, Flutter Mane , Scream Tail, and Gardevoir ex to attack!

Before the release of Twilight Masquerade, Gardevoir was proving itself to be a strong deck, but with our newest set, Gardevoir has gained some pretty significant tools. Munkidori gives the deck an incredible layer of depth and damage manipulation it previously lacked. This card alone unlocks so many new plays for the deck, and allows you to put Drifloon and Scream Tail on to odd damage counter intervals. The other big addition from the set is the option to play Hyper Aroma or Unfair Stamp as the deck’s ACE SPEC of choice. The deck build is quite different depending on which you decide to build around.

Before Twilight Masquerade, Gardevoir was always running Hero's Cape as its ACE SPEC, mainly to let Scream Tail and Drifloon hit large damage numbers. But now with Munkidori, I don’t think it is as necessary. If you have a Bravery Charm attached to a Drifloon, you can use Munkidori to allow yourself to put 11 damage counters on the Drifloon, hitting for 330 damage! This is enough to Knock Out beefy Pokemon such as Charizard ex and Dragapult ex! I still think Hero’s Cape has merit, one as another option to help Drifloon and Scream Tail, but mainly as a way to turn Gardevoir ex in to a 430 HP attacking threat. Very few decks will be able to deal that much damage in one go, and usually you can use a card such as Professor Turo's Scenario to pick up the Gardevoir back to your hand after it takes a hit. The main problem with Hero’s Cape is that it is extremely susceptible to Lost Vacuum, which will normally allow your opponent to take a Knock Out.

Hyper Aroma allows the deck to have a much more powerful turn 2, especially when playing first. Having the ability to set up three Kirlia on turn 2 unlocks a much stronger turn 3, since you can use multiple Refinement plays to see more cards and get Psychic Energy into your discard pile. Playing Hyper Aroma also lets you drop Technical Machine: Evolution from the deck, opening up slots for other cards in the deck!

While Unfair Stamp doesn’t provide the same level of early game consistency, the card is insanely powerful. If you have ever been on the opposite side of a Roxanne you know how crippling it can be. Unfair Stamp can effectively do that to your opponent as early as your second turn! When you combine disruption with cards like Counter Catcher and a Knock Out on key Pokemon, it can end games on the spot. I actually think Unfair Stamp is much stronger as a disruption card early in the game since your opponent normally has a larger deck. As a game gets to the later stages, normally your opponent will have had the opportunity to thin most of their dead cards or set up support Pokemon such as Bibarel. If you are able to use Unfair Stamp early on in the game, your opponent usually has a higher percentage of “bricks” in their deck, and thus you increase the odds of sticking them with an unplayable hand. If you are able to Knock Out your opponent’s main attacker when combining that with an Unfair Stamp play, you can sometimes just win the game on the spot. It is really hard for your opponent to rebuild a board or even just pull off another attack off a two card hand. Even if your opponent is able to stabilize, you can spam Iono once you are set up and hopefully one of them sticks!

I personally like Unfair Stamp the most, but I have also been playing a lot with the Hyper Aroma version. I’ll share my lists for both!

This concludes the public portion of this article.

If you'd like to continue reading, consider purchasing a PokeBeach premium membership! If you're not completely satisfied with your membership, you can request a full refund within 30 days.

Each week we post high-quality content from some of the game's top players. Our article program isn't a corporate operation, advertising front, or for-profit business. We set our prices so that we can pay the game's top players to write the best content for our subscribers. Each article topic is carefully selected, goes through multiple drafts, and is touched up by our editors. We take great pride in our program!