Hey guys!

If you’ve followed the Seattle Regionals coverage on stream or on Facebook or saw the results on Charizard Lounge, you might’ve done a double take: on first sight, there seems to be nothing but Garbodor decks in the Top 32 and Top 8. After some squinting and digging, you’ll find some other decks like Vespiquen, M Rayquaza, Alolan Ninetales, Waterbox and Decidueye…but nonetheless, 28 out of 32 day 2 decks featured Trashalanche Garbodor. 17 of those played the Drampa GX variant that ended up dominating the Top 8 and taking home the trophy.

Now we have a bit of a backlog here: there’s a metric ton of different decks that I’d like to do a deck analysis of, regardless of how their results have been in the one Regional that’s happened in the new format. But the deck that not just won but positively dominated like no deck has ever done before also deserves time in the limelight – not just that, but you’ll probably want to be able to beat it come the next tournament. So I’m going to try to do both: analyze the deck that won, and then tell you how to beat it with a couple of decks of my own. Let’s start with the easier part.


Drampa GX/Garbodor




Here’s the list Sam Chen played. It’s very close to what several other high ranking players were running, including Top 4 finisher Tyler Ninomura.


Pokémon – 16

4 Trubbish BKP
3 Garbodor GRI
1 Garbodor BKP
2 Drampa GX
1 Tauros GX
3 Tapu Lele GX
1 Sudowoodo GRI
1 Azelf XYP


TSS – 33

4 Professor Sycamore
4 N
2 Lysandre
1 Hex Maniac
1 Ninja Boy
1 Pokémon Fan Club
4 Ultra Ball
4 VS Seeker
2 Rescue Stretcher
1 Super Rod
1 Field Blower
3 Choice Band
3 Float Stone
2 Team Magma’s Secret Base


Energy: 11

7 Psychic
4 Double Colorless


In my last article I mostly talked about the other Garbodor variant, based around Tauros, but I also mentioned this one. While the Tauros version has a higher chance of a turn 1 attack and is usually able to launch more attacks, it does have a limited damage cap that I noted as one of its weaknesses. Drampa takes more setup to get going, but if you manage to set it all up it’s doing a solid 150 base damage with Berserk. Add a Choice Band and you’re dealing 180, enough to OHKO just about any basic EX or GX.

In order for Berserk to work, you’re going to need some copies of Team Magma’s Secret Base in your deck. This card was released long ago in the obscure Double Crisis set and has since increased in rarity and thus price exponentially, which can be a bit annoying when building this deck or Gyarados. Speaking of price, the triple Tapu Lele makes this one of the more expensive decks to build for the new format, though I think you can get away with two if you want to.

Most of the other card choices have been explained in the analysis last article, so I’ll just focus on what’s different. Sudowoodo is a primarily a counter to Mega Rayquaza decks. It doesn’t exactly automatically win the game for you, since they can play Hex Maniac to temporarily shut it off to take a quick KO, or Lysandre it up. But it will take the heat off for a bit and prevent their board from developing as quickly, allowing you to get some early chip damage and energy attachments in while your opponent is forced to play down Items. Ideally you’re able to wear down and KO a Rayquaza or maybe Lysandre up a Shaymin, and then once your opponent is fully set up you should have your Garbodor ready to clean up. Drampa’s Righteous Edge can also buy you some time by getting rid of preemptively attached Double Colorless Energy.

Azelf is a card that I’m sure a lot of people had to read when it first hit the board. The main reason it seems to be in the deck is to counter Gyarados decks the same way Spinda did: Team Magma’s Secret Base (yours or theirs) makes each of their Magikarp take 20 damage in order to fuel Full Retaliation, but then Azelf’s Shining Eyes puts 20 more damage to KO every Magikarp, taking 3 prizes and forcing Gyarados to recover 3 Magikarp.

After next weekend we’ll have access to the new promo Tapu Koko, which is basically like Azelf and Spinda but better, having more HP and free retreat (though it also needs a DCE). One thing Azelf has over Tapu Koko is that Azelf does not get blocked by Mr. Mime’s bench barrier, but if Gyarados decks are really dedicating themselves to stopping bench damage they will just play Machoke and stop all of these effects. Tapu Koko also puts damage on everything regardless whereas Azelf will only damage things with prior damage.

With 2 Rescue Stretcher and a Super Rod, the pilots of this list had the option of reusing both Azelf/Tapu Koko and Sudowoodo several times if they were to get KO’d, making the tech that much more effective. I’m sure the same thing can be done with Oricorio GRI 56 if you were to include it as a counter to Vespiquen decks, which might be a good idea.

In formats before this, Drampa would have been a very bad idea for a main attacker, as its clunky energy costs and extra damage requirement would have gotten it outsped and KO’d way too often for it to be viable. But because of Garbodor slowing the game down, it turned out to be the right way to take advantage of the slower pace. If your opponent isn’t aggressive enough to formulate a response to Drampa, they’re not going to win. But if they do go the aggressive route, they will probably be forced to play down a lot of Items, and as a result Garbodor is going to run them over.


The rest of this article is available to Premium Membership subscribers only.

If you’d like to learn more about the Premium Membership program and sign up for just $6 a month, please click on the banner below!