Hey guys!

Memphis Regionals are coming up and although we’ve already spent some time covering the biggest decks of London, there’s a couple more archetypes that we need to pay some attention to in order to give you the best possible overview. Some of these decks will look familiar, of course, as they’ve been discussed before, but now is a good time to revisit them since we haven’t talked about them in-depth for a while.

The best example of this is the hailed “broken deck”, also known as Gardevoir GX. Gardevoir certainly lived up to its pre-release hype as it took the center of the stage, to the point where an entire archetype (Metal/Silvally) sprung to life to counter it. Gardevoir is well-positioned in the post-Shining Legends metagame because Gallade is such a great answer to Zoroark-GX while the deck as a whole lacks a damage ceiling.

Before London there was a strange divide in the two different ways you could play Gardevoir. The first is the “European” approach, which involves playing Sylveon and usually Parallel City, while the other instead focuses on Vulpix and more Max Potion. Lately the Max Potion variant has won terrain, but I’m going to go over the pros and cons of both real quick so you can make the decision for yourself.

 

Gardevoir/Sylveon

 

Sylveon

 

Pokémon – 18

1 Eevee SUM
1 Sylveon-GX
2 Ralts BKT 100
2 Ralts BKT 68
1 Kirlia BUS 92
1 Kirlia BKT
3 Gardevoir-GX
2 Gallade
3 Tapu Lele-GX
1 Remoraid BKT 31
1 Octillery BKT

 

Trainer Cards – 31

4 Professor Sycamore
4 N
3 Guzma
2 Brigette
2 Max Potion
1 Rescue Stretcher
4 Rare Candy
1 Super Rod
4 Ultra Ball
2 Field Blower
3 Choice Band
1 Parallel City

 

Energy – 11

4 Double Colorless Energy
7 Fairy Energy

 

Straight Gardevoir

 

Gardevoir

 

Pokémon – 17

2 Ralts BKT 100
2 Ralts BKT 68
1 Kirlia BUS 92
1 Kirlia BKT 69
3 Gardevoir-GX
2 Gallade
3 Tapu Lele-GX
1 Alolan Vulpix GRI
1 Remoraid BKT 31
1 Octillery BKT

 

Trainer Cards – 32

4 Professor Sycamore
4 N
3 Guzma
2 Brigette
4 Max Potion
1 Rescue Stretcher
4 Rare Candy
1 Super Rod
4 Ultra Ball
2 Field Blower
3 Choice Band

 

Energy – 11

4 Double Colorless Energy
7 Fairy Energy

 

Gardevoir Analysis

 

Gallade

 

The basic plan for both versions is similar, but the way they get there is often slightly different. As always, it starts with a turn 1 Brigette to make sure you have at least 2 Ralts in play so you can get as many Gardevoir and Gallade out as possible.

This is nothing new since the release of Tapu Lele, but for this deck I really believe that the lack of a quick Brigette spells doom in 90% of the games where it happens. When I’m playing this deck, the difference between a turn 1 Brigette and a turn 2-3 Brigette or no Brigette at all is astronomical. In case of the former, you get at least 3 of your basics out without having to Ultra Ball for any of them, saving you a lot of resources in the long run. If you have to spend your time and resources (such as Vulpix’s Beacon) searching for additional basics beyond turn 2 and 3 it is much easier to get overrun and you’re not using them to get out Gardevoir.

For this reason, I think 2 Brigette is justifiable. I think any game where Brigette is prized and you don’t start with all your basics ready to go is one where your opponent is much favored, so I’d prefer to minimize the chances of that happening. In addition, it increases the odds of starting with it without having to use Wonder Tag for it, saving you precious bench space which comes at a premium in this deck.

Where the decks diverge is where they go beyond that first Brigette. The Sylveon version should generally try to get an Eevee with that first Brigette and get an energy onto it to immediately evolve into Sylveon-GX (to stop an easy Guzma KO). The straight version usually goes for Vulpix instead. It’s always important to check if your 1-1 lines of Sylveon and Octillery are available, because if the evolved form is missing, it makes little sense to bench the basic instead of an additional Ralts.

The advantage of Sylveon is that once you’ve gotten it into the active spot, it’s a very comfortable wall to hide behind for your evolving basics. You can use Magical Ribbon to search for that Rare Candy/Gardevoir combo (or any card you want, really), and if your opponent doesn’t deal with it very quickly they can find themselves staring down a board of multiple Gardevoirs within 2 turns. After Sylveon uses Magical Ribbon, your opponent will usually want to play N to shuffle your hand back in, which means they will not be using Guzma to target down your bench.

How long you keep Sylveon active and what you use it for depends heavily on the game state. Because it has a 2 retreat cost, usually it takes a bit of investment on your part or a Guzma to get it to the bench. Sometimes it’s better to let it go down and then come roaring back with a fully loaded Gardevoir backed by an N to four. At other times, you might want to save Sylveon by retreating it. It can be a very nice clutch later in the game, especially if you manage to use the fabled combination of Parallel City + Plea GX to reduce your opponent’s bench to 1 Pokémon (usually their least valuable one).

 

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