What's up, Dead Draw Gaming fans? My name is Kris and I'm an up and coming Pokemon TCG player. Last week I played in the Seattle Regional tournament and just barely missed day two. I thought you may be interested in seeing my list and how I got to 49th place, even though there were so many Garb/Drampa decks at that tourney. Let's get right to it!
2 Trubbish GUR
2 Trubbish BKP
3 Garbodor GUR
1 Garbodor BKP
2 Drampa GX
1 Shaymin EX
3 Tapu Lele GX
1 Giratina PR
3 Professor Sycamore
1 Hex Maniac
1 Pokemon Fan Club
4 Ultra Ball
4 Vs Seeker
2 Field Blower
1 Super Rod
1 Rescue Stretcher
3 Float Stone
3 Choice Band
3 Team Magma's Secret Base
4 Double Colorless
Why I Chose the Deck
I knew from past results that some kind of Garbodor deck was going to be the play for the weekend. I had the most practice with the Espeon version but felt that the Drampa version was slightly better. But I didn't decide on the version of the deck I was going to play until I actually got to the venue and picked up a couple of Magma Bases which I previously did not already own.
2-2 Trubbish - My reasoning for the two-two split between each of the Trubbish was that both would be useful in different situations where I could force items from the deck into the discard if they weren't playing any, or try to knock off energy in tight situations. Both proved to be useful throughout the day and I will probably keep the same split in later lists.
3-1 Garbodor- Ability lock is still incredibly good and this split between the Garbotoxin and Trashalanche Garb was pretty widely standard at that point.
Giratina- Here is where I slipped up on the meta call. The night before I was tipped off from my friend Matt Bacnis (an old league leader of Seattle's) that Seattle players love their Greninja. In my head it seemed like the best choice for my tech pokemon and I had hoped it would help me steal a few wins against Greninja, sadly I only saw one all day and hardly any made it passed round 4 before dropping. My other choices involved Bunnelby, Azelf, Spinda, Oricorio, and Sudowoodo.
Hala- An early game Big Wheel GX allows for this to be a great alternative to playing a Sycamore in the mirror, making it so you don't have to toss items in the discard just to draw cards.
Hex Maniac- Still one of the best supporters to play against an ability reliant deck such as Espeon or Sylveon. Also good to have against Deciplume so you can get a Float Stone down on Garb through item lock.
Delinquent- You don't always want to have Magma Base on the field putting 20 damage on all your Lele's, so having a way to clear it off the field while hopefully forcing your opponent to discard items at the same time was a nice option.
Pokemon Fan Club- I chose this as my first turn supporter over Brigette for a couple reasons. The fact that you add the Pokemon to your hand instead of straight to the bench is huge. It allows you to search out a Shaymin or Lele and be able to use the ability that turn if you need to. It proved to be a great setup card in the early turns.
1-1 Super Rod/ Rescue Stretcher- The thought process behind the split was that I had the options to shuffle cards back into my deck against different match-ups while also being able to grab a Lele late game from my discard and play it to search out a Lysandre, or get a Garb back out from the discard when my opponent thinks that I did not have any more in my deck.
3-3 Choice Band/ Float Stone- Field Blower means you have to run more tools, simple as that.
What I Would Change
Looking forward, I would definitely cut the Giratina. Greninja already leans towards Garb enough that adding techs just for that match-up isn't worth it. As soon as the Tapu Koko promo is legal it will be the first thing I add to the deck. I also like the idea of cutting some psychic energy for rainbow energy to help Drampa consistently hit more damage without completely crippling your other Pokemon in the process. I would like to fit in the Ninja Boy-Tauros combo somehow as well. I will probably switch the Hala back to a Sycamore, and cut the Delinquent. Finally, I would like to find room for a Team Rocket's Handiwork because there was multiple times where I wish I had one throughout the day. Overall, the deck felt consistent and strong, I just chose the wrong techs for the tournament.
R1 Greninja WW - This was the only time all day that I played Giratina. But it did it's job. Between tina and Garbotoxin I kept him under item lock both games and he was unable to use Giant Water Shuriken once during the match. This was a quick two wins against a deck I was ready for.
R2 Lycanroc/ Drampa WW- Another relatively easy game. My opponent was not completely sure how to play against Garb and played too many items both games. Again, not too much to talk about in this round.
R3 Gyarados WLT- This was probably the match-up I had the least practice against. I haven't had much testing against Gyarados in general and I knew how much damage it could do with double Choice Band. Game one - we both played at a relatively slower pace, taking our time making decisions. He ended up having a Magikarp, a DCE, and a Magma Base prized so he struggled to do enough damage against Drampa early on. The game went pretty back and forth until he played down both of his Float Stone with no way of getting them back. I Lysandre'd his Machoke and got a Drampa set up in the active to knock off his energy. He was close to decking out already and Machoke has a retreat cost of three. He scooped and we went to game 2 just as the people around us were finishing their rounds and leaving. At this point he knew he needed to take a quick game two if he even wanted a chance for a tie. My game plan this round was to focus on using the GUR Trubbish to mill cards off his deck, using Delinquent to keep Magma Base off the field to reduce his damage output, and using Drampa to discard his double colorless energy. I was determined to either deck him out again or keep the game going until time was called. But this is where my hate of having to involve a judge came into play. From the very beginning I was put under constant harassment to play faster even though my pace of play was anything but slow. If I would have called a judge over to watch me for slow play this probably would have been a win for me. The amount of verbal abuse finally led to a misplay just before time was called where he had two prizes left and I retreated out to a Tapu Lele which I thought had full health instead of a Garbodor. As he drew, he attached two choice bands and a double colorless onto his Gyarados, where he then informed me that my Tapu Lele should have 20 damage on it from when there was a magma base on the field two turns ago. He attacked for 150 and knockout right before time was called. Learn from my mistake: an opponent should not say anything about your pace of play otherwise it is considered rushing. Don't be afraid to call a judge.
R4 Tapu Koko WLW- This match-up was one of the funnest ones I had during the day. I would say this match-up is in Garbodor's favor simply for the fact that Koko is reliant on things that can be countered. During the first game he dead drew and I picked up a quick win. In the second game I prized both of my Field Blowers, making it hard for me to hit enough damage to get over a Tapu Koko with a Fighting Fury Belt on it. He got a clutch N which put me down to one card and I wasn't able to recover. Game 3 I was able to keep his stadiums off the field as well as his fury belts and just used Lysandre to take the knockouts necessary to win the match.
R5 Decidueye/ Vileplume WW- This round was against another Utah guy who I had played a few times at league cups. I felt the most confident against this deck because I had played against and with it so many times. Both games he was unable to get a first turn vileplume and I was able to chain hex while setting up a garbotoxin Garbodor and just barely out-damaged him for a 2-0 win.
R6 Lycanroc/ Raichu WLT- My strategy was to not rely on Drampa because with its fighting weakness it would just end up being a free two prizes for him. I also came to learn that he only ran Strong energy and Double Colorless energy so even benching a Shaymin would come back and bite me. That meant I had to rely on using Tapu Lele and Garbodor. Game one he struggled to find a Sky Field, and after a Delinquent to zero he was unable to recover. Game two however was incredibly close, coming down to a point where I had one prize left for three turns and just couldn't close it out. Time was called early into game three to give me my second tie.
R7 Nintales LWT- As we were setting up he kept a grin on his face and kept nodding to his friends. Right off the bat I started to worry and think of my bad match-ups and concluded that he must be playing some kind of Ninetales deck. I had hoped to avoid this deck but now it was time to fight the uphill struggle. My opponent was kind enough to inform me that this would be his 5th round today against garb and was the majority of his wins. Game one was a long game that ended with one prize left for me and a top decked Vs Seeker for him. Game two we both started Lele and I went first, setting up a Trubbish with a Psychic energy and passing. He then benched a Vulpix, attached an energy to it and passed. I quickly took advantage of this, attaching a DCE to my Lele and bringing it up with a Lysandre for an easy KO. He draw-passed and at this point I had completely set up my board. He realized there was no coming back and he scooped and went to game three. About three turns in time was called with both of us having 4 prizes left. We each took our turns and finished with both of our third ties.
R8 Drampa/ Tauros/ Garb LL- At this point I was 4-0-3 and I knew I had to win out if I wanted to make day two. Game one involved neither of us playing any items until turn six or seven. Each turn involved one of us attaching an energy then playing an N. It went back and forth like this for a while until finally I took the first knockout with a full health Tapu Lele with four energy and a choice band against his Drampa. He brought up one of his lele that had 60 damage on it with no energy. This is where I found out he played ninja boy tauros. He used Mad Bull GX for the knockout and at that point I just couldn't keep up. Game two I struggled to find an attachment every turn after using N twice and even using Big Wheel GX. He drew into everything he needed every turn and I sat and watched as I was steamrolled out of my chance for making day two. After the round he apologized and admitted that he was just the one with luck on his side.
R9 Espeon/ Garb WW- I figured at this point I would try to secure my top 64 finish. Although this match-up favors my version of Garbodor, since late game Espeon becomes a liability with its Psychic weakness, both of us struggled to setup for the first couple turns. We eventually hit a point where we had both used Delinquent to empty each others hands to zero and it was a game where we were playing off of our top decks. It came down to how many dead cards we drew, and running two stage 1's as well as an Oricorio and Spinda made the difference between what I drew and what he did. Game two went to time with me getting off to a great start with his deck struggling to set up. At this point he was ready to go home and scooped giving me my last win to give me 18 points for the day.
Overall, the Seattle Regional tournament was a fantastic experience and I don't regret playing Garb. It only took a couple of slight missteps to get knocked out of day 2, but I hope to learn from them, as I hope you can learn as well. Thanks for taking the time to read this article and hopefully I'll see you in Madison!