Monday, September 10, 2012

Garbodor - Hit or Miss?


Garbodor- total garbage?
Hello everyone!


Sorry for the lateness of the article. I still don’t have an apartment from my study city and it may very well be that I don’t have an apartment from my study city until November! That would be a nightmare. And since I’m having the first two weeks in my new university, I have been a lot less on computer than I was last season. However, now I’m finally finished with the article, so I hope you enjoy it!

Anyways, today is a remarkable day, because today, I’ll be releasing my first BW-on entry. And what could be a better topic for the first entry than one of the most contradictable cards of Dragons Exalted – Garbodor. In this entry, I’ll discuss Garbodor and ability-lockers in general as well as Garbodor variants that are bound to be popular in the early season.

As I promised, I’ll try to bring new depth to my articles while the article quantity decreases, so after reading this, let me know what you think about my renewed article style. Of course not all the articles will be like this, but I’ll be changing article formats just like I do with my SixPrizes Underground articles. Also, as the new season gets to start, let me also know what decks and things you want to get analyzed. By giving me your ideas, it will help both me to come up with good articles while giving you good reading experience!

Anyways, let’s get in to the main topic of this article – Garbodor (or in fact Trubbishses).


Trubbishes


Garbodor is a stage1 Pokémon. In the current format, I must emphasize the importance of lower stages of each evolution form, because you’ll very often end up using those cards in the first turn. That’s why it’s crucial that you run the very best Trubbish whenever you run a Garbodor deck. Sadly, there are only two Trubbishses you can choose from.


Trubbish (Noble Victories)

Just like always with Basic forms, there are two things you look at first: HP and retreat cost. HP is important, because you don’t want to get your Pokémon donked in T1. Retreat cost is important if you run any starters or if this Pokémon doesn’t happen to be your main attacker.

Noble Victories Trubbish is the better one. It has 10 less HP than the Dragons Exalted one, but it has a retreat of 1. The retreat of one is a lot better than 10 more HP, because nothing can hit for 60 in this format in T1 (without PlusPowers). However, thanks to Trubbish weakness to Psychic, it doesn’t matter if you have 60 or 70 HP, because DCE + Mewtwo EX hits for 80.

This Trubbishses attack also is a lot better than its counterpart’s attack. With one Colorless you can take a card from your discard pile on the top of your deck.  This is a very good attack especially in T1, if you happen to use Juniper T1 and discard some crucial cards. It’s only one card that you can save from discard pile, but that one card can be the game-breaking 4th Pokémon Catcher or a supporter card.


Trubbish (Dragons Exalted)

The second Trubbish is worse in every way except HP. The only scenario, when I think the Dragons Exalted Trubbish is better than the Noble Victories one, is when you attach an Eviolite to Trubbish in T1. Pass and your opponent attaches a DCE to the active Mewtwo EX. This way Eviolite combined to 70HP is enough to save your from the T1 donk. This happens probably once in every 100 game, so you can do the math.


Garbodor – Pros and Cons


Garbodor is a rare card in the BW-on format, because it has a locking ability. It’s one of the only cards in the current format that is able to lock anything with its Ability. Locking Items, Trainers and Abilities has been a tournament-winning method as long as Pokémon TCG has been played, from the Chaos Gym of Gym Challenge to Vileplume of last format.

So, looking at the past, it seems that Garbodor should be a tournament-winning concept as well. And in fact, I have always liked a lot about locking concepts. However, I don’t like Garbodor that much. There are few reasons (Weaknesses) why I don’t like it. Garbodor locks all the abilities in game when you have a Pokémon Tool attached to it. So, whenever you attach a Pokémon Tool to Garbodor, abilities of Pokémon like Eelektrik, Darkrai EX and Hydreigon stop working. Sounds great? Well, it would, if there weren’t so many and easy ways to get rid of Garbodor’s locking Ability. The 3 most common ways of getting rid of Garbodor’s Ability are:

1) Pokémon Catcher + KO to Garbodor

The most surefire way to get rid of Garbodor is naturally KOing Garbodor. For most decks, this is almost too easy, because Garbodor has only 100 HP and it has a 2x Weakness to Psychic. A Pokémon that is weak to Mewtwo EX and doesn’t counter Mewtwo EX at the same time is usually a mediocre card at best. Almost every single deck in the format runs 4 Pokémon Catchers, so sniping Garbodors (if necessary) isn’t problematic. Also, most metagame decks have attackers that hit a round number like 100 pretty easily.

2) Tool Scrapper to get rid of the Pokémon Tool on Garbodor

There is a more subtle way to get rid of Garbodor’s lock. You can just get rid of the Pokémon Tool attached to Garbodor and the ability stops working. Tool Scrapper is a card that isn’t played by every deck since not every deck has Pokémon Tools. Sometimes Tool Scrapper can be a dead card during your whole game and in most games, you don’t have the luxury of being able to have dead cards in your hand. If you play Tool Scrapper, in most games you’ll just end up discarding your opponent’s Eviolite or Exp. Shares. If you’re able to discard a crucial Eviolite, Tool Scrapper is a double PlusPower. If you’re able to discard Exp. Shares, you’ll stop their energy acceleration. Against Garbodor, you will free your way from the Ability lock.

Tool Scrapper is a very interesting card, because it’s a very sharp double edged sword. Whenever, you’re able to discard your opponent’s Pokémon Tool, it’s a beast card. However, if you don’t draw it in the very moment you need it, it’s a dead card. In the current format, there is no Junk Arm to get you Tool Scrappers back, so whenever you have a Tool Scrapper in the same hand as Juniper, you must always consider carefully, if you need that Juniper  right now (as you usually do in format like this) or if you can use it in the late game.


3) Sniping Garbodor with i.e. Raikou EX

There are also some rare cards in the format that are able to snipe on your opponent’s bench. The most common cards that are able to do so are Raikou EX, Darkrai EX and Kyogre EX. Decks like Eelektrik, which are hurt a lot by Garbodor’s ability, must have an answer to Garbodor and it’s usually the maximum count of Catchers and 1-2 Raikou EXs. Of course,

As I’ll discuss later on, Garbodor should always have an answer against these sniping cards. If you aren’t able to trade prizes to the lockless turn of yours, your deck will quickly become just a bad 6 Corners variant.




Garbodor variants


There are 3 Garbodor variants that I take a look into: the most played, Spread Garbodor, a straight fighting variant of Garbodor and a fun Garbodor deck. First, let’s take a look at the spread Garbodor.

Registeel/Groudon


This Garbodor variant is the best – and most played Garbodor variant, because it abuses the weaknesses of the current tier1 decks.

Pokémon:

3x Trubbish
4x Garbodor
3x Registeel EX
2x Groudon EX
1x Terrakion
=13

Trainer:

4x N
4x Juniper
4x Bianca
1x Cheren
3x Heavy Ball
2x Level Ball
3x EXP Share
4x Catcher
4x Switch
1x Eviolite
2x Giant Cape
2x Rescue Scarf
=34

Energy:

9x Fighting
4x Double Colorless Energy
=13



The deck’s strategy revolved around Registeel EX, Pokémon Catcher and Garbodor. The best two decks of the format – Hydreigon variants and Eelektrik variants, both use a lot of abilities and have big retreat energy manipulators like Hydreigon and Eelektrik. Hydreigon gets a free retreat with Darkrai’s ability, which can be stopped by Garbodor. This way you can Catcher Hydreigon, lock it on the active spot since they have no abilities and let Registeel EX kill the bench while they struggle getting Darkrai from the active spot.

It’s also very interesting that the both tier1 decks have the same weakness to fighting. That’s the main reason why the deck also runs cards like Groudon EX and Terrakion. There is no better attacker against Lighting Pokémon and Darkrai EX than Terrakion. Groudon EX is usually only a mediocre addition to any deck, but thankfully Registeel EX combos perfectly with Groudon EX, because Registeel EX can first soften your opponent’s attackers and then Groudon EX can finish them off.

One of the most difficult things with this deck, is to find the perfect supporter + Ball Engine for the deck. Heavy Ball can search for anything, but Trubbish (which is very important), while Level Ball can search only for Trubbish. Pokémon Communication is plain bad, because you only run 13 Pokémon. Ultra Ball doesn’t really work in this deck, because the deck needs every single card it can use. You can’t afford discarding any Pokémon or Pokémon Tools.

There has also been discussion about supporter lines. I think most of us agree that N and Juniper are the two best supporters in the current format. The 4 Juniper is always risky, but that’s one of the reasons why I run 3-4 Garbodor line. I can always play down Trubbishes I draw before I Juniper, but I might not be able to evolve my Garbodors when I get them. The format doesn’t forgive you, if you don’t get the Garbodor up ASAP, so I want to make sure that I can get Garbodors in play in T2 and that I can use Juniper every turn, when I need to.

On the other hand, the big discussion is always between Bianca and Cheren. In this deck I prefer Bianca, because the deck plays a lot of Basics and Pokémon Tools that you can get very quickly rid of. Bianca is also superior in late game and since the deck runs 4 Ns, you’ll end up N’ng yourself in the late game, so you can force your opponent to draw a small hand as well.

If your metagame is crawling with Hydreigon variants, I sincerely believe that this deck can give a huge challenge to them. Unfortunately for Garbodor lovers, I think that the Battle Roads have already proven that even though the deck is a perfect theorymon counter against the tier1, the tier1 can still beat this Garbodor variant. Sometimes Garbodor is just too clunky and you’ll be overrun by more consistent and straightforward decks.





Straight Fighting

Second, we have a more straightforward Garbodor variant concentrated on fighting only Pokémon. This variant will come in handy especially if your metagame consists only of Eelektrik and Darkrai variants. Against other metagame decks this deck’s match-up is a lot worse.

Pokémon:

3x Stunfisk
2x Terrakion
1x Terrakion EX
2x Groudon EX
4x Trubbish
3x Garbodor
=15

Trainer:

4x N
4x Juniper
4x Bianca
1x Cheren
2x Heavy Ball
2x Ultra Ball
1x Level Ball
3x EXP Share
4x Catcher
4x Switch
2x Eviolite
2x Rescue Scarf
=33

Energy:

12x Fighting Energy
=12

With this deck, your ultimate goal is to get the T1 Stunfisk spreading damage all around the field. Stunfisk is a faster and a weaker version of Registeel, but against decks like Eelektrik, it also has donking potential. The 20 damage from Muddy Water is enough to activate the 120 damage from Groudon attacks, and it’s enough to donk a Tynamo thanks to Tynamo’s weakness.

Other than Stunfisk, the deck is very similar to the previous variant. You can play pretty much every playable Fighting Basic Pokémon in this deck and get it working. The biggest issue, I’m having with this deck is that I would like to find space for Energy Switch, but I can’t. At times like these, I really deeply miss Shaymin!

In this deck, I also dared to play Ultra Balls, because I can afford discarding energy since it’s a monotype deck and the deck still runs EXP. Shares. Bianca also becomes the only real option since the deck has Ultra Balls now.

The deck has great match-up against Eelektrik variants than the first variant, but the Hydreigon match-up really varies on how well they get rid of the Ability lock. This has a stronger match-up than the spread variant against Hydreigon, if Hydreigon is able to get off the lock, but if they don’t get off the lock, the spread version is better.


Fun Garbodor

I don’t believe that this deck has REAL potential, but at least it’s a fun combo and at the same time it can be playable in small tournaments like Battle Roads. So if you feel like playing something weird, good and fun at the same time, try this one.

Pokémon:

4x Slowpoke
4x Slowbro
4x Trubbish
4x Garbodor
1x Emolga
1x Terrakion
=18

Trainer:

4x N
4x Juniper
4x Bianca
1x Cheren
4x Giant Cape
3x Exp. Share
1x Rescue Scarf
2x Pokémon Communication
2x Heavy Ball
1x Level Ball
4x Switch
=30

Energy:


4x Blend Energy LWMF
8x Water Energy
=12


As soon as I saw Slowbro, I fell in love with it. Its ability is one of the greatest in Pokémon TCG history and there is nothing better than blocking your own Ability thus making your own deck better. I think the last time this was possible was in the back of the Platinum time, when there was Dialga G LV.X and Slaking(PL) (Thanks a lot for the fix!). So a  long time ago.

The funniest thing about Slowbro is its Ability which, prevents your from attacking with Slowbro if you have 2,4 or 6 prizes left. Thanks to Garbodor, you can shut down this Ability at the same time when you prevent your opponent’s Abilities from working. Slowbro hits 80 with only two energy so it’s not a bad hitter after all. To make things just a bit more competitive, I added the Blend Energy and Terrakion to the deck thus enabling Terrakion to hit Darkrai EX and etc. things.

The deck can also abuse Heavy Ball very well since all the most important Pokémon in the deck (Slowbro, Garbodor and Terrakion) can be sought via Heavy Ball. Due the “high” amount of Pokémon in this deck, it can also use Pokémon Communication, which makes it a lot more consistent than it would be with Balls-only -engine.


Garbodor at Battle Roads


There was a huge hype about Garbodor before Battle Roads, and looking at the results of the first two weeks of Battle Roads, it seems that Garbodor didn’t live up to its hype. Many people wondered why Japanese didn’t play Garbodor. Was it a bad deck or didn’t they just understand how to build the deck correctly? After testing and looking at the results, I would say that neither one of those statements are true.

Japanese player understood very well how to build the deck, but as there were only a few key tournaments that you were able to get an invite to Worlds, it wasn’t a consistent and good enough deck for that. When comparing the amounts of Hydreigon lists I have seen in Japanese blogs and the amount of Garbodor lists, I have seen online, the difference is notable. They do nothing differently, but as the best players in the game (i.e. Yuta Komatsuda) are playing decks like Garchomp/Altaria and Hydreigon/Darkrai and not Garbodor variants, it always shifts the metagame to the decks that are played by the most known players. Whatever Jason Klaczynski plays in the U.S. tournaments, always gathers attention and I think it’s the same in Japan as well.

When it comes to the lackluster record of Garbodor in Battle Roads, there are a few reasons for that. Probably the biggest reason for that is that people don’t play Garbodor variants. There have been Japanese well-doing lists of decks like Hydreigon and Garchomp online for months, so it’s only natural that people like to play in the early season decks that have already proved to be working. Garbodor is a difficult deck to build correctly and whenever something is difficult, it’s never mainstream unless it has proved to be the best. Garbodor hasn’t seen any success in Japan so you’ll always take a risk when playing Garbodor. I’m not a fan of Garbodor and I’m pretty sure that I’ll never be due the reasons I’ve stated earlier on in this article.

So, will there be a huge wave of Garbodor decks coming when people find the optimal list? No there isn’t. Will Garbodor ever be the BDIF? No it won’t. Simply put, Garbodor has too many weaknesses in the current format, to be in the tier1. It belongs clearly into tier2 and I think it will spend rest of the season there. It’s difficult to win a tournament with Garbodor, but at the same it’s possible to win any deck with Garbodor.

 
Conclusion

Garbodor is the one and only ability locker in the format when built around the right attackers, it becomes a decent metagame deck. However, whenever considering Garbodor as a tournament deck, you must be sure of your area’s metagame. If you don’t get a real benefit from locking Abilities, your deck will lose every single match. So, if you’re facing decks like Darkrai/Mewtwo EX or Quad Terrakion variants, think again, if you really want to play Garbodor.

This concludes my very first article with a new approach into the deck articles, so let me know what you thought about it. What were the worst/best parts? What would you like me to analyze more etc. Do you think this was better than my articles last season? Any thoughts considering this article can be left to the comments part. Thanks for reading!

19 comments:

  1. I play 70HP Trubbish because Tornadus EX can T1 60.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Garbage Collection is worth the extremely rare Tornadus-EX donk. Who plays Tornadus?

      Delete
  2. Why did you not choose rocky helmet in registeel groudon? There is so much synergy with that card. And also there is no tool scrapper. I play two tool scrapper because Eviolite can cripple the decks main strategy.

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  3. Just a question: Why the heck would a Darkrai player try to set-up a Hydreigon VS Garbodor? That's just plain dumb,really. Their best bet is to go with Darkrai and Sableye while using Shaymin EX to take the last 2 prizes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. See, the problem is most Garbodor decks are running some sort of fighting type for darkrais, and without hydreigon, shaymin will take a turn to set up, giving them a heads up to set up a Bouffalant for the gold breaker. With tool scrapper and sableye, it really shouldn't be too hard to use hydreigon when you need it.

      Delete
  4. You forgot Slaking+Carbodor...

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  5. Hey Esa, list 1 has 3 Trubbish and 4 Garbodor. May want to fix that. :P

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Read the article maybe before posting?

      Delete
  6. Great article Esa. I'm curious as to why you cite using 4 Garbodors so you can Juniper them in your first list, but then run 3 in your second list. I mean, if nothing more, you have even more discarding going on due to Ultra Ball, and the same comment regarding when Trubbish goes up remains true.

    Also, no Hammertime Garbodor? I've got a working list that has tested decently well. It's interesting to try and balance Garbodor with Dark Cloak, but you can find some space/solace in your deck thanks to Sableye retrieving your tools like Rescue Scarf, and of course hammers and catchers etc...

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  7. Slaking PL/Dialga G Lv. X anyone?

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  8. Inventor of Hammertime and you don't include Hammertime/Garbodor? It's quite amazing, since you don't NEED Darkrai's ability, and with hammers your opponent won't even be able to KO the Garbodor on most turns. Decks like Hydreigon are shut down in every way, and Eel just loses after you run them out of switches. Its only weakness is fighting, but no fighting attack is playable when you just hammer all the energy away.

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  9. Nice article! I enjoyed the different ideas for Garbador. I'm pretty eager to test out the straight fighting one out, as my meta is like 70% fighting weak. All in all, great article, keep it up!

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  10. Dialga G LV X was able to block your own bodies as well indeed.

    Same goes for Crystal Shard-Battle Frontier combo.

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  11. There is a Lock card you forgot. ;)
    Gothitelle is still there locking item cards.

    ReplyDelete
  12. OccasionalGeek: Hmm, yeah Tornadus EX is threat, but at the moment I don't think that the 2 retreat Trubbish is better than 60 HP Trubbish unless your metagame consists 90% of Tornadus decks. However, I must admit that I didn't even think about Tornadus EX while writing the article.

    OrrinWilsson: Hmm, Rocky Helmet sounds interesting, but I don't know how it works in practice. It seems to have a lot of synergy indeed, but keeping Garbodors alive is as important as KOing your opponent. I'll take a look at that, great catch!

    Anonymous2: Just like Anonymous3 said, it's very difficult to win a game with straight Darkrai EX as your opponent deck consists almost only of Darkrai EX counters. One Triple Laser with Registeel EX and Groudon EX OHKOs every single Darkrai EX in play. Getting rid of Garbodors or the Tools on Garbodor is in my opinion a better strategy against Garbodor since you can reuse Tool Scrapper infinitely. And when set-upped, nothing can stop Hydreigon.

    Anonymous4: Rofl, I was about to mention Slaking/Garbodor alongside with Slowbro, but then I thought it was TOO bad. Even worse than Slowbro, so a REALLY bad card.

    Anonymous5: 3-4 Garbodor line is intentional, just read the deck analysis!

    SHINING & Matijslax: Whoa, how did I miss Slaking. I was playing that deck back then! Muk EX combined to Entei, Raikou and Suicune of Aquapolis is still my favorite combo, haha.

    Mark Hanson & Austin Stephen: Sorry about the lack of Hammertime/Garbodor, but I haven't tested ANY Hammertime variants enough to write a blog post about it and I don't want to be giving away halfway ready decklists.

    The reason for 3-4 line in the other deck and 4-3 line in the other deck was that I wanted to show that both lines are possible plays. I don’t know which line is necessarily better.

    I think Hammertime Garbodor sounds nice, but it has its own problems since if you use Darkrai and they Catcher your Garbodor…Well, they have just locked your Garbodor and have time to set-up and you can’t reuse Hammers and after a stage2 decks set-ups, it doesn’t really matter if they have abilities or not since they are better than solo Darkrai EX when set-upped. Have to go to playtest more.

    Anonymous6: Thanks a lot!

    Anonymous 7: True, Gothitelle is kicking and alive, have to edit that one!


    Thanks everyone for comments, everyone brought up very valid points! Keep the discussion going.




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  13. Thank you for posting these. Not only did you post two competitive decks but also a fun deck that can be put together by almost any kid at league. We need more decks like these. Lots of kids (think junior division) cannot afford the big name decks. Sure they, like a lot of us, lust after those cards, but they are lucky if they have two copies of a big name card, much less four copies. So a big thank you again from all of us that run leagues and need deck ideas to keep the kids playing.

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  14. Please Please Please do an eye on japan BW-Cold flare/Freeze Bolt I really want to know what the meta is, and I keep hearing about a secret deck.

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  15. 2 Weeks without a lone blog update/article...what's up Esa?! O.O

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