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Hunting Through the Garbage — A Comprehensive Breakdown of Sableye / Garbodor

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Hello everyone! Alex back, giving you some extra insight to a proven strategy. My State Championship run did not go as well as I had hoped, which unfortunately dropped me out of the Top 16 for the first time all year. Because of this, I have been focusing more on the up and coming Regional format! I need to do well in order to make a solid attempt at the day two invite! Hopefully all of my practice and hard work will show through in this article. And as always, don’t be afraid to ask questions if you want or need more help! I’m always willing to talk!

Karaoke is one of my favorite things to do on the week night. Wednesday nights at Nyne with my favorite host Ryan? Oh yeah. He’s the best. After a long day at work, I like to unwind with some good drinks, good people, and good attempts at The Rolling Stones. I just got back from a night on the town, half embarrassed by my attempt at “Paint It Black.” I mean, what was I thinking? Sure, Jagger isn’t the world’s best singer, and the song is quite repetitive in terms of melody, but you can’t blame me for trying something new right?

[cardimg name=”Chatot” set=”Plasma Blast” no=”77″ align=”right” c=”custom”]This is what I look like Wednesday Nights.[/cardimg]

If you haven’t been to Karaoke there are a couple of rules and guidelines that you should know about. First and foremost is the awareness that you are not the only singer in the room. Clap for people after they sing, and please don’t pick a song that’s over six minutes long. If I have to hear another group of young 21 year olds stumble through a poor rendition of Comfortably Numb, I’m really going to be upset. Don’t get me wrong, I love that song, but it is best saved for long showers in which you have your knees tucked into your chest after a long day of losing to Night March over and over again. Been there, done that, got the T-Shirt.

Another big rule is to not just leave after you’ve done one song. Nobody that goes to Karaoke is the next American Idol (Or X Factor, or The Voice winner, I don’t know what the kids watch these days), so show some support for all of the people brave enough to get up there and do it! It takes a certain level of confidence and self awareness to sing in front of tens of people. My roommate knows how much I love Karaoke, so for my birthday he is going to sing one song of my choice! As most of you are probably big ol nerds reading this, you can understand how big of a deal that is. I say that with love. I’m thinking Rolling In The Deep or Drops of Jupiter. I haven’t decided yet. I’m proud of him for going out there and giving it a try!

But one of the biggest rules and / or pieces of advice I can give you about Karaoke is to be prepared. All of a sudden the moment you get that sign up sheet in front you, songs seem to leave your brain as fast as I left Washington State Championships after losing three matches. I keep a list of every song I have ever sang or attempted to sing over my Karaoke career. It’s really easy to look at a list and pick out songs that sound good for that night. I like having options. Not just in Karaoke mind you, but also in Pokemon. One of the best decks in the Expanded format that has the most options is [card name=”Sableye” set=”Dark Explorers” no=”62″ c=”name”][/card] / [card name=”Garbodor” set=”Dragons Exalted” no=”54″ c=”name”][/card]. If you have tried out that new crazy card [card name=”Puzzle of Time” set=”BREAKpoint” no=”109″ c=”name”][/card], you know how cool it is to be able to reach into your discard pile and grab two of any card. Now imagine doing that every single turn. Sounds good right? Read on!

[card name=”Sableye” set=”Dark Explorers” no=”62″ c=”from”][/card] has always been an absurdly good card. Once powerful Item cards became the forefront of the meta, decks with Sableye started to gain more and more steam. Now we have a entire deck concept based purely on the ability to recycle cards and disrupt your opponent until the cows come home. A few times I have been practicing this deck online and my opponent asks “do you even attack with that deck?” Sure, what they really mean to say is “do you even deal damage with that deck,” but you get the idea. The quick summary of the deck is to Junk Hunt as many turns in a row as possible, recycling disruption cards such as [card name=”Crushing Hammer” set=”Generations” no=”60″ c=”name”][/card], [card name=”Head Ringer” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”97″ c=”name”][/card], and [card name=”Trick Shovel” set=”Flashfire” no=”98″ c=”name”][/card]. [card name=”Garbodor” set=”Legendary Treasures” no=”68″ c=”name”][/card] is included in the deck for even more disruption. There are a few decks in our format that run off of Abilities, which is perfect for Garbodor. Those decks include, but are not limited to [card name=”Vileplume” set=”Ancient Origins” no=”3″ c=”name”][/card], [card name=”Greninja” set=”BREAKpoint” no=”40″ c=”name”][/card], and Archie’s [card name=”Blastoise” set=”Boundaries Crossed” no=”31″ c=”name”][/card]. In these matchups, Garbodor is one of the few things that gives us the chance to disrupt.

Sableye / Garbodor

Instead of giving you a straight list, I am going to start with a skeleton, and give you way too many cards to add on top of that. After all, this deck has a lot of options, so I want to make sure to cover all of the choices that go into a deck like this.

[decklist name=”Sableye/Garbodor Skeleton” amt=”40″ caption=”Open slots: 20″ cname=”Sableye” set=”Dark Explorers” no=”62″][pokemon amt=”8″]4x [card name=”Sableye” set=”Dark Explorers” no=”62″ c=”deck2″ amt=”4″][/card]1x [card name=”Bunnelby” set=”Primal Clash” no=”121″ c=”deck2″ amt=”1″][/card]1x [card name=”Garbodor” set=”Dragons Exalted” no=”54″ c=”deck2″ amt=”1″][/card]1x [card name=”Trubbish” set=”Noble Victories” no=”48″ c=”deck2″ amt=”1″][/card]1x [card name=”Shaymin-EX” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”77″ c=”deck2″ amt=”1″][/card][/pokemon][trainers amt=”26″]3x [card name=”Professor Juniper” set=”Dark Explorers” no=”98″ c=”deck2″ amt=”3″][/card]3x [card name=”Team Flare Grunt” set=”XY” no=”129″ c=”deck2″ amt=”3″][/card]1x [card name=”Lysandre” set=”Flashfire” no=”90″ c=”deck2″ amt=”1″][/card]1x [card name=”Xerosic” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”110″ c=”deck2″ divide=”yes” amt=”1″][/card]4x [card name=”Ultra Ball” set=”Dark Explorers” no=”102″ c=”deck2″ amt=”4″][/card]4x [card name=”Puzzle of Time” set=”BREAKpoint” no=”109″ c=”deck2″ amt=”4″][/card]3x [card name=”VS Seeker” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”109″ c=”deck2″ amt=”3″][/card]3x [card name=”Crushing Hammer” set=”Emerging Powers” no=”92″ c=”deck2″ amt=”3″][/card]2x [card name=”Float Stone” set=”Plasma Freeze” no=”99″ c=”deck2″ amt=”2″][/card]1x [card name=”Super Rod” set=”Noble Victories” no=”95″ c=”deck2″ amt=”1″][/card]1x [card name=”Life Dew” set=”Plasma Freeze” no=”107″ c=”deck2″ amt=”1″][/card][/trainers][energy amt=”6″]6x [card name=”Darkness Energy” set=”Black and White” no=”111″ c=”deck2″ amt=”6″][/card][/energy][/decklist] 

This is as bare bones as you get. I purposefully did not max out on counts of cards I think should be maxed out. I wanted to show you how much room this deck actually has. These counts are the counts I personally would never dip below. I’ll eventually give you my final list with all of the counts filled up, but for now, let’s go over the cards that are in the deck first, then move on into the tech section.

Card Choices

Sableye DEX

Obviously the bread and butter of the deck. Any number under four is a big mistake. I haven’t mentioned this yet, but I’m sure I will many times: one of the biggest issues that [card name=”Sableye” set=”Dark Explorers” no=”62″ c=”name”][/card] / [card name=”Garbodor” set=”Dragons Exalted” no=”54″ c=”name”][/card] faces is prizing important cards. 99 games out of 100, this deck isn’t going to take a Prize, leaving you vulnerable to prizing cards that have a one-of count. In fact, with the build I got 3rd at Vancouver Regional Championships this last fall, I only played three cards that had a one count. One of those cards was an Ace Spec, so I was forced to play one, and the other two kind of do the same thing in [card name=”Enhanced Hammer” set=”Dark Explorers” no=”94″ c=”name”][/card] and [card name=”Xerosic” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”110″ c=”name”][/card]. If you don’t agree with playing four Sableye, then I dare you to drop down to three and see what happens! Not only does this decrease the amount of times you’ll start the Darkness Pokemon, but it leaves you rather vulnerable to speed decks. If one is prized, and another gets Knocked Out early, that leaves you with only one Sableye to fish out. Even playing four is scary when you have one prized. Spoiler alert, that’s why I play two [card name=”Super Rod” set=”BREAKthrough” no=”149″ c=”name”][/card] in my final build!

While that did seem rather long winded in explaining why a four count is the only way to go, I really wanted to be able to get my point across. There are plenty of other places to cut in this deck if you’re looking for room. I did however want to touch a little bit on Sableye’s first attack Confuse Ray. There are going to be times when a Confuse Ray will be better than a Junk Hunt. There really isn’t a blanket rule on when to do what attack, since that game sense just comes through practice. However, the best time to use this attack is against early game [card name=”Seismitoad-EX” set=”Furious Fists” no=”20″ c=”name”][/card]-based decks. In Expanded, Toad decks become a lot more prevalent because of the access to [card name=”Hypnotoxic Laser” set=”Plasma Storm” no=”123″ c=”name”][/card]. Getting a clutch Confuse Ray flip to break Item-lock can be the difference in games. In my experience, only one turn free from Quaking Punch is needed to get yourself back into a advantageous position. Having access to Hammers, [card name=”Team Flare Grunt” set=”Generations” no=”73″ c=”name”][/card], and [card name=”Head Ringer” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”97″ c=”name”][/card] for one turn will keep the Item-lock at bay for more than one turn. Because of the low Energy count in these decks, once you get rolling it’s an easy win. Never count out Confuse Ray to put in some solid work.

Bunnelby PRC

[cardimg name=”Bunnelby” set=”Primal Clash” no=”121″ align=”right” c=”none”][/cardimg]

This card is the Mariano Rivera of this deck. Basically once all of their resources are gone, you can use Burrow to speed up the milling process. Usually the first three fourths of the game are going to be spent using Junk Hunt to grab back important stalling Items. Once that process is over, [card name=”Bunnelby” set=”Primal Clash” no=”121″ c=”name”][/card] comes in and cleans up the rest of their deck. Sure, that might not be the case in all games, but it’s definitely an inclusion that needs to be in the deck. [card name=”Bunnelby” set=”Primal Clash” no=”121″ c=”name”][/card] is also very useful in situations where you are Item locked and need to get back Supporters. It’s probably not the most efficient way of doing so, but it is one of the only ways of doing so under Item-lock. There has always been debate among  people about how many of this card you should play. Some believe that this card might not even be worth the one spot. While that may be true in some scenarios, I think a minimum of one is required. When time is against you in game two, you’re going to want a more risky, speedy way of milling their deck out. Sometimes if your opponent isn’t thinking about it, you can also [card name=”Trick Shovel” set=”Flashfire” no=”98″ c=”name”][/card] twice, [card name=”Puzzle of Time” set=”BREAKpoint” no=”109″ c=”name”][/card] to do it again, and then Burrow twice to end the game when they have six cards left in their deck. Starting it may not be the best thing in the world, but I think the pros outweigh the cons just enough to warrant at least one spot in the deck.

Garbodor DEX

The king of all lock decks himself, [card name=”Garbodor” set=”Dragons Exalted” no=”54″ c=”name”][/card] allows you ways to completely shut down decks with one simple Tool attachment. During the State Championships, I saw moderate success with a VespiBinder deck that utilized Garbodor to win the [card name=”Greninja” set=”BREAKpoint” no=”40″ c=”name”][/card], [card name=”Trevenant” set=”XY” no=”55″ c=”name”][/card], and [card name=”Bronzong” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”61″ c=”name”][/card] matchups. If you get the first turn [card name=”Trubbish” set=”Noble Victories” no=”48″ c=”name”][/card], it also does work against [card name=”Vileplume” set=”Ancient Origins” no=”3″ c=”name”][/card]-based decks. With Garbodor, you give you opponent two things to have to deal with, the Ability-lock and the Sableye that is Junk Hunting Hammers over and over again. Without this pile of trash, there would be no way that Sableye would have a good chance against a lot of the decks floating around these days. Another sneaky play that is sometimes overlooked with Garbodor is shutting off [card name=”Milotic” set=”Primal Clash” no=”44″ c=”name”][/card]’s Sparkling Ripples. When Puzzle of Time was released, it gave Night March players a way to recycle Double Colorless Energy. Before then, the Night March versus Sableye matchup was an easy layup, but now we have to work twice as hard to get rid of all of those pesky Double Energy that Night March loves so much. Taking out the Sparkling Ripples just makes that job a little bit easier. Sure, it won’t win you that matchup by any means, but it will at least prevent them from getting that many more Double Colorless Energy in play.

Trubbish NVI

This is the correct [card name=”Trubbish” set=”Noble Victories” no=”48″ c=”name”][/card] to play and don’t let anybody tell you any differently. This card can sometimes be the only out you have in the [card name=”Seismitoad-EX” set=”Furious Fists” no=”20″ c=”name”][/card] matchup. When you draw into that early game [card name=”Team Flare Grunt” set=”Generations” no=”73″ c=”name”][/card] or [card name=”Xerosic” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”110″ c=”name”][/card], you can easily recycle it with Garbage Collection. This way, you’re almost guaranteed to dispose of two Double Colorless Energy. With this strategy, you might even be able to break the Item-lock for that one turn. As stated earlier, that is sometimes all you need to win that matchup. The argument against this Trubbish is the 60 versus 70 HP debate. I’ll reference the Toad matchup again here. Let’s say they get an early turn advantage and Quaking Punch you and play a [card name=”Hypnotoxic Laser” set=”Plasma Storm” no=”123″ c=”name”][/card]. That is going to generally OHKO Trubbish with [card name=”Virbank City Gym” set=”Plasma Storm” no=”126″ c=”name”][/card] out or a [card name=”Muscle Band” set=”XY” no=”121″ c=”name”][/card] on Toad. If the Toad player only has one of those two damage modifiers, Trubbish will die going back into their turn, allowing them to get another attack off on one of your benched Pokemon for free. That’s not something I’m too big a fan of. So between the ability to use Garbage Collection, and the worry about dying going back into their turn, I will take the Noble Victories one every day of the week. Easily!

Shaymin-EX

[cardimg name=”Shaymin-EX” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”77″ align=”right” c=”none”][/cardimg]

I mean, what more is there to say about this card that hasn’t been said already? Every deck that plays a high count of [card name=”Ultra Ball” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”93″ c=”name”][/card] should play [card name=”Shaymin-EX” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”77″ c=”name”][/card]. Mainly this card will be used for those early game situation where you can’t draw into the things you need. Generally it’s not too much of a liability sitting on the Bench, since the other player has to deal with the other threat of constant Sableye and Hammers coming down on them. Decks that can attach one Energy and kill Shaymin-EX in the same turn are the only things to really worry about. So stuff like Night March, [card name=”Vespiquen” set=”Ancient Origins” no=”10″ c=”name”][/card], [card name=”Raichu” set=”Generations” no=”27″ c=”name”][/card], and [card name=”Gallade” set=”BREAKthrough” no=”84″ c=”name”][/card]. In these cases, benching more than one Shaymin-EX might not be the best idea in the world. A tech [card name=”AZ” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”91″ c=”name”][/card] or [card name=”Parallel City” set=”BREAKthrough” no=”145″ c=”name”][/card] never hurts to get it off the field though!

Professor Juniper

[card name=”Professor Juniper” set=”Black and White” no=”101″ c=”name”][/card] and Sycamore are often the best choice when it comes to drawing cards. However, these two shine even more in this deck. The choice of Sycamore or [card name=”N” set=”Black and White Black Star Promos” no=”BW100″ c=”name”][/card] is often a debate that a lot of people will have in their head when starting at their hand. In this deck, I say it’s nearly 100% better to Juniper than N. Reason being is because this deck operates under the engine of being able to pull anything and everything back from your discard pile, so throwing it all away is usually never a bad thing. I will hint to putting [card name=”Battle Compressor” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”92″ c=”name”][/card] in as a tech for this very reason. I’ve have earned nearly 200 points with this deck this season, so understand when I say that not once have I ever felt bad about using Juniper to discard a hand full of resources. This card is good, but even better in a deck like this.

Team Flare Grunt

This card is the best way to deny Energy in the deck. Since the whole point of the deck is to deny Energy and resources, this should seem like an obvious inclusion. The reason I put a count of three down for the minimum is because of how reliant this deck is on [card name=”Team Flare Grunt” set=”Generations” no=”73″ c=”name”][/card] against [card name=”Seismitoad-EX” set=”Furious Fists” no=”20″ c=”name”][/card]. I’ll probably end up saying it a few more times before this article is done, but early game Energy denial on to Toad will win you the game every single time. When I first put this deck together way back in September, I remember looking at a list that played four Flare Grunt and two [card name=”Xerosic” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”110″ c=”name”][/card] for that exact reason. I have since dropped the count ever so slightly, but the core still stands. If you go first against Toad and get a [card name=”Head Ringer” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”97″ c=”name”][/card] right off the bat, the Flare Grunts become less of a stress to hit turn one.

Xerosic

[cardimg name=”Xerosic” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”110″ align=”right” c=”none”][/cardimg]

This card is the second best way to deny Energy in the deck. This format is flooded with tons of Special Energy cards, and [card name=”Xerosic” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”110″ c=”name”][/card] is up to the task of making sure they don’t stay on your opponent’s side of the field for too long! Not only that, but the added benefit of doubling as a [card name=”Tool Scrapper” set=”Dragons Exalted” no=”116″ c=”name”][/card] is a great addition! I feel like Xerosic is one of those cards that only good players include in their decks. Every time I see a list that made a deep run at a tournament, Xerosic seems to be there! It’s a great one-of card that is even better in a deck like Sableye / Garbodor.

Lysandre

This card is the third best way to deny Energy in the deck. What what? It doesn’t even remove Energy! While this may be true, I stand by what I say. In most decks, [card name=”Lysandre” set=”Ancient Origins” no=”78″ c=”name”][/card] is used as a way to pick off annoying Bench sitters and to get rid of threats. In this deck, we use it to pull something into the Active and stall! Rampaging [card name=”Keldeo-EX” set=”Legendary Treasures” no=”45″ c=”name”][/card]? Just Lysandre up [card name=”Blastoise” set=”Boundaries Crossed” no=”31″ c=”name”][/card]! All of those Energy your opponent worked so hard to attach to Keldeo-EX are now basically useless. I mean, we all know how good of a card Lysandre is in every other deck, we’re just using it in a slightly different way with a slightly different mindset. Plus this card is one of the few outs we have to stop [card name=”Vespiquen” set=”Ancient Origins” no=”10″ c=”name”][/card] / [card name=”Vileplume” set=”Ancient Origins” no=”3″ c=”name”][/card] from running all over us. If our opponent misses the [card name=”Float Stone” set=”BREAKthrough” no=”137″ c=”name”][/card] onto the Vileplume before evolving and we miss the Float Stone on the [card name=”Trubbish” set=”Noble Victories” no=”48″ c=”name”][/card] turn one, Lysandre becomes our last hope for dragging out a long game en route to a win.

Ultra Ball

I feel just as weird writing about [card name=”Ultra Ball” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”93″ c=”name”][/card] as I do [card name=”Shaymin-EX” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”77″ c=”name”][/card], but in order to keep up with my pattern I’ve established, I’ll have to jot down a few words! The reason I max out at four here isn’t just for consistency reasons, but really to keep the [card name=”Sableye” set=”Dark Explorers” no=”62″ c=”name”][/card] coming turn after turn. Sometimes if the opponent gets a fast start on us, we have to play catch up. [card name=”Puzzle of Time” set=”BREAKpoint” no=”109″ c=”name”][/card] is nice for getting back Energy and Sableye in order to climb back into the game, but there are other things we might need to Puzzle for that turn, like a Supporter, or a [card name=”Float Stone” set=”BREAKthrough” no=”137″ c=”name”][/card]. I have found myself relying on early and late game Ultra Ball in almost every game.

Another cool little trick Ultra Ball brings is a way to prevent yourself from decking out. Sableye has a knack for getting a little too aggressive with the early game. I mean after all, we can just recycle back all of our resources anyway! [card name=”Bunnelby” set=”Primal Clash” no=”121″ c=”name”][/card] is going to be the most obvious way to prevent a reverse mill, but with the help of Ultra Ball and [card name=”Super Rod” set=”BREAKthrough” no=”149″ c=”name”][/card], we can keep our deck healthy. Just today I was running through a couple of practice games online and needed to do the old Ultra Ball, dump a Trubbish and an Energy and Super Rod them back in to keep my deck size just above comfortable levels. In fact, this is one of the strategies you can use in the mirror match to help drag the game out! Although the mirror is one of the most painstaking matchups in the game currently. I do not recommend it.

Puzzle of Time

[cardimg name=”Puzzle of Time” set=”BREAKpoint” no=”109″ align=”right” c=”none”][/cardimg]

Yes! Now we get to the thing that turned [card name=”Sableye” set=”Dark Explorers” no=”62″ c=”name”][/card] / [card name=”Garbodor” set=”Dragons Exalted” no=”54″ c=”name”][/card] from a halfway decent deck, to a deck that sprints to the top tier unless kept in check. I felt like once this card came out, everyone had to have an answer for Sableye decks. When testing for Regionals, we kept finding ourselves saying, “yeah, deck A is a good deck, but it loses to Sableye.” These days, people say the same thing about Night March, but that’s a discussion for later. Anyway, the coolest and most obvious thing about this card is that it allows you to play a more reactive game instead of a prediction game. Sableye / Garbodor already has a fairly high skill cap, but this card made the deck much more easy to pilot. Before, you had to anticipate your opponent’s moves, and Junk Hunt the correct Items in order to react properly. This made the deck feel like it was always playing from behind. With Puzzle of Time, you can Junk Hunt two of these guys and be able to change your mind on the next turn.

One of the combos that you see quite frequently is the abuse of [card name=”Life Dew” set=”Plasma Freeze” no=”107″ c=”name”][/card]. We can now keep a Life Dew attachment flowing each and every turn if we want to. Puzzle of Time lets us grab back the Lew Dew, slap it on a new Sableye, then Junk Hunt for some more Puzzle, forcing our opponent to either Lysandre around it until the cows come home, or find a way to scrap it. It also keeps the threat of a double Puzzle for two [card name=”Trick Shovel” set=”Flashfire” no=”98″ c=”name”][/card] paired with a double Burrow for a four card swing! There are a lot of cool things you can do with this card obviously, but like I said before, Puzzle of Time changed Sableye / Garbodor from being a prediction based deck, into a reaction based deck. We’ve already seen the implication that Puzzle has had on Night March, changing it from a tier two deck, do the best deck in format overnight.

Speaking of Night March, Puzzle of Time actually kind of hurts us in a way. I know I touched on it earlier, but opponents who play Puzzle of Time are given an out to recycling back Special Energy. Before this card game out, the strategy against Double Colorless Energy reliant decks was to Enhanced Hammer over and over again. That still remains to be the same strategy, but now we have to do it twice as much. This can put us into a situation where we are wanting to grab back a Sableye, an Energy, the Life Dew, and an Enhanced Hammer in the same turn. Puzzle of Time allowed other decks to now keep pace with a fast Sableye start. It’s not too much of an issue, but it is a point worth talking about. I still believe that Puzzle of Time did more for Sableye / Garbodor than it did for Night March, but I digress.

VS Seeker

Another card that is included in almost every single list that I have to talk about. However, this time I’m going to delve more into the low count of three [card name=”VS Seeker” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”109″ c=”name”][/card] in this list. Because of the combined power of Junk Hunt and Puzzle of Time, generally speaking, you won’t be needing to use VS Seeker all that often. You’d be surprised how little I ever retrieve it out of the discard pile. VS Seeker is going to be very nice for the early game when you need to get rid of your deck quickly. It’s also nice late game for when you want your deck to be filled with nothing but Energy and Supporter cards. But that big chuck of the mid game? Dead card. Well, not entirely dead, since it is after all VS Seeker we’re talking about here, but never the less, this card gets out classed by Puzzle of Time nine times out of ten when talking Sableye / Garbodor. If you’re ever looking for room to scrape on, you can cut to two VS Seeker and feel fine knowing the consistency of the deck won’t fall off.

Crushing Hammer

[cardimg name=”Crushing Hammer” set=”Generations” no=”60″ align=”right” c=”none”][/cardimg]

The bread and butter of the deck that will frustrate your opponent to no end. First of all, it’s a card that requires a flip to know, so you know just by that fact alone you’re going to cause some headaches. Second of all, when you get that flip, you’re taking away one of the most basic resources in the game. There are plenty of ways to disrupt your opponent in this game, but none hit home quite like stripping off Energy. I’ve always been told that a card is considered good if it bends or breaks the rules of the game. There’s nothing more broken in this game than preventing your opponent from attacking. Imagine you’re playing a game, your opponent attacks, and you just say “Uhm, nope, my turn now!” That’s kind of how it feels playing a high count of [card name=”Crushing Hammer” set=”Generations” no=”60″ c=”name”][/card]. Speaking of which, the only reason I put the minimum at three instead of four is because I wanted to generate as much room as possible. The first card I would add back into the deck from the 20 spots we have open is going to be the fourth Crushing Hammer. If you are really, truly, and desperately cramped for room, then settle with three. I wouldn’t though!

Float Stone

Easily the best Tool to activate [card name=”Garbodor” set=”Dragons Exalted” no=”54″ c=”name”][/card]’s Garbotoxin. Free Retreat isn’t going to come into play a whole ton with this deck, considering the natural late game this deck provides, and the fact that the only Pokemon you don’t want stuck in the Active have a low Retreat cost (besides Garbodor, of course). However, a place where this card can have its chance to shine is in the mirror matchup. In the mirror, Confuse Ray plays a big part in determining the outcome of games. Being able to escape out of the soft lock without losing an Energy in the process is a huge deal. I find myself often not benching Trubbish in the mirror, or attaching Life Dew, and just throwing most of my Float Stone on [card name=”Bunnelby” set=”Primal Clash” no=”121″ c=”name”][/card] and Sableye.

Super Rod

I honestly think this card needs two copies in this deck. Reason being is for the same reason I mentioned in the Sableye section and the Puzzle of Time section. It can sometimes be hard to recycle attackers and Energy in this deck, so a higher count of [card name=”Super Rod” set=”BREAKthrough” no=”149″ c=”name”][/card] will ensure that you can draw into your stuff when you need to. Eventually your discard pile is going to become your main source of cards, which means your deck will be full of dead cards while still needing to maintain a level of bulk to keep from decking out. Early on in my testing back in September, I tried the build with only one Super Rod. I definitely lost games because of the Prize situation where Super Rod was not available to me. The reason I listed it as one is because if you want to take that risk of having it prized, you definitely can. What ever card you play instead of the second Rod better be worth those losses you are risking. Puzzle of Time can’t get back everything all the time!

Life Dew

Life Dew is easily the best Ace Spec choice for this deck. As explained in the [card name=”Puzzle of Time” set=”BREAKpoint” no=”109″ c=”name”][/card] section, being able to recycle this Tool card is just too good. Forcing your opponent into awkward situations is one of the best ways to disrupt. The common ways a player can deal with Life Dew are [card name=”Lysandre” set=”Ancient Origins” no=”78″ c=”name”][/card], [card name=”Xerosic” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”110″ c=”name”][/card], and [card name=”Tool Scrapper” set=”Dragons Exalted” no=”116″ c=”name”][/card]. If your opponent decides to play Xerosic or Lysandre to remove the Tool they aren’t drawing cards, which is a good thing. If you’re getting rid of Energy at the same time that they’re trying to deal with Life Dew, it’s going to cause problems. You will come out on top in the board position battle most of the time. Plus, if you do happen to get around it somehow, you’re just going to recycle it back into your hand anyway using Puzzle. The same goes for the Tool Scrapper route. They’re going to have one turn free to take a Prize, but that’s about it. Usually decks don’t run more than one copy of scrapper, if any. Games are going to go long. You’re going to want to force your opponent to KO a whole bunch of [card name=”Sableye” set=”Dark Explorers” no=”62″ c=”name”][/card] to win. Eventually you’ll win the war there.

Darkness Energy

It seems kind of weird to be talking about Basic Energy yes? Well the reason I bring it up is because I have seen builds that utilize [card name=”Blend Energy GRPD” set=”Dragons Exalted” no=”117″ c=”name”][/card]. The reason for this is to include some crazy cool techs. [card name=”Virizion-EX” set=”Plasma Blast” no=”9″ c=”name”][/card] was the most common in these situations. Being able to stop the poison from [card name=”Hypnotoxic Laser” set=”Plasma Storm” no=”123″ c=”name”][/card], as well as give you a decent attacker in the [card name=”Seismitoad-EX” set=”Furious Fists” no=”20″ c=”name”][/card] matchup can be nice. [card name=”Carnivine” set=”Dark Explorers” no=”5″ c=”name”][/card] is also quite the juicy tech to give you just another out for Lysandre and such. The reason I choose to not play any of these tech options is two fold. One, because I hate [card name=”Enhanced Hammer” set=”Dark Explorers” no=”94″ c=”name”][/card]. Remember when I said that I like two Super Rod in this deck? Well Super Rod can’t get you back Blend. [card name=”Puzzle of Time” set=”BREAKpoint” no=”109″ c=”name”][/card] sure can, you’re right, but I still worry about being Energy denied myself and my only option to recovery is Puzzle of Time. And two, because these attackers are honestly not needed. Poison never really phased this deck to begin with, since Life Dew still denies the Prize if the Pokemon it is attached to gets Knocked Out between turns or by status effect. As for kooky alternative attackers, there really isn’t much more of a benefit to these. Smart play and a heads up thinking can prevent the need for tech options. Plus they ruin the chance of start Sableye, which is obviously the preferred option in every situation.

Next I’ll go over a ton of tech options then finish with my current complete version of the deck.

[premium]

Tech Options

You know, when I started writing this article, I thought it was going to be much shorter than my first article. I apologize if anything I said may have repeated itself or seemed redundant, but I guess I want you to understand the necessity of certain cards before you fill out your own list. I will give a disclaimer however. I don’t like tech cards in this deck. The reason being is because I’m a sucker for consistency. This deck is definitely one of the more consistent decks out there, but the thing I worry about the most is prizing important cards. I said it in the Sableye section and I’ll say it again here, if you’re going to play a one count of a card, you better be willing to take the risk of prizing it. You have to have a really good reason to play that card if you’re willing to take the risk of not having it in a matchup. With that being said, let’s get into some cool other options to fill out the deck with!

Carnivine DEX

Wait what? Alex, you just said this card was too “Kooky” to include in a list? Yeah but hear me out on this one. The [card name=”Primal Groudon-EX” set=”Primal Clash” no=”86″ c=”name”][/card] matchup is easily the worst out there yes? You can’t do anything to stop a Primal Groudon-EX from just running through you. Your only real options here are to constantly recycle Sableye, Life Dew, and an Energy turn after turn. Like I said earlier, Puzzle of Time can only get back two of those pieces. If you play it really aggressive and dump your entire deck in the discard and leave nothing but Energy and Pokemon, you might be able to give Groudon a run for its money. Unlikely. The other option is to try to Confuse Ray and hope they flip a whole bunch of tails. Also unlikely. But let’s say you play [card name=”Carnivine” set=”Dark Explorers” no=”5″ c=”name”][/card]. If your opponent starts a [card name=”Wobbuffet” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”36″ c=”name”][/card], or benches one for some unknown reason, you can play the tried and true strategy of “Bring me that Wobbuffet.” You will have to scrap any and all [card name=”Float Stone” set=”BREAKthrough” no=”137″ c=”name”][/card], and wait out the [card name=”Switch” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”91″ c=”name”][/card], but either way it would buy you a turn or two when you need it. Lysandre can do the same effect though. Hmmm, I guess it’s not worth playing. But wait! What about the mirror? Yes! In the mirror, more often than not, the game is going to end in a tie in swiss. But in top cut, it comes down to who can take more Prizes. With a way to automatically Lysandre and Poison, you just might be able to take a Prize or two! The only other reason to play this card would be in the [card name=”Trevenant” set=”XY” no=”55″ c=”name”][/card] matchup. Relying on Lysandre to break the Item-lock might prove difficult, but Lure Poison isn’t that hard to use right? To be fair, all of this is for not, since all of the above strategies can be accomplished with better cards, but if you decide to play the [card name=”Blend Energy GRPD” set=”Dragons Exalted” no=”117″ c=”name”][/card], then I would consider Carnivine and a cool tech. Plus, if you win with it, imagine how popular your list will be!

Munna and Virizion-EX

[cardimg name=”Munna” set=”Boundaries Crossed” no=”68″ align=”right” c=”none”][/cardimg]

If for some reason [card name=”Garbodor” set=”Legendary Treasures” no=”68″ c=”name”][/card] doesn’t seem like your cup of tea, you can try a different way to stall things out. Using [card name=”Munna” set=”Boundaries Crossed” no=”68″ c=”name”][/card] to put people to sleep, and then prevent that sleep on yourself with [card name=”Virizion-EX” set=”Plasma Blast” no=”9″ c=”name”][/card] can definitely steal some turns from you opponent. This strategy leaves you more vulnerable to decks like [card name=”Greninja” set=”BREAKpoint” no=”40″ c=”name”][/card] and [card name=”Trevenant” set=”XY” no=”55″ c=”name”][/card], but it can seal up some other matchups even more so than normal. With this combination, you have a 25% chance of giving an additional problem for your opponent to deal with. If you are not a fan of playing Blend Energy, you can also use [card name=”Keldeo-EX” set=”Boundaries Crossed” no=”49″ c=”name”][/card] to Rush In and Retreat.

Stadiums

Delinquent

[card name=”Delinquent” set=”BREAKpoint” no=”98″ c=”name”][/card] is just another way to mill cards and control your opponent’s hand and deck. If your opponent’s ever find themselves with three or less cards in their hand, a Delinquent plus a [card name=”Trick Shovel” set=”Flashfire” no=”98″ c=”name”][/card] can make their next turn useless. I did manage to pull this combination of cards off in PokeBeach’s most recent article writer’s tournament. This alone definitely won me the game, as I was able to set up fully for the four turns he was soft locked. However, my skeleton list doesn’t play its own Stadium, which can prevent me from pulling off the combo if my opponent doesn’t play a Stadium. With [card name=”Puzzle of Time” set=”BREAKpoint” no=”109″ c=”name”][/card], I think it is wise to play at least one Stadium. There are a couple of good options to consider when playing a one-of tech Stadium.

Editor note: JW Kriewall is running another Writer’s Tournament for his next article. It’s quite a cool thing so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for it. Expect it sometime before Regional Championships begin.

Parallel City

When this card first came out, I wasn’t the biggest fan to be honest. Something about it just didn’t mesh with my playstyle. Since then, however, this card has achieved, as I like to put it, “Butter Status,” because it goes in everything. It’s so nice for helping deal with any deck that has a weakness to [card name=”Seismitoad-EX” set=”Furious Fists” no=”20″ c=”name”][/card] while at the same time protecting your [card name=”Shaymin-EX” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”77″ c=”name”][/card] from giving up a free two Prizes. It can also put your opponent into a tricky spot if they have too many Bench sitters when you force them to only three spots. No matter which way you flip the card, you’re more than likely going to be causing a shift in play from your opponent. If I had to choose any of the Stadiums on this list, my first choice would be [card name=”Parallel City” set=”BREAKthrough” no=”145″ c=”name”][/card].

Silent Lab

With [card name=”Garbodor” set=”Dragons Exalted” no=”54″ c=”name”][/card], [card name=”Silent Lab” set=”Primal Clash” no=”140″ c=”name”][/card] doesn’t become much of a priority card. However, in the turns leading up to the activation of Garbotoxin, you can use Silent Lab to slow down your opponent’s set up, especially in the [card name=”Shaymin-EX” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”77″ c=”name”][/card] department. If you use these cards in tandem with each other, you also force your opponent into dealing with two forms of Ability-lock. I have seen people play Silent Lab and no Garbodor, but like I’ve said before, that leaves you vulnerable to decks where the evolution has the Ability. Regardless, it’s a good one-of tech to considering when talking about Stadiums.

Mountain Ring

This option is going to be one you play in a very specific meta. [card name=”Landorus-EX” set=”Boundaries Crossed” no=”89″ c=”name”][/card] can actually do a fair amount of damage to this deck. It’s not the worst matchup, but it’s not one I prefer to play. The whole idea is that they can quite easily OHKO [card name=”Sableye” set=”Dark Explorers” no=”62″ c=”name”][/card] with a [card name=”Strong Energy” set=”Furious Fists” no=”104″ c=”name”][/card] and a [card name=”Muscle Band” set=”XY” no=”121″ c=”name”][/card]. With Hammerhead, they also set up easy KO’s on your benched Sableye, and even two shot snipe your [card name=”Trubbish” set=”Noble Victories” no=”48″ c=”name”][/card]. This is the only matchup where I truly worry about the Bench damage, so if you have a whole bunch of Landorus-EX running around near you, [card name=”Mountain Ring” set=”Furious Fists” no=”97″ c=”name”][/card] is definitely the way to go. Otherwise it’s really not that useful of a card.

Skyarrow Bridge

Now this card might be somewhat of a cute option you could play. The reason we’re playing a one count Stadium is to active [card name=”Delinquent” set=”BREAKpoint” no=”98″ c=”name”][/card] right? Well most of these other Stadiums need to remain in play to have a lasting effect. What we’re going is simply playing [card name=”Puzzle of Time” set=”BREAKpoint” no=”109″ c=”name”][/card] and grabbing the Stadium and Delinquent just to mess with our opponent. With [card name=”Skyarrow Bridge” set=”Next Destinies” no=”91″ c=”name”][/card], you can Puzzle for it, use it to Retreat, and then discard it, taking full advantage of the Stadium’s effect as well as giving us the disruption we crave. The only Pokemon this won’t be as effective on is [card name=”Bunnelby” set=”Primal Clash” no=”121″ c=”name”][/card], since it has a Retreat of two, and [card name=”Garbodor” set=”Legendary Treasures” no=”68″ c=”name”][/card] of course, but it’s not a Basic Pokemon. Having another out that isn’t named [card name=”Float Stone” set=”BREAKthrough” no=”137″ c=”name”][/card] to rescue your [card name=”Shaymin-EX” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”77″ c=”name”][/card] from the Active is not a bad thing.

Team Aqua’s Secret Base

[cardimg name=”Team Aqua’s Secret Base” set=”Double Crisis” no=”28″ align=”right” c=”none”][/cardimg]

This is the Stadium that saw the most play in [card name=”Sableye” set=”Dark Explorers” no=”62″ c=”name”][/card] / Garbodor decks at Fall Regional Championships. The reason of this is because it is much easier to stick things in the Active when they have an extra Retreat requirement. Almost every deck has something that doesn’t belong in the Active, and with [card name=”Team Aqua’s Secret Base” set=”Double Crisis” no=”28″ c=”name”][/card], you can ensure it stays there longer than it wants to. The reason I never played one back then was because I wanted room for other things. It’s nice to be able to bounce [card name=”Virbank City Gym” set=”Plasma Storm” no=”126″ c=”name”][/card] or [card name=”Sky Field” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”89″ c=”name”][/card], but it didn’t benefit my board state at all. If I didn’t play [card name=”Delinquent” set=”BREAKpoint” no=”98″ c=”name”][/card], I honestly still would not play a Stadium at all. There are just better options. I know a lot of people like the benefit that Aqua’s Base brings, but I think the spot can be dedicated to something else.

Mirror Techs

I did want to include some quick ideas about how to tech for the mirror. In most cases, this isn’t something that needs to be thought about. During swiss play, this deck is going to draw against the mirror more often than not. However in top cut when playing to a draw can’t happen, you’ll have to find a way to take a Prize eventually. Here are some options that help you take a Prize in the mirror.

Sceptile-EX

[card name=”Sceptile-EX” set=”Ancient Origins” no=”7″ c=”name”][/card] first attack deals ten damage and has the chance to poison on a coin flip. While there are actually plenty of cards that do this, Sceptile’s low Retreat cost and decent second attack is what makes it stand out. The mirror wouldn’t be the only beneficial place for this card. A quick search yields over ten other options where the Pokemon is Basic, attacks for one Energy, and poisons. Sceptile is just a bit more bulky against other decks. Plus it’s really going to help against Seismitoad-EX based decks, which as I’ve said plenty of times now, is one of the worst matchups for this deck.

Trevenant-EX

[card name=”Trevenant-EX” set=”Primal Clash” no=”19″ c=”name”][/card] is a little bit more cute of an idea. I think it’s cool to be able to [card name=”Lysandre” set=”Ancient Origins” no=”78″ c=”name”][/card] up something and Dark Forrest it into place in the Active. In the mirror, the target would most likely be [card name=”Garbodor” set=”Dragons Exalted” no=”54″ c=”name”][/card] or [card name=”Trubbish” set=”Noble Victories” no=”48″ c=”name”][/card], since most [card name=”Sableye” set=”Dark Explorers” no=”62″ c=”name”][/card] decks don’t have a good way of getting him out of the Active. My list sure doesn’t play a way to prevent this from happening. My only hope would to be to get rid of the [card name=”Blend Energy GRPD” set=”Dragons Exalted” no=”117″ c=”name”][/card] before a KO occurs.

Victini NVI 43

Okay now I’m just getting a little too cheeky, but hear me out. Let’s say you’re the type of player who just loves to play weird stuff and have it benefit it you. Let’s say you’re playing the mirror match. The most common tech you’ll see for the mirror is [card name=”Hypnotoxic Laser” set=”Plasma Storm” no=”123″ c=”name”][/card], since you can recycle it fairly easy with Junk Hunt. Eventually they’re going to take a Prize with Poison damage. What if I told you that there is an easy way to take two Prizes? Enter [card name=”Victini” set=”Noble Victories” no=”43″ c=”name”][/card]. All it takes is a Lysandre, a Blend Energy, and a 25% of flipping two heads and boom! You have yourself a OHKO on [card name=”Shaymin-EX” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”77″ c=”name”][/card]. It’s definitely not the best option, but definitely the most fun option!

Hypnotoxic Laser

[cardimg name=”Hypnotoxic Laser” set=”Plasma Storm” no=”123″ align=”right” c=”none”][/cardimg]

Speaking of [card name=”Hypnotoxic Laser” set=”Plasma Storm” no=”123″ c=”name”][/card], as I said just before, it is probably the best option when it comes to the mirror. I have never been involved in a Sableye mirror that didn’t go at least 45 minutes long. Even if your opponent manages to get out of Poison over and over again, you will eventually take a Prize with Laser. There really isn’t much downside to throwing this card in as a one-of. Plus you have that chance of putting your opponent to sleep in other matchups. This card actually gained so much play in the late part of City Championships that players started teching in [card name=”Full Heal” set=”Furious Fists” no=”93″ c=”name”][/card] as well to deal with the counter to the mirror. That’s just how crazy this deck can get! So many options!

Disruption Techs

I think most of these cards find their way into Sableye decks one way or another. I know that I have personally played each of these cards at different times since I started getting Championship Points with it. If you’re looking for the most consistent, most disruptive version of Sableye without any wacky techs, this list is going to be the one you want to pull the most cards from.

Enhanced Hammer

Crushing Hammer’s crazy brother. We live in a era of Pokemon where Special Energy are included in nearly every deck. [card name=”Enhanced Hammer” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”94″ c=”name”][/card] is 100% the best and most efficient way to deal with those Energy. The only reason I don’t include it in my deck as a “must have” is because of the meta you may live in. If there is tons of [card name=”M Manectric-EX” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”24″ c=”name”][/card] around, Enhanced Hammer is going to be a dead card. This card is going to see the most play against decks like Night March and [card name=”Vespiquen” set=”Ancient Origins” no=”10″ c=”name”][/card] as a way to slow those speedy decks down. While [card name=”Seismitoad-EX” set=”Furious Fists” no=”20″ c=”name”][/card]-based decks play plenty of Special Energy to get rid of, under Item-lock Enhanced Hammer will stay in your hand. That’s where [card name=”Team Flare Grunt” set=”Generations” no=”73″ c=”name”][/card] and [card name=”Xerosic” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”110″ c=”name”][/card] come in big. Enhanced Hammer should be played at any major tournament, since one can expect plenty of [card name=”Double Colorless Energy” set=”Generations” no=”74″ c=”name”][/card] to get rid of.

Trick Shovel

One of my favorite cards of all time for this deck. It has so many cool purposes that benefit you in multiple ways! The first is the obvious ability to mill in Item form. When you’re ahead in the game, but not so far ahead that you want to commit to retreating into [card name=”Bunnelby” set=”Primal Clash” no=”121″ c=”name”][/card], [card name=”Trick Shovel” set=”Flashfire” no=”98″ c=”name”][/card] offers a way to speed up the game ever so slightly. While one or two cards at a time may not seem like a lot, it’s usually enough to get your opponent to start panicking. The second is a little less obvious, but still a reason to play the card. The cool part of Trick Shovel is the fact that you can choose to discard the top card or not. So if it is a card that won’t advance your opponent’s board state, you can leave it there to control their top deck. This can usually buy you three or four turns of stalling, sometimes more. I have forced people into playing [card name=”Professor Sycamore” set=”BREAKpoint” no=”107″ c=”name”][/card] with this strategy. People get so frustrated when they can’t top deck useful things and think irrationally. And the third way is something that has only happened extremely rarely, but it has happened. There have been times where I open a starting hand to absolute garbage. However, I’ve had a Trick Shovel and a [card name=”VS Seeker” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”109″ c=”name”][/card]. You can Shovel your own deck in hopes to speed up the process of getting a Supporter into your discard pile. I haven’t pulled off this combo, but I have milled my own deck and hit a Supporter a turn early. Just another wacky way to think about this card!

Head Ringer

[cardimg name=”Head Ringer” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”97″ align=”right” c=”none”][/cardimg]

It’s a shame they never printed any more Flare Tools! I’m quite sad we only have two, however, I’m quite happy that one of them is [card name=”Head Ringer” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”97″ c=”name”][/card]. There are quite a lot of Pokemon-EX that can’t handle having a little bit of noise in their ears. In fact, I think all Pokemon-EX don’t like having a Head Ringer attached. The only exception could be [card name=”Mewtwo-EX” set=”Next Destinies” no=”54″ c=”name”][/card] and [card name=”Yveltal-EX” set=”XY” no=”79″ c=”name”][/card], because having a whole bunch of Energy is actually a good thing. Either way no matter where you place this, it will cause problems. A good home for a Head Ringer in the Expanded format is on a [card name=”Keldeo-EX” set=”Legendary Treasures” no=”45″ c=”name”][/card]. Usually [card name=”Float Stone” set=”BREAKthrough” no=”137″ c=”name”][/card] find their way to the Rush In Pokemon to give everything free Retreat. With this Flare Tool on, there isn’t room for a Float Stone to provide the flexibility that decks crave. Back in September, I played three Head Ringer in total because I really wanted to be able to get that turn one against [card name=”Seismitoad-EX” set=”Furious Fists” no=”20″ c=”name”][/card]. Now, with the rise of non-EX based decks, Head Ringer is becoming more and more of a dead card. I usually only ever need one in certain matchups to get me the win. I wouldn’t drop it completely, but if you do, make sure you have room for an extra [card name=”Team Flare Grunt” set=”Generations” no=”73″ c=”name”][/card] or [card name=”Xerosic” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”110″ c=”name”][/card] to help with the Item locking Toad.

Tool Scrapper

Looking back on it now, this card should probably be included in the required list. I can’t think of a deck in today’s format that doesn’t play Tool cards, can you? Mega decks have Spirit Link cards, decks with a lot of Basics have [card name=”Fighting Fury Belt” set=”BREAKpoint” no=”99″ c=”name”][/card], and every other deck has [card name=”Muscle Band” set=”XY” no=”121″ c=”name”][/card] or [card name=”Float Stone” set=”BREAKthrough” no=”137″ c=”name”][/card]. This card also relaxes the need to hit a Xerosic in a pinch. Getting rid of a Tool card and then replacing it with a Head Ringer is also a great feeling! And remember, you can also scrap your own cards! So if for some reason you need to scrap a Float Stone or [card name=”Life Dew” set=”Plasma Freeze” no=”107″ c=”name”][/card] and replace it with the other, you can do so! It rarely happens, but it’s nice to know you have that option at your disposal.

Escape Rope

Moving along with the theme of Item cards that do the same thing as Supporter cards, [card name=”Escape Rope” set=”Primal Clash” no=”127″ c=”name”][/card] is a weak excuse for a [card name=”Lysandre” set=”Ancient Origins” no=”78″ c=”name”][/card], but an excuse either way! Have you ever played a game, has a slow start with nothing but your main attacker and a [card name=”Shaymin-EX” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”77″ c=”name”][/card] on the field? Think about how often that actually happens, and then add Escape Rope to the mix. Not only do you get put in the unfortunate position of having a Shaymin-EX, but the opponent still gets to a play a Supporter that turn! The other use for Escape Rope is a non-Float Stone way to get unwanted Pokemon out of the Active. [card name=”Switch” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”91″ c=”name”][/card] might be a better alternative in these cases, but it’s nice to know that you have an out when you need one. [card name=”AZ” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”91″ c=”name”][/card] or [card name=”Cassius” set=”XY” no=”115″ c=”name”][/card] might be better as well, but there’s no real reason to heal in this deck, so I think Escape Rope remains the best option in these cases.

Pokemon Catcher

[card name=”Pokemon Catcher” set=”BREAKpoint” no=”105″ c=”name”][/card] is yet another weak excuse for a [card name=”Lysandre” set=”Ancient Origins” no=”78″ c=”name”][/card]. Remember when this card was played four to a deck until it got the Pokemon Reversal treatment? The good old days right? Well this card does still see a bit of fringe play in decks that might not want to burn their Supporter, but still want to drag an unwanted Pokemon into the Active. Catcher is going to be better than Escape Rope for accuracy sake, but it does require a flip. I wouldn’t go as far to say this is a bad card for the deck, after all I’m including it in this article, I just think with smart play you can get away with not leaning on this crutch.

Red Card

[cardimg name=”Red Card” set=”Generations” no=”71″ align=”right” c=”none”][/cardimg]

I’ve actually been seeing this card more and more in [card name=”Sableye” set=”Dark Explorers” no=”62″ c=”name”][/card] builds. In the past, this card was annoying at best. Just a card that one would have to deal with for a turn or two and move on. There are a few things that make this card worth playing now. The first is [card name=”Delinquent” set=”BREAKpoint” no=”98″ c=”name”][/card]. Many people brushed off the combo of Red Card and Delinquent, citing the fact that one could keep a Supporter or a [card name=”VS Seeker” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”109″ c=”name”][/card] rendering the soft lock useless. However, I say let them play their Supporter. Let them draw more cards from their deck. I’ll just do the same combo in a turn or two. There also is that chance that they miss any of the cards that dig for additional cards. In this case, you can start the [card name=”Trick Shovel” set=”Flashfire” no=”98″ c=”name”][/card] plays and buy those three to four turns. Red Card is also a great card in this [card name=”Puzzle of Time” set=”BREAKpoint” no=”109″ c=”name”][/card] meta we live in now. I’m not a big math guy, but I would imagine that the odds of hitting two Puzzle of Time on a shuffle and draw four is pretty low. It’s also great for the mirror after your opponent uses Junk Hunt for their own Puzzle. It’s quite hard to draw back into a good hand after Red Card happens. I currently don’t play one, but every time I sit down to play the deck, I find myself thinking about Red Card more.

Target Whistle

This is definitely one of those cards that might not fit the theme of this deck, but it has its tiny place. The most useful place for this card is against the [card name=”Primal Groudon-EX” set=”Primal Clash” no=”86″ c=”name”][/card] matchup. Usually the Groudon player can just sit on one Groudon and just run through your entire deck. With [card name=”Target Whistle” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”106″ c=”name”][/card], you can bring a [card name=”Wobbuffet” set=”Radiant Collection 2″ no=”RC11″ c=”name”][/card] or second Groudon-EX into the field of play and [card name=”Lysandre” set=”Ancient Origins” no=”78″ c=”name”][/card] stall it to have half a chance in this matchup. Also you can pair this card with the [card name=”Parallel City” set=”BREAKthrough” no=”145″ c=”name”][/card] to severely limit your opponent’s Bench space. And last but not least, you can reduce the amount of damage that Night March can do. [card name=”Sableye” set=”Dark Explorers” no=”62″ c=”name”][/card] doesn’t have a lot of HP to begin with, but if your opponent is playing conservative and doesn’t want to go crazy with the [card name=”Battle Compressor” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”92″ c=”name”][/card], maybe you can buy a turn or two in that matchup. Also typing this has given me a random thought. Wouldn’t it be funny if you played [card name=”Sky Field” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”89″ c=”name”][/card] and [card name=”Fighting Fury Belt” set=”BREAKpoint” no=”99″ c=”name”][/card] to deal with Night March? Give your Sableye 110 HP and Target Whistle out all eight Basic Night Marchers. The max that they can deal in this scenario is 100 with a [card name=”Muscle Band” set=”XY” no=”121″ c=”name”][/card]. How cute would that be? Not a good idea, but a cute idea.

Supporter Techs

With the presence of [card name=”VS Seeker” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”109″ c=”name”][/card] and [card name=”Puzzle of Time” set=”BREAKpoint” no=”109″ c=”name”][/card], having some extra Supporter options is great! Having ease of access to seemingly any Supporter you want is the constant theme of this deck.

Ace Trainer / N

I’m going to lump these two together because they are basically going to do the same thing. The big advantage of these two cards is that more often than not, you’ll be drawing six cards when you play them. It goes without saying that [card name=”Ace Trainer” set=”Ancient Origins” no=”69″ c=”name”][/card] will be better mid-game and [card name=”N” set=”Black and White Black Star Promos” no=”BW100″ c=”name”][/card] will be better in dire situations and late game. The reason you would play one of each is to cover all bases of early and late game. The reason to favor one over the other is strictly based off your confidence in a specific time in the game. The problem with splitting them is an issue of consistency. Being able to hit the correct one at the right time can become an issue. However it’s not a large issue, since at the end of the day you’re still achieving a certain level of disruption. This problem is alleviated further is you play [card name=”Battle Compressor” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”92″ c=”name”][/card] to pitch both cards. I am currently playing both, but I originally was only playing N. I chalk this one up to player preference.

Ghetsis

This card is the early game hero we all deserve. Being able to put opponents in a soft lock right out the gate can never be underestimated. Getting rid of Ultra Ball and [card name=”Trainers’ Mail” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”92″ c=”name”][/card] will be the goal here in the first few turns of the game. From there, you apply the proven strategy of top deck control with [card name=”Trick Shovel” set=”Flashfire” no=”98″ c=”name”][/card]. The one downside to playing this card, besides the obvious whiff factor of seeing a hand with no Items, is the fact that the Items get shuffled back into the deck. If they discarded the cards, [card name=”Ghetsis” set=”Plasma Freeze” no=”101″ c=”name”][/card] would be played in every single deck ever. I’m not complaining about the balance of the card, I’m just pointing out the fact that this card can be fairly useless in the mid to late game. The point of playing this card would to be to establish a soft lock, rather than mill. You achieve quite the opposite effect. The decision to Ghetsis or not past turn three or four can start to become a muddy one. I definitely have always flip flopped back and forth on playing this card or not. The spot can be dedicated to a better more consistent option, but the power that early game Ghetsis brings is undeniable. With the prevalence of [card name=”Puzzle of Time” set=”BREAKpoint” no=”109″ c=”name”][/card], I currently choose to play one copy in hopes that I shuffle a Puzzle back in and mill it later.

Hugh

[cardimg name=”Hugh” set=”Boundaries Crossed” no=”130″ align=”right” c=”none”][/cardimg]

Hugh, as seen in [card name=”Wailord-EX” set=”Primal Clash” no=”38″ c=”name”][/card] decks, can be an out to the reverse stall tactic. What some people try to do to lengthen the game is draw pass until time is called. With Hugh, you have a better option than N or Ace Trainer to prevent this from happening. Sometimes you don’t even have to play the card to stop the draw pass from happening. If you get rid of it early with an early game [card name=”Professor Juniper” set=”Plasma Blast” no=”84″ c=”name”][/card] or a [card name=”Battle Compressor” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”92″ c=”name”][/card], your opponent will now have to realize that a [card name=”Hugh” set=”Boundaries Crossed” no=”130″ c=”name”][/card] could come at any point. Even if it wasn’t their original plan to go for the reverse stall route, they might freak out of the possibility of half their hand going away at any point. [card name=”Delinquent” set=”BREAKpoint” no=”98″ c=”name”][/card] is another way to prevent this strategy, but it definitely takes longer to follow through. Plus, nobody plays Hugh. You’ll be the one cool guy in the room running a unique card.

Skyla / Teammates

I’m lumping these together as well because they too have a closely desired effect: grabbing [card name=”Puzzle of Time” set=”BREAKpoint” no=”109″ c=”name”][/card]. [card name=”Skyla” set=”Boundaries Crossed” no=”134″ c=”name”][/card] was on the ropes of being an all but dead card before Puzzle of Time came out. Now people are playing Skyla to change [card name=”VS Seeker” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”109″ c=”name”][/card] into their second Puzzle of Time in their hands. I personally have not applied this thinking to any of my decks yet, but I can see how it would work. It even works better in a deck like this because it can sometimes be hard to fish things out in the early game. Once they hit the discard it’s no problem to recycle resources, but the early game can cause problems. Teammates is the same way, but you can grab both Puzzles, which is super cool. It’s also super cool to remember that the requirement of a KO will still be satisfied even with [card name=”Life Dew” set=”Plasma Freeze” no=”107″ c=”name”][/card] attached. The reason I currently choose not to play either of these cards is because of how bad they are late game. Everything runs from the discard pile with this deck, and by turn six or seven, you’re going to have most everything you need out of your deck. These cards are nice when you get things shuffled back in with N, but I would personally rather use my VS Seeker on other things. There’s no wrong reason to play either of these cards though. If you want to get really weird with it, consider a [card name=”Misty’s Determination” set=”BREAKpoint” no=”104″ c=”name”][/card]. You heard it here first people!

Other Ideas

Battle Compressor

I’ve mentioned it many times in the article so far, so I’m glad I finally get a chance to talk about this card a little bit more. The [card name=”Battle Compressor” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”92″ c=”name”][/card] / [card name=”VS Seeker” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”109″ c=”name”][/card] combo has been proven many times. It’s fitting that these two came out in the same set! If you play a [card name=”Sableye” set=”Dark Explorers” no=”62″ c=”name”][/card] version more focused on tech supporters, Battle Compressor is definitely going to be worth the one or two spots you dedicate to it. In spirit, with Puzzle of Time, Battle Compressor becomes a [card name=”Teammates” set=”Primal Clash” no=”141″ c=”name”][/card] that you can use at any point without having to waste your Supporter for the turn. Just play Compressor then Puzzle of Time for the two cards you discarded. It’s a crazy good combo that is always beneficial when you accomplish it! But even after all these great reasons to play the card, I still choose not to. Yes, the guy who spams [card name=”Sableye” set=”Dark Explorers” no=”62″ c=”name”][/card] / [card name=”Garbodor” set=”Dragons Exalted” no=”54″ c=”name”][/card] every chance he gets does not run Battle Compressor. The reason is the same reason I don’t play Teammates or Skyla. It sure is nice to dump cards in the early game to smooth the transition into the late game, but this deck never had a problem with that to begin with. This deck want to go to the late game. This deck doesn’t mind a long early and mid game since a come back is easily achieved. It’s one of those cards that will always be nice in certain situations, but not nice in every situation. I just think that the two spots I would dedicate could be better served elsewhere.

Double Colorless Energy

Things are starting to get a little weird here, but hear me out. Currently, the only thing I have in my current build that removes [card name=”Shaymin-EX” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”77″ c=”name”][/card] from play is [card name=”Parallel City” set=”BREAKthrough” no=”145″ c=”name”][/card]. Double Colorless Energy not only gives an out to Sky Return a Shaymin-EX, but it also gives you a backup attacker for the mirror, as well as a one Energy attachment way to retreat [card name=”Bunnelby” set=”Primal Clash” no=”121″ c=”name”][/card]. I wouldn’t play more than one copy if you wanted to include these nice options in your deck, seeing as how the card doesn’t mesh well with Sableye. However, playing Double Colorless Energy grants you access to other Pokemon tech options for other matchups. The one that comes directly to mind is [card name=”Mewtwo-EX” set=”Next Destinies” no=”54″ c=”name”][/card] being able to slow down opposing Mewtwo, and [card name=”Yveltal-EX” set=”XY” no=”79″ c=”name”][/card]. Mewtwo-EX could also be the card you lean on for taking Prizes in the mirror match. It seems like a little bit of a far out idea, but you could justify playing DCE. There are worse options out there.

Silver Mirror

And the final tech I want to talk about is none other than the Spokane Pokemon favorite, [card name=”Silver Mirror” set=”Plasma Blast” no=”89″ c=”name”][/card]. Earlier this season, our team was quite successful with a [card name=”Primal Groudon-EX” set=”Primal Clash” no=”86″ c=”name”][/card] list that took 14th in Anaheim Regional Championships. We played a lot of wacky stuff and counts, including three [card name=”Enhanced Hammer” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”94″ c=”name”][/card], a [card name=”Team Flare Grunt” set=”Generations” no=”73″ c=”name”][/card], and a [card name=”Cassius” set=”XY” no=”115″ c=”name”][/card], among other things. All of these cards help tremendously in the [card name=”Vespiquen” set=”Ancient Origins” no=”10″ c=”name”][/card] and Night March matchups, which at the time were the worst matchups for Groudon. Through this heavy Energy denial (and the fact that Puzzle of Time wasn’t out yet) we were able to turn two bad matchups into hopeful hands praying to play against anything but Night March. The [card name=”Vespiquen” set=”Ancient Origins” no=”10″ c=”name”][/card] matchup had one out to the heavy Energy denial, and that was [card name=”Blacksmith” set=”Flashfire” no=”88″ c=”name”][/card]. A Flareon could just as easily be a big problem for our deck. We decided to include one [card name=”Silver Mirror” set=”Plasma Blast” no=”89″ c=”name”][/card] for those late game situations after all of the Double Colorless Energy had been properly thrown away. The same sort of thinking can be applied to [card name=”Sableye” set=”Dark Explorers” no=”62″ c=”name”][/card]. The reason you wouldn’t play it is because [card name=”Life Dew” set=”Plasma Freeze” no=”107″ c=”name”][/card] is going to be the better option more often than not in that matchup. If you want to increase your odds of beating [card name=”Flareon” set=”Plasma Freeze” no=”12″ c=”name”][/card] in case your Life Dew is prized, then Silver Mirror is the route to go. A very meta dependent card, so proceed with care.

The Final List

And there you have it folks! More than 10,000 words all about the many choices [card name=”Sableye” set=”Dark Explorers” no=”62″ c=”name”][/card] / [card name=”Garbodor” set=”Legendary Treasures” no=”68″ c=”name”][/card] has. I will now show you the list I am currently playing and testing. This list actually differs one card from the list I’m currently running in the PokeBeach writer’s tournament because I change my mind about the cards in this deck nearly every day.

[decklist name=”Sableye/Garbodor Final” amt=”60″ caption=”” cname=”Sableye” set=”Dark Explorers” no=”62″][pokemon amt=”11″]4x [card name=”Sableye” set=”Dark Explorers” no=”62″ c=”deck2″ amt=”4″][/card]2x [card name=”Garbodor” set=”Dragons Exalted” no=”54″ c=”deck2″ amt=”2″][/card]2x [card name=”Trubbish” set=”Noble Victories” no=”48″ c=”deck2″ amt=”2″][/card]2x [card name=”Shaymin-EX” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”77″ c=”deck2″ amt=”2″][/card]1x [card name=”Bunnelby” set=”Primal Clash” no=”121″ c=”deck2″ amt=”1″][/card][/pokemon][trainers amt=”43″]4x [card name=”Professor Juniper” set=”Black and White” no=”101″ c=”deck2″ amt=”4″][/card]3x [card name=”Team Flare Grunt” set=”Generations” no=”73″ c=”deck2″ amt=”3″][/card]2x [card name=”Lysandre” set=”Flashfire” no=”90″ c=”deck2″ amt=”2″][/card]1x [card name=”Xerosic” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”110″ c=”deck2″ amt=”1″][/card]1x [card name=”Ghetsis” set=”Plasma Freeze” no=”101″ c=”deck2″ amt=”1″][/card]1x [card name=”Delinquent” set=”BREAKpoint” no=”98″ c=”deck2″ amt=”1″][/card]1x [card name=”N” set=”Noble Victories” no=”92″ c=”deck2″ amt=”1″][/card]1x [card name=”Ace Trainer” set=”Ancient Origins” no=”69″ c=”deck2″ divide=”yes” amt=”1″][/card]4x [card name=”Ultra Ball” set=”Plasma Blast” no=”90″ c=”deck2″ amt=”4″][/card]4x [card name=”Puzzle of Time” set=”BREAKpoint” no=”109″ c=”deck2″ amt=”4″][/card]4x [card name=”Crushing Hammer” set=”Emerging Powers” no=”92″ c=”deck2″ amt=”4″][/card]3x [card name=”VS Seeker” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”109″ c=”deck2″ amt=”3″][/card]3x [card name=”Float Stone” set=”Plasma Freeze” no=”99″ c=”deck2″ amt=”3″][/card]2x [card name=”Trick Shovel” set=”Flashfire” no=”98″ c=”deck2″ amt=”2″][/card]2x [card name=”Super Rod” set=”Noble Victories” no=”95″ c=”deck2″ amt=”2″][/card]2x [card name=”Tool Scrapper” set=”Dragons Exalted” no=”116″ c=”deck2″ amt=”2″][/card]2x [card name=”Head Ringer” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”97″ c=”deck2″ amt=”2″][/card]1x [card name=”Enhanced Hammer” set=”Dark Explorers” no=”94″ c=”deck2″ amt=”1″][/card]1x [card name=”Life Dew” set=”Plasma Freeze” no=”107″ c=”deck2″ divide=”yes” amt=”1″][/card]1x [card name=”Parallel City” set=”BREAKthrough” no=”145″ c=”deck2″ divide=”yes” amt=”1″][/card][/trainers][energy amt=”6″]6x [card name=”Darkness Energy” set=”Black and White” no=”111″ c=”deck2″ amt=”6″][/card][/energy][/decklist] 

If you’re curious about the one change, it’s +1 [card name=”Bunnelby” set=”Primal Clash” no=”121″ c=”name”][/card] and -1 [card name=”Parallel City” set=”BREAKthrough” no=”145″ c=”name”][/card]. I have seen the power of [card name=”Delinquent” set=”BREAKpoint” no=”98″ c=”name”][/card] and love it even more with every time I play it. I don’t want to dive too much into exact card choices, since I feel like I have accomplished that in the previous section of the article. I have started to branch out more and more with my one of tech cards, especially in the Supporter section. I also currently have no mirror counter, which can be an issue come Regional Championships. Right now I’m just trying a whole bunch of things out. I can guarantee you that the above list will not be the one I play in Seattle. After all, this deck has a whole lot of cool options. I might just go completely crazy and play one of techs everywhere! I’ll take out the second [card name=”Super Rod” set=”BREAKthrough” no=”149″ c=”name”][/card], second [card name=”Tool Scrapper” set=”Dragons Exalted” no=”116″ c=”name”][/card], drop to two [card name=”VS Seeker” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”109″ c=”name”][/card] and two [card name=”Float Stone” set=”BREAKthrough” no=”137″ c=”name”][/card] and start peppering in crazy kid ideas. Who knows what I’ll do?

I know that by saying this isn’t the final list it might not be the best of help to you. But you know what you can do? Message me. I am always 100% open to helping people out or taking a look at your list. And as always, don’t be afraid to post in the forums where our writers can weigh in on your list.

I don’t think there is much more to discuss on Sableye / Garbodor! I’m going to hold off on going over matchups because I think I covered most of them through out the bulk of the article. But as I said before, if I missed something, please don’t be scared to ask! Remember, there is no such thing as a perfect deck list. I’ll see you guys at Seattle Regional Championships and Edmonton Regional Championships!

Until Next Time,

Alex

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