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The Great Prohibition — Mismagius in Expanded

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[cardimg name=”Mismagius” set=”Crimson Invasion” no=”40″ align=”right” c=”none”][/cardimg]

Trick or treat, PokeBeach! I know that the holiday season has just passed, but recently I’ve been feeling more ghoulish with my deck construction. I was looking for something spookier than the norm to surprise everybody in Dallas with, and since it’s Expanded I couldn’t be more ecstatic to begin my search for the scariest deck I could find. When creating an Expanded deck, it’s always good to go back in time and revisit cards that may have been missed — sometimes, cards get better over time due to some sort of metagame shift, or a certain breakout deck. In today’s Expanded metagame, we have three menaces to worry about:

  • Night March
  • [card name=”Zoroark-GX” set=”Shining Legends” no=”53″ c=”name”][/card]
  • …and [card name=”Wailord-EX” set=”Primal Clash” no=”38″ c=”name”][/card]!

Many people are knowledgeable on Zoroark-GX and Night March, but aren’t aware of how big a splash Wailord-EX will make at Dallas. I’m almost certain that many people are going to play it based on how many times I’ve seen the words “[card name=”Tropical Beach” set=”Black and White Black Star Promos” no=”BW28″ c=”name”][/card]” show up in private group chats. For anybody who doesn’t know, Wailord-EX is one of the few decks in the Expanded format that utilizes this Stadium card, so one can only expect to see a larger showing of it at the next tournament. In order to combat these three beasts of Expanded, what can I call on? Let me tell you readers, you might want to get a bowl of popcorn, because this article is going to be a juicy one.

Introduction

Initially, I began testing [card name=”Seismitoad-EX” set=”Furious Fists” no=”106″ c=”name”][/card] / [card name=”Giratina-EX” set=”Ancient Origins” no=”57″ c=”name”][/card] in an effort to counter all of the Special Energy hate. I knew that this deck couldn’t handle Wailord-EX’s high HP, but it would put a dent in so many other decks that it didn’t matter. I figured that not everybody could have Tropical Beach at Dallas, so I’d face less Wailord than Zoroark-GX and Night March combined. Seismitoad-EX is a fantastic Pokemon in the Expanded format because of all the Item cards that are reintroduced — especially the ever-so-vital [card name=”VS Seeker” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”109″ c=”name”][/card]. Some decks can get completely locked out of the game by a simple Quaking Punch, which makes this deck an instant hit. I was worried about the [card name=”Gardevoir-GX” set=”Burning Shadows” no=”140″ c=”name”][/card] matchup, as well as Energy denial. Energy denial decks could prevent my Seismitoad-EX from attacking, and Giratina-EX may never land an attack if our opponent plays [card name=”Enhanced Hammer” set=”Dark Explorers” no=”94″ c=”name”][/card] or [card name=”Xerosic” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”119″ c=”name”][/card] in a timely manner!

I quickly scrapped the deck. I needed something similar to Giratina’s Chaos Wheel, but not as vulnerable. The deck also couldn’t be too vulnerable to the Energy denial that Wailord-EX usually plays. I was running out of ideas, so I began to look at what other top players were working on, when suddenly I came across a concept developed by my friend Phinnegan Lynch. He loves to develop rogue decks, and this one really struck my eye when I saw it, posing an interesting solution to all of my problems. While he released the concept for the Standard format, I was able to change it into an Expanded version. Here is my rendition of [card name=”Mismagius” set=”Crimson Invasion” no=”40″ c=”name”][/card] / [card name=”Garbodor” set=”Guardians Rising” no=”51″ c=”name”][/card]!

[decklist name=”Mismagius/Garbodor” amt=”60″ caption=”” cname=”Mismagius” set=”Crimson Invasion” no=”40″][pokemon amt=”16″]3x [card name=”Garbodor” set=”Guardians Rising” no=”51″ c=”deck2″ amt=”3″][/card]1x [card name=”Garbodor” set=”BREAKpoint” no=”57″ c=”deck2″ amt=”1″][/card]2x [card name=”Trubbish” set=”Plasma Storm” no=”65″ c=”deck2″ amt=”2″][/card]2x [card name=”Trubbish” set=”Noble Victories” no=”48″ c=”deck2″ amt=”2″][/card]2x [card name=”Mismagius” set=”Crimson Invasion” no=”40″ c=”deck2″ amt=”2″][/card]3x [card name=”Misdreavus” set=”Crimson Invasion” no=”39″ c=”deck2″ amt=”3″][/card]3x [card name=”Tapu Lele-GX” set=”Guardians Rising” no=”60″ c=”deck2″ amt=”3″][/card][/pokemon][trainers amt=”35″]3x [card name=”Professor Juniper” set=”Plasma Freeze” no=”116″ c=”deck2″ amt=”3″][/card]2x [card name=”N” set=”Noble Victories” no=”101″ c=”deck2″ amt=”2″][/card]2x [card name=”Guzma” set=”Burning Shadows” no=”143″ c=”deck2″ amt=”2″][/card]1x [card name=”Colress” set=”Plasma Storm” no=”118″ c=”deck2″ amt=”1″][/card]1x [card name=”Xerosic” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”119″ c=”deck2″ amt=”1″][/card]1x [card name=”Brigette” set=”BREAKthrough” no=”161″ c=”deck2″ divide=”yes” amt=”1″][/card]4x [card name=”VS Seeker” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”109″ c=”deck2″ amt=”4″][/card]4x [card name=”Ultra Ball” set=”Dark Explorers” no=”102″ c=”deck2″ amt=”4″][/card]2x [card name=”Enhanced Hammer” set=”Dark Explorers” no=”94″ c=”deck2″ amt=”2″][/card]2x [card name=”Field Blower” set=”Guardians Rising” no=”125″ c=”deck2″ amt=”2″][/card]4x [card name=”Choice Band” set=”Guardians Rising” no=”121″ c=”deck2″ amt=”4″][/card]4x [card name=”Float Stone” set=”Plasma Freeze” no=”99″ c=”deck2″ amt=”4″][/card]1x [card name=”Super Rod” set=”BREAKthrough” no=”149″ c=”deck2″ amt=”1″][/card]1x [card name=”Rescue Stretcher” set=”Guardians Rising” no=”130″ c=”deck2″ amt=”1″][/card]1x [card name=”Computer Search” set=”Boundaries Crossed” no=”137″ c=”deck2″ divide=”yes” amt=”1″][/card]2x [card name=”Parallel City” set=”BREAKthrough” no=”145″ c=”deck2″ divide=”yes” amt=”2″][/card][/trainers][energy amt=”9″]8x [card name=”Psychic Energy” set=”HeartGold and SoulSilver” no=”119″ c=”deck2″ amt=”8″][/card]1x [card name=”Double Colorless Energy” set=”HeartGold and SoulSilver” no=”103″ c=”deck2″ amt=”1″][/card][/energy][/decklist] 

Strategy

This deck is centred around manipulating the opponent’s options. Mismagius does a great job of this by preventing our opponent from playing Pokemon Tools, Special Energy, as well as any Stadium cards. The only Trainer cards our opponent can play at that point would be either Supporter cards or Item cards — and if they play enough Item cards, it’ll fuel up Garbodor’s Trashalanche attack in a pinch! This deck seems like a jaw buster to me!

I was excited upon paralleling the initial concept of this deck because I know that Standard is facing similar problems to Expanded: Special Energy decks are taking over, and Giratina-EX is too slow in order to capitalize on it. Mismagius assumes the role of [card name=”Giratina-EX” set=”Ancient Origins” no=”57″ c=”name”][/card] in this case: it has the same attack as its predecessor, except it is a Stage 1 Pokemon who can attack with just a single basic Energy. While this deck doesn’t do anything inherently strong on its own, it is extremely good at reacting to things done by the opponent, and capitalizing on any action that they may perform during their turn. It’s a soft lock deck, not an aggressor!

Card Counts

Three Garbodor GRI

[cardimg name=”Garbodor” set=”Guardians Rising” no=”51″ align=”right” c=”none”][/cardimg]

This Garbodor is the powerhouse in the late game — once our opponent has realized they can only play Items and Supporters, they’ll be throwing them in the discard pile like they’re going out of style. Cards like [card name=”Field Blower” set=”Guardians Rising” no=”125″ c=”name”][/card] and [card name=”Choice Band” set=”Guardians Rising” no=”121″ c=”name”][/card] help us to improve this damage output really fast, alongside our opponent who will do the same. It’s one of the best attackers in the Expanded format!

One Garbodor BKP

This [card name=”Garbodor” set=”BREAKpoint” no=”57″ c=”name”][/card] is necessary in the Expanded format because it is able to shut down a wide variety of Abilities that may come our way. Garbodor can shut down things like [card name=”Greninja BREAK” set=”BREAKpoint” no=”41″ c=”name”][/card]’s Giant Water Shuriken, [card name=”Volcanion-EX” set=”XY Black Star Promos” no=”XY173″ c=”name”][/card]’s Steam Up, Gardevoir-GX’s Secret Spring, or even [card name=”Hoopa” set=”Shining Legends” no=”55″ c=”name”][/card]’s Scoundrel Guard! Garbodor helps us establish an essential part of our lock by restricting valuable draw power in the form of Zoroark-GX’s Trade Ability. We also play four copies of [card name=”Float Stone” set=”BREAKthrough” no=”137″ c=”name”][/card] to ensure mobility.

Two Tool Drop Trubbish and Two Garbage Collection Trubbish

We play two of these [card name=”Trubbish” set=”Plasma Storm” no=”65″ c=”name”][/card] so that in the Night March matchup, if they have any outs to Chaos Wheel, we have an efficient attacker to combat them by abusing their own [card name=”Dimension Valley” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”93″ c=”name”][/card]. We also play two Garbage Collection [card name=”Trubbish” set=”Noble Victories” no=”48″ c=”name”][/card] in order to recycle random resources, such as [card name=”Enhanced Hammer” set=”Guardians Rising” no=”124″ c=”name”][/card] or Field Blower. Their varying HPs can help in random matchups as well.

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3-2 Mismagius

We’ll always want extra [card name=”Misdreavus” set=”Crimson Invasion” no=”39″ c=”name”][/card] in play just in case a lone one were to ever be KO’d. In any matchup where Mismagius will win us the game flat-out, our opponent will do anything it takes in order to combat our Misdreavus before they evolve.

Mismagius’ Chaos Wheel alone fuels our deck’s soft-lock strategy. Also, the second attack can be excellent against Zoroark-GX-based decks due to their naturally high hand count.

Three Tapu Lele-GX

I considered going down to two of these, but they’re so useful for netting different Supporters. It is vital to always have access to [card name=”Brigette” set=”BREAKthrough” no=”134″ c=”name”][/card] on the first turn, as well as having access to [card name=”Xerosic” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”110″ c=”name”][/card] at any time necessary. I utilize [card name=”Tapu Lele-GX” set=”Guardians Rising” no=”60″ c=”name”][/card] specifically in this deck over [card name=”Shaymin-EX” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”77″ c=”name”][/card] because we need bulkier support Pokemon; Shaymin-EX’s low HP is too much of a liability for a soft-lock deck such as ours.

Two Guzma

Some Pokemon in our deck have an awfully hefty Retreat Cost, so even though we play Float Stone it is key to have ways to transport our Active to the Bench. I considered a 1/1 [card name=”Lysandre” set=”Flashfire” no=”90″ c=”name”][/card]/[card name=”Guzma” set=”Burning Shadows” no=”115″ c=”name”][/card] split, but ultimately decided this was the best count.

One Xerosic, Two Enhanced Hammer and Two Field Blower

These cards are all included to remove any Special Energy or Pokemon Tools that were established on board before we use Chaos Wheel. If we don’t keep our opponent’s Energy at bay, a deck like Night March would overcome our fragile lock with their onslaught of attackers. There aren’t any Tool cards in particular that hurt our strategy, but discarding Item cards on our opponent’s side will help in contributing to Trashalanche.

Xerosic in particular is one of my personal favorite cards in the deck! This is a card we include to remove any Special Energy cards that may have come into play before Chaos Wheel has been established. While this card takes up your Supporter for the turn, you can use it whenever it’s in the deck via Tapu Lele-GX. If it’s in the discard pile, just cop a [card name=”VS Seeker” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”109″ c=”name”][/card]; it’s that simple! Xerosic can also situationally remove your own Pokemon Tools in order to attach either a Float Stone or Choice Band.

Two Parallel City

This is another notch in our soft lock. In the case of [card name=”Zoroark-GX” set=”Shining Legends” no=”53″ c=”name”][/card], they won’t be able to OHKO [card name=”Garbodor” set=”Guardians Rising” no=”51″ c=”name”][/card] because their damage is reliant on how many Pokemon they have in play. In the case of Night March, you can stunt their ability to setup by limiting their Bench — they won’t be able to play as many Shaymin-EX down as they usually would, or may have to disregard certain Pokemon in order to set up their own Zoroark-GX. [card name=”Parallel City” set=”BREAKthrough” no=”145″ c=”name”][/card] also improves our [card name=”Golisopod-GX” set=”Burning Shadows” no=”17″ c=”name”][/card] matchup. If we flip the damage reduction side onto our opponent, they’ll max at doing 100 damage with First Impressions to our Garbodor. Talk about cutting it close! You can also lock in this Stadium with Chaos Wheel.

Four Choice Band

I could not cut any Choice Bands because dealing only 10 damage to Zoroark-GX is terrible. This is also naturally a great damage booster considering our base damage outputs aren’t that high. If you don’t need to do extra damage, you can always use it to activate Garbotoxin.

Computer Search

I’ve opted to play [card name=”Computer Search” set=”Boundaries Crossed” no=”137″ c=”name”][/card] because it improves our odds of drawing an out to key situational cards, such as Parallel City, Brigette, Enhanced Hammer, etc.

You could also put [card name=”Dowsing Machine” set=”Plasma Storm” no=”128″ c=”name”][/card] into this list in order to recycle cards such as Parallel City, Field Blower, Enhanced Hammer, [card name=”Super Rod” set=”Dragon Vault” no=”20″ c=”name”][/card], or [card name=”Rescue Stretcher” set=”Guardians Rising” no=”130″ c=”name”][/card].

Matchups

*Any matchup with an asterisk beside it is a deck that utilizes [card name=”Double Colorless Energy” set=”Shining Legends” no=”69″ c=”name”][/card]. For the sake of this matchup section, we’ll assume these decks have come prepared with a [card name=”Pokémon Ranger” set=”Steam Siege” no=”113″ c=”name”][/card]. If for some reason they aren’t playing Pokemon Ranger, assume the matchup is highly favorable.

Zoroark-GX* — Favorable

[cardimg name=”Double Colorless Energy” set=”Guardians Rising” no=”166″ align=”right” c=”custom”]I hope you didn’t need these![/cardimg]

This matchup is very lengthy due to Zoroark-GX’s Resistance. They’re going to search through their deck in an attempt to find Pokemon Ranger in combination with a Double Colorless, so it is imperative that we establish Parallel City, Garbotoxin, and Mismagius in play as early as possible. This will limit their Bench, their Ability usage, their overall options, as well as any possibility of attacking because of the prohibition of Special Energy attachments. This matchup becomes tricky if you can’t establish Garbotoxin for some reason, or if your opponent is able to get too many Special Energy into play before you can lock them down. You have all the tools in the world to lock them out of the game, you just have to create a board state where it is difficult for them to draw into Pokemon Ranger or [card name=”VS Seeker” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”109″ c=”name”][/card], which becomes increasingly hard without the use of Trade.

Night March* — Favorable

This matchup is just about the same as the Zoroark-GX matchup, but slightly less favorable. If you want to improve this matchup even more, feel free to include a copy of [card name=”Karen” set=”XY Black Star Promos” no=”XY177″ c=”name”][/card].

Mismagius is your one-stop shop to slow down our opponents, alongside Garbotoxin. Parallel City will limit them from going off to an explosive start, but be wary because Night March can still explode with only three Bench spots. Chaos Wheel can OHKO [card name=”Joltik” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”26″ c=”name”][/card] which is nice, but it can’t OHKO a [card name=”Pumpkaboo” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”44″ c=”name”][/card] — use this extra time to plot your next few turns, or get ready to set up another Mismagius just in case they have the KO. [card name=”N” set=”Fates Collide” no=”105″ c=”name”][/card] them consistently in the late game so that they won’t be able to draw into their Pokemon Ranger/VS Seekers. If you have to go toe-to-toe against Night March in a combat war, use your Tool Drop [card name=”Trubbish” set=”Plasma Storm” no=”65″ c=”name”][/card] in combination with the opponent’s Dimension Valley to spawn quick, efficient attackers in a pinch. Don’t bench too many [card name=”Tapu Lele-GX” set=”Guardians Rising” no=”60″ c=”name”][/card] as well, and try to KO theirs!

Wailord-EX — Even

[card name=”Wailord-EX” set=”Primal Clash” no=”38″ c=”name”][/card] uses a lot of Item cards, and [card name=”Garbodor” set=”Guardians Rising” no=”51″ c=”name”][/card] proves to be an efficient attacker here because of that. You have to bait out the game by using minimal attacks, and by abusing [card name=”Trubbish” set=”Noble Victories” no=”48″ c=”name”][/card]’s Garbage Collection at opportune times. You can also enter with [card name=”Mismagius” set=”Crimson Invasion” no=”40″ c=”name”][/card]’ Dark Arts attack at any time to score a KO; but if I’m going to be honest, they’ll cripple your single Double Colorless after the first attack. If you can make the opponent work harder than they have to, you’ll be able to start dishing 2HKO’s with Garbodor’s Trashalance.

Gardevoir-GX — Unfavorable

[card name=”Gardevoir-GX” set=”Burning Shadows” no=”93″ c=”name”][/card] is one of our weirdest matchups because we can lock out their Secret Spring via Garbotoxin, but we can’t lock them out of the game with Chaos Wheel because they play a high basic Energy count. Our best option is to put a dent in their Gardevoir by hitting them for 60 with a [card name=”Choice Band” set=”Guardians Rising” no=”121″ c=”name”][/card]ed Chaos Wheel; this will slow down their Double Colorless attachments, and can prevent Knock Outs as a result of their limited damage with Infinite Force.

[cardimg name=”Gardevoir-GX” set=”Burning Shadows” no=”93″ align=”left” c=”none”][/cardimg]

Trashalanche is an amazing attack in this matchup due to Gardevoir’s high Item count, but it is mitigated by Twilight-GX in the late game because our opponent can shuffle all of their Item cards into the deck! Your best bet to counteract a Twilight GX is to apply pressure via Tapu Lele-GX’s Energy Drive with Garbotoxin in play. Our opponent may whiff OHKO’s on our Tapu Lele’s, and we may be able to trade efficiently with their 230 HP Stage 2s. Chaos Wheel is a great attack to start off the game by limiting their options, but by the end of the game you’ll need to dish out heavier damage in order to take down their final attackers — Tapu Lele can offer this pending on how many Energy the opposing Gardevoir player was able to put into play. If the opponent can’t remove [card name=”Garbodor” set=”BREAKpoint” no=”57″ c=”name”][/card]’s Pokemon Tool in a timely manor, they may seep behind in Energy attachments and lose momentum for a few turns, allowing us to catch up with our smaller damage output in comparison to theirs.

There are a few cards you could swap in for this matchup. [card name=”Espeon-EX” set=”BREAKpoint” no=”117″ c=”name”][/card] is interesting because you can hit all of their Gardevoir-GX for 60 damage and then devolve all of them down to a [card name=”Ralts” set=”Burning Shadows” no=”91″ c=”name”][/card] simultaneously. [card name=”Team Flare Grunt” set=”Generations” no=”73″ c=”name”][/card] alongside VS Seeker would help to keep their Energy in check. Finally, a 1-1 [card name=”Espeon-GX” set=”Sun and Moon” no=”61″ c=”name”][/card] line would aid in Confusing their Gardevoir via Psybeam — it becomes annoying and resource consuming for them to continually retreat their Gardevoir throughout the game. Without them, however, this matchup doesn’t look too hot for us!

The Rest of the Field

The good news about this deck is that it is able to take on a wide array of decks in the Expanded format. Although I only touched on a few of these decks, just know this: top decks either play a ton of Item cards or a ton of Special Energy. Simple enough? I thought so! The decks that pose the most danger to us are those that can OHKO us by playing a mixture of basic and Special Energy.

A Gloomy Victory

Thanks for reading this article today, with the original idea for the deck once again being credited to my friend Phinnegan Lynch. It’s a refreshing concept in a format that I find saturated with the same decks at the top. While there’s tons of room for creativity in Expanded, I wish there was more of a gap for lesser known decks to succeed. Then again, winning is pretty fantastic, so I can see why so many talented players are sticking to what they know for sure is a good deck.

I’ll be at the Dallas Regional Championships after a temporary halt from the international scene, and I’m awfully excited to hang out with my friends in a state that I’ve never explored before! Texas is a big step for a Canadian, and I look forward to seeing what southern U.S.A. has to offer. Until then, PokeBeach readers, have yourself a Trashalanche of a day. Get lucky, and run hot!

-Jay Lesage

#PlayPokemon

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