Two Solutions for the Buzzwole Menace
I have been having a lot of fun deck-building since Madison’s conclusion. Buzzwole absolutely dominated. While I don’t believe that is where the meta will end, that is the meta I am building for currently. Even so, it is still important to at least consider the other big decks: Malamar, Greninja, and Zoroark Lycanroc. I have two decks to which I would like to introduce you today. The first is a huge Buzzwole counter, and the second should do ok against everything in the meta.
The first deck is Trevenant. Yes, standard Trevenant. After my success with Trevenant in Expanded, I jokingly said I should try it in Standard. Later, I was looking for psychic types to counter Buzz (especially those not weak to psychic), and I saw the Breakpoint Trevenant. It is possibly the strongest Buzzwole counter in the game. The only downside to it is the two attachments. It one-shots Baby Buzzwole for a psychic and a DCE. It does the same to the GX if you add a Choice Band (or if they have three energy on it). The weakness and the resistance are enough to be good against Buzzwole as it is, but the ability puts it over the top. The ability makes your opponent’s basic Pokemon require an extra energy to attack. That requirement makes the matchup basically unwinnable for Buzz, and it also gives you a shot against Malamar (Garbodor also helps with that). Zoroark is your toughest matchup, but we have a few options to answer it.
Here is the list:
I chose to use one of the grass Trevenants because of Lycanroc and because it can attack for a single attachment.
Trevenant BREAK is in the deck to add HP and to give a spread option. The other option with the BREAK is to turn the grass Trevenant into a psychic type, so it can also hit Buzzwole for weakness.
I play two of each Garbodor. I originally had three Trashalanche and one Garbotoxin. I switched to two of each to help against Zoroark and Greninja.
I originally played four N. However, against Buzzwole I found myself ahead so often that I dropped down to two. I really like using only two, but a third N is good against Zoroark if I can get Garbotoxin online.
I saw Brigette as a luxury, but I still played one originally. I never needed it, though it was often nice. However, with Parallel so prominent in the meta, I found it less useful than a draw supporter.
In this list, only the grass Trevenant cannot be searched with Mysterious Treasure, so I elected to use it over Ultra Ball. However, I decided to play two Ultra Ball instead of Nest Ball or Evosoda for the versatility.
This is also to help against Zoroark. If I can get a mid game N, Garbotoxin, and Enhanced Hammer or knockout, I should be able to take the game.
Field Blower is really important because it both gets rid of Parallel City and adds to Trashalanche damage.
Rescue Stretcher could be better, but I like to be able to bring back Psychic Energy.
I am looking at another way to shore up the Zoroark matchup. I am not sure it is worth it, but I am currently testing a slightly thinner Garbotoxin (-1 Trubbish, Garbotoxin, and Float Stone) along with a few other cuts to put in a 3-2 Toxicroak line (psychic Croagunk). You can one-shot a Zoroark for a DCE on the turn after they take a KO on a Psychic Pokemon.
The second deck I am looking is closer to 50-50 with Buzzwole, but it also has a better shot against the general meta. That deck is Zoroark Mewtwo GX.
Zoroark is still the best card ever printed. It just happens to be weak to another excellent card, Buzzwole GX. Instead of completely ignoring Zoroark, I decided to try to pair it with a psychic Pokemon. I looked for a few different partners. While Trevenant was tempting, I decided it would struggle too much against Buzzroc because they could pretty easily take four prizes with a Lycanroc GX. After more consideration I landed on Mewtwo GX. I figured that would allow me to keep my Pokemon line thin enough to add in Elixir, and I was right. I also added a couple Tapu Koko to finish off Buzzwole’s with ten HP remaining, while setting up others. It also brings a free retreater. This is my current list:
I didn’t think more than two would be necessary. I will probably use one or both most games, but I have puzzles and Super Rod to retrieve them as needed. I will typically be using Mewtwo’s GX attack, but I suppose Tapu Lele is an option as well.
2 Tapu Koko
I felt like I needed more bench sitters for Pokemon, and I also often found myself just short on a lot of knockouts. Tapu Koko is perfect for both of those as it has free retreat. The fighting weakness isn’t great, but Fury Belt can actually make it survive up to a seventy damage Jet Punch (before weakness).
I will always play 4 Brigette in a Zoroark deck unless I absolutely cannot fit it. Starting Brigette is so good. Because of the Trade ability, the power of a turn 1 Brigette is worth having “dead cards” later.
A fourth is nice, but it isn’t needed in this Zoroark Variant since you don’t need to be switching Pokemon very often (and retreating is an option). In decks like Zoroark Golisipod, you often need the switching effect to increase your damage.
If you have to use Lele for a supporter on your second turn, you are more likely to be able to attack with a Zoroark if you Olivia than if you Cynthia. The only case where this isn’t true is if you already have access to a Zoroark.
Acerola allows you to heal your Zoroark or Mewtwo, and that prize denial can often win you the game.
With only seven energies, you will sometimes miss early Max Elixirs. However, with Trade, Puzzle of Time, and Super Rod, you can guarantee them late game for surprise knockouts.
I generally prefer Rescue Stretcher in Zoroark decks, but Super Rod allows you to hit Max Elixirs after discarding energy.
Fighting Fury Belt makes Mewtwo extremely efficient against Baby Buzzwole. You can heal thirty damage while one-shotting the little bugger.
I may end up cutting this since I have two free retreaters already. I like the idea, but with Elixir, Max Potion, and Acerola it may not be needed. I am considering adding another Psychic Energy, a Special Charge, a Mind Jack Zoroark, Giratina Promo or another consistency card in its place.
Against Buzzwole, you will want to lead with Mewtwo GX. Mewtwo is not only an answer for Buzzwole, it is also your answer to Lycanroc GX. It can even take a one-hit knockout on Zoroark GX or Gardevoir GX with a Choice Band.
Against Malamar, it can easily knockout Necrozma GX, and Zoroark can handle Dawn Wings Necrozma GX. After Dawn Wings uses its GX attack to prevent all damage to it the following turn, Mewtwo can answer it with its own GX attack, which ignores effects. Ultra Necrozma can be a bit more problematic.
Against Greninja, you will obviously be wanting that Giratina Promo I mentioned earlier. Otherwise, Mewtwo GX can put in a lot of work with each of its first attack and GX attack. Fighting Fury Belt can also keep it alive for an extra turn.
It feels like it has been a while since I have had the opportunity to create and share my own unique rogue choices, so I am happy to be back at it today. Good luck to everyone still chasing their invite, and I hope to meet more of you at NAIC and the World Championship!
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