The Pokémon TCG: Sun & Moon—Guardians Rising expansion is full of incredibly powerful cards that are sure to enhance current strategies and create new ones. Some of those cards were covered in the official Card Highlights page, and today we’ll look at how to put a few of them into action to build a fun and effective deck.
Garbodor stands out as one of the most intriguing cards from the latest expansion. Garbodor takes advantage of the fact that most competitive decks play a lot of Item cards—sometimes 20 or more. For example, the Lapras-GX deck that James Arnold used to win the recent Roanoke Regional Championships contained 23 Item cards. Once those Item cards hit the discard pile, Garbodor’s Trashalanche attack starts dishing out massive damage, all at the low cost of one Psychic Energy. It’s not unusual for this attack to do more than 200 damage near the end of a game, which is the kind of power and efficiency you can certainly build a deck around.
There’s one major flaw with the Trashalanche attack: if the opponent doesn’t put many Item cards in the discard pile, it won’t do much damage. Field Blower can help a little bit by discarding the opponent’s Pokémon Tool cards, but that’s not the most reliable strategy. For that reason, Garbodor needs a partner that can apply early pressure, before the opponent discards many Item cards. One of those can be Tapu Lele-GX, one of the most versatile Pokémon in the current environment. Its Wonder Tag Ability can be used to search for a Supporter card to help get things moving, and its Energy Drive attack can be quite threatening with enough Energy attached. With Double Colorless Energy, it’s easy to attack quickly with Tapu Lele-GX.
Another great partner for Garbodor is Drampa-GX. This Colorless-type Pokémon has three attacks that can be useful in different situations, but its main purpose for this deck is the Berserk attack. If there’s even a single damage counter on any of your Benched Pokémon, Drampa-GX can smash the opponent’s Active Pokémon for 150 damage for just three Colorless Energy. Add Choice Band into the equation, and that number jumps up to 180 against a Pokémon-GX or Pokémon-EX, which is enough to take down many of them in one attack. The main hurdle is finding a way to get damage onto your Benched Pokémon quickly. One possible solution is Team Magma’s Secret Base, which puts 2 damage counters on any Basic Pokémon you play from your hand onto your Bench. With the pressure from Drampa-GX, the opponent typically has to play Item cards to keep up the pace, which opens the door for Trashalanche to finish things off.
Since this deck is already running Trubbish, it’s easy to include a different Garbodor, the one with the Garbotoxin Ability. This pesky Ability can shut down other strategies, so having it at your disposal is incredibly valuable. Your opponent will have to figure out if they’re dealing with Trashalanche, Garbotoxin, or maybe even both. It adds one more layer to this pungent strategy.
There are many new strategies to discover in the Sun & Moon—Guardians Rising expansion. Be on the lookout for new cards to make an impact immediately. And for the latest Pokémon TCG strategies and updates, be sure to check back at Pokemon.com/strategy. Good luck, Trainers!