“Nope, There’s Only Trash Here:” From 1st to 19th in Seattle with Espeon Garbodor

Hey friends, Phinn once again with an in-depth report on Seattle Regionals. This article is going to cover how the event panned out for me, and why I went from the highest record to missing Top 16 during Day 2. The event gave me a lot of insight about the format, the way to build Garbodor, what can counter the deck, and the future of this format.

The general form of this article will be a tournament report, but each round will give context to explain another idea. For example, I may explain why a second Hex Maniac would have been beneficial because during my last round, I could have used it to win a game.

At the end of this article, I have my updated list with improvements based on my experience from the event. I even have a different variant of Garbodor that I actually think is stronger than the two main ways people are playing it now (with Espeon or Drampa), but that will be in my next article.

In my opinion, my success on Day 1 is largely because of the way I constructed my deck list. It is worth noting that Aaron Rozbicki achieved a Top 8 placement with the exact same list. I stayed with Aaron for the event and as we were filling out our deck lists in the morning, he asked if he could copy my list. Frankly I was not expecting him to go all the way to Top 8 with it, just because he had no practice with that list prior to the event. Then again, I only played two games with the Espeon variant and it was not an issue.

This is the list Aaron and I played:

Pokémon – 19 Trainers – 30 Energy – 11
3 Trubbish BKP 4 Professor Sycamore 4 Ultra Ball 7 Psychic
1 Trubbish GRI 2 N 3 VS Seeker 4 Double Colorless
4 Garbodor GRI 2 Lysandre 3 Choice Band
3 Eevee SUM 1 Hex Maniac 2 Float Stone
2 Espeon GX 1 Pokemon Fan Club 2 Field Blower
2 Drampa GX 1 Olympia 1 Rescue Stretcher
2 Tapu Lele GX 1 Delinquent 1 Super Rod
1 Shaymin EX ROS
1 Oranguru
2 Parallel City

Peter Joltik and Kian Amini deserve a lot of credit for the list as well. Kian helped me with almost all of the Garbodor mirror testing, and Peter gave us both the idea to play Espeon instead of just Drampa GX. In fact, I thought Espeon was really stupid at first. I was adamantly against playing the card until sometime in the afternoon on Friday. Tessa Rozbicki also kept me in the mental headspace I needed to be in during Day 1; I dedicate much of my day one success to her. In general, I am able to do well mainly because of my friends. The game would not be worth it without you all.

While many people had to make the choice between Garbodor and Drampa GX, I was able to fit both. I also decided to play a stadium that almost nobody else thought to be the optimal choice. I regret nothing with those Parallel Cities; they won me at least three games during Day 1. I am not even really considering running any other stadiums at this point.

This list is fairly odd compared to other players’ lists, but I would not call it as off the wall as some of my other productions. I feel like I will have an easier time selling some of you on the more obscure choices, especially because I proved that they worked well during Day 1. For now I will hold off with explaining the list. My goal is to explain the list throughout the piece so that you all can make your own judgments on how helpful each inclusion was. Still, in the end I will explain what I think actually is and is not worth it.

My goal here is to make a tournament report that has practical use instead of being mainly entertainment. My main criticism of tournament reports is that they usually are there mostly to entertain the reader rather than to inform them; I’ll do my best to inform while making it interesting.

Tournament Report

I started the day quite comfortably. I felt little anxiety or pressure, which is a big part of why I started off well and continued to do well. I spent the morning with Tessa, mostly ignoring the event, with the goal of just feeling comfortable. The night before I had a full seven hours of sleep which also made a huge difference. Players tend to undervalue sleep at these events, which makes no sense to me. I never go into events with less than six hours of sleep anymore. The mentality and comfort you have going into the event is more important than the extra couple hours of testing or perfecting your list. A good comfortable player can do well with a list that is a couple cards off of what it should be.

After about an hour of waiting and trying to stomach a bad bagel without cream cheese, pairings finally went up. My opponent told me he had started playing the game when Sun and Moon came out. For some reason it took a super long time for the first round to actually begin. We sat waiting for somewhere around 15 to 20 minutes. Instead of burning the time, I decided to use  good amount of the time to think about my opening hand and how to use it depending on the matchup. By the time we started the round, I had made up a plan for my first two turns for any of the possible meta matchups.

Round 1: Gyarados

I believe I won the coin flip, but I could be wrong. Once I saw Magikarp I immediately searched out Eevee with Pokemon Fan Club. Basically if I can Divide to knock out three Magikarp the game is over. In this first game I decided to use both Espeons as my attackers, rather than using Garbodor in the early game. Once I pulled off the Divide GX turn, my opponent scooped.

During Game 2 my opponent was actually able to set up his Machoke, however I was able to Hex to get around the effect, and then Divide once again for three prizes. Espeon was definitely the MVP. One difference in this game was that I actually used Garbodor in the early game. Gyarados tends to use a ton of items quickly, and Garbodor is a very good attacker in the early game. I was even able to Acid Spray discarding a Double Colorless on my first turn.

Take-aways from the match:

  • Espeon is definitely a great addition to the deck
  • Playing three Eevee as opposed to two was helpful, but possibly not needed in this case.
  • Having the one Hex was huge; I probably would not have won without it. Makes me wonder if a second copy would be worth it.
  • Thinking out my opening with the extra time before the match started helped to keep my pace of play where it should be, and to keep me feeling calm and focused.
  • Pokemon Fan Club was great for this set, not necessarily as opposed to Bridgette, but just because it did search out Eevee for me. I don’t think either of these options would have been much better than the other in this set, although having one of them definitely did help.
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