Espeon Garbodor as an option for Australia

The majority of my testing has been dedicated to Espeon Garbodor, inspired by the deck Igor, Brad, and Jimmy all made top 8 with at Dallas Regionals. It occurred to me that Garbodor actually could beat Zoroark decks and that this probably was the case not just for Expanded, but for both formats. The viability of this deck may be shortlived, considering Ultra Prism could very well make Espeon Garbodor a tier two deck with all the metal support (although Garbotoxin seems pretty strong against Magnezone). Espeon Garbodor is a somewhat last minute option for those who are attending Intercontinentals.

Before I get into the list, I want to cover the general idea of how to play Espeon. People will inevitably play this deck incorrectly if they do not have experience with it, and especially if they have not played Garbodor in Standard recently. I like to play Espeon very passively. The deck is not much of an aggressive deck and playing it as one leads you to many unnecessary losses. I like to joke that when I play Espeon I don’t do anything. I just sit back and use Psybeam until it’s time to Trashalanche and play N. This is an exaggeration, but it really is the best way to play the deck in most matchups.

Garbodor decks derive a lot of their power from being able to N opponents down to low counts towards the late game while locking them out of consistency abilities like Trade and Wonder Tag. The idea is to combine this with Trashalanche, in order to feed your opponent only one prize while doing (hopefully) a ton of damage. These plays in the late game are what wins games, so making sure to set them up and operate them well is at least half of the skill involved in playing Espeon Garbodor.

Other than understanding how the late game is intended to operate, you need to understand how to manage resources well. Frequently it is important to be able to play Sycamore after N’ing your opponent to two, so keeping at least one, or more ideally two, Professor Sycamore for the late game is crucial. This is also in part because when you N them low, you will also be getting only four cards (sometimes five). Do not forget that without having access to Wonder Tag it is far more difficult to draw the supporter you desire. Do not take Ultra Ball as an out to Sycamore as granted. However, the same goes for many other resources.

The skill behind Garbodor is in a big part resource conservation, just because there is very little way to recover anything in terms of Trainers. In particular, Choice Bands can run out before the late game at times, which almost certainly will be detrimental. Garbodor will not always hit the ideal numbers by the late game. In the games where your opponent can somehow prevent playing many items by the late game, Choice Band is the only way you will be able to take all six prizes quickly enough. Similar to Sycamore, I like to have two left for the late game. Field Blower ends up having a similar effect because it, in effect, makes Trashalanche do 40 more (by removing two tools). In decks like Zoroark I tend to not worry about conserving Blower much and end up Trading it away, but in Garbodor Blower is as much a resource as a Sycamore or Choice Band.

Using the recovery in the deck is also very fragile for sort of the opposite reasons. If a card like Super Rod is used near the late game where you will need access to Sycamore or Choice Band after playing N, you can end up making yourself draw poorly by muddying your deck with energy and Pokemon that are no longer as important as other cards. Something similar holds true for Rescue Stretcher. The number of times Stretcher is played to shuffle three Pokemon back in is far fewer than the number of times I use it to just recover one Pokemon. This is because thinning is crucial in this deck. Ultra Ball ends up being another important resource just because it will allow you to draw much better after playing N. Do not undervalue the benefit of discarding two cards. On top of that, it allows you to search out a basic to bench, which at the least gets an unneeded card out of your deck. Between the two discards and the one Pokemon, you have thinned the same number of cards that Battle Compressor does.

Those are the most important points to remember when playing Espeon. To sum it up, you want to follow this strategy skeleton loosely:

Early game: Use Psybeam frequently while making sure to keep resources in tact for the late game. Get Garbotoxin online.

Mid-game: Try to take two prizes somewhere and get enough Trubbish or Garbodor in play to stream Trashalanche later on.

Late game: Thin what you can to make your chances of drawing well off N better, play cards like Choice Band and Ultra Ball. Play the N, putting your opponent down to a 3, 2, or 1 card hand. Next turn, play Sycamore and Trashalanche for a knockout. On your last turn you take your final two prizes on something, usually playing a Guzma.

This is the list my list:

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