Yveltal Garbodor is going strong

24.5.2014 wrote: David Hochmann in category Trading Card Game

After looking at the Flash Fire scans, I thought about various decks I could play. There is a bunch of very cool cards like Miltank, Pyroar, Shiftry, Milotic, Druddigon, MKangaskhan EX, Forretress, Toxicroak and Charizard EX.
I've tested a bit and nearly every deck needs Abilities or have a big Pokemon which I have to OHKO. With Yveltal Garbodor being a tier 1 deck in the past format, I built a new list and had some games against decks built around the Flash Fire cards and it was easy-going.
Here is a skeleton list, which contains just the most important cards and I will talk about what you can add.

In Austria (the first National with ND-FlF) there have been four Yveltal/Garbodor in top 8.

Skeleton List

3 Yveltal EX
2 Garbodor
2 Trubbish
1 Sableye
= 8

4 Professor Juniper
4 N
2 Bicycle
= 10

3 Ultra Ball
3 Float Stone
2 Muscle Band
4 Dark Patch
3 Hypnotoxic Laser
2 Virbank City Gym
1 Professor's Letter
1 Dowsing Machine
= 19

7 Darkness Energy
4 Double Colorless Energy
= 11

Free Space: 12

What should be added?

1. Draw Support:

The first thing you should add to the skeleton list are some consistency cards. I would play 15, 16 or maybe 14, but which cards you play depends on your own style. 4 N and 4 Juniper are standard I wouldn't cut one of them, and 2 Bicycles are good as well, because you have the option to Junk Hunt them.

Random Receiver

Random Receiver is a good card in combination with Sableye. There are some cards, a lot of players avoid to combine with Random Receiver, like Colress and Lysandre. Running a low count of RR and one or two Colress in the same deck is not wrong, because the chance to have a turn 1 RR and then hitting the Colress isn't that high (around 3%) and even if you do there is a chance that there are 4 or 5 benched Pokemon in play. With Random Receiver in the deck, you can run a high Bicycle count and Shauna is a strong card with Random Receiver, because you will get at least 5 new cards after a Random Receiver in the early game, some people still like to run one Bianca, even though Shauna is not that situational. With Random Receiver in your deck the draw support could look like this:

4 Professor Juniper
4 N
1 Shauna / Colress / Bianca
3 Random Receiver
3 Bicycle

sometimes good, sometimes bad


Colress is the potentially strongest Supporter in the format, but the potentially weakest at the same time. You can draw between 0 and 10 cards, depending on how many benched Pokemon are in play. This means when you think about playing Colress you should have a lot of options to get a lot benched Pokemon like 4 Ultra Ball and 10 Basic Pokemon. Another fact you should think about is the meta game, when there are a lot of decks which need a lot of benched Pokemon themselves (like Shiftry or Eeveelutions or Plasma) running Colress should be a good choice. As I said before keep in mind that a high Random Receiver count and a lot of Colress doesn't fit well, because playing a Random Receiver turn 1 for a Colress doesn't only gives you a useless Supporter, it shows your opponent that your only Supporter is a Colress. As a rough guide I wouldn't play more than 2 Colress in Yveltal Garbodor.

Shauna / Bianca

Shauna and Bianca are the worst playable Supporter cards, but they have some advantages.
Bianca in Yveltal Garbodor isn’t that bad, because you play a lot of Item cards you can just play down, so you can usually draw around 4 cards, with Bianca in your deck you should run 4 Ultra Ball, but in my opinion Shauna is much better than Bianca.
In some situations Shauna is better than Professor Juniper, because you don't have to discard important cards. When you have only a Professor Juniper and an Ultra Ball in your hand and you just need to draw one special Pokemon, Bianca would be better in that situation. I think I don't have to explain if you want to draw an N or Shauna / Bianca when your opponent N'd you to 1 and you only need one single card to win the game. In the first turn, with one Basic Pokemon in play, Shauna and Bianca give you more cards than Colress. In general Professor Juniper and N are much better, but you have to play more than 8 Supporters. But more than one Shauna or Bianca is usually not needed.


Skyla is one of my favorite Supporter cards in the format, nothing compared to Cyrus's Conspiracy, but it's the only Supporter which searches your deck and this is a huge skill factor. When you just need an Item card for your turn you get 100% what you need. When you don't need an Item card, but you don't have another Supporter in your hand you can search your deck for the Supporter you want to play the next turn. Even when your opponent played N for 1, you can play Skyla for Bicycle. With Skyla you can't just search your deck for a Trainer card, with Ultra Ball and Professor's Letter you can get a Pokemon or two Energy cards, depending on the situation. But the big contra argument is that you can't search your deck for two cards. This may sound kinda stupid, but you often need two special cards in one turn, or just an Energy and a Tool, that's why a lot of people prefer running Random Receiver, Bicycle, Colress, Shauna or Bianca, because you rather try a 50% chance than whiffing what you need 100%.
The question to combine Random Receiver and Skyla is hard to answer, it's just what I described when you need a Float Stone and play a Random Receiver, you want to get Skyla, when you need two special cards you need another Supporter. The reason why people don't run Skyla is that you often have Skyla as the only Supporter, so you can't even search your deck for the one card you need, because you would have no Supporter for the next turn. I wouldn't run Skyla and Random Receiver in one deck and I don't like Skyla in Yveltal Garbodor.


For those who hates coin flips, Lysandre is a pretty cool card to play instead of Pokemon Catcher. It's very strong, because you can attack two times with Y Cyclone without loosing DCEs, Muscle Bands and Lasers in order to draw two Prize cards. And you know that you can deal 90 damage to an opponents Pokemon he will obviously retreat. When you had to knock out a non EX Pokemon, you can use Lysandre to go back to an even count of prize cards (avoiding seven prizes). Another thing Lysandre can do is just stalling by pull a useless Pokemon with a high retreat cost in the active spot to win a turn of time. Using Lysandre to KO something like Jirachi EX is a very strong option as well. A Supporter line with Lysandre could look like this:

4 Professor Juniper
4 N
2 Colress
1 Shauna / Bianca
2 Lysandre
4 Bicycle

Pal Pad

Pal Pad is a weird card to play, because it is no draw support, but it makes your deck more consistent. In the late game you can shuffle two Professor Juniper back into your deck, which allows you to play up to six Professor Juniper (seven or eight with Dowsing Machine) in one game. This increases the chance to get a Juniper after an N, alternatively you can get your own Ns back as well, to annoy your opponent when he or she has drawn a lot of prize cards.
It also gets you Lysandre back, running Pal Pad as a one-off is worth its space. When you decided to play a Pal Pad, don't cut draw support for it, keep in mind that Pal Pad is no Supporter, Pal Pad turn one instead of a Supporter is one of the worst things happening.

2. Pokemon

Just like the draw support, you have a big variety of Pokemon you can play. Just 3 Yveltal EX aren't enough, so you have to add some hitter. Here is a list of fitting hitters:

Darkrai EX

Darkrai EX is a very strong card in this deck, it can use Dark Patch and it has 180 HP. The best thing are the 30 shoot damage, which helps Yveltal to OHKO opponents Pokemon with a lower amount of energy or you can KO a Pokemon, your opponent retreated with only 30 HP left. When you set up the game in the right way, Darkrai EX can give you four Prize cards with one attack. But the attack is not the only cool thing about Darkrai EX, in the early game or while your Garbodor has no Tool attached to it you don't have retreat cost for the Pokemon with a Darkness Energy.
I would definitely play one Darkrai EX.


Absol PlF

Another Darkness Pokemon, but Absol is a non EX attacker with a very good damage output. Absol can deal up to 120 damage, it only needs two Energies and it has one retreat cost. It's good for two hitting things but only giving up two Energy cards and one prize card. Depending on the situation, it can do 120 (with 5 opponents benched Pokemon) + 20 (Muscle Band) + 10 (Laser) + 20 (Virbank) =170 so when your opponent don't know that you have an Absol in your deck and puts 5 Pokemon on his or her bench you can do a surprising 170 damage. Absol is a great way to deal with Raichu as well.



Bouffalant BrC

The reason why Bouffalant is more popular than Absol is that you deal 120 damage on every Pokemon EX, so you can plan it better. Bouffalant is a colorless Pokemon which needs 3 Energies to attack, which means you can use the DCEs. You can't play Dark Patch to attach an additional Energy, but the constant 120 are strong enough to make up for the turn you need to charge it. Just like Absol you can deal up to 170 damage and it is a non EX Pokemon too, but Absol is stronger against non EX Pokemon. Even though you play Garbodor you should keep in mind that Bouffalant has a great ability.



Druddigon FlF

Potentially dealing 30 damage less than Absol and Bouffalant, seems a bit weaker, but Druddigon has advantages. It needs just one DCE and deals 90 damage against Pokemon EX, against non EX Pokemon and it's independent on factors like benched Pokemon. The drawback that you can use it only after your active Pokemon died isn't really crucial, because you usually have a Pokemon with a Float Stone (or with a Dark Energy attached, when you have Darkrai EX in play and there is no Garbotoxin activated) in play, so you can search, play and charge it in just one turn. Druddigon is a strong card to counter Raichu, Black Kyurem EX and Rayquaza EX and it can do up to 140 damage with Muscle Band, Laser and Virbank.



Not Yveltal EX,  Yveltal is a noteworthy card as well. When you need more Energy for your Darkness Pokemon to attack, you have the option to use Junk Hunt for two Dark Patches or one Dark Patch and one Random Receiver. But Yveltal is cool, because you deal additional 30 damage and it has 130 HP which makes it hard for your opponent to knock it out. With Muscle Band, Hypnotoxic Laser and Virbank City Gym you can deal up to 80 damage, so you are able to KO opponents Sableyes, Trubbish, Litleo and a lot of other Pokemon. Yveltal has fewer options than Sableye, but it is a strong card to try out.



Toxicroak EX

Toxicroak EX is a nasty card, with a Virbank City Gym in play you can deal 50 damage, which isn't that much. But when your opponent keeps poisoned, they will turn into 100 and after your turn without attacking into 150, so you need to deal 30 additional damage (Darkrai EX Shoot, non EX Yveltal) and everything for a DCE. This allows you to force your opponent to get rid of the poison very fast, so he or she has to switch the active Pokemon and wasting resources. Together with the fact that your opponent struggles with Garbodor and that you can attack with Toxicroak very fast and surprising, this card is becoming really annoying and it can turn games in a lot of situations.


3. Items

There are a lot of standard Items you have to play, like Hypnotoxic Laser, Muscle Band, Float Stone, Ultra Ball and others. The first thing I want to mention is that you can max out the Items you want to play higher counts of, for example 4 Hypnotoxic Laser, 4 Ultra Ball or 3 Muscle Band, but there are cool non standard Items you can add as well

Escape Rope

It's a pretty cool card, you can use in various situations. In the early game when your opponent is charging a hitter on his or her bench while having another Pokemon active, you can start attacking it when you played Escape Rope. In the late game you can prevent drawing a single prize when you have only two prizes left and win the game. And there are always some situations when an Escape Rope can win you the game. Another thing which is helpful is that you can change your active Pokemon even though your active Pokemon is sleeping. For that reason you can play Switch too, but It feels unnecessary, because you have to run Float Stone anyways.

Energy Switch

A card which the most people just don't play, because there is not enough space left, but it is a pretty cool card to get enough Energies to OHKO your opponents active Pokemon with Evil Ball and it allows you to charge a Bouffalant within one turn. Another point is that yo can use Energy Switch to retreat your active Pokemon with Dark Cloak and switch the Energy onto another Pokemon to attack with, like Sableye.

Tool Scrapper

I don't want to talk about the question “Megaphone or Scrapper”, because Scrapper is obviously the better card (especially in Yveltal Garbodor). The thing is that you play two different Tools and Tool Scrapper allows you to discard your own Tools.
For example:
You had to attach a Muscle Band to your Garbodor early game, because you had to stop your opponents Abilities. Plot twist: Your opponent plays Lysandre to Garbodor and wait (or doing Laser moves to let your Garbodor die between turns when your opponents turn starts).
With Tool Scrapper you can just discard your own Muscle Band, attach a Float Stone and you're fine. You can use the same trick to retreat with Darkrai's Ability. You can discard your opponents Tools as well, but you don't really need Abilities so the Tool Scrapper isn't that important in this deck.

Super Rod

With Super Rod you can't just get your Garbodors back, you can use cards like Absol multiple times. Together with Sableye and Dowsing Machine you can effectively prevent your deck from running out of cards and you can get Energies back as well.

Pokemon Catcher

I do not really like this card, but some people still play it. It is a strong card indeed, but it is a coinflip and that's a big contra. Lysandre is much better imo.

4. Match Ups


At this point I would usually start talking detailed about the Match Ups, but there isn't really a meta game so I'll just give a short overview.


It's very hard to loose against this deck to be honest. To beat a Charizard with four Energy cards, Yveltal EX just needs DCE, Dark Patch, Muscle Band (or Laser + Virbank), which you can put down out of nothing. Charizard struggles to get the Energies back, because you can't play Juniper and Blacksmith in one turn and you need Blacksmith, DCE and Muscle Band to KO the Yveltal EX back. Pyroar is easy, because you have Garbodor and Muscle Band Y Cyclone OHKO it. (Attacking with Darkrai against Charizard is cool as well, because its hard to deal 180 damage for your opponent)

Aromatisse MKangaskhan EX

Even without Garbodor this should be favorable, because you can set up fast a very strong Yveltal EX and rush through the deck. In combination with Garbodor it is too difficult for Fairy Box to win against you.

Aromatisse Plasma

Not that good, because they usually run two Scrapper and Genesect and can deal with Garbodor. Together with Thundurus and G Booster its hard to win against this deck, but not impossible, Lysandre + Pal Pad/Dowsing Machine can be strong and Absol is a strong card to use against this deck too.

Straight Yveltal

The straight variant without Garbodor seems more consistent and they have space to tech things like three Energy Switch which gives them more opportunities to answer your Yveltal EX. They usually have like two non EX Yveltal, which is very hard to deal with and Absol is kinda useless. The techs you can run by yourself to have an advantage are Bouffalant to OHKO your opponents Yveltal EX, Druddigon is great to have a fast answer and two hit KO the Yveltals. Toxicroak is nice, because straight Yveltal decks have Darkrai EX + Energy Switch to retreat and you can just block Dark Cloak and the Pokemon have two retreat cost.

Virizion Genesect Raichu

I think VirGen with Raichu is able to survive the new set, because you have an answer to Pyroar in decks without Charizard. Raichu is strong against Yveltal EX and a good card in every Match Up. Yveltal Garbodor will have problems with this deck, but it's not totally bad. Absol and Druddigon are cool counters against Raichu and Garbodor blocks Verdant Wind, so you can use your Hypnotoxic Laser. When you manage to be fast you can rush your opponent as well.

Shiftry Milotic

I like the idea of the deck, but I don't see a good chance for it to win constantly against Yveltal Garbodor. Garbodor really slows the deck down and Yveltal EX with Muscle Band and Laser + Virbank can deal 140 damage. Against Shiftry with three Energy cards attached to it, you just need two Darkness Energy and a Muscle Band or one Darkness Energy and a DCE. Miltank can just two hit KO Yveltal EX too, and Absol is the best non EX hitter in that Match Up.

Blastoise / Emboar

I don't like these decks, but they should be mentioned. Yeah Garbodor will do the most work I think. When you decided to play Druddigon, they might have too many things to deal with. Pretty good Match Up.


Plasma is a strong deck, and Yveltal Garbodor has a few problems. Thundurus EX can be painful, because it needs just one Energy and you have the weakness. But you block Deoxys EX, which is an advantage, and with a lot of Plasma I would definitely run an Absol in the deck. Deoxys EX and Thundurus EX have 170 HP, which is easy for you to do and Lugia EX needs a lot of Energy. Kyurem is easy to OHKO as well, but when they are fast you will have a Problem.

At all, Yveltal Garbodor should be a good deck choice.
Here you have a sample list:

3 Yveltal EX
1 Darkrai EX
2 Garbodor
2 Trubbish
1 Absol
1 Druddigon
1 Sableye
= 11

4 Professor Juniper
4 N
1 Colress
3 Random Receiver
3 Bicycle
= 15

4 Ultra Ball
3 Float Stone
2 Muscle Band
4 Dark Patch
4 Hypnotoxic Laser
2 Virbank City Gym
1 Escape Rope
1 Professor's Letter
1 Super Rod
1 Dowsing Machine
= 23

7 Darkness Energy
4 Double Colorless Energy
= 11

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David Hochmann

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I started playing the Pokemon TCG competitively 2010 when the Heart Gold & Soul Silver Set was released in English. I started getting through the top cut in a lot of tournaments during the 2010/11 season and had my Worlds Invite every season since that season, but I never played a World Championship. My biggest achievements are 3rd European Prague Cup 2011, 3rd European Challenge Cup 2012 (both in the Seniors devision) and 2nd European Challenge Cup 2013 in the masters division.