Posted by Zach Lesage on 3/25/2023 to Articles
What’s poppin’ Po Town readers? Are you excited about the release of the Scarlet and Violet base set on PTCG Live? I know I am, but there is a lot going on right now! If you haven’t been keeping up with the Pokemon community lately, let me keep you updated on some important dates. Scarlet and Violet release on PTCGL onMarch 30, we rotate to “E-block” on the format on April 14 (effectively losing Sword and Shield to Shining Fates), and PTCGO won’t be receiving new cards from this point forward. Whether you love it or hate it, you’ll be forced into migrating to PTCGL if you wanna play Scarlet and Violet, but I think the game will only get better with more players actively playing it. One of the stand-out decks from the Scarlet and Violet base set and our upcoming rotation is Gardevoir ex [Scarlet and Violet]. Riku Sato already piloted it to a solid 2nd place out of over 3000 competitors at the recent Champions League Aichi Pokemon tournament in Japan so we already have a great idea about what the archetype should look like! In this article, I’ll share Sato’s list, explain the strategy, and more! If you wanna pick up some Pokemon TCG codes to build this deck instantly, head over to the PoTown store! I recommend picking up 400 Scarlet and Violet base set codes to complete most of the set and have some leftover Credits too! Let’s jump into this list!
Gardevoir ex Deck
Looking at Gardevoir ex, it has quite a few attributes that make it enticing to play. It has a stable 310 HP that can withstand most attacks, it can accelerate as many Psychic Energy from the Discard Pile to Psychic Pokemon as you want, and it has a solid Evolution line to add to its strength. Kirlia [Silver Tempest] can draw cards with its Refinement Ability, you could try playing Gallade [Astral Radiance] to search out Supporter cards, and Gardevoir [Chilling Reign] is a great vessel for all of those Energy from Gardevoir ex’s Psychic Embrace Ability to do lots of damage with Shining Arcana. Similar to Eternatus VMAX [Darkness Ablaze] from our Sword and Shield to Crown Zenith format, Gardevoir ex seems to see success as a mono-type Pokemon deck. Sure, we can always play a Manaphy [Brilliant Stars] or Radiant Greninja [Astral Radiance], but the deck revolves around Psychic Embrace. That means the main attackers will all have to be Psychic-type, like Zacian V [Celebrations], to be able to make use of that Ability. While I might personally make some changes to the below list, it is a great starting point for anyone who wants to jump into our new Standard format ASAP! Let’s take a look at Sato’s list:
|3x Ralts ASR 60||3x Judge FST 235||11x Psychic Energy 5|
|1x Ralts SIT 67||1x Serena SIT 164|
|3x Kirlia SIT 68||1x Miriam SV1V 77|
|1x Kirlia CRE 60||1x Worker SIT 167|
|3x Gardevoir CRE 61||1x Arven SV1V 76|
|2x Gardevoir ex SV1S 28||1x Klara CRE 145|
|1x Zacian V CEL 16||1x Boss's Orders BRS 132|
|1x Cresselia LOR 74||4x Battle VIP Pass FST 225|
|1x Mew CEL 11||4x Level Ball BST 129|
|1x Manaphy BRS 41||3x Rare Candy CRZ 141|
|1x Radiant Greninja ASR 46||3x Fog Crystal CRE 140|
|2x Ultra Ball CRZ 146|
|1x Pal Pad SSH 172|
|2x Emergency Jelly SIT 155|
|1x Sky Seal Stone CRZ 143|
|1x Temple of Sinnoh ASR 155|
|1x Collapsed Stadium BRS 137|
Gardevoir ex Deck Strategy
Each game can play out differently, but the early game is going to remain mostly the same. Gardevoir ex decks ramp up as the game progresses by acquiring more Psychic Energy in the Discard Pile and swinging for progressively more damage in the late game. Let’s look at a quick overview of the strategy:
- Using Nest Ball, Battle VIP Pass, and Ultra Ball to get multiple Ralts into play
- Using Kirlia, Ultra Ball, and Radiant Greninja to get Psychic Energy into your Discard Pil
- Scaling your attackers as the game progresses to ultimately hit hard with Gardevoir and Zacian V
The above strategy is in order because, unlike decks that primarily rely on Basic Pokemon attackers, like Lost Zone Box, Gardevoir ex is a Stage 2 Pokemon deck. You’ll always have a slow early game, but your end-of-game power is unparalleled to most other decks in the format. Considering your opponent will be doing everything they can to stop your deck, they’ll often try to isolate your Ralts in the early game so that you can’t Evolve them. You need to do everything in your power to sacrifice other Pokemon, like Mew [Celebrations], so that your Ralts can eventually Evolve into Kirlia, and those Kirlia can eventually Evolve into Gardevoir ex / Gardevoir. You can always get back your Pokemon with Miriam [Scarlet and Violet], and that means it's ok to lose a Ralts or two in the process of setting up. If Miriam is in your Discard Pile, you can get it back with Pal Pad [Scarlet and Violet] and then get back some of your Pokemon in play. Using the right cards at the right time is going to be one of the key aspects of this deck, so lemme go through some of the most impactful cards in this deck.
Even though Ralts seems like it won’t be important, it is the foundation of your deck. Most of the time, it is best to lead with Ralts [Astral Radiance] because you can Teleportation Burst into a different Basic Pokemon, like Manaphy, to preserve your Ralts. Remember, it's all about letting them Evolve into Kirlia and Gardevoir / Gardevoir ex, you don’t want to sacrifice Ralts. Sometimes you’ll find your opponent using an impactful attack that you can stop with Ralts [Silver Tempest] by using Memory Skip. It won’t often be, but a well-timed Memory Skip can steal some games.
Beyond Radiant Greninja, Kirlia is going to be one of the best ways for you to draw cards and get Psychic Energy in your Discard Pile. It might seem counter-productive, but getting Psychic Energy in your Discard Pile is better in this deck because of Gardevoir's ex Psychic Embrace Ability. Use Kirlia wisely! Draw those cards, get those Psychic Energy discarded, and be sure to think twice about using Rare Candy [Pokemon Go] because drawing cards is sometimes better!
Even though our deck completely revolves around Gardevoir-ex, we are really only using it for its Psychic Embrace Ability. Miracle Force is a decent attack that OHKO some Pokemon V for 190 damage, but it also puts our Gardevoir ex in harm's way. In most games, you’ll want to get 1-2 Gardevoir ex setup only for the use of Psychic Embrace. If you don’t have two setup, you’ll want to have a Ralts ready to get Rare Candy’d or a Kirlia reserved on your Bench ready to Evolve. You’ll also need to have those spots ready to Evolve into Gardevoir [Chilling Reign] so keep that in mind too.
Yes, this Stage 2 Pokemon with only 140 HP is our main attacking Pokemon! Brainwave hits for a solid 60 base damage, but we can do an additional 30 damage for each Psychic Energy attached to it! That means we can accelerate as much Energy as we need with Gardevoir ex’s Psychic Embrace Ability to Gardevoir to swing big with Brainwave. We do need to watch out for the 2 Damage Counters that Psychic Embrace leaves on Gardevoir per attachment, but that leaves us at a healthy six attachments to bring the total amount of damage to 240!
You know how we were just looking at the Damage Counters that Gardevoir ex leaves behind with each use of Psychic Embrace? Well, Cresselia [Lost Origin] allows us to open up the game to some interesting plays. Moonglow Reverse moves 2 Damage Counters from each of your Pokemon in play and puts them on 1 of your opponent’s Pokemon. That means if we have 6 Pokemon in play, we can use Psychic Embrace on each of them and have access to a single Energy attack that can snipe 180 damage anywhere we like (and heal 180 damage in the process)
Gardevoir’s limitations on Brainwave vs HP walks so that Zacian V has the opportunity to run. While some decks have used Roar of the Sword to accelerate Energy in the past, we are looking at its Storm Slash attack. It does the same 60 + 30for each Psychic Energy attached to it, but it also has 220 HP, and that is 80 more HP than Gardevoir. That means we can attach 10 Psychic Energy to it with Psychic Embrace, it can withstand 200 damage and swing for up to 360 damage. That means it can OHKO other Pokemon ex, Pokemon VSTAR, and Pokemon VMAX easily!
Like I was saying in the strategy, some Ralts are likely going to get KOed, and we need to have a way to get them back. Ordinary Rod [Sword and Shield] just rotated, so that means Miriam is our only option until we get Super Rod in our next set. Considering we need to protect our Ralts as much as possible, we might need to add a second copy of Miriam to make sure we can use it in each game. Right now, the deck plays a copy of Miriam and Klara [Chilling Reign], but the latter seems like an insurance policy against Path to the Peak [Chilling Reign] in case your Psychic Embrace gets shut off.
Gardevoir ex’s Psychic Embrace places down Damage Counters, and Emergency Jelly [Silver Tempest] can heal them off with ease! This means that Gardevoir can scale more damage with Brainwave, and you might have use cases to heal your other Pokemon! It might not seem that impactful, but it does mean that your single Prize Card attacking Gardevoir can now OHKO other Pokemon ex, Pokemon VSTAR, and Pokemon VMAX easily, like Zacian V. That can be the difference between winning or losing a game - it's huge!
In most Stage 2 decks, Rare Candy will take precedence over Stage 1 Pokemon, but this deck is a little different. Similar to Inteleon / Drizzile [Sword and Shield] from our Sword and Shield to Crown Zenith format, we’ll want to have a varied approach to the Pokemon we have in play. That means having Ralts and Kirlia ready to go so that you can either Rare Candy Evolve or naturally Evolve.
Psychic Energy might not seem like an important card, but it is our way to scale damage against any matchup. Be sure to have a healthy amount of Psychic Energy in your Discard Pile so that you are able to use Psychic Embrace. You might want to save a few in your hand to draw cards with Radiant Greninja’s Concealed Cards Ability or to naturally attach for your turn (to avoid putting on extra Damage Counters).
Once you get your setup down, this deck will naturally scale, and you’ll see the true power of this Gardevoir ex deck! Be sure to protect your Ralts and Kirlia, or else your late-game strategy might not ever come to fruition. Either way, this deck is an incredible start to our new “E-block” format, so be sure to give it a try!
Well, there you have it, a fully functioning Gardevoir ex deck! This is going to be one of the absolute best decks in our Post Rotation “E-block” format on Pokemon TCG Live and will likely see success at the 2023 European International Championships in London, United Kingdom! I’m going to do my best to keep everyone up-to-date with these newer archetypes by writing up a storm! I’ve been doing a bunch of playtesting in our new format because I’ll be attending EUIC, the remaining North American Regionals, and NAIC too! Lots of tournaments to play in, but I love playing Pokemon TCG a bit too much! I hope to see many members of our Pokemon TCG community at those events too! And remember, go to the PoTown store for all of your Pokemon TCG Live code card needs! I’ll catch up with all of y’all later!
About the Writer
Zach Lesage is a contributing writer for PoTownStore.com. As a Toronto local, he has been playing the Pokemon Trading Card Game since 2005 and creates Pokemon content as his full time career. With multiple prestigious accomplishments in the game, such as 2020 Players Cup 2 Champion and 2020 Oceania International Championships Finalist, he has proven his success in the game. Outside of the game, he travels the world, enjoys the culture of designer streetwear, and is a professionally trained chef. You can catch him at most Pokemon events and follow him on Twitter @ZachLesagePTCG.