"Rising to the Above" – Xander's T4 Run in Vancouver, Garbodor/Drampa vs Gardevoir, and Shining Legends Thoughts

This is the companion discussion topic for this article.

In a BKT-SHI format, would you replace the Espeon-EX for Shining Jirachi or include both?

Also, would you still play the deck over Gardevoir in that same format?

I’ve pondered the thought of replacing Espeon-EX, but ultimately I’ve decided it’s not possible…Espeon-EX is necessary in the deck for establishing the permanent devolving lock, as well as being able to reach to the Bench to devolve. Shining Jirachi fills a much different niche, albeit it one that’s also incredibly strong in the deck.

The only reason I’d include Shining Jirachi is in conjunction with Espeon-EX. Shining Jirachi serves as a means of OHKOing a Gardevoir-GX with 20 or more damage on it including a Choice Band, with the damage most likely from Po Town.

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Also, re: Gardevoir, I’m not a fan of the deck. I want to continue meddling with Garbodor and eventually Zoroark variants, but I never see myself playing Gardevoir to a tournament. There’s a reason why so many did well in Vancouver, but it can also be explained that the majority of its success stemmed from popularity.

Thank you for the tips! Much appreciated. One last statement/question. Finding the space for Jirachi seems to be an issue for me.

How critical is it to keep the 1-1 Eevee / Espeon-GX in the deck (especially in a Breakthrough - Shining Legends format)?

I do wish you’d found a way to make Ho-Oh work a little longer. I enjoy playing the decks you write about because your commentary helps me become a better player, and I find Ho-Oh to be about as fun a deck as I’ve tried (I play at a low level though). But I do understand why you shifted and the results speak for themselves.

Thanks again - there’s usually a really helpful nugget in your articles that make them stand out (here, the point about Sam Chen’s advice, which makes sense but which isn’t immediately obvious… that kind of stuff is gold). You find ways to tell players things they don’t already know, and which can make them better. That’s not something many writers do.

I could see cutting the 1-1 Espeon-GX for a Tapu Koko PR and Shining Jirachi. I’ll try this going forward, since those changes will also make a big difference in the Gardevoir-GX matchup. Another choice I’d consider by adding Shining Jirachi, which I would cut a Po Town or Lillie for.

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Thanks so much for the feedback! I try to write about the “niche” stuff in matchups, so I’m glad it shines through. I wanted to make Ho-Oh work too, but it ultimately failed in the Gardevoir matchup. It’s incredibly fun and easier to play than other decks which is why it appealed to me too.