With Gardevoir-GX, it's important to get your Pokémon out and evolved as quickly as possible. Diego hopes to play Alolan Vulpix early in a match and get more Pokémon into his hand with Beacon, or to play Diancie to get evolved Pokémon into action.
Naoto impressed the crowd here in Anaheim with several quality matches on the stream. He was really able to show off the raw strength of Golisopod-GX, in particular. Naoto also carries a Heavy Ball to get Wimpod out of his deck so he doesn't have to dedicate an Ultra Ball to getting the Basic Pokémon into play early.
Virtually all the Garbodor decks we've seen also runs Drampa-GX, but Xander has elected to go in a different direction with Espeon-GX. Drampa-GX doesn't fare quite as well against Gardevoir-GX as Espeon-GX does, so it’s a wise move against this field. Xander also includes Flareon to combat any Pokémon weak to fire, including Decidueye-GX, Vileplume, and Golisopod-GX. Without Drampa-GX in the mix, this deck doesn't run any Rainbow Energy, lessening his dependence on Special Energy.
There are a lot of directions from which Sho can choose in each battle; his deck includes Golisopod-GX, Garbodor, Drampa-GX, and Tapu Koko. He has to make a lot of subtle decisions in battle to lead this deck to victory—a testament to his skill as a player as well as a deck builder.
Reiji's twist on Garbodor decks makes it one of the more interesting offerings in the Top-8. The Psychic-type Mewtwo can apply a lot of pressure early in battle with its strong Psychic attack against Gallade and Garbodor. He also is playing Ninja Boy, which lets him swap one Pokémon in play for another in his deck. For example, he could quickly have a Mewtwo in play and use Ninja Boy to quickly get a fully powered-up Necrozma-GX into the action instead.
Jimmy and Xander Pero are running similar non-Drampa-GX Garbodor decks, but Jimmy diverges with the inclusion of four Tapu Lele-GX. The Espeon-GX maybe doesn't get enough attention, but its three attacks make the card useful at virtually any time during a match.
Pablo is one of the strongest Pokémon TCG players to come out of Mexico. He is playing a Gardevoir-GX deck that has shown a lot of consistency throughout the tournament. It might be a little surprising to see 3 Kirlia and 3 Rare Candies in his deck, but this is an example of how the presence of Garbodor has altered how players look for ways to accomplish certain tasks without the use of item cards.
Sam has gone with a straightforward Garbodor and Drampa-GX deck. Learning from North American Internationals Champion Tord Reklev, Sam plays four Tapu Lele-GX. As such, he doesn't need to use a card such as Ultra Ball to find it. Sam also runs one Plumeria, a disruptive card that lets him knock an Energy—including Special Energy— off his opponent's Pokémon.
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