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Buzzwole/Garbodor (TCG)

Buzzwole and Garbodor
Types used FightingPsychicFire
Major cards Buzzwole, Garbodor, Magcargo and Shrine of Punishment
Era 2018–2019

Buzzwole/Garbodor was a Pokémon Trading Card Game deck archetype mainly played in the 2018-2019 season. The deck's strategy revolved around Buzzwole and Garbodor's potential damage output in the middle to end of the game, knocking out popular Pokémon-GX in a single attack while being single-Prize card attackers. Buzzwole/Garbodor was a strong archetype upon release; along with its variants, its players were awarded seven out of eight Top 8 spots at the 2018 Santa Catarina Regionals, along with other notable rankings during the Celestial Storm meta.



Buzzwole/Garbodor focused on punishing players that could not manage their deck resources against the main attackers' gimmicks; for one energy card, Buzzwole dealt 30 damage plus 90 damage when the opponent had exactly four prize cards remaining and Garbodor dealt 20 damage times the amount of Item cards on the opponent's discard pile. Another useful single-energy attacker was Weavile, which dealt damage based on how many Pokémon with Abilites the opponent had in play. Buzzwole's 120 damage condition was almost inevitable due to the deck only playing single-prize attackers, and in a Trainer and Ability-heavy format, it was easy to land one-hit knockouts with Garbodor and Weavile, though the opponent could avoid to play these cards in exchange of a slower game.

To force the opponent out of slow-paced strategies however, this deck had one advantage with the powerful Shrine of Punishment Stadium card, placing one damage counter on each Pokémon-GX (which most meta decks were based on) between turns. The amount of damage from this stadium with Buzzwole's minimum damage was enough to pressure the opponent in the early game and lead to situations where Garbodor could inevitably knock out opposing Pokémon.

Other useful cards in the deck were the Oranguru/Magcargo engine to draw any specific card from the deck. Diancie ♢ and Beast Energy ♢ were played to increase Buzzwole's damage and enforce the early pressure.

Key cards

  • Buzzwole - For a single energy, Buzzwole's Sledgehammer Attack dealt 30 damage plus 90 damage if the opponent had exactly four prize cards left. Swing Around could also do from 80 to 120 damage with three energies. As a Fighting Pokémon, it had a natural advantage against Zoroark-GX decks.
  • Garbodor - Garbodor's Trashalanche attack did 20 damage times each Item card in the opponent's discard pile. It was a very useful late-game attacker as the opponent would have played many Items by then. Garbodor could also very rarely attack with Acid Spray for 70 damage and, as Trubbish, use Stomp Off to try discarding Item cards from the opponent's deck.
  • Oranguru - Once per turn, Oranguru allowed the player to draw cards until having three of them in the hand. As the deck focused in not playing Pokémon-GX, Oranguru was a better drawing support than Tapu Lele-GX.
  • Magcargo - Magcargo put any card from your deck on top of it, being a useful resource at drawing cards with Oranguru or stacking resources for the next turn.
  • Diancie ♢ - Diancie increased Buzzwole's damage by 20. As a Prism Star card, the player was limited to one per lsit.
  • Choice Band - Increased the damage of attacks against active Pokémon-GX by 30.
  • Shrine of Punishment - Put one damage counter on each Pokémon-GX in play per turn, making it easier to knock them out with the deck's attackers and forcing the opponent to not play slowly.
  • Guzma - While being a supporting card for deck aggression, Guzma also allowed the player to switch out non-attackers with high retreat costs. Similar cards with this purpose were Tate & Lisa and Switch.
  • Beast Energy ♢ - Increased Buzzwole's damage by 30. As a Prism Star card, the player was limited to one per lsit.

Typical decklist

Breno Santos' decklist at the 2018 Santa Catarina Regional, SC, Brazil

Quantity Card Type Rarity
Buzzwole Fighting Rare
Trubbish Psychic Common
Garbodor Psychic Rare
Slugma Fire Common
Magcargo Fire Rare
Oranguru Colorless Rare Holo
Diancie ♢ Fighting Rare Holo
Sudowoodo Fighting Uncommon
Beast Ring I Uncommon
Field Blower I Uncommon
Mysterious Treasure I Uncommon
Nest Ball I Uncommon
Rescue Stretcher I Uncommon
Ultra Ball I Uncommon
Choice Band I Uncommon
Shrine of Punishment St Uncommon
Acerola Su Uncommon
Cynthia Su Uncommon
Guzma Su Uncommon
Lillie Su Uncommon
Professor Kukui Su Uncommon
Tate & Liza Su Uncommon
Fighting Energy Fighting E Common
Psychic Energy Psychic E Common
Beast Energy ♢ Colorless E Rare Holo
Rainbow Energy Rainbow E Uncommon

Possible tech cards

The following cards are often used in Buzzwole/Garbodor in place of certain cards included in the above lists.

  • Weavile - Weavile's Evil Admonition attack did 50 damage times the number of opposing Pokémon with Abilites. Though some variants added Weavile as another attacker or even cut Garbodor in favor of it, Weavile offered a disadvantage in mirror matchups.
  • Sudowoodo - Limited the number of Pokémon the opponent could put in play and prevented Zoroark-GX from knocking out most Pokémon in one attack.
  • Beast Ring - Beast Ring attached two basic energies from the deck to Buzzwole, but could only be activated when the opponent had three or four prize cards remaining.

Reasons for the loss of playability

This deck lost much of its relevancy after the introduction of other non-GX decks, such as Granbull, Malamar/Giratina and Zapdos/Jirachi. Later, Tag Team Pokémon got introduced with increased HP and were sturdier against this deck's attackers.

Project TCG logo.png This article is part of Project TCG, a Bulbapedia project that aims to report on every aspect of the Pokémon Trading Card Game.