All Aboard the Hype Train! Preview of Things to Come, and Critiquing Three Hyped Decks Before European Internationals

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Hey, Trainers! We’re back with a couple really great updates. First, we’ll be briefly discussing the blog’s future and what that means for everyone who loves free, top tier competitive content on the blog. Second, we’ll be jumping into a topic I’m sure our friends getting ready to play in London would love to hear: thoughts on the hyped new decks headed into the event!

A Preview of Things to Come

HeyTrainer is known for two important yet distinct identities: its PG-rated blog, and its anything-goes forum. The forum basically changed the community’s direction forever, and even now is a cult classic. However, the blog has exploded in popularity and is now a major player in its own right. In less than a year, we defined multiple format-breaking decks, shared some of the most controversial Pokemon articles in the game, and raised the bar on all content – paid or otherwise. I’m truly grateful for all the love and support I’ve gotten from everyone who’s been reading!

That’s why I’m telling you all that I am in the process of designing a successor blog!  It will functionally be the same as this one, only much more polished, offer more content than before, and display a new identity fitting for Pokemon in the year 2018. Additionally, I will be a lot more ambitious in the sorts of alternate content we post so that we are ahead of the curve instead of on top of it, and making news rather than reacting to it. Expect the new site to be released by the beginning of next year!

(Fear not, forum loyalists: will not be touched, and will even still be linked to on the new blog.)

You’ll notice a greater effort in monetizing the new site, through ads and a couple “Donate” buttons. However, rest assured that there are currently no plans to turn my blog into a premium service. I respect, admire, and have even written or current write for premium content websites. For the time being, though, I don’t see that being a part of my new blog’s identity. It may be foolish to depend on ads to sustain the time invested in quality competitive content, but for this new site, I would highly encourage you to turn off your ad blockers if for a moment  – seems like a fair trade not to have paywalls in an era when half the good articles have them!

Well, that’s enough – I can walk and chew bubble gum at the same time, which is why I’m still churning out content here on HeyTrainer! At any rate, I’ll be looking forward to seeing you all there.

Three Hyped Decks for European Internationals

I am not going to the European International Championship this year, but I have been closely following the hype leading into the event. There are a few interesting decks that have been getting buzz lately, so I thought now would be my last and best chance to address those decks before the event begins. My thoughts should stay relevant going into the Memphis Regional Championship next month.

Why does the hype come to a head in the final days before an event? First, all of the good players are finally beginning to gather at or near the event venue, so the potential network in the loop on a deck expands exponentially. Second, these are ripe times for content creators to make or expand their brand – there’s nothing more helpful for your brand than to design a good, innovative deck.

1. Buzzwole-GX/Garbodor

Every dudebro needs healthy bones. So here’s a solid skeleton — 15 open spots!

Why it’s hyped:  Buzzwole-GX is one of the most hyped cards out of the new set. Heck, I loved it so much I wrote an article about it over at, so go check it out!

Anyways, the reason why it’s hyped is simply because it’s a very balanced, powerful card. The problem is that many of the ideas it’s been implemented in have performed poorly. The one version of the deck, however, that seems to succeed consistently is running it with Po Town, Espeon-EX, and both Garbodors. Po Town/Espeon-EX serve as a powerful combo against Evolution decks and Jet Punch, while the Garbodors balance out Buzzwole-GX’s inherent weaknesses, such as Bench-protecting cards like Mr. Mime BKT and Psychic Pokemon.

How it will perform: I think it’s going to do well, but only if enough good players use it. Buzzwole-GX is an incredible card with a great deck, but even minor misplays can tilt several close matchups. A prime example of this is the Garbodor mirror, which is close but could easily wash away the many Buzzwole players vying for the European International title. Nevertheless, it’s hungry to prove the naysayers right, so keep your eyes peeled.


2. Decidueye-GX/Zoroark-GX

Those are four Grass.

Why it’s hyped: Despite being a Decidueye fan, I’m going to be very honest with you guys and confess that I haven’t once used this deck. However, I’ve seen many incarnations of it online lately, and after getting my butt kicked by it, can certainly see why.

Essentially, the increase in power for Gardevoir coupled with many new cards getting hyped out of Shining Legends and Crimson Invasion has created a vacuum for Decidueye to make a comeback. Zoroark-GX is a respectable choice to herald that comeback because it’s a heavy hitter, consistency support for setting up Decidueyes, and is an efficient attacker that can score OHKOs you couldn’t previously with partners like Alolan Ninetales-GX

(Also, it doesn’t hurt our buddy SeaGrove a.k.a. Jeremiah went on a great, public slaughterfest with his version of the deck!)

How it will perform: We’ll continue the super-blunt honesty with a big “I don’t know.” On one hand, I want it to do well, and am convinced it could do very well against the established metagame. Heck, even Volcanion isn’t that bad of a matchup anymore. My main concern is that a Zoroark-GX engine in a Stage Two deck isn’t as reliable as the sort of support Gardevoir-GX inherently enjoys. It also might not do well against tanky, Max Potion versions of Gardevoir-GX, and still struggles a little against good Golisopod players.

3. Registeel

Why it’s getting hype: Registeel from Crimson Invasion carries on a long tradition of bulky non-GX, non-EX legendaries serving as Energy accelerators (e.g., Yveltal STS, Xerneas STS, and Landorus FFI). It also offers a very convenient Metal typing. The entire Ralts line sans Gallade is Weak to Metal, so Turbo Arm will be scoring Knock Outs as early as the first turn, and you’ll be building momentum from there with the potential to nab a KO on Gardvoir-GX itself with Iron Hand and a Choice.

Also, another reason why this card is so hyped is because we’ve seen several content creators come out with their own takes on it in the past week: Jacob Lesage on with a toolbox list;’s aggressive Genesect-EX build; and the boys at Limitless TCG with a build that’s more Celesteela-GX focused.  I like all of these deck ideas, but for the purposes of this article, I’ll be posting my take on my favorite among those ideas, which is Genesect-GX. I’m not sure how close or far apart we are in our designs, but if you’d like to compare my list with the original innovators’ take on the deck, check out their paywall article here.

How it will perform: Registeel has several more directions to go than Buzzwole or Decidueye in terms of viable deck design, but it could absolutely slaughter the tournament under the right circumstances. Of course this version I’ve posted has a horrible Volcanion matchup (notice a trend here?), but perhaps one of the people I mentioned designed a list that beats it. Regardless, it has excellent games excellent all other pre-established metagame decks, and will have an incredible day if the field is mostly Gardevoir, Garbodor, and Alolan Ninetales/Zoroark.

Thoughts about the Play and Old Decks

All three of these decks could make a huge splash across the pond this weekend. If I were going, my first choice would probably be Buzzwole-GX/Garbodor, but if I had a hunch there would be little to no Volcanion, I might just run Registeel.

Regarding old decks, Gardevoir-GX in a vacuum is probably a top contender, but with an actual metagame is a dangerous choice. However, if the anti-Gardevoir metal hate swings too far, Volcanion becomes even better. Although I quite literally bought Gardevoir-GXs yesterday, showing I have at least a marginal amount of faith in its playability, a Volcanion with some sort of nifty trick to help against Gardevoir would be a favorite to win. Maybe Counter Catchers?


Thanks so much for reading, playing, and supporting the site! No matter what form the blog takes, I hope you guys keep reading and I hope I can continue sharing with you guys all my thoughts about my favorite card game. Cheers!

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