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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day




Date Reviewed:
Aug. 5, 2014

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 4.00
Limited: 4.25

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 being the worst. 
3 ... average.  
5 is the highest rating.

Back to the main COTD Page

Baby Mario
2010 UK National

Garbodor (DRX/PLF/LTR) 

Since its release back in 2012, Garbodor has been one of the defining cards of the format. Not surprising, really, as cards that can perform some significant form of lock while sitting on the Bench do tend to be pretty powerful (see also Dialga G LV X, Fossil Muk and several Vileplumes). 

Garbodor’s Garbotoxin Ability makes life incredibly difficult for a ton of decks simply by robbing them of their own Abilities. With Garbodor on the Field (with the obligatory Tool attached, of course), Blastoise can’t Deluge for massive Energy acceleration, Deoxys EX can’t boost the power of Plasma decks, Lugia EX can’t take an extra Prize, and Virizion offers no protection from status effects, to name but a few. The effect of this can range from inconvenient to crippling, depending on what the opponent is playing. 

If you have a deck which either doesn’t use Abilities at all (such as Landorus/Raichu and friends), or doesn’t depend on them to a great extent (like some Darkrai/Yveltal variants), then Garbodor is seriously worth considering. The errata to Pokémon Catcher made it a lot safer on the Bench and, although Lysandre and Startling Megaphone can be a problem for Garbodor, he’s still a very effective way of messing with your opponent’s strategies. 

As long as people will be playing cards with Abilities, you will have players who will respond with Garbodor. 


Modified: 4 (locks hurt)

Limited: N/A 


Hey guys, welcome back to another card of the day! Today's card shouldn't be a surprising one to see, as he's had a large impact on the game since his debut back in Dragons Exalted. Ladies and gents, I give you, GARBODORRRRRRRRRRR!
...*eh-hem* So what makes Garbodor so special that both Isaiah Williams, a Masters Semifinalist, and Brandon Salazar (what a name!), the Masters Division Champion, run it in their decks? Well obviously it's not for that vanilla 60-damage Sludge Toss for 3, but you guys figured that out the moment we posted this.
That's right, Garbodor's biggest strength is in his Ability Lock: Garbotoxin. As long as Garbodor has a Tool attached to him, all Abilities of all other Pokemon get shut down. That means no Dusknoir Sinister Hand, no Empoleon Diving Draw, no Jirachi-EX Stellar Guidance, no Virizion-EX Verdant Wind, but probably most importantly of all (and no doubt the reason both of these players ran Garbodor in their decks), no Pyroar Intimidating Mane.
See both Brandon and Isaiah ran decks that revolved around "Big Basics"; Isaiah did it with his Dark deck, utilizing Yveltal-EX and Darkrai-EX to damage and overwhelm the opponent while shutting down Pyroar and other major Abilities with Garbodor on the Bench, a handy Float Stone attached to him in case Garbodor got Catcher'd off the Bench, while Brandon ran off of the combination of Landorus-EX's signature strike and the infamous Mewtwo-EX but also including Raichu (XY) to take advantage of his Bench-sitting Garbodor as an alternate attacker and ultimately a counter to Yveltal-EX!
The greatest thing about this? Garbodor may have come out in Dragons Exalted, but he got reprinted again as recently as Legendary Treasures, which means he's still going to hang around a little longer as a counter to those pesky Pyroar decks. Of course, that also means he can shut down Machamp from the upcoming Furious Fists set, meaning that Garbodor may have a potential niche as one of a few counters to the onslaught of Fighting-types on the way!
Modified: 4/5 (he's got a long history as well, and the longer the list of Abilities he can negate, the better he'll be!)
Expanded: 4.5/5 (hey look, a longer list of Abilities he can negate!)
Limited: 4/5 (even though there wasn't that many Abilities to negate, Garbodor could still negate the important ones in this set, and that's all that matters!)
Arora Notealus: What even IS Garbodor, anyway? I mean I know he's supposed to be related to dumpsters, but what was the last dumpster you saw that looked like that?!
Arora Apologies: In my review yesterday for Dusknoir, I had forgotten that Empoleon had been reprinted as a Secret Rare over in Plasma Freeze, meaning that he is still technically legal in the format. I also forgot that Flygon was printed in Boundaries Crossed, not Dragons Exalted. Accelgor, however, is rotating out, as the one referenced yesterday is from Dark Explorers. 
Next Time: Oh my stars, my wish is coming true!


Hello readers!  This week we will be looking at some of the cards that played role at the U.S. Nationals, as a precursor to the pending World Championships.  Our second such offering is Garbodor (BW: Dragons Exalted 54/124; BW: Plasma Freeze 119/116; BW: Legendary Treasures 68/113).  The Pokémon that a lot of us don’t like to think too deeply about, this Garbodor showed up in Brandon Salazar’s U.S. National’s winning deck (Master’s Age Bracket), backing up an interesting selection of attackers as a 2-2 line.  It was also present in the same count in Isaiah William’s deck (3r place, Master’s Age Bracket) in the same quantity, though backing up decidedly different attackers.  So why? 

If you’ve remotely familiar with the game, you already know, but for the sake of the newest of players (and so I don’t have to get out of my writing comfort zone), I’ll break it down the whole card.  First though the answer is of course its Garboxotin (I still think it should have just been called “Garbotox”) Ability that - as long as Garbodor has a Pokémon Tool attached to itself - shuts down all other Abilities in play, in the discard pile and in each player’s hand, which to my knowledge covers the locations for any currently available Ability to be in effect, though hypothetical future cards might activate in the deck or in the Lost Zone (if that were ever revived).  The rest of the card does matter, but not in a good way. 

It’s Psychic-Typing is pretty much useless as the one piece of Psychic-Type support at least currently available - Gardevoir (BW: Next Destinies 57/99; Dark Explorers 109/108) - will be have its Ability (the part that makes it Psychic-Type support) shut down by Garbotoxin.  Being a Stage 1 hurts it, but not as much as being a Stage 2 would have; at least you can try to get it into play on your second turn.  Being a 100 HP Stage 1 Pokémon definitely hurts it.  100 HP is a probable OHKO - often without boosting - for main and even some secondary attackers, and while actually fairly average in terms of what we see printed on Stage 1 Pokémon, its functionally low… plus its 10 HP over what could have been searched out by Level Ball just to add another rub.  Its Psychic Weakness makes that HP even more relevant; Mewtwo-EX has been enjoying relatively easy OHKOs against it since it debuted.  There is of course no Resistance, which while only a small bonus would still have been nice for the odd occasions when it would have mattered.  The Retreat Cost of three definitely matters; for now it makes it a legal Heavy Ball target, and explains why Float Stone is the preferred Pokémon Tool to attach. 

Garbodor also has an abysmal attack; for [PPC] it only does 60 points of damage.  Even when desperate it is rare for a player to attack with Garbodor… and given everything else about it, the Ability is truly its one redeeming feature.  Well… perhaps one other thing; Trubbish (BW: Plasma Storm 65/135) has its Tool Drop attack that actually made it the main attacker of its own deck until Startling Megaphone killed it off, as the attack does 20 points of damage times the number of Pokémon Tools one has in play.  It didn’t mesh with Garbodor all that well anyway (the deck relied heavily on Abilities), but unlike Garbodor this little fellow can provide a decent follow up attacker, especially in a deck that can accelerate Energy to it while also getting four to six Pokémon Tools into play (your opponents’ Pokémon Tools count as well).  So yeah… in every other way Garbodor is mediocre to bad (especially after we lose Heavy Ball).  Imagine if we got Memory Berry or a similar Pokémon Tool back, though; Tool Drop might make a comeback in a lower damage but Ability-Locking form. 

Out of the top four decks of every age bracket, only Salazar’s had no Abilities; even William’s deck had one (presumably not heavily relied upon).  Decks that use Tool Scrapper can attempt to shut down Abilities and reactivate them when advantageous, turning a weakness of the card into a possible strength.  XY: Furious Fist gives us Tool Retreiver to help with that, an Item that allows you to bounce two of your own in play Items back to hand.  Even without such things, Garbodor itself is surprisingly versatile; a deck that has no Abilities or can get by without constant access to its Abilities basically needs a good reason to not run Garbodor.  Space consideration is often legitimate; while most decks run Pokémon Tools, they usually aren’t available to spare to even a 2-2 Garbodor line functions more like a 2-2-2 line once you add in two extra Pokémon Tools.

Tool Scrapper (soon to rotate) and Startling Megaphone (not going anywhere anytime soon) do counter Garbodor while also providing their usual benefits, and Garbodor is why Ability-reliant decks always need at least one copy of either of those and probably two (if space permitted, four might even be desirable!), but Garbodor remains potent even in the face of such counters.  Lysandre (and Escape Rope and Pokémon Catcher) can be huge because of the low HP and high Retreat Cost on Garbodor; stranding it up front or setting it up as an easy OHKO to get your Abilities back and move towards a win.  Depending upon the exact match-up, getting Abilities back either way for a turn can be huge or barely matter; Abilities that need to be used constantly or repeatedly to be truly effective, or that need to function on your opponent’s turn are apt to be shut down again (though KOing Garbodor is a bit more effective as the competitive lists I have seen favor running just that 2-2 line). 

I don’t expect Garbodor usage to decline in BCR-On and possibly could even increase; given that it had a presence in BW-On under the previous iteration of rules, I expect Garbodor to similarly good there (and again, perhaps a bit better).  Where Garbodor is probably not worth running is Limited; BW: Dragons Exalted is the only set with both Pokémon Tools and Trubbish anyway.  Still if you really want an answer to the possible Abilities you may face and have the room, go for it.  The HP and attacks are a hair better there, but not by much (and I wouldn’t actually plan on attacking it with unless you already run sufficient Psychic Energy). 


Modified (NEX-On): 4/5 - While it is always as a Bench-sitter, it has helped to shape this format and is featured in multiple decks.  It can even bolser less-than-good ideas, so long as those ideas still contain a solid attacker. 

Modified (BCR-On): 4/5 - As stated above, it may even rise in popularity, as there is little reason not to run this card if a deck runs few or no Abilities, even with the added hassle. 

Expanded (BW-On): 4/5 - Abilities are still a force, so odds are Garbodor will remain useful here. 

Limited: 2.5/5 - As decks are made out of what you pull, your opposition likely isn’t relying on any Abilities because there is no way to reliably get Pokémon into play.  Running a 1-1 line you can’t search out may be a total waste, or even backfire if you’re stuck with a useless Garbodor up front (or have no Abilities to counter)... and that’s for BW: Dragons Exalted; BW: Plasma Freeze lacks a Trubbish from which to Evolve and BW: Legendary Treasures lacks Pokémon Tools.  Speaking of which, don’t forget you also need to pull at least one Pokémon Tool in addition to the line. 

Summary: Garbodor is a card that at first glance looks underpowered, but as the designers keep proving, they want a format where you either rely on Abilities for something crucial to your deck and run a counter to Garbodor, or you’re running Garbodor itself.  This card is even better than when it originally released.

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