Garbodor – Vivid Voltage

Date Reviewed:  February 23, 2021

Ratings Summary:
Standard: 3
Expanded: 3

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.

Reviews Below:

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As mentioned yesterday, it is now time to review Garbodor (SW – Vivid Voltage 111/185)!  Garbodor is a regular Pokémon, so no worries about giving up extra Prizes when KO’d, or dealing with counters to or exclusions of special mechanics Pokémon by other card effects.  It is a Darkness type, which isn’t really an advantage or drawback.  Anti-Darkness effects are Expanded-only,  ineffective, and obscure.  Darkness support has a few standouts, but mostly in Expanded.  Darkness Resistance only naturally exists on Fairy types, a type which only exists in the XY and Sun & Moon series; it doesn’t exist in anything from before XY, or in the latest Sword & Shield series releases.  Darkness Weakness has become more common as of Sword & Shield, but the metagame is such that nothing [D] Weak has seen success lately, because Eternatus VMAX decks just wreck them.  It is worth noting that Garbodor is… Garbodor.  It both competes and could compliment past Garbodor cards. 

As a Stage 1 Pokémon, Garbodor needs either Trubbish or Ditto {*} to hit the field, plus a turn of waiting to evolve.  Much as we’ll need to discuss options for other Garbodor cards, there are actually a few notable Trubbish cards as well.  While not as great as being a Basic, Stage 1 Pokémon are still quite solid.  Depending on the specifics of that Stage 1, anything from a 0-1 line (using Ditto {*}) to a full 4-4 line (plus a Ditto {*}) can prove competitive.  Garbodor’s 120 HP is so-so; while not especially low for a single-Prize, Stage 1 Pokémon, it is still much, much more likely to be OHKO’d than not.  The [F] Weakness might be a problem after the next set, but for now its relatively safe.  No Resistance and Retreat Cost [CCC] are the worst.  However, the former doesn’t usually matter and the latter is only the worst because higher Retreat Costs open up certain pieces of support, without being significantly worse (due to switching effects).

Garbodor knows two attacks.  [CC] pays for “Trash Cyclone”, which does 30 damage times the number of Pokémon Tools in your discard pile, then shuffle those Tools back into your deck.  The good news is that this gives you a way to recycle any and all of your Tools in a single shot.  The bad news is that means you’ll have to find a way to get them all back into your discard pile if you want to attack with Trash Cyclone twice in a row.  Either way, you also need quite a few Tool cards if you want Trash Cyclone to hit good numbers.  I’d say at least four or five, so you’re in the 2HKO range for most cards; six if you want to 2HKO anything based on printed HP (though other factors can still complicate things.  While plausible, it is unrealistic to try and reach OHKO levels beyond typical Basic Pokémon V; that is still seven or eight Tools in the discard pile.  OHKOing everything would require running at least 12 Tools, and none could be Prized, in your deck, or even in play!

Tools usually do not help with setup, and rushing them into the discard pile means they probably didn’t serve their usual function, either.  That is why the best you can probably hope for is running enough that Trash Cyclone can reliably hit most cards for 2HKOs (five or six Tools), sometimes hitting OHKO range against double-Prize Pokémon (seven or eight Tools).  It also means Trash Cyclone should not be your main attack; it is just too difficult to keep discarding the Tools turn after turn.  Using some while discarding the rest isn’t as bad, but that means using something other than Trash Cyclone to attack on those turns.  Garbodor does have a second attack, “Poison Spray”, for [DCC].  It does 80 damage and Poisons your opponent’s Active: too weak for the cost, though at least it can also use Twin Energy.

Let’s talk about those Trubbish.  For Standard, if your deck can Poison your opponent’s Active, then Trubbish (SM – Rebel Clash 117/192; Champion’s Path 043/073) provides a an emergency attacker.  Otherwise, just stick with Trubbish (SW – Vivid Voltage 110/185), because the same Energy cost lets it use “Lucky Find” to snag an Item from your deck.  Where things get interesting is in Expanded.  Trubbish (BW – Plasma Storm 65/135) knows the attack “Tool Drop”; for [PC] it can do 20 per Tool attached to either players’ Pokémon.  Tool Drop decks are (or at least, were) a budget deck that bordered on being competitive, depending upon the exact metagame at the time.  Even if Tool Drop isn’t the focus of the deck, as long as you can met the slightly awkward [PC] cost, then Trubbish with Tool Drop becomes a decent fallback attack.  If Tool Drop is the focus, Garbodor provides the deck with a cleaner and/or emergency source of mass tool recycling.

Let talk about some of the other, notable Garbodor cards.  Garbodor (BW – Dragons Exalted 54/124; BW – Plasma Freeze 119/116; BW – Legendary Treasures 68/113) and Garbodor (XY – BREAKpoint 57/122) both have the “Garbotoxin” Ability. As long as that Garbodor has a Tool attached to it, all Abilities other than Garbodor essentially don’t exist.  Even if you want to use Abilities extensively in your deck, an emergency shutoff for them can come in handy.  If you’re not using many Abilities, or they’re ones you can use “around” Garbotoxin, as you can control when Garbotoxin is in effect through discarding your own Tools, it can be a powerful Bench-sitter and aid to general beatdown decks.  Garbodor (SM – Guardians Rising 51/145, 51a/145) can use “Trashalanche” for [P] to do 20 damage per Item card in your opponent’s discard pile; sometimes that makes it a mighty attacker, sometimes not.  Still Standard-legal is Garbodor (SW – Rebel Clash 118/192; SW – Black Star Promos SWSH025) has an Ability, “Poisonous Puddle”, that lets you Poison your opponent’s Active once during your turn, provided a Stadium card is in play.

Now, what about other partners for Garbodor?  Yesterday we covered Whimsicott (SW – Vivid Voltage 076/185), a fellow Stage 1 Pokémon that can attack for a single attachment (in this case, [P]) and attack to as many Tools as you like from your Pokémon, then do 10 plus 40 damage per Tool discarded in this manner.  This seems like a pretty natural compliment to Garbodor’s Trash Cyclone, and it is even Standard-legal.  You might also use Alolan Ninetales (SM – Cosmic Eclipse 145/236); its “Rubbish Blizzard” also does damage based on how many Tools are in your discard pile.  It is priced at [0] to do 10 per Tool; significantly weaker, but requiring no Energy is handy and not recycling all those Tools means you could insert it between attacks by Whimsicott and Garbodor.  Plus, being a Fairy type means it can smack Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX for double damage.

Greedent (SW – Rebel Clash 152/192; Shining Fates SV100/SV122) is another Stage 1 Pokémon; its Ability lets you add a Tool from your deck to your hand once per turn.  Don’t think of it as your main Tool source, but to help get out key Tools as needed.  Expanded has Adventure Bag, an Item that fetches two Tools from your deck at once, and Elesa, a Supporter that snags up to three Tools from your deck; I doubt Elesa is going to be worth it, but Adventure Bag is probably your best choice out of all three… but other solid draw and search options are likely better still.  Doublade (SM – Team Up 108/181) also knows Tool Drop, but its version costs [CC] (instead of [PC]) and can use it to do 30 damage per Tool in play.  I recall people trying to make a go of it, but even with easier access and higher damage, it wasn’t enough to compensate for being a Stage 1 and keep up with rising HP scores.  Might be worth revisiting, though.

Gourgeist (SM – Crimson Invasion 45/111) has the attack “Pumpkin Bomb” for [CC]; it works the same as Whimsicott’s Flying Fury, still doing 10 damage plus 40 per Tool discarded.  There are some stat differences, but the main thing is that Gourgeist can use Dimension Valley to attack for only [C] or use the same Double Colorless Energy, Triple Acceleration Energy, and/or Twin Energy to attack as Garbodor.  Cofagrigus (BW – Dark Explorers 52/108) is one I forgot about; for [CC] its “Chuck” attack lets you discard as many Tools as you want from your hand, doing 40 damage per.  That might make it the best attack partner for Garbodor.  Unlike Whimsicott and some of the others, it cuts out the middle ‘mon as you aren’t limited by how many Tools you can attach at a time to your Pokémon (like with Whimsicott).  Especially if playing Items or Tools, or even cards from your hand are somehow compromised; Chuck can still chuck them!


  • Standard: 3/5
  • Expanded: 3/5

In the Standard Format, I think Whimsicott and Garbodor have a legitimate chance of forming a solid budget deck, the kind that borders on being competitive.  In Expanded, I’m a bit overwhelmed with the options available, but I think it is much the same except Garbodor might be partnered with something else.  Maybe it will just be a Tool Drop deck using Trash Cyclone for a quick hit while mass recycling, maybe some of the other attackers replace Whimsicott.  I’m worried about the competition here, including things like Item-lock, but this Format really does offer a plethora of counter-tricks.  In both Formats, I think the primary hurdle will be making room for a minimum of two Stage 1 lines and the dozen (or more!) Tools needed for the combo.

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