– Crimson Invasion
November 14, 2017
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
IT CAN’T BE!! An Ultra Beast has appeared?!
Yeah that’s right. The “invasion” part of Crimson Invasion features the Ultra Beasts, creatures from other dimensions that have begun invading the Pokemon World!…although you can catch them…and they’ve got Types…are we sure they’re not just more Pokemon? Like Clefairy from the moon? Deoxys from space? I’m pretty sure these are just Pokemon from other dimensions.
In any case, we take a look at the biggest of the bunch, Guzzlord-GX. He comes in as a Basic with 210 HP – already on-par with the smaller Stage 1 GX!! That’s an insane amount in its own right, but on top of that, he’s got some incredibly powerful and incredibly dangerous moves. He’s also denoted as an Ultra Beast card, and while there’s nothing that specifically supports Ultra Beasts right now, any support in the future can affect him for the most part, so something to keep in mind in possible upcoming sets.
For now though, let’s take a look at his attacks! His first move costs 1 Dark Energy and is appropriately named “Eat Sloppily.” I mean, what else were you expecting from a Pokemon named “Guzzlord”? He’s the lord of GUZZLING!! His body is a giant mouth!! Those arms are made with the purpose of STUFFING HIS GIANT BELLY!! In this case, Eat Sloppily grabs onto your deck and mills off 5 cards from it, attaching any Energy cards directly to Guzzlord. Yes you read that right – ANY Energy cards. They can be basic or Special, but as long as they’re Energy, Guzzlord-GX is chowing down on them!
And he needs that Energy, cause his next attack costs 5 Energy! Tyrannical Hole, probably referencing his giant mouth-belly again, is a vanilla move that does an insane 5-for-180!! YES, 180 DAMAGE ON ITS OWN!! AS PRINTED!! No effects, no alterations, just enough to consume any Basic-EX/GX in one gulp! Add on a Choice Band, and there aren’t too many things that can escape Guzzlord-GX’s maw. It’s actually insane, if it wasn’t for the Energy cost being so high. But that’s where his GX Attack comes in.
One of the unique aspects of the Ultra Beasts is that their GX Attacks all are oriented around Prize cards in some way. Some deal damage based on Prizes, others add on more Prizes, and others still take them away. Guzzlord-GX falls in that last category with the powerful Glutton GX. It costs 5 Energy too, but they all have to be Dark Energy, and the move only does 100 damage. The trade-off? If Guzzlord-GX KOs a Pokemon with Glutton GX, you get to nab 2 MORE Prize cards in addition to what you’re already grabbing. At the minimum, you can grab 3 Prizes with this attack – 4 if you KO an EX/GX with it! That’s over half of your Prize cards in one go, and that’s the sort of maneuver that can wrap games up in a flash!
Unfortunately for Guzzlord-GX though, that’s about all the hype I can give him. Needing to boost himself to 5 Energy to have access to his best moves makes him extremely susceptible to things like Gardevoir-GX, who can hit based on the total amount of Energy attached to a Pokemon. On its own, Gardevoir-GX’s own Infinite Force can deal out 180 damage simply because Guzzlord-GX needs those 5 Energy for his moves, whereas she only needs 1 Energy to use it – that already puts Guzzlord-GX in a tricky spot, as all that’s needed is an extra Choice Band to OHKO it. Not a great start to his standing in Standard. On top of that, milling off cards is risky business, especially since you don’t know what’s getting milled. Unlike the days when Battle Compressor could just slip whatever you needed into the discard pile, milling through an attack like Eat Sloppily risks you packing away Supporters, Items, Tools, and even other Pokemon in addition to the Energy you need. Keep in mind that he also HAS to attach any Energy cards to himself, even if that would give him more than 5 Energy total, meaning milling out something like DCE will force you to use it on Guzzlord-GX rather than another Pokemon of your choosing – and keep in mind that none of that DCE goes towards Glutton GX since it specifically requires 5 Dark Energy.
Guzzlord-GX probably won’t be a total dominator in the Standard format due to some of the struggles towards building a deck around him right now – not to mention the presence of Gardevoir-GX will likely keep him in check – but there’s some hope in Expanded. Battle Compressor, Darkrai-EX, Yveltal, and Dark Patch are all legal there, meaning there’s potential to grab an easier means of boosting up Guzzlord-GX without relying on Eat Sloppily, not to mention you’ll have access to some of the most dominant attackers in the Expanded format. Guzzlord-GX could easily come out and suddenly wipe the floor with opponents who just aren’t prepared for it, and with enough damage and the right amount of spread, a single Glutton GX could suddenly end games without much notice.
There’s no doubt about it – Guzzlord-GX will likely be the reason you’ve suddenly got 30 minutes to kill after he’s wiped you out faster than you could blink.
Standard: 3.5/5 (despite his slower pacing in Standard, though, don’t think that he’ll be pushing up daisies most of the time – 210 HP is still a lot to go through if you’re not hitting for weakness, and in a dedicated build, it’s likely he’ll start steamrolling you before you’re prepared to deal with him)
Expanded: 4/5 (granted, he’ll do much better with all the Dark support in Expanded than he can on his own in Standard, so don’t worry about him absolutely dominating the scene)
Limited: 5/5 (in a Limited game, though, Glutton GX could honestly end the game in a single move – having less Prizes overall means there’s less for Guzzlord-GX to eat)
Arora Notealus: Guzzlord-GX is a lot like M Tyranitar-EX from the Ancient Origins expansion. He’s got powerful moves that can easily swamp an unprepared opponent, but the set-up and preparation towards those moves is slow enough that he may not completely dominate the scene. Glutton GX is a dangerous move if you’re not careful, and Tyrannical Hole has the absolute highest base damage of any card in the game, hands down. Yes, there are attacks that can hit higher numbers, but most of those come with a stipulation towards reaching those numbers, such as M Rayquaza-EX’s Emerald Break or like Keldeo-EX’s Hydro Pump, or a cost of some sort, like the G Booster for Genesect-EX or M Charizard-EX’s moves either requiring a discard or taking recoil damage. Tyrannical Hole as a base starts at 180, and there’s nothing required to hit that number – it’ll always deal 180, unless something Resists it. In the right hands, Guzzlord-GX can be tremendously powerful, but his gluttony for Energy and investment will likely be his downfall as much as it can be his biggest strength.
Next Time: His hand burns with a…something? Why does he hold his hand all the time?
Guzzlord GX (Crimson Invasion, 63/111) completely freaked me out the first time I came across it on PTCGO last week. I was playing a Cinccino (Crimson Invasion, 86/111) Garbodor (Guardians Rising, 51/145) deck that MarquisEXB gave me the idea for (it’s actually not bad, I’m 10 W 6 L with a couple of different versions of it). My opponent used Eat Sloppily on turn one, and I quickly realized that this was a Quad Guzzlord build with 56 Energy cards (although I only got two mulligans). He then promptly took three prize cards on his next turn with Glutton GX, and would have easily taken a prize card in each of the next three turns with Tyrannical Hole. I proceeded to go on a tirade, proclaiming how this was the worst card ever made and declaring that it should be banned immediately.
Fortunately, the wise Otaku talked me off the bridge when he told me he went 1 W 9 L in his testing of the Quad Guzzlord build. I had thought in my initial evaluation of this card that a Quad Guzzlord build wouldn’t be consistently effective – I had in my notes that I thought it would be very similar to Typhlosion (Breakthrough, 20/162). But after that match where I had lost three prize cards after two turns and was going to have a Pokemon KO’d after each of the next three turns, I was really afraid that this thing was going to blow up the meta. Fortunately, I now realize that I was running about the worst deck possible against Guzzlord, and that framed my negative experience with it.
Standard: 2.5 out of 5
Guzzlord’s ability to take two extra prizes is absolutely amazing, and with Max Elixirs (Breakpoint, 102/122) and Wishful Baton (Burning Shadows, 128/147), getting five Dark energy cards on it is not as unrealistic as you might think. I have faced Guzzlord GX only one other time besides that awful Quad Guzzlord matchup, and it was in a Dark toolbox deck. I was trying the Shaymin (Shining Legends, 7/73) Venusaur (Shining Legends, 3/73) deck I wrote about last week, and I almost beat this Dark toolbox deck. Guzzlord’s Glutton GX was the only reason he won. And, in case you’re wondering, I went 1 W 5 L with that Shaymin Venusaur deck, so I don’t think Guzzlord’s going to set the meta on fire.
Today, we’re looking at an Ultra Beast, Guzzlord-GX, which happens to be the 9th best card of Crimson Invasion. It probably has some interesting features that we can try to use. 210 HP of a basic is the highest in Standard and second highest in Expanded (Wailord-EX tops it at 250). Being weak to Fighting and resisting Psychic is typical for a Dark type. A retreat of four is ridiculous: try to find a switch or ability based Switch or free retreat.
Eat Sloppily costs D and mills the top 5 cards of your deck. Of any of these cards are energy cards, attach them to this Pokémon. This wording covers both basic and special energy cards, but as we shall see, special energies won’t help as much for this Pokémon other two attacks. Tyrannical Hole does 180 for DDDCC (good damage to handle some Basic EX/GXs), so finding a DCE might be reasonable, but Glutton GX costs DDDDD! It does 100 damage, but if you knock out the Defending Pokemon with this attack, you get to take two more prize cards. This is Umbreon-EX’s Endgame on steroids!!!
Unfortunately, that’s where the fun ends. Guzzlord demands heavy energy requirements, which is easy prey for Gardevoir-GX, which only needs a minimum of one fairy energy and a choice Band to OHKO a five energy Guzzlord. With so much resource gone, it’ll be very hard for the Guzzlord player to keep up. This is true even if Guzzlord is on the bench just for fueling Darkrai EX’s Dark Pulse; it’ll be brought up in front and get OHKOed. Also, Eat Sloppily is a risky attack to use because you could throw away important cards from your deck that could’ve been used if needed.
Overall, this is a fun Pokemon to try playing with, but I can’t see this Ultra Beast on a serious tournament. In Limited, this is also a very nice pull. It’s even better in a +39 deck. With that, Eat Sloppily will guarantee five energies for this GX, ready to wreak havoc with Tyrannical Hole or Glutton. However, if the other player has Buzzwole GX, the matchup will be an autoloss, regardless if you went first or second.
Number nine in our countdown is the ‘mon, the myth, the meme: Guzzlord-GX (SM: Crimson Invasion 63/111, 105/111, 116/111). It is a Basic, [D] Type, Ultra Beast Pokémon-GX with 210 HP, Fighting Weakness, Psychic Resistance, Retreat Cost [CCCC], and three attacks. The first is “Eat Sloppily” for [D], which has a two-part effect; first, you discard the top five cards from your deck, then you attach any Energy among them and attach them to Guzzlord-GX itself. [DDDCC] pays for “Tyrannical Hole”, which does 180 damage. The GX-attack is “Glutton-GX”; it costs [DDDDD] and does 100 damage; should the damage from this attack score a KO, it’s effect states you take two additional Prize Cards. I will warn you now, I think I already have a soft spot for this card; it’s big, it’s fat, and it eats a lot, just like yours truly.
Basic Pokémon still lay claim to being the best Stage of Evolution; minimal deck space, effort to hit the field, time to hit the field, a natural synergy with various card effects, the artificial synergy of specific pieces of Basic Stage support, and it can even function as your opening Active. The only real downside lay in certain specific card effects meant to punish Basic Pokémon usage. Being a [D] Type provides a decent amount of support in the Standard Format, but mostly through other useful [D] Type Pokémon and their effects. In the Expanded Format, you have that and much more; some useful effects that only card about [D] Energy (and not Pokémon-Type), as well as some potent tricks specifically for [D] Type Pokémon (Dark Patch chief among those). Darkness Resistance can be a pain, as Fairy Pokémon are doing well right now. Darkness Weakness, isn’t too common in general, and among competitive decks, I think you mostly just see it on Trevenant BREAK and some (not all) Night March Pokémon. Anti-Darkness effects exist, but are obscure and ineffective.
Being a Pokémon-GX means giving up an additional Prize when KO’d, the inability to access certain beneficial card effects, and dealing with counters that explicitly target Pokémon-GX. Of course, it also means access to certain pieces of support specific to Pokémon-GX, better HP and (probably) better effects than on the non-Pokémon-GX version of the same Pokémon, including access to a GX-attack. Guzzlord-GX is also the first Ultra Beast card we have officially reviewed; there are no special rules pertaining to these cards, but it is likely we’ll see some card effects in the future reference this trait as “Ultra Beast” is printed on the actual card, in a small box under the HP and Pokémon Type. We’ll just have to wait and see, though I expect some will be support and some will be counters for Ultra Beasts; it is just the Pokémon TCG way.
210 HP is the most we’ve seen printed on recent Basic Pokémon, last scene on Wishiwashi-GX. Many Stage 1 Pokémon-GX, most Mega Evolutions, and all Stage 2 Pokémon-GX have more, but the only other Basic Pokémon this big is Wailord-EX, and I know of no single Prize Pokémon with this much HP printed on it. OHKOing Guzzlord-GX is not an easy feat; some decks will have to settle for a 2HKO, and a few (focused on attack effects and not damage) may take even longer. Even among those that can score the OHKO, only a few can score rapid, reliable, and repeated OHKO’s against this much HP, though many can manage it as a one time deal. At least, until you factor in Weakness; Fighting Weakness is a real Achilles’ Heel here, as even if folks weren’t buzzing about some new and recent [F] Type Pokémon, and even if those Pokémon couldn’t take Advantage of Strong Energy, there’s always Marshadow-GX. You cannot recklessly slap Marshadow-GX in any deck, but only a few decks will have a hard time adding it. Resistance doesn’t mean much, but with 210 HP it should matter more often than usual. The Retreat Cost of [CCCC] may matter more often as well, but not in a good way; while it allows Heavy Ball to fetch Guzzlord-GX from your deck, it also makes this Pokémon very easy to strand in the Active position. Build your deck accordingly.
At last, we get to the attacks. Eat Sloppily is much more expensive than it looks; either you must build your deck so that it is mostly compatible Energy, or you must risk discarding vital Pokémon, Trainers, and the odd incompatible Energy. Any Energy cards will be attached, so you can easily waste a Warp Energy by attaching it from your deck (the effect won’t trigger); only those that have effects that prevent them from being or remaining attached to Guzzlord-GX will actually hit the discard pile. It is possible to structure your deck in a manner to minimize these drawbacks, and for just a single Energy, it’s actually a solid attack; just not one on which I would rely, even in light of the five Energy cost of the next two attacks. Other than that burdensome cost, Tyrannical Hole is a good attack; not great, as even with Choice Band and Professor Kukui (the most likely damage buffs), it will fall short of OHKOing the biggest Pokémon in the game (and of course, those with protective effects). Many, many targets will fall with just a single attack, though. Due to the two [C] Energy requirements, you can make use of cards like Double Colorless Energy for a small speed boost, but I suspect this is one of those odd times when I would have preferred something like [DDDDD] while doing another 20 to 40 points of damage, and you’ll need that much attached anyway if you’re trying to use Glutton-GX.
Were Glutton-GX less expensive or harder hitting, it could easily be the best GX-attack in the game. The Energy cost is pretty painful, the damage underwhelming (at least given the former), but the effect is crazy good even when you consider its a one-time deal. Such is taking two extra Prizes for a KO. In the Expanded Format, remember that something like Life Dew will still reduce the total amount of Prizes taken (you’ll still net one more Prize than normal), while something like Robo Substitute still gives up no Prizes when KO’d. Also, remember that the KO in question must come from the damage done by this attack. Glutton-GX doesn’t have to score a OHKO, but you only can attack with it once, so make sure its the final attack and not the first. You can take advantage of things like Abilities or Special Conditions that place damage counters, but you want them doing their thing before attacking with Glutton-GX, not after. Effects that increase the damage done by Glutton-GX work perfectly fine, as that still counts as the attack’s own damage.
With all this said, I believe Guzzlord-GX will definitely have a place in the Expanded Format, and probably in the Standard Format as well. Unlike usual, though, I’ll begin with the Limited Format, where this is the best pull from SM: Crimson Invasion. Most of these reviews, I mention the +39 deck. The most common Limited Format event is the Pre-Release; you build a 40 card deck from the contents of the boosters provided to you, plus up to 39 basic Energy cards of whatever Type you wish. If you get Guzzlord-GX in one of your packs, you play it alongside 39 Darkness Energy cards. This ensures you open with Guzzlord-GX (even if it takes many mulligans) and that Eat Sloppily attaches enough Energy after just one attack to use either Tyrannical Hole or Glutton-GX. You don’t want to run any other Pokémon, but you might be able to risk a few Trainer cards; even if they get discarded by Eat Sloppily, you can manually attach an Energy from hand to finish fueling your other attacks. Much like the smaller decks, you also set aside fewer Prizes in Limited; four rather than six, which means Glutton-GX can take 75% or 100% of them! Your opponent will have little hope of KOing Guzzlord-GX before it takes four Prizes, though it isn’t entirely hopeless. Against set-mate Buzzwole-GX – who should also be run in a +39 build – Guzzlord-GX loses. A few other cards (mostly Fighting-Types) can be difficult for Guzzlord-GX to deal with, and remember anything with 110 to 180 HP is safe from Glutton-GX; you can OHKO them with Tyrannical Hole, but have no means of setting up the 2HKO.
Some folks believe this is a great tactic for the Constructed Formats, like Standard and Expanded. Obviously, you have to run a 60 card deck; some say to run four Guzzlord-GX with 56 Darkness Energy, others say stick to just one Guzzlord-GX and run 59 Darkness Energy. I tried the four Guzzlord-GX version, mostly because someone I knew had a bad experience with the deck and was convinced it broke Guzzlord-GX; I insisted my friend just had bad luck and/or may have made bad plays. I only had time to play 10 matches on the PTCGO, but my only win came from an opponent who playing an unusual deck I didn’t think looked competitive, having a bad start with that deck, and then proceeding to make questionable plays. A few games, I got down to my last Prize, and a few games I even got multiple Guzzlord-GX up and running, but it was quite clear I wasn’t going to win. Unlike in the Limited Format, your opponent shouldn’t have too much trouble building something that can not only score a 2HKO against Guzzlord-GX but will take Guzzlord-GX two turns to KO it. Unlike you, your opponent can make use of healing, disruption, etc. to help him- or herself out. The main thing is to not panic; that same issue with 110 to 180 HP Pokémon still applies here! Where I won (or came close to winning), my opponent sent up something small to stall or set up, and I was able to OHKO it with Glutton-GX.
With the dead end out of the way, we, at last, get to how this card can really be used. You can still follow a similar strategy to the troll deck, but you cannot run just Guzzlord-GX and Energy. Find some decent supporting Pokémon, so that Eat Sloppily isn’t your only (hopefully not even your primary) means of powering up. Throw in some of the usual Trainer support, though probably a lot less than is typical. The lists I saw like this might still run 15, 20, even upwards of 40 Darkness Energy cards, and I, unfortunately, have no experience either running them or facing them. I can only say that, at least at a glance, some look like they might work. The next use is… simply using Guzzlord-GX as a meatshield. Not too thrilled with that due to the Fighting Weakness, but a 210 HP Basic can sometimes be handy even if you just throw it up front to take an attack or two before being KO’d.
The final usage is the one I think is the most promising; find an existing [D] Type deck, one that runs a decent amount of Energy and acceleration, and squeeze in a Guzzlord-GX. When you need a high HP beatstick or have a chance to make use of Glutton-GX, you take it. If not, it’s discard-fodder. Some tricks to make this easier are Regirock (XY: Black Star Promos XY49), Exp. Share, and Ninja Boy. Regirock isn’t totally safe on the Bench, but it can’t be targeted by any of your opponent’s Trainers that aren’t Stadiums or Tools due to its “Ω Barrier” Ancient Trait. Cards attached to it are protected as well, so your opponent cannot easily discard Exp. Share. You’ll still need to use manual Energy attachments and/or other Energy acceleration, but I suggested this tactic for decks that are inclined to run Dark Patch and/or Max Elixir. Once you have enough Energy on Regirock, use Ninja Boy to swap it with Guzzlord-GX. Ideally, the rest of your deck will have taken a two or three Prizes while leaving your opponent’s Active in range of a Glutton-GX KO. Not all of this is available in Standard, but you’ve still got Exp. Share, Max Elixir, and Ninja Boy. Crazy as it sounds, Wishful Baton is looking like a potential combo piece.
For as big and hard-hitting as Guzzlord-GX can be, it’s not the biggest or the hardest hitting Pokémon. Decks that open with small Basics, either as Evolving or support Pokémon, will usually give way to such behemoths. Counter Catcher and/or Counter Energy can make an early lead backfire. So can having so much Energy attached to your Active; quite a few attacks do damage based on the amount of Energy attached to both Active Pokémon or even just the Defending Pokémon, which is bad for Guzzlord-GX. Beware of attack copiers, who can use Tyrannical Hole and maybe even Glutton-GX against you. This doesn’t offset all the benefits; rather, these are potential stumbling blocks a Guzzlord-GX player needs to keep in mind while building and playing a deck.
Guzzlord-GX is least impressive in the Standard Format, I think; still a card I really would like to include in your typical [D] Type deck, and maybe even to be the focus of such a deck. Even as an occasional trick, Glutton-GX is just that potent. In the Expanded Format, it’s about finding the room in a deck like “Turbo Darkrai”, or maybe even building something around Guzzlord-GX itself; the added support and targets easily outweigh the added competition and counters. As explained above, this is the pull for Limited Format events using SM: Crimson Invasion.
Guzzlord-GX nailed down ninth place with 12 voting points and appearing on half the individual Top 10 lists. A lot of those voting points came form me, as this was my fourth place pick. It might still be my fourth place pick; this isn’t just me waffling. I mean, I am going back and forth, but it is due to more than the usual. This entire expansion has many cards that have at least some potential but may be mutually exclusive when it comes to success. In this case, Guzzlord-GX suffers the better Buzzwole-GX performs, let alone [F] decks in general.