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Counter Play: Magikarp & Wailord Tag-Team-GX

Welcome back trainers! Recently, IGN revealed the newest Tag Team GX, which broke the record for Pokemon with the highest HP and has really turned some heads. Let's take a quick look:

Magikarp & Wailord GX - Water - 300 HP

[W][W][W][W][W] - Super Splash - 180

[W] - Towering Splash GX - 10
If this pokemon has at least 7 extra [W] energy attached to it (in addition to this attack's cost), this attack does 100 damage to each of your opponent's benched pokemon. (Don't apply Weakness and Resistance for benched pokemon)

Weakness: Grass
Resistance: None
Retreat: 4

When your TAG TEAM is Knocked Out, your opponent takes 3 prizes.


While the attacks for this card are quite curious, the main concern most are having is at its monstrous HP. With control decks having so many Powerful cards like Crushing Hammer, Enhanced Hammer, Plumeria, and Faba, alongside cards that can help it heal and stall like Max Potion, Acerola, and Super Scoop Up this card could be a serious menace in the meta. It's technically a basic Pokemon so it can easily be searched out with Nest Ball or Brooklet Hill. Not to mention the recently revealed Muscle Pad which could raise its HP to a whopping 350. The only way to take out this Pokemon is to demolish it with one insanely powerful blow or to play a creative strategy. 

This had led some fans of the trading card game to be worried this card could break the game, or at a minimum create a hyper focus on it within the meta game when it releases in January. However we've found 10 potential ways to take down this card, and with more sets being released there's even more potential to be able to take this card down. Let's give them all a look!

Honorable Mentions:

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I found it pertinent to mention Turtinator from Dragon Magesty and Tangrowth from Burning Shadows. The former, with the use of cards like Kiawe, multiple of them, could get around the issues of having too much energies taken off your card, while being able to smash the opponent in one fell swoop. With Magikarp & Wailord Tag Team-GX's Grass weakness, Crosswise Whip could manage the one hit KO with very luck coin flips. The big thing here is it takes fully colorless energy so it could work with any energy acceleration. Obviously these would be very niche and difficult to manage however, so they didn't make the complete Top Ten. 


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Beware Bewear! This Pokemon would be easy to overlook, but a potential way to stop the opponent slowly milling your deck is to try and mill your opponent's deck even more quickly! This likely would also take Victini from Guardian's Rising to help with coin flips, but it could possibly work. There's also the potential to use the recently released Durant from Lost Thunder though it removes cards slower. This certainly isn't the best strategy, especially as it would almost need to have the entire deck focused on milling, but it's certainly a possibility to consider!


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Here's a card that has been incredibly overlooked previously as it never really was needed, but it could be a curious tech now. Several strong Grass Type Pokemon simply run a little short of being able to get enough damage for a one hit KO even with a Choice Band attached and weakness damage. Persian may be able to help them get that small edge they need. Screech has a low energy attack cost (good if your opponent is trying to play control) and an equally low retreat cost that could be augmented even better with Escape Board. If 60 more damage might be enough to push you over the edge, consider Persian! 


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In the same idea of powering up Grass Types to help hit for weakness, Lurantis could be a more stable pick. With 20 damage added per Lurantis on the bench, there could be enough damage to push your main attacker forward for a one hit KO! 


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Is their Oranguru using Resource Management to keep getting back all the cards that keep you down? Don't let them! Get Lost only takes a single energy and can take two cards out of the game entirely. This still could make things difficult, but you'd be able to have more way to recycle cards yourself and hold out for a stall victory. Certainly not impossible, but difficult and would take a lot of thought.


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Maybe the one hit KO isn't what you need to take the win. Ticking Knock Out only takes one energy (again good if they're trying to control it being used) and makes it so that ANY attack that does damage will kill the defending Pokemon next turn. Take Altar of Moone to give it easy retreat and throw out any other Pokemon that can put out damage to take those three prizes crazy fast! It's a Stage 2 so it can be annoying to get going, but Alolan Ninetales-GX is always around to help make it work. 


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Missing Clover? The idea isn't as crazy as you'd think! If you can't defeat the opponent's Pokemon, you just have to find another way to take prizes and this could do the trick. With Sylveon-GX stall decks already existing, you can exert your own control while getting them out of the deck. While folks have thought of using Oranguru and Looker in the past, with Lost Thunder came a much faster option: Lanturn! For a single energy, Salvage brings 4 item cards back into the deck that your [[Sylveon-GX] can then search them out again! It's a bit more unorthodox, but certainly not impossible to make happen.


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Woah Tangrowth again? I know it's a surprise but this Pokemon can potentially pack a punch. With a Choice Band attached and a fully powered Hefty Whip, Magikarp & Wailord Tag Team-GX goes down in one hit. There is however, one issue. Tangrowth needs to be healed that turn for the attack to work at full strength. With your opponent not attacking it may be difficult to get the damage on, but there are certainly ways. Potentially Pokemon that does damage to your own benched Pokemon, or Rainbow Energy for a bit more ease. Healing with Shaymin from Lost Thunder makes it even easier to take those damage counters off. Overall it's a possibility, it just takes a bit of setup. 


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Wobuffet can already smash for 200 damage against Magikarp & Wailord Tag Team-GX, but it's not difficult to make it much more. Playing a single Mount Lanakila will increase the damage to 250 while also removing a potential Muscle Belt from actually adding HP. Add in Alolan Dugtrio with its ability Tangling Hair, and you're swinging for 300 and the one hit KO! There is also an Absol coming that will increase the retreat cost for all Basic Pokemon, making this combo even easier to perform. With Malamar to accelerate energy, this could certainly be a viable attacker and moreso once Absol joins the fray as a side option.


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This is essentially the better version of the Tangrowth from number four. Add in a single Choice Band and the one hit KO is in your grasp. There's not much to say here, so let's move one to our number one, a hard counter for the entire card!


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Trapping Thread completely destroys the stalling strategy. It stops the opponent from using items to heal and using Supporters to move it out of harms way. Plus luckily enough it also hits for weakness, though it may take a while! It's low retreat cost is also a wonderful boon or the card. It only takes two colorless energies to attack, which can reasonably be accelerated with VikavoltMalamar, or any other options. It's a Stage 1 so it's easy to evolve into and can quickly be searched out for with Net Ball. Overall this card now has an incredible niche that could stop a potential meta juggernaut in its tracks.

Have all these potential counters changed your mind on how strong this new card may be? Did I miss some potential options to take it down? Drop a comment or come tell me over on Twitter @LiteralGrill because I want to hear your thoughts!

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