Hello readers, I am back again with another Expanded article! If you aren’t ready for Dallas, look no further than this article and my last one. It will get you in the zone for Dallas, and they have a few decks I think are worth taking a look at when making that final call. Today I will provide short updates on the decks I discussed in my last article, and then take a look at the Golisopod-GX/Zoroark-GX list that I have been testing recently. I have been trying out all the decks that I consider to be super consistent, as that is always what I focus on when heading into a big tournament. Without further ado, let’s kick things off with an update on Zoroark-GX/Seismitoad-EX!
I am still a huge fan of this deck! I am still confident that it will be a strong pick for Dallas despite the increasing popularity of Pokémon Ranger. Obviously Pokémon Ranger is a very nice inclusion for opponents to have against this deck, but it is not the end of the world by any means. It is not the easiest card for an opponent to find while Item locked, and you can help to deny its value by using cards like Ghetsis and N.
I have seen people playing a lower Enhanced Hammer count in the deck, and I am definitely not a fan of it.
I firmly believe that four Enhanced Hammer is the way to go, and three is the absolute minimum.
Denying your opponent KOs and controlling the bored is how this deck wins, and Enhanced Hammer is a big part of that strategy in most cases. I am still using the list from my last article, and I think that there isn’t much to change with the deck.
While I do find this deck to be a strong one, I am leaning towards not playing this at Dallas for a couple reasons. First of all, Giratina XY184 has seemingly become more popular, which isn’t something this deck just can’t handle. In addition to this, the Zoroark-GX decks are still around 50-50 matchups, with Zoroark-GX/Golisopod-GX being a little harder to beat due to their extra Acerola. While I knew both of these were going to be potential problems when I started testing the deck, they just seem to be bigger issues than previous suspected.
That being said, I am a huge fan of the list I had in my last article still, and it is my favorite version of the deck I have played with.
I wasn’t really a fan of this deck when I first started testing expanded, but as time has passed, the meta seems to be favoring the deck heading into Dallas. Seismitoad-EX decks have been popping up, and the Zoroark-GX/Muk matchup is much better than I had previously thought. At my expanded League Cups, Jose Marrero did quite well both days with the deck, and it caused me to start playing some games with the deck. That being said, I have played quite a bit with this consistent beast, and this is the list I am using currently:
Pokémon – 20
Trainers – 33
4 Puzzle Of Time
Energy – 7
While this card has been making its way out of some lists heading into Dallas, I have found this card to be pretty useful in some matchups. It shines against Zoroark-GX/Lycanroc-GX, where it can wipe a Lycanroc-GX off the board by copying Dangerous Rogue-GX. It is also nice to have a good non-EX/GX attacker in the deck, which is something I didn’t really have before I made this inclusion. I am not a huge fan of Zoroark BKT in this slot, as I think it is only good against Zoroark-GX/Muk.
I honestly don’t even attack with this very much, but it can be nice to setup KOs occasionally. The free retreat cost is what I like so much about this card, as it makes Acerola and Guzma a lot easier to use, especially when trying to attack with Golisopod-GX repeatedly.
This tech is solely for the purpose of beating Night March. While the matchup isn’t a sure thing by any means, I would say that Oricorio brings it from an autoloss to 50-50ish. I chose to include this over the Seismitoad-EX and Karen because Oricorio does a better job of countering Night March, and it only takes up one spot in the list. The Karen strategy will just lead to the Night March player using Sky Return or Riotous Beating to deal with the Seismitoad-EX.
The reason that Seismitoad-EX works so well in Zoroark/Toad is because the deck has multiple Seismitoad-EX and energy removal for the opposing Zoroark-GX. Hypnotoxic Laser also allows it to do real damage and apply much more pressure than usual. Some people argue that Oricorio isn’t good because “good” Night March players will attempt to only have one Night Marcher on the field at a time, and while I agree that is a good strategy, I don’t think it stops Oricorio from being a good counter. The plan is to KO a Night Marcher and put all the extra damage on a Shaymin-EX. That way, over the course of two or three Oricorios, you can KO two-three Night Marchers and the Shaymin-EX.
I got the idea of Evosoda from my teammate Azul and I am a huge fan of these after trying them out. The make the deck run a lot smoother as it is super easy to get multiple Zoroark-GX out on turn two. I really like the consistency that these bring to the table, and they help make up for the current lack of Exeggcute in the deck.
I have been a fan of this tech too, as it is pretty easy to get value out of. It is pretty nice to find early on against Zoroark-GX decks because it makes their Acerola hard to use immediately. This can lead to you having a pretty big advantage if you get to take those two easy prices. Even in cases where the Enhanced Hammer isn’t usable, you can simply discard it with Trade and move on.
I have seen most lists playing two of these, but some players have been playing zero recently. After trying both of those counts, I have decided that one is the way to go. Two is just a lot, because some games you don’t even need the one copy. Sure, it can just get traded away, but I would rather have the Enhanced Hammer I put in the deck instead. Zero felt okay at first, but I had the occasional turn where a Float Stone would have been incredibly strong which made me make the inclusion of a single copy.
I haven’t been a huge fan of Exeggcute in most decks honestly, but I can see how it can make your early game smoother. However, it seems very difficult to find without Batttle Compressor, which is what has been holding me back.
I originally thought this tech was the key to beating Zoroark-GX/Muk, but after testing the matchup, I have found that you don’t even really need it. Sudowoodo does a great job of swinging the matchup in your favor, and all you need to do is KO the Muk to be at an advantage.
I saw this in Azul’s most recent list and while it is has potential in the mirror match because of it being an Acerola war, I am not sure that you need access to that many Acerola. I chose to remove it for a Float Stone, and I have been more satisfied with the Float Stone than I was with the high Acerola count. If Dallas is looking like a mirror match fest, I would probably make this inclusion though.
This is a super frustrating mirror match to play, as it is just an Acerola war that takes forever. Both players have access to 10+ Acerola, which means that up to ten attacks of each player can be negated. Guzma is another valuable card in the matchup because it can be used to target down basics like Zorua, which makes the opponent’s Acerola harder to use. It does leave a damaged GX on your bench for your opponent to KO, but that can be worth it in some situations.
The early game goal is to just Brigette and then start taking KOs on the opponent’s important basics, ideally Zoruas because it will hurt their draw power. A good strategy in the early game is to attack into their Zoroark-GX with your Tapu Lele-GX because they are unable to OHKO it unless they already have an energy on a Golisopod-GX. This allows you to Acerola the Tapu Lele-GX and leave your opponent with no good Crossing Cut-GX target.
This is a matchup I used to think was pretty favorable for Zoroark-GX/Muk, but I have recently tested the matchup extensively and I have come to the conclusion that I was wrong.
Sudowoodo is obviously a great tool in the matchup because it prevents them from ever OHKOing your GX Pokémon, which you can then just Acerola. Sure, the opponent might get out Alolan Muk if you are unable to KO Alolan Grimer, which will shut off Sudowoodo. Even if they immediately take two prizes, you can then just KO the Muk and prevent that from happening again. They can use Hex Maniac as a way of playing around the Sudowoodo, but it requires them to then bench a bunch of Pokémon that will get discarded once the Hex wears off. It isn’t very easy for them to keep Sudowoodo off the board, as sure they can KO it, but it is very easy to get back using Rescue Stretcher or Puzzle of Time.
Crossing Cut-GX can be used as a way of finishing the game, since you can take an OHKO on a Tapu Lele-GX. Speaking of GX attacks, assuming the opponent has a big bench, a cute play in this matchup is to use Zoroark BW to copy Trickster-GX which lets you use Zoroark BKT’s Mind Jack to take a KO on their active.
This matchup is honestly one of the worst on the list because of how strong Gallade is, but Golisopod-GX forces them to commit quite a bit of energy to a Gardevoir-GX in order to prevent repetitive Acerolas.
The plan is to target down Ralts and Remoraid in the early game, as Octillery is a nice chunk of their draw power and KOing Ralts can prevent them from setting up multiple attackers. This aggressive start is definitely the way to go, and I prefer attacking with Golisopod-GX as soon as possible. The pressure makes it hard for the opponent to get enough energy on a Gardevoir, as they can’t just attack with Gallade. In addition to this, having energy on a Golisopod-GX is important because Crossing Cut-GX is the only way to OHKO a Gallade with my current list. Using Hex Maniac as a way of limiting the opponent’s damage output is generally something I do whenever Acerola or Guzma aren’t strong plays for the turns.
This is also a matchup that seemed sketchy at first, I would now say the matchup is about 50/50. Despite some players’ beliefs, Oricorio is very strong in the matchup, and can easily swing the prize trade in your favor. While you will likely never be able to use Supernatural Dance on two Night Marchers, you will be able to KO one and put all the extra damage counters on a Shaymin-EX. This makes it so that you will eventually be able to KO the Shaymin-EX and a Night Marcher with a future Supernatural Dance.
In order to force your opponent to dump Night March Pokémon, attacking with a Golisopod-GX is the best option in the early game. Both players will just be attempting to take six prizes as fast as possible, with minimal counter-play being involved. This means using multiple Oricorios to take a couple prizes, and targeting down their EX/GX Pokémon is the way to go.
This is a matchup that I consider to be pretty favored. While the Zoroark/Muk deck has a close matchup with Trevenant, I consider this matchup to be a bit easier because it is less reliant on Items. Instead of the Items, like Battle Compressor, that the Zoroark/Muk deck plays, this list has extra copies of useful supporters such as Guzma and Acerola.
Similarly to how Zoroark/Muk plays against Trevenant, the plan in this matchup is to not play all of your vulnerable basics at once because it helps to play around Espeon-EX. Playing down even just one Zorua the turn after you played the previous one forces the opponent to use an additional Silent Fear, which means setting up an additional Trevenant. Using Acerolas in this matchup is also very important for the same goal of playing around Espeon-EX. Hex Maniac is a nice card in this matchup because it allows you to use crucial resources such as Puzzle of Time and VS Seeker. Field Blower is actually a useful card in the matchup too, and is something I try to do whenever I am able to play trainers. Being able to remove Dimension Valley and a Rescue Scarf makes a huge difference because it forces the opponent to have more resources in order to keep attacking.
This matchup is quite an easy one based on my testing. You just need to be careful with resource management, watch the size of your hand/deck, and only play down one energy at a time. Wailord just gets OHKOed by Golisopod-GX, which forces them to use some of their other walls. Hoopa is not a great option for them because Hex Maniac allows it to be easily KOed for just one energy. Wishiwashi-GX is the Pokémon they will choose to have sit active, and despite not being able to one shot it, Wishiwashi-GX is not a good answer for them at all. The plan when dealing with a Wishiwashi-GX is to Ghetsis the opponent and then attack into the Wishiwashi-GX. That way, the opponent probably won’t be able to heal the Wishiwashi using Max Potion, and still discard the energy from your field with Flare Grunt or a Hammer. If they AZ or Acerola, they won’t be able to get the Wishiwashi-GX active on the same turn, which usually leads to them giving up one or two prizes.
This is a good matchup, but not an autowin like you might think. While Golisopod-GX is obviously a great attacker when dealing with Seismitoad-EXs, it isn’t the easiest thing in the world to find one of your three Grass Energy and bring Golisopod-GX active in order to use First Impression. Acerola is a great card in the matchup, especially if the opponent was unable to remove your Grass Energy on the previous turn using Team Flare Grunt. If the opponent ever attacks with something that isn’t Seismitoad-EX, the game is usually just over because you can use VS Seekers and Puzzle of Time. Zoroark BLW is also not a bad tool in the matchup because it can copy Quaking Punch which can catch them off guard if they didn’t plan accordingly. Pokémon Ranger would be a great tool in the matchup, but I consider it to be fine without it.
I hope that y’all enjoyed this expanded article! I have been putting a lot of time into preparing for the tournament, as it will be a big deciding factor for my position in the rankings headed into the Brazil cutoff. I haven’t been performing too hot at tournaments recently, and I want to finally get back on my horse and make it to day two again. I hope that all of you reach your goals for Dallas, and any other upcoming tournaments you may be at! As always, feel free to come up and say hi in Dallas! If you won’t be there, you can find me back here on SixPrizes next month.
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