Hey all—happy to be back with another installment in our mini-marathon. While my look at Gardevoir was perhaps a bit grandiose—and I certainly intended for it to be that way—today my discussion will be a bit more modest. I have only played two decks in the Standard format in tournaments this year (except my first League Cup of the season with Golisopod/Garbodor): Gardevoir and Zoroark. With my dissertation on Gardevoir out of the way, the other deck I would like to discuss today is Zoroark: specifically, Zoroark/Lycanroc.
During the third quarter of League Cups I played Zoroark/Golisopod to a second place and a top four performance, both large northeast events. These were my first times piloting Zoroark in a tournament and I immediately regretted not playing it earlier. Trade is truly incredible and the consistency of the deck was something to be admired. I preferred Golisopod to Lycanroc back then as I liked the idea of having all seven of my Energy cards being outs to a one-attachment attack. In my mind this makes the Golisopod variant a bit more consistent than other versions. Pablo gave us a great rundown of the current Zoroark/Golisopod he has been having success with recently on Saturday.
Fast forward to last month and the release of Forbidden Light: While Golisopod was still tempting, Lycanroc’s ability to carry the mirror match, push the Malamar matchup heavily in your favor, and provide a reliable way to run through Baby Buzzwoles all made Lycanroc appealing. I tested the deck online a bunch with Eric Gansman and we both took it to some cups—he won one and I made top four, scooping to a friend as I had gotten my invite with a top four. Eric also took the deck to Sheffield Regionals where he made a few misplays to miss out on day two, but our list did make day two via another friend. We saw a slightly different list win that same tournament.
Zoroark/Lycanroc (ZoroRoc) saw some play during League Cups in between EUIC and Memphis Regionals, but it had its breakout performance at the latter, where Michael Pramawat won his seventh Regional Championship. At that point, it was the only other Zoroark deck outside of Tord’s Zoroark/Golisopod (ZoroPod). Since then, it has been a mainstay in the format. With Buzzwole’s popularity also only increasing since that tournament, and ZoroRoc’s inherent weakness to it, ZoroRoc has not seen the success that such a powerful deck probably should have seen. In any case, it has seen some resurgence recently and is in at least a solid position moving into Columbus. Let’s take a look at our skeleton list:
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