The Forest for the Trees

Isaiah’s Look at Building Decidueye/Zoroark for Memphis Standard

Hello everyone! I hope the new season is treating you all well as now we are back into the full swing of things. This is my first year being 100% involved in the game, and so far I have been having both an extremely challenging and extremely time testing and playing in tournaments each week. This meta has been one of the most enjoyable metas for me in a while. With the rise of the 1 prize attacker decks, games have become much longer. Now that we must take a full six knock outs per game in a lot of match ups, both players have a lot more time to establish board states and plan out their strategies. In my opinion, this really rewards players for planning out the game multiple turns ahead thus introducing a lot of skill into the format.

Today, I’ll be going over Decidueye-GX/Zoroark-GX. This deck is very under the radar in the current meta, but it actually provides a lot of outplay potential and has a solid game plan against every deck in the meta. Zoroark-GX’s Riotous Beating in combination with a few feather arrows 1HKOs almost every attacker in the game. Feather arrow also allows you to get past Prize card conditional effects such as Sledgehammer and Beast Ring. Alright, let’s get into the deck.

Pokémon – 18

4 Zorua SLG

4 Zoroark-GX

4 Rowlet SUM

4 Decidueye-GX

2 Tapu Lele-GX

Trainers – 35

4 Lillie

3 Guzma

1 Apricorn Maker

1 Cynthia

1 Mallow

1 Judge

 

4 Nest Ball

4 Rare Candy

4 Ultra Ball

3 Timer Ball

2 Max Potion

1 Pal Pad

1 Rescue Stretcher

3 Choice Band

 

2 Devoured Field

Energy – 7

4 Double Colorless

3 Grass

General Gameplay Advice

This deck plays a bit differently than most decks we have talked about before. Often in a game, you play to react. You analyze the board state and then consider the cards you have/ have access to that are able to counter said board state. Think Guzma-killing your opponent’s main attacker so that their board state is less threatening.

In niche scenarios where the advantage gained is great enough, we should still follow this strategy. But often times, with this deck specifically, the general strategy provides more value to your board state then attempting to counter your opponents would. This means that you should prioritize getting Decidueye-GX and Zoroark-GX established. Once you have the board state you need, then you just play the game from that point onward. So when you are deciding whether you should Guzma for the KO or Cynthia for the extra Zoroark-GX on your 2nd turn, the answer will almost always be Cynthia.

Counts

4-0-4 Decidueye-GX/4 Rare Candy/1 Mallow

corsolanite.tumblr.comThe 0 Dartrix might take you by surprise, but once you play a game with the deck, it will make much more sense. We can get away with lines like this because of the hand sizes we can create with multiple Zoroark-GX in play. Once we have hand sizes that are 10+, it is almost impossible to miss the rare candy you need to get the Decidueye-GX in play, especially considering the search potential that the 1 of Mallow gives you. This line prioritizes getting Decidueyes out extremely quickly and plays very well off of the insane card draw this deck provides.

2 Max Potion

This is honestly one of the most important cards in the deck, and proper use often can be the difference between winning and losing a game. One of the advantages this deck has over most others is that in the early game, a Decidueye-GX is practically unkillable. Using your Max Potions effectively in combination with Hollow Hunt GX, can buy you multiple turns of set up time. In many cases, a well time Max Potion literally allows you to make an extra turn of gameplay for yourself.

This is why the deck is capable of ignoring much of your opponent’s board state in favor of developing your own. Once you reach a certain point, you can just 1HKO your opponents biggest threat and then take 3 KOs with a single Zoroark-GX and both of your Max Potions. Once you learn how to use these effectively, you will be able to win games with almost any kind of opening hand/board state.

2 Tapu Lele-GX

This deck is very dependent on bench space. This is why we only play 2 Tapu Lele-GX in favor of a slightly heavier raw supporter line. 2 Tapu Lele-GX does the trick in being able to find the turn 1 Supporter when you need it followed by the situational mid-game supporter such as a Guzma.

Each Tapu Lele-GX played means one less Zoroark-GX or Decidueye-GX in play which can greatly affect your damage output and ability to establish a board state. In general, be very conservative in benching a Tapu Lele-GX. Instead of Ultra Balling away your Cynthia t1 to go for a Tapu Lele-GX into a Lillie for 8, just use that Ultra Ball for a Zorua/ Rowlet and play the Cynthia. This will give you an extra bench space throughout the whole game, guarantee an extra basic for your turn 1, and give you another Tapu Lele-GX that you can use later in the game.

4 Lillie/1 Cynthia/1 Judge

Lillie seems to be the best base for a draw engine in this meta. Playing 4 Lillie gives you the turn 1 explosive consistency that you need in a Rare Candy deck. In supplement to that, you will find that you often have a piece of the the Decidueye-GX evolution in your hand. A Cynthia would shuffle that card back in and give you some random card in its place that could or could not be the cards you need. With Lillie, however, you can hold onto the pieces that you know you’ll need such as a Rare Candy, and just Lillie into the other piece. This decreases your variance in setting up Decidueye-GX, allowing for more consistent set ups.

We still, however, do play the 1 of Cynthia. This is really just to be a useful Tapu Lele-GX target when your hand is too awkward to play out for an effective Lillie. It also adds as another consistency card.

The single Judge is very useful to disrupt your opponent’s hand when you know they have the cards they need. Examples of the scenarios would be when your opponent use’s - GX’s Tempest GX or uses a supporter like Steven’s Resolve. You can also use Judge to seriously cripple your opponents turn 2 set up by Judging away the large hand they are holding from the t1 Lillie. The Judge can be reused with Pal Pad for game winning hand disruptions.

2 Devoured Field/3 Choice Band

I feel as if this line provides the necessary additional damage output to easily 1HKO almost every Pokémon in the meta. In combination with feather arrows, we can easily eliminate any threat on our opponents side of the board. There are specific matchups where conserving these cards can be extremely important, and we will go over that in the Matchup section.

4 Nest Ball/4 Ultra Ball/3 Timer Ball

In testing and in tournament, this seems to be the most effective ball engine for consistently setting up Zoroark-GXs. You will find that its quite easy to have 3-4 basic pokemon down on the first turn followed by 2-3 evolutions on the 2nd turn. While personally, I am not a huge fan of coin flip cards like timer ball, it is often necessary to search out the Decidueye when you already have the rare candy.

I have been wanting to test Great Ball in the deck to see if it can increase its consistency, however, I fear that Great Ball will not be reliable enough to find the Decidueye-GX when you need them. I could definitely be wrong though so in testing this deck, be sure to try some combination of the other balls along with Great Ball.

3 Grass

I think that 3 grass energy is extremely necessary in this deck. We need 3 grass energy to be able to consistently get off early Hollow Hunt GX. This can be crucial in rapidly setting up multiple Decidueye-GX. This also plays very well into the strategy of using Decidueye-GX as an early tank with Max Potion. Since this deck does not have any way to get back Double Colorless Energy, you often need to use two grass energies on a Zoroark-GX for your final KO.

If you are really in need of an extra space for your own version of this DeciZoro deck, then going down to 2 grass energy would not be the detrimental to the deck concept, but I would highly recommend playing 3 Grass Energy for its consistency.

Matchups

/Shrine of Punishment 50/50

I personally find this matchup to be very challenging and fun to play. The largest advantage you have over Buzzwole is that you can pretty easily skip the Sledgehammer turn. This really sets BuzzShrine back on their overall damage output which can often be all you need to take the victory. The problem arises, however, when BuzzShrine has a strong opening and starts threatening 1HKOs on your Zoroark-GXs with Beast Energy, Diancie, Choice Band, etc. The natural counter to this for DeciZoro is to lead with Decidueye as an attacker. With the right hand, you can actually completely forego benching Zoruas/ Zoroark-GX and get to the Sledge turn with just Decidueye-GX and Rowlet in play. Hollow Hunt-GX gives you set up ability to pull off games like this.

Playing Conservatively with your Devoured Fields is highly important in this matchup. You need to consistently be able to play it as a counter stadium to Shrine of Punishment or else the 10 damage tick can get out of hand given the large number of GX pokemon that you rely on. If played correctly, you can always win the stadium war by Hollow Hunt GX’ing your Stadiums back into your hand.

Another advantage you have that most Zoroark-GX decks do not have is your ability to take 6 KOs with less than 6 turns of attacking. Try to take your KOs with a Devoured Field Riotous Beating while using your feather arrows to set up bench KOs on Slugmas, Trubbishes, and Sneasles. Evil Admonition Weavile is a huge threat to you given the large number of Ability-based Pokémon you play. Luckily you have a lot of mobility to kill benched Pokémon between multiple Feather Arrows and Guzma.

With a decent start that does not require you to play too many Items you can easily win this match up. If you can get past the Sledgehammer turn with less than 8 Items in the discard and not too many given-up Prize cards, you can easily run away with the game with you Max Potion heals and multi-KO turns.

Zoroark-GX/Lycanroc-GX 50/50

This is definitely my favorite matchup that exists in our current meta. It is extremely skill-based and either player’s games regardless of initial set up. One might initially assume that the play in this matchup is to power up a Decidueye-GX and 1HKO Lycanroc-GX because of the weakness. While this can sometimes be effective, this is not the strategy you should be depending on. Instead of going for the two energy 1HKO, you should just 1HKO Lycanroc-GX with a double Feather Arrow, Choice Band, Devoured Field, Riotous Beating. This is much easier to pull off consistently. Once this happens, you will run away with the game.

The issue arises when your opponent benches a Road Block Sudowoodo. Road Block is especially effective because it essentially removes 40 damage from your damage output each turn by creating one less bench spot for Decidueye-GX and one less Pokémon for Riotous Beating. Luckily, this can be outplayed by just taking an extra turn of walling with Decidueye-GX to make up for that missed 40 damage. With the right hand, you can just stop your opponent from being able to take any significant KO by just waiting a turn to evolve your Zoruas into Zoroark-GX and just Feather Arrowing.

The ideal board state in this matchup is one consisting of 3 Zoroark-GX and 3 Decidueye-GX. This way, with just a Choice Band, we can 1HKO any Pokémon our opponent promotes, including a Zoroark-GX.

Variants 65/35

One of the benefits of playing DeciZoro is the ease you have in combatting anti BuzzShrine decks, especially any Malamar Variant. No matter the variant, the strategy generally consists of the same thing. You should just Guzma kill the Malamars and Inkays along with Feather Arrows on Malamars and Inkays. Eventually you will reach a board state where you are able to kill every Malamar and Inkay they have in play, they will miss the KO on your Zoroark-GX, and then you can just sweep their board with your multiple Decidueye-GX and Max Potions. With a decent start, you should never really drop a game of this matchup.

Rayquaza-GX/Vikavolt 60/40

The raw power of DeciZoro really shines in this matchup. Given your consistency, you can easily keep up with the speed of VikaRay with consistent 1HKOs on their Rayquaza-GX. A single Feather Arrow in combination with Devoured Field and Choice Band allows Zoroark-GX to 1HKO Rayquaza-GX with Riotous Beating. Very frequently the opposing Ray player cannot take an 1HKO on a Zoroark-GX turn 2, and can almost never take an 1HKO on a Decidueye-GX, so use that limitation to your advantage. The only time you lose this matchup is really when your opponent is able to establish double Vikavolt on their 2nd turn, which normally only happens after a very good Tempest-GX. Luckily, we have Judge in our deck, so this will rarely happen. Take 3 KOs on Rayquaza-GX back to back to back, and take the easy win.


As I write this article, I am on my way back home from a League Cup where I played this exact 60 and ended up placing 2nd. Throughout the tournament I went 4-0-2 in Swiss starting off 4-0 and IDing into Top 8. In top 8, I beat a Malamar/Shrine variant convincingly, and then played an extremely close set against BuzzShrine to a victory in top 4.

In finals, I played against ZoroRoc with Sudowoodo. Our set ended up going to time in Game 3 where I whiffed a Double Colorless Energy off of a Judge and triple Trade that cost me the game. At the very least, this Cup proved to me the viability of this deck in our current meta which is now making me seriously consider playing this for Memphis Regionals.

DeciZoro seems to be a deck that is overlooked, but is actually in a very good position in the meta right now. It has a natural power that is truly unmatched in the meta and has the unique ability to win a game even with a very poor start given the comeback potential that Max Potion provides.

Thank you so much for reading through this article and I hope I have sparked your interest in giving this deck a try. Until next time, good luck at Memphis Regionals and good luck at any future tournament you attend!


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