The Triumvirate Returns

A Shock Lock Disclaimer, ZoroGarb (Sky Field & Parallel City), ZoroToad, ToadGarb, and Misc. Other Expanded Thoughts on/for Richmond Regionals

Hello everybody and welcome to my Expanded article! It’s been a long few months since we’ve been able to take a serious look at this format, and two and a half sets have been released in the meantime, bringing powerhouse cards like Mewtwo & Mew-GX, Lt. Surge’s Strategy, and Reset Stamp. (The latter two cards will be banned, but not before Richmond and Portland Regionals.) Today I’d like to show you some decks built around what I consider to be the most powerful Pokémon in the game.

A Shock Lock Disclaimer

Most people first associate my name with my beloved Stoutland deck, so I wanted to include a bit for the people who may have clicked just for that. is a very poor play in current Expanded.

Part of what made the deck so consistent and powerful is that it could play no Pokémon Tool removal and simply concede to decks. Now, any deck that plays Stealthy Hood makes themselves immune to Evoshock.

Previously, Shock Lock took an auto-loss to Trevenant PHF (sans clunky Lysandre techs) because your only means of using Evoshock infinitely is with Lillipup BLW’s Pickup, which does little good while you are under Forest’s Curse. Now, we may be able to assume Trevenant decks will fall off with the resurgence of decks, but its place will be taken by MewPlume, which aims to get cheat out Vileplume AOR with Rowlet & Alolan Exeggutor-GX’s Super Growth. This matchup is even worse for you; since Irritating Pollen works wherever the Vileplume is, you cannot even tech against MewPlume if you wanted to. Additionally, MewPlume has a much stronger gameplan than Trevenant’s Item lock + hand disrupt + pray strategy, so I predict it will be more popular and have more success than Trevenant did.

Another new threat Shock Lock has to deal with is that of Archie’s/ decks now being able to get an early Cross Division-GX. Previously, Archie’s was your “closest auto-win matchup,” because while they played at most one way to escape Paralysis after you set up the lock (with 2 Stoutlands or 1 and Alolan Muk SUM to neutralize Volcanion p), a quick Towering Splash-GX for 3–4 Prizes spells certain doom for the Shock Lock player. Now, Archie’s has access to Cross Division-GX, which is easier to get off and doesn’t leave them vulnerable to Counter Catcher + Sentinel. Add in the 1–2 Stealthy Hood that Archie’s will likely play to protect from Garbotoxin and Bide Barricade, and you are facing a very unfavorable matchup.

(Heaven forbid your opponent uses Alolan Marowak-GX’s Lost Boomerang-GX on your poor Lillipups.)

The future is not particularly bright for the dog either, since Great Catcher on Tapu Lele-GX is another way for decks to break the Sentinel lock without making their deck weaker. It is important to note that you should not be worried about random Escape Rope techs when you are choosing a deck like this, but rather the natural counters that you are collateralized by. Shock Lock will likely retreat into the shadows until the meta shifts in its favor again. At this point, someone would have to get unreasonably lucky to go deep with Shock Lock.

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