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Prenesh Naidoo

Zoroark-GX in Expanded

Hello, readers! Today I have decided to talk about Zoroark-GX moving into the expanded format.

01/29/2018 by Prenesh Naidoo

Hello, readers! Today I have decided to talk about Zoroark-GX moving into the expanded format.

1. Introduction

Zoroark-GX has made a big impact on the game since its release in Shining Legends. As the Standard format has progressed, Zoroark-GX has been able to bring some consistency back into the format since the rotation of VS Seeker. Zoroark has been paired with Lycanroc-GX, Decidueye-GX, and basically anything that runs Double Colorless Energy and Brigette.

In Expanded, with the help of Sky Field, Zoroark-GX is good enough on its own. In standard, Zoroark-GX is basically capped to 150 damage with a Choice Band, 170 if you're playing Professor Kukui. In Expanded, Zoroark-GX hits a comfortable 210 with ease and has type advantage against a pretty powerful Trevenant BREAK. 

2. My Deck List

I have done a lot of play testing online and with my friends in Expanded. This is what I think is the best build of Zoroark-GX, to deal with the current Expanded meta. My deck was designed to perform well against the mirror match, Night March, and control decks.

3. Card Choices

Foul Play Zoroark

This Zoroark can copy one of the defending Pokémon’s attacks for just a DCE; it’s a good one-prize attacker. It can copy a GX attack as well, since we don’t really have a way to use our own GX attack. This card is good in the mirror as well.

Sudowoodo

This card stops your opponent from taking advantage of your Sky Field as well as reducing the damage output of an opposing Zoroark-GX in the mirror. Turn one, this card is highly disruptive against decks that usually have an explosive start.

Alolan Muk

Muk is just here for its ability: it allows you to play through an opponent’s Sudowoodo. It’s a very important card, because this deck will struggle just dealing 100 damage per turn. This card also allows you to still keep your Trades going.

Seismitoad-EX and Karen

These cards are both pretty much here for the same reason. They both stop Night March! After Night March has had a crazy turn, you can just shuffle all the Pokémon back in and then item lock them. The Night Marchers don’t have a lot of HP, so you’re able to pick up prizes easy with Quaking Punch. You constantly just reuse your Acerola and Karen to keep you Toad alive and taking as little damage as possible. Eventually they will be out of the four energy that they play, if you haven’t already taken all your prize cards by then. Karen also puts in a lot of work against Vespiquen.

Mallow

Mallow is just a great card in Zoroark decks, you just search whatever you need and draw them with Shaymin-EX or Zoroark’s Trade ability. This card combos well with Puzzle of Time.

Xerosic

Xerosic is played as an out to Giratina-EX, because that card's attack can completely shut us down. This card is also good for removing special energy under item lock or when you can’t take a knock out yourself. 

4. Possible Tech Cards

Mr. Mime

This card will be useful against Buzzwole-GX and Landorus-EX. These decks are now making use of Wide Lens, which will allow them to knock out two Zorua at once, before they are able to evolve. Mr. Mime minimizes this, so you’re able to get a Zoroark-GX in play. You should be able to return knockouts with ease on these Pokémon.

Oricorio

Oricorio is a great tech card for decks that discard a lot of Pokémon with low HP, most notably Night March and Vespiquen variants.

Enhanced Hammer

This card is searchable off Mallow, but I have opted for Xerosic instead, because it can be used under item lock, and it is more reusable than Enhanced Hammer.

5. Match Ups

Seismitoad-EX variants

Seismitoad cannot deal with the speed of Zoroark nor deal enough damage fast enough. This match up should be pretty simple, because the deck is able to perform well under item lock due to the trade ability as well as one-shot a Seismitoad-EX. You do have to manage your energy carefully in this match. 70/30 in favour of Zoroark-GX.

Night March

I have two counters for Night March, but if Karen is prized, you will be in a bit of trouble. Without Karen the matchup is 50/50, you just have to trade evenly on prizes, targeting Shaymin-EX and Tapu Lele-GX, hopefully drawing into the Karen. With Karen, the matchup is about 70/30 in favour of Zoroark-GX. Night March just won’t be able to hit the numbers or set up again in time.

Trevenant BREAK

This match can be a bit tricky. Trevenant BREAK makes use of Espeon-EX, so you have to make sure you don’t lose all of your Zoroark to one Miraculous Shine. It will be pretty hard to recover. Turn one item lock is also really hard to play through depending on your hand. Your best win condition in this match is to get two Zoroark-GX and prevent two Silent Fear attacks from Trevenant BREAK. After two attacks, the Espeon-EX play is on. The match is 60/40 in favor of Zoroark-GX due to the Trevenant's Darkness type weakness.

Greninja BREAK

This is a straightforward matchup. Zoroark-GX out speeds Greninja. It is able to go a few prizes ahead and can stream Hex Maniac, if you are ever staring down multiple Greninja BREAK. 80/20 in favour of Zoroark-GX.

Volcanion variants

This is a deck that really doesn’t require much to be aggressive, it’s able to one-shot your Zoroark-GX. With the help of Fighting Fury Belt, it can make it hard to return the one-shot without a Field Blower; this is where Xerosic shines. The matchup is 50/50.

Buzzwole-GX/Landorus-EX/Bats

This is by far the decks worst matchup. It struggles to get multiple Zoroark in play through Wide Lens. Your best bet is to try get six Pokémon down and a Choice Band, but don’t bench Exeggcute unless absolutely necessary. This matchup is 70/30 in favor of the Buzzwole/Landorus/Bats.

6. Conclusion

In conclusion, I think this deck potentially can be the best, but you have to navigate through your matches smartly, as well as manage your resources. I hope this article was helpful. May Brigette be with you in your opening hand!

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