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Daniel Altavilla

The Zebstrika Bible, Pt. 1

Danny goes over everything you need to know about the differing applications of Zebstrika in the Standard Format.

11/06/2018 by Daniel Altavilla

Hey there 60 Cards readers! We just wtinessed my fellow Dead Draw Gaming teammate Jimmy Pendarvis completely obliterate the Portland Regional Championship with our broken Seismitoad EX (FRF; 106) / Zoroark GX (SLG; 53) / Tirtouga (PLB; 27) deck that showcased how powerful a good meta call can be, and even further showed that any format can be pushed to its limits. The list played no cards out of Forbidden Light or Celestial Storm, which means that this could’ve been a concept last Season and would’ve still been extremely good because Ghetsis (PF; 101) , Hex Maniac (ANO; 75) ,  and Puzzle of Time (BKP; 109) don’t affect this deck too heavily. If you have a Seismitoad-EX with a Fighting Fury Belt on it, your opponent is still incapable of getting an OHKO with Zoroark-GX, so there aren’t many opportunities to lose this matchup, barring them killing your hand turn one with a strong Hex or Ghetsis. My point here is that it is always possible to delve deeper, because even if a format seems “solved”, the existence and power of the top decks in said format could make a new deck rise to relevance, which is a perpetual cycle.

Portland wasn’t it for the fun, though, as during the weekend of Portland there were also some Lost Thunder prereleases going down! Lost Thunder is an extremely large set with a whopping 200+ cards, making it one of the biggest sets of all time. There are plenty of decks to come out of the set, and I have been extremely excited to be able to test them. The format went from pretty boring to being busted wide open by this expansive set, and for good reason — there are a ton of new and interesting cards that Pokémon went pretty crazy on with their card design! This is going to open up a plethora of new and interesting strategies some of which have never been seen before. Personally, I’ve been really enjoying messing around with the new things first, like Granbull (SM8) (JP; null) ’s minigame attack, the  Giratina (LT; 97) combo with Cofagrigus (LT; 100)Shuckle GX (LT; 215) shenanigans…the list is way too long!
 

With Brazil Internats right around the corner, (I’m literally leaving in ten days), a lot of people might have the big issue of getting lost in all the new sauce and not having a real focus on any specific concept. Most people can agree that you are often lost on what to play for any given event up until some of the final moments, and obviously nobody can afford to be lost going into such a prestigious event with so much on the line. I’m going to forumlate here a couple series of articles I am dubbing the  Zebstrika (LT; 82) Bible so that instead of throwing those of you who are lost a couple decks and sending you on your way, I’ll leave you with about half of the decks I’m currently testing, all with Zebstrika as the bread and butter, and you can ideally just mess around with them and potentially find something worth running, or simply take the info I give you on Zebstrika’s various uses and apply that to your own deck to make it even better! I’m also going to showcase a couple bonus Expanded options in the second half of this series, so if you have no interest in Standard or are playing in both formats, feel free to check out the Zebstrika Bible Pt. 2 article in a couple weeks!

                  Chapter I: Earn Your Stripes

So before jumping into any decklists, let me explain why I chose Zebstrika as the Lost Thunder card of focus for Brazil over the likes of Alolan Ninetales GX (JP; 132)Sightseer (SM7/SM8) (JP; null) , {card 5115}, Giratina or any of the other broken cards that were just printed. Clearly I think that Zebstrika’s Ability to discard your entire hand and then draw 4 cards is very impressive, and that’s for good reason.


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