11/21/2017 by Caleb Gedemer
I have been focusing almost all my free time and energy on the Standard format. I am attending San Jose, CA Regionals though, so I have been making a bit of time to test the Expanded format. While the changes to Standard with the new sets Crimson Invasion and Shining Legends may be minimal, Expanded does see a bit of a shakeup. Zoroark-GX in particular is a big new player that is going to see its way into many Expanded decks. The mechanic of discarding a card from your hand with no drawback with Trade boosts the power of many discard-oriented Expanded decks like Darkness decks with Dark Patch, Night March and even Flareon or Vespiquen builds. In addition, it’s a great counter to the newly minted, powerful Garbodor toolbox decks as Riotous Beating can smack for at least 120 for a one-hit Knockout with ease.
Aside from the more obvious pairings, Zoroark-GX can even become a deck of its own with damage modifiers. Sky Field is a legal card to use in the Expanded format, so it’s good to not forget that Riotous Beating can bump all the way up to 200 damage overall if you have a full Bench of Pokemon. This is ridiculous, as Choice Band can further boost that up to 230 damage overall. If damage still is a problem, don’t forget that Crobat exists to help you boost your damage output when you can’t fill your Bench or hit a Choice Band.
Zoroark-GX already has been implemented in many popular Standard format decks, and now it’s time for the same in Expanded. I think the card is going to make a huge impact, a bigger one than most, if not all, of the other cards in the new sets. Many decks will get a solid attacker and a better way to draw extra cards. Anyways, let’s hop to it! The fox needs a home in Expanded, let’s help it get there safe and sound.
Different Breeds of Fox
There may be other iterations of decks with Zoroark-GX, but I think these are the best ones! They either gain a powerful ally that can help offset their weaknesses, or Zoroark-GX fits right in as the deck was already playing the regular Zoroark to begin with.
Flareon / Vespiquen / Zoroark-GX
Trade is a pretty obvious counter-mechanism to Karen in the Expanded format for this deck, since it would previously struggle to get the Pokemon it needs back into the discard pile. A couple seasons back, I contemplated playing a version of Vespiquen with no Flareon and Zoroark instead as a partner. This was before Zoroark-GX even existed, so this combination looks even better than ever. Zoroark has a lot of cool options in Expanded since there’s a Zoroark from Black & White with a nifty Foul Play attack for a Double Colorless Energy. You can copy any attack of your opponent’s Active Pokemon, which is always a strong effect. The only problem for this deck making this all work is space, but it’s possible. Any deck that can benefit from Zoroark-GX should work to make it fit.
Golisopod-GX / Zoroark-GX
This deck has been flitting around in the Expanded format, especially in the hands of our own Aaron Tarbell and Dustin Zimmerman. They have had much success with the deck, so it can definitely hold its own with the rest of the format. Stand In has a lot of synergy with Golisopod-GX, and Trade from Zoroark-GX can speed things up and ensure consistency. As a solid backup attacker, the card can be amazing in a lot of situations, especially against Fire decks, which would otherwise smoke you for Weakness. At least a single copy of Zoroark-GX should be added to decks that are already playing Zoroark, so this pairing is very cohesive.
Night March / Zoroark-GX
After a deadly Karen play from your opponent, you can recover by using Trade. The only problem is the added liability to your Bench, although you will generally be playing Shaymin-EX and Tapu Lele-GX already, so another Pokemon-EX/GX is nothing new. Having multiple Zoroark-GX down, you can get the Night March Pokemon back in the discard pile a whole lot easier. This is the same concept as with Flareon / Vespiquen, and all with Karen in mind. I like Zoroark-GX in this deck as well, because it’s an awesome counter to Trevenant BREAK decks, something that Night March previously struggled with. Its Darkness type can roll through a Trevenant BREAK deck quickly, and score you cheap wins as long as you can find your Double Colorless Energy. Trade is even a way to draw extra cards under Item lock!
Zoroark-GX / Sky Field
Circle Circuit on steroids: Riotous Beating. Along with a built-in means of consistency with Trade, you can realistically take a one-hit Knockout on anything with the help of Crobat and Golbat and their Abilities. Sudowoodo from Guardians Rising is obviously your crux with its Roadblock, but you can maneuver around it with your bat droppings. This deck is absolutely bonkers, and my favorite pairing for Zoroark-GX in the Expanded format. The consistent engine you possess once you’re all set up is unprecedented, and perhaps one of the strongest ever in the game’s history. It’s one of my top picks for the upcoming Expanded format Regionals, and let me tell you, is it ever fun. This is the deck I’ll be focusing on in this piece today!
Zoroark-GX is a great partner for any deck that wants it. There hasn’t been a powerful attacker like it in the game for a while that also doubles as a support Pokemon. Tapu Lele-GX fits this bill too, but it’s attack isn’t nearly as powerful as Riotous Beating can be. The Expanded format already runs on aggressive engines that aim to do as much as possible as quickly as possible, so adding another way of drawing cards to the mix is something that many decks welcome with open arms. Now, enough talk, it’s time for me to break down a super awesome version of Zoroark-GX: Zoroark-GX with Sky Field
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