Experts' corner

Caleb Gedemer

It's Over — the Best Deck and Other Conclusions from BKT through FLI Standard

Zoroark-GX / Oranguru was a shocker for most. What does its future look like?

07/20/2018 by Caleb Gedemer

Tord Reklev is a machine, and almost a four-time International Championship winner. He fell just shy with another “broken deck” something that has been bounced around, but never proven until now. The first murmurs of this deck began all the way back with our very own Zach Lesage back before Latin America’s own International Championship. He didn’t play the deck himself, but threw the idea around a bit but gave up on the deck after a little while. In short, the players at the North American International Championship weren’t expecting Zoroark GX (SLG; 53)  / Oranguru to be played and things deviated away from those that could have beaten it. Zoroark-GX / Golisopod-GX saw a resurgence, the deck my crew and I all played, and it got smashed by the deck. Jimmy Pendarvis lost to Reklev in the semifinals in dramatic fashion, not winning a game in the series.

If this format continued, and it will for Europeans, at least, what would change, what would stay the same? I’m here to give one last hurrah to the format and analyze the best deck walking away from it along with other contributing factors. Moving into this event, Americans at least, viewed Buzzwole as the undisputed best deck. It repeatedly did well even when faced with adversity, most recently doing well at the Mexican Regional Championship in late June. Also decided upon going into the event is the inferiority of Malamar (FLI; 51) . Malamar (FLI; 51)  has been seen as a “bad deck” by most top players for a while now, and it’s certainly been very hit or miss in practice. It seems like it can run hot and win games, or beat up on bad Buzzwole players, both of which are common occurrences.

Zoroark GX (SLG; 53)  seeing more play seemingly didn’t curb the draw to Malamar decks, and it somehow kept Buzzwole decks out of the Top Eight even still. Zoroark-GX decks adapted with the combination of Counter Catcher and Delinquent, giving them a legitimate way to ice a Buzzwole player out of the game by eliminating an Octillery and dropping your opponent’s hand size low. These strategies considered built for a strange Top Eight cut consisting of the following:

1st: Stephane Ivanoff with Zoroark GX (SLG; 53)  / Garbodor

2nd: Tord Reklev with Zoroark-GX /  Oranguru (UPR; 114)

3rd: Jimmy Pendarvis with Zoroark-GX / Golisopod-GX

4th: Adam Hawkins with Malamar (FLI; 51)  /  Necrozma GX (BUS; 63)

5th: Ryan Antonucci with Zoroark-GX /  Lycanroc GX (GRI; 138)

6th: Edward Kuang with Malamar Necrozma-GX

7th: Fabien Pujol with Zoroark-GX / Garbodor

8th: Aaron Tarbell with Yveltal BREAK

The biggest surprise here has to be Yveltal BREAK, a deck that came out of nowhere to some deep finishes in the hands of Tarbell and a few others like Dustin Zimmerman, Clifton Goh, and James Arnold, respectively in order of final placement. The deck was well placed with strong matchups against Malamar (FLI; 51)  and Zoroark GX (SLG; 53) , and a even-ish matchup against Buzzwole builds. The disruptive Zoroark-GX deck was able to get the best of it in the Top Eight, though, which was obviously a surprise to show up in the first place. I’m secondly confused about the surge of Zoroark-GX / Garbodor, a deck that always seems to do well regardless of how bad I think it is.

Zoroark GX (SLG; 53)  / Garbodor seems like such an unlikely deck to do well since it takes a rough matchup against Buzzwole and all other Zoroark-GX decks, but I suppose when you run hot and play well you can make deep runs with the deck and even take down entire events! I want to brief you all about Zoroark-GX / Oranguru (UPR; 114) , now, in detail, as the deck is going to appeal to the masses with a mix of disruption and power. Being played by one of the game’s best it’s sure to be on everyone’s radar headed into the World Championship regardless, and will certainly pop up at events from here until then, too. Let’s go!

The rest of the article is only available to PRO Members. Sign up for PRO Member today to view the rest of the article!

In order to maintain a high standard for our content, we have created a subscription service. To get you the best possible articles from the top players we pay more than $25 000 every year to our authors and editors. There are endless hours of playtesting and research behind each article. Our goal is to be able to publish an article every day and make even more competitions for everyone. Thank you for considering our subscription.

More information here.

Thank you for your time. Please leave us your feedback to help us to improve the articles for you! 





Make sure to follow us on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook to see the latest stories. 


Pokémon and its trademarks are ©1995-2018 Nintendo, Creatures, and GAMEFREAK. English card images appearing on this website are the property of The Pokémon Company International, Inc. 60cards is a fan site. Our goal is to promote the Pokemon TCG and help it grow. We are not official in any shape or form, nor affiliated, sponsored, or otherwise endorsed by Nintendo, Creatures, GAMEFREAK, or TPCi.



Zach Lesage

Fixing My Mistakes In Memphis

10/12/2018 by Zach Lesage // I detail through the mistakes that I made as a player in Memphis for my own growth as a player. (+23)

Jay Lesage

"Eye See You" - Expanded Talk and Intro to Sableye!

10/16/2018 by Jay Lesage // Are you in need of an Expanded Bible? Here's the first part of a new chapter. (+22)

Zach Lesage

Portland Woes - Picking the Right Deck

10/19/2018 by Zach Lesage // This article goes over Zach's top picks heading into Portland and his favourite deck in Standard right now. (+21)

Welcome to our Pokemon Community Portal. Have a look around and enjoy your stay!