Experts' corner

Jose Marrero

A Closer Look at the Origins Special Event Finalists Decks

Jose discusses the two decks that made the Finals at the Origins Special Event last weekend.

06/22/2017 by Jose Marrero


Hello again 60cards readers! Top 8 of Origins consisted of 6 different decks which is quite unique to see since everyone hates the same decks doing well every time namely Garbodor/Drampa-GX which actually did take up 1 spot in Top 8. Three other spots were taken by Garbodor/Espeon-GX which is starting to pop up more so than Garbodor/Drampa-GX. The other three spots were M Rayquaza-EX, Volcanion, and Metagross-GX. Seena Ghaziaskar ended up squeaking in at the 8th seed and ultimately won the event with Zoroark/Drampa-GX. Volcanion took 2nd piloted by Michael Catron. It's funny because days before Origins Seena would literally just message me with "Zoroark" then we would completely change the topic. This happened a couple times and when I found out he won Origins with Zoroark/Drampa-GX I was like "Okay so he was actually serious" I was just thinking of ways to try and counter it and not play it myself so we never really talked about the deck much. Glad Seena went with his gut and took home the win which now puts him in prime contention of a Worlds invite after only having 87 CP before Virginia Regionals. Comes to show you after one of the games best takes a long break then comes back it's not hard for them to get their mojo back.

With that said let's dive right into Seena's winning Origins list.


My boy Seena won the Origins Special Event last weekend and I couldn't be more happy for him since as I said he's so close to the invite now. With Daniel's recent Mexico Regional win it's no surprise to see Zoroark/Drampa-GX taking another win so early. Zoroark's attack, Mind Jack puts tons of pressure on your opponent so they have to be careful when benching things. If they try and play around Mind Jack then what's when Drampa-GX comes in. It's first attack, Righteous Edge does a mere 20 damage but it lets you discard a Special Energy attached to your opponent's Active Pokémon and with a Choice Band Righteous Edge now does 50 damage. However its second attack, Berserk is what makes Drampa-GX a threat to pretty much anything. It has a base of 80 damage and adds an additional 70 if any of your Benched Pokémon have damage on them which is why the deck plays two copies of Team Magma's Secret Base. Not to mention Drampa-GX does have a phenomenal GX attack called Big Wheel GX should it not get Ned away because it lets you shuffle your hand into your deck then draw 10 cards. I like that Seena changed Daniel's list to his own liking. As you can see Seena decided not to play Tapu Koko and instead ended up playing a third copy of Zoroark BREAK. I think this card is what makes this deck so good right now. The options it brings to the table is what makes the deck do wonders.

Plays your opponent doesn't see coming is usually a play that won you the game or now tilted the matchup in your favor. Another change Seena did was drop a Rescue Stretcher for a Super Rod which Seena actually regretted so keep it at two Rescue Stretcher. The final change Seena did was dropping a Dark Energy for a Rainbow Energy which makes perfect sense because it helps fuel Drampa-GX's attack, Berserk as I mentioned. I think the better Zorua is the one with the Confusion attack because auto Confusion can be troublesome at times. The Whiny Voice attack Zorua can be cute if you play Delinquent otherwise I probably would go all Confusion then again you never know when Whiny Voice will come in handy. Oranguru makes this deck less likely not to brick which is a key part of the deck being immune to N. Seena still played Oricorio because Vespiquen can be a threat which I agree on keeping over Tapu Koko. I think this deck playing both Brigette and Pokémon Fan Club is the way to go because a turn 1 of either is needed to set up attackers. Professor Kukui and Teammates are a must in this deck for sure because you're attacking with Zoroark which thrives on however benched Pokémon your opponent has and it's a non-EX attacker which is even better. Having Professor Kukui can catch your opponent off guard because they may have forgotten to add its damage when benching something. Teammates is another card which can come in the clutch because this deck doesn't ask for much and it's likely that two cards are all you need to get that revenge KO. Overall I like Seena's list and it's up to you whether or not you think the 3rd Zoroark BREAK is needed or the Tapu Koko Promo which is the main change that can make a huge difference in my opinion.

Other card options

Octillery BRT:

The 2nd place list from the Birmingham Regional Championships played a copy of Octillery over Oranguru which is a personal preference. Octillery takes up an extra spot in the deck because of Remoraid which is a downside.

Tapu Koko Promo 30:

Daniel Altavilla played this card in his 1st place and Top 4 list. This card can help set up KO's since it does 20 damage to all your opponent's Pokémon. Seena decided to drop it and add a 3rd Zoroark BREAK which is hard to argue because Foul Play is so good.


Many times I see the Zoroark player use Drampa-GX's GX attack pretty early so having Hala may come in handy since you don't want to have to discard important resources plus you're also likely to use one of your opponent's GX attacks at some point if you don't use your own.

Now with that said let's take a look at Michael's 2nd place Origins list.


Michael's list is quite similar to that of Azul's Top 8 Madison Regionals list. The only difference as far as the Pokémon go is that Azul played a second Turtonator-GX over the 4th Volcanion. The only reason I can see the 4th Volcanion coming in the clutch is against Vespiquen because you want to trade with non-EX Volcanions. I like the Starmie inclusion because having access to Fire Energy at all times is ideal even after you get Ned. Two Tapu Lele-GX makes sense because both Michael and Azul played a hefty amount of supporters. Four Professor Sycamore and N. Having the option to N your opponent at a moment's notice seems very good especially since this version of Volcanion is a little slower than usual so you may be behind on prizes early on. Three Lysandre also seems good because once you set up you can pick off KO after KO as they present themselves. Olympia helps with reusing Volcanic Heat which I like and to not get stuck active should you not find a Float Stone. Fisherman getting back 4 energy can come in the clutch as well especially against item lock decks. Michael and Azul both played three VS Seeker which I think most decks will start doing because of Garbodor's Trashalanche hence the increase in supporter counts. Michael only played two Choice Band while Azul played three.

I think three Choice Band is a solid number because two just seems like it'll be hard to find them when needed most. Two Field Blower, Float Stone, and Switch are exactly what Azul ran in his Top 8 Madison list which seems to be the way to go if both players did well with those counts. However, Michael played a copy of Max Potion and Professor's Letter which seems a little odd because that's more items Garbodor can abuse. I can see the Professor's Letter since it can grab two Fire Energy to help fuel Steam Up but why the Max Potion? I guess a cute play you can do is Max Potion a Volcanion-EX then attack with Turtonator-GX to put the energy back on for next turn. The stadium of choice Michael went with was four copies of Brooklet Hill which is a new stadium from Guardians Rising which allows both players to search their deck for either a Fighting or Water Pokémon and put it onto your bench. This stadium makes perfect sense in this deck and why you don't need Hoopa-EX because you can just search out your attackers and even Staryu. Overall I think Michael's and Azul's lists will be how Volcanion should now be built so make sure to know this list.

Other card options


I'm surprised not to see a single Shaymin-EX in Michael's build. Volcanion sometimes thrives on drawing through the deck but I guess now with no Max Elixir or Trainers' Mail due to Garbodor's resurgence it makes sense that you don't need Shaymin-EX and instead rely on Tapu Lele-GX.

Max Elixir/Trainers' Mail:

The way to beat Garbodor decks is to not play these cards but against other matchups being slower than usual isn't that great because your opponent can easily play around you since you don't play Max Elixir. However, an early Turtonator-GX can act as a more efficient Max Elixir in a sense.

Scorched Earth:

This stadium helps with drawing and to put energy into the discard for Volcanion and Turtonator-GX so I can see playing at least one copy instead of 4 Brooklet Hill.

Closing Thoughts

That will conclude yet another short article, however this time on the finalist decks of the Special Event at the Origins Game Fair in Ohio last weekend. Zoroark will see an increase in play even more now thanks to Seena and Daniel Altavilla because of their success with the deck and the fact that Zoroark is a strong contender right now. Zoroark BREAK is ridiculously good right now with its versatility against pretty much anything. Volcanion can be built to beat Garbodor/Drampa-GX which as you can see from Michael's list with the heavy supporters he didn't want to take a loss to the deck which was smart. With the North American International Championships being next weekend players will surely test these decks and lists out so be prepared to face them. I'll definitely be there and I hope to see most of you guys there because this event will be one to remember for years to come.

If you haven't already check out The Chaos Gym on YouTube and Twitch for updates and player interviews, as well as live streaming from Grafton Roll and Rahul Reddy. If you want to help support my team, be sure to check out Team ARG's Pokémon page on Facebook, Team ARG Pokemon-TCG for tons of deck lists from great players. My Twitter is down below if you want to follow me then, by all means, go for it. If you have any questions about these lists or decks in general or about Team ARG then please feel free to leave me a comment below or message me on Facebook and I'll be sure to get to them as soon as possible. As usual, if you enjoyed reading this article, then please consider giving it a thumbs up. If you want to see a specific type of article or topic next time, don't hesitate to give me ideas down below and I'll consider them, or if you have any other deck ideas and want to see an analysis on it, then, by all means, post it and I'll take a look. As always, keep an eye out for more articles to come. Until next time!

-Twitter @Jose_MarreroTCG

[+12] okko


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