Experts' corner

Jose Marrero

"The Four Musketeers"-Four Ways to Implement Zoroark-GX in Standard

Jose discusses four ways you can implement Zoroark-GX, in Standard.

10/24/2017 by Jose Marrero

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Hey there 60cards readers! I'm back once again with another article, this time explaining four ways you can implement Zoroark-GX into decks in the Standard format. Shining Legends became legal for play last Friday and players are eager to make the new cards work in the current Standard format, most specifically Zoroark-GX. It's definitely the most hyped card of the Shining Legends set for superb reasons. First, it's a stage 1 Pokémon with a whopping 210 hit points. Second, it has an extraordinary ability, Trade, which lets you discard a card from your hand and draw two cards. Trade is reminiscent to that of Empoleon's Diving Draw. Right off the bat you can tell this ability is great in any deck, and especially so in decks that rely on certain cards being in the discard pile. For example, in Alolan Ninetales-GX, which thrives on having Water Energy in the discard so you can abuse Aqua Patch. Zoroark-GX's Trade ability makes the card quite versatile, so any deck can make use of it. Not to mention its attack, Riotous Beating, inflicts 20 damage for each Pokémon you have in play for a max total of 150 damage if you have a Choice Band attached. Riotous Beating only requires one Double Colorless Energy attachment, which isn't too difficult to accomplish if you are playing four copies. Now, its second attack, Trickster GX, is very situational compared to Riotous Beating. This is because Trickster GX requires two Darkness Energy as opposed to just a Double Colorless Energy. However, Trickster GX lets you copy any one of your opponent's Pokémon's attacks. If a deck plays Darkness Energy or Rainbow Energy, then having Trickster GX as an option can become very advantageous. There really isn't anything negative to say about Zoroark-GX, so hopefully I was able to give you enough insight on why Zoroark-GX should be taken seriously at upcoming events.

With that said, let's dive right into the first of four decks, Alolan Ninetales-GX/Zoroark-GX.

Illusionist Fox

Alolan Ninetales-GX/Zoroark-GX

I personally think the best way to play Alolan Ninetales-GX right now is with Zoroark-GX. They have great synergy together because you can discard a Water Energy from the hand, drawing two cards while ensuring you have water energy to target with Aqua Patch. On top of that, Zoroark-GX is one of the best attackers against Garbodor. This is because Zoroark-GX can dish out 120 damage, enough to one-hit KO Garbodor while also having resistance to it. As great as Zoroark-GX is, Alolan Ninetales-GX is still the main attacker of the deck, as it inflicts the most damage. Alolan Ninetales-GX has three great attacks. Ice Blade is what you are likely going to start chipping things off with until it's time to go more aggressive with Blizzard Edge. You never really want to use Blizzard Edge unless you are taking a KO. Ice Blade does 50 damage to one of the opponent's Pokémon, such as against Golisopod-GX, which can be followed up with a Blizzard Edge for 160, an exact knockout. Against Gardevoir-GX you can do the same thing, except you need a Choice Band. Its GX attack, Ice Path GX, can be critical in a lot of scenarios, as long as you don't get one hit KOed.

Depending on how much damage you took, Ice Path GX can do wonders. For example, if you can't KO the active then you can go with plan B and Guzma something up and take a KO on it while healing to full health. At the same time you can threaten a one-hit KO on the active Pokémon next turn. There is also a one-of Alolan Ninetales in the deck for its ability, Luminous Barrier, which prevents all damage and effects of attacks done to Alolan Ninetales by EX/GX Pokemon. This ability can be extremely powerful for stalling and for eventually setting up Espeon-EX, which lets you devolve all your opponent's highest-staged Pokémon. The deck also plays a couple Tapu Koko because its Flying Flip attack can be used to set up KOs later on, and its free retreat helps with using Aqua Patch more efficiently. I went with three Tapu Lele-GX because it's important to not dead draw and the deck plays a hefty amount of supporters you can Wonder Tag for.

I added a couple Professor Kukui to hit better numbers. For example, Blizzard Edge with Professor Kukui and Choice Band is enough to one hit KO anything with 210 or fewer hit points such as Zoroark-GX, Golisopod-GX, Sylveon-GX, Alolan Ninetales-GX, and plenty more. Because of this, I made sure to max out on Choice Band as they are a big part of this combo. I didn't max out Guzma because Alolan Ninetales-GX and Tapu Koko can hit the bench to take KOs and in most cases, you should be one-hit KOing the active anyway. This way you have Guzma for the late game. I'm not too sure if Float Stone is needed in this deck, although they help when you don't start with Tapu Koko. Then again you can just retreat with a Water Energy and reattach it with Aqua Patch. Overall I like this build and I'll definitely be working on it some more.

Other card options

Tapu Fini-GX:

This card can be a solid back-up attacker, especially for its GX attack, Tapu Storm GX, which would be very helpful against Metagross-GX and Gardevoir-GX. Hydro Shot doesn't seem so bad either since it can do 120 damage to any 1 of your opponent's Pokémon. You have to discard two Water Energy in order to use Hydro Shot, which is fine since you can just Aqua Patch them onto something else.


Metagross-GX can be a huge threat to this deck and honestly, Turtonator-GX may not be enough to take them down. Still, Shell Trap in conjunction with Choice Band can hit Metagross-GX for up to 100 damage while not being KOed the following turn. Then, you can follow up with a Blizzard Edge to finish Metagross-GX off. The same thing goes against Solgaleo-GX although they can KO Turtonator-GX in one shot.

Latios SHL 41:

Similar to Tapu Koko, however, it can do 10 extra damage to the active and a bench Pokémon. Latios may become more popular once Buzzwole-GX comes out since it's weak to Psychic-types.

Giratina XY 184 Promo:

The inclusion of this card basically turns the Greninja matchup into an auto-win. Shutting off Giant Water Shuriken makes a huge diffrence in the matchup.


I'm currently not playing Mallow because you may have to use Professor Kukui to take KO's anyway, although with enough Tapu Koko Flying Flips Mallow can be more helpful since then all you need to have is a powered up Alolan Ninetales-GX.

Enhanced Hammer:

Adding a couple Enhanced Hammers can help slow down Gardevoir-GX, and at the same time can be clutch against anything playing Special Energy. Zoroark-GX can help find them much faster too, which makes Enhanced Hammer more viable.

Bodybuilding Dumbbells + Acerola:

You can go with a more defensive approach to Alolan Ninetales-GX and Zoroark-GX if you want. I prefer the more aggressive approach because I would much rather one-hit KO things than two-shot them. Then again, if you are two-shotting things while still staying alive then I can see that build being really effective. Bodybuilding Dumbbells would make Ice Path GX more deadly than it already is, which can be great against pretty much everything, especially Gardevoir-GX. 

Po Town:

By adding this stadium, Alolan Ninetales-GX can hit easier numbers, however against Gardevoir-GX you are still short 10 damage even with a Choice Band and you don't want your own attackers taking 30 damage. That is why I went with Professor Kukui over Po Town. If you Flying Flip one time then you set up so many numbers where you don't need Po Town anyway.

With that said, it's time to move onto the second of four decks with Zoroark-GX, this time paired with Drampa-GX.

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