Experts' corner

Jose Marrero

Top 32 Costa Mesa Regionals Report with Gyarados/Gallade and Silvally-GX for Charlotte

Jose analyzes his Top 32 Gyarados/Gallade list from Costa Mesa Regionals as well as discusses a new take on Silvally-GX paired with Zoroark-GX and Metal attackers.

03/15/2018 by Jose Marrero



What's going on 60cards readers! I am happy to be back writing again after a recent Top 32 finish at Costa Mesa Regionals not too long ago. Shout out to my buddy Franco Takahashi for the initial list and the idea to play the deck I did as well as Israel Sosa for being a god and picking/dropping me off at the airport. Because of this, I'll be dissecting the Gyarados/Gallade list I used to place 22nd overall out of over 500 players. Following that, I'll give a rundown of other card options you can add to the deck, and then give a brief tournament report on my rounds and how they went. Next, I'll transition into a deck I've been toying around with for the upcoming Charlotte Regional Championships this weekend, Silvally-GX/Zoroark-GX with Metal attackers. The deck has a little bit of everything and I'm excited to showcase it to you all. I strongly believe the deck can go far if you hit the right matchups and hopefully dodge some of the fewer played decks that would otherwise give it trouble. Nonetheless, the deck is strong in the current standard format until the new Lucario-GX comes out that is. Even then it still might be playable but only time will tell.

With that said, let's splash right into the Gyarados/Gallade list I used at Costa Mesa Regionals.

The Serpentine Dragon and the Premonitioner


4-3 Gyarados

The deck's main attacker. Often, you can opt to manually evolve one Gyarados depending on the matchup because it can still do 180 damage with a Choice Band. However, if not then Gyarados has to be Archie’d out, but now you can do a massive 230 if need be with its Venting Anger attack. For each Magikarp in your discard, Venting Anger does 50 damage for a single Double Colorless Energy. I used the Submerge Magikarps because they can't be sniped with damage for easy KO's namely Buzzwole-GX.

1 Gallade

Great card against Zoroark-GX decks but at the same time clutch in conjunction with Oranguru since they make a nice combo to get more efficient Archie plays off.

2 Tapu Koko Promo

Mainly for its free retreat since after something gets KOed you need a free retreater if you don't already have another attacker ready. Flying Flip also helps with hitting magic numbers easier. One Flying Flip can do wonders and any more than that is just icing on the cake.

1 Oranguru

Ghetsis can be a pain so having Oranguru out to make sure you still can draw up to at least three cards is ideal. Great partner with Gallade as I mentioned too.

1 Oricorio

This card I almost took out for Bunnelby, though I just said screw it and not worry about Wailord-EX. Oricorio was actually the reason I won my last round of day 1 and thus ultimately made day 2 so I am glad I kept it. I kept Oricorio for the Night March matchup. Fun fact I didn't face a single Wailord-EX or Night March the whole tournament.

3 Archie's Ace in the Hole/1 Maxie's Hidden Ball Trick

Both needed to get Gyarados and Gallade out. I can see going with a 2/2 split. I know Nick's 9th place Costa Mesa list played two of each, though he also played two Gallade.

1 Professor Sycamore/1 N

Even though you are likely going to Archie or Maxie every turn you just never know when you may need to use Professor Sycamore or N if you do miss the turn one Archie or Maxie.

1 Lysandre/1 Guzma

To be honest I liked the 1/1 split because it gives you both options in certain scenarios.

4 Trainers' Mail/4 Order Pad/4 Battle Compressor

It is all for the consistency, consistency, consistency. If you hit even just one Order Pad it'll almost always guarantee you, Archie or Maxie. If you flip tails on most of them it is okay because one is all you need. I flipped pretty bad on them yet still pulled off the Archie or Maxie play most of the time. Trainer's Mail speaks for itself and Battle Compressor is needed to get Gyarados, Gallade, and Magikarps in the discard as well as supporters if need be.

3 Choice Band

The deck needs to make Gyarados hit over 200 damage.

1 Float Stone

You can't always rely on Tapu Koko's free retreat so having Float Stone as insurance is nice.

1 Energy Loto

After using Archie or Maxie, you will want to find a Double Colorless Energy. That is where Energy Loto can come in the clutch because you are technically drawing 12 cards which hopefully there is one in there.

1 Special Charge

The deck's only means of energy is Double Colorless so having Special Charge is highly recommended even though the deck plays Puzzles of Time.

1 Field Blower

Getting rid of Parallel City and Fighting Fury Belts can come in handy for easier one hit KO's.

1 Rotom Dex

Rotom dex is for when you prize your Magikarp, Maxie, Gallade, and too many Double Colorless energy.

1 Parallel City

Having a stadium to get rid of your own Magikarp should you open with one can come in handy.

1 Computer Search

The best Ace Spec for this type of deck that is for sure. Computer Search should almost always warrant the success of either Archie or Maxie.

Other card options


Nick's 9th place Costa Mesa list ran one Shaymin-EX which I honestly thought about adding last minute but decided otherwise. Overall I felt the deck did not need Shaymin-EX because it can be a huge liability and plus the bigger the hand is the more likely you may miss the Archie or Maxie play if you have too many supporters in hand.

Sudowoodo GRI 66

The only card I wish I had put into the deck before Costa Mesa. For some reason I forgot all about Sudowoodo. This card could have changed the Zoroark-GX matchup drastically, if they did not use Ghetsis before you got a turn. Sudowoodo makes it to where the opponent can't use both Hex Maniac and Ghetsis on the same turn. This is especially nice because if they use Hex Maniac to KO either Gallade or Gyarados that means they are not using Ghetsis to take your hand. If they use Ghetsis then they are not KOing the active Gallade or Gyarados so it is almost a win-win situation if you really think about it.

Bunnelby PRC 121

This is needed if you want to win against mill decks in general.

Acro Bike

I know Nick's 9th place Costa Mesa list ran Acro Bikes, though I don't think they are needed. The deck ran fine without them, and I'd rather not risk discarding important resources if I don't have to.

Tournament Report

Day 1

Round 1 - Phan Vam - Buzzwole-GX/Lycanroc-GX/Carbink BREAK: WW (1-0-0)

To be honest I don't remember much about this match other then it was very favorable. Phan didn't play Ghetsis so it was a swift 2-0 victory.

Round 2 - Nathan Drumm - Ho-Oh-GX/Kiawe: WW (2-0-0)

Game one Nathan opens with double Ho-Oh-GX to my Tapu Koko. Nathan plays first and has a really strong start with an attachment on the benched Ho-Oh-GX as well as hits Max Elixir and then uses Kiawe onto his active Ho-Oh-GX and passes the turn. I immediately capitalize on this and attach a Double Colorless and Choice Band onto Tapu Koko as well as getting a turn one Gyarados. I flying flip for 100 and pass the turn. The following turn my Tapu Koko is KOed but then I follow up with Energy Drive to finish off the Ho-Oh-GX and from there Gyarados was able to clean up the rest of the prizes. Game two was similar, though I just used Gyarados the whole game for a pretty convincing 2-0.

Round 3 - Vince Hardy - Buzzwole-GX/Lycanroc-GX/Carbink BREAK: WW (3-0-0)

Again no Ghetsis and thus another swift 2-0 victory. This matchup is honestly so one-sided as long as you don't miss Archie's Ace in the Hole.

Round 4 - Isaiah Williams - Zoroark-GX/Quad Eggs: LL (3-1-0)

Game one I open Magikarp to Isaiah's Tapu Lele-GX and play second to a Red Card plus Ghetsis and quickly go into game two. I open Magikarp yet again but this time Isaiah opens with Shaymin-EX. I draw and my hand is unplayable and am forced to literally pass as Isaiah has the Double Colorless in hand already to win a quick 2-0 over me.

Round 5 - Michael Del Rosario - Seismitoad-EX/Golisopod-GX/Karen: WLT (3-1-1)

I win game one because I believe Michael prized Karen and I went first. Game two was looking good for me but then Michael played his whole hand down just to Karen and Quaking Punch but it paid off. Game three went to time, though I would have lost if we had more time.

Round 6 - Chris Gray - Glaceon-GX/Zoroark-GX: WW (4-1-1)

Fairly easy matchup since Glaceon-GX didn't really affect me and I could just one hit KO them. I take the series 2-0.

Round 7- Antonio Rios - Zoroark-GX/Quad Eggs: WW (5-1-1)

I don't know how I managed to 2-0 this matchup but I did and that's all I remember. 

Round 8 - Jimmy Zhang - Zoroark-GX/Quad Eggs: LL (5-2-1)

Welp...another Zoroark-GX/Quad Eggs deck this time against Jimmy. This man played Ghetsis against me so much that I travelled back through time all the way to the Stone Age. I lose 2-0 pretty handily.

Round 9 - George Hall - Seismitoad-EX/Zoroark-GX: WLW (6-2-1)

I believe George prized Karen game one and I played first and were able to manually evolve Gyarados and take two hit KO's. I also flipped a number of heads on Sleep checks. Game two George makes quick work of me and locks me up pretty fast. However, game three is a really close one and at one point I thought I was done for but out of nowhere, I start to make a comeback somehow. All of a sudden I'm at one prize card to George's one or two. Time eventually gets called and I'm turn three and am able to use Oricorio for an exact 60 damage to George's benched Zorua to take a really close and good series.

Day 2

Round 10 - Reginald Abram - Buzzwole-GX/Lycanroc-GX/Carbink BREAK: WW (7-2-1)

I was super confident in this match after besting two of them already 2-0. It goes as expected with a smooth 2-0 over my opponent. Reginald played well but not much he could do to a swarm of non EX/GX attackers that are threatening a one-hit KO every turn. Reginald was a great guy to play against and I wish him the best the rest of the season.

Round 11 - Joe Ruettiger - Zoroark-GX/Lycanroc-GX: WW (8-2-1)

This match was actually streamed and recorded. My games with Joe are down below if you want to go ahead and watch it and see how it played out, though I spoiled it already, the games were exciting.

Round 12 - Nick Conocenti - Gyarados/Gallade: WLT (8-2-2)

I really wanted this win because it would have meant I just needed to ID twice or win one of my last two rounds to make Top 8. Game one goes as planned as I play first and get Gyarados and a Magikarp on the board. In the mirror, you only need three Magikarp in the discard and a manually evolved Gyarados. We both knew how to play the mirror. I eventually win game one after trading KO's every single turn, though going first gives you a big advantage. Game two Nick has the same ridiculous start as I did in game one and on my first turn I top deck another supporter and now am one card shy of the turn one Gyarados. I'm pretty far behind at this point so we move into game three where we both are set up but time is called with us having lots of prizes left. This tie was unfortunate for me since I played up to Nick and he was at 27 points to my 26 and 30 points was the bubble.

Round 13 - Daniel Lynch - Zoroark-GX/Quad Eggs: WLL (8-3-2)

Game one was very long and eventually, I was able to take it. However, game two was very fast with Daniel playing first with a turn one Red Card plus Ghetsis. The game lasted two turns and we move into game three. It get's really close but I start to play too fast and end up passing the turn before using two Battle Compressors in the hand. Daniel uses Ghetsis over and over again and from there I lose 2-1. This was the win and in for both Daniel and I and because I lost I knew I was out of Top 8. Daniel played well and congrats again to him on his overall second-place finish.

Round 14 - Rahul Reddy - Buzzwole-GX/Lycanroc-GX/Carbink BREAK: I conceded (8-4-2)

Rahul and I were both at 26 match points and we knew winner would be Top 16. I knew I could just slaughter Rahul since he was playing an auto win for me since I 2-0ed three other Buzzwole-GX/Lycanroc-GX/Carbink BREAK decks prior to our match. However, the extra 20 points may have mattered to Rahul more so than me at the time so I gave the match to him. Overall the deck ran very well and my three losses all-tournament were to the exact deck and to some great players. I did tie to an unfortunate matchup and then the mirror as you read. I would give the deck 8/10 and I can see myself playing it at the next Expanded Regionals except with Sudowoodo included.

With that said, let's now move into Silvally-GX/Zoroark-GX/Metal.

The Merger and the Fox


3-3 Silvally-GX

The deck's main attacker. You want to always have a turn one Type: Null with an energy but preferably a Metal because of Enhanced Hammer. Silvally-GX has an ability called Gyro Unit in which gives all of your Basic Pokémon free retreat. Yes, you heard that correct "FREE RETREAT". This is especially great for Dusk Mane Necrozma-GX and Solgaleo because they have a hefty retreat cost otherwise. It also means you don't have to play Float Stone. The feeling knowing you have free retreat on Dusk Mane Necrozm-GX is exciting. Gyro Unit also makes for easier Max Elixir and Energy Switch plays. Turbo Drive is the bread and butter of the deck though because it can take one hit KO's depending on the deck you are facing and at the same time accelerate Basic Energy to the bench. Not to mention it has the exact GX attack of Lycanroc-GX. Rebel GX will surely make your opponent think twice about benching Pokémon.

3-3 Zoroark-GX

Mainly in the deck for its Trade ability because it helps put Metals into the discard for Turbo Drive. At the same time, you are drawing two cards every Trade and plus they make finding Puzzles of Time more efficiently. Without the raw draw power of Zoroark-GX, I wouldn't be playing Puzzles of Time. You can also use Zoroark-GX as an attacker if needed and don't forget Mew-EX can copy Riotous Beating for lethal KO's against Buzzwole-GX and other Psychic weak Pokémon.

2 Tapu Lele-GX

As much as I want a third Tapu Lele-GX there just isn't room for it. Two should be fine though because Trades give you consistent draw anyway.

2 Dusk Mane Necrozma-GX

The decks mid to late game sweeper. Early you go aggressive with Silvally-GX and take cheap prizes while powering up another Silvally-GX or Dusk Mane Necrozma-GX if the situation looks right. Claw Slash can take out low hit point Pokémon such as Zorua. Meteor Tempest is the attack that will send your opponent's Pokémon to the shadow realm. Sun's Eclipse GX is pretty darn good because it only takes three Metals as opposed to Meteor Tempest needing three Metals and a Colorless. You can threaten Meteor Tempest next turn which makes Dusk Mane Necrozma-GX a force to be reckoned with.

1 Solgaleo Prism Star

I've been excited to see what this card can do. It can be used as a counter to Hoopa decks and can one hit KO any Pokémon that is weak to Metal. But more importantly and what it's mainly in the deck for is its first attack, Radiant Star. You can power up a number of attackers with this attack namely Dusk Mane Necrozma-GX. The idea behind Radiant Star is once you use Sun's Eclipse GX to take prizes and then follow it up with Meteor Tempest you can then transition into Solgaleo and power up a fresh Dusk Mane Necrozma-GX and threaten game next turn depending on what you are facing. Overall solid card and having free retreat thanks to Silvally-GX makes it that much better.

1 Mew-EX

Mew-EX is mainly for Buzzwole-GX, though still useful against Gallade, Espeon-GX, as well as Mewtwo. You can either copy Riotous Beating or Turbo Drive both of which can take one hit KO's on the aforementioned Pokémon

3 Cynthia

Cynthia is a new card from Ultra Prism and is great in this deck or decks in general that play Puzzles of Time. Not having to worry about discarding them is a good feeling.

2 N

Because this deck can take three prizes as fast as turn three if you play first I felt playing two N was fine. I'd much rather save Cynthia for mid to late game.

2 Brigette

Two Brigette should be fine. This deck doesn't absolutely need a turn one Brigette as long as you have a turn one Type: Null you should be fine since you don't need Zoroark-GX right away. You also have to watch out for Parallel City with this deck because every Pokémon aside from Tapu Lele-GX has uses.

2 Guzma

This deck is likely going to one hit KO the active attacker anyway thus is why I opted with just two Guzma. You can always use Puzzles of Time to recover them back if needed.

1 Mallow

I had two Mallow at first but felt I only really ever used one in a game and so I dropped one for another draw supporter instead because it is not that great in the opening hand especially if you are playing second. However, putting two cards on top of the deck and then Trading for them both can be game-changing especially against Golisopod-GX/Zoroark-GX with the Memories.

1 Professor Sycamore

The deck plays Puzzles of Time. I don't want to have to discard them if I don't have to. One Professor Sycamore I felt is correct in that you need all the resources you can keep in this deck. 

4 Puzzle of Time

I believe a 3-3 Zoroark-GX line is enough to warrant playing Puzzles of Time. You only really need two out at once to keep the draw going. Getting back Memories or anything you need at the time can be crucial in the decks win condition.

2 Max Elixir

I felt between Turbo Drive and Solgaleo Prism Star that this build of Silvally-GX doesn't need four copies of Max Elixir. You can be patient with powering up Dusk Mane Necrozma-GX because it is okay to be behind on prizes to take advantage of Sun's Eclipse GX for two prizes and a follow up for another two prizes.

2 Energy Switch

Having the means of moving around Basic Energy in this deck can make for spicey plays in the long run. For example to get Dusk Mane Necrozma-GX attacking more efficiently mid to late game. You can even get another Silvally-GX attacking out of nowhere as well so, I want to keep those options at hand.

2 Field Blower

As much as I want to try and fit a third copy of Field Blower there just isn't any more space. They are needed for Garbotoxin, Fighting Fury Belt, Parallel City, and Bursting Ballon because you don't want to have to take 60 damage and get KOed next turn by Zoroark-GX for 150.

2 Fighting Memory/2 Fire Memory

Fighting Memory is mainly for Zoroark-GX, Silvally-GX, Raichu-GX, Drampa-GX, as well as Zoroark BREAK. Easy knockouts with Fighting Memory against those Pokémon. Now, Fire Memory is mainly for Golisopod-GX, Dusk Mane Necrozma-GX, Magnezone and even Solgaleo-GX, though you will have to use Rebel GX on Solgaleo-GX because it has 250 hit points and Turbo Drive does 120. Taking two prizes while powering something up on the bench is extremely strong in this deck.

1 Rescue Stretcher

Even with Puzzles of Time, I want to have the option to get back Pokémon without using them up for that purpose. Getting back a discarded Silvally-GX or Zoroark-GX right away can come in the clutch. Or for when you need to get back Mew-EX against Buzzwole-GX.

8 Metal Energy/4 Double Colorless Energy

If I were to add in Shaymin or Sudowoodo I can easily see dropping one Metal for a Counter/or Grass/Fighting Energy. However, at the moment eight Metals seems fine because you can always trade away Metals to fuel Turbo Drive.

Other card options

Celesteela-GX + Choice Band

Its attack, Rocket Fall only needs two attachments and the deck already plays Double Colorless Energy. Rocket Fall with a Choice Band can one hit KO a Gardevoir-GX. Celesteela-GX is not weak to Fire but instead Electric and has resistance to Fighting-types which is nice.

Shaymin SHL 7 + Counter Energy/or Grass Energy

Mainly for Lycanroc-GX in which sees play in both Zoroark-GX and Buzzwole-GX decks and Zygarde-GX in Buzzwole-GX decks, though a solid 120 for being a non EX/GX can be useful in KOing Pokémon such as Garbodor or low hit point Pokémon in general. Counter Energy is just a single attachment compared to having the Grass Energy and Energy Switch or Max Elixir. You can just Mallow for both Shaymin and the Counter Energy for an immediate KO on the aforementioned Pokémon. If anything I may go the Counter Energy route because it is much easier to pull off back to back Shaymin plays if need be.

Sudowoodo BKP 67 + Counter Energy/or Fighting Energy + Choice Band

Watch and Learn can be clutch for revenge KOing plenty of hard hitting Pokémon, though most relevant Pokémon Watch and Learn threatens a KO on the deck already has answers to. Whether it is Buzzwole-GX, Dusk Mane Necrozma-GX, Zoroark-GX, Silvally-GX, and more. It's Fighting typing is especially great against Zoroark-GX and the mirror. However, you may need to play Choice Band as well to get the full one hit KO with Watch and Learn against certain Pokémon. As I said, Counter Energy is just a single attachment, though you have to be down on prizes for it to work and it can't be Max Elixired out. Fighting Energy can be Max Elixired out and can be Energy Switched around and accelerated with Turbo Drive and is not susceptible to Enhanced Hammer like Counter Energy is. However, you can still use Counter Energy as a Colorless Energy and you can just Mallow for both Sudowoodo and Counter Energy at a moments notice not needing as many pieces compared to the other route. 

Clefairy EVO 63 + Choice Band

Similar to Watch and Learn, though Metronome can copy any one of your opponent's active Pokémon's attacks without them having to use it first. Clefairy can take one hit KO's out of nowhere. Very good against Tapu Bulu-GX, Buzzwole-GX, Lycanroc-GX, Dusk Mane Necrozma-GX, and plenty more. However, it too may need Choice Band to hit some magic numbers.

Cobalion STS 74

The deck already plays a handful of Metal Energies and a couple Max Elixir meaning Cobalion can do wonders in the right situations, especially against Gardevoir-GX.

Giratina Promo

Greninja may give this deck a run for its money and may just be a really difficult match without Giratina. If any deck can get away with running Giratina is this deck because Giratina has free retreat thanks to Silvally-GX and worst case you can just Trade Giratina away with Zoroark-GX.

Psychic Memory

I'm still debating if I want to play Psychic Memory. It'll be very useful against Buzzwole-GX with Garbodor seeing how Garbotoxin shuts off Mew-EX. Not to mention, Silvally-GX can also one hit KO Gallade, Espeon-GX, and Mewtwo without having to waste Rebel GX on them. 

Electric Memory

If you expect Ho-Oh-GX or Empoleon to see a rise in play then maybe Electric Memory may have a place in the deck. Wishiwashi-GX and Celeestela-GX are also weak to Electric types as well.

Multi Switch

The cool thing about Multi Switch over Energy Switch is that it can move Special Energy to the active Pokémon as well. However, in Standard there are a lot of decks running Enhanced Hammer anyway thus not allowing Multi Switch to have the full effect. Because of this, I much prefer Energy Switch in case I need to move energy elsewhere instead of only the active Pokémon. though Multi Switch can be clutch at times.

Closing Thoughts

That will conclude this article on my Top 32 finish at Costa Mesa Regionals with Gyarados/Gallade and a look at my Silvally-GX/Zoroark-GX/Metal list. I'm strongly considering it for Charlotte this weekend. The list may seem a bit odd because of two Max Elixir and other counts but trust me it is better than you may think. If you see me or any of the other ARG players be sure to come say hi and introduce yourself. If you are a newer player or just want some input, in general, don't be afraid to stop by. I'm easy to get along with and talk to so don't be shy. If you are playing in the main event in Charlotte or another Regionals then the best of luck to you.

If you want to help support my team, be sure to check out Team ARG's Pokémon page on Facebook: "Team ARG Pokémon-TCG." There you can keep up to date with all the players on the team. Also, check out and be sure to pick up some awesome dice and GX markers. They are by far my favorite dice to use and I recommend getting yourself at least two sets of any given color. Don't forget my Twitter handle is down below if you want to follow me for when I post lists and other exciting news.

If you have any questions, then please feel free to leave me a comment below or message me on Facebook. I'll be sure to get to them as soon as possible.

As always, 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. As always, keep an eye out for more articles to come. Until next time!

-Twitter @Jose_MarreroTCG

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