Experts' corner

Jose Marrero

Top 64 Charlotte Regionals Report with Silvally-GX/Zoroark-GX/Dusk Mane Necrozma-GX and Alolan Ninetales-GX for Portland

Jose analyzes his Top 64 Silvally-GX/Zoroark-GX/Dusk Mane Necrozma-GX list from Charlotte Regionals as well as examines Alolan Ninetales-GX for Portland Regionals this weekend.

03/23/2018 by Jose Marrero



Hey again, 60cards readers! Glad to be back from Charlotte Regionals not too long ago. Most of you know I piloted Silvally-GX/Zoroark-GX/Dusk Mane Necrozma-GX to a Top 64 finish. I posted almost the exact list on my last article right before Charlotte, though I changed one card the day of. Because of this, I'll be dissecting the list I played and used at Charlotte and then examine an updated Alolan Ninetales-GX/Zoroark-GX for Portland Regionals this weekend. I believe with the release of Lucario-GX, Alolan Ninetales can be really effective. However, first I want to briefly talk about the Charlotte venue real quick and why it needs to be better next time. First off the rounds took way too long. Most rounds we were sitting around waiting and waiting and at times there were repairs. Not only that but the bathroom situation was ridiculous. I get that huge Regionals can be tough to handle but I mean c'mon you had to expect the turn out given it was a Standard Regionals.

Anyway, that's my two cents about the venue and why it needs to be better next time assuming there is another. Moving on, I actually won't be at Portland Regionals this weekend, unfortunately, however, I'll be at Utah Regionals which is Expanded. The Alolan Ninetales-GX/Zoroark-GX list I'll be presenting is what I would most likely play if I were going to Portland. It is either that or Silvally-GX/Zoroark-GX/Dusk Mane Necrozma-GX again because the deck ran well and Buzzwole-GX/Lycanroc-GX and Golisopod-GX/Zoroark-GX are very favorable matchups as you will see in my report and the main reasons I played the deck in Charlotte.

With that said, let's dive right into the list I piloted to a Top 64 finish in Charlotte.

Silvally-GX/Zoroark-GX/Dusk Mane Necrozma-GX

(I said the exact same thing for each card in my last article, though non-Pro Members can't see what I said, so I'll just repeat it here for all to read)

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/1 Fire Memory/1 Psychic 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. As for Psychic Memory, I ended up dropping one Fire Memory last minute for it. Psychic Memory is 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. 

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.

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.

Tournament Report

Round 1 - Christopher Iwerks - Buzzwole-GX/Lycanroc-GX: WW (1-0-0)

I was excited to be facing off against this deck right off the bat because I was confident in the matchup. I was glad I ended up adding Psychic Memory last minute and boy did it pay off. Both games I was able to utilize Mew-EX and Psychic Memory to the best of their ability. I take a pretty convincing round one. Rebel GX also came in the clutch to take a big one hit KO.

Round 2 - Harrison Burch - Buzzwole-GX/Lycanroc-GX: WW (2-0-0)

Hitting back to back Buzzwole-GX/Lycanroc-GX decks made me feel I made the right meta call for sure. I take another 2-0 victory against my opponent with the same strategy as in my first round.

Round 3 - Kaysha Castillo - Golisopod-GX/Zoroark-GX: WW (3-0-0)

Another matchup I was excited to see. Game one Kaysha and I both had a slow start with me literally having a lone Zorua and a pass. I end up using Guzma on a Wimpod which bought me a turn to Puzzle a Cynthia on top of the deck. Kaysha was a good sport about our match, though she made a crucial mistake thinking she can use another GX attack with Sudowoodo after already using one. I was able to best Kaysha 2-0 and move into round four with a clean 3-0-0/6-0-0 record. At this point, I'm feeling pretty good about my deck choice as it has been running pretty well so far.

Round 4 - Alex Schemanske - Buzzwole-GX/Lycanroc-GX/Oricorio: WW (4-0-0)

This match was actually streamed on BattleFactoryTCG's Twitch channel. The video below is my match against Alex if you want to see how it played out.

Round 5 - Zack Patterson - Sylveon-GX/Gardevoir-GX: LWT (4-0-1)

Going into this round I thought Zach was playing Zoroark-GX/Lycanroc-GX. To my surprise, it wasn't but instead, it was Sylveon-GX with a 1-1 Gardevoir-GX. I wasn't too sure how this game was going to play out, though I felt somewhat confident. Game one gets extremely close to where Zach mills my second to last Metal Energy which meant I was not able to take my last two prizes with Meteor Tempest and deck out. Game two I went with a different approach and went straight to Solgaleo. I kept going in and out of Solgaleo and Dusk Mane Necrozma-GX and took three GX KO's on two Sylveon-GX and Gardevoir-GX to take game two. Game three we had about five minutes left so we end up tieing.

Round 6 - Riley Hulbert - Zoroark-GX/Lycanroc-GX: LWW (5-0-1)

Game one Riley was able to overwhelm me with two Lycanroc-GX and I lose pretty handily. However, in game two Riley started with a lone Zorua and passed. I was able to win on turn two. Game three was one of the best games I've ever played in my life. Both Riley and I kept going back and forth with KO's and eventually I have the advantage, though I miss a crucial KO on his Zoroark-GX after an N to three or four. I still had both Fighting Memories in the deck as well as Mallow and Tapu Lele-GX. I also had a Zoroark-GX out and I thought for sure there was no way I would whiff the KO if Riley were to N me now. I end up whiffing and from there I thought for sure I was done for because it let Riley go down to two prizes and an energy onto Lycanroc-GX. Riley somehow whiffs game for two-three turns as do I. Eventually I pull off the win first with a Guzma play. Riley was in the driver's seat two turns ago. It was some miracle I was able to bounce back the win after my crucial whiff not finding a Fighting Memory.

Round 7 - Zack Taylor - Zoroark-GX/Counters: LL (5-1-1)

Game one Zack has a lone Zorua pass with Puzzle of Time to rearrange his top three cards. Unfortunately, my only supporter was two N in hand and I didn't have any threat yet so I play one. I end up drawing one of the most unplayable hands of my life. Not only did I give Zack a playable hand but now my hand is dead. Zach is able to Flying Flip four turns in a row to KO two Zorua and from there it was all downhill because everything was in one shot range of Zoroark-GX. Even though the game was still close Zack was able to take it. Game two Zack again is able to use multiple Flying Flips because I yet again whiff a way to KO Tapu Koko. At one point we are both at four prizes apiece and Zack has a Sudowoodo with a Counter Energy and I know I can win if I just take two Zoroark-GX KO's. However, Zach played one Fighting Energy which meant he could copy my Turbo Drive for the KO without needing Counter Energy to be in effect. From there I knew I lost and I take my first match loss of the day.

Round 8 - Steve Guthrie - Glaceon-GX/Zoroark-GX: LL (5-2-1)

Game one was really close. I had one or two prizes left and all I needed was a Guzma to win the game, though I needed to get it off an N to one or Tapu Lele-GX before Glaceon-GX locks me again. Unfortunately, I was one draw short of the game because my next top deck was Tapu Lele-GX and Steve had the Guzma for the game before me. Game two Steve was able to lock me out of the game pretty fast. He also played a couple Enhanced Hammers which were troublesome. I lose 2-0 to Steve and am now out of day 2 contention, unfortunately.

Round 9 - Jimmy Pendarvis - Golisopod-GX/Zoroark-GX: WLW (6-2-1)

This match determined who would make Top 64 and was a lot of fun as Jimmy and I were fooling around most of the match. Game one I play first and do what the deck does. I was able to KO both Zoroark-GX and Golisopod-GX with their respective Memories when I needed. I take game one pretty swiftly. However, in game two I was dominating Jimmy, though I didn't have a Zoroark-GX out. Yet I was able to take four quick prizes. This lead to N being crucial in this game as I started to dead draw and eventually, Jimmy is able to make a huge comeback. Jimmy is a very smart player so he knew his best bet was to go aggro Mewtwo and Tapu Lele-GX. Every time he would use Tapu Lele-GX I would Rebel GX it. Game three gets fairly close, though I put Jimmy in an almost unwinnable situation with  Solagleo plays. The threat of Dusk Mane Necrozma-GX came in the cutch in game three for sure. I was able to best Jimmy 2-1 and finish in 43rd place out of over 950 players. I was the second highest 19 pointer, though that didn't matter because no 20s made it anyway which I knew. +50 CP and 18 packs now puts me at 672 CP for the season. I am chasing day 2 so we will see where I finish. I plan on doing plenty of other Regionals as well as Brazil, and US IC's. I believe I'm top 20 at the moment so I'm slowly creeping closer and closer to Top 16.

With that said, lets now get into Alolan Ninetales-GX/Zoroark-GX for Portland Regionals this weekend.

Alolan Ninetales-GX/Zoroark-GX

4-2-2 Alolan Ninetales-GX

Alolan Ninetales-GX has three solid attacks. The first being Ice Blade. For just a DCE it can do 50 damage to any of your opponent's Pokémon. Enough to take cheap KO's on low hit point attackers such as Mew and Clefairy. However, Blizzard Edge is what makes Alolan Ninetales-GX a force to be reckoned with. For a base 160 damage not including damage modifies can be nasty. It's GX attack Ice Path GX isn't too shabby either because it can heal itself while doing big damage for just a DCE. Now, Alolan Ninetales has an ability that blocks it from being affected or hurt by GX or EX Pokémon. Very good ability in which can catch players off guard. Focus down their non EX/GX threats then transition into Luminous Barrier for a victory. However, make sure you don't bench enough prizes for the opponent.

3-3 Zoroark-GX

A great secondary attacker, though best used for its ability Trade. Useful in discarding Water Energy in conjunction with Aqua Patch.

1-1 Glaceon-GX

I went with just a 1-1 count of Glaceon-GX because this deck mostly focuses on Alolan Ninetales. However, a turn one Glaceon-GX can win games because of its ability. The threat of Polar Spear GX can also be game-changing. Not to mention Frost Bullet can do 30 damage snipes to the bench. Enough to finish Pokémon off with Blizzard Edge.

1x Tapu Koko

Flying Flip can help with hitting magic numbers easier. It also has free retreat. Meaning you can use Aqua Patch more effective.

1x Professor Kukui

Needed to make Blizzard Edge hit up to 210 damage. It is enough to one hit KO Zoroark-GX/Lycanroc-GX/Golisopod-GX and plenty of other Pokémon.

4x Puzzle of Time

Getting back resources will come in handy and the sole reason I went with three Aqua Patch and Choice Band.

3x Aqua Patch

Energy acceleration in this deck can make for some interesting and lethal plays with Blizzard Edge.

3x Choice Band

Needed to make Alolan Ninetales-GX hit up to 190-210 damage. These numbers are extremely relevant in today's format.

1x Float Stone

Having free retreat can be crucial for making Aqua Patch plays in case you don't already have Tapu Koko in play.

Other card options


I believe Alolan Ninetales should be enough to take down Buzzwole-GX/Lycanroc-GX even without Mew-EX. Especially with two Alolan Ninetales. You just have to be wary of Sudowoodo, Mew, and Mewtwo, though Mew you can just snipe with Ice Blade.

Closing Thoughts

That will conclude this article on my Top 64 finish in Charlotte as well as an updated Alolan Ninetales-GX/Zoroark-GX list for Portland Regionals this weekend. Good luck to those attending and I wish you the best of luck. Wish I were going, though I'll definitely be in Utah for their Expanded Regionals so keep a lookout for some updated Expanded lists for that event in the near future. I still believe Silvally-GX/Zoroark-GX/Dusk Mane Necrozma-GX can do well even with Lucario-GX being present. Nonetheless, both lists are strong for Portland Regionals it just depends on what you think the meta will shape up to be or if it'll stay the same.

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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