Experts' corner

Jose Marrero

Zoroark-GX/Lycanroc-GX - Top 64 Madison Regionals

Jose examines his Top 64 Zoroark-GX/Lycanroc-GX list from Madison as well as does a tournament report.

06/21/2018 by Jose Marrero



Hey there 60cards readers! I'm back again with yet another article. I apologize since I haven't written in over a month. I've been so busy trying to stay in Top 16 that I barely had any time. Hopefully, I can get back to my writing schedule soon. There have been events after events lately non-stop. Even this weekend I'll be at Mexico City Regionals. Following that the NAIC and then Worlds. This next article I'll be dissecting my Top 64 Zoroark-GX/Lycanroc-GX list I used at Madison Regionals and then talk a little bit about how my rounds went. Zoroark-GX/Lycanroc-GX can still do wonders if you dodge enough Buzzwole decks and honestly that's the scary part about the deck. Three baby Buzzwole in Buzzwole decks are troublesome for sure. It'll be the deck to beat moving forward along with Malamar. It might just be too risky to play any form of Zoroark-GX variant at this point because three baby Buzzwoles are difficult to deal with.

However, Malamar decks with more non-GX attackers can keep up with them and if that is the case then Zoroark-GX decks can still shine. Hopefully, I can stay in Top 16 before Worlds and get an auto Day 2 invite as it'll mean all the hard work has paid off. Skipping Day 1 of Worlds brings you one step closer in chasing the World Champion dream. That's why many top players continue to do events post Day 1 invite. Right now I'm currently 17th in NA/Canada rankings with 1192 Championship Points.

The Top 16 race is so close and Mexico City Regionals along with NAIC can make or break a handful of players still chasing the Day 2 invite. I'm praying that I can keep my spot because an auto Day 2 invite provides $2500 and the skipping of Day 1. At this point, I'm too close to just give up. I wasn't chasing it until I saw how close I was after Brazil Internationals. Now I'm hungrier than ever to get it. I already have two League Cup wins for the fourth quarter so I can't gain anymore Championship Points from League Cups. It is all up to Mexico City Regionals and the NAIC to determine if I am worthy to be one of the Top 16 best US/Canada players for the season. I'm extremely excited for NAIC either way and for Worlds. I can't wait to see what happens. For those chasing the dream like myself the best of luck to you as well. It doesn't come around often but when it does you have to want it more than the next person. I've never had a Day 2 auto invite though I made Day 2 before. It just isn't the same because you gain more from the auto Day 2 and it means you have conquered a totally different monster.

With that said, let's take a look at the Zoroark-GX/Lycanroc-GX list I used to place in Top 64 of Madison Regionals.


4-4 Zoroark-GX

Zoroark-GX doesn't need any explanations at this point since most everyone knows what it does by now. Still, I'll go over it for the newer players that may be reading.  Zoroark-GX is the main attacker in the deck early on until you have to transition into Lycanroc-GX because Zoroark-GX essentially attacks for one energy while Lycanroc-GX needs two attachments. Its Trade ability is strong for its consistent draw power. Its attack Riotous Beating for just a single Double Colorless Energy can do big damage and can one hit or two hit KO Pokémon depending on what they are. Being able to one-hit KO Dawn Wings Necrozma-GX with ease is nice. 

3-2 Lycanroc-GX

Tackle Rockruffs you can see were replaced with the new ones that now have 70 hit points. The extra 10 hit points actually are pretty relevant when it comes to Buzzwole-GX. Corner Rockruff was kept in the deck just in case. It actually almost won me a game against Michael Pramawat in our round 8 match. Corner can be used to lock Pokémon that don't attack such as Octillery for a cheap victory as you will see in my match with Michael as I mentioned. Lycanroc-GX is an all around great card when you look at it as a whole. It has one of the best abilities in the game but it also has one of the best GX attacks in the game. Bloodthirsty Eyes, lets you drag up one of your opponent's Benched Pokémon. Bloodthirsty Eyes is basically a free Lysandre in the form of an ability. Its first attack, Claw Slash can one-hit KO Zoroark-GX. Its GX attack, Dangerous Rogue GX does 50 damage times each of your opponents benched Pokémon. Most times this attack will almost always ensure a KO on whatever you want. You can only use it once so make sure to use it at the right time.

1 Mew-EX

A great attacker against a variety of Psychic weak Pokémon. For example, Buzzwole-GX, Necrozma-GX, Mewtwo-GX and plenty more. Mew-EX has its merit in the deck and I can even see upping the count.

1 Mewtwo EVO

Mewtwo is mainly in the deck to help combat against Buzzwole-GX. You trade a one prize attacker for a two prize attacker to hopefully stay in the lead and force a 7 prize game.

1 Buzzwole FBL

The newest inclusion since Toronto Regionals and newly released in Forbidden Light. This card is great in the mirror as well as against opposing baby Buzzwoles. You can even turn one KO Zoruas with Buzzwole.

3 N

Two N is risky because when you need them most you may not have it. Three N is the perfect amount in this deck. You have Trades to fill your hand back up anyway. If it were a deck with Garbodor then I can see playing a maxed four count because late-game N with Garbotoxin wins games.

3 Brigette

Who doesn't love opening Brigette? That is why three is the ideal amount. Give yourself better odds to open it. Four is overkill for sure so just keep it at three. I mean you can drop it to two but I personally wouldn't. You can just use the excess Brigettes for Trade bait.

3 Guzma

I ran only two Guzma in my Top 8 Toronto list and felt that three could go a long way. Especially now that Malamar is big in the current meta. Picking off Malamars is the way to go in that matchup.

2 Cynthia

I see many lists play just one copy of Cynthia. However, I like the second one because it makes the deck more consistent and I fear dead drawing early. However, plenty of lists that play one have had success so you can get away with just running one.

1 Professor Sycamore

When playing Puzzles of Time it is important to not discard too many of them when you don't have to. Playing one Professor Sycamore is the way to go because it'll rarely be used unless you absolutely have to use it.

1 Mallow

This card has done wonders for me. I've used it so many times to get the exact two cards I need to stay ahead in the game. A lot of times I've used Mallow to grab an energy or a Float Stone or even Multi Switch for game-changing plays that ultimately lead to winning.

1 Professor Kukui

The extra 20 damage Professor Kukui provides gives this deck tons of options in achieving that one-hit KO. For example, Mewtwo can one hit KO a fully powered Buzzwole-GX with Professor Kukui. Another scenario would be Zoroark-GX and a Choice Band plus Professor Kukui KOing Tapu Lele-GX. Not to mention, out of nowhere KO's with Dangerous Rogue GX.

3 Field Blower

Parallel City and Garbotoxin are annoying for this deck, so having access to a handful of Field Blower is ideal. You want to have Field Blower ready for use when needed most. I can see going down to two, however, three just feels so nice because you hit them more often than not if you were to just play two.

2 Float Stone

I like the second inclusion of Float Stone because it lets you play more comfortably when something gets KOed. They help with getting easier revenge KO's with Mew-EX and Mewtwo when they aren't on the bench already. 

2 Choice Band

Two Choice Band is the ideal amount in this deck because it's not too many or too less. It is the perfect amount in this deck because you only put it down when needed most. You can also just Puzzle of Time them back if you need to. Mewtwo with a Choice Band can take out a fully powered Buzzwole-GX once they have used Beast Ring onto it. Choice Band with Professor Kukui can take out Tapu Lele-GX with Zoroark-GX if you have a full bench. A lot of times players don't expect that when they try to two shot Lycanroc-GX with Energy Drive after you have used Dangerous Rogue GX already.

1 Evosoda

I only played one Evosoda because it honestly is all you need. I don't like Timer Balls. Evosoda guarantees you a Zoroark-GX once you find it.

1 Multi Switch

This card is definitely worthwhile in this deck because once you pull it off it usually means you are in a great spot. Using Multi Switch to power Lycanroc-GX out of nowhere can easily win games and catch the opponent off guard. I can't see dropping it anytime soon that's for sure. It is too good and needed in the mirror.

1 Parallel City

My Top 8 Toronto list actually didn't even play Parallel City. However, after the release of Forbidden Light and Malamar decks I believe Parallel City is a must now. I decided to just play one because the matchup is fine nonetheless and you can just Puzzle of Time it back if needed. Limiting the opponent's bench can be crucial early on and even for yourself if you need to toss any liability Pokémon on your bench.

Other card options

Sudowoodo BKP 67/Shaymin SHL 7

I actually played both of these cards in my Top 8 Toronto list. However, they aren't good vs Malamar decks and it's one of the most played decks. I dropped them to fit cards like Parallel City and baby Buzzwole. Sudowoodo can still be good in the mirror or Zoroark-GX decks in general as well as Buzzwole-GX. Even against Dusk Mane Necrozma-GX, you can use Sudowoodo to revenge KO them. As for Shaymin, it is more situational than Sudowoodo because it has fewer uses. For example, to one-hit KO Lycanroc-GX and Zygarde-GX. It can even take out Greninja-GX and Regirock-EX if needed. I know a couple Day 2 lists from Madison actually ran both Sudowoodo and Shaymin along with baby Buzzwole so you can fit them all if you really wanted. They all have their own merits.

Latios SHL 41

With the popularity of Buzzwole decks, I can see Latios being somewhat effective. However, Latios doesn't two shot baby Buzzwole unless you play Professor Kukui which is the reason I'm not a fan of it in this deck at least. 

Diancie Prism Star

Ryne Morgan played a copy of this card in Madison. The extra 20 damage gives both Lycanroc-GX and Buzzwole easier numbers to hit. Still, Diancie doesn't support Zoroark-GX or any of the other Pokémon in the deck, so I personally wouldn't play it. I just don't think the extra 20 damage warrants a whole spot in the deck. Spots in this deck are very limited and need to be used accordingly.


Used in the winning list from Sheffield Regionals this past weekend. Can be clutch at times when the opponent doesn't expect it. Allowing for a possible stealing of a game. It also is just another way to rid of the opponent's Parallel City while also disrupting them at the same time.


My Top 8 list from Toronto had Acerola and to be honest I only used it once or twice if that. I decided to drop it for Madison in place of a third Guzma. I'm not sure if I would add it back unless I knew Greninja-GX would wise in popularity more. Still, having some way of healing and denying prizes can go a long way when needed most.


I know Ryne Morgan also ran three copies of Judge at Madison Regionals to make Day 2 which I thought was quite interesting. I'm unsure how good they are but I can see at times your opponent whiffing what they need off four cards. Especially in the mirror when your opponent has a huge hand. Sure you also get four cards but it is likely that you already have what you need if you were to use Judge anyway.

Timer Ball

I'm not a fan of Timer Ball in this deck because I prefer Evosoda for the guarantee evolution. Flipping double heads is something that can happen and most times flipping two heads is nice but not always needed to keep yourself going.

Enhanced Hammer

Energy denial can be great against other Zoroark-GX decks and against Buzzwole-GX. You can even get rid of Beast Energy with Enhanced Hammer. You never know when that clutch Enhanced Hammer can win you the game. Especially if it's in the mirror when the opponent has a Special Energy on Rockruff or Lycanroc-GX.

Rescue Stretcher

I've seen lists running a copy of Rescue Stretcher. It honestly isn't a bad inclusion because there are times where you don't want to use Puzzles of Time on Pokémon. Getting back a Lycanroc-GX with Rescue Stretcher can be clutch.

Tournament Report

Round 1 - William Woodard - Necrozma-GX/Malamar: LWT (0-0-1)

I wasn't sure what I was facing going into this round but William is a buddy so I knew we would have good games. Game one William and I go back and forth with KO's and eventually, William drops down both Marshadow-GX and Mewtwo-GX to take KO's to take game one. Game two I had to play a bit smarter knowing William played those attackers. I play first in game two and only have a lone Zorua and pass the turn. William is digging and digging trying to finish me off and only needs one Psychic Energy to take the series. After two Max Elixir whiffs and a whiff off Professor Sycamore, my lone Zorua survived. I evolve into Zoroark-GX and use Brigette to keep myself in the game. I eventually win game two so we move into game three where it gets down to the wire. At some point, William Ns me down to two and in my deck, I still have all three Tapu Lele-GX and all four Ultra Ball. I just need any one of them to win the game. We are in time at this point so I only had one turn to win or we tie. I draw my two cards off the N and then my top deck. I use Trade two times and completely whiff. I was in shock to have whiffed one of those seven cards off seven of my own cards. I guess William whiffing an energy off two Max Elixirs and Professor Sycamore made it even on my part. Still, unfortunate but glad it at least wasn't a loss.

Round 2 - Tyer Renfro - Buzzwole-GX/Lycanroc-GX: LL (0-1-1)

Oh man, this round I got demolished. My opponent never missed a beat. He was hitting Max Elixirs left and right and I'm just sitting there like is it my turn yet? My opponent had every answer and put me in the dirt. I lose 2-0 and move on with my 0-1-1 start. My opponent played really well so I'll give that to him for sure. My starts were mediocre at best but nowhere near enough to keep up with an onslaught of Fighting attackers.

Round 3 - Jensen Linner - Buzzwole-GX/Lycanroc-GX: WW (1-1-1)

The round before I got completely destroyed by Buzzwole-GX/Lycanroc-GX so I was a bit hesitant to face another in a row. Game one I was able to take quick KO's while denying my opponent his own Lycanroc-GX. Both Mew-EX and Mewtwo put in work. In game two, however my opponent I believe opened with a lone Pokémon and passed the turn. I believe I was able to bench my opponent quickly to take a quick 2-0 victory.

Round 4 - Nabeel Hyatt - BeastBox: WW (2-1-1)

My opponent was running the BeastBox variant with both Dusk Mane Necrozma and Dusk Mane Necrozma-GX as well as Naganadel-GX of course. Game one I know I remember KOing back to back Poipole not allowing my opponent to get out Naganadel-GX. Lycanroc-GX did tons of work in this matchup with its Dangerous Rogue GX and being able to one-hit KO baby Dusk Mane Necrozma with Claw Slash for 130. Both games basically went the same so I take a comfortable 2-0 victory over my opponent.

Round 5 - Russell Culver - Ultra Necrozma-GX/Malamar: WW (3-1-1)

This matchup is favorable for Zoroark-GX because Parallel City cripples Malamar decks. Also having weakness typing over Dawn Wings Necrozma-GX is huge. I believe I was able to limit my opponent's Malamars to a minimum to deny crazy Ultra Necrozma-GX plays.

Round 6 - Isaiah Cheville - Zoroark-GX/Lycanroc-GX: WW (4-1-1)

I don't remember too much about this game other than winning 2-0. I believe Parallel City did a lot of work and KOing my opponent's Rockruffs before than could evolve was why I won this match.

Round 7 - Vance Kelley - Greninja BREAK: WW (5-1-1)

Going into this match I knew my winning streak was over since I didn't play Giratina. Somehow I was able to win this match 2-0. In game one I was able to get fast KO's every turn with Lycanroc-GX. Eventually, my opponent N's me down to one and I need a Guzma for game or else I may have lost. To some miracle, my N to one was a Guzma so I take a very close game one. In game two, I was able to limit my opponent's bench with an early Parallel City that stuck for a couple turns. This allowed me to take multiple KO's before my opponent could get out any Greninja. I take a KO on Tapu Lele-GX at some point and from there I knew I had the game in the bag since my opponent whiffed Enhanced Hammer for a number of turns.

Round 8 - Michael Pramawat - Buzzwole-GX/Lycanroc-GX: WLL (5-2-1)

Great... I'm up against one of my teammates this round which ultimately meant one of us will be out on Day 2 contention. I knew Michael was playing the three baby Buzzwole variant so I figured I would get smashed. However, the games were actually a lot closer than I had thought. Game one it goes back and forth with Michael and I taking KO after KO. At one point in the game, I had Mew-EX putting in work. Michael eventually got out Lycanroc-GX to KO one of my Zoroark-GX. However, My Mew-EX had a Double Colorless Energy on it and so because Michael had benched a fourth Pokémon last turn I was able to Dangerous Rogue GX with Mew-EX to KO Michael's Lycanroc-GX. Michael didn't see that coming or else he wouldn't have benched the fourth Pokémon. Michael scooped soon after so we move into game two. This game was quite interesting for sure.

Michael has an explosive turn one with energy onto three separate Pokémon including Rockruff. I knew I basically couldn't win with Michael's turn one start so I go with trying to Guzma stall Michael's Octillery with Corner. As the turns went by and Michael either using Guzma to take KO's and me using another Guzma to Corner Octillery once again. It eventually came down to one turn where I misplayed and forgot Michael can just Guzma something then use Bloodthirsty Eyes to bring the Corner Rockruff active to KO it. Had I known that I would have won the match. There was a turn where I used Mallow to put Guzma on top of the deck waiting for Michael to finally use his last Guzma so I could win with my own Guzma on Octillery for a third and final time. But that was when Michael did the smart play and KOed my Corner Rockruff. Because I put Guzma on top and not a Puzzle of Time (which I should have either way) I barely lost the game. Game three Michael steamrolled me and I conceded as I had about a seven or eight card hand that was completely useless somehow.

Round 9 - Riley Hulbert - Zoroark-GX/Lycanroc-GX: WW (6-2-1)

Finally the last round of Swiss I'm now against my good friend, Riley. Before anything, Riley offers the ID because he knew this round was almost irrelevant to himself given that Riley had an invite already and was not chasing Day 2. I knew an ID would ensure both of us 40 Championship Points. I told Riley I was going for Top 64 CP as it gives an extra 10 CP since I myself am chasing a Day 2 invite. Riley completely understood and without hesitation offered the concession to me and we went on our way. Thanks again Riley you the man.

Closing Thoughts

That will conclude this article on my Top 64 finish at Madison Regionals. I think Zoroark-GX/Lycanroc-GX gets worse as now Buzzwole-GX/Lycanroc-GX plays three baby Buzzwole after the deck's success in Madison. It'll be a lot tougher to take them down with any type of Zoroark-GX variant, though Zoroark-GX decks do have a great Malamar matchup. It becomes a circle to where Buzzwole-GX beats Zoroark-GX, Zoroark-GX beats Malamar, and Malamar beats Buzzwole-GX. It ultimately is up to you which you prefer and believes to be the best option and what you think will see more or less play. Next up on my journey lies in Mexico City again this weekend though this time for their Regionals. If you see me in Mexico this weekend  feel free to stop by and say hi.

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. As always 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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