Experts' corner

Jose Marrero

"Foxy Impressions" - Zoroark-GX/Golisopod-GX for Anaheim

Jose examines Zoroark-GX/Golisopod-GX in the expanded format for the upcoming Anaheim Regional Championships.

12/13/2018 by Jose Marrero



What's going on, 60cards readers! Who's ready for the Anaheim Regional Championships this weekend? I'm excited to be going to Anaheim again especially because of where the venue is this year. The Anaheim Convention Center is a sight to see, especially since it was our 2017 Worlds location. Going into Anaheim Regionals, I should be ranked 7th in the NA/Canada leaderboards, with a solid 512 Championship Points. It's weird, because I honestly felt I haven't done too much this season, yet I'm somehow at 512 CP and I missed the Nashville Open entry, unfortunately. Then again as long as you keep getting CP at events you can stay at the top. After finishing 17th going into Worlds last year I'm even hungrier this year to get that prestigious Day 2 advancement.

This weekend I expect to hit my invite, so that should be exciting, but there are still plenty more events ahead of us. The Top 4 grind is crazier than ever this season, with players already having 750+ CP. Anyway, for this next article, I am going to analyze one of my favorite Expanded decks, Zoroark-GX/Golisopod-GX. For those that didn't know, last season I actually made Top 8 at Dallas Regionals with the deck in question. Obviously, now the list has to be tweaked quite a bit because of the banning of certain cards, and new cards being placed into the format that give the deck an extra boost.

With that said, let's take a look at Zoroark-GX/Golisopod-GX in Expanded.


4-4-1 Zoroark-GX

In Expanded, you want to be running the Paralyzing Gaze Zorua. Simply because paralysis can come in handy against Pokémon such as Seimsitoad-EX or if you just need to try and stall for a turn in general. Last season I played the Mind Jack Zoroark. However, I believe the Foul Play one has more merit. I'd like to be able to fit both though, to be honest. Of course, playing four copies of Riotous Beating Zoroark-GX is a must. You want to maximize your odds of drawing into them, and the more Trades, the better.

2-2 Golisopod-GX

You may be asking why Golisopod-GX as a partner to Zoroark-GX instead of Pokémon such as Seismitoad-EX, Lycanroc-GX, or Garbodor. Well, the main reasoning is the Grass typing which is great against Pokémon such as Seismitoad-EX, Lycanroc-GX, Primal Groudon-EX, and even Zygarde-EX. Not only that, but having a strong hitter that takes just a single Basic Energy helps against those pesky Fabas. I guess another part of it has to do with me getting Top 8 at Dallas Regionals last season with the deck so I feel like I can take Zoroark-GX/Golisopod-GX the distance once more.

1-1 Alolan Muk

The deck does not play Garbodor as you can see so the next best option is to go with Alolan Muk. It can't be stopped with cards like Field Blower and Faba. If timed right an N plus Alolan Muk lock can cripple the opponent.

2 Tapu Lele-GX/1 Shaymin-EX

Initially, I wasn't running Shaymin-EX because of the liability. However, after more testing, I felt that at least one Shaymin-EX can be useful early. Especially for when you have to dig a little more to find more Basic Pokémon in order to take a big KO. Two Tapu Lele-GX has been fine since once Alolan Muk is out they are useless anyway aside from the bench space for Sky Field damage.

1 Ditto Prism Star

This is a great card that came out of Lost Thunder. It's a no-brainer to put this card in any stage 1 based deck. Ditto Basically makes you have 5 Zorua or the third copy of Wimpod. Don't forget Alolan Muk shuts Ditto off so just evolve into it before going into Alolan Muk is all.

1 Exeggcute PLF 4

I like the one copy of Exeggcute for the early game. Alolan Muk shuts it off but that's why I'm just playing the one and not more. You won't need Alolan Muk in every matchup so having free Trades is ideal still. Also for using Ultra Ball and Dowsing Machine for basically one card is too good to pass up.

1 Sudowoodo GRI 66

I know the deck plays Alolan Muk which basically shuts off Sudowoodo but you still have to play it for those scenarios where the opponent takes down Alolan Muk and puts their own Sudowoodo down against you. You need to be prepared for all situations.

1 Giratina Promo

I'm still debating on if I want to keep this card or not. At a recent League Cup, it was actually clutch against Trevenant which I faced in Top 8. It made the matchup a lot smoother and easier. Giratina also helps against Greninja decks should they see play.

1 Oranguru UPR 114

I'd rather be safe than sorry when going up against a mill or disruption based deck. Oranguru is also great against Trashalanche to put items back into the deck.

2 Brigette

I'd love a third copy but I just can't see dropping anything for it at the moment. Everything has its' reasoning in the deck.

2 Colress/2 N/1 Professor Sycamore

These are the decks draw supporters. I think they all have merit. Two Colress seems like a good amount since you have VS Seekers. I want to keep two N in case one is prized. Alolan Muk + N can make comebacks happen. Professor Sycamore is just for the added draw card and for those hands where you simply just want to get rid of everything.

2 Guzma

Two Guzma seems like it's a solid count since you can VS Seeker for them if needed. They will be very useful against Trevenant as will both Acerola.

2 Acerola

The deck may be able to get away with just playing one Acerola. However they are especially great against Seismitoad-EX and Trevenant so, for now, I'll keep two.

1 Faba

As much as I don't want to play this card I feel like you have to. It gives the deck more options to rid away annoying threats. For example Tools on Garbodor, Double Colorless Energy on Seismitoad-EX, or even to rid of Parallel City. If you are up against a deck that only plays Special Energy then maybe you can drain them of energy and win that way.

3 VS Seeker

To be honest, in testing three VS Seeker felt fine. You don't want to open with them as they will be dead cards early unless you are lucky enough to also have Battle Compressor in hand. The deck plays Dowsing Machine in case you need that extra supporter. You can also Resource Management back supporters or VS Seekers if needed.

3 Choice Band

I've seen most Zoroark-GX builds with Sky Field only playing two copies of Choice Band. However, I know how important they are when trying to revenge KO the opposing Zoroark-GX. If you whiff a revenge KO you lose the game so making sure you have access to Choice Band is crucial.

1 Float Stone

I really, really want to try and fit a second one because it'll be very useful against decks that Golisopod-GX is super good against like Archie/Stoise.

1 Rescue Stretcher

You have to play at least one copy of Rescue Stretcher because when Sky Field gets bumped. You may need to get back Basic Pokémon in order to take one hit KO's at another time. Getting back Oranguru will be very important as well if you are against disruption decks.

1 Field Blower

This is definitely, a card that's needed. I wish I had room for a second because they are useful against Garbotoxin and to get rid of Parallel City. However, I think one Field Blower and Faba should be enough to combat against Garbotoxin. You can also Dowsing Machine for one of them if need be.

1 Battle Compressor

This is a card that you can replace with pretty much anything because it is not a card that's needed but is nice to have. However, getting Exeggcute in the discard early is great for Trades. Also, you can put supporters in the discard so VS Seeker becomes more valid. For now I think I'll keep it in.

1 Dowsing Machine

It's hard to choose another Ace Spec over Computer Search. However, in this deck, I made an exception because Puzzle of Time is no more. Dowsing Machine gives you an extra count of cards basically. It can be used as a fourth Sky Field or whatever you need to get back at the time.

3 Sky Field

Funny enough last season I only play just one copy of Sky Field. That was because I wanted it as a surprise factor. However, now I feel the deck has to be more aggressive in trying to take one-shots. Zoroark-GX can do a massive 210 damage thanks to Sky Field. Not only that, but Colress will net you even more cards with Sky Field on board.

4 Double Colorless Energy/3 Grass Energy

Now that Faba is a thing I wanted to make sure I play a deck that doesn't only rely on Special Energy so I went back to Zoroark-GX/Golisopod-GX. After all, I did Top 8 a Regional with it last season.

Other card options


Item lock has and will always be scary and powerful as long as it lives. An early Quaking Punch can help stall and chip damage until it's time to go into a more lethal attacker.

Mewtwo-EX NXD 54

If you are worried about Buzzwole then Mewtwo-EX can be useful in one hit KOing them easier than Zoroark. X Ball can be very powerful under the right circumstances.

Naganadel LOT 108

I used to play this card because Buzzwole-GX decks were scary. However, in testing, you can still beat Buzzwole without actual Psychic attackers so I dropped Naganadel altogether. Still, it's a nice option to have because you can use its ability to put a Grass Energy then attach a Double Colorless right away. Not to mention Naganadel is a non EX/GX attacker which is good against other non EX/GX based decks.

Magcargo CES 24

Technically the deck does not have to play Slugma thanks to Ditto. Magcargo is great for searching out any 1 card every turn. However, the list is already tight as is and relying on just Ditto to get it out doesn't seem like the best thing way to go about it.

Machoke GRI 64

Spread decks can be annoying for Zoroark-GX based deck so having Machoke can go a long way in this case. However, I just don't see many spread decks being viable at the moment in Expanded at least.

Oricorio GRI 56

This card helps take down Night March and Vespiquen. However, I just don't see these decks being a huge factor at Anaheim Regionals this weekend.

Zoroark BLW 71

Mind Jack is useful against other Zoroark-GX decks if they filled up their bench thanks to Sky Field. You can potentially trade a 1 prizer for a 2 prizer. Not to mention Mind Jack is a great attack against non GX/EX based decks. Its ability Stand In is useful as well especially against Wailord-EX because you can keep using Stand In with a Float Stone. This was you can repeat one hit KOing Wailord-EX if Golisopod-GX has a Choice Band attached.

Unown LOT 91

This card is very useful against Wailord-EX and other mill decks. Basically, you can win with Unown simply by just trading away Exeggcute every time this way you aren't wasting resources and having fewer cards every time.

Bunnelby PRC 121

This is another great card against Wailord-EX. It basically helps auto-win against them because you can mill them and get back resources at the same time. Even if they Faba all your Double Colorless Energy away you still have three Basic Energy that they can't remove as long as you watch out for Girafarig.

Tapu Koko Promo

Spreading damage to make for easier one hit KO's is nice. Not to mention having a free retreater to be able to use First Impression more effectively can be handy. Still, the list is so tight I just can't see fitting Tapu Koko at the moment.

Pokémon Ranger

Seismitoad-EX and Giratina-EX can be annoying for this deck. However, Golisopod-GX is good against both said cards especially Seismitoad-EX because of weakness typing.

Professor Kukui

Zoroark-GX being able to hit up to 230 can be useful at times but I believe most times it is not necessary. 

Delinquent + Red Card

These two cards combined can be troublesome. However, I much prefer to have more consistency than disruption. It honestly is just a personal preference.


Night March and Vespiquen can still see play making Karen very powerful against them. However, I believe those two decks will be slim to none making Karen not as needed anymore.


The deck doesn't play Magcargo so having Mallow as an option to search for two specific cards can come in handy. However, in Expanded you can Colress and Trade for so many cards that you are likely to get what you want anyway making Mallow more of a luxury card than a needed card.

Pokémon Communication/Mysterious Treasure/Evosoda

These are all great cards to search out Pokémon. Some have more merit than others. It just depends on which you prefer really. I would probably go with Pokémon Communication or Evosoda since they can search out both Zoroark-GX and Golisopod-GX. I'd love to fit two Evosoda especially since Alolan Muk can get some use out of them as well. I actually did play Mysterious Treasure at a recent League Cup which I did Top 4. In the end, I dropped it for Shaymin-EX.

Enhanced Hammer

I used to play a couple of these last season when I got Top 8 at Dallas Regionals with Zoroark-GX/Golisopod-GX. However, now they don't seem as good because I think going more aggressive is the better way to play the deck.

Special Charge

The deck plays three Basic Energy so I feel like Special Charge isn't too necessary especially if the opponent is just going to Faba them away anyway. You can just keep going in and out of Golisopod-GX assuming it doesn't get one hit KOed.

Computer Search

Personally, I prefer Dowsing Machine over Computer Search simply because Puzzle of Time has been banned. Having that extra +1 count can come in handy in the long run.


Archie/Stoise — Favorable to Even

Golisopod-GX having Grass typing helps this matchup a ton. Especially because Kingdra-GX has 230 hit points but is weak to Grass as is Keldeo-EX. Zoroark-GX can't hit 230 unless you play more damage modifier cards like Professor Kukui but it can one hit KO everything else in the deck. Alolan Muk will also come in handy combined with N if you are also able to take a one-hit KO on the same turn. This will take down their threat while limiting their hand, and denying them of Shaymin-EX and Tapu Lele-GX abilities. The biggest factor comes into where if the opponent can take two prizes on the first turn on a Zorua or Wimpod with Articuno or not. Going first will make the match smoother as well. Overall I think the matchup is fine for Zoroark-GX/Golisopod-GX.

Zoroark-GX/Garbodor — Even

This match will be a Riotous Beating war. Try not to play too many items in case the opponent does play Trashalance. But Field Blower, Faba, and Dowsing Machine will come in handy here to remove Tools off of Garbodor. Make sure you have Alolan Muk out because if they have Sudowoodo and Garbotoxin then you have to be ready for both to get that big KO. If they only play Double Colorless Energy then maybe you can drain them of energy by using Faba four times. The cool thing about Faba is if you remove their Klefki's they can't get them back. I mean Alolan Muk shuts them off anyway.

Zoroark-GX/Seismitoad-EX — Favorable to Even

I feel this matchup should be fine. You have Golisopod-GX to take down Seismitoad-EX and Zoroark-GX to take down other Zoroark-GX. You just have to use your energy wisely and wait until you have a one-hit KO. Otherwise, your energy will be removed with Faba or Plumeria. Acerola will be very useful once they start using Quaking Punch so keep those ready to use. Make sure to have multiple Golisopod-GX options because they will be important. If they discard your energy from the hand that's okay because you can at least Oranguru them back.

Trevenant BREAK — Favorable

The matchup is favorable for sure but with Giratina Promo it's even more favorable. I faced up against Trevenant at a recent League Cup in Top 8. In game one I didn't even need Giratina and won handily. In game two Giratina was MVP for sure because I was Ned into a dead 6 cards but one card was in fact Giratina. I waited until the following turn to put it down after my opponent BREAK evolved. When that happened my next turn was GOD. I believe 3-4 Zoroark-GX and literally everything I wanted and from there was a cake walk. Acerola and Guzma will be very useful as well in this matchup.

Drampa-GX/Garbodor — Favorable

In testing and from previous tournament experiences this matchup is definitely favorable for Zoroark-GX/Golisopod-GX. Especially now with Faba, it helps the matchup even more. Golisopod-GX is great against this deck simply because it attacks for a single Grass Energy which Drampa-GX can't remove. Not only that but Zoroark-GX can threaten one hit KO's on anything in the deck. Oranguru can be used if needed to put items back in as well so overall this matchup is fine. You have plenty of ways to bump Parallel City and Garbotoxin. If they Garbotoxin then they are shutting off their own Sudowoodo allowing for an easier one hit KO on their Drampa-GX.

Closing Thoughts

That will conclude this article on Zoroark-GX/Golisopod-GX for Anaheim Regionals this weekend. This will be the first Expanded Regional with the new set Lost Thunder. It should be exciting to see who and what deck ends up winning the event. If you see me there be sure 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, don't forget to check out to pick up some awesome dice and GX markers. They also recently started selling Ability Markers so be sure to pick some up if you haven't already.

If you are interested in taking coaching lessons from me then feel free to either PM me on Facebook or on Twitter. My Twitter handle is below if you want to follow me for when I post lists and other exciting news as well.

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.

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-Twitter @Jose_MarreroTCG

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