Experts' corner

Jose Marrero

"ReshiZard" The Best Deck in Format

Jose examines Kian's winning list along with his own 9th place list from Santa Clara Regionals.

05/31/2019 by Jose Marrero



What's going on, 60cards readers?! I'm back again with another article — this time I'll be going over Kian's 1st place list from Santa Clara Regionals along with my 9th place list. Both decks are  Reshiram and Charizard GX (UBO; 20) but are completely different play styles and builds from one another which is quite interesting. Kian's winning list was more focused around playing  Green's Exploration (UBO; 209) which meant he did not play any Pokémon with an ability. Whereas, the list that I used to place 9th was more focused around achieving a turn one  Kiawe (BUS; 116) and transitioning into Guzma or Welder (UBO; 214) . Not to mention, Pablo's winning list from Sao Paulo Regionals was quite similar to mine as well so shout out to him. Unfortunately, I bubbled yet another Regionals in the same season. The other one was Daytona Regionals where I piloted Rayquaza GX (CLS; 109) .

Still, I was happy with my performance. This past weekend I had a couple of League Cups as well as a League Challenge. I decided to play  Reshiram and Charizard GX (UBO; 20) at all three events with 1-2 changes. I won the Saturday League Cup then the following day I lost my win and in against Zoroark GX (SLG; 53) / Dewgong (UBO; 45) / Slowking (LT; 55) / Persian GX (UBO; 149) . The matchup is fine but sometimes close. At the League Challenge, I lost round 1 to Baby  Blacephalon (UBO; 32) which is a tough matchup then proceeded to win the next 4 rounds to place 3rd putting me at 1767 CP so far for the season and 4th in the US/Canada leaderboards. Pretty happy with my season so far and it's by far my best season for sure.

With that said, down below is Kian's winning list from Santa Clara Regionals.

ReshiZard 1st Place Santa Clara

Kian's list was quite interesting for sure. Some may say it's an odd list not playing any form of draw ability. However, when you see the list as a whole you start to understand why.  Green's Exploration (UBO; 209) is what makes this build so good. You can basically search out any 2 Trainers with them. The deck plays 4 copies of  Volcanion (UBO; 34) because as you see the list does not play Kiawe. Meaning if you play 2nd then you technically have the best of both worlds because you can  Welder (UBO; 214) and then attack with Volcanion to power up multiple attackers. Having 4 copies of Volcanion (UBO; 34) should make your  Zapdos (TM; 40) matchup favored as they need multiple Electropower to one hit KO a single Volcanion (UBO; 34) .

I'd personally like the 3rd copy of ReshiZard just for the mirror but that's just me. The addition of  Eevee & Snorlax GX (TM; 120) I'm a big fan of and is something I added myself to help the Zoroark-GX matchup. Green's Expedition can do crazy tricks in the deck between using Lt. Surge's Strategy (UBO; 178) to help combo with Professor Kukui (SUM; 148) to using two  Custom Catcher (LT; 231) to take a big KO. It also plays healing such as Acerola and Max Potion because the deck doesn't want to play Miltank due to it having an ability. As you can see the deck does not play any evolution Pokémon so because of this Kian decided to play Stealthy Hood to help counter those pesky  Vileplume (BUS; 6) decks. Overall Kian's list is quite strong.

Other card options

Acro Bike/Escape Rope

Both cards are searchable with Green's Expedition. It's like playing Volker for Escape Rope which is cool and being able to grab Acro Bikes just for extra draw doesn't seem bad at all.

Both Azul and Pablo did a video on Kian's list so check those out and show them some love.

With that said, down below is my 9th place list from Santa Clara Regionals.

ReshiZard 9th Place Santa Clara

This is the list I used to place 9th at Santa Clara Regionals. I'll be honest I started Day 1 at 1-2-0 and made a huge comeback as I did in Hartford where I also started 1-2-0. Sometimes those first couple rounds get the best of you and its up to you to still have the will and power to keep fighting and not give up. You never know what can happen. Just keep playing and maybe you too can surprise yourself. Overall I felt my list was good. You can see I added pretty much every tech there is. Every card in the list had its use and reasoning.


Moving forward I did end up changing cards here and there mainly adding a 3rd copy of ReshiZard. I decided to play  Mew (UBO; 76) to help against any deck that would otherwise spread such as,  Weezing (UBO; 74) and PikaRom. Absol was mostly just for Zapdos decks just to help win more against them. Miltank was my form of healing because you can heal 180 with Welder. I went with 2 Field Blower because I wanted to get rid of Wishful Baton (BUS; 128)Spell Tag (LT; 235) and any annoying stadiums like Power Plant and Shrine of Punishment (CLS; 143) . I haven't changed the list too much since League Cups and League Challenges as I feel the list is still pretty good.

Other card options


Mainly to counter  Vileplume (BUS; 6) decks as it can attack as it evolves because you can then Welder onto it. It can also accelerate energy which makes Flareon-GX somewhat even more useful.

Arcanine UNB 22

A solid non-GX attacker that can one hit KO Zapdos and other low hit point Pokémon while also accelerating energy. It's also a counter to Vileplume decks. I know Alex's 2nd place list from Santa Clara ran a copy so it's definitely worth looking into.

Lurantis SM25 Promo

Adding 20 damage to your fire attacks can be crucial at times but making room for a 1-1  Lurantis (BW; null) just doesn't seem good. It will drop the deck's consistency some but if it sticks on the board then it can force 1 hit KO's easier.

Shining Ho-Oh SM70 Promo

This card is good, however, it's attack does 110 and takes 4 energy. Shining Lugia takes 4 energy but does 130 which is nice to KO baby Buzzwole.

Reshiram SLG 14

A great non-GX attacker that is useful in the mirror to take down opposing Volcanion and Shining Lugia (BW; 82) . Also one hit KO's Zapdos.

Turtonator DRJ 50

I'm not a big fan of this card due to it being KOed easily by Zapdos. One  Electropower (LT; 232) versus 2 is a big difference. However, Turtonator is nice in the mirror to force an uneven prize trade.

Marshadow UNB 81

Being able to discard a stadium at a moments notice is nice especially prism ones.

Lt. Surge's Strategy

If you are behind on prizes then this card can do wonders. Being able to use Welder and Guzma on the same turn can be nice. However, there aren't many unique supporters in the deck to make this card worth a spot, like Kian's build.

Professor Kukui

Adding Professor Kukui to the deck makes it so that you can potentially 1 hit KO an opposing ReshiZard. However, that's a little difficult because the opponent will likely wait to attack with their own until they are able to one hit KO your's first. Still, Professor Kukui can make Volcanion do 130 and ReshiZard do 250 not needing Choice Band to take down Pokémon such as PikaRom.


The deck plays 2 Let Loose Marshadow so really Judge isn't needed. If you are scared of Vileplume stall then 2 Let Loose should do the trick. If not then Flareon-GX or  Arcanine (UBO; 22) is your best bet.


Great card to fully heal and still keep your energy. However, that means no Kiawe or Welder so I'm not that big of a fan of Acerola in the deck. Miltank should be enough to heal if you are worried about healing.

Pokegear 3.0

These will surely make your turn 1 Kiawe's more efficient but there just isn't any room for them. They are more of a luxury card but not absolutely needed to make the deck work.

Max Potion

Having Max Potion to be able to fully heal something can be nice. However, that forces all energy to be discarded. I think Miltank adds the same benefit without the discarding of energy though.

Acro Bike

This card adds more consistency and draw to the deck. However, I don't think they are needed. I felt the deck runs fine without them. You don't need much after you get a turn 1 Kiawe. My list plays 2 copies of Tapu Lele-GX so it's not hard getting that turn 1 Kiawe.

Escape Rope

I personally like 4 copies of Switch due to having Miltank in the deck as most times you will want to KO the active. However, Escape Rope can also come in handy for this scenario and at the same time potentially drag up a Pokémon that can be crucial in taking a prize.

Adventure Bag

Being able to search out two Tools is nice since the deck plays 4 and if you play Stealthy Hood then  Adventure Bag (LT; 228) is even better.

Rescue Stretcher

Getting back a ReshiZard can be crucial or a 2nd copy of Mew, Absol, or non-GX attacker. Rescue Stretcher is also nice for when you have a Marshadow (SLG; 45) Dedenne GX (UBO; 57) , or Tapu Lele-GX in the discard.

Stealthy Hood

Strictly to help counter Vileplume decks.

Wondrous Labyrinth

The deck has energy acceleration so technically this card wouldn't be horrible. Some decks only play like 1 stadium and if you can have Wondrous Labyrinth stick for the rest of the game well it should be an easy game from here on out. Especially good against Zapdos and Weezing decks.

Viridian Forest

Being able to freely search out a Fire Energy is nice so you can Welder onto something more effectively. I had Viridian in my original build but ultimately dropped it for a 2nd copy of Field Blower which personally I like better.

Power Plant

Great card to deny abilities from GX/EX Pokémon. If you time it right then Power Plant can potentially cripple the opponent. Kian's list played 2 copies because they never will be effective towards his build as it did not play cards like Tapu Lele-GX or Dedenne-GX.

Changes moving forward

After Santa Clara Regionals I changed the list by just 1-2 cards since League Cups and League Challenges. I dropped 1 Let Loose Marshadow for a 3rd copy of ReshiZard. This is because I kept prizing one of them against the mirror match and in the mirror, it's important to have two of them powered up. I also keep dropping and readding Absol. It just depends on how much Zapdos you expect to play. The fourth copy of Nest Ball can replace the Absol for more consistency. Other than that I think the list is near perfect and has solid matchups all around.

Closing Thoughts

That will conclude this article on why I think ReshiZard is the BDIF. Without a doubt, it will see a huge amount of play this weekend in Madison and if players aren't prepared for it then they will have a world of hurt. It's still my number 1 pick for Madison as I believe it has solid matchups all around because the deck can play a number of non-Fire-type attackers that can help against it's more troublesome matchups as I mentioned. Madison is the last Regionals of the season. It should be interesting to see who and what deck ends up winning the last one of the season. Following Madison is the Origins Special Event and then NAIC followed by Worlds. The season is almost coming to a close. I'm hoping to finish strong come NAIC and Worlds. If you see me this weekend in Madison 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 have Ability Markers for sale 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 or if you want to reach me that way.

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 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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