Experts' corner

Jay Lesage

"Roar!" - A Review of Weavile/Zoroark GX

An in depth look at Zoroark/Weavile's position at Collinsville and Malmo Regionals.

03/06/2018 by Jay Lesage

Hey everybody!

It’s been a while since I’ve written an article for 60Cards, and boy does it feel good to be back. I’ve been terribly busy with school, as well as making new relationships with people and forming miniature networks in preparation for my career as a marketer. I’m not going to lie, it’s been a little difficult balancing Pokemon and real life scenarios – although it hasn’t affected my playing abilities as much (or my ability to bang out a fire decklist), it’s been disappointing not being able to play in as many events as I used to. Last year, I was able to attend all four internationals with relative ease, and nowadays I find it very difficult to even hit up my hometown one in North America. Watching Oceania and Europe go by pained me, but it’s important as a person that I go with the ebb and flow of things because it’s vital to grow. My headspace currently though is in Expanded going into Costa Mesa, however I couldn’t help but mention the innovation most players are putting into decks as of late.

Limitless is usually my go to resource for any decklist from previous tournaments – one of the coolest features I’ve found is that Limitless not only shows you up to date decklists (posted by real life players), but they also tell you who else ran that exact same list. I think that’s cute how you can see who worked on each innovation, because as time goes on you might see deviations from team to team, or coincidental decklists where two players were unaware of each other playing mirror decklists. It’s also really cool how you can view who played a unique decklist that event, and then compare it to other top decks immediately. I highly suggest for people to use Limitless alongside 60Cards as their go-to resources for tournament preparation, because they’re both essential tools for success and while help take you to new heights!


The specific decklist that I’ll be talking about today was one that was piloted by top players, such as Philip Schulz, Robin Schulz, Nico Alabas, and Sam Chen. This is a deck that had new concepts implemented within Ultra Prism being released, and is the newest archetype to look out for on the block. Key thing to note – Malmo Regionals and St. Louis occurred on the same weekend, which means that since they occurred simultaneously, most of these team members worked together. I know for sure that Nico, Robin, and Philip worked as a team to design the decklist, but I’m unsure about Sam Chen – did he work alongside these European stars to create the list? It’s a little foggy, but I’m very convinced that there was talks between these unusual collaborators, because there’s virtually no way they all came out with identical decks. There are way too many unique inclusions in this powerhouse deck in order to say it was a “coincidence”. While I haven’t directly contacted Sam to ask him, not any of the Europeans, it’s safe to say that this was a mutual effort between these four powerhouses. Without further introduction, here’s the list that took Malmo and St. Louis by storm!

Zoroark/Weavile Deck


This deck’s optimal strategy is just the same as any other Zoroark deck – it’s just a straightup beatdown from start to finish. Most Zoroark decks will want to begin with Brigette to search out more Zorua, and then swarm a field of Zoroark on the following turn via use of Evosoda, Ultra Ball, draw Supporters, and Trade to establish a full field of Pokemon. Coupled with Choice Band, Kukui, and additional benched Pokemon, you can hit for up to 170 damage as early as turn two. If need be, you can duck hits with Acerola and remove any damage that’s built up, but besides that this is a very typical Zoroark build, just with the inclusion of Weavile (which makes it one hell of an interesting deck). There’s a couple of juicy cards in here that deviate it off of the normal, beaten path, and those niche differences are things that we’re going to view in depth. Today’s article isn’t a “Zoroark-GX” article, but rather an article that takes a scoped view of what goes into deck construction, deck chemistry, and improvements from player to player. Oh yeah, and we’ll also talk a lot about that little monkey in the corner, Oranguru. Let’s jump into some of the hot inclusions this quartet opted for in their identical lists.

Card Counts

4-4 Zoroark-GX

Zoroark-GX is our optimal attacker, and we want as many of these out as we possibly can get. By playing four copies of each card, we can properly ensure that we’ll set up many of them, while simultaneously reinstating the deck’s core consistency. Once you get one Zoroark-GX out, you can get multiple of them out due to Zoroark’s Trade ability. Trade can also aid in thinning the deck of any resources you don’t need in a game, and boosts your outs to drawing out of a low N to one card. With Darkness Energy in the deck, keep in mind that you can use Zoroark-GX’s Trickster GX attack in order to score surprise KO’s – this is unique and may catch people off guard considering most Zoroark-GX builds have traditionally opted against basic Darkness Energy in their lists.

1 Zoroark BKT

I really like this Zoroark in the list because it fits in with the energy requirements, but also allows you to not miss a beat with the deck. If you ever have a Pokemon trapped in the active that can’t attack, Zoroark’s Stand In ability will allow you to become mobile, and use Mind Jack as your attack for the turn. I love the fact that it can apply so much pressure on the opponent, all the while giving you means for a 1-Prize attacker. Many opponents will misplay against this Zoroark and bench a ton of unnecessary Pokemon, which is something we can take advantage of; in a metagame where Tapu Lele-GX is everywhere, this seems like a mighty fine inclusion in most lists. One is all that’s necessary in this style of list, considering we already have Weavile as a 1-Prize attacker (and Oranguru UPR as a backup). Generally speaking, this card is just something that we can Trade away if we don’t need it, and it gives us options.

2-1 Weavile

This I the real differentiator in the deck, so we’ll discuss for a minute the strong points of this card as our partner in crime for Zoroark. The main issue that Zoroark faces is that it has a lower damage cap as opposed to most attackers in the game – we need a way to break that damage cap and eventually overcome those high-HP Pokemon that are presented at tournaments. Since Weavile has a low-HP of only 90, we fully expect Weavile to go down the first hit it takes. We really only position a threat with its second attack, Evil Admonition – doing 50 damage per Pokemon with ability on the opponent’s side is a very killer attack! While purely situational, there are many Pokemon who have abilities. Here’s a brief list:

• Gardevoir GX’s “Secret Spring”

• Gallade “Premonition”

• Tapu Lele GX “Wonder Tag”

• Vikavolt “Strong Charge”

• Zoroark GX “Trade”

• Zoroark “Stand In”

• Octillery “Abyssal Hand”

• Oranguru “Instruct”

• Glaceon GX “Freezing Gaze”

• Leafeon GX “Breath of the Leaves”

• Eevee “Energy Evolution”

• Decidueye GX “Feather Arrow”

• Volcanion EX “Steam Up”

• Wimpod “Wimp Out”

• Hoopa “Scoundrel Guard”

• Carbink “Safe Guard”

• Carbink “Energy Keeper”

• Magnezone “Magnetic Circuit”

• Metagross GX “Geotech System”

• Mew EX “Versatile”

• Mew “Dawn of Memories”

• Giratina “Devour Light”

• Greninja BREAK “Giant Water Shuriken”

• Starmie “Space Beacon”

• Xuritree GX “Flash Head”

• Kartana GX “Slice Off”

• Lucario “Precognitive Aura”

This is a very small list of Pokemon in standard that are common in decks, and let me tell you – that list could go on forever. Abilities are within one of the most prominent mechanics noawadays, and are being pressured to be played more than ever. Weavile has a great way of punishing these plays with even just 2-3 ability Pokemon in play, and a Choice Band/Professor Kukui alongside it. I love how out of nowhere you can begin taking surprise KO’s with a single 1-Prize attacker. This can sometimes prevent people from even playing their Pokemon with abilities – why would you want your opponent to have another 50 damage available at their disposal? It’s pretty funny to watch your opponent debate whether or not to evolve a Zorua sometimes, which can create some fantastic plays for us! The second Sneasel copy in the deck allows for us to safely bench both Sneasel for Riotous Beating, all the while making it so that our opponent can’t knock them both out and isolate us away from evolving into Weavile.

1 Giratina 

While in most decks I’d say this is an unnecessary inclusion, I really like it in here because it can be used as fodder for Zoroark GX’s Trade ability! Giratina makes it so that we’re able to take down Greninja-based decks, and take on their onslaught of Giant Water Shuriken. One Giratina makes it so that a matchup we’d normally lose becomes an automatic win (provided our deck sets up), so why wouldn’t we take those chances? I’m always down for a free win. It also acts as an extra basic for Riotous Beating, so it makes for a quick 1-card inclusion in our list. 

1 Oranguru

While you’re probably thinking about the Oranguru with the “Instruct” ability, we’re actually talking about the one that recycles resources. This Oranguru is something that top level players tested recently and included in many of their Collinsville lists, mostly to recover key things such as DCE, Puzzle of Time, key Supporters, and random things that they may need at the time. Recovering Enhanced Hammer with Oranguru is one of the strongest plays a Zoroark player can make, and it can help to overrun our opponent with heavy energy denial. If you need more basic Pokemon? Oranguru can nab those back for you. Need one more N to close out a game? Never fear, Oranguru is here! Oranguru is kind of like our all-purpose tool that remind me of Sableye from Dark Explorers; retrieving important resources is a trend that’ll never go out of style, and I’m sure I’ll continue to see it perform well at events across the globe.

1 Mew EX

Mew EX is our self-pronounced Buzzwole GX killer – for only a DCE, it can copy Riotous Beating and OHKO a Buzzwole due to its Psychic-weakness. It’s vital that we keep this Pokemon in pla only in the Buzzwole matchup because in other matchups, it poses a liability on our board with its low 120HP. Since Mew is an EX Pokemon, it’ll be a free two Prize Cards for our opponent to pounce on, and in today’s metagame, 120 damage is quite easy to pull off. Mew EX can be very versatile (excuse my pun) in many matchups, pendant on which energy the opponent needs to attack. If they utilize strictly DCE, we’ll be able to copy their attacks too, so be mindful of that! Overall, this card is a slaughter for any Psychic-weak GX/EX, so we always pack on in our back pocket for this reason alone. 

3 Field Blower

The heavy bought of Field Blower in this deck is attributed to the high amount of Garbodor that was played at the event – this new variant of Garbodor is one that makes it so that you can keep Garbodor online during your opponent’s turn, and turn it off during your own respectively. That version of the deck is able to do that due to the usage of Bursting Balloon, a Pokemon Tool that discards itself at the end of the opponent’s turn (thus deactivating Garbotoxin going back into your turn). You can break this cycle by using a Field Blower on it, and then cycling through all of your Trade abilities in order to find the next copy of Field Blower. Here’s the cycle of what the opponent will do:

• opponent attaches a Bursting Balloon to Garbodor

• Garbotoxin is activated going into your turn

• you take your turn; your turn ends

• the Bursting Balloon will be discarded

• opponent will find a new Bursting Balloon, and reattach it

• Garboxotin is reinstated

• rinse and repeat the process until all six Prize Cards are taken

By playing higher counts of Field Blower, we increase the chances of us having one in hand during the time that we undergo ability lock. Keep in mind you have to draw into these without using the Trade ability, so use them wisely!

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