Experts' corner

Zach Lesage

More [Decks] You Should Try - Another List Drop

Zach drops eight lists as we approach Memphis and Portland Regionals

10/02/2018 by Zach Lesage

Memphis is Creepin’

How is it hanging 60 Cards readers? I am back with a jam-packed article today that is burning at the seams with deck lists. I received positive feedback from my last ‘deck list drop’ article which has lead me into writing another one. The metagame was different at Philadelphia Regionals than our League Cup metagame and it seems to be changing again as we approach Memphis Regionals.

My goal with this article is provide quality less en masse for those who are looking for the plug without the ramble of a traditional article. In this article, there will be seven quality lists that I will lay out for you in an effort to expand your knowledge of what is being played lately. The first half of this article will include four Standard format lists for Memphis and the latter half of this article will include three Expanded format lists for Portland. Whatever flavour you like, Standard or Expanded, you will be in for a deck list treat today. Oh, and I will also include a spicy bonus list to bring the article to eight decks in total.

Peepin’ the Metagame

Looking at the Standard meta game after Philadelphia Regionals, it is a mix of what we knew heading into that event and some new discoveries that we have taken from that event. The talk of the town is Shrine of Punishment (CLS; 143) and how it is quickly taking this metagame by storm. Players are also going on about single Prize Card attackers, Malamar (FLI; 51) , and Pokemon GX that have plenty of HP to go around. Here is my tier list right now based on my testing and the aftermath of Philadelphia Regionals. 

Tier 1

Buzzwole (FLI; 77) / Garbodor (GRI; 51)  / Weavile (UPR; 74)  / Magcargo (CLS; 24)  /  Shrine of Punishment (CLS; 143)

Malamar (FLI; 51)  / Marshadow GX (BUS; 80)  / Dawn Wings Necrozma GX (UPR; 63)  /  Deoxys (CLS; 68)

Zoroark GX (SLG; 53)  / Lycanroc GX (GRI; 74)  /  Magcargo (CLS; 24)

Rayquaza GX (CLS; 109)  / Vikavolt (SUM; 52)  /  Dhelmise (CLS; 22)

Tier 2

Zoroark GX (SLG; 53)  /  Golisopod GX (BUS; 17)

Zoroark GX (SLG; 53)  /  Decidueye GX (SUM; 12)

Malamar (FLI; 51)  /  Ultra Necrozma GX (FLI; 95)

Magnezone (UPR; 83)  /  Dusk Mane Necrozma GX (UPR; 90)

Malamar (FLI; 51)  / Shining Lugia (BW; 82)  /  Shrine of Punishment (CLS; 143)

Metagross GX (GRI; 85)  /  Solgaleo GX (SUM; 89)

Buzzwole GX (CIN; 57)  / Lycanroc GX (GRI; 74)  /  Magcargo (CLS; 24)

Tier 3

Gardevoir GX (BUS; 93)  /  Sylveon GX (GRI; 92)

Empoleon (UPR; 34)  /  Swampert (CLS; 35)

Celesteela GX (BW; 67)  / Hoopa (SLG; 55)

Ho-Oh GX (BUS; 21)  /  Salazzle GX (BUS; 25)

All of these decks seem like they have the potential to do well at events and will create the metagame going forward. I would recommend building these decks on PTCGO and building them in real life (even if you have to use proxies). If you encounter a deck that is not on this list, it is likely a variation of one of the above decks or an unexplored concept. 


Updated Zoroark-GX / Lycanroc-GX Deck

I have taken a nod from my fellow Dead Draw Gaming teammate, Jimmy Pendarvis, as this deck is running Great Ball as well. Great Ball (SLG; 60)  is a strong addition to this deck because it has a strong chance of getting you a Pokémon when compared to the flip-floppy Timer Ball (SUM; 134)  that players usually play in this deck.


The higher chance of getting a Pokémon is due to the amount of Pokémon in the deck, the lack of coin flips, and it can grab Basic Pokémon too. This new version of Zoroark GX (SLG; 53)  / Lycanroc GX (GRI; 74)  is more consistent than older versions of the deck and is the golden standard heading forward.

Updated Buzzwole / Garbodor / Shrine of Punishment Deck

This deck instantly takes a nod from Caleb Gedemer’s Philadelphia Regional Championship winning list and only changes a single card. The card that has been changed is cutting a copy of Judge (FLI; 108) for a third copy of Professor Kukui (SUM; 128) . This change is due to my theory on Judge (FLI; 108)  in this deck versus our current field right now; Let me run you through the same questions I asked myself. Why would I play a Judge (FLI; 108)  against a Zoroark GX (SLG; 53)  deck when they can use Trade to get the cards that they want afterwards again and again?

What about when I play against a mirror match given the fact that they play Magcargo (CLS; 24)  to grab any card they want? There are numerous other matchups that I can’t justify playing Judge (FLI; 108)  where at least Professor Kukui (SUM; 128)  can grab me the top cards of my deck after I use Smooth Over. This deck still plays the same as Gedemer’s and is a mere suggestion to the realm of possibilities. If you haven’t given this deck, which is often touted the best deck in format, I would look at it heading into Memphis. 

Malamar / Shining Lugia / Shrine of Punishment Deck

This is a deck that seemed to pop out of nowhere at Santa Catarina Regionals and it flew under the radar approaching Philadelphia Regionals. The deck had a solid performance, even winning Seniors, and it seems like it is sticking around for a while. The idea of this deck is similar to Buzzwole (FLI; 77)  / Shrine of Punishment (CLS; 143)  because they both utilize single Prize Card attackers to trade Knock Outs.

The main differentiating factor is that the flavour of this deck is Psychic and the other main attacker in this deck, Shining Lugia (BW; 82) , has Fighting-type Resistance to outcast Buzzwole (FLI; 77)  further away. Beyond powering up Pokémon with Malamar (FLI; 51)  over and over again, this deck also has the capability to spread damage with Tapu Koko (BW; 31) for an alternate strategy. Between using Black Ray GX, Flying Flip, and Shrine of Punishment (CLS; 143)  to spread damage, you can go ‘all in’ with Tapu Lele (BW; 45)  to move that damage to your opponents Pokémon however you please. 

Updated Magnezone / Dusk Mane Necrozma-GX Deck

I first saw the power of this deck when I played against my friend Ciaran Farah at a local League Cup in the Toronto area and I have been working on the list ever since. The goal of this deck is to use Magnezone (UPR; 83)  to power up all of your Energy heavy attackers and use Mt. Coronet (UPR; 130)  to get your Energy back successfully to repeat your strategy. The Pokémon in this deck are almost surely hitting for a Knock Out with Dusk Mane Necrozma GX (UPR; 90)  being able to hit for 220, Celesteela GX (BW; 67)  having Fighting-type Resistance against Buzzwole (FLI; 77) , and Dialga GX (FLI; 83) allowing you to take another turn.

All of these cards work together to create this seamless powerful board state that requires an excessive force to take down. This deck has a favoured Buzzwole (FLI; 77)  / Shrine of Punishment (CLS; 143)  matchup due to its high HP, abundance of Stadiums, access to Fighting-type Resistance, and it can take an extra turn if needed.

Portland is Creepin’ Too…

I know that there are some of you readers who aren’t attending Memphis, so I wanted to show some love by including some Expanded deck lists for Portland Regionals. I have not done all of my testing for this upcoming event yet because it is a month away, but you can peep out these early lists to get an idea of where I am at right now.The last major event that we had in Expanded was Roanoke Regionals, so this is picking up where the format left off. I do know that plenty of streamers and friends have been testing Archie's Ace in the Hole (PRC; 124)  / Blastoise (BC; 31) , so keep your ears open for any more information on that deck floating around. Regardless of the deck that you play, Expanded seems to be shaping up as a fun format so here are some lists.

Expanded Buzzwole / Buzzwole-GX / Lycanroc-GX Deck

Looking here, it feels like Roanoke ended yesterday and this is the outcome of that Regional Championships. Xander Pero won Roanoke with a similar Buzzwole (FLI; 77)  / Buzzwole GX (CIN; 57)  / Lycanroc GX (GRI; 74)  deck and I don’t see too many threats in the Expanded metagame that will instantly overtake this deck. Buzzwole (FLI; 77)  / Buzzwole GX (CIN; 57)  / Lycanroc GX (GRI; 74)  plays similar to last years Standard version of this deck with the only differences being Scramble Switch (PS; 129) , Korrina (FRF; 95) , Colress (PS; 118) , and Muscle Band (XY; 121) .

Scramble Switch (PS; 129)  is the biggest change in the deck, but it can be looked at as a way to create lines of play that were not available before. With that card in mind, you can now keep your Energy attachments more loose on your board, spread them around, and jump in with a surprise Knock Out on a whim. If that opportunity doesn’t happen as perfect as written, you can use it as a basic Switch card. 

Expanded Buzzwole / Garbodor / Shrine of Punishment Deck

Expanded has an abundance of cards, but it creates the metagame differently than Standard. For the most part, Exapnded takes decks that were past concepts from yesteryears and it adds a few cards from newer sets to keep those decks updated. There are few ‘different’ concepts in Expanded that were never explored in Standard which means every deck that once existed or currently exists in our current format. This deck is a case of both of those statements being true because it takes inspiration from the short lived Worlds-era Buzzwole (FLI; 77)  / Shrine of Punishment (CLS; 143)  and the new age version of the deck that is being played today.

The strategy largely remains the same with the main goal of attacking with Buzzwole (FLI; 77)  while using damage modifiers. This is further amplified with the inclusion of Strong Energy, in comparison to the Standard version of this deck, which will allow you to hit for even bigger numbers to get those huge Knock Outs. This type of damage output in combination with Diancie Prism Star (FLI; 74) , Shrine of Punishment (CLS; 143) , Muscle Band (XY; 121) , Choice Band (GRI; 121) , Strong Energy (FCO; 115) , and Beast Energy Prism Star (FLI; 117)  can make it nearly impossible for your opponent to keep up with your board state. This is likely the most hyped deck, in recent memory, so be sure to be on the watch for it. 

Expanded Zoroark-GX / Garbodor / Exeggcute Deck

This idea stems from a conversation I had with Phinnegan Lynch at Worlds about the state of Expanded and I decided to build it for myself. While we haven’t worked on this idea together, the concept of the deck is to make up for the lack of Hex Maniac (ANO; 75)  in the Expanded format. For those of you don’t know, The Pokémon Company International checks in on the Expanded format quarterly and the decided to ban some oppressive cards in that format.

This deck takes that ban list, stomps on it, and tried to create a toxic deck in the process. This deck does function like a typical Zoroark GX (SLG; 53)  deck from last years Expanded format which means it will always have a large Bench, do plenty of damage, and have a few tricks available. 

Spicy Goomy / Hoopa / Sylveon / Trubbish Deck

What may seem like a mess of a deck is actually a viable control deck in our Standard format. This deck was inspired between testing with Piper Lepine, playing against Carl Sitavi on stream at Philadelphia Regionals, and my own fascination with Goomy (FLI; 91) . The Pokémon in this deck are supposed to work together to discard Energy, have plenty of HP, and to provide an onslaught of hate against your opponent. It can be hard to describe this deck in text form, so I will link you to the video that I created for my sponsor, Dead Draw Gaming right here.

Hopefully you enjoyed it! Make sure you follow the Team DDG channel for more quality content!

See Ya in Memphis

Well, I am done with writing for today 60 Cards readers! I recommend testing these decks out to get an idea of where the metagame is right now and maybe you will find that perfect deck for your next event. My next articles will be focusing on the Standard and Expanded formats as we gain new information. I will also be going through a lot of growth as I try to further my involvement in Pokémon this season through a series of new Pokemon business ventures. I have pending deals that I am looking forward to that will allow me to produce more free content this season and I would like to announce one of them today.


I have recently signed onto Dead Draw Gaming and beyond being a solid team of players, we are creating free content at Team DDG Youtube. I have created a website for myself for everyone to keep updated on what is going on in my Pokémon life and uou can check that website out here. As always, I will remain active on my Twitter where I will post my latest articles, live updates from the tournaments I play in, and the occasional free list. So yeah, follow me on Twitter to get all of that great content listed and more @ zlesage_pokemon.

Thanks for all of the support and let’s have an awesome season,

Zach Lesage

#PlayPokemon #Pokemon #60Cards #PokeAcademy #TheDarkPatch #DeadDrawGaming

[+32] okko


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