Experts' corner

Zach Lesage

The Nine-Tailed Fox, Mosquito Man, and Owl Archer

Zach details his fascination with Alolan Ninetales-GX and includes two fresh decks to look over.

11/02/2018 by Zach Lesage

Finding Hope in Lost Thunder

What’s up 60 Cards readers? I am back from Portland and after having a rough showing in Expanded, I am dashing towards our new Lost Thunder Standard format as quick as I can. Lost Thunder is the biggest set that we have ever seen and it looks like it will shake up our otherwise stale Standard format.

For those of you who are looking for a shimmer of light from above, I have found salvation with my early testing of Alolan Ninetales GX (JP; 132) . This Fairy-type fox Pokémon has me smiling for ear-to-ear because the card is downright BUSTED! In my article today, I will be going over the reasons why Alolan Ninetales GX (JP; 132)  is AMAZING, a Decidueye GX (SUM; 12)  deck, and a Buzzwole (FLI; 77)  / L Lycanroc GX (GRI; 74) deck. It is too early to tell if I will end up playing either of those concepts in São Paulo or Roanoke, but they definitely are satisfying my checklist for great deck picks. With all of that being said, let’s pop our heads in the forest to learn more about this mighty fox. 

Looking at Alolan Ninetales-GX

Looking at Alolan Ninetales GX (JP; 132) , we don’t want to get it confused with Alolan Ninetales GX (GRI; 22)  or Alolan Ninetales (BUS; 28) , this is totally a new card. I haven’t been this hyped for a card in a while and I can’t wait to tell you all of the different reasons. Let me break this card down and explain why it has me so excited.

Alolan Vulpix

Alolan Vulpix (GRI; 21)  is one of the better Pokémon to Evolve from because Beacon is such a strong attack. Beacon is so strong, even decks like Metagross GX (GRI; 85)  have played this card without an Alolan Ninetales GX (JP; 132)  just to search out Pokémon.

There are other benefits for this card too, like the option to search it out with Brooklet Hill (GRI; 120)  or having an alternative typing to attack Pokémon that suffer from a Water-type Weakness. If you ever find yourself in a pinch, feel free to give Beacon a spin to search out two Pokémon of your choice.


While this is usually not a big deal, Rayquaza GX (CLS; 109)  has been performing well in our current Standard format and it is good to have a type advantage against a popular Pokémon in the format. Additionally, Alolan Ninetales GX (JP; 132)  is mainly an auxiliary Pokémon in a deck which means that you are likely to have multiple different types of Pokémon in your deck. With all of the variety of Pokémon in your deck, you might find yourself having more opportunities to exploit type advantage than ever before.

Mysterious Guidance

Evolving a Pokémon is usually enough of a reason to get excited, but dropping an Alolan Ninetales GX (JP; 132)  down from your hand and getting two Item Cards from your deck is HYPE! If you are playing a deck that features Stage Two Pokémon, such as Decidueye GX (SUM; 12) , you can easily grab Rare Candy (CLS; 142) from your deck to Evolve your Pokémon quickly! If you are playing a deck that features Ultra Beast Pokémon, such as Buzzwole (FLI; 77) , you can grab a Beast Ring (FLI; 102)  to accelerate your Energy attachments. Sometimes you need to get an attack off with Alolan Ninetales GX (JP; 132)  so you want to grab an Energy Loto (GRI; 122)  and a Counter Gain (SM8) (JP; null) , that sounds FLAMES! Whatever you need, treat Mysterious Guidance as a quick one-stop shop in your deck to grab exactly what you need! 

Snowy Wind

If you like Buzzwole GX (CIN; 57)  and Landorus EX (BC; 89) , you will surely like to use Snowy Wind! It is like using Jet Punch, but you get an automatic 40 damage boost against your opponents Active Pokémon.

You can use this spread aspect with other cards, like Feather Arrow on Decidueye GX (SUM; 12) , or you can soften up Pokémon before attacking them with powerful Pokémon, such as Buzzwole (FLI; 77) . With a Choice Band (GRI; 121) , this attack will Knock Out a Rayquaza GX (CLS; 109)  in a single blow and as a bonus, you can use Mysterious Guidance to grab that Choice Band (GRI; 121)  too!

Sublimation GX

Ultra Beast Pokémon have already seen plenty of success since their debut last year in Burning Shadows, but they are poised to see more success after the competitive release of Lost Thunder. Powerful new Pokémon, such as Blacephalon GX (SM8) (JP; null) , fall under the category of Ultra Beast Pokémon and that is perfectly fine if you are running Alolan Ninetales GX (JP; 132) . Why, you may ask? Well, you can easily Knock Out ANY Ultra Beast Pokemon with Sublimation GX in a single blow! 

Weakness to Metal and Resistance to Darkness

While these are normally decent stats for any Pokémon, Alolan Ninetales GX (JP; 132)  seems to nab a decent spread of Weakness and Resistance at the bottom of the card.

Metal-type Pokemon aren’t the most popular Pokémon right now and having Resistance against the popular Zoroark GX (SLG; 53)  is nifty. 

With all of these great things going for it, you must be as excited to play this card as I am. Well, I have played with this card in my early Lost Thunder testing and it certainly hasn’t disappointed me yet. Let’s look at two unique decks that I will feature in this article that both utilize Alolan Ninetales GX (JP; 132)  in different ways. Away we go!

Decidueye-GX / Alolan Ninetales-GX 

Decidueye GX (SUM; 12)  was a seemingly dead archetype in our Standard format because it was too slow, too clunky, and it didn’t have the best partner available. Well, the tables have turned back over into its favour and we can now play with our owl friend again *shoots arrow through a rainbow*.

The goal of this deck is to use Mysterious Guidance on Alolan Ninetales GX (JP; 132)  to search for Rare Candy (CLS; 142)  to Evolve into powerful Stage Two Pokémon, Decidueye GX (SUM; 12)  and Swampert (CLS; 35) . Decidueye GX (SUM; 12)  can use Feather Arrow to make Snowy Winds a lethal threat and Swampert (CLS; 35)  is like a turbo version of Zoroark GX (SLG; 53)  to draw into more cards. There are a few tech Pokémon, like Larvitar (SM8) (JP; null)  and Oranguru (UPR; 114) , for certain situations that can occur during the game. When you are playing this deck, try to identify what Item Cards you will need the most and try to chain combos of cards off expertly with Mysterious Guidance. 

After playing this deck, I am unsure if Oranguru (UPR; 114)  is needed because using Hollow Hunt GX on Decidueye GX (SUM; 12)  seems like enough sometimes. Resource Management can help against pesky mill decks like Zoroark GX (SLG; 53)  / Magcargo (CLS; 24)  or Sylveon GX (GRI; 92) , so maybe it does have a spot in the deck. The same can be said for Larvitar (SM8) (JP; null) , it obviously has its strengths against Zoroark GX (SLG; 53)  due to Weakness, but it is a difficult combo to pull off sometimes.

I would be opposed to cutting both of those cards for an additional copy of Alolan Vulpix (GRI; 21)  and Alolan Ninetales GX (JP; 132)  to make the deck that much more consistent overall. Oh, and before you think it will be difficult to use Super Boost Energy Prism Star (UPR; 136)  regularly, you will quickly be surprised by the amount of Stage Two Pokémon that this deck can get out in the early game. Give this deck a try and you will be AMAZED at what you can accomplish.

Buzzwole / Lycanroc-GX / Alolan Ninetales-GX

Throwback Friday? Yup! This deck pays homage to last seasons Buzzwole (FLI; 77) / Buzzwole GX (CIN; 57)  / Lycanroc GX (GRI; 74)  by taking the same concept and making it slightly more fancy. Alolan Ninetales GX (JP; 132)  takes on the role of a support Pokémon to gather important Item Cards when necessary, but it can still attack in a pinch with the help of Unit Energy FDY (FLI; 118) , Counter Gain (SM8) (JP; null) , and Multi Switch (GRI; 129) .

The goal of this deck is to pummel your opponent with Sledgehammer on Buzzwole (FLI; 77)  while your opponent eventually draws Prize Cards. When your opposing finally draw two or three Prize Cards, you can quickly use Mysterious Guidance to grab a Beast Ring (FLI; 102) , power up a Buzzwole GX (CIN; 57) , and finish the game with strong attacks like Knuckle Impact. This deck has a large variety of options so be prepared to think out your actions throughout your games.

Ditto PRISM STAR (SM8) (JP; null)  brings some SPICY plays to this deck because you can technically Evolve it into either a Lycanroc GX (GRI; 74)  or an Alolan Ninetales GX (JP; 132) . Sometimes you want to bring up one of your opponents Pokémon and sometimes you want to search for important Item Cards.

It should be known that I have been considering the addition of a Magcargo (CLS; 24)  or Naganadel (SM8) (JP; null)  as a single tech to Evolve from Ditto PRISM STAR (SM8) (JP; null) . Both of those cards can bring some specific strengths when you find your back against a wall, so maybe give those a try if you want to add some FLAVOUR to your deck! Beyond all of the fanciness, this deck functions similar to the past version of Buzzwole (FLI; 77)  / Buzzwole GX (CIN; 57)  / Lycanroc GX (GRI; 74)  so be sure to give it a try!

Looking Toward São Paulo 

That’s it for today 60 Cards readers! I will continue to test as we approach the 2018 Latin America International Championships in São Paulo, Brazil and even if you aren’t going, this information is valid for Roanoke, Virginia Regionals. Lost Thunder looks to bring a promising change to our game due to the amount of interesting cards released in the set. 

I will be working on producing the highest level of content going forward on a consistent basis as I work on a strategic plan to make 60 Cards a better website. During this time of rejuvenation, I welcome any and all feedback that will help see the site succeed. The immediate goals of the site are to streamline regular content, release it on a continuous basis, and provide more articles for the same value. These are hefty goals, but I will be working long hours to make sure I can keep the value of my word. 

If you are looking to find out what’s going on in the world of Zach Lesage, here is the linking for all of my current Social Media / business projects.


Twitter: zlesage_pokemon

Coaching: The Dark Patch

YouTube: Team DDG


Twitch: TBA


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

Zach Lesage


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

[+25] okko


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