Experts' corner

Zach Lesage

What to Play, What to Play?!?! My Play for Dallas

Wanna know what I am playing for Dallas, check it out behind the paywall!

01/18/2019 by Zach Lesage

We Out Here

What’s up 60 Cards readers? I am back with my last article before Dallas Regionals and this is my typical ‘my play for [insert major event here]’, as always. As we all know, the Expanded format has been somewhat of a sore spot for many players, mainly due to ‘control’ decks and Zoroark GX (SLG; 53) , but I want to share my personal thoughts.

There is kinda a push for this two-headed beast of a format, play Fighting-type decks or play Zoroark GX (SLG; 53) , and I am between those two decks. My third pick would likely be the Magikarp & Wailord GX (BW; 166)  ‘control’ deck wrote about in my last article, but I do not have easy access to four Tropical Beach 11 (BW; 28) . I will be sharing my two top plays for the event, sharing my exact deck lists for both, and updating this article once I submit my final play on RK9Labs

Anyways, I don’t want to ramble too much, so let’s jump into my two top picks.

My Actual Play

This section of the article will be updated with my EXACT list that I settle on once I submit it online. This is the deck that I settled on, it is heavily based on my last article that you can view here

I am diving a bit into a path of uncertainty, but I am certainly pleased with my choice. I feel the field is filled with decent matchups and I am ready for whatever comes tomorrow. For more information on this deck, watch my latest video on Youtube.

The Play #1

I like Buzzwole (FLI; 77) , ok... I LOVE Buzzwole (FLI; 77) ! This kind of deck was able to carry me to a Top 16 placement in North America last season and got me into Day Two of the World Championships. With that much history, why would I not play the deck? The below list is Connor Pederson’s Top Eight list from Anaheim and I think it is relatively perfect. I don’t want to mess around with a solid concept, especially one that was nearly identical to the list that Dead Draw Gaming’s Austin Ellis piloted to a Top Eight finish in Portland.

I have also considered running other Fighting-type decks, like Lucario GX (BW; 100)  or Hitmontop (LT; 113)  / Wobbuffet (PHF; 36) , but I like the results that this deck puts in. I played this deck at an Expanded League Challenge on Wednesday and was able to come second, only losing to my girlfriend playing Trevenant BREAK (BKP; 66) . This deck functions like a tool box of Fighting-type attackers that can be chosen whenever the situation calls for a certain Pokemon. Playing against a Psychic-type deck? Use Landorus EX (BC; 89)  or Zygarde EX (FCO; 54) . You need to Knock Out a Primal Groudon EX (PRC; 86) ? Use Buzzwole GX (CIN; 57)  with damage modifiers like Beast Energy Prism Star (FLI; 117) . There are plenty of options in this deck.

I really like the techs in this deck because they make some matchups so much easier. The list  includes a copy of Oricorio (GRI; 56)  to deal with the threat of Night March decks ( Pumpkaboo (PHF; 44) , Lampent (PHF; 42) , and Joltik (PHF; 26) ), a copy of Sudowoodo (GRI; null)  to deal with Zoroark GX (SLG; 53) , and a copy of Giratina (BW; 184)  to deal with Trevenant BREAK (BKP; 66) . With all of these cards to deal with a plethora of decks, it is not surprising to see that this is one of my top picks for the event. As we have observed above, the key to winning in Expanded is to have many different cards to deal with many different scenarios.

The Play #2

Zoroark GX (SLG; 53)  is BUSTED! You heard me say it, now watch me say it again. Zoroark GX (SLG; 53)  is BUSTED! After talking to my teammate, Caleb Gedemer, it was recommended to me that I should just play this deck because it should net me some Championship Points. Well, that’s not a bad idea, is it? I have never truly felt comfortable playing Zoroark GX (SLG; 53) , but I have put the effort in testing this deck as much as humanly possible. The benefits of being a full time Pokémon coach really do pay off when it comes to putting in reps with different decks, I literally played 40 hours with this deck this week alone!

When it comes to my mentality of playing this deck, I don’t know if I want to be the hunter or to become the hunted. Yeah, this is likely the best deck in format, but it is also going to be the most countered deck in the room. I’m slightly leaning towards Buzzwole (FLI; 77)  because I can always outplay another Buzzwole (FLI; 77)  player, but what can I truly do in a Zoroark GX (SLG; 53)  mirror match? This list is heavily based on Jon Eng’s list from Anaheim and it is truly an amazing deck. The deck focuses on using Trade, locking your opponent’s Abilities with Garbodor (DR; 54) , and doing typical Zoroark GX (SLG; 53)  things. I would go into much more detail, but these kinds of decks have been dominating Expanded for well over a year now. Let’s peep out my list.

Like I said, I am not sure if I am comfortable with this deck and I want to either push myself or follow my heart on Buzzwole (FLI; 77) . I know the rest of my team would be upset with my decision to consider anything besides Zoroark GX (SLG; 53) , but our opinions usually vary. I am going to personally play test all day today in hopes to find my actual play, and then I will update my article afterwards. I will catch up with all of you later. 

Jumpin’ on a Jet 

Well, thats a wrap 60 Cards readers! I hope that you have enjoyed this article today by looking through some oddball decks that you might see in Dallas and I hope to see plenty of you readers at the event. I will be attending the event with my wonderful girlfriend, Michele, and we are on our way today! First we drove from Ontario - Michigan, we are currently flying out of Detroit, and we will be in Dallas first thing this morning. Hopefully I can earn some more Championship Points in hopes to earn a stipend to the 2019 European International Championships in Berlin. I guess we will see how the weekend goes!

If you are interested in seeing what’s going on in my world, feel free to check out the following links.

Twitter: zlesage_pokemon

Coaching: Message me on Facebook

Youtube: Team DDG



All the best,


[+26] okko


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