Experts' corner

Zach Lesage

The Denver List Drop

Drop the lists Zach... DROP THE LISTS!

03/28/2019 by Zach Lesage

Dropping Lists

I heard you liked lists so I decided to drop some here for you to get prepared for Denver. What’s up everyone, it is your resident writer / manager Zach Lesage and I am releasing the goods from the vault. If you wanna know where my mind is at heading into Denver, I like the following decks a bunch. Most of them are my own, but I do like what some other top players have been playing around with.

Anyways, check out this juicy article behind the paywall. Oh, and if you don’t have a subscription already, use CODE: Pendy3 to save some money on your subscription. And away we go…

Blacephalon-GX / Naganadel

I want to point out that this is relatively the same list that I played in São Paulo, Roanoke, México City, and Melbourne. You can look at that fact a few ways, but I like to think that it hasn’t changed much because the deck has been strong since November. Blacephalon GX (LT; 52)  / Naganadel (LT; 108)  has been my pet deck since November, I have earned almost 1000 CP with the deck, and I think it can always jump back into the metagame. Jump back? Well, let me explain. A few weeks ago, I released a video on the DDG YouTube Channel (which you can view here) and I guess I was wrong. After the results of the OIC in Melbourne, Australia I was upset that I went 1-3-1 Day 2 and that the metagame was toxic towards my deck. At the time, I truly thought the deck was dead and I would like to make it clear that I didn’t intend on playing it for Collinsville.  That being said, the metagame shifted drastically in between OIC / Collinsville and that allowed the deck to fall back into the metagame. Anyways, this is considered the perfect list for the deck, let’s check it out.

If you have read any of my previous articles, you would completely understand that Blacephalon GX (LT; 52)  / Naganadel (LT; 108) l is a speedy deck. For those parents or newer players reading this article, the deck has a lower skill cap than most which means it generally has a higher chance to do well. Don’t take offence if you choose to play this deck, I did too with great success, I’m just saying it doesn’t take much skill to Marshadow (SLG; 45)  your opponent into nothing while you draw three Beast Ring (FLI; 102) . The general strategy of this deck consists of attacking with Blacephalon GX (LT; 52)  to take down bigger threats while you acquire Energy with Naganadel (LT; 108) l and Beast Ring (FLI; 102) . Burst GX is a spicy attack that can grab an Energy in a pinch, but do be careful of getting a leg up on your opponent; when you are ahead on Prize Cards they can use Counter Catcher (CIN; 91) , Counter Gain (LT; 170) , and Counter Energy (CIN; 100) . The general game plan is to use Burst GX on your first turn, follow it up with a Mind Blown, and finish off the game with Mind Blown. You can always use Naganadel (LT; 108)  when you have three Prize Cards remaining, but don’t necessarily count on that being a huge strategy because cards like Guzma do exist. If you find yourself running behind, you can always leave the game to Special Conditions by using Bursting Burn. Here is an excerpt from my past article that shows some additional strategies available within the deck. 

“Starting with Poipole (FLI; 55)  FLI, I truly believe this is the better one because you can instantly do 10 damage because of Poison and that can make a world of a difference. You see, Pokémon like Zoroark GX (SLG; 53)  now only need to take four Energy to get OHKOd with Mind Blown and that can change the pace of a game. The other Poipole (LT; 107)  LOT, has a similar action, because you can know where your Fire Energy (TM; null)  is, but you might be costing yourself a turn by doing that. While I might have some future back and forth on which one to choose, it likely won’t matter at all because you don’t really want to attack with Poipole (FLI; 55)  FLI if you don’t have to. It’s one of those things where if you find your self in a certain situation, which one will pull you out more times than the other? I’m sure you can vibe my stance here.”

Pikachu & Zekrom-GX 

This deck is absolutely wild because it has a bunch of HP, can self attach Energy, and it has a plethora of Lightning type techs available for it to use. The goal is to use Pikachu & Zekrom GX (TM; 33) ’s Flare Blitz to power up another Pikachu & Zekrom GX (TM; 33) . The goal is to hit the side effect of Tag Bolt GX to draw as many Prize Cards as possible and / or take out important threats. You have free Retreat because of Zeraora GX (LT; 201) , Energy acceleration from Tapu Koko Prism Star (TM; 51) , and Absol (TM; 88)  can keep those PESKY  Jirachi (TM; 99) in their place. The deck functions similar to other big basic decks, such as Blacephalon GX (LT; 52)  and Buzzwole GX (CIN; 57) , but it also seems like a fresh game mechanic at the same time. In order to make the deck run more efficient, use a combination of Thunder Mountain Prism Star (LT; 191) , Tapu Koko Prism Star (TM; 51) , and Energy Switch (CLS; 129)  to use Full Blitz as early as turn one. This Pablo Meza inspired list also focuses on Zapdos (TM; 40)  and Jirachi (TM; 99)  to add an additional component into the deck. Let’s look at this electrifying list.

The big thing to keep in mind is that you need six Lightning Energy (TM; null)  to make sure that Tag Bolt GX will complete the side effect of a 170 damage snipe to the Bench. A strategy that has been working for me is to use Full Blitz and attach the three Lightning Energy (TM; null)  to my Benched Pikachu & Zekrom GX (TM; 33) . That way I have double the amount of options to make sure that I can use Tag Bolt GX the next turn. Oh, and if you are ever placed in a position where you are against the wall, you can use Tapu Koko GX (GRI; 147)  to spring to the front to change up the game tempo. You can either blast your opponent’s Active Pokemon or use it as a way to get out of Special Conditions. You know this deck is WILD so give it a try today.

Zoroark-GX / Lycanroc-GX

Another article segment and another deck that has been played forever. Zoroark GX (SLG; 53)  / Lycanroc GX (GRI; 74)  has been the best deck in format, fallen out, climbed back up, and here we are again. The inclusion of this deck is due to the popularity of the new Pikachu & Zekrom GX (TM; 33)  deck that we have received in Team Up because we can hit it for its Fighting-type Weakness. The strategy of this deck is to use Zoroark GX (SLG; 53)  as a consistency crutch via Trade and to also use it as a main attacker. Lycanroc GX (GRI; 74) is meant to gust Pokémon up into the Active that you want to Knock Out and to be a Fighting-type attacker or an attacker in general. Alolan Muk (SUM; 58)  is the new card in the list that blocks Jirachi and other Basic Pokemon from using their Abilities. Let’s peep out this new list for an old deck in this format.

This list adds in Weavile to deal with the amount of Abilities in Standard, Devoured Field (CIN; 93)  to help deal with numbers present in the metagame, and Alolan Muk (SUM; 58)  is great against Pikachu & Zekrom GX (TM; 33)  and Zapdos (TM; 40)  decks. This isn’t an inventive list, but it has been dealing with the metagame quite well, and it is the only way I would play Zoroark GX (SLG; 53)  / Lycanroc GX (GRI; 74)  now.

Jolteon-GX / Zapdos

With this deck hopping on the scene since Cannes / Collinsville, it is no surprise to see that Pedro Torres was able to win Bolzano with this deck. The deck is like part Zapdos (TM; 40)  / Jirachi (TM; 99) , but the Jolteon GX (BW; 173)  comes in to save the day. I really like Torres’ list, but I think there is a spot for Wobbuffet (LT; 93)  in the deck to help shut down Ditto Prism Star (LT; 154) . I basically took his winning list, cut a Max Potion (GRI; 128) , and added in a Wobbuffet (LT; 93) . Oh, I also cut a Volkner (UPR; 135)  for another copy of Escape Board (UPR; 122) , but that night turn into another copy of Switch (CLS; 147) . My reasoning for that is because I am unsure if people will continue to cut Absol (TM; 88)  for Wobbuffet (LT; 93) . Not that inventive, but it has been getting the job done in testing. I think I am going to play this at one of my League Cups this weekend so maybe I will have a follow up article heading into next week. Let’s peep out this list!

Like I said, nothing special, but the Jolteon GX (BW; 173)  is totally the icing on the cake. It functions similar to a Dawn Wings Necrozma GX (UPR; 63) , but you can power it up in a single turn (and without the plethora of Malamar (FLI; 51)  necessary to do so). If you find yourself struggling with Wobbuffet (LT; 93) , remember that you can bring it to the Active position to activate your own Tapu Koko Prism Star (TM; 51)  if you are in a bind. Yeah, read the card, it needs to be on the Bench to work and it blocks BOTH players from their PRISM STAR Pokemon. If I am not playing Blacephalon GX (LT; 52) , this is the only other deck that truly interests me right now.

See Ya in Denver

I hope you enjoyed the article and that you will find use in these well tested lists. I am likely playing one of them at Denver, but I am so torn right now. Anyways, I will be releasing some more articles in preparation for Denver so be sure to check those out.

Twitter: zlesage_pokemon

Twitch: zlesagepokemon



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