Hey readers, I’m glad to be back with more content. Today I’ll be going over a short recap of my run at Vancouver Regionals and analysis of Zoroark GX in both Standard and Expanded. Overall my testing for London and San Jose has been pretty solid and Zoroark is the card I'm most impressed with so far.

Vancouver Regionals

I chose to play Drampa Garbodor and I was very surprised to see how many players also chose to play it. I felt like it was the safe play since it had no real terrible matchups. Here is how my rounds went.

Day one

R1 Ninetales WW
R2 VikaBulu WW
R3 Espeon/Garbodor/Drampa WLW
R4 Gardevoir/Sylveon LL
R5 Gardevoir Sylveon WW
R6 Drampa/Garbodor WW
R7 Volcanion LWW
R8 Gardevoir LWW
R9 ID
R10 Drampa/Garbodor LWW
R11 Greninja LL
R12 Drampa/Garbodor WLL
R13 Gardevoir/Sylveon LWL
R14 ID

Overall record 8-4-2

I had a relatively decent day one but pretty much got destroyed day two. I barely beat Azul round one then lost three straight to Michael Long, Aaron Tarbell, and Christopher Schemanske. It honestly was pretty insane that I played against four high-level players in day two. They all played perfectly and made it feel like a World Championship. I intentionally drew my last round because I knew that I had no chance to make Top 16 and I was already tired of losing. I do not regret my deck choice at all as I’ve always been comfortable with Garbodor. The tournament was dominated by Garbodor and Gardevoir and those were my two options before the tournament. I still believe that both of these decks are the best decks in Standard but now we have more options with Shining Legends and Crimson Invasion. I can’t really think of too many new archetypes outside Buzzwole GX but there will be probably some new decks as the format progresses.

Now let’s get into Zoroark GX

Zoroark-GX – Darkness – HP210
Stage 1 – Evolves from Zorua
Ability: Trade
Once during your turn (before your attack), you may discard 1 card from your hand. If you do, draw 2 cards.
[C][C] Riotous Beating: 20x damage. This attack does 20 damage for each Pokémon you have in play.
[D][D] Trickster-GX: Choose 1 of your opponent’s Pokémon’s attacks and use it as this attack. (You can’t use more than 1 GX attack a game.)
When your Pokémon-GX is Knocked Out, your opponent takes 2 Prize cards.
Weakness: Fighting (x2)
Resistance: Psychic (-20)
Retreat: 2

At first glance, this card is reminiscent of Empoleon DEX. With the same ability and similar attack, Empoleon was a solid deck during its time. I feel like Zoroark will have a similar impact going forward. Zoroark GX is very popular in Japan because they are allowed to use Sky Field. In standard, Riotous Beating is not as strong because it can only hit a maximum of 120 or 150 on a GX/EX with Choice Band. In Expanded, it is a more potent attack because of Sky Field. It can do a maximum of a 180 damage and 210 with Choice Band.
The ability is incredible. Consistency has always been a huge part the game. Zoroark GX will make any deck more consistent. In standard, our only competitive draw options are pretty much Professor Sycamore, N, Lillie, Oranguru and Octillery. However we can only a use these draw Supporters up to four times each since we no longer have VS Seeker in the Standard format, Zoroark shines with this newly added consistency. Similarly to Octillery, Zoroark allows us to draw additional cards without using our Supporters for turn. With this in mind, you can start abusing tech Supporters such as Hex Maniac, Karen, and many other powerful ones.

Starting off with the Standard version, I used the Zoroark/Drampa deck from last season’s PRC-GRI format as a template to construct this deck. I kept the core of Zoroark Break and Drampa but incorporated newer cards and techs to deal with the new Meta. Zoroark GX gives it more consistency than it ever had before. This deck is just full a lot of different Pokemon but that is a good thing! We have a myriad of attackers to deal with most of everything.

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