Hey Some1sPC readers! Its been a while since I've written to you guys so I wanted to make sure I had some decent content and ideas to bring you all. I'll start this article off with my current thoughts on the Standard format and Meta then go over my two Standard decklists/match-ups. Then, I'll go over my latest ideas for the Expanded format usually pertaining to using Focus Sash to counter Zoroark GX. Let's jump in.

Standard Format

I think the Standard format is currently in one of the most skill intensive formats we've seen in years. Zoroark GX saved our Standard game from being all about hitting turn 1 Brigette and drawing Guzma at perfect times off of N into a skillful interactive format where decks are popping up out of nowhere due to the strengths and weaknesses of Zoroark GX. To some, Zoroark GX is overpowered and annoying (considering how popular it is) but to me, it adds a level of consistency and fun that we haven't had in the game for a few years. Zoroark's Trade allows us to fill our decks full of cards that are stronger at different points in the game such as Brigette, Puzzle of Time, Guzma (in this case less Guzma), and Multi-Switch. This gives us new levels of play concerning resource management, deck building, and surprise techs to swing particular match-ups. When I'm piloting a Zoroark GX deck, I feel like I have a huge chance of hitting the 1-of tech cards I need throughout the mid-game either through Puzzle of Time, Mallow, or just manually drawing it off multiple Trade. I don't get this feeling with Octillery's Abyssal Hand due to the majority of dead resources that clog my hand which I can't just discard like Trade. All good things come at a price though. Discarding the wrong resource, mapping out my our win condition to six prizes incorrectly, and finding greedy opportunities to hunt for a particular two to three card combo I may need with a Zoroark GX deck can turn a huge lead I have into a loss. I'm happy this exists in Zoroark decks. I feel like it elevates the skill level of the player base and allows the beginning players an opportunity to shine and learn whilst giving experienced players new tools to show off their knowledge with.

The high presence of Zoroark GX and the strengths that it abuses helped shove Gardevoir out of the format. This brought back older decks that for some time felt like they couldn't stay in the Meta namely Tapu Bulu GX, Volcanion, and even newer decks such as Shining Genesect and Buzzwole Lycanroc. While I don't particularly like those decks nor am I fond of them, I understand and recognize that having a diverse format with a bunch of decks that can force 50/50 match-ups and rewards good deck building is only healthy for the overall look of the game. With all this said, I'm looking forward to the next set release and what amazing new decks are going to pop up because of it. For now, let's talk about how I think the player-base should be looking to revive Gardevoir GX and my list for Zoroark/Lycanroc.

Zoroark GX/Lycanroc GX

First and foremost I think this deck is absolutely insane. The list that Pram won with is incredibly consistent and I cut a few cards from it to have better retreat and tech options for my Meta. I won my first two League Cups with this list but I would anticipate almost every Zoroark/Lycanroc deck to be between two or three cards different from each other.

Zoroark GX/Lycanroc GX

Pokemon (17)

  • 4 Zorua
  • 4 Zoroark GX
  • 3 Rockruff
  • 2 Lycanroc GX
  • 1 Buzzwole GX
  • 3 Tapu Lele-GX

Trainers (34)

  • 4 N
  • 3 Brigette
  • 3 Guzma
  • 2 Professor Sycamore
  • 1 Mallow
  • 1 Acerola
  • 1 Professor Kukui
  • 4 Ultra Ball
  • 4 Puzzle of Time
  • 2 Choice Band
  • 2 Float Stone
  • 2 Field Blower
  • 2 Enhanced Hammer
  • 1 Special Charge
  • 1 Rescue Stretcher
  • 1 Parallel City

Energy (9)

  • 4 Double Colorless Energy
  • 3 Strong Energy
  • 2 Fighting Energy

After having a few test games with Pram's Memphis Regionals winning list, I realized I wanted another Float Stone, Special Charge, and Guzma in the deck to snowball my leads. Float Stone gave me better options to retreat and since I wanted to include a copy of Buzzwole GX to soften up 180 HP Pokemon, another copy of Float Stone would help me look for plays where I can use my Supporter for the turn, Float Stone retreat my Buzzwole GX into a Zoroark GX and then Lycanroc up the benched target that I wanted to KO. This allows me to conserve more Guzma for late game and burn Puzzle of Time on better resource options. Special Charge accomplished a similar goal as we had an increase in play of Wishiwashi/Hoopa stall decks and Enhanced Hammer techs so I wanted to freely play my Special Energy down without having to calculate grabbing back DCE with my future Puzzle of Time.

Gardevoir/Wobbuffet

Shortly after winning my first League Cup of the quarter three weekends ago, I planned out which decks I wanted to play-test at my future League Cups considering I'm in a relatively skillful area. I played around with a few Shining Genesect ideas but ultimately decided I wanted to find ways for Gardevoir GX to combat the onslaught of Zoroark/Lycanroc, Buzzwole/Lycanroc, and Zoroark GX/Decidueye. Here are the questions I asked my myself to try and diagnose what went wrong with Gardevoir and how it could possible revived.

Why is Gardevoir losing these matchups? 

Ultimately, I found Zoroark GX/Lycanroc GX was too quick in the early game for Gardevoir to keep up with. They had access to Trade, early game Guzma, and the worst thing above all Bloodthirsty Eyes paired with a one Energy attachment attacker that could take out a Kirlia or Ralts with a single DCE. Buzzwole GX gave too much spread to the bench for Gardevoir to deal with early unless they played Mr.Mime or hit a turn two Rare Candy > Stage 2 combo and Decidueye had its typical Trade, Trade, Feather Arrow, Feather Arrow, then devolve late game with Espeon EX. This all coupled with the fact that we're playing Sylveon GX and Alolan Vulpix to fish out resources in early game only ended up sacrificing critical prizes we needed to conserve to mount a comeback in the game.

What can we do about it? 

 

Thanks for reading the free portion of this article! The rest of the article can be viewed by Elite PC members only. Click on the Ultra Ball below to catch this article and become an Elite PC Member today!

bal