Hey guys, I hope you all have been well. It has been a little while since my last article, but I was finally able to write another one for all of you. This time it is about what I personally think is the best deck in the format and the deck that you either have to play or have to be able to beat it in order to win any League Cups this weekend or to win the North American Internationals next weekend. That deck, as I am sure most of you already guessed, is Zoroark/ Drampa. This is a deck that really only one person played for Madison Regionals and Mexico Regionals, that person being Daniel Altavilla who ended up getting top 4 in Madison and winning Mexico with this deck.

I personally started liking the deck when I saw it in Madison, but I did not begin to love the deck until I actually played it. Talking with people about it and thinking about it myself, Zoroark has always been a card that is easily played around by just limiting your bench space. That was the defense a lot of people including myself gave as to why the deck is just a surprise type deck that will take a tournament by storm. The issue is that the deck just hits in so many different directions that it is really hard to counter the deck through a change in play style alone, which instead requires you to have a deck that is built and played with beating Zoroark in mind. If you limit your bench to counter Zoroark’s Mind Jack attack then you now have to worry about Drampa coming in and hitting you extremely hard, while still working with a limited bench space. If you are able to counter both of those things (which is extremely hard to do) then you still have to worry about your own attack because of Zoroark Break’s Foul Play attack. Is this deck perfect and unbeatable? No, definitely not, but is it an amazing top tier deck that is actually enjoyable to play? Yes, it is.

This past weekend I went to the special event in Queretaro, Mexico. I could not decide if I wanted to play Volcanion or Zoroark for this tournament and had both of them with me in my bag. Going back and forth with matchups and which deck I believe will give me the highest chance at winning the tournament. I figured that the meta was going to be very basic and that there will be a lot of people playing Garbodor and a lot of people playing Zoroark. Thanks to the high quantity of Zoroark I decided that Volcanion was not the correct play because my Zoroark counters in Volcanion had gone relatively untested. I played Zoroark and was ready to just outplay my opponents in the mirror match, which is very skill based. I ended up playing against Garbodor/Espeon which I believe is a favorable matchup, but still not easy to win. I will talk more about the matchups later in the article. Decidueye/Plume was the next match I played against and surprisingly it was not that easy. I always thought that Drampa GX was just an amazing card against Decidueye, but it is not enough. He had two explosive games where he got 3 or 4 Decidueye out, coupled with some clutch Hex Maniacs throughout the game. I was able to secure a tie on turn 3 of time. Round three I played against a Garbodor/Drampa deck which is a significantly easier matchup than the Espeon version of the deck. I was able to take two games very easily against him. Round four I went up against Pablo from Mexico who was playing Darkrai, which is not a favorable matchup for Zoroark as he had also already beaten two other Zoroark in the tournament. He took a very easy and quick game one off of me. I missed an energy drop and he was one shotting Drampa GX by turn 3. Game two I knew that my only chance was to be able to get a T2 Berserk to knock out a Darkrai EX. That is exactly what I did and I was down to two prizes before he could get more than four energies on the board. He quickly scooped that game up and within 20 minutes we were already heading to game three. I was scared because I knew that he going first was already not a good situation for me. This game was extremely close where it came down to both of us need to draw the Lysandre to win. During the game, he missed the knockout on a Zoroark Break and a Drampa by one energy which gave me the extra turns to attach the energies I needed to set myself up to win. I was able to draw into the VS Seeker first because of Oranguru’s Instruct ability and win the match. This put me at 3-0-1 and secured for top 4. Next round I played against someone that I drove to the tournament with and scooped so that he could make top 4. Thanks to some very unlucky tiebreakers he, unfortunately, did not make it into Top 4. In top 4 I played against the same Espeon/Garb that I played round one and I beat him once again, in a very similar manner as before. He was, however, able to take a game off of me this time around, thanks to Espeon GX’s Divide GX attack, which he used to knock out all my Zoroark. I was then going into finals against Pablo once again, needing to get through a bad match up twice in one tournament. It was much easier this time because he did dead draw two of the games. I won the coin flip and went first, the same strategy worked as it did in round 4 and I just started hitting hard with Drampa GX from turn two through the end of the game. He did not attack once, thanks to having all three Baby Yveltal prized. Game two he destroyed me. I did not open with Brigette or Fan Club and I was unable to find a Drampa until turn three. It made it for a very awkward game. Game three he has an extremely slow start and even though I did not get the Drampa out I was able to spread numerous times with Tapu Koko and then sweep the game with Zoroark instead of Drampa. I was able to take down the tournament by going undefeated and that is when I realized the true power that this deck has.

The list I used was Daniel’s exact 60 from Mexico, which is the list I am pretty sure everyone is using. I thought I could make the list better by switching some cards around, but I always went back to exactly the 60 he had. It is very easy to tell that he spent a lot of time with this deck, and it shows in his performances.

The List


Zoroark/Drampa GX


  • 4 Zorua BKT
  • 4 Zoroark BKT
  • 2 Zoroark BREAK
  • 2 Drampa GX
  • 2 Tapu Lele GX
  • 1 Shaymin EX
  • 1 Oranguru
  • 1 Tapu Koko
  • 1 Oricorio (Supernatural Dance)


  • 4 Professor Sycamore
  • 3 N
  • 2 Lysandre
  • 1 Brigette
  • 1 Pokemon Fan Club
  • 1 Teammates
  • 1 Hex Maniac
  • 1 Professor Kukui
  • 4 Ultra Ball
  • 4 VS Seeker
  • 3 Choice Band
  • 2 Float Stone
  • 2 Rescue Stretcher
  • 1 Special Charge
  • 2 Team Magma Secret Base


  • 6 Darkness Energy
  • 4 Double Colorless Energy

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