Zoroark-GX / Lycanroc-GX is the best deck in the Expanded format. It has even or better matchups against just about everything, and can be teched to improve upon any matchup. I played the deck at the last Expanded Regionals in San Jose, California, and while luck wasn’t on my side there, I’ve made many changes to my deck list that have ultimately made the deck into a juggernaut that consistently sets up nearly every game. The deck took second in California, so it’s certainly a formidable contender based on results alone. My friend and teammate, Rukan Shao, and I have been hard at work refining the list he used for the tournament as well (he took 10th, overall). I believe his approach to the deck is optimal above anything else you’ve seen out there.
Sky Field takes Zoroark-GX to new heights in the Expanded format, allowing it to take one-hit Knock Outs. Bloodthirsty Eyes allows Zoroark-GX to easily Knock Out upcoming threats on your opponent’s Bench with ease. Claw Slash and Dangerous Rogue GX conveniently solve a formerly bad matchup in Turbo Darkrai-EX and can give you a fighting chance against decks like Gardevoir-GX and help in the mirror match.
The list I’ll be sharing today is 56 cards in total, all of which are needed in the deck. The last four spots are more customizable, and I’ll be sure to go over a huge slew of options to make this deck have the sixty cards it needs for tournament play. Let’s hop to it!
Free Spots – 56
Four Zorua, Three Zoroark-GX and One Zoroark
Four Zorua is perfect for this deck. When playing four copies, you give yourself the best odds of starting one and not being punished by your Prizes for losing one or two. Three Zoroark-GX is all you need because with Colress as a Supporter card in this deck you will be drawing oodles of cards and Trade isn’t relied as heavily upon as it is in the Standard format. A Zoroark with Foul Play is amazing for the mirror match in case your opponent overextends on his or her Bench to take a big Knock Out. If that happens, then you can recover the Zoroark over and over to finish things off. One big mishap like that can get the ball rolling for you to win it all.
Three Tapu Lele-GX and Two Shaymin-EX
Support Pokemon are what get this deck going every game. Over half of your first turns consist of a Wonder Tag for Brigette, so playing three copies of Tapu Lele-GX is crucial. Two Shaymin-EX is sweet for times where you need to dig for extra cards and complete combo plays like a double Puzzle of Time. In a deck where you want to fill your Bench time and time again to boost damage output, playing at least two Shaymin-EX is advisable. It’s a bigger liability these days than in the past, so I like the average count of two as a starting ground.
Two Rockruff and Two Lycanroc-GX
Three Rockruff is a luxury, but that’s one of the options that I’ve been considering. Two Lycanroc-GX is an easy decision as Bloodthirsty Eyes, Claw Slash and Dangerous Rogue GX are all critical to your strategy. You don’t want to prize your only copy if you play just one, so two is a good place to be.
Two Alolan Grimer and One Alolan Muk
This no-so-often included line is nuts. Alolan Muk is irreplaceable in the Expanded format and instrumental to many of your victories. First off, its inclusion is mainly to serve as a counter to Sudowoodo. Roadblock can cause you many headaches, and while it’s more difficult to fill your Bench without your Basic Pokemon having Abilities, it’s still a possibility and Alolan Muk makes it all possible by turning off that annoying tree. Against Night March, I always go for Alolan Muk to stop my opponent from using Shaymin-EX to recover in the late game after I start trading Prizes. Oricorio can go the distance with some help from the disruption of Alolan Muk. All this considered and more, Alolan Muk is a super versatile card that needs to be in this deck. Two Alolan Grimer ensures that you’ll get the Alolan Muk down, as many clever players will target the Alolan Grimer before they evolve to try to prevent the Power of Alchemy Ability ruining a strategy. The Alolan Grimer with Division is optimal, so you can fetch a second one for the times that you have the misfortune of starting with it.
This is the best Night March counter. While Seismitoad-EX and Karen are fine and dandy, Oricorio takes one less slot in the deck list and can do the job even better. Supernatural Dance can take multiple Knock Outs at once and, between it and Alolan Muk, you should be trading evenly with Night March decks all game. While you may have to attack with Zoroark-GX occasionally, it will be hard for your opponent to respond without using Marshadow-GX. Alolan Muk doesn’t let that happen, though, as it shuts off Shadow Hunt. Even if your opponent does find a way to use it, that’s not problem as Marshadow-GX awards two Prizes. Trading evenly or better is what you always want to shoot for so there’s no harm done there. Anyway, Oricorio is a much easier counter to use in comparison to Seismitoad-EX, so I am a much bigger fan of it for that reason.
Exeggcute is busted in combination with Zoroark-GX and Trade. You can use it over and over and draw “free” cards. It helps your Computer Search and Ultra Ball discards be much easier to play as well, which is always nice. Lastly, I like using it to continue filling my Bench when it can be difficult to find that last Pokemon to hit a certain number. This card is worth the space; I’ve even seen people play as many as four, which is crazy!
This concludes the public portion of this article.
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