Hello, PokeBeach! This is Grant once again. I have not been playing a whole lot of Pokemon recently, but there is one deck I have been testing in my spare time: Disruptive Zoroark-GX. The title gives it away, as this Zoroark-GX deck revolves around Hex Maniac, which means we’re looking at the Expanded format today. My next major event is Roanoke Regionals, which is in the Expanded format. While there is still over a month until that event takes place, it’s never too early to start preparing for one’s next event. Before Roanoke, Salt Lake City Regionals will also use the Expanded format. This article should be useful to those of you attending either of these upcoming events.
At some point after Dallas Regionals (I’m not sure exactly when), I had an idea. What if my opponent was always Ability-locked for the entire game? Most decks, especially the plethora of Zoroark variants, would cease to function without their Abilities. This is the idea behind the successful Drampa-GX / Garbodor deck that won Costa Mesa, but I wanted to take it a step further. Aside from my personal dislike of Drampa-GX / Garbobor in Expanded (I really don’t think it’s that good), Garbotoxin’s Ability lock can be countered by either playing Field Blower or by Knocking Out the Garbodor. In fact, every form of Ability lock in the format has some sort of counter. That is, except for Hex Maniac.
Hex Maniac is the only form of Ability-lock in the game that cannot be countered, so my mission became to find a way to consistently Hex chain my opponent for the entire game. M Rayquaza-EX decks were able to do this to some extent, but now M Rayquaza-EX is bad. One could argue that Greninja‘s Shadow Stitching is a hard lock as well, because Pokémon Ranger is seldom played and cannot easily be found after an Ace Trainer + Stitch play. However, Hex Maniac is much faster than Shadow Stitching and can be used more reliably on turn 1. In order to get a first turn Shadow Stitching, one would have to go second and build a deck around Archie's Ace in the Hole. This leaves you without the devastating option of a first turn Ability lock while going first. Playing Hex Maniac instead of Greninja also allows me to use attacks that deal more than 40 damage.
After much thought and 50 games of testing and refining, here is my current list:
From time to time I’ll have an optimal list for something, but I still think that this one could use some refining. I’m sure that the utility of a single Float Stone would be quite useful, and I am not completely convinced that Acro Bike is good. The reason why I’m hesitant to add a Float Stone is because I don’t think I’d need it very often. I can always use my first turn to prep a retreat with a preemptive Double Colorless Energy attachment should I open with an undesirable starter. As for Acro Bike, it ends up forcing painful discards more than I’d like, but I can’t think of anything better that can dig as an Item. Order Pad, Roller Skates, and Super Scoop Up are unreliable options as they rely on a flip and don’t dig as efficiently as Acro Bike. Marshadow seems like it would be good but it’s actually terrible. Bench space is too valuable in this deck and trading away your entire hand for only four random cards is too risky.
We all know why Zoroark-GX is good. Trade is an absurd draw option and it makes Hex chaining opponents easy. It is extremely convenient that Zoroark functions as an attacker too, otherwise I doubt this deck would have the room or the Bench space to function. One thing that annoys me is how many people play the wrong version of Zorua. People complain about the price of the Paralyzing Gaze Zorua, but that is silly for four reasons. First, price is an invalid argument when it comes to a competitive TCG. Second, the same people that complain about Zorua’s price also have three Tapu Lele-GX in their deck no muss no fuss. Third, Zorua isn’t even that expensive. Finally, that Paralyzing Gaze can save your life! Especially against Seismitoad-EX, and especially in this deck that runs over 30 Items!
Gotta find that Red Card plus Hex Maniac combo on your first turn every game. You also need to have a Zorua or two ready to go, as well as a Double Colorless Energy if you need to retreat someone into said Zorua next turn. Keep digging until you find everything!
Exeggcute is busted! However, we only run one because starting with it really sucks. We also don’t rely on it to fill our Bench unlike the Zoroark-GX / Exeggcute deck.
Giratina turns the Greninja matchup from a complete and total autoloss into an extremely favorable matchup. How much Greninja will there be at the upcoming Expanded events is anyone’s guess, but I like have autowins instead of autolosses. If you want to cut Giratina, add a Float Stone.
Mewtwo is here in preparation for the upcoming Roanoke Regionals where I am assuming Beast Ring will be legal. Mewtwo, with Choice Band, OHKOs a Buzzwole-GX which could otherwise run through two Zoroark-GX. Under Red Card and Hex Maniac, it is generous to assume that the Buzzwole-GX player will be able to power up two Buzzwole-GX during the game. In that event, one can be taken care of by 2HKOing it with either Zoroark-GX or Tapu Lele-GX and the other can be OHKOd by Mewtwo. The hope is that your opponent won’t be able to quickly assemble three Fighting-type attackers. The game should be over before that opportunity arises thanks to Zoroark-GX’s fast pressure.
This concludes the public portion of this article.
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