Expanded ebbs and flows for Fighting decks. They’re here nor there, but certainly strong inherently. A couple top players took Fighting decks to the last Expanded format Regionals in Utah, but both missed out on Top 8. Buzzwole-GX, Landorus-EX, Zygarde-EX, and more exist all to the delight of the Fighting type fan. With the release of Beast Ring, the inevitable hype of Expanded format Fighting decks should surge. The new Buzzwole with Sledgehammer is particularly good and should screw with Zoroark-GX decks in an awful way. Perhaps Fighting already reached its peak, though, and won’t gain much from its new buffs from Forbidden Light.
Whatever the case may be, hyped as it is, it’s time for Zoroark-GX to change face. While Zoroark-GX is no longer the undisputed best deck of Expanded, it’s going to be a top contender for some time. With such a consistently high power level, it has the space and options to adapt for pretty much anything, including a resurgence from its Fighting rivals.
I love Zoroark-GX in the Expanded format. My friends and I are die-hard Zoroark-GX players in general. In Standard I have wavered occasionally, but Expanded Zoroark-GX decks always seem to call my name. The last Zoroark-GX deck I played was based around using Exeggcute to fill the Bench by recycling themselves with Propagation, and then using Hex Maniac to power around an opposing Sudowoodo and its Roadblock Ability. This was by far the best Zoroark-GX deck I had ever played to that point, as its combination of raw power and disruption made it one of the strongest decks I have played in my competitive career. The problem now, however, is with Fighting on the rise those Exeggcute become massive liabilities to either Jet Punch or even Hammerhead from Landorus-EX. Fighting decks gain Buzzwole with its Sledgehammer to play a seven-Prize game effectively and will put you in a pickle before you know it. My testing against Fighting decks has not gone well with pre-existing Zoroark-GX decks. Lycanroc-GX was one of my old favorite sidekicks, but I’m afraid with so many Hex Maniac running around that it doesn’t serve its intended purpose as well as it should anymore, making it inferior to more consistent, disruption focused lists like the Exeggcute version.
Alas, I’ve come to a fork in the road: my favorite Expanded format deck, Zoroark-GX, needs to change again. What should be its partner? Should it have one at all? Enter, Garbodor… Trashalanche is a feared attack from whichever angle you approach it. Many Expanded decks go unchecked with Item usage, so I have deduced that Garbodor will be a strong partner with Zoroark-GX in general, not to mention the fact that it will help out a ton against Buzzwole-GX decks. Building this deck is weird, since there are so many concepts I want to borrow from past Zoroark-GX decks. I’ve been testing this deck exclusively for Virginia Regionals so far, and I’m excited to share it with you. Here we go!
My List, a Work in Progress
Three Zoroark-GX and One Zoroark BKT
This deck does not need to go full-on aggro Zoroark-GX like Zoroark-GX / Exeggcute often wants to. For that reason you can afford to play less copies and opt to give some of your techs the right of way. Zoroark with Stand In is a staple in Expanded format Zoroark-GX decks as it provides a one-Prize attacking answer to full Bench sizes for just a Double Colorless Energy.
Three Zorua DEX 70 and One Zorua BLW 70
Paralyzing Gaze is better than Lunge overall, but with Fighting decks gaining popularity it might be nice to have another answer to an early Joltik or Pumpkaboo. Lunge can Knock Out either in one hit with a heads flip…
Two Tapu Lele-GX and Two Shaymin-EX
This has more or less become my go-to lineup of support Pokemon for Zoroark-GX decks. Having extra outs to Brigette is important, as is extending your plays past what you have already drawn.
Trashalanche is your answer to newly minted unfavorable matchups like the broken Fighting decks. Trashalanche gives you another one-hit Knock Out attacker for other random matchups as well, because as we know Expanded is full of excessive Item use. I’m hoping that this can keep winning me Fighting matchups consistently!
One Trubbish from Noble Victories and One Trubbish from Guardians Rising
The Stomp Off Trubbish is experimental right now and will probably become another Garbage Collection one when things are all said and done.
One Oricorio GRI 56
I think Night March is going to try and make a comeback with the rise of Fighting decks. We’ll see for sure, but it will be wise to include a counter in Zoroark-GX decks once more. At the least, Supernatural Dance can score you Knock Outs on Exeggcute on your opponent’s Bench.
This concludes the public portion of this article.
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