Dissertation of Memories — Looking at Zoroark-GX / Silvally-GX

Zoroark-GX is making a resurgence in Standard after a lackluster showing at California Regionals. While it did mediocre there, it performed extremely well internationally, as apparently some of the best players put their effort into making strong lists for the deck. Now that I’ve had some down time of my own from Regionals, I’ve been able to play many games with good old Zoroark-GX and I’m excited with how it’s gone. I played Zoroark-GX variants in two of my three League Cup events this past weekend, taking first and second, and also winning a League Challenge. Zoroark-GX is my first pick for Madison, Wisconsin, Regionals this weekend as of now as a result. Furthermore, if the event was tomorrow, I would be playing a Zoroark-GX deck. I used a build with Dewgong, Persian-GX, and Slowking to win Monday’s tournament but on Saturday I used one with Drifblim and Marowak instead of Persian-GX. The former is my favorite because I really like Persian-GX in the deck. This article is going to focus primarily on Silvally-GX, another new Zoroark-GX archetype, but I will talk briefly about the other versions before I go.

I write about Zoroark-GX a lot because I play the deck a lot. There’s so many versions, it has the means to be built in a variety of ways to increase your winning percentages and it complements strong play. I’m going to keep my eye on Zoroark-GX until it rotates later this year, I’m never going to give it up until I must. So Gustavo Wada played Zoroark-GX / Silvally-GX for a Regionals in Brazil a few weeks back. He even said himself that his list was subpar and I’ve personally made many changes to it. The basis of the deck is to use Silvally-GX with Triple Acceleration Energy to then abuse Turbo Drive to take one-hit Knock Outs against decks where you can abuse your “Memory” Tool cards.

So why Silvally-GX? The Weakness advantage it can abuse is insane in this format. Taking a one-hit Knock Out against a Reshiram and Charizard-GX scores you three Prizes all at once and being able to use different “Memory” Tools in different matchups gives you some much-needed versatility where you can save some space in deck-building. While some Zoroark-GX decks have to play both a Fighting-type  (Marowak) and a Water-type (Slowking) to counter Pokemon weak to them, this deck can simply run Fighting Memory and Water Memory. Gyro Unit is an added bonus and creates free pivots for your Basic Pokemon. Rebel GX is a built in one-shot threat on top of all that. This deck is lower maintenance than other Zoroark-GX decks right now and still manages to offer some of the same hitting-for-Weakness benefits.

List and Explanations

Pokemon (22)

4x Zoroark-GX (SHL #53)4x Zorua (SHL #52)2x Silvally-GX (ULP #116)2x Type: Null (CRI #89)1x Tapu Lele-GX (GUR #60)1x Dewgong (UNB #45)1x Seel (UNB #44)1x Oranguru (ULP #114)1x Mew (UNB #76)1x Marshadow (UNB #81)1x Ditto Prism Star (LOT #154)1x Dedenne-GX (UNB #57)1x Alolan Muk (SM #58)1x Alolan Grimer (TEU #83)

Trainers (30)

4x Lillie (ULP #125)2x Professor Kukui (SM #128)2x Guzma (BUS #115)1x Judge (FOL #108)1x Acerola (BUS #112)4x Ultra Ball (SHL #68)4x Pokémon Communication (TEU #152)4x Nest Ball (SM #123)2x Water Memory (TEU #157)2x Fighting Memory (CRI #94)1x Rescue Stretcher (GUR #130)1x Pal Pad (ULP #132)1x Field Blower (GUR #125)1x Devoured Field (CRI #93)

Energy (8)

4x Triple Acceleration Energy (UNB #190)4x Double Colorless Energy (SHL #69)

Wada’s list did not play Professor Kukui or Water Memory, both of which I believe are some of the most important cards in this deck. He opted for a thicker Dewgong line which I still play a Dewgong, I just don’t think this is a deck that needs to get that fancy. Furthermore, you don’t even have enough Triple Acceleration to use multiple Dewgong and still be able to use Turbo Drive multiple times as you’ll want to. He also only ran three Zoroark-GX, but I think you still want four. While Riotous Beating is certainly not the focus of this deck, you still want to be able to Trade many times throughout the game and running anything less than four in that case is unideal. You do not want to jeopardize the consistency of a deck that relies much on Evolutions.

Two Type: Null and Two Silvally-GX

This has felt like the right number as you’re still going to have two to handle the heat of any deck that’s able to come back from a one-hit Knock Out made possible by type advantage. If you’re in need of another one, there’s Ditto Prism Star to fill in for Type: Null and Rescue Stretcher to bring either back. This is the “main attacker” in that it will swing the games you win in your favor and it’s arguably the most important card in this deck so it only makes sense to run at least two of each stage to make sure you don’t get ruined by your Prize cards.

One Tapu Lele-GX and One Dedenne-GX

Extending your turn past the point of your Lillie or just drawing more cards before you Lillie is amazing. Dedenne-GX has been one of my favorite additions to attacking Zoroark-GX decks, in the late game it can help you extend your turn to get everything you want and in the early game it can save you from using a Tapu Lele-GX to Wonder Tag and draw you even more cards in the process while thinning your deck. The only drawback is that sometimes you have to discard stuff like Triple Acceleration Energy, but you can shy away from it in those instances if that’s something you run into. Tapu Lele-GX is still great and needed as a way to Lillie frequently on the first turn and if it doesn’t need to be utilized you can use it mid-game for a Guzma and the like. Energy Drive is one of the best ways to handle a quick Eevee and Snorlax-GX in this format and it’s just a solid attack in general so playing one is still a must. You would play two Tapu Lele-GX before two Dedenne-GX for sure but I’ve liked the split a ton.

This concludes the public portion of this article.

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