In my last article, I wrote about Reshiram and Charizard-GX. This time, I’m doing Pikachu and Zekrom-GX. These decks are the two mostly unchanged powerhouse decks of the post-rotation Standard format that still have the tools that made them as powerful as they were to begin with. The most obvious loss in both cases is Nest Ball, but Pikachu and Zekrom-GX can compinsate for that loss even better than the former can. Utilizing Electropower remains as a strong card that can help you reach for one-hit Knock Outs like no other deck in the format now that Choice Band is gone. Finding Tapu Koko Prism Star is harder to find without Nest Ball, but the Ability-based Energy acceleration is unparalleled by anything else out there. If the deck remained mostly the same, is there anything that makes it better?
A new Tool in the form of Giant Bomb changes this deck. In the past you had Choice Band to augment your damage by your hand, but now you can put your opponent in a strange situation where they have to make a decision: is it worth attacking into a Giant Bomb? Sometimes it will be, but often it won’t. Taking 100 damage is a steep price to pay, but there are ways around it. Without Field Blower, Faba is the only somewhat-convenient Tool removal card in the format. Of course, not all attacks do 180 damage, so Giant Bomb will be rendered useless in those situations and be discarded at the end of your opponent’s turn. The purpose of the card is to make your opponent burn Custom Catcher early, or in suboptimal moments, to get around the bounceback damage.
A welcome alternate attacker that fits nicely here is Raichu and Alolan Raichu-GX. Formerly, you would have to go all in on Pikachu and Zekrom-GX, even moreso in this format without Tapu Koko-GX or a great way to use Zapdos without Nest Ball. Tandem Shock has synergy with Zeraora-GX to gain a free Retreat Cost, allowing you to switch between two Raichu and Alolan Raichu-GX with ease and continuously Paralyze your opponent. Now that Guzma leaves the format with the rotation, Paralyzing is a more powerful Special Condition than ever before. We’ll see how many Switch turn up in decks, but there’s not many ways out of Paralysis lock. It boasts 260 HP, which is more than Pikachu and Zekrom-GX itself, so you can lean on this new attacker to carry the brunt of the load while you get ready for a well-timed Tag Bolt GX. Since you’ll be using this attacker the in the early game a lot of the time, Tag Switch is going to make it easier than ever to get a Tag Bolt GX off. Moving two Energy from a Tag Team Pokemon-GX to another Pokemon, you can get a Tag Bolt GX powered up in a single turn if you’ve got two Tag Switch, an Energy, and a Thunder Mountain Prism Star, for instance. All this considered, this deck is a dangerous force that maintains a healthy way of searching out Pokemon with Electromagnetic Radar, no other deck can say that. Here’s my current list:
This concludes the public portion of this article.
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