Trading for 3 and the Candlestick Maker — the New Zoroark and Chandelure

Hello everyone! While the 2019 World Championships still look far away on the calendar, they’re approaching faster than you might think. Players are really starting to invest in serious testing of the post-rotation Standard format, featuring the new Unified Minds set. In this article, I’ll be taking a look at two of the new archetypes Unified Minds brings to the table. Neither one has received much hype so far, but I believe both have the potential to perform decently at Worlds.


I spent the better part of a day trying to make a Chandelure list that worked well. Soul Burner is one of the most fun and unique attacks I’ve ever seen and I really wanted it to be successful.

[R] Soul Burner: 10+ damage. Discard the top 5 cards of your deck. This attack does 60 more damage for each Pokemon you discarded. Then, put any number of discarded Fire Pokemon onto your Bench.

This archetype has a tremendous number of possible supporting Pokemon available to it; I’ve thought of Blaziken, Delphox, Incineroar, Infernape, Magcargo, Ninetales, and Salazzle. Magcargo seems like the most important inclusion simply because it is such a powerful search card, and search and consistency are especially valuable resources in a Stage 2 deck like Chandelure. The biggest issue with the deck’s consistency is simply getting your first Chandelure into play, because it is a Stage 2. Once you have one in play, you can start getting Magcargo into play using Soul Burner, enabling you to find cards for combos each turn so that the deck becomes fairly self-sufficient. (It’s similar in this regard to the Garchomp deck that saw a small amount of play in our last format.)

Fortunately, to assist in the process of getting that first Chandelure into play, we have a Lampent and Litwick that just so happen to be Psychic type. This means you can run Mysterious Treasure as a search card for those Pokemon. Because we also have Dusk Stone to pair with this evolution line, we can “cheat” a Chandelure into play on turn 2 without the need for Rare Candy. This actually makes Chandelure slightly more consistent than most Stage 2 Pokemon I’ve played with.

This deck wants to play a high number of Pokemon so that you consistently hit Pokemon with Soul Burner. Brock's Grit pairs fantastically with Chandelure by filling up your deck with Pokemon in the late game once you’ve thinned out most of the other cards–by the end of the game you’re basically guaranteed to be hitting huge damage numbers. The damage output, as well as the flexibility afforded by the fact that you can run 0-1 or 0-0-1 tech lines due to Soul Burner, makes this probably the strongest single-Prize-attacker deck I’ve tested in UPR-UNI. My current list is below:

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