Discovering Lady Zard — Unveiling Charizard ex’s True Form

Hello, all PokeBeach readers! It’s Gabriel here once again with another Pokemon TCG article. This time, I’m going to talk about Charizard ex. However, I won’t be discussing the typical Charizard ex deck that you’re used to seeing out there. Instead, I’ll be focusing on the Charizard ex variant that can maximize the potential of this Pokemon, which is Lady Zard.

Another season of Pokemon TCG has begun, and with it, the Regional Championships are back with a bang. Unfortunately, Charizard ex didn’t perform well at the Pittsburgh Regionals, confirming once and for all that the only competitive deck that Obsidian Flames brought us wasn’t that great. However, Japan showed us once again that we were wrong. One of the decks that made it to the top 8 in the Champions League Yokohama, with 3100 people, was Charizard ex. But it wasn’t the popular variant with Arceus VSTAR and Pidgeot ex; instead, it was a variant with Refinement Kirlia and Buddy Catch Gallade.

The Gallade variant has a series of advantages and disadvantages compared to the Arceus Pidgeot variant that I will explain in the article. However, the biggest difference is the fact that the entire Kirlia and Gallade line is made up of single Prize Pokemon, whereas Arceus VSTAR and Pidgeot ex are two Prize Pokemon. This difference has a significant impact because with only single Prize Pokemon on the bench, the opponent is forced to continuously KO Charizard ex if they want to get two Prizes in a Knock Out. Otherwise, they will have to KO six single Prize Pokemon.

In today’s article, I will present my version of the two Charizard ex variants and comment extensively on the details and applications of all the cards in the lists. I want to make it clear from the start that I really like both variants and see value in both, but one of these variants has won me over. If you’re looking to learn more about Charizard ex or are searching for a strong and exciting new deck to use your next Regionals, then this article was made especially for you!

Charizard ex / Pidgeot ex / Arceus VSTAR Deck List


Pokemon (18)

3x Charizard ex (OBF #125)1x Charmeleon (OBF #27)3x Charmander (OBF #26)2x Pidgeot ex (OBF #164)2x Pidgey (OBF #207)2x Arceus VSTAR (BRS #123)2x Arceus V (BRS #122)1x Mew (CEL #11)1x Radiant Greninja (ASR #46)1x Manaphy (BRS #41)

Trainers (32)

3x Colress's Experiment (LOR #155)3x Iono (PAL #185)3x Boss's Orders (RCL #154)1x Judge (BKT #143)4x Battle VIP Pass (FST #225)4x Ultra Ball (SVI #196)4x Rare Candy (SSH #180)2x Nest Ball (SVI #181)2x Super Rod (PAL #188)1x Vitality Band (SSH #185)1x Choice Belt (BRS #135)3x Artazon (PAL #171)1x Path to the Peak (CRE #148)

Energy (10)

8x Fire Energy (RS #108)1x Jet Energy (PAL #190)1x Double Turbo Energy (BRS #151)

Setup Two Charizard ex Per Game

Although Charizard ex is your best and main attacker, it is very difficult to have three Charizard ex in the same game for several reasons, such as a lack of Rare Candy, Energy cards, you’re out of space on the Bench, or simply because the game may end before you can manage to evolve. With that in mind, in most cases, focus on setting up two Charizard ex per game and discard the remaining cards so as not to hinder you later. When you perform your initial deck search in the match, count your Pokemon and the number of Rare Candy in the deck. This way, you’ll know exactly which resources you can afford to send to the Lost Zone with Colress's Experiment or discard away with Ultra Ball.

The idea is that your first attacker in the match will be Arceus VSTAR, using Charizard’s Infernal Reign Ability, you can attach three Fire Energy from your deck onto Arceus VSTAR. After Arceus VSTAR is Knocked Out, it’s time to use your Charizard ex, which, in addition to dealing more damage, can pose many more problems for the opponent towards the end of the game. Charizard ex has 330HP and faces an almost nonexistent Weakness in the metagame.

As I mentioned in my previous article, the biggest advantages of Charizard ex are its high HP and Weakness. These two factors, combined with a reasonably good attack, make this Pokemon difficult for the opponent to deal with, often forcing them to take a Knock Out in two attacks. Knocking Out Charizard ex in two attacks may seem like no problem for the opponent in theory. However, in practice, this often does not result in a Knock Out because you always have the chance to retreat, use Iono, and make the opponent miss the key Knock Out.

Do a Computer Search Every Turn

When Pidgeot ex was released, I thought this Pokemon would be one of the strongest in the game. However, as I tested and learned more about Pidgeot ex, my opinion changed significantly. I still think it’s strong, but I don’t believe it’s the best consistent option for all decks as I initially thought. It depends on the strategy. I confess that today I have my doubts about whether Pidgeot ex is the best option to pair with Charizard ex. Sometimes I think that Bibarel could also do a good job, but it is a fact that Pidgeot ex has its advantages and disadvantages.

Regarding the advantages, Pidgeot ex’s Ability is superior to Bibarel, Gallade, or any other consistency Ability in the game. Its Ability allows you to include important single copy cards in your deck and find the perfect moment to add them to hand. This is why I like to include a copy of Path to the Peak and Vitality Band. When I need them, I know I can have them on hand, and only Pidgeot ex can offer that. The free Retreat is a nice bonus, but it’s rarely used. The attack is quite reasonable, but it is useful for Knocking Out some single Prize Pokemon or finishing off a larger Pokemon with the help of Arceus VSTAR or Charizard ex. However, it’s not the attack you want to rely on because you have better attackers for that. Its 280 HP can be seen as both good and bad. The good part is that it cannot be easily Knocked Out by a Sableye, but the bad part is that it offers two Prizes to the opponent and can be Knocked Out by other Pokemon in the current Standard format metagame, such as Raikou V, Luxray, or Giratina VSTAR.

Regarding the disadvantages, what bothers me the most is the fact that you have to use it on the second turn in some important matchups like Lost Box. This is not always possible because on this turn, you often need to use Rare Candy to evolve Charizard ex. Sometimes, you don’t have the resources to perform an additional Stage 2 evolution. If it takes more than three turns to evolve, the opponent will probably get the Knock Out with a Sableye. It can also happen that you take too long to get Pidgeot ex into play because you couldn’t draw Rare Candy and Pidgeot ex in the same hand, especially if the opponent disrupts you with Path to the Peak, Judge, and /or Iono. Another disadvantage that discourages me from using Pidgeot ex is Path to the Peak. No matter how powerful Pidgeot ex is, it will always be hindered by this Stadium card. Towards the end of the game, the opponent can play Iono plus Path to the Peak and make a comeback.

This concludes the public portion of this article.

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Kinda funny to call it "Lady Zard" when it uses no Gardevoir and any Gallade must be male.
I was just thinking the same thing. “Feudal Zard” would be more fitting, especially given Charizard ex’s title of “Ruler of the Black Flame.”
Kinda funny to call it "Lady Zard" when it uses no Gardevoir and any Gallade must be male.
There is a Gardevoir in my list. Good for draw with high HP and good attack with reversal (solid 150 for single prizes). There are more cool cards in the list different from the japanese list