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Jezzy_2006

What's the best thing I can do with my Zoroark-GX's in expanded?

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Jezzy_2006

Right now I'm playing a Zoroark-GX/M Rayquaza-EX build that runs Hoopa-EX and pals Shaymin-EX and Jirachi-EX, and I've been toying with my flex-slots, as of now they consist of a Magearna-EX, Dragonite-EX and a Darkai-GX.  I'm new, but I got lucky on some early packs, learned trading quickly and also got a little lucky there and now have these nice cards along with a set of Lele-GX's, but have no idea what the best lists are.  Are there resources that can help guide my decisions?  Mine is okay, I've been experimenting with Mallow since it has nice synergy with Trade, and often a couple specific cards are much more useful than another random 6 or 7.  I can post a list later, but I'd prefer to look over other successful lists before I do.  Where could I find these resources?

 

Furthermore, I need a good counter for the Alolan Ninetails/Hoopa lists that are really causing me some issues.  A non-EX/GX pokemon that is a good counter to that specific strategy.  I've been using 1 Zoroark (Stand-in) but often it's not enough to finish the job.  I've just upped it to 2x, but thought maybe...idk, Dialga?  I'm in steel energy atm because of Magearna/Jirachi, so I've been looking there (Alolan Ninetails weakness is Steel, also).

 

Thanks

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RobRatt
Posted (edited)

I can post a list later, but I'd prefer to look over other successful lists before I do.  Where could I find these resources?

This page, here on the Pokémon site, should help:

 

>> Play Pokémon Events >> Event Results (in the side bar)

 

https://www.pokemon.com/us/play-pokemon/pokemon-events/championship-series-event-results/

 

Portland and Anaheim are the two most recent Expanded tournaments.  In that format, it looks like pairing with Seismitoad-EX is the popular choice.

 

If you check some of the Standard lists, you find Zoroark plays well there too.

Edited by RobRatt

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Jezzy_2006

Thank you for the reply.  That was very helpful.  I play Legacy in Magic: the Gathering.  There is a massive amount of information in Magic over many, many topics and cards.  Are there any good article writers for Pok'emon?  Any theorycrafting papers, in-depth format intro pieces, or any other useful musings you may know of?  I want to learn the meta the same way I know it in magic; intimately.  I've been playing a lot, trying to trade for the last 4 cards (Giratina with the Door ability) I need for my second expanded deck, M Gardevoir EX.

 

Seismitoad looks good, do tournament winners ever write tourney reports or anything like that?  I'm not normally interested in formats like Standard because of how limited the card pool is and how quickly it changes, causing it to be more costly than other formats over the long-term, which is how I play games like this - over the long-term.

 

Thanks

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Felidae_

Just like in MtG, Stnadard is the primary format of the game (simply because a fast and rotating format is bound to sell new packs, whereas a format like Expanded [or Legacy in MtG] is bound to profit the secondary market more).

 

Sidenote: I sold my Duals and Forces back in 2013 and acquired them again in 2016/17, safe to say I had to sell my left kidney to afford those Useas :D.

 

Anyway, back on track. There are a few good sites for articles, but similarly to the likes of star city games most pro articles are locked behind a paywall. Usually those articles are worth the money though, especially if you are already comfortable with the game and want to learn more insight.

However, as I said earlier, unless a major Expanded tournament is around the corner, you'll likely find only little input on the Expanded format.

 

If you are looking for stuff to read I can highly recommend:

60cards

limitlesstcg (also a great site to find tournament decks and meta breakdowns)

sixprizes

thecharizardlongue

 

I can also recommend my “Why do you lose?” series (shameful advertisement, I know) here on the forums:

Part 1:

http://forums.pokemontcg.com/topic/54657-why-do-you-lose-chapter-1-%E2%80%93-the-principle-of-four/

 

Part 2:

http://forums.pokemontcg.com/topic/55311-why-do-you-lose-chapter-2-%E2%80%93-if-it-bleeds-we-can-kill-it/

 

Part 3 is sitting on my laptop for over 6 months now and I can't bring myself to finish it. Maybe I'll start something new, who knows.

 

I'll probably write something later regarding Zoroak GX, so stay tuned :).

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Jezzy_2006

Thank you for that information, it looks like it will help me with a lot.  I said I would post my list, so here it is:

 

****** Pokémon Trading Card Game Deck List ******

##Pokémon - 23

* 1 Dragonite-EX EVO 72
* 3 Rayquaza-EX ROS 75
* 2 Shaymin-EX ROS 77
* 3 M Rayquaza-EX ROS 76
* 4 Zorua SLG 52
* 1 Zoroark BKT 91
* 4 Zoroark-GX SLG 53
* 2 Jirachi-EX PLB 60
* 1 Magearna-EX STS 75
* 2 Hoopa-EX PR-XY XY71

##Trainer Cards - 26

* 1 Professor's Letter XY 123
* 2 Rayquaza Spirit Link ROS 87
* 1 Lysandre FLF 90
* 1 Karen PR-XY XY177
* 1 Cynthia UPR 119
* 2 Skyla BKT 148
* 1 Field Blower GRI 125
* 1 Guzma BUS 115
* 3 Sky Field ROS 89
* 2 Mallow GRI 127
* 1 Choice Band GRI 121
* 1 Switch KSS 38
* 1 Mega Turbo ROS 86
* 4 Ultra Ball ROS 93
* 4 VS Seeker PHF 109

##Energy - 11

* 4 Double Colorless Energy NXD 92
* 5 Darkness Energy  7
* 2 Metal Energy  8

Total Cards - 60

****** Deck List Generated by the Pokémon TCG Online www.pokemon.com/TCGO ******

 

Thanks for your input in advance.  The deck is fine.  It's strength is in the early game, can be frustrating to lose because I can only often do 240 damage to the 250 dudes like Solgaleo (or however you spell it) and Metagross GX, things like that, and Zoroark GX only does 210.  Further, as I've complained about before, the Alolan Menace of shutting down my EX/GX attacks is something I'm wanting to address.  Seismitoad EX looks okay, I may give it a try, but I don't understand some of the trainer choices or how to use them.  This is a lot different than my first go-round with Pok'emon TCG.  Still fun, but tons different.  For instance, I *think* I just figured out that people play Roller Skates because even though it's not as good as Tierno or whatever other Supporters that draw 3, it's used so that they can use a supporter after they draw.

 

Has this deck been built before?  Is there someplace where people discuss tiered lists without making new posts and hit the target audience?

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Felidae_

Ok, I'll first go over your list and then talk a bit about Zoroak in general.

 

Rayquaza – The Hateful Eight

 

The first thing that most players will notice is that the pairing in itself seems really weird.

M-Rayquaza EX used to be quite the strong archetype, working as a sort of aggro-combo deck that could set up blazingly fast and start the prize trade on turn 1.

Over the course of time there have been various iterations of the deck, some that focused more on consistent mid-/late game, other that incorporate a protective shell to fight M-Manectric EX and added secondary attackers.

 

Side Note: I encountered my favorite version of this deck at a small tournament in Tokyo, if you dig deep in the 60card archives you'll eventually find my article there.

 

Rayquaza faded away roughly around the Break area, as more and more non EX attackers emerged, offsetting the prize trade discrepancy and sometimes being able to attack on turn 1 as well (i.e. Vespiqueen + FogP). Additionally more and more useful stadiums for various archetypes where printed, alongside good options to deal with existing stadiums, thus Sky Field became a target more often.

 

The last nail in the coffin was arguably the printing of Zoroak GX. Essential you get a card with a similar attack that has an insane ability, is easier to set up in a single turn (no spirit link, DCE instead of DCE + Mega Turbo) and takes away far less space to achieve the same results.

 

The only reason to play Rayquaza in the current meta is the speed is to snipe decks like Buzzwole and that's about it.

You can thus imagine my surprise after seeing your list, as you essentially paired 2 Pokemon that share a similar attack, yet work in entirely different shells. We could maybe argue about including a 2-2 line as additional draw support and I'm sure we could draft a decent list around this concept, but in reality I'd always advise you to just drop Rayquaza and look for a better partner. This becomes quite apparent when you look at your set-up: You have no reliable way to bench 2-3 Zorua on Turn 1, as the archetype you are playing is designed to chain EX Pokemon and to OHKO everything in your wake from turn 1 onwards. There is simply no room for a Brigette or other tools that are usually used to enable a smooth turn 2 Zoroark turn.

 

For reference I'll post an older Rayquaza list in the end, in order to showcase how I'd play the archetype (because when you play this deck you either commit entirely, or you don't play it at all).

As I said before: I'd advise you not to play Rayquaza, as there are better options out there, but thanks to the diverse meta in Expanded at the moment the deck can still win games and isn't crushed without a shred of hope against the competition.

 

Zoroak GX – the bane of the format

 

Zoroak GX is silly. It was so silly that even after the recent ban wave that hit the archetype quite good it is still the most dominant Pokemon in Expanded without a close competitor in sight. However, the role of Zoroak has shifted over the course of his life.

Zoroak GX provides an ability that could be considered game breaking, especially if paired with a decent attack and a lot of HP. You can see a 2-2 line of Zoroak GX in Night March for quite some time now, you can see it paired with Macargo, with Golisopod GX, with Toad, heck essentially you can throw it into almost every deck. Not conditional card draw is insane in this game.

As you noticed earlier, the supporter is one of the most important tools in your turn and being able to focus on utility supporter, because your card draw is dealt with by Zoroak, can give you a significant edge over the opponent.

However, knowing which supporter card is the right one to play and how to use them can be a bit tricky at the beginning, thus a deck like Seismitoad + Zoroak is probably not the best one to start on, as it requires you to know a lot about the format and the game. Think of an archetype like Burn in MtG Legacy: Sure, there are nuances to the deck, but even if you are fairly new to the game you'll probably be able to play a decent round with it. No take a deck like DDFT and let the same beginner pilot it, the results will be quite different.

That isn't to say that you should settle on an easy to use deck, its just that experience can only be learned over time. I play this game on quite the high level and I can honestly say that I couldn't play this list without making errors, simply because a couple of card choices (i.e. Articuno and Girafarig) are not in my comfort one. I understand the reason why they are there, but I don't have enough experience with them to comfortably use them without making mistakes.

That's another thing that you'll probably already know from MtG: an online decklist is a fantastic tool to get you an idea of the general skeleton of each archetype, however every player has their own little tech cards that they tested extensively, yet they might come across as weird to someone who hasn't spend the same amount of time with the list.

See what works best for oyu and don't be afraid to cut something, after all even if the deck won an event that doesn't mean anything for your own play style, or for the meta you face online.

 

From what I can gather you are currently at a phase where you look for a lot of input and that's great, I'd only advise you to take it step by step. A deep insight into an archetype might be interesting, but based on your deck I'd say that you still got some things to learn in terms of basic deck building, as there are couple of odd choices in the trainer and supporter department.

 

One last thing in regards to Alolan Ninetales and similar cards: Try to ignore them for the most part (in the Rayquaza archetype). Those decks are not strong in the current meta, yet they bank on the hope of catching you off guard. Rather than trying to prepare for them I'd focus on the important match-ups. No reason to water down your deck in order to beat a thread that you shouldn't face on a daily basis.

 

Last but not least here are a couple of Rayquaza and Zoroak builds that could help you get some ideas (mind you that a lot of them are bit older, as I tend not to update my old decks).

 

Metal Rayquaza

 

a version of the deck that cut Mega Turbo entirely and focus stronger on the mid game, rather than the explosive start

 

 

 

****** Pokémon Trading Card Game Deck List ******

##Pokémon - 19

* 1 Kecleon PLF 94
* 3 Rayquaza-EX ROS 75
* 3 Shaymin-EX ROS 106
* 3 M Rayquaza-EX ROS 76
* 1 Aegislash-EX PHF 65
* 3 Bronzor PHF 60
* 1 Heatran PHF 63
* 3 Bronzong PHF 61
* 1 Keldeo-EX LTR 45

##Trainer Cards - 32

* 1 Switch HS 102
* 1 Computer Search BCR 137
* 1 Skyla BCR 134
* 3 Rayquaza Spirit Link ROS 87
* 2 N DEX 96
* 2 Battle Compressor Team Flare Gear PHF 92
* 3 Colress PLS 135
* 3 Professor Juniper DEX 98
* 2 Float Stone PLF 99
* 4 VS Seeker ROS 110
* 4 Sky Field ROS 89
* 4 Ultra Ball PLB 90
* 2 Lysandre FLF 104

##Energy - 9

* 5 Metal Energy BLW 112
* 4 Double Colorless Energy HS 103

Total Cards - 60

****** Deck List Generated by the Pokémon TCG Online www.pokemon.com/TCGO ******

 

 

 

Old school Turbo Rayquaza

 

The original deck, before cards like Hoopa or Dragonite were printed

 

 

 

****** Pokémon Trading Card Game Deck List ******

##Pokémon - 16

* 3 Rayquaza-EX ROS 75
* 4 Shaymin-EX ROS 106
* 1 Swablu LTR 103
* 1 Altaria ROS 74
* 3 M Rayquaza-EX ROS 76
* 1 Rayquaza-EX ROS 60
* 3 Exeggcute PLF 4

##Trainer Cards - 37

* 1 Switch HS 102
* 1 Computer Search BCR 137
* 4 Trainers' Mail ROS 92
* 3 Mega Turbo ROS 86
* 3 Rayquaza Spirit Link ROS 87
* 4 Acro Bike PRC 122
* 1 N DEX 96
* 4 Battle Compressor Team Flare Gear PHF 92
* 1 Professor Juniper DEX 98
* 2 Colress PLS 118
* 4 VS Seeker ROS 110
* 3 Sky Field ROS 89
* 4 Ultra Ball PLB 90
* 1 Escape Rope PLS 120
* 1 Lysandre FLF 104

##Energy - 7

* 3 Darkness Energy HS 121
* 4 Double Colorless Energy HS 103

Total Cards - 60

****** Deck List Generated by the Pokémon TCG Online www.pokemon.com/TCGO ******

 

 

 

Zoroak GX + Lycanrock GX

 

The banned cards need to be replaced, otherwise quite the fun archetype

 

 

 

****** Pokémon Trading Card Game Deck List ******

##Pokémon - 20

* 3 Shaymin-EX ROS 106
* 4 Zorua SLG 52
* 1 Zoroark BKT 91
* 3 Zoroark-GX SLG 53
* 3 Rockruff TK-Lycanroc 14
* 2 Lycanroc-GX GRI 156
* 1 Exeggcute PLF 4
* 1 Oricorio GRI 56
* 2 Tapu Lele-GX GRI 60

##Trainer Cards - 33

* 1 Switch HS 102
* 1 Computer Search BCR 137
* 1 Rescue Stretcher GRI 130
* 1 Hex Maniac AOR 75
* 1 Ghetsis PLF 115
* 1 Acerola BUS 112
* 1 Brigette BKT 134
* 1 Enhanced Hammer PRC 162
* 1 Battle Compressor Team Flare Gear PHF 92
* 1 Colress PLS 135
* 4 Puzzle of Time BKP 109
* 1 Float Stone BKT 137
* 1 Guzma BUS 115
* 1 Professor Juniper DEX 98
* 3 VS Seeker ROS 110
* 1 Professor Kukui SUM 148
* 2 N FCO 105
* 1 Mallow GRI 127
* 2 Choice Band GRI 121
* 4 Ultra Ball PLB 90
* 3 Sky Field ROS 89

##Energy - 7

* 4 Double Colorless Energy HS 103
* 3 Strong Energy FFI 104

Total Cards - 60

****** Deck List Generated by the Pokémon TCG Online www.pokemon.com/TCGO ******

 

 

 

Traditional Zoroak GX

 

Once again with banned cards ( I need to update my decks ^^)

 

 

****** Pokémon Trading Card Game Deck List ******

##Pokémon - 21

* 2 Shaymin-EX ROS 106
* 4 Zorua DEX 70
* 1 Zoroark NXD 102
* 4 Zoroark-GX SLG 53
* 1 Sudowoodo GRI 66
* 2 Exeggcute PLF 4
* 1 Alolan Grimer SUM 57
* 1 Oricorio GRI 56
* 3 Tapu Lele-GX GRI 60
* 1 Alolan Muk SUM 58
* 1 Seismitoad-EX FFI 106

##Trainer Cards - 35

* 1 Computer Search BCR 137
* 1 Rescue Stretcher GRI 130
* 1 Hex Maniac AOR 75
* 1 Ghetsis PLF 115
* 1 Acerola BUS 112
* 2 Brigette BKT 134
* 2 Battle Compressor Team Flare Gear PHF 92
* 2 Colress PLS 135
* 4 Puzzle of Time BKP 109
* 1 Field Blower GRI 125
* 1 Guzma BUS 115
* 4 VS Seeker ROS 110
* 3 Choice Band BUS 162
* 1 N FCO 105
* 4 Sky Field ROS 89
* 4 Ultra Ball PLB 90
* 2 Float Stone PLF 99

##Energy - 4

* 4 Double Colorless Energy HS 103

Total Cards - 60

****** Deck List Generated by the Pokémon TCG Online www.pokemon.com/TCGO ******

 

 

 

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Jezzy_2006

 

From what I can gather you are currently at a phase where you look for a lot of input and that's great, I'd only advise you to take it step by step. A deep insight into an archetype might be interesting, but based on your deck I'd say that you still got some things to learn in terms of basic deck building, as there are couple of odd choices in the trainer and supporter department.

 

I appreciate your post, thank you for taking the time and interest in sharing your opinion on my list and about Zoroark's role in the meta.  I like that this deck has similar game plans between the big hitters.  There is definitely a little nonbo-ing going on between the GX and the Hoopa strategy, but what I have most interest in conversing on is the above quoted statement.  I'm highly interested in the details of this statement, as my choices are highly contested by myself.  However, this is what I've gotten to work for me and the synergies are pretty ideal (I'm currently trying out a single Exeggcute (you know the one) to up my card advantage).

 

Essentially, I'm trying to not spend money on everything I could try, I'm more interested in what's the *best* thing to do; and much like I don't have the skill to pilot a version with Seismitoad EX, I don't have the knowledge to take a guess at what the *best* pairing is, nor the true natures of the trainers that would be most beneficial for .  If you didn't ever play legacy in Magic, you could probably only guess as to what the best counterspells for a certain deck would be, even if you play casually.  I'm in a similar situation with trainers and pairings.

 

I'm reading what I can find, not sure where the best information is to be had, and I don't have the time for a ton of reading to decide what I prefer or can appreciate, nor do I want to spend that amount of money on paywalls.

 

Again, thanks.

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