In this article, I take a look at the two best-performing archetypes from the Oceania Intercontinental Championship which just took place this past weekend: Zoroark GX/Gardevoir GX/Gallade and Buzzwole GX/Lycanroc GX.

 

The winning deck: Zoroark GX/Gardevoir GX/Gallade

 

Zoroark         

 

Pokemon: 20

4 Zorua SLG
4 Zoroark GX
4 Ralts BUS
2 Gardevoir GX
1 Gallade
3 Tapu Lele GX
1 Giratina promo
1 Mew EX

 

Trainers: 32

2 Professor Sycamore
3 N
2 Guzma
3 Brigette
2 Mallow
4 Puzzle of Time
4 Ultra Ball
3 Rare Candy
2 Field Blower
1 Max Potion
2 Evosoda
1 Enhanced Hammer
1 Float Stone
1 Choice Band
1 Parallel City

 

Energy: 8

4 DCE
4 Fairy

 

This list comes courtesy of limitlesstcg.com and will of course be up on Pokemon.com shortly.

Once again, Tord Reklev wins an intercontinental championship, his third in a row and second with a deck featuring a full 4-4 Zoroark GX line. At this point I don’t think we even need to bother making Tord play through the Swiss rounds of such a tournament– we know he is going to end up in the cut if he attends an intercontinental event so why not just skip the formalities?

I won’t go on here talking about Tord the player or the details of his streamed games (which you can find via Twitch or Balthazar’s Pkmns YouTube channel) because this article is not about those things, but I do feel that I have to take a quick moment here to say, “Wow”. It’s hard enough winning 3 League Cups in a row, and yet here we have someone who took down some of the biggest names in Pokemon three times in half a calendar year.

The deck that Tord, and several other European players, ran in Australia is unique, a true “secret deck” that no one seemed to know about aside from the small network of European teammates who crafted it together. Philip Schulz also notably got top 4 with the same list. The way I laid out the name of the deck, with Zoroark GX coming in front of the Gardevoir GX and Gallade, was intentional, as this is actually a Zoroark GX deck that runs Gardevoir GX and Gallade in it, not the other way around.

Basically, the Pokemon TCG of 2018 is all about Zoroark GX in both formats — every other Pokemon is just playing what has become Zoroark GX’s game at this point. Players have come to realize that the inclusion of 4-4 Zoroark GX automatically makes any deck into a threat; a lot of other people have seen success courtesy of this 4-4 line paired up with a variety of partners from Golisopod GX to Lycanroc GX, and Tord himself won London with the Golisopod GX variant.

Being able to Trade multiple times a turn beginning on turn 2 is a proven recipe for success in both formats. You see so many cards every turn that you often have an answer to whatever is happening in the game, and this list packs a lot of answers for you to access. Via an army of Zoroark GXes, you are able to get out Gardevoir and Gallade consistently; you’re able to hit your critical one-ofs with regularity; and you’re able to eventually string together multiple pieces of Puzzle of Time to recover resources.

Mallow is key to really taking Trade to another level, as it lets you cut out the randomness and seek out exactly which 2 cards you need multiple times in a game. Evosoda also lets you explode with multiple quick Zoroark GXes without having to give up more resources via Ultra Ball. Riotous Beating 2HKOs everything for a DCE, making Zoroark GX that rare Pokemon that excels both as a card-drawer and an offensive beast. 210 HP is great for a Stage 1. Zoroark GX has it all.

So why did Gardevoir GX and Gallade get elected as partners for Zoroark GX out of all of the possible options out there?

 

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