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Tricks of the Trade: Zoroark-GX

Tricks of the Trade: Zoroark-GX

Shining Legends has had something of a rough patch in the Standard metagame. Most Pokemon in the set tend to only see play as tech slots in established archetypes, such as Raichu GX in Vikavolt/Tapu Bulu GX decks, or Hoopa in Darkrai EX decks to wall off EX Zoroark GX, Pokemon, Shining Legendsand GX Pokemon. But of all the cards in the set, one stands head and shoulders above the rest in terms of power and flexibility: Zoroark GX. Fortunately, they understood that this would be a popular Pokemon, and as a result, they gave Zoroark GX its own special box set.

Zoroark GX has two primary uses. The first is its Trade ability, which allows you to discard a card in your hand to draw two cards. This is a surprisingly powerful ability because there are plenty of ways to use your discard pile to your advantage right now. For example, in an Alolan Ninetales GX deck, you can discard energy and Aqua Patch them back onto your active Pokemon, or discarding evolved GX Fire Pokemon to cheat onto your bench with Ho-Oh GX's Eternal Flame GX attack.

However, the most powerful use for Zoroark GX comes in the form of Darkrai GX and its ability, Restoration. With this, you can use Zoroark GX's ability to discard Darkrai GX, draw two cards, then use Restoration to bring Darkrai GX to your bench with an energy attached. This gives you a way to draw extra cards, fill up your bench to benefit Zoroark GX's Riotous Beating attack, and get additional energy in play to boost Darkrai EX, all before you've even attacked!

          Alolan Ninetales GX, Pokemon, SM - Guardians Rising          Ho-Oh GX, Pokemon, SM - Burning Shadows          Darkrai GX, Pokemon, SM - Burning Shadows

Zoroark GX's Riotous Beating attack is also very easy to set up with stadium cards like Sky Field. While nowhere near the power level of the M-Rayquaza EX days of yore, with Sky Field in play and a full bench you're hitting for 160 damage before any additional bonuses. Even without Sky Field, an 100 damage attack for just two energy can two-hit KO nearly every Pokemon seeing competitive play, save for Gardevoir GX.

Finally, Zoroark GX has surprisingly decent bulk at 210HP, narrowly edging out Stage 1 competition like Espeon GX and tying other Standard heavy hitters like Golisopod GX. As well, Zoroark GX's weakness and resistance are incredibly valuable given the way this Standard is turning out. Fighting Pokemon are almost nonexistent in tournament play, and resisting Psychic attacks means that format boogeyman Garbodor requires a whopping fourteen item cards in our discard pile to one-hit KO, which more often than not means Zoroark GX is almost always going to survive a hit. The only major drawback is that Gardevoir GX resists Dark, but we can use Zoroark GX's Trickster GX to use Gardevoir GX's own Infinite Force attack to deal massive amounts of damage.

Zoroark GX is a must have for competitive play as it offers a ton of options for any deck. The combination of card advantage, combo potential, and damage output makes Zoroark GX a serious threat, so if you don't feel like cracking packs to find one, grab some boxes and get playing!