– Shining Legends
December 27, 2017
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Zoroark GX (Shining Legends, 53/73) slashed its way into the meta from the Shining Legends expansion set. It instantly changed the game. No one can argue that Trade isn’t the most powerful ability in the game, even moreso than Wonder Tag. Trade lets you get draw support without having to use a Supporter card. You’re free to use Guzma, Acerola, Brigette, Ninja Boy, Pokemon Ranger, Wally and whatever other Supporter you want to use without having to sacrifice draw support for that turn. Honestly, right now with Trade, we suddenly appear to be Supporter poor – I wish we had more Supporter cards that would do other cool things. With Trade, I don’t need draw support, I need other things that will help me win more.
And Zoroark GX is a single attachment attacker! It hits for a modest 120 (150 with Choice Band) and you can easily use Max Potion, Acerola, and Super Scoop Up to erase all of the damage off of it and continue attacking without losing any momentum. BTW if you Trade and then use Acerola or SSU, and if you’re able to put that Zoroark GX back down on a Zorua you already have on the board, you can actually use Trade again. This doesn’t happen a whole lot, but I’ve been using SSU a lot lately, and I can pull it off from time to time.
Of course, we saw the natural reaction to Zoraork GX in Memphis with the resurgence of Fighting types, especially the long neglected GRI Lycanroc GX and its ability Bloodthirsty Eyes. Lycanroc GX suddenly became the arch enemy of Zoroark GX, using its ability to pull Zoroark GX into the active position where (because of Zoroark’s Fighting weakness) it becomes an easy two prize cards.
This doubly impacts the Zoroark GX player as their deck (as mentioned above) has naturally been built around the Trade ability – without that ability, they frequently suffer from lack of draw support. They suffocate from lack cards and quickly fall behind in play, unable to recover from losing their foundation, the draw engine that makes the deck work so well. In fairness, every deck struggles against the type it has weakness too – only one top tier deck currently in Standard has no achilles heel (Tapu Bulu GX).
It’s hard to say what the future holds for Zoroark GX. Obviously, with the influx of Metal and Fire (and possibly Water as well) coming in Ultra Prism, some of the players who ran Fighting Decks at Memphis will choose a different deck for Collinsville, but I think we’ll still see a fair amount of Fighting decks because they’re relatively straight forward decks, easy to run, and can hit for a boatload of damage with those Strong energies. Will we continue to see as much Zoroark GX though? I’m still trying to rub the crystal ball on that one.
Standard: 4.5 out of 5
When I reviewed this card, I thought that it would just be a one or two of support tech in. Yep, I was wrong about that! Obviously, most of the people reading this have played enough matches to know that with Zoroark GX it’s Zoroark GX and (fill in the blank) and not the other way around. These decks are all Zoroark GX decks paired with another supporting partner. Zoroark GX is the Batman of the duo, whatever else it’s matched with is Robin… and Lycanroc GX is the Joker.
Zoroark-GX happens to be in an expansion that was released near the end of the year, so it seems that there’s not much playtesting in regards to this Pokémon. Fortunately, with this card being the best card of Shining Legends (all five active reviewers, including me, had this card as their #1, 50 out of 50), you don’t need to test any further!
Upon looking at this card’s effect text, it has an ability, a splashable attack, and a situational attack. Trade functions exactly like Empoleon’s Diving Draw, which lets you discard a hand in order to draw two cards. Drawing two cards via ability is actually good because you could still use your supporter on your turn. While this makes for good draw power, it can also be a good search power as well. By using Mallow, she fetches you two cards, shuffle your deck, then put those two cards on top of your deck………….to be drawn by Zoroark-GX’s trade ability and get exactly what you need.
Riotous Beating is a splashable attack, costing CC and doing 20 damage times the number of your Pokemon in play. Pack a full bench, and you’ll be doing 120 (180 with Sky Field). While having any Pokemon in play is great for fueling this attack’s damage output, ideally, you’ll be putting some very useful bench sitters, whether it be Oranguru for draw power or Decidueye-GX for damage counter placement.
To finish off this card, it’s GX attack is called Trickster, which costs DD, and it picks any attack from your opponent’s Pokemon and use it as this attack. This can be pretty nasty when you get to enjoy the effects from your opponent’s Pokémon or when you need to do 300 damage such as your opponent simply putting Charizard cards in play.
Besides going through the card again in case no one has read our previous Zoroark-GX review last month, all I can say is that Zoroark-GX is splashable in any deck due to focusing on Riotous Beating, since that requires two of any energy, having a good draw-based ability, and the ability to work with several partners such as Decidueye-GX and Stand In Zoroark. Also, there’s nothing wrong to make a pure dark deck out of this Pokémon. The cards to create a darkness engine would be Muscle Band/Choice Band, Reverse Valley/Ravaged Field, Dangerous Energy (outdated unfortunately), Darkrai-EX Dark Cloak, Stand In Zoroark, Zoroark BREAK, and Exeggcute (BW Plasma Freeze) to recover cards from the single card discard due to Trade ability.
This is why Zoroark-GX has been placed high on our top 10 cards of 2017. But what two cards can be better than this? Well, you’ll just have to tune in two more times!
Here it is, one of the more desirable cards in this list. Not just because of its initial rarity (although its collection box is a popular commodity in card shops), but because it is already showing its legs out very comfortably since the day of its release, and even when a strong counter arrived, it shows no qualms about being shoved off the meta pole. And its the sly fox, Zoroark-GX!
A Dark type with 210 HP, it surely seems to be on the back foot in terms of offensive power because of the many Gardevoirs around which resists it. It has a weakness to Fighting which should be problematic because of Buzzwole-GX running around, but it managed to prove otherwise. A retreat cost of 2 is standard, but its not the worst thing in the world since it attacks for 2 energies anyway. No, it’s not the stats that makes Zoroark-GX such a universally loved competitive card.
All the hype and power of Zoroark comes from two things; its Ability and attack. Its ability, Trade, allows you to discard a card from your hand and draw 2 cards…per Zoroark-GX in play. So if you can get 4 Zoroark-GXs in play, which isn’t the hardest thing to do, you can draw up to 8 new cards, giving it an edge in matches in terms of consistency. The best thing about it, is that being a Zoroark, it is a Stage 1 Pokemon so all you need a Zorua and an Ultra Ball or Evosoda or Wally to get it up and rolling. No Rare Candies needed like say, Gardevoir-GX or its predecessor, Empoleon (BW DEX) It has successfully brought once dead or unsure deck bases back to relevancy such as Decidueye-GX, which is supposed to be out of the count once the stadium Forest Of Giant Plants is banned but Trade allows you to get those Rare Candies off fast and easy, and the legend that is Golisopod-GX/Zoroark-GX that is very consistent and super fast, winning various tournaments over the past 3 months.
And unlike the majority of draw engines currently, like Octillery (XY BKT) or Oranguru (SM Base), it has a powerful attack in Riotous Beating (although I like its Japanese name “Riot Beat” better) which deals 20x the number of Pokemon in your side for 2 Colorless energies. So if you have 6 Pokemon in play (1 active Zoroark and 5 benched Pokemon) it means that you deal 120, or 150 damage with a Choice Band. That is huge for something that was meant to be a draw engine, and it means that there is no awkward stuck situation where your draw engine is gusted and trapped in the Active slot, as the draw engine itself is a great 2 shot attacker. It also has a GX attack, Trickster GX but its not worth your time since it costs 2 Dark energies and it only copies the last move your opponent used. What a waste of a GX attack.
Really, just concentrate on Trade and Riotous Beating, the two things that made Zoroark a prominent meta force and a true powerhouse in any deck it can be inserted in, which is almost any deck thanks to its attack costing a DCE, and you should be ready to rumble against any deck with it.
#3 Zoroark-GX – speaking of powerful Pokemon-GX, Zoroark-GX is an even more surprising GX to unleash, as it’s got the same power trio set-up that Gardevoir-GX has, now on a Stage 1. His Trade Ability is generic draw power, and Riotous Beating is fairly powerful with enough Pokemon in play, but his GX Attack essentially duplicates an attack that Zoroark has had on his cards in the past. I don’t know if I’d have had him strictly higher than Gardevoir-GX because of this or the draw power, but he has definitely remained the biggest card to get out of Shining Legends.