Budget Challenge: Zoroark Rush Deck

by Ed ~ May 31st, 2012.

Win games for just $31!

Last time we did the Challenge, things didn’t go quite as planned. At the end, I discussed doing some sort of budget challenge the next time around. Well, things again didn’t go as planned and real life took its toll. I didn’t quite get around to working out a real challenge for the rest of you to participate in, but I do have something going on anyway.

Last time I wrote about how I was getting my 5-year-old into the Pokemon tournament scene. Well, I don’t think she’s quite ready, but I have been working on a deck for her. Interestingly enough, I think it’s a great deck for the Budget Challenge. Depending on the incarnation, I think you can purchase the deck at a place like Troll And Toad for anywhere from $30 to $90. If you already have some cards (which most of us do), or if you can trade/buy some cards locally or at cheaper places (like scrounging eBay for deals), I think you can easily cut those figures in half.

I’m convinced that this deck can beat any deck out there. An all fighting deck will be its worst nightmare, but even then, it could donk a lone Phanpy or do 130 to a lone Terrakion on turn 2. Neither of these are high probability plays given that the opponent will be trying to drop bench Pokemon, but it can happen.

I think that I’m going to play the $90 build this weekend. I’m hoping that Petra, my 5-year-old, will watch and learn even if I may not give her the same list to play when it’s her time.

Let’s look at the list, and then we’ll do some quick discussion of the unorthodox choices.

12 Pokemon 26 Trainers 12 Supporters/Stadiums 10 Energy
4 Sneasel UD 68 4 Dark Claw 4 PONT 6 Dark
4 Zorua DEX 69 4 Pokemon Catcher 4 Professor Juniper 4 Special Dark
4 Zoroark DEX 71 4 Dual Ball 4 Pokemon Collector
4 Energy Search
3 Super Rod
4 Random Receiver
3 Dark Patch

4 Dual Ball AND 4 Pokemon Collector:
Yeah, there are 8 basics, and I’m playing 8 cards that can only search for basics. I might be crazy, but I might be a genius. I’ve always said that it’s pretty hard to self-evaluate insanity. Here’s the thing. You want to fill your bench on turn 1. This gives you an Ascention into Zoroark and hopefully a T2 hand-refresh to get energy and Dark Claw. You can also do it the other way around by getting a Zorua on T1 via PONT, Juniper, or Dual Ball and then filling the bench on T2 with Collector.

4 Energy Search:
Who does this? When you’re on a budget, you can afford to do crazy stuff. But really, I don’t think it’s that crazy, especially for a younger/new player. I was running Cheren instead of Juniper at first, and the Energy Search makes even more sense in that build. The idea is that you want to thin your deck ASAP. When you have an Energy Search, just play it. Any hand refresh after that is more likely to have Zoroark or whatever other good stuff you need. Energy Search and then play Juniper to discard the energy. It’s fodder for Dark Patch.

4 Random Reciever:
This isn’t so crazy, but it’s a similar theory to the Energy Search. Even if you don’t need a supporter, you can thin the deck. In some games, you’ll want to conserve these in case the opponent is N’ing you or whatever.

4 Sneasel / 0 Weavile / 0 Sableye / 0 Darkrai EX:
The Darkrai EX choice is pretty obvious. It’s EXpensive. Weavile and Sableye aren’t, but they both detract from the point of the deck. The point is to get Zoroark attacking for 120-160 damage ASAP. Sneasel does 2 things here. First, he can free retreat. If you don’t start the game with an active Zorua, it’s still easy to Ascension on turn 1. If the opponent starts with a lone pokemon that’s 40HP or so like Tynamo or any baby Pokemon, then you can go for the cheap quick donk win. It’s not hard to do 40 damage on turn 1 with Sneasel, Special Dark, and Dark Claw. The first build of the deck even had 4 Plus Power. Try it.

No cards to search Zoroark:
Well, Zorua does that. PONT and Juniper also do it. What more do you need? Thin the deck, then play a hand refresh. It’s not going to work every time. When it fails, use Ascension and hope they can’t OHKO your Zoroark. If you have a problem with this plan, put in some Ultra Ball or whatever. But try the deck without it first.

0 Junk Arm:
Well, it’s kind of a budget thing, but it’s also to show that you don’t really need Junk Arm. It’s a great card, but you can build a strong deck without it. Hey, if you want to build the deck and you have some Junk Arm, go ahead an include some. I don’t think you need 4, though. Maybe you drop a Random Receiver or two for some Junk Arm. Junk Arming for a Dark Patch (or Dark Claw) at the right moment could prove very important.

The $15 version

12 Pokemon 22 Trainers 12 Supporters/Stadiums 14 Energy
4 Sneasel UD 68 4 Dark Claw 4 PONT 10 Dark
4 Zorua DEX 69 4 Ultra Ball 4 Professor Juniper 4 Special Dark
4 Zoroark DEX 71 4 Dual Ball 4 N
3 Super Rod
4 Random Receiver
3 Dark Patch

To make the $15 version (which is about $30 on T’n’T but I claim could probably be built for around $15 if you were a savvy shopper/trader), you essentially just drop the Pokemon Catcher and Pokemon Collector. Then, you fill those spots with other stuff.

In this version, I also removed the Energy Search, because I added 4 Ultra Ball. I want you to have energy in hand to discard to Ultra Ball and Juniper while also having some in the deck for energy drops. This version could be almost as fast and maybe have a better recovery than the more spendy counterpart. What it will lack is the ability to get strategic KOs that disrupt the opponent’s setup. It may also lack the ability to fill the bench by turn 2.

Things To Consider Including

Junk Arm:
We already discussed that.

Plus Power:
If you can find something to pull out of the deck (or if you can’t obtain some other trainer/supporter), then Plus Power is a good option. If you decide to run no Pokemon Collector, then you may afford to run less refresh support (assuming you keep all the Random Receiver). Plus Power is a nice add to fill that void.

Sableye DEX 62:
It’s a good card. You could add 1 of these. I think it will really hurt when you start the game with it active. If you ever need to Junk Hunt, you probably already lost. I’d add Junk Arm over this. If you add more than 1, you may as well add some Darkrai EX, too.

Darkrai EX:
Now you’re just building a different deck.

Pokemon Communication:
Try it, but I don’t think you’ll like it.

Zoroark BLW 71:
It can help in some matchups. I think it’s a liability.

Double Colorless Energy:
It detracts from the turn 1 Ascension. It does, however, give you a better recovery when your Zoroark and all your energy gets KOd in one hit.

Rescue Energy:
See the explanation for DCE.

So, there it is. I think I’ll try the deck this weekend at our Battle Roads. If you’ve been playing something like this, tell us how yours is working and what the differences are.

Category: Budget Challenge | Tags: , ,