Budget Zoroark: Undefeated

by Ed ~ June 4th, 2012.

Yeah, you read that title right.  This deck was undefeated.  You might think that means I won a Victory Cup, but the operative word in the sentence is “WAS.”

So, if you’re following along, I built this deck for my daughter.  Then, I decided it would be a good OneHitKO.com Budget Challenge deck.  She wasn’t ready to play it, so I slightly tweaked it for myself and decided to take it to Battle Roads.

Here’s the list I ran.  I’ll go over my matches, and then discuss how the deck can be improved.

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

Tournament Report

Round 1 – Blake from South Dakota – Klinklang EX

I was able to catcher up his Klink before they evolved.  Getting cheap prizes and keeping his energy switching ploy down meant I was free to get 2-prize KOs from his EXs.  I think he did get Darkrai set up, and he definitely did some Max Potions, but the defense-only couldn’t keep up with my offense-only.  I think I won 6-0 on prizes.

1-0 (still undefeated)

Round 2 – Justin K-B – Kyurem / Kyurem EX

In this match, Justin had some Exp Share going on.  I was able to Catcher up a Kyurem EX and get a 2-prize KO while knocking out an Exp Share.  He did get a Kyurem set up and spread 30 to my bench of 4 basics and 1 Zoroark.  If I KO’d his Kyurem, the Exp Share would set his other Kyurem for another spread netting him a 4-prize shot.  I had to go for it and hope that I could then KO that Kyurem on the next turn.  I did, and Justin put all his energy in the discard.  Then Justin remembered the Exp Share and put the energy on Kyurem.  Justin is a great guy, so I chose to inform him how this works.  Let this be a lesson to you guys out there.  If you put your energy in the discard, you have already elected to NOT use the Exp Share.  Exp Share can’t pull energy out of the discard.  Anyway, as Justin is a great guy, I let him take it back.  He then got 4 prizes.  This put him up by 1 prize.  I topdecked Random Receiver (if I recall correctly), used it to get a Pokemon Collector.  Used a Super Rod to put 3 basics back, and then Collector for the 3.  This gave me the KO on that Kyurem.  The next turn I was able to Catcher up an EX and get 2 prizes off of that one for the win.

2-0 (undefeated still)

Round 3 – Soari – CMT

The turning point of this match was when I went all out to set back up a Zoroark to KO Tornadus EX.  I did a whole bunch of stuff and needed like 10 more damage, so I rolled for Dual Ball (to get another 20 damage from another benched Pokemon) and hit dual tails.  I did get to KO it next turn with Sneasel’s Fury Swipes, but it was too late.  If Soari had hit tails on a few more Power Blast (I think maybe he hit 1 of 4 or something), maybe I had a chance, but it’s a very tough battle.

2-1 (WAS undefeated before this)

Round 4 – Michael S. – CMT

This was pretty much the same matchup as the previous round.  I had a pretty bad start, though, when I had to Juniper away 2 Dark Patch because I had no energy in hand or in the discard.  The resulting 7 cards also had no energy, and it was pretty much over after that.  We played it out, but there’s nothing to discuss.

2-2 (I really just want to end with a positive record, now.)

Round 5 – Ryan A. (Bullados) – TyRam

This game was close for a while.  Ryan called Portrait and hit Juniper sending 2 of his Typhlosion to the discard.  I was able to KO another.  I think I was up 3 prizes, but once he got set up, I couldn’t keep up.  I was close to having return KOs after a couple of his KOs on my Zoroark, but I couldn’t evolve to Zoroark, because I wasn’t drawing into them.  At one point, I did Sneasel’s Beat Up.  If I had hit 5 heads (out of 5), I could have KO’d Reshiram.  I got 4.  Once I lost, I checked, and I think there were like 8 cards left in my deck with 2 of them Zoroark.

2-3 (Ouch)

Lessons/Improvements

So, what can we learn from this?  The most important lesson is that this build can not keep up if the opponent can one-shot Zoroark.  The theory is that, even if they’re running something like Tornadus EX, you can 2-shot them, so it’s a wash if they KO 2 Zoroark.  In practice, the 2-shot KO is not consistent enough, because you need a Zoroark ready with 2 energy to return the KO.  Often, you’ll need a Dark Patch AND a Zoroark.  It’s not uncommon to have ’em, but it is hard to pull off repeatedly.

What cards/mods can help with this.

Rescue Energy:  I think that this deck needs Rescue Energy.  The Rescue will give you a benched Zorua and a Zoroark to evolve a previously benched Zorua.  There were many times that a Rescue Energy would have made a huge difference.

Double-Colorless Energy:  This one is harder to recommend if you’re already going to put in the Rescue Energy, but I think it would help a lot.  In fact, it may be better than the Dark Patch in this deck.  Dark Patch is a great way to attach an extra energy, and this deck is built to attach to a bench Pokemon.  However, Dark Patch requires that you have a basic energy in the discard already.  The only drawback I see of DCE over Patch is that you can’t attach DCE after you already attached for the turn (like if you attach, Juniper, and then get DCE).

Special Darkness Energy:  Special Dark Energy rarely seemed to be a difference maker.  If the deck is going to run all darkness, then 4 specials is good.  However, if we’re talking about fitting in some Rescue or DCE, then SpDark might be worth removing.  Then again, if Dark Patch is getting axed, then SpDark can stay (and Energy Search can go).  It’s all a tossup at this point.  With too much special energy, I fear the Lost Remover, but this is the sort of deck that should fear nothing and just win or lose ASAP.

Pokemon Collector:  The deck runs 4 of these.  They work great, because you can use them to fill your bench early on and to refill the bench later after a Super Rod.  However, if Rescue Energy is the answer, then Collector shouldn’t be as important.

Level Ball / Ultra Ball:  If Collector is out, then these two need to be tested.  I think Ultra Ball is better with Dark Patch, and it can get Zoroark.  However, with Rescue Energy, I think searching Zoroark is less important.  Level Ball can help fill the bench with basics.  It won’t be as good early as Collector, but again Collector won’t be as important late game with Rescue Energy.

Junk Arm: I thought I could get away without playing these, and for my Juniors, I would still probably not include the card. However, in Masters, it’s just too good. I may have to work in a couple.

Conclusion

It was a disappointing day going 0-3 after starting 2-0.  Ava had the same experience, I think (2-0 and ending 2-3).

The main takeaway from a deckbuilding standpoint really seems to revolve around including Rescue Energy and removing Pokemon Collector.  After that, it’s all about how to work in DCE and Level Ball.  I really wish I could have ended with a winning record, but I do think that my 2 wins go to show that the deck can easily compete.  In Juniors, I think it could be devastating.

Category: OneHitKO.com Budget Challenge | Tags: , ,
  • great report!

  • Ed

    I forgot to add Junk Arm in the “Improvements” section, so I just edited it in.  Junk Arm can really make a difference, but I don’t think the deck needs 4 of ’em.

  • Anonymous

    I know I’m no expert on fashion, I shop in the Creepy Uncle section of J.C. Penny, but I gotta say that Mike needs a haircut.  He’s going into Radu territory there. 

    • Anonymous

      Was Radu the guy on this site who cursed in just about every sentence?

      Did he get banned?

      • Anonymous

        Yes

        No,  Radu is still a welcomed friend here on this site. 

      • Ed

        He mainly just gave up on Pokemon, I think.

      • I’ll fill in for him, if you want.

        • Ed

          I wonder how our new player, Ryan A. would react to some in-person Radu?

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think it qualifies as undefeated to go 2-3, but that’s just me.

    If you went 2-0 and then dropped, you’d be undefeated.

    • Ed

      Whoops.

  • Yeah, Ed, maybe you would have won that game if you didn’t shark me on every god damn play. Or have usable dice. Or play legal, in format cards like Energy Search and Dual Ball. Ya can’t play with base set cards.

    • Ed

      Judges don’t care about that stuff.  All they care about is sleeve legality.

      • Wouldn’t be a judge if you didn’t let them play with blue sleeves with flowers on the borders.