What's up PoTown store readers! Its Isaac again, bringing you another article this month! Today, I’m going to be recapping San Diego regionals and then taking a dive into expanded with an analysis of one of my favorite decks in the expanded format.

The Standard Format

After Daytona regionals, Gardevoir & Sylveon GX winning the event had a large impact on the meta in San Diego for several reasons:
  1. Giratina & Garchomp ended up winning the event as an effort to beat the Gardevoir & Sylveons and have decent matchups vs the rest of the meta
  2. Lucario & Melmetal GX ended up placing 2nd, as it was played to be extremely favored vs Gardevoir & Sylveon and the Malamars that would inevitably show up
  3. Pidgey was also played to be favored vs Gardevoir & Sylveon 
-> All these decks did extremely well as they were played to counter certain decks and took up a large portion of the meta in San Diego

The DDG team also played Malamar which ended up taking 2 of the 8 slots in top 8, and several others in day 2. Even though Malamar is unfavored vs the Gardevoir & Sylveons, it took favorable matchups vs pretty much the rest of the field and only really lost due to problems with consistency. After San Diego, the standard is pretty defined now until the release of the new set from Sword and Shield. Every deck has been explored and played in different ways depending on shifts of the meta. In future standard events, Giratina & Garchomp and Lucario & Melmetal will get more respect after them doing so well and other decks will change as a result of this. All these standard cards are available through purchasing codes on the Pokemon TCG Online!

Next, I’m going to be talking about the more fun format, expanded, and a deck that I feel is very well positioned atm. I have been testing this deck a lot recently on Pokemon TCG Online. Let’s take a look at one of my favorable decks of all time and my current list, Zoro Garb. Here is my current list:

Pokemon - 23
4 Zorua DEX
4 Zoroark GX SLG
1 Ditto Prism Star LOT
1 Trubbish NVI
1 Trubbish GRI
1 Garbodor GRI
1 Garbodor BKP
2 Tapu Lele GX GRI
1 Shaymin EX ROS
1 Dedenne GX UNB
2 Exeggcute PLF
1 Klefki STS
1 Marshadow UNB
1 Mr. Mime PLF
1 Oricorio GRI

Trainers - 31
2 Colress
2 Brigette
1 N
1 Guzma
1 Iris
4 Ultra Ball
4 VS Seeker
2 Choice Band
2 Float Stone
2 Cherish Ball
1 Special Charge
1 Super Rod
1 Rescue Stretcher
1 Field Blower
1 Battle Compressor
1 Great Catcher
1 Dowsing Machine ACE SPEC
3 Sky Field

Energy - 6
4 Double Colorless Energy
2 Basic Psychic Energy

If you would like to check out and play this list on PTCGO, be sure to check out our fantastic code selection here on our website!

Why Zoro Garb?

Zoro Garb has been a deck I have been playing for the past year a lot. I’ve topped numerous cups with it, placed 9th at Anaheim regionals last year with it, and had decent finishes at a few other regionals as well. Other than my comfort with the deck, I think that the deck is very well positioned after the new bans in expanded as the deck did not lose that much other than Lt. Surge and Reset Stamp. The deck doesn’t have any extremely polarizing matchups and takes 50-50s or better against most decks in my opinion. Let's go over some of the card count choices in the deck.

Card Explanations

1 Shaymin/1 Dedenne
The old Zoro Garb lists played 2 Shaymin, but when Unbroken Bonds was released, the 1/1 split seemed like a must in this deck. The Shaymin is used for hands where you really don’t want to discard much else from your hand and just need an out to something like a Colress. Dedenne is used to dig for certain cards in your deck. For example, if you must hit Garbodor, psychic energy, and a choice band to get a knockout on a large opposing Pokemon. Or maybe a great catcher after you have already used Colress. 

Night March and Vespiquen both seem to be very popular picks after the new bans, so playing this card seems like a must as it makes these two matchups extremely favorable. Oricorio is also very good in the Zoro Garb mirror since the deck plays a lot of Pokemon that end up getting discarded. It can swing the prize trade in your favor which is very important in a deck like this.

1/1 split between 2 trubbishes
As others may think that playing two Trubbishes with the garbage collection attack is right, I think that one 70 hp should be played as it can offer a deck out option vs some decks and it is good vs various decks that spread damage such as Archistoise.

Marshadow UNB
This card is pretty much just for discarding opponents opposing Power Plants, or Chaotic Swells. Plant and Swell can be super annoying for Zoro Garb to deal with as sky field is needed to do large amounts of damage. Versus any control deck, Marshadow helps with, which is a very strong advantage in the expanded meta.

1 Garbotoxin / 1 Trashalance
I used to play 1 Garbotoxin and 2 Trashalance, but I didn’t have any room in this list, so I figured 1 of each could work. If I were to play a 60th card, it would 100% be a 2nd Trashalance Garbodor.

1 Great Catcher
Vs pretty much every deck, this card is very useful for targeting things like Shaymin EX or Dedenne EX. It is also very useful vs any tag team decks such as Reshiram & Zekrom and Archie Stoise.

2 Cherish Ball
Cherish ball in this deck is just a better Pokémon Communication, as it searches for Tapu Lele GX to get a Brigette as well as Zoroark GX and Shaymin/Dedenne. It greatly adds to the overall consistency of the deck in this way and is worth considering playing a higher count.

Iris has always been good in my testing vs every deck with large HP Pokémon, especially Tag Team decks. It is a good late game finisher combined with Garbodor to hit big numbers to seal up games. It could be a potential cut, but I don’t ever see myself cutting it as it has won me too many games to disregard it.


Turbo Dark (50-50)
This matchup could go either way just because turbo dark could pop off. If they can start one shotting your Zoroarks early on, it can be tough. However, if their start is mediocre, you can N them low late game, combined with a Garbodor. This shuts off most of their deck, especially their draw engine. If the turbo dark player also does not manage their resources well enough, the Trashalance Garbodor can overpower them if they have too many items in their discard pile. Setting up the Garbotoxin Garbodor early game is very important because once they attach too many energies, it can be over quick.

EggRow (65-35)
This matchup is very favored just because of the Garbotoxin ability. If you can get a Trubbish turn one with a float stone or choice band, you’re set. Garbotoxin shuts off their Vileplume’s ability which would not let both players play any items. Getting the tool on the Trubbish is very important because when they use a blower to discard it, you can bench a Klefki and attach it, letting you play items again. The only way they can really win is by lost zoning four double colorless energy with Faba. Some lists play 3-4 Faba which can be very scary for a Zoro Garb player. Just because their deck is inherently inconsistent, I believe this matchup is favorable since you can start putting out high amounts of damage, very quick.

Archie Stoise (70-30)
This is a matchup I have tested an extreme amount over the past year with various builds, and I am confident to say that it is favored for Zoro Garb. with Trashalance and a Rescue Stretcher plus Super Rod, hitting two attacks with Trashalance is easy and one shot their big attackers at pretty much any point in the game. Late game N plus Garbodor lock can be very tough for them to deal with and they are forced to draw a field blower or an Order Pad heads flip to get it. If they slow down for one turn, it is very tough for them to come back. Playing smart with your bench early game as the Zoro Garb player is very important. If you bench more than 3 Pokémon that can be knocked out by their Cross Division GX attack, then you are almost certainly going to lose. If you manage your resources and bench well, the matchup should not be a problem.

Gardevoir & Sylveon GX (40-60)
This matchup can be very hard if they have a good start. Basically, their game plan is to keep healing their Gardeon every turn when you hit into it. Since you cannot one shot it, they can do this effectively until they have taken six prizes. Their Aromatisse is how they can fully heal every turn with things like Max Potion and Acerola, so setting up Garbodor and turning off their ability as fast as possible is the game plan. Holding your tools is very important as they play 1-2 Field Blower and can get 2 large heals in this way. If they end up setting up the six energies for the Magical Miracle attack, it is pretty much game over.

This is another matchup that I have tested a lot, and it is usually pretty close. Since their attack discards an energy every turn, conserving your Double Colorless Energies and your Special Charge is very important. Without Special Charge, this matchup is very challenging as all your Double Colorless Energies are gone after four attacks. Therefore, special charge is needed as Ultra Necrozma is a very hyped deck now. If they use the N plus Garbotoxin combo late game, while discarding a Double Colorless from the active, it can be very tough. Thinning your deck properly as the Zoro Garb player is very important in this matchup as you want an out to a Field blower or Colress off an N late game.


Unfortunately, I cannot talk about every matchup in the expanded format as there is a huge plethora of decks available to play. Zoro Garb has always been a strong deck in the expanded format as most decks use Pokémon with abilities to set up, so it has a fighting chance vs pretty much any deck in the format. Fighting decks can of course be rough, but it is still very possible to take wins off them. Overall, the new bans in expanded are very healthy in my opinion, and pretty much rule out all the unfair control decks that we saw at Virginia and Portland Regionals. I am going to be looking forward to testing more expanded and exploring new decks that may now be good in this new meta. If you want to try out this deck, or any other of the meta decks I mentioned, be sure to check out our store to buy any PTCGO Codes that you need! With that being said, I hope you guys enjoyed the article as much as I did! See you soon!