Yo mates! It's ZapdosTCG here and today we will be taking a look at an archetype that gets a huge buff with Astral Radiance: Zoroark Toolbox. We will be talking about which new cards the deck gains and why it got better in the meta game! We'll talk about the matchup spread and more, so buckle up as we check out the Zoroark Toolbox deck!


So where to start? Well, Zoroark from Evolving Skies is a fantastic card. With the Phantom Transformation ability, we are able to swap Zoroark with any stage 1 from our discard pile. This means we can play a lot of stage 1 attackers and a 4-4 Zoroark line. Our main goal is to hit for specific weaknesses. And with so many stage 1s in the format, we'll be able to easily do that!

Let's talk about the stage 1 Pokemon we have at our disposal.

Metal WormadamWormadam

First is Wormadam. We have 3 different versions available from Brilliant Stars. The Grass version, Fighting version and Metal version. They all come packed with the same attack: Matron's Anger. That attack slaps 30 damage plus 10 more damage for each Pokémon in our discard pile. Luckily we do run 25+ Pokemon in a Zoroark deck on top of damage modifiers so we will easily get the desired OHKOs on Pokemon. With the Metal Wormadam, we hit Ice Rider Calyrex VMAX, Sylveon VMAX and more for weakness! With the Fighting Wormadam, we hit Arceus VSTAR, Gengar VMAX and more for weakness! I suggest only running the Metal and Fighting version of Wormadam as we have a better Grass stage 1 in the format.


Golisopod from Darkness Ablaze. This card really is quite impressive. We can use its attack, Hard Times Slash for just a Twin Energy attachment. That attack dishes out 30 damage plus 50 more for every V Pokemon the opponent has in play. This can easily hit some crazy numbers. The cool thing is that hitting for Grass weakness is now quite relevant with a lot of Darkness decks having that weakness. Think about Darkrai VSTAR, Samurott VSTAR or Galarian Moltres V. They will all go down to this card.


Now we all know that Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR is now the best and most popular deck on the block. Luckily we can also hit that deck for weakness with Electrode from the Fusion Strike set. Electrode can explode and hit 120 damage easily. We also give up a prize card but if we can OHKO Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR, it's totally worth it. Super easy, transform Zoroark, attach a Twin Energy and boom, the big bad monster gets OHKO'd.


Then, last but certainly not least is Mightyena. This wonderful card from Astral Radiance is a blessing for the Zoroark Toolbox deck. Because if the opponent has a VMAX Pokemon in play, the Mightyena can attack for zero energies. How cool is that! With this, you can two-shot VMAX Pokemon and also, we can OHKO Mew VMAX instantly. Even if they have Oricorio in play. If we find a Choice Belt or the new Radiant Hawlucha (which allows us to smack 30 extra damage to VMAX Pokemon), it won't matter. So such an amazing card to have access to.

Now that we know our main attackers that we can transform Zoroark into. Let's showcase a deck that MustardPTCG used to get 2nd place at a big online tournament:


Pokémon (26)

Trainers (29)

Energy (5)

4x Zorua EVS 102 PR-SW 1104x Professor's Research BRS 1474x Twin Energy RCL 174
4x Zoroark EVS 1032x Boss's Orders BRS 1321x Double Turbo Energy BRS 151
3x Burmy BRS 92x Roseanne's Backup BRS 148
2x Wormadam BRS 771x Grant ASR 144
2x Wormadam BRS 984x Ultra Ball BRS 150
2x Bidoof BRS 1204x Quick Ball FST 237
2x Bibarel BRS 1214x Trekking Shoes ASR 156
1x Mightyena ASR 962x Evolution Incense SSH 163
1x Radiant Hawlucha ASR 811x Pal Pad SSH 172
1x Golisopod DAA 182x Air Balloon SSH 156
1x Electrode FST 881x Supereffective Glasses ASR 152
1x Galarian Meowth RCL 1261x Choice Belt BRS 135
1x Lumineon V BRS 401x Collapsed Stadium BRS 137
1x Manaphy BRS 41

So as we can see the decklist uses a Bibarel draw engine which combined with the Galarian Meowth is actually really great! This means you can empty your hand and discard Pokemon with the ability of Galarian Meowth and then draw back up with Bibarel.


The deck also uses the new Grant card. This card allows us to slap 30 more damage with our Fighting Pokemon during our turn. So Wormadam can hit some bigger numbers. But more importantly, it has a side effect. If Grant is in the discard pile, we can summon it into our hand by discarding two cards from our hand. This is a perfect way to get some more Pokemon in our discard pile for the Wormadam to slap more damage. The synergy is quite flawless.

Trekking Shoes

Another new card that helps out Zoroark a ton is the Trekking Shoes item card. This allows the deck have a little bit more speed. You look at the top card of your deck. If you like the card, you can put it into your hand, if you don't, you can discard it and draw another card. This is super nice to get your stage 1 Pokemon in your discard pile or to dig for a supporter or energy card. The deck does run Roseanne's Backup so you can just fly through your deck without having to worry about discarding resources.

Also, the deck can safely slap down Lumineon V to search for a supporter as we run Collapsed Stadium to get rid of it. So searching for the Boss can be crucial for a Professor's Research when the hand is bad.

Supereffective glasses

The last card I want to mention is supereffective glasses. This is a card I, simply, adore. It allows you to hit times 3 weakness instead of times 2 weakness. This opens the door to OHKO Pokemon way more easily with Wormadam, so we actually don't need that many Pokemon in our discard pile. It might also surprise people that want to play around Golisopod. This card is just really good and I might even want to play 2 copies in the future!



Ice Rider Calyrex VMAX
Darkrai VSTAR
Blissey V / Miltank
Sylveon VMAX
Malamar VMAX/Arceus VSTAR


Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR
Arceus VSTAR / Inteleon
Rapid Strike Malamar
Jolteon VMAX
Samurott VSTAR


Dialga VSTAR
Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX


Duraludon VMAX
Whimsicott VSTAR

So let's get the autolosses out of the way first. Because of the Special Energy hate, Whimsicott VSTAR and Duraludon VMAX are both unwinnable. Luckily Whimsicott VSTAR and Duraludon VMAX won't be that popular in the Astral Radiance format because lots of top decks are now heavily focused on basic energies, which is really good for the Zoroark Toolbox deck.

The favorable matchups all come down to one thing. Hitting for weakness. Mightyena is just beautiful to wreck a Mew VMAX with. The Wormadam Metal Cloak can hit Sylveon VMAX and Ice Rider Calyrex VMAX. And Golisopod can take care of Darkrai VSTAR and Malamar VMAX (with Supereffective Glasses as help).

You just have to be worried about one thing. Dunsparce. If this little fella pops up you really need to boss it up asap to stand a chance with your Fighting Wormadam. That's why we've put Arceus VSTAR/Inteleon as an even matchup. Sometimes they can recover it instantly with a Rescue Carrier or Klara. Other times they don't and you can start swinging for weakness.

Other one prize decks like Rapid Strike Malamar and Regigigas are also quite even. Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR is a bit more difficult than the other decks we are hitting for weakness as Electrode blows itself up. Definitely not unwinnable but requires you to draw a bit better. Also Radiant Greninja can be quite scary, so dropping a Manaphy down is not a luxury here. The same counts for Jolteon VMAX. You will need to slap down Manaphy asap. If you manage to do that, Jolteon VMAX is quite ok, as you can hit it for weakness. If they are faster, you get wrecked. So pretty even.

Samurott VSTAR is also pretty difficult. They can Yoga Loop on top of their ability. Also, they typically don't have a ton of V Pokemon in play so OHKO'ing with Golisopod V can be pretty tough. Depends on how well the opponent is playing the deck.

Then last but not least are decks that you cannot hit for weakness. Dialga VSTAR can be tough as they can take 2 prize cards in a turn with their powerful VSTAR attack. And Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX can be difficult because we cannot OHKO it. They can Cheryl their VMAX and G-MAX Rapid Flow is also really scary if we can't find Manaphy in time.


And that's about it for the Deck breakdown of the Zoroark Toolbox deck. In my opinion, the deck is super well positioned in the meta game and hitting for all these weaknesses will really help you to win games. The deck draws well with Bibarel and the Trekking Shoes and is definitely worth exploring. Are there more Stage 1 attackers we could add in the future? Who knows, it's just a fantastic budget deck that you cannot underestimate!

Thanks for reading another blog post on the PoTown Store website. If you want to see the deck in action, go check out my Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/ZapdosTCG
And I will see you all in the next Blog Post! Bye!