Zoroark and Weavile: Dark Allies

The Zoroark GX Weavile (UP) combo recently finished 1st and 2nd in Malmo and placed 18th and 48th at Collinsville, so I decided to give it a shot and see how I did with it.  I decided to use Adam Hawkin’s 1st place list since that was a little more diverse than the second place list.  Adam’s ran two Weavile, two Zoroark BKP, and a Break, while Nico Alabas’ 2nd place list ran only one Weavile, one Zoroark BKP, and no Break.  Adam’s list is here.

I went 12 W 8 L in twenty matches with this list.  As you may or may not know, I extensively track the cards I play when I’m playing my matches so I get a good footprint for seeing what I played more and what cards I played less.  In theorymon, this should give me a good insight into how to improve a deck.  After playing twenty matches, I realized there were a number of cards I could reduce the count of or cut altogether because I simply wasn’t playing them:

  • Amazingly, I didn’t play Guzma a single time in the twenty matches, so I cut the count down to one instead of three (I realize this might have been a mistake… see below for more).
  • I played Kukui only twice so I cut that altogether.
  • I also played Field Blower only twice so I decided to take my chances against Garbodor and cut this altogether.  In my experience playing a lot of BKP Garb recently, unless you play four Leaf Blowers, you might as well not play any.
  • I also cut one of the break since I had two of those and only evolved into it five times in the twenty matches.
  • I cut N because I really don’t like this card.  First of all, I only lost 8 matches so the majority of the time it was helping my opponent more than it was helping me.  Second, of the seven times I played it, three of those times I gave my opponent more cards… and not coincidentally I LOST THOSE THREE GAMES.  Of the four matches where it did actually reduce the number of cards in my opponent’s hand, in three of those four matches my opponent played either Zoroark or Oranguru, essentially nullifying the disruption I was trying to impose upon my opponent.  Look I get that I lost a match in Collinsville because my opponent N’d me down to one or two cards late in both games.  Peace – I get it, but that game was an outlier.  The facts are the facts: generally speaking, N helps your opponent more than it hurts him, and the late game N to reduce your opponent’s hand size is a myth because of all of the Zoroark, Oranguru, and Octillery running around.
  • I cut Acerola as well in favor of Super Scoop Ups.
  • I added a Weavile since I was proportionally playing it 53% of the time – more than Zoroark GX, which had a 45% proportional play rate… btw proportional play rate = average number of plays / total number of cards in deck.  For example, I carried two Weavile in the deck and put Weavile into play a total of 21 times (ironic) in twenty matches.  21/40 = 53%.
  • I added one Cynthia since I was playing it 37% proportionally, far more than N’s 16% proportional play.
  • I also added a second Sycamore since I was playing it 35% proportionally, almost as much as Cynthia.
  • A second Devoured Field since I was playing that 41% proportionally and knew I needed something to dislodge Stadiums since I was cutting the Field Blowers.
  • I also added two more Dark energy.  In four of my eight losses, I couldn’t find energy.  I knew eight energy wouldn’t be enough for this deck.

So those were really clear changes for me.  Usually it’s not that cut and dried.  But Guzma not being played even once, several other cards having twelve or fifteen percent proportional play rates, those are easy cuts.  A lot of times my lowest percentages will be in the low twenties – that’s when I know I’ve got a solid list, when I don’t have any cards that aren’t seeing minimal play.  Here’s my new Zorovile 2.0:

To my great disappointment, I only went 7 W 7 L with this new list.  This is a real surprise to me – when I revise a decklist like this, it usually increases in win %.  For example, earlier this month with my Golisopod Garbodor list I took to Collinsville, I had five different versions:

The jump from 2.3 to 2.4 was when I took out Trashalanche Garb and the Rainbow Energy.

So I’m not sure where my theorymon went wrong – I believe in the logic of my system, I think there are some common sense revisions I need to make to my second list.  Certainly, I’ve got to run a couple of Guzma at the very least.  I’m sure I’ll come back to this list and revise it at some point.  But I would still say that overall, this is a fun archetype and can really punish your opponent for playing Pokemon with abilities.