Looking for New Ideas?

What’s poppin’ PTCGL Store readers? Are you hyped to celebrate our latest Pokemon TCG Live set, Scarlet and Violet: Paldean Fates? I know I’m ready to party it up with shiny Ditto [Paldean Fates] for sure! It looks so cute! While I could easily write about Charmeleon [Paldean Fates], Frigibax [Paldean Fates], or even Moonlit Hill [Paldean Fates], I have a different idea for this article… What about some of the other new cards that are coming out in Paldean Fates? I’ve scoured through the set, and have found a few unique cards that might end up working in some lesser played decks, but that is the fun of it. If you aren’t about the competitive side of Paldean Fates, there are certainly some cards to be hyped about because this is also a grailed set for collectors. Paldean Fates features many shiny “reprints” to bling up your collection, and new collection grails, like Special Illustration Rare shiny Charizard ex [Paldean Fates] originally featured in Obsidian Flames. Wanna build up a collection of many Ultra Rare Pokemon cards? There are approximately 100 shiny versions of popular Pokemon TCG cards in the set that feature alternative colors to showcase the uniqueness of each card in the set. On top of that, there are shiny versions of Pokemon ex in the set, like Pidgeot ex [Paldean Fates] originally from Obsidian Flames, for players and collectors alike. Wanna up it to another level? Try to pull the Special Illustration Rare shiny Mew ex [Paldean Fates] originally featured in Pokemon 151, or even better, the new watercolor art of Iono [Paldean Fates] originally from Paldea Evolved. Does that sound good to you? Be sure to use code zlesage5 to save 5% on Pokemon TCG Live code cards to get all of the cards mentioned in this article, and more! Let’s jump into my first idea, Zoroark [Evolving Skies] Box.

Zoroark Box Deck

Zoroark Camerupt

In a wacky turn of events, Zoroark Box has re-emerged as a contender in our Paradox Rift metagame after Anthony Bruno brought it to a day two finish at Charlotte Regionals. While this deck has always existed since the release of Evolving Skies, it largely has remained dormant for the past few months due to it having a tough matchup against Lost Zone Box decks. With Lost Zone Giratina VSTAR [Lost Origin] being the clear leader, and some other decent matchups in the metagame, we gain a handful of solid matchups - enough to where this deck is finally viable again! Using Bruno’s successful list as a base, I was able to add in a few new Stage 1 Pokemon that are being released in Paldean Fates, and the deck might have all of the pieces it needs to see the most success. Lemme break down these new cards one by one:

Kicking things off is Camerupt [Paldean Fates] which replaces the Magcargo [Lost Origin] as the Fire-type attacker in this deck. Zoroark decks function by using its Ability to transform into discarded Stage 1 Pokemon, and often slapping on a Reversal Energy [Paldea Evolved] to attack for an otherwise difficult-to-obtain attack cost. The deck functions by adding many different types of Pokemon, like this Fire-type Camerupt, to maybe gain a type advantage against a Pokemon that is weak against it. We gain the type advantage, we gain an attack that swings for 240 damage, and that is slightly better than Magcargo’s 220 damage because we aren’t forced to Lost Zone or even discard the Energy. In other words, we’ll take the slight buff,

Next up is Raichu [Paldean Fates], and it is replacing Jolteon [Pokemon 151] in this deck. While Jolteon still might find itself as a better option because of free Retreat, Thunder on Raichu doesn’t come at the cost of forcing you to attack against a Pokemon ex / Pokemon V. In this case we don’t care about the 50 damage of recoil that we take because we can KO anything in front of us as long as it has less than 180HP. The Electrical Grounding Ability might be an added bonus because your other Pokemon can have a Reversal Energy attached to your Active Pokemon, and you can move that to Raichu as a follow up measure. Again, not sure if this is the better choice, but it's a cute option, and might end up being clutch.

I’ve saved the best for last, and the best for last is Donphan [Paldean Fates], and it replaces Kleavor [Astral Radiance] as the Fighting-type attacker in this list. Both Kleavor and Donphan both cap out at 160 damage, but Donphan’s damage isn't affected by the size of your Bench, it is a stable amount of damage. If this ended there, it would easily be me grasping at straws, or going on about slight stat boosts, but Cragalanche is really where this card gives options. To beat Control decks, Zoroark decks sometimes plays Togetic [Obsidian Flames] to be able to deck out your opponent out of nowhere, but Donphan has that built in, and is also your Fighting-type attacker. Minor updates to the deck for sure, but still might bring it up a few notches for everyone to give it a try before Rotation. Let’s check out the list!

Pokémon (26)
4 Zorua EVS 102
4 Zoroark EVS 103
3 Ralts ASR 60
3 Kirlia SIT 68
1 Gallade ASR 62
1 Scyther MEW 123
2 Scizor OBF 141
1 Donphan PAF
1 Scovillain SVI 29
1 Raichu PAF
1 Mightyena ASR 96
1 Camerupt PAF
1 Slowbro PGO 20
1 Jirachi PAR 126
1 Manaphy BRS 41

Trainer (26)
4 Iono PAL 185
2 Zinnia's Resolve EVS 164
2 Cynthia's Ambition BRS 138
1 Arezu LOR 153
1 Klara CRE 145
4 Ultra Ball SVI 196
4 Level Ball BST 129
2 Counter Catcher PAR 160
2 Super Rod PAL 188
1 Nest Ball SVI 181
3 Artazon PAL 171

Energy (8)
4 Reversal Energy PAL 192
3 Metal Energy 8
1 Double Turbo Energy BRS 151

Zoroark decklist

Gholdengo ex / Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR Deck

Gholdengo exGimmighoul

While Zoroark Box is getting a handful of new tools, Gholdengo ex [Paradox Rift] / Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR [Astral Radiance] is only getting the new Gimmighoul [Paldean Fates], but let's talk about it. The Gumila brothers took this funny deck to new heights at the Charlotte Regional Championships by both making day two, and Jerrick making Top 32, so it's a real deck now. Since I haven’t covered this deck for PTCGL Store before, lemme explain how it works.

Gholdengo ex is all about Making it Rain, and that is pretty self explanatory. Use its Coin Bonus to draw cards, rip a bunch of Energy out of your hand, and OHKO some Pokemon with a large amount of HP! You can Knock Out any Pokemon in format, like the mighty Charizard ex [Obsidian Flames] or Giratina VSTAR! The issue is which Pokemon should partner with this mighty cheese string lookin mon’? We’ve gone through Scissor [Obsidian Flames], Revavroom [Scarlet and Violet], and a few others, so why Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR? Well, we were always using Radiant Greninja [Astral Radiance] to pitch and draw Energy, but I personally haven’t thought of it as an attacker before - until now. Palkia VSTAR allows us to channel those discarded Energy on Radiant Greninja to have a single Prizer that can snipe two single Prize Card Pokemon out of nowhere, which is enough to make most decks crumble. It is also a single Prize Card Pokemon itself, which means our opponent might be forced to KO it after you play a well-timed Roxanne [Astral Radiance].

The new Gimmighoul may or may not be the best option going forward, but I imagine there are situations where you only have a single Gimmighoul in play, and you might wanna protect it. It might be better to play the Gimmighoul [Paradox Rift] that searches for Basic Pokemon, but that might create other problems for the deck. What are those? Adding more Pokemon might not protect you from an opposing Radiant Greninja because you might offer your opponent more Prize Cards than you want. In the case of the new Gimmighoul, you have a slight chance to protect yourself, and that sounds like a solid last ditch effort if you ask me.

Time will only tell on which Gimmighoul we decide to play in this archetype, but any change (or at least option) for a successful archetype is worthwhile to look into. Gholdengo ex is a super fun deck to mess around with, it is starting to pick up some success, and it might actually be better with the new Gimmighoul. I ask you to try out the deck list below for yourself, and maybe give it a try on Pokemon TCG Live. Let’s check it out!

Pokémon (13)
2 Gimmighoul PAF
2 Gimmighoul PAR 88
4 Gholdengo ex PAR 139
1 Origin Forme Palkia V ASR 39
1 Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR ASR 40
1 Radiant Greninja ASR 46
1 Manaphy BRS 41
1 Spiritomb PAL 89

Trainer (37)
4 Worker SIT 167
2 Irida ASR 147
2 Roxanne ASR 150
1 Boss's Orders PAL 172
4 Battle VIP Pass FST 225
4 Cross Switcher FST 230
4 Superior Energy Retrieval PAL 189
3 Ultra Ball SVI 196
3 Nest Ball SVI 181
2 Earthen Vessel PAR 163
1 Canceling Cologne ASR 136
1 Super Rod PAL 188
1 Pal Pad SVI 182
1 Energy Retrieval SVI 171
4 PokéStop PGO 68

Energy (10)
6 Water Energy 3
4 Metal Energy 8

Gholdengo ex / Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR Deck

By purchasing Scarlet and Violet: Paldean Fates Pokemon TCG Live codes you can possibly acquire the following cards: Venusaur ex, Espathra ex, Charizard ex, Blastoise ex, Great Tusk ex, Garganacl ex, Iron Treads ex, shiny Charmander, shiny Baxcalibur, shiny Pikachu, shiny Kadabra, shiny Pidgey, Special Illustration Charizard ex, Special Illustration Mew ex, Special Illustration Gardevoir ex, and Special Illustration Iono.

Time to Test

I hope this article has inspired you to look for a few other cards in the upcoming Paldean Fates set, and maybe some of these ideas might even be better than I think. We’ve recently seen Gholdengo ex, and Zoroark Box see success at Charlotte Regionals, so maybe these slight buffs are enough to take those decks to another level. I’m sure Paldean Fates will continue to surprise both our competitive player base, and collectors alike, by showcasing cards in a unique way. I plan on covering this set, and all competitive Pokemon news, as much as possible, so stay tuned for my future articles. And as an added bonus, use code zlesage5 to save 5% on PTCGL online Pokemon TCG code cards here on the PTCGL store! I hope to bring you more articles soon, so keep on the lookout for new content from me!

-Zach Lesage

About the Writer

Zach Lesage is a contributing writer for ptcglstore.com. As a Toronto local, he has been playing the Pokémon Trading Card Game since 2005, and creates Pokémon content as his full-time career. With multiple prestigious accomplishments in the game, such as the 2020 Players Cup 2 Champion and 2020 Oceania International Championships Finalist, he has proven his success in the game. Outside the game, he travels the world, enjoys the culture of designer streetwear, and is a professionally trained chef. You can catch him at most Pokémon events and follow him on Twitter https://twitter.com/ZachLesagePTCG.