"Doing the Dallas Dance" – Zooming in on Zoroark, Cradily Craft Chronicles, and Developing Dependable Decks for Dallas


This is the companion discussion topic for this article.


I really like the idea of the aromatisse along with the 3rd Max Potion in Gardevoir. I’m wondering what to cut for the two cards. Any ideas?


Hey awesome article! Want to make note for players looking to build that Sceptile list- Cradily PLB is at least $15 now. Maybe some hype?

In testing your Gardy list, I’ve noticed that field blower is 100% necessary for beating ZoroGarb. I’ve played a set so far against my friends ZoroGarb list, and I was one turn of abilities away from taking the game each time. So far I have cut one max potion to fit it in, and haven’t missed it. Also considering cutting a Vs Seeker for a 2nd Colress just to give myself more outs to supporters vs Trev.



Definitely start w a Mysterious Treasure. Then it might be the 2nd, a VS Seeker, or Choice Band?

That’s my gut.


Great article as usual Travis!

I was also looking at the Gardy list and thinking, “hmm, where’s the Field Blower?”

I like your take on the Zoroark GX controversy. My thought is that balancing it out with equally useful consistency-promoting cards would be the ideal solution, but easier said than done. In practice, I fear there may have to be some bans.

So, I love the Cradily deck. :heart_eyes: snapped up a couple copies on the ground floor (75 cents a pop! I could sell one for mega profit! :moneybag:), and I’m ready to play it at a Cup this weekend.

I’ve struggled a bit to get in good testing with it on PTCGO because the deck is too good. If I get out the Vileplume early, opponents tend to scoop! So I have a few things I’d love some input on. Kind of long, sorry, but hopefully folks will be interested and throw into the discussion.

First, a couple of questions of how and when to use the Cradily. Do you usually start Ditto if you can? Obviously, it’s more risky and you’ll lose it for sure against Buzzwole, but if you do, then you have the opportunity to maybe get two energy on it before Lifesplosion. Is that worth it? (Note, I’m playing Dual Brains Magnezone, so I could definitely have two good targets for it not even counting the 'plume.) Also, I know that it’s not critical to use the Cradily at all, but if you can’t use it early for whatever reason, have you found that it’s worthwhile trying to get it out in the midgame? or do you just give up on it?

Also, I’m planning to play something pretty close to Danny Altavilla’s take on the list, which uses Shuckle GX instead of Leafeon GX. This is largely a meta call, as the Shuckle GX flavor is tuned more against Zoroark GX instead of Trevenant. Also, I think it might help a little bit against Vespiquen/Flareon, which I think might be a tough matchup due to the Flareons.

He goes over it in this video: https://youtu.be/nYtQ67OM_VY
For reference, here’s my list. rk9 decklist At the moment it’s the same as Danny’s except +1 Gladeon, -1 Masked Royal.

I see that in Anaheim, you struggled with Zoroark and Garbodor. I love the suggestion of Hugh and plan to fit it in (glad I picked up a few a while ago “in case I need one some day”). not sure exactly what to cut for it yet. Probably Team Skull Grunt or the third Lusamine. On paper it seems to me that while Garbodor isn’t necessarily going to be easy, you should have a better matchup than most due to the low item count in the deck, and locking out tools to activate Garbotoxin. So what happened in your Anaheim matches? Klefke?

Lastly, I’ve been thinking about the difference between Bo1 and Bo3. I’m afraid Cradily may be a little worse in Bo1 because consistency seems to be a bit of a weakness. Don’t care, deck’s so cool, I’m playing it anyway. :smile:

I put Gladion back in the list because losing a game due to a bad prize seems more significant in Bo1. Any other ideas for changes to the deck for Bo1? I don’t have a really solid feel for how long some games might go and whether running out of time would be a big concern, but any changes to strategy to help avoid tying at time?

Thanks again for the article and dropping all the wisdom!


I appreciate all the comments y’all! Thank you so much for all the interaction and apologies for taking so long to get back here.

Carbotoxin - I would probably cut the 2nd Mysterious Treasure and either an energy or the Super Rod

Aaron653108 - The Cradily hype is so real! Field Blower is definitely an incredible card and probably deserves a spot as a one of. I cut the Field Blowers and Tropical Beaches from my previous list to start playing around with other ideas. I honestly don’t think that Trev is worth teching for because the matchup is so bad. Espeon-EX, spread, item lock, and a low energy attacker all spell doom for Gardy to the point where little concessions like that probably won’t make a difference. Now an argument for a similar change because of the sheer amount of item lock overall (ie Seismitoad and Vileplume) is something that could hold a little more water.

Bhaliburton - I’m glad to see we agreed on the Mysterious Treasure cut! I don’t think the additional cut is the Choice Band, but the other suggestions seem solid! Thanks for the contribution!

Ryan745317 - I honestly hope we see more uber powerful cards like Zoroark-GX. I’m imagining maybe a basic Pokemon that is a good attacker but has a coming into play ability like “Search your deck for one Card” or maybe a very strong Stage 2 attacker with an ability “Once per turn, search your deck for a card”.

Yes, I absolutely try to get Ditto out early no matter the situation. Even if Cradily is prized I still get it out because 1. It can become any Stage 1 and 2. Your opponent will still panic and try to neutralize it ASAP. I’ve definitely gotten off the 2 energy Lifesplosion before and it feels amazing. Midgame Cradily can be strong in the right scenarios, but it’s important to be aware of the tempo of the game and the viability of losing that prize / damage opportunity in the mid game and the impact it can have on your chances of winning. My short answer is ‘sometimes’.

I like the Shuckle GX a lot! We had it in our initial list but ended up cutting it for space and because we wanted to play Silent Labs to make ArchieStoise a “Cannot Lose” matchup. Masked Royal is cute but it is worth acknowledging that there is an old Sceptile from Primal Clash that does something similar. Moving forward I would likely try cutting the Silent Labs and Leafeon so making space for the kind of cards that Danny included becomes much easier.

I played against 2 Garbodor decks in Anaheim. The first was a loss to Golisopod / Garbodor. In this match I made a mistake early of filling up my bench anticipating losing some basics early, but my opponent had a weird start so I was unable to Cradily because they did not knock anything out for a while. I ended up losing because I could not draw an out to win the game over ~4 turns or so. The Garbodor was annoying, but other factors in the match were more relevant. Against Zoroark/Garbodor I had sub optimal starts both games with my opponent never missing a beat. I was 2 steps behind every game and anytime I had a small window for comeback it was immediately dashed by some fortunate draws on their end.

I honestly think the deck could be better in Bo1 because it can be quite slow. Gladion was one of the best cards in my deck all day and I would especially recommend it in Bo1 to guard against weird prizes.

Good luck playing the deck!

@everyone y’all are great - feel free to keep the questions coming and engagement up. the discussions are incredible and i love it.