In attempt to build a deck that I actually had the cards for, I ended up building Zoroark Garbodor. After playing my first 10 games with the deck and winning all of them, I was pretty interested in the deck. I later realized this deck was a lot like Zoroark Eggs because it can do the same thing Hex does every turn while still Trading by using Bursting Balloon with Garbodor. This is part of what made me realize I will probably be playing the deck for a long time. This piece covers my list and what can be done to it, the matchups, when it’s best to play the deck, and it’s general strategy.
In this article I assume that Zoroark Garbodor, Malamar decks, and BuzzRoc are the top three decks, and that the main goal in this meta is to beat those.
The primary goal is to set up your board (and your opponent’s board) in such a way that makes it easy for you to N them low with Garbotoxin in play and take prizes quickly. In a technical sense your opponent is winning the game for most of the turns until you make a big comeback. But really it shouldn’t be thought of as a comeback because it’s your strategy from the start to go down on prizes a lot of the time.
In the early game I like to start off by spreading damage with Dusk Mane Necrozma. I used to start by attacking with Zoroark and take a 2-shot KO using Riotous Beating, but I found that just taking those two prizes hurt me more than it helped by the late game. The reason for this is that Zoroark is probably getting knocked out since it attacked for two turns and because I have taken two prizes making me more vulnerable to a bad N. One or the other is manageable because if just Zoroark is knocked out and you don’t take prizes, then you’re still looking good off that N. On the other hand if you can keep 2 to 3 Zoroarks in play and draw fewer cards off N, you’ll still be alright because of the Trades.
This means there are two basic paths to take. Usually route one works better when you get to go first and can establish a quick board. This route involves getting three Zoroarks in play, which will be important since you’re going more aggressive and could get N’d low (usually you N yourself low). With this route you care less about getting trubbishes and Garbodor into play, and more about setting up as many Zoroarks as possible. Usually I still set up one Garbotoxin Garbodor as the game goes on, but there’s a decent chance that no other Garbodor ever come into play; that, or you get a Trashalanche off only once at the very end of the game.
The other path is by using Dusk Mane Necrozma a lot throughout a game while you wait for your opponent to over-use items, take prizes, and burn up their draw supporters. Each turn you’re softening stuff up more and more so that you can make the big come-back with an N.
Bursting Balloon use can be hard to nail down because it is easy to burn through them, or put them on the wrong target, or not play them when you actually should. There’s no general rule of thumb with Bursting because every situation is unique, but I will say you have to be very careful with them. Each time I consider putting down a Bursting Balloon I check my discard pile to see how many I have used. I’ll do the math to see if the 60 damage would actually be relevant. You should also consider how much it would hurt your opponent to lock their abilities. If it seems like they might not be hurt too much, you certainly might want to put your balloon on what you are attacking with. Sometimes I even put a Bursting Balloon on a benched Pokemon other than Garbotoxin Garbodor just to disincentivize my opponent from knocking it out. This comes up with a Trashalanche Garbodor somewhat frequently, especially if it’s the only one I have.