Rogue Rodents 6: Lycanroc GX/Malamar

Welcome once again to Rogue Rodents, our feature for playable rogue decks sure to take your opponent by surprise.

Some of you may be reading the title of this Rogue Rodents feature completely confused. Nevertheless, Keith Yong emerged champion with this deck in July’s C&H League Challenge with this idea to play Lycanroc GX (Guardians Rising) and Malamar (Forbidden Light) together.

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The idea stemmed from Keith’s wish to play Lycanroc GX with something other than Zoroark GX or Buzzwole. He credits several Singapore players who added one-off Fighting Pokémon techs into their decks – Reuben Fong at the Oceania International Championships with Sudowoodo in a Volcanion EX deck, and Vincent in a Singapore League Cup, playing Lycanroc GX in Volcanion EX. 

He believed both these ideas worked because Sudowoodo and Lycanroc GX only required one Fighting Energy to attack.

OBJECTIVE: FULLY CHARGED LYCANROC GX IN ONE TURN
Keith deduces that the obvious advantage of playing a Malamar variant deck is being able to fully charge a new Pokémon out off nowhere. Adding a Lycanroc GX line to Malamar, means that even a single Rockruff without any Energy will threaten a Claw Slash attack at any time. 

Not to mention, Psychic Malamar (Necrozma GX, Dawn Wings Necrozma GX and Malamar) players know the huge disadvantage they face against Zoroark GX variants. Keith is confident that the addition of Lycanroc GX into a Malamar deck helps to turn the tide to your favour.

HOW TO PLAY

The ideal Pokémon to search with Brigette at your first turn will be one Rockruff and two Inkay, with an ideal board state being three Inkay and one Rockruff with a Fighting Energy attached.

Most times, Hoopa makes the perfect starting Active Pokémon to lead the attack. It’s obvious inclusion is as an ideal counter to non-GX Buzzwole (Forbidden Light), but it’s main role is to hit 120HP and 130HP Pokémon with Hyperspace Punch, putting them in range for Lycanroc GX’s Claw Slash (which deals 110 damage). 

Professor’s Letter has proven to be a clutch card and vital to the deck, not only to find the Fighting Energy where needed, but to  also search for Psychic Energy as an Ultra Ball / Mysterious Treasure fodder to get Energy cards into the Discard Pile. 

Necrozma GX was a late inclusion, played as it is able to one-hit KO plenty of Pokémon out of Lycanroc GX’s reach once Dangerous Rogue GX is used. 

With 4 Guzma and 2 Lycanroc GX with the Ability Bloodthirsty Eyes, it is rare to miss the crucial final KO for the game win. Keith’s tip: Having access to Bloodthirsty Eyes with an N helps late game.
MATCHES
Against Buzzwole, Keith recommends trying to skip their Sledgehammer turn if possible, and go after the Rockruff on the Bench. If there are no Lycanroc GX o, your Dawn Wings Necrozma GX can sweep the game. Don’t forget to bench a Rockruff to threaten a Dangerous Rogue GX should your opponent overcommit to playing more Benched Pokémon.

Against Zoroark GX, it is all about trying to setup your Lycanroc GX early and targeting your opponent’s Zoroark GX’s partner of choice. Be wary of Parallel City as it can derail your setup in this match.

Against other Malamar variants, it is more of targeting your opponent’s Pokémon that can deal a one-hit KO, either Ultra Necrozma GX or Necrozma GX. Keith feels the player who needs to two-hit KO in this matchup will lose. Depending on the field of play, go for the Malamar if your opponent doesn’t bench enough copies. You have plenty of ways to pull an opponent’s Benched Pokémon to the Active spot (Guzma and Lycanroc GX’s Ability Bloodthirsty Eyes).

WEAKNESS
The deck has no draw options (Zoroark GX, Octillery or Oranguru), which makes it susceptible to a bad N. In spite of that, the deck thins itself quite quickly to remedy that problem, albeit slightly. 

While the deck has not been play-tested enough, Keith considers games against Zoroark GX variants difficult, especially against Zoroark GX/Golisopod GX. 

FUTURE CHANGES
While there is always room change, Keith believes that there is nothing clear cut that can be added to the deck, even from Celestial Storm. One suggestion is Acro Bike, but the deck is well-oiled to the point that it is difficult to cut any card from it. 

 

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