Evolving Basics eh?
Very occasionally they will give you
something nice like Call for Family, or
a coin flip for some Status Condition,
but most of the time the best you can
hope for is that they will survive long
enough to evolve.
example, with his low 50 HP, Fighting
Weakness, and near-useless Scratch
attack. He’s just begging to be KO’d and
give up an easy Prize to your opponent,
with the rarely-seen Ascension attack
(you have to go back to
I think), which is just about the best
thing you get printed on an evolving
Basic. For one Dark Energy, you get to
search your deck for a Pokémon that
evolves from Zorua
and evolve it right there and then. Now
your weak Basic is a Stage 1, ready to
attack on your next turn, provided you
have another Energy
to attach. The advantages to this are
clear. It’s much more difficult (though
not impossible) for the Stage 1 to be
your opponent, and you do not have to
use a card like Ultra Ball or Pokémon
Communication to search it out on your
next turn . . . you are free to use
those resources to grab some support
Pokémon or back up attackers.
Of course, this
attack’s usefulness is dependent upon
just how good
Zoroark itself is. Recently, it
has seen little-to-no play in
tournaments, but both
DEX are interesting Pokémon that have
the potential to be playable again. If
they are, then there is no question that
this is the Zorua
you will want to play them with.
can protect itself somewhat by evolving,
and adds much-needed speed and
efficiency to any deck featuring
would be unreasonable to ask for any
more from a Basic, really.
Modified: 3 (now
this is the kind of evolving Basic I
would like to see more of)
(unless you pull a lot of Dark Pokémon,
itself is of limited use in this format)
Greetings once again, Pojo readers!
Today we're reviewing the Basic form of a Pokemon that
could see quite a bit of play, and this particular
variant will see lots of play alongside it. Today's Card
of the Day is Zorua from Dark Explorers.
Zorua is a Basic Darkness Pokemon.
As stated earlier in the week, Darkness is a type on the
rise, thanks to the amazing support it received from
Dark Explorers. As such, Zorua will be able to take
advantage of things like Darkrai-EX, Dark Claw, and Dark
Patch if you decide to use it in a deck. 50 HP is about
what we'd expect for an evolving Basic, so Zorua can
probably take a very light hit in the early game before
being KOed, but will generally be an easy Prize in the
late game. Fighting Weakness just means that Terrakion
OHKOs with Retaliate regardless of the extra damage,
with other Fighting types hitting hard as well. Psychic
Resistance is nice to have but somewhat irrelevant, as
Mewtwo-EX will most likely be able to OHKO most of the
time anyway (though Zorua shouldn't be Active for very
long, anyway). Finally, a Retreat Cost of 1 is easily
Zorua has two attacks. Ascension is
Zorua's best attack, which allows you to search your
deck for a card that evolves from Zorua and put it on
top of Zorua, evolving it. Since this attack costs a
single Darkness Energy, one can easily have a turn 1
Zoroark, which can be a great boon to decks using the
new Zoroark from Dark Explorers. While this early game
play is very powerful, it's slightly less powerful in
the late game, as Zoroark has somewhat low HP and will
be susceptible to KOs by opposing attackers. As one
might expect, this attack is great in both Modified and
Limited, where searching out an Evolution for a low cost
is always a great investment.
Zorua's second attack is Scratch,
dealing 20 damage for two Colorless Energy (or a Double
Colorless). This is a standard vanilla attack for a
Basic, and you probably won't be using it much at all,
since Ascension will get you a Zoroark very quickly.
Modified: 4/5 This rating is for
Zoroark decks, where this Zorua should be the Zorua of
choice for some time to come. Ascension is amazing and
easily makes this Zorua more usable than any of the
others. If you're building a deck with Zoroark (either
BW or DEX), use this Zorua. You won't be disappointed.
Limited: 4/5 Zorua is also great in
Limited, provided you also draft a Zoroark. Ascension
provides an excellent search engine in a format where
search is rare, and also guarantees a quick evolution
into Zoroark. Scratch is sadly not that useful, but
Colorless Energy requirements means that it can fit into
any deck, even if you aren't focusing on Darkness as a
type. Once again, highly recommended.
Jebulous Maryland Player
Zorua is a Basic Dark Pokemon with 50 HP. It has a
Fighting weakness, Psychic resistance, and a 1 retreat
cost. Level Ball searches for it and Skyarrow
Bridge gives it free retreat. Unfortunately it can
be donked, but probably not too often.
'Ascension' costs 1 Dark energy and lets you search your
deck for a Zoroark (unless in the future it gets another
evolution) and evolve into that Zoroark. A first
turn 'Ascension' is what everyone would want. That
way on your next turn you can do whatever (Brutal Bash,
Dark Rush, Nasty Plot, or Foul Play). Also, you
don't have to use any resources searching for the Stage
'Scratch' is okay, not likely to be used unless you have
no Zoroarks left to Ascend to. It does 20 damage
for 2 Colorless energy.
I like 'Ascension' because it does what I want it to do;
it evolves my Pokemon for me. Though I have to
give up an attack, early game it is not that bad of a
deal. Late game could pose problems if they can
OHKO the Zoroark.
Not much to really say, I know there was a lot of talk
(when this was about to come out) of Dark Decks using
this and the newest Zoroark to get high damage early on
in the game. I don't think that deck has made much
of an impact competitively, seeing how it was pushed to
the side for Dark decks with Darkrai EX.
Mad Mattezhion Professor Bathurst League Australia
Zorua #69 (Dark Explorers)
Evolving Basics are usually pretty boring to review,
commonly lacking anything that resembles heavy firepower
or new mechanics worthy of a deck builder's attention.
At most, the best you can hope for is enough HP and
defensive attacks to keep the critter in play long
enough to evolve.
There have been a few exceptions, such as Torchic from
Platinum, which with a little luck on the
coin flips could dish out 80 damage on the second turn
with no extra help. Zorua is another such card, mainly
because of the first attack.
With 50 HP and Fighting Weakness, Zorua just screams out
'Catcher bait' but fortunately in most cases that won't
matter. The good points, like the Psychic Resistance and
low retreat cost are also unlikely to affect the game,
given that Mewtwo EX is likely to carry enough energy to
punch through for the KO and no other attacker will
leave Zorua conscious long enough to retreat anyway.
The reason for all of my optimism about Zorua is
Ascension, which has appeared on a mere handful of cards
in the history of the game (Weedle and Kaluna from HS
Triumphant were the most recent). For the bargain of a
single [d] energy, Zorua allows you to search your deck
for a Zoroark and immediately evolve.
This is the best attack any evolving Poke'mon can have
since it lets you use your search card of choice on
something else, accelerates your evolution and best of
all leaves a tougher Poke'mon in the Active slot to face
your opponent's return salvo. With Shaymin UL and
Pachirisu CL about to rotate out, no deck is going to
manage 100 damage on the first turn and only Terrakion
NV with 2 Pluspowers or a Dig Uppercut from Excadrill
DEX will be able to reach that number on the second
turn, so an early Ascension and another energy drop will
give you a huge lead.
Scratch isn't even worth mentioning next to Ascension,
especially since it costs two energy.
Just to be fair, there are 5 other Zorua currently legal
(one BW, one EP, another Zorua DEX, a Burger King Promo
and a blister pack Promo) so there is a lot of
competition for deck space. Except that there isn't
because all of the other Zorua do nothing but deal
vanilla damage for an excessive energy cost.
There are three legal Zoroark to play, and two of them
are worth trying to use. Zoroark BW fell out of favour
after Eviolite and Terrakion NV were released but thabks
to the brilliant mind that created the Sableye
Hammertime deck, I can see a comeback. Imagine a first
turn with Zorua using Ascension, followed next turn by
using Zoroark's Nasty plot to find a Crushing Hammer or
Poke'mon Catcher (whichever of the two you don't already
have in hand). Turn 3, you drag up the biggest EX you
can see and got to town with Foul Play to copy whichever
attack strikes your fancy while having kept the opponent
from retaliating with your Hammers. Drop Darkrai EX onto
the bench, retreat into Sableye, attack to retrieve your
lost Hammers and start the whole process of again!
I did say something about another Zoroark though, didn't
I? The Zoroark from Dark Explorers, recently reviewed by
my colleagues, has the lovely Brutal Bash attack with
which it can deal obscene amounts of damage for only
[c][c]. With a full bench of Dark Poke'mon and a Dark
Claw attached, Zoroark will belt out 140 damage per turn
which is enough to take down Eelektrik and all of its
energy-from-the-discard abusing friends who laugh at
your storm of Crushing Hammers (Pluspower will be a
necessity to reach the magical 150 damage for Eviolite
boosted Musketeers and Dragons however).
If you want to run a turbo energy removal deck based
around Sableye, both of the above Zoroark cards would be
excellent for taking control of the early game, either
by helping to add Crushing And Emhanced Hammers to your
hand or by being faster than the Eelektrik/Dark Patch
powered decks which rob your advantage. Add in your own
Darkrai as a natural partner and either Krookodile DEX
or Hydreigon NV to close out the game, and you will have
a powerhouse of a deck!
Modified: 4.75 (not only does Zorua avoid having to sit
in play for a turn by evolving before your opponent can
touch it, it makes adding Zoroark to your decks more
attractive due to being self searching and fast)
Limited: 5 (Zoroark is awesome in Limited with its Dark
Rush attack to retaliate with twice the damage it tales,
and any search at all is welcome just to thin out the