ADP Zacian For the Player's Regional Qualifier and Beyond

Michael Laundrie
July 10, 2020


Hello readers! My name is Michael Laundrie and this is my first article for Flipside gaming. Let me tell you about myself, as you probably have no clue who I am since I’m not one of the household names in the scene. I’m a competitive Pokémon player Green Bay, WI and I’m on team Nerd Rage Gaming. I have been playing for about 3 years. I have 3-day twos and my best placement is 20th at the 2018 NAIC, almost making it into top 8, but I lost a bad matchup to Aaron Tarbell my last round. My most recent day 2 was at Collinsville Regional, where I played Ultra Necrozma/Garb for a top 64 showing. I have over 30 top 8’s at cups, but the most important thing I have is perseverance! I love learning how to improve my game or even thinking of cards that might improve the deck I’m playing in the meta and I hope I can help you, too.

Since tournaments have taken a backseat, I, just like everyone else, have been grinding games on Pokémon Trading Card Game Online. I have tried every deck out there and the deck I’m liking the most is ADP Zacian. While I don’t think it’s the strongest deck (which I would recommend to test a lot to play for or against at a tournament), I do think this deck still has the potential it had from last season when it was dominating. The fact that you can take an extra prize after a knock out and it has 50/50 matchups against a lot of decks should not be taken lightly. The addition of Crobat V alongside Dedenne GX and even Eldegoss V makes this deck seem very good when Darkness Ablaze comes out. If you’re playing online, against friends, or even in the player’s cup qualifier coming up July 17, maybe this deck is for you!

ADP ZacianMichael Laundrie Arceus and Dialga and Palkia GX (156) Zacian V (138) Zamazenta V (139) Jirachi (99) Eldegoss V (19) Oranguru (148) Dedenne GX (57) Mawile GX (141) Quick Ball (179) Metal Saucer Switch (183) Cherish Ball Energy Spinner Energy Switch Chaotic Swell Escape Board Tool Scrapper (168) Great Catcher Professor Research Marnie Boss’s Orders Metal Energy (17) Water Energy (0)

I also have been theory-crafting a post-Darkness Ablaze release version:

2 Arceus & Dialga & Palkia GX (156)
2 Zacian V (138)
1 Zamazenta V (139)
1 Rayquaza GX (109)
1 Mawile GX (141)
1 Duraludon (138)
2 Dedenne GX (57)
1 Eldegoss V (19)
1 Crobat V (53)

4 Quick Ball
2 Cherish Ball
4 Metal Saucer
4 Energy Switch
3 Acro Bike
2 Switch
1 Wait and see hammer
1 Energy Spinner
1 Reset Stamp
1 Great Catcher
2 Air Balloon 
2 Big Charm
3 Professor Research
1 Marnie
3 Boss’s Orders
1 Chaotic Swell

Energy (12)
2 Aurora 
8 Metal
2 Water

This Is the list that won the Japan special league 2 beating out the legendary Takuya Yoneda. While I think this decklist is not optimal, you can see even a prototype ADP Zacian deck can take down a tournament! The card I think this deck will play that makes it beat the new Decidueye from Darkness Ablaze is the Duraludon. While it only does 110 for 3 which isn't great, it's a great option to Knockout a 140HP Decidueye After you use ADP GX attack giving it the +30 boost. Decidueye has the ability that V Pokemon and GX Pokemon can’t damage it by attacks which will become a problem for a lot of decks in the future.

Now let’s discuss some of the cards that I have in my Current List

Zacian V

For the most part, Zacian will be your main attacker and your best friend turn one. It has an amazing ability (Intrepid Sword) that lets you look at the top 3 cards of your deck and attach any metal energy to it. Then, you add the other cards to your hand. You are gaining 3 cards of advantage over your opponent in the early game which can be huge to getting off that early ADP GX attack or a quick  K.O. with Brave Blade! 


This Pokémon is why this deck is so good! For a Water and a Metal energy, you can use its Alter Creation GX attack to make all your Pokémon do 30 more damage to the opponent’s active Pokémon. Plus, you can take an extra Prize card after a K.O.! For another energy after your GX attack, you can use its Ultimate Ray Attack, which lets you attach 3 basic energy from your deck to your Pokémon any way you like. It is a great way to power up your Zacian V or Zamazenta V. It makes your opponent’s Dedenne GX (which almost every deck plays) become so valuable for you as you can Great Catcher or Boss’s Order it up and take an easy 3 prize cards!

Zamazenta V: 

Zamazenta V’s Dauntless Shield ability allows it to not take damage from VMAX Pokémon. Spread damage can still be applied, but taking away most VMAX damage makes this card so strong. Plus, it should get better with more VMAX Pokémon being introduced with the next set. Its attack is also solid; allowing you to do 130 damage and then remove a special energy from the opponent’s active. It’s a great way to stop Horror Energy from applying the 20-extra damage to you. Not to mention, getting rid of Speed Lightings is also a plus.

Mawile Gx:

I recently put Mawile GX back into my list because I think it makes a lot of sense in this deck. Its ability, Captivating Wink, lets you look at your opponent’s hand and put any number of their basic Pokémon down. If you’re lucky enough, or have a read on your opponent, you can grab those Dedenne GXs/ Eldegoss Vs out of their hand before they can even use their ability and this makes your life easier by setting up an easy K.O. on the board. It combos well with the two Great Catchers in my list since you can use it to bring up their GX Pokémon and still have a supporter to use to find more cards for the next turn! This card seems like it will be great in the next set too, with the addition of Crobat V going into almost every deck; you have more targets to hit with the ability!

The not so great matchups:

Dragapult VMAX:

Against Dragapult, you most likely need to K.O. two Dragapult VMAXs. Also, using your ADP GX attack doesn’t make much sense. It will make you work twice as hard to get to the six prizes and Dragapult’s spread game and quick damage will overwhelm you if you get a slow start. What I have been trying is going in with Zacian V and Zamazenta V only and trying to out speed them. The Dragapult lists are now playing Super Scoop Ups which takes your two shot game back to square one.

Baby Blown: 

This card has been a problem for a lot of decks since its inception because of how much damage it can do so quickly and easily. In this matchup, you must hope your opponent has a super slow start and you can get a quick ADP GX attack off to make the game end in a couple turns. The problem with ADP is, after you GX, it’s just sitting there. Sure, it has 280 HP, but Baby Blowns can easily get to that number with its combo pieces.  Zacian V also has weakness to fire. Some lists play Metal Frying Pan to combat the weakness, but then they just need one more energy (which isn’t too hard for them to still knock out even with the weakness gone). You can play a Tapu Fini in your list if you’re having a hard time and maybe it will make the matchup closer.


I think ADP Zacian isn’t a bad play right now, and it will get better with next set’s addition of Crobat V in decks. We will see if it shows up in the player’s cup qualifiers and I’m looking forward to seeing what other people will play. Thanks for taking the time and reading my article! Hopefully there will be plenty more in the future. Until next time trainers, keep having fun!