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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Cilan

Next Destinies

Date Reviewed: Mar. 2, 2012

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 3.15
Limited: 4.67

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 being the worst. 
3 ... average.  
5 is the highest rating.

Back to the main COTD Page

Combos With: See Below

Baby Mario
2010 UK National
Seniors
Champion

Cilan

Our final card for this week is the only Supporter from Next Destinies. Somebody on the review team though this was worth a slot in their personal top 10, and that’s fair enough in my opinion. It’s not a card for every deck, but in some lists it can be invaluable.

Supporters are a one-per-turn thing so they had better be extremely good to justify their place. There’s a lot of competition out there. Cilan, however, at least does something unique: he searches your deck for three Basic Energy cards and puts them in your hand.

Not all decks need that kind of effect. After all, you are restricted to one Energy attachment per turn so what is the point of using a Supporter to grab three? Much better to use a draw Supporter like Juniper or PONT which will most likely give you the Energy card you are looking for and lot more besides. The exception to this comes with decks that can attach multiple Basic Energy from the hand every turn, thanks to an Energy accelerating PokéPower or Ability (Emboar BW, Feraligatr Prime, or Pachirisu CL, basically). In these decks, the option to go ahead and grab three Energy and attach them is extremely useful., and I can definitely see a couple of copies of Cilan finding their way into ReshiBoar decks.

Apart from that though, it’s hard to justify running Cilan in anything. As a way to combat mid-late game Energy drought, I’d rather use Energy Retrieval and take it from the discard pile with a Trainer. If a deck is built with a sufficient amount of Energy and draw Supporters, then Cilan shouldn’t really be needed.

Rating

Modified: 2.75 (mostly a niche card, but a very good card in its niche)

Limited: 4 (most limited decks run

virusyosh

Happy Friday, Pojo readers! Today we end our COTD week by reviewing a new Supporter from Next Destinies. Today's Card of the Day is Cilan.

 

Clian is a Supporter, so you can play it once per turn, and then can't play any more Supporters for that turn. Its effect is very simple, acting as a Pokemon Collector for Energy cards: you search your deck for three basic Energy cards, show them to your opponent, and put them into your hand, shuffling your deck afterward. Obviously, Cilan works best in decks reliant on Basic Energy, so it will probably shine in decks including Energy accelerators like Emboar BW, Feraligatr Prime, and maybe even Eelektrik NV. Being able to grab three basic Energy is also good in terms of deck-thinning, as it not only guarantees hitting your Energy drops effectively, it also prevents you from getting dead draws in the late-game. Overall, Cilan is quite a strong Supporter, and should see some play in decks built around basic Energy.

 

Modified: 3/5 Cilan is a good card, but doesn't belong in every deck. Many popular decks today such as Six Corners rely heavily on Special Energies, whereas decks utilizing Eelektrik will use Supporters like Sage's Training and Professor Juniper to get Energy into the discard, limited Cilan's usefulness in some current top decks. In general, Cilan can be seen as a "card #61" in Modified, that is, it's good enough to use, but probably not good enough to put into your deck. In some decks (such as those utilizing Emboar BW and Feraligatr Prime) it can be a godsend, but otherwise, there are probably better options.

 

Limited: 5/5 Cilan searches your deck and guarantees that you'll always have the type of Energy that you need in Limited, which can be fairly difficult. Additionally, it can thin your deck out so you don't draw as many Energy, instead drawing useful Trainers and Pokemon. A card worth running in Limited in nearly every instance, for sure.


Otaku

We end the week with Cilan, the only Supporter from BW: Next Destinies. Cilan as a character is one of the Striaton City Gym Leaders, of which there are two more (Cress and Chili), and each of which specialize in a one of three types (Grass, Water, and Fire, respectively) and will try to one-up you by making you battle the Gym Leader who’s Type is strong against your starter Pokémon. Apparently his English name is derived from “cilantro”.

So will he zest up your game?

Stats

So the obvious thing is that Cilan is a Supporter, a sub-type of Trainers. There are some effects that specify Supporters, though most don’t see a lot of play. To my surprise, I didn’t see any that hurt Supporter usage, only cards that helped but didn’t seem potent enough to warrant play in most decks.

Your Supporter use for the turn is a resource most decks should seek to always use. As such, decks must balanced between having too many Supporters (and risking them all showing up at once and clogging your hand) and too few (not taking advantage of said once-per-turn use). I remind everyone one of this, because when we get to the card’s effect it put things into perspective. Whatever Cilan can do, that is going to be instead of potent effects such as drawing, searching, or recycling cards, or some more unique, useful effect like that of Seeker, which bounces Pokémon back to their owner’s hand. In Unlimited or Limited, this is rarely an issue; in the former you have access to past Trainers that weren’t Supporters, so you may get by without a single Supporter in your deck, and in the latter you simply aren’t likely to get enough Supporters to ever have to worry about having too many.

Effects

So at last I explain what Cilan does; he grabs three basic Energy cards of your choice from your deck. This literally makes it three times as powerful as the equivalent Item, Energy Search. Energy Search is not considered a powerful card, but it has its uses, so something three times as good is likely a fair trade off for being a Supporter. Grabbing three cards for one is also a reasonable deal for a Supporter, though given that you are restricted to basic Energy cards (and sensible restriction for game balance) I just think four is a better number, though five would again be overpowered. It’s an odd bit of nitpicking, and is more instinct than calculation based, but I feel compelled to share it.

Usage

At first I didn’t expect this card to see much use. Then I had to eat some humble pie (and chew thoroughly). Many decks are running low amounts of basic Energy right now, even the Energy acceleration decks that don’t recycle from the discard (which is here low such a thing was the norm). This means the odds of drawing the needed Energy cards are much lower than I thought at first glance. It also means that the main rival of Cilan, Interviewer’s Questions, is less reliable. Interviewer’s Questions lets you reveal the top eight cards of your deck, and add as many of the Energy cards (basic or Special) that you reveal to your hand as you wish, then shuffle the rest back into your deck. This is quite the potent effect, but only if your deck runs a lot of Energy or is carefully structured.

While discussing it with one “Jadehex” from the Pokégym, it became apparent that early game, when you need the Energy the most, Cilan is more reliable, always getting you three for one (a fair trade) when compared with Interviewer’s Questions, which could get you more but in the average build is likely to snag less. It is quite possible that a deck could benefit from both, provided it was the type that a) needed a lot of basic Energy cards in hand early on but b) didn’t need to directly access them from the discard pile. Something like two Cilan to increase the odds of getting the Energy you need early game, but later after recycling being able to drop a clutch Interviewer’s Questions for a large pull (plus any lingering Special Energy cards).

Of course, specific deck builds may make Interviewer’s Questions better, but I’ve got to admit the numbers do make sense. If you also want to snag Special Energy cards, I'd use Interviewer's Questions and risk a lower return, but if it is basic Energy (even of a single type) Cilan is more valuable, especially early on. Decks that use multiple kinds of Basic Energy are likely better of with Cilan: one assumes such a deck needs both Types for a reason, and even if it needs them equally you don’t want to lack one Type or the other. It is even more important when it is running just a few copies of an off-type basic Energy card; getting it well ahead of what it is needed for can result in it being wasted, or being circumstances dictating a sub-optimal use. If Energy isn’t really a priority in your deck, Cilan will function adequately outside of extenuating circumstances (like no basic Energy cards in your build). Cilan would not be the optimal pick, but it still would be functional; it would still help you win, but it won’t help you win as much as the next most likely substitute (likely more draw power in a general deck not concerned with Energy).

In Unlimited, where basic Energy usage is low, Cilan realistically won’t have a whole lot of targets. The minor upside is you might run a single Cilan just to yank the few basic Energy cards you do own out of your deck, and it wouldn’t be a huge hindrance as this format doesn’t rely on Supporters. You’ve got the raw draw/search/recycling power to get those few basic Energy cards fairly efficiently, though. Even in a deck that does use several basic Energy cards, you just won’t need a Supporter dedicated to searching them out.

The highlight for Cilan is the same as it is for so many cards: it is another must run in Limited play. If you’re dealing with a mono-color deck, even one with ample amounts of basic Energy, just run him to thin your deck. If you have your average Unlimited deck, you’re running at least two kinds of basic Energy card and thus getting the exact three you want coupled with still thinning your deck is fantastic!

Ratings

Unlimited: 1/5

Modified: 3.5/5

Limited: 5/5

Summary

Cilan did not make my top 10 or my honorable mentions, but perhaps it should have. As I realized after discussing it with others, in the average deck it is functional but not optimal pick. In several key decks it is amazing, so I’d say that averages out to a good card!

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