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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 Ninetales  

- Legendary Treasures

Date Reviewed:
December 6, 2013

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 1.25
Limited: 2.50

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

Ninetales (Legendary Treasures) 

Yay, another non-reprint review to end the week. If nothing else, you can’t say this card isn’t interesting . . . 

Note that ‘interesting’ is not a synonym for ‘good’. This Ninetales would be tricky to play at the best of times, seeing as it is a pretty weak 90 HP Stage 1. What’s more, Colour Coordination (the only attack) costs three Energy to use. The effect though is unique (as far as I can recall): it will do 50 damage plus 40 more if Ninetales has a Basic Energy attached to it that is the same Type as the Defending Pokémon. Note how I put the word ‘Basic’ in bold there. No, you can’t trigger the effect using Prism, Blend, or any other kind of Special Energy. 

Actually, I don’t think it would have made much difference to the card’s playability if you could. Even under the best circumstances all you have is a vulnerable Stage 1 that can do 90 for three Energy. Fun (but probably irrelevant) fact: it would be all but useless against  Dragon or Colourless Pokémon as they don’t even have their own Basic Energy. I can’t honestly imagine why anyone would want to play this. Sure, it’s a gimmicky attack and you can make an uber-gimmicky deck by playing it with lots of Energy Types, but at the end of the day there are simply many better ways of doing 90 damage without having to jump through all those hoops. 

Rating 

Modified: 1.5 (useless and pretty silly)

Limited: 2.25 (even here it’s slow and weak)


Otaku

We close out the week by looking at Ninetales (BW: Legendary Treasures 21/113), one of the new cards in our reprint heavy set.  It is a Fire-Type, which can come in handy for exploiting Weakness on Genesect EX, Virizion EX, and a few other cards.  You’ll never have to worry about Resistance (on modern cards), but sadly there is no Type support for Fire Pokémon (at least that I could find).  Ninetales possesses 90 HP; this makes it a OHKO for any deck that is set-up (and a few that aren’t), but it is also small enough that you can search it out with Level Ball (which also important will get any Vulpix as well).

 

The Water Weakness will actually matter on occasion; Keldeo EX (as an example) can OHKO anything if it has enough Water Energy attached (barring protective effects)… but its base damage is only 50 points for (CCC), and thus while it a Keldeo EX being used in a deck for its Ability (so without a source of Water Energy) would still be able to attack for a OHKO.  Ninetales lacks any form of Resistance to help it, but Resistance is even less significant with a low HP score and likely wouldn’t have made much of a difference.  Similarly, while the single Energy required to retreat is easy enough to pay, it will rarely matter because this card is a OHKO (and most decks will pack some form of retreat aid or alternative).

 

Ninetales makes me look bad due to the attacks.  Why?  For (CCC) its Color Coordination attack hits for 50 points of damage, with an additional 40 if Ninetales has a basic Energy card that is the same Type as the Defending Pokémon.  90 for three is the going rate, and this card can only hit it if it has a somewhat restrictive condition; a deck can be built to make it more likely, but Dragon-Type and Colorless-Type Pokémon never have to worry (as there are no Basic Energy cards that provide that Type of Energy).  So even though the big attack is bad… it still didn’t get a filler attack like Slash on Genesect (BW: Legendary Treasures 16/113), and in that review I gave too much credit to the design team assuming that without Slash, that card would have gotten something better; Ninetales implies that they would have just left it a single attack card.

 

If you insist on playing this card, you’ll need a Vulpix and I only see two Modified Legal versions: BW: Dragons Exalted 18/124 and BW: Legendary Treasures 20/113.  Both are 60 HP Basic Fire-Type Pokémon the same bottom stats as Ninetales and both have single attacks: BW: Dragons Exalted 18/124 can automatically Burn the Defending Pokémon for (R) while BW: Legendary Treasures 20/113 requires (RC) to hit for 20 (or on a successful coin toss, 30).  Both are bad.  You could combine this card with Ho-Oh EX as our big firebird performs best with a wide assortment of Basic Energy cards.

In the end I wouldn’t even try to run this as Ninetales (BW: Dragons Exalted 19/124) is clearly superior with its Bright Look Ability (one of the Pokémon Catcher alternatives) and Hexed Flame attack that for (R) does 20 points of damage plus another 50 per Special Condition afflicting the Defending Pokémon (thus up to 170 points plus Poison and Burn damage).  The nature of Color Coordination makes it unlikely you should run it without access to a basic Fire Energy and even if you did, it still might be easier to power up Hexed Flame (such as with Blend Energy GRPD).  A Hypnotoxic Laser guarantees Hexed Flame hitting for 70 points of damage plus a damage counter (barring something that blocks Special Conditions) and with a Virbank City Gym you’re up to 70 points of damage (minimum) plus three damage counters… which against Weakness totals to 170 points of damage that OHKOs Virizion EX or Genesect EX… and you get to use Bright Look!  Even without working in an awkward source of Burn, “heads” on Hypnotoxic Laser jumps Hexed Flame to 120 points of damage (plus another damage counter or three depending on Virbank City Gym); Color Coordination just can’t compete.

This goes double for Unlimited; while you have more combo pieces it just isn’t worth the effort when those same cards combo so much better with so many other things.  For Limited, though, this can be an “okay” pull.  Obviously you’ll need Pokémon with mostly Colorless Energy costs supporting it, so that you have the option of which Basic Energy to attach where, and as it is Limited you’ll probably be able to have two of each basic Energy and thus not have to worry about a single being Prized or needing to be used on a different card.  It still isn’t brilliant and is just fortunate that some might try for a similar deck anyway, hoping to get lucky with Type matching to crush any high level pulls; as well as the HP and damage being slightly better just because “its Limited”.

 

Ratings

 

Unlimited: 1/5

 

Modified: 1/5

 

Limited: 2.75/5

 

Summary

“Vanilla” cards, cards that either have no Ability and no effects for their attacks, are very frustrating because they usually feel like they have no effort, and often are not really competitive (though there are numerous exceptions throughout the life of the game).  I don’t know if anyone else uses it, but I use “French Vanilla” (a popular flavor as far as I know) to describe cards that have the most minimal of effects but still are functionally “vanilla”; uninspired.  I have no idea what to label a card like this where obviously some thought went into the design but the end result is so underpowered it is hard to believe it was accidental.

 

If Ninetales had been able to use Special Energy and we didn’t have an obviously superior Ninetales from a previous set, the card would still have been underpowered to the point it should only be played because you want to specifically run this card (and perhaps challenge yourself).  An Ability to shift the Type or much lower Energy cost were sorely needed for, as your opponent should view it, an easy Prize that is also a resource sink.


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