Revisiting Milotic Ninetales and Cyrus

I have written about this pairing quite a bit on this site.  Right now, I think this will do extremely well in the new meta post UP.  Right now I have gone 11 W 8 L in two slightly different iterations of the deck.  Here’s my current list:

While 11 and 8 doesn’t normally get a posting on the site here, what’s important to note is that I’ve been keeping track of games in which I could have played Cyrus (and I was still under the belief that the Water Pokemon had to be active) and if playing Cyrus would have made a difference in the match.

In 5 of the 8 losses I would have had the opportunity to play Cyrus.  In 4 out of those 5 cases, I believe I probably would have won.  In all five matches, I would have subsequently left my opponent with two Pokemon on the board after playing Cyrus.  In four of the five cases, I believe I would have been able to leave my opponent with only one Pokemon on the board in the following turn.  The one game of the five that I was probably losing anyways was against Buzzwole GX, whose Jet Punch attack can KO a benched Feebas before it can evolve into Milotic.  As a quick note, I am also very concerned about Ninetales’ weakness to Metal, but I can’t think of a more perfect Pokemon to put in this deck.

Now, I’m not going to tell you that I absolutely would have been 15 W 4 L with Cyrus.  Certainly, my opponents would have had access to all of the new UP cards as well.  But I’m definitely saying that the Cyrus TLC combo can potentially devastate your opponent.  Especially if I can use Counter Catcher to put a featured Pokemon on the bench and then TLC it away, and then leave you with possibly only 1 tech in Pokemon on the board after the next turn?  Devastating.  That’s the only word for it.  Absolutely devastating.  I’m not entirely convinced it’s better than Timeless GX, but it’s probably a little easier to pull off the Cyrus TLC combo than it is to get five energy on Dialga.  We’ll just have to wait and see, it’s all theorymon right now, but there’s no doubt that those two strategies right there are the best two coming out of UP.

Ok update on what I’ve heard about Cyrus: the text on the English cards (and I also think the other foreign language cards distributed throughout Europe and elsewhere EXCEPT Japan) is consistent AND DIFFERENT than the Japanese wording.  The Japanese wording definitely says the (b) or (m) Pokemon must be active.  The text on the cards you’ll hold in your hands on February second will say that you only have to have a (b) or (m) Pokemon in play.  For this deck, it doesn’t matter, you really want Milotic in the active after you play Cyrus.  I don’t think you HAVE to have Milotic in the active, but I think that’s the dream scenario, being able to reduce your opponent down to not just three but two Pokemon, while also throwing five, six, eight, who knows maybe more, non draw support cards back into their deck.  I’ve written about how I’ve faced opponents who sit there squirming turn after turn drawing cards that won’t help them draw into their deck.  But I digress….

There has actually been an errata issued for this card.  In the two years I’ve been playing, this is the first time I’ve seen this happen.  What this means is that even though the text on your card says any (b) or (m) Pokemon in play, you’ll have to actually have a (b) or (m) Pokemon in the active position.  Again, it doesn’t really matter much for this deck, but for many other decks it’s pretty significant.  It definitely affects my ranking of this card, and I would now say that Timeless GX surpasses Cyrus.  I do, however, find it humorous that all the attention garnered from this errata situation has actually caused people to realize exactly how good this card really is, regardless of whether or not the (b) or (m) Pokemon has to be in the active position.