We end the week with
Cilan, the only Supporter from
BW: Next Destinies.
Cilan as a character is one of the
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?
So the obvious thing is that
Cilan is a Supporter, a sub-type of
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
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
I remind everyone one of this,
because when we get to the card’s effect
it put things into perspective.
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
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.
So at last I explain what
Cilan does; he grabs three basic
Energy cards of your choice from your
This literally makes it three
times as powerful as the equivalent
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.
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
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
Interviewer’s Questions, is less
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
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
Of course, specific deck builds may make
Interviewer’s Questions better, but
I’ve got to admit the numbers do make
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
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
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
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
In Unlimited, where basic Energy usage
Cilan realistically won’t have a
whole lot of targets.
The minor upside is you might run
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
You’ve got the raw
draw/search/recycling power to get those
few basic Energy cards fairly
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
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
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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