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Yu Yu Hakusho
Harry Potter
Vs. System

Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day



- Primal Clash

Date Reviewed:
March 19, 2015

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 2.00
Expanded: 2.00
Limited: 3.87

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 being horrible.  3 ... average.  5 is awesome.

Back to the main COTD Page


Milotic has had an interesting set of cards in recent history. These days, she's gathering up cards from your deck or your discard pile in a variety of ways - from attacking to grab it to straight up KOing herself for it. Now we come to another Milotic with another way of grabbing more cards. 

At least you don't need to attack or KO it to make it work - you just gotta evolve a Feebas on your Bench for it. Sparkling Ripples then kicks in and snags any card you want from your discard pile to add to your hand - simple yet effective! If Battle Compressor has taught us anything, it's that the discard pile can be a good place to dump stuff to grab it, and combined with Milotic, it's practically a "search your deck for a card and add it to your hand" effect. Then again, Swampert (36) can do the same thing turn after turn, although you do have to wait to draw the card you put on top with him. 

Aside from that, Milotic's not crazy impressive. Aqua Swirl does 3-for-60 and can swap the opponent's Active Pokemon with a Benched Pokemon. Could be nice but requires a lot of boosting to be worthwhile, and that's the kind of stuff I want on my attacker anyway - which Milotic is not going to be. So all in all, pretty meh other than that Sparkling Ripples Ability, and even then that's just a one trick seahorse. 

I would like to say Milotic's good...but she's not crazy good. Combined with Battle Compressor, she can essentially snag any card in your deck, but aside from that she's gonna be coming into the game late to grab a Supporter you dropped earlier - hopefully no Lysandre's Trump Card will impede her progress on that. As support, she can help out a deck or two, but just be aware of her pre-evo Feebas, who has never graced itself by having more than 30 HP. 


Standard: 2/5 (a decent Ability on an okay card) 

Expanded: 2/5 (probably the best of Milotic's incarnations, but that's not saying much) 

Limited: 4/5 (I'd say retrieving a card you've already used is wildly beneficial here) 

Arora Notealus: As beautiful and radiant as she may be, Milotic does really need a new thing for her cards. Maybe visit her roots a little with Healing Showers, or maybe she should work with that hand gimmick done in Supreme Victors - that was different! 

Next Time: From the seas to the arctic, and the mighty blue comes tumbling home!


For our XY: Primal Clash Water Week, today we’ll look at Milotic (XY: Primal Clash 44/160).  So of course being a Water-Type is pretty good right now; not as good as being Fighting (probably the top Type right now) but you’ve got direct support like Dive Ball (specifically works for only Water-Types) and indirect support like Blastoise (BW: Boundaries Crossed 31/149; BW: Plasma Storm 137/135; BW: Plasmas Blast 16/101) and even shared support like Rough Seas (heals both Lightning- and Water-Types).  Nearly all Fire-Types and a good chunk of Fighting-Types (namely those based on the video game Ground- and Rock-Types) take double damage, though the only major, metagame relevant examples I can think of are Landorus-EX and Donphan (BW: Plasma Storm 72/135)... and it can be argued that Donphan no longer count as “major” for the metagame.  Some Grass-Types from before the XY-era sport Water Resistance, though the only major example there is Virizion-EX (and Resistance is a minor concern to begin with).  Even less of a concern but mentioned just to be thorough is that there are a few cards that are “anti” Water, like Hariyama (XY: Furious Fists 52/111) with its damage reducing Thick Skin Ability that only works against Fire-Types and Water-Types… and as you can tell by my example none of these have seen successful competitive play (well… maybe in Limited venues for Hariyama). 

Being a Stage 1 is a drawback since it still means an extra turn to Evolve and an extra card to get the Pokémon into play, though if both Stage 1 and Basic were sufficiently useful this could mitigate much of this.  No, I don’t expect Feebas to be an example of such a wonderful thing.  Milotic has 110 HP; perhaps because Feebas have so little that seems pretty good.  The max printed for Stage 1 Pokémon is Wailord (BW: Dragons Exalted 26/124) at 200, but the designers like to make it an outlier (Wailord has close to but not the highest HP in the video games).  Steelix (BW: Plasma 79/116) and Tyrantrum (XY: Furious Fists 62/111) both sport 150, the latter of which Evolves from a Restored Pokémon.  The two examples of 140 HP Stage 1 Pokémon are two different versions of Carracosta - BW: Noble Victories 26/101 and BW: Plasma Blast 28/101) are also both Evolved from Restored Pokémon; it isn’t until we hit 130 HP that we get multiple examples of non-special mechanic Stage 1 Pokémon.  Of course how common it is won’t change that 110 HP is at the point there it is a little more likely to survive a hit than be OHKOed (but only a little), however I was careless in a few past articles, sometimes forgetting those that Evolve from Restored Pokémon and almost always forgetting Steelix.  Sorry folks. 

Grass Weakness is not good; only having no Weakness at all is good.  How bad Grass Weakness is mostly rests on how good (or at least “popular”) VirGen decks are; there aren’t a lot of other Grass-Types that seem significant competitive play.  VirGen decks seem to finally be on the decline, but that doesn’t mean you won’t run into them; Virizion-EX can score a OHKO so long as you have any sort of boost for it (Muscle Bandi, Hypnotoxic Laser, etc.) while Genesect-EX easily scores a OHKO.  Virizion-EX might actually be the bigger concern; decks running Rainbow Energy sometimes include it to take advantage of its Verdant Wind Ability, but that same Rainbow Energy can help it to attack if a OHKO would prove worthwhile.  There are also popular and potent Grass-Weak Pokémon like Seismitoad-EX that provide a major incentive for players to try and make other Grass-Types work, especially splashed into existing decks.  The lack of Resistance is common, so Milotic isn’t really hurt by it.  The Retreat Cost of [CC] is similarly average in terms of function; its high enough it hurts to pay (most of the time) but low enough you will often still be able to both afford to pay it and then recover.  Most decks will be packing alternatives to manually retreating at full cost, making it even less of a concern. 

So from its attributes, Milotic isn’t looking good but its not looking bad; what about its effects?  It has one Ability and one attack.  The Ability is Sparkling Ripples, a “coming into play” effect that triggers only when you Evolve one of your Pokémon into this Milotic.  Nice to know if we ever get something other than Feebas that could Evolve into Milotic, Sparkling Ripples would still trigger but this means there’s no point in using Archie’s Ace in the Hole or Evosoda if you want to access the Ability.  Sparkling Ripples has a simple but useful effect otherwise; select a card from your discard pile and add it to your hand.  Lysandre’s Trump Card can throw everything but copies of itself back into your deck, but those cards have to be drawn or searched out afterwards.  There isn’t a good way to add Special Energy cards from the discard pile directly to your hand.  Dowsing Machine can get back any Trainer but in addition to discarding to cards from your hand to play it, it eats up your Ace Spec.  VS Seeker can get back any Supporter while Energy Retrieval can get back any basic Energy, but while being an Item makes those far easier to play, it also makes them easy to block.  Revive Benches a Basic Pokémon from your discard pile while Max Revive places it on top of your deck (still from the discard pile) and neither sees much (if any) successful competitive play.  So even though Abilities are also often blocked, this is still a good effect because it can get anything: were it on a Basic Pokémon it might easily turn such a card into a staple, though here it just gives Milotic promise. 

Its lone attack is Aqua Swirl, which requires [WCC] and hits for 60 points of damage with an optional effect to force your opponent to change out his or her Active Pokémon.  The Energy required isn’t too bad in that it makes it plausible you could attack in an off Type deck and you could use Double Colorless Energy (or other non-specific Energy acceleration) to meet the cost and it is nice that the change out is optional so you don’t accidentally help your opponent but the damage is very lacking.  Still it isn’t worthless; with a Silver Bangle the attack can at least score a OHKO against Landorus-EX and if you run into someone still trying to make Pyroar (XY: Flashfire 20/106) work, this gives you a Stage 1 that can OHKO it.  It is clear though that this card was intended by the designers to be used primarily for its Ability, which is a bit of a problem because while the Ability is good, it isn’t great. 

While I already indicated it wasn’t likely, let us see if some of the related cards can help.  There is one Expanded only option for Feebas - BW: Dragons Exalted 27/124 - and two Standard only offerings - XY: Flashfire 22/106 and XY: Primal Clash 43/160.  All three are Basic Water-Type Pokémon with 30 HP, no Resistance, Retreat Cost [C], no Ancient Trait, no Ability and a single attack.  BW: Dragons Exalted 27/124 is Lightning Weak and Add-a-Dash for [W], which gives you two coin flips that let you draw a card per “heads”.  XY: Flashfire 22/106 is Grass Weak and for [C] can use Surprise Attack, a “tails fails” attack only good for 10 damage.  XY: Primal Clash 43/160 is also Grass Weak and for [W] its Float On attack does 10 damage to the opponent’s Active, but if you get “tails” on a coin flip 10 to itself.  All three are pretty poor; if you can’t count on having [W] Energy handy go with XY: Flashfire 22/106 just in case 10 damage would matter.  If you will have access to a source of [W] Energy you can risk on a Feebas and are playing in Expanded, go with BW: Dragons Exalted 27/124 as even flippy draw power is better for your desperation attack than weak damage.

There are two other options for Milotic: BW: Dragons Exalted 28/124 (which is Expanded only) and XY: Flashfire 23/106.  Naturally, they are Stage 1 Water-Types with no Resistance and no Ancient Traits.  BW: Dragons Exalted 28/124 has 110 HP, Lightning Weakness and a single Energy Retreat Cost.  It has two attacks (and no Ability); the first is Clear Search for [W], which lets you search your deck for three cards to add to your hand and Water Pulse for [WCC] which does 60 damage plus puts the Defending Pokémon to Sleep.  XY: Flashfire 23/106 has just 100 HP but has the same Grass Weakness and Retreat Cost of two as today’s card and likewise has one Ability and one attack.  Its Energy Grace Ability KOs itself to attach three basic Energy cards to one of your Pokémon excluding Pokémon-EX.  Yet again the attack - Waterfall - requires [WCC] and hits for 60 damage, though this time with no effect whatsoever.  The older option isn’t going to be worth it as you’re probably trading an attack and being KOed for the three card search (the [WCC] is filler even when there isn’t an Ability, apparently)... and adding three cards to your hand at the end of your turn is easily sabotaged by N.  Energy Grace looked great when we first saw it but no deck seems to have every managed to make good use of it; working with neither Special Energy cards nor Pokémon-EX leaves a lot of the best combinations out.  Still its not bad; its good but not great.  You can see the old reviews for these two here and here. 

So the two Standard legal Milotic actually do compliment each other; both work with your discard pile but aren’t so great that you’d be likely to run a 4-4 line of either.  Blending the two does give you some nice options but its hard to make a Stage 1 line work as support unless is something amazing like Aromatisse or perhaps Trevenant.  Most of the metagame seems to be working against these two cards; Lysandre’s Trump Card makes it risky to rely on effects that pull from the discard pile and I already explained how Energy Grace seems like a failed attempt at rejuvenating the non-Pokémon-EX, non-Special Energy focused side of the metagame.  Probably the clincher is Feebas; one gets that the designers wanted to make it an intentional drawback (more so than normal Evolving Pokémon) but 30 HP is so small that many Bench hits OHKO it.  All together that makes both of these Milotic hard to use.  Like XY: Flashfire 23/106 before it, XY: Primal Clash 44/160 will have to settle for being fairly good in Limited; even the combo with Battle Compressor doesn’t seem quite good enough to make the Stage 1 worth the hassle. 


Standard: 2/5 

Expanded: 2/5 

Limited: 3.75/5 

Summary: Milotic seems like a card you should be able to do something with, much like its predecessor XY: Flashfire 23/106. 

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