– Crimson Invasion
December 12, 2017
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Milotic (Crimson Invasion, 27/111) swims into the meta from the Crimson Invasion expansion set. A 120 HP Stage 1 Water Pokemon, it will see use for its single Water energy attachment attack TLC, which allows you to shuffle one of your opponent’s Pokemon (and all cards attached to it) back into their deck. The only restriction on this attack is that the Pokemon must have damage counters on it.
So I have Googled Youtube and … uh … Google and I have been unable to find any decklists using Milotic. I’ve been fooled several times this year by Pokemon that initially strike me as being amazing (Sableye (Guardians Rising, 80/145) and Sylveon GX (Guardians Rising, 92/145) being the most notable) and wind up disappointing, and I think that I might be on the verge of doing it again with Milotic, but I’m now 7 W 1 L in my last eight matches with this deck and 23 W 11 L overall. I am an extremely impressive 8 W 3 L against meta decks. I’ve gone through a couple of different iterations with this deck, but this is where the list is right now:
##Pokémon – 17
* 2 Tapu Koko PR-SM SM31
##Trainer Cards – 33
* 4 Professor Sycamore STS 114
##Energy – 10
* 6 Water Energy 3
To be honest, I haven’t even completely figured this deck out yet. There are a couple of different paths to victory:
1. Start Promo Koko, Flying Flip on your opponent a couple of times until there are damage counters on all of his Pokemon, and after Koko gets KO’d, bring up Milotic, use a Counter Catcher to bring some heavy retreat cost Pokemon into the active, and throw all of the benched Pokemon back into the deck.
Something to realize: every time you put a Pokemon back into the deck, you’re not only taking a Pokemon out of play, you’re clogging up the deck as well. Think about it: if you put Gardevoir GX back into the deck, and let’s say it has a couple energy and a Choice Band attached to it, that could be six cards back into the deck, and none of them are draw support. Do that a couple of times, and you are dramatically reducing your opponent’s chances of top decking something that will help them get back into the game. This strategy works A LOT! Tapu Koko can spread damage, and that’s the preference to me, that’s why I have four in the deck, but Ninetales GX can do that too.
Standard: 3.5 out of 5
Milotic (SM: Crimson Invasion 27/111) is one of those cards where I want to focus on the “interesting” bit first. That would be its attack “TLC”, which costs [W] and allows you to select one of your opponent’s injured Benched Pokémon and shuffle that Pokémon (plus all cards attached to it) back into your opponent’s deck. Now, the controlling player shuffling one of his or her Pokémon (with all cards attached) back into his or her deck is (or at least was supposed to be) worth a Supporter, based on the existence of Cassius. This acts as a combination of healing and/or resource recycling. When your opponent controls it, it could still benefit you, but it can also be used as a form of field control/disruption. The worst possible scenario for the player being attacked is your opponent sending your only Benched Pokémon back to the deck before Burn and/or Poison finishes off your Active Pokémon between turns! The most likely scenario, however, is your opponent selecting something and shuffling it away, forcing you to waste resources rebuilding it. Of course, the best possible scenario for the player being attacked is that he or she has nothing worth shuffling into the deck with TLC… or simply nothing legal for TLC to target; it can’t do anything when the opponent has no Bench or when nothing on the Bench is injured!
The Energy cost of [W] is fairly low, but remember you’re investing an attack; you’ll need to consider what your deck could provide you with different Pokémon under different circumstances, as well as what is likely to happen to Milotic after you attack, so let us look at the rest of the card. We’ll look at the cards other attack now: for [WWCC] “Ocean Cyclone” does 80 damage plus 10 to each of your opponent’s Benched Pokémon. On its own, the damage seems a bit low for the Energy invested; your opponent needs to have at least four Pokémon on his or her Bench to match what I believe to be the going rate. If your deck can meet the costs easily, then perhaps only two will suffice. I am not thrilled with the damage being distributed in this manner, either; the damage to the Active or the spread needs to be higher to hit relevant numbers, based on my general experience. The biggest issue is that of the almost failed combo; Ocean Cyclone sets up for the use of TLC but requires four times the Energy. If Milotic isn’t expected to survive, that is a lot of Energy to commit to a glass cannon, even worse when you consider the payoff. I’m not saying that TLC needs to cost more, but that I’d rather have a less expensive spread option for the combo.
Being a Stage 1 isn’t a huge resource burden, but it definitely isn’t as efficient as being a Basic Pokémon. In this case, it also means Evolving from Feebas, a Basic with only 30 HP and no worthwhile effects among the Standard or Expanded legal offerings. As a [W] Type, Milotic could use Archie’s Ace in the Hole in Expanded to bypass Feebas, and as Milotic is not a Pokémon-EX, Wally could be used to instantly Evolve Feebas, but those cards come with their own costs and conditions. There are other perks to being a [W] Type, but none strike me as being especially relevant here. Milotic has 120 HP, an amount many decks aim to OHKO; at least those relying on Choice Band for extra damage will still fall short. Unless they are attacking with a [G] Type, as Weakness will just double the damage being done (usually a much better bonus than a simple +30); Milotic becomes a highly probable OHKO under such circumstances, though still not guaranteed. No Resistance is the worst, but Resistance doesn’t help much most of the time. The Retreat Cost of [CC] is low enough you can usually pay it up front but high enough you usually can’t afford it in the long run.
The final things to consider are other Milotic and… I’m thinking they don’t help. BW: Dragons Exalted 28/124 just isn’t worth using now and never really was in the past. XY: Flashfire 23/106 gave us some hope, but I don’t recall it living up to it; glancing at the card, it might actually be better now than back in the day. I may have to experiment with that and review it for a Throwback Thursday. XY: Primal Clash 44/162 did prove itself competitive for a time, mostly used in decks like Night March to reclaim Double Colorless Energy through its “Ripple” Ability; with better options now like Puzzle of Time and Special Charge, Ripple appears to have been retired. Even if those last two Milotic do prove useful, a deck running them would have to have a source of [W] Energy, be able to spare an attack, and not need to max out the other Milotic. 21times rejoins us today, letting us know about a deck he has been testing with Milotic (SM: Crimson Invasion 27/111); I’ve never run it nor encountered it, but it looks like it could really harass slower decks that aren’t prepared for it. I’m not sure about anything else, though.
So I can’t recommend this card for Standard or Expanded Format competitive play; maybe if you like to experiment in a more casual atmosphere, it can do you some good. For the Limited Format, while Feebas is still an issue, the 120 HP should prove much more substantial. The hit or miss nature of TLC increases; you won’t easily inflict spread damage, but your opponent won’t easily retrieve and replay something you send to the deck. Ocean Cyclone and its Bench damage are also more valuable here in general, and needing the time to build to it is only a problem if you’re forced to do so while Active or ignoring a current Active’s Energy needs. The [W] requirements of both attacks will force you to run a deck that is at least mostly [W] Energy but doesn’t lock you into running on just one basic Energy Type. Milotic made one of the individual reviewer’s top 10 lists for SM: Crimson invasion, earning it four voting points and tying with Registeel (SM: Crimson Invasion 68/111). I manually broke the tie as neither card appeared on my own list… a tie that only matters if we extend the site’s top 10 list to at least a top 16.
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