– Team Up

Date Reviewed:
January 27, 2020

Ratings Summary:
Standard: 3.0
Expanded: 2.25
Limited: 3.50

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

Reviews Below:

vince avatar

Ninetales might not look like much, but the only redeeming factor is it’s Nine Temptations ability, as it lets you discard 2 Fire energies from your hand and it grants you the “gusting” effect. This is pretty useful if you couldn’t get two custom catchers in time or that Great Catcher couldn’t target certain Pokémon, but it does make you run a 1-1 or a 2-2 line just for the ability. It did work for one of the World Championships decks of 2019. Specifically the senior division deck that also uses ReshiZard and Heatran in that deck.

  • Standard: 3/5
  • Expanded: 2.5/5
  • Limited: 3/5
Otaku Avatar

Note: This review was not posted until January 30, 2020.

Ninetales (SM – Team Up 16/181) is one of those cards we’ve mentioned, but haven’t gotten around to reviewing until today.  It is a [R] Type, which is useful for exploiting some Weakness, doesn’t have to worry about Resistance, rarely has to worry about Type-specific counters, but can enjoy Type-specific support.  As a Stage 1, you’ll need about two slots in your deck per copy of Ninetales you want to field.  100 HP is low, but not overly fragile; a likely OHKO.  [W] Weakness isn’t too likely to matter; medium-sized hits (100+) already score a OHKO, even without it.  The lack of Resistance is typical.  A Retreat Cost of [C] is nice and low; an Escape Board or a U-Turn Board can zero it out completely!

“Nine Temptations” is this card’s Ability.  An instance of Nine Temptations may be used once during your turn, prior to attacking.  This lets you discard two [R] Energy from hand, and then you force the opposing Benched Pokémon of your choice into your opponent’s Active position (benching the former Active).  Only basic Fire Energy count as [R] while in hand, but as long as your deck is running mostly or only on Fire Energy, it isn’t too high a cost.  Controlling what your opponent has Active is very powerful; once it is in play, this should be easier to use (and reuse) than Custom Catcher, and it isn’t restricted in what you force up front, like Great Catcher.

No deck is running Ninetales for its “Flame Tail” attack, but for filler, it is decent: [RCC] pays for 90 damage.  In a deck running on basic Fire Energy but running few or no other [R] Type Pokémon, it might come in handy for exploiting Weakness.  It also could be useful if you need to attack with an Evolved Pokémon or something that isn’t a Pokémon-GX.  Basic Fire Energy cards can be searched out via Fiery Flint or Giant Hearth, reclaimed from the discard three at a time thanks to Fire Crystal, and let you use Heat Factory {*} for some added draw power.  Though not always included, Ninetales is part of the general basic Fire Energy-support package in Standard.

You can opt to use Ninetales in the Expanded Format, but I don’t have any examples of it being used and placing well.  At least in theory, it could be good: just because we have Guzma and Lysandre doesn’t mean an Ability-based Gusting effect should be sneered at.   If you pull this and at least one copy of Vulpix in the Limited Format, unless you get something incredibly good that forces you to run a deck that is not running on mostly basic Fire Energy cards, you include Ninetales in your deck.  Its HP is decent here, its attack actually on the good side, and its Ability is even better than in Standard!  Normally, the Bench is at its safest in the Limited Format.


  • Standard: 3/5
  • Expanded: 2/5
  • Limited: 4/5

Ninetales is a solid supporting Stage 1 line, granting the coveted capacity to control what your opponent has Active.

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