Ninetales (HeartGold & SoulSilver HS #7) – Card of the Day

pokebeach.comAwhat-up, 6P? It’s Dane here, and I’m back with the HS-On CoTD of Ninetales HS/CoL.

Requested by coolestman22 on, Ninetales is a Stage 1 Fire type with 90 HP. It has the standard 2× Weakness to Water, no Resistance, and a single Retreat. The single Retreat is nice so you can easily maneuver it if it happens to be brought up by Pokémon Catcher, but due to the relatively low 90 HP, it would probably be Knocked Out before you have the chance to retreat. It has a single attack called Will-o’-the-Wisp that, unlike in the video game, does not burn the opponent but does a vanilla 60 damage for the cost of RRC. Meh. So far, it seems like a pretty mediocre card.

But as you may have heard, people use Ninetales competitively. Why? Because along with the mediocre attack, it has a Poké-Power called Roast Reveal that instructs you to discard a R Energy from your hand and draw three cards. Now that has kind of a risky deal, but if you take a look at Typhlosion Prime, also from the HS set, Ninetales’s power can be used very well.

Typhlosion Prime’s Poké-Power, Afterburner, states that you can search your discard pile for a R Energy and attach to one of your Pokémon at the cost of a single damage counter on the Pokémon you attached it to. If it was last format (MD-On), I would advise you to use these two with Charizard AR, but in the HS-On format, Reshiram is the way to go.

This deck, also known as Reshiphlosion or Tyram, has won many Battle Roads this season, did extremely well at the (2011) US Nationals and even won Worlds in the Seniors division! With the 130 HP Basic Pokémon known as Reshiram powering out 120 damage a turn, Typhlosion putting Reshiram in turbo-mode, and Ninetales for extra draw throughout the game, Reshiphlosion certainly is a very good deck.

pokebeach.comSome people also use Ninetales in Reshiboar. Reshiboar uses Reshiram and Emboar to get a string of Blue Flares going. I personally like this deck better than Reshiphlosion (the deck described in the paragraph above), but I also don’t use Ninetales; I just see it as discarding more unnecessary energies, but, then again, that’s just my opinion, as almost every Reshiboar list you see online has at least a 1-1 Ninetales line.

But Ninetales isn’t just confined to Reshiram decks; you can also use him in decks that take very little energy, such as Yanmega and Donphan decks. Some people use Ninetales in their Stage 1s list; Yanmega attacks for free, Donphan requires only one energy, and Zoroark/Cincinno only need a DCE. But alas, you rarely see Ninetales perform well when out of a Reshiram deck.

But there are also reasons you may want to stay away from Ninetales. Catcher can hurt it badly, and if you’re only running a 1-1 line, then Pokémon Catcher could ruin your entire game because you have no draw power. And his relatively low 90 HP makes Catcher even worse; they can Knock you Out much more quickly with the low HP.


With a mediocre attack and a great power, Ninetales looks like a really good card. The fact that Catcher’s about and that Ninetales has low HP kind of hinders it a little, but I think it still deserves a spot in every Reshiphlosion deck. What do you think? Have you had any success with the card? Have any other ideas using Ninetales? Please leave a comment in the comment section below. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see ya next time. Bye!

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Reader Interactions

10 replies

  1. Ben Bradly

    I tend to agree, I know quite a lot of players cutting ninetales from their lists, but I would rather they attack my ninetales that my typhlosion.

  2. Manny Z. ^w^

    I tried going without Ninetales in my ReshiBoar at a BR a while back…only to go 0-6 with it removed from my list. Long story short, I think a 2-2 Ninetales is worth the risk of getting Catcher’d…that and people in my area are more concerned about ‘boar than ‘tales anyways.

    • Anonymous  → Manny

      Yeah, I guess I only based the “no-Ninetales-in-Reshiboar” decision on my HS-BW testing. I guess I’m a bit wrong on that part. :P

  3. Jak Stewart-Armstead

    I’d play Ninetales in Reshiboar (where I need to be drawing into Energy/Fisherman every turn), but not in Typhlosion, where the deck pretty much maintains itself once set up.

    The fact that it’s Catcher bait is one of the best things about Ninetales.

  4. theo Seeds

    Good job. Nothing for me to rant about, as it was true and well-written.

  5. Anonymous

    When I include Ninetales in a deck, I live and die by it. It takes priority over literally everything as far as I’m concerned.

  6. Anonymous

    Good job with the analysis.

    Overall, I just honestly feel that CotDs need ratings. We could do a universal rating system (Adam or the mods could set it up), but there needs to be a rating system. CotDs should be a quick (shorter) article with the basic useful facts and an easy synopsis tool, ie. a rating. The debate about the ratings were most of the fun for CotDs.

    • Anonymous  → Anonymous

      I like the ratings too, but I’m a little sketchy after my Tornadus flunk. Anyway, Dakota & Celebi’ aren’t doing ratings.

      But yes, I agree that a universal rating system created by Adam or another mod should be made.
      Maybe we could use the system Adam has on… 1 = Totally Bogus, 2 = Bad, 3 = Weak, 4 = Subpar, 5 = Mediocre, 6 = Decent, 7 = Good, 8 = Very Good, 9 = Extremely Good, 10 = BROKEN. What do you think about that?

      • Anonymous  → Anonymous

        That system would work fine. Really, any system would work fine as long as all the writers used the same thing.

        I realize that no one is doing ratings right now, but that does not mean that that is the way it should go down. I am not trying to rip anyone, but not having a rating feels like a cop-out because the writers don’t want to get reamed for it. Yet, if you are consistently getting reamed, maybe you should re-evaluate if CotDs are right for you (I know I need to listen to my own advice here). These are meant to be relatively light hearted, densely  informative things. So, take a risk and give it a rating.

  7. Colby Bennardo

    one thing to mention is that vulpix’s “Singe” is a great built-in counter to Goth decks allowing for energy depletion or stopping the lick (both because of retreating) or getting that extra 20 damage after the turn to secure the KO

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