It’s Icy Cool — Telling an Alolan Tale

What’s up PokeBeach readers? After getting another article slot for the month, I wanted to provide you with a suggested concept, Alolan Ninetales. We listen to our readers and I wanted to specifically write about this to meet TheKangaskhanKid’s request! Alolan Ninetales has always had some serious success in the game, most notably winning the 2017 World Championships in the Seniors division! That being said, I want to go over Alolan Ninetales, Alolan Ninetales-GX, and Alolan Vulpix in full detail to show where their strengths lie.

A Chilly Trio

In this section, I want to go over the three main components of any Alolan Ninetales core, the Pokemon themselves.

Alolan Ninetales-GX

I’m so cool!

For any Stage 1 Pokemon, 210 HP is a hefty amount of HP that will be able to withstand most attacks. Water typing is decent in our current Standard format because Volcanion-EX is seeing a slight surge in play so we do gain an advantage there.

Ice Blade

Ice Blade can be used to do chip damage early, as well as provide decent damage output to Pokemon with Water-type Weakness such as Turtonator-GX. Try to set up Knock Outs in advance by planning out which Pokemon you want to hit with Blizzard Edge in later turns.

Blizzard Edge

With Professor Kukui and Choice Band in the deck, you can Knock Out 210 HP Pokemon such as Zoroark-GX and Golisopod-GX in a single attack. With just a single Choice Band, you can also OHKO popular Pokemon like Tapu Lele-GX and Buzzwole-GX! When you are choosing which Energy to discard, it is often helpful to discard a Double Colorless Energy so you can attack again next turn with a single Energy attachment of any kind.

Ice Path GX

Once you have enough damage counters on Alolan Ninetales-GX, you can use Ice Path GX to Knock Out a threat and heal all of your damage in the process. This attack is to be used as either an offensive attack that provides serious damage or a healing attack to maintain your board state. Try to find different uses for this attack to do the maximum amount of damage and keep your Alolan Ninetales-GX in the game for longer.

Beyond sharing the same Weakness as Gardevoir-GX, Alolan Ninetales-GX has decent stats here. The Retreat Cost is actually quite low so if you have already used Ice Path GX, you can Retreat it to avoid getting Knocked Out.

Alolan Ninetales

Can cause opponents to lose their cool.

As this Alolan Ninetales  is a non EX/GX Pokemon, 110 HP is an acceptable amount and it’s typing serves the same usefulness as Alolan Ninetales-GX.

Luminous Barrier

This is the true reason why this card sees play in this deck. You block EX/GX Pokemon from doing anything to it at all. Pokemon-GX are some of the most dominant cards in our metagame!  Let’s look over the major cards that can’t attack our Alolan Ninetales:

Chances are that you have either seen, played, or played against some of these Pokemon before. I would like to note that Abilities such as Decidueye-GX’s Feather Arrow do go through Alolan Ninetales’ Luminous Barrier so remember that going forward.

Aurora Beam

This attack may look like a low damage output and while that may be true, you need to factor in that Luminous Barrier can give this Alolan Ninetales a few extra turns in the game. This attack is meant to provide chip damage while your opponent struggles to find a non-EX/GX Pokemon to respond properly.

This card shares the same stats of Alolan Ninetales-GX which is fine because it allows us some versatility. We don’t need to worry too much about Weakness here because of our Pokemon-EX/GX dominated metagame and our Luminous Barrier Ability.

Alolan Vulpix

A shining Beacon of hope!

While there is another Alolan Vulpix, this one is the best one to play based on the meta game right now. Alolan Vulpix shares similar stats to most Basic Pokemon nowadays so there isn’t anything too special HP wise.

Beacon

This is the reason why we play this card, it allows us to expedite our set-up! We can decide to search out Alolan Ninetales-GX or Alolan Ninetales to Evolve into the next turn.  We can even grab a Tapu Lele-GX if we have a “dead” hand!

Icy Snow

This attack is normally quite weak, but we can make use of it versus most Fire-type Pokemon to either provide chip damage or a OHKO with the help of Choice Band and Professor Kukui. While Alolan Vulpix may not be an all-star attacker, Icy Snow is an option so look for opportunities to exploit this attack when possible.

Like Alolan Ninetales GX and Alolan Ninetales, Alolan Vulpix shares the same bottom stats which are acceptable in this current metagame.

All three of these cards are different with a good amount of versatility, but how should I piece them together? Alolan Ninetales is a concept that I had stopped working on since before Shining Legends came out, so I didn’t know exactly where to jump back in with this deck! However, a few weeks ago, my friend Tyler Zikorus from Seattle, WA messaged me about a list that he recently did well with at a League Cup. With the opening of another article slot, a request for an Alolan Ninetales article, and word of Zikorus’ new list, I definitely had everything I needed. Let’s check out Zikorus’ list here:


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