“Crystal Bae:” Caleb Rice’s Look at Ninetales for Indianapolis

Hey guys! Caleb Rice here with my first article for Cut or Tap!

Before we get underway, I want to take a moment to tell y’all a little about myself. I am a competitive player playing out of Charlotte, NC. I have only been on the scene for a little over a year, starting my career with a Top 16 at South Carolina states last year. I have spent most of this season on the Rayquaza hype train due to its consistency and ease of set up.  After missing Day 2 at multiple Regionals this season, I have retired the legendary dragon in favor of one of my favorite first generation Pokémon: Ninetales!

With the success of Volcanion and Vespiquen at Madison, Alolan Ninetales seems to be in a great spot to see success in this meta. Sure, Metagross GX is around and does hit for weakness, but I don’t believe it is going to be played enough to worry too much about it.  Without any further delay,  I present to you beautiful people my take on Alolan Ninetales:

Pokémon – 16 Trainers – 32 Energy – 12
4 Alolan Vulpix 4 Professor Sycamore 4 Ultra Ball 8 Water
3 Alolan Ninetales GX 3 N 4 VS Seeker 4 Double Colorless
2 Glaceon EX 2 Lysandre 4 Aqua Patch
2 Remoraid BKT 1 Hex Maniac 3 Choice Band
2 Octillery BKT 1 Pokemon Center Lady 2 Float Stone
2 Tapu Lele GX 1 Escape Rope
1 Tapu Koko promo 1 Field Blower
2 Silent Lab

Most every card in this deck is relatively straightforward, but I would like to take a moment to highlight a couple things that I have found quite useful in my testing, and that I think can be very clutch in games.

2 Glaceon EX

With the hype of Vespiquen, Zoroark, and other Stage 1 decks, I think Glaceon is a must in here. Setting up a single Glaceon (which can easily be searched out with Alolan Vulpix) and attacking with Crystal Ray can win you many games very quickly.

1 Escape Rope

In my personal opinion, Escape Rope is one of the most underrated switching cards. I don’t see it played enough, and I think that is a mistake. A late game Rope can turn a possible loss into a win as it can force your opponent to send up a Pokémon that they would rather leave on the bench. It can also be great for when you have the situations where you want to Professor Sycamore or N and Lysandre in the same turn. This card is purely a personal preference and a strong case could be made for something else in its place.

1 Hex Maniac

Hex Maniac is one of the strongest Supporters in the game. The ability to go first and lock up the brakes on your opponent’s first turn with a single Supporter is unparalleled. It can also be useful against decks like Decidueye GX that will use Abilities almost every turn. This is another card that could be swapped for something else, but I feel it is too good to be cut.

1 Pokémon Center Lady

I wish I could elaborate more on this card, but healing damage and removing all special conditions is just obviously great. Not only will it keep your Ninetales around for another turn or two, it also can make math very awkward for your opponent.

2 Silent Lab

Using the same logic as Hex Maniac, having the power to keep your opponent at bay for a turn by simply playing a Stadium card is wonderful. Also Octillery is evolved, so if the Lab sticks, you can still have your draw support.

The 61st  cards

Manaphy EX

The problem with this is that most everything in the deck can either be retreated with only one energy, or is something you would want active. The thought of free retreat at the expense of a 120HP EX Pokémon does not seem like a worthwhile trade to me.


Sudowoodo is a very difficult cut for me. The card can be very annoying for your opponent by limiting their bench space, preventing their set up or hindering their established game plan. I would love to include one in the deck, but I will have to test further to find a home for the little tree.

That about wraps it up for my first entry. I hope you all have enjoyed reading this as much as I have writing it! Thanks for reading, and I’ll catch you all next time!