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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Beartic #30

Emerging Powers

Date Reviewed: August 18, 2011

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 4.25
Limited: 4.10

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 being the worst. 
3 ... average.  
5 is the highest rating.

Back to the main COTD Page


Otaku

It’s time to look at Beartic (30/98), or rather one of the two versions of the card currently available.

Stats

Beartic is a Stage 1 Water-Type Pokémon. Ignoring all the Big Basic Pokémon we seem to be getting these last two sets, this format is great for Stage 1 Pokémon. Stage 2 Pokémon still are important to many decks, and even are usually the focus of their respective deck, however they either are too important or slow to be a deck’s main attacker. Being a Water-Type Pokémon does allow Beartic to tap a few cards of Water-Type support, which is actually good considering this format has few cards that support the Pokémon-Type (as opposed to Energy-Type). Perhaps more important is the low occurrence of Water Resistance (with even few of those Pokémon seeing play) and the very high usage of Water Weak Fire- and Fighting-Type Pokémon.

Beartic has 130 HP, which seems to be extremely good for a Stage 1 Pokémon now. Good but not great – something known for having a large HP score like Blissey or Wailord still clocks in another 20 or 30 points higher, but at 130 HP Beartic already has more HP than the smaller Stage 2 Pokémon, and actually ties what appears to be the new “low-average” of the Black & White era. Functionally he’ll survive all but the biggest, most destructive attacks unless they tag his Weakness, and he might even survive two hits before going down even without support.

Beartic has the somewhat rare Metal-Type Weakness, which is probably the second or third best Weakness to have: none would obviously be the best and both Grass- and Metal-Type Pokémon seem to be struggling to field a tournament winning deck in this format. The lack of Resistance is disappointing (but not crippling) however the massive three Energy Retreat Cost is a major concern and could be an even bigger problem now that players can reliably mess with your field via Pokémon Catcher (BW: Emerging Powers 95/98).

Effects

Beartic has two attacks: Sheer Cold and Icicle Crash. Sheer Cold requires (WCC) to use, and thanks to being Double Colorless Energy compliant it is a reasonably fast attack to use. You’ll hit for 50 points of damage, which isn’t that great for a fully Evolved Stage 2 paying out three Energy, but the attack has the added effect of simply preventing your opponent from attacking during their next turn. This puts your opponent in a bind: not attack is quite, quite bad and will quickly result in you pulling ahead in Prizes, so the only real option is to burn resources by forcing a change in Active Pokémon. On its own this isn’t a brilliant attack, but it shows promise.

Icicle Crash on the other hand feels a little overpriced, as it does just 80 points of damage for (WWCC). The good news is that it too is still Double Colorless Energy compliant and it also has an additional effect of ignoring Resistance. Water Resistance isn’t really all that common, so while it is a nice bonus to have it will seldom matter without a major shake-up in the metagame or actual format.

Usage

As of now (or rather BW: Emerging Powers becoming tournament legal) there are two options for Cubchoo to run (28/98 and 29/98). Both are 70 HP Basic Water Pokémon with Metal Weakness, no Resistance, and chunky (for Basic Pokémon) two Energy Retreat Costs. 29/98 can do 30 for (WW) and that is not especially helpful; I recommend 28/98 because for (W) it can do 10 and potentially put the Defending Pokémon to Sleep or for (CC) it can put itself to Sleep and heal up to 60 points of damage. Since its job is too Evolve and it’s only attacking first turn or in a worst case scenario, the latter seems better.

First I will point out it might have not be bad for general usage. Simply back it up with a few Pokémon your opponent doesn’t want to force Active and also to spam your opponent with Crush Hammer (BW: Emerging Powers 92/98) and Lost Remover (Call of Legends 80/95) while making sure you’re hammering on the biggest threat (thanks to Pokémon Catcher). It helps that half the major Energy acceleration Pokémon are Water Weak. Ideally (and perhaps unrealistically) you’ll be able to prevent anything from being powered up to where it can hit hard, and hitting Beartic will require using Pokémon Catcher twice, Switch twice, etc. If they use a single Pokémon Catcher, they get to hit something like Zekrom (Black & White 47/114, 114/114) which you’ll conveniently drop a Double Colorless Energy (or second Energy if you can spare one ahead of time) and shift gears to abusing Outrage. Yet again your opponent must push for OHKOs. It should be noted that as Sheer Cold seems to be the more valuable attack, you really only need to provide a single (W) Energy to use this card. Rainbow Energy could allow a 1-1 or 2-2 line to function in a ZPS deck, allowing the Pachirisu (Call of Legends 18/95) and Shaymin (HS: Unleashed 8/95) combo to power it up in one go. In fact, even Emboar or Typhlosion could in theory work this in for mirror matches.

I’ve heard of two established decks really waiting for Beartic. Perhaps most obvious is using this card as a new Rain Dance partner for Feraligatr (HeartGold/SoulSilver 108/123, HGSS Promo HGSS07) “Prime”. This is probably due to both Beartic and Cubchoo having good HP scores the speed Rain Dance gives Beartic. With this HP score and Max Potion (BW: Emerging Powers 94/98) your opponent has to score a OHKO… which will be made even more challenging with Sheer Cold. Normally I’d say go more aggressive and just use Icicle Crash, since your opponent could change out their Pokémon, but with the need to take down Beartic in one shot, forcing your opponent to spread out their own Energy attachments should be more effective. Even if your opponent does manage to constantly cycle out their Pokémon and take down Beartic, if they haven’t gotten rid of the damage now Feraligatr Prime itself is all but guaranteed to OHKO (technically the last half a two-hit KO) the survivors.

The second strategy I’ve heard suggested for Beartic is to pair it with Vileplume (HS: Undaunted 24/90), possibly further backed by Serperior (Black & White 6/114). With just Vileplume you will force your opponent to constantly Retreat out of the effects of Sheer Cold or have their Active sit until KOed. Without Switch or Pokémon Catcher most decks should find this challenging to overcome. Serperior further extends the HP of Beartic and helps against decks that can more readily manually retreat.

I would be remiss not to mention the cards I think could give Beartic problems. Yanmega (HS: Triumphant 98/102) Prime just needs to keep hand sizes in synch for free attacks and its free Retreat will make switching to a second copy a breeze. Zoroark (Black & White 71/114) is a problem because a mirror match was already dicey given the large Retreat Cost on Beartic: if Beartic gets hit by Sheer Cold it will be expensive to get rid of the effect, and that means if you don’t use any additional protection Zoroark will easily Sheer Cold into Icicle Crash for a KO you see coming but can’t stop.

The card is not up to snuff for Unlimited use. Obviously it doesn’t win first turn so it isn’t going to compete with the most broken strategies available, but even dialing things back a bit and intentionally ignoring that, Baby Pokémon really ruin Sheer Cold, as do the handful of useful, free Retreat Basic Pokémon that would either already be in some decks or would quickly be remembered by longtime players and added back in.

In Limited play, this things quite the beast to deal with. Its stats just manage to become that much better, though one should note there are three separate Metal lines in this deck: a Basic, a Stage 2, and a Stage 1 that has two different versions of itself and its Basic. That Weakness should actually come into play. Still the difficulty of pulling a workable line makes the HP scores and damage outputs just that much better, and the difficulty of shaking the effect of Sheer Cold (even if this set does contain Pokémon Catcher) will make it hard not to take at least one Prize before Beartic goes down. On top of all that this card’s low requirements for actual Water Energy make it easy to splash into multi-color decks.

Ratings

Unlimited: 1.5/5

Modified: 3.85/5

Limited: 4.5/5

Summary

Beartic might at least come close to some of the hype, because breaking it down it is a well designed card whose only real failing in the current metagame is that it can’t deliver big hits except against the abundant Fire Weakness we now see.

Mad Mattezhion

Beartic 30/98 (Emerging Powers)
 
Hiya all, here is one of the majorly hyped cards from Emerging Powers. The Pojo Team presents: the Common Cold!
 
Actually, it's Beartic but I couldn't resist the obvious pun. I promise never to make a joke that lame again now that I have it out of my system. Really, I mean it this time!
 
Okay, enough messing around. This version of Beartic (there are 2) is a Water type Stage 1 that has 130 HP, Metal weakness, a retreat cost of 3 and two attacks.
 
Actually, after going back over the leaked images I realised that both Beartic cards have exactly the same stats so I can skip this bit in my next review. Score one for the lazy people!
 
The main reason this card was hyped was because of the massive 130 HP combined with the Metal weakness, resulting in a Stage 1 beast which might finally earn Rain Dance decks some respect. So far, the power of Zekrom (as either a main attacker or convenient wall) has kept all Rain Dance decks (whether they use Armourott, Lanturn Prime, Blastoise UL or even Wailord UD) from making any headway but Beartic can take a hit and return fire.
 
Maybe Rain Dance variants will finally live up to their original promise? First it was lack of a good attack partner, than it was brutal Lightning types, next will probably be a card that blocks energy acceleration! Oh well, I still love the old 'Gatr and so should evryone else.
 
Now we come to the attacks and learn the other reason for the hype. Sheer cold is one of my favourite moves in both the video game and the card game. At [w][c][c] for 50 damage, the cost is high but fair, especially as we have both Feraligatr Prime and DCE in the format to speed things up. Of course, if Sheer Cold was just vanilla damage it would be terrible so the effect has to make up for it. Like all previous printed versions of Sheer Cold, you flip a coin and if Heads, the Defending Poke'mon can't attack during the next turn which is great if it works but is somewhat unreliable. Still, it's a very decent first attack, leading into a second attack that hits a lot harder.
 
Now we get to Icicle Crash, which costs [w][w][c][c] and deals 80 damage while ignoring Resistance. Since every Grass Poke'mon now has Water resistance as standard issue, the effect is useful but the damage seems a little low (even with DCE reducing the cost). Seeing as how most other main attackers will outclass you by 20-60 damage per turn I can't see what all the fuss is about. Sure, Beartic can survive against Zekrom and Reshiram but when you hit like a butterfly wrapped in cotton wool it won't matter very much. Even with the ability to prevent some attacks you aren't going to last long...
 
Wait a second!
 
*rereads card frantically*
 
Where is the coin flip? SHEER COLD HAS NO COIN FLIP AND IS GUARANTEED TO WORK! This means that Beartic just became the new Krookodile with more damage and a stronger effect, as well as better support in the form of Feraligatr Prime and Mantine HGSS. Not only that, but between Sheer Cold and Icicle Crash you can deal 130 damage, which coincidentally takes out all of the current Legendaries (including the very important Dragon Twins) as well as Donphan Prime, Yanmega Prime, Cinccino BW, Kingdra Prime and other Beartic. Also, it is only a Pluspower away from destroying important targets like Magnezone Prime, Feraligatr Prime and Rayquaza/Deoxys Legend as well as hitting weakness on FanBoar, BlitzBoar and Typhlosion Prime. I think Beartic BW can be crowned the new King of the 2HKO!
 
You can use this god-like power to stall against heavy targets, or if you are lucky enough to start with a [w] energy and a DCE you can prevent your opponent's starter from attacking to stop them even being able to set up. Also, with the release of Poke'mon Catcher you can now choose which target you want to lock down, rather than watching your opponent put up a sacrifice only to promote their attacker during the next turn and whack your Beartic into oblivion.
 
Sadly, Sheer cold is not unbeatable. The effect can be removed using either Switch, Super Scoop Up or by  evolving, but none of those approaches are easy for your opponent to pull off. If the opponent switches out then they still have to retreat the other Poke'mon they promoted (or play a second Switch card) which will be a serious hit to their available resources. Ditto if they use Super Scoop Up, but you also have to consider that the card is flippy and even if it works you will have to play your evolutions and energy over again before coming back to attack. Evolving is a lot easier, but if Beartic is up against an evolving Basic or Stage 1 then the player will probably use Icicle Crash instead to take a KO.
 
If you need to defeat a player using Beartic then I suggest you have plenty of Switch and Junk Arm to remove the effect, or failing that to sacrifice the Poke'mon that is being locked and replace it with a fresh attacker when the sacrifice gets Knocked Out. Or you could mark all Cubchoo as priority targets to stop Beartic getting into play in the first place (Poke'mon Catcher works both ways!).
 
A final word of warning: beware of rogue players who tech this card into an off-type deck. You only need 2-4 [w] energy (or some Rainbow Energy) and  several DCE in your deck to get the full advantage from the attacks so players who are willing to sacrifice some consistency for more options may find that Beartic is rewarding, especially against the much-feared Donphan and Dragon Twins.
 
With the collapse of all of the old support engines after the last rotation, rogue decks have been popping up like daisies (take a look at Volbeat/Illumise TM, Four Corners, Typhlosion/Ursaring/Vilplume and Weavile/Houndoom/Slowking decks to understand what I mean). The change in the available search and draw power has been massive so more cards are able to compete than ever before. Kudos to the Poke'mon design team for making this game so much better!
 
One last thing: am I the only one who thinks that Beartic looks like the world's most evil triangle? Someone get Pyhtagoras here on the double!
 
Okay, I lied about not making any more terrible puns. What did you expect?
 
Modified: 4.75 (the damage output is lower than almost any other attacker so you won't get constant KOs but the stats are brilliant for a Stage 1 and the lock from Sheer Cold is just that good. If you are willing to make do with 2HKOs then Beartic will serve you extremely well)
 
Limited: 4 (since you don't need many [w] energy it is pretty easy to splash it in and Sheer Cold is freaking awesome, but be prepared for your opponent to hide their best Poke'mon on the bench behind a sacrificial Legendary card (which are almost all 3HKOs for Sheer Cold)
 
Combos with: Vileplume UD and other cards that stop your opponent recovering from Sheer Cold.

virusyosh

Hello once again, Pojo readers! Today we are reviewing one of the most hyped cards from Emerging Powers, and this one is expected to make a huge splash in Modified, at least at first. Today's Card of the Day is Beartic (#30) from Emerging Powers.

Beartic is a Stage 1 Water Pokemon. Water Pokemon aren't so common right now in Modified, with the exception of Manaphy UL as a dedicated starter and the appearance of Kingdra Prime in many sniping contexts. However, with this card's release, Beartic is expected to see some play in a few variations, such as pairing it with Vileplume UD or Feraligatr Prime. 130 HP is amazing for a Stage 1, allowing Beartic to survive a few hits (if it does get hit, that is). Metal Weakness is great, because there are no commonly played Metal-types today, although with this card and all of its hype, Scizor Prime may see an increase in play as a counter. Beartic also has no Resistance, not wholly unexpected, and a rather hefty Retreat Cost of 3. If you must pay the Retreat Cost, try to use Switch or Super Scoop Up.

Beartic has two attacks: the incredibly hyped Sheer Cold, and Icicle Crash. Sheer Cold is Beartic's supposed meal ticket in Modified, dealing a rather unimpressive 50 damage for a Water Energy and two Colorless. However, the secondary effect is what is important: The Defending Pokemon can't attack next turn! This wrecks many powerful but slow (high Retreat Cost) decks, such as many common Stage 2 variants right now, and can also make any Pokemon with a somewhat high Retreat Cost have problems. The idea of the Beartic Lock is to keep spamming Sheer Cold (after possibly using Pokemon Catcher on a bench sitter) and keep them Active, preventing them from attacking, thus stranding them in the Active slot until they are KOed or retreat/use Switch. One possible partner for Beartic is Vileplume, to prevent your opponent from using Switch or Super Scoop Up in order to get their Active out. Feraligatr Prime is also a common pairing, because Rain Dance allows you to power up Sheer Cold quickly, allowing you to begin the lock as soon as possible. (then again, Double Colorless Energy is good for this as well).

Icicle Crash, Beartic's second attack, deals a decent 80 damage for two Water and two Colorless, and has the secondary effect of not being affected by Resistance. This is useful for getting damage in against things like Serperior that are Water Resistant, as well as finishing off your opponent after a Sheer Cold. It is a little expensive for the cost, but given that Beartic will often be used in a lock-type deck, chances are you should be able to get the required cost onto Beartic.

Modified: 4/5 Beartic has the potential to be a format-defining card, given its Sheer Cold attack, huge HP, uncommon Weakness, and good synergy with other cards in the format. However, I do have a few reservations about it. Beartic's attacks are kind of expensive, and if you can't power it up quickly, it won't be able to do a whole lot in a fast format. Additionally, there are many commonly played cards with free Retreat (Yanmega!) that don't care about the Sheer Cold restriction and will just go to beat up Beartic anyway. Therefore, it's a matter of who puts pressure on first, and with Beartic commonly being paired with two slower Stage 2 Pokemon, Beartic may end up losing to faster, more offensive decks. That being said, if you can set it up quickly, Beartic will truly be a force to be reckoned with in Modified, and can truly shine against decks with Yanmega, and even those that do if you set up quickly enough.

Limited: 4/5 Beartic is still very useful in Limited, although its attacks are bit expensive. 130 HP on a Stage 1 is amazing, as is the ability to prevent your opponent from attacking. Additionally, Icicle Crash deals amazing consistent damage, and this makes Beartic worth running, even if Water isn't your main type. I'm not giving it a perfect score because the attacks are expensive and can be kind of hard to power up in Limited, but if you manage to draft a few Cubchoos and a Beartic, it's great here, too.

Combos With: Vileplume UD, Feraligatr Prime


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