We begin this week looking at
Beartic (31/98), the other
Beartic in BW: Emerging Powers.
Like its set-mate,
Beartic is a Stage 1 Water-Type
This format is great for Stage 1
Pokémon, though it is easy to think that
with the big basic Pokémon we keep
seeing that it wouldn’t be: fortunately
the best require enough of a set-up that
Stage 1 Pokémon are still quite strong,
while running a Stage 2 is finally back
to being the burden it was meant to be
(and some would argue
too challenging this format).
Being a Water-Type Pokémon does
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.
In the video games, it is a pure
Given that polar bears (the
probable inspiration for
Beartic) are pretty handy in and
around Water, the fact that it wasn’t an
Ice/Water hybrid surprised me.
Beartic also has 130 HP, which seems
to be pretty good for a Stage 1 Pokémon
Good but not great – something
known for having a large HP score like
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 (as demonstrated by all English
Functionally an uninjured
Beartic should survive all but the
biggest, most destructive attacks unless
an effect is boosting damage (which
would include Weakness)
Yet again this
Beartic is like its counterpart,
possessing 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.
Given its video game type, it
might have gotten stuck with Fire or
Fighting (to represent video game
and Rock) Weakness instead!
The lack of Resistance is
disappointing and could have made the
card pretty interesting: Ice-Types are
only Resistant to Water attacks, so we
could have had a Water Resistant
Water-Type for the TCG.
The Retreat Cost clocks in at
two; that’s fairly typical of a Stage 1
Pokémon, especially a larger one.
Functionally it’s about average:
you definitely won’t want to pay it, but
if you have to you usually can;
Double Colorless Energy would even
let you do it for a single Energy,
though that usually is a waste. With
Pokémon Catcher (BW: Emerging
Powers 95/98) becoming a staple as
soon as it is legal, expect the Retreat
Cost to matter a bit more than it
has two attacks, just like its sibling
we reviewed last week.
This version has Icy Wind and
Icy Wind requires just (W) to use
and hits for 30 points of damage and
Honestly, this is a decent
It won’t lead to a OHKO unless
you hit Weakness, play a damage boosting
card, etc. but it’s a solid hit for the
Energy and while you can’t count on
Sleep sticking around, it can be
annoying if you’re lucky and your
Superpower is a bit of a
It requires (WWC) and all it does
is 60 points of damage.
For the “big” attack on a Stage 1
that can’t Evolve anymore, that’s weak.
It does have an additional
effect: you can choose to do 20 points
of damage to
Beartic in order to do another 20
points of damage with Superpower, for 80
points before other effects.
80 points of damage is enough to
matter most of the time, but quite
frankly that’s what I’d expect just for
the Energy alone.
This is the “big” attack, the
attack that really needs to carry the
card, and I don’t think it does.
Together you get a solid but
unspectacular combo since (before other
card effects or plays) you’d have
roughly a 50% chance of your opponent’s
Pokémon Sleeping through its attack,
which means you’re “damage ahead” and so
the kickback of Superpower isn’t so bad.
Still for a two turn average,
even with the boost you’re only hitting
for 110, which doesn’t cut it right now.
Double Colorless Energy compliance
also hurts, even if you open with
Cubchoo and attach an Energy to it,
second turn you need outside help to use
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
Since its job is too Evolve and
it’s only attacking first turn or in a
worst case scenario, the latter seems
So is there a good Modified use for this
Water has been struggling lately
to find really strong attackers, but
most Water decks I can think of are
going to just run the other
It might have a larger Retreat
Cost and need more Energy to attack, but
it is a great example of getting what
you paid for: better damage for both
attacks and they come with beneficial
In Energy acceleration decks its
no contest: the extra Energy required
will often be negligible and the times
when it isn’t won’t outweigh the times
when it is.
Beartic also makes solid use of
Double Colorless Energy so even if
you wanted to run a Water deck without
the usual suspects or add Water to a
non-Water deck, again the other
Beartic will outperform this one.
The only thing this version has
going for it is if it has to, it can
attack by meeting a single (W) Energy
I’ll still toss out a basic combo
in case you really like this card:
Defender will allow you to use
Superpower without a drawback and on a
130 HP Stage 1, the normal benefits
Defender are magnified.
In Unlimited the good news is it can
hypothetically OHKO traditional Baby
Pokémon, and using the effect of
Superpower would even allow you to OHKO
several popular Basic attackers or Stage
Still even ignoring the currently
vicious donk and first turn control
decks, you’re just better off with
In Limited play, this
Beartic is almost as good as the
Regular readers (or players in
Limited events) know the drill: since
you’re building decks with the cards
provided, a lot of Pokémon just aren’t
worth using, either because they need a
serious amount of support or simply
because you don’t have access to the
entire Evolutionary line.
This results in lower average HP
and attack damage scores.
Superpower has a better chance of
taking out Defending Pokémon without
resorting to the self-damage clause.
130 HP is both unusual to see and
likely to last even longer.
Special Conditions are harder to
shake and thus more effective.
This set has some good Metal-Type
Pokémon for Limited play so you’ll
actually need to pay more attention to
the Weakness than in Constructed
Have two possible
Cubchoo also helps both for adding
more variety to your deck and just
making it easier to get a good line to
If you can afford to make at
least 40% of your Energy
Water Energy (and you’re running
about 20 Energy cards) then this is
You have to have at least some
Water Energy to run it but
especially if you want to just rely on
the first attack you could get by with
Water Energy cards.
1/5 – Outclassed by so much, including
2.25/5 - Outclassed by the other
Beartic amongst a few other cards,
but technically solid.
3.5/5 – If you’re running Water and you
have the line, you should probably be
Beartic joins the pile of “other”
cards that are easily outdone by their
It isn’t a hopeless card but even
together the attacks are too weak to
make it worth the effort of running.