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Pojo's Pokemon Card of the Day

 

Teddiursa #73

Call of Legends

Date Reviewed: July 22, 2011

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 2.25

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

Baby Mario
2010 UK National
Seniors
Champion

Teddiursa #73/95 (Call of Legends)

Yes, believe it or not Teddiursa does have a playable evolution. Well, it does now anyway. A rogue deck featuring Ursaring Prime (and a ton of other stuff like Vileplume, Yanmega, and Roserade) was played in US Nationals by a father and son. The son won the Junior Division outright, while the father achieved a great top 16 finish in the Masters (obviously he would be in Masters . . . ). Huge props to them for creating a successful deck out of what most people (including me) think of as sub-par cards.

So, which Teddiursa did they use in the deck: the UL one with 60 HP and the attack with recoil damage which triggers Ursaring Prime’s PokeBody? Or today’s card with the reduced 50 HP?

Well, they actually chose today’s card.

But wait . . . doesn’t that contradict everything I have been saying this week about higher HP being crucial? Well, sort of. The reason they ran Teddiursa CL was because of its Fake Tears attack which, if you flip heads, gives you a 30 point damage reduction on your next turn and (more importantly) stops your opponent using Trainers on their next turn.

Since the rotation of Spiritomb AR, Trainer Lock strategies have suffered because there was no way of locking the opponent from turn 1. This problem was compounded by the new Rare Candy rule and the loss of Broken Time-Space, which made Vileplume a lot slower, meaning that even a turn 2 lock was difficult and gave opponents plenty of time to set up with their Trainers. The solution? Teddiursa. Yes, it’s flippy and yes, it is nowhere near as good as Spiritomb, but, as was proved at US Nationals, it can work in the right deck. The one advantage it does have over Tomb is that it can also evolve into a decent (ish) attacker itself.

In a Trainer Locking Vileplume/Ursaring/other stuff deck, this Teddiursa is the only choice. If you wanted to play Ursaring any other way (which I don’t recommend to anyone who doesn’t enjoy getting slaughtered by Donphans), then you would be better off sticking with the HGSS version.

Rating

Modified: 2.25 (who would have thought it? This card is playable!)


Otaku

Well readers, I’ve had a busy, complicated week but I won’t bog you down with the details. I will say that my CotD for today was originally quite huge (as is so common to me) but I realized I basically was reviewing the wrong card: I basically had a review for Ursaring Prime.

So what does this Teddiursa actually bring to the game? It is a Colorless, Basic Pokémon as one would expect; none of the Types (“Colors”) of Pokémon really have true support. Most of what I have seen or can even dig for references Energy Type instead of Pokémon Type, so being Colorless doesn’t matter and being Basic makes it the easiest Pokémon category to search and get into play, plus it requires the least deck space to run. As mentioned in my trip down memory lane, it can Evolve into Ursaring, and we’ll discuss those Evolutions later: for now merely note this fact down as I evaluate the rest of the card: Basics that can Evolve even just once don’t need to be as sturdy or useful as those that do. In fact if their Evolution is good enough, they just need to not be so bad as to render said Evolution unplayable in order for they themselves to see play.

50 HP is a tad low. Right now, the “average” range seems to be 50 HP to 70 HP for “Evolvable” Basic Pokémon. Even some Basic Pokémon that Evolve twice now hit 70 HP, so for a Basic that can only Evolve once to clock in at 50 means something else about this card had better be pretty good. Not only is it low enough for the most aggressive decks to FTKO and possibly donk you, but with the new standards cemented by Black & White and Teddiursa not being especially small in the video games, another 10 points would have been reasonable.

The Fighting Weakness is expected be grateful that Tyrogue (HeartGold/SoulSilver 33/123, Call of Legends 36/95) doesn’t apply Weakness or Resistance to the damage it does. Still take care in case your opponent is running an unusual build as a decent hunk of Fighting-Type Pokémon can do base damage of 20 first turn, meaning some luck and a PlusPower will result in a FTKO. Otherwise most serious attacks can OHKO this little one with or without Weakness, barring other effects.

It’d be nice if some Resistance balanced out this Weakness, but it doesn’t. This is such a common fact it doesn’t ultimately hurt the card’s playability, but it still feels like an overly cautious design at best and lazy at worst. The single Energy Retreat Cost is common on Basic Pokémon of this size, but still quite useful.

So does the card have a great attack to justify its merely “okay” stats? Maybe; Fake Tears is a “tails fails” attack, but it only requires a single Energy card and when it works its fairly potent. If you do get “heads”, your opponent can’t play Trainer cards and Teddiursa gets to deduct 30 points of damage done to it by attacks next turn. Of course, this card was printed when Trainers did not include Supporters or Stadium cards and as such still won’t affect them now, and damage is reduced after Weakness and Resistance. Based on the wording the effect resides upon Teddiursa (which is good) and since you’re blocking non-Supporters/Stadiums your opponent can’t just use a Pokémon Reversal to Bench Teddiursa and end the effect of Fake Tears. All in all this is a great attack even if it isn’t reliable, just because it will make your opponent sweat a little. Unfortunately it is also the only attack on the card, and as such the total package still feels a little weak.

The other Modified Legal Teddiursa (HS: Unleashed 65/95) obviously is also a Basic, Colorless Pokémon. It has the same bottom stats and besides having clearly different artwork, it differentiates itself by possessing 60 HP. It too only has a single attack, and it’s Take Down. It isn’t an especially good Take Down as it does 20 to the Defending Pokémon, 10 to Teddiursa itself, and needs (C) to use. 10 extra HP will often come in handy and you don’t need a successful coin toss to enjoy it. If you open against something protected by Sweet Sleeping Face that made its Sleep Check and woke up, you’re a PlusPower away from scoring a OHKO. Plus that self damage actually combos with Ursaring Prime, so I can really see using either version. If you wanted to do something off the wall (and that I’ve never seen or heard of before) like trying to use Ursaring Prime to give Vileplume (HS: Undaunted 24/90) some muscle then today’s version would be the superior choice. For Unlimited play, I almost like this card since so many decks won’t know what to do if you get “heads”. The problem is that if you don’t get heads for Fake Tears, you probably just gave your opponent the game.

Ratings

Unlimited: 2/5

Modified: 2/5

Limited: 3/5

Summary

Those are general scores: shutting off Trainers and reducing damage is actually quite effective. The problem facing this card is that it has no fall back: if Fake Tears falls, it probably won’t survive to Evolve. With another 10 HP and another decent effect (be it Poké-Body, Poké-Power, or attack) this might have been a good opening Pokémon for many decks with Ursaring Prime functioning as a hyper Expert Belt and Technical Machine all in one.

Of course I am still selling my soon-to-be-former possessions on eBay here. Pojo.com is not responsible for any transactions.

Mad Mattezhion

Teddiursa (Call of Legends)
 
Hey there folks, this is the final card for the 'Call of Legends Alternative Basics' week. It is also the most interesting and probably the most overlooked card for this week, so let's see what's on offer.
 
Teddiursa is a Colourless type evolving Basic with 50 HP, Fighting weakness, a retreat cost of 1 and one attack.
 
Those stats put this evolving Basic at the lower end of the food chain, but the attack does a lot to fix that and the retreat cost is cheap. Don't expect to hang around long without evolving though.
 
The attack is what makes this Teddiursa special. Fake Tears costs a single [c] energy and a coin flip. If you are successful, you reduce incoming damage during your opponent's turn by 30 damage and you also prevent your opponent from playing any Item cards. The damage reduction is great for staying alive and although it can be removed by Poke'mon Catcher (followed by a second Catcher to brin Teddiursa back into the Active slot) the Item lock is a field effect and cannot be removed (which stops your opponent playing Catcher in the first place).
 
This is great for delaying your opponent and setting up for cards like Vileplume UD, Victreebel TM and Mismagius UD. Unfortunately, it all hinges on a coin flip with absolutely no reward for a Tails result. The new Victini (rumored to be in the third B&W installment) could better your odds (depending on how the Ability works) but if you use Teddiursa you are putting a lot of faith in luck.
 
With the loss of Spiritomb PA and friends in the last rotation, Teddiursa CL is the only available Basic that can block your opponent's Item cards.once you are ready to begin your offensive you can drop a DCE and evolve into Ursaring Prime to attack, so Teddiursa has more longevity than most starters (which are all non-evolving Basics).
 
If you like Item denial and are willing to gamble, or if you just can't get enough of Ursaring Prime, you can find a few slots for Teddiursa CL.
 
Modified: 3.75 (the coin flip is a serious flaw as is the low HP, but the attack effects and option to evolve make Teddiursa quite powerful)
 
Limited: 2.5 (there aren't many Item cards to use and the Ursaring card is lousy but it is a Colourless line and absorbing damage is helpful)
 
Combos with: Ursaring Prime, Vileplume UD


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