In certain other TCGs, a card like
Acro Bike would become an immediate staple.
Essentially, it replaces itself with a choice of one of
the top two cards of your deck, allowing you to dig a
little for what you need and run the deck ‘thinner’ than
would otherwise be the case. In games where particular
combinations of cards can yield an instant win, this is
But this is the Pokémon TCG, and in Pokémon we already
have tons of draw and search cards, thank you very much.
Neither does our TCG use elaborate one-turn win combos (KOing
a lone starter isn’t really the same thing). Running
thin is not always possible or even desirable in this
game either. The 60 card limit makes it hard enough to
include everything you need in the first place: rarely
will you find space for a card like
We have seen an almost identical card in the TCG before,
and Diamond and Pearl era players will doubtless be
reminded of the very precisely-named
Pokedex Handy910is. That was
likely a slightly better card than
Acro Bike as it allowed you to put the card you
didn’t choose at the bottom of the deck, rather than
discarding it. It didn’t see much play back then, except
in a few speed-focused things like
(probably not very quick at all by today’s standards)
and some builds of Sabledonk.
If Acro Bike is going to
find a place in the format, then it will likely be
performing a similar role in a similarly fast deck:
something that doesn’t mind burning resources to get set
up for big hits from the first attacking turn onwards,
and which runs very light on Pokémon.
For the majority of decks, though, more Supporters, or
even the regular Bicycle, are going to be played in
preference to Acro Bike.
Modified: 3 (adds speed, but most decks will find they
get along better using other sources of draw)
Expanded: 3 (ummm . . . I
could see some Turbo Dark decks liking it)
Limited: 5 (run it. No question)
Our #8 slot goes to Acro Bike, a
rare example of Item-based draw. We've seen cards before
that draw cards without being Supporters - more recently
cards like Fiery Torch (FLF), Roller Skates (XY) and
Bicycle (PLS) - and now we get to add this card to the
list! So what makes Acro Bike special?
First off, Acro Bike grabs you two
cards!...that...doesn't sound that useful, actually.
With Fiery Torch, you grab two, but you have to discard
a Fire Energy to use it, but with Bicycle you can draw
up to four cards! And if we include Supporters, well we
already know Sycaper tops the list by netting seven
cards at the cost of the rest of your hand. So two's not
really impressive, and on top of that you only keep one
card and send the other to the discard pile, so why
Remember Battle Compressor? The
card that could send 3 cards to the discard pile?
Remember how useful that was? Well Acro Bike just does
something similar but also nets you a card! So you draw
2 cards, put the one you want in your hand, and send the
other to the discard for later. This could be a
Supporter to use with VS Seeker, a Pokemon to retrieve
with Archie/Maxie from yesterday, and even if it's not
something useful, you're still thinning two cards out of
Acro Bike's big weakness right now
is being an Item, making it vulnerable to the lock
provided by Seismitoad-EX, but any deck that can make it
work - and I wouldn't be surprised if you see a couple
if Garbotoad - will be happy to have a merciful savior
in the form of this trick bike!
Standard: 3.5/5 (it nets you a
card, sends a card to the discard, and is pretty
useful...well, the Item quality being the surprising
Expanded: 3.5/5 (more draw power to
Limited: 4.5/5 (the deck-thinning
aspect is its primary usage here, and while it loses a
bunch of combos, it also doesn't have to face Seismitoad-EX!)
Arora Notealus: Between the Mach
Bike and the Acro Bike, I always did like Acro. Sure,
you could go fast on the Mach Bike, but you could do
wheelies and bunny-hop around town with the Acro Bike!
Apparently you can combine the two in the new one...
Next Time: MEKAGOJIRA!!!...okay,
not really, but would you be surprised?
Welcome to our Top 10 list for XY: Primal Clash!
I’m not sure how to specifically describe this Top 10
list; as usual cards can’t be a reprint but other than
reviewer has a lot of leeway over what criteria to
consider. A popular, powerful card worth running in
every deck should be the pinnacle of picks… but
thankfully few cards like that are released and thus it
becomes our job to weigh the different aspects of the
card, even though it is often like comparing apples to
oranges. I took into account how strong a card was in
general, how strong it was in a particular deck (or
decks) and how popular I expected it to be regardless.
That last bit is important because sometimes a card
sees disproportionate play relative to how “good” it
actually is simply because its easier to obtain than
better cards (re: the budget deck) or because people
don’t care how good it is, they just love that Pokémon
and insist on running it. Then I ran out of time so I
kind of had to eyeball things, so unsurprisingly my
picks didn’t match-up very well to those of my fellow
(XY: Primal Clash 122/160) is an Item card that
lets you take a look at the top two cards of your deck
and then add one to your hand while discarding the
other. This means its easy to play and give you a shot
at a better card. It also means you might be able to
discard a useless card. Unfortunately therein lies the
rub; some decks have amazing combos with respect to the
discard, but how often will they work out with a mere
two card “range”? How many cards that you want to
discard will most decks run? Even in something like
Night March, you’ve only got 12 Pokémon with Night March
and only four of those are “absolutely discard” cards.
Decks that attach Energy from the discard usually about
8-12 Energy: even if its all of a sort that is safe to
discard, at most we are talking 20% of your deck. I
don’t know the exact odds, but it the denser your deck
is with good cards (which is usually the hallmark of
skilled deck design) the more likely you’ll get to add a
great card to your hand but be forced to toss something
nearly as good… and that begs the question of what you
might have run instead of Acro Bike.
When I first saw Bicycle, I was so worried it
would wreck the game. By the time we reviewed it (click
if you want to give it a read) I had calmed down and I
think I actually gave it a fairly accurate review.
There were a few decks where it was amazing and if
space permitted it was nice to have as a Skyla
target (with Skyla being a more or less general
deck choice herself). That… actually isn’t too far from
today. Most decks its nice but space requirements and
the need to get your hand down in cards make it just as
likely to be run as left out. In those decks that are
good at playing out their hand, like Night March, it can
be scary watching them pull off multiple Bicycle
in a single turn, when one good (3-4 cards drawn) usage
is significant enough on top of another Supporter being
used that turn. So what is the relevance of Acro
Bike? Risk versus reward and likely combos, I
is a little underwhelming for general deck building in
Pokémon; you’re probably better off using a slot for
something with a useful effect than for a card that only
might draw/discard what you want to draw/discard that
turn. On the bright side it isn’t going to be
dead-in-hand like whatever else you might have been
planning to run; its a small victory but a victory
nonetheless. Deck thinning is a useful skill but the
mechanic isn’t as important in Pokémon as in other
games, between crazy draw and (once again) crazy card
recycling hijinks. When you get those incredibly
aggressive decks, especially ones that are running a
decent chunk of cards you’ll want to discard (and a lot
of cards can become “dead” in the deck at a certain
point in the game). It might work better with specific
combos, such as Swampert (XY: Primal Clash
36/160), which we looked at Monday; a Diving Search
before use turns Acro Bike into something of a
discount Computer Search. Item lock is also an
issue; all Items are affected, but an Item with the
simple purpose of getting another card seems a bit…
superfluous when you need to keep your Item count from
getting too big. For a smaller scale version of that
trick, consider Lunatone (BW: Plasma Storm
73/135); you’ll only get a peek at the top two cards of
your deck, but that lets you know exactly what choice
Acro Bike will force you to make if you play it.
3.10/5 - Not bad but not overly good and so a bit of a
surprise that it made the Top 10. This is a composite
score; honestly I find it a little underwhelming but
functional in most decks, but it really shines in a few
extremely aggressive ones.
3.15/5 - On one hand, there are a few additional combo
options here; a Pokédex could potentially give
you two “perfect” Acro Bikes and an Ether.
Then again you’ll have more competition for deck space
and we already had a few Pokémon like Swampert
that didn’t require as precise of timing to pull off a
similar trick, just spread out over a few turns.
5/5 - It is draw, you run it.
Summary:Acro Bike is better than the previous two review
subjects, but not by much, and this is mostly because I
favor cards with a good, general application while the
last two candidates were at least somewhat deck
specific. Trading a card from hand for a fresh draw
isn’t worthless, but it isn’t much in a format where
that same slot could go to (another?) Hypnotoxic
Laser, Muscle Band, VS Seeker, etc.
The discard might be capitalized in a few decks but
unless you’ve got something to reveal the next two cards
of your deck it can be quite the gamble.
did not make my Top 10 (or Top 15); once again I’m a
little concerned by that but only a little.