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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 Fearow #66

- Roaring Skies

Date Reviewed:
July 23, 2015

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 1.63
Expanded: 1.63
Limited: 2.65

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 being horrible.  3 ... average.  5 is awesome.

Back to the main COTD Page


aroramage

I AM VENGEANCE!! I AM THE WINGS!! I, AM, FEAROWWWWWWWWWWWW!! 

...come on, admit it, you were thinking about it. So what if he's not a bat, Fearow's still...well, Fearow! A giant bird with a beak that long? And a wingspan that wide? Leading a team of angry Spearow? Is CRAZY!! 

But let's be honest, we're not here to talk about Fearow being Fearow, we're here to see if his card's any good! And chances are if you've read this far, you've got a pretty good idea that that is not the case. He starts off with a 1-for-30 vanilla Peck, something you'd expect to see on his pre-evo Spearow. Fun fact, it IS on his pre-evo in this set, the Roaring Skies version of Spearow - only that one is a 2-for-30 vanilla Peck! So evolving makes it better!...except it doesn't! 

And then you've got the over-costed and underwhelming Drill Run, which costs 4 Energy to just deal 70 damage and flip a coin over whether or not you'll discard an Energy card from them. That damage could be MUCH higher for that cost - MUCH MUCH HIGHER!! I don't care that he's Colorless and can take any Energy he pleases, Colorless Pokemon can't just be shafted like this all the time!

Just look at M Rayquaza-EX, who can deal that kind of damage with only 3 Energy and 3 Benched Pokemon! Look at Unfezant (80) who can shuffle back all the cards in play! Look at Regigigas from Phantom Forces, who does more damage even at 3 Energy with Daunt AND won't take as much damage on the next turn! There are good Colorless Pokemon, AND I WON'T STAND FOR THE OTHERS GETTING POWERED DOWN BECAUSE THEY AREN'T OF ANY COLOR!! I PLEAD TO YOU PEOPLE, WRITE TO THE POKEMON COMPANY AND TELL THEM TO GIVE COLORLESS POKEMON THE PRAISE AND POWER THEY DESERVE, NOT JUST BECAUSE THEY'RE A POKEMON-EX, BUT BECAUSE THEY'RE A COLORLESS POKEMON!!! 

...sorry, I'm still made about Swellow (81). Oh, and Fearow sucks, don't use him.

Rating 

Standard: 1.5/5 (only gets half a point more cause discarding an Energy is nice)

Expanded: 1.5/5 (still terrible though) 

Limited: 2.5/5 (meh, at least the damage is better in this format, and the Energy discard's useful) 

Arora Notealus: I'm just saying, Fearow's Japanese name is literally Onidrill. Yes, Oni and Drill, as in Demon Drill! Fearow is the Demon Drill! IS THAT NOT CRAZY?! ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?! 

Next Time: And now for your enjoyment...wait, why are you Colorless?!


Otaku

Fearow (XY: Roaring Skies 66/108) is a Colorless-Type Pokémon which comes as no surprise since that is our theme this week.  Nothing is Colorless Weak or Resistant; while the latter is a nice bonus it is a small one, where as exploiting Weakness can be a huge factor in a card’s success (though not required).  This “neutral” positioning is something the Type had when the game began, though until a few years ago it had been abandoned and in fact in the video game there are cards either Resistant or Immune to damage from Normal or Flying-Types (the two that make up the TCG Colorless-Type), plus some Weak to Flying.  So… I guess I am prepared for the current direction to continue or for the designers to once again do a 180.  Getting back to more relevant matters, there is some great support for the Colorless-Type, mostly embodied by Winona and Shaymin-EX (XY: Roaring Skies 77/108, 106/108) and the end result is that this is a good Type to be, though not the best. 

As a Stage 1 Pokémon, Fearow isn’t as easy to play as a Basic but is easier to run than all other Stages.  If you can afford to spare your Supporter for the turn on Wally, then you can even be just as fast into play as a Basic; clearly not as good, but far from unplayable (the Stage; we aren’t even close to done with the review).  100 HP is… iffy.  It is large enough that low damage output decks can or will whiff on the OHKO; the best example being a Seismitoad-EX Item lock deck not running anything beyond Muscle Band, Hypnotoxic Laser and Virbank City Gym to augment the damage from Quaking Punch.  Such a deck probably isn’t focused on damage though; a Night March deck on the other hand will quickly hit the OHKO threshold… especially by attacking with Joltik (XY: Phantom Forces 26/119) for Weakness.  Lightning Type Weakness is not good; as Nationals made clear even to me, the Lightning-Type is out there and doing well.  I wouldn’t call it the worst Weakness but it is something for which you’ll need to plan.  The Fighting Resistance looks useful; Resistance may be the opposite of Weakness but it isn’t its equal as reducing damage by 20 is far less beneficial than doubling damage is detrimental.  The Fighting-Type is reasonably popular and the -20 has some chance of making a difference.  The single Energy Retreat Cost should be easy to pay and to recover from, though it isn’t free and so sometimes it will matter. 

Fearow keeps it simple as it has two attacks and nothing else for its effects.  The first (Peck) is a vanilla 30 for [C].  The second (Drill Run) requires [CCCC] to hit for 70 and discard an Energy from the opponent’s Active, but the discard only happens if you get “heads” on a coin flip.  Peck is adequate but Drill Run is either overpriced or underpowered… but not completely hopeless as with a Muscle Band it would allow you to 2HKO most unevolved Pokémon-EX and almost everything that isn’t a Pokémon-EX at all.  Silver Bangle would allow it to threaten the smallest of Mega Evolutions in a similar manner and with Hypnotoxic Laser and Virbank City Gym added in, there are only a few things safe from a 2HKO.  With the possible Energy discard, there is a slight increase in the chance of making it to another turn but… I just detailed a lot of effort to secure a 2HKO. 

Perhaps Spearow or the other Fearow can help.  There are two Spearow available: XY: Phantom Forces 78/119 and XY: Roaring Skies 65/108.  Both are Colorless-Type Basic Pokémon with 60 HP, Lightning Weakness, Fighting Resistance, Retreat Cost [C], no Abilities, no Ancient Traits and a single attack.  XY: Phantom Forces 78/119 has “Whirlwind” for [C], which does 10 damage and then forces your opponent to change out their Active.  XY: Roaring Skies 65/108 has “Peck” for [CC] and hits for 30.  Whirlwind might help Spearow survive long enough to Evolve or it can move you from the frying pan and into the fire.  For an Evolving Basic, Peck actually does get a little bit better damage for the Energy, but probably not enough to matter.  I’ve had some real bad luck with mandatory switching effects backfiring, but I think I’d still favor XY: Phantom Forces 78/119.  There is only one other Fearow to consider: XY: Phantom Forces 79/119.  It has 10 less HP than today’s version and two different attacks: “Fly” for [CC] to do 40 and protect itself from both the effects and damage done by attacks during your opponent’s next turn and “Drill Peck” for [CCC] to hit for 60.  Again, the smaller attack is adequate but the larger is underwhelming. 

So while the Spearow don’t help Fearow as far as actual cards go they don’t really hurt it either and the other Fearow doesn’t help or hurt.  So why did we look at this card?  Honestly, I might have been thinking of a currently unreleased promo from Japan, Fearow 115/XY-P.  Still only 90 HP but it has the “Δ Evolution” Ancient Trait allowing you to instantly Evolve your Spearow into Fearow and for [C] it can use “Repeating Drill” for five coin flips, each good for 20 damage.  If it survives, you have the option of dropping a Double Colorless Energy to go into Nose Dive for a reliable 80 damage, though there is a coin flip and on “tails” Fearow does 20 damage to itself.  Not brilliant, but kind of flashy and something you could work into quite a few decks thanks to Winona and Shaymin-EX; a nice distraction that if ignored stops being a distraction and potentially steals a Prize.  Which is nice for it but doesn’t do anything for XY: Roaring Skies 66/108. 

So skip it for Standard and Expanded.  In Limited enjoy it; unless you get a +39 worthy Basic to build an entire deck around, Fearow will be a great attacker for your deck, at least if you also got a Spearow and are able to pull off the Evolution. 

Ratings 

Standard: 1.75/5 

Expanded: 1.75/5 

Limited: 3.8/5 

Summary: A nice pull for Limited play if you also get a Spearow to go with it, but that is the only place to enjoy this Fearow.  It isn’t totally without merit but what it does, it doesn’t do anywhere near well enough to compete.


Emma Starr

            Just when you were thinking that every Colorless in this set had something either surprisingly good, or at least pretty cool going for them, we get none other than Fearow to prove otherwise.  Having 100 HP is actually pretty low for a Stage 1, considering all of the Basics we’ve seen even just in this set that have had more than that. We also have the typical Electric Weakness and Fighting Resistance that a lot of other Colorless Pokémon from this set have shared, along with a disappointing Retreat Cost of one.

            Peck does 30 for one Colorless. Well, if you could only get one energy onto Fearow, you’re in luck…I guess...Drill Run does 70 damage for four (really?) Colorless energy. In addition, you get a free effect of a downgraded version of Crushing Hammer (In the actual card, you can choose any of your opponent’s Pokémon to discard the energy from. With Fearow, you can only choose the active Pokémon). Amazing? No. Should you play it ever? Not really, unless the Aurora Blast theme deck in a Theme Deck Tournament in the PTCGO. If there’s anything good I can say about it, at least it’s not a Rare Card in this set, unlike Swellow (ROS 72).

            Well, this review has been rather short, so I guess I may as well tell you about my personal experience with Fearow in the past. Back when I was little and played Blue version for the first time, I ran into a Fearow, and it was being a very annoying pest to catch (even today it’s trolled me in some of the newer games as well). Back then, I didn’t understand exactly what Legendary Pokémon were, and why they were a big deal, and I definitely never thought of saving in front of them. I remember I caught a Zapdos, but that was just luck, I guess. But anyway, on my way to the Pokémon League, I used my Master Ball on that Fearow, and I was pretty happy I would never have to try to catch it again. I ended up deciding that I was happy just having most of the Pokémon as ‘Seen’ in my Pokedex anyway, once I battled, and gave up on catching Mewtwo. I also could never find Moltres in Victory Road, either. In fact, when I played Yellow not too long ago, I still couldn’t find Moltres. Now I feel like going on Youtube to find out where it actually is…

            Standard: 1/5 (So many better cards out there, it’s not even funny.)

            Expanded: 1/5

            Limited: 1.5/5 (well, Colorless do get a lot of support this set, so MAYBE if you get enough Spearow and Fearow…you could possibly consider using it, I guess. The fact that it’s Colorless is probably the best reason to use it though. And there are many, many better Colorless Pokémon in this set.)


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