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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Beautifly

- Roaring Skies

Date Reviewed:
June 2, 2015

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 2.00
Expanded: 2.75
Limited: 2.40

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

Back to the main COTD Page

Baby Mario
2010 UK National
Seniors
Champion

Beautifly (Roaring Skies) 

So . . . after yesterday’s breaking news of a worldwide ban for Lysandre’s Trump Card (of which I thoroughly approve), the world of Pokémon is in something of a state of confusion. What decks will still be good? What cards lose their power? What will the meta look like now? With all this plus a rotation around the corner and a new set (Ancient Origins) slowly being revealed, it makes reviewing cards a tougher proposition than it usually is (that’s my excuse anyway). 

Take this Beautifly for instance. Usually, the fact that it is a Stage 2 would automatically mean using the words ‘Seismitoad’ and ‘unplayable’ in the same sentence, but Toad decks have been hit hardest of all by the Trump Card ban (they won’t be disappearing just yet though). Beautifly is also a Grass Pokémon, and that means it is going to get some very substantial support from the next set (which I won’t spoil, just in case). 

Beautifly’s Miraculous Scales Ability means that it doesn’t take any damage from the attacks of Pokémon EX. This isn’t quite as good as the Safeguard Ability we see on Sigilyph LTR and Suicune PLB, as that blocks effects as well, but if those cards rotate in September, Beautifly could be the only game in town. It’s a more than decent Ability to have in any case though. As for the attack? Well, Whirlwind is underwhelming without being completely horrible. 80 for three Energy and an option to force a switch isn’t great, but if Beautifly is taking no damage in return, then you can live with it. 

I can’t think of a reason why you would play Beautifly over the Basic Safeguarders now, and I am sure we are going to have better cards to use in the future too. The only reason I don’t count it out completely is that there could be some mileage in Miraculous Scales at some point, but I wouldn’t be a large sum of money on it (or any money at all really). 

Rating

Modified: 2
Expanded: 1.5
Limited: 2.5


Emma Starr

Ever wish you could have a cool EX-halting card like Siglyph (DE 52) or Suicune (PB 20), but you don’t run Water or Psychics? Well, worry not, because now, Grass decks have their answer too! Is it worth getting excited over? Well, let’s find out!

Off the bat, one can see that it won’t be as easy to get out as Suicune or Siglyph, as it is a Stage 2, so be prepared to do some setting up. At 130 HP, it’s still going to be chump-change for most EXs (and most other attackers, as well), and Fire weakness isn’t very good either. However, the free Retreat Cost is great, especially considering the role Beautifly will most likely be taking – coming in to block and/or attack and switch up the competition. Neither of the other two have this blessing of a detail. Sure there has to be a catch. Well...sort of.

If you examine what her Miraculous Scales ability does, you’ll realize it only stops the damage of Pokémon EX attacks. Not the effects. So, Seismitoad EX can still Item-lock you, Shaymin EX will still go back to the hand, etc. While she gives up the ability to shut those side effects down, she can definitely make up for that downside with her free retreat, and of course, her attack.

Whirlwind, a 3-for-80 attack, might look like another ho-hum attack, but the effect can really cause some mayhem – it’s basically the ability to Lysandre out your opponent’s active, with some decent damage tacked on as well. Not to mention that it doesn’t waste your Supporter for the turn either, obviously. More importantly, you can get that Quaking Punch Seismitoad back into the bench, or switch it with one of your opponent’s benchers such as Garbodor or Absol for an easy setup, especially with Beautifly’s free retreat. So, although it’s a Stage 2, if you can get it going, I am convinced that this can be a very productive, underrated card, like Beedrill (PC 3).

Standard: 3/5 (great tool against many, many threats, but being a Stage 2 can be quite bothersome)

Expanded: 3/5

Limited: 2.3/5 (no Rare Candy sucks, but fortunately, Wally can come to the rescue! Beutifly can shut down EX damage can save you lots of trouble. All you need is some luck and/or some good draw power. (Shaymin EX support comes to mind.))


Otaku

Beautifly (XY: Roaring Skies 5/108) is a Stage 2 Pokémon, which means right now the deck is stacked against it; the format is very speed intensive with players rushing to throw as many resources as they can at each other (though we’ll have to dialed it back at least a little come June 15th when Lysandre’s Trump Card is banned - no more easy mass recycling).  Given what has failed, what has worked and what has only “kind of” worked in the past, I think the answer is fleshing out the oft ignored lower Stages so they too generate some advantage instead of being “dead weight” but I’m not holding my breath that will happen here.  So if I somehow wasn’t clear, yeah being a Stage 2 is (regrettably) a serious hurdle to overcome as it requires more time and space but (usually) the lower Stages won’t contribute enough to offset these additional costs. 

Being a Grass-Type allows Beautifly to potentially exploit some useful Type matching: popular Grass Weak Pokémon include Keldeo-EX, Primal Groudon-EX and of course Seismitoad-EX.  There actually is Grass-Type support, it is just most of the direct support (that absolutely can’t work for non-Grass-Types even with combos) just hasn’t seen much success.  The indirect support includes Virizion-EX though, well known for helping Pokémon with a source of [G] Energy attached avoid Special Conditions via its Ability (Verdant Wind) and accelerating basic Grass Energy from the deck through its attack (Emerald Slash).  There also is no Grass Resistance to worry about unless you’re actually messing around with the Unlimited Format.  We also know that the Grass-Type is going to get both some direct and indirect support in the next TCG expansion, unless for some reason XY: Ancient Origins differs greatly from it’s Japanese counterpart XY7: Bandit Ring. 

Beautifly has 130 HP, which means without some added measure of protection its going to run a high risk of being OHKOed, though overall it is just a little more likely to survive a hit than not: this includes against incomplete set-ups like early game as well as against decks that don’t hit as hard, relying on effects, such as Seismitoad-EX decks, so again don’t let my pronouncement give you a false sense of security.  Fire Weakness is typical of Grass-Types (even those that are video game Bug-Types) and right now, it isn’t too terrible a burden.  It may even one of the less dangerous Weaknesses to have with which to cope since it just doesn’t have that much of a presence right now.  The lack of Resistance is a bit disappointing but also the norm, as most cards lack it so I no sense docking the card for not having what few others have.  Something most cards have that this cards doesn’t is a Retreat Cost… but that’s actually perfect, making this card as easy as possible to get to the Bench!

Beautifly a single Ability and a single attack.  The Ability (Miraculous Scales) blocks damage done to Beautifly by Pokémon-EX.  Unlike Safeguard, the older Ability that protects a Pokémon from the attacks of Pokémon-EX, this won’t block effects of attacks: damage counter placement, Special Conditions, etc. can still get through.  Not sure why the lower investment Basic Pokémon get a better form of protection than the Stage 2 but it is what it is, and Miraculous Scales is something well worth having as even with the gaps in its protection, it will at least blunt the attacks of most Pokémon-EX, completely stopping those that just do damage with no other effect.  Of course as an Ability there are a few effects that can shut it off but the only relevant one is Garbodor (BW: Dragons Exalted 54/124; BW: Plasma Freeze 119/116; BW: Legendary Treasures 68/113) since the others are obscure or defeat the point like Wobbuffet (XY: Phantom Forces 36/119) since it only works while it is Active and thus when your opponent is not attacking you with a Pokémon-EX.  It does bring up the second big concern though… it does nothing to help against all the various non-Pokémon-EX attackers you’ll face. 

The attack (Whirlwind) requires [GCC] and does 80 damage while giving you the option of forcing your opponent to change out his or her Active Pokémon.  You do not choose the new Active, rather your opponent does, so it is handy that it isn’t mandatory.  The damage isn’t so low that the attack is worthless, but it is just a bit shy of being especially valuable.  Against Pokémon-EX, it needs boosting to hit key numbers; 80 damage doesn’t OHKO even the smallest Pokémon-EX and while 160 damage will 2HKO them, by that point you you should be threatening the typical 170 and 180 HP basic Pokémon-EX but you’re also just shy of 2HKOing them (or OHKOing the Grass Weak ones).  At least it does 3HKO anything that isn’t protected even without a boost, with the normal exceptions of Wailord (BW: Dragons Exalted 26/124) and Wailord-EX going down in just two hits due to Weakness.  With boosting you can hit the key numbers but even then you’ve got to be careful or you may whiff on the 2HKO against larger targets like non-Grass Weak Mega Evolutions. 

Beautifly is part of a branching Evolution line which begins with Wurmple.  The only Standard legal option here is set-mate XY: Roaring Skies 3/108 while Expanded offers that as well as BW: Dragons Exalted 6/124.  Both are Basic, Grass-Type Pokémon with 60 HP, Fire Weakness, no Resistance, a Retreat Cost of [C], no Ability and no Ancient Trait.  The older BW: Dragons Exalted 6/124 can use Sleep Poison for [C], which inflicts both Sleep and Poison on the opponent’s Active but only on a successful coin flip: it has no other attack.  XY: Roaring Skies 3/108 can use Flock for [G] to add another Wurmple to your Bench from your deck or use Tackle for [CC]to do 20 damage.  I’d go with the newer as while the Active is no more likely to survive you can Evolve the replacement the next turn, though at least both do seem to realize they are there to get to an Evolution. 

Next up is Silcoon, at least if Beautifly is the goal and we don’t want to rely on just Rare Candy.  Again you have one Expanded only option plus something newer available for both formats: BW: Dragons Exalted 7/124 and XY: Roaring Skies 4/108.  Both are Stage 1 Grass-Types with 80 HP, Fire Weakness, no Resistance, no Ability and no Ancient Trait.  BW: Dragons Exalted 7/124 can use Harden for [C] which can completely block the damage from attacks during your opponent’s next turn so long as the damage is 60 or less but unfortunately anything stronger hits full force while for [GCC] it can use Bug Bite to hit for 40 damage.  XY: Roaring Skies 4/108 only has String Shot for [G] to hit for 10 damage and (on a successful coin flip) inflicts Paralysis on the opponent’s Active.  Again I favor the newer version because while it isn’t much, the Paralysis seems more likely to help Silcoon survive to Evolve into Beautifly. 

So there is one other Beautifly to consider: XY: Dragons Exalted 008/124.  It sports 10 less HP than today’s version as well as a Retreat Cost of [C] (instead of being free).  Not a promising start.  It has two attacks, with no Ancient Trait or Ability.  The first attack (Triple Energy) requires [G] and not only searches your deck for three types of basic Energy but allows you to attach them to your Pokémon as you like.  The second (Drainpour) requires [GCC] to hit for 40 while also healing 40 from each of your Benched Pokémon.  The might look nice, but it mandates different basic Energy cards - if you have less than three different Types then you do as much as you can and accept a majorly diminished return.  You already are investing a Stage 2 line, a [G] Energy and attachment and an attack… plus given the HP on this thing odds are you’re also giving up a Prize.  Widespread healing can be nice, but not nice enough as an attack on something that might be just a hair more likely to survive than be OHKOed: the exact threshold is uncertain - it is an educated guess, not the mathematical mean of attacks.  Maybe if it hit harder but even then, probably not.  This card was actually reviewed when it was relatively new (here) and while technically obsolete, the overall opinion of the card remains accurate.  Oh and if you were wondering why we’ve been doing sort-of-Type-themed-weeks then it is because of another review from around this time: that older Silcoon we discussed was reviewed as well!   I try to avoid this when I make picks, only giving lower Stages their own review when they have something particularly noteworthy about them (I wish that was the norm and not the exception). 

Of course we could Evolve our Wurmple into a Cascoon and then a Dustox but we’ll be looking at those tomorrow.  This time, I’m just going to let you go there for details, but yes the added utility of being able to alternately Evolve into a Dustox adds more potential to using either Beautifly.  I wouldn’t bother with the Cascoon as you should already be running Rare Candy, at least if the focus is on Beautifly.  So why would you do that?  The protective effect is tempting; backed by Virizion-EX and you only have to worry about non-Special Condition attack effects from Pokémon-EX… and attacks from non-Pokémon-EX.  Therein lies the rub - I’m just not sure what else would make a good partner for this card.  There are a few other walls but all are also situational and I’m not sure where the best coverage would come in. 

I suppose Latias-EX and/or Aegislash-EX might do the trick, but the Stage 2 line seems so clunky and you could just turn to a Safeguard Pokémon instead, at least for now.  Even with Evolutions as an option for this hypothetical “variable wall” deck, there is Pyroar (XY: Flashfire 20/106) so that between them all your opponent must attack you with an Evolved non-Pokémon-EX that lacks an Ability and isn’t using Special Energy cards… assuming you can throw the correct blocker up at the correct time and your opponent won’t have the correct counterplay ready (like Lysandre).  Fun pull for Limited though where it shouldn’t be too difficult to work into most decks and it could wreck +39 decks if it gets out in time (as they usually are built around a lone Pokémon-EX). 

Ratings 

Standard: 1.75/5 

Expanded: 1.7/5 

Limited: 4.75/5 

Summary: Beautifly looks like blast for Limited play where even if its Ability isn’t useful, it is still a Stage 2 line you can fairly easily work into most of your decks and if you do run into a Pokémon-EX, it keeps them from dominating like they normally do here.  In Standard and Expanded, though, that Ability isn’t enough to carry it as you opponent’s deck is likely already running the needed workarounds because they also apply to other, more potent protective effects.


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