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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 Beedrill

- Primal Clash

Date Reviewed:
Mar. 2, 2015

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 1.75
Expanded: 1.75
Limited: 3.75

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

Back to the main COTD Page


aroramage

Welcome back to another Primal Clash week! This week, it's all Grass-types, so let's see what kind of shenanigans we can get up to with these guys! Today's card is Beedrill, who can KO Pokemon instantly. 

...wait, WHAT?! 

Yeah, clearly Twineedle's flippy strike for 50 per heads isn't the highlight of this card. No, the real appeal is the dangerous Allergic Shock attack! It's really simple: it "tags" the Defending Pokemon until the end of your next turn, and if you inflict any amount of damage on it - any small amount - by an attack, it gets KO'd. No questions asked, no save throws, nothing - Beedrill's marked it to get KO'd right away, and it's going to get KO'd right away! 

At least in theory. I don't know of too many Grass-types that deal spread damage onto the Bench - I imagine that if the opponent really needs that Pokemon, they'll switch it out and avoid the risk of it taking any damage in the Active slot - but if you've got something like, say, Primal Kyogre-EX or Groudon-EX (DEX), among other notable cards like Kyurem (LTR), then nowhere is safe for your opponent's Pokemon!...unless they've got Mr. Mime, but otherwise NOWHERE TO HIDE!! 

I imagine there will be some decks that work to experiment with Beedrill's Allergic Shock to sneak in KOs - and that free retreat will probably help if he survives the following turn! Probably his biggest drawback is his being a Stage 2, which as we know well enough by now leads to a bigger need for resources to run him. A fun casual deck to be sure, but nothing I'd expect tournament players to be running. 

But hey, you never know, that's why the term "dark horse" is a thing. 

Rating 

Standard: 2/5 (a chancy strike that could lead to crazy KOs) 

Expanded: 2/5 (about the same here) 

Limited: 3.5/5 (he'll probably survive, and the chances of you flipping both tails is 25%, so you've got a decent chance of hitting and KOing even monstrosities with 39+EX decks) 

Arora Notealus: What, no Beedrill-EX to go to M Beedrill-EX? I'd love to see this kind of attack on an EX!...then again, they can already mercilessly destroy us as it is, they don't really need an aid to it. Still, maybe some sort of hive-mind thing like what Vespiquen and Combee have had in the past but with Beedrills would work. I mean, the Weedle can add more Weedles onto the Bench! 

Next Time: Deep in the jungle, the great lizard swings through the treetops, a stick hanging from his mouth...


Otaku

Welcome to another Week of Card of the Days here on Pojo.com.  This week we have a simple theme: Grass Week of XY: Primal Clash.  There are 19 different Grass-Type Pokémon in this set, and we are trying to separate the wheat from the chaff: every card this week was selected because it looked like it had potential, or was at least “interesting”.  Of course if this week ends up being lame, its on me because I was allowed to select the cards.  In general, Grass-Types have a growing level of direct and indirect support that has some great entries (like Virizion-EX) but that so far have resulted in only one strong Grass-Type deck: VirGen (Virizion-EX plus Genesect-EX).  Grass-Weakness has returned to prominence thanks to Seismitoad-EX, and XY: Primal Clash has added some more enticing targets (some Fighting-Types, some Water-Types). 

First up is Beedrill (XY: Primal Clash 3/160); as a Stage 2 it is going to have a hard time actually getting into play; Weedle has to survive long enough to either Evolve directly into Beedrill via Rare Candy or Evolve first into Kakuna and have that survive long enough to finally Evolve into Beedrill.  Further making things difficult is that aforementioned Seismitoad-EX; with its Quaking Punch providing easy Item denial, not only are you at risk for being unable to play Rare Candy the entire match but Evolutions (as they require more cards to begin with) are more dependent upon draw and search which are usually at least in part supplied by Items in most decks.  120 HP is enough to sometimes take a hit, sometimes not; this tends to make it pretty good for cards that are less resource intense (like Basics) but wanting for something like a Stage 2 (if the Evolving Basic and Stage 1 form would contribute more, this distinction would be lessened, perhaps eliminated).  Beedrill is Fire Weak; its HP is high enough that this will sometimes matter, either saving the Fire-Type attacker an optional discard or allowing a secondary attacker to score the KO instead of the (more expensive) primary attack.  The lack of Resistance is the worst there is, but is also the norm so its more a missed opportunity than anything else.  The lack of a Retreat Cost is the best there is, but while it is not the norm most decks will still require a secondary means of getting out of the Active slot due to things like attack effects that need to be ditched; coupled with the HP and this lessens the value of the Retreat Cost. 

Beedrill has two attacks; the first is Allergic Shock and Twin Needle.  The first requires just [G] and does no damage; instead it places an effect upon the Defending Pokémon which causes them to be KOed if they take damage from an attack during your next turn.  This is an interesting attack; if your opponent can’t shake the effect, it sets up for a 2HKO by any attack that does even 10 points of damage.  As an effect upon the Defending Pokémon, the good news is that it doesn’t matter what your opponent does to Beedrill during his or her turn; the effect will remain.  The bad news is that if they can Bench, bounce,Devolve, Evolve or return their Pokémon to the deck, the effect is gone.  Plus if you whiff and don’t score even 10 points of damage against your target the next turn, the effect expires.  Twin Needle requires [GG] and gives you two coin flips good for 50 points of damage (each) against the opponent’s Active Pokémon.  This means a mean, median and mode damage of 50, occurring as half of the possible results.  One in four possible results is the maximum damage of 100; the final result (also one-in-four) is the minimum of doing no damage at all.  Ignoring the rest of the card, this is still a mediocre attack at best for the investment; for two [CC] attacks tend to hit for a reliable 30 with a decent chance (be it from a flip or not-too-difficult condition to meet) 60.  For two specific Energy requirements (more difficult to provide than [CC]) like the attack cost of [GG] more is expected and usually required to perform well.  Now consider the rest of the card; a Stage 2 that is likely going to be lucky to qualify as a “glass cannon”, which has an attack that places a condition on the Defending Pokémon to score an auto-KO but only if it takes damage the next turn. 

It is hard to tell whether they didn’t really think the card through, or if the designers just grossly overestimated what this card could do.  This is a format where 2HKOs are pretty common and the exceptions (at least for now) aren’t that numerous.  Even thinking ahead (both to hypothetical new cards and eventual rotations), it would require some serious changes to the metagame that just aren’t happening unless I suppose we eventually go to XY: Plasma Clash-On for Standard and this is the strongest set until that time: no cards following in the footsteps of Mewtwo-EX and Yveltal-EX or even most of the competitive card pool as just about everything worth playing is good at scoring 2HKOs.  If this had received the Ω Barrage Ancient Trait and been worded so that Allergy Shock kicked in right away, then I could have seen it working.  If Allergy Shock was an Ability, even a “coming into play” or other heavily restricted one, I again could have seen this becoming a serious deck (but even then, unlikely to be the top deck).  Still, Allergy Shock seemed more interesting than what the other Grass-Types that didn’t make it into this week offered. 

For the sake of completeness, I’ll go over its Evolution options without feigning that they will make a difference.  For Weedle, there is BW: Plasma Freeze 1/116, XY: Kalos Starter Set 1/39, McDonald’s 2014 Collection 1/12, XY 3/146 and XY: Primal Clash 1/160 with the middle two being alternate art versions of each other, leaving us three actual options.  All are Basic Grass-Type Pokémon with Fire Weakness, no Resistance, a Retreat Cost of [C], no Abilities, no Ancient Traits and just one attack.  XY: Kalos Starter Set 1/39 (again, same as McDonald’s 2014 Collection 1/12) has 40 HP but for [G] it can hit for 10 with a coin flip for Paralysis, potentially buying you time to Evolve.  For the same price, BW: Plasma Freeze 1/116 just does three flips for 10 damage each while XY 3/146 does 10 (+20 if the Defending Pokémon is a Grass-Type) while XY: Primal Clash 1/160 lets you search your deck for another Weedle and Benches it… and all three of these versions have 50 HP.  For Kakuna it is a little simpler: just BW: Plasma Freeze 2/116, XY 4/146 and XY: Primal Clash 2/160, all Stage 1 Grass-Type Pokémon with Fire Weakness, no Resistance, no Abilities, no Ancient Traits and just one attack that costs [G] to use.  BW: Plasma Freeze 2/116 has 80 HP, a Retreat Cost of [CC] and its attack gives you a coin flip to prevent all effects of attacks (including damage!) done to itself until the end of your opponent’s turn.  XY 4/146 has just 70 HP but still a Retreat Cost of [CC], with its attack blocking damage done by the opponent’s attack but only if it does 60 or less damage - it doesn’t say, but I am assuming after factoring in Weakness and Resistance.  XY: Primal Clash 2/160 has 80 HP with a Retreat Cost of [CCC] and just hits for 20 damage.  Normally I would say use XY: Primal Clash 1/160 and BW: Plasma Freeze 2/116 for your best survivability potential, but you may have to go with XY 3 and XY: Primal Clash 2/160 so that if you have to, they can attack to trigger Allergic Shock. 

One of the reasons I don’t recommend this Beedrill is the other Beedrill options: BW: Plasma Freeze 2/116 and XY 4/146 have the same Typing, Stage, HP, Weakness, lack of Resistance, lack of Abilities and lack of Ancient Traits as XY: Primal Clash 2/160.  BW: Plasma Freeze 2/116 also has the same perfect free Retreat Cost; its first attack requires [G] and does 20 damage, but if there are no damage counters already present on Beedrill then it hits for 40 more points of damage while also Confusing and Poisoning the opponent’s Active Pokémon.  It also can do 60 for [CCC] (no additional effects) but that’s mostly a fall back move; the first attack never got it serious play, but does already for a “fun” deck (the kind that can sometimes take down a “real” deck).  XY 4/146 has a Retreat Cost of [C] and its attacks have the same [G] and [GG] attack costs (respectively) as today’s version, but they work a bit better; the first does 20 damage and inflicts Poison while the third provides three coin flips good for 40 damage per “heads” and if all three coins are “heads” then the attack prevents all effects of attacks (including damage - again!).  While not revolutionary, these attacks are more reliable in the damage they do inflict and the periodic nigh-invulnerability almost tempts you into running this version.  In the end, none are overly good but today’s seems to be the least among them. 

Ratings 

Standard: 1.5/5 

Expanded: 1.5/5 

Limited: 4/5 

Summary: Beedrill isn’t good, but at least it was somewhat interesting.  It might be the weakest of the Grass-Types we look at this week, but hopefully it was better than the ones we’ll have to skip.  Mess with it for fun, but even then be prepared with official rulings for how the attack works. 


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