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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 Bisharp
- Steam Siege

Date Reviewed:
Nov. 3, 2016

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 2.25
Expanded: 2.25
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

...okay, not completely different, we're still doing Dual-Types and all that. We're just not addressing one that's part-Grass in some way. 

Bisharp today is a Dark/Metal Dual Type, which is pretty nice since he can take advantage of Dangerous Energy and Shield Energy if he wanted to - take 10 less damage and deal 20 damage back out at any Pokemon-EX! What a nifty little idea! 

Bisharp does have one good advantage in Retaliate. Feels like they've been trying to make that attack relevant again by reprinting it in some form or another. Basically, for 1 Energy, Retaliate does 30 damage plus an extra 60 if a Pokemon was KO'd by an attack in the previous turn. Once again, looking at what Dark and Metal hit, that's a specific set of Water-Types, Fairy-types, and a few select Psychic-types. In other words, he'll be great against Fairies...and nothing else. 

At least Mach Claw isn't affected by Resistance. Too bad it's only 2-for-60. 

And that's Bisharp in a nutshell. Similarly to Galvantula, his attacks are just a big underwhelming, with one such attack having potential but not really having the widespread devastating prowess to make him a necessary choice for most decks. You'd think they were designing them with that in mind when they were making these Dual Types. 

...except for Volcanion-EX, who's apparently just amazing cause of EX-ness. 

Rating 

Standard: 2/5 (the niche usage of Retaliate always has to be accounted for, but aside from that, Bisharp can't do much) 

Expanded: 2/5 (I really do wish there was more they could do) 

Limited: 3.5/5 (at least arenas with lower HP scores will be beneficial for him) 

Arora Notealus: Really though, even if Bisharp or Galvantula or even Volcarona got the EX treatment with their Dual Typing, that might be overdoing it in terms of design and they'd probably end up as mediocre at best anyway. Really not much to go with on that. 

Next Time: DO NOT DESPAIR, FOR THE END IS NIGH...of the week, I mean


Otaku

Today we will look at Bisharp (XY: Steam Siege 64/114).  I prefer going into a lot of detail when I review, to reduce the risk of me missing something, but the short version is that I’m going to have to be a lot more concise this time.  For example, even though every past version of Bisharp is Expanded legal, we won’t be running through them because frankly, the best of them are near misses. 

So today’s Bisharp is a Darkness/Metal Type hybrid, and this is what makes this card.  Why?  Not because of any magical combinations from the Type support; while both Types have some useful Pokémon and Trainer based support (and Shield Energy is nice for Metal Types, at least some of the time), Bisharp isn’t significantly better for it.  Reverse Valley is both Darkness and Metal support, but since it is a two-sided Stadium, you cannot cash in on both effects at the exact same time.  What makes this card is really something totally removed from it - Xerneas (XY: BREAKthrough 107/162) - and possibly its interactions with Weakness and Resistance.  Some Psychic Types are Darkness Weak, and some Water Types are Metal Weak, but the big deal is the Fairy Type.  It is Metal Weak but Darkness Resistant.  Haven’t seen much reason to worry about splashing a Darkness Type into a Metal Type deck, but that might be sufficient reason to work a Metal Type into a Darkness Type deck.  Probably not though as Resistance only soaks 20 damage, so a +20 boost to a Darkness Type or just shifting to an off Type back up attacker deals with the problem. 

The main reason is because Xerneas (XY: BREAKthrough 107/162) and its “Rainbow Force” attack feed off of how many different Pokémon Types you have on your Bench.  Like all cards this week, a Dual Type is good for a +60 bonus instead of the usual +30.  As a Stage 1, Bisharp can squeeze into the deck built around Xerneas (Rainbow Road) with a 1-1 or 2-2 count.  Now that would be true of some of the cards this week which I did not rate so highly.  Why does it matter here?  While there are some Darkness Types and some Metal Types you might consider running instead, the usual suspects don’t provide total overlap: Tuesday’s Volcarona (XY: Steam Siege 15/114) was unfortunate that yesterday’s  Galvantula covered its Grass Type, while Volcanion-EX covered its Fire side, and of course each of those covered an additional Type (Lightning and Water, respectively).  So unless someone runs Zoroark (XY: BREAKthrough 91/162) and Magearna-EX (or the like), Bisharp is still providing that double Type bonus. 

The secondary reason comes in the form of the card’s attacks.  “Retaliate” costs [C] and does 30 damage, plus an extra 60 if your opponent KO’d one of your Pokémon the previous turn via attacking for damage.  When Night March and Vespiquen (XY: Ancient Origins 10/98) were still heavily played, this usually mean you could match them KO for KO; now that Night March is Expanded-only and both it and Vespiquen have to deal with Karen, it is a bit less impressive.  Just a bit, though; it can still finish off or set up the typical Basic Pokémon-EX for a 2HKO.  “Mach Cut” is less impressive, doing 60 for [DC] while ignoring Resistance.  This isn’t bad, it just isn’t particularly good either, seeing as this is a Stage 1 with 100 HP.  Still if you can meet the costs and really need to punish Metal Weakness (say in a Darkness Type deck) then you’ll have an attack without complicated math to do 120 (60 x 2) against Fairy Types.  That actually is the base HP score for the Xerneas mentioned earlier. 

Now the card has some things going against it besides attacks that are situational; like I said Bisharp has 100 HP and is a Stage 1, plus it is Fighting Weak.  Most of the time it isn’t sticking around to attack twice.  Psychic Resistance helps a little (at least while that Type is somewhat popular for attacking), but there is also a Retreat Cost of [CC] which is just high enough to risk getting stuck in non-Energy heavy decks.  Pawniard isn’t helping much either as all versions are Basic Pokémon with 60 HP and no Ability or Ancient Trait.  None speed up Evolving or majorly improve their odds of survival.  Pawniard (XY 81) comes closes because its first attack costs [C] and has you flip a coin to discard an Energy attached to your opponent’s Active, but if you can’t attack (like first turn of the game) or your opponent’s deck isn’t incredibly tight on Energy, that won’t mean much if anything at all.  Pawniard (BW: Noble Victories 75/101) and Pawniard (XY: Steam Siege 63/114) are worth a nod because while they waste time attacking (when they ought to be Evolving), they aren’t completely pathetic about it.  The former has a “flip until tails” attack while the latter has a “does damage based on how many of this Pokémon you have in play” attack, and in both cases the cost is only [C].  Unfortunately the damage per “heads”/per Pawniard is only 10, go with Pawniard (BW: Noble Victories 75/101) in Expanded unless you need it to be a Darkness Type (its Metal) and you have no choice in Standard anyway as only XY: Steam Siege 63/114 is still legal. 

So for Standard play, Bisharp has a place in Rainbow Road decks, at least until something better comes along.  It might have a tiny, tiny niche in Darkness Type decks if the Fairy Type (as a mostly mono-typed deck) becomes huge.  Both of these apply for Standard or Expanded play.  I am scoring Bisharp the same for both formats, but there will be differences in the specifics due to the card pool and metagame; I just think those differences even out enough that the overall value of Bisharp remains the same.  If you aren’t building a deck around a single, big, Basic Pokémon, Bisharp is a must run.  Retaliate is a good attack in Constructed play and a great attack in Limited, and Mach Cut is a lot more useful here as well. 

Ratings 

Standard: 2.5/5 

Expanded: 2.5/5 

Limited: 4/5 

Summary: As Bench-sitter for Rainbow Road decks, Bisharp still does better than any of its previous iterations.  Its Retaliate attack can come in handy, but mostly it is there just so that Xerneas hits harder with its Rainbow Force attack.


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