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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 M Beedrill-EX
- XY158 Promo

Date Reviewed:
Sep. 30, 2016

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 2
Expanded: 1.88
Limited: Promo

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

Back to the main COTD Page


aroramage

Well, I'll admit, M Beedrill-EX looks pretty cool......welp, time to address the Donphan in the room. 

M Beedrill-EX has only one attack, Hazard Stinger. At the cost of 2 Energy, it deals a...measly 40 damage, but then has a BUNCH of other effects. First, it discards all the Energy attached to M Beedrill-EX. Then it Paralyzes AND Poisons the opposing Pokemon, and between turns, 4 damage counters get placed instead of 1 for the Poison. So...wow. 

Alright, so positives of M Beedrill-EX include that it's a Grass Evolution, so it can take advantage of Forest of Giant Plants, and before you ask with that concerned look on your face, you do get a Spirit Link with this guy in the Premium Collection. The attack is cheap, and if your opponent doesn't do much about Hazard Stinger's Statuses, they can easily take 120 damage instead of just 80 (40 for the initial attack and 40 from the advanced Poison). 

The main problem I see is that, last I checked, there wasn't a quick way for Grass Pokemon to get Energy back. So it would take at least 2 turns for M Beedrill-EX to get his Energy back up to speed in order to deal 40 more damage with Hazard Stinger...which is okay, except by that point your opponent WILL attack you on their turn out of Paralysis, if they don't aim to Switch things around on you. 

M Beedrill-EX may see some play though, since Hazard Stinger's a surprisingly potent effect despite its low damage output. Dunno if it'll be competitive or not, but it could see a dangerous amount of play in Expanded, given the presence of Virbank City Gym... 

Rating 

Standard: 2/5 (low damage but a powerful effect, though discarding all the Energy may be a lot) 

Expanded: 2.5/5 (but with something like Virbank City Gym, that could be extremely dangerous) 

Limited: N/A (AND IT'S STILL A PROMOOOOOOOOOOO) 

Arora Notealus: Aggressive bees are no fun. 

Weekend Thought: What did you think of this week's cards? Is there potentially a future for some of them? Or are they doomed to be binder fodder? Will you be going out of your way to grab a few of them? Looking forward to the Beedrills not out yet? Or are you thinking of waiting till Evolutions comes out to push out even bigger plays?


Zach Carmichael

Happy Friday, everyone! Today we’re looking at a card that is a follow-up from yesterday’s Card of the Day, and that is going to be M Beedrill-EX. It’s nice to see these Pokémon from generation one making their way into the spotlight, and even better that the ones with Mega Evolutions are getting proper Spirit Link cards (poor M Diancie-EX). But how does M Beedrill-EX fare in the current metagame? While I think it will make for an interesting addition in Standard, generally speaking I don’t believe the card will see too much play given the popularity of Fire-types and the constant amount of Energy acceleration needed. 

Being a Grass-type, M Beedrill-EX can certainly take advantage of Forest of Giant Plants, a Stadium card that lets you evolve your Grass-type Pokémon as soon as you play them. That means that with or without the Beedrill Spirit Link, you can still manage to get the Mega out on your first turn, though your turn will end if you opt not to attach the Tool. A lot of Grass-type Pokémon have benefited vastly from this Stadium card, including Vespiquen and Yanmega BREAK – the ability to set up your Evolutions so early in the game is crucial in a format dominated by big Basics. We’ve already reviewed the regular Beedrill-EX, so be sure to check out yesterday’s post you want to read about it. But today I’d like to focus on the Mega.  

Its attack, Hazard Stinger, does 40 damage and also paralyzes and poisons your opponent’s Active Pokémon, adding 4 damage counters between turns instead of the usual 1 for Poison. However, the drawback is that you have to discard all Energy attached to M Beedrill-EX. In some ways this seems like a more efficient M Venusaur-EX from the XY base set, but given that this Pokémon is getting a reprint and Spirit Link in Evolutions, it makes me wonder how viable M Beedrill-EX will even be. As much as I like the effect of the attack, it’s really just lacking in damage output and the fact that you have discard your Energy. I suppose you can refuel it with Mega Turbo, but when I hear Poison and Paralysis, it reminds me of the old “Deck and Cover” Accelgor deck that relied on Trevenant XY’s “Forest’s Curse” Ability to Item lock your opponent – in other words, I immediately think M Beedrill-EX would be paired with Vileplume.  

But I think this route is a lost cause because of the Energy discard. Mega Turbo is an Item, so you won’t be able to play it while Vileplume Item locks both you and your opponent. AZ has rotated, so you can’t scoop Vileplume up just to play Items and then put it back down again. While the attack could possibly throw your opponent off guard if they don’t have a way to switch out, a single copy of Olympia shuts the entire strategy off by not just switching their Pokémon out, but also healing damage off in the process; Pokémon Center Lady does this as well. Finally, let’s not forget one of the new kings in Standard is Volcanion-EX. Players are starting to learn that the deck is extremely good due to its powerful damage output and favorable Prize advantage with the non-EX Volcanion. M Beedrill-EX is weak to Fire, so a single attack would take it out, forcing you to try setting up another one (which probably isn’t going to happen).  

In Expanded, the biggest partner this card gets, in my opinion, is AZ. As mentioned, the synergy with Vileplume is quite obvious, but Item locking yourself is terrible. AZ gets around this by letting you scoop up Vileplume at the cost of your Supporter for turn, giving you access to all the Item cards in your hand, like Mega Turbo, Ultra Ball, etc. It’s a great way to use and replenish resources if you are looking for those one or two particular cards to maintain your position in the game. However, in Expanded perhaps the biggest threat for the card is Virizion-EX, whose “Verdant Wind” Ability prevents and removes Status Conditions from any Pokémon that has a Grass Energy attached to it. Any deck that plays Rainbow or Prism Energy can take advantage of this, too, and many of these decks already play a single copy of Virizion-EX just because it prevents the effects of Hypnotoxic Laser. Lastly, a popular card in “Water Toolbox” decks in Expanded is Aurorus-EX, whose “Frozen Charm” Ability prevents and removes Paralysis from Pokémon with Water Energy attached to it. Basically a Water-type version of Virizion-EX, it gives Water Pokémon an out to M Beedrill-EX, and with Rough Seas the damage from Hazard Stinger is quickly healed off. 

Ratings 

Standard: 2/5
Expanded:
1.5/5
Limited:
N/A 

Summary: Let me conclude by saying this: I want M Beedrill-EX to work. I really do. But it just has too many drawbacks: the constant discarding of Energy is a huge drawback; Fire-type Pokémon are popular in both Standard and Expanded; Mega Evolutions require a degree of setup compared to other attackers; and the attack is circumvented by cards like Pokémon Center Lady and Olympia. I love that Grass-types are finally getting the recognition they deserve – mostly due to Forest of Giant Plants – but I think M Venusaur-EX will be a much better option looking ahead because it deals more damage while not having to discard Energy in the process. 


Otaku

Time to wrap up this week with M Beedrill-EX (XY: Black Star Promos XY158).  If you did not read yesterday’s CotD, you might want to go do that since its Beedrill-EX and (unsurprisingly) is much in common between the two.  Both are Pokémon-EX and always stress this because 

·         Clearly it affects how we should judge everything else about the card

·         I still run into people who think that all Pokémon-EX are broken 

Of course, those are mostly frustrated new or returning players (especially on the PTCGO).  Pokémon-EX get better stats and effects than the equivalent “regular” Pokémon, except the only thing guaranteed from a design template is that they will be either a Basic Pokémon or Mega Evolution, will give up an extra Prize when KO’d, will have to deal with anti-Pokémon-EX effects already available in the existing card pool, and are excluded from certain beneficial effects also already in the card pool.  I do not think any Pokémon-EX has failed to get at least a modest HP boost, but we’ve seen many with mediocre attacks and/or Abilities.  M Beedrill-EX does enjoy being a Mega Evolution as opposed to a Stage 2 (or whatever hypothetical, alternate mechanic might have been used for Mega Evolutions). 

Mega Evolutions feel a bit like the halfway point between Stage 1 and Stage 2; if you don’t have the correct Spirit Link card then it’s like a Stage 1 than ends your turn when it Evolves (which is why so few that predate Spirit Link cards enjoyed any competitive success), but that still beats being a Stage 2 that cannot Evolve unless you’ve got Rare Candy or had the correct Stage 1 in play the turn before.  Mega Evolutions also have their own support and counters to worry about.  For example Mega Turbo can provide some basic Energy card acceleration from the discard pile, while Giratina-EX (XY: Ancient Origins 57/98, 93/98) is impressive even before we consider its Ability prevents all effects of attacks including damage done to itself by the attacks of your opponent’s Mega Evolutions.  So being a Mega Evolution isn’t bad, but it definitely isn’t all good, either. 

M Beedrill-EX is a Grass Type and it doesn’t get much from that.  I didn’t dwell on it too much yesterday but in the video games Beedrill are Bug/Poison Types, which means for the TCG they could be presented as either Grass Types or Psychic Types… or if we had been lucky a Grass/Poison Dual Type.  The big trick for Grass Types is Forest of Giant Plants, but it only cares about the Type of the Pokémon you Evolve from, not what you Evolve into, so a Grass Type Beedrill-EX is all we needed.  The Grass Type hits a sizable portion of the Water Type and a smaller but still significant chunk of the Fighting Type for double damage, but I am uncertain as to how relevant that is to the current metagame.  I’m running into few Fighting Type decks in general and some Water, so it’s not going to waste but I see a lot of Psychic Weakness floating around thanks to M Mewtwo-EX (XY: BREAKthrough 64/162, 160/162) decks being heavily favored right now, in Standard at least striking Psychic Weakness is better.  In Expanded you still have Seismitoad-EX, so perhaps it is better to be a Grass Type there.  As a reminder, the current metagame is up in the air for both formats right now, so I’ve got even less to offer you than normal; sorry folks!  As for the rest of being a Grass Type, it means no Resistance to worry about, some solid options for less direct forms of support (but nothing major), and some counters but nothing major (except perhaps Parallel City). 

M Beedrill-EX has 200 HP; pretty low for a Mega Evolution.  Not the lowest - that is 190 HP found on M Diancie-EX - but close.  This is low enough to feel it, but still high enough to be in that “hard to OHKO” range, but only just.  Fire Weakness is pretty dangerous right now, as Volcanion/Volcanion-EX decks are popular and potent.  Seems like as soon as I prepared myself for the duo to cool down they heat back up again; the dangers of a small sampling size dear readers.  That and a format that is even more janken than normal; either your deck has a really good, really bad, or fairly even match up at this time.  No Resistance is typical, so we’ll cover the Retreat Cost, which is a perfect: you don’t have to discard any Energy to retreat M Beedrill-EX, so unless a particular combo calls for abundant switching effects, you’ll just need a few to help deal with Special Conditions and the like.  Mega Evolutions only have one attack, plus sometimes an Ancient Trait, but that mechanic seems to have been abandoned.  M Beedrill-EX knows “Hazard Stinger”, which costs [GC] and requires you discard all Energy attached to itself in order to use.  The payoff is 40 damage (meh), guaranteed Paralysis (great), and Poison that places four damage counters between turns instead of one (good).  The multi-counter Poison is not the important part of the attack, save for keeping it from being painfully weak.  Most decks have ways to deal with Special Conditions, but those ways are usually finite.  It will require a lot of work because M Beedrill-EX is discarding its Energy each time, but this could create soft lock. 

Beedrill-EX was reviewed yesterday, but you know how I hate deviated from my outline too much.  So it is a Basic Grass Type Pokémon with 160 HP, Fire Weakness, no Resistance, Retreat Cost [C], no Ability but two attacks: “Double Scrapper” for [C] (discards two Pokémon Tools from your opponent’s side of the field) and “Pin Missile” for [GC] (flip four coins, does 40 damage per “heads”).  That first attack is where most of the card’s hype comes from, as it looks like Beedrill-EX is the best Tool discarding option in Standard right now.  It is also a decent foundation for a Mega Evolution; a bit small and flippy, but at least there are enough flips with each being worth enough damage that the average amount is solid (and if you needed it for Double Scrapper, even better).  Beedrill Spirit Link is a thing, and it’s simple but important like all Spirit Link cards, as it will save you ending your turn from Mega Evolving.  Thanks to Beedrill-EX being a Grass Type, Beedrill Spirit Link, and Forest of Giant Plants, you can attempt to get M Beedrill-EX into play right away, which ties into how one might use this card.  With Max Elixir (for use on Beedrill-EX before Evolving) and/or Mega Turbo, it may be possible to spam not only M Beedrill-EX but its Hazard Stinger.  The damage output won’t be amazing, but if your opponent is Paralyzed and cannot attack back, it should be sufficient.  In fact the real issue is how you’ll want some way of better manipulating the damage; ideally you want your opponent’s Active to be KO’d right before your next turn begins, so you can Paralyze the next Active and maintain a lock. 

This means a few options for supporting M Beedrill-EX.  The KISS principle (Keep It Super Simple) means we just focus on streaming M Beedrill-EX, maybe include some other disruption in Trainer form if there is room.  Let the numbers fall where they may (give or take a Lysandre to force a particular target Active) and when your opponent has a Switch or the like handy to break the lock, you just roll with it.  Vileplume (XY: Ancient Origins 3/98) would mean you’d have to shoot for an almost perfect set up that rips through most of your deck, or else alternate attackers because you won’t be able to Mega Turbo onto M Beedrill-EX to keep it attacking turn after turn.  The payoff is not only the general problems caused by your opponent also not having Items, but denying them most of the convenient ways of dealing with Special Conditions: no Switch, no Escape Rope, no Float Stone for a Benched Zoroark (XY: BREAKthrough 91/162).  In the case of the latter, Double Scrapper can handle any Tools that get through before Vileplume hits the field.  The third option is to instead deny your opponent Abilities with Garbodor (XY: BREAKthrough 57/122).  In Expanded, we gain yet another option; a Benched Dusknoir (BW: Boundaries Crossed 63/149; BW: Plasma Blast 104/101) allows you to move around the damage counters on your opponent’s side of the field.  This allows you to KO other targets while keeping a victim locked in the Active position. 

So which of these should you use?  Try all of them, but don’t expect fantastic returns.  Each option I presented has its own pros and cons.  In Expanded all options are weaker because the larger card pool has other cards capable of pulling off a similar trick, plus more counters to said trick.  For Limited Play… this isn’t an option.  If it and a Beedrill-EX were released in a regular expansion, so that they were legal for Limited Format events, then it would mostly be on the Beedrill-EX to justify running them; Limited means your opponents will have fewer methods of dealing with the Special Conditions from Hazard Stinger, but at the same time you will have fewer methods of dealing with the attack’s discard cost. 

Ratings 

Standard: 2/5 

Expanded: 1.5/5 

Limited: N/A 

Summary: M Beedrill-EX can speed into play but after that… then what?  It has some tricks that can help it attack at least a few times in a row (despite the discard cost) but the best I can come up with is Item based and a little picky.  This is a problem because a natural partner would otherwise be the Item locking Vileplume.  Then again, we might want to shut down Abilities with Garbodor instead.  Maybe it is just best to focus on M Beedrill-EX alone and just keep sending them up.  Should they survive a hit, the upside of having to discard all your Energy is now Max Potion has no drawback.  There is potential here, but it seems doubtful it will ever be realized.


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