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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


 #9 - Beartic

- Furious Fists Top 10

Date Reviewed:
Aug. 26, 2014

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 3.50
Expanded: 3.08
Limited: 3.50

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 being the worst. 
3 ... average.  
5 is the highest rating.

Back to the main COTD Page

Baby Mario
2010 UK National

#9 Beartic 

You are never going to see this Beartic in its own deck, but you will almost certainly see it slotted into other, existing decks. Yes, the #9 card on our countdown is a Stage 1 tech card that seems designed specifically to deal with a couple of big threats in the format. How does Beartic do this? Why, with its Igloo Hold attack. For the cost of a Double Colourless Energy, this does 20 plus 20 more damage for each Energy in the Defending Pokémon’s retreat cost. Doesn’t sound so impressive, and against most things it really isn’t, but put Beartic up against the right Pokémon, and it wreaks havoc.

The Pokémon in question are Landorus EX and Pyroar FLF. Against a Landorus, Beartic can score a OHKO with the help of a Muscle Band, while it doesn’t even need the Tool card to take down a Pyroar. Decks that have no real answer to these two threats are going to love Beartic, and the fact that he can deal with both gives him enough coverage to be worthwhile. The 130 HP gives Beartic some decent durability, and the Colourless Energy requirement means he can fit into pretty much any deck. 

Of course the amount of play Beartic gets will be directly related to how often we see the Pokémon that he counters. I think it’s a pretty safe bet that there will be a lot of Landorus EX around: the support it has gained from Furious Fists have made it into a ridiculously good card. Pyroar, I am not so sure about, but if you are playing a deck that struggles against it (Virizion/Genesect or Thundurus EX/Deoxys EX/Kyurem), then a 2-2 line of Beartic can turn a virtual autoloss into something very winnable, and that makes it a tempting inclusion for those decks. 

As I said at the start of this review, Beartic is incapable of functioning as a primary attacker: Igloo Hold is poor against a lot of things and Mountain Drop is overpriced and underpowered. But as a tech, this card can find an extremely useful niche. 


Modified: 3.75 (great against two popular attackers)

Expanded: 3.75 (Landorus will likely be common here)

Limited: 3.5 (good HP and Colourless costs make it a decent option)


Hey guys, welcome to our Top 10 Furious Fists cards! Today's card is a Stage 1 Water smasher that's ready to bring the pain, Beartic! Is his power truly that astonishing? Is he ready to crash some icicles down on the TCG party? Let's find out!
Alright, so Stage 1s are not notorious unless they've got some kind of trick up their sleeve, like Trevenant (XY) or Electrode (PLF), and even they don't get played too often. So what makes Beartic different aside from not having an Ability? Well that would be in his attacks: Igloo Hold and Mountain Drop. Mountain Drop does 80 damage with 4 Energy, and if there's a Stadium floating around, it does an additional 40. Not bad, and there are a number of Stadiums like Virbank City Gym, the new Fighting Stadium, and of course stuff like Mountain Ring hanging around, but I think his best Stadiums are Virbank (to combo off of Hypnotoxic Laser for damage) and the new Training Center (to add an extra 30 HP, bulking him up to be on-par with most Stage 2s).
But surprisingly, Igloo Hold may hold your attention outside of that. At first glance, it's nothing spectacular, a mere 20 damage for 2 with the potential to add 20 for each Energy in the opponent's Pokemon's Retreat Cost. So what, up to 100 if something like Blastoise (PLB) goes active? What are the chances of that? But let's be open-minded: most Pokemon tend to have about 2 Energy in their retreat cost, so Igloo Hold will at least do 60 damage. Then we've gotta consider that there's a whole Type that's just weak to Water, the Fire types. Not to mention there are also a few good Fighting-types in the TCG weak to Water too! So that means that against those kinds of opponents, Igloo Hold can deal 120 damage on average.
And wouldn't you know it, we just got two sets each focusing on these popular types! That means Beartic can beat down on some serious competition, but let's see where that gets us. He can definitely OHKO Pyroar (FLF), getting around the latter's Ability and taking advantage of that retreat cost of 2 and the 110 HP to keep him out. Then there's Landorus-EX (BCR) to worry about, though Beartic can deal 160 damage to him prior to stuff like Muscle Band and Hypnotoxic/Virbank! So these two are easily Beartic's main targets, though he can dish out great damage against stuff like Charizard-EX and Reshiram-EX - stuff to keep in mind.
And speaking of stuff to keep in mind, Igloo Hold costs 2 colorless Energy. That means Beartic doesn't have to appear in just Water decks - he could be teched anywhere that can run a Stage 1 set! Suddenly Pyroar decks can't keep up against the likes of a Big Basic deck with this guy running on the sidelines! Landorus-EX, despite his power boost, will only go so far if Beartic gets out and strengthens himself! Looks like tough competition!
Still, while all this sounds great, Beartic is a Stage 1, and that means you need to run Cubchoo alongside him, so you're making room for 2 in your deck if you want him. He's a great tech, but whether he'll fit as a Pyroar counter is all dependent on the deck. Never mind if he's not niche enough to fit perfectly into every deck.
Standard: 3.5/5 (great Pyroar counter, and probably the only real reason to run him in a deck)
Expanded: 2.5/5 (sure, he's got a few more targets, but I don't think he'll do that greatly here, to be honest; there's more than just Pyroar to worry about here)
Limited: 3/5 (he might come in handy against some of those Seismitoad-EX, what with their 3 Retreat Cost and Item-locking shenanigans; aside from that, Mountain Hold may hold more sway)
Arora Notealus: Kinda want Beartic to have Mold Breaker in the games now. I dunno, maybe cause he's BREAKING THE BARRIER here or something...actually, a Beartic-EX could be pretty cool, now that I think about it...
Next Time: Is it a bird? A plane? No wait, it's-!!


Welcome readers as we move onto another Top 10 list: the Top 10 Promising Picks of XY: Furious Fists!  Of course, that’s just the name I am using; I don’t think we have an “official” one for it.  The reviewers compiled their own separate lists, and Pojo crunched the numbers to determine the site list.  As these cards aren’t technically legal for competitive play under NXD-On Modified (the current Standard Format), I’ll be using this list as the official transition point and scores will be for Standard (BCR-On), Expanded (BW-On) and Limited.

Number nine on our list is a Pokémon whose previous TCG offerings tend to generate some positive buzz, but never pay off as predicted.  Will Beartic (XY: Furious Fists 22/111), in a set built around Fighting-Types, prove to be a cool customer or will fans be left out in the cold again?  Let’s break it down and see. 

There isn’t much support for Water-Types; this set brings the new Aurorus (XY: Furious Fists 26/111) whose Ice Shield Ability allows a Water-Type with a source of [W] Energy attached to soak 20 points of damage from attacks by your opponent’s Pokémon, and based on the wording it should stack.  Other than that, nothing I can think of worth mentioning.  Basic Water Energy has well known support in the form of Blastoise (BW: Boundaries Crossed 31/149; BW: Plasma Storm 137/135; BW: Plasma Blast 16/101), but as we’ve seen that works for far more than Water-Types.  Honestly, I don’t think either of these are especially useful to Beartic; its Type is important though because it allows it to hit almost all Fire-Types and some popular, potent Fighting-Types for double damage.  Just mind the occasional Water Resistance; it is really lame to miss a KO because you forgot to subtract the -20 when planning out your attack. 

Beartic have always been Stage 1 Pokémon in the TCG, but this time it isn’t all bad; yes it takes more space and is slower than a Basic, but thanks to the popularity of Pyroar (XY: Flashfire 20/106) most decks need an out around Intimidating Mane.  Its 130 HP is pretty good for a Stage 1; there are a few still legal Stage 1 Pokémon that top this, but at least it has a decent chance of taking a hit and surviving.  It’s Metal Weakness is relatively “safe” at the moment, but Metal-Types are supposed to get some love in the next set (XY: Phantom Forces).  That isn’t to say we don’t have some great Metal-Type attackers now, it is just between their usual Weakness (Fire) getting pumped up last set and the current set putting the focus on Fighting-Types, most of the other Weaknesses are more problematic. 

Beartic lacks any Resistance; a pure Ice-Type in the video games only has Resistance to other Ice-Types, which in the TCG is mixed with the Water-Type.  Coupled with Resistance being just a tiny bonus right now, having the “worst” Resistance (of “None”) probably wasn’t even worth me writing about.  The four Energy Retreat Cost certainly is worth mentioning; this is bad and can make it easy to strand Beartic up front.  Many decks will have an alternative to manually Retreating at full price just due to the nature of the format (its kind of important), but not every deck has an ample supply or a trick that can be used over and over again.  In Expanded there is a silver lining due to Heavy Ball providing an additional search option. 

eartic has two attacks, and the first one is why we are looking at this card.  For [CC] Igloo Hold does 20 points of damage plus another 20 per [C] in the Defending Pokémon’s Retreat Cost.  This is a tactic that has been tried multiple times and usually fails to impress, let alone prove competitive.  What has changed?  Even though we have Float Stone, Fairy Garden and Darkrai-EX (via its Dark Cloak Ability) to zero out Retreat Costs, plus a decent amount of Pokémon with natural Retreat Costs of zero or one.  This is a great example of how a format can make a card; Landorus-EX has a massive three Energy Retreat Cost, so before any buffing Beartic slams Landorus-EX for 160 points of damage.  Adding in that last 20 isn’t too hard.  Pyroar was mentioned earlier, and its Retreat Cost of two means that Igloo Hold scores an easy OHKO for a Double Colorless Energy.  The second attack, Mountain Drop, is overpriced for the current crop of attackers: [WWCC] for 80 is bad, and if a Stadium is in play it jumps to a decent 120.  There are still enough useful Stadiums that even apart from wanting to use Mountain Drop, between you and your opponent it is likely one will be present.  [WWCC] isn’t easy to power-up in most decks, but for the odd one or two that can, it is still better than nothing. 

To get to Beartic, you’ve got to go through Cubchoo and… they all are identical except for their attacks.  Even in Expanded, which as Cubchoo and Beartic are relatively new means all versions ever printed are legal, this still holds true and none have especially good attacks.  In fact, I can only single out BW: Next Destinies 36/99 is the worst choice and should be avoided.  Take into account what type of Energy you can use to attack as well; all have at least one attack that needs some [W] Energy but as Beartic is being run for an attack that requires just [CC], you might be limited to attacks that can use any Energy for Cubchoo as well.  I wouldn’t bother with any of the other Beartic (be it Standard or Expanded with one possible exception: Beartic (BW: Plasma Storm 41/135) has Stats near identical to today’s card in addition to to attacks, but it is a Team Plasma Pokémon.  With the right Team Plasma support it might be better than today’s card, but outside of that today’s Beartic is the best Beartic. 

For Standard play, Beartic has already shown promise.  It is still early, and it might turn out to be another false start, but right having a Stage one that for a Double Colorless Energy that OHKOs Pyroar and just needs a small boost (Muscle Band, Silver Bangle or Hypnotoxic Laser/Virbank City Gym) to OHKO Landorus-EX.  Chunky Bench-sitter Garbodor (BW: Dragons Exalted 54/124; BW: Plasma Freeze 119/116; BW: Legendary Treasures 68/113) can also be OHKOed with just a Muscle Band or Hypnotoxic Laser/Virbank City Gym combo, provided you can force it up front.  For Expanded Play, I believe it shows similar promise, however it might have to already worry about Metal decks here as some older examples of have all their components here.  For Limited Play, this is pretty much run with the usual exceptions; if you’ve got a good +39 deck built around (say) a killer Pokémon-EX you managed to pull, go with that instead.  Otherwise make room for Beartic, even if you’re only using Igloo Hold. 


Standard: 3.25/5 - This is a general rating; the reason Beartic won’t be everywhere is most decks have something more specific which (in that particular deck) is much more valuable.  When you’ve got a deck that really needs a Stage 1 Water-Type attacker to counter Pyroar and Landorus-EX, this is pretty much perfect. 

Expanded: 3/5 - For now I expect Expanded to behave similar to Standard, if only because players are still new to Expanded and that is perhaps the most logical place to start, give or take a few older or new decks that a player already has the cards for: as such I expect a more distilled version of Standard, which means a somewhat concentrated counter like Beartic is just a bit weaker. 

Limited: 4/5 - Besides pulling a Pokémon-EX strong enough to just build your deck around it, its “must run” status I proclaimed right before the Ratings section is due partially to how much space you have in Limited decks, the need for easy to splash attackers and how Evolutions are often better here just because their HP and damage output exceeds most of the filler in your deck.  It will be great if you can have a Beartic waiting in the wings for something with a big Retreat Cost, but even if Beartic is just used as a meat-shield while swatting at low Retreat Cost Pokémon, that’s still worth having here. 

Summary: Beartic did not impress me when I first saw it; in fact I had written it off as filler.  This was in part because we saw it so early, before Landorus-EX had reestablished itself and was revealed to be surviving rotation.  I still missed its usefulness against Pyroar, of course, but at least for now this is a very useful card because of some key aspects of the metagame it counters, and without placing a lot of extra demands on decks.  At the same time, being a metagame dependent card means that its time being this good maybe fleeting.  For now, though, it is a worthy addition to the card pool.

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