– Celestial Storm
August 4, 2020
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Acro Bike (XY – Primal Clash 122/160; SM – Celestial Storm 123/168, 123a/168, 178/168) is a Trainer-Item that lets you look at the top two cards of your deck, add one to your hand, then discard the other. Way back in 2015, it was our pick for the 8th-best card of XY – Primal Clash. I thought it was good but not great, wondering why if it should have made the countdown… and then we got some fantastic decks that hit hard, hit fast, needed certain cards in the discard pile, and also needed to snag hard-to-search stuff like Double Colorless Energy. Acro Bike became a major force… which helped it take 10th-place in our countdown of the top 10 cards of SM – Celestial Storm. So, how has it performed?
About the same as before. Acro Bike is functional in any deck but the risk of the two cards both being really good or really bad is still there. You also face the usual dilemma created with draw and search effects; as useful as they are, there’s a point where you’re better off running another copy of the kind of card you’d want to dig out of your deck through Acro Bike’s effect, instead of Acro Bike itself. Then there are decks that just suit Acro Bike very well. It can be as simple as a deck where most (if not all) cards are useful but they’re also not vital. Cards that can manipulate the top card of your deck are also handy: see Margcaro (SM – Celestial Storm 24/168) or Oranguru (Sword & Shield 148/202).
There’s also recycling effects. If you’re already running something like Oranguru (SM – Ultra Prism 114/156), which can recycle any important cards you’re forced to toss prematurely (save Prism Stars), it mitigates a lot of the risk. So Acro Bike has made a place for itself certain competitive decks in Standard… but it does not make those decks, it just enhances them. That isn’t a bad thing, but that is part of why Acro Bike isn’t higher on the list. Similarly, we’ve seen how the metagame can shift and something like Acro Bike fades view as the top decks suddenly don’t have room for it or can’t take the risk of discarding something important.
That’s why Acro Bike is a good card, but not a great card, in Expanded. It has seen some recent success in decks here, at least, “recent” relative to the last major Expanded Format tournament for which I have results, but that pre-dates SSH – Rebel Clash. It certainly isn’t everywhere, just another good, solid card that shines in certain decks. In the Limited Format, you usually need all the draw and/or search you can get, so Acro Bike is a great pull. Your deck is likely to contain more filler, even though it is a smaller deck; for better and worse, you’re working with whatever you pulled. If you happen to hit two cards “good” cards at once, you’re probably not going to have a way to get the one back.
Acro Bike is one of those cards I hate to see go, and that I think deserved to make the countdown even though it isn’t essential to any decks. It just takes some existing decks and makes them better… sometimes significantly better. It also is functional in most decks, and you know I really appreciate that in cards. I almost upped its score to four-out-of-five, but this isn’t a Format where its working its magic in something like Night March or a Vespiquen (XY – Ancient Origins 10/98) deck. So why was it 6th-place on my list? Future decks (Mad Party?) strike me as a great place for Acro Bike!
We would love more volunteers to help us with our Card of the Day reviews. If you want to share your ideas on cards with other fans, feel free to drop us an email. We’d be happy to link back to your blog / YouTube Channel / etc. 😉
Click here to read our Pokémon Card of the Day Archive. We have reviewed more than 4200 Pokemon cards over the last 20 years!