– Forbidden Light
December 17, 2018
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
That’s right dear readers; we’re doing another Top 11 and it isn’t because something went wrong with the countdown. As 2018 ends on a Monday, we decided to do a Top 11 so our year-end countdown could line up with the actual end of the year. Beast Ring (SM – Forbidden Light 102/131) is our 11th place finisher, a Trainer-Item that can only be played when your opponent has three or four Prize cards remaining. While it is possible your opponent could jump from five Prizes all the way down to two, with the cardpools we’ve had in 2018 you can almost guarantee one turn where Beast Ring will work. Sometimes, you’ll even enjoy two. That may not sound too great, but then you see the rest of the effect; search your deck for up to two basic Energy cards and attach them to one of your Ultra Beasts. It is possible for Item-based Energy acceleration to be bad, it is possible for it to be good but lack any worthwhile recipients in the card pool, but SM – Forbidden Light has been legal since May 18th of this year, if I did the math right. That means regardless of any firsthand data, we’ve got official tournament results to confirm that this card? It is very good.
Many Ultra Beast cards looked promising but never delivered. Others have enjoyed 15 minutes of fame, but no more. A few have defined the metagame this year, and even if they did so sans Beast Ring AT FIRST, by the end it was a valuable part of their decks. Blacephalon-GX, Buzzwole, Buzzwole-GX and sometimes even the likes of Dawn Wings Necrozma-GX or Ultra Necrozma-GX receive backing from Beast Ring. I don’t think I’ve seen it too often in decks running Malamar (SM – Forbidden Light 51/131; SM – Black Star Promos SM117) to back their Ultra Beasts, for the obvious reason they have other Energy acceleration. Blacephalon-GX decks don’t have a reliable form of Energy acceleration that attaches directly to Blacephalon-GX, however, so even though they like to have two or three Naganadel on the Bench for the Charging Up => Mind Blown combo, the deck will happily prep additional attackers with Beast Ring once Beast Ring is working… and if that Energy instead ends up being sent to the Lost Zone to fuel Mind Blown, that can work just as well.
Even with the limited window to use Beast Ring, it is vital to certain Ultra Beasts. Prior to Alolan Ninetales-GX (SM – Lost Thunder 132/214, 205/214, 225/214), this meant some decks like Buzzwole (with or without Buzzwole-GX) would take the chance on running Order Pad, and perhaps some still do if they are the GX-less variant, but now Ninetales-GX makes it much, much easier to pull off a double Beast Ring when the Prize count is right. As such, Beast Ring scores well in the Standard Format; it has only works with Ultra Beasts, but its record with the successful Ultra Beasts this year speaks for itself. I don’t have as much Expanded Format data as I’d like, but what little I’ve seen suggests that Beast Ring is still a great card there… but the available Ultra Beasts aren’t always as capable of keeping up, plus you do still have rivals for it in several of the examples I gave, like Blacksmith for Fire decks and Max Elixir for just about anything built around Basic Pokémon using basic Energy cards. If you’re still able to find a Limited Format Event using SM – Forbidden Light packs, Beast Ring is worthless if you don’t have an Ultra Beast to go with it, and if you don’t get both the Ultra Beast and Beast Ring early game – the Limited Format has each player start with only four Prizes – you’ll miss your chance to use them! Of course, because you can potentially enjoy an insane opening, when this works it really works.
If the scores look low, let me stress again that we’re assigning numbers so we can compare general and specific use cards… and Beast Ring is for decks running Ultra Beasts. In those, it can range from an essential, maxed out card to a relatively important card to optional TecH. Put it all together and you’ve got something worthy of our Top 11 list, but outclassed by some of the more general and/or more essential cards that ranked higher.
Looks like we’re coming up on the final weeks of 2018, and you know what that means! Time to take a look back at the year and determine the cards that we think had the most impact – the Top 11 of 2018! Why Top 11? Well, I’d imagine it’s cause the 31st is on a Monday so it works out to being exactly at the end of the year. And what better card to start with than Beast Ring?
Beast Ring’s an Item that lets you attach 2 basic Energy onto an Ultra Beast you control when your opponent has 3 or 4 Prizes left. Given that the last time we reviewed this card was back in May, we’ve had some changes in the card pool – notably more Ultra Beasts – that gives this card a bigger range of usage. Sure, it’s still got the same problems as before, where you can’t use it except during the mid-game, but when you do hit that moment, you get a great Energy accelerator for any Ultra Beast you can think of! The new Naganadel and Blacephalon-GX make for good candidates these days.
Course it remains with limited impact, but in most any Ultra Beast-centric deck, this card is still a definitive run. If your deck is heavily centered around Ultra Beasts, you should be playing Beast Ring, but if you’ve got a few less Ultra Beasts, consider maybe 1 or 2 along with a search card for Items – the great thing about Beast Ring is that, despite the limitations, it’s still vastly searchable as an Item! So needless to say, this card is useful!
…in the right situations.
Standard: 3.5/5 (it has gotten better in the last few months, with more Ultra Beasts to work with)
Expanded: 3.5/5 (and it’s likely that it’ll remain a big part of such decks the more Ultra Beasts that exist)
Limited: 4/5 (just gotta keep in mind its limitations)
Arora Notealus: I find that my opinions on this card haven’t changed much overall. It’s useful in those particular situations where it can be used, but outside of those, it’s a dead card. It barely scrapes by to make it onto the list, which usually indicates some level of tournament play and impact. That wouldn’t be surprising, given one of the most prominent decks of the format is centered around an Ultra Beast.
Next Time: Powerful and unique, a powerhouse card!
Beast Ring (FLI 102) made its debut in the Forbidden Light expansion set back in May, and it instantly transformed many Ultra Beast decks into top tier archetypes. Viewed by many as even better than Max Elixir, this card allows you – if your oppponent has three or four prize cards remaining – to search your deck for two Basic energy cards and attach them to one of your Ultra Beasts.
Beast Ring enabled Buzzwole GX, baby Buzzwole, Dawn Wings Necrozma GX, Ultra Necrozma GX, and others to quickly (or most likely instantly) return a KO from your opponent with KO from you. Just a single Beast Ring, along with your normal attachment for turn, easily powered up many Ultra Beasts so they could regain momentum from your opponent and set you up in a position for a strong finish through the middle to the end of the game.
Early on, many players settled for just one or maybe two Beast Rings, but they quickly started adding cards like Order Pad and Acro Bike to improve their chances of hitting two and maybe even three. Today, we even have Alolan Ninetales GX (LOT 132) to get at least a pair of Rings. I ran a Drampa GX baby Dawn Wings Necrozma deck where I would frequently hit two, three, or even all four Beast Rings. Sometimes I would go to play a Beast Ring and there wouldn’t even be any energy left in my deck because I had already sucked them all out with other Beast Rings. The key was getting off Big Wheel GX turn one, and then I would shuffle and draw six or seven cards because I paired Cynthia with Hala as my draw support cards. Because I didn’t play Ultra Ball, I wasn’t usually in situations where I would have to discard a Beast Ring, and I would frequently have only about thirty cards in deck by the time my opponent got to four prizes which meant that I had good chances of drawing into multiple Beast Rings.
Blacephalon GX now currently reigns as the main abuser of this card, and I don’t think we’re getting any more Ultra Beasts after Cake Pop GX. Still, with the Ultra Beasts currently in the game, Beast Rings will still see plenty of use, and we may yet see other cards introduced into the format that might facilitate the employment of Beast Rings even further.
Standard: 3.5 out of 5
Beast Rings stand as a four of in every Ultra Beast deck and are a major strategical effort in Ultra Beast archetypes. In a game where putting energy on the board faster than your opponent can ensure victory, Beast Rings function as a major catalyst to achieve that goal.
We are here with a countdown, this time being the top 11 cards of 2018. This year goes by so fast, doesn’t it? Last year’s superstars include cards like Guzma and Tapu Lele, and this year will have different ones in respect to cards that came out in 2018. Today, the 11th place pick was Beast Ring from Sun & Moon Forbidden Light, which took 7th place as the best card of the set! I didn’t have it in my personal list, but the voting points were enough to secure it in that spot. This is a item card that works only if your opponent has exactly three or four prizes remaining. If they do, then you search your deck for two basic energy cards and attach it to one of your Ultra Beast.
At first, the prize requirement seems restrictive, such that you can’t benefit from this effect if your opponent has one, two, five, and six prizes remaining. However, if opportunity arises, then this is a very good item that quickly fuels up your Ultra Beast, most likely from zero to attacking. Most of the time, you will get an opportunity to pull this off, even if your Pokémon-GX has been knocked out because the prize count will land in the right situation. But if they knock out one of your Tag Team Pokemon or land multiple knockouts (like KO a GX and a regular Pokemon), then you may be out of luck if the prize count went down from five to two.
Again, looks like I stumbled to further talk about Beast Ring, but I will say, for sure, that it is a valuable piece of support for Ultra Beasts that players will use to its greatest extent.
Standard: 4/5 (Writer’s block for that particular subject.)
Expanded: 4/5 (The vast card pool probably won’t affect much here)
Limited: 4/5 (Only reason not to use it is if you don’t pull any Ultra Beasts)
Notes: Even if the prize requirement makes it a bit tricky to meet, energy acceleration via an item card sees play.
Next up: The one and only princess that supports your Fighting types.
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