– Forbidden Light
May 10, 2018
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Our 7th place pick is Beast Ring, which is a bit controversial due to being a regular rare instead of an uncommon card. And the requirement is tricky as well, needing your opponent to have exactly 3 or 4 prize cards remaining. When they do, then you search your deck for 2 basic energy cards and attach them to one of your Ultra Beasts. This……..is actually worth it!
The idea would be to make one of your GX/EX Pokémon get KOed so that you can get to use this item card. If you happen to have 4 Beast Ring………………then you are pretty much set to attack! In limited, since both players start the game with 4 prizes, then you can get to play Beast Ring immediately!
Beast Ring (FLI 102) burns its way into the meta from the Forbidden Light expansion set. This Item card allows you to go get two Basic Energy cards out of your deck and attach them to 1 of your Ultra Beast Pokemon. The catch: you can only play this card if your OPPONENT has three or four Prize cards remaining.
And that’s a pretty significant catch. You have to be able to find this card at the correct moment. Again, here’s where PTCGO diverges from IRL: many PTCGO games don’t make it past 5 or 6 prize cards on one side or the other. Case in point: it took me seven games the other night to get to 1000 damage with my Solgaleo GX deck for my daily challenge. I would Sol Burst GX and my opponents would just concede. Granted, Solgaleo GX is not an Ultra Beast, and I do feel that I got lucky during that string in that I had really good early game setups and my opponents didn’t, but this is the big difference between PTCGO and IRL. People scoop early all the time on PTCGO; people rarely scoop early IRL.
I watched one video where the youtuber was having a lot of trouble finding the Beast Rings in the narrow window of time they are available to be played. The new Supporter Ultra Recon Squad (FLI 131) will help with that as it allows you to draw cards without having to discard or reshuffle Beast Rings you might have in hand. Puzzles might also help, and I briefly thought about the new Hoopa (FLI 54) as well, but I don’t know how practical that is. You might want to run Order Pad with these, and certainly Mallow could potentially easily get you a pair of them if you’re running Zoroark GX. Still, I think these are potentially very inconsistent, and I will definitely do a study at some point as to how frequently they are able to be employed.
Standard: 2 out of 5
From the limited amount that I’ve seen them, my initial feelings are that most of the time they are going to be dead cards and you’ll be playing with essentially a 56 card deck with them, but this is very testable, and there are a number of potential cards that might help facilitate the timely execution of these cards.
Our 7th place finisher is Beast Ring (SM – Forbidden Light 102/131, 141/131) with 72 voting points earned by appearing in the Top 3 of three different lists! This means it beat out yesterday’s 8th place by seven voting points, But 6th place beat Beast Ring by a full 14 points. So why did three of our reviewers think this card was amazing while two didn’t feel it was worthy? I can’t speak for the two because this was my #3 pick. Beast Ring is a Trainer-Item, so as long as Item disruption isn’t too big, it should be nice and easy to play. Well, there is a stipulation built into the card’s own effect that limits it, but at least you’re not burning your Supporter usage for the turn or limited to one copy or anything like that. Instead, you may only use Beast Ring if your opponent has exactly three or four Prize cards remaining. Unless your opponent has one of a few semi-obscure effects that would throw this off, you should always get at least one turn where the Prize count is right so… what else does Beast Ring do? It has you search your deck for up to two basic Energy cards, then attach them to one of your Ultra Beasts!
This is even more obvious than yesterday’s card. Unless something dramatic happens and Buzzwole-GX decks become obscure, we once again have a new staple for that deck which will make it even better. Item-based Energy acceleration is wickedly efficient, with the only thing keeping this card from being broken (I hope) is that you’ve got a narrow window where it works. EveryUltra Beast released so far can benefit from this card, even Poipole. Along with Beast Energy [Prism Star], Ultra Space, and (perhaps) Ultra Recon Squad, Beast Ring makes Beast Box decks not only plausible but a probable competitive force. This will see play in Standard, though despite my hype not all Ultra Beast using decks will run it as some have sufficient other forms of Energy acceleration. There’s also the catch that if you run more to improve your odds of having one handy when you need it, you increase the odds you’ll have them at the wrong time as well, as a dead card in hand. Beast Ring will see play in Expanded but will not perform quite as well thanks to the multiple effective forms of Item lock available there. If you get this and an Ultra Beast, run them. Well, maybe not if your only Ultra Beast is a Poipole. The risk and reward is even higher here, however, as both players start with four Prizes; get it early or it’ll be a dead draw later.
Alas we have more Ultra Beast support for today. Last time, we looked at Beast Energy which allows Ultra Beast Pokemon to reach truly ridiculous numbers with the extra 30 damage it gives. And now we have Beast Ring, an Item card which I actually placed in high regard (as my Number 1 pick) for being what is for me the single most impactful card from Forbidden Light. It makes Ultra Beasts not just more coherent and having a better late game potential, but also much more dangerous to face.
What it does it that you can only play this card when your opponent only have 3 or 4 prize cards remaining. This is pretty easy, with a single sack of a Pokemon-GX lowering your opponent’s prize count at 4 immediately. If they do, search your deck for 2 basic energies and attach them to one of your Ultra Beast Pokemon. This is not just powerful, but incredibly deadly.
An example deck I can give that showcases the supreme force that is Beast Ring will have to be either Buzzwole/Garbodor. Under normal circumstances, BuzzGarb will have a tough time beating out serious damage in the mid game as you are reliant on Max Elixirs to power up Buzzwoles in the back. And as we all know, Max Elixir can whiff – as in failing to fetch energy from your top 6 cards of the deck, even when you bring in something like 10 basic energy. This will often result in a relatively slow start as you need to manually attach energies to multiple Buzzwoles, making micromanagement difficult. This also leaves out problems with prizes, since more often by not you will lose your lead Buzzwole and take prizes while leaving you out to dust, especially when facing decks designed to run under Garbodor lock. But with the Beast Ring this becomes a different story – the curse of losing a 2 prize Buzzwole-GX becomes a blessing, as your opponent will instantly have 4 prizes, proccing Beast Ring and allowing you to charge as many Buzzwoles as you see fit. Even worse, this is an Item card, so Skyla can fetch it and you can use it in a single turn, making charging 2 or 3 Buzzwoles in the same time more than just a dream. It can be a reality, and when facing 2 or 3 loaded Buzzwoles under ability lock? That would be what I call checkmate. The same can be said for these Dusk Mane decks – suddenly having a lion with 4 Metal energies from nowhere coupled with Magnezone can give your opponent some bad tastes.
In short, Beast Ring is a powerful check mate card – forcing your opponent to be able to overpredict on more outcomes and consider the retaliation, on which it may come in spades, of certain decks. Sure it has limits, like being only able to be used effectively in Ultra Beast-focused decks, but for the most part this card is brutal by every sense of the word.
I think you can cut me a little slack on the transitions, they’re not all gonna be winners.
Beast Ring is a generic Item card, but it’s Ultra Beast support – no surprise there. Playing it lets you grab 2 basic Energies to attach right onto an Ultra Beast card you control, but you can only play it when your opponent has 3 or 4 Prize cards remaining.
*deep breath in, deep breath out*
Putting aside the gimmick-scuse me, “game mechanic”, that is having cards limited by how many Prizes are around, I know it’s not going to be hard to get to this particular number, but you’re likely losing anywhere from 1-3 Pokemon to hit these numbers, give or take. 1 Pokemon-EX/GX, a couple of non-EX/GX, whatever the case may be, you’ve got to lose a few Pokemon before you can use this card, but you can’t lose tooooooo many cause otherwise you can’t use this card. It’s got a specific timing to it that makes it best as a mid-game option, but if you draw it early or late, it’s terrible.
That being said, assuming you’re running Ultra Beast attackers of any kind, you’re probably gonna run this at its max, which means you’re likely to have a copy in hand to use around the time frame of your opponent having 3-4 Prizes. In turn, that means you’ll at least be able to grab 2 Energy per copy you’ve got to attach to whatever Ultra Beast you need to attach copies to, thus giving them access to their best attacks early on. So what are the best options to go for? Which Ultra Beasts could utilize this card best?
Personally, I think Buzzwole-GX and Dusk Mane Necrozma-GX would be the best picks. Most of the other Ultra Beasts either can’t do enough on their own to justify a Beast Ring or they don’t have the power that these two in particular have. Of course there are other Ultra Beasts that have appeared in this set, and we’ll talk about them in turn with Beast Ring in context, but for now, try not to let the Beast Ring hype train overtake you. It can be a powerful card, but a card that’s dead for most of the game can’t really be that amazing if it doesn’t have the best targets for it. Fortunate that Beast Ring has at least two.
Standard: 3.5/5 (in context of Ultra Beasts, this card has a high impact potential)
Expanded: 3.5/5 (but the restrictions it has keep it from being higher)
Limited: 4/5 (although it might be broke in an environment that starts with 4 Prizes)
Arora Notealus: Beast Ring is one of those cards that I imagine people look at and go, “This card’s really good!” And then they play with it a bit and find all of its flaws. After that, it’s a matter of decision-making: do the cards benefits outweigh its restrictions? Do the positives balance out the negatives?
Side Reviews: Alolan Sandslash – I think that while Alolan Sandslash is fairly capable and has a lot going for him, there’s ultimately not enough room in the big Water decks to tech him in. It’s a shame too – his Spike Armor dealing 30 with a potential extra 60 on its own if the opponent attacks can easily put most Pokemon in range of a KO from an attacker, including Alolan Sandslash himself! But I guess the difference between a free Spike Armor and a 3-for-90 vanilla move isn’t worth it, let alone is waiting for your opponent to attack and potential KO you in turn.
Cherrim – no Weakness is fairly useful, but it doesn’t seem like Grass decks are all that strong at the moment outside of Tapu Bulu/Vikavolt. Beyond that, there’s just not a necessity for Cherrim in Grass decks, as Fire decks are starting to head on out. There might be a resurgence in this set though, thanks to Lysandre <Prism>, so we’ll have to see if a 1-1 line that removes that Weakness will be necessary for Grass decks to be competitive.
Roto Motor Rotom – No, they’re still not good. No, the new Rotom doesn’t add that much to them. No, I’m not touching these guys again.
Next Time: Raining down upon one’s enemies with the blinding light of a THOUSAND SUNS!!!
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