Beedrill – Chilling Reigns
Date Reviewed: July 12, 2021
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
All right, time to address the buzz around Beedrill (SW – Chilling Reign 003/198)! While it didn’t even attain runner-up status for our countdown, I recall seeing it on a few of the larger Top Pick lists I came across in my own reading or viewing. First, a word of warning… apparently, I really like Beedrill. I’ve known I’ve been fond of it for years, but after ranking Beedrill (SW – Vivid Voltage 003/185) as our 8th-Place pick from that set. Maybe it is because I’m a Transformers fanboy and associate it with Waspinator, or just because I love green and Beedrill was such a familiar G1 sight?
We’re going to start with Beedrill’s attacks, because they’re the card’s strong point, or should I says points. Both cost [G], which is good and low but does mean your deck needs to run on basic Grass Energy, be able to slip some in, and/or be able to spare Special Energy cards like Aurora Energy to cover the cost. “Persistent Sting” is the first attack, and if your opponent’s Active has any Special Energy attached, this attack’s effect KO’s it! No damage is done at all; either your opponent has no Special Energy attached and is immune, your opponent has at least one Special Energy attached and is KO’d, or they have a Special Energy attached but also something that protects against the effects of attacks and so they still suffer no damage or ill effect. This is a Specialized attack, but an auto-KO is about as good as you can hope for from such a thing!
The second attack, “Jet Spear” is no slouch, either, as it lets Beedrill attack your opponent’s Active and do 110 damage! Yes, it does come with a significant drawback; you have to discard an Energy from your attacking Pokémon. Especially if you’re using Beedrill off-type, this can quickly become expensive. Still, the damage is enough to 2HKO typical Basic Pokémon V, at least, before Resistance, HP buffs, or protective effects. If you catch a grass Weak Pokémon with less than 220 HP and no defensive buffs, it is a OHKO! Even when facing a Metal type Pokémon VMAX, you’ll at least do a solid 80 damage, over a quarter of its printed HP. Plus, a pro within the con, Jet Spear can be a bit of a pain to copy; while attack copiers can still do it, unless they somehow attack for zero Energy, they’re still going to have to discard something.
Beedrill is a pretty good attacker, so why aren’t I gushing about this like I did the previous Beedrill card? Beedrill still has one more obvious positive going for it: it is a Single Strike Pokémon. This lets it tap their support. Besides allowing Impact Energy to cover the cost of its attacks, you have the option of overpaying with Single Strike Energy so Jet Spear hits a bit harder. Unfortunately, even with a full four Jetspear maxes out at 190 damage; it is nice that this allows Beedrill to OHKO a Crobat V but… realistically, it ain’t happening and might not even be worth it unless it was for game. Access to Single Strike Style Mustard is important, though because…
…Beedrill is a Stage 2 Pokémon and neither Weedle nor Kakuna have any great options. There are some decent to good options, though. Kakuna (SM – Crimson Invasion 2/111) can fetch three other Kakuna from your deck and Bench them. Not only do you get to search in triplicate, but skip Weedle and have Kakuna ready to evolve by your next turn. It is an attack priced at [G], though. With Standard, stick with Kakuna (SW – Chilling Reign 002/198); for [G] its attack reduces the damage Kakuna takes by 40. Plus it is a fellow Single Strike Pokémon. It only has 80 HP, but at least you’re making your opponent do 120 damage for the KO. Weedle are… Weedle. SW – Chilling Reign 001/198 is a Single Strike Pokémon and that might be the only thing it has going for it. Not that the other options are better. Pick what works with your deck.
That, or you just use Single Strike Style Mustard to get directly to Beedrill, Benching it from your deck. You’ll need to empty your hand of all cards other than Single Strike Style Mustard. This might be a bit easier than pre-Chilling Reign, thanks to Welcoming Lantern, a new Item that is basically VS Seeker but only for Single Strike Supporters. As for the rest of Beedrill, the Grass-typing is appropriate but probably not much help in the current metagame. 130 HP is small for a Stage 2, but still has a some change of surviving a turn while up front. Fire Weakness is not good, but probably only matters if the [R] type in question hits for 70-120 damage; anything higher already had the OHKO, while anything lower still whiffs on it. The Retreat Cost of [C] is good, but not as good as I’d like given the rest of the card; I think Beedrill earned a free Retreat Cost.
So… Beedrill is a Single Strike Pokémon with some very good attacks you might work into your deck, especially if you already run Single Strike Style Mustadard and/or can cover its [G] attack cost. This is a brutal counter to any multi-Prize Pokémon using Special Energy cards, though it is probably overkill against a Basic or Stage 1 worth only one Prize card. Grass Weakness isn’t all that common, or Jet Spear might have more use. It is niche, and it might be my Beedrill bias but, overall, Beedrill seems decent.
- Standard: 3/5
- Expanded: 3/5
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