– Sword & Shield
March 15, 2020
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Expanded: 2/5 (Tropical Beach draws you more cards than Rotom Bike does).
So we got another Rotom based appliances that’s designed to help people in need. I can imagine that it makes it faster than regular bikes, but I digress. Rotom Bike lets you draw cards until you have six cards in your hand. Your turn ends afterwards.
Due to players unable to play Supporters when they’re going first, Rotom Bike seemed to be a good alternative for when the “ending your turn” clause means nothing on your first turn (you can’t attack anyways). Most Pokémon won’t be going in on the offense until maybe the second or third turn, so losing an attack is worth it. But even then, your opponent can do anything to lower your hand size such as Judge, who reduces your hand from six to four. I was gonna mention Reset Stamp, but that could possibly help you replenish your hand of different cards.
It’s one of those cases where you would have to run four of those – or not at all – to improve your chances of starting the game with at least one Rotom Bike in your hand.
Rotom Bike (Sword & Shield 181/202) is a Trainer-Item that lets you draw until you have six cards in your hand but your turn ends immediately after. Being a Trainer-Item is pretty great; you can play as many as you want in a turn and any costs or conditions are specific to that Trainer-Item. Trainer and Item support outweighs their counters in Standard, and though things are trickier in Expanded.
Rotom Bike yields one to six cards, as “drawing zero” isn’t allowed in this case. Even if Rotom Bike isn’t dead-in-hand from too many cards, you may have stuff you don’t want to burn and that still diminishes its draw power. If it didn’t end your turn, drawing just one or two cards from an Item would still be good. Ending your turn also means your opponent could “cancel it out” with a card like Reset Stamp or Marnie.
When I first saw Rotom Bike, I believe it around the time the new T1 rule about “No Supporters” was announced. With no attack to lose T1 and no Supporter to use, Rotom Bike seemed like it would become a new staple… until reality set in. The turn most of us would want to use it the most may be the turn it is hardest to use, and either you run just one with a high chance of whiffing on it, or you run multiples and then they’re pretty useless the rest of the game.
Early game, while decks are geared towards setting up, there are still many “Once per turn…” card types that can easily accumulate. As for getting Rotom Bike into your hand, most of the tricks do just that are Supporter-based, or require an Evolution. If you want Rotom Bike in your hand T1, you’re going to have to draw it in your initial eight, flip “heads” on an Order Pad, or catch Rotom Bike in the top few cards of your deck with the appropriate Basic Pokémon’s Ability or Item card. Yes, all together these can access quite a bit of your deck without a Supporter… but why not just run more of them instead of Rotom Bike?
Past a player’s first turn, you need to already be in a bad way for Rotom Bike to be a good deal. Yes, some decks don’t attack much or at all, but they already have other “Your turn ends.” effects to consider. Plus all the alternatives to Rotom Bike I mentioned for a player’s first turn? Those also still compete with it throughout the rest of the game. Which means the only place where you absolutely run it is in the Limited Format… and even then, you may not actually use it when you draw it.
The proof of the card is in the tournament results. Rotom Bike isn’t in any of the high-performing lists over on LimitlessTCG, and we’re at that point where it is getting less likely to show up all of the sudden. Rotom Bike would have been our 19th-place pick from Sword & Shield, but it didn’t even make my top 20. Some have said this is the new Tropical Beach, but Tropical Beach could still function as a generic Stadium when you didn’t need its effect, and proved itself at a time when you had both a T1 attack and Supporter.
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