Ursaring Prime can be a pretty powerful card and even saw some mild success in this (2010-2011) season. At first glance it may seem weak, but it’s actually a very hard hitter. In fact, I actually ran an Ursaring/Typhlosion deck at States this season (I didn’t do so great, though, partially because it was my first tournament). So anyway, let’s have a look at it.
Its stats are a bit sub-par. 110 HP is pretty solid for a stage 1 in an MD-CoL format, but, with the new addition of BW, 110 HP simply won’t cut it in many cases. Its weakness of x2 to fighting is very bad, which I’ll discuss a bit later. No resistance is pretty standard, and the retreat cost of 3 shouldn’t be a big deal since this guy should generally function as a main attacker.
Ursaring has an interesting Poké-Body. If it has any damage on it, each of its normally terrible attacks deal 60 more damage. Unfortunately, this means a few bad things.
- Dialga G Lv.X makes this card practically useless.
- Ursaring realistically has 100 HP, since it should always have at least one damage counter on it.
- This card has an auto-loss against Umbreon.
Now onto its attacks. One nice thing about them is that they all cost colorless energy, so it can very effectively utilize Double Colorless Energy. The first one, called Hammer Arm, has a cost of CCC and deals 30 damage (90 with the Poké-Body) as well as discarding the top card of the opponent’s deck. 90 damage for 3 energy is pretty solid, and the discarding effect can be very useful if you get lucky.
Then, there’s the other attack for CCCC. It’s called Megaton Lariat and will do a vanilla 60 (or 120) damage. Overall it’s a solid, hard-hitting attack, and there’s not a ton else to say about it. 120 damage was a lot, but with BW, it isn’t quite so much anymore.
So what does this card combo with? Rainbow Energy and Double Colorless Energy both work very well. From Pokémon, one of the best choices would probably be Typhlosion Prime, since it lets you take a fire energy from the discard pile and attach it to a Pokémon at the cost of putting 1 damage counter on that Pokémon. This also has a great synergy with the Ninetales draw engine. I think I should mention that this would let you set up an Ursaring very quickly; you can attach a DCE from your hand and use Typhlosion’s Poké-Power to get another energy and a damage counter on it.
Donphan Prime might work, since it damages the bench, but in my opinion you’re probably better off building something centered around Donphan Prime (however, if you really want to use Ursaring Prime, then Donphan may actually have some high comboing potential).
Another possible combo would be Reuniclus, which allows you to move damage counter around. This sounds good in theory but really isn’t that great. Additionally, that would mean that Ursaring is being played in a format with BW in it. I mentioned that 110 HP is pretty bad for Ursaring. For one, you can think of it as actually having 100 HP because it should always have a damage counter on it to deal extra damage. 100 HP means it will get one-shot by many Pokémon.
Two of these notable Pokémon are Reshiram and Zekrom, whose decks and variants are predicted to be top tier. A third predicted top tier deck is DonChamp, and here’s where the x2 weakness to fighting really stings. Donphan alone can’t beat Ursaring in a single turn without the weakness. But because of the weakness, Ursaring variants will basically lose to 3 of what could be the most powerful decks in HGSS-on.
Ursaring/Typhlosion seemed like it had potential in HGSS-on until the insanely powerful cards from BW were released. Ursaring is a stage 1 with 110 HP and a max attack of 120 for 4 energy. Reshiram and Zekrom are basics with 130 HP and can hit 120 for 3 or even 140 for 2 if they have a ton of damage on them. The fact is, Ursaring just can’t compete.
Speaking of competition, I briefly mentioned some other matchups earlier. Dialga G Lv.X would cause trouble, but if you’re using Typhlosion Prime, then hopefully you’d be able to take it out (and Garchomp C Lv.X has a weakness to colorless, which works in Ursaring’s favor even without the Poké-Body). So that isn’t too bad, but anything with Umbreon will shatter Ursaring variants. Umbreon makes Ursaring useless, makes Typhlosion useless, makes Donphan useless, and has a resistance to Reuniclus.
I just want to briefly mention Ursaring’s basic form: Teddiursa. One is from UL and has an attack that can deal 20 damage and put 10 damage on itself, and the other is from CoL and can lock trainers and reduce damage taken on the next turn, if you flip heads.
And finally, before I give the card a rating, I’d like to mention that the artwork is awesome, as with most other Prime cards.
So overall, Ursaring could be used for something decent, but is just too weak to compete. I imagine that if it’s to see any success in the HGSS-on format, it will probably be with Donphan or maybe Typhlosion. To my knowledge, National’s in the UK with be MD-CoL, and so for a MD-CoL format, I’d give this card a 3 out of 5. However, because of it being a bit fragile, for HGSS-on I’ll give it a 2 out of 5.
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