Beartic – The Polar Bear Cometh

pokebeach.comFor those of you that don’t normally look at card scans before the official release (and I’ll hopefully talk about this in a later article), one card that has been turning heads since its leak from the Japanese Black and White set is Beartic.

This beast of a Stage 1 Water Pokémon has a very unique attack and for one water and a DCE you deal 50 damage. Now, at first that seems medicore, and even poor for the cost of three (or two) energy, where this attack really shines is its effect. Your opponent’s defending Pokémon can’t attack next turn.

Now before we immediately claim that this is game-breaking, which it may very well be, we must remember one very important thing: evolving or switching out the active Pokémon renders this effect useless.

However, many of our heavy hitters in this format have high Retreat Costs, so having to force your opponent to retreat or waste their resources to get their active away from Beartic’s attack is not a bad thing. The most important piece of advice that you have to take into consideration when you’re dealing with an untested, but amazing, card is that you must remember that it has weaknesses. J-Wittz alludes to them in his COTD for Beartic.

So with all of those problems that this card has, why am I still talking about it? Because that attack can do something amazing. The extra hype will probably not help it out at all because it needs to be relatively unexpected.

However, there are still ways to build this deck, and my friend Lee has been working on building a skeleton. His forum thread is here where he talked about Beartic and his effects, if you want to check it out, but there are no lists on his first entry. Luckily, he has given me a skeleton list of his Vileplume variant of the deck.

Pokémon – 21-263-4 Cubchoo EP

3-4 Beartic EP #30

3 Oddish UD

2-3 Gloom UD

3 Vileplume UD

3-4 Cleffa HS

2-3 Mantine HS

1 Tyrogue HS

1 Bouffalant BLW #91

Trainers – 20-362-3 Pokémon Communication

2-4 Rare Candy

3-4 Pokémon Collector

2-3 Professor Elm’s Training Method

2-4 Professor Juniper

2-4 Professor Oak’s New Theory

2-4 Judge

1-2 Copycat

2-4 Seeker

1-2 Twins

1-2 Flower Shop Lady

Energy – 11-147-10 W

4 Double Colorless

As you can see, there is a lot of variance given in this deck, giving you a range of 52-76 total cards! Of course, this is all based on player preference, meaning that you take the minimum and then build off of your personal choices, making a uncluttered skeleton look like this:

Pokémon – 203 Cubchoo EP

3 Beartic EP #30

3 Oddish UD

2 Gloom UD

3 Vileplume UD

2 Cleffa HS

2 Mantine HS

1 Tyrogue HS

1 Bouffalant BLW #91

Trainers – 212 Pokémon Communication

2 Rare Candy

3 Pokémon Collector

2 Professor Elm’s Training Method

2 Professor Juniper

2 Professor Oak’s New Theory

2 Judge

1 Copycat

2 Seeker

2 Twins

1 Flower Shop Lady

Energy – 117 W

4 Double Colorless

Now, this is reveals a lot about Lee’s personal playstyle, because he loves having options. Now, he didn’t want to dedicate himself to a certain list because he is still messing around with counts and trying to get everything to work just right, but here is my take on the deck:

Pokémon – 214 Cubchoo EP

3 Beartic EP #30

3 Oddish UD

2 Gloom UD

3 Vileplume UD

2 Cleffa HS

2 Mantine HS

1 Tyrogue HS

1 Bouffalant BLW #91

Trainers – 262 Pokémon Communication

3 Rare Candy

4 Pokémon Collector

2 Professor Elm’s Training Method

2 Professor Juniper

4 Professor Oak’s New Theory

4 Judge

2 Seeker

2 Twins

1 Flower Shop Lady

Energy – 139 W

4 Double Colorless

Vileplume UDpokebeach.comThe balance of Trainers and Supporters here is important because setting up your lock quickly is very important and is where the Communications and Rare Candy come into play.

Junk Arm has no use in this particular variant because it just doesn’t work under Trainer lock.

The heavy Vileplume line is in place to prevent those early Pokémon Catchers from doing too much damage during the early game. The Mantines allow you to get your Beartic out fast and the Bouffalant is very important as the revenge aspect of his attack can pull you from behind in the late game.

However, though this is probably the most practical version of the deck, there is a problem concerning energy acceleration. To deal with this problem, you have a couple of options. You can use either Feraligatr or Floatzel and Blastoise to accelerate your energy being attached to Beartic, along with giving yourself a backup attacker when necessary. Here is my really quick take on the deck.

Pokémon – 193 Cubchoo EP

3 Beartic EP #30

3 Buizel UL

3 Floatzel UL

3 Squirtle UL

1 Wartortle UL

3 Blastoise UL

Trainers – 274 Pokémon Collector

4 Pokémon Communication

4 Junk Arm

3 Rare Candy

2 Twins

4 Professor Oak’s New Theory

1 Professor Elm’s Training Method

2 Energy Retrieval

3 Pokémon Catcher

Energy – 1410 W

4 Double Colorless

pokebeach.comI will probably eventually drop a couple of energy through testing and I may throw in either Professor Juniper, PokéGear 3.0, or Sage’s Training in place of the dropped cards. The list I put here follows my lust for consistency, though with my luck it is almost never achieved.

However, I believe that the list gives the consistency that is needed for this type of build. With the tight Pokémon lines there is almost no room for tech Pokémon, but the differing weaknesses should help with a weakness problem, if one should occur.

However, with Catcher in the format, it’s going to be difficult to get anything going if your opponent sets up first, mainly because the list is really tight and barely allows for any recovery (not like we have reliable cards for it anyway).

This build also turns away from going for the Beartic lock, but instead provides for a mixed bag against multiple decks. Blastoise, if set up quickly, can take out Pokémon before they become a major threat, and even if Blastoise gets set up late, he provides great set-up if you have the Floatzels ready to go.

Another way to build this energy accelerator is with Feraligatr, giving you less options if you run it with Blastoise, in which case Beartic might as well be a tech. Otherwise, having Feraligatr as your only Stage 2 can provide a big boost in quick energy drop recovery, along with allowing you to play Lanturn Prime as your Yanmega and Zoroark counter.

With all of these options, I’m going to head back to the Vileplume deck and let you see this version of play.

Pokémon – 262 Oddish UD

2 Gloom UD

2 Vileplume UD

3 Teddiursa CL

3 Ursaring Prime

3 Chubcoo EP

3 Beartic EP #30

2 Roselia UL

2 Roserade UL

2 Cleffa HS

1 Yanma TM

1 Yanmega Prime

Trainers – 214 Copycat

1 Black Belt

2 Seeker

3 Professor Elm’s Training Method

2 Rare Candy

3 Cheren or Professor Oak’s New Theory

3 Communication

3 Pokémon Collector

Energy – 135 W

4 Double Colorless

4 Rainbow

This deck, Two Bears and Two Blooms, is a “teched” version of Two Bears One Plume, which is a similar decklist, but is overall more consistent, removing the Roserade and placing more emphasis on the two bears.

However, the major difference between the two decks is that the inclusion of Roserade can keep the lock moving continuously by timing your poisoning to KO your opponent’s Pokémon right before you start your turn, preventing your opponent from attacking, apart from retreating or evolving. By looking at this list, it should remind you a little bit about the deck that won Juniors at US Nationals.

pokebeach.comIf the threat of Yanmega is still too large for this deck, (which this deck has not yet been tested against), there are two options to put in over the 1-1 Yanmega line: Zekrom and Galvantula. Because of the inclusion of DCEs and Rainbow Energies in the decklist, both of these Pokémon can take a role in countering Yanmega.

Zekrom can use its Outrage to do a good deal of damage, whereas Galvantula can do something amazing entirely by itself. Its attack Leech Life, you do 40 damage and then heal the same amount of damage that you did to your opponent’s Pokémon.

Because of Galvantula’s 80 HP, it’s just out of reach for the Yanmega KO (providing there is no Kingdra in the list), and when Leech Life hits a full health Yanmega, it leaves the Yanmega crippled and Galvantula fully healed. However, this is untested, and just a bit of theory-mon, but I believe a good idea nevertheless.

One more thing that we must remember is that Beartic is not just a great main attacker when provided the support for the lock, he can also make a great tech for any deck that runs DCE.

If you think about how Cinccino is amazingly vulnerable to Donphan and Dragons and how neither Kingdra nor Zoroark are really going to help you in the matchup, Beartic makes perfect sense because a) he doesn’t lose power when he encounters a fire type on the field and b) he locks heavy retreaters in the active slot for 2HKOs (or 3HKO in Zekrom’s case if you don’t wnat to waste any energy), which is normally Cinccino’s job, but Beartic almost does it better.

In conclusion, the new bear in the format has a lot of potential, but I don’t really see it becoming the next big thing, especially with that dragonfly buzzing around everywhere in the format. However, to not talk about a popular card and its potential uses could be deadly. As the always told me in Boy Scouts, be prepared.

PS: Thanks to magneto1992 for the Two Bears and Two Blooms decklist and OddJob (AKA Lee) for providing his basic Beartic/Vileplume list.

Reader Interactions

36 replies

  1. Ramiro Meares

    In fact, you can kill zekrom for 2HKO if you got enough energy to use Icicle Crash.

    • Anonymous  → Ramiro

      “b) he locks heavy retreaters in the active slot for 2HKOs (or 3HKO in Zekrom’s case if you don’t wnat to waste any energy)”
      I alluded to that, but maybe it wasn’t strong enough to catch.  I’ll try to be better with that next article.

    • Benjamin Bolival  → Ramiro

      that is why a feraligatr prime tech should be taken seriously if you plan to use icicle crash

  2. Tommy Qualls

    Good article! I’ve been testing beartic/vileplume too and I must say, I’m still not confident enough in it… However, gotta say, I love the idea of galvantula teched against yanmega. That sounds like fun…

    • Anonymous  → Tommy

      Thanks. Hopefully you caught on that I am also not sold on the idea of Beartic working, just giving you guys lists to test against.

      And give magneto1992 props to that tech.  He’s something else, but just needs a way to get to more tournaments.

      • John  → Anonymous

        thanks bro. I been testing the deck and another way fo running it could be done with catchers and trapping basics. One thing I thing you forgot to mention is the significance of Roserade. It poisons the opponents leading to great plays. It also gives your urasing time to survive if the opponent flips wrong.

        • Anonymous  → John

          “However, the major difference between the two decks is that the inclusion of Roserade can keep the lock moving continuously by timing your poisoning to KO your opponent’s Pokemon right before you start your turn, preventing your opponent from attacking, apart from retreating or evolving.”
          This didn’t do it for you?

        • John  → Anonymous

          nope…. You also need to mention the fact that most pokemon powers are off when sick, so even things like magnezne dont get their powers. also confusion screw with your opponent. I usually have to flip to attack. So if donphan fails it loses 3hp and with the poisonns and sheer cold you are OHKO him.

        • John  → Anonymous

          nope…. You also need to mention the fact that most pokemon powers are off when sick, so even things like magnezne dont get their powers. also confusion screw with your opponent. I usually have to flip to attack. So if donphan fails it loses 3hp and with the poisonns and sheer cold you are OHKO him.

  3. Anonymous

    It was a well written article. With good information. I just honestly do not feel that beartic will not be good enough to feature in a deck.

    I do think it has potiential as a tech to replace SEL in Vileplume/Reuncilus/Zekrom/Reshiram/Blissey/Beartic… other than that I just don’t see it being big.

    • Joe Callen  → Anonymous

       It may present a large problem to RehiPhlosion variants though. This makes me sad since ReshiPhlosion is my favorite deck in the format. I’m going to have to conjure up a counter of some sort…

  4. wisconsinsquad

    Great article. I like Beartic right now and am glad someone agrees! :)

    • Anonymous  → wisconsinsquad

      Then why is there a dislike?  Hahaha.  No, I wrote this article so that people have lists to see what’s coming, not necessarily that I enjoy the card.  However, I do believe that it has potential if teamed up correctly.

  5. Olliver Barr

    me and my friends call beartic/vileplume/ursaring brrrz and flrrzzz.
    get it
    get it
    bears and flowers
    but its brrz instead of bears because it is cold
    get it
    got it
    good

  6. Andrew Adams

    After playing Beartic for a short time, I’ve come to two conclusions: 1. Beartic needs Vileplume.  2. Beartic needs Switch.

  7. Zac

    I’ve been testing Beartic and I have used many different partners with Beartic. Right now, I am not sure of the best one yet, but I like to run a version of the deck that I can consistently get a Beartic out by turn 2 or 3 WITHOUT Vileplume. I run 4 catchers, and now I just need the best partner for him. I like Kingdra, Zororark, Samurott, Basculin, and a few others so far. I just think that a faster sheer cold is better than a trainer lock if they get out at the same time.

  8. beyblade1410

    Bring Down Beartic People! Lets tear him out of the metagame!!!

  9. Steven Nilsen

    Nice article – I like that you weighted out the arguments for and against this card.  This is what I wish “card of the day” articles would be like.  I think that Beartic will get play tested and ultimately become a tech.  If Galvantula ever gets serious play, I would be shocked… based on the math: 2 energy stage 1 to exclusively target a 0 energy stage 1.  If it was a basic, it would be worthy of play. 

  10. Lee

    As I mentioned before, Zekrom did not help me with my relentless testing against Yanmega. Yanmega simply sniped around the Zekrom while he only dealt out 40 a turn with his Outrage with no other way to get damage on him in this particular deck. I have not yet tested with Galvantula so no comment there.

    I disagree with aaadams on Beartic needing Switch. You commit with Beartic and fall back on Twins while you set further up to prepare for your opponent to get out of their lock/KOs. What Beartic really shines in is stalling, disrupting energy, and making your opponent get out another Pokemon to KO him. This is where cards like Bouffalant and Zoroark really shine.

    A card that is worth mentioning is Weavile UD as this free retreater offers a great snipe for Pokemon that retreat away from Beartic and helps counter Yanmega: T1 – Collector a Sneasel. T2 – PETM or Communication a Weavile. Look at their hand. Any decent Yanmega player regularly gets out a Yanmega by T2 or T3 so it will likely be there. Discard the nasty bug.

    I would love the Blastzel tech to work, but from my experience it just didnt make the cut. More testing needed. Ursaring Prime worked surprisingly well with the exception of HP and retreat problems. I like the Rosearade idea. Let us also not forget running Yanmega himself in a Beartic deck with added Judges for matching cards and disruption. He is, after all, basically the ultimate and fastest tech out there.

    I agree Beartic will not be the next big thing. But since I committed to testing him since May, well by Jove, I am playing that bear even if he gets stomped, flattened out, and made into a living room carpet by Foul Playing, wingless triple-headed birds, and big green bugs.

  11. Ross Gilbert

    With Yanmega being, as a lot of people are saying, the biggest threat to Beartic / Vileplume, why was that not tested before this article was published? (you acknowledge that he wasn’t). He can only 3HKO Yanmega while Yanmega can confortably 2HKO him, while free retreating to ensure survival. That’s ok though, Yanmega isn’t popular…. is he?

    Some of your lists are also very suspect. In one you suggest a minimum of: 3 Oddish (40HP), 2 Cleffa (30HP), 1 Tyrogue (30HP) which are all very donkable, and then suggest at least 2 Manaphy, in case the Cleffa isn’t enough.

    There is an excellent article potentially here and some good points are made but i think there are some glaring oversights that could have been ironed out to make it a really good article.

    I second what other people have said though:
    – I was all COTD were this in depth!
    – Beartic isn’t “all that and a bag of potato chips”

    • Lee  → Ross

      I assure you sir, there has been absolute relentless testing against Yanmega with all my heart. Logan was saying he himself has not tested a whole lot. I agree with the donks – I stopped playing Cleffa and Tyrogue and replaced with Manaphy. Oddish sadly is a must – I try just try dropping two at one time if I see a Yanmega just over the horizon so at least one can make it out alive.

      • Ross Gilbert  → Lee

        Oh yeah, Oddish IS a must! Makes me wonder how Ross Cawthorn survived so well in Worlds with Oddish, Solosis, Pichu and Cleffa! I really want to use Manaphy but he just doesn’t work for me. Unless you start with a free retreat basic or switch then you have to burn an energy to get Manaphy active and then you can’t use him! Don’t get me wrong, i don’t like Cleffa, i just need him :(

        As for the Yanmega testing; i was saying that surely, with Yanmega being one of the biggest problems for Beartic, the author of this article should have tested thoroughly against Yanmega before writing the article and it was an oversight on their part to not have that information available from first-hand experience.

        • Anonymous  → Ross

          I’m sorry for my lack of testing, but I don’t have time, and whenever I happen to have time, no one is available to playtest with me, so most of what I do is theorymon.  Luckily, I have very kind friends who do have time to test and explain to me the plays of the game.  It just so happened that the TBTP deck had not run into any Yanmegas in testing at locals.  Now that the semester has started, I may be able to get more testing (ironic, eh?) in with the Pokemon Club on campus and league on Saturdays, so I should be able to provide more insight in the decks.

          That being said, finding a sure-fire counter to Yanmega is extrememly hard in this format.  Zekrom and Magnezone are great, no questions asked, but just taking on Yanmega’s free-retreat is a problem, plus they have to attempt to take on non-Yanmega decks, such as Donphan.  That’s all up to individual testing and individual preference.

  12. Mekkah

    Beartic is probably going to fail to live up to anything. Retreating is just too easy for Yanmega, who is only getting stronger, and the Oddish partner has a lot of trouble setting up against it. Just searching out two Oddish with Collector isn’t enough, you also need the Rare Candy + Vileplume (or way to get it) in hand. Or if you have Gloom, you need to have the Vileplume next turn, etc. Lots of pressure here. Being a tech makes a little more sense but we already got quite a few good Water techs in EP and I’m not sure if Beartic’s the best of them since he can’t even OHKO Donphan without at least 3 Energy attachments.

    Speaking of that, what’s with Feraligatr and even Floatzel/Blastoise engines here? Why is that even considered? It can use Double Colorless Energy to use Sheer Cold. You will never power it up any faster by dedicating like 10 deck spaces to different Pokemon lines.

    • Anonymous  → Mekkah

      The point of this article was not to tell you that Beartic was perfect, nor was it to tell you to play it.  The point of this article was to give you information about Beartic along with provided a few decklists for you to test against.  I placed the Feraligatr and Floatzel/Blastoise engines there as an option of play, though I personally do not think that they will work as well as Vileplume.

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