Beat Up (TCG)

From Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia.
Jump to navigationJump to search
Beat Up
Sneasel and Slowking
Types used Darkness Psychic Colorless
Major cards Sneasel, Slowking, and Cleffa
Era 2000-2001

Beat Up is a Pokémon Trading Card Game deck archetype based around Sneasel. It was popular due to its potential to inflict massive damage for little energy, but was shunned by some players because it relied on successful coin flips. It died out in later 2001.


The Beat Up archetype has been around since soon after the Neo Genesis expansion was released. Many players recognized Sneasel as a game-changing Pokémon almost instantly after its release. However, some did not believe it would succeed because it was only useful as a beatstick, and even then it relied too much on coin flips to be consistently useful. The former point of view would prove to be correct, as Beat Up variants dominated the Play! Pokémon scene for quite some time. With Beat Up winning constantly and few other decks competing with it, Wizards of the Coast did something unprecedented at the time: they banned Sneasel from use. This crippled the deck, as Sneasel was the key card. Many players were outraged, some were relieved.


The main strategy of the deck is to get Sneasel onto the field as the Active Pokémon as soon as possible with two Darkness Energies attached to it. A Slowking on the bench is ideal, because it prevents the player's opponent from playing Trainer cards to switch out or heal their Active Pokémon. That way, Sneasel can just attack until the opposing Pokémon is Knocked Out. Cleffa is used for hand refreshing and drawing support to meet the deck's other requirements as soon as possible (i.e. Sneasel and Slowking). Once the player has their Sneasel powered up, they should pile as many Pokémon onto the bench as possible, so as to have Beat Up doing maximum damage. Any trainer cards used should be aimed towards this objective.


Key cards

  • Sneasel is the deck's main attacker, with Beat Up doing an average of 10 damage for each Pokémon in play, plus an additional 10 damage for each Darkness Energy and/or PlusPower.
  • Slowking prevents the opponent from playing Trainer Cards like Switch to get their Pokémon safe from Sneasel. It also slows down an opponent's drawing speed and reduces their chances to win as a whole.
  • Cleffa backs up Sneasel with drawing support and hand refreshing. It maximizes a player's chance of drawing a Sneasel and as many Darkness Energies as possible.

Other Pokémon

  • Murkrow could lock the opponent out of the game by using its Mean Look attack while they had a setup Pokémon like Cleffa in play, keeping them from switching while fainting their benched Pokémon with Feint Attack.
  • Slowpoke is only used to evolve into Slowking.

Other Trainers

  • Bill is to provide extra card drawing.
  • Professor Oak refreshes a player's hand.
  • Computer Search searches the player's deck for any card and adds it to their hand. Quite useful, for obvious reasons.
  • Item Finder roots out any Trainer Card from the discard pile and adds it to the player's hand. This speeds up the deck and makes the card useful in many situations because of its versatility.
  • Switch gets Sneasel or another Pokémon to the safety of the bench if it is close to being Knocked Out.
  • Focus Band can give Sneasel the extra turn it needs to score a knockout.
  • Ecogym recycles used Darkness Energies back into the deck, because Beat Up can't be used if all the Darkness Energies are in the discard pile, and there are only four in the deck.
  • Gust of Wind allows a player to control their opponent's field to some extent, giving them the power to choose their opponent's Active Pokémon.
  • Energy Charge is like Ecogym, but with only one-time usage and less consistency.
  • Lass can be used in a pinch in place of Slowking to shut down the opponent's options.

Energy cards

  • Darkness Energy is needed for Sneasel's attack, and as an added bonus, it adds 10 damage per card onto Beat Up.
  • Psychic Energy can be attached to Slowking if absolutely necessary.
  • Full Heal Energy removes status conditions from Sneasel to ensure it has a successful attack and does not faint from poison or burn.

Typical deck list

The deck list appearing below is not official; it is meant to represent an average build of the archetype, not specifically constructed for any regional metagame. Being that this is merely an archetype, a player may wish to change any part of this deck when building his or her own version.

Quantity Card Type Rarity
Sneasel Darkness Rare
Cleffa Colorless Rare
Slowpoke Psychic Common
Slowking Psychic Rare Holo
Murkrow Darkness Rare
Bill T Common
Professor Oak T Uncommon
Computer Search T Rare
Item Finder T Rare
Switch T Common
Focus Band T [Tool] Rare
Ecogym T [St] Rare
Gust of Wind T Common
Energy Charge T Rare
Lass T Rare
Darkness Energy Darkness E Rare
Full Heal Energy Colorless E Uncommon
Psychic Energy Psychic E


As mentioned in the History section, Sneasel was banned from the very first modified format by Wizards of the Coast because it was too powerful. Additionally, Slowking was banned from modified at the end of 2002.

Project TCG logo.png This article is part of Project TCG, a Bulbapedia project that aims to report on every aspect of the Pokémon Trading Card Game.