Should You Pull? Champion Bede & Galarian Articuno

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TL;DR: Should You Pull?

What Does It Do?

It appears that Bede is tired of constantly falling behind, as he’s striking back after taking up the newly formed title of “Neo Champion”. Paired with the Galarian forme of the Legendary Pokemon Articuno, he’s ready to break his from his normally self-centered focus and actually work to help out his team for a change. Who knew he’d be so good at taking up the Support role?

On the surface, Bede & Galarian Articuno look… weird. Their entire kit looks awkward and difficult to use when compared to other top Support units, to the point where it’s very easy to write them off as some sort of a sign that DeNA has lost sight of what players want to use in Pokemon Masters. However, this initial impression really couldn’t be farther from the truth, as this is a Sync pair that requires a bit of knowledge of the way that most players actually play Pokemon Masters to fully understand. In order to help, here’s a break-down of Bede & Articuno’s general gameplay loop, but keep in mind this is just an example and some teams will prefer different rotations to keep the cycles smooth:

  • First rotation, the passive skill Conniving Wings kicks in and grants +2 Speed to the entire team and reduces the Sync Move counter by 1. Pick Triumphant Tenacity! first to buff up the team. This is a 4-bar Trainer Move, so it seems extremely awkward to use, but at this point in the battle the entire team should generally be using their innate buffs, meaning the Move Gauge bar should be able to afford the cost. Alternatively, if you have enough Sync Move Countdown effects at the start of the fight, then cut this turn off and go directly for B Freezing Glare to score buffs at no cost to the move gauge, or just pick Confusion if needed to unlock B Freezing Glare without taking up much of the Move Gauge if absolutely needed, though this will alternatively add one cycle. For the sake of simplicity, we’re just going to go forward as if Triumphant Tenacity was the opener here.
  • Second rotation, B Freezing Glare should be unlocked if you didn’t get it at the start thanks to Sync Move Countdown effects, and it will score surprisingly high damage for a Support unit, buff the team’s Defense, and  most importantly grant the Free Move Next effect to the entire team! 
  • Third rotation, and oh, look! We have the Free Move Next effect, so Triumphant Tenacity is free to pick up again! That’s another huge buff for the entire team moving forward.
  • This is where the first Sync Move drops, if not earlier if the team is set up to work the Sync Move counter, which Bede & Articuno can make pretty easy with their the aforementioned Conniving Wings, which can also stack with the Lucky Skill Head Start 1 to make that job stupidly easy as Bede & Galarian Articuno come pre-packaged with Vigilance! And if you want to Sync with Bede & Articuno, that’s perfectly viable as they can grant the Support EX buff. However, it’s not strictly necessary for what comes next.
  • For the beginning of the next cycle and you’ve got the MP Refreshes needed to do it all over again. At this point it’s probably best to go for Confusion to get the Sync Move Counter down without using much of the Move Gauge.
  • Oh, look; B Freezing Glare is unlocked again! At this point we all know the drill; drop it for its potent buffs, circle back to Triumphant Tenacity to score another round of buffs!
  • After this point, the cycle repeats with each Sync Move that the team drops. Stick with Confusion for the most part in order to keep Bede & Galarian Articuno easy on the move gauge, and then when you’re done racking up buffs with Triumphant Tenacity, utilize the Free Move Next effect to throw out the normal variant of Freezing Glare for a bit more damage and an additional chance to Freeze the target.

So that’s a basic outline of what Bede & Galarian Articuno can do. Obviously, you won’t have to adhere to the above template in order to reap the benefits that this Sync Pair has to offer, but pretty much every battle should boil down to some variant of what we’ve just outlined. Utilizing this flow, Bede & Galarian Articuno are pretty much guaranteed to grant all of the following beneficial effects to the entire team by the second rotation of the second Sync Move cycle:

  • +6 Attack
  • +6 Special Attack
  • +3 Critical Rate
  • +2 Speed
  • +1 Defense
  • +1 Special Defense
  • -1 Sync Move countdown
  • The Free Move Next 
  • 4 stacks of the Special and Physical Attack Up Next effect
  • A 10% chance to Freeze one target
  • The ability to continue this combo, granting Attack, Special Attack, Critical Rate, Defense, Special Defense, the Free Move Next effect, and the Special/Physical Damage Up Next effects to the entire team every single Sync Move cycle!

And this isn’t even mentioning the majority of the effects that come from their Sync Grid or even their Master Skill, which compounds all of the above for even more raw power while Bede & Galarian Articuno simply exist.

When it comes right down to it, Bede & Galarian & Articuno take more time than most Support Units to do their full job and are a bit awkward at first due to the way that their kit almost demands that their moves follow a basic pattern in order to reap maximum rewards. But don’t let those stipulations fool you; this is probably the most complete Support unit in the game, offering staggering buffing utility that can enable literally any offensive force to wreak havoc. They will take some heavy Move Gauge investment early-game to get running at full speed, but once that first Sync Move is done, they basically become unstoppable.

How To Use It?

Sync Grid Considerations & Lucky Skills

Sync Grid & Sync Levels

Bede & Galarian Articuno is a Sync Pair that doesn’t really need anything beyond ⅕ on their grid, as they literally get everything that they need to supercharge their entire team right out of the box. You can put your Support Candy away and breathe a sigh of relief, because the initial investment of picking them up is all that you really need. But that’s not to say that their higher-leveled Grid isn’t helpful!

At ⅕, just pick up the whole grid. You’ll have energy to spare, and even if you won’t see much of a tangible difference from some tiles, it’s really not a waste in the long run.

At ⅖, we have a few stand-out options. Buffs to Confusion in Confusion: Aggravation 9 and Confusion: Move Gauge Refresh 9 can be useful, while Natural Remedy and Quick Cure can stop Status and Interference respectively, both of which can cut into a Support unit’s utility pretty harshly in some cases. Posthaste 3 is nice for passively helping out with the Move Gauge. Finally, Freezing Glare: Move Gauge Refresh 3, Freezing Glare: Charging Confusion 9, and Hostile Environment 2 can be great if you want to lean into Freezing Glare and its potential to Freeze the target.

Finally, ⅗ is where we get the whole-nine-yards, so to speak. Curative Confusion grants Bede & Galarian Articuno a potentially consistent source of self-regeneration, Adrenaline 1 can potentially extend their Sync Move countdown utility into the 2nd Sync Move Cycle or guarantee an optimal second cycle without having to mash the move that you want directly after the fist Sync. B Freezing Glare: Shielded 1 and B Freezing Glare: Barricade Buddies 1 help to buff the team’s Defense and Special Defense a bit faster. Team First Super Sync adds more utility to an early Sync from Bede & Galarian Articuno, and Entry Freebie makes an instant use of Triumphant Tenacity! free of charge, making the initial combo a bit easier to pull off.

EX Viability

The added stats are great, and the EX Support buff is very valuable EXing Bede & Galarian Articuno is an objectively great idea.

Lucky Skills

Having Vigilance come standard is a huge boon for Bede & Galarian Articuno, and opens them up to a number of options. Defense Crush 2, Mind Games 2, Healthy Healing, Status Immunity, Interference Immunity…. the list goes on, and they’re all perfectly viable and useful for different situations.

However, two Lucky Skills really stand out for Bede & Galarian Articuno: Head Start 1 and Adrenaline 1. The former is useful right out of the box, as it grants -2 to the Sync Move counter, making it easy to hit the coveted -3 with teammates and drop an entire cycle with ease. The latter is useful if combined with the Sync Move tile of the same name, allowing the team to cut a cycle off of the second Sync Move cycle instead with a bit of team support.

Games Modes

For the most part, Bede & Galarian Articuno are extremely well rounded when it comes to different Game Modes. The Champion’s Stadium is a big one and, unsurprisingly, they come out strong here. The ability to fully buff any team’s offensive stats and provide a plethora of other useful effects makes Bede & Galarian Articuno genuinely stand out as an option for any stage, and their ability to buff stats every single Sync Move Cycle means that potentially irritating offensive stat reducing moves like Breaking Swipe and Snarl won’t matter much in the long-run. The exact same can be said for some Extreme Battles, where they can potentially work around a stage’s gimmick with their comprehensive and self-refreshing buffs.

The Legendary Arena/Gauntlet is largely the same story as well, where it tends to be a simple matter to stall on the first HP bar and buff up the team to insane levels before suddenly steam-rolling the rest of the stage. Finally, the Battle Villa is a bit of an interesting prospect, as Bede & Articuno can definitely take it by storm thanks to their ability to self-refresh and fall back onto Confusion for a low-gauge-cost move. However, they lack innate recovery outside of a bit on their grid and are slow to get their full set of buffs in, so they can be a bit awkward to get going. Still, they’re very much worth considering for one main reason: this is the only Support unit capable of maxing the entire team’s Attack, Special Attack, and Critical Rate without needing to worry about MP, so they can work very well if hiding behind other units that can help keep them healthy.

Team Compositions

The obvious picks to pair up with Bede & Galarian Articuno include any damage dealers that lack the capability to complete their own self buffing profile or are slow to max out their stats in one way or another. Giovanni & Mewtwo, Lance & Dragonite, and Champion Iris & Hydreigon all appreciate having Bede & Galarian Articuno on their team for this reason, while other damage-dealing units that thrive on having as many stats as possible raised like Anniversary Steven & Rayquaza and Sygna Suit Korina & Marshadow can capitalize on the extremely wide buffing profile that they provide. While the odds aren’t the best, Sync Pairs that can capitalize on the Freeze status like Holiday Leon & Calyrex, Summer Steven & Alolan Sandslash, and Pryce & Dewgong appreciate the help that Bede & Galarian Articuno can provide on that front as well, though outside Gauge support and/or Grid support is recommended if the plan is to focus on Freezing Glare. In fact, this strategy is only really viable at ⅗, as that’s when Bede & Galarian Articuno gain access to Hostile Environment on their grid.

Bede & Galarian Articuno also work very well alongside powerful and gauge-heavy attackers thanks to their +2 Speed boost to the entire team and their use of the Free Move Next effect. In this capacity, powerful attackers that may have issues with the Move Gauge such as Sygna Suit Giovanni & Nidoking, Champion Marnie & Galarian Moltres, or Diantha & Gardevoir can appreciate having Bea & Galarian Articuno working alongside them. And while defensively sound, this is a Support Unit that is a bit more prone to being worn down than others due to a lack of recovery effects and a slow defensive buffing profile, so offensively-oriented partners that pack some team-healing capabilities like Emma & Crobat, Anniversary Lillie & Lunala, or Special Costume Rosa & Shaymin all work well in this capacity. However, on that note, the extra recovery frequently won’t be needed as Bede & Galarian Articuno can facilitate devastating offensive onslaughts after the first Sync Move.

And while the above are all great options, let’s be honest: pretty much any Sync Pair can appreciate Bede & Galarian Articuno. Like we’ve already said; this is probably the single most universally useful Support unit that’s currently in the game due to just how many bases they cover at once.

Showcase Video

Is It Worth Pulling?

So let me be perfectly clear here; out of all of the human characters in all of Pokemon, Bede is by far my least favorite, to the point where I outright hate seeing him show up in any form of media. I also dislike Galarian Articuno, as I feel that it’s the worst of the three Galarian birds, and a far-inferior copy of its original design. This is a Sync Pair that’s basically the antithesis to what I want to play in any game, much less Pokemon Masters. Now let me point out that if you like them, then I’m not saying that you’re wrong, simply that I disagree.

So why have I gone out of my way to profess my distaste for this Sync Pair from a characterization standpoint? To better illustrate this final point: despite my strong bias against Bede & Galarian Articuno, I have to whole-heartedly endorse their utility in this game. Despite having a slightly awkward kit that seems sub-par at first glance, this is actually one of the most universal Support Units that we’ve ever seen, as they can work their magic on basically any team, and will likely find utility for everyone lucky enough to get them.

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About the Author(s)

Long-time Gamepress fan and writer for Pokemon Go and Pokemon Masters sub-site