Today’s card features Tropius – the dinosaur that
can fly! Another interesting Tropius fact – its toenails
are the same colour as the fruit around its neck!
Less bizarre, but more relevant, is the fact that
Tropius is an unevolving Basic Pokémon that is intended
to function in a deck as a tech healer. Unfortunately,
it has one glaring flaw that makes it practically
useless in that role, as we shall see.
The most impressive thing about this Tropius is its
substantial (for a non-SP Basic) 90 HP, together with
its semi-useful Fighting Resistance. The Lightning
weakness is, of course, just about the worst in the
game, thanks to Luxray, but the real killer is the
Retreat cost of two . . .
Why is that Retreat cost such bad news? Take a look
at Tropius’ first attack, Fresh-Picked Fruit. For the
cost of a single Grass Energy, you get to remove six
damage counters from one of your Benched Pokémon. Even
if we leave aside the fact that using an attack to heal
is not generally a good strategy, this is where that
Retreat cost become such a burden. See, if you promote
Tropius in order to heal damaged Pokémon, it will cost
you two Energy to retreat it for a main attacker. You
could get around this by running Warp Point or
Switch, but bear in mind that those Pokémon which most
benefit from healing and tanking strategies (Torterra,
Steelix, Tyranitar) tend to have huge Retreat costs
themselves. This means that you would need multiple
(unsearchable) switching Trainers to use Tropius as an
effective healer. The alternative of actually discarding
the Energy is even worse as those big tanks tend to be
very Energy-intensive themselves.
Tropius’s second attack, Cutting Wind, barely
deserves a mention in a review. If I just tell you that
it takes three Energy to do a vanilla 40 damage, then I
assume I don’t need to explain why it should never be
So, the only reason to play card would be for its
healing properties, which are just too clumsy to use.
There are so many better options out there too.
Nidoqueen RR, Blissey PL, and Poke Healer + can get the
job done without wasting an attack. So can the flippy
Trainers Life Herb and Moomoo Milk . . . both of which I
would use over Tropius any day.
It’s not such a bad card in Limited, where walling
and Prize denial are viable, easier to accomplish
strategies. In a competitive modified deck, however,
this Tropius is a no-no.
Modified: 1.25 (so many better healing strategies)
Limited: 3 (decent enough here)