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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Tropical Beach

BW28 - World's Promo

Date Reviewed: August 19, 2011

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 3.50
Limited: DNA

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 being the worst. 
3 ... average.  
5 is the highest rating.

Back to the main COTD Page

Combos With: See Below

Mad Mattezhion
 Professor Bathurst League Australia

Tropical Beach (World's Promo)
 
Today is a very interesting card to finish the week. Friday's CotD is the promotional card given out to each player at the recent World's tournament, Tropical Beach.
 
The problem with promos that aren't available to the general public is that if they are too useful, the game becomes extremely unfair because only a few players will have the card and everyone else will be at a disadvantage. However, if the cards are completely useless then players who went to all of the effort of acquiring one will feel very shortchanged.
 
Tropical Beach seems to be a compromise between the two situations because by virtue of being a Stadium (which both players can use) the gap between the 'haves' and 'have nots' is very small. Should you find yourself competing against a player using Tropical Beach,  you may even find yourself using it more than the opponent does!
 
The effect of Tropical Beach is to allow each player, once before their attack, to fill their hands until they are holding 7 cards. Then their turn ends imeediately.
 
While large sources of easily played, reusable draw power are effectively nonexistent in the current format (would you consider Magnezone Prime easy to p.ay?), ending your turn and giving your opponent access to the same draw power at no extra cost are hefty drawbacks. Simply put, Tropical Beach is the most finely balanced double-edged sword I have ever seen in the Poke'mon card game. Which is what it should be, considering that printing a World's Promo as anything else would be either a waste of time or utterly broken.
 
As far as I can tell, the most effective way to use Tropical Beach is as an opening card for those decks that can't attack on the first turn, allowing you to do something useful with what would otherwise be a wasted attack. Later in the game you can use Tropical Beach for the same reason (you can't attack normally for whatever reason) or as a counter Stadium, getting rid of a piece of your opponent's support structure (such as Burned Tower or Ruins of Alph). While these useas are somewhat limited, they are easily enough to justify a one-of copy in your deck, should you be one of the lucky people who went to World's this year (I really, REALLY want to join that club!).
 
You do have to watch out for the ever popular Judge though, as it will get rid of the hand that you just sacrificed sacrificed an attack to pull and leave you with only half your cards. Also, if you are using the draw in the hope of pulling certain cards then you had better be able to survive during your opponent's turn so that you can play them. For example, if you need a Switch because your Active has been dragged up by Poke'mon Catcher to be beaten to a pulp then you had better pray you can survive the extra turn. All too often however, you will find yourself being able to play your cards one turn too late.
 
On the other hand, this card would actually combo with Judge very nicely, allowing you to fill your hand back up if you are willing to sacrifice your offense for the turn, especially since your opponent will have to choose between attacking or drawing themselves. I can see Weavile/Houndoom/Slowking decks having fun with Judge and Tropical Beach to trick the opponent into making bad plays while boosting their own setup considerably.
 
At the end of the day, Tropical Beach is easily played from the hand (although it is difficult to search, and really hard to obtain in the first place!) and can quickly boost your setup if you are willing to sacrifice your attack as well as run the risk of hand disruption from your opponent. I would dearly love to own one myself and I expect players from the recent World's to at least test this card in their future decks. I take my hat off to the design team, trying to balance this card must have been a nightmare but they have pulled it off brilliantly. Well played!
 
Modified: 4 (this card is severely situational and requires great skill to use effectively but considering that you have to go to World's to get one this is probably less of an issue than it seems. Trading attacks for draw power will work in any deck that has trouble in the early game, so expect to see a few around at the larger tournaments. Playetest it if you can!)
 
Limited: N/A (you can't buy World's promos anywhere except occasionally at online auctions, and I don't think any of them are even Poke'mon)

Combos with: Judge, Slowking HGSS, Weavile UD, Houndoom UD, the Musketeer Trio


Otaku

We end the week with Tropical Beach, the exclusive Worlds 2011 Promo. This is a Stadium card that, once per turn, allows you to draw until you have seven cards in hand. Your turn then ends. This was part of the runner-up deck for the Masters division. So is it actually any good?

Yup, and I’ll explain why. First we just don’t have that many Stadiums right now, and here is one that gives us Supporter level draw-power, even if it has some huge drawbacks. There are plenty of openers that have as or more useful set-up attacks, but it is getting more and more dangerous to run them. We’ve got plenty of Big Basic Pokémon and strong Stage 1 Pokémon that can come out swinging on the player’s second turn. Especially if your opponent goes first, you’re going to get one draw off of that opener and then either it’s going to be KO’d, or perhaps worse something more important will be forced Active by Pokémon Catcher and you’ll either have to burn a card to get that opener out of play or have it waste space on your Bench until your opponent needs one last, easy Prize.

So running this card gives all those Pokémon we’ve cited as suffering because they couldn’t do anything useful an option. Think of giving up your attack almost like using a Technical Machine. Now you can start with Tornadus, drop an Energy, restock your hand, and next turn drop a Double Colorless Energy and go on the offensive.

Are there downsides? You bet! Your opponent will have a whole turn to wreck your hand or your in game set-up (rendering what you drew useless). Your opponent will also have the option of using Tropical Beach, but this is a mixed blessing: it means your opponent is going for a good set-up his or herself, and not attacking. You’ll have a turn to utilize your fresh draws before your opponent can do the same, and all the downsides you have in using the card apply to your opponent as well.

So in the end, this card isn’t for everyone… well because it currently is rather rare. Hopefully TPC will actually re-release it (without the stamp) because this card seems fairly useful for some specific decks. Namely those that would have more or less wasted an attack anyway. Using this you might help your opponent as well, but you’ll know you’re running it so while your opponent might be running Judge and/or Copycat, you can guarantee those are in your own deck.

Ratings

Unlimited: 1/5

Modified: 3.5/5

Limited: N/A (would be 5/5)

conical
Deck Garage

8/19/11: Tropical Beach(Worlds promo)
 
This isn't the first time a Worlds promo has been reviewed by the Pojo COTD people. Looking back, Tropical Wind was reviewed back in 2009. This is a first, though, in that this promo is pretty good.
 
In previous years, the Worlds promo has been a nice little card, that in competitive play, were, well...they're cute cards, but obviously not meant to be played. Maybe Tropical Beach wasn't either, but this time the card makers made the mistake of dealing with an always relevant mechanic of drawing cards.
 
There is a drawback, of course. At the cost of using the Stadium's effect to draw until you have 7 cards, you must end your turn. Also, your opponent can use the effect. The 'end your turn' part sounds bad, and for me, brings back memories of a favorite card of mine, Thought Wave Machine from Neo Destiny, and I imagine that most players immediately look at a turn-ending effect and choose not to play it. That said, people play Cleffa and Manaphy, which end your turn anyway, and at least from this, you get an extra 1-2 cards. And, being a Stadium and not a low-HP basic, it isn't prize fodder for Yanmega/Blastoise/Tyrogue/Pokemon Catcher. Also because it's a Stadium, it's not like it has much competition in terms of other Stadiums you might use. Lost World belongs in its own deck, obviously(though you could use this in Mewgar, probably), and while I don't hate Burning Tower or Ruins of Alph, I wouldn't exactly sweat taking them out of my deck. In fact, I don't play either of them in any deck, so whatever.
 
Being a Worlds promo, there's some glaring questions about the card's availability, but if you can get a hold of enough copies, you should play it. Hopefully this card is made available to more people, so that more people can play it.
 
Modified: 4.25/5
Limited: Promo. Would be pretty awesome if it was in a set, though.  

Baby Mario
2010 UK National
Seniors
Champion

Tropical Beach (Worlds ’11 Promo)

Hello, CotD readers! I’m back again with a review of this very interesting and somewhat controversial card. For those that don’t know, every year World Championship competitors are given a binder with a set of exclusive stamped cards (one in every language that the TCG is printed in). In the past the set of Promos have always been virtually unusable as far as competitive play goes and that suited everyone just fine: competitors got a prettyful souvenir that could be sold for around $100, but didn’t gain a competitive edge from possessing these relatively rare cards.

Now all that has (apparently) changed.

From the moment they first peeped into their bags of competitor swag, players began to speculate that this year’s Promo was actually playable. It was a Stadium that offered players something that the format seemed to really need: consistent draw power that wasn’t shuffle-draw (like Professor Oak’s New Theory or Copycat), at the expense of skipping the attack for that turn. Think of it as a way to refresh a played-out hand without the risk of running a donkable Basic like Cleffa. Of course the drawback is huge, of course it’s a card that can benefit your opponent . . . but a smart player who is in control of when to drop the card to best advantage can minimise those downsides.

Still, Tropical Beach looked only borderline playable at best . . . until Ross Cawthorn included a single copy of the card in a highly innovative rogue deck that went on to take second place in Masters. That’s when the controversy really started: how are players outside of the Worlds competitor elite supposed to get their hands on a copy? Will Pokémon now have something which will soar to Yu-Gi-Oh SJC Promo prices and make Luxray GL LV X look like a cheapskate’s card? How unfair is it that European players can use six of their Promos (because of the region language rule) while US competitors only get one?

Well, you know what? While it would be nice if the card did get a more widely available printing, there’s very little reason for anyone without a copy to worry about it. Tropical Beach really isn’t as playable as people are making out. After all, it was a last minute inclusion in Ross Cawthon’s deck that was not essential to make it work, and the deck itself was one of those one-off genius creations designed for a very specialised and unique metagame. In other words, don’t expect to see Donphan/Vileplume/Suicune & Entei LEGEND/Pichu/Blissey/Reuniclus sweep Battle Roads – the deck is too complex for just anyone to pick up and play and has now lost the element of surprise.

Right now we have a real lack of playable Stadiums in the format: Indigo Plateau and Lost World are very niche, and Burned Tower and Ruins of Alph are pretty average. This is making Tropical Beach seem better than it really is. Once we get some better Stadiums, I suspect that the card (and the controversy) will be quickly forgotten.

Rating

Modified: 2 (I’m not breaking up my nice promo folder for this card)

Limited: n/a


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