Pojo's Pokemon news, tips, strategies and more!

 

Pokemon Home

Pokedex

Price Guide Set List

Message Board

Pokemon GO Tips

Pokemon News

Polls & Trivia

Featured Articles


Trading Card Game
- Price Guide
- Price Guide
- Card of the Day
- Professional Grading
- Killer Deck Reports
- Deck Garage
- William Hung
- Jason Klaczynski
- Jeremy's Deck Garage
- Johnny Blaze's Banter
- TCG Strategies
- Rulings Help
- Apprentice & Patch
- Apprentice League
- Spoilers & Translations
- Official Rules
- Featured Event Reports
- Top of the World
- An X-Act Science
- Error Cards
- Printable Checklist
- Places to Play


Nintendo Tips
- Red/Blue
- Yellow
- Gold & Silver
- Crystal
- Ruby & Sapphire
- Fire Red & Leaf Green
- Emerald
- SNAP
- Pinball
- TCG cart
- Stadium
- PuPuzzle League
- Pinball: Ruby/Sapphire
- Pokemon Coliseum
- Pokemon Box
- Pokemon Channel


GameBoy Help
- ClownMasters Fixes
- Groudon's Den
- Pokemon of the Week

E-Card Reader FAQ's
- Expedition
- Aquapolis
- Skyridge
- Construction Action Function
- EON Ticket Manual


Deck Garage
- Pokemaster's Pit Stop
- Kyle's Garage
- Ghostly Gengar


Cartoon/Anime
- Episode Listing
- Character Bios
- Movies & Videos
- What's a Pokemon?
- Video List
- DVD List


Featured Articles

Pojo's Toy Box

Books & Videos

Downloads

Advertise With Us
- Sponsors
-
Links

Chat

About Us
Contact Us

Buy & Sell Pokemon Cards Here!

Magic
Yu-Gi-Oh!
DBZ
Pokemon
Yu Yu Hakusho
NeoPets
HeroClix
Harry Potter
Anime
Vs. System
Megaman



Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Torterra  

- Plasma Storm

Date Reviewed:
March 18, 2013

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 1.87
Limited: 3.37

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

Baby Mario
2010 UK National
Seniors
Champion

Torterra (Plasma Storm) 

Hello and welcome to another week of Plasma Storm reviews here on Pojo’s CotD. We kick off the week with Torterra, the hipster’s choice of Diamond and Pearl starter Pokémon. 

The first thing to notice about Torterra is that it is a Team Plasma Pokémon, so it works well with the Team Plasma support cards like Grunt and Colress Machine. There will be more to come in future sets too. Torterra doesn’t seem to benefit especially from this support at the moment but, hey, it does have some things going for it, like that nice 150 HP that puts it out of the range of Darkrai-EX/Dark Claw/Laser shenanigans. Water Resistance is also nice in a format where Keldeo-EX is a pretty popular attacker. The Fire Weakness is ok, as long as your metagame isn’t full of Fire-Type Klinklang counters, while the retreat cost of four means you run Switch (and/or Escape Rope). 

Torterra’s first attack, Guard Press, is quite pricey at one Grass and two Colourless Energy. It does an unthreatening 60 damage and offers Torterra a 20 point damage reduction on your opponent’s next turn. This isn’t bad exactly, but it’s difficult to see how it will work well for you in the current format. It makes something like Keldeo-EX work even harder for the KO, but established OHKO-ers like Rayquaza-EX and Black Kyurem-EX will still one-shot it regardless. Meanwhile, it does little or nothing to prevent those Pokémon that take the two-hit KO route (Darkrai-EX, Tornadus-EX, Cobalion-EX) accomplishing their goal, especially with Hypnotoxic Laser and Virbank Gym available. 

For the investment of another Colourless Energy, Torteraa gives you Rumble Stomp, which has a base damage of 80, but has one of those ‘flip a coin until you get tails’ effects: in this case adding 20 damage for each heads. This means of course that it will only take five consecutive heads to OHKO a clean EX Pokémon! And you can always re-flip an unsatisfactory result with Victory Star Victini! . . . But yeah, you would have to be a little bit mad to rely on this happening. With anything short of amazing luck and a lot of Energy, Torterra will take two hits to KO any EX (apart from Keldeo, which it hits for Weakness). 

Torterra is pretty much in the category of mediocre Stage 2s. Not completely horrible, but just too slow, and too light on damage to be able to compete. Sure, you can pile Energy on it and exchange two-hit KOs with some of the EX Pokémon, but when it goes to the discard pile, where is your next 3-4 Energy Stage 2 coming from? And the one after that? Those are the key questions which this card just doesn’t answer. 

Rating 

Modified: 2 (too slow and underpowered to justify running as a Stage 2)

Limited: 3.25 (if you can get it out, it will be quite the tank) 


Otaku

If you are reading this, I forgot to write an introduction.

 

Stats

 

Miscellaneous: Torterra is a Team Plasma card.  This allows it to tap Team Plasma support, and if we had another legal version, I would be referring to it as “Torterra [Plasma]”, but we don’t, so no there is no need.

 

Type: Grass-Type Pokémon like Torterra are simultaneously in demand but rarely seen; the reason is that Grass-Weakness is prominent in Deluge decks as both Blastoise (BW: Boundaries Crossed 31/149; BW: Plasma Storm 137/135) and Keldeo EX (BW: Boundaries Crossed 49/149, 144/149) have it, while amongst Fighting-Types it is seen on noteworthy examples like Terrakion (BW: Noble Victories 73/101, 99/101; BW: Boundaries Crossed 151/149) and Terrakion EX (BW: Dragons Exalted 71/124, 121/124).

 

Grass Resistance has disappeared from the TCG as well; it used to be the default for Metal-Type Pokémon.  So at this moment, being a Grass-Type is very good when it comes to Type-matching.  Unfortunately it has no Pokémon-Type support worth mentioning, no good support for the Energy-Type as the aforementioned Blastoise is for Water Energy, nor even a proven, strong Grass-Type Pokémon that would justify building a deck around or working into an off-Type deck.  A few have come close, like Virizion (BW: Noble Victories 13/101, 97/101) and Shaymin EX (BW: Next Destinies 5/99, 94/99), but haven’t proven themselves consistently.

 

Stage: As a Stage 2 Pokémon, Torterra is going to be almost painful to run in the current format.  Unfortunately balancing out the effectiveness of fully Evolved, “End Stage” Pokémon (non-Evolving Basic Pokémon, Stage 1 Pokémon that don’t further Evolve, and Stage 2 Pokémon) either isn’t a goal of Creatures, Inc. or they just haven’t ever really succeeded.

 

We had plenty of formats where being a Basic Pokémon that couldn’t Evolve were only worth minor supporting roles (if that), but if you aren’t a longtime player, you probably have never experienced that.  We have gotten some cards that help support Stage 2 Pokémon, but right now the only general purpose one is Rare Candy, and it really doesn’t do a good job.

 

As a matter of general design, the fast pace (going on a full out offense, including taking an actual Prize) that sets in on the very first turn of the game hurts anything not geared to be that fast, and there is no way to do that with Evolutions without completely undermining the mechanic.  Making the needed changes to slow the game down will take at least two formats (if that is the direction the game takes), but hopefully we can start getting the other side of the problem solved: receiving Evolving Basic and Stage 1 Pokémon forms that aren’t little more than filler.

 

Hit Points: 150 HP is and is not that good.  It is the second highest printed on any currently legal Stage 2 Pokémon and thankfully falls a little out of OHKO range for some key decks, including decks that actually have to work very hard for that OHKO.  Unfortunately it is still within 2HKO range of all competitive decks once they have a primary attacker ready to go, and this becomes a problem because as a Stage 2 Pokémon, Torterra needs three cards and three turns (two turns if using Rare Candy) to get into play.  Out of the top decks, Torterra is still within OHKO range for the bigger attacks in the game.

 

Weakness: Fire Weakness is another paradoxical stat; there are very, very few Fire-Type decks currently viewed as competitive.  A cursory search isn’t bringing up any Fire-Type Pokémon that are not Water Weak, which explains part of why Deluge decks have doused their flames.  The other part is that we really only had one or two noteworthy Fire-Type decks even before the rise of Deluge decks.

 

However Klinklang (BW: Plasma Storm 90/135) caused quite the stir due to its Plasma Steel Ability (which blocks damage to Metal-Type Pokémon by Pokémon-EX) and this has resulted in several decks working Fire-Type attackers into otherwise non-Fire-Type decks.  This means Fire Weakness can be either tolerable or dangerous, depending on the metagame and whether your opponent has read it correctly or incorrectly; some areas have very few Plasma Steel decks while others have several or an amount in between the extremes.  You are in trouble if they are common and players anticipate that correctly, or if they are not but players still believe they are.

 

Resistance: Torterra enjoys Water Resistance; any Resistance is a welcome sight as it has become less common than it was a few years ago, and this can actually come in handy as Water-Type attackers do see play.  As a whole Resistance is quite easy to play around and the top Water-Type deck (Deluge, as mentioned earlier) can (and often does) run at least one major non-Water-Type attacker as well as being able to power through Resistance with a barely higher Energy investment.

 

Retreat: Torterra has a massive Retreat of four; this means you will need to run something mitigate the difficulty of manually retreating it whether you choose to use a true alternative or merely an effect that reduces (preferably zeros out) the cost.  As a small bonus, at least you do enjoy access to Heavy Ball from this, though how useful that will be depends on the rest of the deck as Turtwig (the Basic form of Torterra) is not a legal target and Grotle (the Stage 1 form) is but is also likely to be skipped in favor of Rare Candy.

 

Effects

 

Attack#1: Guard Press requires (GCC) and hits for 60 points of damage while reducing the damage Torterra would take the next turn by 20.  This is simply overpriced and/or underpowered.  Competitive decks really need to hit for 70 to 90 points of damage for three Energy, preferably more, and the lower you go the better a compensatory effect the attack requires.  Blocking 20 points of damage is useful, but even constantly attacking with Guard Press will only make Torterra a little less likely to be OHKOed or 2HKOed.

 

Attack#2: Rumble Stomp is the card’s “big” attack, and it requires (GCCC).  It hits for 80 points of base damage, with a “flip until tails” clause that adds 20 points of damage per “heads”.  As this format pretty much requires you at least score a 2HKO and four Energy attacks seem to require you hit for at least 100 points of damage (even with bonus effects), this is a bit underwhelming.

 

Probability can be a bit tricky to explain and comprehend; but the quick and dirty version means that without outside support, Rumble Stomp can 2HKO the commonly run Pokémon (before Weakness or effects), but only about half the time as you should average “tails” immediately on Rumble Stomp about half the time, and extra damage from runs of “heads” would be lost anyway.

 

80 points of damage is not a good base damage for this kind of attack; it often misses key thresholds for OHKOs/2HKOs without multiple successful coin flips.  There is a reason this kind of attack, with its unreliable damage output is best reserved for a lower cost attack, useful more as a threat then an actual, expected success.

 

Synergy: Besides the basic synergy of Guard Press requiring one less Energy than Rumble Stomp and both using the same Energy Types, Guard Press might help you live long enough to use Rumble Stomp and both attacks are largely Colorless.  This allows Torterra to use almost all off-Type Energy and almost all Modified legal forms of Energy acceleration.

 

Usage

 

Card Family: The only option we have for Turtwig in Modified is BW: Plasma Storm 1/135 and the only choice we have for Grotle is BW: Plasma Storm 2/135 or Rare Candy.  Both Pokémon are Grass-Types with Fire Weakness and Water Resistance.

 

Turtwig has 70 HP which is decent for a twice Evolving Basic Pokémon, but needs two Energy to retreat: that is poor in general due to card interactions, extra painful due to this being a twice Evolving Basic Pokémon.  Its attacks are also bad; Nap for (C) heals 20 points of damage, but Turtwig is probably getting OHKOed and if it isn’t, healing 20 isn’t likely to prevent a 2HKO.  Razor Leaf hitting for 30 for (GCC) would only be useful under very obscure circumstances as is overpriced.

 

Grotle has 100 HP, meaning it might actually survive a hit; most competitive decks can boost a single turns damage to that amount, but if set-up isn’t complete many decks hit just below that.  It has a Retreat of three, making it also a Heavy Ball target though a pain to get to the Bench without help.  It gets a single attack, Knock Away, which requires (GCC) and only hits for 40 (plus another 20 if you get “heads” on a mandatory coin toss).  The attack is poor, not really much better than Razor Leaf given the circumstances; you would only be using it out of desperation.

 

The Team Plasma card support for Torterra is pretty typical of all other Team Plasma Pokémon; you can get a little more detailed account of it here in a simple article I wrote to avoid going through the entire list every review.  I’ll cover in more the parts most relevant to Torterra.

 

Colress Machine and Plasma Energy allows either of its attacks to be powered up in one turn, however this is not easy for Guard Press and is actually difficult for Rumble Stomp; both require a manual Energy attachment from the hand free to meet the attack’s (G) Energy requirement, and Guard Press would require two successful uses of Colress Machine while Rumble Stomp would require three.

 

There actually is another Grass-Type Team Plasma Pokémon, Amoonguss (BW: Plasma Storm 5/135), which I just realized I have been constantly misspelling with only a single “s” on the end every other time I’ve written about it: ouch.  This Amoonguss [Plasma] technically would be easier to set-up than Torterra and does have two disruptive attacks.  The rest of the deck could be filled out with non-Team Plasma Pokémon or else the Colorless Team Plasma Pokémon, some of which we have reviewed.

 

Unlimited: We have other Torterra to pick from, and that is after we have to ignore that there are first turn win/lock decks and all around better options for whatever we plan to use Torterra for in the first place.

 

Modified: This is your only choice for Torterra, and right now your only choice for a fleshed out Grass-Type Team Plasma deck.  Should you actually run such a deck?  Probably not; Torterra isn’t that impressive and neither are your other options for it.  If you insist on it, do consider Victini (BW: Noble Victories 14/101, 98/101) as both Torterra and most of the Team Plasma Pokémon I have mentioned require coin flips for their attacks.

 

Limited: As is often the case, Torterra is much better suited to Limited.  The downside is, like almost all Evolutions it will be very hard to pull even a 1-1-1 line and there are no alternatives to running a lower Stage.  Given the usual lack of draw and search power here, it can be very difficult to get Evolutions out as well.  Of course this also makes them very potent when they do show up as they tower over almost everything else.  The obvious exceptions are key Basic Pokémon, like most Pokémon-EX or Heatmor (BW: Plasma Storm 23/135); cards that really wreck the concept of Limited.

 

Still, if you do get enough even a 1-1-1 line, strongly consider running it.  The “okay” HP scores become “good” here, and while the Weakness is worse you’ve got to encounter it.  Resistance likewise becomes better.  Resign yourself to not retreating any member of this line, but all the attacks become a bit better here and in particular, Guard Press combined with the 150 HP Torterra should last several turns unless you run into another fully Evolved and set-up attacker.  Lastly, you will enjoy the mostly Colorless Energy requirements as it will make running a multi-Type deck much, much easier.

 

Ratings

 

Unlimited: 1/5

 

Modified: 1.75/5

 

Limited: 3.5/5

 

 

Summary

Torterra isn’t useful enough to break the trend of underperforming Grass-Type Pokémon, of underperforming Stage 2 Pokémon, and of underperforming Team Plasma cards, though that last one isn’t as big of a trend as the other two and has more hope of changing: we’ve gotten several good Team Plasma cards, and more are expected based on what we have seen in Japan.  If you are a big Torterra fan, you might be able to build a functional “fun” deck but nothing you should expect to do well with at a tournament.


Copyright© 1998-2013 pojo.com
This site is not sponsored, endorsed, or otherwise affiliated with any of the companies or products featured on this site. This is not an Official Site.