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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 Tropical Beach

- Worlds Promo

Date Reviewed:
Aug. 22, 2014

Ratings & Reviews Summary

See Below

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

Baby Mario
2010 UK National
Seniors
Champion

#1 Tropical Beach 

Taking the #1 slot on our countdown is probably the most controversial card since the days of Slowking and Sneasel. Unlike them, it wasn’t controversial because it was broken (it really wasn’t); it was controversial because of the way it was distributed. Tropical Beach was only made available on two occasions as a Worlds exclusive Promo to qualifying competitors and event staff, meaning that demand far outstripped supply with predictable results: there were times when the value of an English Tropical Beach topped $200, putting it way beyond the reach of an awful lot of players. 

I was a Worlds competitor when this card was first released, and I remember most of us opening our Binders, reading the card text and thinking ‘is this . . . maybe playable? . . . Eh . . . probably not’. But Ross Cawthon had different ideas: he put his single English copy in his radical new creation, The Truth, and took it to second place in the Masters division. Would history have worked out differently if Chris Fulop hadn’t scooped to Ross in the final round of Swiss and left his deck with a mediocre record and a missed top cut? Almost certainly not, though it may have taken players a little longer to get clued into how good the card was. 

I say Tropical Beach was good, but in truth it is not exactly brilliant: a Stadium that lets you draw up to seven at the expense of ending your turn would never have been a $200 card in a format with other great consistency cards like Uxie LA, or even with very playable starter Pokémon like Holon’s Castform or Spiritomb AR. The fact was though, that Beach offered a substantial consistency boost and an answer to poor opening hands in a format where both were in very short supply. 

Tropical Beach swiftly became a staple in decks that required some kind of set up and/or had no useful attacks they could use on the first turn. Gothitelle decks, Truth variants, and Chandelure NVI were early beneficiaries, with ideal Beach counts quickly rising to the level of 3-4 copies. Later on, Blastoise/Keldeo, Rayquaza/Emboar, Klinklang Toolbox, and Gothitelle/Accelgor all used the card extensively. It wasn’t that these decks wouldn’t work without Beaches, it was just that the absolute optimum list for them demanded Beach, and when you play to win at the highest level, you don’t play less than the optimum. Even all-Basics decks that didn’t have a turn 1 attack (such as Virizion/Genesect) sometimes opted for Beach, and the change in turn 1 rules which meant the player going first couldn’t attack only increased its value (in every sense). 

I have sympathy for those who couldn’t get hold of Tropical Beach or who hated the ridiculous prices it commanded, but I will still be extremely sorry to see it go. It was a good consistency card at a time when such a thing was desperately needed. Now it’s gone, and unless something comes along to fill the gap, it will be more difficult than ever to use Stage 2 Pokémon, and that limits our options as players and makes the game less interesting with diminished scope for creativity. Expect to see it a lot in Extended. 

Rating

Overall impact: 4.75

Extended: 4.5


aroramage

Welcome one and all to the card lost to rotation that we're going to wave tearfully to on the beach as it sails off into the sunset, never to be seen again as the credits roll on this era! Yes, ladies and gentlemen, we've hit the biggest card of them all: Tropical Beach.

"Wait, what?" Hey, don't ask that! It's a big deal! And we're going to take a look at why!

At first glance, Tropical Beach is a fairly simple card with a fairly simple effect: once per turn, a player can draw until he has 7 cards in hand in exchange for ending his turn. Alright, not bad, a nice Juniper when you don't have one or are short on draw power in general. Strategically you can play this to refresh your hand early game after you've dumped it all onto the field for whatever reason, or you can mess with your opponent by playing it and getting rid of their Stadium, usually Virbank City Gym. But other than that, this card isn't particularly stand-outtish in terms of gameplay. It takes great timing and good strategy to use, but other than that, what does this card mean? Why is it our top card over such strong candidates as Skyarrow Bridge, Dark Patch, and Rayquaza-EX?

Well that's because this is more than just a card in a card game. It was one of those promo cards given away at Worlds 2011 and 2012, and that makes it really special. This card represents two years - four if you include its participation in decks throughout Worlds 2013 and 2014 - of people coming together to one place to compete against each other, a place where everyone can have fun playing a game they enjoy and uniting an entire community - nay, an entire world together, on a scale comparable to Yugioh and Magic!

Tropical Beach isn't just another special "get it at one place only for a limited time" card; it's an idea, a social place of gathering. It's not an exclusive badge to the ritzy club that only the elite or fortunate can get into, but rather it's a symbol of devotion and dedication, a representation of the feelings of all players who play the game, whether as competitive battlers on a global stage or as casual practitioners like myself.

Someday we may look on Champions' Festival in a similar way, as I believe that the Worlds promos are universally symbolic of the Pokemon TCG community, and while we may not have Tropical Beach at the moment, I've got a hunch that it won't be the last we'll be seeing of it...well, at least in Modified anyway.

Rating

Modified: N/A

Expanded: 4/5 (you may not see a whole lot of it, but when you do, it proves to be very very useful; just keep in mind that, as with most Stadiums, your opponent can take advantage of it too)

Limited: N/A (well, unless Worlds gets an entire set devoted to them, but come on)

Arora Notealus: Never having been to Worlds myself, I can't say I've even see this card played before, but it's got some nice artwork. Especially the 2012 print!

Weekend Thought: What does a card like Tropical Beach represent to you? I mean, I'm just a review guy, I've only given an opinion if anything. Also, any cards you think we missed in our Top 10 Cards Lost to Rotation countdown?


Otaku

At last, likely the overall most influential card that the rotation from NXD-On to BCR-On (in both places, plus miscellaneous promos): Tropical Beach!  This Stadium allows you to give up your attack in order to draw until you have seven cards in hand.  You can read our original reviews for the card here three years ago! 

This card is good.  Is it broken?  I don’t think so; in general its just a “good” card that can work in pretty much any deck.  The change in the first turn rules (coupled with how sometimes you just need a second Stadium in deck) makes a single copy almost universally useful.  Slower decks that aren’t going to have a strong offense until a player’s second or third turn - it is so wrong that getting your main attack/strategy going that quickly is “slower” - and especially if they involve a more complicated set-up, such as multiple Stage 2 Pokémon, seem to need this card.  Said decks can be functional without it, but they struggle to be consistent enough to place highly at tournaments. 

Tropical Beach is infamous because of its rarity; there are only two printings of the card - BW Promo BW28 and BW50 - which were both exclusively available at the 2011 and the 2012 World Championships.  Those willing to can and did sell or trade off their copies, but the supply was far below demand, and unlike even a Secret Rare from a set, you couldn’t go and buy a booster hoping to pull one.  This is why I believe such exclusive cards shouldn’t be “unique”; there needs to be a release of the card in another venue, though in a form clearly distinguishable from the World Championship version or the World Championship promo needs to be illegal for Organized Play or simply have no game relevant text, like the trophy cards given out to the Top 4 of each age bracket.  Many people disagree with me over this, of course.  Previous World Championship promos have been similarly rare, but also have underpowered or unreliable effects, I’ve occasionally had a deck that could have used one or two of them.  It seems inevitable that cards designed to be weak will eventually be botched and come out really strong… like Tropical Beach. 

I expect it to continue to see play in Expanded, and it would in Modified (BCR-On) had it remained legal.  It isn’t available in a set so you would never be able to use it for Limited, but it’d be a perfect score and must run if it were legal.

Ratings 

Modified (NXD-On): 3.5/5 - This is a general rating; it is a handy card to have in most decks, crowded out by the fact there is room for only so many Stadiums.  In slower decks, its may be worth as much as a perfect five out of five! 

Modified (BCR-On): N/A - If it were legal, it would be the same as in NXD-On.

Expanded (BW-On): 3.5/5 Again, handy to have in most decks, and in some decks it is essential to truly be competitive. 

Limited: N/A - If it was in a set, it would take extreme circumstances for it not to receive a perfect score and be a must run. 

Summary: Tropical Beach is a good card for decks that aren’t able to go on the offense right away (or at least reliably and/or effectively) and a solid choice in general.  Pity it was a World Championship promo and thus painfully scarce.


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