Taking the #1 slot on our countdown is probably the most
controversial card since the days of
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
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 . . .
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,
Klinklang Toolbox, and
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
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
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.
Overall impact: 4.75
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
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.
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
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.
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
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