Card Commentary: Tropius (Plasma Blast PLB 5)

Salutations! Today I am going to be focusing on one of the most intriguing cards to come out of Plasma Blast: Tropius! Tropius is currently, in my opinion, the most controversial card to come out of Plasma Blast. I intend to give you a full rundown on the capabilities of the card, the decks it can function well in, how it functions in those decks, and my opinion on whether Tropius is a card worth considering for certain decks.

Capabilities: How the Numbers Stack Up
Tropius may be top banana.

Tropius has a solid 100 HP, which unfortunately prevents him from being searchable by Level Ball. It has a weakness to Lightning and a resistance to Fighting, making it a decent counter to Landorus-EX. This also gives Virizion/Genesect an attacker who is not weak to Fire. It has a one-Energy Retreat Cost, which allows it to have free retreat when Skyarrow Bridge is in play.

Its first attack, Return, costs one G Energy and does 10 damage while allowing you to draw cards until you have six cards in your hand. This is an excellent first turn attack in many decks.

Its second attack, Energy Press, costs GC and does 20 damage plus an additional 20 damage for every Energy attached to the Defending Pokémon. This allows you to 2HKO Pokémon-EX that have attacks that cost three or more Energy, and to 1HKO a charged up Keldeo-EX. Silver Bangle adds to Tropius’ power by allowing you to do 40 damage on your first turn with Return and allowing you to 2HKO Pokémon-EX that have two Energy attached to them.

Decks It Can Function In: Where and How to Use Tropius

The most obvious use of the card is in the new deck coming out in the latest set, Plasma Blast. That deck, of course, is Virizion/Genesect. Tropius’ Return attack provides a great secondary option if you whiff the T1 Emerald Slash with Virizion because it replenishes your hand and does a little bit of damage. That 10 damage can be huge down the road against decks that rely on 170 HP EXs because it allows you to hit numbers with Megalo Cannon main damage and snipe damage as well as Megalo Cannon snipe damage and Gold Breaker damage if you choose to run Bouffalant DRX.

Tropius also provides a decent secondary attack with Energy Press against decks that run Mewtwo or other attackers who tend to stack Energy on one Pokémon.

The second deck where Tropius can make an impact is Darkrai/Hydreigon. He can provide draw support early on thanks to cards like Blend GRPD Energy and Prism Energy allowing the deck to fulfill the G Energy requirement while still retaining the D Energy element. Energy Press is also a decent attack in the deck, allowing the deck to take down Mewtwos and other highly energized attackers. Tropius is a great addition to this deck because it provides a second non-EX attacker besides Absol. Tropius is also a great card in any deck that makes use of Prism Energy or Blend GRPD Energy.


Tropius is a going to be a good card in the upcoming format. It is a better counter to Keldeo-EX than Mewtwo EX is and also provides excellent draw support while doing damage, making it a solid T1 option. He is a great non-EX attacker and can fill the niche in many decks that is left by the rotation of Cobalion NVI. Return is a great attack for decks that require speed and need multiple cards in order to set up, such as Blastoise and Darkrai/Hydreigon.

Reader Interactions

16 replies

  1. Ryan Sheckler

    In using Tropius in a Genesect/Virizion build, are you using this as a 1 of? My concern with testing with Tropius thus far has been the weakness to lightning against plasma decks early game and its lucklaster performance late game against any deck (especially not being searchable by level ball). I feel like it may not be worth the resources over a card like Bouffalant which packs a little bit of a larger punch against plasma. I do like the 1 retreat cost though which fits it well with skyarrow bridge!

    • Empoleon1107  → Ryan

      The retreat cost is something I really like. The main reason I like this card so much in VirGen is because it allows you to get some draw support going if you do not have the cards to hit the T1 Emerald Slash. You’re not going to be running Level Ball in there regardless, so I feel that its not that big of a deal.

      • Will Thwaites  → Empoleon1107

        Yes exactly, plus you can sit on your draw power while our opponent tries to knock it out and is distracted from knocking out the important stuff I.e. Genesect EX

  2. Andrew Campbell

    I fail to see why Tropius is good in a deck that wants to be using Emerald Slash by turn two in nearly every case. It’s also a weak attacker, and any Blastoise player wouldn’t start attacking you with Keldeos when BKEX can do the job and not get OHKO’d by Megalo Cannon. Also, unlike Mewtwo, Tropius can’t KO Kyurems and Deoxys that have energy when you have laserbank.

    So basically, I think Tropius is a bad attacker in a deck that doesn’t need/want to start with something not called Virizion-EX, and can be replaced by Mewtwo EX very nicely in said deck, which isn’t even a fantastic deck.

    Just my opinion on the card.

    • Andrew Campbell  → Andrew

      What I’m trying to say is that I disagree with your commentary, and gave a couple reasons why above.

      • Ryan Sheckler  → Andrew

        Mewtwo EX would not be a viable attacker in VirGen builds at all. If you built one up on the bench with Virizion EX in one turn it would be easily catcher KO with Deoxys. I think the brilliance of Tropius comes from the following scenario. Say turn 1 your current hand is 1 Virizion EX, 2 Grass energy, 1 Tropius, 1 Genesect, 1 Skyarrow, and a Skyla. Tropius would be clutch as you could lay down your entire hand and attack with Tropius, filing your hand and leaving the skyla to find g booster on Turn 2. Again I think Tropius will see much more play when X & Y come out if/when energy switch is reprinted. What non-ex attacker would you rather see in the deck AGGarchomp?

        • Andrew Campbell  → Ryan

          In that scenario, I would be a lot more comfortable grabbing Juniper with Skyla, opening with Virizion, attaching, passing, attaching again, benching Genesect, playing SAB (why is it even in the deck with laserbank? A 1-of?), and Junipering. Tropius is an awful attacker that can’t do serious damage in this format, and offers no obvious advantage over opening with Virizion. But the fact that it’s so hard to Emerald Slash T1 is partially why I think this deck is an inferior TDK.

          If I had to play the deck, I would be using 4 DCE, 2 Mewtwo, and maybe a single Bouffalant for a non EX attacker. I would also play laserbank, and 0-1 SAB, but include a couple Switches or something.

        • Andrew Campbell  → Andrew

          Either way though, I hardly know what I am talking about in this deck. You could very well be right. I don’t know enough about how the deck plays to discuss it anyway :P.

        • skyshaymin49  → Andrew

          I honestly don’t think you should play LaserBank in the deck because, firstly, Virizion EX will be popular in any deck which can use Blend Energy GRPD or Prism Energy (Which should be any deck that will have a bench spot open and doesn’t use anything like Darkrai or stage 2’s which make Prism energy a bit of a hassle,) and secondly, because every list I’ve seen or made has no Pokémon in them that have 2+ retreat making most of your Pokémon if not all of your Pokémon impossible to catcher-stall.

    • jet9855  → Andrew

      tropius is a great card i noticed it too when i first looked at the set. its like when that stunfisk with muddy water. it was a good attack that counters the format for a low energy cost. no one gave that card a chance either and i won many a game against darkrai with him. you guys are too used to the current format of big hp EX cards with high damage and high energy cost and don’t understand how important the speed this card has setting up and setting you deck up.

    • Will Thwaites  → Andrew

      You raise a good point about BKEX, but it’s not Tropius’ job to knock out BKEX – he’s there to knock out overzealous Keldeo EXs while G Booster/Hydreigon knock out BKEX depending on your deck choice. As for TDK, Tropius is a bad card in the matchup, but he’s the best VirGen has against decks like Suicune/Terrakion and Flareon, where he comes into his own. Genesect is worse because a) his attack takes one energy too many (even with emerald slash which you should be using on Genesect EX) and b) energy press can be intimidating for some players – the idea of losing a big ex attacker/ a turn of attacking for one prize can cause misplays. Tropius may be the best certain decks can get for counters to certain decks.

      • Andrew Campbell  → Will

        I wasn’t trying to say Tropius would try to knock out BKEX, that would be absurd. I understand the point about Keldeo, but my point was that those Keldeos wouldn’t be put into play with energy in the first place when they’re an easy 2 prizes for megalo cannon.

        I don’t see how Tropius, who can’t OHKO stuff against Flareon is good in that matchup, except as a 7th prize. Suicune/Terrakion also doesn’t seem like a looming threat to me, but it’s pretty obvious that Tropius would be good against it.

        And if I’m playing against someone who would make serious misplays over the prospect of getting an EX knocked out, I’m probably at league and aren’t doing serious testing anyway.

        But, like I said, I don’t know enough to say whether Tropius is or isn’t a good card. I would not be surprised if it became a standard one of in G/V, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it didn’t. I don’t have the experience, or skill of predicting how good a card will be to make a decent call. I would suggest either waiting until BRs results turn out, or asking someone who’s half decent at this game and has been playing for a while.

  3. Grant Manley

    Tropius is good in Virizion/Genesect as a 1, or 2-of as a non-EX attacker. Unlike Bouffalant, it OHKO’s Suicune.

    • Will Thwaites  → Grant

      Also, it can be like bouffalant was in Big Basics where, if you have only 1 copy and no other non-EXs, your opponent enters into a 7-prize draw as they only have EXs left to knock out. It’s a sly move that can put people off their strategy. Good article by the way, it was eye-opening with the inclusion of Tropius in Hydreigon, will have to test it

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