If you are reading this, I forgot to
write an introduction.
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
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)
Keldeo EX (BW: Boundaries Crossed
49/149, 144/149) have it, while amongst
Fighting-Types it is seen on noteworthy
Terrakion (BW: Noble Victories
73/101, 99/101; BW: Boundaries
Crossed 151/149) and
Terrakion EX (BW: Dragons Exalted
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
Unfortunately it has no
Pokémon-Type support worth mentioning,
no good support for the Energy-Type as
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
You are in trouble if they are
common and players anticipate that
correctly, or if they are not but
players still believe they are.
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
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
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
Guard Press requires (GCC) and hits for
60 points of damage while reducing the
Torterra would take the next turn by
This is simply overpriced and/or
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
Torterra to use almost all off-Type
Energy and almost all Modified legal
forms of Energy acceleration.
The only option we have for
Turtwig in Modified is BW: Plasma
Storm 1/135 and the only choice we
Grotle is BW: Plasma Storm
Both Pokémon are Grass-Types with
Fire Weakness and Water Resistance.
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.
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
I’ll cover in more the parts most
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
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.
Amoonguss [Plasma] technically would
be easier to set-up than
Torterra and does have two
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.
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
Torterra for in the first place.
This is your only choice for
Torterra, and right now your only
choice for a fleshed out Grass-Type Team
Should you actually run such a
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.
As is often the case,
Torterra is much better suited to
The downside is, like almost all
Evolutions it will be very hard to pull
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.
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
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
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,
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.