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Yu Yu Hakusho
Harry Potter
Vs. System

Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


Escape Rope
- S&M: Burning Shadows
- #BUS 163

Date Reviewed:
September 7, 2017

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 2.50
Expanded: 2.95
Limited: 3.33

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 being horrible.  3 ... average.  5 is awesome.

Back to the main COTD Page


Wow, to think the last time we reviewed this card was back in Plasma Storm. And yet I STILL feel like we've reviewed it a lot! 

...wait I haven't even reviewed it, what the what? 

Escape Rope has been around for about 4 years now, debuting in the Plasma Storm expansion and recently getting reprinted in...well, this set. It did also show up in Primal Clash, which is probably why I imagine it's something we've seen a lot of even if we've hardly seen it that much at all. Basically this is what you might call the Item version of Guzma, where it switches around both players' Active Pokemon, starting with your opponent's and then you with yours. 

The main differences to keep note of are that, with Escape Rope, your opponent gets the choice of what they put into the Active spot, instead of you choosing like you would with Guzma. This gives your opponent an opportunity to pick something that they'd rather put out like, say, a back-up attacker or a big beefy wall to soak the damage before swapping things around again, instead of that extremely vulnerable Bench-sitter or evolving Basic. The other important note is that this is an Item card, which means that you risk adding on more damage to Garbodor's Trashalanche attack if you end up with that match-up. 

That being said, this is probably a great card to run a couple copies of in Golisopod-GX decks, since freely switching Pokemon around to have the ability to inflict MASSIVE DAMAGE is a core part of that deck's strategy. I wouldn't overburden yourself by maxing out at 4 copies though - you could end up giving yourself a dead card to draw if it's not a good time for switching, and you do fuel Trashalanche the more copies you run, so 2 seems to be a pretty safe number to work with. Besides, you'll be maxing out on Guzma anyway. 

Outside of that deck, though, I don't imagine most people will want to run Escape Rope. Guzma does more with the rotation that players want, and they don't want to push their Item count higher due to Garbodor, so it makes sense not to run more than 1 copy if that. So basically you run it if you'd like the extra switch option on your side but otherwise keep it tucked away in your backpack.

...not your actual backpack, that was...that was a game reference... 


Standard: 2.5/5 (all things considered, it's a decent card in its own right) 

Expanded: 2.5/5 (has a lot of uses outside of fueling an attack) 

Limited: 3/5 (but definitely not a bad card, just not as good as some others) 

Arora Notealus: It was actually brought up that Escape Rope is pretty much identical to Warp Point, a card that came out as early as Gym Challenge. Warp Point let your opponent switch their Active around and then you switch yours. It probably just made more sense, since Warp Point was only a Trainer card, that when it came time to update things to Items and such that Escape Rope made more for an "Item" than a Warp Point. Can you imagine carrying one of those tiles from Silph Co.'s building around all the time? Looks a little silly. 

Next Time: Coming back to fiery hot things!


Escape Rope (Burning Shadows, 163/147) got a really good looking full art reprint in the Burning Shadows expansion set.  Escape Rope requires your opponent to switch his or her active Pokemon with a benched one, and then you must do the same.  Obviously, if either player does not have a benched Pokemon, they can’t switch, but the card can still be played so long as one player has a benched Pokemon.

This card saw a lot of play until Garbodor (Guardians Rising, 51/145) came along.  And then we got Guzma (Burning Shadows, 115/147) and it has all but dropped off the face of the Earth.  This was definitely one of the cards that fell prey to the power of Trashalanche.  Volcanion (Steam Siege, 25/114) decks especially that used to run at least one if not two Escape Ropes took them out.  Guzma improves upon Escape Rope because you get to decide what Pokemon comes into the active, not your opponent.

And since neither Trashalanche nor Guzma are going anywhere any time soon (actually, all three cards would rotate out at the same time, about a week less than two years from today), I doubt Escape Rope will see any play over the term of its Standard legal existence.


Standard: 1 out of 5


I wonder what the conditions might be that would bring this card back into usefulness?  They would have to involve some way to minimize or divert damage done by Trashalanche, some way to prevent Item usage from fueling Trashalanche.  I know that there’s a “Lost Zone” that is in the Legacy format.  Perhaps if the game designers bring that back or something similar where we can either move Items to or put them directly there after playing so they don’t add fuel to the fire for Trashalanche, then we would certainly see a return to the liberal usage of Item cards and we wouldn’t have to grit our teeth when we put more than five items into our decklists.


Today’s Throwback Thursdays is Escape Rope.  It was printed multiple times in BW Plasma Storm, XY Primal Clash, and SM Burning Shadows.  Escape Rope puts you out from a dungeon by sending you back at the entrance (or Pokemon Center on RBY).  So, how does this translate to the TCG?


Both players switch their active Pokemon with one of their benched Pokemon.  Your opponent makes the switch first.  This should clear confusion as to who switches first.  This is more of a disruption card, not a control card.  Since the opponent is making the switch, you have no control as to which Pokemon you would target.


There was another card with the same effect (even though wording is slightly different) called Warp Point.  This card has seen moderate play in the past.  Warp Point and Escape Rope could be interpreted as:


Switch + Pokemon Circulator (HS Unleashed)


Switch + Repel (Sun & Moon)


There are ways to mitigate the first effect, that is, the opponent making the switch.  There are Pokemon whose attack deals spread and/or snipe damage regardless of which Pokemon the opponent would bring.  Blastoise (HS Unleashed), Raikou-EX (BW Dark Explorers), and/or Tapu Fini GX has some attack which deals some serious damage.  There’s also Greninja BREAK and Trevenant BREAK that can place damage counters regardless whether or not your opponent switches their Pokemon.


So, enjoy Escape Rope in Standard and Expanded.  In Legacy, Warp Point is still there, so you could even abuse this effect up to eight times (four warp points and four escape rope)!  Using Junk Arms and Dowsing Machine cranks it up to 13 times!  Sableye’s Junk Hunt will make items limitless.


Standard: 3.5/5 

Expanded: 3.5/5 

Limited: 4/5 

Legacy: 4/5 


            Escape Rope; always a staple in any deck. It’s that type of card that does what it sets out to do well. Originating from the BW Plasma Storm expansion, this card has seen 2 reprints, making it legal in 3 meta blocks. XY Primal Clash reprints this card, making it legal in the entirety of the XY season, and now SM Burning Shadows also reprinted this card along an amazing Secret Rare print, which makes this very underrated card look sleek.

            What Escape Rope does is that it is a predecessor of Guzma (SM Burning Shadows) before it ever comes to light. It is an Item card that allows you and your opponent to switch Pokemon, although your opponent switches first. This is a godsend card for decks that have multiple Pokemon that have high retreat cost like Volcanion-EX (XY Steam Siege) which had a huge 3 energy retreat cost or Pokemon that don’t want to discard energy liberally because they only had limited resources of said energies like Night March (XY Phantom Forces). Back then, there are no such things as double switch; to get the Pokemon you want to remove from play, you also need a Lysandre (XY Flashfire, XY Ancient Origins) to really hunt the Pokemon you want. Although when you use Escape Rope, you might probably have predicted what Pokemon your opponent will promote otherwise.

            I can’t tell you how much have Escape Rope have saved my games many times, especially with Night March decks. Since Joltik has so much HP and Pumpkaboo had a massive 3 energy retreat cost, using Escape Rope is a must to help me pivot around to get the Pokemon I want to attack with easily. In other decks such as Primal Groudon-EX (XY Primal Clash)/Wobbuffet (XY Phantom Forces, XY Generations), since it has 2 Pokemon who don’t want to burn energy to retreat, using an Escape Rope is always a great idea when you don’t have a Scramble Switch to help retreat in hand yet, so you essentially have up to 5 ways to switch Pokemon around (9 now with Guzma around). I can’t see why people elected not to put Guzma in Primal Groudon decks. I think it is an amazing card that can help you stall opponents with putting Wobbuffet in the Active slot or start attacking with Primal Groudon.

            But also, you can see why Escape Rope has fallen out of favor nowadays. You see, using Escape Rope allows your opponent to switch their Pokemon around as well, potentially benefiting them more than you do. But ever since Guzma is printed out, and that card can give you 100% control over all Pokemon in play, Escape Rope has now fallen out of viability thanks to Guzma.

            Overall though, Escape Rope is always a very handy card that allows you, in emergency situations, to get your Pokemon out in a pinch, just like the in-game item that inspired it.


Standard: 3/5 (A bit lower thanks to Guzma)

Expanded: 2.8/5 (Faces more competition from the diverse ways to get Pokemon out of the Active slot, either by scooping them up or by Guzma)

Limited: 3/5 (Also thanks to Guzma)

Next time on SM Burning Shadows:
Burn out to your queen.

Coming Soon.

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