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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


Rough Seas

- Phantom Forces

Date Reviewed:
Feb. 25, 2015

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 3.25
Expanded: 3.08
Limited: 4.50

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

Back to the main COTD Page

Baby Mario
2010 UK National

Rough Seas (Primal Clash) 

This is the Stadium that didn’t make our top 10 countdown, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad. Not by any means. 

With Rough Seas on the Field, either player may heal 30 damage from their Water and Lightning Type Pokémon during their turn. I’m not usually a big fan of healing effects in this format (Max Potion being an exception), but this card could turn out to be genuinely useful. For one thing it works under Item Lock, and for another it has the potential for multiple use, as long as it manages to stay in play. With Rough Seas, you could move a badly damaged Pokémon to the Bench and either restore its health over a few turns or force an opponent to use a Lysandre or similar effect. 

Rough Seas is particularly good against Pokémon which struggle to take one or two-hit KOs, such as Seismitoad EX. As long as you can cause enough damage to overcome the fact that they can heal too, you are largely negating any damaged caused with Quaking Punch on their turn. The relevant Mega Pokémon, with their high HP, will also enjoy this card: unless hitting for Weakness, M Manectric and Primal Kyogre become that bit more difficult to take down, as does Wailord EX PCL for that matter. 

It may not be the most spectacularly useful Stadium in existence, but Rough Seas at least deserves consideration for any deck which is running the relevant Type(s). True, some decks will still prefer other options (Seismitoad EX and Virbank City Gym), but in the absence of anything better, Rough Seas can at least function as a nice way of kicking your opponents’ Stadiums, and doing that is becoming more and more important in the game. 


Modified: 3.25 (a decent card in the right deck)

Expanded: 2.75 (better ‘default’ options exist, like Tropical Beach)

Limited: 4 (if you are running Water/Lightning, it should help a lot)


Man, with all these new Stadiums around, it's getting to be crowded around here! Can you imagine what the fields must look like with all of these up and about like this? Welcome back to today's card, Rough Seas!

So as the counterpart to Scorched Earth, Rough Seas supports the opposite Types to it as well; where Scorched Earth gives Fire and Fighting decks a good boost, Rough Seas does so to Water and...Electric? I guess for stormy weather. Needless to say, it's nice to see these Types get a little more support to keep them in the game! So what does Rough Seas do? Discard Energy to draw cards?

Nope. It heals. Alright, to its credit, there are a few Pokemon with the Ancient Trait Alpha Recovery - which doubles the boost from recovery - that can benefit from this like Ludicolo...um...Eelektrik...and that's it. Huh. Could've sworn there were more-oh wait, Tentacool has Alpha Recovery! Oh, it's Psychic-type this time? Well... 

So Rough Seas isn't wholly beneficial, but recovering 30 damage from your Pokemon on each of your turns (by the way, that effect is on YOUR turn only; during your opponent's turn, THEY are the ones who can recover) isn't bad. There are a few Pokemon that have to go from 2HKO to 3HKO for this, which can be exceptional if you need it. I won't blame some Primal Kyogre-EX decks to run this to counteract other Stadiums and shrug off some minor damage - heck, this pretty much makes Seismitoad-EX mirror matches...take...forever...oh dear. 

In all seriousness though, it's not a bad card. It's just...not that great either, personally. 30 damage will shrug off a lot, but you know what's better than a band-aid? Not scraping your knee on the sidewalk. Same principle here, and I'd rather they started getting back to cards like Defender because of that damage reduction it can provide! But no, we gotta heal ourselves after the fact. Maybe one day Defender will come back...and it better be better than before! 


Standard: 3/5 (decently good, but not the best Stadium in the world) 

Expanded: 3/5 (I mean really, you could have so much more) 

Limited: 4.5/5 (really good here, if only because of overall lower damage outputs) 

Arora Notealus: How exactly does a rough sea cure anyone though? Like I've seen my bro get seasick from a boat rocking around, so I don't know how putting it in the midst of a hurricane makes him feel better! So how does that work here? WHY does that work here?! Cause it's Pokemon?! NO!! I don't believe you! I-

Next Time: Oh sweet Arceus, the other one showed up.


Our next runner up is… Rough Seas (XY: Primal Clash 137/160)!  I’ll let you in on a little secret (unless another reviewer already mentioned it): there was actually a card before this one.  When I tallied the voting points (not to be confused with our review ratings), Ninetales, Camerupt-EX and one more card all three ended up with 10 points.  For perspective, the first place Primal Kyogre-EX scored 41 points while Swampert (XY: Primal Clash 36/160), the card that took 10th place, only snagged 11 points, so any of these three nearly made the final list.  Our “mystery card” will be reviewed at a more appropriate time, when it will make sense for the delay (I hope).  Rough Seas, for the record, managed 9 points so it was quite close as well. 

What makes Rough Seas so special?  Both its blessing and perhaps its bane is that it is a Stadium at a time when we seem be entering a new era of Stadium wars, where jockeying with your opponent to see who has the dominant Stadium won’t just be important for select decks, but pretty much all decks.  Sometimes that will be because less because of the benefit a Stadium grants your deck but for denying your opponent the benefit of his or her own Stadium(s), or because your inflicts a penalty upon them.  Rough Seas does something that I was surprised seems to work; its a healing card!  Specifically, while it is in play, once per turn a player can use it to heal up to 30 points of damage off of each of his or her Water-Type and Lightning-Type Pokémon.  Why is that good when you’ve already noticed some of us have given the impression we are less than excited about the prospects of another multi-Pokémon healing card, the just released Fresh Water Set?

Fresh Water Set is an Item, good for a one-shot healing of 20 for each of your Pokémon.  While being restricted to two Types that may or may not appear in a deck together, Rough Seas heals an additional per Pokémon that qualifies, but more importantly is a Stadium; killing two birds with one stone as you discard an opponent’s Stadium while gaining access to reusable healing.  I honestly wasn’t too impressed with this card either until I saw it in action; when you’ve got Pokémon like Wailord-EX or Primal Kyogre-EX, they might survive long enough to use Rough Seas multiple times just for their own sake, even while Active and taking hits.  There are also a decent amount of smaller (relatively speaking) Pokémon like Keldeo-EX or Kyurem (BW: Plasma Freeze 31/116); as I saw this card do its thing I saw 2HKOs that were forced into 3HKOs… and that was if my opponent didn’t have an alternate attacker ready to come up and keep me busy.  Plus I’m fond of certain spread style attackers, healing potentially everything in play for 30 often undoes all spread damage (at least so long as nothing was KOed by it). 

Still, healing only goes so far, and a lot of decks have other Stadiums they would prefer to play.  Also while not universal, you’ll find quite a few decks with a Water or Lightning Pokémon in some role.  Seismitoad-EX is (unfortunately) popular and potent, and as its often slowing down your opponent’s offense, healing 30 each turn can really extend its life… though this can backfire when it also extends the life of something else, like the not uncommon Dedenne (XY: Furious Fists 31/111).  The healing really can be a mixed blessing. 


Standard: 3.5/5 - This is a deck specific rating, of course.  The fewer Pokémon your deck is apt to keep in play that can benefit from healing (either because they are the wrong Type or simply too fragile to begin with), the less valuable this card is, though it will rarely be completely useless as it can still help you by discarding a less favorable Stadium. 

Expanded: 3.5/5 - More Stadiums means more competition but this is the format with Eelektrik (BW; Noble Victories 40/101) and perhaps some other Water- or Lightning-Type attackers that could benefit from the healing.  As such I’m going to treat the two as cancelling out. 

Limited: 5/5 - I suppose if you really do pull like three to four other, more useful Stadiums you can skip it, but even with there being three other Stadiums in this set, that seems doubtful.  Stadiums in the right deck are amazing in this format, to the point where sometimes you’re better off with a Stadium that you can’t even use and/or that helps your opponent a little than with a Stadium that helps your opponent a lot remaining in play. 

Summary: Rough Seas can actually help some decks enjoy smoother sailing by restoring just enough HP to really wreak a lot of damage spread strategies and/or by pushing some Pokémon just out of 2HKO range, at least the bigger ones, with the biggest possibly enjoying more an extension than that.  It is an effect you can Activate on your turn, allowing an instant return.  Still it faces some tremendous competition, and even outside of mirror matches can end up helping your opponent a little too much. 

I actually was so impressed by it when composing my list that it was my eighth place pick, and I’m still not convinced that was a mistake.  Tying things back into the earlier discussion, I was the only one that had this card on his Top 10 list, so all the points it earned, nearly getting it into the overall 10th place slot, came from just one reviewer thinking it had promise.  Of course it it ultimately turns out to be a bad or even just a mediocre card, then getting it wrong is on me as well.

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