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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day



Top 5 Double Crisis Cards

#4 - Team Aqua’s Secret Base

- Double Crisis

Date Reviewed:
March 31, 2015

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 2.97
Expanded: 2.92
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

#4 Team Aqua’s Secret Base

Now here is a Double Crisis card that could have applications outside of dedicated Team Aqua decks. 

Aqua’s Secret Base is a Stadium card that increases the retreat cost of every non-Aqua Pokémon by one. It’s probably worth reminding people of the Meta-rule that retreat costs which are reduced to zero by an effect cannot be increased, so Aqua’s Secret Base won’t affect the free retreat given by Float Stone or Darkrai EX’s Dark Cloak, for example. What it does do is form a neat little theme-based combo with Team Aqua’s Muk (which also increases non-Aqua retreat costs by one) and Team Aqua’s Kyogre EX (which does 80 damage plus 20 more for each Energy in the Defending Pokémon’s retreat cost). I don’t think it’s an especially viable combo for competitive play, but . . . it’s a thing that exists. 

So, what about non-Aqua applications for this card? Well, long time players might recall the old version of this card (Team Aqua Hideout) being played in Medicham EX decks. The idea behind it is that it was useful for trapping weak/non-attacking Pokémon active, while Medicham placed damage around the Bench with his Pure Power attack. It’s possible that Secret Base could perform a similar function in a deck that was focused on spread or snipe in the future. I say ‘possible’ because there is very little spread or snipe in the game at the moment, and the prevalence of cards like Float Stone (which saves Garbodor from being an obvious trap target) and Switch means that most decks will have a handy answer to Aqua’s Secret Base (especially as counter Stadiums are widely played). 

Nevertheless, unlike the vast majority of Double Crisis cards, it does have something to offer the game in general, so Aqua’s Secret Base definitely merits a place on the countdown. 


Modified/Expanded: 2.25

Team Aqua Deck: 4


Hey guys, and welcome back to Double Crisis week! Today we're taking a look at one of the secret bases you can grab, Team Aqua's Secret Base! Of the two, I think this one is the lesser (and I LIKE Team Aqua, Alpha Sapphire all the way), given that it wasn't on my personal Top 5, but I can understand the reasoning for it being here. 

Team Aqua's Secret Base is a pretty simple card: if your Pokemon's name doesn't include Team Aqua, it's gonna have to "pay a fee" of sorts. The fee that I speak of is that ever familiar Retreat Cost, that thing that if you've ever played with Switch, Keldeo-EX, or just didn't remember you could manually switch Pokemon around because you like your big bulky EX out front, is the part of the card you ignore. It indicates how much Energy you have to discard from the Pokemon in order to put it back on your Bench, and given that most decks tend to run around 12-15 Energy, that can be a bit of a detriment if you don't have some means of reattaching it or retrieving it from the discard pile. 

So in essence, Team Aqua's Secret Base makes this manual retreat more difficult, making even Pokemon that normally have a free Retreat Cost to forcibly cough up at least one Energy to come out. As I just briefly mentioned though, there are and have always been ways around this if need be, so having an increase to this isn't that big of a deal...except that Team Aqua has a secret weapon in tow. 

If you've taken a look at Team Aqua's Kyogre-EX, you'll notice that it's a little different from other EX Pokemon; in fact, both he and Team Magma's Groudon-EX have 190 HP rather than the standard 170-180 HP. Granted, neither of them can make their attack if you don't have a full Bench of their respective Team's Pokemon on board, but while Groudon-EX loves dealing more damage if your opponent already has damage, Kyogre-EX will deal more damage based on the Retreat Cost. 

That's right, Aqua Impact does 4-for-80 with an additional 20 on top for every Energy in a Pokemon's Retreat Cost, and combined with Team Aqua's Secret Base, that extra 20 damage can be enough to plow through the most fearsome of opponents! So this card makes an already powerful Pokemon even more powerful, all the while making it more difficult for your opponent to switch out as needed. 

...if they aren't running Switch/Keldeo-EX or aren't inclined to bother with it.


Standard: 3.5/5 (not too bad, though outside of Team Aqua decks is a bit shaky)

Expanded: 3.5/5 (better to be with the Team than not) 

Limited: 4/5 (that extra energy in the Retreat Cost can make things very difficult, especially when Team Aqua's Kyogre-EX hits the field!) 

Arora Notealus: I like the new designs for the bases at least! One of the benefits to getting updated remakes for sure! Though now that I think about it, if they were to remake Gen IV, how would they change that up? Hmmm... 

Next Time: Every team needs two things: a secret base, and of course-!!


Welcome to the fourth best card in XY: Double Crisis: Team Aqua’s Secret Base (XY: Double Crisis 28/34).  This is a Stadium card, which could help it a lot or really hurt it: Stadiums are getting to be a big, big deal again.  They’ve been a key part of some decks for the last few formats, but from what I have experienced it is now dangerous to run less than two Stadiums and you really want three or four (if deck space wasn’t so tight, I’d actually prefer five or six!).  There are some stadiums that can make or break a deck right now in addition to the ones that are just really handy.  Team Aqua’s Secret Base increases the Retreat Cost of all Pokémon in play (except Team Aqua’s Pokémon) by one.  Effects that set a Retreat Cost to zero, like Float Stone, will still zero things out but something that simply reduces Retreat Costs by a fixed amount will still be affected, albeit according to the net difference.  For example, if you have a single Glaceon (BW: Plasma Freeze 23/116), its “Freeze Zone” Ability will reduce the Retreat Cost of all your Team Plasma affiliated Pokémon by two… and unless some of those are actually Team Aqua’s Pokémon with a Team Plasma Badge, the net result will be only a single [C] reduction to Retreat Costs (Base Cost less plus [C] less [CC]).  If someone does do something odd like slap a Team Plasma Badge on a Team Aqua’s Pokémon, it would have dual affiliation and so would not be affected by Team Aqua’s Secret Base and get the full [CC] cost reduction available to Team Plasma affiliated Pokémon. 

This card is another update; the name and wording of the effect is different, Team Aqua Hideout forced a player to pay [C] more to retreat a Pokémon that wasn’t a Team Aqua’s Pokémon.  The old wording might be a matter of templating or it might actually function a little different; based on older rulings I think the effect does end up being the same but since I don’t have new, current rulings for Team Aqua’s Secret Base I could be wrong.  If you’re playing Unlimited, you could run four of each if you really wanted.  Will you want to run any of it in Standard or Expanded though?  I think you might; obviously if you run a deck built around Team Aqua’s Pokémon it is worth considering, and it combos with Team Aqua’s Muk (XY: Double Crisis 8/34) and/or Team Aqua’s Kyogre-EX.  Team Aqua’s Muk basically has the same effect as the Stadium, except it is an Ability.  They both stack though so you could get up to a massive +5 to Retreat Costs with a Bench full of Team Aqua’s Muk and Team Aqua’s Secret Base.  Team Aqua’s Kyogre-EX has an attack for [WWWC] and does 80 damage plus 20 per [C] in your opponent’s Active Pokémon’s Retreat Cost.  So… what about non-Team Aqua decks? 

If Team Aqua’s Pokémon don’t catch on at all, Team Aqua’s Secret Base actually remains useful.  You see there are other attackers that do more damage based on the Retreat Cost of the opponent’s Active and there are a few decks that count on a free Retreat Cost but aren’t going to have counters (other than their own Stadiums) to use against Team Aqua’s Secret Base.  It won’t stop a Keldeo-EX with a Float Stone from using Rush In and then retreating for free, but it will make manually retreating said Keldeo-EX cost three Energy.  Getting rid of Float Stone is why cards like Startling Megaphone exist, so it doesn’t seem like too much of a stretch.  So the main concern would be if everyone favored Team Aqua decks all of the sudden, causing the Stadium to often have no effect.  Even if some do and some don’t, that is how it is for a lot of Stadium cards right no (and why I prefer running two different Stadiums in a deck, space permitting). 


Standard: 3.15/5 - This is a composite score; Team Aqua’s Secret Base isn’t brilliant but it is a nice solid option for the format.  In the wrong deck it can seriously backfire, but in most it would be merely a suboptimal inclusion.  In key decks it likely will be a staple, though whether or not said decks are going to be especially competitive is unknown. 

Expanded: 3/5 - As above, but docked slightly because there are more worthwhile Stadiums to compete against in this format. 

Limited: 5/5 - In the unlikely event you can use this cards for Limited play, this is likely a must run in case your opponent gets the other Stadium for this set or of course if you simply have enough Team Aqua’s Pokémon to keep it from being almost as bad for you as for your opponent. 

Summary: Team Aqua’s Stadium isn’t amazing but we don’t have a different Retreat Cost increasing Stadium, giving it a niche beyond just being the default Team Aqua’s Stadium.  It didn’t make my list but perhaps it should have.

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