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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


Chaos Tower

- Fates Collide

Date Reviewed:
June 22, 2016

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 2.37
Expanded: 2.63
Limited: 3.50

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

Back to the main COTD Page


So, Chaos Tower is another of those two-sided Stadium cards with different effects depending on which player it's facing. Like Parallel City and Reverse Valley before it, it has a certain niche potential because of this, so let's see what it's all about and what makes it appealing. 

Chaos Tower's effects both relate to preventing certain Status Conditions from being inflicted on your Active Pokemon - this is pretty important cause it can potentially do wonders for you and prevent your opponent from doing their own moves, but I'll explain a little later. The Blue Side will make sure your Pokemon aren't Confused or Poisoned while the Red Side will keep them from being afflicted by Sleep and Paralysis. Oh, and if the conditions are on your Pokemon to begin with, they get removed thanks to this card! 

So what does that mean? Well, on the one hand, it can be a very niche tech card to removing those Status Conditions from your Pokemon depending on what you're going against. For instance, the newer Darkrai-EX and Hypno will want to put your Pokemon to Sleep, so having Chaos Tower with the Red Side facing you will help protect you against that. Alternatively, if you're up against a deck running Ariados or in Expanded you're facing a lot of opposition from HTL, you could pin the Blue Side to your half to keep them from chipping away at your HP with it. In fact, you could even use the Red Side to keep Darkrai-EX from falling Asleep to Hypno on your Bench and end up thrashing your opponent with his Dark Head attack! 

The other deck that comes to mind that benefits from this is Machamp-EX, as he can deal more damage and remove his own Special Condition from himself! Combined with Ariados and the Red Side, you can keep on Poisoning your Machamp-EX and annihilating your opponent with Steaming Mad - all while preventing them from putting Machamp-EX to Sleep or Paralyzing him, which would otherwise keep him from attacking! 

Of course, whatever benefits you reap, your opponent will reap benefits of their own, as is the case with these dual-sided cards. You won't be able to Poison or put to Sleep your opponent's Pokemon if the appropriate side is facing them, so that can be a pain to deal with if you're not set up right for it. Course, given the way the card is, most of the time I'm imagining you keep the Red Side facing you, unless you're really worried about your opponent chipping your Pokemon out and claiming a Prize for it. 

Chaos Tower inspires different play in different decks, but in the grand scheme of things, it's not going to see play in a majority of decks. Things like Night March and Trevenant don't bother with Status Conditions and so won't really have need of Chaos Tower in the first place. But for the decks I mentioned - and heck, maybe even a couple other decks - Chaos Tower can be used effectively to do what it does best: cause some chaos! 


Standard: 2.5/5 (it's good in certain decks and not so great in others) 

Expanded: 2.5/5 (but it certainly has potential in what it can do) 

Limited: 3/5 (there's no denying that!) 

Arora Notealus: So again, does the potential a card has beat out its practical usage? Who knows? At the least, Chaos Tower has interesting uses that can be applied, and I'm sure there will be more about to utilize with it! 

Next Time: The great bird of fire soars again!


Chaos Tower (XY: Fates Collide 94/124) is one of the three Stadium cards from our latest set, and the only one that is not a reprint (the other two are Fairy Garden and Scorched Earth).  It joins the slowly growing ranks of Stadium cards that have a different effect depending upon which way the card is facing; the effect relevant to each player is the one that reads rightside up.  So what are those effects?  If you have the card so that its name is also rightside up, then the effect is that your Pokémon cannot be Asleep or Paralyzed (if already so afflicted, they are cured).  The effect for the other side of the card is that player’s Pokémon cannot be Confused or Poison.  Notably this card does nothing about Burn, the fifth Special Condition added in 2002 with the release of first e-card expansion Expedition.  I don’t think any card has mentioned it in the XY-era.  If it is being retired, that might be a good thing; much like we don’t have “Freeze” or “Flinch” as they are just better represented by Paralysis in the TCG, we probably don’t need two damage dealing effects.  It might be a bit confusing at first, but if we really need lingering damage from fire flavored attacks, we can just use Poison. 

So is this useful?  At first glance I thought it seemed pretty bad; as players we pretty quickly learn that Special Conditions are pretty easy to shake unless paired up with control/disruption effects.  A deck generally enjoys them when they are a happy side effect of something that was going to be run anyway, or perhaps Poison because it can function like a damage buff, but if they are a focus then they need something to help them stick or need to be something you can spam in the hopes of running your opponent out of answers like using Switch to change a different attacker (or card with a free Retreat Cost so you can just go back to your original Active), Keldeo-EX plus Float Stone for something similar, AZ to get rid of everything attached to your Active, and of course effects like that of Chaos Tower which can prevent Special Conditions from happening in the first place.  The thing is that most cards that prevent Special Conditions are one-sided, so you don’t have to choose what you help your opponent’s avoid, and the preferred options like Virizion-EX in Expanded play protect against all Special Conditions, not just two at a time.  To select cards for the Top 10, I actually went through the entire set list for XY: Fates Collide assigning a grade (S, A, B, C, D, and F in order of best to worst) and I gave Chaos Tower an “F”. 

I was wrong, but the question now is by how much?  Chaos Tower seems like it might be the new “neutral” Stadium.  That one you can just automatically plug into a deck because you know you’re going to need some Stadium, or else to rely heavily on another card (Delinquent, Paint Roller, etc.) to discard opposing Stadium cards.  It is just because Stadium cards are so important to key decks and still a significant bonus for others.  If your deck uses no Special Conditions, then Chaos Tower can only backfire if your opponent is using some of the few cards that also afflict your opponent’s own Pokémon with a Special Condition without actually wanting that to be the end result.  So pretty unlikely to backfire, especially for the reason I wasn’t fond of Chaos Tower in the first place; you only block two of five (two of four in Standard) Special Conditions so just make sure you only block what won’t help your opponent.  If your deck does use Special Conditions, you still might be able to select the side that won’t hurt you.  Another trick comes because the rules of the game prevent you from playing a Stadium from hand that has the same name as the one already in play (this wasn’t always the case and allowed you to abuse once-per-turn effects).  So imagine you’re running a deck that wants to inflict Paralysis as part of a lock: if you run Chaos Tower and play it right side up so that your own Pokémon are protected from Paralysis and Sleep, then an opponent running Chaos Tower to protect his or her Pokémon from Special Conditions cannot play another copy down to change the effect. 

So any uses for Chaos Tower besides being a general filler Stadium and trying to counter itself?  Ariados (XY: Ancient Origins 6/98) has the Ability “Poison Nest” to Poison both players’ Active non-Grass-Type Pokémon.  Hypno (XY: BREAKpoint 51/122) can use its “Goodnight, Babies” Ability to leave both players’ Active Pokémon to Sleep, regardless of Typing.  There were already answers for both, such as All-Night Party, another Stadium that allows you to remove Sleep from your Active and heal 30 damage at the same time, but there is a hiccup with that.  There is even a combo built around it using Darkrai-EX (XY: BREAKpoint 74/122, 118/122), as its “Dark Head” attack does 80 damage base with another 80 damage added if the opponent’s Active is Asleep, for 160 total.  If you score the OHKO it’s great, but if you whiff and your opponent doesn’t wake up, then your opponent can get rid of Sleep while healing 30 damage.  Chaos Tower of course avoids this problem, and provides Darkrai-EX with protection against Paralysis as a bonus.  This doesn’t strike me as a huge problem; the goal is for Dark Head to score OHKOs and in addition to the built in damage buff you can tack on a Muscle Band to bring nearly everything that is not a Mega Evolution into OHKO range.  The stuff that can survive either has protection or will need additional healing to survive a second hit from Dark Head.  I guess if you’re facing something like Jolteon-EX that you need to whiff on its protective “Flash Ray” attack so you can hit it for damage the next turn, this would matter. 

So that is how to use it in Standard.  For Expanded play, it actually ends up being a bit better; there are more Stadiums to compete with as well as more counters and more combo opportunities, but the big thing is this acts as a counter for Hypnotoxic Laser, which is still a reasonably common play.  In Limited, this is an important pull; use it to counter other Stadiums while protecting yourself from whatever Special Conditions you think your opponent will use most.  Just be careful as you’ll likely have a few cards of your own slinging around Special Conditions. 


Standard: 2.25/5 

Expanded: 2.75/5 

Limited: 4/5 

Summary:  Chaos Tower is a new Stadium that doesn’t seem overly strong, but that is probably because it is meant to be decent for general usage and a bit better in specific decks.  I would score it higher, but most places I can think of to use it already have another option, or even a better option.  I get why decks using All-Night Party + Hypno + Darkrai-EX are worried about healing the opponent, but as explained above this at best seems like a reason you might run a single Chaos Tower in addition to your copies of All-Night Party, for the rare instance you have to worry about helping your opponent shake Sleep while healing 30 damage. 

If we extend the Pojo Top 10 for XY: Fates Collide to a Top 20, then Chaos Tower slips in as the 19th place pick with seven voting points, tying with Carbink (XY: Fates Collide 49/124).  This beats the 20th place pick by only one point, but also only misses tying with the 16th and 17th place picks by two points.

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