Chaotic Swell – Cosmic Eclipse
Date Reviewed: August 17, 2021
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Chaotic Swell (SM – Cosmic Eclipse 187/236) is our 6th-Place finisher. This Trainer-Stadium has a rather novel effect; the next Stadium that is played from hand by either player is immediately discarded after Chaotic Swell is discarded. Chaotic Swell is discarded because you discard the current Stadium in play if a new one is put into play. In short, Chaotic Swell is the anti-Stadium Stadium. If you don’t need a particular Stadium and have room in your deck, you can run Chaotic Swell to deal with your opponent’s Stadiums. To get rid of it requires your opponent sacrifice a Stadium of their own or burn one of their own anti-Stadium effects. Prism Star Stadiums in particular don’t like Chaotic Swell, as they are not immune to its effect the way they are the effects of Item and Supporter cards.
You can run Chaotic Swell alongside other Stadium cards to try and run your opponent out of their Stadium cards and anti-Stadium effects. You can run Chaotic Swell without any other Stadiums just to counter your opponent’s Stadiums. Chaotic Swell was only my 8th-Place pick, but because Vince and I disagreed about enough higher ranked cards, it rose a little higher to finish in 6th-Place. Honestly, I am worried I had it too high in 8th-Place. Chaotic Swell has been huge at times, but out of the four Players Cup Global Finals, it was only run as a single or double in as many as five (out of the Top 16) decks to as few as one (in the most recent Top 15).
That is actually still pretty good, but this is a matter of something else perhaps having deserved this spot. Even more specifically, a different anti-Stadium card, Marshadow (SM – Unbroken Bonds 81/214). This is a Basic, Psychic Pokémon with 80 HP, which means it is easy to field and can be fetched from the deck with either Fog Crystal, Level Ball, or Quick Ball. It has an Ability, “Resetting Hole”, that you can Active while it is on your Bench: you discard whatever Stadium is in play, then this Marshadow (and all cards attached to itself). It too has varied from seeing a lot to seeing a little play, but it ended its Standard-legal run while being run in 13 out of 15 decks from the Player’s Cup IV Global Finals.
Of course, one could argue that both deserved a place in our countdown… and that is how I’m starting to lean. Unless Flannery proves to be a lot more useful than her tournament debut suggests, or Stadiums aren’t going to be that important post-rotation, we’re going to miss both Chaotic Swell and Marshadow. They do a job that isn’t 100% vital, but that is often handy and they do it in ways that others cards don’t. Maybe this is one of those times I should have fudged things and allowed both cards to fill a single slot in our list? Both cards should still be useful in Expanded… just not as much. There are some truly great Stadiums – and other cards – to compete with for deck space in Expanded, and Expanded has Field Blower.
- Standard: 4/5
- Expanded: 3/5
Chaotic Swell from SM Cosmic Eclipse, our 6th best card lost to rotation, is a pretty unique card, and it still is to this day. It is a stadium card which states that when a player tries to replace Chaotic Swell with their own stadium card, it gets discarded instead of being played. It goes without saying that Chaotic Swell is an anti-Stadium card. That’s not to say that it’s the only counter against stadium cards, but it is one of the best options to have.
The tip of the iceberg is that if there was already a stadium card in play, you can replace it with Chaotic Swell. Then if your opponent tries to replace Chaotic Swell with another Stadium card if their choice, that stadium card is also discarded, and they can only play one stadium card per turn. That effectively means your opponent has wasted at least two Stadium cards for the price of just your Chaotic Swell! It gets even better if your opponent tries to play Prism Star Stadium Cards; it will immediately go to the Lost Zone instead of the discard pile!
Chaotic Swell can fit into any deck that doesn’t rely on any specific stadium cards that could benefit specific deck types. This card will be missed, and if it were to stick around, it will still see some play to some extent.
- Standard: 4
- Expanded: 4
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