Chaotic Swell
– Cosmic Eclipse

Date Reviewed:
November 6, 2019

Ratings Summary:
Standard: 3.33
Expanded: 3.88
Limited: 2.50

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

Reviews Below:


8th-place in our countdown is Chaotic Swell (SM – Cosmic Eclipse 187/236).  In simple terms, this Stadium card eats other Stadium cards.  We’re not talking about how, when you put Chaotic Swell in play, it discards any other Stadium card already on the field; it still does that but all Stadium cards do.  The actual effect of Chaotic Swell says that the next Stadium card is played from hand, that Stadium is discarded immediately after Chaotic Swell, and is treated as if the new Stadium had no effect.

We already have multiple answers for Stadium cards: Faba, Marshadow (SM – Unbroken Bonds 81/214), and in Expanded we also have Field Blower.  Isn’t that enough?  Nope!  Prism {*} Stadium cards have built-in protection against the effects of Item and Supporter cards.  Marshadow can accidentally become your opening Basic and our Pokémon search and recycling aren’t what they once were (at least in Standard).

You can counter Stadiums with your own Stadium cards, but Chaotic Swell does that better.  Yes, it can still backfire on you; spare copies in hand can’t be played while Chaotic Swell is already on the field, and if you’re running different Stadium cards alongside it, Chaotic Swell will eat your next Stadium as readily as your opponent’s… but one Chaotic Swell neutralizes two of your opponent’s Stadium cards without your opponent having even one turn to enjoy the second one.

For both the Standard and Expanded Formats, this is now the counter-Stadium to run.  That doesn’t mean you’ll never run anything else with it, but most decks will find Chaotic Swell painful to deal with because it means burning a different Stadium discarding effect or sacrificing a Stadium card to trip Chaotic Swell’s effect, which is why Chaotic Swell is so good even when faced with the added competition found in Expanded.  It is only underwhelming in the Limited Format, because Cosmic Eclipse contains only three other Stadium cards and they’re all Secret Rares!  It’d be brilliant if there was at least one other worthwhile Stadium as an Uncommon.


  • Standard: 4/5
  • Expanded: 4/5
  • Limited: 3/5

I wanted to keep this review brief, because Chaotic Swell is simply a great card… but it does require a bit of explaining to understand why it is great.  One Chaotic Swell can potentially counter two of your opponent’s Stadium cards, and in a manner that makes it so the second one has no effect; even Field Blower didn’t do that!  Personally, I had Chaotic Swell as my 7th-place pick, so 8th feels about right.


Chaotic Swell has a unique effect, as it acts like an anti-Stadium card designed to negate and discard other Stadium cards by virtue of its effect. Whenever either player plays a Stadium card from their hand, it discards that new stadium that you or they just played after Chaotic Swell get discarded. And both players cannot reap the effects from the discarded Stadium! For moments where both players really need that turn to get the effects of their desired Stadium, this really hurts. Not only either player had to discard your Stadium they just played, both players cannot play a second Stadium card because, like Supporter cards, you can only play one Stadium card during your turn.

Having a full four Chaotic Swell means that your opponent would be out of luck if they only run 4 or less Stadium cards. That’s assuming you played Chaotic Swell before your opponent plays any Stadium cards. Prism Star Stadium cards are in a worse position; they’ll get sent to the Lost Zone immediately after they replace Chaotic Swell! But as disruptive as it sounds, it gets played around by other cards that discards Stadium cards without manually replacing them. Faba and/or Field Blower can discard or banish that Stadium card, and you or the opponent can play theirs afterward, and they still reap the effects because that was done in a different way.

Overall, Chaotic Swell doesn’t advance your game plan, but it can slow down your opponent’s game plan. One missed effect of Ultra Space, Power Plant, Shrine of Punishment, and much, much more can really turn the tide of the game in the heat of the moment.


  • Standard: 4/5
  • Expanded: 4/5
  • Limited: 3.5/5


Naturally there’s bound to be weather phenomenon that are around and about that aren’t to your liking. Rain, snow, tornadoes, volcanic eruptions, it’s all subjective really, but nothing could possibly be worse than a typhoon ripping a hole in the space-time continuum.

Which is all I can assume that this Chaotic Swell is.

Chaotic Swell is actually a Stadium card that does nothing. Yep. Just sits there on the field doing nothing. But hey! If your opponent tries to play a Stadium to discard Chaotic Swell, that Stadium also gets discarded with the Chaotic Swell! So that’s something, right?

…okay, so here’s the thing. I don’t like Chaotic Swell. I don’t think it’s a great card for a lot of reasons, mostly that part where it just sits there and does nothing. I mean, yeah, if your opponent takes an action, you basically get to say, “No,” which is about the closest thing to interacting with your opponent that you get in this game in the classic Yugioh “Trap” card sense, but it’s not like your opponent doesn’t know it’s there – they know about it, so they’re not going to waste their Stadium trying to get rid of it.

Maybe it’s more so the current environment that puts Chaotic Swell so high up on other people’s lists, or maybe it’s the idea that you can get rid of a Stadium with Chaotic Swell, and then your opponent has to use a Stadium of their own to get rid of the Chaotic Swell you played, only to lose their Stadium in the process. Maybe it’s also the fact that there aren’t many attacks or Abilities that interact with Stadiums, like Flygon-GX from yesterday. It could just be a tumultuous environment perfect for Chaotic Swell to come in and ruin those decks that do play a few vital Stadium cards.

…then again, Flygon-GX does the same thing as a Stage 2 GX for 3 Energy and can KO Pokemon. So your mileage may vary.


Standard: 3/5 (as a tech choice, I’m sure Chaotic Swell has its place in the game)

Expanded: 3.5/5 (but for a card to just come in and wait for your opponent to do things?)

Limited: 1/5 (it’s also a bit moot to run this card in Limited, since it’s the only Stadium in the set)

Arora Notealus: For me at least, I’d rather have a card that I can play and have it do something, and unless that thing it’s reacting to is something my opponent’s going to have to do such as attack or evolve or place Energy down, it doesn’t seem like it’s a great option for a Stadium to have this kind of effect. Sure, not every deck is playing a Stadium card, and this helps those decks out against decks that do play Stadiums currently, but I’m not really partial on this card in the first place. I’d rather be playing something like Giant Hearth or Thunder Mountain <Prism> that actively helps my strategy along, rather than waiting on my opponent to ruin their’s.

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