– Roaring Skies
October 11, 2018
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Today’s Throwback Thursdays is Sky Field from XY Roaring Skies! It was reviewed twice:
-and the 3rd best card of 2015
Sky Field is a very good utility card and can even be crucial to certain decks. Increasing bench size is unheard of until this card, as it extends both player’s Bench from five to eight. Likewise, when the effect is terminated, both players discard Pokemon and all cards attached to it until both players have five Benched Pokemon (four if affected by Sudowoodo’s Roadblock, or three if Parallel City was played). There’s a lot you can do with Sky Field and it can enable certain cards to use more frequently and freely than those without that Stadium card.
Having a full bench means you can potentially make Colress (or Plusle from last week’s review) draw a maximum of 16 cards! It also amplifies damage output from Pokémon that relies on quantity, like Mega Rayquaza’s Emerald Break that can do 240 damage. It also opens up more bench slots so that you can put Pokémon with coming into play abilities, like Shaymin-EX or Tapu Lele-GX, as well as supporting Pokémon that, ideally, can protect your Bench like Machoke’s Daunting Pose.
As a Stadium card, it is inevitable that at some point the Stadium will eventually be discarded, terminating the effect. The level of severity can vary; it can hurt Mega Rayquaza decks relying for Benched Pokemon to just stay put. However, if you wish to get rid of Pokémon after they just served their purpose, you effectively denied your opponent a prize. You can even discard your Sky Field so that your opponent cannot target a specific Pokémon because they got discarded.
In Limited, this is a good pull unless you don’t have enough Pokémon that exceed the initial bench limit. I do not expect any player to pull exactly what they need from XY Roaring Skies boosters, but if they do, then they would had made a mini version of a deck archetype. Sadly, prereleases are long gone as of this writing.
Standard: N/A (would be 4/5; If it would be legal, it might help out a couple more decks in the Sun & Moon Card pool)
Expanded: 4/5 (Sky Field will continue to provide creative plays in this format)
Limited: 4.5/5 (if you can make use of it, that’s great)
Notes: Sky Field has a simple effect, but can invite combos due to what you can additionally do.
This Throwback Thursday, we look at a card I hope most of you are familiar with, even if you arrived a little after its Standard-legal run, as it is still Expanded-legal and a big deal there: Sky Field (XY – Roaring Skies 89/108). This Stadium did something that may have been unprecedented; it increased the number of Pokémon you were allowed to have on your Bench. Suddenly, a full Bench could be up to eight Pokémon, instead of the usual five or the much smaller three caused by one side of Parallel City, which released two sets after Sky Field. As you can imagine, this was great for various cards that had effects that worked better the larger your Bench was, but it also was pretty handy when taking advantage of more general plays like Shaymin-EX (XY – Roaring Skies 77/108, 77a/108, 106/108) and Hoopa-EX (XY – Ancient Origins 36/98, 89/98; XY – Black Star Promos XY71).
For those unfamiliar with this combo, Shaymin-EX has the Ability “Set Up” that allows you to draw until you have six cards in your hand when you Benched it from your hand. Hoopa-EX has the Ability “Scoundrel Ring” that allows you to fetch three Pokémon-EX from your deck when you Benched IT from your hand. All three cards were great on their own, but when you had Sky Field in play, the added space just made their simple combo even more effective. In the first place, it just meant you had the room to play them and the cards they drew or searched out, much easier. We’re talking some staggering setup potential, as one usually used Ultra Ball (so three total cards from hand) for Hoopa-EX to get Shaymin-EX and two Pokémon-EX you could play BEFORE Benching the Shaymin-EX. Sometimes you even got what you needed to do the exact same thing again, maybe even all on your first turn! Now, the less obvious benefit: someone (you or your opponent) discards Sky Field so your max Bench size would shrinks and you’ve got to discard some Pokémon. Guess what were usually the best candidates to cut? Right, the Shaymin-EX and Hoopa-EX that weren’t doing anything anymore and were otherwise just targets waiting for your opponent to exploit them.
Yeah, that’s how much (more or less) general use Sky Field used to provide; even though the use of both Hoopa-EX and Shaymin-EX significantly dropped near the end of their Standard Format run, Tapu Lele-GX falls into a similar role. Now you bring in attackers that want a big Bench and what’s that? Zoroark-GX loved having this card so that its “Riotous Beating” attack could swing for up to 180 damage before things like Choice Band, Weakness, etc.? Yeah, if this card was reprinted, it’d be heavily used in Standard… to the point I don’t think I’d want it back. Something similar? Maybe, but not Sky Field itself. As for its actual use in Expanded right now… I’m not sure, but that’s because I haven’t had a lot of time to play Expanded and we haven’t had a major Expanded Format event this season. Well, we could have, but I still don’t have results for it, so same difference. If things are how they used to be, then some decks max it out while some other decks include one or two because they are helpful but not vital. Field Blower makes it much harder on the decks in the first category, but handier for decks that just want a lot of Bench-space, say for a first turn blitz of coming-into-play Abilities. A must-run for the Limited Format, though part of that is just so you have a counter-Stadium for decks running Faded Town (something you hate if you were lucky enough to get a Mega Evolution line) or Forest of Giant Plants (you know, that card that was banned in Expanded).
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