– Diamond & Pearl
August 13, 2020
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Ah, Speed Stadium from Diamond & Pearl! This was one of the first few Diamond & Pearl cards that I’ve acquired around 2007, and I wasn’t into playing the Pokémon TCG at the time. I actually used this card for a brief period of time because I thought drawing cards is a good thing, and it still is. However, it is also a risky and/or unreliable card as well if you already read the effect. This stadium card lets you flip a coin until you get tails. For each heads, you draw a card. Things that apply to you also applies to your opponent as well (and then they’ll discard your stadium with their own stadium card after they used your effect).
Worst case scenario: You may whiff on the first coin flip if it was tails. (Zero cards)
Decent case scenario: You flipped a good amount of heads that you might do a lot for one turn. (Like maybe getting 5-10 cards).
Unnecessary scenario: You keep flipping heads non-stop until you run out of cards in your deck (highly unlikely, but even a slim ghost of a chance could happen).
Most likely, you won’t be able to benefit much from that Stadium based on these scenarios. If it involve discarding cards to draw cards, then maybe this stadium might be reliable, but as it stands, coin flips does not balance the game! I suppose if your deck doesn’t have anything specific style that mandates a Stadium card, then you could run Speed Stadium as something of a small bonus and should NOT be your source of draw power.
Standard: N/A (could be a decent card that fits in any deck if the deck has room for it. I would give it a 2/5 in it’s time.)
Speed Stadium (Diamond & Pearl 114/130) is today’s Throwback. It is a Trainer-Stadium, though the actual card says it is a “Stadium Stadium” because that was a “thing” at the time it released (and for the rest of the Gen IV sets). It isn’t quite as confusing as it sounds; the modern idea of Trainers being broken down into Items, Stadiums, and Supporters only goes back to Black & White. Just treat Speed Stadium as a Trainer-Stadium unless you’re interacting with a card from the Gen IV sets, where “Trainer” essentially meant “Items”.
Being a Stadium means Speed Stadium sticks around until another Stadium is played, or an effect sends bounces, discards, or otherwise gets rid of it. What Speed Stadium actually does is that it lets the turn player flip a coin until they get “tails”, once during their turn and before they attack or do anything else that ends your turn upon completion. For each “heads” you flip, that player draws a card. That means there’s a 50% chance the card won’t actually let you do anything, though you still might use it to discard an opponent’s Stadium. It also means there’s a 50% chance it will let you draw at least one card.. and those odds apply to your opponent as well!
If you need reliably draw power, this ain’t it. If you just need non-Supporter draw power, this isn’t bad. Yeah, it is unreliable and doesn’t draw a single card half the time, but it is just a Stadium, and there are no drawbacks, conditions, or requirements that more potent and reliable “draw Stadiums” possess. There is a risk of decking out from hitting too many “heads” in a single go, as well as from just using it too much in general. The odds of decking out vary inversely with your deck size; low when the deck is high, high when the deck is low.
I remember using Speed Stadium quite a bit when it was new… but it isn’t like I was winning tournaments with it. This released around the time I had to really cut back in both time and money allowed for the Pokémon TCG, though still a bit before I all-but-stopped. Even then, I knew it was a card I ran because it was fun, and my decks were either casual fare, crazy aggressive (PlusPower had been recently reprinted…), or both. I also was just really lucky with my coin flips at the time, or everyone (myself included) just perceived it as such. We do have an older CotD for it… but this was a time when concise reviews reigned. Most found it wanting, but we can’t tell if the lack of details means nothing was using it or just that no one thought mentioning them was necessary.
Unlike with modern cards, I can’t just pop over to LimitlessTCG to see what was being used in winning decks. Speed Stadium never showed up in any of the World Championship decks from while it was legal, and it’s from a time when I basically stopped playing. In other words, this is mostly Theorymon, but I think it was a decent “filler” Stadium, maybe actually worthwhile in extreme “aggro” decks that didn’t need something else. Besides my limited, fuzzy memories, let me bring up a slightly more recent Stadium: Battle City. It is a nerfed Speed Stadium; you just flip once, instead of until you get “tails”. “Heads” means you draw one card. Not too impressive…
…but it did see a tiny bit of competitive success. If your deck doesn’t need something specific, a little bit of extra draw power can go a long way. If Speed Stadium were re-released, I think it might see some success as a niche card. Exactly what that entails, I don’t know; it might simply mean it’s a good “budget” card (assuming it wasn’t hard to get) or maybe actually showing up in a successful aggro or big combo deck. In the Limited Format, of course you run this. Yeah, it can help your opponent but it is the Limited Format; you’ll need the draw power! Not that I expect you to have a chance of finding a Limited Format tournament using Diamond & Pearl packs.
I’m guessing this would be about a two-out-of-five card if reprinted, but Speed Stadium really does reward the reckless. Even if your luck with it is bad, your opponent can’t know that you won’t hit enough “heads” to setup a massive combo on your next turn. If your opponent doesn’t get rid of it, then they also risk you dropping a different Stadium afterward!
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