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Ratings and Summary!
EX: Team Rocket Returns
This card stays in play when you play it. Discard this card
if another Stadium card comes into play.
There is a
good reason to review this card: while it’s technically a
reprint (Rocket’s Hideout first appeared in Neo
Revelation), they altered the effect. The new version takes
president over the old one. Since you are allowed to use the
original Neo Revelation version for Modified, played as if it
had the new text, I thought this would be a good way to make
sure our readers caught that. Considering I haven’t even pulled
any copies of the new one, nor have I seen that many copies
being pulled, it’s not impossible for an otherwise well informed
player to be unaware. After all, do you normally spend time
looking up card reprints? ;)
I am unable to
find the CotD when I thought I announced this, so let me explain
that a) I am trying to italicize all card names and b) when I
refer to “Dark-in-name” Pokémon, like Dark Raichu, I’ll
just call use an italicized Dark.
This is a sub-type of Trainer, the Stadium card. First,
introduced in Gym: Heroes, Stadiums are one of the few Trainers
that stay in play after being played. One of the rule changes
that occurred when Nintendo took over from WotC was the limit of
playing one Stadium a turn. While it would overall be more
effective if this card was just a plain Trainer that created an
effect that just lasted until the end of the game that is
cumbersome and might actually violate some basic game
mechanics. So a Stadium is the best way to go.
This card tacks a nice extra 20 HP onto your Dark and
Rocket’s Pokémon. The original just boosted the Dark
Pokémon, so this is a nice upgrade-Rocket’s Pokémon are
now more integrated into the game. The adding of 20 HP is quite
nice. Yes, your opponent just has to play their own Stadium
card to get rid of this. Just remember that most people don’t
play a lot of Stadium cards in their deck (I run four and it’s
considered a lot). So even after opening hands and prizes, it’s
still not 10% chance of being countered. Second, it’s better
than having no HP bonus at all. To emphasize that, think about
this common complaint I hear about it:
your opponent plays their Stadium and it
KOs one or
more of your Pokémon?”
gotten at least on more turns use from them than you would have
without the Stadium, since they would have been KO’d earlier.
Similarly, I’d rather my opponent had to top deck a card
type that is not even a tenth of my deck.
Why is +20 HP
significant? It can often buy one more turn to attack, or at
the very least for extra resources to be used to get the same KO
at the same speed. For example, with Rocket’s Hideout in
play, either Dark Tyranitar
from Team Rocket Returns shoots up to 140 HP. This is enough
that Rayquaza ex, for example, has to discard
four Energy instead of just three.
It’s not a lot, but in a lot of matches, it matters. Also,
extra HP can offset some problems cause by Special
Condition-first two waves of Poison are basically void, for
The most obvious is to boost all your Dark and
Rocket’s Pokémon. It can even some older Rocket’s Pokémon,
who didn’t get the bonus the first time around. This is more or
less the default Stadium for Dark/Rocket’s Pokémon
focused decks. You can run something instead of this… but you
better have some pretty good reasons behind it. Now, lately I
have been running a “split” for Stadiums, usually 2/2 or 3/1.
For example, I have a second Stadium to use that focuses on a
different aspect of my deck incase Rocket’s Hideout would help
my opponent too much. If you aren’t running any Stadiums, you
really should start; we finally have a nice assortment for
Modified, and there are some sick ones in Unlimited.
3/5-While most Dark/Rocket’s Pokémon aren’t going
to be great here, this card is vital to any decks that attempt
to focus on them. I have one. ;)
4/5-More HP is a good thing, even if it can be removed by means
other than attacks.
More or less the entire article explains this.
3/5-It gets a slight dock since it helps both players, and most
of your opponents will be running Dark/Rocket’s
Pokémon as well. Otherwise, it would be a top pick.
I’ll say it
again: Rocket’s Hideout is the default Stadium for
Dark/Rocket’s Pokémon. If you are not using a few
copies of it, you better have a good reason. Extra HP means you
live longer so you can get more attacks off and delay your
opponent’s taking of prizes. Yes, after a point a Pokémon
becomes dependant on it… but that’s the point after which it
would have been KO’d anyway. This is one of the reasons
other decks need counter Stadiums.