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Caleb Gedemer

On to the Next One — Gedemer's Way-Too-Early Review of Celestial Storm

Celestial Storm is coming and so are some super cool cards.

07/12/2018 by Caleb Gedemer

With the the North American International Championships wrapped up, it’s time to dabble into the new set, Celestial Storm. As always, our World Championship will be held in the Standard format also consisting of these new cards. Worlds becomes the first showcase for the brand-new stuff and creates an extremely exciting atmosphere for all who are interested in the game. The first stateside Regional Championship of the season in Oaks, PA will be held using Standard, so come September 15, everyone will have a chance to experiment with the new set.

All card translations and pictures are accredited to Limitless. A big "thank you" goes out to them! Right click an image and click "Open image in new tab" to view a bigger picture of the translation if you're having trouble reading it.

Let’s get started: This new set will be composed in some variety of the following (we don’t have an official set list just yet)...

SM7: Celestial Storm

Sceptile

This heads the list, and as a Stage 2, I don’t think it will be powerful enough to see play. Its Ability and attack are both great in design, but probably not effective in practice. Stopping damage from Ultra Beast Pokemon is super cool, even stifling Buzzwole decks. Powerful Storm is similar to some successful attacks from the past like Life Stream from Xerneas BREAK, so if there was a way to reliably stream Sceptile without relying on Rare Candy, a deck featuring Sceptile could maybe be good.

Shiftry-GX

With massive HP and solid attacks, this card isn’t something to be messed with. While Perplex isn’t exactly dangerous, it creates an awkward situation for your opponent immediately and could draw a passing of the turn. 240 HP has synergy with healing effects like Max Potion, so perhaps we could see a tanky Shiftry-GX deck arise. Extrasensory is the highlight of this card, however, cranking out 180 damage for a Grass Energy and Double Colorless Energy. You need to have the same hand size as your opponent though, of course, but that’s easily done with so many playable cards these days or even Judge. Pandemonium GX is icing on the cake and something that didn’t have to exist for this card to be viable. Maybe we’ll see Zoroark-GX paired with Shiftry-GX now!

Swampert

Could Trade get better? Yes, Power Draw has now entered the ring. With high HP of 160, Hydro Pump could serve as a worthwhile attack to deal solid damage while drawing heaps of cards and avoiding Knockouts. I’m not enthralled with this Pokemon as a Stage 2, so it probably won’t see any play aside from a strong tech in certain situations

Regice

Just a neat effect, I don’t see this card doing anything spectacular. It doesn’t have a viable attack to serve as an attacker, but Ice Barrier could trap in a degenerate Stadium and hurt your opponent. Icy Wind just doesn’t do enough, though.

Manectric

Volt Start, like Talonflame, can put Manectric down without evolving during setup. It looks like you can do multiple at once, but the translation could be muddied. Double Charge isn’t that strong, however, and you’d have to significantly reduce your Basic count to start with Manectric consistently even if there was a super strong Lightning attacker that you could power up to cinch games.

Plusle

Colress in attack form? Not quite. Maybe this will see play in the future as draw support. Minun is similar, but Plusle is the superior card in that it will more consistently draw you more cards without punishing you with a distasteful discarding of resources.

Oricorio

Flying Flip does this attack better I feel and while it’s strong inherently, not enough decks will get solid use of it since Lightning is an uncommon type right now. If your opponent is wary of the spreading attack he or she can even stagger Pokemon-EX/GX to avoid more damage being done.

Grumpig

This little piggy can pack a punch against Psychic-weak Pokemon like Buzzwole. I don’t think it has much use outside of that, so it’s probably bad, but you could even throw it into a Buzzwole deck itself to win-more against mirrors. Just a thought but probably bad. It wouldn’t work that well in Zoroark-GX decks, for one, since the attack requirement involves a similar Pokemon to a Buzzwole deck. Aside from Tapu Lele-GX, you would have to add yet another potentially dead card to the mix just to give yourself another weak option.

Banette

Red Eyes is the main appeal to this card here, simply to serve as a Target Whistle in a format devoid of a practical way to perform such an effect. Enemy Show is kinda bad but could serve as a way to soften up something from time to time. I fear most decks won’t have place for this and a Counter Energy package (which would power it), so this card will likely be left out of Banette-GX decks (something I’ll cover a little later on).

Deoxys

Simply a worse Mewtwo from Evolutions, there’s no point to ever play this card right now. Mewtwo just does more damage, and even has higher HP. The only thing that’s actually better about it is the lower retreat cost, but that’s barely relevant when you’re going to attach a Double Colorless Energy to attack with one of these Pokemon almost every time.

Regirock

There are officially enough non-EX/GX Basic Fighting Pokemon to create a legitimate deck out of. I envision a split of this with Buzzwole to just force your opponent to take six Prizes. You can do a ton of damage with this little guy with all the damage modifiers out there and it can even do more damage than a Buzzwole does normally with Sledgehammer so long as you have a Tool attached to it.

Metagross

Extend can… extend… your turn, but that’s not going to be too great when you’re a Stage 2. 170 HP is quite a bit, and Meteor Mash can start racking up damage immediately. Metagross might become viable again with just one or two Metagross-GX just as support, since you can reliably Meteor Mash again and again with a stream of Max Potion. Unlocking the true power of Steven’s Decision is a nice added bonus.

Jirachi Prism Star

Greedy Dice as a Pokemon? It’s as if it wasn’t awful enough as a Trainer, Jirachi is probably never going to see play right now unless there becomes a way for you to put it in your Prizes intentionally via some effect.

Celesteela

Once you and your opponent combine to only have six Prizes left then this guy takes off. 160 damage for a single Metal Energy (or Rainbow Energy) is a serious punch for a non-EX/GX Pokemon with 140 HP. It will be had to knock this thing out in one hit, so if you can manage to use Moonraker multiple times you’ve probably already won the game. I like this card as a tech in many different decks.

Kartana

You can immediately pressure your opponent with this, but with only 60 HP it’s going to get knocked out pretty quick and won’t be able to attack many times. 130 damage is significant, but not significant enough to make this a battle-ready Pokemon because of its frail stature.

Stakataka-GX

The only super notable thing here is Ultra Wall, giving your Ultra Beast Pokemon 10 more HP, essentially. You could splash this into random decks playing Buzzwole to get more HP, and things like that to catch your opponent off guard. I don’t think this will be worth it with the large liability of two Prizes, but it’s something to think about. With four in play you can reduce attacks by 40 -- just saying!

Salamence

A free gust effect is always nice but in the form of a non-attacking Stage 2 behemoth that’s not going to fly well. Nothing else to say. It’s just cool looking!

Latias Prism Star

Dream Mist makes this baby one of the best cards in the set. You give Rayquaza-GX decks an incredible way to accelerate Energy and fuel one of the most boom-or-bust decks out there. Thirty damage can make some Knockouts easier as well, and there’s always the option for Latias Prism Star to find a home in other Dragon-type decks along the road.

Latios Prism Star

Dragon Fleet can do some serious damage with multiple Dragon type Evolutions in play, but the problem is firstly getting them out, and then dealing with Latios Prism Start getting knocked out. If you Prize it, too, then you’re hosed, so it’s best not investing into a whole deck archetype to make this guy work; it’s just not going to happen.

Rayquaza-GX

The star of this set, it combines built-in Energy acceleration and deck-thinning all into one powerful attacker that can literally sweep a whole field. It’s not uncommon to see Dragon Break do 180 damage or even more on the first turn! Tempest GX is a nice way to draw cards in a bind if you need to, also. Everything about this card is great and it’s sure to be part of a successful archetype in the coming months.

Delcatty

Friend Search works as a double VS Seeker in the form of a Pokemon, and while that’s really cool, its attack is dreadfully bad and there’s nothing else special about it. If you’re playing a deck that desperately wants a certain Supporter card back over and over like Garchomp, maybe, then this is the card for you, otherwise leave it at home.

Kecleon

Uh, okay? I’m not sure why this exists but if you can power it up with both a Unit Energy LPM you can swing for type advantage against three different types! Neat, but irrelevant and bad right now.

Desperation Potion

A great effect, but a terrible prerequisite makes for an equally horrible card. I don’t ever see this getting played unless there’s something that can stop a Pokemon from getting knocked out that becomes viable again, maybe like Focus Sash? Even then, this card won’t necessarily deny a Knockout on your opponent’s ensuing turn so I just don’t see much use for this card in general.

Acro Bike

It’s back! This was a strong card in the past for speedy decks, and while it’s still powerful by design, I can’t think of any good deck-fits where it could be placed at the moment. That could certainly change, however. Rayquaza-GX could be a potential suitor…

Rainbow Brush

This is super interesting, somewhat similar to a Smeargle card from BREAKthrough, in the form of an Item. I can’t see this being played, but it’s a cool effect. Perhaps there will be a deck in the future that can make use of multiple types in attempts to counter most decks with the use of this new card.

Hustle Belt

Similar to Desperation Potion, this card works when your Pokemon has 30 HP or less left. While 60 more damage is insane, getting to that 30 HP or lower mark is difficult, and will likely force this card out of competitive play. It does not work on the likes of Joltik with Night March because of the “If the Pokemon this card is attached to has no damage counters on it, this card does nothing.” clause tagged on at the end.

Steven’s Decision

A peculiar card with potential. In Metagross decks you can use it to chain more Metagross and find Max Potion to heal up, and I can even see it being used in future formats where N isn’t legal, or played, to snatch some cards you want and build a threatening board of your choosing.

Tate and Liza

A better Shauna? Why did we need this? We might never know, but in the distant future perhaps this could see play. Maybe a deck that wants Float Stone but can’t play it could make use of it. Let’s remember Float Stone won’t be legal for Standard next season (unless there’s a reprint)!

Lisia

I can’t see this being great other than for finding an Item, Stadium, and/or Energy Prism Star card. Pokemon and Supporter cards are already made available with search cards and Tapu Lele-GX, so this Supporter won’t be of much use there in that department. I don’t think this will see much play.

Forbidden Shrine

The potential for this card to be great is amazing. It could be used in Banette-GX decks to spread damage around from your Pokemon to your opponent’s, or just in a spread deck like a quad Tapu Koko deck built to punish Pokemon-EX/GX. There’s so much to be explored with this card, and it’s nice to finally have something to keep some of the overpowered Pokemon-EX/GX in the format in check. Tapu Lele-GX will even have to watch out, because this card is going to get right after it.

Sky Pillar

Another awful Stadium version of Mr. Mime from BREAKthrough, this will likely never see play. I suppose without Mr. Mime in an upcoming format it could see reconsideration, but that’s doubtful as there are better Stadium cards to play and Bench-damaging attacks aren’t extremely common, or important to counter.

SM6b: Champion Road

Ariados

This may have been strong enough to be a part of a major archetype in the past, but in today’s quick-hitting format this will not fly. Reactive Poison is cool and could be paired with Salazzle, but again, I just don’t see it here with this one.

Magcargo

Smooth Over is back! This is one of the best cards ever and has great synergy with Zoroark-GX. I’m super excited to throw a thin line of this into Zoroark-GX decks to give them whatever card they want at any time. The combinations are endless, and there could be some super fancy combinations for this in the future.

Blaziken

Another blast from the past: Fire Starter is a great Ability but just on the wrong Pokemon. As a Stage 2 with an abysmal attack, you’re not going to get great value out of Blaziken even if you do manage to set it up. Things like Vikavolt are simply better if you’re trying to accelerate Energy, and I would even steer clear of that awful card.

Articuno-GX

Legendary Ascent is a great Ability, but Water decks are very lacking, currently. Perhaps Lapras-GX could make a comeback? Doubtful, but not completely outside of the realm of possibility. Ice Wing is a very vanilla smack for 130, which isn’t horrible. Cold Crush GX is trash, so I don’t see much of a bright future for this legendary bird.

Feraligatr

Another old card made anew, Downpour isn’t going to do much for any other deck aside from a Feraligatr deck itself. Riptide is a strong attack, but you’ll need to play something like Ribombee to continually search Water Energy out of your deck. All in all, this is just going to be another casualty of the Stage 2 nightmare: inconsistent, unreliable, and, overall, unplayable.

Ludicolo

Another one. This card’s downside is almost identical to that of Feraligatr, just a card outside of its element with no hope in sight. Circular Steps could do some serious damage, but for three Energy I don’t see that being reliable in the slightest. 140 HP is super easy for something as small as baby Buzzwole to swat in a pinch, so again, the binder is the final destination for this guy, more likely.

Electrode-GX

There are two things to love about this card, Extra Energy Bomb and Crush and Burn. I can’t see it being played, though, because giving up two Prizes just to accelerate Energy seems atrociously bad. Five Energy from your discard pile is a plus, that’s quite a few, but they can’t even go on Pokemon-EX/GX. Crush and Burn can reliably take out anything, however, doing 50 more damage for every Energy you choose to discard from play. Again, Electrode-GX won’t be hanging around very often, though, since you’re going to be playing this card to use Extra Energy Bomb if you actually choose to play it. A Weakness to Fighting is just even more hate poured out for this card, giving it an awful Achilles' heel.

Mr. Mime-GX

This guy is almost too much for me to handle, it’s so cool and nostalgic to FireRed & LeafGreen. Magic Evens stops damage from Pokemon that hit for even numbers, all the way up to 260 damage. This is neat, but Choice Band almost single-handedly makes this card unplayable, since you can switch your damage to odd or even, depending on what you’d like to swing for. One hundred and fifty HP is bad, especially since it’s an odd number, making this one inferior to a Magic Odds Mr. Mime-GX. Breakdown has potential and could wrack up some serious numbers, but your opponent can telegraph your plan and plan down extra cards to reduce your damage output in anticipation. I don’t see this, or its counterpart, being very great at all.

Banette-GX

The star of this set for me. Shadow Move is very strong and just a great Ability. Banette-GX is already super cool, because it serves as a Buzzwole counter for any deck playing Rainbow Energy. Shadow Chant can realistically do enough to one-shot a Buzzwole or Buzzwole-GX very quickly because Supporters are part of every deck, and Tomb Hunt GX is the exact same effect as Decidueye-GX's GX attack, and we already know how great that has is. A Weakness to Darkness is annoying because of Zoroark-GX, but a Resistance to Fighting is swell, just putting even more pressure on Buzzwole decks. I can see this being a deck of its own with something like Garbodor or being a partner for something like Zoroark-GX, just to counter Buzzwole.

Sableye

This is a deceptively strong support Pokemon with a great Ability. Excavate can just discard a card from the top of your deck if you want to thin it out, or keep it there and then you have a read on what you’d like to do for your next turn. Disable can stop an opposing Pokemon in its tracks and for a Colorless Energy this can fit into any deck. Bench space being at a premium right now makes this card less attractive, but it could see play in the future in a format devoid of ways to extend your plays and see more cards, thinning out bad ones in the process.

Scizor-GX

Danger Perception can put Steel Wing up to some serious damage potential, but having 100 or less HP remaining means your Scizor-GX will be guaranteed to be knocked out on your opponent’s next turn. Cross Cut GX is underwhelming too, only boosting your damage against Evolution Pokemon. Against a Zoroark-GX that can certainly be strong, but you’ll still need a Dhelmise or Choice Band in play to finish it off. I don’t think this is any better than other strong attackers out there, and it’s inefficient too with two Energy to even use Steel Wing, one being a Metal.

Salamence-GX

Dragon Lift is a great support Ability in any deck. Aside from that, Bright Flame and Flame Jet GX are horrifically bad attacks, requiring lots of Energy and even two different types in the case of the first. You won’t have a reliable way to accelerate Energy to it as well, so I can’t see this card ever being made successful unless Dragon Pokemon get some huge buffs.

Dunsparce

Strike and Run is back, too! This attack was very strong in the place, and with an effect like Brigette, it could be made playable in today’s format. I worry that relying on an attack to set up is too slow though nowadays, and I would rather use Nest Ball to force Basic Pokemon onto the Bench instead. Dunsparce can also switch itself to the Bench though, creating a situation where you could push up a “wall” Pokemon to deny damage from an opponent’s attack on his or her next turn. I think this is just too slow right now since you can only attack going second, and going first is far too great an advantage to pass up on.

Slaking

Finally a Slaking card that doesn’t inhibit itself! Lazy is like Garbodor with no way around it unless your opponent puts a Pokemon other than Slaking into your Active spot. This isn’t very good; however, because it does hurt the rest of your Pokemon, and the only attack Slaking has does slow itself down, it is pretty horrible.

Friend Ball

Friend Ball is one of the better Items in this subset, as most aren’t worth covering. Many decks play similar types, so Friend Ball could get you a valuable Pokemon with no drawback. There are better Ball cards out there right now, so I don’t see this being played currently.

Lure Ball

I’m glad to see all the Ball cards making a comeback, but again, this one isn’t very good. Your Evolutions have to be in the discard pile already, which is kinda weird. I’d rather just play Rescue Stretcher or Super Rod if I wanted to recover Pokemon from the discard pile that badly and not have to rely on coin flips.

Underground Expedition

This was a great card back in the day, but I think it’s too slow for today’s game. There aren’t any “bottom of the deck” effects that are very great right now, so putting good cards down there won’t be a guarantee at all.

Apricorn Maker

As a Supporter this is super underpowered. You could just play Brigette, Olivia, or Pokemon Fan Club if you wanted to find the Pokemon you’re looking from your deck instead of wasting Ball cards to do the exact same thing.

Copycat

As a great draw Supporter from the past I fully expect it to be decent once more but probably in lower counts. If you ever catch your opponent sitting on a large hand, you’ll be rewarded with a big one yourself. I can see this as a one-of in most decks going forward from its release.

SM6a: Dragon Storm

Victini Prism Star

Infinity is a great attack for Volcanion-EX decks, but those are on the way out, and I can’t see this being played in any other way. You can do some serious damage, but that’s about it. It also feels bad to flood your deck with Energy in the late game and make yourself even more vulnerable to N, so I just don't see it happening for this card.

Kingdra-GX

This is a decent card, but you need to get many Energy onto it for Hydro Pump to be worthwhile. You could utilize Max Potion to heal it up and tank hits, and Maelstrom GX could finish things off and put things in range of Knockouts. Stage 2 attacking decks are never exactly reliable, but this one takes a low Energy commitment to do some nice work, so there is hope for it.

Quagsire

Wash Away is more Water-type support for a game that’s missing strong Water Pokemon. Water Pokemon have almost always had nice support, but there just aren't’ good ones! It’s a weird predicament with no fix in sight.

Wishiwashi

Local Gathering is sick. Wishiwashi-GX could actually be a deck on its own with Max Potion, just trying to deny attacks. You do have to play four 30 HP Pokemon, though, and hope you can get them all on your Bench. It seems like a lot, but maybe it’s doable. It’s nice to see a cool gimmick like this be released either way, though.

Altaria

Battle Song is more support for Dragon Pokemon. With Parallel City legal I can’t see multiple Altaria making their way to your Bench realistically, but in the future this card could see some play to boost the damage output of something longing for a little push.

Kyurem

Another “Outrage” attacker, nothing more, nothing less.

White Kyurem-GX

Someone used this over in Japan with Double Dragon Energy in Expanded, but I don’t see it. You can do some big damage and tank some hits but it just doesn’t make sense, there are simply better attackers out there.

Turtonator

Explosive Jet can pack some one-hit Knockout potential on any Pokemon out there for Fire decks. You can even discard your Energy you have on Turtonator to do 150 damage starting off, that’s impressive.

Drampa

Another way to potentially accelerate Energy for Rayquaza-GX, Drampa is just a decent support Pokemon for a Dragon-type deck in need of Energy acceleration.

Zinnia

A way to power up those big Dragon-type Pokemon, maybe in the future when things slow down this card could be good enough to fuel a big Dragon-type deck.

Lance Prism Star

Getting those Salamence-GX seems hard, but with Lance Prism Star, you can do it with a Supporter card, so long as one of your Pokemon was knocked out during your opponent’s last turn.

Random Promos That Might Release

Solgaleo-GX

This long-awaited card couldn’t come at a worse time. With Buzzwole decks dominating, I can’t see Solgaleo-GX having the time it needs to set up and get Turbo Strike attacks going to power up other Pokemon. The old Solgaleo-GX from Sun & Moon could be a great partner for this, but this is all just happening at the wrong time. Shining Mane stops Weakness from your opponent, but Fire Pokemon are also at an all-time low, so I don’t think that matters much.

Tapu Lele

Woo, now Malamar decks can use Necrozma-GX to Black Ray GX and then spread the damage around! Trevenant BREAK also gets better in Expanded…

Beast Ball

Not very good by my estimation, but now you can fetch an Ultra Beast from your Prizes with this Item!

Shaymin

Sign of Gratitude can net you another card if you promote Shaymin up with a Float Stone following a Knockout. Maybe it’s worth an inclusion in some decks?

Player’s Ceremony

A nerfed Tropical Beach, this can just get you two extra cards at the end of your turn. I think most decks would rather attack instead, so this seems pretty bad, especially for only two cards.

Conclusion

This is going to be a huge set. The official list has not been released yet, but it will be exciting to see what all comes out in the end. I hope this was a relaxing peek into the future after a long season of hard-fought battles. See you guys later with some new decks from Celestial Storm, hopefully. Take care! I hope this season went well for you!

~Caleb

[+22] ok


 

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