What’s up guys.
It has been quite some time since I last released an article on our website, so I decided to take a look at the new set “Celestial Storm” and show you my top 10 cards from it. Keep in mind that this is purely based on my opinion and mostly based on the upcoming metagame for the World Championships 2018, since that’s going to be my next big tournament. I will also include some thoughts for the format after rotation in September.
#10 – Swampert
As someone who played quite a lot of Zoroark during this season, it made me happy to see a very similar ability appearing in the game. I really enjoy the consistency that it brings to a lot of decks, so my hope is that with cards like Swampert we’ll get to a metagame that has a lot of on board consistency and therefore relies way less on top decks. We’re already moving into that direction anyways with N rotating next September and I hope that the game designers keep pushing the game that way. Unfortunately, Swampert’s attack isn’t that good and it being a stage 2 doesn’t make things any easier. I still think it’s a solid card and hope that it somehow finds its way into some decks.
#9 – Dunsparce
I would’ve really loved to rate this card higher because I really like its attack and think it’s going to be a very good card for next season. The format is probably going to slow down and the lack of Brigette means that having access to a card that gets you a lot of basics is very good. There are two main reasons why I didn’t put it higher up this list, with the first simply being that I’m not 100% yet if the format is going to turn out as I expected. I haven’t done any testing for Sun and Moon-On, since I still must play the World Championships first which is a totally different format. The second reason is that it might just turn out to be a liability on your bench after you used it and your opponent doesn’t take the knockout, or you simply switch it to your bench with the second effect of the basic searching attack. I still think it’s a pretty good card and I hope that it turns out to be as useful as I figured in my first impression.
#8 – Manectric
Manectric is very similar to Talonflame from STS as it has an ability that allows you to put it face down as a basic Pokémon. For Talonflame the only requirement was that you had to have it in your opening hand which made it strong in decks like Greninja that don’t play a lot of other basics anyways. Manectric would be higher on this list if it wouldn’t be so situational because you can only use its ability if you have it in your opening hand when going second. Another problem with Manectric is that you need energy cards in your hand to be able to use its attack for more than just damage. Of course, you can use cards like Professor’s Letter or simply draw into your energy cards, but I personally think it’s way to situational to work properly, which doesn’t mean that it’s not an interesting card with a decent amount of potential, especially because unlike Talonflame, it’s just a stage 1, so you can actually just evolve into it to make use of its energy acceleration.
#7 – Electrode GX
Electrode GX is one of those cases that just benefits from a generally weaker set. Usually this card would just be a gimmicky card that you would usually just ignore when talking about the top cards from most sets, but since there are just a few outstanding cards, I included Electrode in my Top 10. I mainly included it because it’s a card that currently isn’t that strong but can benefit a lot from cards that will be released in the future with the need for powerful energy acceleration. Getting five energies back from your discard pile is very powerful and would make a great addition to especially Rayquaza GX decks, if there wasn’t the problem that you can’t attach those energy cards to GX and EX. This would force you to either run multiple non-GX/EX or attach them to your leftover Voltorbs. The first part would make the deck even more clunky than it already is, and the second option is just way too vulnerable for cheap knockouts with Guzma, which would immediately get rid of your energies again. Its regular attack is super weak, but the GX attack can be used to close out games by dealing huge amounts of damage to finish off a big threat on your opponent’s field.
#6 – Stakataka GX
Ever since Ultra Beasts were released at last year’s World Championships, I got my hopes up to get a new archetype like SP or Plasma cards, because both had unique cards and strategies that made them very fun to play. Up until Forbidden Light, there weren’t a lot of cards that really interacted with Ultra Beasts, but cards like Beast Ring, Ultra Space or Beast Energy finally connected them to an actual archetype. Stakataka GX could be a very interesting addition to the so called “Beast Box” decks to help them gain strength and popularity. Its regular attack is not the best since it can’t even use Double Colorless Energy to power it up quickly, but the GX attack is at least a nice tool to close out games. Stakataka GX has potential to boost the strength of decks with other Ultra Beasts and there will surely be people that play it at tournaments.
#5 – Delcatty
Delcatty has one of the most powerful abilities I’ve seen in a long time and I’m happy that Pokémon didn’t decide to put this ability on a basic Pokémon. Being able to get two Supporter cards back from your discard pile is just super strong, especially when next format loses cards like Puzzle of Time that could previously get them back, as did VS Seeker before that. Of course, we still have an Item card in Pal Pad that gets back Supporters, but I think that Delcatty is one of the most promising cards for the upcoming season and I really hope that it will be able to life up to my expectations and actually make it into some decks that do well at tournaments.
#4 – Latias Prism
Ever since the Dragon type got introduced to the Pokémon TCG it was in desperate need for other support due to most of the Pokémon having weird energy costs consisting of two completely different types. The old Rayquaza EX was able to work because of Eelektrik NVI which allowed you to attach a lot of Lightning energies so that you only had to attach a Fire energy manually. After the release of Ancient Origins life became a lot easier for dragons thanks to Double Dragon Energy, but ever since it’s gone we didn’t see any new dragons make it to the top tables of tournaments. This of course is also because one of the most powerful cards during the first half of this season was Gardevoir GX, which hits dragon type Pokémon for weakness. Latias Prism might not solve the general issues for dragon types, but it’s at least a way to help Rayquaza GX, which will also be included in this Top 10 at a later point, to get even more energies into play and maybe make it able to keep up, or even outclass, the current Standard decks.
#3 – Banette GX
Banette GX might not be my number one rated card from this set, but it’s my favorite card if it comes to card design alone. It has a very interesting Ability that allows you to move damage counters from wherever on the field to a different Pokémon. This opens up some interesting options to get that extra 10 damage for a knockout, or just things like getting rid of some damage to mess up your opponent’s math or move damage from cards like Rainbow Energy. It also has a unique attack that deals more damage depending on how many Supporter cards you have in your discard pile, up to an additional 100 damage. We have seen a few Stage 1 GX that where able to deal 100+ damage for a single energy and they have all at least seen some play, or especially in Golisopod GXs case a lot of it. To top it off, Banette GX has the same GX attack as Decidueye GX which allows you to get three cards from your discard pile into your hand. I think Banette GX is a great card and I can’t wait to start testing some decks with it.
#2 – Magcargo
Magcargo is one of those cards that won’t be that impactful for Worlds but will get super good after rotation. A obvious use for Magcargo is to use it in Zoroark decks to get whichever card you want, once per turn (or if you have multiple Magcargos and Zoroark GX, up to that number). Right now, there is one major issue with that combo which is Parallel City. Being limited to a bench of three has always been annoying for Zoroark decks, but if you add another stage one that you don’t want to discard, its disruption power becomes even greater. I definitely think that Magcargo will see play after rotation, but unless people are willing to deal with annoying Parallel Cities, I don’t see it having a big impact for this year’s World Championships.
#1 – Rayquaza
Most people probably expected this already but my number one pick for Celestial Storm is Rayquaza GX. Having a powerful attack combined with an Ability that helps you to set up your damage output is just something you can’t ignore, and it doesn’t even have to rely on itself to get set up. From cards like Vikavolt from Sun and Moon to Max Elixir and even cards from Celestial Storm like Electrode GX and Latios Prism, there are a lot of different ways for energy acceleration to boost Rayquaza GX’s attack. This however still doesn’t mean that I think that Rayquaza GX is as powerful as some people make it out to be, but compared to most other cards in this rather weak set, I just consider it to be one of the cards with the highest potential of actually being able to perform on the tournament stage.
Most of the cards are rather weak and I don’t think that it will introduce a lot of new decks to the metagame for the World Championships, especially because last years set had so much more strong cards like Gardevoir GX, Golisopod GX and Ho-Oh GX that it’s hard to top that. I still think, that especially the cards I rated top four will at least make it into some decks and also the new season. Also, if you’re interested in my opinion on the other cards from Celestial Storm, make sure to check out my set review on Youtube where I go over every card from the set:
Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5it9Lf8WD3o
Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rer7rFYkVbA