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Yu Yu Hakusho
Harry Potter
Vs. System

Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


 Steel Shelter

- Phantom Forces

Date Reviewed:
Jan. 20, 2015

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 2.80
Expanded: 2.50
Limited: 4.00

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 being the worst. 
3 ... average.  
5 is the highest rating.

Back to the main COTD Page


Steel Shelter was a card I considered for my Top 10 List back when Phantom Forces first came out, and I'm not surprised it didn't make the list. If there's anything I learned from my "Sparkling Robes" hype, it's that there's a lot more to consider than just the card's effects. 

Steel Shelter has essentially the same effect - removing and preventing all Status Conditions on a certain Pokemon - as Sparkling Robes does. While Sparkling Robe could be attached to anything, Steel Shelter is specifically designated for Steel Pokemon, which is a little funny considering one of the biggest Status Conditions in the game currently is Poison (which normally Steel-types are immune to anyway). 

That being said, Steel Shelter does have its share of weaknesses - for starters, it's a Stadium, so any other Stadium (Fighting Stadium, Virbank, Dimensional Valley, etc.) that comes into play will knock it right out. There's also a lot of "Stadium wreckers" around - and there's going to be more on the way too! Steel Shelter provides a good defensive option against a particular problem - like Sparkling Robes did - but ultimately nowadays it's not about the Status but the damage being dealt, and there's a lot more damage to be dealt with Muscle Band and Strong Energy hanging around. 

Needless to say, Steel Shelter isn't an absolute must-run option - if anything it's a safety option to counter other Stadium cards for Steel decks. If you go Steel, at least consider it, but otherwise keep it safely tucked away. 


Standard: 2.5/5 (a good Stadium with a good effect but lots of weaknesses and doesn't truly counter most things) 

Expanded: 2/5 (I'm thinking of Rayquaza-EX here, but there's older cards that can benefit from newer ones that Steel Shelter doesn't account for) 

Limited: 3/5 (a decent Stadium to keep your Steel Pokemon from getting Poisoned by Gengar-EX) 

Arora Notealus: I almost would rather have some kind of defensive option with this card, like old Metal Energy used to do - reduce damage by 20, only in this day and age, reduce it by 30! Actually account for power-creep or something!

Next Time: The don would like to see you now.


Today its short and sweet; we are covering Steel Shelter (XY: Plasma Steel 105/119), a card that actually did make one of the reviewer's Top 10 lists, if I’m not mistaken, but low enough we decided we could review it later than the honorary mentions/runner-up week that often follows said lists.  Well… its later!

Steel Shelter is a Stadium card, which is a mixed blessing; this is a niche most decks will want to have something occupy, but any other Stadium can send it to the discard pile, spare copies are dead in hand if that Stadium is already in play and while I don’t believe we have any current, universally acclaimed Stadium that is a must run in and of itself for every deck, things like Virbank City Gym are a must for any deck that can Poison (like all those decks still running Hypnotoxic Laser) or are a staple for a particular deck (Fairy Garden in Fairy Transfer decks).  The actual effect of Steel Shelter is that Metal-Type Pokémon are immune to Special Conditions; they can’t be inflicted on your Metal-Type Pokémon and if any were present when you played Steel Shelter, they are removed at that time.  This is simple, solid effect for a Stadium though a bit less useful than my earlier example of Fairy Garden.  The reason is that it is harder to generate an instant return with Steel Shelter plus some decks just don’t use Special Conditions, while its rare for a Fairy Transfer deck to avoid not need to retreat. 

So should Metal-Type decks run it?  The short answer is the most unsatisfying “Maybe.”.  To give you an idea, the main Metal-Type deck right now is Bronzong (XY: Phantom Forces 61/119).  The exact attackers can vary but it's fueled by Bronzong or rather its Ability.  If you’re using Metal-Type attackers, it can come in handy due to timing.  You can’t play two Stadiums in the same turn but you can (for example) protect your own Metal-Types from Special Conditions with Steel Shelter before dropping a Virbank City Gym to boost a Hypnotoxic Laser.  Of course, maybe none of the good lists try that trick.  My first hand experience is limited to mixed results with a PTCGO Bronzong deck; I didn’t quite have the cards for what I understand to be the traditional build, so I improvised a bit.  With just one Dialga-EX (BW: Phantom Forces 62/119, 119/116) I found myself running a Cobalion-EX (only had one of it as well) and then relying more on Cobalion (BW: Noble Victories 84/101, 101/101; BW: Legendary Treasures 91/113) and Heatran (XY: Phantom Forces 63/119).  So for me, it was useful to alternate between Steel Shelter and Virbank City Gym; in some match-ups only one was really useful and in others as long as I could play down both, I was doing good.  Note that the Heatran listed has a Stadium enhanced attack, so my deck did run two a piece of Steel Shelter and Virbank City Gym; a build just worried about getting big hits off of Dialga-EX might prefer those slots went to additional retreat alternatives. 

The catch is, my testing also had me wondering if I should drop it for Mountain Ring, to protect my Bench.  In many ways, Mountain Ring and Steel Shelter have the same problem; incomplete protection.  Mountain Ring is bypassed by damage counter placement and Abilities while Steel Shelter doesn’t protect against everything other than damage.  Both changes would likely make these Stadiums too good, but such is the format we are in: most successful cards are at least a bit over potent. 


Note: Scores assume you are running a deck with most or all Metal-Type attackers. 

Standard: 3.15/5 - An average score for a Type specific card should make the situation fairly clear; it is by no means bad but its not a must run where by all rights it should come close. 

Expanded: 3/5 - There are other options here, though most aren’t going to make a major difference. 

Limited: 5/5 - The usual drill; there are two Stadium cards in this set so at least one of each is a must if you pull them.  Yes, even when neither benefit you directly, its about sabotaging the opponent that is trying to rely on said Stadium.  Even if you have no Metal-Types, even if your deck can’t inflict Special Conditions, you need Steel Shelter just to take out Dimension Valley.

Summary: One of many cards that feels like a bit of a throwback; I’m not sure if it could be made much better without it becoming a bit too good, but what makes it nostalgic is that in some past formats, it was the vulnerability to Special Conditions that was a real problem for Metal-Types.  If you aren’t going to try to boost your own damage with Hypnotoxic Laser or worry about Bench hits, then its probably the best default Stadium. 

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