Pojo's Pokemon Card Reviews, news, tips, strategies and more!

Pick Up Our New 20th Anniversary Pokemon Book for your Collection!

Pokemon Home


Price Guide Set List

Message Board

Pokemon GO Tips

Pokemon News

Featured Articles

Trading Card Game
- Price Guide
- Price Guide
- Card of the Day
- Professional Grading
- Killer Deck Reports
- Deck Garage
- William Hung
- Jason Klaczynski
- Jeremy's Deck Garage
- Johnny Blaze's Banter
- TCG Strategies
- Rulings Help
- Apprentice & Patch
- Apprentice League
- Spoilers & Translations
- Official Rules
- Featured Event Reports
- Top of the World
- An X-Act Science
- Error Cards
- Printable Checklist
- Places to Play

Nintendo Tips
- Red/Blue
- Yellow
- Gold & Silver
- Crystal
- Ruby & Sapphire
- Fire Red & Leaf Green
- Emerald
- Pinball
- TCG cart
- Stadium
- PuPuzzle League
- Pinball: Ruby/Sapphire
- Pokemon Coliseum
- Pokemon Box
- Pokemon Channel

GameBoy Help
- ClownMasters Fixes
- Groudon's Den
- Pokemon of the Week

E-Card Reader FAQ's
- Expedition
- Aquapolis
- Skyridge
- Construction Action Function
- EON Ticket Manual

Deck Garage
- Pokemaster's Pit Stop
- Kyle's Garage
- Ghostly Gengar

- Episode Listing
- Character Bios
- Movies & Videos
- What's a Pokemon?
- Video List
- DVD List

Featured Articles

Pojo's Toy Box

Books & Videos


Advertise With Us
- Sponsors


About Us
Contact Us

Yu Yu Hakusho
Harry Potter
Vs. System

Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


Celebi Prime
- HS Triumphant

Date Reviewed:
March 2, 2017

Ratings & Reviews Summary

See Below

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 being horrible.  3 ... average.  5 is awesome.

Back to the main COTD Page


Welcome to another Throwback Thursday, where we review (or re-review) an older card.  Last week we looked at something legal for play in the Expanded (BW-On), Legacy (HS-series releases, Call of Legends, and  BW-series releases), and Unlimited (all releases, a few banned cards) Formats.  I didn’t mention the Unlimited Format because I haven’t played it in years, or read a credible account of its current state; this has not changed, so don’t expect much (if any) Unlimited Format discussion.  If someone knowledgeable about the current state of competitive Unlimited Format play is reading this, Pojo is almost always looking for additional reviewers, and probably wouldn’t mind someone who only weighed in on Throwback Thursdays (hint hint).  Today’s subject is only legal for the Unlimited and Legacy Formats, and we’ll only be looking at it with respect to the latter: Celebi (HS: Triumphant 92/102). 

This Celebi is better known as Celebi Prime.  The HeartGold & SoulSilver series shows how the game itself slowly Evolves, as it kept some of the trappings of the previous generation (or generations, for mechanics that had been established even further back), then added a few new things LEGEND Pokémon that were split between two different cards (and you needed both halves to put them into play).  Pokémon Prime are another of those additions and helped to demonstrate the pending power creep of the Gen V sets.  They also may have been an attempt at getting people used to what would become the usual structure for premium pulls.  While “Common”, “Uncommon”, “Rare” and even “Secret Rare” are pretty straight-forward as a rarity scheme, the next step beyond “Rare” is the “Holographic Rare” in Pokémon, as opposed to a more generic term such as “Super Rare”.  For most of the BW-series and XY-series releases, after that would come Pokémon-EX, an “Ultra Rare”.  Pokémon Prime were the “Ultra Rares” of the HS-series of releases, and sets would contain a different version of the Pokémon at a lower rarity.  So “Prime” is not part of the card name, and unlike some similar denotations in the game, it isn’t even part of an in-game mechanic such as when I referred to last week’s Throwback as Weavile [Plasma]. 

Celebi Prime is a Grass Type Pokémon, allowing it to score double damage against many Water Types and a decent section of Fighting Types due to Weakness.  The Legacy Format has nothing Grass Resistant, and the only standout Grass Pokémon specific support I can think of is Metapod (HeartGold/SoulSilver 46/132).  No worthwhile anti-Gras Type effects (towards Pokémon or Energy), either.  There are some great Grass Type attackers like Genesect-EX (BW: Plasma Blast 11/101, 97/101), as well as effects based upon [G] Energy, such as what is found on Virizion-EX (which actually has a good attack, as well).  Anti-Grass Pokémon or Energy effects either don’t exist in this card pool, or they do and I utterly failed to find them with a quick search, but if they are out there, I’m not running into them.  Celebi Prime is a Basic Pokémon, which is the best Stage: no extra space or time required to Evolve can function as your opening Active, some good Stage support (Skyarrow Bridge, Prism Energy, etc.), and a natural synergy with certain other effects.  There aren’t even as many effective anti-Basic effects in this format.  Celebi Prime has 60 HP, which meant it wasn’t especially durable back then and is a probable OHKO in the Legacy Format.  The small upside is that Weakness becomes less important; many Fire Types won’t gain much benefit from Celebi Prime being Fire Weak because they already would have scored a OHKO.  Celebi Prime has no Resistance, so we’ll move onto the Retreat Cost of [C]; this is low enough that most of the time you’ll be able to afford it, but for combo purposes, I’m telling you right now to include stuff like Skyarrow Bridge or Switch or both. 

Celebi Prime has a Poké-Power, which is similar to an Ability, but mechanically distinct when it comes to card effects talking about them.  Also, most Poké-Powers would shut off if the Pokémon sporting them as affected by a Special Condition, and that is true for this one as well.  “Forest Breath” may only be used once per turn, while Celebi Prime is Active; it allows you to attach a [G] Energy from hand to one of your Pokémon in play, without it using up your manual Energy attachment for the turn.  Provided you can get them each into the Active spot, you may use multiple copies of Forest Breath in a single turn, each once.  Though it requires something to get Celebi Prime out from up front, this is good Energy acceleration, not only speeding up your initial assault but potentially helping you to recover when your opponent does KO something. The card also has an attack, “Time Circle”, which costs [GPC].  It does 30 damage and protects Celebi Prime from the damage (but not effects) of Stage 1 and 2 Pokémon during your opponent’s next turn.  That isn’t much protection or damage for the Energy involved; even when this card released, there were some strong Basic Pokémon with whom a player could attack, and in the Legacy Format, Basic attackers are still the most common.  Forest Breath is good if you know how to combo it; when this card first released, the cards to optimize it weren’t there, and so this card wasn’t used much.  You might be able to tell from our review of it here, which was a few months after it released and hadn't accomplished much. 

The only other Celebi legal for the Legacy Format is Celebi (HS: Triumphant 3/102).  That was another thing about Pokémon Prime; they would be released alongside a non-Prime counterpart that occupied a lower rarity slot, though not much lower in this case as this Celebi was a holographic rare.  They also were typically much weaker than their Prime counterpart.  This Celebi is still a Basic Pokémon with no Resistance and Retreat Cost [C], but this time it is an 80 HP Psychic Weak Psychic Type with two attacks.  The first attack is “Future Sight” for [P], which allows you to look at the top five cards of a player’s deck (pick yours or your opponent’s), then rearrange them as you wish.  It can be helpful, but not that helpful.  For [GC] it can use “Leaf Bind” instead, doing 30 damage and letting you flip a coin to try and Paralyze the opponent’s Active.  This card wasn’t worth it back in the day and isn’t used (at least not seriously) today.  The only Celebi card to release during the BW-era was Celebi-EX, and as it has a distinct name, you could run four of it alongside four Celebi Prime, no problem.  It doesn’t particularly combo with Celebi Prime, so we aren’t going to worry about it today. 

During the last part of the BW-era, before we started getting XY-era releases, that Genesect-EX and Virizion-EX I mentioned earlier?  That made up a deck known as VirGen and it was one of the strongest in the format.  Virizion-EX protects against Special Conditions via its Ability (“Verdant Wind”) and can attack with “Emerald Slash” for a quick bit of damage while attaching two [G] Energy from the deck to one of your Benched Pokémon.  Genesect-EX has an Ability (“Red Signal”) that acts like a Lysandre when you attach a Plasma Energy Card from hand to itself, forcing up the opponent’s Active of your choice should you choose to activate it.  For [GGC] it could attack with its “Megalo Cannon” to do 100 damage to the opponent’s Active and 20 to one of his or her Benched Pokémon, and if that wasn’t good enough you could slap on the Ace Spec Pokémon Tool G Booster.  G Booster had an attack by the same name that also required [GGC], then had you discard two Energy from the Pokémon using the attack before doing 200 damage to the opponent’s Active; G Booster (the attack) also ignored all effects (but not Weakness/Resistance) on the opponent’s Active.  Together, the two would set up to try and stream OHKO’s, or at least 2HKO’s.  Many decks were still relying upon Hypnotoxic Laser and Virbank City Gym for some extra damage counter placement (and sometimes stalling) at the time, Verdant Wind took care of that.  The deck is still around in Expanded, but no longer a powerhouse. 

The Legacy Format adds, besides some of the general use options, Celebi Prime for alternate/additional Energy acceleration and Metapod to deal with your Fire Weakness.  Skyarrow Bridge allows everything but Metapod to retreat for free.  This means that, ideally, you open with Celebi Prime, attach a Grass Energy via Forest Breath to Virizion-EX or Genesect-EX, and retreat into something else.  Exactly what depends on the situation.  If you are going second, then a manual Energy attachment after Forest Breath readies Virizion-EX to attack.  You may also attach to Genesect-EX, as a manual Energy attachment plus a successful use of Colress Machine well enable it to attack as well!  You might also bring up another Celebi Prime; if you have a Switch and another Grass Energy handy, you can just enjoy another spare Energy attachment.  If you have a Plasma Energy in hand, you could then (for instance) use it for your manual Energy attachment and trigger Red Signal; quite nasty if you can follow up with an attack, and potentially useful even if you cannot.  Smeargle (HS: Undaunted 8/90; Call of Legends 21/95) was reviewed here during our Legacy Format Week, and it may also show up in this deck… which makes it a primo tag partner for Celebi Prime; do your business (especially first turn) attaching Energy via Forest Breath, then bring up Smeargle to try to and copy a useful Supporter from your opponent.  Junk Hunt also helps, as it allows you to reclaim used copies of Switch and even the Ace Spec G Booster.  VirGen decks, like Weavile [Plasma] decks, are one of the strongest competitive decks in the Legacy Format. 


Standard: N/A 


Celebi Prime isn’t a must run for all decks, but it is pretty important to most (maybe all) Grass decks.  At the same time, if you lack it, you can still run a Grass deck.  I haven’t been able to snag any yet on the PTCGO, but my VirGen deck performs well enough for me to still use it.  It would just be notably better if I did have Celebi Prime in it.  No score for Standard or Expanded because Celebi Prime isn’t legal there, and good luck finding and affording a Limited event that uses HS: Triumphant boosters (great pull if you do, though).  In the Legacy Format, being great for one of the top decks, good in a few others, and not worth running in the rest still gives it a pretty high score.


Well now here's a major throwback. Today we get to cover Celebi (Triumphant 92) - or as she's better known "Celebi Prime". This is one of the Pokemon Prime cards that were big in the HGSS era, as is my understanding. Pokemon Prime weren't particularly different from other Pokemon cards though, they were just generally more powerful than your regular Pokemon. They were meant to replace the mechanic from the DPPt era, Pokemon Lv. X, which in turn replaced Pokemon ex before them. 

I didn't play during the HGSS era, but I had heard that Celebi Prime was a powerful card back in those days, so let's take a look at what might have caused all of that. Her attack in Time Circle is a 3-for-60 hit, which considering the overall HP on Pokemon was much lower than it is in today's game, that's actually not that bad. The highest amounts were around 150 HP usually, which would be about the same as a regular Stage 2 in today's game - go figure. This meant that Celebi Prime could 3HKO anything with ease, with 2HKOs on most anything in the game at the time. On top of that though, Time Circle gave Celebi Prime the effect of canceling out any damage from Stage 1 or 2 Pokemon the opponent used against her - not too shabby in formats focused on the evolutions. 

But the main draw to Celebi Prime is in her Ability-er, sorry, Poke-Power. This is an important difference, as Abilities weren't a thing back in the days of Triumphant, so anything referencing Abilities don't affect Poke-Powers and vice versa. Same applies to Poke-Body, which is another term used in those days and beyond. Anyways, Celebi Prime has Forest Breath, which as long as Celebi Prime is the Active Pokemon allows you to attach a Grass Energy to a Pokemon you control once per turn. Energy acceleration is always a good thing, although these days we're used to and prefer it coming from the discard pile if we can, but back in HGSS, I imagine this was pretty useful. 

In fact, it must have been useful, as Celebi Prime has since appeared in a number of decks over the course of its lifespan in Standard. The most notable of these came within the HGSS-onward rotation, known as "CMT" - standing for Celebi, Mewtwo-EX, and Tornadus. Using Celebi Prime in the Active Position to start, the aim was to power up either Tornadus-EX or Mewtwo-EX with its Forest Breath power and then Switch things around to unleash a devastating blow. It was pretty effective as a whole, winning numerous championships from state to nationals and even made a showing in the Top 8 at Worlds 2012. The deck though has since been crippled, with the new rulings about no attacking on the first turn combined with the errata on Pokemon Catcher, which was used in the deck to notable effect, and Celebi Prime might not be in her Prime anymore.

...or is she? There is one format available that will still take her in, and that is exclusive to the Pokemon TCG Online - yeah, that little advertised space with every pack and deck you buy that comes with the little QR code. There, Legacy formats exist, meaning any cards from HGSS on can be used - and that includes stuff like Forest of Giant Plants and, most recently, cards like Decidueye-GX. Perhaps here Celebi Prime can gain new life with being the great Grass accelerator of such decks, or maybe she can star in her own little role in VirGen decks. Who knows? The list goes on. 

Celebi Prime has a couple of good qualities going for it. Sure, she's only got 60 HP, but hey, she doesn't give up an extra Prize to your opponent! Gotta say that's pretty nice, and it's just another iteration of card types that could always inspire something for the future. Or heck, maybe it can even come back. 


Standard: N/A (this format of course excludes Pokemon from Celebi Prime's time, but for the sake of her own time frame, I'd say she's a solid 3.5/5)

Expanded: N/A (that 3.5/5 pertaining mainly to her noteworthy Poke-Power and attack, though faulting the low 60 HP she has) 

Limited: 4.5/5 (I'd imagine though that anything with acceleration for your other Pokemon along with the power to keep evolved Pokemon at bay was really useful for those days) 

Arora Notealus: Celebi Prime is a fairly balanced card, all things considered. It may be the case that Pokemon Prime in general were balanced for their time, but throw in a card pool of 180+ HP Basics, and it's hard to see where the good starts in comparison. Pokemon-EX really outclassed most of the specialty classes before them, but you never know when the next big resurgence will be.

Next Time: A tasty treat in present day!

Copyright© 1998-2017 pojo.com
This site is not sponsored, endorsed, or otherwise affiliated with any of the companies or products featured on this site. This is not an Official Site.
Pokémon card reviews - Pokemon Set Reviews