Altar of the Sunne
– Guardians Rising
January 22, 2018
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
A quick heads up; I did finally post a review for last Friday’s card, so if you’re curious as to my thoughts, feel free to go check it out.
As for today’s CotD, we look at another Trainer-Stadium: Altar of the Sunne (SM – Guardians Rising 118/145), and its effect removes the Weakness from all [R] or [M] Pokémon in play. Not having damage doubled is a good thing, but if your Weakness isn’t overly common in the metagame, it won’t be worth it. Beyond that, however, you need to consider whether or not there are better ways for dealing with Weakness, and whether or not there is another Stadium better suited to your strategy. In fact, it doesn’t have to be another Stadium; with Field Blower, you might be able to get by without any Stadiums at all. The final nail in the coffin, I think, is that even if Altar of the Sunne is otherwise the best option for your deck… it is a passive effect; your opponent can play another Stadium, use Field Blower, use Delinguent, etc. and now you’re out a Stadium and still taking double damage. As such, Altar of the Sunne seems inadequate, but not worthless. If you’re running a lot of [R] or [M] Pokémon, consider it, maybe even test it if you’re getting spanked by Weakness.
If your opponent has to win a Stadium war, burn a Field Blower, etc. to take out your Stadium, you might still come out ahead. For the Limited Format, you want a Stadium to counter other Stadiums unless the set only has one; SM – Guardians Rising has three others, so even with Field Blower also being in the set, Altar of the Sunne comes in handy even when you don’t need to remove Weakness. The same goes for the Theme Deck format, where you can find it in “Steel Sun”.
I thought I read an review of Altar of the Sunne, but turns out it was Altar of the Moone that I’ve read last year!
Altar of the Sunne is pretty self-explanatory: Fire and Metal Pokémon has no weakness. Is it useful? Definitely! Your opponent will have to do the full “insert max HP here” or have some sort of OHKO gimmick like Dead End GX to even take the Pokémon down.
As a Stadium card, however, it would hurt more than it helps. Most likely because the moment you play the stadium down, your opponent benefits by losing their weaknesses before you get to attack. This is especially true if you use fire decks against metal decks, this Stadium would clash and do nothing for you.
Also, there’s another Solgaleo-GX card whose Shining Mane Ability gets rid of Weakness from ALL of your Pokémon. And its attacks both cost CC, making it splashable wherever. This makes Altar of the Sunne obsolete when this card comes out.
Altar Of The Sunne… a great place for players of Pokemon Sun and Ultra Sun (like me) as it is the first place that we encounter the great Solgaleo (or Dusk Mane Necrozma in Ultra Sun), heralding the birth of what is now the most stable and consistent Xerneas counter in competitive Pokemon. As a place its great. As a place that speaks of things to do, it is as bland as a sheet of white paper… and the Stadium that is based of it might just be about the same.
Its a simple stadium, to be honest. Fire and Metal Pokemon are gifted with no Weakness when this card is played down. Owing to the slower format of the BKT-on meta, very few decks are able to actually score OHKOs on most Pokemon without Weakness without using their GX attack, so its actually a decent benefit that the slower, more setup-heavy environment gifted us. However, we have seen multiple times that buffs like these are better inputted inside support Pokemon’s abilities instead of Stadiums. For example, popular Stadiums like Sky Field are much better countered by cards like Sudowoodo (SM GUR) than Parallel City (though the latter is still good in Standard format because Sky Field has rotated), Shrine Of Memories (XY BKT) is rendered obsolete when cards like Shining Celebi and Celebi-EX (in Expanded) are legal and even fringely decent Stadiums like Altar Of The Moone from the same set is just comparably worse when cards like Silvally-GX (SM CRI) is around. And there is a reason.
One, this Stadium only benefits two types, that being Fire and Metal. Fire decks can be mostly classified as Volcanion or something else. They didn’t need protection against Weakness when they can just score and trade OHKOs after OHKOs, getting 2 prizes after 2 prizes to close up games. And also the other deck which I can see gaining popularity in the BKT-ULP meta, Salazzle or Ho-Oh/Garbodor, doesn’t really need the protection from Weakness. Metal decks on the other hand, doesn’t really care about Weakness for the same reason as Fire decks do; they are OHKO machines! Take an example in Dusk Mane Necrozma-GX which deals 220 (250 with Choice Band), Cobalion (XY STS) which is really good late game and nothing else, and both Solgaleo-GXs (SM Base and the promo one) which both nukes, accelerates, and gives no Weakness (well, just the promo Solgaleo-GX). When that promo Solgaleo-GX comes out, this Stadium is just useless because as I said earlier, ability-Pokemon based counters are much better than Stadium-based counters as they can’t be easily removed by cards like Field Blower or Stadium bumping.
Altar of the Sunne (Guardians Rising 118) made its debut last May in the Guardians Rising expansion set. They say the simplest cards are the best, and for Fire and Metal Pokemon, this removes the broken weakness mechanic for both of these types while this card is in play. Unfortunately, this card has never seen much play because it has a number of drawbacks:
We just never saw this card because it has significantly limited usefulness, and in a 60 card deck, there just isn’t room for a card that only helps you a small fraction of the time.
Standard: 1.5 out of 5
I wouldn’t look to see this card see any increase of play any time soon. Metal gains Mount Coronet from Ultra Prism, although there will be an increase of Water decks with the new Glaceon GX. Personally, I think Glaceon GX and Greninja could be a really good combo, so Volc decks might want to test teching in a couple Altars. Especially if you think the new Empoleon deck will see play, but that deck to me seems like it will be one of those decks that’s all over PTCGO but never sees play IRL.
Been a while since we looked at the Guardians Rising set, hasn’t it? Altar of the Sunne happens to come from this set, and it takes the place of Altar of the Moone in Pokemon Sun and Ultra Sun. The Stadium card that accompanies it basically helps out anything named Solgaleo, as it’s meant to work alongside…well at least one of its Types. Altar of the Sunne takes away the Weakness of Fire and Metal Pokemon, which for the most part removes a Water Weakness for Fire Pokemon and a…Fire Weakness for Metal Pokemon. Huh.
The Altar’s not exactly a bad card, but it’s going to take a lot more than removing their Weaknesses to make Fire and Metal decks powerful. Volcanion decks are still fairly powerful self-sufficient decks in and of themselves, though if they could get more power from cycling Energy with Volcanion-EX, they might be able to compete against some of the other decks in the format – none of which are running Water monsters, mind you. And Metalgross-GX decks, while they could benefit from this in the match-up specifically against Volcanion decks, don’t really need to run it; even if you run a card like this, you’re doing so to counter a specific deck that causes big problems for you because it’s present and hits you for weakness. If your deck is getting beaten by Gardevoir-GX, and you’re not running pure XY-onward Dragons, you’re likely not losing because of the Weakness to Fairy.
Not that that’s helping you out anymore either, but depending on what’s popular in the game right now, a card like Altar of the Sunne is either useful or not so much.
Standard: 2/5 (removing Weakness is always a plus though, even if it’s severely dependent on the strength of the current decks)
Expanded: 2/5 (beyond that, it’s a matter of figuring on deck space – do you have the room for it, and would something fit in better for your deck?)
Limited: 3/5 (it’s a pretty good option to have though in more Limited environments)
Arora Notealus: The Altar of the Sunne and the Altar of the Moone are both very important to the stories of the 7th Generation games, seeing as they summon out the mascots of the games. I do wonder though how something like the anime will handle it – do you just pick one and go with it, or do you put both in? It is a mystery~
Side Review: Gonna actually hold off on this segment for a bit – catching up was nice and all, but now that I’m only looking at cards from a couple weeks back, I feel there’s a need to hold off for a bit, mainly so that I can actually see if they’ll have an impact on the competition. Sometimes you just need more time to review things in hindsight, ya know? 😛
Next Time: He’s like Brock, if he was just way more generic!
We would love more volunteers to help us with our Card of the Day reviews. If you want to share your ideas on cards with other fans, feel free to drop us an email. We’d be happy to link back to your blog / YouTube Channel / etc. 😉
Click here to read our Pokémon Card of the Day Archive. We have reviewed more than 3500 Pokemon cards over the last 17+ years!