– Sword & Shield
April 15, 2020
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Celebi time travels into the Sword & Shield expansion while being certified to be a Pokémon-V. And by looking at what this card does, it seems to be a decent Pokémon to start with in the beginning of the game. Find a Friend fetches you 2 Pokémon while Line Force does more damage based on how many Pokémon are in your Bench. While this might work in theory, there are some flaws on those attacks. Even if you fetched some Pokémon, your opponent may try to shuffle your hand and make you get random cards. Line Force’s damage output seems underwhelming, even for 2 energy, as it does a maximum of 150 damage (or 210 damage with Sky Field and a full Bench of 8 Pokémon), which actually falls short of 2HKOs, not to mention that Metal Pokémon takes 30 less damage from Grass type Pokémon due to resistance.
Celebi V (Sword & Shield 001/202) is first and foremost, a Pokémon V, worth two Prizes when KO’d. No support unique to them exists, and just one counter that may not even matter at the moment. They also don’t bring anything unique like the GX-attack of Pokémon-GX, except for being unaffected by the counters or exclusions that exist for Pokémon-EX/GX. Celebi V is a [G] Type, so it would be easy to snag with Net Ball, but not the best for exploiting Weakness, and Sword & Shield-era [M] Types are now [G] Resistant. There are even some [G] Type counters, but you’re not too likely to be an issue.
Celebi V is a Basic Pokémon, so it should be easy to work into most decks, and easy to quickly put into play. It can even be your opening Active, which may not always be a good thing. 180 HP was typical for Basic Pokémon-GX but is actually low for a Basic Pokémon V. It still is a bit more likely to survive a hit than not, but it might stay that way for long. Oh, and that is ignoring Celebi V’s [R] Weakness; [R] Types aren’t dominant, but they’ve got a big presence right now. No Resistance is typical; would have been nice, but it its absence isn’t a problem. The Retreat Cost of [C] is good; easy to pay most of the time, and multiple cards can zero it out.
Celebi V knows two attacks, “Find a Friend” an “Line Force”. The former costs [G] and lets you search your deck for up to two Pokémon and add them to your hand, while the latter requires [GC] and does 50 damage plus 20 per Pokémon on your Bench. I really wish these attacks were priced at [C] and [CC], respectively, because then they’d be decent. As Grass actually has Rillaboom (Sword & Shield 014/202; SM – Black Star Promos SWSH006) for Energy acceleration, this concern is purely because Celebi V would just be better with more options.
Line Force isn’t brilliant, but we’ve seen attacks like this before… but I’m not sure how many want to run a source of [G] Energy just for Celebi V. 50-for-two isn’t an awful minimum damage, though 150 for a full six Pokémon Bench is only somewhat good. If it had been [CC], Celebi V would have been an easy inclusion for Zoroark-GX decks and/or Snorlax VMAX decks. Especially in Expanded; Sky Field lets Line Force swing for 210 with a full Bench, and Expanded still has Choice Band, Muscle Band, and/or Professor Kukui. For a 2-Prize Basic, that’s nice. Not so much when you can’t power it off of a Double Colorless Energy.
If you’re going to fill your Bench anyway, Celebi V might be a nice option for Grass decks in Standard. If you’re going the Stage 2 route, however, you probably want to stick with Rowlet & Alolan Exeggutor-GX. Similarly, you might be able to work this into some Sky Field decks, but probably not. Do not run this in a Mulligan build for the Limited Format, but do everything you can to work it into any non-Mulligan decks. Both attacks should really help you out here.
Celebi V is somewhat decent support Pokémon, for early game setup or late game hits… but ultimately misses the mark. The deck that works best with its Energy requirements probably doesn’t need it, and the decks that match its strategy aren’t always running [G] Energy.
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