Celebi – Vivid Voltage
Date Reviewed: February 2, 2021
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Celebi (SW – Vivid Voltage 009/185) is an Amazing Rare card. This rarity does feature some common themes in their design, but they aren’t a “Specialty Mechanic” like being a Pokémon V, a Prism Star, an Ultra Beast, etc. Like the old “Pokémon Prime” cards, while they are a special rarity, the game considers them baseline Pokémon. Being a Grass type isn’t too great right now. [G] Weakness isn’t widespread, Zacian V has -30 [G] Resistance, and [G] support seems to be lacking at the moment. We have some, but it hasn’t been enough to advance the collective type. At least anti-[G] effects aren’t worth it, either. Being a Basic is great, though; Celebi requires no waiting to evolve or extra cards to hit the field. For better and worse, Celebi can even be your opening Active.
Celebi has 60 HP, which means it should get OHKO’d the vast majority of the time. Even on the Bench, accumulating damage spread or Bench hits will add up quickly against it. Weakness is a bit odd in this case; only attacks doing 30, 40, or 50 damage gain a significant benefit, scoring a OHKO instead of a 2HKO. However, there are some competitive Fire decks, and some of them might actually have a rough start and be able to score an early game KO when they wouldn’t against most other Pokémon. The 60 HP means the lack of Resistance is even less relevant than normal. You also are unlikely to cash in on the [C] Retreat Cost, though if your opponent does fail to OHKO Celebi, it is easy to retreat most of the time, and something like U-Turn Board can even give Celebi a free Retreat Cost.
Celebi knows two attacks. “Energy Press” is only really useful against targets with a lot of Energy and that are Grass Weak. Without Weakness, you’re just not efficiently hitting the numbers you need; and even with Weakness, you’re only just scoring OHKOs for likely Energy-to-HP ratios. “Amazing Bloom” has completely off-type requirements; [LP], which makes it a bit of a pain to quickly pay. The payoff is, for each of your Benched Pokémon, you search your deck for a Pokémon which evolves from it and play it on that Pokémon. This is combination of Pokémon search and Evolution acceleration is more impressive than it sounds. Remember, you don’t get to skip Stages, like with Rare Candy; you’re evolving Basics into Stage 1s, Basic Pokémon V into VMAXes, etc.
Even if you manage an amazing rare setup (pun intended), using Energy acceleration to fuel Celebi in a single turn, getting it Active (if it wasn’t already), and Benching several Basics you wish to evolve a well… you get the Stage 1s for those Pokémon into play a turn earlier, but at the end of your turn. Then you can manually evolve them the next turn to reach their Stage 2 form. You can also evolve Basic Pokémon V into Pokémon VMAX, Basics with with BREAK evolutions into those, etc. Or you can focus on going second, still needing to Bench all the Basics you wish to evolve on your first turn, but then manually evolving them the next turn so that a Turn 3 (Player 1’s second turn) Amazing Bloom can turn them all into Stage 2 Pokémon.
If you just need one or two Stage 2 Pokémon, you can just use Rare Candy and various search options to be as fast and as reliable. Even if you do need a Bench full, the Energy cost is just difficult enough I don’t think you’ll be able to pull this off reliably enough. So I cannot recommend Celebi for Standard or Expanded but it is worth remembering. The right Energy acceleration, or maybe the right Stage 1 or Stage 2 Pokémon, and suddenly Amazing Bloom can live up to its name.
- Standard: 1/5
- Expanded: 1/5
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