– Celestial Storm
October 22, 2018
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Celesteela is yet another card which shows its full potential if a certain condition is met. Fortunately, that’s not the only way to use it, as it can benefit from being both an Ultra Beast and being a Metal Type. It has 140 HP, weak to Lightning, resists Fighting, and a retreat cost of four. It’s only attack, Moonraker, costs MCCCC for 160 damage, but if the prize count from both player’s total exactly six, then that attack cost is just a single metal energy. This makes it hard to constantly use, even if you had the exact moment. When you take prize cards, eventually the amount of prize cards left from both players are unstable (no longer totals six). Then it is back to being MCCCC, which is not only expensive to use, but leaves you open to being OHKO by opposing Pokémon that relies on energy attached to the Defending Pokémon.
I don’t think it’ll see much play, as the next set is filled with Lightning type support. Even if Lightning Pokemon does only 10 damage, with two Electripower that boost it to 70, plus weakness, is enough to get rid of this Ultra Beast. Seriously, Lightning weakness could be the worst weakness to have due to specific items!
Standard: 1.5/5 (Opportunity short lived, an expensive attack…)
Expanded: 1.5/5 (…and weak to Lightning…)
Limited: 3/5(….won’t make this Pokémon last long)
Celesteela (CES 100) – in its non GX form – entered the meta in the Celestial Storm expansion set. This 140 HP Basic Metal Pokemon has a single attack. For FIVE energy (1 Metal, 4 Colorless), attachments, this Pokemon does 160 damage. If the total number of prize cards both players have is exactly six prizes, then this attack costs only a single Metal energy.
I can’t think of a Pokemon that is more situationally effective than this one. The window of usefulness for this card is extremely narrow. In many games, you won’t even be able to use this Pokemon because you’ll never hit that six card magic number. It’s very possible to go from seven to five, and many games are decided long before there are six cards left on the table. And it goes without saying that if you’re going to pile five energy onto a card, I can think of quite a few cards other than Celesteela that would be a better investment of resources.
I’ve never even tried to drop this card into a deck. It actually saw play in three of the top finishing decklists in September tournaments (a one of in each list) but was not included in any of the top 77 lists from Memphis. Because it’s more of a late game card, and a very situational one at that, I will have to pass on Celesteela… although 160 damage for a single attachment is pretty attractive.
Standard: 1.5 out of 5
I posted a statistical analysis here on attacks in the Standard format since the turn of the new rotation. Gives some great big picture looks into how the format is shaping up. Also identifies which Pokemon are the hardest hitters, as well as which Pokemon are attacking the most frequently … on PTCGO at least. I will definitely say that the divide between the meta and PTCGO is larger now than since I started playing. I’ve only seen meta decks about 21% of the time on PTCGO in October, and that’s down from 23% in September. I’m being pretty generous in what I’m calling meta (Zoroark anything, Malamar anything, etc.) too. This is still worth checking out, though, I only do this a couple of times a year because it’s pretty labor intensive but it will undoubtedly give you something to think about.
We begin the week by looking at Celesteela (SM – Celestial Storm 100/168; SM – Black Star Promos SM131), a Basic [M] Type Ultra Beast with 140 HP, [L] Weakness, [R] Resistance, Retreat Cost [CCCC] and the attack “Moon Raker”. Moon Raker costs [MCCCC] and does 160 damage, with the effect that you may use this attack for just [M] if the total amount of remaining Prizes (for both players combined) is six. Ignoring the effect of this attack, the card would vary from mediocre to barely adequate, depending on the deck. Five Energy, even when the cost is mostly [C], is steep BUT you’re swinging for 160 damage, enough to OHKO most single-Prize Pokémon. Beast Energy [Prism star], Choice Band, Dhelmise (SM – Guardians Rising 59/145; SM – Black Star Promos SM53), and/or Professor Kukui to extend the attacks OHKO range. Not great when you remember that extreme Energy cost, but not bad.
Now, when you can time Celesteela to utilize the attacks cost-reducing effect, that becomes great! Single-Prize, single Energy attacker that can OHKO a lot of stuff with a little help. Even without that help, use it to take out something with protection from your regular attackers, or that would punish you because your other attackers are worth more Prizes, require more Energy, require Evolving, or require conditions that aren’t currently being met. It is also worth highlighting that, while that Retreat Cost is brutal and that Weakness is about to get really bad (though it is nice for now), 140 HP on a single-Prize attacker is sturdy, and the Resistance might be helpful right now as well. Unfortunately, the decks that we expected to take advantage of it seem to be the ones that have had a week start this Format. This includes decks that at least some folks, myself included, though would be big, like general “Ultra Beasts”. After showing up as a single in some successful lists, it dropped off the radar of tournament top cuts (even generous top cuts like the top 77 decks of the most recent Regional Championship).
It is a mistake to count Celesteela out yet; the combination of its two uses is enough to count as a net positive in my book. At the same time, I cannot deny that it is a niche card and that niche is CROWDED. If you just want a Basic, [M] Type Ultra Beast, we’ve got Celesteela-GX, Dusk Mane Necrozma, Dusk Mane Necrozma-GX, Kartana, Karatna-GX, and Stakataka-GX. It is not even the only single-Energy, single-Prize attacker among those six! Out of the entire six, I’d say Kartana-GX is the best deal. Expanded doesn’t add too much to the card, and what it might add usually comes with competition. It doesn’t take away anything, though, so I’m scoring them the same. It isn’t fast enough to use in a +39 (a.k.a. Mulligan) build for Limited but is essentially a must-run for any other deck you cobble together. You’d have to have a lot of great pulls or at least a bunch that preclude you from running even a few basic Metal Energy alongside Celesteela. It will be very slow to build on your Bench, but it can be done, after which it probably takes OHKO after OHKO. If you can swing the timing to attack for just [M], do so only if you can safely build your Active Celesteela OR if you don’t mind it being a meatshield.
Celesteela is amazing when you can utilize it well, but some games will never hit six total Prizes between both players, or you’ll have another attacker that would be better to use that turn, even factoring in Celesteela’s attack effect. The card might still be okay in a deck with generous Energy acceleration, but that puts Celesteela in direct competition with multiple other [M] Pokémon, even restricting things to just fellow Ultra Beasts. However, there is a solid base here, so don’t forget about Celesteela in case things align and it gets another 15 minutes of fame.
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