– SM67 Promo
November 29, 2017
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Another Ultra Beast to review, and this one is the bulkiest of them with 200 HP. Being weak to Lighting and resisting Fighting means Celesteela has utilized it’s flying typing in the video games and incorporated that into the TCG.
Rocket Fall costs MCC and does 30 damage, plus 30 more for each C in your opponent’s Active Pokémon retreat cost. Retreat Cost varies from zero to four, meaning you could do between 30 to 150 damage before factoring boosting item cards (i.e. Choice Band) and other Pokémon (Dhelmise Steelworker ability). Moon Press costs MCCC for 130 damage. Blaster GX also costs MCCC for 180 damage and makes all of your prize cards face up. This could be helpful so that you don’t have to guess if you got the right card or not.
I almost dismissed this card as having overcosted attacks, but soon, a Magnezone with the Magnetic Circuit (the SM5/Ultra Prism, not XY Breakthrough, yes they share the same ability name) lets you attach as many metal energies as you like to any of your Pokémon. Moon Press may be vanilla, but that might actually be enough to OHKO Pokémon weak to metal, which could be almost universally Fairy Pokémon and some Water Pokémon (who represent Ice types in the video games), and 2HKO the rest.
Standard: 3/5 (that’s the rating for now; when Magnezone comes out, then it could be a 4/5)
Celesteela-GX (SM: Black Star Promos SM67) is another Ultra Beast; yeah, still no cards that care about that trait, but it’s on the card, so we’ll probably see something soon. Being a Pokémon-GX hasn’t changed since yesterday; giving up an extra Prize when KO’d, unable to make use of certain beneficial effects, targeted specifically by certain detrimental ones, but they do have the beginnings of their own support, so far always have at least a solid HP bump over their baseline version, and three effects (with one being a GX-attack). Celeseela-GX is a Basic Pokémon, which also did not change overnight; it can function as your opening Active, has better synergy with certain mechanics, and requires both minimum time and effort to hit the field.
Being a Metal Type is a good gig right now; the key feature is exploiting Weakness on Pokémon like Gardevoir-GX or Ninetales-GX, and they have a few new bits of Standard-legal support in addition to some time-tested favorites in Expanded. You’ll have to deal with a bit of Resistance, but at least in the short term, it’s good to be a Metal Type. 200 HP is above average for a Basic Pokémon-GX, and likely to survive a hit; it is as good as a small Stage 1 Pokémon-GX. [L] Weakness can be a problem, but mostly in Expanded where Joltik (XY: Phantom Forces 26/119) is still an integral part of Night March decks. Most Metal Pokémon are Fire Weak, which is a worse thing to have in Standard, and even in Expanded, having a Metal Type that isn’t Fire Weak is still a plus. Fighting Resistance isn’t the best, but Buzzwole-GX (Standard) and Marshadow-GX (Expanded) make it at least somewhat relevant. The Retreat Cost of [CCCC] means Heavy Ball can fetch Celesteela-GX from your deck, but also including cards to get around it.
Celesteela-GX has three attacks, the first of which is “Rocket Fall” for [MCC]. Rocket Fall does 30 damage, plus 30 more per [C] in your opponent’s Active’s Retreat Cost. There are definitely times where you can slam something with a fat, four Energy Retreat Cost for 150 damage, but Float Stone and similar effects have proven competitive for a reason: people use them and use them well! Tools can be discarded and Abilities negated; I just wish to emphasize that you can’t rely on this hitting as hard as printed Retreat Costs would suggest. Not a bad attack for the Energy, but I’m not sure if it is all that good, either. “Moon Press” does 130 damage for [MCCC]; four Energy takes some doing, but being mostly Colorless helps a lot. In the end, that makes this a good attack, as the damage is enough of a foundation for the available damage buffs to make it relevant (more on that in a bit). “Blaster-GX” has the same cost, so you won’t have to go out of your way to access it, and delivers 180 damage while revealing your Prize cards. If this is your GX-attack of choice, it save you running Town Map while delivering a nice blow; the same buffs that make Moon Press relevant can help this trash all but the biggest targets.
Putting in all together, we have a big, Basic Metal Type that should work well enough off Type or on, provided there is compatible Energy acceleration and at least a small source of [M] Energy to go with it. To make the damage matter, though, you need to be exploiting Weakness (easy, in Standard), leveraging that 200 HP, or upping the effective damage output. Zak Krekeler took second place in the Masters Division with a Silvally-GX deck backed by Metal Pokémon. It used Double Colorless Energy, Registeel (SM: Crimson Invasion 68/111, SM: Black Star Promos SM75) and Max Elixir for Energy acceleration (the latter two with basic Metal Energy). Dhelmise also showed up so that, with Choice Band, Moon Press could hit that key 170 damage. 13th place finisher Yasin Balela ran a similar deck, while the 31st and 32nd place players simply included a lone Celesteela-GX in their Golisopod-GX decks to help against Gardevoir-GX.
I’ve only seen some of the top 32 finishers from the Masters Division of the Regional Championship that occurred in San Jose this past weekend. This event used the Expanded Format, and nothing yet has even hinted Celesteela-GX was used. Of course, exploiting Metal Weakness isn’t important here and I also didn’t see any other Metal focused decks; maybe I missed them, maybe they aren’t there. I’m going with the latter; should a new Metal Type deck come to prominence, unless it can’t afford its attacks, Celesteela-GX should be a solid inclusion just to diversify the deck’s Weaknesses. Putting the results of both events together it seems like Celesteela-GX has a definite place in the Standard Format (arguably two), and a potential place in Expanded. It isn’t legal for the Limited Format as it is a promo, but were it re-released in a set, it would be a great pull: easy to work into anything, and good enough for a +39 deck, though probably only just due to the pricey attacks easily offsetting the slightly higher HP.
Celesteela-GX is a splashable, big Basic Metal-Type attacker in a Standard Format that has been longing for just that. It would probably be everywhere if it didn’t take four Energy for the attack you really want but seems like decks that really need it will make it work. Things aren’t great for it in the Expanded Format, but we don’t need to exploit Metal Weakness as much in that format, nor do we currently have a really good Metal Type deck. If we should need the former, Celesteela-GX can easily step up, and being a non-Fire Weak Metal Type likely gives it a role if/when Metal decks make a comeback.
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