(Sun & Moon Promos SM78)
January 4, 2018
Standard: See Below
Limited: Promo Card
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Champions Festival has been around for a while! And it’s about as good as it ever was – if you have all 6 Pokemon you can have out (not including things like Sky Field which let you have more), you can heal 10 damage from all of them once per turn. It’s not the best Stadium out there, there are quite a few that outrank it, but it has had a LOT of cool artwork over the years, so feel free to check it out all the same! Especially since you can only usually get it at Worlds.
Standard: 1.5/5 (it’s okay)
Expanded: 1.5/5 (there’s much better stuff out there)
Limited: N/A (and don’t expect it in a main set soon)
Arora Notealus: This year’s Champions Festival features Popplio and Litten hanging onto the Rotom Dex with Pikachu! That…that seems like it’s cute and wildly dangerous too.
Side Reviews: Celesteela-GX – probably one of the more competent Ultra Beasts, Celesteela-GX’s Rocket Fall decimates more “heavy” Pokemon while Moon Press can solidly 2HKO anything in the current format. Blaster GX is more of an optional GX Attack, as all it really does is turn your Prizes up, which can be useful if something you need is inside of them and you’d rather not go through the hassle of randomly winning cards to find it. As is, it’s not a necessary attack to win the game, but it’s a solid move nevertheless, especially as a 4-for-180. The only major flaw with Celesteela-GX is Energy acceleration, which in Standard can be a bit lacking.
Seeker – this card comes from the Triumphant expansion and acts as a dual Az for both players, limiting itself only to Benched Pokemon. It could be useful for reusing “comes into play” kinds of Abilities and even removing a Pokemon that’s about to get KO’d from getting sniped out by the opponent. In today’s game, if this card came back, it’d be likely used to counteract things like Tapu Lele from yesterday or Tapu Koko in general and help stall things out a bit, and considering it was in a slower time frame based more on Evolutions, it wouldn’t be that odd to see it come back.
Xurkitree-GX – another Ultra Beast promo, but also one of the most versatile, Xurkitree-GX can become a veritable wall against anything with Special Energy attached thanks to its Flashing Head Ability. On top of that, he has a decent move in Rumbling Waves, a 3-for-100 move that mills off a card for your opponent. Not too shabby, but Lightning GX is probably one of the most dangerous GX Attacks around not only because it adds a Prize to your opponent but can be used to deny a key part of their strategy and force them to rely on drawing it back out again by KOing one of your Pokemon, and Xurkitree-GX isn’t exactly that easy. Early game, this GX Attack could define the rest of the game, but it gets sketchier the further down the line it goes…
Next Time: And now for a rare sighting – the shiny legendary!
Today’s Throwback is a repeatedly released promo card, Champions Festival. Since 2013, a version of this promo has been given away at the World Championships to participants and to staff. The original is BW – Black Star Promos BW95, followed by XY – Black Star Promos XY27, XY91, and XY176, with SM – Black Star Promos SM78 being the most recent. This Stadium allows a player to heal 10 damage from each of his or her Pokémon, provided he or she has six Pokémon in play. This isn’t a great effect, but it can be handy to wipe away 10 damage (or a single damage counter placement) that hits your own Pokémon. Most of the time, however, you’ll probably want something more significant for your Stadium (and/or an effect that would prevent you from taking the damage in the first place), and aren’t going to be ruined if you can’t get a full, five Pokémon Bench.
So why are we looking at this card? Because we haven’t reviewed it before, even though it has been around for four years. It also is something of an interesting historical footnote because the World Championship promo from the two years prior was Tropical Beach. Tropical Beach is another Stadium, one that allows a player to draw until he or she has seven cards in hand, but at the cost of immediately ending your turn afterward. At least some of us wonder if this was intended to be harmless filler, like Champions Festival. Instead, Tropical Beach became a highly sought after card; originally it was just the slower decks, but once the first turn attack rules were altered for the XY-era so that there were no T1 attacks, its usage became broader… causing demand to badly outstrip supply, even to this day. Thankfully, this hasn’t happened with Championship Festival, so unless the powers-that-be decide we need something new, it’ll probably remain the World Championship promo.
We are looking at another World Championship promo called Champions Festival. I’m surprised that this card has first been appeared during the Black and White series! It’s a stadium card which heals 10 damage from each of your Pokémon if you have six Pokémon in play, which happens to be a full bench. Even if the healing amount is almost nonexistent, healing even just 10 HP can still alter 2HKOs into 3HKOs.
Unlike Tropical Beach, another Worlds promo, Champions Festival has an extremely harmless effect that players don’t need to worry about. The reason why Tropical Beach was a big deal back then is because of drawing cards from your deck. That promo is still a highly sought card even now. As for Champion Festival, upon seeing this effect, I can be sure that no one would bother you for trades, it will remain safe in your binder.
Standard: 2/5 (As if I even have that card at all. Should I factor accessibility to affect the scoring?) (for the card itself, it would be a 5/5 because you worked very hard to enter Worlds)
Expanded: 2/5 (but healing and tanking could be a viable strategy if OHKOs weren’t too constant. Retro told me that Golisopod-GX/Zoroark GX might be able to use this stadium, healing 10 damage and using Armor Press to tank 20 damage)
Afterthought: Maybe if Champion’s Festival was used by world championship players (and was packaged in a deck box), it may be slightly more accessible just like Ross Cawthon’s The Truth.
Champions Festival (SM78) is the promo card given to players who have the honor of playing at the world championships. Within the card game itself, this has to stand as one of the most useless cards in the game. Healing only ten damage from each Pokemon and only if you have your bench completely filled? I mean it’s not hard to fill up your bench these days (I really wish Sky Field were still legal!), but it’s just not that great of a feature. I guess it’s good if you’re running Gyarados (Burning Shadows, 33/147) or if you’re up against a spread deck, but other than that it just doesn’t have much use.
And yet it’s worth $30, $40, $50 … or more. Find one that says, “Quarter Finalist” and it’ll cost you $250 – $500. “Semi Finalist?” $659.99. Granted that’s a bargain compared to the $50,000 1994 Rare Limited Edition Fruit Rollups Promo Charmander, but it’s still pretty good evidence of the true value of that card, and an ironical reminder that the most powerful card in the game isn’t necessary the most expensive one.
Standard: 5 out of 5
So there’s a joke in American football: what’s the best offensive formation? The answer: the victory formation when the quarterback takes the snap, kneels down, and lets the clock run out. This card is basically the victory formation – that’s why I gave it a 5 out of 5. You had to accomplish something pretty special to get handed this card. I hope someday to have that honor.
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