– Guardians Rising
June 7, 2019
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
One more Pokémon left to cover is Chandelure from Guardians Rising. This is a Stage 2 Fire Type with 140 HP, weak to Water, and a retreat cost of one. It’s ability, Shady Move, lets you move one damage counter from a Pokémon in play to another Pokémon in play. Super Singe costs R for 50 damage plus Burn Special Condition, which guarantees 20 damage between turns, so this attack seems like 70 for R!
In terms of this ability, this is pretty flexible. This can be interpreted into many ways. One could be healing 10 damage from one of your Pokemon and doing 10 damage to one of your opponent’s Pokemon. Another way is to rearrange damage so that you don’t achieve overkill, or if you fall short of KOs, then you arrange the damage so that you can finally KO it.
As good as manipulating damage, moving just one damage counter is just too soft. Even if you have four of them in play, you can only manipulate damage up to four times, let alone getting all four in play. But faults aside, this ability is worth experimentation, but I’m not going through compatible old and new cards related to this card (looking at Lampent Night March and Shining Celebi combo).
Chandelure (SM – Guardians Rising 13/145) a single-Prize Pokémon; kind of obvious, but I’m so used to reviewing Pokémon-EX/GX, Prism Stars, etc. it can be easy to forget. Chandelure is a [R] Type Pokémon at a time when we have some good [R] Type support, with at least a little more on the way. Most [G] and [M] Types are [R] Weak, and while there are some anti-[R] effects, you’re most likely to encounter it almost by accident, as the non-Bench-shrinking-side of Parallel City causes [R] (as well as [G] and [W] Types to hit for 20 less damage. As a Stage 2, Chandelure requires a lot of deck space and extra time to hit the field, at least relative to Basic and Stage 1 Pokémon. You can speed this up with Rare Candy (which lets you skip Lampent) or Dusk Stone (which still requires you use Lampent). It isn’t an automatic dealbreaker, but it could be after all as said and done. 140 HP is just a bit more likely to survive a hit than not… I think; the margin is that tight. [W] Weakness means that matchup IS a highly reliable OHKO. A lack of Resistance is the worst, but also the norm, so moving on we have a Retreat Cost of [C] is good; low enough to pay with relative ease.
Chandelure has one Ability and one attack. The former is “Shady Move”, which lets you move a damage counter from one Pokémon to another once during your turn and prior to attacking. If you have multiple instances of Shady Move in play, each can be used once during your turn. The latter is “Super Singe”, and can be used for [R]; it does 50 damage and Burns your opponent’s Active. In isolation, both of these look pretty solid: Shady Move can be used to move damage from one of your Pokémon to one of your opponent’s, to create a +20 damage swing in your favor, but you can also use it just to avoid some “overkill” when attacking your opponent (if nothing of yours is damaged) or for manipulating effects that function based on the number of damage counters on a particular Pokémon. 50 for a single Energy, which fakes being 70 thanks to the Burn, is also very good…
…but I don’t think this Pokémon is particularly good. Even with Rare Candy or Dusk Stone, it just takes too long and too many cards for what you’re getting. So do I want even faster Evolution acceleration for it? A way to field it with even fewer cards? No. I want Litwicks and Lampents that help carry the weight of the line. I also would like to see the first turn rules amended so that neither player’s attacks can do damage or place damage counters on either player’s first turn, while newer cards are just designed so that the attacks accessible on a player’s first turn can’t do that anyway (so the rule could eventually be abandoned).
That’s quite a self-indulgent soapbox I’m standing on now, so let me step back down for a moment. Even though this card isn’t great, it has a very specialized use so it is possible it could one day become very good. For now, just enjoy it in Limited Format play; you could even run it totally off-Type, just for the Ability, as attackers are less likely to OHKO or 2HKO-with-massive-overkill. Injured Pokémon are more likely to try hiding on the Bench than to go down swinging, also making it valuable. If you are running even a little [R] Energy, Chandelure is a great attacker as well. Just pray you pull the entire Evolution line.
Chandelure isn’t hopeless, but every deck idea I could think of that might utilize it can do better. Damage Mover is a one-time trick, but it is also only an Item. Spread decks are likely better off with Tapu Lele (SM – Ultra Prism 94/156) or Tapu Lele (SM – Black Star Promos SM45) to move as many damage counters as you want all at once, even if it costs an attack. Once again, feel free to prove me wrong.
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