Cresselia – Chilling Reigns
Date Reviewed: July 9, 2021
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Cresselia (SW – Chilling Reign 064/198; SW – Black Star Promos SWSH114) is not a Runner-Up from out countdown, but perhaps it ought to have been. This is a baseline Pokémon: no Battle Style, Rule Box, etc. Cresselia is a [P] type, which seems decent, maybe even good depending on exactly how the metagame shifts. 120 HP is… disappointing. It isn’t bad, but we’re seeing more Pokémon hit this hard. [D] Weakness is pretty dangerous, though not as bad as it once was. Any Resistance is appreciated, and -30 [F] Resistance might come in handy at times. A Retreat Cost of [C] is easy enough to pay much of the time.
Cresselia knows two attacks. “Crescent Glow” costs [P] and lets you search your deck for a [P] Energy card, then attach it to one of your Pokémon. Which is underwhelming but not entirely worthless: you’re barely coming out ahead. You could have just attached to something else and still had Cresselia up front, taking whatever hit comes from your opponent’s next turn. Still, there are times when this tiny difference matters… but there’s more. If you use this Turn 2, meaning Player 2’s first turn, you get to search your deck for up to three Psychic Energy cards and attach them to one of your Pokémon. Okay, now we’re talking. If you do go first, and thus miss the window for Crescent Glow, you’ll still have had a chance to attach an Energy manually somewhere else, and can just skip using Cresselia or leave it up front as a meat shield. Otherwise, you try to lead with it and net two extra Psychic Energy cards attached from the deck. Oh, and while the card doesn’t specify basic Psychic Energy, that is the only card that counts as [P] when not attached to a Pokémon.
“Photon Laser” is Cresselia’s second attack. For [PP], Photon Laser let’s Cresselia do 30 damage, but if you have at least five Energy in play, the attack does another 90. This sets up for a convoluted looking but actually simple combo that keeps Cresselia a threat.
- Go second.
- Open with or get a Cresselia into your Active Position.
- Attach a source of [P] Energy to it.
- Attach with Crescent Glow, attaching three Psychic Energy from your deck to one of your Pokémon.
- If your opponent fails to KO anything with Energy on your side of the field, or otherwise discard your attached Energy…
- …another manual Energy attachment of [P] lets Cresselia do a solid 120 damage.
You may not need to ever use Photon Laser, but it is a nice option to have, as it forces your opponent to reconsider sparing Cresselia and focusing on something else you have in play. Excluding whatever you just attached Energy to via Crescent Glow; that remains a juicy target.
Cresselia should seem familiar. Volcanion (SM – Unbroken Bonds 25/214; SM – Black Star Promos SM179) has been a solid Turn 2 Pokémon for Fire decks for a little while now, and while are some obvious differences you should see just from reading the card, the premise is the same. You get a decent-sized Basic Pokémon which can accelerate Energy from your deck, but is really only good at it Turn 2. Fortunately, it can still be a meat shield and/or spare attacker if all goes well. Cresselia can attach to any type of Pokémon via Crescent Glow, but is probably best off in Psychic decks, unless you find some strong off-type options that can run well on Psychic Energy. I don’t think you can spare that turn attacking in Expanded, so I’m scoring it lower there.
- Standard: 3/5
- Expanded: 2/5
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