Dialga – Celebrations

Date Reviewed:
October 12, 2021

Ratings Summary:
Standard: 3.0
Expanded: 3.0

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.

Reviews Below:

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Dialga (Celebrations 020/025) is our 5th-Place pick!  This Dialga is a baseline Pokémon: no Rule Box, no name alterations, no Battle Style, etc.  It is a Metal type, and while they don’t have as good of support as they enjoyed pre-rotation, they still have Crystal Cove for healing, Metal Saucer for speed, and maybe a few other solid tricks.  Dialga has 130 HP, just clearing the “G-Max Rapid Flow” damage output, so your opponent can’t take it out in one shot while hitting something else for 120.  [R] Weakness isn’t good, but it also isn’t that bad: Fire types tend to deliver big hits, so it only matters when more technical attackers aren’t hitting hard.  For example, Victini VMAX’s “Max Victory” only does 100 damage to non-Pokémon V but Weakness will still give it a OHKO against Dialga.  Any Resistance is appreciated, and [G] Resistance actually seems to be relevant in the current metagame; with the HP behind it, it might actually save Dialga from time to time.  The Retreat Cost of [CC] is neither good nor bad, but you can zero it out with Air Balloon.

Dialga knows two attacks, “Temporal Backflow” and “Metal Blast”.  The former costs [M], and lets you add a card from your discard pile to your hand.  After being caught off-guard by Oranguru (SM – Ultra Prism 114/156), I’m paying more attention to recycling effects.  While Temporal Backflow only recycles a single card, it can be anything, and it is on a decently sized Metal type.  I mentioned Air Balloon could zero out Dialga’s Retreat Cost, but if you don’t need that, Cape of Toughness can give Dialga an extra 50 HP, meaning Dialga will have 180.  Recycle key bits of disruption or healing each turn, and you might have a deck…

…but there’s more.  The latter attack, Metal Blast, has a printed cost of [CCC] and does 60+ damage.  The “plus” is another 20 per [M] Energy attached to Dialga.  So paying [MMM] does an “okay” 120 damage, but if you can really load Dialga up with Metal Energy, you can OHKO anything.  Still a long shot, but remember Bronzong (SW – Battle Styles 102/163; SW – Black Star Promos SWSH091; SW – Chilling Reign 223/198).  Yeah, it didn’t live up to my expectations, but it hasn’t gone completely unused.  Imagine your control Pokémon, who can tag team with walls like Zamazenta V, backed up by strategic recycling and/or a “final blow” situation where you your spread out five Metal Energy in play, are moved to Dialga…

…except that isn’t enough.  With just +20 per attached [M], then five Metal Energy still only lets Metal Blast do 160.  You’ll need eight Metal Energy to do 220, enough to OHKO most Basic Pokémon V (and smaller) targets.  14 Energy are needed to OHKO something with 340 HP.  That will be almost impossible for the average deck, but as a back-up Hail Mary kind of attack, Metal Blast still has some usefulness.  As you can tell, I am going back and forth over this card.  It doesn’t help that I finally remembered Xerneas (SW – Vivid Voltage 078/185) has a more or less identical first attack, but we haven’t seen a deck built around it.  Then again, it has [M] Weakness so maybe that is why?  Expanded has more competition and, but also more combo potential.  This actually means I’m going to score Dialga as a three-out-of-five for both Formats, but this is a “low” three-out-of-five, if you get my drift.  There’s potential here, but the metagame may never be quite right for something to actually gel.


  • Standard: 3/5
  • Expanded: 3/5

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