Magcargo (Celestial Storm CES 24)
Magcargo (Celestial Storm)

– Celestial Storm

Date Reviewed:
July 31, 2020

Ratings Summary:
Standard: 4.00
Expanded: 3.00
Limited: 5.00
Theme: 5.00

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

Reviews Below:


The 8th best card lost to rotation is Magcargo (SM – Celestial Storm 24/168).  It is a Stage 1 [R] Type Pokémon with 90 HP, [W] Weakness, no Resistance, and a Retreat Cost of [CCC].  For [RCC] it can use the attack “Combustion” to do 50 damage… but we’re here once again for the Ability.  “Smooth Over” may be used once during your turn, prior to attacking.  Smooth Over lets you search your deck for a card, set it aside, shuffle the rest of your deck, then top that card you just searched out.  If you have multiple instances of Smooth Over in play, each can be used once per turn… but unless you did something with your previous topdeck, you’re only overwriting what you’ve already done.

This Magcargo is a near reprint of Magcargo (EX – Deoxys 20/107).  It too has Smoother Over, though as a Poké-Power; Poké-Powers work almost the exact same as Abilities, but do not count as Abilities.  The only real difference is that its Smooth Over stops working if it is affected by a Special Condition.  I’d actually argue this version is better than our own; 10 less HP sounds worse at first, but this is from 2005, when HP scores and average damage output were lower.  Same for its Combustion attack, which has the exact same cost and damage as its modern counterpart.  It even has another attack: for [C] it can use “Knock Over” to discard any Stadium card in play while doing 10 damage.  Not good for taking KO’s but handy when you need to get rid of a Stadium.

The original Smooth Over Magcargo was reviewed here, and… it was a good, competitive card.  It wasn’t the main form of search or Bench-sitting support, but that’s because it released alongside cards such as Pidgeot (EX – FireRed LeafGreen 10/112).  Getting back to today’s card, we first reviewed it here, as the 4th-best card of its set.  Then we re-reviewed it as the 3rd-best card of 2018.  Magcargo wasn’t heavily used out the gate, and it never reached “general deck staple status”, as I thought it would… but by that second review, Magcargo was doing very well in multiple decks, and I celebrated confused everyone by writing my review as a song parody of “Smooth Criminal”.  Yeah, if this was an audio or video review, that may have actually worked.

In the present, Magcargo is still a must-run for certain decks, and something most decks wish they could run if they only had the deck or Bench-space, but which they easily do without.  Slower decks, especially those focused on control elements, pretty much need Magcargo so that they hit the right cards at the right time.  It also combos with certain attackers, seeing actual competitive success with Magcargo-GX.  Simply put, it will be missed in Standard, as some of these decks are more or less dead without it, while others are just significantly weaker.  In Expanded, I think it has great potential… but it doesn’t appear to be vital to anything that was winning pre-Rebel Clash.

Magcargo shows up in the “Hydro Fury” and “Blazing Volcano” decks.  While Hydro Fury never lived up to my expectations, Blazing Volcano was the top deck once it was added to the Theme Format, and until “Relentless Flame” took it down a page.  In both Blazing Volcano and Hydro Fury, though, Magcargo is great.  It is also great in most Limited Format decks; the exclusion being Mulligan decks built around a single, big Basic Pokémon.  In both of these Formats, though, you need to remember you might have to rely on drawing the card you Smoothed Over.  This gives your opponent a chance to make you shuffle your deck before you can draw it.


  • Standard: 4/5
  • Expanded: 3/5
  • Limited: 5/5
  • Theme: 5/5

Controlling the top card of your deck is very potent, even if you’re relying on your next draw for the turn to access what you topdecked.  Magcargo does just that, and in the form of a relatively convenient, Bench-sitting Stage 1.  If it was a Basic, it would be a Staple outside of decks that shut off their own Abilities.  As is, it makes certain decks, enhances others, and is something you wish you could afford to run in the rest.  So… why did I only have this as my 10th-place pick?  I love Magcargo, but that last category is larger than I anticipated.

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