Shining Celebi – Sun & Moon Promos SM79
November 10, 2017
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Okay, just gonna get right to it: Shining Celebi would only be played for Time Recall. Leaf Step is a vanilla 2-for-30 that’s not worth your time, so let’s debate if Time Recall is worth a slot in your deck devoted to a 70 HP Basic.
Time Recall basically is Shrine of Memories slapped onto a Pokemon – you can use the attacks from previous Evolutions of evolved Pokemon. Now back in Shrine of Memories days, this sort of thing helped out Mega-EX access the powerful attacks that their predecessors had, so you could either wipe out an opponent with M Mewtwo-EX’s Psychic Infinity attack or hit harder with the regular Mewtwo-EX’s X Ball attack. Just as an example, of course. The good news with Shrine of Memories is that it was a Stadium card, which is also the bad news with that card. As a Stadium, you could play it from your hand at any time and help get rid of your opponent’s Stadium card while promoting the power of pre-evolution attacks to use. The only thing is that being a Stadium opens it up to being destroyed by another Stadium, or by some Pokemon attacks, or even by Field Blower. There’s also the chance that your opponent will take advantage of Shrine of Memories to do the same thing with their Pokemon, since it affects the whole field.
So now Shining Celebi comes along with a similar effect, except now it’s attached to a 70 HP Basic as an Ability and only affects YOUR Evolved Pokemon. So good news, you get to have a “Shrine of Memories” that isn’t a Stadium and isn’t weak to the same things as Stadiums would be, and it only works on your field! That’s pretty nifty to say the least. But there is a catch, and that is that you’ve opened yourself up to Lysandre, Guzma, and the like, who will now look at your small Shining Celebi with hungry eyes and want to take it out as a means of slowing your strategy down and taking a Prize. That’s the big caveat to Shining Celebi over Shrine of Memories – at least when the Shrine goes down, you don’t give your opponent a Prize.
So which is better then? Well it really depends on your own situation in Expanded – do you find you need the room on your Bench for a Shining Celebi, or does having Shrine of Memories and working against the “Stadium Wars” trend suit you better?
As for Standard, I feel like Shining Celebi may be passed up on more often than not. Unless there’s an exceptional attack that you’d want to have access to even while evolving into higher evolutions – especially with Pokemon-GX – chances are the slots you devote to Shining Celebi are better suited to focusing on your main strategy. Unless having access to those attacks is your main strategy, in which case why are you still debating on Shining Celebi?
Standard: 2/5 (there needs to be a really good attack from a pre-evo to justify running it in a Standard deck)
Expanded: 3/5 (but in Expanded, I think Shining Celebi is a good alternative to try out with Shrine of Memories – not in the same deck)
Limited: 3.5/5 (there’s quite a lot of Evolutions in this set, so running Shining Celebi can’t hurt!)
Arora Notealus: Kind of a side note, but did you notice that all the Shinies in this set were legendaries? I’m sure it was super obvious, but I just thought it was interesting to see them focus more on handing out Shiny Legendaries more than anything.
Weekend Thought: What are your thoughts on all these cards? Think G Scope is better than G Booster? How about Shining Celebi over Shrine of Memories? Is Shaymin good enough for Standard or does he not live up to Shaymin-EX’s legacy? And what’s the deal with Shining Ho-oh anyway? Just saying…what’s the deal with that…and Marshadow.
Shining Celebi (SM79) snuck into the meta a couple of weeks ago as a promo card. This Pokemon will see use exclusively for its ability Time Recall, which allows any of your evolved Pokemon to use any attack from its lower evolutionary stages. It essentially functions the same as the Stadium card Shrine of Memories (Primal Clash, 139/160).
Unfortunately, we don’t have a lot of lower stage Pokemon with really good attacks. I briefly went through and found a couple:
But that’s about all I can think of. Not to say that a bunch of Pokemon with valuable attacks on lower stages might not get released in the next expansion, but right now, those are about the only ones that really stick out to me as being useful. Obviously, Alolan Vulpix really popped right into my mind the first time I saw Shining Celebi. You could potentially evolve into baby Ninetales (Burning Shadows, 28/147) and wall your opponent while still streaming other Pokemon you need with Beacon. I have played a match against the Charmander with the Playful attack. It beat me, but it was on the 3rd, the first day Crimson Invasion was legal, and I know I was still working out the kinks of the spread deck I was using.
Standard: 2 out of 5
I have no doubt that there are Basic and Stage 1 Pokemon coming down the line that would be more than happy to take advantage of Shining Celebi’s Time Recall, but I don’t think that there’s much use for it at this point in time. That’s the beauty of Pokemon, though, the meta could easily change and bring us a number of Pokemon that would benefit from Shining Celebi.
We close the week with a card that would have made our Shining Legends Top 5 except it wasn’t eligible; the card pulled from our version of the set to be released as a promo, Shining Celebi (SM: Black Star Promos SM79)! This is a Basic, Grass-Type Pokémon with 70 HP, Fire Weakness, no Resistance, Retreat Cost [C], the Ability “Time Recall”, and the attack “Leaf Step”. Time Recall allows your Evolved Pokémon to access attacks from their lower Stages, while Leaf Step costs [GC] and does 30 damage. The weird thing? This is not the first Shining Celebi! The original released all the way back a Neo Destiny 106/105 as part of the original Shining Pokémon. This is the only time I’ll be mentioning the card; the rest of the review, when I say Shining Celebi, I’ll mean SM: Black Star Promos SM79.
Time Recall is the heart of this card; if you can’t make use of it, you’ve got no reason to run Shining Celebi. So, why would you run it? Most Evolving Pokémon have pretty bad attacks, but a handful have good or even great attacks, and a few not-so-good attacks become better when used by the Evolved form of that Pokémon. Examples would include all three actual Night March Pokémon; Night March is a great attack, but what happens when a Stage 1 or Stage 2 Pokémon is busting it out instead of a glass cannon? An example of a lackluster attack that becomes good can be found with Magikarp (XY: Evolutions 33/108) and Gyarados-GX. Magikarp has the attack “Flail” for [W], doing 10 damage for each damage counter on itself. It is far more impressive on something with 240 HP than something with only 30!
The rest of the card needs to be viewed in light of Time Recall. Being a Basic would be the best anyway, but it means Time Recall can be slipped into decks whether as a one-off or maxed out. That’s good as this could be a quick trick or a core gimmick. How about being a Grass Type? I’d say it was unimportant except the other typical Typing for a Celebi card is Psychic, and that might have mattered, because of Wobuffet (XY: Phantom Forces 36/119; Generations RC11/RC32) and it’s “Bide Barricade” Ability that shuts down the Abilities of non-Psychic-Types while it is Active. 70 HP is better than less, but it could have had up to 90 and still been Level Ball legal; at least this is enough that Weavile (SM: Burning Shadows 86/147) can’t OHKO it with the spread from “Rule of Evil”. Fire Weakness just makes it an even more reliable OHKO for Volcanion-EX decks, while the lack of Resistance is normal (and it wouldn’t mean much even if Shining Celebi had some). That Retreat Cost of [C] is nice and low; shouldn’t be hard to pay the majority of the time. Leaf Step is the customary filler attack; it isn’t good, but I’m sad to say we’ve seen a lot worse.
We currently have two other options for allowing Pokémon access to the attacks from their lower Stages. Shrine of Memories eats up your Stadium slot and provides its benefits to both players, while Celebi-EX has better HP (110), better Resistance (Water), and a better attack (“Whisk Away”), but “better” doesn’t mean much in those situations. The only thing that is mildly tempting is the 110 HP, but 40 less to be worth one Prize instead of two when KO’d sounds like an improvement. So, what should be running Shining Celebi? I’ve got nothing concrete, but I’ll mention an old favorite budget deck and an old favorite “might still be competitive, might not” deck. The former is Medicham (XY: Primal Clash 81/160) with Medidite (XY: Primal Clash 79/160). Medicham as the Ancient Trait “Ω Barrage”, allowing it to attack twice, and it is a Fighting-Type, so it has damage buffs available to it beyond the usual options. The thing is, its first attack just heals 30 damage from itself while the second does 30 damage but costs [FF] and has an effect that bypasses both Weakness and Resistance. Meditite, though, has an attack for [F] that does 20 damage. So use a Strong Energy, a Muscle Band, and Shining Celebi to allow Medicham to do a quick 60 twice! Possibly, you can tack on even more damage with cards like Regirock-EX, Professor Kukui, or even Iris. Did I mention Fighting Weakness is common?
Even the evolving, filler Pokémon-EX tended to have one okay attack, and some were had truly great attacks. As such, most Mega Evolutions are worth considering, at least if they are already worth playing or close to it. I’ll just pick one M Mewtwo-EX (XY: BREAKthrough 64/162, 160/162) with Mewtwo-EX (BW: Next Destinies 54/98, 98/99; BW: Black Star Promos BW45; BW: Legendary Treasures 54/113) and/or Mewtwo-EX (XY: BREAKthrough 62/162, 158/162, 164/162; XY: Black Star Promos XY107). Both “X Ball” and “Psychic Infinity” do damage based on how much Energy is attached to both Active Pokémon, and X Ball does less per Energy. Psychic Infinity doesn’t apply Weakness, though, and Psychic Weakness is one of the more common ones (at least, last time I could easily check such things). Psydrive needs three Energy and discards one from whatever is using it but does a straight 120 damage; so not only do you again have applying Weakness to consider, but it hits harder than either X Ball or Psychic Infinity if your target has no Energy attached. Shatter Shot is in a similar boat as X Ball, while Damage Change is just vicious against opponent’s that can’t score a clean OHKO.
Oh, one more example, just because I think it will make someone I know happy… but didn’t think of them until I’d gone to all that trouble listing and explaining the Mewtwos. Pidgeot-EX and M Pidgeot-EX starred in a deck that began as a rogue and finished as at least a competitive deck. “Mirror Move” can be found on Pidgeot-EX and costs [C]; it does damage equal to the damage Pidgeot-EX (or whatever is using Mirror Move) took from an attack on your opponent’s last turn. As long as Pidgeot-EX can survive, either it gets good damage (that it will heal with Max Potion or Acerola) while dealing good damage, or the opponent has to get creative to safely KO it. The deck would already sometimes use M Pidgeot-EX with Shrine of Memories and/or Celebi-EX; now it can add Shining Celebi to the mix instead.
I won’t guarantee it, but I think Shining Celebi will either show up in the near or distant future, maybe both, in at least one competitive deck. Time Recall is the kind of effect that can be harmless when it releases, but eventually, the designers forget about it and something quite potent emerges. As a promo, it isn’t legal for any Limited events I’m familiar with, but if it were re-released in a set or I just missed something, its probably a good, solid pick due to how much more useful Evolutions (and reliable, inexpensive attacks even when they are weak) prove here. At the very least, this card should all but eliminate anyone using Celebi-EX.
Before I get into this review, I just want to say this…
Celebi-EX is back!!!
…well, not the actual EX, but Shining Celebi does have a reminiscing feature that reminds me of that particular card. And that particular feature is the Time Recall Ability. You may see that same name found on Celebi EX from BW Boundaries Crossed. What the ability does is allow you to use any attacks from any of your Pokemon’s previous Evolutions.
This makes your Evolutions more flexible and helps out not only Stage 1/2s but also Mega Evolutions. Some Pokémon in the TCG may need an attack from their previous Evolution. Those may include:
-Night March Goregeist/Galvantula/Chandelure. Galvantula (Steam Siege) dual typing of grass and lightning can target more Pokemon for weakness. Any Chandelure card can be either fire or psychic type exploiting weakness. Gourgeist’s 200 HP (XY Phantom Forces) can get access to Night March.
-Charizard, GX or not, can get access to either Charmander’s Playful or Charmeleon’s Raging Claws and Call for Support.
-Mega Manectric would love to have access to Overrun and Assault Laser.
-Mega Sceptile would love to have access to Sleep Poison and Unseen Claw
-Any Mega Mewtwo would love to get access to X Ball or Damage Change!
These are some examples of Pokémon making good use of Shining Celebi’s Time Recall ability.
So what’s the competition for Celebi? The original Time Recall Celebi-EX has a bigger body (110 HP instead of 70 HP from the shining legends Celebi) but is worth two prizes! Then there’s Shrine of Memories that grant both players access to attacks from previous evolutions, but Stadium Wars are a thing as well as Field Blower. So Celebi actually has the advantage of both worlds: A non-EX Time Recaller that isn’t discarded! Probably the thing keeping Celebi in check is shutting down abilities and being prone to being dragged active and being KOed. Overall, a great card to consider using.
Summary: Celebi brings back Time Recall, and is a superior replacement of Celebi-EX, possibly making the EX obsolete due to being worth one prize instead of two. This helps evolution decks by getting access to old attacks from previous evolutions. As more and more expansions are being released, the ability’s usefulness will continue to rise.