#2 – Shrine of Punishment
– Celestial Storm
December 28, 2018
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Shrine of Punishment (CES 143) completely got by me. Many other Pokemon prognosticators whiffed on it as well, but I definitely will freely admit that I greatly underestimated this card. I might be making up for that and giving it more value than it’s currently worth, but I realized after the first weekend in August that this card was completely broken and would be a meta defining card. I still believe it’s making GX cards unplayable. In matches in which I’ve played Shrine of Punishment this month and my opponents have played a GX Pokemon, I am a whopping 48 W 24 L. Granted, many of those are with spread decks, and I believe that spread is well positioned in the meta. Part of the reason that spread is so good right now is because of Shrine and the fact that you can really rack up damage on your opponents if they are playing GX Pokemon and not running Stadiums of their own and Field Blowers.
And Shrine is only going to be more valuable in the future when the first Tag Team Pokemon come out. It’s not really a 240 HP Pokemon if Shrine damage builds up for a few turns. Those three prize Pokemon are looking like HUGE liabilities against the spread decks I’ve been running. I just wish I had a way to better ensure that I can get my Shrines on the board more quickly (hmm I seem to remember doing a review yesterday about a Pokemon that put whatever card you want on the top of your deck…).
Standard: 4.5 out of 5
I looked back at my initial review of this card, I even did a Celestial Storm preview video, and I identified this card as potentially very good, but I just didn’t foresee it as being the dominant, meta changing card that it has become. My opponents have played a GX Pokemon in 124 out of 161 matches so far this month, 77% of the games that I play. That means that Shrine of Punishment will give you a pretty significant advantage in 3 out of every 4 games if you aren’t playing GX Pokemon. To me, that makes it a no brainer to rank this as the second best card of 2018.
Sorry you’ve got to wait until Monday for #1! (Like you haven’t already guessed what it is.)
Our runner up spot for the second best card of 2018 is Shrine of Punishment from Sun & Moon Celestial Storm, where it was the third best card of the set. This Stadium card automatically puts one damage counter on Pokémon-EX and Pokémon-GX in play between turn, which affects both players. Between anti-EX/GX cards like some of Pokémon’s abilities/Attack, Choice Band, and this card, those EX/GX Pokémon are not as bulky as it once was, and it makes those kind of Pokémon risky to use even if they have so much going for it and it could help some single-prize Pokémon get to some footing against the big ones.
It’s also one of those cards whose effect keeps happening until the Stadium is discarded. And because the damage counter placement happens between turns, effects that rely on either player’s attack to KO the EX/GX Pokemon gets played around. Spell Tag and Fainting Spell Ability are some examples that will never trigger if Shrine of Punishment does the work. That’s not to say that the Shrine of Punishment user can’t use any EX/GX Pokemon; they can, as long as said player can benefit sooner than the opponent. And finally, the only time Shrine of Punishment is useless if the opposing player doesn’t use EX/GX Pokemon, although you can use this to knock off other stadiums and send them to the discard pile or the Lost Zone.
Standard: 4.5/5 (Yeah, I’ll be keeping the same score as I did back when the review crew did the countdown of SM Celestial Storm)
Expanded: 4.6/5 (There’s even more to work with against on the Expanded card pool where all the EX/GX reside)
Limited: 4/5 (There are GX Pokemon on the set, so it might be a must run)
Notes: About the artwork of Shrine of Punishment, I can’t think of a specific place similar to this Stadium in the Pokemon world.
Next up: The true best card of the set goes to…
We close the week with the second place pick of our Top 11 Countdown of 2018: Shrine of Punishment (SM – Celestial Storm 143/168). We previously reviewed this card here, as the third best card of SM – Celestial Storm… and given that the two cards that ranked above it didn’t make our year-end countdown, I’m thinking we lowballed Shrine of Punishment. This is a Trainer-Stadium, and while it is in play each player places one damage counter on ALL of their Pokémon-EX/GX that are in play. This isn’t a new concept; Desert Ruins (EX – Hidden Legends 88/101) is a similar Stadium from 14.5 years ago. The major difference is that instead of Pokémon-EX or Pokémon-GX (which didn’t exist back then) it places damage counters on Pokémon-ex with maximum HP scores of 100 or more. It is a less direct homage than yesterday’s Magcargo (SM – Celestial Storm 24/168) to Magcargo (EX- Deoxys 20/107) and certainly not a direct reprint like TV Reporter (EX – Dragon 88/97; POP Series 2 11/17; EX – Dragon Frontiers 82/101; SM – Celestial Storm 149/168, 167/168). Still, all of these cards released in the same era so the trip down memory lane seemed relevant.
Shrine of Punishment is NOT for every deck, but it does help a lot of decks. Even some decks running Pokémon-EX/GX will risk it because it is about hitting the numbers. Some decks that don’t run any Pokémon-EX/GX may NOT find it the best Stadium to include, either. How can this be? Shrine of Punishment is about hitting the numbers, so to speak. Barring certain effects which involve damage or damage counters, if it doesn’t alter how many turns it takes to score a KO, then these kinds of effects don’t really matter. Fortunately for both Shrine of Punishment AND several attackers, there are quite a few decks in the metagame that DID need a small boost, and either didn’t include many (or even any) Pokémon-EX/GX OR did include them BUT their own HP scores were either too high or low for the extra damage counters to matter. Another fringe benefit of Shrine of Punishment is the timing. It doesn’t directly boost the damage of attacks or Abilities but places the damage itself between turns, which bypasses various protective or triggered effects.
Though Shrine of Punishment is heavily played in Standard, its presence is noticeably less in Expanded. Looking at what major event results are available, I’m not even seeing anything running Shrine of Punishment, even though it also affects Pokémon-EX. I don’t think this is because Shrine of Punishment is “bad” but because there are more important Stadium cards for most of these decks: Dimension Valley, Parallel City, Silent Lab, Sky Field, etc. I’m still giving Shrine of Punishment a solid score, however, because I believe the potential is still there. If you are fortunate enough to enjoy a Limited Format event using SM – Celestial Storm packs, then this seems like a good pull. In the Limited Format, Shrine of Punishment is useful not only to counter those lucky enough to pull a Pokémon-GX but also to discard an opponent’s Sky Pillar.
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