Shrine of Punishments
– Celestial Storm
August 2, 2020
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Shrine of Punishment (SM – Celestial Storm 143/168; Shiny Vault SV90/SV94) is our 6th-place pick. This Stadium places a damage counter on each Pokémon-EX or Pokémon-GX that is in play. We first reviewed this as the third best card of its set, and then as the second best card of 2018. Shrine of Punishment is all about the combos, whether it is something simple like shaving a turn (or turns) off of how long it takes to KO your opponent’s Pokémon, to complex damage moving/counting shenanigans. Mostly it is the former, where it acts as something of a PlusPower for non-EX/GX decks, or those that run such cards but can afford damaging their own Pokémon.
As my writing skills are failing me, let me just say it: this is a great deal overall. No, you won’t run Shrine of Punishment in every deck, or even in most decks, but where it works, it tends to work well. Sometimes, Shrine of Punishment is a single, other times it is the deck’s main Stadium and run heavily (even maxed out). We’re losing it in Standard, but you can still use it in Expanded, though it may not be quite as good there, due to increased competition and counters. In the Limited Format, you take it and you run it. Even if you’re running a Mulligan deck built around a Basic Pokémon-GX, you can still just drop this only when you absolutely need to, and the damage counter on your own Pokémon won’t matter.
While Shrine of Punishment will be missed, as it is still a great card in Standard… if it wasn’t rotating, it would likely see some serious decline. It doesn’t affect Pokémon V, and they’re just going to increase while Pokémon-GX decrease. Which might be why Shrine of Punishment didn’t make my list. What? When I made my list, I began with every card being cut, and whittled it down until there were only 15. Shrine of Punishment was one of the last cards cut, and while it feels wrong it didn’t make list – so I’m glad it made the final – I’ve got no idea what I would cut for it, even sneaking it in at the bottom.
Shrine of Punishment from SM Celestial Storm happens to be my 3rd place pick. This Stadium card serves as a counter against EX/GX Pokemon by placing one damage counter on them between turns. While quantities of Pokemon V are continuously increasing, there are still some Pokémon-GX in SM Team Up onwards. Losing it would mean that you won’t be able to whittle those GX Pokemon down, and even if it were to remain legal, the amount of GX Pokemon will decline. The same can be said on Expanded when certain mechanics retire.
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