– Celestial Storm
September 7, 2018
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Ah yes, the mighty Sky Pillar, home of Rayquaza and many leaps that need tight maneuvering on a bike to traverse…seriously, this place was annoying to climb up at times.
Sky Pillar is a Stadium card that completely protects both players’ Benched Pokemon. This includes everything from the effects of attacks to any damage that would be dealt to them. Pretty useful to have as a Stadium card, and it shares different synergies with different Pokemon while countering others. So the only real question is if it warrants space in the deck.
If you’ve got Pokemon on your Bench that you wanna protect from opposing attacks, sure. Course it depends then on if your opponents are running Pokemon that focus on damaging the Bench is different ways. For instance, this would be a good card to keep that extra 30 damage from Buzzwole-GX’s Jet Punch from hitting any Benched Pokemon, thus stunting the deck’s ability to set-up damage on you! And considering that’s the big deck of the format, Sky Pillar probably warrants some consideration.
Beyond that…well, it’s a deck-by-deck basis. Decks that may want to run it might not have the space for it, and decks that have to run it based around the environment they’re in will have to push something else out. Once again, deckbuilding never comes easy, but at least attack protection does.
Standard: 2.5/5 (it’s certainly an effective card for what it does)
Expanded: 2.5/5 (but it’s hard to see if it’ll have a major impact when it’s mainly good against one Pokemon)
Limited: 3/5 (…course that is likely the most popular Pokemon in the TCG right now)
Arora Notealus: I can’t really say that much more about Sky Pillar. It’s just an interesting card that’s very good at what it does. Beyond that, it depends on the space in your deck and the popularity of attacks like Jet Punch that go straight to the Bench. So it’s likely that this card could fluctuate in terms of playability, as all cards of this nature do, and you may end up wanting to play it when you have no copies or not playing it at all when you have too many.
Weekend Thought: What did you think of this week’s cards? Do you think some are better than at first glance? Think any should have made the Top 10 list? Will you be trying any of them out in your decks?
Sky Pillar is yet another card whose opportunity is completely wasted. For both players, it protects Benched Pokemon from effects and damage. However, the player who plays this card find themselves unable to damage the opponent’s Bench, while your opponent can get rid of the stadium and proceed to damage your bench as if Sky Pillar never happened. If that Stadium card is not passive enough, I don’t know what is.
1/5 in all categories.
Sky Pillar (CES 144) descends into the meta from the Celestial Storm expansion set. This Stadium card prevents all damage and effects of your opponent’s attacks done to benched Pokemon (both yours and your opponent’s). I misread this initially and thought it was all attacks, but it just applies to damage and effects from your opponents. Which is a little sad because there are actually a number of Pokemon that have attacks that do friendly fire (Torterra, Tyranitar CES, and various others) that would have definitely benefited from a stadium that would eliminate the negative effect of their attacks.
If your deck is vulnerable to spread decks (umm yeah Zoroark GX I’m looking at you), you might want to tech in a couple of these stadiums. Not only will you knock off Shrine of Punishment, but you might even be able to thwart most of Tapu Koko’s damage for a turn or two. I’ve played a TON of spread decks over the past month, and believe me when I say that if you can blunt Flying Flips for even a turn or two, you have a good chance of surviving against a Koko / Baby Lele / Shrine spread deck. Think about it: I usually need in the neighborhood of six hundred damage across the board to take six prizes with Baby Lele. Even with Shrine, it’s usually at least four turns for me to get into a range where I can use Magical Swap. A lot of times I’m dropping Lele on the board with a Counter Energy on my last turn of the game. One turn of preventing Flying Flips and Shrine damage could save you as much as 160 damage between the attack and the Shrine fallout. If you are having trouble against Shrine decks, you might want to think about teching a couple of Sky Pillars into your list.
Standard: 2 out of 5
I pooh poohed this card as well, but there’s definitely some merit to it, but as we’ve seen the dominance of Shrine of Punishment and spread decks, this card might be something to think about if you find yourself struggling against the spread deck archetype.
Sky Pillar (SM – Celestial Storm 144/148) would have been our 20th place pick if our countdown of SM – Celestial Storm had started from a high enough number. It earned 24 voting points but appeared on only a single list, so it lost a tiebreaker with Shiftry-GX. Sky Pillar offers Bench protection to both players, but only against attacks made by the opponent’s Pokémon. This includes both attack effects and attack damage. The big upside is that your opponent’s attacks cannot do anything to your Benched Pokémon: no damage or effects. The bad news? Quite a bit. Your opponent gets the same protection from your own stuff, so don’t run Sky Pillar if you want to affect your opponent’s Bench with your own attacks. You also gain no protection from non-attack effects, which includes all non-Pokémon effects as well. Your own attacks still affect and/or damage your own bench as well. As for being a Stadium, this is a pretty neutral feature; it eats up your Stadium slot and is vulnerable to other Stadiums discarding it (or Field Blower), but at least it isn’t eating up a Bench slot, a Supporter usage, etc.
All in all, this card does matter, but probably only for select decks in Standard. In Expanded, if something like Greninja (XY – BREAKpoint 40/122) and its “Shadow Stitching” attack end up still being a thing, it’ll keep that deck from shutting down your Abilities, at least for your Benched Pokémon. If you just need protection against Bench damage, you can use Mr. Mime (BW – Plasma Freeze 47/116) or Mr. Mime (XY – BREAKthrough 97/162; Generations 52/83). For Limited, I… can’t remember if there are any standout Bench-affecting attacks in the set, but there are at least a few. If you’re running a Pokémon-GX, you want Sky Pillar just to discard Shrine of Punishment!
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