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Pojo's Pokemon Card of the Day

 

Celebi (Prime)

HS Triumphant

Date Reviewed: Nov. 9, 2010

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 2.00
Limited: 2.37

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 being the worst. 
3 ... average.  
5 is the highest rating.

Back to the main COTD Page

Combos With:

Baby Mario
2010 UK National
Seniors
Champion

Celebi (Prime)

 

If you have ever played any of the video games, you will know that Celebi is a very very difficult Pokémon to obtain. The designers of the TCG seem to think the same thing should apply to the card game, as this is the first Celebi that has been printed since Mysterious Treasures. That’s about 23 Raichus ago!

 

Was it worth the wait?

 

There’s no point in sugarcoating it . . . no, it wasn’t.

 

Celebi clocks in with a very low 60 HP, a not-too-disastrous Fire Weakness, and the usual acceptable Retreat cost of one. Not a promising start, but if it had some kind of amazing Power or attack . . .

 

Well, the Power is ok, at least. If Celebi is active, it can use Forest Breath, which allows you to attach a Grass Energy from your hand to one of your Pokémon. Energy acceleration is never bad, exactly, but needing a weak Pokémon out front to do it isn’t ideal. It might have been a reasonable addition to the old Energy-hungry Torterra decks, but the competitive Grass Pokémon these days (Jumpluff . . . ummmm . . . Vespiquen ?) have cheap attacks that don’t call for this kind of Power, and Leafeon/Roserade decks get the job done better with Leafeon LV X.

 

Where Celebi really fails though is Time Circle. Remember how I criticised Absol yesterday for being a Basic that needed two Energy? Well Celebi needs THREE! Not just any old three either: it needs two different types (Grass and Psychic). ‘What do you get for that ridiculous cost?’ I hear you ask. Sadly the answer is 30 damage. ‘But surely there must be an effect?’ Yes there is: during your opponent’s next turn, Celebi is immune to damage from Stage 1 and Stage 2 Pokémon.

 

O . . . K . . . I guess we should ignore the fact that this leaves Celebi open to attack from the wildly popular SP Basics. It does provide some protection against Evolution decks that don’t run Sableye SF or have any Basics with a reasonable damage attack (note: it doesn’t prevent damage counter placement, so Gengar SF would OHKO it with Shadow Room), buthe fact is, Celebi is going to be KO’d long before it got the chance to use Time Circle.

 

For such a long-awaited Prime, Celebi is a huge disappointment. Its Power is decent, but not very relevant at the moment. As for the attack . . . the least said, the better.

 

Rating

 

Modified: 1.75 (deserves something for the Power, but everything else is shocking)

Limited: 2 (too weak, even here)

Mad Mattezhion
 Professor Bathurst League Australia

Celebi Prime (HS Triumphant)

This is the only Prime I’m not even remotely excited about from the new set. I’ve never liked the little elf reject, and this card doesn’t change my mind.

Sorry to be so negative, I just had to get that out of my system. Celebi Prime is a Grass Basic with 60 HP (what? No Prime boost?), Fire Weakness (irrelevant) and a retreat cost of 1. There is absolutely bucketloads of support for the little fairy time-traveller from health boost to weakness removal, so it isn’t as squishy as it looks but it is still fairly easy to take out (anyone hearing the pun?). I say the Fire weakness is irrelevant because 60 HP is too low for Weakness to matter in more than 1% of cases (most main attackers nowadays can managed that amount from a single energy and a little assistance) while the support (if you get set up) means Celebi will have no weakness anyway.

Celebi has a Pokepower and an attack, so let’s see what they are. The power is Forest Breath, and allows you to attach an extra Grass energy form your hand to one of your Pokemon in play once per turn if Celebi is Active at the time. This can be useful acceleration, as Shaymin Lv X (Ground form) and Leafeon (RR and the Lv X) have proven. However, Celebi is susceptible to many things while Active and only Grass energy can be used, so I am forced to wonder what use Celebi is in a competitive deck, especially as the power doesn’t synergise well with the attack.

The attack is the well named Time Circle, which for the cost of GPC (that’s right, multiple specific energy requirements!) will deal a measly 30 damage. The extra effect is that Celebi is protected from damage dealt by Stage 1 and Stage 2 Pokemon, but not from effects of attacks.

This means that Machamp SF and Gengar SF can still get a OHKO even if Time Circle is powered up in time, while SP Pokemon like Luxray and Garchomp will be completely unaffected, even if they weren’t so good at getting around those exact effects.

In the end, Celebi is a quick route to energy acceleration as a Basic Pokemon, but it will probably cost you a prize. That’s a good thing if you like the Twins, but Grass decks are usually slow enough to begin with, or else suffer from multiple Pokemon with low HP and can’t afford another. Another Prime for the Lost World of the binder (though, to be fair, most Primes have been good to brilliant and if there aren’t any bad ones the game would get unbalanced)

Modified: 2.5 (can be used as a starter, but I don’t expect to see it around)
Limited: 2 (good for rarity, but otherwise useless)
Combos with: Roserade UD or Yanmega SV?

conical

11/9/10: Celebi Prime (Triumphant)

It's another Prime! And it's...bad. Eh...

Yeah, it looks I'm gonna have to be Negative Conical for another card. But yeah, here's Celebi Prime, which has a handy Power, Breath of the Forest, which lets you attach an extra Grass energy to any Pokemon. Now, this is actually a better Power than I thought it was when I started the review(I mistakenly assumed that it only allowed you to attach to Celebi), but I'm not sure what it does for Grass-types. Last format, we had Sceptile GE, which had a technically superior Power, and no one used it. Celebi has the benefit of being a basic, but I'm not convinced that it will particularly help any deck that didn't already have massive issues.

And that brings us to its attack, Time Circle, which has a cost of...1GP. And it does...30 damage. Did anyone else feel a time warp just now? Because this is Base Set damage. Yeah, it has one major effect, preventing all attacks by Stage 1s or Stage 2s. Which would be handy, if the best becks weren't composed of basics. Or if evolution decks couldn't just use their basic's attacks, or switch out. Maybe I'm being unnecessarily harsh, but I don't see how this can be usable. Maybe in another format, but not this one.

Modified: 2/5
Limited: 1.5/5
Combos With: Something in another format, or the binder.


Otaku

I’ll open by thanking Bondiborg for his assistance with this review.  He’s an older player I am trying to get to write again: he’s a busy guy but he knows Pokémon.

 

Celebi Prime is our card for today.  It is a Basic Pokémon, which gives it speed and makes it efficient in terms of deck space.  As a Grass Pokémon, Celebi is pretty much in neutral territory, unless your local metagame is skewed otherwise.  It does have some very direct support available, but nothing as easy as running Special Energy Darkness Energy and most types have something comparable.  The 60 HP does not help Celebi: any serious deck will be able to OHKO, even ones that rely more on secondary attack effects.  Fire Weakness is better than Psychic Weakness: even if Fire is common in your metagame, we all know a certain Psychic Pokémon that is popular for many, many decks.  With the HP, neither Weakness is apt to come into play often.  The lack of Resistance is lame and the Single Energy Retreat Cost is either too high or not high enough: as we’ll see, the normally good single Energy Retreat Cost is high enough to prevent easy use of the card’s strengths.  You’d still need to run something like Switch alongside it to really make use of this card’s best feature.  Celebi might as well have had a higher Retreat Cost so long as it was used to justify a higher HP score.

 

Forest Breath is the main reason you should even think of running this card.  Once a turn, so long as Celebi is your Active Pokémon, you may attach a Grass Energy card from your hand to one of your Pokémon.  If Celebi is afflicted by a Special Condition, the Poké-Power won’t work.  Energy acceleration is always nice, but having a small sprout like this upfront in order to use it isn’t, so in the end it is passable.  The attack – Time Circle - is similar: it requires three Energy and only does 30 damage, but it blocks all damage done to Celebi from attacks by your opponent’s Stage 1 and 2 Pokémon.  While the damage is low, at least the protective effect can be useful.  There are three major flaws that prevent this from being practical and useful.  First, it doesn’t block effects.  Many Stage 1 and 2 Pokémon will be able to by pass it.  Second, Basic Pokémon are heavily played in this format.  The third and most obvious is that it requires three Energy, and one is off-type.  To use this you’ll need to run Energy Forest Breath can’t use, and even with Forest Breath it will take two turns to power up.

 

Grass has a lot going for it, including other forms of Energy acceleration and some solid opening Basic Pokémon.  Celebi might actually work for decks that need to combine the two.  How so?  To open, drop Celebi and preferably one other Pokémon you’ll want to energize.  Drop Call Energy onto Celebi with your manual attachment and use its Forest Breath to power something that can make use of Grass Energy.  Now use the effect of Call Energy so Celebi can actually attack for something.  If we stop here, it is still a waste: sadly the power creep in the game is bad enough that a 60 HP Basic isn’t safe for even one turn.  If Celebi lasts a second turn, then it’s good: keep getting extra Energy and fetching Basic Pokémon from your deck as long as it helps you.  If your opponent looks prone to evolving their Pokémon and attacking, you can always use Forest Breath and a manual Energy attachment to enable Time Circle.

 

What if your opponent decides to simply crush Celebi?  Then enjoy using your copy of Twins or Black Belt to punish them.  Yes, that is a lot of specific cards, but surprisingly so far they’ve been pretty general in use.  The main restriction would be running Grass Energy and Pokémon that can use it for decent effect, and perhaps Psychic Energy or Rainbow Energy to enable Time Circle.  Just the threat of it might be enough to throw an opponent off, though.  Psychic and Grass decks probably have the strongest reason to consider this card.

 

As should Limited decks: Energy acceleration, like most things that are good for the normal playing format, is extra amazing in a Limited setting.  You should be able to pull enough Pokémon that can make decent use of Grass Energy, and late game Time Circle can be annoyingly effective.  It isn’t a must run, since you might honestly not have room for enough Grass Energy or you may simply be unable to give up a Prize (which you will almost certainly have to do with Celebi).

 

Ratings

 

Modified: 2/5 – This is a general rating.  Celebi Prime can function in many decks: you can use it for some effect since so many cards can use the Grass Energy for Colorless requirements.  To use it optimally will require a much more specialized build, but still one that is feasible: bump the score by roughly a point for such decks.  Even there, it may not be the best option.

 

Limited: 3.75/5 – Potent, but there is a decent chance you won't be able to safely use Celebi.  With only four Prize cards, this may be a more common exclusion than you’d think.

 

I am still selling my former collectables on eBay.  I’ve had a lot of hobbies over the years, so at various times I’ll have comic books, manga, action figures, and video games on the auction block.  You can take a look at what’s up for bids here.  Just a reminder, Pojo is in no way responsible for any transactions and was merely kind enough to let me mention the auctions here. ;) 


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