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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 Shrine of Memories

- Primal Clash

Date Reviewed:
April 28, 2015

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard:
Expanded:
Limited:

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 being horrible.  3 ... average.  5 is awesome.

Back to the main COTD Page


aroramage

Shrine of Memories is an...interesting card. Actually, it's interesting because it's got the same effect as another card in the format right now, and in a strange way it's better yet worse. I know I said this isn't the Ilex Forest Shrine (you know, the shrine where Celebi appears?), but it's a bit too coincidental for me that Celebi-EX has an Ability doing the exact same thing Shrine of Memories does. 

And what is that effect, you ask? Any of your evolved Pokemon can use attacks on its pre-evolutions. That's kinda nice in an Evo deck, since you don't have to worry about getting locked out of attacking cause you can't use a move, but the whole reason you're evolving half the time - aside from getting a bigger bulkier body - is to get stronger attacks, right? You don't evolve into Empoleon because you want to use Piplup's Charm attack. 

So really what it comes down to is do you run this or Celebi-EX (cause both of them is probably just asking for trouble). Well, Celebi-EX gives you a Pokemon and a way to get out of the Active Slot through Wind Whisk, all the while dealing 60 damage for 3 Energy. That's pretty low in terms of Pokemon-EX damage output, and let's not even start with how low those HP are. Basically you run the risk of losing your means of using previous attacks and 2 Prize cards in the same fell swoop when running Celebi-EX. 

Now what about Shrine of Memories? Well it won't make you lose Prize cards, but it can't really tack on damage like some of the other Stadiums (Virbank, Fighting Stadium, Frozen City all come to mind). That, and we're dealing with a much broader range of Stadium cards to not only be able to fight against but be beaten by. Playing Stadiums is a two-way street, but only one car's allowed on the road at a time. It's weird like that. 

If you're running an Evo deck, consider Shrine of Memories only if you've got attacks on your weaker guys that you'd consider using even with your stronger guys on top. Otherwise, I'd say give this a pass. 

Rating 

Standard: 2/5 (Evo decks are the only thing to make use of this, and that's really dependent on what the evos used are) 

Expanded: 2.5/5 (more Evos here, so there's a broader range to find that perfect line-up) 

Limited: 3.5/5 (you'll usually HAVE to play Evos in this format in some form or another if you don't draw a Pokemon-EX, and even if your Evos suck, it can still get rid of Rough Seas or Scorched Earth) 

Arora Notealus: Maybe the entire card game needs a big boost. Like knowing that evolutions are at a natural disadvantage card-wise (consider the resources needed to evolve a Pokemon into such a thing), it would seem obvious that boosting their power is necessary. Then again, if you did that, you'd have to figure out how to differentiate the Pokemon-EX from the evos - in which case, maybe make the final eve on-par with Pokemon-EX in the case of Stage 2s, with 180 HP and strong attacks while Stage 1s can be supplemented with powerful Abilities like Pyroar's and Garbodor's. It's a thought, but that's just what goes into card games - and even then, we're still in a Pokemon-EX dominated environment. Point being: MAKE EVOS WORTH PLAYING 

Next Time: Wait is that an Energy card?


Otaku

Shrine of Memories (XY: Primal Clash 139/160) is our second card for this week and as well as the fourth and final Stadium in this set.  Its effect is pretty simple; each player’s Evolved Pokémon are able to use attacks from their lower Stages.  This doesn’t “write” the attack onto the card so effects like Versatile on Mew-EX won’t be able to copy said attacks accessed via the effect of Shrine of Memories.  Using attacks from a lower Stage is nothing new - honestly I think it should just be a feature of the game but I digress -  we’ve seen it on Items like Recall (Gym Heroes 116/132), as a Pokémon Tool via Memory Berry (Aquapolis 128/147; EX: Crystal Guardians 80/100; Platinum 110/127) or most recently as the “Time Recall” Ability on Celebi-EX.  This is one of the pieces of actual Evolution support in the game… so is it any good? 

Yes but it is quite niche; only worthwhile in a select few decks.  There is a reason we covered all four Stadiums this set; Stadiums have become pretty important again and we may even be back to the point where decks need to run about four Stadiums (in a few special instances, even more than that!) and where splitting them is the smart play.  Most lower Stage cards (sadly) have inferior attacks, but sometimes just having the option is worthwhile.  There are some specific decks where its better than usual, usually because in bending the rules this way some other aspect of the Evolved card makes the attack from the lower Stage better.  Sometimes its just being on a bigger body in general, but often its a matter of an HP affected attack, exploiting a Type difference between Stages or something more advanced.  For the former a decent example is Aggron-EX with its Raging Hammer and M Aggron-EX; while M Aggron-EX already has one attack for [MMCC] - Megaton Slam - that hits for 120 damage with the option of flipping a coin to try for +120 (on a “heads”) at the risk of hitting everything on your own Bench for 20 damage (on “tails”), with its 240 HP you can hit over 120 reliably if M Aggron-EX has at least 90 damage on it and exceed the 240 of Megatron Slam if M Aggron has 190 or more damage on itself.

I can’t currently come up with any good Type-shifting examples, but if they show up I suspect it would be on something that Evolves into a Fighting-Type from a non-Fighting-Type due to how many damage boosting tricks are available, or perhaps for something that Evolves into a Psychic-Type and has an attack with a [C] cost in it that Dimension Valley can shave off.  Still the best example I can think of stems from an advanced combo we have already discussed: Poliwag (XY: Furious Fists 15/111), Poliwhirl (XY: Furious Fists 16/111),  Poliwrath (XY: Furious Fists 17/111) and Politoed (XY: Furious Fists 18/111).  You can see our review of the Poliwrath here; the short version is that Politoed has an Ability that allows you to ignore the [C] Energy costs in attacks on Poliwag, Poliwhirl and Poliwrath and that entire line that came in that set has some solid to good attacks that only have [C] Energy requirements.  Add in Shrine of Memories and a Poliwrath can not only ignore [C] Energy requirements, not only select from six attacks, but it can select from six attacks where three of them are used for free and the remaining three at most require [WW].  The deck originally made due with Celebi-EX, but thats a small (110 HP) Pokémon worth two Prizes; now you have the option of skipping it or at least relying less heavily upon it. 

A lot of decks simply can’t make use of Shrine of Memories; they either have no Evolutions.  Quite a few would get only a small boost because again, most Evolving Pokémon have terrible attacks that provide a minimal benefit for the Evolution.  Even when there are decent (or even more rare, good) attacks on the Evolving Pokémon, Evolutions don’t seem to fare as well as Basic Pokémon (yes Evolutions see play - compare how many see play relative to how many have been printed) and then there is the biggest problem; rival Stadiums.  The good news is Shrine of Memories can be dropped to knock out an opponent’s Stadium to immediately break even and as you use it when you attack you can immediately tap the effect (if worthwhile) but the bad news is that there are so many great Stadiums to use right now that can also take Shrine of Memories out.  Go back to my M Aggron-EX example; you’ve got Steel Shelter to protect against Special Conditions, Silent Lab to shut down Abilities on Basic Pokémon (like those pesky Safeguard Pokémon) and in Expanded you also have Tropical Beach for added draw power.  All of these seem like they might be at least a bit better for a deck focused on M Aggron-EX.  You might be able to make room for a single copy of it in such a deck, but it takes something pretty specific (like the above Poliwrath example) for it to be a deck’s main Stadium.  Except for in Limited; even if you aren’t running Evolutions you likely need it just to knock out opposing Stadiums that are more damaging to you than a Stadium with effects you can’t access. 

Ratings 

Standard: 2.75/5 

Expanded: 2.5/5 

Limited: 5/5 

Summary: Shrine of Memories should be a good card, potentially a great card, but most Evolving Pokémon have terrible attacks and there are a lot of other, great Stadiums out there for it to compete against.  Definitely pick up a playset and keep an eye on it, especially with more Mega Evolutions (and support for Mega Evolutions) on the way.


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