Lets jump into the storm that is the 2020 Rotation!
It was announced early that we the format for the 2020-2021 Season will be Team Up-on. Due to COVID-19, we do not know when we will see a return to tournament play. Though, it is expected that players will need to practice using this new format. As we see with any new format, there will be a few sets leaving the Standard format including the cards in those sets.
Today we are going to look at which important cards are leaving the format on Friday, August 28th, 2020 and how this will change the game. Starting from Ultra Prism and ending with the Black Star Promos! We are going to see almost all of the Prism Stars cards leave. Meanwhile, the more of the support of Ultra Beast and a buckle of the Ultra Beast Pokemon are leaving.
Buckle in! We got a lot of card that are leaving the format thanks to this year’s rotation!
This time our journey through Ultra Wormholes have taken us the the Hoenn region. Though, there are a few interesting things here as cards from the past are coming back anew. Some of them are like Articuno GX and Electrode GX who have ascended from normal Pokemon into GX Pokemon with powerful effects. Other Pokemon like Magcargo were basically brought back as almost the same as their early 2000 counterparts from Hoenn. Even some Trainers have came back with some gaining new effects such as Energy Recycle System while others such as Copycat came back with their same old effects.
Though, the shadow of the Ultra Beast Pokemon loom behind us. This time Stakataka GX has shot out of the Ultra Wormhole providing some defense to previous known Ultra Beast Pokemon. Support was less for the Ultra Beast but some new tricks with new Ultra Beast Pokemon and Beast Ball gave this archetype some more bite.
Lastly, looming above the Hoenn region was a mighty dragon that made sure that none will disturb it’s domain. Rayquaza GX was the bringer of Dragon might with plenty of support to give it a good leg up. Some of that was thanks to the new Prism Star, Latias Prism Star.
The storm was raising with Celestial Storm as it brought a mix of new and old ready to collide in a whirlwind of power.
Mr. Mime GX
Alolan Raticate GX
Jirachi Prism Star
Latias Prism Star
Latios Prism Star
Energy Recycle System
The Masked Royal
Shrine of Punishment
Super Scoop Up
Tate & Liza
Celestial Storm is another set that had plenty of cards that saw some play but quickly went out of fashion. Part of this was because some cards were rotated out. Other reason is because bigger and more powerful things came later and blew these cards out of the water.
A great example of this was Rayquaza GX who found an instant friend with Vikavolt from Guardians Rising. Vikavolt would get set up and put plenty of Grass and Lightning cards on the field. That way it could boost the damage of Dragon Break to huge numbers. There were other ways that Rayquaza GX could get energy on the board outside of it’s Stormy Winds ability. Though, this will come from other sets. The problem for Rayquaza GX was that Vikavolt got out of the format and Tag Team Pokemon came in. This once powerful dragon couldn’t handle the power of the incoming titans.
Another concept that came out from Celestial Storm was the Beast Box Deck. This deck took Naganadel GX from Forbidden Light along with Stakataka GX. Together they went on a ride to raid the meta. Naganadel GX would do all the damage with Beast Raid where it would do 20 times the number of Ultra Beast on your bench. This would max out at 120 damage but it would ensure two hit KOs. Stakataka GX would help buff some damage with Beast Wall. You could use a mix of Max Potions to heal damage off of Naganadel GX and keep on attacking with a single Energy attachment.
Though, just like with Rayquaza GX, Naganadel GX couldn’t hit numbers and would find itself being swept aside quickly. Not even the might Beast Wall from Stakataka GX could save it from big hits that it was already struggling to stand up to.
Naganadel GX did see some play in it’s second year of play thanks to Mewtwo & Mew GX. This was to pull off some checkmate type strategies against Tag Team decks. Mewtwo & Mew GX would use Naganadel GX’s Stringer GX attack to put both players at three prizes. They will then force the game into sudden death cage match by taking out a damaged Tag Team Pokemon on the bench to win the game. Though, that eventually went out of fashion as well.
Some interesting Pokemon that saw play was Magcargo who did exactly as it did back in 2005’s EX Deoxys set. This card would use Smooth Over to put a needed card on the top of the deck. Then the player would use a draw card to grab it. At the start, it was Zoroark GX with Trade. Later on it would be Cinccino’s Make Do ability in stall decks. Either way, the idea was for players using Magcargo would draw into the exact cards they will need at the right time.
Speaking of stall, Articuno would find some play thanks to the GX attack, Cold Crush GX. Stall decks would play this as their own GX Pokemon for a long while to make good use of the GX attack. This attack would remove energy from the opponent’s Pokemon and freeze the opposition from making attacks.
Alolan Raticate GX and Jirachi Prism Star both started to see play in decks recently. Alolan Raticate GX found a friend with Mewtwo & Mew GX. That is thanks to it’s zero energy attack cost, Chunk Away. It would max out at 80 damage but that was damage done with zero energy attached to Mewtwo & Mew GX.
Jirachi Prism Star has started to see use in “Combo Zacian V” decks. This was a combination of cards involving Oranguru from Sword & Shield and Mr. Mime from Detective Pikachu mini-set. Jirachi Prism Star would find it’s way to the top of your deck and into the prizes thanks to those two cards. That would allow players to attack with Zacian V to take their prize which one of them would be Jirachi Prism Star. They will then play this little star on the bench and grab an extra prize thanks to the Wish Upon a Star ability. This was used as a way for Zacian V to take extra prizes when it was deemed that Arceus, Dialga and Palkia GX was too slow to do it.
Plenty of interesting Trainer cards are leaving the Standard format. We will see long time favorite cards such as Acro Bike leave. This card has been giving players an extra chance to draw a card since Primal Clash. Fitting it came back in another set that revolved around Hoenn. Some decks will loose some speed now that Acro Bike won’t be there to let decks go fast.
Hustle Belt was another interesting card that worked on the mechanic that Pokemon under certain amount of HP could use it. This Pokemon Tool card allowed Pokemon to do 60 extra damage to their attacks if they were under 30 HP. Spiritomb decks in the last year use Hustle Belt after putting some damage counters on them own self. A dangerous combo that allow players to play on the edge while doing heavy damage. Even in a format that saw Pokemon with over 240 HP.
If you want an example of a card that saw lots of play early on but lost it in recently times then look at Shrine of Punishment. This card was a popular card in many non-GX decks. It spread 10 damage between turns to all GX and EX Pokemon. Perfect for decks who needed a little bit more damage to take out certain Pokemon. Even GX decks played this card in a way to take much needed knockouts. Though, as we saw Pokemon V enter the game, Shrine of Punishment saw less use due to more players moving on to use the stronger Zacian V.
The last card we want to talk about represents the end of an era. Celestial Storm was the final time Rainbow Energy was printed. A card that was first printed in the year 2000. It was then reprinted in various sets using a few new artworks. In Celestial Storm, it was reprinted using the artwork from Ruby & Sapphire which kept in mind with the Hoenn theme of this set.
Though, it pretty much did the same thing where it would put one damage counter on the Pokemon it was attached to. In return it would provide any type of energy. A simple concept but apparently it was time to be replaced. Maybe taking ten damage wasn’t enough of a payment to use the card. Perhaps the powers to be decided it was time to remake it. Either way, it hasn’t been reprinted since Celestial Storm. Instead we see Aurora Energy in Sword & Shield.
Rainbow Energy has seen usage in various decks. Though, Mewtwo & Mew GX decks used this card a lot more in recent years. That is because this card allow Mewtwo & Mew GX to use various different attacks from the various different type of Pokemon inside the deck. The combination of Rainbow Energy and Aurora Energy gave this deck plenty of ways to power up Pokemon. Though, now Mewtwo & Mew GX will have less multi-color energy to work with.
Celestial Storm promise to bring a storm of old and new to the Pokemon TCG. In a way, it did. Though this storm is being blown away thanks to the 2020 Rotation. Now you know which cards you should take out from your decks from the Celestial Storm set.
Best of luck in your upcoming decks in the Team Up to Darkness Ablaze format!