In this article I review the Shining Legends mini-set which has just recently become legal for use in tournaments. I also talk briefly about “Shock Lock”, which I won’t say anything else about for now. You may have already heard of it, but if not, you’re going to have your mind blown by Ross Cawthon’s latest rogue monstrosity.
We have been spoiled with great sets over the past year and while Shining Legends falls short of the three prior Sun and Moon expansions, there are still several gems as well as cards to flag for potential down the line. Crimson Invasion is also coming out next week, I am aware, although it won’t be legal until the end of November and I am confident it will get reviewed here shortly too.
I think that for now, the only action Shining Celebi will see is in Expanded as a strict upgrade over the Celebi EX that is used in Ross Cawthon’s Shock Lock deck. There are simply not enough worthwhile attacks buried on Evolving Basics to justify using Shining Celebi in most situations. This could change in the future though with new expansions, so keep this card in the back of your mind.
I like the idea of possibly using this as a 1-of in a Venusaur deck for the two different disruption options it provides, both of which would only cost G with Venusaur on board.
Venusaur’s Ability, Jungle Totem, is fundamentally strong, as is usually the case with any Ability that manipulates energy. In fact, we have seen this exact same concept before on other cards, notably Sceptile from the Great Encounters expansion.
That card was the backbone of a rogue deck (centered around Torterra from Diamond and Pearl, Torterra from Majestic Dawn and Torterra Lv. X, with Sceptile providing support) that took top 4 at U.S. Nationals in 2008.
Venusaur is the kind of card that forces you to go back and pore over all of the Grass cards legal in both Standard and Expanded in the hope of finding the perfect beneficiary of the doubling-up effect. Shining Genesect is the most obvious partner (and the only one I can even think of in Standard) as it is a one-Prize Basic capable of producing OHKOs fairly easily, and its damage directly benefits from the effect of Venusaur’s Ability. Genesect EX PLB in Expanded is an intriguing partner as well.
I am not sure how successful Venusaur/Shining Genesect will be given the deck’s reliance on a Stage 2 Bench-sitter as well as the relative fragility of Shining Genesect, but I am sure people will at least be trying it out here and there, particularly at League Cups and Challenges. The popularity of different Fire variants right now is also a concern; the fact that a Volcanion can take the OHKO on Shining Genesect or Venusaur with Power Heater and 2 Steam Ups is bad. At any rate, Venusaur’s Ability is good enough to keep Venusaur on your radar. Who knows what Grass support we may get in future sets?
This is another niche Grass Basic like Carnivine that I could see being used in a Venusaur deck, maybe even as a legitimate starter. The second attack is actually very strong as a backup option with Venusaur on the board, allowing you to retaliate for a KO with a 120 damage attack for a single G.
Manaphy basically acts like a Rough Seas in the form of a one-Prize Basic Bench-sitter, and I think there is potential there. We have seen how powerful Rough Seas has been in the past, as well as the healing effects of cards like Olympia and even the promo Shaymin EX.
The Ability does stack as well and, in Expanded, can also be paired with the actual Rough Seas to allow for massive healing. Another nice thing: Manaphy does not heal based on type but on energy type attached, meaning you can heal anything with a Rainbow, DDE, Blend WMLF or Prism energy. The idea of benching several Manaphy and then repeatedly healing a pair of Noivern GXes every turn as they retreat back and forth into each other intrigues me. The downside is that there are a lot of decks in both formats right now that try to achieve OHKOs, rendering healing worthless.
Still, this is yet another niche card that I think you should store away in your mind for future opportunities.
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