Pokémon TCG: Celestial Storm – Complete Expansion Review

Bleeding Cool's journey through the Sun & Moon era of the Pokémon TCG continues. Now that our spotlight series has moved through the first seven sets of this block (Sun & Moon base, Guardians Rising, Burning Shadows, Crimson Invasion, Ultra Prism, Shining Legends, and Forbidden Light), now it's time to look at the next set from this era: Sun & Moon – Celestial Storm was released on August 3rd, 2018. This set has some interesting focuses including the expansion's mascot of the Dragon-type Rayquaza, the Hoenn Starters, and Kanto Pokémon. This set also continued the inclusion of Prism Star cards which could be pulled by lucky collectors in the reverse holo slot. Today, we wrap up our journey through this set with a complete expansion review.

Celestial Storm cards. Credit: Pokémon TCG
Celestial Storm cards. Credit: Pokémon TCG

Pokémon TCG Soars With Dragons & Nods to the Classics

One of the most subtle and interesting set focuses we've seen through the Sun & Moon era comes into play here. Sun & Moon – Celestial Storm borrows some artwork from previous, classic sets which is why there is a bit of a nostalgic vibe when looking through some of these cards. Initially, I didn't like that this set was reusing artwork… but it's actually more than that.

Sun & Moon – Celestial Storm does flat out reuse some art, yes, but it also pays tribute to that artwork in its Full Art section. The Trainers in this set use a lot of classic artwork, and the Full Art versions of these Trainers give the Ultra Rare treatment to the same art concept with a new illustration. Copycat is the best example, as it uses the exact costumes and vibe of the original in a new piece of artwork.

There is of course also the Dragon-type focus of this set with Rayquaza as the mascot and Latios and Latias available as Prism Stars. The light-hand of this focus as well as the weakness of the Sun & Moon-era Dragon-type Full Arts, which use a pea soup-colored background, prevented this from being as iconic as other recent Dragon-type sets such as XY – Roaring Skies and Sword & Shield – Evolving Skies.

 

Celestial Storm cards. Credit: Pokémon TCG
Celestial Storm cards. Credit: Pokémon TCG

The Cards

There are some major, historic hits in this set including the Rainbow Rare Rayquaza, the $100+ Lisia Full Art, the Copycat Full Art, and more. I'm also a fan of a great deal of the common cards, and I appreciate how this set has quite a diverse lot of GXs.

Sun & Moon – Celestial Storm Final Rating

The scattered focus and small number of absolute standouts makes this a good set rather than a great one. It's fun to open and nods to the history of the Pokémon TCG in quite an interesting way, but in the context of the Sun & Moon era which truly began firing on all cylinders in the final year of sets, this one has moments where it shines but it doesn't dazzle how other historic Dragon-focused sets have.

Final Rating: 7/10

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About Theo Dwyer

Theo Dwyer writes about comics, film, and games.
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