I am building an email template using HTML and I was wondering if I can place a repeat block in HTML to view a list of rows. I know if I use Visualforce template I can achieve my goal using apex: repeat, but I would like to know if it is possible using just HTML.
Visualforce markup is only available in Visualforce email templates. Hence, the answer is No.
But a Visualforce email template can be almost entirely HTML and in fact, shouldn't contain VF components with built in styling like
apex:pageBlock so I'm not sure what the penalty is for using the VF template (unless the running user is Automated Process user where rendering can be problematic and VF components don;t work at all)