Now to review the only card that I didn’t pick this
or last week (Pojo chose it).
1 (Evolves from Voltorb)
(L) Thundershock 
Flip a coin. If heads, the Defending Pokémon is now
(CCC) Speed Ball 
(C) Ram 
(CCC) Speed Ball 
Electrode is a Stage 1 Pokémon, and will be
evaluated accordingly. It is a Lightning (Electric)
Pokémon, which is fine: there is a lot more Water
out there than many realize, and even if there
wasn’t, this lets it counter Zapdos ex, who
is Lightning Weak. Resistance to Lightning-types is
almost unheard of in the modern game (the lack of
Resistance as a whole is quite annoying), which
further benefits Electrode.
It has 70 Hit Points. This is too low: Stage 1
Evolution that doesn’t Evolve further needs at least
80, so this is a definite disadvantage and the card
will need some solid bonuses to offset this. Its
Weakness is Fighting, which is definitely a bad
thing for it; most Fighting Pokémon can deal at
least a solid 30 with ease, with Strength Charm
taking care of the rest. We have no Resistance…
pity, with its low HP; even Metal Resistance would
have been helpful. Finally, a Retreat of one, which
is good in terms of game play, but Electrode
is one of the fastest Pokémon in the video games, if
memory serves. So you’d really think that it should
have a free Retreat, which would have made it a
whole lot better.
As I started out mentioning, it is a Stage 1. So,
what’s it Evolve from? Voltorb, of course.
The Voltorb in this set isn’t bad, but it’s
not very good either. 50 HP, same stats otherwise,
and two very basic attacks: one (C) for 10 and the
other (CCC) for 30. Not bad it Limited, but I’d
rather use the version that has a Poké-Body that
lets it retreat for free if it has Energy attached
(and has 50 HP) or the 40 HP version that can snag
Energy from the deck.
Electrode’s first attack is simple and sweet:
20 damage with Paralysis on a coin flip. Given that
Energy that went into it, that’s a discount of about
(C). This is a nice, quick supporting attack, good
especially against the Lightning Weak that are nice
and small. ;)
The main attack, and why you’d bother using it, is
Speed Ball. Speed Ball, for those who don’t know,
is a member of the New Warriors. He got his powers
by… oh, never mind. The attack has nothing to do
with the Marvel Super-Hero of the same name. Pity.
He (and the other Warriors, though they aren’t that
new anymore) got a new limited series. Found out
another member of our Pokémon League used to read
them too… enough reminiscing. This is a very nice
attack, doing 20 more points of damage than you paid
for. Since it costs (CCC), you can drop a Boost
Energy to power it in one turn, for a turn.
This could be splashed into decks that need a quick,
hard-hitting Lightning-type. Rare Candy and
Wally’s Training allow you to get it out
first turn even. Unfortunately, that’s not much of
a use. I suppose you could TecH it into decks
running Dark Electrode or Electrode ex
for a “plain” counterpart.
1.5/5-Small enough that Neo Genesis Sneasel
with a full bench and at least one true Darkness
Energy can OHKO you 50% of the time, and a
Tyrogue from Neo Discovery with a Plus Power
can half the time as well. Not good.
2/5-A little better, but not much. Most major
attackers can OHKO this thing, and Fighting Pokémon
will do so even more easily.
3.5/5-Finally, a chance to shine. Here, it’s pretty
solid. The attacks are more useful due to the
nature of the format, and there is a good smattering
of Lightning Weakness. Just watch out for the good
hunk of Fighting Pokémon in this set.
A Retreat and Resistance would have made this card,
but as is, it isn’t much.
Oh, someone mentioned something I do, and I want to
make sure it is properly understood. Don’t just
throw all your extra cards, even the commons and
uncommons, into a shoebox. Take at least one of
each that you can spare (harder with the higher
rarities), and put them in a collection binder.
Why? Aside from something cool that might someday
be very valuable (maybe in terms of cash, or more
likely, sentimental value), this is a great way to
look for combos.