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Yu Yu Hakusho
Harry Potter
Vs. System

Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day



- Ancient Origins

Date Reviewed:
November 5, 2015

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 2.9
Expanded: 2.9
Limited: 3.13

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 being horrible.  3 ... average.  5 is awesome.

Back to the main COTD Page


There are times when Pokémon really, really reminds me of Transformers.  Normally it’s something I joke about but this time I’m going to explain it a bit.  The molds used for creating the Transformers toys are pricey, which is why many mold are used multiple times to create different characters; sometimes the molds are tweaked, sometimes it is as simple as a new coloration that helps distinguish one character from another or having a spot in the transformation where instead of positioning something one way you are able to reverse it or skip it for a more distinct look.  Often more than one of these apply at the same time, including all three.  In an odd way this seems realistic, as for all the differences we humans notice between each other, we are actually a pretty homogeneous bunch, especially when details are reduced to typical “action figure” levels.  Besides being a fiscal necessity, especially for the higher quality molds, fans like me have learned this often creates a particular figure we enjoy more than the original, whether because the mold was improved, the new character is more interesting or we simply enjoy the new color scheme. 

We are talking about an Eeveelution today, and in a way it is quite like the practice we see with Transformers toys.  Jolteon (XY: Ancient Origins 26/98) is very clearly in the same “mold” as Flareon (XY: Ancient Origins 13/98) and Vaporeon (XY: Ancient Origins 22/98), reviewed here and here, respectively.  It is a Lightning-Type as befits a Jolteon; the Lightning-Type has some solid support, though some of that is Expanded only while other bits of it are compatible with other Types.  Probably the most important thing right now is that Lightning Weakness is so profitable to exploit: Lugia-EX (XY: Ancient Origins 68/98, 94/98), M Rayquaza-EX (XY: Roaring Skies 76/108, 105/108), Shaymin-EX (XY: Roaring Skies 77/108; 106/108) and Yveltal-EX are involved in a lot of the metagame, with Shaymin-EX being almost omnipresent support while the other three are either main or supporting attackers in multiple decks.  You will encounter some Lightning Resistance, but it once again (yes, this has happened before) been phased out of the latest (XY) sets, so you’ll only encounter it in Expanded (on BW-era cards).  M Rayquaza-EX (XY: Roaring Skies 61/108) seems to be the only thing that has a negative effect on Lightning-Types (its Ancient Trait drops the damage done by Lightning-Types as well as three other Types by 20).  Thanks to exploiting Weakness, being a Lightning-Type is most useful. 

Being a Stage 1 is adequate; it as good as being a Basic but it really is easier than the other Stages.  It occurs to me I ought to be consistent and label the XY: Ancient Origins Eeveelutions as “Stage 1” support, and indeed that also helps compensate a little for needing more time/cards to get into play as compared to Basic Pokémon (granted Basics have some literal Stage support as well, go figure).  90 HP is enough not to be exceptionally fragile; it is a probable OHKO with the exceptions coming from early/incomplete set-ups or attackers being used for effect and not damage but it could be worse (and some cards with less HP or the same but worth two Prizes have seen successful, competitive play).  It makes this a legal Level Ball target which a nice “pro” within the “con” and getting back into my opening, keeps it in line with the other Eeveelutions of this set.  Its Fighting Weakness is one of the worst a card can have right now because Fighting-Types are great at hitting hard, fast and reliably… at least relative to the resource investment.  Metal Resistance is appreciated though I am uncertain as to how much good it will do; also notable because once again it is something the designers had shied away from in the BW-era but returned to now.  The free Retreat Cost is perfect, better than most other cards (let alone Eeveelutions) and as we’ll discuss, really helps Jolteon. 

So completing the trio of Gen 1 Eeveelutions in XY: Ancient Origins Jolteon follows the pattern by having an Ability that causes your Stage 1 Pokémon in play to count as an additional Type (this time it is “Electric Effect” adding Lightning Typing) and an attack for three Energy that is mostly Colorless (this time “Thunder Blast” for [LCC], doing 80 damage and requiring a single Energy discard from Jolteon).  Unlike the other Types, there aren’t any pieces of Lightning-Type support that affect Pokémon not in play, so while there aren’t any cool tricks like Archie’s Ace in the Hole or Dive Ball, what is available applies, unlike… Archie’s Ace in the Hole or Dive Ball.  The big sell though is hitting for double damage against the cards listed above, especially Shaymin-EX and Yveltal-EX; with the former it is less necessary (though some decks don’t hit as hard or can use a less costly attack than otherwise required) but taking the latter down in one hit, especially with a non-Pokémon-EX is still a big deal.  If you’ve got access to appropriate Energy Types and acceleration, then Thunder Blast is adequate; keep in mind I am being generous because the Ability is clearly supposed to be the main draw (surprised the attack wasn’t horribly nerfed). 

There are actually fewer options for Eevee than I expected, but that is because some have been printed as much as four times.  Normally I would still list them all and go through them but due to extenuating circumstances, I am once again going to focus on the two I believe are the superior choices: BW: Plasma Freeze 90/116 and XY: Furious Fists 80/111.  Both are Basic, Colorless-Type Pokémon with Fighting Weakness, no Resistance, Retreat Cost [C] and no Ancient Trait.  BW: Plasma Freeze 90/116 has 60 HP and two attack but no Ability; the first attack is “Signs of Evolution” for [C] and it allows you to search your deck for three Pokémon that Evolve from Eevee and add them to hand, though they must be different Types.  While it will probably be a sacrificial play unless your opponent is having issues, it can be useful for setting up.  Its second attack is “Bite” for [CCC], doing 30 damage; unless you’re desperate it is just filler.  XY: Furious Fists 80/111 has 50 HP, one Ability and one attack; the former is “Energy Evolution” and it triggers when you attach a Basic Energy card from hand to this Eevee, allowing you to search your deck for a Pokémon of the same Type as the Basic Energy and immediately Evolve Eevee into it.  Many decks don’t run a lot of Basic Energy but in addition to the benefits of built in search this can both eliminate waiting a turn to Evolve and does it from the deck, getting around Evolution blocking effects. 

Including all the options in Expanded play, there are many Espeon, Flareon, Glaceon, Leafeon, Sylveon, Umbreon and Vaporeon from which to choose, in addition to other Jolteon.  As stated earlier I am focused on set mates Flareon (XY: Ancient Origins 13/98) and Vaporeon (XY: Ancient Origins 22/98); again I’m not going to go into detail (yes, it bothers me as well) but just state that with all three of them a deck can attempt to exploit Fire, Lightning and Water Weakness, possibly trying to also capitalize upon the available support for those Types as well, though that takes up more deck space.  The mixed blessing of being a branching Evolution line is that you probably can only get so many Eeveelutions in play at once, but that because you share a Basic Stage when you only need to hit a particular Type this match-up, you can toss everything but the needed Eevee and Eeveelution. 

If there were more “cheats” for getting the other Eeveelutions into play (a few are naturally compatible with Archie’s Ace in the Hole), a purely Eeveelution based deck, give or take some attackers to cover the few Types Eeveelutions miss (Dragon, Fighting and Metal), would be tempting.  There are some other notable attackers among the Eeveelutions and one of them is Flareon (BW: Plasma Freeze 12/116); obviously it doesn’t need Flareon (XY: Ancient Origins 13/98) but is used for its “Vengeance” attack that costs only [CC] and does 20 damage plus 10 more for each Pokémon in your discard pile.  That makes it tempting to try and exploit Water Weakness and Lightning Weakness to (not quite) halve the amount of Pokémon needed in the discard pile to score OHKOs, with whatever “spare” Eeveelutions serving as discard fodder.  Seems like that is unnecessary though, as Flareon [Plasma] is strong enough without the trick, and the space is better spent on other cards that support its strategy.  The free Retreat Cost actually does matter, though only if the deck already lacks a “pivot” Pokémon to promote any time you just need something up front you can then quickly get out of the way, such as after something is KOed going into your turn. 

This Jolteon has some real potential in either Expanded or Standard, and has had some success in official tournament play… just not enough to eliminate nagging doubts (some Flareon [Plasma] decks did include it with at least one making top cut at a recent Regional Championship).  In Limited I would think it a valuable pull so long as you 

·         Pull at least one Eevee to go with it

·         Preferably pull a few other Stage 1 (and related Basic) cards

·         Don’t pull something like a Pokémon-EX far better suited to being your only Basic Pokémon in the entire deck, precluding you running Jolteon at all. 

In Limited play, the attack should prove much more useful, same for the Ability, and even the Retreat Cost to the point that either (and not just “both”) can justify working Jolteon into a deck, even as a 1-1. 


Standard: 3.25/5 

Expanded: 3.3/5 

Limited: 4.75/5 

Summary: As you can tell by the repetitiveness of the review (even though I resisted going into as much depth as I prefer), Jolteon probably should have been paired up with Flareon and Vaporeon as a “triple” review; unless one does go into my level of detail it isn’t overwhelming because the Eeveelutions of XY: Ancient Origins are all the same basic core, with the only major difference being what Type the Ability adds to Stage 1 Pokémon, though a few of the minor ones are also likely to prove relevant.  A good, concise review can hit all of that because so much of everything else is the same, or at least close enough too it.

Jolteon is an interesting addition to the game; maybe it will break something later on, maybe it is enjoying as much success as it will ever know, but it is definitely something to snag and experiment with, at least when it is convenient.

Emma Starr

            Today, we have a look at Jolteon, but we’ll also take a look at something else that really needs to be re-evaluated by TPCI. I’m sure many of you know what this will be about, but either way, reviewing Jolteon will come first.

            Just like Flareon and Vaporeon from this same set, Jolteon’s ability, Electric Effect, lets all of your Stage 1 Pokemon become Electric types, inaddition to the ones they already are. As such, this is obviously a nice way to deal with Shaymin EX, if you can drag it off the bench with say, Lysandre. Jolteon could even take it down himself, with his attack, Thunder Blast.

            Thunder Blast does 80 damage for one Electric, and Two Colorless, so a Lightning and DCE will get the job done, but really, you won’t want to use this unless you really need a way to get Shaymin EX or some other Lightning-weak Pokemon knocked out, while you have no other Electric types…or Stage 1s…ready to deal with the situation. It isn’t awful, as if he’s equipped with a Muscle Band it can 2HKO any non-Mega, non-Wailord Pokemon, but that energy discard can be rather pesky. As with the other Eeveelutions in this set, it also can work well with a Vespiquen deck, giving Vespiquen more typings, to be able to hit for weakness more, or just to be nice discard-fodder. 

            Standard: 2.5/5 (Neat effect, but you’re not only relying on one Stage 1, but possibly many. Speciffic decks such as Vespiquen can make good use of it though, but sadly, the effect doesn’t apply to Stage 2s…)

            Expanded: 2.5/5

            Limited: 1.5/5 (Can work in a Vespiquen deck, though it would obviously be much harder to make successful in this format…the only other good Electric Pokemon in this set are the Mega/Ampharos EX line, and the only good Stage 1 card that comes to mind is Volcarona (17/98). Not many things are weak to Electric either…) 

            …Alright, I don’t know if the other reviewers are going to bring up the elephant in the room, but I suppose I will. Many of you know that the PTCGO got an update. A rather major one. And it’s already universally-hated. I mean, just check the PTCGO reddit page. I didn’t read one good thing about it last night, but the devs are still saying only positive things about it, only to get down-voted into oblivion. What’s so bad, you ask? Well…

            The new card animations take way too long, are unskippable, and are unable to be turned off! This slows the game down to a crawl, and not from any sort of lag either. In fact, even though I’m complaining, I actually kept the animations on before the update, since they didn’t actually slow down the game at all. This, however, is pretty bad, as most people can agree. Surprisingly though, this is not my biggest gripe of the update, though.

            The UI got trashed. You can see your energies, but not lined up alongside your Pokemon, like they used to be. They are now just icons under your Pokemon. It gets the job done, but I don’t prefer it. An even more common grievance is that the Prize piles are now stacked in a single stack. …Yeah, let me know if that ever flies in an official event! I never ran Town Map, but I’m sure this would stop anyone from wanting to run it any more. What is in place of the Prize area? Your deck box. Now we know why there was an event for the Mega Gengar deck box last week, I guess…

            These gripes, though really bad, aren’t my main complaint, amazingly. Once you log in, you’ll see that you have a new Special Challenge: Defeat 12 Trainer Challenge trainers for 2 AO packs. Not bad, so far. I decide to get cracking on it, but then I realize – these new animations take FOREVER. Not only that, but I kid you not, the game stopped. Not froze, just stopped. In a single-player mode. The CPU wouldn’t do anything, I couldn’t concede, and I left the game up for 10 minutes, waiting for the CPU to do something. It didn’t. So, I had to manually get out of the PTCGO program and externally close it.

            What can we do about this? Simple – don’t log on. Show the TPCI that we want a UI rollback. I have a feeling that if they don’t do anything in a week, they may actually leave the game like this, and keep the UI the same as it is, and continue to ignore EVERYONE’S opinions as usual, and lose out on probably tons of money in the long run, especially with Breakthrough just coming out, and buying the massively-inflated packs to potentially trade or open online. So, for everyone’s sake, if possible, avoid logging on, even for the daily bonus, for everyone’s sake. Play another video game or something. It’ll take less long to make progress, I can almost guarantee you that.

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