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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


Top 10 New Pokemon Cards of 2016

#9 - Jolteon EX

- XY Generations

Date Reviewed:
Dec. 20, 2016

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 3.58
Expanded: 3.5
Limited: 4.25

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

Back to the main COTD Page


One of the most hyped cards to come out of the Generations booster set and one that would see a lot of play as a result, Jolteon-EX has become infamous for blocking off the attacks from any Basic Pokemon - which includes those pesky Pokemon-EX! 

He has been rather influential since his release, and while there's another Eeveelution with a similar effect on their attack (Glaceon-EX), Jolteon-EX is the one that has been relevant in more formats. Not just because of its longevity, mind you, but keep in mind that Night March and Volcanion decks run a lot of Basic Pokemon too - meaning Jolteon-EX had the potential to counteract those decks pretty easily. 

That being said, Glaceon-EX does have its own advantages against certain decks, and I predict that given the upcoming GX cards she'll end up seeing some play, but Jolteon-EX will still be very relevant. After all, not all GX cards are Basics like Snorlax GX! Expect to see more of these guys in the future~


Standard: 3.5/5 (Jolteon-EX has a long and promising future ahead of him)

Expanded: 3.5/5 (but like Glaceon-EX, he's sure to see some rises and falls based on what's popular) 

Limited: 4.5/5 (Basics are dominant forces, but who knows when Evolutions will get their own boost? And no, BREAK Evos aren't the only ways) 

Arora Notealus: Jolteon-EX will definitely have his own role to play in the next couple of years or so that he's in Standard. I'm sure this won't be the last we see of him. 

Next Time: Dark shadows rise once again... in their own way.


After having Monday off, we resume our countdown of the top 10 cards of 2016, as determined by averaging out the individual Top 10s of we CotD reviewers.  So our number nine pick is Jolteon-EX (Generations 28/83).  You know I just love doing countdowns like this, so even when a set is mostly a nostalgia bomb filled with reprints like Generations was, we went ahead and did a top three countdown, Jolteon-EX was our number one pick.  Even though it topped neither aroramage’s nor my own personal top picks list for Generations, this last year has proven it deserved the title… and yes that is a small spoiler as while the handful of new cards in Generations proved better than I had expected, none ranked higher than Jolteon-EX for this countdown.  I would normally avoid such things, but I really do want to give Jolteon-EX it’s due before I delve into why it has proven so good a card. 

This will very much resemble my normal breakdown of a card, because Jolteon-EX ended up being a textbook example of why I review cards in such a manner.  Jolteon-EX is a Lightning Type and this is probably the third most relevant reason for its success.  The fact that almost no specific anti-Lightning Type effects exist in either Expanded or Standard play, and that Resistance is confined to some of the BW-era Fighting Types is worth mentioning in brief, as technically they are a small part of what has helped Jolteon-EX to prosper.  More relevant but still something Jolteon-EX may have managed without is the small bit of Lightning Type specific support, the more robust bit of general Lightning Type related support.  The big thing, though, is that exploiting Lightning Weakness has been, is, and likely will remain huge; Yveltal-EX and Shaymin-EX (XY: Roaring Skies 77/101, 106/108) are just the two most well known of multiple other Lightning Weak prominent Pokémon.  Tied with the next most important reason for this card’s success is its status as a Basic Pokémon; any other Stage and it wouldn’t be as handy to fit into decks, as fast onto the field, or enjoying the many other advantages of its Stage.  The other most important reason (enough that even I can break my usual review pattern) is the second attack on Jolteon-EX; “Flash Ray” has a reasonable (though not universally easy to meet) cost of [LCC] to do a respectable 70 damage while placing a magnificent protective effect on Jolteon-EX itself; immunity to the damage done by the attacks of Basic Pokémon during your opponent’s next turn.  That isn’t the entire metagame, but it does apply to most of the best attackers. 

Other relevant (but not always in a good way) aspects of Jolteon-EX are that it is a Pokémon-EX and all that entails; most Jolteon are Stage 1 cards with less HP, but they also aren’t worth two Prizes when KO’d, and have to deal with detrimental effects that target Pokémon-EX or beneficial ones that exclude them.  Still, the trade most definitely worked in this card’s favor since - again - if Jolteon-EX had not been a Basic Pokémon, it just wouldn’t have worked.  The 160 HP is 10 below the typical range of Basic Pokémon-EX, but not crippling, still surviving many attacks.  The Fighting Weakness is somewhat mitigated by Flash Ray, but when Jolteon-EX isn’t protected it is almost certainly a OHKO for Fighting Type attackers.  Metal Resistance isn’t hugely important, but it is appreciated as the Metal Type did have some successes over the year.  The free Retreat Cost is perfect and while it wasn’t necessary for this card’s success, it most definitely contributed.  To a far lesser degree, so too did the one other attack on Jolteon-EX, “Swift” for [L].  30 damage for a single Energy is good, and while the effect of Swift prevented it from exploiting Weakness (no small thing) it also meant the card could chip away at other blockers because it ignored Resistance and all other effects on the opponent’s Active as well. 

So while Jolteon-EX hasn’t been everywhere, decks that could prep it quickly enjoyed an attack-effect based tank, able to soak hits easily while still dealing out a decent bit of damage.  Until the release of Pokémon Ranger, your typical Night March deck didn’t have a good answer to Flash Ray if the Jolteon-EX player didn’t have something on the Bench, and even if they did the answer was simply to use Lysandre or Escape Rope to force up an unprotected target.  Of course decks like Night March with Vespiquen (XY: Ancient Origins 10/98) could rely on the latter and indeed, some of the other Basic focused decks made sure to pack an optional Evolution to help deal with Flash Ray.  Jolteon-EX was sometimes is teamed with other protected Pokémon in their own deck, while other times they were just slipped in for the combination of denying Basic attackers and exploiting Lightning Weakness.   With Yveltal-EX and Shaymin-EX as major players still in both formats, plus Volcanion-EX decks in Standard and just about every Basic focused deck in Expanded, Jolteon-EX remains and likely will continue to remain an important card in both Expanded and Standard play.  On the off chance you can get enough Generations boosters to run a Limited event, Jolteon-EX seems promising for the format.  Most decks are going to have Evolved attackers, but the caveat is that there are four Prizes and any Basics used as fodder won’t be able to touch Jolteon-EX after Flash Ray gets going.  With just four Prizes, that is enough to justify slipping Jolteon-EX into almost any deck even if you have to add a few Lightning Energy cards to do it… and maybe even enough to risk running Jolteon-EX completely on its own. 


Standard: 3.65/5 

Expanded: 3.5/5 

Limited: 4/5 

Summary: Jolteon-EX lost a little since its release but walling against Basic Pokémon while exploiting Lightning Weakness means it remains strong.  So why isn’t it higher on our top 10?  Too much competition; Jolteon-EX earned six voting points so it actually was part of a threeway tie that filled 11th through 9th place.  The qualifiers for 7th and 8th place each only had seven voting points, while 6th place only had eight; it isn’t until we hit 5th place that we’ll see a significant jump in points.  Jolteon-EX was my personal 11th place pick, nearly having made my own list, so even though that crowds out another card I thought deserved to make the top 10, I am still happy to see it here. 

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