– Noble Victories
May 28, 2020
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
With new lightning related cards just debuted on Rebel Clash such as Speed Lightning Energy and/or Boltund-V, I figured we take a couple steps back of time to look at one of cards that we used to use: Eelectrik from Noble Victories!
I used to think that whenever it takes a lot to bring out a Stage 2, whether it be Rare Candy or manually evolving, that it should be worth the while. That was almost never the case for years, with gimmicks like Basic EX, Basic GX, Basic-V, and more doing far superior than single prize Stage 2s due to being efficient despite the risk. But let’s put those mechanics aside. I remember being realistic about my Rare Candy review maybe a month or two ago, and not every deck needs to use Rare Candy. There were some Stage 1s that were extremely useful despite being able to evolve into their stage 2 counterpart, and today’s card is one of them.
With 90 HP, it is searchable with Level Ball, and it has an ability called Dynamotor, which puts a Lightning energy from your discard pile onto 1 of your Benched Pokemon. If you have multiple of Eelectrik in play, then you can get to use that many abilities. This greatly helps accelerate energy while recovering energy cards in the process, and it has been used in decks needing Lightning energy to meet the attack costs that involve Lightning or Colorless energies. Ranging from Mewtwo-EX’s X Ball, Tornadus-EX’s Power Blast, Zekrom’s Bolt Strike, to Zeraora-GX, Pikarom, and Boltund-V, there’s no shortage of who it can support.
Perhaps the things that keep Eelectrik in check – as well as Bronzong PHF and/or Malamar FBL – is ability lock, fragility, and having to wait a turn to evolve. Eelectrik might still see some play in Expanded if other Lightning based support aren’t worthwhile, but Legacy doesn’t have much Lightning support…and Eelectrik fits the bill there. The no-attacking first turn coupled with Pokémon Catcher’s unreliability makes those 40 HP Tynamo safer than before. Eelectrik also appears in the Escavalier Theme Deck in Noble Victories, but because that theme deck uses a hybrid Lightning/Metal Energy, coupled with lack of good trainers, it won’t be too useful there.
Conclusion: Based on past history, Eelektrik will continue to see play in formats where it’s still legal. I am surprised that, in terms of scoring, Otaku has thought the same, but he actually got all the card’s past history covered, so it somewhat relieves me from going through all the sources as I have been somewhat busy over the past month or two, too busy to not even have time to give insight to most of the cards from the Sword/Shield era.
So, remember how I said evolving Basics needed to do more for their later Stages? The same is true of Stage 1 Pokémon as well, but Eelektrik (BW – Noble Victories 40/101) takes it a bit too far… or not far enough, because it was great Lightning Energy support for years. A quick check over at LimitlessTCG showed me Eelektrik backed decks placing well as recently as November of 2016. Eelektrik can be found two World Championship decks from the period when it was Standard-legal:
It was a good enough card that it was included in the Rayquaza-EX portion of the Battle Arena Decks: Keldeo Vs Rayquaza release. So, what happened?
First, let us run through the card. Eelektrik released (along with the rest of BW – Destinies) officially on November 16, 2011. It’s a Stage 1 [L] Type Pokémon with 90 HP, [F] Weakness, no Resistance, and a Retreat Cost of [CC]. Its Ability is “Dynamotor”, which can be used once per turn per instance of it to attach a basic Lightning Energy from your discard pile to one of your Benched Pokémon. It doesn’t specify “basic”, but that is all that counts as [L] in the discard pile. [LLC] covers the cost of its “Electric Ball” attack, which does 50 damage.
Eelektrik is all about the Ability, which means its Typing doesn’t really matter now in Expanded, nor was it really a concern back in the day. Yes, there’s Weakness, Resistance, support, and even some counters for the [L] Type, but that isn’t likely a concern for what is a confirmed Bench-sitter. Its 90 HP has become easier and easier to OHKO over the years, but it was already a probable OHKO to begin with, so that isn’t saying much. It is nice that it can make use of Level Ball, however.
[F] Weakness might be a tad safer now than in the past, simply because I don’t know if there is currently enough strong [F] Type attackers tearing it up in Expanded at the moment. Plus, with overall damage output rising, even the [F] Types are less likely to need to exploit Weakness to score the KO. In the past, we had strong [F] Types and received more a few sets after Eelektrik, so it was a concern. No Resistance has gone from being typical on [L] Types to rare and back to Typical and… it would barely matter if some were there. A Retreat Cost of [CC] is decent; it mostly matters for those times your opponent isn’t hitting hard and tries to strand Eelektrik. Which isn’t an overly common occurrence.
It should come as little surprise that Dynamotor then was about as good as the “Psychic Recharge” Ability on Malamar (SM – Forbidden Light 51/131; SM – Black Star Promos SM117; Shiny Vault SV18/SV94) has been over the last few years. This may not bode well for Malamar, and between the two we have another similar-but-for-a-different-Type Pokémon and Ability in the form of Bronzong (XY – Phantom Forces 61/119; XY – Black Star Promos XY21). It also hasn’t seen any real success since a few months before Eelektrik, even though it is newer!
We may be due another one; we seem to receive them once-per-TCG generation. That is one of the things that contributes to the decline of the older Stage 1 Pokémon that have a once-per-turn-per-instance Ability for attaching a Basic Energy of their Type to one of your Benched Pokémon. Though it didn’t quite take hold with Bronzong, so I’m probably missing something. Benching a few Stage 1 Pokémon can give you easy, reusable Energy acceleration for an entire game, while Benching a lot can help with truly Energy hungry decks. It is a bit of a surprise that all three of these aren’t behind contemporary Expanded Format decks.
I guess, at least pre-Rebel Clash, we didn’t have the right kind of [L] Energy using attacker to work with it. That may have changed now with Boltund V, or maybe the various alternatives to Eelektrik for [L] decks will remain the better choice. Even if that is the case, though, the deck will have to contend with strong Ability and Item-denial decks. Maybe even some that can do both at once, or maybe I don’t want to admit that Galarian Weezing seems to be doing nada in Standard, may never do anything in Standard, and may continue doing nothing in Expanded. I’m not sure, but were Eelektrik itself reprinted for Standard, I think it’d be really good, like four-out-of-five. Maybe not right away, but for sure after [L] decks are reeling from the next rotation.
In the incredibly unlikely event you’re using BW – Noble Victories boosters for a Limited Format tournament, yeah, this is a great pull; even a 1-1 line means you ought to make your deck part [L]. I’m mostly guessing when it comes to the Legacy Format, as I haven’t played a match in far too long there, but even if no Eelektrik decks are currently strong, they have been in the past and have a reasonable chance of regaining it in the future, if only because of shifting deck choices. In the Theme Format, this Eelektrik can be found in the “Furious Knights” and “Basic Yellow” Theme Decks. These decks are very old, and drag down Eelektrik’s score as they just don’t compare to modern Theme Decks.
Because of past performance and continuing potential, I’ve got to score Eeletrik pretty well in all the Formats where it is legal. If it were in a modern-style Theme Deck, it would likely be a four-out-of-five, unless this hypothetical deck was very poorly made. So, if you don’t own a playset of Eelektrik and you play in Expanded, you probably should remedy that situation. If the latest [L] support doesn’t give Eelektrik decks a jolt, it probably just means the deck will experience a resurgence “later” rather than “sooner”.
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