Eelektrik – Noble Victories
Date Reviewed: June 10, 2021
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Eelektrik from BW Noble Victories is this week’s Throwback. It was first reviewed here. When it was released, it saw a good amount of play in specific decks. That is because of its Dynamotor ability, which lets you attach a Lightning energy from your discard pile onto one of your Benched Pokemon. This helps some Pokémon that has attack costs that involve Lightning or Colorless. And it also makes Lightning energies easy fodder that can be easily brought back!
Eelektrik can fit into any Lightning based decks unless there were alternative methods of energy acceleration. While it can support tons of Lightning or Colorless Pokémon, the Pokémon that was being supported the most was Rayquaza-EX from Black & White Dragons Exalted. The duo of Rayquaza/Eelektrik had formed an archetype called RayEels, and it was featured in at least one of the World Championship decks. The only world championship deck I can remember from the top of my head that used those cards was “Anguille Sous Roche” in 2014. The objective for RayEels was to load up as many Lightning energies as you can (ideally using all four Eelektrik) while having a basic Fire energy intact on Rayquaza-EX. Dragon Burst, will then, deal 240 damage while discarding all four Lightning energies, ready to be replenished. This was enough to OHKO anything in the game at the time; even Mega Evolutions are OHKOed when the right amount of discarded energies are made. Rotation did hurt Rayquaza as Eelektrik left the 2012-2013 modified format, though there was Emboar’s Inferno Fandango Ability which can accelerate Fire energies, so that’s not a total loss. But then both Emboar and Rayquaza-EX left the 2013-2014 rotation, though at the time the Expanded format was formed during that time. Which means RayEels can thrive on that format.
Time passes by and eventually the amount of energies needed to OHKO anything increased. For TAG TEAMs, you’ll need five energies, and for VMAX, you’ll need six energies. The investment is suddenly overwhelming. Not only you need all four Eelektrik in play but you also need to be lucky with your Max Elixir reveals. Maybe RayEels won’t be able to catch up…
…but it won’t be the end of RayEels. Instead, RayEels is evolving to something bigger and better! The reason for this Throwback is that there’s a Flaaffy card from Japanese’s Sky Stream expansion alongside Rayquaza VMAX which is a dragon type…yes, Dragons are making a return once more! Flaaffy has the same ability, with the same Electric Ball, with the same LLC, with the same HP that’s makes it searchable with Level Ball, and with the same retreat cost. Rayquaza VMAX is a Rapid Strike Pokémon with an ability and an attack. Sky High Wave ability lets you discard your hand and draw 3 cards while GMAX burst costs LC for 20 damage, though you can discard any number of fire or Lightning energies attached to it and it does 80 damage for each energy discarded. Discarding 4 energies is enough to OHKO the Max Hp printed on any VMAX. Since Rayquaza and Eeveelutions might be in Evolving Skies, Rayquaza VMAX might become my top pick of that set instead of Sylveon-V.
Eelektrik isn’t outclassed by Flaaffy as it does the same thing. So it’s up to personal preference in Expanded while Flaaffy is your only choice. Eelektrik will continue to be good in the Legacy format due to its past history. Unfortunately for the theme format, where it only appeared in the Escavalier Theme Deck of Noble Victories (forgot the name of the theme deck) where Lightning and Metal won’t flesh out well.
Standard: N/A (Due to Flaaffy, if Eelektrik were still legal, 3/5)
This review is sorta a half review of Eelektrik and the other half talking about a possible (or definite) resurgence of RayEels (or RaySheep). Rayquaza VMAX will be the next new face in the current competitive scene. If you don’t have any answers to Rayquaza, you’ve got a problem. If they OHKO two of your VMAXs, the game will be over!
Eelektrik (BW – Noble Victories 40/101) is our Throwback Thursday pick. Officially released November 16, 2011, making it legal for the 2012 and 2013 Standard Formats, and has been legal for all iterations of the Expanded Format. Eelektrik is a Stage 1 [L] type with 90 HP, [F] Weakness, no Resistance, Retreat Cost [CC], an Ability and an attack. The Ability, “Dynamotor” may be used once during your turn, before you attack. It lets you attach a [L] Energy from your discard pile to one of your Benched Pokémon. The attack, “Electric Ball”, costs [LLC] and does 50 damage. Dynamotor is what made Eelektrik so useful. Being Level Ball legal likely helped, and it certainly could have had a worse Retreat Cost… but everything else was mostly neutral or relatively unimportant.
As the middle Stage in an evolution line, Eelektrik received some help from the rest of its line, but not where you’d expect it. Tynamo are tiny in terms of HP; some have the minimum printed amount of 30, and the rest just have 40. They’re all Basic, [L] Pokémon with [F] Weakness and knowing a single attack. Tynamo released as part of the XY- and SM-series have -20 [M] Resistance, the rest have none. All but Tynamo (BW – Noble Victories 39/101) have a printed Retreat Cost of [C]; it has a perfect free Retreat, but is one of the 30 HP versions. The current, newest Tynamo (SW – Vivid Voltage 057/185) has an Ability that zeroes out its Retreat Cost if has any Energy attached. Tynamo (BW – Noble Victories 39/101) for its retreat cost and Tynamo (BW – Noble Victories 38/101) for its attack are what actually saw competitive success. The latter is simply because there were times attacking for 10 with a chance to Paralyze, even priced at [L], was a lifesaver. This was, after all, a time when Turn 1 attacks and Supporters were a thing!
On the Stage 2 front is where this Evolution line has always been lacking. None of the Eelektross have been particularly good. They’re all Stage 2 [L] types with at least 140 HP, [F] Weakness, Retreat Cost [CCC] and two effects; either two attacks or an Ability and attack. Again, those released during the XY- or SM-eras enjoy -20 [M] Resistance. Eelektrik (BW – Plasma Blast 33/101) has an attack called “Crash and Burn”, priced at [LC], does 30 damage per Energy you discard from your Pokémon. It also was as Team Plasma Pokémon. Eelektross (XY – Primal Clash 65/160) has an Ability (“Energy Connect”) that lets you move a basic Energy card from your Benched Pokémon to your Active. Eelektross (SM – Unified Minds 66/236) has the “Electric Swamp” Ability that lets you field it directly from your hand if you have at least four [L] Energy already in play, and you then can move any number of [L] Energy from your other Pokémon to itself. Plus it has 150 HP.
Some of the Eelektross look like they work well with today’s Eelektrik, but historically it didn’t pan out; the decks were better off skipping Eelektross, or maybe included a copy as TecH. If it wasn’t clear by me skipping over them, none of the other Eelektrik cards themselves were ever or are currently worth running. What was run with Eelektrik were some great attackers. Some builds were all about using fellow [L] types, others used it to fuel [L] Energy using attackers like Mewtwo-EX (BW – Next Destinies 54/99, 98/99; BW – Black Star Promos BW45; BW – Legendary Treasures 54/113) and/or Rayquaza-EX (BW – Dragons Exalted 85/124, 123/124; BW – Black Star Promos BW47). In fact, we have two World Championship decks as examples:
- Eeltwo (Senior Division World Champion, 2012)
- Anguille Sous Roche (Senior Division Runner-Up, 2013)
Eelektrik decks haven’t been worth it in Expanded for a while but that can easily change with a new, modern attacker. The Ability is still great, but when you don’t have anything that can use it well, then Dynamotor (and many similar Abilities) stop seeing play. The Legacy Format does not have that problem, at least, last time I checked (and it has been quite a while, I confess). Dynamotor decks aren’t the top deck, or probably among the top competitive decks, but they are still among the competitive decks. The budget variety is also one of the easier Legacy decks to build; you can snag Eelektrik from the “Furious Knights” Theme Deck. As for the Theme Format… Eelektrik is still great, but the rest of the deck isn’t.
How about the future? We’re going to get into SPOILER territory, so skip to the Ratings if you don’t want to know what is coming down the road… if there is anything at all. Yeah, “Spoiler Warnings” can be a pain like that, as sometimes there being nothing still counts as a spoiler. Okay, everyone here okay with knowing what has already been revealed in Japan? Eelektrik is not getting a reprint, but it we’re getting something that is almost totally identical to it. Still a 90 HP, Stage 1 [L] Pokémon with [F] Weakness, no Resistance, Retreat Cost [CC], the Ability Dynamotor, and the attack “Eeletric Ball”, all working as they did in the past. The difference is that it isn’t an Eelektrik, but a Flaaffy card! This could be rather significant, or it might hardly matter. Past, present, and future Mareep and Ampharos cards will determine that. With future attackers like Rayquaza VMAX, prepare for some deja vu.
- Standard: N/A
- Expanded: 2/5
- Legacy: 3/5
- Theme: 3/5
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