– Unified Minds
September 13, 2020
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
I believe this COTD is a fan request? Very well, I’ll try my best in regards to what I think about this card.
So, Eelektross from Sun & Moon Unified Minds has an unique Ability that could have some potential. It’s Electric Swamp states that if this Pokemon is in your hand and you have at least four Lightning energies in play, you can play this card from your hand onto your Bench AND move any number of Lightning Energies from your other Pokemon to this Pokemon. That means you won’t need to have any Tynamo and Eelektrik in your deck, though at the risk of being a useless card if you didn’t have four Lightning Energies in play and/or abilities being offline (yes, even cards in your hand has no Ability due to effects from BW Dragons Exalted or XY BreakPoint Garbodor’s Garbotoxin ability or XY Breakpoint Greninja’s Shadow Stitching attack). Although having four Lightning Energies on the board might not be easy, Tapu Koko (*) eases the pain a little, though even with manual attachment on top of it is not enough to have four energy on board.
Moving those energies to Eelektross is also useful because that means it will be able to use it’s Hover Over attack, which cost LCCC for 130 damage and that the Defending Pokemon cannot retreat on their next turn. Depending on what the Defending Pokemon is, it could be good or not good. Good if the Defending Pokemon has no energy to attack; Bad if they’re already prepared or if the opponent used switching related cards to bypass the effect. The damage is not enough to achieve 2HKOs or OHKOs in the Standard Format, and Electropower is an Expanded legal option which could potentially achieve OHKOs depending on how many Electropowers you’ve used during your turn. Speaking about 30 extra damage…
…we may be getting a Supporter card named Leon, which is on the next set that could let any Pokemon deal 30 extra damage to the Defending Pokemon. Because he is a Supporter card, you can only benefit from that effect once during your turn unless you used Lt. Surge’s Strategy to bypass the amount of Supporters you can use. So let’s say that you used Leon during your turn. Hover Over will do 160 damage, which combined with 2x Weakness found on most Water and Colorless types, could achieve an OHKO to those who are weak to Lightning. Lapras V-MAX and Salamence V-MAX – just to name a few – will be OHKOed by a boosted Hover Over and you get to take three prizes!!!
So yeah, Eelektross can somewhat be easy to play without the lower stages as long as there’s sufficient Lightning based support (which is plentiful in Expanded), but it doesn’t have the raw power to pierce through much bulkier Pokemon. Maybe if it did more damage to begin with, it would be worth using. Now? It seems like you need extra investment to achieve certain numbers.
Today’s subject was a fan request: Eelektross (SM – Unified Mind 66/236)! This is a [L] type, which means it took a hit from rotation a few weeks ago, but still enjoys a few tricks. It also hits most new [W] types for Weakness, which might finally start to matter if Frosmoth/Inteleon VMAX decks stick the landing. The big concern is that Eelektross is a Stage 2 Pokémon, but let’s come back to that later. 150 HP is a tiny bit more likely to survive a hit than be OHKO’d. [F] Weakness is dangerous, but we’ll have to wait and see if some decks emerge to take advantage of it. If the Players Cup Finals predict the metagame for the next few months, then that -20 Resistance might actually be handy. That Retreat Cost of [CCC] is the worst right now – too high for Air Balloon to zero out, too low for Buff Padding to up your HP.
Eelektross has the Ability “Electric Swamp” and the attack “Hover Over”. Electric Swamp can only be used once during your turn, before you attack or do anything else that ends your turn upon resolution. If you
you can Bench Elektross and move any amount of [L] Energy you want from your other Pokémon to Eelektross. This means you do not have to evolve from Tynamo or Eelektrik, and it means Eelektross could theoretically hit the field Turn 1… if you manage to get four Lightning Energy onto your field. The same is true of Turn 2. Turn 3+, however, and it should be somewhat reasonable, at least for things like the old Pikachu & Zekrom-GX deck, which may or may not still exist in Standard.
The thing is, Eelektross needs to be worth using to attack, so what does Hover Over do? For [LCCC] it does 130 damage while preventing the Defending Pokémon from manually retreating next turn. While the effect fits with Eelektross lore, and while [LCCC] would normally be a good thing, it misses the point here. Eelektross needs [LLLL] in play to use its Ability, and it isn’t worth using outside of that Ability. Sure, on rare occasions, it might be better to move fewer than four Lightning Energy to Eelektross, but you really shouldn’t drop it if you aren’t going to attack with it that turn. Not a lot of [L] decks currently run stuff like Triple Acceleration Energy, so… yeah, you’re going to be attaching [LLLL] most of the time, and that price would justify hitting harder and/or having a better effect. 130 damage is just barely enough, and the effect is okay…
…but I’d rather Hover Over was some vanilla attack that did 10 more damage. Why? Then Eelektross would become [L] decks counter for Decidueye (SW – Darkness Ablaze 013/189; SW – Black Star Promos SWSH035) decks. It still can be, but you’ll need to tack on a damage buff, and Electropower is no more (in Standard). The other catch is that, provided the [L] deck in question still has some Energy acceleration, it maybe better off just using Zeraora (SM – Unbroken Bonds 60/214) or needing two turns of attacking with Zapdos (SM – Team Up 40/181; SM – Black Star Promos SM159). Or maybe not; Zeraora discards all of its attached [L] Energy each time it uses its “Discharge” attack, while Zapdos has to 2HKO Decidueye.
In Expanded, you do have more options, but also more combos and competition. This is not a net positive for Eelektross. It isn’t worthless, but it is currently a hypothetical niche card, and this time that isn’t enough for any points. In the Limited Format, unless you’re running a mulligan build or just can’t include at least five [L] Energy, run this. Yes, one over the minimum, and that’s still cutting it far too close for my personal tastes. It might take a little luck to get four Lightning Energy in play, but when it happens, you can surprise your opponent by “salvaging” Energy from stuff hiding on the Bench, then start attacking with Eelektross. Its HP, damage output, and attack effect are also better in this Format.
Here I was worried we were going to disappoint the fan who requested this… and I suppose we may have, but Eelektross has a lot more going for it than I realized. Soon to be even more given we’ve got an Altaria coming soon that has the same Ability as Decidueye. I don’t expect that card to have a deck built around it, but if you just need a wall and not an attacker, it is a Stage 1 to do the same thing as a Stage 2. It doesn’t have Decidueye’s HP, which won’t matter against Pokémon-GX or Pokémon V, but is good… for Eelektross.
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