Electabuzz – Battle Styles

Date Reviewed:  June 5, 2021

Ratings Summary:
Standard: 2.00
Expanded: 2.00

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

Reviews Below:

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Electabuzz (SW – Battle Styles 044/163) is a Basic, [L] Pokémon with 80 HP, [F] Weakness, no Resistance, Retreat Cost [CC], and the attack “Haymaker”.  Priced at [L], Haymaker does 30 damage but during your next turn, this Pokémon cannot use Haymaker.  Electabuzz has no Battle Style or other gimmick, though it can evolve into Electivire.  So, why are we looking at it?  Just for the attack name.  “Haymaker” is the name of one of – if not the – first dominant deck in the PTCG metagame.  I don’t have access to the original Haymaker list, but if the lore behind it is true, it might predate the TCG.  How?  Because it was supposedly designed by a Magic: The Gathering player for his kid, and was done simply by looking at translations of the Japanese cards we’d be getting in Base Set.

That is actually why the deck was named Haymaker.  A haymaker is a forceful blow in American English, and the translation for Hitmonchan (Base Set 7/102; Base Set 2 8/130; Best of Game 2; Platinum 129/127) had his “Special Punch” attack as “Haymaker”.  The earliest version of the deck with which I am familiar featured said Hitmonchan, Electabuzz (Base Set 20/102; Base Set 2 24/130; Best of Game 1; Platinum 128/127), Farfetch’d (Base Set 27/102; Base Set 2 40/130), and Machop (Base Set 52/102; Base Set 2 78/130).  All of them had solid single Energy attacks, and all but Machop had decent-to-very-good multi-Energy attacks.  Between PlusPower and exploiting Weakness, the deck could hit hard and fast!

Fast-forward to the present day.  This Electabuzz has decent HP for an evolving Basic, and does decent damage for a single Energy.  Should you build a deck around it?  No!  Even if you build a deck in Standard around one of the legal Electivire cards, Electabuzz (SW – Rebel Clash 058/192) has 90 HP, with the other stats being the same.  It has two attacks, with “Knuckle” priced at [C] and doing 10 damage, while “Electro Slug” requires [LLC] and does 70.  Worst attacks, but Haymaker isn’t all that good, so the +10 HP may be worth it.  In Expanded, I’d favor Electabuzz (XY – Evolutions 41/108).  It is an homage to the original Electabuzz of Base Set, just slightly tweaked.

This Expanded-only Electabuzz has just 70 HP, but for [L] it can use “Thunder Shock” to do 10 and flip to Paralyze, while [LC] lets its “Thunder Punch” do 30 with a flip to either do +10 or else do 10 to itself.  If you’re running things like Electropower, Tapu Koko {*}, and Thunder Mountain {*}, Thunder Punch can be accessed immediately and to 30 or 40 before upping that with Electropower.  So today’s Electabuzz isn’t hitting harder.  When things go south, though, and you need to stall, this one has Thunder Shock.  If you’re not worried about that but you are worried about HP, then today’s makes sense to have 10 more HP and no self-damage.

I wasn’t kidding when I said we reviewed today’s Electabuzz just because of the attack’s name, but it turns out the other available Electabuzz aren’t that great.  So it still turns in an incredibly niche but technically decent performance.  Thus receiving charitable and generous….


  • Standard: 2.00
  • Expanded: 2.00

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