– Lost Thunder
July 26, 2020
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Electropower (SM – Lost Thunder 172/214, 172a/214, 232/214) is a Trainer-Item that provides a +30 bonus to the damage done by the attacks of your [L] Pokémon, though only for the turn it was played. You can read our original review here, where we said it was the 8th best card of its set. While not as useful as a permanent bonus, this is still a valuable option for most [L] decks; make a few attacks at +30 damage, make a single attack at up to +120 (if you can run and play all four in a single turn)… even if you don’t actually use them, just the threat of using them can benefit you. There’s even an Item – Electrocharger – capable of recycling copies of Electropower from discard pile to deck… but it doesn’t see much use because it requires coin flips to work.
Electropower’s use in Pikachu & Zekrom-GX decks easily explains it making our countdown but wait! There is more! I’m not talking about something we already have, but a card we’re receiving in our next set. Vikavolt V is a 210 HP Basic Pokémon V with an attack for [LC] that does 50 damage while preventing your opponent from playing Item cards from their hand during your next turn. This makes it essentially an updated Seismitoad-EX. If you’re not familiar with Seismitoad-EX, we don’t have everything that made it a phenomenal deck when it first released, but we have enough. Electropower just would have made it more vicious.
If you’re really green and don’t understand why losing Items is such a big deal when you still have Pokémon-based effects, non-Item Trainers, and Energy… what cards do most decks use to get the rest? Right, Item-cards. You’ll have one turn to use them without interference, probably Turn 1 so you have access to them without your Supporters or the capacity to attack. Then this big, bad bug will slowly zap you while setting up its own field and/or using other cards to tear down what you can manage without Items. Yeah, I am not upset that Electropower is rotating; but that doesn’t change that it is still one of the best cards we’re losing.
In Expanded, I expect Electropower to see play similar to what it already has been seeing. I don’t know if Pikachu & Zekrom-GX are still seeing play in Expanded, but Electropower still has Night March; with rising HP scores, Might March needs Electropower to enable Joltik (XY – Phantom Forces 26/119) to OHKO the modern Pokémon outside of Night March’s previous damage cap. I won’t assume Electropower is a staple here but that is because Item-lock is a prominent strategy. As for the Limited Format, if you pull any even half-decent [L] attackers, run Electropower; as long as its timing isn’t terrible, showing up when you can’t play it or when +30 won’t make a difference, it should really help you out!
Remember that rank in a countdown does not always directly correlate to a cards Ratings. Electropower great for [L] attackers, and useless without them. If Electropower doesn’t shave at least a turn off of how long it takes to score a KO, it isn’t making a practical difference. It is possible Pikarom decks won’t remain viable post-rotation, due to the other cards they’re losing, and I’m totally wrong about Vikavolt V, but Electropower was good enough I had it as my 4th-place pick. Shock of shocks; I’m not confident that it shouldn’t be a little lower… but 13th-place seems too low.
Electropower from SM Lost Thunder…didn’t make it on my personal list, not because the effect is bad or anything (it’s actually pretty good), but because of fearing that I’m being redundant on listing cards that support the same type. If I were to include Electropower, Thunder Mountain (which I did put that on the list), Volkner, and Zeraora-GX on my list, then my list would probably go beyond 15 cards, so I try to pick one of each type specific support instead of everything, as I feel that Thunder Mountain has higher utility than the other two.
But anyways, back to Electropower, which also happens to be the 8th best card of the set (https://www.pojo.com/electropower-8-top-10-pokemon-cards-of-sm-lost-thunder/). This is an item card which makes Lightning Pokemon deal 30 more damage until the end of your turn. This offsets resistance found on much older cards, as it still does 10 more damage even after the -20, and since it applies before weakness, it’s be +60 against ones who are weak to Lightning (and all Sword & Shield Water Pokemon and some Colorless Pokemon that represent the flying type are weak to Lightning). Since this effect stacks based on how many of those you’ve played from your hand, the amount of damage boost eventually becomes good enough to land OHKOs. Despite having up to 4 Electropower in a deck, if you have anything to bring back item cards from the discard pile, then you’ll definitely gonna use it more than four times in a match!
So having a damage boosting card is nice, but it is not always a good thing. If you fail to OHKO a specific target, then you’ve just wasted resources, and your opponent gets a chance to scoop up damaged pokemon, as if your used Electropower didn’t exist. It’s also not a good idea to use it if your base damage already lands OHKO territory, so you should save it for later. I think it is good for thinning your hand so that cards like Cynthia or the upcoming Crobat-V will have higher draw yields, even if the damage boost is meaningless (assuming you ran a deck without Lightning Pokémon, but at this point, wouldn’t you want to use something else?). But still, losing Electropower hurts Lightning decks; they’ll be stuck with their base damage outside of Vitality Band, and that takes up your tool slot for just 10 extra damage.
Electropower will continue to see play in a Expanded for a select few decks because these types of decks will run a full four while most decks see no point on using it. There’s no shortage of Lightning Pokémon (regardless of how many prizes it gives up, ranging from Plusle SHL to PikaRom) that will love the boosting effect, and it can be easily searched by Volkner, which also leaves Standard. For Limited, it is also a great pull unless you lack any Lightning attackers.
Boy oh boy, now this one is a shocker!
…I make no promises about the number of electric puns to happen. I also have no regrets.
Electropower definitely lights up any Lightning deck with a jolt of energy that increases the damage Lightning Pokemon do by 30. It’s basically like a Strong Energy kick for a single turn, though it doesn’t provide the actual Energy needed for an attack. Still, 30 damage has been noticeably proven to be a GREAT amount of extra damage to stack on, and what better way to stack it on than an Electric Pokemon?
When it came out with Lost Thunder, Electropower was definitely the big reason to play Lightning decks, but arguably more so than Metal decks, they weren’t really played because of Buzzwole-GX. Within a few months though, it gets a great powerhouse in the form of Pikachu & Zekrom-GX, which dominated the scene the moment it came out and has held on to its foothold in the metagame since that time. In fact, the deck has recently pushed up back into the #1 spot again, surpassing the power of Zacian-V! At least…for the moment.
Electropower isn’t the only big Lightning support from the set, but it’s definitely going to be the most impactful leaving it. Chances are that once the rotation hits, Pikachu & Zekrom-GX might not maintain its dominant neck-and-neck with Zacian-V and may fall notably behind. We’ll have to wait and see though!
Standard: N/A (definitely brings the voltage needed for battle)
Expanded: 4/5 (I think it’ll remain a staple in Lightning decks here in this format)
Limited: 4/5 (if you’ve got Lightning Pokemon, it’s good!)
Arora Notealus: Electropower charged up Lightning decks with an intense jolt, letting them power up and get juiced with raw power! It’s definitely something a lot of people wouldn’t know watt to do with if they weren’t prepared…or at least packing some Fighting-Types to ground them better.
Next Time: There’s been a lot of research, but we’re finally shutting it down…
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