Elemental Badge – Evolving Skies
Date Reviewed: September 22, 2021
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Remember how we reviewed Snow Leaf Badge, a Tool designed specifically for the Pokémon V (including VMAX) versions of Glaceon and Leafeon? They weren’t the only Eeveelutions to get such a deal. The Gen I Eeveelutions have Elemental Badge (SW – Evolving Skies 147/203). So, while any Pokémon can equip Elemental Badge, the effect is worded so that it only applies to Pokémon V with Flareon, Jolteon, or Vaporeon in their name. In case there was any doubt, remember that “Pokémon V” includes Basic Pokémon V and Pokémon VMAX. So, what does Elemental Badge do for these Pokémon? The equipped Gen I Eeveelution V/VMAX pays [C] less to use its attacks.
Reducing attack costs is a form of Energy acceleration, letting you use your bigger attacks sooner. It could be awesome if it makes some key attack a bargain, or it could be largely useless if the attacks lack [C] costs, or just still have awkward costs after. I won’t be going into too much depth, but we’ll take a quick look at what it can do for the Gen I Eeveelution V cards.
- Flareon V (SW – Evolving Skies 169/203; SW – Black Star Promos SWSH149) knows two attacks. “Flaming Breath” costs [C], does 20, and searches your deck for a [R] Energy then attach it to the attacking Flareon V. For [RRC], Flareon V can use “Scorching Column” to do 120 damage, plus Burn. So Elemental Badge allows Flareon V to attack for free, attach one [R] Energy to itself, so that next turn a single manual attachment readies Scorching Column.
- Flareon VMAX (SW – Evolving Skies 018/203) has the attack “Max Detonate”. For [RCC], it has you discard the top five cards of your deck, doing 100 damage per Energy card discarded in this manner. [RC] isn’t significantly easier to pay than RCC, but a similar combo emerges as with Flareon V. Active Flareon V uses Flaming Breath after manually attaching to a Benched Flareon V. Next turn, if your Active Flareon V isn’t too badly injured, evolve into Flareon VMAX and manually attach another Enregy. If it is too badly injured, use a Switch or the like to bring up the Benched Flareon V, then evolve it into Flareon VMAX and attach another Energy.
- Jolteon V (SW – Evolving Skies 177/203; SWSH – Black Star Promos SWSH151) knows two attacks. For [C], it can use “Thunder Spear” to do 20 damage to one of your opponent’s Pokémon. The second attack is “Pin Missile”, priced at [LCC]. Pin Missile has you flip four coins, then does 60 damage per “heads”. Elemental Badge makes the first attack free, and has the second down to [LC].
- Jolteon VMAX (SW – Evolving Skies 051/203) has only one attack. For [LC], it can use “Max Thunder Rumble” to do 100 damage to your opponent’s Active, and then 100 damage to an opponent’s Benched Pokémon that already has at least one damage counter on it. Elemental Badge knocks this down to a single [L] Energy cost, which means you can do things like heal with Cheryl or (in Expanded) Max Potion anytime Jolteon VMAX isn’t OHKO’d.
- Vaporeon V (SW – Evolving Skies 172/203; SW – Black Star Promos SWSH150) knows two attacks. For [C], it can use “Triple Draw” to let you draw three cards. For [WWC], its “Splash Jump” attack does 90 damage, then lets has you move it to your Bench. For the third time, this makes the first attack free, and gets the second attack down to a more reasonable [WW]. Indeed, if you can spare your Supporter for the turn, even in Standard you could use Melony and your manual Energy attachment for the turn to skip right to Splash Jump.
- Vaporeon VMAX (SW – Evolving Skies 030/203) knows two attacks. For [C], its “Bubble Pod” lets you put a [W] Pokémon from your discard pile directly onto your Bench, then attach up to three basic Water Energy to it (also from your discard pile). [WCC] covers “Max Torrent”, which does 100 damage, plus another 100 if there is at least one damage counter already on your opponent’s Active. Elemental Badge makes the first attack “free”, and the second a more reasonable [WC], especially if Melony is an option for the turn. Indeed, a manual attachment and a Melony lets Vaporeon VMAX jump straight to Max Torrent.
I tried not to comment on how good or bad these attacks are, for the same reason I like to considering evolving Pokémon on their own merits and then just add a “bonus” if they have a really good Evolution available. Lowering attack costs, even if only by [C], should be good. The powers-that-be could ruin it by giving us few compatible options, but even with just one version each of Basic Pokémon V and VMAX for the Gen 1 Eeveelutions, Elemental Badge offers substantial improvement for most of them (I don’t think it does much for Jolteon V). Early tournament results suggest that, at the very least, we’ll be seeing Jolteon VMAX decks packing a few copies of Elemental Badge.
- Standard: 3/5
- Expanded: 3/5
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