Emolga Team Up
Emolga Team Up

– Team Up

Date Reviewed:
February 25, 2019

Ratings Summary:
Standard: 3.10
Expanded: 3.00
Limited: 1.75

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

Reviews Below:

vince avatar

Emolga has been printed several times, ranging from Black & White Emerging Powers to Sun & Moon Team Up. Few Emolga cards had garnered attention to competitive players while most of them are filler even if they benefit from Thunder Mountain Prism Star and Electropower (cause there are other better attackers out there). The Dragons Exalted print had an attack that fetches two Basic Pokémon and puts them on the Bench as well as having free retreat. There’s also another Emolga from Sun & Moon Crimson Invasion that has an attack which recovers energy cards.

Today’s card is perhaps the most playable card for an Emolga card ever!

Nuzzly Gathering is the name of the Ability, and a cute name as well. It fetches a Pokemon with the Nuzzle attack from your deck to your hand. There’s not much Pokemon that carries the Nuzzle attack outside of other Pika-clone cards like Pikachu, Emolga, Pachirisu, Togedemaru, and Dedenne. I have yet to see Plusle and Minun with their Nuzzle attacks. Regardless, it fetches you a Pokemon and my initial thought is “Oh, it’s probably good and limited to just Pika based decks.”

But it does more than just that!

This Emolga greatly synergies itself with its own Nuzzle attack. Pretty much, you could run just 4 of them and disregard the other Pika related cards. This isn’t meant to attack, but you’ll need at least one in play, so that you get to eventually search for three more Emolga cards. However, if you’re desperate, then Nuzzle may save you a turn if the coin flips cooperated. Even helpful, if you had to start the game with Emolga, it’s free retreat can let a different Pokémon to do its thing. Pokémon Communication would be a great fit for Emolga, as it lets you search your deck for any Pokémon, after shuffling a Pokémon from your hand into your deck. You can even use Emolga as discard fodder for specific decks or if you’re forced to discard cards from your hand. Lost Blender can put two Emolga cards into the Lost Zone, adding 40 damage for Lost March. Likewise, couple Emolga cards in the discard pile can help add damage output to Flareon’s Vengeance and Vespiquen’s Bee Revenge attack.

Overall, Emolga is a niche card that is good enough for certain decks to capitalize it, which is enough for me to give it an average score. It fetches itself and thins your deck, which improves the chance of getting the card you need while top-decking. At the moment, it sees a lot of play in Lost March decks for the reasons that I’ve mentioned earlier, but future cards may eventually need it. Of course, there are roadblocks that stops Emolga from doing its job, and that’s shutting down Abilities, which is a problem for both formats, since Emolga is a Basic Pokémon. In Limited, it is not a good Pokemon to use simply because it cannot deal any damage at all. It’s even time consuming if you go for the Paralysis if you’re lucky every single turn.


  • Standard: 3/5
  • Expanded: 3/5
  • Limited: 1.25/5
21 Times Avatar

Emolga (TEU 46) blasts into the Pokemon Trading Card Game out of the Team Up expansion set.  This 60 HP Basic Lightning Pokemon has actually seen a lot of play because of its ability Nuzzly Gathering, which has got to be one of the “Aw cutest” names in the history of Pokemon.  This ability is fantastic, however, because it lets you reach into your deck and grab a Pokemon with the Nuzzle attack.

So if you had the initial inclination to pair this with Pachirisu (UPR 49) in a Raichu GX deck, then you – like me – missed the optimal usefulness for this card.  Got a Pokemon Communication in hand?  Congratulations, use Nuzzly Gathering and you can go get whatever Pokemon you want out of your deck.  Need to blend a Pokemon into the Lost Zone but don’t want to send Natu or one of your Jumpluff line?  Bye Bye Emolga.  Need to Mysterious Treasure or Ultra Ball or Trade a card away that won’t cost you a valuable Item or Supporter card?  You guessed it, Nuzzly Gathering will help you get something into your hand that you don’t mind dumping into your discard pile.  I even used it in a Zoroark TEU deck I briefly tried.

I’ve even used it prior to Stellar Wish just to thin the deck just a little bit to give you a tiny smidgeon of a chance of pulling the Trainer card you really want.  Overall, Nuzzly Gathering is a great ability that can help you in a wide variety of ways, some of which we probably haven’t even thought of yet.


Standard: 3.0 out of 5

aroramage avatar

You never know what’s going to end up being an important card from the pack. Usually we think of it as the rare Pokemon or one of the various Supporters in the pack. But sometimes, there are other cards that come up that are just as important for some decks that you just wouldn’t believe.

Emolga is a Basic Lightning Pokemon, 60 HP, with a Lightning Weakness, a Fighting Resistance, and a Retreat Cost of 0. Nuzzle does no damage, but for 1 Energy it’ll let you flip a coin to maybe have the ability of picking up your opponent’s Active Pokemon and rubbing it against the side of your face. Course that could just be considered by your opponent as either fondling or cuddling rather than nuzzling, but they might also be a bit tentative about you wiping your nose on their card, so they may just let you do that. If that happens, laugh at them later, because they basically let you get away with murder.

You can do that when you get into your Nuzzly Gathering, which is also an Ability of Emolga’s to add a Pokemon with Nuzzle from your deck to your hand. This is pretty useful in a dedicated Nuzzle deck, but where it might really surprise you is where Emolga ended up as a result of this Ability: Lost March.

Now wait a minute, how does Lost March use the Nuzzle attack to work within the strategy? Well, Emolga can search for another copy of itself thanks to it having the Nuzzle attack, but on top of that, we recently got a very valuable reprint in the form of Pokemon Communication (usually called “PCom” back in the day). Because it’s not just an Ability that triggers when Emolga comes into play, you can thin your deck out easily with Nuzzly Gathering, but on top of that, PCom lets you return the Emolga you searched for and grab another Pokemon from your deck instead. This in turn improves the consistency of the deck without sacrificing much in order to do so!

Pretty neat, huh? And that’s why you should never overlook the small commons.


Standard: 3/5 (pretty good searcher for Nuzzle decks)

Expanded: 3/5 (and in return, it can be useful for other decks as well!)

Limited: 1.5/5 (the only card he can search in the set is another copy of himself…noooot exactly the most useful thing to do in this format)

Arora Notealus: Emolga’s a unique take on the “Pikachu clone” of the region. Flying squirrels are not something one would think of with the Electric-type rodent, and it gives some other Pokemon outside of a legendary bird the unique Electric/Flying Type combination. Pretty neat overall, I’d say!

Next Time: Meanwhile somewhere in the far off seas, a looming threat rises up again…

Otaku Avatar

We’ve got another card that didn’t show up on anyone’s top 11 lists for this set, but which is already seeing enough success to finally catch my eye: Emolga (SM – Team Up 46/181). What is truly shocking is I’ve already been using this card; it is nice to be a source of firsthand information! Emolga doesn’t attack for damage but it can still make use of Type-based support like Aether Paradise Conservation Area or Thunder Mountain {*}, so the [L] Typing’s relevance will likely depend on the rest of your deck. Being a Basic is the best, allowing Emolga to open, making it fast and easy to field, allowing it to take up minimal deck space per copy you run… which provides access to the rest of the card just as quickly and reliably. 60 HP means that Emolga is a quite probable OHKO while Active, though it is a little safer while on your Bench as it will be more like a 2HKO or 3HKO for typical Bench-hitters. An added bonus to being so fragile is that both Level Ball and Professor Elm’s Lecture can snag Emolga from your deck. [L] Weakness and [F] Resistance both matter only a little due to the HP, but the free Retreat Cost is as good as it gets and – based on actual usage – important to the card.

Going out of order, we’re looking at Emolga’s attack next. “Nuzzle” requires [L] just to flip a coin for a chance at Paralyzing your opponent’s Active, which is overpriced. However, the game’s designers have turned “Nuzzle” into its own attack-based archetype, providing supporting cards that reference the effect. Which brings us to Emolga’s Ability “Nuzzly Gathering”; one per turn (before you attack) you may use this Ability to snag a Pokémon with the “Nuzzle” attack from your deck. This is heavily restricted search in that the Pokémon must have a specific attack on it but that is the only condition; Type, Stage, HP, Retreat Cost, etc. don’t matter. Nuzzly Gathering has no cost to use, other than actually running Emolga and that Emolga eating up Bench space, and that brings us to how Emolga is already proving competitive. Somewhat sadly, it is not because Nuzzle decks are a strong, competitive force: I don’t recall seeing such a deck among recent, competitive finishers. Instead, we’re seeing Emolga used by decks that need a Pokémon – any Pokémon- in hand. Some Lost March decks now run Emolga because you can Bench (or even open with) one and then use Nuzzly Gathering one per turn to grab another copy of Emolga to either send to the Lost Zone with Lost Blender or send back into your deck to meet the cost of Pokémon Communication.

I am embarrassed I didn’t think of this myself; this kind of self-search has proven potent in many other TCG’s, so I can only assume I underestimated it because I forgot it works with the abundant other draw and search options of the Pokémon TCG, as opposed to being eclipsed by them.  Before I focus on what Emolga means to Nuzzle decks, the other non-Nuzzle-specific use for it is decks that just need to fill their Bench. Your first Emolga searches out your second, which searches out your third, which grabs the fourth. Which has me wondering if we’ll see some Zoroark-GX decks using Emolga; it can pad your Bench to up the damage from Zoroark-GX’s “Rioutus Beating” attack OR just play one and use it to fetch discard fodder for Zoroark-GX’s “Trade” Ability. I haven’t seen detailed results from this past weekend’s tournaments, and the results from the first weekend Emolga was legal don’t contain it (though there are still a handful of unreported decklists). As such, maybe I’m mistaken: I only just began to run Lost March, so I’ve only played using the Emolga build.

So, let’s move onto other Nuzzle support and actual Nuzzle decks; please note I won’t be going into full detail for these cards. Dedenne (SM – Lost Thunder 84/214) has the attacks “Nuzzle” and “Nuzzle Shot”; the latter costs [L] and lets you pick one of your opponent’s Pokémon, doing 10 damage to it times the number of Nuzzle Pokémon you have in play. With Emolga, this would allow you to pretty easily snipe for up to 60 damage (80 with Sky Field), taking out many commonly played Evolving Basic Pokémon. With a Wide Lens, Nuzzle Shot can OHKO a Benched Shaymin-EX (XY – Roaring Skies 77/108, 77a/108, 106/108). A nice trick, but not something that can carry a deck. Pachirisu (SM – Ultra Prism 49/156) has Nuzzle and the attack “Snuggly Generator” for [L]. For each of your Pokémon in play that knows Nuzzle, Snuggle Generator lets you search your deck for a [L] Energy and attach it to that Pokémon. This can be used to help fuel attackers that have Nuzzle on them, that Evolve from Pokémon that have Nuzzle on them, that can move Energy FROM the Pokémon that have Nuzzle on them, or that just care about total Energy in play…

…bringing us to Rayquaza-GX and Raichu-GX. Rayquaza-GX, or rather its “Dragon Break” attack, does 30 damage times the amount of basic [G] and [L] Energy you have in play… and has had enough success that you should already be familiar with it. Dragon Break itself costs [GLC]. Raichu-GX can do 20 damage plus 20 more for each [L] Energy you have in play via its “Powerful Spark” attack. While it doesn’t hit as hard as Rayquaza-GX and its Dragon Break, Pikachu (XY 42/146; Generations 26/83, RC29/RC32) and Pikachu (SM – Black Star Promos SM162) BOTH know Nuzzle. This means Pachirisu’s Snuggle Generator can be used to ultimately cover the attack cost of Powerful Spark, and Powerful Spark was already easier to pay for than Dragon Break. I’ve heard talk of using Electrode (SM – Team Up 39/181) and its “Electro Shaker” to move your [L] Energy around, but that’s a coming-into-play Ability. A more self-contained option is Tapu Koko-GX; you can hold onto it until you’ve got an open Bench-space, drop it, then use its “Aero Trail” Ability to promote it to the Active while moving any [L] Energy in play to it from your other Pokémon, including any that were holding some due to Snuggly Generator. Beyond those, you then include the usual general and [L] deck specific cards.

I’m scoring Emolga well for the Standard Format due to it proving so useful in Lost March, plus a small bonus from the hypothetical other uses I’ve also mentioned. I haven’t tested an Expanded Format version of the deck, but I’m cautiously optimistic; there is more general competition, and even some added competition for some of the uses I theorized, but I still think there is enough here to warrant a solid score. I tentatively recommend Emolga in the Limited Format.  Bench one to use as a pivot Pokémon, but search out any others simply to thin your deck.  If you’re lucky, may also have something like Viridian Forest to make use of the spares in your hand.


Standard: 3.4/5

Expanded: 3/5

Limited: 2.5/5

Emolga is either a brilliantly designed card, or something that was supposed to just be Nuzzle-support that ends up serving as the good kind of deck filler. Not every deck, as I’d expect of TCG’s which lack the raw draw and search power of Pokémon, but if you’re maxing out Pokémon Communication, need added discard fodder, and/or need some bodies for your Bench, you should give Emolga a try even if you can resist the adorable nature of Nuzzle decks.

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