– Delta Species
September 17, 2020
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Today we’re looking at Holon’s Electrode (EX – Delta Species 21/113) and Holon’s Magneton (EX – Delta Species 22/113), the latter in its own, separate review. There will be a lot repeated between the two, however, so don’t be surprised if you get a sense of deja vu… or notice that I’m flat out posting the same review, but tweaked for the few differences between the cards. Why not just one review for both of them? Our CotD archive is just that: a repository for information that is available for as long as this website is around. I could have done a massive all-in-one review for each of the Holon’s Pokémon, but someone in the future just looking up cards from an old list may have no clue the other Holon’s cards exist. It also means I have room to address the cards’ admittedly few differences, and the average scores are easily posted at the top. It can get so messy with multi-card reviews otherwise.
The first thing to re-rexplain is “What’s a Holon?” Well, in Pokémon, it is a TCG-exclusive region where weird stuff happens. You’ll actually find it has a variety of real-world meanings if you look it up. You’ll also find a variety of Trainer cards that reference the region, many with “Holon” in their name, and referred to collectively by the players as the “Holon Trainer Engine” or “Holon Engine”. You’ll find a series of Special Energy cards collectively known as “Holon Energy”… and that term is also used by card effects, so its official.
The Pokémon from this region are quite unusual in that most are the “wrong” type or types. Yes, that means some are dual-types! These are not Holon’s Pokémon, however, but “δ Delta Species”, a “label” between the card’s name and HP. Though it is near the card’s name, it is not part of the Pokémon’s name; this might be why later designations such as “Team Plasma” and “Ultra Beast” were labels in their own little box that appeared over the card art. I remember always referring to them as “Pokémon δ” but I couldn’t find the term on any cards. What about Holon’s Pokémon? Holon’s is part of their name, so Holon’s Electrode doesn’t count as the same Pokémon as plain Electrode, nor any of the other versions.
There are four other Holon’s Pokémon:
Holon’s Electrode evolves from Holon’s Voltorb, and Holon’s Magneton evolves from Holon’s Magnemite. There is no Holon’s Magnezone: it was introduced in a later generation.
Holon’s Electrode is a [L] type Stage 1 Pokémon with 70 HP, x2 [F] Weakness, no Resistance, and a free Retreat Cost. It has one attack, “Dazzle Blast”, which requires [LC] to do 30 and Confuse the Defending Pokémon. It also has an effect that lets you play it from your hand as if it was an Energy card. You can only attach Holon’s Electrode to something that already has at least one Energy attached. The reason for that stipulation is because you then bounce one of those previously attached Energy from the Pokémon receiving Holon’s Electrode. The payoff for going down an Energy is that Holon’s Electrode provides two units of Energy, and each of those units of Energy count as all Energy types at once. Besides the “play as Energy” effect, this was a pretty typical Stage 1 of its day, by which I mean it would have been semi-functional filler. HP scores and attack outputs were much lower than in the present, so those aren’t as bad as they may appear… but the main thing is the free Retreat; pivot Pokémon have almost always been at least a little useful.
About the only parts of Holon’s Electrode that really mattered were its Stage and the effect that lets you attach it like an Energy card. Holon’s Castform has a similar effect and is a Basic, which you might think would be better… but as a Stage 1, there was zero chance you would open with a Pokémon you were running just to function as Energy. If you aren’t sure why Holon’s Electrode is good when it sets you back an Energy to play it, it’s quality over quantity; retroactively, it is like you played a Rainbow Energy last turn and this turn, without having to place any damage on the receiving Pokémon. Sometimes you could even turn the drawback in your favor, as the bounced Energy could itself be used for something else, especially those with an effect that activated at the moment of attachment… though it has been so many years, I don’t recall how many worthwhile examples of that there were in the cardpool.
There was competition for Holon’s Electrode, and I don’t just mean Holon’s Castform and Holon’s Magneton. Double Rainbow Energy and Scramble Energy were both Special Energy cards that could provide multiple units of Energy at once, and those Energy would count as all types at once. Double Rainbow Energy provided two units of Energy, while Scramble Energy provided three! However, they came with more conditions and drawbacks. Neither could be attached to Basic Pokémon, or Pokémon-ex, and had text that would cause them to discard themselves if you found a workaround. Double Rainbow Energy also reduced the damaged of the attacks of the Pokémon to which it was equipped by 10, before Weakness or Resistance, to your opponent’s Pokémon. Scramble Energy provided just one unit of [C] Energy unless your opponent had fewer Prizes remaining than you did.
Competitive players figured out which of these sources of Special Energy were right for their particular deck… and sometimes that meant mixing and matching all three. After all, you could replace a Double Rainbow Energy to get rid of that -10 to your damage, or a Scramble Energy which was no longer working, and save them for later. As I mentioned in earlier reviews, another trick was combining Holon’s Castform, Holon’s Electrode, and/or Holon’s Magneton with another form of Energy acceleration; use the Energy acceleration to attach one Energy card, then use your manual Energy acceleration on one of those three. A well-known example of this was the deck BLS, named because it was built around Blastoise-ex (EX – FireRed & LeafGreen 104/112), Lugia-ex (EX – Unseen Forces 105/115), and Steelix-ex (EX – unseen Forces 109/115). In the interest of space, I’ll oversimplify, but Blastoise-ex let you attach extra Energy ( so long as it was basic Water Energy), Lugia-ex provided OHKO’s of your opponent’s Active (but needed you to discard [RWL] from it each time), and Steelix-ex provided OHKO’s or 2HKO’s of targets on the Bench (but needed you to discard [FF] from it).
The following World Championship decks contained at least one copy of Holon’s Electrode and/or Holon’s Magneton. Even decks don’t include Holon’s Electrode, but contain Holon’s Magneton, are included so long as it wouldn’t hurt the deck to use the other instead:
These two cards were no longer legal by the 2008 World Championship. So, I’d say they were pretty great during their time as Standard-legal cards. For the Limited Format, Holon’s Electrode’s other stats and attack finally matter and… they’re good! Not great, but you can safely include Holon’s Electrode in a Mulligan build, and with anything else, it just needs [LC] to do a decent 30 plus Confusion, which is far more effective with older cards and in the Limited Format. The Retreat Cost is also great here… but you’ll still try to use it for Energy 99% of the time.
What about in the present? I doubt the “Holon’s Pokémon” concept would be completely re-introduced, but if it was, then a straight-up reprint would be possible. You’d also need Holon’s Voltorb if anyone wanted to put it into play as a Pokémon… and there’s even less reason now as Holon’s Electrode’s HP and damage output are far worse due to power creep. Its “rules text” effect is still great; even if you had to rely on something like Turbo Patch to attempt to manually attach an extra basic Energy that turn, or burn your Supporter for the turn on Welder, the end result enables a lot of attacks. Plenty of decks wouldn’t need it… assuming metagame options Holon’s Electrode would bring didn’t make it next-to-impossible to run mostly-mono-type or mono-type decks.
Expanded just adds even more options; I was already a little excited for what a reprinted Holon’s Electrode might allow Mewtwo & Mew-GX, but Expanded means that plus other attack copiers, more attackers to copy, and more Energy acceleration! More counters to Special Energy as well, and for the Abilities I am thinking about using, but I think it’d at least be a net neutral. Personally, I don’t think I want this card reprinted but only because I no longer trust the powers-that-be to manage “rules text” based effects. Make a card based on Holon’s Electrode, but with the attach-as-Energy effect as an Ability and we’re good!
Holon’s Electrode was an amazing card which may not have looked it at first. You can read the original review here; I didn’t weigh in on this card, but Addison Miller gave a concise, positive review that seems fairly accurate, at least in hindsight.
We would love more volunteers to help us with our Card of the Day reviews. If you want to share your ideas on cards with other fans, feel free to drop us an email. We’d be happy to link back to your blog / YouTube Channel / etc. 😉
Click here to read our Pokémon Card of the Day Archive. We have reviewed more than 3500 Pokemon cards over the last 17+ years!