– SM 173 Promo

Date Reviewed:
January 25, 2019

Ratings Summary:
Standard: 2.67
Expanded: 3.00
Limited: N/A (Promo)

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

Reviews Below:

vince avatar

One more Eeveelution before we end the week: Jolteon-GX. I have determined that this Eeveelution would be played the most out of the three because it has so much going for it than the other two. It’s hard for me to begin, so I’m just going to list every single aspect it has. To start, it benefits with Energy Evolution Eevee and/or Eevee-GX, though Energy Evolution enables you to get it out as early as the first turn of the game, though the Jolteon user would prefer to go second, which you can still evolve AND attack. There is also type specific support with Electropower (which boosts damage output by 30 each time you play it during your turn) and Thunder Mountain Prism Star (which makes attack cost from L Pokémon cost L less). So Jolteon-GX’s attacks of L, LC, and LC become free, C, and C respectively. Amazing start so far!

Yes, it has three attacks, with the attack cost mentioned in order. Electrobullet is another Hammerhead or Jet Punch variant, costing L for 30 damage to your opponent’s Active and 30 damage to one of your opponent’s Benched Pokemon. This is still a good starting attack that builds pressure to your opponent even if it doesn’t win games alone. Both Head Bolt and Swift Run costs LC for 110 damage, but Head Bolt is a effect free attack that can be repeatedly used while Swift Run provides a one turn protection from your opponent’s Pokemon… the expense of a once-per-game GX attack. The scary part is that even Jolteon-GX can use Head Bolt or Swift Run GX on the first turn of the game if you went second and if Thunder Mountain was played. An early 110 damage for one Energy is FAST, and that’s before factoring Choice Band, Electropower, and even triple effect Eeveelutions from XY Ancient Origins. Volkner will definitely help make some things happen for the player going second, like fetching a basic Lightning energy AND a Computer Search, which will fetch any card in your deck. Ideally, it would be Thunder Mountain that Computer Search would be looking for unless it’s prized, which in that case you fetch Electropower instead. And since you could use that GX attack way early in the game, it helps Hala GRI out by letting you shuffle your hand into your deck and draw seven cards.

Overall, Jolteon-GX is one of the most brutal Eeveelutions out there, and if you don’t stop an opposing Eevee from evolving (hard, as it can be put into play AND evolve via Energy Evolution), bring in more reinforcements (having at least one Benched Pokémon), or start with a Pokémon with some sort of “Safeguard” variants such as Hoopa SHL, you will possibly get destroyed on turn 2, possibly ending and losing the game due to possibly not have a Benched Pokemon to replace! However, it is not that unstoppable as I make it to be. While it excels at early game pressure and possibly a donk (if you have the right cards in your hand at the right time), the Achilles Heel is that Jolteon-GX can’t deal much more damage than that. Meaning it’ll do a clean 140 damage via Choice Band, which can barely 2HKO the game at best, assuming you exhausted all of your Electropowers. Because its attacks suffer from the damage cap, it gives your opponent enough time to hit you back as hard or even OHKO Jolteon-GX. And we haven’t factored in the caveats of being a GX Pokémon. So in short, it can be scary early game, but runs pretty dry late game (2HKOs are not always a good thing depending of the deck you’re facing). And of course, as a promo card, it is not usable in Limited.


Standard: 3.5/5 (Jolteon is fast and can hit hard, but not harder than what’s printed on the card.)

Expanded: 4/5 (Though Jolteon-GX can benefit from Flareon and Vaporeon from XY Ancient Origins to become a Fire, Water, and Lightning type to exploit more weaknesses. Other than that, there’s not much to pair with.)

Limited: N/A (Can’t use it here, though it hardly matters since it can run rampant in those two formats)


This is a card that I used to be excited about, but I had to consider other things keeping GX Pokémon in check. Turns out that GX Pokémon are more of a liability with all of the anti-GX cards that looms around and doesn’t seem to go away. I wouldn’t count Jolteon-GX out, since it has attacks that are cheap but powerful for the cost. Like the other two Eeveelutions that we’ve looked at this week, Jolteon-GX should be the focus of it’s own deck.

21 Times Avatar

Jolteon GX (SM 173) enters into the Pokemon TCG as a promo card.  This 200 HP Stage 1 Lightning type Pokemon has three attacks.  Electrobullet is basically another Jet Punch, Head Bolt, for a Lightning and a Colorless, does a flat 110 with no effects, and Swift Run GX, also for a Lightning and a Colorless, does 110 as well, and prevents all effects of attacks, including damage, done to this Pokemon during your opponent’s next turn.

So of the three Eeveelutions we’ve reviewed this week, this one is by far the worst.  I liked Vaporeon a lot, and I think Flareon might have some potential.  Jolteon GX, however, does not inspire me at all.  Its attacks are underpowered, and it really has nothing that makes me think that it will have any kind of impact on the current meta of the Pokemon TCG.   Even with Electropower, that just isn’t going to be enough of a boost to the damage that Jolteon can do.

I’m not sure why Jolteon got the short end of the stick.  Normally, when they release multiple cards that are related, they’re somewhat balanced in what they can do.  In this case, however, there’s no question that Jolteon is not of the same caliber as Vaporeon and Flareon.


Standard: 1.5 out of 5

Otaku Avatar

As you all expected, we’re ending the week with Jolteon-GX (SM – Black Star Promos SM173). Being an “Eeveelution” can be a pretty valuable; not only can it make running multiple Types much easier, but Eevee (Sun & Moon 101/149) and Eevee (XY – Furious Fists 80/111) each have the Ability “Energy Evolution”. Enjoying both search and Evolution acceleration just by running the right basic Energy card mitigates about half the drawbacks of being a Stage 1! The [L] Typing will matter, but because of the available (and recent) Type support; it isn’t too great for hitting Weakness right now, though Resistance and anti-[L] effects are rare and Expanded-only so it is still a net positive. Being a Pokémon-GX comes with the usual pros and cons; giving up an extra Prize when KO’d, some cards punishing Jolteon-GX for being one, some cards rewarding it for being one, access to a GX-attack and (usually) better stats and effects than the Pokémon in question would otherwise have. Such as being the beefiest Jolteon-based card we’ve ever seen at 200 HP; not enough to guarantee Jolteon-GX can survive most attacks, but enough for the odds to be in its favor. Except when it comes to Weakness and Resistance; [F] Types should score a OHKO with a solid setup while [M] Types will have a slightly harder time of it… and neither matters if the attacks are already of the “OHKO anything” variety. That free Retreat Cost is beautiful and more relevant than you might think.

Jolteon-GX knows three attacks, and remember that we’re not factoring in combos (or really, the rest of the card) yet. For [L] it can use “Electrobullet” to do 30 to your opponent’s Active and 30 to one of their Benched Pokémon. For a single Energy, this is very good. [LC] pays for “Headbolt”, which does 110 damage; 110 for two is great BUT not as good as it may seem because it falls just a little short of scoring key OHKO’s and 2HKO’s. “Swift Run-GX” has the same cost and does the same damage as Headbolt, but adds an effect; all the damage and effects done to Jolteon-GX (rather, “this Pokémon”) are prevented. Thanks to Headbolt, we know that the GX-aspect of this attack is only paying for the effect. Is it worth it? Maybe. Getting around such protection isn’t too hard for the average deck, and some decks will even specialize in it BUT it can still be very clutch. Now, once we stop (mostly) ignoring the rest of the card, we see good synergy within what it offers. Just within the attacks, we see one that is available ASAP and the other two that just require one additional Energy. Combine with an Energy Evolution Eevee, and you’ve got a speedy striker that can also try for one-time stall without giving up its damage output. Two uses of Electrobullet can be followed up with two Headbolt (or a Headbolt and Swift Run-GX) to score two KO’s against Tapu Lele-GX-sized threats. Overall, not too good, but not bad.

Wait! At last, we start considering cards beyond Jolteon-GX itself and Eevee. I don’t know if it will matter, but unlike the other Eeveelutions this week, Jolteon-GX subscribes to the same design principles as Espeon-GX, Glaceon-GX, Sylveon-GX, and Umbreon-GX: three attacks with only one on-Type Energy requirement, with that first single Energy attack varying from “somewhat good” to “very good”! As you should really be taking advantage of an Eevee with Energy Evolution, you’ll still need to run the corresponding basic Energy, but you do not need a lot of it. I don’t know if such an Eeveelution deck will ever take off but that’s okay because Jolteon-GX manages to be an easy splash while ALSO being good on Type. Electropower released in SM – Lost Thunder but didn’t elevate [L] Types as expected, even though an Item that increases damage done to your opponent’s Active Pokémon by 30 should have helped certain [L] Types hit key numbers. Though it might be a one-time trick if your opponent can discard it right away, Thunder Mountain {*} also released in the last set but hasn’t seen much use, even though it reduces the attack costs of [L] Pokémon by [L]! Jolteon-GX takes great advantage of these cards, as now its attacks can hit key KO’s, with Electrobullet becoming a free attack and the other two only costing [C]!

That still probably isn’t enough, but SM – Team Up adds what appears to be the missing pieces. Unless it goes down as one of those decks that did well in Japanese metagame but didn’t translate to others, we already have a Top 8 caliber deck that makes use of Jolteon-GX. It also works without Jolteon-GX, though, so the jury is still out. I’m speaking of the expected Zapdos (SM – Team Up 40/181). We’ll probably be giving that card a full review soon, but even if we aren’t, the main thing to understand is that it is a Basic Pokémon that can hit hard for one Energy, but only if it was promoted to the Active spot this turn… and still banking on that [L] support at least some of the time. While the deck can be built to avoid running any Pokémon-GX, if you do decide to include them then Jolteon-GX (and Zeraora-GX) are likely additions besides the obvious Tapu Lele-GX. It means the deck has to be a little more wary of [F] Types, but Zapdos was your go-to-attacker against those anyway. It also means it is easier to give up the deck’s Prize advantage, but the tradeoff may be worth it. I don’t know how well this deck translates to our Expanded Format, either; I’m cautiously optimistic myself, which means a lower score but not as low as the evidence might suggest. As a promo completely unconnected to any sets, Jolteon-GX never had a chance to show off at a Pre-Release or any other Limited Format tournaments.


Note: These scores are for Standard and Expanded Formats prior to the release of SM – Team Up.  Increase those scores by 0.5 in three weeks, when those cards are tournament legal.

Standard: 3/5

Expanded: 2/5

Limited: N/A

Jolteon-GX strikes me as the best of this batch of promo Eeveelutions… which isn’t saying much given how I scored Flareon-GX and Vaporeon-GX. Jolteon-GX has the best combination of stats, effects, and SUPPORT in the soon-to-be cardpool. You get solid stats and good, fast attacks, even if they need a little help to hit key OHKO numbers.

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