Zamazenta – Vivid Voltage

Date Reviewed:  February 10, 2021

Ratings Summary:
Standard: 2.00
Expanded: 2.00

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

Reviews Below:

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Manectric (SW – Vivid Voltage 052/185) is one of those cards where we’re starting with its Ability, due to what it means for the rest of the card.  “High Speed” works when you play this card from your hand, during your turn, to evolve one of your Pokémon.  When you do, High Speed lets you draw three cards.  It is optional, for those times when drawing cards would be a bad idea.  High Speed is basically a Supporter effect without having to use a Supporter.  Yes, the “Draw three cards.” Supporters (like Hop) are rarely worth it in competitive play, but sometimes a Supporter effect is better as an Ability.  There are also no restrictions about how many instances of High Speed may be used in a turn, though doing so will require bounce effects, multiple copies of Manectric, recycling effects, etc. as coming-into-play Abilities are inherently one-and-done otherwise.

Manectric is a Stage 1 Pokémon, so you’ll have to run Electrike in order to use it, excluding Ditto {*} in Expanded.  Unfortunately for Manectric, the only standout Electrike is XY – Primal Clash 60/160.  While still not great, that Electrike sports the “Ω Barrier” Ancient Trait, which protects it from the effects of an opponent’s Trainer cards (excluding Stadiums and Tools).  In other words, a Benched Electrike (XY – Primal Clash 60/160) doesn’t have to worry about being forced active by Boss’s Orders, having attached Energy discarded by Crushing Hammer, etc.  While still an advantage, other than that this Electrike – like all the other Electrikes – is an easily KO’d Basic that doesn’t otherwise improve your setup.  Ditto {*} is a real option, though, assuming you don’t need it for something else and/or have a means of bouncing or devolving the entire line.

Bouncing this Manectric is a legitimate option, because it is a baseline Pokémon, completely compatible with Scoop Up Net.  Not being a Pokémon-EX, Pokémon-GX, Pokémon V, Prism Star, etc. avoids various other hassles, and keeps Manectric easy to use.  If you have the room for the Manectric line and more copies of Scoop Up Net than your deck otherwise requires, you can inject some extra draw power into your decks.  Of course, there are other means of doing this, with an obvious alternate being Cinccino (Sword & Shield 147/202; SW – Black Star Promos SWSH009).  Also a Stage 1 with an Ability that lets you draw cards, but this time it is “Make Do”.  Make Do can be used once (per instance) during your turn, before you attack, and requires you discard a card, then you draw two cards.  If you need more than a quick, probably one-time “Draw three cards.”, Make Do makes more sense than High Speed.

Perhaps other aspects of Manectric address this?  Cinccino has 90 P, while Manectric has 120; slightly more durable, but especially with Level Ball re-releasing in Japan, not a significant advantage.  What about attacks?  For [LCC], Manectric can use “Electric Ball” to do 100 damage.  As it plays nicely with Energy acceleration such as Tapu Lele {*}, Twin Energy, and a few others, meaning it is sort of fast and sort of splashable, it is decent.  Certainly not a reason to run Manectric, though, either at all or instead of Cinccino.  I actually might like Manectric more if it had Cinccino’s attack.  “Energy Assist” does 40 for [C], and at the same time, lets you attach a basic Energy card to one of your Benched Pokémon.  Hardly great, but it means your draw power can double as (emergency?) Energy acceleration in a pinch.

Electric Ball being so-so means Manectric’s [L] typing isn’t really a major advantage for it; Electric Ball isn’t hitting Key Weakness, and Lightning decks already have Speed [L] Energy for one-and-done bursts of bonus draw power.  Manectric does enjoy a perfect free Retreat Cost.  In some formats, having a good “pivot Pokémon” was critical; in the present, it is simply a bonus that would be most welcome if we’d already justified Manectric in a deck.  Plus, given the support needed to reuse High Speed, I believe it is fair to argue for just including U-Turn Board with Cinccino, which would grant Cinccinno a free Retreat Cost as well.  That just leaves Weakness and Resistance and… both cards are [F] Weak with no Resistance.  Neither of those bottom stats makes much difference in the current metagame.

I want to stress how close this card came to being better, maybe even broken.  Just being better is easy; Manectric was made for the PTCGO’s Theme Format but is not in any Theme Deck.  To be broken, just (after tweaking High Speed’s wording) make Manectric a Basic Pokémon.  Even if this meant also making it a Pokémon V, it would just need another 40 or so HP to hang with Crobat V and Dedenne-GX.  Getting back to Electrike, there are also only nine different Ancient Traits, even though 50 different Pokémon have them; they repeat.  One of these other Ancient Traits is  “ΔEvolution“, which lets you immediately evolve that Pokémon, even Turn 1 of the game.

Yeah, even for an Expanded-only combo, an Electrike with ΔEvolution would almost certainly have resulted in this Manectric being competitive, even with all the other crazy stuff you can do in Expanded.  While Ancient Traits are done and gone, there’s always the chance immediate evolution could become possible via a future Electrike with an Ability that works the same way.


  • Standard: 2/5
  • Expanded: 2/5

When we put it all together, Manectric has a good Ability, nice Retreat, and otherwise decent (or common) stats and effects.  It isn’t locked into being used only with Lightning decks, but there’s definite competition for it both in [L] decks and non-Lightning decks.  Including all the decks that just don’t have room for supplementary draw, or at least, nothing beyond the big names like Crobat V and Dedenne-GX.  There’s just enough here that I can’t and won’t award it minimal scores, but in this case, two-out-of-five mostly says that it is a functional but suboptimal play.  With the right shifts in the metagame, including (but not limited to) the right combo pieces, Manectric could actually become good, if not great, support.

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