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Pojo's Pokemon Card of the Day

 

Electivire #20/102

HS Triumphant

Date Reviewed: Dec. 21, 2010

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 2.33
Limited: 3.50

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 being the worst. 
3 ... average.  
5 is the highest rating.

Back to the main COTD Page

Combos With:
   

Baby Mario
2010 UK National
Seniors
Champion

Electivire (Triumphant)

 

Hello and welcome to a short week of reviews here on Pojo’s CotD. Why the short week? Ummmm . . . because it’s nearly Christmas, that’s why.

 

We kick off with Electivire from the most recent Triumphant set. The first (and best) thing to say about this card is that the whole evo line has absolutely fantastic artwork. It’s not often we get art of Pokémon getting so feisty and aggressive, and even when we do, it’s not usually done as well as this. Definitely a 9/10 on the cool-art-o-meter.

 

Aside from that . . . well, it’s a moderate HP Stage 1, with a bad Weakness, not very useful Resistance (better than nothing though), and an off-putting Retreat cost. I suppose we had better see what the attacks have to offer.

 

The first, Plasma, does a decent 30 damage for only one Lightning Energy, and has the bonus effect of searching your discard for another [L] Energy and attaching it to Electivire. The necessary discard shouldn’t be a problem with cards like Junk Arm, Regice, Volker etc in the format, and the acceleration is badly needed as Electivire’s Thunder Shock attack needs three Lightning Energy to use. What do you get for this huge investment? You get what seems to be a great spread attack, doing 50 damage to each of your opponent’s Pokémon with Energy attached.

 

See the problem yet? Yep, most competitive decks run Pokémon with minimal Energy needs (Gyarados, Donphan, Gengar), or can manipulate the Energy they do need (SP decks using Bronzong G). This means that your opponent doesn’t need to spend time building up Energy on Benched Pokémon, they can simply attach when needed and leave Electivire doing a mere 50 to the active . . . for three type-specific Energy, and that’s just horrible.

 

Yes, there is an obscure combo with Tentacruel LA (which can force Energy attachments from your opponent’s Discard), but that has been tried before and failed due to being more than somewhat slow and clunky. Really, if you want a Pokémon that causes mid-late game chaos by spreading huge amounts of damage around the field, stick with Entei/Raikou Legend is my advice.

 

Rating

 

Modified: 1.5 (would only work if your opponent forgot to read the card)

Limited: 3 (Plasma is nice, and it hits quite a lot in the set for Weakness)

 

Combos with . . .

 

Tentacruel LA 

conical

12/21/10: Electivire(Triumphant)
 
I remember a conversation I had about Pokemon with a friend, where he described Electivire and Magmortar as the “old man” evolutions, given that they're fatter and/or hairier forms of their pre-evolutions. I think it's a great insight, but if one were to disprove it, they'd look no further than the art for this card, because that is one intense Electivire.
 
Personally, I think that this card has great potential. Plasma is a solid L for 30, which also provides energy acceleration for Electivire. He needs it, too, considering that his second attack is a whopping LLL; however, Thunder Shot is well worth it, dealing 50 damage to all Pokemon with energy attached. For me, it was this card, not Solrock, that told me that TPCi wanted a revival for spread decks. It seems to me that the card designers more or less decided that if Nidoqueen and Garchomp made the rest of spread useless, then they had to make spread less of a task of slowly building up damage on multiple targets and moreso two-shotting specific targets.
 
The card has several problems, particularly the ability of an opponent to play around Thunder Shot, plus not affecting an SP Pokemon with Energy Gain. Therefore, I think Electivire will prosper best as a combo with something else, specifically either Ampharos from HGSS. The Prime has the Conductivity power, to cause further damage before Thunder Shot. The other Ampharos doesn't compliment spread as well, but Acceleration Bolt would help speed up Electivire's attack. The tools exist; Electivire could indeed work.
 
Modified: 3.5/5
Limited: 3.5/5
Combos With: Ampharos Prime, Ampharos Non-Prime


Otaku

Electivire is a Lightning-Type Stage 1 Pokémon. The good news is that it might be able to combo with some other, potent Lightning-Type Pokémon (like Luxray GL) but then again it also means the format has been trying to avoid/counter its type. This is a definite mixed blessing, as could the stage technically Stage 1 should be the sturdy middle ground, faster than Stage 2 Pokémon but with more potency than Basic Pokémon. In actuality, the current field of potent Basics and Evolution acceleration means they just end up being slower than Basic Pokémon and weaker than Stage 2 Pokémon, without the balancing benefits mentioned in the previous sentence.

100 HP is a solid score for a Stage 1 Pokémon. It isn't great, but it’s enough that most decks will need their main attacker "enhanced" for a reliable OHKO. If you get Electivire out early, your opponent will probably have to sacrifice their opener unless they are just as fast, or if they are running Fighting (the card’s Weakness). This is a common Lightning-Type Weakness and a pretty poor one to have most formats (this one included). There are both established, successful Fighting-Type decks and Basic Fighting Pokémon that can be splashed into other decks.  Against Fighting Pokémon, that 100 HP just will not last: a random Fighting Pokémon will probably two-hit KO you, while a deck focused on Fighting-Types will probably score a OHKO. One of the "speedy" decks this format, Donphan Prime, just needs a single Fighting Energy to do it!

The good news is that Electivire can at least enjoy Metal Resistance -20. There are one or two Metal Pokémon that are splashed into multiple decks, and a few decks that focus on a Metal-Type attacker, not unlike the Weakness. Unfortunately it isn’t really even footing.  When your Weakness is commonly run off type in several decks, a player can choose to attack more often with it.  When something your Pokémon is Resistance to is run off type in several decks, your opponent will just choose not to attack with it, making it an inconvenience for them at worst.  Finishing off the cards stats, Electivire has a three Energy Retreat Cost, which is pretty hefty. Few decks skip out on something like Switch anyway, but you'll need to run a little more than normal. I always thought of this line as being a bit fast, so I am surprised to see it so high.  All in all, this isn't a stellar foundation for the card, but it isn't crippling, either.

Electivire has two attacks. The first attack, Plasma, requires just a single Lightning-Type Energy and hits for 30 while letting you snag a Lightning Energy from the discard pile. Since the second attack also has all Lightning-Energy requirements, not being able to target other Energy types is a footnote and not a big deal. Provided you can Evolve quickly while ditching some Lightning Energy in the discard, this can allow you to come out swinging without an extensive Bench Set up to aid you.

Thunder Shot needs three Lightning Energy to attack, but it is an attack that can potentially hit each of your opponent’s Pokémon for 50 points of damage.  Even though that won’t score a OHKO unless the Defending Pokémon is Lightning Weak and not too big, two shots will bring down many commonly played Pokémon and three takes out pretty much everything! Unfortunately your opponent can determine what gets hit. That isn't so great. The attack only hits Pokémon with Energy attached. The good news is you should easily be hitting the Defending Pokémon and at least one or two Benched Pokémon. The bad news is your opponent can try to shunt Energy around to minimize the damage.  With the sizable Energy cost and low damage to the Active, you have to hope your opponent must spread Energy around.

Off the top of my head I could see backing it up with a hearty blend of Ampharos: the current Modified legal options will let you spread some more damage as well as shut down Poke-Powers on injured Pokémon and punish Energy attachments even further.  Like many recent cards, I think the biggest blow to it is the power creep that has gone into overdrive (well, in Pokémon terms) the last few formats.  A few years ago and this card would probably have been amazing.  Next format, it still might be.  I am disappointed there aren’t any other Electivire I can blend this with: it really strikes me as a potential opener/closer that needs a middleman, so to speak.  Pity nothing moves Energy or forcibly attaches it without it being an attack (thus eliminating the need for a middleman).

In Limited play, you should really pick this card. If you've never played in a Limited event, then let me give you two basic lessons.  First, things that are good in constructed play but that don’t require any extra set-up are good here. In this case while Electivire needs a lot of Lightning-Type Energy, since it can snag them from the discard you can be more flexible in how much you run and where you play it.  You won’t have access to discarding combos to speed it up early game, but by mid or late you’ll have the option.  Second, retreating injured Pokémon to deny your opponent a Prize is often a game breaking move, and that makes sniping/spread Pokémon much more effective in this format.  If your opponent tries to stall by only powering their Active Pokémon to avoid and Bench damage, you should still be able to build your next attacker on the Bench while they can’t: advantage – you.

Ratings

Modified: 3/5

Limited: 4/5

 

Combos with: Ampharos (Platinum, 1/127), Ampharos (HeartGold & SoulSilver, 105/123)

 

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