Today we review
Emolga the new adorable basic
Electric Lightning-Type Pokémon.
Apparently TPC thought we needed
The one Pokémon
episode I’ve seen even was about
catching it. @_@
is a Basic Pokémon that does not
the onus of being played rests squarely
upon its rounded shoulders.
The good news is that Basic
Pokémon are very easy to search, to play
from hand (inherently), deck (various
easy to play cards), and discard (easy
to play cards).
The Lightning-Type is reasonably
good right now, though much of that is
due to specific Type members already
being part of prominent decks: the type
has no true inherent support.
The closest is support for the
Energy-Type which technically does not
have to match-up to the Pokémon-Type,
which comes in the form of
Pachirisu (Call of Legends
Type-matching isn’t as favorable
as I’d like because we’ve it’s been
multiple formats with strong
Lightning-Type Pokémon: Weakness is
minimized and Resistance has been
maximized by those trying to counter
70 HP is solid for a Basic Pokémon;
first turn it isn’t an easy OHKO for the
majority of decks.
By your opponent’s second turn
it’s a probably OHKO, and by said
opponent’s third turn it is almost
This will definitely constrain
its use, but it again it’s pretty good
for a smaller Pokémon.
What is not good is Fighting
This card was 10 HP outside of
Donphan Prime’s (unaided) OHKO-zone,
but not when you factor in Weakness.
Even random supporting Fighting
Pokémon for various lines could be a
threat, especially past the first turn
when they’d have access to their better
What makes this so tragic that in
the video games,
Emolga is a
In the video games this means
that it takes double damage from Ice and
So why am I so steamed?
Most of you already know the answer:
this type combination takes no damage
from Ground attacks and is naturally
resistant to Grass, Fighting, Flying,
Bug, and Steel.
The TCG Fighting-Type is composed
of Fighting, Ground, and Rock video-game
It just doesn’t make sense to use
this Weakness: you’d think it would
“average out” or the fact of total
Ground immunity and Fighting Resistance
would even result in the Rock Weakness
“being ignored” and the card ending up
(TCG) Fighting resistant!
Alternatively, Water would have
been interesting (many Water Pokémon are
weak to Lightning-Type) and appropriate
(Water in the TCG is composed of both
Water- and Ice-Types from the video
No Weakness would have also been
Then there is the fact that a card with
so many forms of Resistance in the video
game not only ignores the most obvious,
but it has no Resistance at all.
Normally I say this doesn’t
matter, but not in this case.
It was a small, situational
advantage but unless the rest of this
card is phenomenal, that was probably
exactly what this card needed, barring
Emolga with neither Weakness
The card strongly favored having
Fighting Resistance, Metal Resistance,
or even Grass Resistance: now that the
video game Poison-Type was shunted to
the TCG Psychic-Type, the TCG Grass Type
is nothing but video game Grass- and
While that Resistance wouldn’t
have been especially useful, at least it
would have been something.
So why am I so fired up?
The last stat is the perfect
Retreat score: zero!
This is low enough to give the
card a certain level of utility so that
it would take truly wretched effects to
Basic Lightning-Type Pokémon with
a free Retreat Cost
aren’t unheard of, but ignoring
classical Baby Pokémon they are quite
uncommon: I’m only showing eight
examples from the entire history of
Having completely blank bottom
stats or a solid Resistance/tolerable
Weakness would have made this a handy
card to have on your Bench in general,
since it just gives you options.
Options when you need to shed an
effect on your Active (just drop a
Switch, bring up
Emolga, and Retreat back),
and letting you decide your “true”
Active by promoting
Emolga after your current
Active is KOed: you then get to draw,
play out your turn, and Retreat to what
you really want Active.
It also requires your opponent
think carefully about targets, and gives
them another potential “wrong choice”:
sure they can use
Pokémon Catcher to force it up for
an easy OHKO… but sometimes you’d rather
they do that trying to reduce your
“options” than another more important
Despite my rant I should mention
that I am happy they did remember that
Flying-Types should really have
noticeably low Retreat costs.
The card has two solid attacks.
For (L) you get the default 10
points of damage with Paralysis if you
can get “heads” on a coin toss. This is
an annoying early attack, though not
very threatening unless you are a)
Paralyzed by it and b) can’t easily
The second attack requires two
coin flips, and if you get two tails
it’s a waste: you only do 10 points of
One heads and one tails results
in a decent 30 points of damage, enough
to OHKO a baby Pokémon.
If you get both heads, you score
50 points of damage, not enough to OHKO
a lot of non-baby Pokémon, but its still
What makes this second attack
work is that it requires (CC).
So you actually can use it
quickly: any Modified-legal Energy
Double Colorless Energy) means it’s
ready to go in a single turn, including
As covered in my rather lengthy Stats
section, having a free retreating
Pokémon is often quite handy, and one
that has 70 HP is just durable enough
that it will require a “main” attack or
hitting its Weakness to OHKO (better
than pretty much any attack as would
happen with a baby Pokémon).
By no means am I saying to strip
Cleffa: their other uses are
If we see some strong
Lightning-Weak decks being to crop up,
then a single copy could be a handy
splash to exploit Weakness.
The inexpensive attack is risky,
but the payoff seems worth it: 20/60/100
split against Weakness, with 60 being
the most likely result.
Early game this is enough to FTKO
Lightning-Weak Basic Pokémon 75% of the
Mid-to-late game it is enough to
finish off or soften up those Pokémon.
Unfortunately that Fighting Weakness is
quite a blot on its resume, and I repeat
it is made worse by the fact that it
really should have been neutral or even
Even though it wouldn’t have been
any good as an attacker against
Donphan Prime (due to
Donphan Prime’s Poké-Body and
Resistance), at least it would have
required effort to bypass or OHKO.
The Weakness really does drop the
card down a peg, and since it was
looking borderline playable for
Modified, that is tragic.
The Weakness also ruins it for more
casual Unlimited play (as highly
competitive probably wouldn’t need it
Tyrogue from Neo Discovery
might not OHKO it, but it comes awfully
close, and while in a laid back game
your opponent won’t be trying to spam
Crobat G to donk you first turn, it
doesn’t mean they’d ignore it
In a more casual deck there is at
least a chance it could have proven
Had it been Fighting Resistant it
might have become a Lightning-Type
Scyther, perhaps even better since
while not reliable, it does have an
easier to pay, potentially harder
hitting big attack.
In Limited play this seems like a top
Its Fighting Weakness is a bit of
a concern, but Lightning Weakness is
also present and if you’re not facing
either you still enjoy a 70 HP Pokémon
with a free Retreat that has a solid
attack that can use any Energy!
The only reason not to run it is
if you have improbably good pulls.
is a card that could almost see play
just by being simply useful.
Not brilliant or dynamic, but
The Fighting Weakness is the part
that sours the deal, since it needs more
HP or better effects to compensate.
I must warn you that despite
being sick of what seems like
Pikachu rehashes, I have
grown to find this one rather cute.
Plus the fact that it is a hybrid
makes it a little more novel as well.