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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Emolga #32

Emerging Powers

Date Reviewed: Sept. 1, 2011

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 1.50
Limited: 2.25

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

Baby Mario
2010 UK National
Seniors
Champion

Emolga 32/98 (Emerging Powers)

Emolga is definitely one of the Cutemons of Generation V. Unfortunately, being a Cutemon is no guarantee of playability *looks at the 379 different versions of Pikachu currently sitting in the binder*

What we have here is an unevolving Basic with 70 HP. Now 70 HP would be very decent for an unevolving Basic if it was a starter-type Pokémon (i.e.: a card that helps you to get set up), but Emolga isn’t that: it’s an attacker pure and simple, and the HP bar for attacking Basics in this format has been set very high by the Unova Dragons (130 HP) and Weather Genies (110 HP). This leaves Emolga looking like a bit of a weakling.

The attacks aren’t remotely in the same league as the Legendaries either. One Lightning Energy gets you Thundershock: 10 damage and a flip for Paralysis. Semi-useful for delaying the opponent if you hit heads, but not really something to build an early game strategy around. Alternatively, you could attach [C][C] and use Acrobatics which also has a base damage of 10 but gives you two coin flips for an extra 20 damage for each heads. Best case scenario, then, is Emolga doing 50 damage on the first turn for a Double Colourless Energy. Yes, it could get an instant KO against a weak Basic or a Baby Pokémon, but there are many better and more reliable cards if you want to pursue that strategy. Tyrogue is a better Baby killer (sounds wrong, I know), Pachirisu CL can do a more reliable 50, and Audino EP has higher HP and will do more damage for the same cost and coin flip luck.

If you really want an Electric Pokémon that can do a bit of damage turn one (and you almost certainly don’t), then you are better off with Elekid who can hit anything on the Field for 20 and then give himself a chance to survive via Sweet Sleeping Face. Emolga, cute as he is, is just too weak all round to be worth the space in a competitive deck.

Rating

Modified: 1.5 (slim chance of donking and the chance for Paralysis are all this card has going for it)

Limited: 2.5 (decent HP and Paralysis attack could make Emolga fairly annoying in this format)


Otaku

Today we review Emolga the new adorable basic Electric Lightning-Type Pokémon. Apparently TPC thought we needed another. The one Pokémon Black&White episode I’ve seen even was about catching it. @_@

Stats

Emolga is a Basic Pokémon that does not Evolve, so 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 18/95). 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 their popularity.

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 certain. This will definitely constrain its use, but it again it’s pretty good for a smaller Pokémon. What is not good is Fighting Resistance. 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 attacks. What makes this so tragic that in the video games, Emolga is a Flying/Electric-Type hybrid. In the video games this means that it takes double damage from Ice and Rock. 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 types. 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 games). No Weakness would have also been nice.

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 leaving Emolga with neither Weakness nor Resistance. 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 Bug-Types. 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 be useless. 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 Pokémon! 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 combo piece. Despite my rant I should mention that I am happy they did remember that Flying-Types should really have noticeably low Retreat costs.

Effects

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 shake it. The second attack requires two coin flips, and if you get two tails it’s a waste: you only do 10 points of damage. 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 solid damage. What makes this second attack work is that it requires (CC). So you actually can use it quickly: any Modified-legal Energy acceleration (including Double Colorless Energy) means it’s ready to go in a single turn, including first turn.

Usage

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 out your Cleffa: their other uses are completely different. 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 time. 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 Resistant. 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 anyway). 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 completely. In a more casual deck there is at least a chance it could have proven useful, though. 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 pull. 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.

Ratings

Unlimited: 1.5/5

Modified: 2/5

Limited: 5/5

Summary

Emolga is a card that could almost see play just by being simply useful. Not brilliant or dynamic, but handy. 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.

Virusyosh

Hello once again, Pojo readers! Today we continue our Emerging Powers COTDs with a review for the new electric rodent-like Pokemon, Emolga.

Emolga is a Basic Lightning-type Pokemon. Lightning-types are incredibly common in Modified today, with both Magnezone Prime and Zekrom seeing a lot of play. That being said, Emolga could possibly fit into such a deck, provided that it does something extraordinary. To start things off, 70 HP for a non-evolving Basic is quite poor nowadays, and Emolga will get OHKOed in Modified any time after the very early game. Fighting Weakness is a bit strange for a Pokemon with secondary Flying typing in the video game, but this basically just makes sure that Donphan, Machamp, and friends will easily OHKO. No Resistance is also pretty unfortunate, and finally, a free Retreat Cost is the best you can have, and is definitely one of the better points of this card.

This Sky Squirrel Pokemon has two attacks, Thundershock and Acrobatics. Thundershock deals a rather weak 10 damage for a single Lightning Energy, and if you flip heads, the Defending Pokemon is Paralyzed. This is move is much more useful in Limited, as 10 damage won't get you anywhere in Modified, even in the early game. Acrobatics also starts off at a dismal 10 damage for two Colorless Energy, but allows you to flip two more coins, dealing 20 more damage for each heads. 50 damage for two Energy is fairly good, but Pachirisu CL can do the same thing without the coin flips. Again, not terribly useful in Modified, but in Limited, it might be able to see some play.

Modified: 1/5 Free retreat aside, Emolga has nothing going for it in Modified. Both attacks are far too weak to be useful, and 70 HP for a non-evolving Basic with no special abilities or good attacks just won't cut it here. If you want to use a cute Lightning-type rodent, use Pachirisu CL.

Limited: 2/5 I can't actually recommend Emolga here, either. Lightning is a rather uncommon type in Emerging Powers, meaning that unless you draft a ton of Joltik, Galvantula, and Thundurus, you probably won't be using the Lightning-type. That being said, Thundershock can be useful to stall (if you're getting Thundurus out, perhaps) and free retreat is always nice, but the attacks are still very unimpressive.


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