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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Top 13 Pokemon Cards of Dragon Exalted:

#4 - Emolga

Date Reviewed: August 21, 2012

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 4.20
Limited: 4.75

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: See Below

Baby Mario
2010 UK National
Seniors
Champion

Emolga (Dragons Exalted)

He looks cute, he acts cute, and in the anime he sounds impossibly cute . . . yes, the number 4 Pokémon in our top . . . errr . . . 13 countdown is Emolga. That’s right, a 70 HP unevolving Basic with arguably the worst Weakness in the game (Lightning) makes the top 5 over huge EX monsters like Registeel and Terrakion. How can this be? Let’s take a look and find out.

In fact let’s cut to the chase . . . Emolga is good because it has a Call for Family attack that searches out two Basic Pokémon from your deck and puts them on your Bench, and it does this for the low cost of a single Energy of any Colour (so any deck can make use of it). Call for Family attacks are nothing new and at various times in the history of the TCG, they have been extremely playable as starter Pokemon (see Dunsparce SS and Pachirisu GE), in fact, we even had them in the previous format in the shape of Stantler UL and Elgyem NVI. But no-one used them. Why? Well that would be because we had Pokémon Collector and Dual Ball to search out Basics. With those cards gone in the September rotation, our Pokémon search becomes limited to cards which won’t grab multiples and either have a cost (Ultra Ball, Pokémon Communication), or a specific application (Heavy Ball, Level Ball).

So, if you are running a deck like, say, Empoleon or Garchomp which needs to bench multiple Basics ASAP, Emolga is a pretty good way of getting the job done. It also comes with a couple of nice bonuses as well. Free retreat means you won’t have to keep wasting Energy to get it out of the active position, and it can also act as a ‘pivot’ Pokémon which you send up after a KO before switching to an attacker. Speaking of attacking, Emolga’s offensive option, Static Shock, may not seem all that impressive but the 20 damage for a single Lightning Energy is enough to get a OHKO (and possibly a donk win!) on a Swablu, thanks to its Lightning Weakness.

Yes, it looks like starter Pokémon will see play once again during the next format and, right now, Emolga is the best option we have. Free Retreat, plus the fact that it isn’t one-shot by a Mewtwo-EX with DCE makes it a far superior choice to Elgyem. Because of this, and the fact that it will see play in multiple decks in the near future, this is a card that definitely deserves its place in our countdown.

Rating

Modified: 3.75 (high utility starter that will see a lot of play in set up decks)

Limited: 4.75 (with no draw or search in the set, this card becomes the very best opening play you can get)

Jebulous Maryland Player

Emolga
 
Emolga is a Basic Lightning Pokemon with 70 HP.  It has a weakness to Lightning, a resistance to Fighting, and no retreat.  It is searchable by Level Ball.
 
'Call for Family'  costs 1 Colorless energy and lets you search your deck for 2 Basic Pokemon and put them on your bench.
 
'Static Shock' costs 1 Lightning energy and does 20 damage.  It is about standard damage for a basic for 1 specific type of energy.
 
So Emolga looks like it is the best set up Pokemon in terms of filling your Bench.  Since Pokeball and Pokemon Collector are no longer in the format, setting up has become a bit slower.  Level Ball will get you a Basic Pokemon, but it falls short in setting up Basics (the other cards would at best get you 2 or 3 Basic Pokemon, including EXs).
Level Ball won't be getting an EX any time soon.
 
So with not many options for getting Basics, people are looking towards attacks like 'Call for Family'.  Because it requires a Colorless energy, it can be splashed into any deck.  It also allows you to get 2 Basics and put them on your bench (better than putting them in your hand).  With the free retreat, Emolga will do its thing and (if it lives) just retreat to the Bench and wait.  I don't think Emolga has much purpose other than get at least 1 'Call for Family'
off before it gets knocked out.
 
Late game it is not great, it is best used for early game set ups.
The Lightning weakness is something I thought was silly, but it doesn't really matter (as long as you get an attack off).  70 HP means it won't live too long.  Whatever you do, do not bench Emolga unless you can do a 'Call for Family'.  It is just an easy target otherwise.
 
Only time will tell if the Emolga setup strategy will catch on/stay used.
 
Modified: 4.5/5
Limited: 4.5/5
Combo's With: ...
 
Questions, comments, concerns: jebulousthemighty@yahoo.com

Mad
Mattezhion

Our Dragons Exalted Top 10: #4 Emolga
 
Hello again, we're here again with possibly the best card in the set, at least for Limited. Today is another of the appealing electric rodents that Poke'mon is so famous for, Emolga!
 
The reason this card has such a high place in our countdown is because it combines Call for Family Basic-benching power with free retreat when we have just lost Poke'mon Collector and Dual Ball and are scrambling for replacements.
 
Really, that's all the mobile bug-zapper has to do. The 70 HP and Fighting Resistance are useful traits that stop Emolga being a health risk on the first turn or two, but if you can pay [c] to search out and bench 2 Basic Poke'mon of your choice before switching for free next turn then it is just icing on the cake. With Exp Share around as well, you can sacrifice Emolga later in the game to get the energy back and save one of your more important critters.
 
The resistance is absolutely awesome in Limited though, providing a wall against the several powerful Fighting types in the set (Stunfisk in particular) as well as being searchable by the new Rufflet for extra redundancy. I pulled 2 Emolga and 2 Rufflet at my prerelease, as well as a Terrakion EX and a heavy Grachomp line (4-2-1 with GarTomb and 1 Dragon Call Gabite) which allowed me to set up and dominate every game.
 
we have other Poke'mon that can use Call for Family, but none of them have free retreat and most only search out one Basic into the bargain. Basically, if you can't live without your Basics than Emolga is the starter for you!
 
Modified: 4.5 (you can get by without Emolga in your deck if you run enough draw power, but if you prefer to lose an early Prize in order to set up this is definitely a card you want 4 of in your collection)
 
Limited: 5 (Emolga grabs Poke'mon EX and then gracefully bows out so they can do their thing. What more could you ask for?)
 
Combos with: Virizion NV (really beef up your Terrakion matchups and get early draw power as well as search)


Otaku

Welcome to our countdown of the top 13 most promising picks of BW: Dragons Exalted! Today we hit fourth place; we’ve had dragons, legendary Pokémon, and now we have... the “sky squirrel” Pokémon, Emolga? How is this greater than the fierce dragons or legendary Pokémon we’ve already reviewed?

Read on.

Stats

Emolga (BW: Dragons Exalted 45/124) is a Basic Pokémon, which we know is good: one slot in your deck equals one Emogla to play, and as long as you have room on your Bench you can play Emolga from hand with no problem. It is a Lightning-Type; there is some Weakness out there still to hit, though a lot of it was chased off by the success of previous Lightning decks. The same situation means that Lightning Resistant Pokémon are also played more than one might expect. Other than that, being a Lightning-Type doesn’t have much going for or against it; there is neither a lot of true Type Support (the actual support is for the Energy itself, not the Pokémon) nor any specific Type counters (something we haven’t seen much for a little while).

Emolga has 70 HP; if there are no better targets and it is within the first few turns of the game (or some awkward lull approximating those circumstances), Emolga can survive a hit, maybe even two. Once things get into full swing, it is a OHKO but at least many of the common spread attackers will need two or three shots to take it down indirectly. Being this small makes it a legal Level Ball target, which is well worth noting. It is a bit unusual in that it is a Lightning Weak Lightning-Type, but since in the video games it is a Lightning/Flying-Type that makes sense; unless a Lightning-Type deck is forced to attack with something not normally meant to attack, its 70 HP is low enough for the Weakness not to matter. The Fighting Resistance, on the other hand, is just enough to matter if you also include Eviolite. Most decks probably won’t find it worth the effort to try to save something this small, but at least it is an option.

We wrap up the Stats section by looking at the card’s perfect Retreat Cost of zero; you can retreat for free with this card without any special tricks. This isn’t something that would earn it a spot in a deck by itself, but it could be an excellent bonus if the card was already worth playing; Switch instantly becomes a cure all for Special Conditions and many attack effects, and the freedom of promoting something you can easily bring back to the Bench after a KO is strategically valuable. There are a few tricks in the format to provide this for other Pokémon that don’t have it naturally, but those tricks don’t work well in every deck and even if you run this where they would work, having something that doesn’t need them is still slightly advantageous.

Effects

Emolga has two attacks; Call for Family and Static Shock. The latter is a simple 20 damage for (L); periodically useful, but that period is mostly early game when it could OHKO something both small and Lightning Weak, soften up something Lightning Weak for a follow up KO, or just irritate whatever is Active. Besides sharing a name with a DC super-hero, it is serviceable but nothing special.

Call for Family only requires (C), and allows you to search your deck for up to two Basic Pokémon and place them on your Bench. If they survive the next turn, those Pokémon will be ready to Evolve. Since it doesn’t require a specific Type of Energy, Call for Family could give Emolga a place in almost any deck. This is a good, solid attack, but you’ll have to ask yourself is it worth a Prize? Completely on its own, the answer would be no… but what about when we look at the card as a whole?

Usage

I can stop feigning ignorance now; while perhaps a bit grating on the readers that have been play-testing with proxies of Emolga since it debuted in Japan, its inclusion in the top 10 at some level was a given. “Set-up” attacks that searched out and Benched Basic Pokémon from your deck were amazing during the first few post-WotC formats. The reason for this was there weren’t a lot of Trainers or Supporters worth dedicating to getting such cards out, plus we didn’t have a format with modern “big Basic Pokémon”, capable dishing it out as well or better than they could take it. Then we started getting better Items and Supporters, and for several formats, that was how most decks functioned and only a few used Pokémon based effects for this kind of set-up.

Now we have Supporters that provide an excellent source of draw power, we have Items that can snag a single Pokémon at a time (either with restricted targets or at a cost), and we have several potent decks that all need to get multiple Basic Pokémon out of the deck as soon as possible. At first using a card like Emolga may seem counterproductive; you’re using a Basic Pokémon, an Energy attachment, an Energy card, and an attack to get two Basic Pokémon… wouldn’t it be more or at least just as cost efficient to run another copy of the Basic you want to search out? In a few decks it might be, but that is why I emphasized Emolga is greater than the some of its parts.

You have a universally accessible and useful opening/recovery attack backed by a free Retreat Cost and just enough HP to require a “real” attacker take it down directly if it needs to be taken down quickly; don’t underestimate the value of a “meat shield”. For those decks that can meet the cost, Static Shock does just enough to be potentially useful… and probably about half the decks in the game will be able to meet that cost, because the developers proved they knew what they were doing again.

Blend Energy GRPD and Blend Energy WLFM are basically going to “split” decks on a lot of cards. Emolga doesn’t need its second attack, but it becomes a nice bonus for decks running Blend Energy WLFM, Prism Energy, or Lightning Energy and also wanting to use Emolga… which brings me to the other options to running Emolga. One just happens to be friendly to Blend Energy GRPD, the other side of the divide; I am speaking of Sableye. Using Junk Hunt, many decks can spam the various Ball Items to get an adequate set-up, and while this turns setting up into a small combo, since Sableye (and Junk Hunt) are useful for other tasks, it is worth the effort. Such decks usually can rely almost entirely on Level Ball or Heavy Ball, but in discard friendly situations even Ultra Ball will do. An especially Pokémon heavy deck could even consider Pokémon Communication for this same scenario.

Then the there is the third option: using neither. Sometimes the specifics of a deck mean it has a niche Pokémon that can do the job just as well (or perhaps better); I am not sold on any of those out yet, but this kind of effect is more likely than not to show up at least one more time before BW-On Modified is finished (especially since it hasn’t technically started yet). Other decks just need to start with a specific Pokémon or one of group of specific Pokémon; the best example would be extremely aggressive decks that must open their chosen attacker.

Unlimited has access to all the Trainers I mentioned can be used for set-up, and that is just what the top decks do; you know the ones with the reasonably high chance of winning first turn or scoring at least an imperfect lock. There are also several Pokémon with more potent effects to again aid in set-up, so even if the fastest decks were somehow brought in line, Emolga would still be outclassed. Even restricting to Pokémon with Call for Family style attacks, we could use Dunsparce (EX: Sandstorm 60/100); its stats aren’t as nice but its Strike and Run attack snags three Pokémon, plus gives you the option of Benching Dunsparce; if Emolga did that it would be the opener in Modified.

In Limited play, the opposite is true; you pull this, you run it. The only exceptions are the irritating (and potentially risky) “Mulligan EX” strategy where you pull a Pokémon EX that may be capable of winning an entire tournament with a deck mostly made of Energy behind it (running anything else would prevent you from having a guaranteed start with that Pokémon), and the fact the four copy maximum rule does not apply here (at least the last time I checked – not like its that easy to pull more than four copies of any one card). You could hypothetically exceed the “useful” threshold, since some Lightning Resistant Pokémon are in this set and a pure Emolga deck would be vulnerable to them, other Lightning decks that would exploit its Weakness, and the fact that anything that could set-up would likely overwhelm the swarm. Still, I could see amounts up to six being advantageous; fishing Basic Pokémon out of your deck is amazing here, as are all stats on this card other than its Weakness. Even Static Shock is pretty good here.

Ratings

Unlimited: 1/5

Modified: 4/5

Limited: 4.95/5

Summary

Emolga is now one of the two best, if not the best, opening Pokémon we have. It can function in any deck, and it works well in most. Directly, it is unlikely to win you a game, but even after the open it can be handy just as a free-retreating body that will buy you a turn while resetting-up if your opponent does fail to dispatch it early game. So the above scores reflect how good it is in a specific deck, but in almost any deck, unlike most of the other cards we’ve reviewed for this top 13 list. As such, my own personal list had Emolga in the number one slot.

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