Welcome to our countdown of the top 13
most promising picks of BW: Dragons
Today we hit fourth place; we’ve
had dragons, legendary Pokémon, and now
we have... the “sky squirrel” Pokémon,
How is this greater than the
fierce dragons or legendary Pokémon
we’ve already reviewed?
(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).
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
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
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
Most decks probably won’t find it
worth the effort to try to save
something this small, but at least it is
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
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.
has two attacks; Call for Family and
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
Call for Family only requires (C), and
allows you to search your deck for up to
two Basic Pokémon and place them on your
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
Emolga a place in almost any deck.
This is a good, solid attack, but you’ll
have to ask yourself is it worth a
Completely on its own, the answer
would be no… but what about when we look
at the card as a whole?
I can stop feigning ignorance now; while
perhaps a bit grating on the readers
that have been play-testing with proxies
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
amazing during the first few
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
Emolga is greater than the some of
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
Blend Energy WLFM are basically
going to “split” decks on a lot of
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
Emolga… which brings me to the
other options to running
One just happens to be friendly
Blend Energy GRPD, the other side of
the divide; I am speaking of
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
Ultra Ball will do.
An especially Pokémon heavy deck
could even consider
Pokémon Communication for this same
Then the there is the third option:
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
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
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
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
As such, my own personal list had
Emolga in the number one slot.
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