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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Electivire

- Furious Fists

Date Reviewed:
Oct. 14, 2014

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 2.50
Expanded: 2.67
Limited: 3.38

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

Electivire (Furious Fists) 

Today’s card is the partner in crime for Magmortar FFI. He’s very much the junior partner, though. 

That’s because, with this card on your Bench, the big fiery clown Pokémon can hit for a massive 160 damage, and that’s just a Muscle Band away from a OHKO on anything short of the rarely played Mega Pokémon. As an attacker, Electivire just can’t compete. I suppose you could use his Tag Team Spark attack against Lightning-Weak Pokémon such as Yveltal EX and Lugia EX, but for that to work out, Magmortar would need enough Energy attached to it to make the OHKO anyway. 

Electivire/Magmortar is a classic gimmick deck that can be devastating in theory, thanks to Magmortar’s power. In practice, it is incredibly Energy intensive and relies on easy-to-KO Stage 1 Pokémon. This means it really struggles to keep up with the pace of today’s format and I can’t honestly recommend it for anything other than fun/casual play. On the plus side, the artwork is great. 

Rating 

Modified: 2 (the lesser of two Pokémon in a deck that isn’t all that good)

Expanded: 1.75 (see above)

Limited: 3 (you would need the Magmortar though . . .)


aroramage

You may remember from a couple of weeks ago that we reviewed Magmortar, the great partner-in-crime to our friend Electivire here. Now we're taking a closer look at the other half of this "Gen IV evolutions to Gen I Pokemon that also got baby Pokemon back in Gen II" tag-team match-up!

 

In the review for Magmortar, I mentioned Electivire's first attack, Tag-Team Spark, dealing damage based on the number of Magmortar in play rather than whether or not you had one in play like Magmortar's Twin Bursts. Diving into it, we see it's a 1-for-20 attack that does 20 more damage based on said guideline, which means Electivire has the potential to be dealing 100 damage with 4 Magmortar in play, all at the cost of one. I do appreciate that this is an additive number rather than a multiplicative number, meaning that Electivire will always deal at least 20 damage with this attack when you're struggling to get those Magmortar out for whatever reason.

 

The problem with Tag-Team Spark, though, is fulfilling its condition on getting out more Magmortar. Chances are that even in an E.M.B. (Electivire-Magmortar build), you'll probably be running 3 of each tops while maxing out on 4 Evosodas to guarantee the evolution when you need it. So at most, Tag-Team Spark is dealing 80 damage, still not a bad sum but that also assumes you're getting out all 3 Magmortar. 40-60 damage is about average for this attack, if I had to guess, which for 1 isn't bad but it's not something I'd actively rely on, like the Twin Bursts attack from Magmortar.

 

Electivire's not without options though, as he too has a nice secondary attack. In the event a Magmortar falls short of their Twin Bursts and gets overrun, Electivire can always step in and decimate opponents with 3-for-60 Gigavolt - and a coin flip. This is one of those "win-win" coin flips, where you can flip it and benefit from either end. Heads gets you an extra 30 damage for a solid 90 damage overall, but Tails nabs you a Paralysis on the opposing Active Pokemon.

 

Some of you may recall the era of Vanilluxe (NVI), whose attack Double Freeze revolved around flipping 2 coins and dealing damage based on the number of heads while also Paralyzing if any of them landed heads. While Gigavolt isn't as lock-worthy, it does remind me a little of that, and so the best card to include alongside these two in an E.M.B. would be none other than Fliptini-er, Victini (LTR), still around in the Legendary Treasures set! Then you can snag whichever effect you want and flip for the other if it's better - not that you'd be flipping again that often unless you REALLY need that Paralysis or that extra damage.

 

Electivire's a pretty solid Stage 1, all things considered. He's not as reliant on Magmortar for a good damage output, though the latter does have a much more powerful attack than the former could possibly amount to. Still, Electivire can fight on his own if he needs to and isn't required to have Magmortar, though it does make Tag-Team Spark more effective. Perhaps his biggest downfall is his weakness to a popular Type at the moment, but then again that's why Magmortar's the offense, eh?

 

As put by the Quad City DJs, "You run the 'O' and I run the 'D', so come on baby just jam for me!"

 

Rating

 

Standard: 2.5/5 (Tag-Team Spark doesn't do much without Magmortar, and while Gigavolt doesn't have the offensive force of Twin Bursts, it does have that powerful 50/50 Paralysis chance)

 

Expanded: 3/5 (E.M.B. gets good acceleration here; I stand by what I said with Magmortar in that it helps out a bit here)

 

Limited: 3.5/5 (I'd even rate Electivire a little higher than Magmortar here if only for Gigavolt, even with Magmortar's insane damage output - that paralysis too good!)

 

Arora Notealus: COME ON AND SLAM, AND WELCOME TO THE JAM!! Admit it, you're thinking of Electivire and Magmortar playing basketball now.

 

Next Time: Get off that skyscraper, and please put down the pretty lady!


Otaku

Today we will take a look at Electivire (XY: Furious Fists 30/111).  It is a Lightning-Type, and while the lack of Type support (coupled with running into the occasional bit of Resistance) is a concern, scoring double damage against the likes of the popular and potent Yvelta-EX, less popular but still played Lugia-EX and the odd Empoleon (BW: Dark Explorers 29/108; BW: Plasma Freeze 117/116) deck (among others) is pretty good.  Being a Stage 1 is not, though at least they still are showing some life, unlike most Stage 2 Pokémon that have really suffered due to the loss of Tropical Beach and (more importantly) the popularity of Seismitoad-EX as the Item lock is a double whammy, shutting down popular search cards and blocking Rare Candy.

120 HP falls into that “weird” grey area: it’s small enough most decks can definitely score a OHKO but big enough that they’ll need a good set-up, often burning non-renewable or at least difficult to replenish resources. : a Seismitoad-EX isn’t going to do it using Quaking Punch, even slapping on a Muscle Band and comboing with Hypnotoxic Laser/Virbank City Gym.  If it is a build that runs Water Energy, however, without any extra help Grenade Hammer would do the job.  Fighting-Types have it even easier thanks to the Weakness; 60 x 2 is much easier to hit than a straight 120 and against Electivire such attackers will quickly find itself in overkill territory.  Even then the results are mixed; as easy as that is the Fighting-Types currently popular as attackers need at least small combos to do the job.  The Metal Resistance isn’t a major advantage but is appreciated nonetheless and may prove more valuable after the next set, while the Retreat Cost is a minor annoyance (pricey enough to be painful or unaffordable) as most decks need switching cards anyway… and in Expanded its a small bonus since it makes Electivire Level Ball-compliant. 

Electivire has two attacks: Tag Team Spark and Gigavolt.  The former requires [L] and does 20 for each Energy attached to your Magmortar.  Pokémon names don’t officially add an “s” (or make a similar change) to indicate when they are plural, so this is counting the Energy attached to all of your Magmortar in play.  On one hand, this means you need Energy attached to something else of yours in order to do a useful amount of damage.  On the other hand, this means you can prep multiple Magmortar with Energy (which might be useful in and of itself) and then drop a single [L] onto Electivire to score massive damage… and unlike when loading up a Mewtwo-EX or Yveltal-EX you’re only out one Energy when Electivire goes down.  You can even spread the Energy out so taking out any one Magmortar doesn’t lower your damage yield by too much.  At only 20 points of damage per Energy on an attack performed by a Stage 1 Pokémon with 120 HP, you’ll need to getting into at least 2HKO range, preferably OHKO; that means four to five total Energy attached to your Magmortar (on top of the Energy attached to Electivire, remember) for just the 2HKO while a OHKO is requires 9+ Energy (well, unless you’re facing non-Pokémon-EX).

The second attack requires [LCC], making is Double Colorless Energy compliant (as well as other more general forms of Energy acceleration) and has a coin flip dependent effect.  I am glad it is not “tails fails”, but the split is between 90 points of damage (the minimal going rate for cards, usually requiring a bonus effect or amazing stats to prove worthwhile) or… Paralysis.  60 and Paralysis for three is not so good and blending the two is… still not so good.  Certainly better than a vanilla 60 (+30 on “heads”) but hardly a competitive rate.  This concept would be better suited to something that was going to either score a OHKO or set-up for a 2HKO while Paralyzing the target.  Factor in many decks either blocking Special Conditions or having a method of dealing with them and it seems clear Tag Team Spark should be our focus, if we use this version of Electivire at all. 

There is one other Standard legal Electivire (Expanded doesn’t go back far enough to add anymore): BW: Boundaries Crossed 54/149.  We never got around to reviewing it back when it was released, so a quick run through is in order: it has the same Attributes (yes, I know Erik Nance uses the term differently than I do) as today’s card, save for lacking Resistance (so a Lightning Type Stage 1 with 120 HP, Fighting Weakness, no Resistance and a Retreat Cost of three).  It also sports two attacks: for [LCC] Electriwave does 30 to each of your opponent’s Benched Pokémon while for [LCCC] Shock Wave does 80 and doesn’t apply Resistance.  Those were pretty bad back then (probably why we skipped it) and are a little worse now.  Electriwave is almost acceptable; against a full Bench that is an effective 150 for three, but it ignores the Defending Pokémon (leaving it safe to swing away), can be played around by at least some decks (Bench few if any Pokémon) and by now has two generic counters since it does damage instead of placing damage counters, Mountain Ring and Mr. Mime (BW: Plasma Freeze 47/116). 

Shock Wave failed to meet that 2HKO minimum threshold (which was still a thing when this version of Electivire was new).  While supplying the Energy it needed was easier at the time (there was compatible Energy acceleration still legal when it released) four Energy really needs to hit hard enough that you can at least combo to get it up to a OHKO (so another 40 or so points of damage).  Ignoring Resistance is also pretty trivial given that Resistance itself is a small of only minor use; the effect is a situational bonus against another situational bonus.  For being so disappointing (...Shockwave is a very popular Transformers character), this attack gave me enough I had to spend a paragraph outlining how bad it is… and even getting back the old support I mentioned - Eelektrik (BW: Noble Victories 40/101) it still will be clearly inferior to today’s CotD.  Unless you absolutely aren’t running Magmortar, even if you insist on running Electivire stick to today’s card, and even without Magmortar they might simply become equal. 

Of course there is more to this; we need to see if Electabuzz contributes anything worthwhile.  Although most Evolving Basic Pokémon serve as mere stepping stones (exacerbating the balance issues between the different Stages of Evolution), Electabuzz debuted in the first generation of Pokémon and was fairly popular back then; it may still get a good treatment.  Standard (and Expanded) give us two options: BW: Boundaries Crossed 53/149 and XY: Furious Fists 29/111.  Both a Lightning-Type Basic Pokémon with 80 HP, Fighting Weakness, a Retreat Cost of two and two attacks.  BW: Boundaries Crossed 53/149 has no Resistance, can score 20 points of damage for [LC] or 50 points for [LCC].  XY: Furious Fists 29/111 has Metal Resistance and can score 10 for [L] or 20 (+20 with a “heads”) for [LC].  Both are bad, but XY: Furious Fists 29/111 at least requires less Energy while enjoying any sort of Resistance, so its the winner. 

With all that said, I will finally delve into the obvious combo: Magmortar (XY: Furious Fists 11/111, already reviewed here.  Simply put even if you want an “Electivire” deck, you really need to be running a Magmortar deck because as long as you’re already stockpiling Energy on it and running Electivire, you may as well enjoy an attack that hits for 160 points of damage (Twin Bursts).  The two make for a solid but not quite competitive deck.  That isn’t to say running it gives you no chance of winning an event, but as the effort involved is as much or more than the current crop of top decks and you’ll be a bit more prone to misfires due to the complexities of running two Stage 1 Pokémon, about the only positive is not having to worry about Pyroar (XY: Flashfire 20/106) (or rather adding a counter to an otherwise all Basic deck).  Magmortar can be powered up in a single turn via a Blacksmith and Double Colorless Energy, but even with Blacksmith, Tag Team Spark won’t be hitting hard without prep.  Besides simply using it only to hit Weakness or in emergencies and relying on Magmortar I see only two options, and one is for Expanded only. 

You might work in Emboar (latest printing BW: Legendary Treasures 27/113).  Inferno Fandango won’t work with Rainbow Energy or Lightning Energy, but your one manual attachment for the turn should cover that.  Space will be very tight though, even if you Emboar as an “extra” and not your primary acceleration (meaning you’re still running Double Colorless Energy and/or Blacksmith).  For Expanded only, you could run Eelektrik (mentioned earlier); its Dynamotor Ability won’t work on Fire Energy but you still have Blacksmith for that.  Dynamotor can still attach Lightning Energy to cover the [C][C] requirements for Twin Bursts and as with Emboar you have the option of spreading out Energy across multiple Magmortar on the Bench (assuming you have multiples).  Either way, Tag Team Spark is too difficult to turn into your main attack, at least compared to having Twin Bursts.  A note for Expanded; while three Stage 1 Pokémon are even more difficult than just running two, you will have access to both Level Ball and Heavy Ball with the former getting everything but Magmortar and Electivire, which the latter searches out. 

For Limited play, the Weakness is legitimate concern and thus potential deal breaker, even if you might otherwise work Electivire into your deck.  You also would have to be quite lucky to pull Magmar/Magmortar in addition to Electabuzz/Electivire and luckier still to get them both out in a timely manner.  Gigavolt is much better here (as is its 120 HP), which means that overall the line is still a good pull. 

Ratings 

Standard: 3/5 - This card’s effectiveness is greatly bolstered by the usefulness of striking Weakness, and by being the “trigger” for Magmortar and its Twin Burst (or rather, the additional damage clause of said attack).  This score assumes you’re using them together and thus are building a deck around them; it nearly bottoms out on its own.  Do not assume you need as many Electivire as you do Magmortar. 

Expanded: 3.25/5 - As above, and just as I mentioned in the Magmortar review the two might actually be a little better here due to some key pieces of support being present (Level Ball and Heavy Ball). 

Limited: 3.5/5 - Mind that Weakness and remember you’ll probably be relying on Gigavolt alone.  90 or 60 with Paralysis is a lot more effective here.  Also remember that Electabuzz isn’t quite as bad here as once again, lower average HP scores and damage yields work their “magic”. 

Summary: This card and its Magmortar set-mate have interesting synergy, but it is clearly the weaker or the two.  Perhaps someone will find just the right build (and/or timing) for a deck built around the two to really shine, but it should at least provide a good fun-but-borderline-competitive deck.  If it had possessed at least a half decent Ability it could use while on the Bench, we might be complaining about Magmortar decks dominating the metagame right now.  If the attacks were a bit better, we probably would see this winning some events.  Of course, dwelling on things that could have been but aren’t is rather… iffy.


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