BulbapediaWhy hello 6P, I do not believe we have been properly introduced. My name is Zach Elliott, though I go by Squib on most online forums and such. I have been following this site for a while now, and decided that I could give writing for it a try.
First, who am I? Well I’ve only been playing competitive Pokémon TCG for a little over a year now, so you could call me relatively new at this. My accomplishments in the game are very lackluster, though I did manage to go into top cut at 1st seed from Swiss in my first ever Premier tournament.
Since then I’ve topped a few Cities, but nothing exciting. I’m very good at going X-2 at every tournament and then whiffing cut. But whatever, I’m boring; let’s see what I have to talk about today.
If there’s a card in format right now that I know better than any other card, it would definitely be Eelektrik. Since Noble Victories was released, I have been playing this card in every tournament I attended (except for the first few Cities this season, Landorus EX was really scary, but we’ll get to that later). And why would I do something as dedicated as that? Because this is one of the most powerful Energy accelerators the game has ever seen!
So first we are going to need a starting list. I was fortunate enough to play in the Georgia Marathon this season, and Keldeo/Blastoise was everywhere. So, naturally, RayEels thrived as well. We can take a look at my list from Cities (which I was able to top cut with multiple times) and tweak it to fit the BLW-PLS format:
Pokémon – 16
Trainers – 31
Energy – 13
Mostly everything should seem in place except for maybe Keldeo EX. But with Skyarrow Bridge, Keldeo EX only needs 1 energy to retreat, effectively giving all your Eelektriks 1 retreat cost as well, something that is very helpful indeed. The second Baby Ray is also slightly unorthodox, but it makes the mirror sooo much easier.
Now let’s get on to making this deck ready to take States by Storm!
To be completely honest, I do not see much in this set that helps Eelektrik out too much. But, there are a few cards I will review for sake of being thorough. Below each analysis I will provide an adjustment to make to the deck list above to include the card.
PokeGymFor one energy Rotom can use its first attack which allows you to discard a Lightning Energy from your hand in order to draw 3 cards. This sounds great, but there are a few problems here.
1. Rotom has a pesky Weakness to Fighting and a very depressing 60 HP, so he is just as susceptible to being donked by Landorus EX as your poor Tynamos are.
2. Having a Lightning Energy in your hand T1 is not always going to happen. Plus, you have to have one to attach to Rotom as well. Think of it this way: your opening hand needs to have 2 energy in it for this to work, otherwise Rotom is a useless and very dangerous starter!
Now you could rely on Professor Juniper or other draw to get your hands on the second energy, but if that’s the case an additional 3 cards may not be necessary.
Ultimately, I would much rather have a second energy in play on a Thundurus to threaten a T2 80 than I would 3 extra cards.
Victini EX is a strange card, and I’m not too sure about where he is going to end up. He can be a terror T1, but his 110 HP should not be overlooked. If you run Victini EX, I feel the only ACE SPEC of choice is his Victory Piece. This would give Eelektrik a nice T1 attack that could do 50-100 damage or simply accelerate energies from the deck much like Charge does.
But of course, there are always cons to the pros.
- This card is a free 2 prizes against Keldeo. Your deck has a natural advantage over Keldeo, don’t throw it away.
- This card is a free 2 prizes against Darkrai. After just one snipe Victini EX is ripe for the picking, or if the Darkrai player is particularly devious they could play a Dark Claw and simply take you out straight up.
- And most importantly, this card takes away your option to play a different, more useful ACE SPEC. Sure you could just use his first attack with a Fire energy, but then you might as well just use Charge.
As you can see, Victini EX is more of a liability than even Shaymin EX. It pains me to hate on the little guy so much, but he definitely belongs somewhere else.
Now this is interesting. But I will save all of our time here; Rayquaza EX takes the knock out with 4 energies attached to him anyway, and he doesn’t need Plasma Energies. Probably too inconsistent and just altogether unnecessary. Running 3 kinds of energy when none of them are DCE just screams bad idea to me.
-1 Rayquaza EX / -1 Rayquaza / -1 Fire Energy
+1 Lugia EX / +2 Plasma Energy
So the Pokémon don’t really help us out much, how about the Trainer cards?
PokeGymPeople have been talking badly about this card and I’m not sure why. The ability to shuffle draw that many cards is hard to pass up. It may be weak in the early game, but if wait until at least T2 to play this guy, you can get that PONT feel back. And we all loved PONT.
Maybe. I didn’t play competitively back in the days of Warp Point, but if you’re OHKOing whatever is active, it’s probably best that you pick what that is instead of your opponent. I’d still play Switch.
If anyone else has tried to fit this into a non-Basic rush deck, you know what I’m talking about when I say that this just isn’t happening. Not enough room, and generally unnecessary. We’re already doing 180 damage after all. Plus we need Skyarrow Bridge in play to work perfectly; we don’t want Virbank City Gym out there.
Don’t do this. Ever.
Coming out of Regionals and into States, there are 4 decks that people should know about and need to look out for:
These are the 4 decks that have won a Winter Regionals and made up most of the Top 32s. Understanding how each of these decks reacts with one another is the key to success, and if we want to win with Rayquaza/Eelektrik, we need to study its matchups specifically.
Now I’m not going to go into much detail about each matchup, but I will touch on the points that involve what each deck gains with the new set and how Eelektrik can adapt.
This is a pretty nice matchup for Eelektrik. They don’t play Eviolite, so you can easily spam 3 energy Dragon Bursts to take your 2 Prizes. Plus, Thundurus can start killing Squirtles on T2 if they only have 1 benched. But things have changed, and we may need to adapt.
With Plasma Storm comes Black Kyurem EX, Articuno EX, and Lugia EX. All 3 of these attackers have been talked about in this deck, so I will address each specifically.
Vs. Black Kyurem EX PLS
PokeGymThis guy is there to OHKO anything out there, and there is little Rayquaza can do to stop it. 400 damage from Black Ballista hurts, and you’ll just have to take it. Just know that if they use this card then they have to play a different energy type to cover its cost, be it Lightning, Prism, or Blend.
You can simply KO it by discarding 2 energies from Dragon Burst (unless they are bold and play Crystal Wall, then a third energy is in order). This card just speeds the matchup up; Blastoise player needs 4 energies to OHKO instead of 6, Eelektrik player needs 2 instead of 3. A fair exchange.
Vs. Articuno EX
I don’t think this card will be very good. With Hypnotoxic Laser out, people will have answers to Status Conditions, and most of those answers will come in the form of Keldeo EX. We are no exception. Simply Rush In, retreat, and then blow it up for 180 damage.
Vs. Lugia EX
This makes the matchup kinda funny. If they start with it, you can Thunder Wave with Tynamo to set up a Disaster Volt for 160 KO later in the game, but this may not be that effective. You could throw a regular Zekrom into the deck (he’s still good at Bolt Striking you know) for an easy 2 prizes, but in all honesty you shouldn’t have a turn to attack this guy.
Lugia EX should be played as Shaymin EX: a finisher on the last turn. Just be aware that Lugia can swoop in at any time to finish the game.
All-in-all, not much changes for Eelektrik against this deck. Being aware of these new attackers is the biggest advantage you can have. If they have 3 prizes left and opt to weaken a Rayquaza EX instead of knocking it out, you may want to retreat because Lugia EX is inbound.
No one likes this matchup. Ok, maybe the Landorus player does, but trust me it is no fun for the Eelektrik player. This is a matchup that you just have to accept will be rough and that your Tynamos will die. We run Super Rod for a reason, right?
The new set does a few favors for this deck, so we will have to be prepared. Ether is finally coming out, and Landorus will be all over that card. Hypnotoxic Laser gives this deck another weapon to kill our Eelektriks, and Scramble Switch lets the deck pull out some unexpected attacks. What can we do against these cards?
PokeGymAccelerating ahead to Land’s Judgment is a little unnecessary against poor Tynamo, but don’t think it won’t happen. Hammerhead T1 into T2 Land’s Judgment can KO your Rayqauzas, so be ready.
My best advice is to always be prepared for taking 150 damage next turn and have a response plan. If it doesn’t happen, then you prepared for the worst and didn’t have to deal with it.
Vs. Hypnotoxic Laser
Landorus doesn’t need this card to donk Tynamos, but if Virbank City Gym is in play, Hammerhead can OHKO Eelektrik. It can also set up Land’s Judgment for 150 + 30 from poison to OHKO Rayquaza EX. Again, the best you can do here is be prepared for such an attack.
Know what you will do if your active is knocked out before you launch an attack. Countering Virbank City Gym with Skyarrow Bridge is always a good move too. Perhaps upping the count of Skyarrow Bridge to 3 would make this matchup a little easier.
Vs. Scramble Switch
This basically goes hand-in-hand with Ether. This deck will be able to build big attackers out of the middle of nowhere, even a massive Mewtwo to OHKO your Rayquaza.
Some quick math: if you just Dragon Burst for 180 to KO a Landorus, you have 1 energy left. Your opponent promotes a Landorus with a Double Colorless Energy and leaves a Mewtwo with a Fighting Energy on the bench. Your opponent draws, attaches a DCE to Mewtwo, and Scramble Switches. The new Mewtwo has 5 energies, and so is swinging for 120 damage since you have one also.
But alas, your opponent has another trick up his sleeve as he Ethers another energy onto Mewtwo and then plays Hypnotoxic Laser. The math adds up: Mewtwo with 6 energies + Rayquaza with 1 energy = 140 damage. Going into your turn you take 30 damage from Poison (that pesky Virbank City Gym), and you’re knocked out.
This is a (perhaps worst case) scenario in which Scramble Switch will allow decks to surprise knock out like never before. Just know that DCEs can be moved now, and that you will be knocked out without expecting it, so always plan for it just in case.
That pretty much sums up the new strategy against Landorus. Save up your Super Rod(s) and Skyarrow Bridges, they are the key to winning.
I personally dislike this matchup the most. Playing against Landorus is awful for the first few turns, but if you can get past those it’s not so bad. This deck just doesn’t like to lose. Though playing Hydreigon is alright, straight Darkrai decks can be a real nuisance. What sort of toys does this deck gain?
The new set gives Darkrai decks a few items to bolster their early games. The cards are the same as for Landorus decks, but they serve a slightly different purpose. These cards are Bicycle, Ether, and Hypnotoxic Laser.
PokeGymBicycle gives Darkrai more draw on its first turn. Speed Darkrai decks can play down their hand better than any other deck out there with Ultra Ball and no evolutions to clutter. As such, Bicycle is at its most potent in this deck.
If Darkrai is allowed to access even 2 more cards on its first turn than normal, you could very easily have a T1 Night Spear headed your way. If you know that your opponent plays Bicycle, paralyzing with Tynamo may be the best option.
If your opponent doesn’t run Keldeo or can’t access it right away, you can buy a precious turn to set up an Eelektrik or two and get rolling. If you flip tails, well me and you both know that Tynamo was going down anyway.
This is pretty much the same as Bicycle, it makes the T1 Night Spear even more of a reality. Though it also allows Darkrais to be powered up much quicker, most decks rely on Dark Patch more often than Ether. Again, trying to buy a turn with Thunder Wave could be your best bet.
Vs. Hypnotoxic Laser
Well this is a little different from the Landorus deck in that Night Spear already humiliates Eelektrik in one shot. However, with Virbank in play Darkrai can OHKO your Baby Ray with Night Spear + Hypnotoxic Laser. Another weird math scenario could be a Rayquaza with 30 damage from a snipe being knocked out by Night Spear + Dark Claw + Hypnotoxic Laser.
Darkrai will always be tough for Eelektrik to handle. Having Tool Scrapper to remove Eviolites and Super Rods to recover fallen Eels is usually the way to go. Also know that a Crushing Hammer flip can remove your Fire Energies, so make sure you don’t get stalled for a turn like that.
Well this section is going to be different obviously. I’ve already mentioned the new tricks Eelektrik can do (none) with the new set, so prepping for the mirror shouldn’t be too difficult. Playing a second Baby Ray is always useful, as is a second Super Rod (if you’re really that hardcore/also expect to play against a lot of Landorus).
Plasma Storm really doesn’t do anything for this mirror match.
PokeGymOh, don’t think I’ve forgotten about this little black horse. Plasma Storm brings us a new archetype in Cobalion/Klinklang just like Boundaries Crossed brought us Keldeo/Blastoise. The deck’s main goal, as I’m sure you’re already aware, is to set up Klinklang and therefore make all your Metal Pokémon immune to EX attacks.
Attackers that we could expect from this deck are Cobalion EX, Registeel EX, and Cobalion from Noble Victories. We don’t have special energies and don’t run Eviolite, so Cobalion EX’s attacks are pretty much vanilla damage.
Registeel EX could be problematic with his spread onto Eels, but Catcher stall + spread isn’t very likely since we have Keldeo EX to Rush In and save the stranded Eelektrik. Cobalion from Noble Victories is no problem either because we can simply reset the lock with a Keldeo EX Rush In.
We have three answers to this deck:
A T2 Disaster Volt for 80 can wipe Klinks off the board. This deck probably won’t run Tropical Beach since it has a turn 1 attack in Cobalion EX, so the probability of multiple Klinks on the bench drops by a bit. This guy can also 2HKO Klinklang, so he is rather useful.
2. Rayquaza DRV
The ability to Shred through anything and deal 90 damage is incredible for a non-EX. This guy trades blow for blow with Cobalion EX. Since this deck has no way of OHKOing Rayquaza, you can trade your 1 prize Rayquaza for their 2 prize Cobalion EX all day. However, you have energy acceleration to get another one ready while they have to rely on manual attachments or the inconsistent Ether.
Pokemon ParadijsThis guy is not a difficult card to tech into Eels. You usually have a full bench, and already run Fire Energy. Plus you have acceleration so you could just drop Victini and start OHKOing. This little guy can wipe out Cobalion EX in one attack, but also receives an OHKO in return. It’s like a faster Rayquaza trade.
I’m not sure if he is necessary since Rayquaza already trades really well with Cobalion EX, but he is an easy tech if the deck is really popular in your local metagame.
Phew, this is quite a long article for my first one. I hope I was able to provide some insight into what I believe to be the future of Eelektrik. Once again, the swimming Eel has to adapt to everything around it instead of using new toys to develop new strategies. But it’s pretty easy to do this with such a flexible energy accelerator, so we’re fine.
Oh, I suppose you would like a list to start testing with? This is what I started with:
Pokémon – 16
Trainers – 31
Energy – 13
You could most definitely cut out a Skyla for a second Super Rod if you want. Well, that’s all I’ve got for now (all 3200 words of it haha). Let me know what you guys think of my future sight and what discoveries you have made about our friend Eelektrik.
Until next time chaps