Rise of the Eeveelutions - Your Guide to Understanding the niches of the Eeveelutions

Discussion in 'Cards: Strategy and Rulings Discussion' started by Wes1234, Jun 12, 2012.

  1. Wes1234

    Wes1234 New Member


    LAST UPDATE: July 3, 2012

    I considered attempting to make a gutsy article about this, but considering my lack of article-writing experience and the fact that this will always be a work-in-progress with how much the format shifts with each set release, I instead decided to make a simple thread which I will update as new things are discovered.

    I apologize for lack of card images. Sadly, it appears that I can't use any here. The links to cards themselves, however, are still here, so you can at least click on them and be taken to the card image in the PokeGym card gallery.

    Self Intro: (Scroll down to skip the life story!!)

    Though I play competitively, I do NOT consider myself to be an expert. I'm just a young adult who bears the name of Wesley and proudly carries around the title of "Eeveelution Fanatic." (Self-proclaimed, obviously.) My first-ever Pokemon card also just so happens to be a Jungle set Eevee, given to me by some random 5th grader way back when Pokemon was all the talk in schools...... and I didn't even LIKE Pokemon back then! Yet, for some reason, I just couldn't bring myself to just throw away that card.

    As time went on, though, I gradually became consumed by the Pokemon craze. However, I only collected the cards and watched the show. Raichu and Articuno were my favorite Pokemon, followed by Cyndaquil and Quilava when the second generation came out. The Eeveelutions were just "meh" to me back then, minus the Jolteon, which was only just "oh he pretty cool I guess" to me, anyways. The Team Rocket set was by far my favorite set. I loved the whole Dark pokemon idea, and the artwork was nothing short of spectacular! However, when the Expedition set came out, the disappointing artwork and e-Reader design convinced me to drop my TCG collecting hobby.

    It wasn't until the Ex Team Rocket Returns set came out that I restarted my card collection. It started out as simple collecting hobby, but later grew into a casual interest in the game as I built random decks to play against myself with. I was still a Quilava/Cyndaquil freak, so naturally, I strayed towards fire type decks. (Bad ones, of course. lol)

    Then one day, I held an Ex Delta Species pack in my hand. I was SUPER FOND of the delta species artwork (best artwork the TCG has ever seen in my opinion), but I wasn't really expecting much from a mere single pack, especially since I had no clue what was in the set outside of the cards I got in past packs of the same set. As I pulled out the cards from the pack, though, I saw the glory of the much welcomed shiny border of a Pokemon ex card. This was my first Pokemon ex from this set, so I was excited to see what I was blessed with! As I slowly put the other cards aside, the identity of this new rare beauty was revealed to be none other than the only Eeveelutions I cared for at the time: Jolteon ex! It was this time when my Eeveelution craze first began. I bought the other Eeveelution ex cards and made a fun Eeveelution ex deck with them.

    It was such a shame to hear that none of the Eeveelution ex cards were legal when I decided to enter my first official tournament in the Ex Power Keepers onwards format. Using a Mew/Garchomp/Blissey deck, I went 3-2, a bad record for most, but one I was proud of considering that it was my first tourney.

    Majestic Dawn was the set that sent me into overdrive. The Eeveelutions received PLENTY of love from the card makers with the introduction of the Leafeon and Glaceon Lv Xs, along with all the support they had from other Eevee family members. This marked the early days of my competitive career as I began learning all the tricks of the trade in the Pokemon TCG, usually the hard way, too (4 Eevees as your only basics = bad idea lol).

    Ever since then, I've always been referred to as something along the lines of "Eevee guy," "Eevee man," and whatever names you can imagine, at the league I go to each week. Why? It's right in the names. I'm the one player that will ALMOST ALWAYS has a deck that uses at least one Eeveelution in it, whether it be a supporter, an attacker, or just to make the opponent bash their head on the table out of sheer frustration. I'm also the player that spends an ungodly number of hours thinking up new deck ideas for my Eeveelution comrades. After enough punched holes in the wall and "self-inflicted hair loss" from my many failed attempts, I usually find the right Eeveelution(s) with the right build to take to the nearest Cities or Battle Roads, and usually do well in them, surprising most opponents with the rogue-ish, part-Eevee deck I've made to counter the metagame.

    And I can assure you that this style of mine isn't going to change. Being an Eeveelution lover at heart, and a hater of the idea of being in a mirror match, rogue Eeveelution decks will continue to be my way of enjoying the Pokemon TCG, now and forever!

    Oh, and I still have that Jungle Eevee card. Ironic, isn't it? Eevees truly ARE my roots.

    Eeveelutions and their uses: (How dare you skip my life story!! Scroll back up!)

    Whether its their cuteness, elegance, toughness, mysteriousness, sleekness, or just plain oddness which lures fellow Eevee fans into the "Eeveelution addiction" trap, it's a sure bet that as long as the Eeveelutions themselves exist, players and species fans alike will attempt to milk the most out of the currently legal Eeveelutions, regardless of their face-value playability. For me, passing up the challenge to make a deck that can effectively utilize what these underrated cards have to offer to the fullest extend is simply considered a sin to me, and while I've been willing to invest the ridiculous amount of time into probing for their secret, untold strengths, there are players who simply can't do this, usually due to a job or other real-life events taking up their time. [del]Laziness can also be a factor.[/del] This is what this thread is for, to open your eyes to each of the Eeveelutions' pros and cons. Alternatively, if you have an idea which isn't listed here, feel free to post your ideas! This thread isn't restricted to just my ideas. EVERYONE has the right to post their ideas for the masses to see! So remember this as you read through this section.

    Gone are the days where Eeveelutions were well known as tier 1, tier 2, or even tier 3 decks. The old Ex era was the highlight of their time, while the DP era was an obvious attempt to mount a comeback after the rotation. HGSS-on still allowed for SOME uses, but it became more limited than ever before.

    For better or for worse, the Dark Explorers Eeveelutions is all we have, now, and even it didn't show a great deal of love for the Eeveelutions. Despite being brittle, though, there is still some potential that can be exploited even in a format dominated 180 HP EX Pokemon that one or two-shot most of the format.

    Below lists each of the currently legal Eeveelutions, along with what strengths and weaknesses they hold, and will be updated regularly as new thoughts and ideas come in.



    At 90 HP, Jolteon sits at the short end of the stick, sitting right in range of Darkrai EX's Night Spear attack. Fighting weakness, while horrible at first glance, is actually quite irrelevant considering that Terrakion can hit for 90 base damage to start with, anyways (although, Landorus and Donphan Prime can take advantage of it). In exchange for such a brittle status, this Lightning Pokemon gets Level Ball compatibility and (more importantly) a single-energy attack with the potential to deal 60 damage. Small damage by today's standards, but enough to one-shot Empoleon DEX and Eviolited Tornadus with a Pluspower, and two-shot the much more present Tornadus EX. Pin Missile can be somewhat abused by Victini, as its possible to do 120 damage, but only with a 52% chance of pulling it off successfully. Zekrom is usually a better alternative for this. Ironically, this card does NOT belong in an Eel deck (Thundurus is superior in that regard), despite its first attack requiring a discard to achieve the desired 60 damage. Jolteon's greatest strength lies in its splashability. Yes, you still need the electric energy to discard, but decks that struggle against Empoleon DEX or fighting-resistant pokemon, specifically Tornadus (EX and non), will usually welcome this minimal resource attacker. A free retreat enables it to make way for another pokemon despite being energyless. The energy discard also gives Mewtwo EX a hard time trying to one-shot it without investing a lot of energy. CMT decks can be lured into a Mewtwo EX war with your own Mewtwo EX by taking advantage of this. Potential partners are usually pokemon that require one energy attachment to get going, so Empoleon DEX, Mewtwo EX (DCE), and even Zororark (DCE) are all viable options, with Donphan Prime being arguably the best due to the presence of Darkrai EX and Zekeels. On top of techability, Jolteon can also function as an early game attacker to rush things like Tynamos or get easy prizes off Celebi Primes. Jolteon works best outside of energy acceleration decks and finds its greatest partners in bulky pokemon that can counter what Jolteon can't hit.



    Muddy Water.... Oh, if only it were 10 additional damage for the active and the benched pokemon, it might be considered worthy. Instead, it falls short if the ability to 3-shot Eels..... not that you'd want to use it with that lightning weakness. Spiral Drain is also underwhelming, and while 110 HP is the highest HP seen out of all the current legal Eeveelutions, it's not enough to warrant its use over the likes of Kyurem EX, which does just as much damage, has a better weakness, has the disruptive ability to discard a special energy card, AND can hit for 120 damage with one additional energy attachment, all as a basic pokemon. However, it is also possible to say that being a stage 1 is actually a potential STRENGTH for Vaporeon. After all, if for some reason you decide to use a water-type tech, what would you rather start off with at the beginning of a game? Kyurem EX with its 3 retreat cost, or an Eevee with its 1 retreat cost? Eevee is a lot more managable, AND it has access to the other Eeveelutions. Perhaps you have an Espeon tech you're using, or Jolteon is your turn-2 pokemon of choice. It's not a HUGE deal, but if you find yourself looking at one or more Eevees in your deck and you don't want to start out with that stinking 3 retreat cost Kyurem EX, I could see a lot worse choices than Vaporeon. Still, its main "highlight is Muddy Water, with Spiral Drain being a mere "if you can get to it" type of attack. Honestly, unless you can find a niche can be found with the single colorless energy Muddy Water attack, Vaporeon's future looks quite bleak. Again, though, there are worse options.



    A complete improvement over its UD/CL counterpart, it gains DCE compatibility. Sand Attack is annoying at best and easy to get around. Fire Slash is an intriquing move. Being DCE compatible, it's possible to do a turn-2 60 or 90 damage. This can put Eels out of business if you can Catcher them out. Unfortunately, Flareon has its rivals. Reshiram has been long considered the king of all fire types, and rightfully so with that 130 HP and 120 damage output, on top of it being a basic. Reshiram aside, it also has Entei EX to compete with, as Grand Flame matches Flareon max damage potential of 90. Then again, why compete with it if you can team up? Entei EX lacks turn-2 90 like Flareon can do. Furthermore, Flareon can get fire energies in the discard for Entei EX to Grand Flame back onto the bench later. Volcarona is also able to be compared to Flareon, being a stage 1 that ALSO has turn-2 capabilities thanks to DCE compatability on top of its better 110 HP stat, but its retreat cost isn't kind to it like Flareon's is. Overall, Flareon seems to be the brittle "middle-kitty" between Entei EX, Reshiram, and Volcarona. It does turn-2 60-90 damage, matching Entei EX's power, Fire Slash's discard for said 90 damage isn't as hurtful as Reshiram's Blue Flare, and has a managable retreat cost of one. Make no mistake, though, THIS IS NOT A JOLTEON! Don't treat it as such. It's not as splashable as you might like, and, like Jolteon, doesn't belong in aggressive energy-acceleration decks (namely Emboar varients). Reshiram and Entei EX are better suited in such decks. Flareon prefers a bulky partner that can take advantage of its discarded energies, and as such, Entei EX is its only "good" partner for the time being.



    A card that received some hype, yet didn't enter the format at the right time. I will be assuming you know the rulings on its ability before I go on. Solar Revelation is the only reason you'd want to play this card. Really, all that needs mentioning is that if attack effects become big (Vanilluxe for example), use it. If they don't.... well.... don't use it.


    Slashing Strike version: [​IMG]

    Slashing Strike..... automatically puts a damper on this card... Even Zoroark EM outclasses it in that regard as an attack that deals a "meh" 80 damage, and even that see zero use. This leave Shadow Drain to pick up the slack.... which isn't really that great. Darkclaw can boost the damage output so it can heal more and try to tank its way to victory, but even then, Zekrom and friends easily send this poor guy running back into the woods. Fighting weakness doesn't help things. Like Vaporeon DEX, this Umbreon's future is very bleak.... only FAR bleaker.

    Shadow Shutdown version: [​IMG]

    Auto-confusion for a colorless energy is indeed disruptive to heavy retreat cost EX Pokemon, but sadly, Darkrai EX laughs at this. Shadow Shutdown, however, is where the money of this card lies. With abuse from the Victory Star Victini, you can have a 43% chance of discarding all energies attached to the defending pokemon. While not so disruptive to Empoleon and other single-energy attackers, it does halt the plans of pokemon that use 2-3 energies to attack like Zekrom, Darkrai EX, and others. Umbreon can be run with the Hammer-time engine: Enhanced Hammer and Crushing Hammer, to further your energy disruption desires. At the very least, this Umbreon is one of those cards that might make your opponent bash their head on the table at a local league if you pester them enough with it.



    A card that WANTS to be good, but seems to fall just short of the goal every time. 40 damage won't do much, and while the basic energy attachment from the discard is nice (ANY basic energy), the damage output isn't enough to make your opponent so much as flinch. Worst of all, Entei EX does something similar with its Grand Flame, which does 90 damage and attaches a fire energy from the discard to a benched pokemon. Unless something comes along that boosts its damage output, Leafeon's future, while not as terribly bleak as Vaporeon or the Slashing Strike Umbreon, is still not great at all. But at least it has the TINIEST sliver of hope yet...



    A greatly nerfed Tornadus that doesn't need a DCE. Sad news for our only legal Glaceon at the moment.

    Gossip Corner:

    This is where you'll find ideas that involve the use of cards that have been revealed in Japan, but have not yet made their way to internation release. This can include potential combos with existing Eeveelutions, or it can be new Eeveelutions themselves.


    Shame that card images are currently not working.

    PLEASE post your ideas if you have any! Help the cause of all of us Eeveelution fans! I will update this post regularly as new ideas, thoughts come in.
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2012
  2. CMsvW

    CMsvW New Member

    Umbreon UD used to be an amazing tech.

    Disappointing how bad most of the Eeveelutions are now :<
  3. dark wobbuffet

    dark wobbuffet New Member

    as much as I like eeveelutions I do not beleive a viable deck can be built around those we have today. perhaps in the future we will return to a format where pokemon prints usable non legendaries and eeveelutions shall have there time. In the past there used to be a strong deck called absolution or something, used absol ex and eeveelutions around delta species era.
  4. Wes1234

    Wes1234 New Member

    I agree. Eeveelutions nowadays are best used as techs, not as main attackers. That said, Jolteon seems to have the brightest future as far as tech options are concerned due to its speed and self-sufficiency. It'll also have synergy with Ho-oh EX when it comes out, but that's a talk for another time.

    People will also try the Shadow Shutdown Umbreon (I'm trying out ideas for the BW-on format), but beyond that, it's a pretty disappointing showing for the Eeveelutions currently. Being stage 1s isn't exactly a blessing in this format. I may be a hardcore Eeveelution fan, but I also know that even the Eeveelutions have their limits. That doesn't mean I'll give up on their chance for glory, though.

    As long as there's the TINIEST shreaded scrap of potential in any one of them, I'll do everything in my power to exploit it.
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2012
  5. EliGagerNorris

    EliGagerNorris New Member

    Don't try to make bad cards work just because they are your favorite Pokemon.
  6. Wes1234

    Wes1234 New Member

    We are free to play any deck we choose with any cards we want to use for any reason. If playing one of the thousands of Darkrai EX decks out there is your definition of fun, that's your choice and your life. Straining my mind and building unconventional decks out of any one of my favorite pokemon is MY definition of fun. There's nothing wrong with either route.

    Please respect the spirit of the game, even if you don't agree with it.
  7. EliGagerNorris

    EliGagerNorris New Member

    I'm all for making interesting/different decks to have more fun at league, but trying to make hopelessly bad cards work in competitive play just because of said reason is a terrible strategy.

    Never said anything about Darkrai.
  8. Wes1234

    Wes1234 New Member

    Copied and pasted from the Battle Roads thread:

    Austin, TX 6/10/12
    1st: Alex F.--Darkrai(rogue?)
    2nd: Alexander E.--Empoleon/Terrakion/Mewtwo
    3rd: Wesley--Donphan/Mewtwo with Jolteon DEX tech
    4th: Austin--CMT

    That doesn't look "hopelessly bad" to me. Oh, and for the record, that's ME in those bold letters, so I know what I'm talking about.

    And once again, I shall mention the spirit of the game. We all have our ways of having fun. Respect it or quit. You yourself said that you're all for making interesting/fun decks at league. What you're doing with your bashing of MY way of playing the game would be NO different than if I bashed YOUR way of enjoying the game. We both like making different/fun decks, even if we have our differences. The Eeveelutions provide a unique challange to me when it comes to deck building BECAUSE of the limitations I face with them. I LOVE this challange, and I'll embrace it for as long as I desire. Even if you still disagree with me, can't we just agree to disagree rather than turn an entire thread into a bashing war? There's nothing to gain from this argument. We've both stated our points. I think it's time to move on, now.
  9. vaporeon

    vaporeon Moderator

    I for one am known for playing bad cards and doing well with. Its how I have fun. If you want to play what everyone else is playing then by all means, do it. If that's how you have fun, go for it. I for one would like to see the Eeveelutions do well. It has been about 8 years since they had good playable cards.

    It's why I'm trying to talk to my TO about running Common/Uncommon/ maybe Rare card tournaments so these cards you think are 'useless' can get a second life. This may even start a new way of things.
  10. dark wobbuffet

    dark wobbuffet New Member

    you may be known for using bad cards to do good, but i think i am known for using bad cards and doing bad. It is sometimes fun but you dont always want to do it.
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2012
  11. EliGagerNorris

    EliGagerNorris New Member

    Jesus Christ, you need to stop being so overly defensive. I'm not "bashing" you.

    What division? How many players? What decks did you face in swiss? How good were the players there in general? What other Eeveelutions made top cut at Battle Roads? You can't just throw a random statistic around.

    Another thing, Battle Roads =/= a tournament like Regionals or Nationals.
  12. Wes1234

    Wes1234 New Member

    Master division.
    30+ players (don't remember the exact number)
    Went 4-1 in Swiss.

    - Reshiphlosion (slaughtered with the Jolteon/Donphan rush on the Cyndaquils)
    - Durant (I entered the tourny accepting any auto-loss to Durant, but the player forgot their prize cards)
    - Solo fighting (slaughtered with Tornadus EX tech)
    - Rogue Kyruem w/ trainer lock (which went 4-1 like me, losing to my deck only, but missed top cut.... Early game pressure with Jolteon and Mewtwo rush got the early lead I needed to ride out the trainer lock when it came... Jolteon became a meat shield to protect my Mewtwo's EX's DCE from Kyruem EX's Frozen Wings as it grabbed an easy prize off a damage Kyurem for the game clincher)
    - CMT (lost due to a Shaymin EX start, a card which I added in last minute before the tourny in fear of Terrakions.... bad call, obviously, as I should've had a Heatmor to clinch Durant match-ups with)

    Faced in top cut:
    - Darkrai EX w/ a bulky fighting-weak pokemon (I won't reveal it since he doesn't want to reveal his "surprise," yet) (lost both games due to bad starts... no supporters early game and bad Eeek draws both games, resulting in no chance to get Donphan Prime out)

    Had I had Supporters early game, I believe it would've been an even matchup. I would've also stood a fair chance at winning against the Empoleon/Terrakion/Mewtwo EX deck which Alex (the guy I lost to) faced and won against.

    There were plenty of other Darkrai EX varients, along with Zekeels (which I have an overwelmingly strong match-up against, despite facing Tornadus EX techs, hence the Jolteon tech) and CMT (even matchup against my deck).

    Most of the players there were good. They knew what they were doing and obviously had experience with their decks and knew how to play them.

    And this isn't my first time using Eeveelutions at tournys in this format, either. I've gone 4-1 with a Mew/Vileplume/Roserade/Leafeon using Muk and Crobat Primes as Lost Zone targets at Cities (missed top cut), and 5-0 with an Umbreon/Tornadus/Zoroark in the 2011 Spring Battle Roads (and would've won the whole thing had I not made 2 vital misplays in the last game of Top Cut).

    I also know that BRs and Cities don't compare to Regionals or Nats, but you still don't top cut where I am without having a viable deck, either.

    I know how to exploit "bad" cards, and I will never stop attempting to do so. I'm sorry if I misunderstood you earlier, but when you tell us to not bother trying to use certain cards with nothing to back up your claims, you come across as being a troll, so naturally, you can expect some defensive replys. If you have something contructive to say (positive or negative), by all means, we welcome that, but also be willing to listen or at the least agree to disagree as well. Please think about this next time.
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2012
  13. EliGagerNorris

    EliGagerNorris New Member

    Yes, some Eeveelutions had/have some legitimate uses. My point is that in general using cards just for the sake of using them is a bad way to play and will not help one grow as a player.
  14. Vablakes

    Vablakes New Member

    What of those people that just want to have fun, EliGagerNorris? If no one tried to find a use for cards that aren't used, we would have a really boring game.
  15. EliGagerNorris

    EliGagerNorris New Member

    Seventeen characters
  16. butlerforhire

    butlerforhire New Member

    Wesley isn't deluded -- he knows that the current batch of Eeveelutions are all subpar/in the wrong format at the wrong time (Umbreon UD, Leafeon UD) or outright bad, and he says as much in his write-up. He may be limiting his chances to win by always incorporating an Eeveelution into whatever deck he builds, but again, he isn't deluded and trying to claim that a teched Jolteon or a Leafeon/Amoongus deck is actually going to take down Nationals. He plays this game for his own personal reasons, and if he wants to set specific goals for himself such as always trying to make an Eeveelution work, there is no crime committed.
  17. EliGagerNorris

    EliGagerNorris New Member

    Seventeen characters
  18. Nintendan

    Nintendan Active Member

    ^As said before, maybe he just wants to enjoy the game? He doesn't HAVE to grow as a better player. What if he plays just to enjoy himself?
  19. InnoceNt

    InnoceNt New Member

    Not trying to disrespect you in any way, but I'd just like to say getting 3rd a battle road really doesn't prove a deck's viability.
  20. vaporeon

    vaporeon Moderator

    I know a lot of people don't respect battle roads as a tournament but Jolteon 'did' get third place.

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