THIS THREAD HAS BEEN UPDATED FOR THE BW-ON FORMAT
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.
Laziness can also be a factor.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: http://pokegym.net/gallery/displayim...?imageid=53098
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: http://pokegym.net/gallery/displayim...?imageid=53099
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.
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.