Is Eelektross Good? – A Scarlet and Violet Competitive Pokemon Review

Eelektross Pokemon 604

Introduced in Generation 5 of Pokemon, the EleFish Pokemon (how creative) debuted in Black and White as a mid-tier competitive Electric-type monster. Its Levitate ability means that it can’t be hit by Ground-type moves, which would be its only defensive weakness. The lamprey-like Pokemon lives in the ocean, but can crawl ashore with its arms in order to hunt. Apparently, it’s found its way into the Paldea region, making it yet another Pokemon returning to the series after being absent from all of the Generation 8 games including Sword and Shield.

Eelektross is a solid mixed attacker, with 115 base physical Attack and 105 base Special Attack. It has modest defenses with an 85 base HP and 80 base points in both physical Defense and Special Defense. The one stat that holds Eelektross back is its poor speed stat of only 50. In competitive play, it actually was a very popular Pokemon in competitive doubles for both VGC 2011 and VGC 2012. In singles, it was more mid-tier, starting out in the UU (Underused) tier of Pokemon Showdown and eventually falling into the NU (Never Used) tier.

With proper support in doubles, however, it could be used as either a Special or Physical attacker, thanks to its deep move pool and the ability to learn a wide variety of type-coverage moves. A Special attacker would run a set of Thunderbolt or Discharge as its same-type attack bonus (STAB) move, Flamethrower, Hidden Power (typically Ice), and either Protect or Grass Knot in its final slot. Trainers would invest extra points into HP to solidify its decent defenses and be able to live a hit. Special attacker Eelektross often equipped an Expert Belt, which doubles the power of super-effective damaging moves, making Eelektross even more deadly. This was also a popular singles build.

Physical variants would run a moveset of Wild Charge, Acrobatics, Brick Break or Dragon Claw, with Protect in the fourth slot. Thanks to the Gems of Black and White, when Eelektross would use Acrobatics, an equipped Flying Gem would be used up before the attack commenced, doubling the power of Acrobatics, a Flying-type move. In singles, though, Eelektross would pack U-Turn, a Bug-type move that would allow Eelektross to deal some damage, then dip to a better choice from your team. Some Eelektross in singles also ran Aqua Tail or Superpower for further type coverage.

Despite having no type weaknesses thanks to Levitate, Eelektross has resistances only to other Electric-type moves as well as resisting Flying and Steel type moves. This is why Protect was so often a part of its best moveset. In doubles, its lack of speed wasn’t really an issue, and it was well worth playing for its offensive prowess for two seasons in the official competitive Pokemon spotlight.

Sadly, power creep and Mega Pokemon would see Eelektross disappear from VGC competition in Generation 6 X and Y. It could still hold its own with an Assault Vest variant in mid-tier Pokemon Showdown singles, though. This gave Eelektross a 50 percent boost to its Special Defense, but it lost the ability to run Protect, since Assault Vest forces the equipped Pokemon to only run damaging moves. These Assault Vest Eelektross packed Volt Switch, Flamethrower, Giga Drain, and Knock Off, while occasionally running Hidden Power Ice or Thunderbolt in its final move slot.

In Sun and Moon, Eelektross couldn’t keep up with more Mega Pokemon and a slew of new options brought by Generation 7. It still held on for dear life in the lowest tier of Smogon competitive singles (PU) as a decent pivot monster for many teams. It ran a similar Assault Vest set to its Generation 6 counterparts.

Absent entirely from Generation 8, Eelektross still has a lot of fans, with some fans even going as far to create potential a Grass-type Galarian Eelektross regional form. The eel has its fans, especially among the competitive crowd. So, when it was revealed that Eelektross was in Scarlet and Violet, everyone was excited to have it back.

There’s a lot of hype around Electric as a Tera Type, the new mechanic for Generation 9. Since any Pokemon caught in the Paldea region can have any one of 18 Tera Types (one for each Pokemon type in the game), you’ll have to catch a lot of a particular species to get the type you want. But, because an Electric-type Pokemon with Levitate literally has no weakness, you’ll want the Electric Tera Type to give your attacks an additional 50 percent boost, as Tera Types that match an original type give that Pokemon a same-type attack bonus (STAB) of 2x instead of the typical 1.5x.

As an October article from Game8 mentioned, there are many Pokemon with Levitate that will benefit from an Electric Tera Type. With Tera Types, a Pokemon loses any secondary typing and becomes a mono-type Pokemon with that Tera Type. The good news is that most Pokemon caught in the wild will have their Tera Type default to one of its original types, incredibly good news for mono-Electric types like the Eelektross line (which includes Tynamo and Eelektrik). Rotom is a great example of this, potentially shedding its Ghost typing and weaknesses. Cryogonal, Mismagius, Hydreigon, Haunter, and Bronzong are other good choices for an Electric Tera Type. (Gengar was nerfed by removing Levitate during the Sun and Moon era, due to dominating competitive play.)

Of course, besides the tournament staple that is Rotom, Eelektross is the most viable Pokemon for competitive play among those just mentioned. Bronzong could be pretty good, too, although it and the others would have to be caught in a Tera Raid. With how hard Elektross already hits, it’s likely that its best moveset in Scarlet and Violet will pack a Special attacking Electric-type move such as Thunderbolt, Tera Blast (an 80 base power move that will default to physical since Eelektross has higher base Attack), plus two of Flamethrower, Giga Drain, Knock Off, or U-Turn. Eelektross built for doubles will likely run Protect as one of those two final slots.

While it’s highly likely that Bellibolt will be highly favored during the open world adventure as a mono-Electric type, in the competitive scene, it will have stiff competition from Eelektross. Which is your favorite Electric type Pokemon for your Scarlet and Violet team?

Writing words, spreading love, Amelia Desertsong primarily writes creative nonfiction articles, as well as dabbling in baseball, Pokemon, Magic the Gathering, and whatever else tickles her fancy.
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