Should You Pull? Volkner & Electivire

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TL;DR: Should You Pull?

What Does It Do?

2021 has long had its due, and 2022 has at last come. And what better way to ring in the new year than with a bored electrician and his thunder-yeti? Yes, Volkner is back, and this time around he’s brought along his Electivire to really ramp up the amperage. 

Volkner & Electivire boast one of the highest Special Attack stats in the entire game, okay speed, and bulk that’s pretty solid overall for a Striker, setting them up to do exactly what they need to do as a Striker unit. They have access to Thunder for their single-target, main damage-dealing move with its high base paralysis odds, 3-bar cost, and low accuracy. They also have Discharge for AoE damage and paralysis. Next, X Special Attack is a pretty straight-forward way to leverage more damage, and their moves are finally finished off with It’s Electric!, a 2-use trainer move that gives +1 Critical Rate, +1 Accuracy, and +2 Speed.

So far, Volkner & Electivire’s kit has been pretty “vanilla” for the most part. But that will definitely start to change as we look at their passive skills. Superduper 9 has a 100% chance to activate Super Effective Up Next any time that Electivire manages to score a Super Effective hit. Yes; this means that Electivire should have access to Super Effective Up Next almost constantly when fighting an opponent weak to Electric Type attacks. This skill alone really helps drive home the fact that Volkner & Electivire can really excel on stages that are weak to Electric Type attacks. Next is Super Freebie 2, which has a chance to activate the Free Move Next effect when Electivire lands a Super Effective attack, greatly helping with move gauge management. It’s also another reason that Volkner & Electivire really need to be used on stages that are weak to Electric Type moves in order to excel. And, finally, we have Conductive Sync, which sets Electric Terrain after Volkner & Electivire use their first Sync Move, greatly increasing their damage output for roughly one Sync Move cycle as a result.

When all is said and done, we have a very focused Electric Type Striker unit that really needs to be used on a stage that’s weak to Electric Type moves in order to excel. They are capable of high damage output, great Sync Move damage with their grid, and reasonable/easily activated boosts. If a stage is weak to Electric Type damage, then Volkner & Electivire can come in and outright wreak havoc. They are fairly straight forward, but also very effective at what they do!

But while Electricity is powerful, even it can fall short at times. Like an appliance that needs to be plugged in to work, Volkner & Electivire need to fight against an Electric Type weakness in order to excel. Without this advantage, they lose access to their free Super Effective Up boosts, their Free Move Next bonuses, and even a few grid-based bonuses as well. They can work very well without these bonuses regardless, but they generally fall short of a number of “generalist” Sync Pairs that just do the job better. They also have the issue of being pretty unreliable with setting Electric Terrain. Yes, they can use this powerful effect up for themselves and their team, but only once and only after their first Sync Move. This gives limited utility and makes it so that this flavor of Volkner isn’t really able to replace the Luxray variant. On top of that, they also can’t be paired with their alternate favor for reliable Electric Terrain support, which is definitely a mark against them. That said, the Sync Move Electric Terrain is still a free boost, so even if the timing and activation is a bit awkward, it’s still a nice bonus regardless.

Champion Stadium: Master Mode

As stressed up to this point, the stage really needs an Electric Type weakness for Volkner & Electivire to excel, so they’ll only have general utility on occasional weeks. That said, when that weakness shows up, they can definitely wreak havoc.

The Legendary Arena

Guess what? The stage really needs to be weak to Electric Type moves in order for Volkner & Electivire to excel. To this end; they’re going to be stellar on some stages, worthless on others.

Extreme Battles

Odd as it may sound, Volkner & Electivire really need to fight against an Electric Type weakness in order to excel. So wait for that little thunderbolt icon to show up in weaknesses, and then electrocute everything that stands in your way!

The Battle Villa 

This may come as a bit of a shock to mention at this stage of this article, but Volkner & Electivire really need to fight enemies weak to Electric Type attacks in order to excel. And while the Villa does indeed have a small handful of stages that fill this criteria, it’s still probably best to leave Volkner & Electivire at home.

How To Use It?

Sync Grid

These are generally the most important tiles on Volkner & Electivires grid:

  • Static Shock 3 (⅖) is easy to access and provides a large and easily manageable boost to Sync Move damage. Static Shock 5 (⅗) is obviously even better, but it can be costly to reach and won’t be quite as universally picked up.
  • Ramming Speed (⅗) ties into the Speed boosts from Volkner’s Trainer Move in order to allow Electivire to hit even harder. This should be a staple tile for many builds.
  • Double Down 3 (⅗) is a great tile for Sync Move-centric builds, and it synergizes with Volkner & Electivire’s entire theme very well as another incentive to play them against stages that are weak to Electric Type moves.
  • Discharge: Move Gauge Refresh 3 (⅗) is great for many builds, as Discharge’s solid AoE damage and high base Paralysis odds can be very useful for setting up powerful Sync Moves. It’s also on the way to Ramming Speed, so a lot of builds will pick it up regardless.
  • Pinpoint Entry 1 (⅖) is a staple for Thunder builds, as it’s part of the way that 100% accuracy is easily achievable.
  • Thunder: Paralysis Synergy 2 (⅗) is another staple for Thunder builds, as it’s easy to activate and provides a decent damage boost.
  • The two Sync Move: Power+25 (⅗) nodes are great for pumping even more damage into Electivire’s Sync Move.

Next are the tiles that are nice to have, but are either niche or not generally worth going out of the way for:

  • Super Syncer (⅗) can ensure that the move directly after the first Sync Move has the Super Effective Up bonus applied to it, but having one non-boosted attack isn’t a huge deal in general, and is only useful for select builds. That said, the added damage can be synergetic since you’ll most likely use Volkner & Electivire against stages that are weak to Electric Type attacks. It's also nice as it makes the most of the limited Electric Terrain that's set on their first Sync Move.
  • Shock Recovery 1 (⅖) provides a little bit of longevity, but its main use is the fact that it’s on the way to Double Down 3.
  • It’s Electric!: MP Refresh 2 (⅖) is nice for helping to ensure maxed Critical Rate and more Speed/Accuracy, but it’s generally better to rely on a Support unit to max these stats out.
  • X-Sp. Attack: MP Refresh 2 (⅖) is pretty much the exact same story as above.
  • Thunder: Move Gauge Refresh 2 (⅖) can definitely be handy, but it’s also a bit costly to pick up.
  • Soften Up 1 (⅗) is nice for removing that 20% chance to not score a Critical Hit, but it’s not hugely important, and going for it will come at a cost of higher priority tiles most of the time.
  • Super Savvy 9 (⅗), Super Crit 9 (⅖), and Fast Track 9 (⅖) are great on paper, and would be worth considering for some builds if they were easier to reach/cheaper, but most of the time they are sub-optimal pickups.
  • Lithe (⅕) is nice for Go Viral paralysis stages in particular, but it’s not exactly useful 90% of the time.

Finally, these are the tiles that are probably best to ignore unless they somehow play into a bigger strategy in some way:

  • Thunder: Super Countdown 1 can be kind of useful when combined with Sync Pairs that really just want 1 turn of countdown or with Sync Pairs that have similar effects that could snowball with a bit of luck, but it’s a very unreliable strategy.
  • The two Thunder: Accuracy+10 tiles seem like natural pick-ups, but they’re pretty out of the way. Better to rely on Pinpoint Accuracy 1 and Volkner’s Trainer Move to make up for the accuracy deficit.

Lucky Skills

Critical Strike 2 is definitely the way to go. In the near future, Super Powered 3 will be the ideal Lucky Skill because Volkner & Electivire already really need to be used on stages that are weak to Electric Type moves in order to excel. Setting aside that running gag for a moment; they’re fine in neutral scenarios, so the flexibility of Critical Strike 2 is still very much worth consideration even in the face of the competition.

Team Comps

In the majority of cases, Volkner & Electivire come up short on Critical Rate and Special Attack naturally. A Support unit that can handle these needs will come in very handy, and we have a lot of options! Sabrina & Alakazam, Sabrina & Chingling, Elesa & Rotomthe list goes on. Among the Sync Pairs that can do the job, Jasmine & Celesteela get particular mention as they not only feel these needs, but can also drop enemy Special Defense for even deeper damage support. Elesa & Emolga have great Synergy with Volkner & Electivire, as they can melt away enemy stats and set Electric Terrain once per battle, which can result in great damage output. Dawn & Alcremie are also great, as they can finish off Volkner & Electivire’s Special Attack needs and open up the Support slot to literally anything that can boost Critical Rate. They can also tear down their target’s Special Defense, which can raise Electivire’s potential damage quite a bit as a direct result. N & Zekrom can also pair with Volkner & Electivire in order to double-up Electric damage output, although they’ll need a slightly stronger Support option as their needs don’t overlap 100% and the gauge will most likely be tricky to maintain.

Is It Worth Pulling?

This may come as a bit of a shock, but Volkner & Electivire… are actually fine in general. All kidding aside, they do best when Super Effective, but can operate fairly well most of the time for players who need a bit more general power, or can slot in as one of the best Electric Types for on-type damage. They have definite competition, but they’re solid overall, and worth a slot on your team should you deem them worthy of investment. Just be aware of their shortcomings and competition before investing.

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Long-time Gamepress fan and writer for Pokemon Go and Pokemon Masters sub-site