In between "Pokémon" journeys, Jeremy enjoys working as a pharmaceutical chemist and campus manager.
VMAX Cards in the Pokémon TCG
Based on the Dynamax and Gigantamax mechanics introduced in the generation 8 video games, VMAX Pokémon cards evolve from basic V cards. Vs are like old EX cards in that they're worth two prize cards when beaten, and VMAX are worth three!
So you take a big hit if one faints (your opponent wins by collecting six prizes), but they compensate with incredible power and HP, and unlike Mega Pokémon cards, you can attack with them the turn they evolve—which reign supreme? These are the ten best VMAX Pokémon cards!
10. Charizard VMAX
Sorry about all the Japanese text today, but as of this writing, English translations are scarce. Charizards's lack of resistance, weakness to Water, and three-cost retreat are all unfortunate. But he carries a massive 330 Hit Points and two attacks.
Claw Slash is lame, simply dealing 100, but it gives something to do while building for G-Max Wildfire. This one needs five energy and discards two from Charizard, but deals a whopping 300, enough to one-hit-KO most foes with ease.
9. Rillaboom VMAX
Rillaboom is a weaker but faster version of Charizard, bearing interesting effects normally associated with Fire rather than Grass. Scratch deals a mere 50 damage, but it only requires one energy and accepts any type.
Four-cost Max Continuous Strike hits for 130 at base, but you can detach up to three Grass energy from Rillaboom, dealing an extra 50 for each. I like how this adapts your energy loss to how much damage you need, scoring a massive 280 at max power.
8. Lapras VMAX
Lapras suffers the same three-cost retreat as prior cards, her HP is a smidgen lower (but still good) at 320, and she only has one attack. However, it's the best one yet, only requiring three energy and hitting for 90 plus 30 more per her Water energy.
Assuming you've only attached Water, that's a fair 180 for three, and it only goes up the more you place. With no upper limit or discards, Lapras can become truly monstrous in decks that can quickly shift energy onto her.
7. Grimmsnarl VMAX
Grimmsnarl works similarly to Lapras. Same three-cost retreat, a weakness, and no resistance, although this time, we're back to 330 HP. Grimmsnarl's single attack deals 170 plus 50 more for each extra Darkness energy used in its cost, but this caps at two bonuses.
Still, that means you're getting either 170, 220, or 270, generally outperforming Lapras's gains, and I prefer Grimmsnarl's Grass weakness to Lapras's Electric.
6. Copperajah VMAX
As of this writing, Copperjah ties Snorlax VMAX for highest HP in the game, carrying a whopping 340! And he's the first of today's cards to have a resistance (Grass), further cementing his defense. Retreating costs a daunting four energy, but in some regards, this is actually better than a three-cost since it means you can attach the Pokémon Tool "Buff Padding" for 50 more HP.
Copperajah's Copper Nose attack hits for 100 plus 100 more against basic Pokémon, useful against Pokémon V. But go with G-Max Hammer when it's available, hitting anyone for 240.
Overall, Copperajah is today's slowest card, but his incredible HP, resistance, and multiple attacks compensate.
5. Morpeko VMAX
300 HP is rather low for a VMAX, and Morpeko only has one attack; fortunately, it impresses, hitting the active Pokémon for 180 and all of their benched allies for 20! 20 spread might not sound like much, but it can mean the difference between a one and two-hit KO when that unit arrives, or defeat retreated wounded foes.
Morpeko also has a cheap one-cost retreat plus access to Electric supports (arguably the best in the game) like "Thunder Mountain ◊".
4. Inteleon VMAX
Inteleon is a well-balanced card who can adequately tackle most situations. 320 HP is average for a VMAX, but the two retreat cost is good and his Hydro Snipe attack only costs one energy, returning an energy from your target to the opponent's hand! In some cases, you'll want to go for this even when you can afford the next attack just to prevent foes from accessing their best moves.
But when damage is your priority, go for Max Bullet, which deals a solid 160 plus 60 to a benched foe, a fierce total of 240.
3. Toxtricity VMAX
Like Morpeko, Toxicitry enjoys Electric's wealth of great supports, and he's a little sturdier with 320 HP. His sole attack, G-Max Riot, deals 160 plus 80 more if your target is poisoned. So, it's below average at base but great when you get the bonus; to keep foes poisoned, consider blending with Grass allies, or simply use pre-evolution Toxtricity V's Venom Slap attack.
2. Cinderace VMAX
Cinderace offers a good blend of sturdiness and speed, bearing 320 HP and a nice retreat of just two. His first move, Counter, only deals 30, but it's cheap and changes its power to become the amount of damage (if any) dealt to Cinderace from an opponent's attack last turn, making foes think twice before using their biggest moves or exploiting Cinderace's Water weakness.
Or, for just one more energy, Max Fire Ball nets 170 while burning your target. Remember, burns have become even more deadly since the Sun & Moon set, with opponents flipping a coin to possibly remove the burn only after its first 20 damage is applied, meaning you're guaranteed at least 190 with this attack.
1. Dragapult VMAX
Dragapult's attacks are weaker than other VMAX cards, but he more than makes up for it with an easy retreat, resistance to Fighting, and moves that require just one or two energy.
Shred only nets 60, but the damage is unaffected by any abilities on the defending Pokémon, a good way to trample through shield effects. Meanwhile, Max Phantom deals 130 while also placing five damage counters (50 damage) on your opponent's bench in any way you like. Again, the raw damage is lower than most, but Dragapult's speed and versatility more than compensate.
Pokémon V Trading Cards
Today we tackled the best VMAX creatures yet released, but keep your eyes peeled for more aces on the horizon. Additionally, remember that just because a VMAX card excels doesn't necessarily mean its pre-evolution V form is good, and vice versa, so think carefully when building your deck, as you'll need the V's to get the VMAX.
As of this writing, Pokémon VMAX cards lack any abilities, and only time will tell if that changes, but they're still deadly warriors thanks to their overwhelming attack and HP values. But for now, vote for your favorite and I'll see you at our next Pokémon countdown!
© 2020 Jeremy Gill