Aegislash VMAX – Vivid Voltage
Date Reviewed: December 4, 2020
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
So, while Aegislash-V has made the countdown, being the 13th best card of Vivid Voltage, Aegislash VMAX didn’t make the cut. Not to say that this is a bad card, but I don’t think it warrants being used at the moment. One of Aegislash-V’s attacks did get some recognition; Sonic Edge does decent damage and also provides a way to bypass effects from the Defending Pokémon, actually damaging Altaria and Decidueye. What Aegislash VMAX does instead of its base form is…
…ending games with it!
That’s because it’s only attack, Max Hack, does exactly that. For the cost of MMC, it does 160 damage, but it also does 30 more damage for each prize you have taken. So if you already took one prize card, you’ll deal 190 damage, 2 for 220, 3 for 250, 4 for 280, and 5 for 310. There might be a few Ultra Beasts from remaining Sun & Moon expansions that alter either player’s prize zone, but I don’t see that in Standard, even Buzzwole & Pheromosa-GX or Naganadel & Guzzlord-GX. Expanded, however, does have some Ultra Beasts that alter the prize zone. Like if Naganadel-GX were to use Stinger-GX to change your remaining prize from one to three, it doesn’t affect how many prizes you already take. So, if Aegislash gets two more prizes (therefore means you took 7 prizes instead of five) then instead of 310 damage, it’ll be 370 damage. This is pretty unlikely you’ll encounter this scenario to make Max Hack OHKO anything in the game, but I guess I have briefly explained how such a scenario work, at least that’s how I believe it to be.
Ultra Beast prize manipulation aside, for the most part, Aegislash VMAX would be, at best, be used as a single copy mostly because of the suprise factor. It may fall short of OHKOs from other VMAX Pokemon, but with the help of Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX’s Altered Creation, Galarian Zizzagoon, Galarian Perserker, and Vitality Band, Max Hack can eventually reach certain numbers. Just mentioning all those external support makes me wonder why Aegislash didn’t achieve that much damage on its own; the damage multiplier of 30x is not enough, given the base damage. One could use Memory Capsule to gain access to Sonic Edge to bypass certain effects found on some Pokémon, but at this point, why not just use Aegislash-V to do the same thing without giving up a tool slot and be giving up two prizes instead of three?
- Standard: 2/5
- Expanded: 2/5
- Limited: 4/5
I can see why Aegislash VMAX is somewhat forgettable and also serves that not every evolving Pokémon-V needs to evolve to a VMAX to truly be viable. Given that Aegislash VMAX’s role is supposed to be a “finisher” it’s supposed to do that within a few cards (ideally Aegislash itself). The fact that you still have to invest other cards just to do extra damage to cross certain thresholds – even after taking 4-5 prizes – for what is supposed to OHKO things on its own makes me not want to recommend this card. Maybe if it did 40 more damage instead of 30 for each prize you have taken, then it might have some consideration. But this a COTD, not a create-a-card session, so we’ll have to analyze what’s already there. Sadly, Aegislash VMAX does not fulfill that role.
Aegislash VMAX (SW – Vivid Voltage 127/185, 190/185) is our subject today. As a Pokémon VMAX, it gives up two additional Prizes when KO’d (usually three total), and there are both cards that support and counter Pokémon VMAX specifically. It still also counts as a Pokémon V, so anti-Pokémon V effects also still apply. Being a Pokémon VMAX is also a Stage of Evolution, akin to being a Stage 1, but counting as its own, separate thing. For something that would normally be a Stage 2, this is an additional bonus. Pokémon VMAX also have more HP and are likely to have better effects than their non-Pokémon V and Basic Pokémon V counterparts. While no game mechanics currently reference it, Aegislash VMAX is also clearly labeled as a Dynamax Pokémon.
Aegislash VMAX is a Metal type: not all that great at type-matching, but it enjoys a good deal of proven type-based support, while type-base counters have proven obscure and ineffective. 320 HP is in the middle for a Pokémon VMAX, but still good: 110 above Aegislash V, 180 above Aegislash (SW – Rebel Clash 135/192), the most recent baseline Aegislash card. 320 should be enough to soak a hit outside of the most insane attackers, or those exploiting Weakness… and with the Metal type’s penchant for soaking damage, Aegislash VMAX should prove even more durable. Fire Weakness really is an Achilles’ Heel right now; you don’t need attackers like Centiskorch VMAX or Blacephalon (SM – Unbroken Bonds 32/214) swinging for double damage against you. Grass Resistance is appreciated, and can come in handy against Decidueye (SW – Darkness Ablaze 103/189; SW – Black Star Promos SWSH035). A Retreat Cost of [CCC] is high enough to require significant assistance, but not quite high enough to grant access to cards like Buff Padding or Poké Maniac.
Aegislash VMAX knows a single attack, “Max Hack”. For [MMC], this attack lets Aegislash VMAX hit for 160 damage, plus another 30 per Prize card you’ve taken. This could actually get confusing, if you face some of the rare effects that can add Prize cards to the field. Most of the time, though, it means a damage range of 160 (zero Prizes taken), to 310 (five Prizes taken). On a Pokémon VMAX, 160 for three is underwhelming: not really bad, but not worth the effort. Things really aren’t any better at 190 (one Prize taken), but by 220 (two Prizes taken), it is decent. 250 and 280 (three and four Prizes taken), its good, and its very good when you can reach that max damage for Max Hack.
However, I don’t think we’re going to see a lot of Aegislash VMAX in competitive play. Why? The most obvious reason is Zacian V. While its “Brave Blade” attack comes with the unfortunate drawback of preventing it from attacking the next turn, Benching and re-promoting it easily removes that effect from itself. 230-for-three, even with a slight drawback, easily matches early uses of Max Hack. What about later uses? That’s where we remember we’re also talking about a Basic Pokémon V, with a great Ability, versus a Pokémon VMAX. There’s also the nature of the metagame. Some decks are going to make you fight hard to take Prizes, meaning Max Hack will be very slow to build damage, if it even can build damage. Those that tend to give up Prizes quickly also tend to take them quickly.
While altering Prize counts is rare, controlling when Prizes are taken through careful plays has been a typical strategy for quite some time. You’ll rarely face all single Prize attackers, where Max Hack gains 30 damage attack after attack until winning. Instead, Max Hack has to 2HKO typical multi-Prize attackers, or hope to Lysandre or luck into something smaller, and even after taking one Prize, it isn’t OHKOing typical Basic Pokémon V. All hope is not lost, however. Aegislash VMAX has a firm foundation, and without so many proven, other Metal type attackers, would likely be a bigger deal itself. So the fact that Aegislash V already has a possible (probable?) place in Metal decks, due to its “Sonic Edge” attack cutting through protective effects – remember Decidueye? – means you’re halfway to Aegislash VMAX in those decks.
Thus, Aegislash VMAX becomes “just one more card…” for a big finisher. Do most Metal decks desperately need such a card? I don’t think so. Can they make use of such a card? Sure, if they can make room. It may not be glamorous, but its a lot more plausible than some of the fancier combos out there; TecH attacker Aegislash V does or does not do its thing, it already has [MMC] on it, it doesn’t need to do its thing anymore, so evolve and smash! At least, if you’ve taken enough Prizes. What keeps this from being a given is that Max Hack falls just a bit short of the damage it needs. As for Expanded, I’ve got to operate on pure Theorymon. As for the Limited Format, you have to be quite lucky to pull both Aegislash V and Aegislash VMAX, given their rarities. You can easily make a Mulligan deck, or just work them into a partial Metal non-Mulligan deck; Max Hack won’t be able to hit as hard here, but it also faces far less competition.
- Standard: 3/5
- Expanded: 2/5
- Limited: 3/5
Aegislash VMAX would have been our 19th-Place pick. It didn’t make my personal list, but I did consider bundling it with Aegislash V, or including it near the bottom of my own list. So I’m just fine with it showing up here in the runners-up, as Aegislash VAMX does have fairly good stats and a fairly good attack… but it dropped at a time when Metal already has a great main attacker.
We would love more volunteers to help us with our Card of the Day reviews. If you want to share your ideas on cards with other fans, feel free to drop us an email. We’d be happy to link back to your blog / YouTube Channel / etc. 😉Click here to read our Pokémon Card of the Day Archive. We have reviewed more than 3500 Pokemon cards over the last 17+ years!