Boltund VMAX
Boltund VMAX

Boltund VMAX – Fusion Strike

Date Reviewed: November 20, 2021

Ratings Summary:
Standard: 3.00
Expanded: 3.00

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.

Reviews Below:

Otaku Avatar

8th-Place in our countdown is Boltund VMAX (SW – Fusion Strike 104/264, 367/264).  It doesn’t have an Ability, and we’re not going to be fueling it with Grass Energy, so having a Rule Box doesn’t matter at the moment.  As a Pokémon VMAX, Boltund VMAX gives up three Prizes when KO’d, and has to deal with anti-VMAX effects plus being excluded from certain helpful effects and targeted by some detrimental ones because Pokémon VMAX still count as “Pokémon V”.  Just like with Basic Pokémon V, however, there are some powerful positives that can (and since it is here, probably do) outweigh all of that: there’s some Pokémon VMAX support (not sure if anything has ever used it well), a massive HP score (the smallest Pokémon VMAX still clock in at 300 HP), and potentially stronger effects.

“Pokémon VMAX” isn’t just a Rule Box mechanic, it is also a Stage of Evolution.  They evolve from the Basic Pokémon V that corresponds to the VMAX e.g. Boltund VMAX evolves from Boltund V.  This means they work almost exactly like Stage 1 Pokémon, other than dealing with effects specific to Pokémon VMAX instead of to Stage 1 Evolutions.  General Evolution support (and counters) will still apply as well.  They haven’t ever made use of it yet, but we’ll note that Boltund VMAX is a Dyanamax Pokémon (as opposed to a Gigantamax).  Boltund VMAX is a [L] type, and that does matter.  Most [W] Pokémon are [L] Weak in the SW-series, and Speed [L] Energy is a nice way to draw two cards while providing one unit of [L] Energy.

Boltund VMAX has 320 HP: middle of the road for a Pokémon VMAX and not easy to OHKO.  2HKO’s aren’t much of a problem, though, and [F] Weakness means Fighting decks have a solid chance of scoring a OHKO.  Though, even something like Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX needs a little help… which it can get in at least some of the variants that include it.  There’s no Resistance here to provide a single, slightly better match-up but “No Resistance” is normal so we’ll move on.  The Retreat Cost of [CC] is neither high enough to be a real problem nor low enough to be an advantage.  If you really need to deal with it and can spare your Tool slot, there’s always Air Balloon.

Boltund VMAX knows two attacks.  Up first is “Bolt Storm”, priced at [LC].  This attack does 30 damage plus another 30 per [L] Energy attached to any and all of your Pokémon.  Unless you use an effect that negates the [L] part of the cost – Thunder Mountain {*} is legal in Expanded – you’ll do at least 60 damage (base 30 plus one [L] Energy to cover that part off the attack cost).  If you just use [L] Energy to pay for the attack, you’ll hit 90.  Not bad for two Energy, but not good enough to really matter.  Let’s run through how much [L] Energy it’ll take to hit key amounts.  We’re only worried about printed HP scores and not Weakness, Resistance, or other card effects, just to keep things simple:

  • 120 (enough to OHKO most “small” targets) requires three Energy.
  • 150 (enough to 2HKO anything below a Pokémon VMAX) requires four Energy.
  • 180 (enough to OHKO Crobat V) requires five.
  • 210 (enough to OHKO all small Basic Pokémon V) requires six.
  • 240 (enough to OHKO almost all Basic Pokémon V) requires seven.
  • 300 (enough to OHKO the smallest Pokémon VMAX) requires nine.
  • 330 (enough to OHKO all but the largest Pokémon VMAX) requires 10.
  • 360 (enough to OHKO anything) requires 11.

While scaling attacks can be insane with equally amazing Energy acceleration, attacks like Bolt Storm earn their keep by letting you spread out the Energy.  That way, even if Boltund VMAX bites the dust or needs to be healed with Cheryl, everything else is still powered up.

Boltund VMAX’s other attack is “Max Bolt”.  This time the attack has a printed cost of [LLC], letting Boltund VMAX do 230 damage but also placing an effect on itself so that it cannot use Max Bolt again next turn.  The wording is not absolute, so anything that resets attack effects (evolving, devolving, going to the Bench then back to Active, certain card effects) will let you bypass this restriction.  Unless you don’t have the [LLC] needed to use Max Bolt, won’t need to bother with Bolt Storm until you’ve got at least seven [L] Energy in play.  There’s a good amount of switching effects even in Standard, so resetting Max Bolt’s effect is pretty matter of fact.  Before we discuss where we’ll try to get all that [L] Energy, let’s discuss where Boltund VMAX comes from: Boltund V.

There are two versions of Boltund V available: an older one and one from the latest set.  Both are [L] type Basic Pokémon V with 200 HP, [F] Weakness, no Resistance, and two attacks.  The older version, Boltund V (SW – Rebel Clash 067/192, 181/192; SW – Black Star Promos SWSH085), has a Retreat Cost of [C], and can use the attacks “Electrify” and Bolt Storm.  Electrify lets you fetch two [L] Energy from your deck (so only basic Lightning Energy are legal targets) and attach them to your Bench Pokémon (either two Energy to one of them, or one Energy a piece to two of them).  Its Bolt Storm is slightly weaker version of Bolt Storm: it still does +30 damage per [L] Energy attached to your Pokémon, but only 10 base damage (instead of 30). 

Boltund V (SW – Fusion Strike 103/264, 249/264) has a Retreat Cost of [C].  Its first attack, “Smash Turn” also costs just [L] and lets it do 30 damage while Benching itself.  Then, for [LLC], it can use “Electrobullet” to do 120 damage to your opponent’s Active plus 30 to one of the Pokémon on their Bench.  At first, I thought the original – which saw competitive success on its own – was a lock, but now I’m wondering if the newer option is better as it can quickly attack then try to hide on your Bench, or do decent damage to your opponent’s Active while softening up something on your opponent’s Bench if you have enough Energy.  However, the older option lets you prep for Bolt Storm or other attackers in general.  I’m really not sure how much use a weaker Bolt Storm would actually be, even on a Basic.  Clearly, the newer version has the better Retreat Cost, and thanks to Max Bolt, that is actually a concern.  Perhaps running some of each would be best?

Now to answer the big question: how do you pay for all of this?  You might be tempted to purchase with a credit card… wait, that’s the wrong kind of “pay”.  We’re talking about the Energy for attacking, and the obvious answer is Flaaffy (SW – Evolving Skies 055/203; SW – Black Star Promos SWSH122; SW – Fusion Strike 280/264).  I mean, they even reprinted it in the same set as Boltund VMAX!  While you won’t be able to drop a bunch of Lightning Energy all at once, if you can get enough basic Lightning Energy into your discard pile, after a few turns Bolt Storm-ing Pokémon V and maybe even Pokémon VMAX becomes “plausible”.  That, or perhaps just do-si-doing twin Boltund VMAX, using Cheryl when needed to flush away damage and Flaaffy’s “Dynamotor” Ability to reattach that Energy to your next (still Benched) attacker.

So… what do the early results say?  The bad news is that they don’t seem to be any tournament wins for the deck, or even high finishes.  The good news is that the deck has enough of a presence (and decent enough finishes) that at least it shows up in the results.  How about for Expanded?  There’s no data for that, and you know ol’ Otaku isn’t able to test anything right now.  I’m guessing that this kind of deck is plausible here.  There’s a lot more Lightning support; if you think you can make a Stage 2 deck work, you could even use Magnezone (XY – BREAKthrough 54/162) or Magnezone (SM – Forbidden Light 36/131) and their “Magnetic Circuit” attack to drop absurd amounts of Lightning Energy from your hand onto your Pokémon.

However, I’m worried about the better counters for Abilities in this Format, as well as some older – but potentially viable – Fighting types.  For now, I’m going to give Boltund VMAX a cautious three-out-of-five in both Formats.  Yes, I’m handing out a lot of those.  Maybe it is my own shortcomings, or maybe this is just that kind of set.  I had this as my 7th-Place pick.  Unless it turns out the right players weren’t using it yet, I’m afraid I had Boltund VMAX a little too high on my list.


  • Standard: 3/5
  • Expanded: 3/5

vince avatar

Editor’s Note: Vince had this as his 12th-Place pick.

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