– Rebel Clash
May 18, 2020
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
How interesting! A dynamaxed starter instead of a gigantamax version. The g-Max version looks cooler, sporting extremely longer ears and a gigantic flaming soccer ball just waiting to be launched!
Cinderace V-Max attacks are pretty simple and straightforward. Counter cost RC for 30 damage and also does additional damage based on how much damage you took from that previous turn. So if Cinderace took, let’s say, 310 damage last turn (based on its own 320 HP), then Cinderace will do 310 more damage. The best part is that the game temporarily memorizes what happened to your Pokemon, so even if you used a healing item such as Max Potion to recover all of its HP, you still maintain doing this much damage.
But what happens when your opponent doesn’t damage your Cinderace at all? Then Counter does only its base damage, which is underwhelming. Good thing there’s another attack. Max Pyro Ball does 170 damage for RRC plus inflicting the Burn Special Condition (which will total 190 damage on the first Pokémon Checkup, and will keep damaging it if it remains Burned). This attack cleanly 2HKOs anything and OHKOs Grass and Metal Pokemon that usually has fire weakness.
Cinderace has potential because of the Fire based support it still has. For Standard (Team Up-on), there’s Giant Hearth to grab 2 Fire energies while Welder accelerates those two Fire energies and draws three cards. Based on the attack costs, Cinderace is nearly guaranteed to go from zero into attacking, so it sets up faster than other decks (aside having to wait a turn to evolve into a V-Max Pokemon).
Cinderace VMAX (SSH – Rebel Clash 036/192, 194/192) would have been our 16th-place finisher, was just one voting point shy of making the site’s list. Let’s see if I made a mistake by not including it on my list. Pokémon VMAX exist as both a specific mechanic and a Stage of Evolution. They all count as Pokémon V in addition to Pokémon VMAX, and in terms of evolutionary mechanics, they’re basically Stage 1 Pokémon that don’t count as Stage 1 Pokémon. There are some card effects that will punish you for running a Pokémon VMAX, but the real concern is they give up three Prizes when KO’d. Yet they also might have the raw power to be worth the trade-off.
Cinderace VMAX is a [R] Type; good for punching Weakness and greatly helped by Welder… even though Welder doesn’t care about Pokémon Type. It has 320 HP, this seems to be mid-range for Pokémon VMAX, and should be very difficult to OHKO. Even if you exploit its [W] Weakness, you’ll need to do 160 base damage… and pre-Rebel Clash, very few [W] decks were doing well at tournaments (good news for Cinderace VMAX). No Resistance is the worst, but also the most common, so it’s only worth mentioning so you don’t think I forgot about it. A Retreat Cost of [CC] is low enough you’ll often be able to pay, but high enough you’d prefer to bypass or reduce it.
Cinderace VMAX knows two attacks, “Counter” and “Max Pyro Ball”. The former costs [RC] while the latter requires [RRC], so flow reasonably well in terms of Energy. In terms of actual effects, Counter does 10 damage plus whatever damage Cinderace VMAX took from attacks during your opponent’s last turn. As long as you survive the attack, you can hit your opponent harder on your turn than they hit Cinderace VMAX on the last turn. Max Pyro Ball does 170 damage plus Burn, with no added costs or conditions; for three Energy, that’s good… though not great, seeing as this is a Pokémon VMAX.
Putting it all together, it seems like Cinderace VMAX is meant to tank a hit, then punish your opponent. Unlike some attacks, it isn’t the amount of damage counters on Cinderace VMAX when it attacks that matters, but the damage taken. Thus, you can heal during your turn and still clobber your opponent. Thanks to Welder, healing like Hyper Potion or (in Expanded) Max Potion can be used without keeping you from attacking. If your opponent tries to go for a weak/strong 2HKO, or is using attackers that don’t do damage, that’s when I think Max Pyro Ball earns it keep. It’ll 2HKO pretty much anything in the metagame, and OHKO nearly all single Prize Pokémon, Basic Pokémon-EX, and Basic Pokémon-GX excluding TAG TEAM Pokémon.
The fact that Zacian V decks are so heavily used right now is a nice bonus for Cinderace VMAX. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention their easy counter for this situation; Zamazenta V. Yes, Metal Frying Pan also matters, but we have Tool Scrapper for that now. Zamazenta V’s “Dauntless Shield” Ability prevents the damage from attacks made by an opponent’s Pokémon VMAX. Fortunately, Cinderace VMAX decks have a simple workaround already, and we covered it yesterday: Cinderace V. For [RRC] it can do 140; Zamazenta V’s [R] Weakness turns this into a OHKO.
We don’t have tournament results to go by, and I don’t have personal testing data, either. What I can tell you is that, out of the handful of sources I sampled, a decent amount were excited about Cinderace VMAX. Especially right now, with Welder still in the cardpool and OHKO’s of something this size being uncommon (if not rare), it seems like Cinderace VMAX ought to have its own tank deck, or just be included in any [R] Energy fueled decks not expressly trying to avoid multi-Prize (or three-Prize) Pokémon.
The Expanded Format is a case of same score, different reasons; there are more attackers that can score the OHKO, more technical attackers that don’t need to score the OHKO, and more forms of control/disruption that won’t matter to Cinderace VMAX directly but will hobble it through denying Cinderace VMAX decks vital support… like Max Potion and VS Seeker. Even then, it may be able to power through; not only do you have Welder, but Black Smith. Acerola and AZ don’t play nice with Counter, but they can still provide emergency bounce for a near-KO’d Pokémon VMAX.
The Limited Format requires you’re lucky enough to not only pull a Cinderace V, but also Cinderace VMAX; that’s two “Ultra Rare” cards! If it does work, though, you’ve got the option of running Cinderace VMAX in either a mulligan build, or a regular one. Just remember that Counter does not “remember” the damage Cinderace V took from the turn before; if you’ve just evolved into Cinderace VMAX, Counter does 10 damage. XP
Cinderace VMAX is so close to being a great tank that it almost hurts… and keeps forcing me to rewrite my conclusion. It is oh-so-close to being a four-out-of-five card in Standard, but there’s a serious downside to the tanking plan: OHKO’s are still a real part of the metagame. So is is disruption and attackers that do have to 2HKO or even 3HKO… and can still break even in Prizes because you’re a three-Prize Pokémon VMAX. Finally, even if Cinderace VMAX is tanking successfully, we just got the Boss’s Orders so lashing out at your opponent’s Bench is again a reliable thing.
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