Cinderace VMAX – Sword & Shield Fusion Strike
January 3, 2022
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Just like Rillaboom yesterday, Cinderace got another VMAX card while its previous print was from the Sword & Shield Rebel Clash expansion. Also, same stats as before (320 HP, Water weakness, and retreat cost of CC), but additionally a Single Strike card as well. G-Max Fireball is Cinderace’s only attack, which costs RCCC for 230 damage while also inflicting with the Burn special condition. The only drawback is that Cinderace cannot attack on your next turn, which is a mild inconvenience and can be remedied by just retreating it into the Bench, removing that clause. Currently, I can only think of Solgaleo’s Rush In ability which brings itself into the Active Spot and then retreat for free as long as it has an Air Balloon attached to it. Because of the Burned Special condition, at the end of your turn and before your opponent’s turn, you would have automatically put 2 damage counters on the defending Pokemon, so it has a total of 250 damage (or 480 damage if Weakness applies, though that’s more than enough to OHKO that the Burn special condition is redundant).
But is it worth running today’s Cinderace than the older version? After all, the Rebel Clash version has two attacks. Counter costs RC for 30 damage and also does even more damage depending on how much damage you took on your opponent’s last turn; Hypothetically if you took 310 damage, then you would have dealt 310 more damage! Highly unlikely you’ll get into this range, but it shows that striking back can be pretty punishing. Max Pyro Ball costs RRC for 170 damage and also inflicts the Burn Special Condition. Between Max Pyro Ball and G-Max Fireball, it depends on what you also have in your deck. Max Pyro Ball is a solid 2HKO without drawbacks, so you don’t need additional cards to patch certain shortcomings. And while G-Max Fireball does 60 more damage than Max Pyro Ball, it costs an extra energy, and it stops you from attacking next turn if you lack certain cards that can help you put into a tight spot.
Due to comparing those attacks, I might think that Max Pyro Ball is the safer option to use, but even today’s card cannot be underestimated. Due to being a Single Strike card, it can benefit from Houndoom’s Single Strike Roar ability, which accelerates Single Strike Energy from your deck to Cinderace VMAX. Single Strike Energy, in turn, provides one unit of either Fighting energy or Darkness energy in addition to dealing an extra 20 damage. When you add it up, with Cinderace having a Fire energy and three Single Strike Energies, plus maybe Emboar to up the damage output by 30, plus the burn, you’ll actually deal 340 damage, which is enough to OHKO anything in the game before factoring in HP buffs or damage reduction effects. There are also other attacks that Cinderace can use because of being a Single Strike card. Superstrong Slash deals 300 damage, but it costs a steep FMMCC and also forces you to discard all energies attached to it. Probably not worth it. Bullet Breakthrough costs RCC for 120 damage, and it ignores Weakness, Resistance, and any other effects on the Defending Pokemon. Again, probably not worth it. And then there’s Furious Anger, which costs F for 10 damage plus 10 more damage for each damage counter on this Pokemon. This might seem like an ideal Pokemon Tool (Single Strike Scroll of Scorn) to attach it to.
Like Rillaboom yesterday, there has yet to be a deck out there that uses Cinderace VMAX, but it does have far more potential than yesterday’s card. You have sufficient energy acceleration and damage boosts to help Cinderace reach OHKO levels in Standard. You could do the same thing in Expanded, and Welder can greatly help meet part of the attack cost.
Cinderace VMAX is another card that can be good if there’s enough support, but some of the moving pieces could get disrupted by your opponent’s actions. As such, I can’t rate Cinderace too high despite having the potential to achieve an OHKO against anything.
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