– Rebel Clash
July 6, 2020
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Yesterday, we took a look at Copperajah V; today, we finish the job by reviewing Copperajah VMAX (SSH – Rebel Clash 137/192, 199/192). Its Metal typing is a good thing; not for striking Weakness or avoiding Resistance, but because of [M] support like Metal Frying Pan and Metal Saucer. As a Pokémon VMAX, it is worth a massive three Prizes when KO’d, but also enjoys a massive amount of HP, and may enjoy other stats or effects that are better than what a Copperajah would usually know. VMAX is also its Stage of evolution, so it cannot take advantage of Stage 1-specific support (general evolution support still applies). Cards that punish a player for running a Pokémon V or VMAX will also apply.
Copperajah VMAX has 340 HP, tying with Snorlax VMAX for the current record. OHKO’s are still a possibility, but are far from easy. Even Fire types, which score double damage thanks to Copperajah VMAX’s [R] Weakness, still need to do 170 to score the OHKO. [G] Resistance is better than no Resistance, though it currently doesn’t mean much as the type has only a very, very minor presence in the metagame. A Retreat Cost of [CCCC] is painful to pay, sometimes impossible. Fortunately, there are cards like Switch to get around it, and there are a few beneficial card effects that only work for Pokémon with this much HP.
Copperajah VMAX has two attacks, “Dangerous Nose” and “G-Max Hammer”; the former requires [MMC] and the latter [MMMC], so this card will require serious Energy acceleration to attack the first turn it hits the field without prior attachments. As Pokémon VMAX can hit the field as early as a player’s second turn, even if you use your first Energy attachment on Copperajah VMAX, you’ll still want at least a little Energy acceleration. You’ll also want a mostly or mono-Metal deck, as these costs are not friendly to splashing Copperajah VMAX into a deck off-type.
Dangerous Nose has a base damage of 100, which is underwhelming for three Energy but its effect tacks on another 100 damage when Dangerous Nose is used against a Basic Pokémon. While TAG TEAM Pokémon-GX, as well as most of the new Basic Pokémon V have enough HP to survive, all other Basics are going down in one hit excluding those with defensive buffs. For three Energy, that seems at least somewhat good. G-Max Hammer delivers 240 damage, with no effects to improve or ruin that. For four Energy, that’s also a decent return, maybe even good. You’ll only whiff on the KO against the largest Pokémon-GX, give or take some edge cases due to Resistance or other defensive buffs. Yes, Zamazenta V can perfectly wall against this damage, due to its Ability.
Copperajah V is almost a smaller version of Copperajah VMAX, as explained yesterday. It has the same Typing, Weakness, Resistance, and Retreat Cost, and its 220 HP – while lower than Copperajah VMAX’s – is comparable, given it is only worth two Prizes when KO’d (and not three). Even the Energy costs for its two attacks are the same. Copperajah V’s “Adamantine Press” lets it do 90 while reducing the damage it takes from attacks during your opponent’s next turn; its “Wrack Down” does 180 damage, with not additional effects or conditions. If you’re looking for damage and/or HP, Copperajah VMAX is clearly better. If you need to soak some damage… Copperajah VMAX is still probably better, but I’d almost like a Memory Energy to use Adamantine Press.
I’m not kidding; a 340 HP Pokémon doing 90 damage per turn, while soaking 30 (from the attack’s effect) and another 30 from either Metal Frying Pan (if worried about Fire) or Metal Goggles (if worried about damage counter placement) is an insane thing to OHKO, and hard to 2HKO. Your opponent would need 400 damage, or an average 230 damage per turn for the 2HKO. This isn’t mind-blowing, but it certainly isn’t bad. I recall some dimly Japanese Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX lists (in their Standard Format) using Copperajah VMAX and performing well, but I didn’t find it anywhere in recent results over at Limitless.
There’s another use to consider as well; don’t worry about attacking with Copperajah VMAX at all, and instead, just use it as a meatshield. Completely unproven, but you gain all the girth of Snorlax VMAX but can still use [M] support to soak even more damage. I think that is Copperajah VMAX’s best bet in Expanded… and I don’t think it is a long shot. Sure, a player can use a TAG TEAM Pokémon with upwards of 300 HP, so that they are relaying only on a Basic instead of a pseudo-Stage 1 like a VMAX, but Copperajah V isn’t exactly fragile, either. Snorlax VMAX is also an option, but it can’t utilize Metal Frying Pan or Metal Goggles. Unlike in Expanded, you’ll have access to Acerola, AZ, and/or Max Potion, so a OHKO is likely your opponent’s only real option.
If you’re fortunate enough to pull both Copperajah V and Copperajah VMAX in the Limited Format, you’d have to have even more insane luck to then pull a different Basic Pokémon V to be worth running alone, without them. It is still possible, however. Otherwise, run this either as par of a Mulligan build, or with other Metal Energy-compatible Pokémon in a more traditional build. As long as you’re not getting slammed by an opposing Pokémon V, or a Fire Type, or some disruption, Copperajah V alone will likely win you the game… and Copperajah VMAX just makes it even more likely.
As with Copperajah V, I am liking this card more than I expected… but its absence in our competitive scene isn’t a surprise. It does some things really well, but that other cards are already doing. Perhaps things will shift slightly, and Copperajah VMAX will get its time to shine, or maybe it will just join the list of “Good Metal type attackers you could run, but probably won’t.” in the cardpool.
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