Crobat VMAX – Shining Fates
February 17, 2021
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Crobat VMAX (Shining Fates 045/072; SW – Black Star Promos SWSH099) flies into 3rd-Place for our countdown of the best cards from Shining Fates. As a Pokémon VMAX are the evolved forms of Pokémon V, and can be either Eternamax, Dynamax, or Gigamax Pokémon. In this case, Crobat V is a Dynamax and currently, no game effects actually reference them. Some beneficial card effects exclude Pokémon V, and yes, all Pokémon VMAX are also Pokémon V. There are anti-V effects, as well as anti-VMAX effects, and again, both apply. Support exists that is specifically for Pokémon VMAX, though. Pokémon VMAX give up three Prizes when KO’d, as many as a TAG TEAM Pokémon.
There’s still more to being a Pokémon VMAX. It is a Stage of Evolution, not just a specialty mechanic; Pokémon VMAX work almost the same as Stage 1 Pokémon, but they don’t actually count as Stage 1 Pokémon. In the case of Crobat VMAX, this means it is a pseudo-Stage 1 instead of being a Stage 2 (like baseline Crobat), or something that evolves from a Stage 2 (like Crobat BREAK). Another benefit is in terms of HP; instead of the 130 HP all baseline Crobat cards have, the 160 of Crobat BREAK, or the 180 of Crobat V, Crobat VMAX has the minimum HP score we’ve seen on Pokémon VMAX: 300! Even though it is the low for this Stage of Pokémon, it is still very durable. [F] Weakness is relatively safe, for now. No Resistance is the worst, though even with 300 HP, -30 Resistance against a single type doesn’t often matter. Crobat VMAX’s Retreat Cost of [C] low and easy to pay.
Crobat VMAX might enjoy better effects, relative to costs, for being a VMAX. For [DC], Crobat VMAX can use “Stealth Poison” to do 70 damage, Poison your opponent’s Active, then switch itself with one of your Benched Pokémon. The switching effect is not optional; a minor drawback, but a drawback nonetheless. Stealth Poison is a decent hit-and-run attack. Worthy of being on a Pokémon VMAX? Not particularly, but it isn’t bad, either. Crobat VMAX can attack with “Max Cutter” for [DDC], doing 180 damage. Technically, that’s good damage for the Energy, and enough to 2HKO anything lacking protection (including HP buffs). As you’re whiffing on OHKOing most Basic Pokémon V, though, it is still a little disappointing. If the designers intended for Crobat VMAX to receive a real boost to its effects, it didn’t happen.
However, there’s another angle to consider: Crobat V. You need to evolve Crobat VMAX from Crobat V, and Crobat V is in most decks. Even if you’re not running any Energy, so Crobat VMAX cannot attack, Crobat VMAX might be handy just so your leftover Crobat V gets a big HP boost. In an actual Darkness deck, the attacks can sometimes be useful, but I wouldn’t focus on them. Yes, your opponent is getting an extra Prize from the deal, but at the cost of their target going from a relatively easy OHKO to a relatively normal 2HKO. If you do want to focus on hit-and-run tactics, Crobat VMAX is decent at it, and sporting enough HP that forcing it active (such as with Boss’s Orders) will still require some serious power for a OHKO…
…while failing to OHKO leaves time for it to heal. Especially in Expanded, where you can bounce with Acerola, AZ, or Super Scoop Up. If you aren’t worried about reusing Crobat V’s Ability, then instead of bounce you can use healing. Again, Expanded has more high-powered healing options than Standard. You can use Max Potion to heal all damage, though it would also mean discarding all Energy from Crobat VMAX. Good thing this is a cardpool where switching in and out of the Active is a bit easier… and where Dark Patch can still attach a Darkness Energy from your discard pile.
Crobat VMAX isn’t brilliant, but it doesn’t have to be because Crobat V is so heavily run. The net result is a good card, even if it still isn’t a “great” one. Consider Crobat VMAX is you have an extra slot or two in your deck and want something to bulk up your spent Crobat VMAX, or if you’re looking for a hit-and-run style attacker.
Any Pokémon can be Dynamaxed or Gigantamaxed, and the core series games and the Pokémon TCG showed that, though most of the surprise would have to come from the Pokémon TCG, since some might be anxious as to which Pokémon in the TCG is gonna get a Dynamaxed form. As an Eevee collector, I know that I am anxious to see what all eight of the Eeveelutions-V have in terms of stats and effects, and to see which FOUR of the eight Eeveelutions are getting a VMAX. That’s what I found out regarding Japanese’s Eevee Heroes expansion.
Anyways, the third best card of Shining Fates goes to Crobat VMAX. Looking at this card, it doesn’t seem to have much going for it, but it does seem to find some use. It evolves from Crobat-V, and there’s only one Crobat-V card so far, which is from SM Darkness Ablaze. Crobat-V is still a wonderful card, and it has been reviewed twice, being the:
That’s because it has the Dark Asset ability. When you play it from your hand onto your Bench, this ability lets you draw cards until you have six cards in your hand. The clause stating that you can’t use more than 1 Dark Asset ability no matter how many you play Crobat-V from your hand into your Bench. If you think this hard once per turn clause is bad, then that fine. Good luck finding another option that does the same thing, because Shaymin-EX from XY Roaring Skies is still banned from Expanded. It has the same “draw until you have six cards” but without the hard once-per-turn clause, as well as benefitting from Scoop Up Net for Shaymin-EX to leave play so that the ability can be repeatedly used again when played from the hand into the Bench.
Crobat-V has been a staple in most decks with or without Dedenne-GX, being used at one copy at best. One instance where Crobat-V can be run at a full four would be if the player is using a Eternatus VMAX deck, encouraging the player to play more Crobat-V and strictly other Darkness type Pokémon so that it’s Dread’s End attack can deal as much damage as it possibly can. Speaking about attacks, Crobat-V’s own Venomous Fang attack cost DC for 70 damage as well as inflicting Poison Special Condition. This attack might be a fallback option if Eternatus goes down, but it’s not likely to be used. It can’t benefit (neither does Dedenne-GX) from Scoop Up Net, so Crobat-V mostly sits there with its 180 HP, and even with this much HP, it can be OHKOed.
Getting back to today’s card, Crobat VMAX mostly tries to expand on things since Crobat-V already served its purpose by making its Max HP go up from 180 to 300, as well as two attacks. It’s first attack, Stealth Poison, does the same as Venomous Fang in addition to switching Crobat VMAX with one of your Benched Pokemon. Max Cutter costs DDC for 180 damage without any effects; this could be another fallback option in case Eternatus’s damage output is severely weakened. It might make sense for Crobat VMAX to fit in Eternatus decks, but I’m not so sure for other decks which may not have the deck space to insert a VMAX counterpart on a card that is considered a loose staple.
Crobat VMAX unfortunately doesn’t have much to differentiate from its evolving Basic, just building on top of what’s great….for the worse. That just leads to lower deck space in addition of being liable for one more Prize card than its basic counterpart. As such, I can’t recommend this card in Standard or Expanded. The reason why it’s the 3rd best card of the set is that there are very few unique cards when the majority of the other cards are reprints.
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