– Darkness Ablaze
September 7, 2020
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Welcome to a week of reviews mostly covering decks that performed well at the Players Cup Finals, which were held August 29th and 30th. The catch is it isn’t just as simple as singling out the main card in each of those decks because either
I should also point out that the Top 16 consisted of only five distinct archetypes, and one – Decidueye Obstagoon – is unfortunately only getting this brief shout for the reasons I just gave. This is also something of a countdown, as we’ll be counting down the archetypes. So first up because only duplicates and Decidueye Obstagoon placed below it (in the Top 16, mind you), Eternatus V (SW – Darkness Ablaze 116/189), representing for Eternatus VMAX decks!
As a Basic Pokémon V, Eternatus V is worth an extra Prize when KO’d, is excluded from certain beneficial effects, and targeted by certain detrimental ones. Pokémon V status also means better HP than the (currently hypothetical) baseline version of Eternatus, and likely better effects (though that may only be relative to costs). Being a Basic has been the best for a good while, and that hasn’t changed. The Darkness type received some nice new tricks in SW – Darkness Ablaze, to go with what they already had; it isn’t great for type-matching, but it is still good! 220 HP is good, with a decent chance of surviving a hit. [F] Weakness isn’t currently a problem, but keep an eye out as its common enough to be worth exploiting. No Resistance is the worst, but also the norm. Similarly, a Retreat Cost of [CC] is also typical; manually retreating is neither easy nor difficult.
Eternatus V knows two attacks. The first is “Power Accelerator”, and for [C] it does 30 damage while also letting you attaching a Darkness Energy from your hand to one of your Benched Pokémon. [DCCC] lets Eternatus V use “Dynamax Cannon” to do 120 damage, plus another 120 if you’re attacking a Pokémon VMAX. Power Accelerator would be better if it attached any Energy, or to any of your Pokémon, or from the deck or the discard pile… but its attaching the Energy you likely need the most help attaching, to the place where you’re most likely wanting it to go. Dynamax Cannon does not hit hard enough to OHKO a non-Weak Pokémon VMAX, but it does hit hard enough to partner with Hoopa (SW – Darkness Ablaze 111/189) to 2HKO most of them. Even with its mostly Colorless Energy costs, 120 isn’t enough to make Dynamax Cannon worth it unless the target is Darkness Weak and/or a Pokémon VMAX.
Eternatus V is a decent opening attacker for Eternatus VMAX decks. Ideally, you don’t even need to attack with it at all; you attach to a Benched Eternatus V Turn 1, your opponent fails to OHKO that Eternatus V or discard its Energy, and the next turn you evolve into Eternatus VMAX, attach another Energy (that counts as [D] if the first didn’t), fill or finish filling your Bench with Darkness Pokémon, and use “Dread End” to do 270 damage! Eternatus VMAX decks were used by four of the players who finished in the Top 16. Perhaps due to its online nature, the Players Cup Finals didn’t bother having folks play it out to see who took what place below 4th. So when I say Eternatus VMAX decks finished 7th, 8th, 9th, and 13th-place, I actually mean it was one of the four 9th-place and one of the four 13th-place finishers. Technically, it is two 7th-place finishes for the same reason… but that means whichever one is truly 7th and truly 8th still has to be Eternatus VMAX!
Eternatus VMAX decks are good, but were shut out of the Top 6, so there may be something better. “May?” We have the results from one event. The buzz is that it is a pretty good representation, but we don’t know that for certain. For as fast and hard-hitting as Dread End can be with an optimal setup, it still isn’t enough to OHKO fellow Pokémon VMAX (sans Weakness), or certain single and multi-Prize Pokémon with sufficient protective effects. At the same time, there are some fellow Pokémon VMAX which can OHKO Eternatus VMAX, though they take some building.
As for the Expanded Format, I think Eternatus VMAX has some potential there, though its Weakness is likely more dangerous. No playtesting on my part (boo!) and no official results mean I’m just guessing… but it means Eternatus V should be at least “okay”. In the Limited Format, you can run this in a Mulligan build, but here is where the attacks really fall short. Power Accelerator still is not bad, but you cannot attach to your Active Pokémon, so a lone Eternatus V has to power up manually. After four turns, you’re swinging for 120; solid, but even with 220 HP, I don’t think it is enough to avoid being overwhelmed. Probably better to run Eternatus V with other Pokémon!
Eternatus V is a decent starting point for Eternatus VMAX. You may not even need to do anything except evolve from the former into the latter, but it offers just enough avoid being filler.
We would love more volunteers to help us with our Card of the Day reviews. If you want to share your ideas on cards with other fans, feel free to drop us an email. We’d be happy to link back to your blog / YouTube Channel / etc. 😉
Click here to read our Pokémon Card of the Day Archive. We have reviewed more than 3500 Pokemon cards over the last 17+ years!