Glaceon VMAX – Evolving Skies
Date Reviewed: September 17, 2021
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
I think it’s a running gag to see a Glaceon card in the Pokemon TCG to have some sort of a disruptive element featured on a card that could hinder the opponent in some way. We already had Glaceon Lv.X from DP Majestic Dawn shutting down your opponent’s Poke-Power as long as Glaceon is in your Active Spot; We got Glaceon-EX’s Crystal Ray attack from XY Fates Collide which protects Glaceon-EX from damage by Evolution Pokémon; We also have Glaceon-GX whose Freezing Gaze ability shuts down the abilities of your opponent’s Pokémon-EX and Pokémon-GX as long as Glaceon-GX is in your Active Spot.
Glaceon VMAX disruptive element might seem familiar to some.
It’s Crystal Veil ability protects itself from damage by your opponent’s Pokemon VMAX, except Glaceon VMAX. Granted, this ability is slightly worse than Zamazenta-V, whose Dauntless Shield protects itself from damage from all of your opponent’s Pokemon VMAX. Glaceon VMAX will be damaged by an opposing Glaceon VMAX and pretty much the rest of the card pool that’s either a baseline Pokemon or a Pokemon-V. Still, this is a pretty useful ability under the right circumstances. Some of the competitive VMAX Pokemon includes: Eternatus VMAX, Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX, and even Ice/Shadow Rider Calyrex VMAX, so being able to wall against these powerhouses is a nice bonus. Even though we’re in the new Standard format that allows cards from Sword & Shield onwards, Pokemon VMAX is still a small fraction of the entire card pool. As I’ve said earlier, Pokemon-V and baseline Pokemon doesn’t care about Crystal Veil, and they’ll proceed to damage Glaceon VMAX as usual. Not many cards can outright OHKO Glaceon VMAX’s 310 HP, but Zacian-V’s Brave Blade OHKOs it due to Weakness. Max Icicle is another decent attack with an attack cost of WCC that does 150 damage in addition to dealing 30 damage to 1 of your opponent’s Benched Pokemon. This kind of attack has been used before, going back to Glaceon-GX’s Frost Bullet or even Darkrai-EX’s Night Spear, but it seems a little underwhelming now, due to not being a clean 2HKO.
Glaceon VMAX evolves from Glaceon-V. Even though Glaceon-V is a stepping stone to evolve it into Glaceon VMAX, it has an attack called Frozen Awakening, which lets you search your deck for a Pokemon that evolves from this card…without having to wait for a turn! There’s another piece of support for both Pokemon-V with “Leafeon” and “Glaceon” in it’s name: Snow Leaf Badge. It removes the Weakness and Retreat Cost from those Pokemon (Leafeon-V, Leafeon VMAX, Glaceon-V, and Glaceon VMAX), meaning that your opponent won’t be able to exploit double damage via Weakness (must deal damage on the full amount) and your Pokemon can retreat for free! It’s a situational Pokemon Tool card which might be useful on extremely few decks that uses those Pokemon.
The protection ability might be useful in certain situations, but it takes an opponent to play Path To The Peak to shut down this ability so that any Pokemon VMAX can freely damage Glaceon VMAX without trouble. That means you won’t be able to benefit much from Crystal Veil as long as you hoped. Having Chaotic Swell to counter some of your opponent’s Stadium cards might help to some extent; it will negate and discard any Stadium cards your opponent tried to play, though that’s no longer an option in Standard.
Welcome to my tardy review! Glaceon VMAX (SW – Evolving Skies 041/203, 208/203, 209/203) is largely about its Ability, “Crystal Veil”. This Ability prevents the damage done to (this) Glaceon VMAX by your opponent’s Pokémon VMAX, excluding other Glaceon VMAX. Non-attack effects still go through, and anything that is not an attack by a Pokémon VMAX doesn’t care about Crystal Veil. Many decks are built around Pokémon VMAX, so this Ability denies those decks their main attacker. Back-up attackers may or may not be affected; how many multi-VMAX decks are there? Unless it has a way to hit the field other than manually evolving, every VMAX deck has at least one Pokémon that can attack through Crystal Veil… but a lot of evolving Basic Pokémon V have poor to terrible attacks.
How about the rest of Glaceon VMAX? Its Ability does little good on your Bench, so Glaceon VMAX is going to be your Active. Unless you’re using hit-and-run tactics or just aren’t actually going to attack, Glaceon VMAX’s “Max Icicle” attack is going to matter quite a bit. For [WCC], this attack allows Glaceon VMAX to do 150 damage to your opponent’s Active and 30 to one of their Benched Pokémon. A total of 180 damage for three Energy isn’t bad, even split in this manner between two targets. Anything below a Pokémon VMAX is in 2HKO range, barring other effects… and you’ll have a little damage somewhere else. The Energy cost isn’t as easy to cover as it would be for a non-Pokémon V, but between Frosmoth, Melony, maybe even Turbo Patch if used prior to actually evolving into Glaceon VMAX, it isn’t bad.
With the effects out of the way, lets jump back to the stats. Given that Crystal Veil is part of the appeal, being a Rule Box Pokémon means Path to the Peak can shut it down. Glaceon VMAX probably wouldn’t enjoy its effects if it wasn’t a Pokémon VMAX, grants access to VMAX support, and VMAX status also confers a massive HP boost. The usual drawbacks to being a Pokémon VMAX are here as well; Glaceon VMAX is worth three Prizes when KO’d, can’t benefit from certain effects, and has to deal with anti-VMAX cards. Additionally, remember that Pokémon VMAX are still Pokémon V, so all of that applies as well. Being a Water type seems… decent. Not sure if exploiting Weakness will matter in the near future, but Wash [W] Energy protects from attack effects, improving your walling capacity.
Glaceon VMAX has 310 HP, low for a Pokémon VMAX but still difficult to OHKO. Especially when you factor in the Ability protecting against attacks from the Pokémon Stage/mechanic most likely to hit hard. [M] Weakness is pretty awful: Zacian V is still most definitely a strong deck. No Resistance is the worst but also normal, and a Retreat Cost of [CC] is neither good nor bad. If you can spare your Tool slot, Snow Leaf Badge can zero out both your Weakness and Retreat Cost while equipped. Which is pretty nice, but remember Tool Scrapper can discard it like it can almost any other Tool. Speaking of related cards, Glaceon V is a solid evolving Basic Pokémon V, able to attack to evolve into Glaceon VMAX.
So… Glaceon VMAX seems pretty great… why wasn’t it at least a runner-up in our countdown? I didn’t include Glaceon VMAX on my list because of the sizable gap in its defenses. I already mentioned a few gaps in its protection, but there’s also Phoebe; if your opponent uses her, then they basically ignored Crystal Veil that turn. I personally am partial to decks built all or mostly around single-Prize Pokémon, so if any such decks are at least “budget caliber” then that’s another thing that can really threaten Glaceon VMAX. Looking at the few tournament results I can see over at https://play.limitlesstcg.com/decks I see Zacian V is still quite popular, and the deck sometimes packs Zamazenta V… so it can wall against Glaceon VMAX.
All hope isn’t lost, though. That same list of decks shows Glaceon VMAX decks are being played, and it seems like Inteleon (SW – Chilling Reign 043/198; SW – Black Star Promos SWSH113; SW – Evolving Skies 227/203) is its partner of choice. I don’t think I’d bother with Glaceon VMAX in Expanded. Yes, it gains access to Double Colorless Energy, Acerola, AZ, and more support that can greatly improve what it does, but I’m more worried about the diversity in opposing attackers and additional counters to Crystal Veil.
- Standard: 3/5
- Expanded: 2/5
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