Ice Rider Calyrex VMAX – Chilling Reign
Date Reviewed: December 21, 2021
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
9th-Place in our countdown goes to Ice Rider Calyrex VMAX, originally reviewed here as the 7th best card of SW – Chilling Reign. As with the other reviews in this series, since I already wrote a lengthy review detailing the card, I’m just going to briefly run through Ice Rider Calyrex VMAX’s stats and effects before reflecting on how it has been used, and how much success it has seen. As usual, expect me to reference LimitlessTCG quite a bit. Ice Rider Calyrex VMAX is a VMAX Water type, sporting 320 HP. Being a Pokémon VMAX may come with several drawbacks, like being worth 3 Prizes when KO’d, but many decks feature at least one Pokémon VMAX as a main attacker and/or a Bench-sitter. So… yeah, good deal, in the end. The [W] typing was useful for exploiting [W] Weakness pre-rotation; losing Wielder hurt or completely destroyed several pre-rotation Fire decks; it isn’t as great right now, though there’s still some useful support. Ice Rider Calyrex’s [M] Weakness is bad. Zacian V decks were great pre-rotation, and still fairly good now. The lack of Resistance and Retreat Cost of [CC] were typical.
The card’s stats formed a solid foundation, with Ice Rider Calyrex’s attacks putting it over the top. For [CC], it could use “Ride of the high King” to do a quick 10 damage plus 30 more for each of your opponent’s Benched Pokémon. An opponent who filled their Bench was handing you an two-Energy attack that could do 160 damage! [WW] paid for “Max Lance”, an attack that also did 10+ damage. In this case, the “plus” was you could discard up to two Energy attached to “this Pokémon” to do another 120 per Energy discarded. If you didn’t mind leaving Ice Rider Calyrex VMAX with no Energy (assuming you had just enough attached to use Max Lance), the attack could do a quick 250 damage. Thanks to cards like Melony, getting [WW] onto Ice Rider Calyrex VMAX to use either attack was quite reasonable.
There were a few different Ice Rider Calyrex VMAX decks that popped up. Some used Cinccino (Sword & Shield 147/202; SW – Black Star Promos SWSH009; Shining Fates SV094/SV122) to add a solid draw engine. Others used Inteleon (SW – Chilling Reign 043/198; SW – Black Star Promos SWSH113; SW – Evolving Skies 227/203) paired with Inteleon (Sword & Shield 058/202; Shining Fates SV027/SV122); the former increasing your KO range while the latter helped with setting up (either initial setup or pulling off combos), thanks to their Abilities. Some builds even focused on just Ice Rider Calyrex VMAX, or at least, backed it with less notable Pokémon. The Inteleon backed build saw the most success, ranking third for the metagame immediately after Ice Rider Calyrex VMAX became legal for tournament play. In particular, the Inteleon backed build actually went up a place after SW – Evolving Skies released but post-rotation, dropped to a respectable but noticeably lower 8th-Place. At the time of writing this, the Ice Rider Calyrex VMAX build that ranks highest is still the one running Inteleon. It still owns 8th-Place and that easily qualifies it for our countdown. The other Ice Rider Calyrex VMAX decks seem to have fallen by the wayside.
Okay, that was Standard; what about Expanded? At present, at least Ice Rider Calyrex VMAX decks are still making the list over at LimitlessTCG. Some tried the more plain Ice Rider Calyrex VMAX deck as well. Of course, only nine tournaments have been represented, so these numbers aren’t conclusive. Nor are they especially high: 26th for the Inteleon version, 28 for the plain. Glancing at the decklists, it seems like only one person was running an actual Expanded Format deck, with the others just trying their luck with Standard Format decks. Still, it is something. Frankly, I think Ice Rider Calyrex VMAX still has a lot of potential in this Format, where it gains access to older [W] support like Dive Ball and Aqua Patch. In the end, I think Ice Rider Calyrex VMAX has done a great job this year. I may have even low-balled its Standard Format score in the original review, as now it is probably only a four-out-of-five card. In Expanded, I’m going to be a bit more cautious than before, awarding it a three-out-of-four.
- Standard: 4/5
- Expanded: 3/5
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 would 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 4700 Pokemon cards over the last 20+ years!