Jolteon VMAX – Evolving Skies
Date Reviewed: December 24, 2021
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
We end the week with our 6th-Place pick, Jolteon VMAX! Yes another Eeveelution that probably ought to have made its debut set’s countdown, but didn’t. That’s three Eeveelutions before… well, Eeveelution VMAXes. You can read our original review of Jolteon VMAX here: thankfully, this was far enough after its release that I already had some proof that this was a good card. If you don’t care to read that old review, the short version is that Jolteon VMAX has low HP for a Pokémon VMAX (300), but that’s still enough to make it hard to OHKO. For [LC], its “Max Thunder Rumble” attack does 100 damage plus 100 to one of your opponent’s Benched Pokémon if that Pokémon has any damage counters on it. This wouldn’t mean much except Jolteon VMAX can use Elemental Badge to use it for just [L]. Which is good in general, but also means you might heal up with Cheryl if your opponent whiffs on a OHKO. Oh, and the typing does come in handy on occasion, as almost all Water types are [L] Weak in the SW-series.
At the close of the previous Standard Format, Jolteon VMAX decks were not that big. The two varieties were one that focused on Jolteon VMAX, just backing it with ol’ Galarian Zigzagoon (Sword & Shield 117/202; Shining Fates SV078/SV122), maybe with something else tacked on. The other major archetype is Jolteon VMAX backed by guess who? That’s right, the dynamic duo of 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) strike again! They were a thing, but very, very far down the list: 90th-Place for plain Jolteon VMAX decks and 108th for the Inteleon-backed version. Post-rotation, the Inteleon-backed version jumped to 8th while the Galarian Zigzagoon version only made it to 82nd. At the time of writing, Jolteon VMAX has the fourth-highest(!) share of the metagame according to LimitlessTCG. Specifically, when partnered with Though there are some Jolteon VMAX decks that don’t use them, they’re a mere sliver of what you’ll face in Standard. Even when all archetypes are combined, greatly reducing the number of entries, it only jumps to 59th.
So… yeah, this is a great deck. Deal decent damage to your opponent’s Active while solidly thumping their Bench. The Rapid Strike Inteleon and/or Galarian Zigzagoon help ensure there are legal-to-hit targets on your opponent’s Bench, with less than their max HP. The other Inteleon helps snag whatever Trainers you need… and the deck includes some nice bits of TecH like a Cheryl, a Fan of Waves, etc. I’m awarding Jolteon VMAX a four-out-of-five, and am sorely tempted to bump it up to a five-out-of-five. Holding it back are its [F] Weakness, and the fact that its potency comes from a mix of cards (including one of the most popular Bench-sitters in the current metagame). It is quite possible the next release could add something that suddenly outs Jolteon VMAX, though if that were to happen, it has already had quite the run. The Expanded Format has seen little of Jolteon VMAX. I think it still has some potential, but blocking Bench damage is easier here… and the only example of it I found over on LimitlessTCG is someone who tried to use their Standard Format deck in an Expanded Format tournament. I’m giving it a two-out-of-five here… as there’s still enough to make me wonder if a deck actually built for Expanded could make it work.
- Standard: 4/5
- Expanded: 2/5
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