– Cosmic Eclipse
February 5, 2020
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Details: Meowth V-Max demonstrates what V-Max cards could or could not be capable of. This seems to be a hybrid of Mega Evolution (except that it doesn’t end your turn) while having considerably higher HP than most Tag Teams and still being worth 3 prizes. It’s only attack, G-Max Gold Rush, does 200 damage for 4 energy and lets you draw 3 cards. Despite having only one attack, it is decent enough to land 2HKOs plus a bit of overkill such that Great Potion wouldn’t have mattered. And the extra three cards would be nice as long as your hand doesn’t get tampered with, and sadly, there’s a lot out there that can discard some cards from your hand or shuffle them into their deck.
But because it only has one attack, it suffers from effects that prevent you from using a specific attack, and in turn, becomes a sitting duck. Also, there’s Zamazenta-V that takes no damage from Pokémon V-Max, so that could be a serious hurdle to overcome. It doesn’t help that there isn’t much ability denial, and even Power Plant suffers from outdated mechanics because it only affects Pokémon-EX/GX but NOT Pokemon-V.
Being the first Pokemon V-Max, if you really want to experience this new mechanic, then by all means experiment them. Otherwise, you should wait for the actual Sword & Shield expansion to be released, as it does have couple other Pokémon V-Max cards that could actually be the centerpiece of a deck such as Snorlax, Lapras, Morpeko, and Stonjourner. I know I enjoyed using Morpeko V-Max during my participation but probably not the intended way I would play it (Unlimited Format League) (I did not ran or have Poke Dolls).
We follow-up yesterday’s review by covering Meowth VMAX (SS – Black Star Promos SWSH005). The “VMAX” is indeed part of the card’s name but also it’s Stage. VMAX Pokémon can only evolve from the corresponding Pokémon V. There are no added complications when it comes to evolving into a Pokémon VMAX, the way there was with Mega Evolving; as long as the Pokémon V in question has been in play long enough to evolve and matches the “evolves from” text, you just play the VMAX onto it and continue your turn as normal. There is a catch, though; VMAX Pokémon are worth three Prizes when KO’d!
Meowth VMAX is a [C] Type Pokémon, so it won’t ever hit for Weakness or Resistance, barring pre-Expanded cards or possibly some combo I may have forgotten. You can utilize [C] Type support but may run into anti-[C] effects, however both are only found in the Expanded Format, and not seen too often in competitive decks. Meowth VMAX has 300 HP, tying the previous maximum printed HP score set by Magikarp & Wailord-GX, and affirmed by Moltres & Zapdos & Articuno-GX. The current maximum is 340, set by Snorlax V. I believe 300 HP is still enough to tank, though admitted not as effectively as it once did.
[F] Weakness may be a problem; while currently a minor issue, there are some [F] Type hopefuls that may make the Type a little more common in terms of attackers. They still need to do 150 before Weakness for the OHKO, however. Lack of Resistance may be good for game balance, but even a single Type pairing where Meowth VMAX enjoyed taking 30 less damage. The Retreat Cost of [CC] is okay; not too bad to pay, but not too good, either. There is a new Tool, with an English name I haven’t been able to confirm, that reduces the Retreat Cost of the equipped Pokémon by two.
Meowth VMAX has a single attack, and it ain’t cheap. [CCCC] isn’t impossible to pay in a single turn, but it will require some Energy acceleration. A Triple Acceleration Energy alone won’t do the job, though Welder plus Triple Acceleration Energy would. Your reward is a good (but not great) 200 damage, and drawing three cards. With the newer, high HP scores we’re seeing, this should usually be good for a 2HKO. Is that enough? Three cards being drawn should help with various control strategies, so I think it just might be, at least with 300 HP backing Meowth VMAX.
Again, we looked at Meowth V yesterday: it didn’t seem like it would really help or hurt Meowth VMAX. While it does need Energy acceleration to help it out, those [C] Type Energy requirements mean it could function in a variety of decks. Until Sword & Shield officially becomes tournament legal, it is also our only Pokémon VMAX, which could give it a slight edge. There are counters specific to Pokémon V and Pokémon VMAX, but just one of each and they’re in the Sword & Shield set proper. Even after that point, Meowth VMAX has just enough HP, damage, and draw power it could have a place in a few decks.
I’m a little more concerned for it in the Expanded Format, but ultimately, I think its performance will be similar to what I said for Standard. The big differences are more support (like Double Colorless Energy), more counters (like Marshadow-GX), and more competition (bigger cardpool). As a promo, Meowth VMAX isn’t legal for the Limited Format. If it were, it’d be a good pull, assuming you also pulled at least one Meowth V to run with it. Not as good as it could be, though, since you would need the both of them to show up in a timely manner, but in a deck with whatever Trainer engine you managed to cobble together.
I don’t expect Meowth VMAX to get better with time, so you may wish to hurry should you want to run a deck featuring it competitively. Until Sword & Shield is tournament legal, its only outstanding attribute is its HP; after that, its just decent all around… but that may be enough.
…well yeah, of course it’s Meowth VMAX. It’s the only other promo in the aptly-named Meowth VMAX Special Collection!
Meowth VMAX is a Colorless VMAX Pokemon, 300 HP, with a Fighting Weakness, no Resistance, and a Retreat Cost of 2. Its only attack is G-Max Gold Rush, which for 4 Energy deals 200 damage and draws you 3 cards. That’s pretty powerful, isn’t it?
Compared with the ultimate form of Pokemon-GX and especially the Tag Team-GX, this kind of attack is…well, comparable, for lack of a better word. 4-for-200 is actually about on-par with some Tag Team-GX, and it definitely can provide for a good 2HKO. In fact, this is one of the ways Pokemon-VMAX compare to Tag Team-GX over M Pokemon-EX: they actually cost 3 Prizes when they get KO’d! As a bit of a trade-off for requiring the appropriate Pokemon-V to evolve from, Pokemon-VMAX then don’t require a tremendously large amount of Energy from their base form to deal out tons of damage, whereas some Tag Team-GX do!
At this point, it’s all about speed versus power, and Tag Team-GX will definitely come out faster. However, Pokemon-VMAX might have the edge in power. Sure, Tag Team-GX can still 2HKO a Pokemon-VMAX like Meowth-VMAX, at only 300 HP, but Meowth-VMAX can do the same right back – heck, with the right cards boosting it, it could even OHKO! Most Tag Team-GX that can deal 200 or more damage have certain conditions or even drawbacks to do so, whereas Meowth-VMAX has a built-in Hau to his attack without any such drawbacks! Even the most competitive Tag Team-GX currently only deal 180-200 damage without using their GX Attacks!
So does that put Meowth-VMAX in the running for the next big Pokemon breakthrough? Well, not exactly. Even though he can survive most of the Tag Team-GX and live long enough to get a good swing in, it’s all still a 2HKO on those Pokemon, which means it becomes a fairly balanced 1-for-1 trade-off. At this stage, you’d either prefer Pokemon-VMAX that could survive more than 2 hits while dishing out their 2, or you’d want them to be able to OHKO even a Tag Team-GX, and that’s not an easy feat for any Pokemon, especially Meowth-VMAX. I think there’s room enough for early experimentation – a trial period for people wanting to see how the new mechanic works – but after the Sword & Shield set drops on…well, Friday, there’s going to be better options available, and the gap will just get wider.
Standard: 2/5 (it’s bound to see some play, but I don’t think long-term it’ll last)
Expanded: 2/5 (same here, if not worse)
Limited: N/A (the life of a promo card…)
Arora Notealus: Meowth-VMAX is likely going to fall by the wayside once the new Pokemon-V and VMAX show up, though I can certainly understand experimenting with it. After all, it’s part of a new mechanic, and that’s bound to attract some attention! Whether or not it’ll be a competitive staple though is up to whether or not it’s going to be on-par with others of its kind, and being so early on in the lifetime of a new mechanic, I doubt that severely. I mean, how often were the Pokemon-GX from the Sun & Moon Base Set used after newer Pokemon-GX came out? And don’t even get me started on what happened when Tag Team-GX came out!
Next Time: A lookback to a throwback that’s apparently making a comeback?
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