Morpeko VMAX
Morpeko VMAX

Morpeko VMAX
– Sword & Shield

Date Reviewed:
March 14, 2020

Ratings Summary:
Standard: 3.25
Expanded: 3.25
Limited: 4.00

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.

Reviews Below:

vince avatar


Standard: 3.5/5

Expanded: 3.5/5

Limited: 4/5

Morpeko V-Max doesn’t seem too different than a regular Morpeko. It’s mostly a oversized Morpeko with red clouds surrounding it. Yep, that’s a Dynamax Pokemon, not a Gigantamax, though in TCG terms it is still worth three prizes when it’s knocked out. 300 HP is still a good amount of HP for a V-Max Pokemon and, as a Lightning type, it can benefit from cards like Thunder Mountain Prism Star for reducing the attack cost by L, Volkner for fetching a L Energy and an item card, Electropower for boosting damage output by 30, and even Zeraora-GX for free retreat for anyone with L Energy (though Morpeko V-Max’s single retreat cost won’t make this necessary). All of theses Lightning type support, however, will be leaving rotation next season, though there might be one more piece of support left. Tapu Koko Prism Star helps pump one L Energy to two of your Benched Pokemon.

While the support is nice, it wouldn’t see any play if it doesn’t have anything else on its own that’s worth using. It only has one attack. Max Discharge costs LLC for 180 damage and also 20 damage to each of your opponent’s Benched Pokemon. Pretty solid attack, as it cleanly 2HKOs anything (except Zamazenta-V) while potentially knocking out multiple Pokémon for multiple if they’re significantly damaged. Electropower and Vitality Band can help reach certain HP scores.

To get to Morpeko V-Max, it has to evolve from Morpeko-V. Morpeko-V is not only a stepping stone just to evolve, but it can actually hold its own in a deck without it’s V-Max card. Electro Wheel and Lillie’s Poké Doll combo is actually a good strategy as you have at least 4 turns of keeping your opponent from taking prizes unless they use switching related cards. You could do the same with Morpeko V-Max, but then you would need something like Memory Energy to access attacks from previous evolutions while adding some unnecessary risks and drawbacks, like risk of being a V-Max, deck space, and that Special Energies can be removed via Faba.

This is quite a fun Pokemon to use. You can use Morpeko-V with or without the V-Max, and it still gets you a decklist, and there’s already several of them through various forms of social media!

Otaku Avatar

Morpeko VMAX (Sword & Shield 080/202, 204/202) is a follow-up to yesterday’s review of Morpeko V.  To get a crash course in all things Pokémon V and VMAX, you can check out this article.  The Cliff Notes version is Pokémon V come in two varieties: Basic Pokémon V and a new Stage of Evolution, Pokémon VMAX.  Something that is an evolution in the video games is still represented as a Basic Pokémon V in the TCG, with its Dynamax or Gigantamax form released in the TCG as a Pokémon VMAX.  There are no special rules for evolving Pokémon V into VMAX, but they are worth three Prizes when KO’d.

Everything that applies to Pokémon V, other than Prizes taken, also applies to Pokémon VMAX; an effect that says it applies to Pokémon V also applies to Pokémon VMAX.  However, something like the Ability on Zamazenta V, which lets it ignore all damage done by attacks from opposing Pokémon VMAX, does not apply to Pokémon V in general.  You may also have noticed – I didn’t until Vince pointed it out – that this is our first “Dynamax” card.  Some Pokémon VMAX are Dynamax, some are Gigantamax.  This is based on the video games, and doesn’t actually affect anything in the TCG.  At least, so far it hasn’t.

Being a glorified Stage 1 worth extra Prizes when KO’d is a drawback, but as long as Morpeko VMAX comes with at least some of the HP and power we’ve seen in other Pokémon V and VMAX, it could be worth it.  It just won’t be as easy to work into a deck as a Basic Pokémon V.  Morpeko VMAX is a [L] Type Pokémon, which is good.  Not so much for exploiting Weakness, though [L] is supposed to be the default Weakness for [W] Types and remains the default Weakness for various VG Flying Types that show up as a variety of TCG Types (but mostly Colorless).  The tiny amount of Resistance and anti-[L] effects pales in comparison to [L] Type support… and more is on the way next set!

Morpeko VMAX enjoys 300 HP.  Small for a Pokémon VMAX, it is still actually quite hardy.  Decks that can OHKO the largest TAG TEAM Pokémon can do the same here, but that still means Morpeko V can survive a hit from most attackers not using damage-enhancing combos, and even from many that are.  [F] Weakness should be awful but I’m unaware of any current, strong [F] Type decks that have proven themselves since Sword & Shield released internationally.  Be leery of it, but for now it is relatively safe.  No Resistance is the worst, but is typical, so we’ll move on to the Retreat Cost of [C].  This is good, easy to pay and recover from having paid.

Morpeko VMAX has just one attack, “Max Discharge”.  It requires [LLC] and lets Morpeko VMAX attack for 180 damage to your opponent’s Active, as well as 20 to each of your opponent’s Benched Pokémon.  There are no other costs, conditions, or other drawbacks, so that’s reasonably good.  2HKO pretty much anything in the game while scoring some Bench damage, on a body that is big enough it’ll usually need to be 2HKO.  I already factored in how Tapu Koko {*} and Thunder Mountain {*} can let you do this for a single manual Energy attachment.

When I first saw Morpeko VMAX, I wasn’t too impressed.  Not long after, the “It is winning in Japan!” reports about Morpeko V Hit-and-Run decks started coming in, though not as many as I remembered.  Morpeko V does 150 damage for the same Energy cost, plus a mandatory Energy discard from itself and hit-and-run effect.  Thanks to nifty combos like hiding behind Lillie’s Poké Doll in a Standard Format that has no  Guzma or Lysandre, it sounded like a good deck.  Sure, your opponent probably had Custom Catcher, or maybe had something more deck specific to thwart your plans, but few decks could do so over and over again to easily win on Prizes.

In such decks, Morpeko VMAX was there as an optional, alternate attacker, probably more of a “final” attacker, for when 180 would finish off your opponent’s Active and maybe also take out something nearly KO’d on your opponent’s Benched.  That hit-and-run Morpeko V deck has never managed to place in the top 10% of any major event outside of Japan, at least based on the available results from LimitlessTCG.  The only thing I was able to find there was this Morpeko VMAX deck.  Alex Schemanske piloted it to 34th-place at the Regional Championship held on February 29 in Collinsville, IL.  There were 640 players in the Masters Division when he did this, so that is still a great finish!

Morpeko VMAX was backed by Dusknoir (BW – Boundaries Crossed 63/149; BW – Plasma Blast 104/101).  This Dusknoir is infamous for its Ability, “Sinister Hand”, which lets you freely move around the damage counters on your opponent’s side of the field.  I’ve never seen either of these Pokémon in action yet, but I think we can extrapolate how it works, based on what we do know.  This is actually a pretty typical damage spread strategy except Morpeko VMAX is still pretty massive and thumps your opponent’s Active hard enough you might also be taking OHKO’s and 2HKO’s.

The deck isn’t loaded with control/disruption elements, so I unless there just wasn’t room, I do not think the goal is to take few or no KO’s prior to one final Max Discharge for six Prizes.  If taking pseudo-OHKO’s is more important, Sinister Hand lets you shove as much of the damage spread as you want onto your opponent’s Active, just not before they’ve had a turn to deal with some or all of it.  A different I should mention between Expanded and Standard is that Morpeko VMAX’s [F] Weakness is definitely not safe.  There are proven [F] archetypes in Expanded, and there are also TecH attackers like Marshadow-GX.

In the Limited Format, if you pull Morpekdo VMAX alongside Morpeko V, unless you pull something not only better but that can’t easily be run alongside them, you run it.  If you have the draw/search, you might even try for a Mulligan build around Morpeko V and Morpeko VMAX.  You won’t have many (if any) non-simple combos but Morpeko VMAX won’t need them.  Morpeko V has a decent chance of winning on its own, even without Morpeko VMAX.  If you want to play them in a deck running other Basic Pokémon, that’s good as well.  Just make sure the list runs a decent amount of [L] Energy.


Standard: 3/5

Expanded: 3/5

Limited: 4/5

Yes, Morpeko VMAX scores the same as Morpeko V but here, I’m (mostly) going off of what Morpeko VMAX has already accomplished.  The Standard score is still mostly theoretical, but something resembling the Expanded Format deck should be possible even here.  Even though 34th-place is good, it also isn’t top 8, and Dusknoir lets just about anything fake being spread, so I don’t think Morpeko VMAX is this new must-run archetype for Expanded, either.  Just a nice new option for us to enjoy!

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!