Card – Vivid Voltage
Date Reviewed: December 14, 2020
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Orbeetle V-MAX from Vivid Voltage didn’t make my personal list, though I could at least had one as my honorable mentions. I just hope that I can make this work.
It’s ability, Eerie Beam, states that once during your turn, if this Pokémon is in the Active spot, you can put 1 damage counters on each of your opponent’s Pokemon. This could range from 10 to 60 damage on the board depending on what your opponent has in play. Because it has a single retreat cost, U Turn Board can help you retreat for free and bring in another Pokémon to attack, or another Orbeetle VMAX to use another of the same ability and attack.
G-Max Wave costs GC for 50 damage plus 50 more damage for each energy attached to your opponent’s Pokemon. This kind of power can be either amazing or underwhelming. For the underwhelming part, it may not OHKO any VMAX Pokemon due to their attack cost needing between 1 to 5 energies. The amazing part is that it can return fire to OHKO any Tag Team who just invested extra energies for their GX attack.
- Standard: 3/5
- Expanded: 3/5
- Limited: 3/5
I really liked this card, just needing to figure out how to continuously maneuver my Active Orbeetle without using too many resources just to keep switching. Free damage counter placements are useful to secure certain KOs.
Orbeetle VMAX (SW – Vivid Voltage 021/185, 186/185) is yesterday’s Card of the Day, because this is a late review. As a Pokémon VMAX, Orbeetle VMAX gives up two extra Prizes when KO’d, is excluded from certain beneficial effects, and is included in certain detrimental ones. As some newer players get confused, remember that Pokémon VMAX are a form of Pokémon V, so if an effect references Pokémon V, it also applies to Pokémon VMAX… and so far, any effect that specifies “Pokémon V” is not in their favor. All this baggage may be balanced out by the benefits, however; there are VMAX-specific pieces of support, Pokémon VMAX have the highest HP scores in the game right now, and they tend to be able to do more relative to costs.
Another bonus is that VMAX isn’t just a specialty mechanic or class of cards, it is also their Stage of evolution. Functionally, Pokémon VMAX are Stage 1 Pokémon that do not count as Stage 1 Pokémon. There are no extra rules about evolving into them, you just play the Pokémon VMAX onto the corresponding Basic Pokémon V, the same as you would a Stage 1 onto the correct Basic. Besides effects that specifically reference Pokémon VMAX, general evolution support or counters do as well, but not those specific to other Stages of evolution. Orbeetle VMAX is a Gigantamax Pokémon. In the TCG, this doesn’t affect anything, but it might matter in the future.
Orbeetle VMAX is a Grass type, and that doesn’t help it. There isn’t a lot of [G] Weakness to exploit, but you’ll crash into [G] Resistance because of Zacian V. Neither Grass support or counters are prominent right now. 310 HP is low for a Pokémon VMAX, but still has a good chance of surviving a hit. It is enough you might even survive a shot from Fire attackers. Your [R] Weakness means they do double damage, but 160 isn’t that low a threshold. No Resistance is typical, so moving on, we see a Retreat Cost of [C]; easy to pay and recover from having paid. Overall, Orbeetle V’s stats are not encouraging.
Orbeetle VMAX has one Ability and one attack. “Eerie Beam” may only be used while Orbeetle VMAX is your Active Pokémon, and each instance of it you have in play may only be used once during your turn. Its actual effect is you place a damage counter on each and every one of your opponent’s Pokémon. For [GC], it can use “G-Max Wave” to do 50 damage plus 50 more per Energy attached to your opponent’s Active. Eerie Beam is good; even if it is only one damage counter, it is one damage counter to everything your opponent has in play. If you can spare a Switch, manual retreat, etc. and have a second Orbeetle VMAX ready to go, you can get two damage counters. More than this is possible, but significantly harder to pull off turn after turn.
G-Max Wave is less impressive. For two Energy, you’re only guaranteed 50 damage base. An opponent has an evolving Basic stuck in their Active position? Odds are good you cannot OHKO it unless it has an Energy attached. To OHKO something like your typical, Basic Pokémon V, you’ll need it to have four Energy attached, or three if you’ve pulled off enough Eerie Beams for a pseudo-OHKO. Fellow Pokémon VMAX are going to need to sport five or six Energy for G-Max Wave to score a OHKO. With smaller targets, there are times when the numbers work out in your favor without Eerie Beam placing damage counters, but many times when you either need the Ability to help and some where even with Eerie Beam, you’re whiffing.
Is a 2HKO that bad? Consider the entire package; this is a three-Prize target with more HP than any TAG TEAM but the next-to-lowest for a VMAX, and its Ability means it needs to be up front but its attack is niche. I’ll also add that Orbeetle V doesn’t do Orbeetle VMAX a lot of good. It is a 180 HP Basic Pokémon V; that’s Crobat V levels of fragility… but without the killer Ability. Instead, Orbeetle V just offers two attacks. “Strafe” leads my inner-Johnny astray: it is a hit and run attack for just [G], and that could help with Eerie Beam usage. Equip Orbeetle VMAX with Memory Capsule. Use Eerie Beam, attack, then bring up a meat shield. Retreat or switch out (if needed) whatever you promoted last turn, and repeat. Then I realized all that is equivalent to a Pokémon VMAX doing just 20 damage plus placing a damage counter on everything. That would be iffy if it was that simply, so for a complex combo? Pass. Oh, and Orbeete V’s other attack is a worse version of G-Max Wave.
All hope is not lost for Orbeetle VMAX. The Ability really is good. So good, in fact, that it creates possibilities with damage spread decks, or beatdown decks that hit harder based on the damage counters already present on the target. Expanded offers more combos, but more counters and competition to those combos. Orbeetle VMAX is nice in Limited, but not as much as sturdier Pokémon VMAX.
- Standard: 2/5
- Expanded: 2/5
- Limited: 3/5
Orbeetle VMAX doesn’t look as good as I’d hoped, but Eerie Beam does it it potential… or maybe it is just Johnny-bait and nothing substantial will materialize. As an attacker, it is a nice option to have, at least so long as we still have some prominent, Energy-heavy attackers on the competitive scene, but not something vital to a deck, either.
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!