Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX – Battle Styles
Date Reviewed: December 29, 2021
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
3rd-Place goes to Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX! Perhaps that needs to sink in… Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX only finished in 3rd-Place! It also only finished in 3rd-Place for SW – Battle Styles, but that was another misfire on my part. I was only just warming up to Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX, as I had a hard time believing it would be a strong enough deck. Yeah, not one of my finest moments. So, let’s briefly touch on what Rapid Urshifu VMAX is and does… and then focus on what it has done, as a deck.
Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX is a Rapid Strike Pokémon… but not because it is part of the card’s name, but because it says so elsewhere on the card. This is very important, because Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX makes good use of that support, like Rapid Strike Energy and Passimian (SW – Chilling Reign 088/198; SW – Black Star Promos SWSH115). As a Pokémon VMAX, it gains access to VMAX support, will have tremendous HP, and is permitted stronger effects than normal. However, this comes with many drawbacks, such as being vulnerable to anti-VMAX effects and giving up three Prizes when KO’d. Pokémon VMAX are still Pokémon V, so Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX gets excluded from certain beneficial card effects and included in more deleterious ones as well. At least it doesn’t particularly matter that it is a Pokémon with a Rule Box… at least, not until more counters are released based on that fact.
“VMAX” is also this card’s Stage of Evolution; essentially a Stage 1 that doesn’t count as a Stage 1, it is still affected by general Evolution support and counters. Rapid Strike Ushifu VMAX’s [F] typing is quite handy; not so much for type support but because [F] Weakness is found on a some Colorless types, some Darkness types, and most Lightning types. I mentioned earlier it should have a lot of HP, and Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX doesn’t disappoint; 330 is the second highest printed HP score and difficult to OHKO. Its [P] Weakness can be rather dangerous, so mind it. No Resistance is typical, and more of a missed opportunity than a true defect. The Retreat Cost of [CC] is middle of the road; not low enough to be helpful but neither high enough to be a real problem.
Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX knows two attacks. The first is “Gale Thrust”, priced at [G] and doing 30 damage plus another 120 if it moved from the Bench to the Active position during this turn. The second attack is “G-Max Rapid Flow”, costing [FFC] and requiring you discard all Energy attached to this Pokémon when it is used. The reward is doing 120 damage to two of your opponent’s Pokémon. 240 for three Energy is great. Not as good when you have to discard all attached Energy, nor since you must split it evenly between two targets, but that is still very good. Not that Gale Thrust is bad; it too is a very good attack. It is just hitting two Benched Pokémon that hard, even with the drawbacks, can really wreck your opponent’s side of the field… especially if they have two Crobat V on the Bench and Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX has Telescopic Sight equipped and is backed by “Rapid Strike” Passimian’s “Throwing Coach” Ability. Each adds +30 damage done to your opponent’s Benched Pokémon-GX or Pokémon V.
Even when not OHKOing (possibly double OHKOing) your opponent’s valuable Bench-sitters, this amount of damage can add up quickly. Of course, re-Energizing Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX isn’t easy, but with the right partners, that isn’t a problem. Right now, besides the above two, there’s Inteleon (SW – Chilling Reign 043/198; SW – Black Star Promos SWSH113; SW – Evolving Skies 227/203) plus Inteleon VMAX (SW – Fusion Strike 079/264266/264). The main things being the Rapid Strike Inteleon and Inteleon VMAX’s Abilities that allow you to place damage counters on your opponent’s Pokémon. A good turn can see the combo double OHKO Basic Pokémon VMAX. I don’t just mean the small one’s, like Crobat V, but even those in the 210 to 230 HP range!
Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX stared out strong, only being outperformed by the Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX decks of the previous Standard Format. At least, when all variants are combined. When we look at them separately, it still clocked in at 4th-Place. Its performance did drop a little after SW – Chilling Reign released. After all, not only did we get some solid new archetypes, but one of them was a Psychic type (Shadow Rider Calyrex VMAX, which shot up to #1). Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX decks rebounded immediately with the addition of SW – Evolving Skies (not that it had fallen far in the first place). Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX’s success dipped a little post-rotation, but the Inteleon-backed variety now sits at a solid 4th-Place. Combining variants together sees Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX in 3rd-Place, which is very impressive considering Mew VMAX/Genesect V is the current top deck… and can exploit Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX’s [P] Weakness to score a OHKO.
In the Expanded Format, Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX was doing well after its initial release, but keeps falling lower and lower. It may even no longer be part of the metagame… but it had a good run for this year. After all, many new cards have no chance in Expanded. So… what are the scores? Jumping back to the Standard Format, Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX earns a four-out-of-five. Considering I’m the one who made this list, I really wanted to award it a perfect score, but it isn’t high enough to be worth rounding up. While this is a great card, and there are multiple archetypes that use it, it also is relying so heavily on other cards to make it good. As for Expanded, I’m going to chance an optimistic three-out-of-five. So… how could I rank this above Genesect V, which I awarded a five-out-of-five? Because this is a countdown of the best cards of 2021. Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX has been a great card all year, and so has shaped the metagame all year. Genesect V is part of the current, dominant deck… but they just showed up for the tail end of this year.
- Standard: 4/5
- Expanded: 3/5
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