Rayquaza – Vivid Voltage
Date Reviewed: January 19, 2021
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Looks like we have another Amazing Rare card to look at.
Rayquaza from Vivid Voltage is similar to other Amazing Rares that it has an attack that requires three different basic energy types. In this case, its only attack is called Amazing Burst, which costs a Grass, Lightning, and Fighting energy. You have to discard all basic energies attached to it and it does 80 damage for each type of basic energy you’ve discarded from that Pokémon. So far, there’s 9 basic energy types: (G), (R), (W), (L), (P), (F), (D), (M), and (Y), making its maximum damage output 720. At a minimum, Rayquaza is already doing 240 damage. Add another different basic energy type other than Grass, Lightning, or Fighting, and Rayquaza will almost reach OHKO levels! I can’t seem to process how this attack can be pulled off in Standard as there’s not too many cards that support it outside of Turbo Patch. This is even unlike Rayquaza-EX from BW Dragons Exalted such that you couldn’t just toss out however many same energy type and call it a day.
There might be a functional deck in Expanded that Rayquaza might enjoy. This deck usually includes Golduck BREAK and Ho-Oh EX from BW Dragons Exalted despite the format being abundant on locking down abilities. The goal is to resurrect Ho-Oh via Rebirth ability if you flipped heads, putting itself with a Grass, Lightning, and Fighting energy. Then move all of those energies from Ho-Oh to Rayquaza via Golduck’s BREAK Hyper Transfer ability. Manually attach another type of basic energy, and eventually Rayquaza has the tools to use its attack multiple times than Standard does. This still requires a lot of investment and luck, but otherwise would have been the perfect engine to support other Pokémon with unusual attack costs.
- Standard: 1/5
- Expanded: 2/5
Rayquaza has potential, and it has the tools to make such a deck functional in Expanded, but I have yet to see any success regarding this card.
Rayquaza (SW – Vivid Voltage 138/185) is a baseline Pokémon. Sort of; it is an Amazing Rare. This new rarity introduced in SW – Vivid Voltage is not a distinct mechanic in the TCG, but Amazing Rare cards seem to share some common design elements. They are also still single Prize Pokémon. Rayquaza is a Colorless Pokémon and… that’s mediocore. The good news is that there aren’t any anti-[C] effects in Standard and most of the ones in Expanded aren’t worth the effort. Nothing is naturally Colorless Resistant, either (barring Unlimited). The bad news is that Colorless support has proven to be niche (at best) and nothing is naturally Colorless Weak. While having even one match-up in your favor due to Weakness is not a requirement for being good, with no killer support, its absences is most definitely felt.
Rayquaza is a Basic Pokémon, so no waiting to evolve and minimum space requirements. Not only are there some pieces of Stage-specific support for Basics, but mechanics naturally favor them (such as bounce). It isn’t all good, though; there are some solid anti-Basic effects in the metagame. For better and worse, being a Basic means Rayquaza can be your opening Active. 120 HP is the high end of low HP scores. What that confusing but succinct sentence means is 120 HP is far from fragile, but not large enough to be more likely to survive a hit than not. [L] Weakness isn’t good; Pikarom decks don’t even have to bring out the big guns to finish Rayquaza off in one shot; just 60 damage (before Weakness) seals the deal. Any Resistance is appreciated, but [F] Resistance may not matter because Fighting types don’t seem to show up in high level competitive play. A Retreat Cost of [CC] isn’t really good or bad; low enough to pay, high enough you’d rather not pay it, and Air Balloon can still zero it out.
Rayquaza has one attack. “Amazing Burst” requires [GLF] to use, but that is a bit misleading. You must discard all basic Energy attached to Rayquaza in order to use it, and then the attack does 80 damage for each type of basic Energy card discarded. Now, you may actually want some Special Energy attached to Rayquaza, so that it is easier to use Amazing Burst more than once, but doing so really messes with the damage-to-Energy ratio here. One basic Grass Energy, one basic Lightning Energy, and one basic Fighting Energy attached and then discarded through Amazing Burst’s effect means 240 damage. Assuming no defensive buffs, that’s enough damage to OHKO any single Prize Pokémon, nearly all Pokémon-EX, nearly all Pokémon-GX (excluding TAG TEAMs), and nearly all Basic Pokémon V!
Under those same circumstances, one more basic Energy of a different Energy type means you’re now taking out everything except most Pokémon VMAX. If you can manage five basic Energy, each of a different type, attached to Rayquaza, Amazing Burst can deliver an Amazing 400 damage that OHKO’s anything in the cardpool… at least, before miscellaneous card effects. The obvious issue is supply that much Energy all at once. There are some decks in Expanded that I thought died out, but if things like the Ho-Oh-EX (BW – Dragons Exalted 22/124, 119/124) decks are still around, Rayquaza might be a decent option for a single-Prize attacker. You could also try cobbling together something with Golduck BREAK and Naganadel, so you could constantly reattach the same two to four basic Energy over and over again…
…but that sounds like a pretty fragile combo.
- Standard: 1/5
- Expanded: 2/5
Rayquaza can hit crazy hard, but not only is it restricted to certain decks, but if you don’t build around it, it is probably a one-time trick due to a lucky Scramble Switch or the like. It is plausible such a deck could be found in Expanded, but I haven’t seen anything in Standard that looks like that.
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!