– Sword & Shield
February 25, 2020
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Details: Well, here it is, Otaku’s favorite Pokémon in V-Max form! I don’t know what to make of about Gigantamax Snorlax. It looks like it’s belly is a piece of land similar to Torterra (even Snorlax’s tree is almost exactly like Torterra) except that it has more detail to it. Something that most Pokémon would reside in as it resembles a forest. This must have been made by Snorlax eating at least 800 pounds worth of food, so that kinda pays off.
While the scenery is spectacular, it is also made into a good V-Max card. While it is worth three prizes and gets walled by Zamazenta-V or gets 2HKOed by Boltund’s Fighting Fangs, it has the highest HP score of the TCG, clocking in at 340! Due to its other attributes, Buff Padding +50 HP boost can bring it up to 390, and in Expanded, Aspertia City Gym’s +20 HP boost makes it have 410 HP! Not many cards can OHKO a 410 HP Pokémon unless you have a Pokémon with limitless damage capacity. Most of the time, Blacephalon’s Fireball Circus or Mind Blown needs 8 energies for the KO, a feat they can achieve if they actually got the resources.
It’s enormous HP isn’t the only thing going for it; it has the G-Max Fall attack, which is priced at CCC, making Triple Acceleration Energy a valuable card for clutch moments. It does 60 damage plus 30 damage for each Benched Pokemon you have in play. 60 damage alone is awful, but when loaded with a full Bench of yours, it is good. Yeah, I call it “good” because a full bench means you’re dealing 210 damage, maybe enough to KO most Basic EX/GX/V. Sky Field can make you have 8 Benched Pokemon, but even dealing 300 damage isn’t enough to OHKO V-Max Pokemon, even with Muscle Band. So, overall, it can 2HKO at best, which may or may not be a good thing.
Of course, to get to Snorlax V-Max, you’ll need to evolve it from Snorlax-V. It is a Basic Colorless type with 220 HP with two attacks. Swallow costs CCC for 60 damage and heals the same amount of damage you’ve dealt to the Defending Pokémon. Boosting the damage output means you get to heal more than 60, and it’s 220 HP could be enough to change some 2HKOs into 3HKOs. Sadly, most popular decks are going to hit far more damage than 60, so healing might not be enough. Falling Down costs CCCC for 170 damage and puts itself to sleep. Not bad but not good either.
Snorlax V-Max should spawn at least a deck or two that focused on this Pokémon. As it is colorless friendly all around, you pretty much can benefit from various basic energy types. However, the only basic energy type that would consider to be the fastest engine of your deck (it’s not the only way, though) is Welder toolbox, both Standard and Expanded, as I feel that you could get your stuff out fast!
Standard related cards:
Expanded related cards to add to the list:
And then you have the usual Pokegear 3.0 and/or VS seeker to cycle through Supporter cards, meaning more opportunities for Welder.
As for ideal Pokémon that can fuel up G-Max Fall
Cinccino’s Make Do ability
Blacephalon Fireball Circus
Despite my personal deck preference, Welder toolbox is making my deck tight, so I have to make adjustments and make do with what I got left (no pun intended).
Today we look at Snorlax VMAX (Sword & Shield 142/202, 206/202). As you’re already aware – because everyone on our team knows – Snorlax is my favorite Pokémon. That means I’m going to be biased in its favor, but I’ll do my best to identify and minimize that, to still give an accurate review. To begin with, this card belongs to three new, interrelated mechanics. It is Gigantamax card, which is a subclass of Pokémon VMAX, and Pokémon VMAX are a subclass of Pokémon V. You can read about them in this article, but I’ll give an abridged version here, focused on Snorlax VMAX.
Snorlax VMAX evolves from Snorlax V; the “VMAX” and “V” are part of the card’s names so you can run up to four of each in your deck. Pokémon VMAX also count as Pokémon V for card effects, though some effects just apply to Pokémon VMAX. So far, nothing cares about whether something is a Gigantamax or not, but we’ll probably see something eventually that does. There are no special rules for evolving Snorlax V into Snorlax VMAX, just the usual. Pokémon VMAX are worth three Prizes when KO’d, but have massive HP scores that match or exceed the largest TAG TEAM Pokémon. Some have better effects than you’d expect, relative to other costs. Some cards punish a player for running Pokémon V or VMAX, but older beneficial card effects that exclude Pokémon-EX and/or Pokémon-GX can sometimes be exploited by Pokémon V.
Snorlax VMAX is a Colorless Pokémon, as you’d expect. The [C] Typing means it won’t be able to exploit Weakness or have to deal with Resistance. There are no [C] Type-specific counters or support I can find in Standard; the counters in Expanded probably won’t matter, though one or two bits of the support might. Being a Pokémon VMAX – in terms of Stage – is a functional as being a Stage 1, though it does not actually count as such for card effects. I’ll also mention this means Zamazenta V can rely on its “Dauntless Shield” Ability to wall against damage done by attacks from Snorlax VMAX. Snorlax VMAX currently holds the record for maximum printed HP, but that record has been broken often enough lately that I don’t think it will last.
Not that 340 HP is anything to scoff at! It is great and very, very difficult to OHKO outside of Weakness. Even 2HKO’s may prove elusive to some decks; an attacker needs to swing for 170 damage on average to do it. That [F] Weakness is an Achilles’ Heel, though, which is why I keep pointing out that a x2 multiplier just doesn’t work in a TCG, or at least this TCG. Your opponent will still need to deliver 170+ damage for the OHKO, even when using a [F] Type attacker. No Resistance is typical of Snorlax cards, and most Pokémon; even if it wasn’t, Resistance on top of 340 HP may have been a bit much. The Retreat Cost of [CCCC] is difficult to pay, so plan your deck so you don’t even have to try. Silver-lining, though; it means Snorlax VMAX has the option of using Buff Padding for +50 HP, which would put it at 390!
Snorlax VMAX has no Ability and only one attack. “G-Max Fall” costs [CCC] and does 60 damage plus 30 more for each of your Benched Pokémon, giving it a range of 60 to 210 if there are no cards which affect your maximum Bench-size doing their thing. With a full Bench, Snorlax VMAX can OHKO medium-sized Pokémon-GX (and smaller) cards, which includes most Basic Pokémon V. It should be able to reliably 2HKO the rest, excepting those with protective effects – such as Zamazenta V – or robust HP scores bolstered by multiple defensive buffs and/or forms of healing. The cost for this attack is very important; all [C] Energy requirements not only allow Snorlax VMAX to work in a variety of decks, but specifically lets it capitalize upon Triple Acceleration Energy.
Let’s take a quick look at Snorlax V (Sword & Shield 141/202; 197/202), because you can’t get to Snorlax VMAX without it. Snorlax is a Basic, [C] Type Pokémon V with 220 HP, [F] Weakness, no Resistance, and a Retreat Cost of [CCCC]. [CCC] lets Snorlax V use “Swallow” to do 60 damage and heal itself by an amount equal to the damage done, while “Falling Down” requires [CCCC] and does 170, though it leaves Snorlax Asleep. You have a fairly durable foundation with pricey attacks that either have a useful effect (Swallow) or do decent damage (Falling Down). My big concern is how expensive they are; Snorlax V can still use stuff like Welder but Triple Acceleration Energy doesn’t work with Basics.
Putting it all together, and Snorlax VMAX seems like a solid Pokémon VMAX you could add to a wide variety of decks but without at least a little support, it probably won’t do too well. It didn’t make the Top 48 at the Oceania Regional Championship, unless it is hidden in one of the decks for which I don’t have a full list. It did win some tournaments in Japan, shortly after it released. Snorlax VMAX probably can’t rely only on Triple Acceleration Energy in Standard, but it can work with other popular options like Welder or Malamar (Forbidden Light 51/131; SM – Black Star Promos SM117; Shiny Vault SV18/SV94). You even might use it in a deck backed by Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX. The issue here is these decks are already proven to work without Snorlax VMAX.
As a Snorlax fan, I know I’m going to try the various variants, because I just want to run Snorlax VMAX. There are some other things to consider, though. For example, that Swallow attack on Snorlax V would be a lot more impressive on Snorlax VMAX; while the damage output would still be low, you’d be chipping away at your opponent’s Pokémon while healing 60 off of 340 HP! A Welder for two basic Fire Energy and a Memory Energy would allow that. Then there’s the Expanded Format, which has Sky Field, Shaymin-EX (XY – Roaring Skies 77/108, 77a/108, 106/108), and other support that is great for decks which want to flood the field with Pokémon. G-Max Fall could swing for 300 damage this way, before damage buffs. Your Bench would be more vulnerable, but could also contain more support.
In the Limited Format, you’ll need to also have Snorlax V, but Snorlax V is good enough to run without any other Basic Pokémon. In Limited, its HP and attacks are amazing, even if you’ll need three turns before it can start attacking. Wait… with no Bench, why would Snorlax VMAX be any good? While you’ll still be attacking, and stuck doing just 60, that 340 HP is there if needed (assuming it shows up in time). You can always run a more fleshed out deck; Snorlax VMAX should fit into just about anything… and then G-Max Fall can reach its full potential. You might even be able to cheekily drop Snorlax VMAX onto the field when you’re down to our last Prize.
With great gearth comes great power. Well, maybe. Snorlax VMAX isn’t looking like the obviously competitive deck for which I’d hoped, but it does still seem to be functional and somewhat flexible. At the very least, it still seems worth experimenting with. Snorlax VMAX was my 18th-place pick, so I was surprised to find it tying with two other cards for what would have been 12th- through 14th-place in our countdown: it lost one tie-breaker but won the other. Unless Snorlax VMAX starts showing up in the top cut of some western events, this is probably a bit high, though being a fanboy I’m still stupidly happy to see it here.
Speaking of yesterday’s review, I left a paragraph out! I added it not too long after it went live, but if you read the review and I never talked about Inteleon’s attack, you saw uncorrected version.
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