– Vivid Voltage
November 16, 2020
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
12th-place was taken by Togekiss VMAX (SW – Vivid Voltage 141/185, 191/185). VMAX is both its own mechanic as well as a Stage of Evolution, comparable to being a Stage 1 but seen as distinct by card effects. Pokémon VMAX have a few cards of VMAX specific support, but there are also VMAX specific counters. Currently, nothing excludes Pokémon VMAX and just Pokémon VMAX, but Pokémon VMAX still count as Pokémon V, so Togekiss VMAX cannot (for example) make use of Twin Energy, would have its damage stopped by the “Miraculous Charm” Ability of Altaria (Champion’s Path 049/73), etc. Pokémon VMAX are worth two extra Prizes when KO’d, something only matched by TAG TEAM Pokémon. Being a VMAX means improved HP, and effects that are at least intended to be a bit better than their costs would suggest. Togekiss VMAX is a Dynamax and… currently, that means nothing in the TCG.
As a Colorless Pokémon, nothing is naturally Weak nor Resistant in Standard or Expanded. The only type-based support for them in Standard is Powerful [C] Energy, a nice little bonus, and there are no anti-[C] effects. Expanded has a few more pieces of support and a few more counters, but most (maybe all) haven’t been relevant in a long time. Being a pseudo-Stage 1 instead of a Stage 2 – or worse still – something that evolves from a Stage 2 is definitely a better deal; whether running a TecH 1-1 line, a full 4-4 line, or anything in between, this is decent. 310 HP is the next-to-lowest for a Pokémon VMAX; still fairly good, but definitely not as good.
[L] Weakness is scary; the Lightning type hasn’t been the same since rotation, but they keep getting more support and they still have some great attackers. I’m thinking they should make at least a small comeback, but I also didn’t think they’d fall off the way they did post-rotation. Any Resistance is appreciate, and much like the Weakness, it might be time for -30 [F] Resistance to matter once again. This set gives Fighting types a serious boost, both in terms of support and actual attackers. With 310 HP, that -30 means Togekiss VMAX behaves as if it had the max printed 340 HP against [F] type attackers… and even better if they’re trying for a 2HKO. Maybe Weakness and Resistance won’t matter, but the free Retreat Cost is unambiguously good. In fact, it is the best a card can have, so Togekiss VMAX can easily and reliably vacate the Active Spot.
Togekiss VMAX knows only a single attack, and it is “Max Glide”. Priced at [CC], this attack does 120 damage while also letting you search your deck for two cards to add to your hand. Yes, you shuffle your deck afterward. 120 is good damage for the asking price, and adding any two cards from your deck to your hand is very good, maybe even great. It does hurt that you’ll either have to burn a Triple Acceleration Energy to pull it off with a single Energy attachment, at least in Standard, or else use some other form of Energy acceleration. The attack isn’t perfect, however, even plugged into something like a control deck. End of turn search is vulnerable to your opponent forcing you to shuffle your hand, or just changing the field enough the cards you just grabbed are no longer good picks. The recent, successful control decks tend to focus on wrecking your opponent’s hand with their attacks, or recycling cards. This may sound like nitpicking, but we’re thinking in terms of what has been working lately. Simply put, it is harder to recycle many cards than to draw into them; while the search is valuable, I worry you may run out of the control cards that a Togekiss VMAX deck will need.
Maybe I just have it wrong. Maybe Togekiss VMAX is really the new opening VMAX for slower decks. Instead of relying on disruption to keep from being KO’d, it is instead relying on your opponent not having had the time to achieve their full setup. Seems like a very narrow margin, and again, I’m spitballing ideas here, not commenting on established decks. I think Togekiss VMAX suffers more from its Weakness in Expanded, but that’s me hazarding a pretty wild guess about the Expanded metagame. Togekiss VMAX would gain access to improved combos (and Double Colorless Energy), but also face more counters. Given that I no longer sweat precise scores, this means Togekiss VMAX is about as good in Expanded as Standard.
How about the Limited Format? Here’s where I’ll link to the bonus review that is going up today: Togekiss V! It is a more or less vanilla evolving Basic Pokémon V, not really helping or hurting Togekiss VMAX in the Constructed Formats. In the Limited Format, though, it is a very good pull. Given we’re talking two premium rarity cards, you’ll need to be rather lucky to pull both a Togekiss V and Togekiss VMAX, but if you do, run them! Whether it is a Mulligan deck, or a more traditional deck.
Togekiss VMAX is our 12th-place finisher, but I didn’t have it on my own list. I don’t like saying so, but it is just a gut feeling, and even then, a gut feeling just for now. Togekiss VMAX has enough going for it that I think it will eventually lead to something. I just don’t think that time is right now.
Our 12th best card of Vivid Voltage is Togekiss VMAX! It may be another Colorless VMAX Pokemon that might compete with Salamence VMAX, but it has some things going for it. Perhaps the appeal of this card is its Max Glide attack, which does 120 damage for 2 Energy and lets you search your deck for any 2 cards and put them onto your hand.
I had this card as my 7th place pick because this attack does just like Talonflame STS’s Aero Blitz does, except that Max Glide does more damage than Aero Blitz (before factoring Powerful C Energy), has a bigger body (310 HP vs 130 HP), and also has free retreat. Getting any card you want is a very good effect, even if it ends your turn after your attack (and hope that your opponent doesn’t use Marnie or other hand shuffling cards).
It’s a Pokémon that can be splashed into any deck, and while it may not be everywhere, the appeal of Max Glide made me see some potential this card would have.
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