Victini VMAX – Battle Styles
Date Reviewed: December 25, 2021
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Merry Christmas! While we’re taking a break from the Top 10 of 2021 proper, we’re going to cover another card that almost made the list: Victini VMAX. If we’d done our typical Top 15, Victini VMAX would have been our 13th-Place pick. When we first reviewed the card, Victini VMAX took 8th-Place in our countdown of the Top 15 cards from SW – Battle Styles. Victini VMAX has 310 HP; on the small side for a Pokémon VMAX, but it still takes some effort to score a OHKO. Its [R] typing is (and was) useful for exploiting [R] Weakness on Metal and Grass types (more the former). Not having seen this card in action, I don’t know if its “Spreading Flames” attack is really worth it, but it only costs [C] and lets you attach up to three Fire Energy cards from your discard pile to your Pokémon. You can divvy up the attachments as you like, or just drop it all on a single recipient. The main selling point of Victini VMAX, in so far as I know, is its “Max Victory”. Priced at just [RC], this lets Victini VMAX do 100 damage plus another 120 if your opponent’s Active is a Pokémon V. Barring defensive buffs, this lets Victini VMAX one-shot most Basic Pokémon V (and smaller) targets, or 2HKO anything. If you’re really lucky, you can one-shot a [R] Weak Pokémon VMAX!
Victini VMAX decks quickly became a big part of the metagame after SW – Battle Styles dropped. They edged out Eternatus VMAX decks and Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX decks, having the second highest share, according to the results at LimitlessTCG. The only deck to place higher were Zacian V/Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX decks. Though, if you combined variants, Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX decks slip ahead to second place, while Mewtwo & VMAX jump up from far lower, taking 3rd. Eternatus VMAX still places below Victini VMAX, letting our “big-little” friend enjoy 4th. SW – Chilling Reign was not kind to Victini VMAX’s standings. it fell down to 14th-Place (13th when related archetypes are combined). SW – Evolving Skies just saw Victini VMAX sinking lower still: 28th-Place when backed by a variety of other Pokémon, or 32nd-Place when partnered with Umbreon VMAX… and still a few other attackers. When all the variants were combined, it fared better (17th), but still nowhere near its debut. Then rotation happened. Now, our last rotation stripped Fire-Energy using Pokémon of the amazing Welder! This seemed like the end for most known Fire decks… but Victini VMAX soldiered on. One version of its deck in 12th-Place, with a “new” variant in 27th, where Victini VMAX was partnered with…
…yeah, you guessed it: Inteleon (SW – Chilling Reign 043/198; SW – Black Star Promos SWSH113; SW – Evolving Skies 227/203) paired with Inteleon (Sword & Shield 058/202; Shining Fates SV027/SV122) offer their valuable support to Victini VMAX. Together, these decks retained that 12th-Place ranking. Finally, we get to the present. Victini VMAX decks clock in at 15th-Place for metagame share, according to LimitlessTCG, as of today. The Inteleon-backed version owns 34th-Place. Together, it is 14th-Place. Which wasn’t enough to make the actual countdown, but especially with its full history, was close. I’m not thrilled about it, but I do have to score Victini VMAX lower than before; it might rise up again if the metagame aligns, but for now it earns a three-out-of-five. In the Expanded Format, Victini VMAX decks barely show up in these results. In fact, it looks like some people just tried to use their Standard Format Victini VMAX decks in Expanded Format tournaments, and earned losing records as a result. Speculation on my part, but Victini VMAX faces more diverse attackers here, and there’s less time to spend building a Bench as well. It still has just enough potential that I’ll award it a two-out-of-five here.
- Standard: 3/5
- Expanded: 2/5
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