Vikavolt V (Darkness Ablaze DAA 060)
Vikavolt V (Darkness Ablaze 060)

Vikavolt V
– Darkness Ablaze

Date Reviewed:
August 24, 2020

Ratings Summary:
Standard: 4.50
Expanded: 4.25
Limited: 5.00

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.

Reviews Below:


This review is going to be heavily biased, because 5th-place is going to the spiritual successor of a card that still makes me cringe.  What am I talking about?  Today we look at Vikavolt V (SSH – Darkness Ablaze 060/189, 180/189).  As a Pokémon V, it is worth an extra Prize when KO’d, is excluded from support like Scoop Up Net and countered by things like the Ability on Decidueye (SSH – Darkness Ablaze 013/189; SSH – Black Star Promos SWSH035).  It also means that Vikavolt V is a Basic Pokémon, instead of being a Stage 2 like past Vikavolt cards.  Being a Basic is much better than being a Stage 2, and it does enjoy the 210 HP typical to Basic Pokémon V.  Vikavolt V is a Lightning type, which is still decent, even post-rotation.  [F] Weakness can be very dangerous, though the type hasn’t been somewhat scarce for months now.  No Resistance is the worst, but -30 damage in a single-match if your opponent doesn’t have an alternate, off-type attacker doesn’t mean much.  The Retreat Cost of [CCC] is high, but not high enough for cards like Buff Padding.

Vikavolt V knows two attacks, the first of which is “Paralyzing Bolt”.  For [LC], this attack does 50 damage and prevents your opponent from playing Item cards from hand during the next turn.  They can use stuff already in play (like Tools), or non-Item effects that copy an Item, or Items played via effect from someplace other than the hand… but only that first exception is likely to matter.  For [LLC], Vikavolt V can use “Zap Cannon” to do 190 damage, but its text also states you have to discard two Energy from it when you do.  Its 20 short from OHKOing that relatively common 210 HP for Basic Pokémon V, but is it still enough to OHKO with smaller two-Prize Pokémon and nearly all single Prize Pokémon, protective effects and HP boosts excepted.

Now, before I get into more detail about why the above is most definitely a net positive, let us discuss the past card Vikavolt V is patterned after: Seismitoad-EX.  This was a 180 HP, Basic [W] type Pokémon-EX with [G] Weakness, no Resistance, and quite comparable attacks.  [CC] paid for “Quaking Punch”, which has the same effect as Paralyzing Bolt, but only did 30 damage.  Seismitoad-EX’s “Grenade Hammer” did 130 damage, but instead of a discard cost, it did 30 damage to two of your Benched Pokémon.  Thanks to Double Colorless Energy, it was easy for Seismitoad-EX to enable a one-sided Item-lock Turn 2 (Player 2’s first turn), before Player 1 had a chance to attack or evolve.  Seismitoad-EX was the star of its own deck, and not uncommon in other decks.  We reviewed it before the set released.  We reviewed it as the second best card of its set, the second best card of that year, and as the second best card lost to rotation the year XY – Furious Fists was cut.

Adjusted for power creep, Vikavolt V is Seisitoad-EX 2.0.  It has been nerfed, but not as much as I’d like.  Even with a [CC] Energy cost, Paralyzing Bolt wouldn’t be as fast or reliable as Quaking Punch: we no longer have Double Colorless Energy, and its replacements – Triple Acceleration Energy and Twin Energy – can’t work with Vikavolt V.  If it was priced at [CC], though, you could just use Welder.  I mean, you still could, but you’ll need to manually attach a source of [L] Energy at the same time, and if you attach the maximum two Fire Energy, one is wasted.  Better to just use Tapu Koko {*} and Turbo Patch.  The former is a Prism Star and the latter is tails-fails, but Tapu Koko {*} has been reliable enough for Lightning decks so far, and knowing how to spam tails-fails cards to make them somewhat reliable is almost a fundamental skill in this TCG.

Vikavolt V won’t have all the same tricks and combos as Seismitoad-EX, I think it has enough.  Crushing Hammer is still legal.  We’ve got Ability-based draw for the turns when you need it.  We don’t have AZ, Acerola, or Super Scoop Up equivalents, at least, not that work on Pokémon V and are Standard-legal.  We’ve got supporting Pokémon such as Galarian Zigzagoon to slightly offset the low damage, though it isn’t going to be anywhere near as effective as the Hypnotoxic Laser/Virbank City Gym combo.  What about Electropower?  This review is intended for the post-rotation Standard Format.  Officially, SSH – Darkness Ablaze isn’t “legal”, but it is already on the PTCGO and casual players are going to use it in UPR-On, and there can combine it with Electropower, which is pretty sick.  For both attacks; Super Zap Cannon is the finishing blow, used to KO something to win through Prizes.

Vikavolt V will retain access to Electropower in Expanded, as well as everything I just mentioned for Seismitoad-EX.  Will it replace the big bad blue?  For certain, not entirely; there are places where Seismitoad-EX can just easily fit but Vikavolt V cannot, thanks to Double Colorless Energy and/or effects that require a Pokémon-EX or not a Pokémon V.  The two of them may be interesting together, however; for all the support they can’t share, there is still a lot they can.  It may also be that some of the Seismitoad-EX decks that have fallen out of favor could be revived with Vikavolt V; even Seismitoad-EX has been suffering from power creep.  As for the Limited Format, if you pull Vikavolt V, you run it in a Mulligan build, and you probably win.


  • Standard: 5/5
  • Expanded: 4/5
  • Limited: 5/5

I believe Vikavolt V decks will be one of the new, major archetypes of the Standard Format, and probably quite good in Expanded as well.  We have enough big boys that may take too long to slowly KO, and enough non-Item search/draw that I don’t think it will be the top deck, or at least, not all the time.  Vikavolt V was my 3rd-place pick, and only because I listed two cards separately that probably should have been a two-in-one review, because of they’re likely to become a staple combo in Standard and maybe even Expanded.


Coming in fifth place is a card that I also had on my personal list in fifth place: Vikavolt-V. It may not look like much, but it has an attack that is a reminiscence of an older card. Just to get the second attack out of the way, Super Zap Cannon costs LLC for 190 while discarding 2 energy from itself. While this attack could OHKO most of the non-GX/V Pokemon, it falls short on some of the most commonly played Pokemon-V or Pokemon-GX outside of weakness, and its discard cost might make it hard to repeatedly use this attack.

Now onto it’s first attack, Paralyzing Bolt costs LC for 50 damage, and your opponent cannot play item cards on their next turn. The prevention of playing item cards has been seen before in much older cards – like way back in the early days of the Pokemon TCG starting with Dark Vileplume – but this particular one-turn effect of this attack has also been seen on other Pokemon. Perhaps the efficient user of that kind of attack is not Dragonite PLF with it’s Deafen attack or Luxio ULP with it’s Disconnect attack, but rather, Seismitoad-EX, as it is an Basic Pokemon and it’s Quacking Punch costs CC, making it easier for Double Colorless Energy to meet it’s attack cost. Naturally, Seismitoad would be compared with Vikavolt.

Straight away, you’ll see that Vikavolt has higher damage output than Seismitoad as well as 30 more HP than it. Even though it’s attack isn’t DCE compliant, it can still be met by sending Tapu Koko (*) to the Lost Zone to attach a Lightning energy from the discard pile onto a Benched Vikavolt, and then use your manual attachment. Even better in Expanded, you have Thunder Mountain which reduces the attack cost by a lightning energy so that Paralyzing Bolt would cost only C instead of LC. Vikavolt would be accelerated just as fast as Seismitoad.

Locking down some of your opponent’s actions has always been a strong strategy. Most of the deck is filled with Trainer cards. And while they can still play Supporters and Stadium cards, they can only play them once per turn. They’ll have to exhaust using Channeler – or Pokemon Ranger in Expanded – to remove effects affecting the player and their Pokemon, so that they can use their items again. But otherwise, they can’t even play most of their cards.


Standard: 4/5
Expanded: 4.5/5
Limited: 5/5

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