Pokémon VMAX – How Does It Stack Up?

Last time, I analyzed what we knew about Pokémon V to try and predict a few ways The Pokémon Company could spice up the game with the new Pokémon VMAX mechanic. TPC took their sweet time announcing the gimmick in full, but our new mechanic for the Sword and Shield era has finally been revealed. It’s time to see just how far off I was.

Looking back, I was dead set on VMAX simply being a new card that was placed over an existing Pokémon V, much like the Mega Evolution cards of the XY era. I was also fairly certain that VMAX would be restricted to once per game, or one card per deck to emulate the fact that you can only Dynamax or Gigantimax once per battle. While I nailed the first part, TPC decided to take a simple way out for the VMAX gimmick.

Much like Mega Evolution Pokémon, Pokémon VMAX are considered Evolution Pokémon that evolve from their respective Pokémon V. For instance, the newly revealed Snorlax VMAX evolves from Snorlax V. However, unlike Mega Evolution that ended your turn unless you had the associated Spirit Link Tool Card attached, there seems to be no drawback or necessary card that has to be played to evolve into a Pokémon VMAX. In the words of the great Shia LaBeouf: “Just do it!” It’s also worth noting that Pokémon VMAX are following in the footsteps of Tag Team GX in surrendering three Prize Cards upon knockout, which makes sense given the HP counts on these bad boys.

At the end of the day, Pokémon VMAX are just oddly…plain? There’s no associated card required to evolve them, there’s no special attack like Sun & Moon era’s GX Attacks, the cards aren’t bigger, there isn’t anything setting these apart from your normal run-of-the-mill cards. Don’t get me wrong: the card templates are beautiful, as it appears all Pokémon VMAX will be presented as “full art” cards. I suppose after two eras of gimmick-based cards, TPC decided to start this era off on the simpler side and return to the roots of the game.

To be honest, I’m okay with this. One of my biggest complaints about the current Tag Team GX cards is that they have incredibly high HP and attack numbers on Basic Pokémon. While Pokémon VMAX have even higher HP numbers, we now have to consider that these are Evolved Pokémon. They won’t be hitting the board and attacking on turn one! 

The attacks of the currently revealed Pokémon VMAX aren’t anything to be writing home about either. While stronger than Pokémon V, most of the Pokémon VMAX hit for numbers that still fall into the two-hit KO area on both current Tag Team GX and the new Pokémon V. Coming out of a format that was very focused on one-shotting the Defending Pokémon, the game returning to a more two-shot atmosphere is a refreshing change of pace.

The fact that Pokémon VMAX are considered Evolution Pokémon opens up a lot of possibilities for the future of the game. TPC tends to want to strengthen and rely on their big new gimmick. With newly announced cards like Quick Ball requiring a discard to search for a Basic Pokémon compared to Evolution Incense that freely searches for a Evolution Pokémon, this era is already appearing to cater more towards the art of evolution, something I’ve been wanting to return to the game since it started to decline when Crimson Invasion came out. It’s also worth remembering that Evolution Pokémon have existing tools like Triple Acceleration Energy that will help some of these Pokémon VMAX attack even faster. Providing TPC doesn’t directly support VMAX, and instead supports Evolution Pokémon as a whole, we could be seeing a resurgence on evolution being viable competitors in the upper tiers of the meta.

As I’ve said many times throughout my articles, there’s nothing I’d rather have then the game to slow down, return viability to Evolution Pokémon, and stop focusing so much on these intense one-hit knockouts. With Pokémon V giving up two Prize Cards, and Pokémon VMAX giving up three Prize Cards, the game can still rely on two-hit knockouts and still be relatively speedy. 

Time will tell if Pokémon VMAX will continue to grow stronger, but for now, this more laid back approach by TPC could be just what the game needed to allow these gigantic Pokémon to bring the power and add a fresh change of pace to the Pokémon Trading Card Game.

Are you satisfying with the VMAX mechanic, or do you believe they could be something bigger? Let us know in the comments below, or sound off on our Discord server for more Pokémon TCG discussion!

  1. This satisfies me as well. I like that the game is turning from quick Tag Team boom it’s over that the game will take longer than like 6 turns

    My only issue… Tag Teams will still be in play unless they ban them for next year which they won’t (Unfortunately) and those probably will create a powercreep in V-Max cards that’ll only work until Tag Teams leave and then the game will be screwed again.

  2. Maybe this could be the return to form I’ve been looking for. I should collect some snorlax VMAX and see if i can reconstruct the ol’ “Do The Wave” deck for the 3rd time. Shaymin made the last time i did this insanely expensive though.

  3. If the cards were bigger they wouldn’t fit on the mat properly and I assume certain collectors would be unhappy they wouldn’t fit in their protectors. I think the full art is enough and looks pretty good. I don’t really collect any more though and I haven’t played since I was a kid.

  4. I swear i cannot find legitimate info on fighting some of the most annoying smash tiers
    All the forums and message boards all just pretty much say “git gud” no information, no acknowledgment of their obviously overpowered skill sets and even eventhubs has next to no information on match-ups and whatnot

    -___- i just feel every character can outdo K. Rool no matter what i try

  5. Hypothetical: we get Sinnohan forms of Galarian Pokemon. What are some lines you would pick, what typing, and why?

    1. Sinnohan Bolthund
      Electric/Ice
      It’s a husky. That’s why.

      Eiscremie
      Fairy/Ice
      Regional Milcery split evo I posted a while back. Becomes ice cream instead of whipped cream.

      Iceteageist
      Ghost/Ice
      Probably fits better as a Polteageist evo, but Sinnoh is cold.

  6. I probably already know the answer but would it be in poor tastes if i gave myself a 5IV Jolly Scorbunny and EV train it to max for my shield journey i mean i’m not evolving the lil fker so why not make sure he’s perfect

  7. I think my ditto or Hippopotas is broken

    they both have amazing ivs and they fill out the missing gaps Ditto 4IV and Hippo 5IV but the eggs keep coming out great or ok… this is why they need to have an event for legit 6IV Ditto

  8. What do you think we would get for 2020? Maybe a gap year? I would rather have the D/P remakes be released for 2021 (since that would be the 15th anniversary of Gen 4).

  9. Life is Strange 2 is the most confused piece of schlock that could come out of a french person’s head since Week End.

    1. When we do, I want ALL NEW POKEMON… None of this here’s a few and most don’t evolve nonsense. I want it like back in the Black/White days, when it was all new Pokemon.

  10. I have been chucking countless wishing pieces into the Gmax Orbeetle den for weeks! Countless Galvantula have died for my cause. If I see another Durant I myself may die.

  11. So for DP remakes what names do you think the titles will be?

    Maybe similar to ORAS where we have some kind of Greek or Latin words that will have significance to whatever they do with them

    1. They don’t repeat theme with the remake names.
      Maybe it will be something like “Eternal Diamond” “Infinite Pearl”

    2. Chrono Diamond and Cosmo Pearl maybe?

      I’m definetly interested in what Sinnoh starters’ Gigantamax forms will look like (cause ofc we’ll get that)
      Torterra will probably go Full World Turtle and have 4 Copperajahs on top of it holdin up a Globe Dome

  12. Even though I finished shield weeks back, I at least make sure to play for an hour every day to do max raid battles. Whoever said there’s no postgame clearly doesn’t see the genius of max raid battles. It’s like infinite boss battles against GIANT POKÉMON.

    AND I’ve started a new play through in Japanese and imo it’s super re-playable. The gym challenge is incredibly fun to do, and though the game lacks any story which might be a bad thing in itself, it also means the game moves forward at a breakneck pace and allows you to focus on the gym battles, wild area and the Pokémon themselves.

  13. What’s yall’s favourite game of the decade?

    Mine’s definetly BotW, I have some catchin up to do with games like P5 and Control, but I doubt they’ll beat the pure breathtaking magic of BotW’s exploration

  14. Oh damn, I just realized Shuki has Kamen Rider Hibki in his profile pic. Also, to ask a similar question to Butter, what are some games you played this decade that you liked that came out before this decade?

  15. If BY Games got to make Cadence of Hyrule after Crypt of the Necrodancer’s success, Nintendo should let House House make Untitled Waluigi Game

  16. Which team do you like better:

    A) Rillaboom, Obstagoon, Centiskorch, Barraskewda, Mr. Rime, Sirfetch’d

    B) Rillaboom, Obstagoon, Centiskorch, Indeedee, Arctozolt, Sirfetch’d

  17. I feel bad for Ice type fans this Gen. Everything’s either ugly or competitively disappointing.

    1. Snorumaka is alright, Zen mode Darmanitan is pretty cool, but I still don’t like the regular mode. Eiscue is growing on me. Frosmoth isn’t that bad considering the typings’ plethora of weaknesses and it looks great.

  18. There’s too many Psychic types in Galar. I like most of them and want to use them, but I can’t have overlap. At least they gave them dual types, even if two are the same one.

  19. I finally caught my Gmax Orbeetle while taking a break from one of my finals! By the time I found it I had enough candies to get it to Lv 100 and Super Train her!

    1. Congrats, my life has been reduced to breeding my ground Mono but the process is slow and arduous

      I need a 6IV Ditto

  20. Trying to get Pokémon sword started today. Just trying to get a Jolly Grookey is all. Hopefully it won’t take long lol

  21. Okay I’ve decided what to do for this playthrough. Going to use more than 6 Pokémon. Not sure which ones yet but main two I know I’ll be using are Grookey and Rolycoly. Feel like this will be a lot of fun to do it this way and I’m taking a few Pokémon mentioned here into consideration! I will go ahead and say though drednaw isn’t making this team. Saving it for when I eventually use scorbunny.

  22. it pains me that the Pokemon i want to use in shield are pretty much found in Sword

    I really am on the fence with Flapple and Appletun, Appletun is my first favorite but Flapple grown on me buuuuuut Appletun’s movepool is so BORING

    You catch them at 10-20 and they pretty much rely on Bullet Seed and soon Apple Acid (Which is dumb because Flappy’s dex is all about storing acidic juices and yet it cannot learn it itself) and yet Appletun can’t learn a dragon attack until fricking 40 its just such a mess of a moovepool and i could write it better easy

    Also for Stonjourner i just flat out like the idea of him pretty much flattening his competition with Body Press where he becomes stiff as a board and leans forward and falls flat like a Whomp
    Rock Slide
    Body Press
    Mega Kick
    Stealth Rock

  23. Controversial Opinion

    Galarian Farfetch’d is cooler than regular Farfetch’d. The darker brown and steely glare look nice on it

      1. Everyone here seems to hate it for whatever reason

        Despite it being one of the actually nicely designed galar forms

  24. Ok guys I am finishing semester this thursday so I wanna do a little activity. I will draw a fakemon idea from up to 5 people here just for fun this saturday. If you are interested reply to this post with your fakemon idea. Free of charge, I just wanna do a little experiment.

  25. How would people be interested in another Fakemon project, but collaborative instead of semi-competitive, how would people feel?

    1. Sure! Honestly I had thoughts of wanting to try and refresh it this way too so I’m glad I’m not alone

  26. One thing I really hate irrationally about Sword and Shield…. The dumb Pijama they make you wear for riding the Bike. I get them wanting to promote safety to the younger audience by having you wear proper equipment, but a helmet and protection would be enough, I really don’t like the look of the suit. At least the SM suit looked kinda cool.

  27. Okay sword update! Just got through the gym challenge ceremony and beat Hop in a battle. Will head to route 3 later today and plan to catch some new team members there! Current team is
    Groku the Grookey lv 14
    Rush the Yamper lv 12(mixed attacker)

  28. I was having more fun in gen 8 ou than ever in competitive pokemon. The meta was kinda balanced, and dynamax added fun strategy to the game. But Smogon just had to come in with the ban hammer. Now they’re probably gonna ban dynamax and ruin OU. I guess it is what it is, I’ll just switch to wifi battles.

  29. I don’t know why it took me so long to realize that Weather Ball was better on Pelipper than either Scald or Hydro Pump. It’s a 100 Base power move in rain + 50% rain boost for being water type now + Stab from Pelipper. It destroys a lot of things that don’t resist it.

  30. New Info
    Stonjourner
    A body constructed of stones and boulders
    Stonjourner has a body made of various stones, big and small, and it acts by moving these stones like arms and legs. On occasion, this Pokémon will put on a burst of speed to use its long legs in a dynamic move. But in general, it likes to spend its days standing in a field watching the sun’s progress, enjoying the quiet life.

    An annual gathering of grand proportions
    In a curious behavioral display, Stonjourner come together from all over on a certain day of each year and stand together, forming an evenly spaced ring. No one has quite figured out why they do this, but there are many competing theories flying about, having to do with the position of the sun, the energy of the earth, and other factors.

  31. Eiscue
    A head covered in ice
    Eiscue hails from a very cold area, and it produces cold air from within its head to create ice around it and protect its head from warmth. But this ice isn’t all that tough, and it can be shattered by a strong blow. It seems to go on creating new ice every time this happens.

    A drifter just living at its own pace
    Eiscue marches to the beat of its own drum, and it doesn’t sweat the small stuff. It’s often seen floating aimlessly in the sea with only its ice-covered head peeking out of the water, and it’s not unusual to find it washed up on distant shores. Even when it arrives in new lands, it doesn’t panic or get upset. It uses its great adaptability to simply carry on living.

    The Ice Face Ability
    Eiscue’s Ice Face Ability is a new Ability introduced in these titles. When Eiscue is in its Ice Face form and has its head covered in ice, this ice will protect it from the damage of a single physical move—but the ice will then be destroyed, changing Eiscue into its Noice Face form. Noice Face Eiscue will turn back into Ice Face Eiscue once hail begins or once Eiscue enters the battlefield when it’s hailing if the Pokémon had been switched out. While Noice Face Eiscue has lost the ice protecting its face—resulting in lower Defense and Sp. Def compared to its Ice Face form—it’s also much lighter on its feet, so its Speed is higher.

  32. Darumaka
    A body adapted to life in the cold
    It is said that Galarian Darumaka arose long ago, when seismic shifts caused the warm region they lived in to cool down. The Darumaka of this region adapted to this cooling, changing their form to adjust. The fire that once burned within their bodies was extinguished, and in its place, the Darumaka of this region developed an organ that allows them to produce cold air.

    Snowball fights with friends
    By focusing the energy it holds within its body, Darumaka can expel cold air from its mouth in the form of snow. Galarian Darumaka have been spotted at play with one another, engaging in what looks like a snowball fight using balls made by freezing this snow.

    Snowmanitan
    The snowball on its head plays a big role
    This Pokémon lives its life with a large ball of snow always upon its head. This snowball serves as a way for it to store food, and Galarian Darmanitan seems to place the food and things it finds into this snowball to keep them preserved. In battle, Darmanitan also freezes this ball over to deliver powerful headbutts. The snowball comes in handy in all sorts of ways.

    Its fighting spirit sleeps along with its fire sac
    As Galarian Darmanitan adapted to life in the cold, its fire sac became dormant and it developed an organ that produces cold air instead. Darmanitan’s belligerent nature also cooled at the same time, and it’s become quite timid instead—enough so, in fact, that it will pretend to be an inanimate snowman when it senses the presence of humans.

    The Hidden Ability Zen Mode
    Some Galarian Darmanitan can have the Ability Zen Mode. A Galarian Darmanitan with this Ability will ignite with fury and change form if its HP drops to half or less of its max during battle. Its dormant fire sac, long neglected in the Pokémon’s cold environment, blazes back to life. The usually gentle Darmanitan runs wild, maddened by its fury, and rampages about, spewing fire without any care for its surroundings.

    Galarian Darmanitan has the Ability Gorilla Tactics
    Galarian Darmanitan’s Ability Gorilla Tactics is a new Ability introduced in these titles. If Darmanitan has this Ability, its Attack stat goes up, which increases the physical damage it inflicts on targets. However, it gets so fixated on the first move it uses that it can’t use any of its other moves!

  33. Corsola
    Its form reflects the sea it once lived in
    It’s said that this form arose from the Corsola that lived in the sea surrounding the Galar region in the ancient past and that lost their lives due to a meteorite impact in the area. They are often found living in places that were once seabeds, and it’s said that they sometimes attack humans and Pokémon that they come in contact with.

    Cursed branches
    The semitransparent branches that grow from its body are not actually corporeal, and they’re incapable of causing injury or pain. However, if an opponent comes in contact with them, these branches will take root in the victim’s body and absorb its life-force, leaving it unable to move.

    Cursola
    A body overflowing with spirit energy
    After continuing to store up the energy it has absorbed from other creatures for so long, Cursola has lost its corporeal body. Its spirit energy overflows and now pours out of its former shell. Perhaps Cursola enjoys the new lightness this form gives it, because it’s sometimes spotted bobbing along as it wanders.

    A glimmering light beneath the full moon
    Cursola gather on the night of the full moon and fire off their branches toward the sky. There are various theories on why they might do this—ranging from it being a way to release the energy they’ve absorbed from others to it being a form of communication between Cursola—but the true reason is still unknown. Regardless, it is a fantastic and beautiful sight to behold.

  34. Centiskorch
    Flames overflowing from within its body
    Centiskorch creates flammable gases by fermenting its food within its body. The gases are then burned in the heat-generating organs along its belly. This process produces so much fire that the flames overflow from both the antennae on its head and from its rear end. The flames are extremely hot, with temperatures reaching nearly 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit!

    A violent and belligerent disposition
    This Pokémon is so belligerent by nature that it will indiscriminately attack anything that gets close to it. Once battle begins, Centiskorch raises itself up and uses its long, hot body to its advantage, dealing damage by slamming into enemies with the searing organs on its belly or by wrapping opponents up in its constricting hold.

    Gigantamax Centiskorch
    A hundred legs support its startling speed
    The number of segments in Centiskorch’s body increases due to the influx of Gigantamax power, as does the number of its legs—there are now one hundred of them! With these legs, Gigantamax Centiskorch is capable of astounding speeds despite its massive

    Now it can really turn up the heat
    Centiskorch’s firepower has increased significantly. Its internal temperature now exceeds 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit—hot enough that opponents are burnt from just the heat waves coming off the Pokémon. It seems that the radiant heat from Centiskorch can even disturb air currents so much that it causes storms to form!

  35. Sandaconda
    Its sand pouch protects its head
    Sandaconda covers its head with its inflated sand pouch, protecting itself from outside attacks. This sand pouch is able to store over 220 pounds of sand at a time, and it is so highly elastic and thick that even a Durant’s pincers can’t pierce it.

    It expels sand with great force
    Sandaconda spits the sand in its sand pouch from its nose with tremendous force. This sand is mixed together with sharp pieces of gravel and is incredibly dangerous. Simply coming in contact with it can cause lacerations. A Sandaconda acts tough and confident when its sand pouch is full of sand—but on the flip side, it becomes cowardly and timid as soon as it runs out of sand.

    Gigantamax
    Like a terrifyingly large tornado
    The sand that was once stored up in its sand pouch has overflowed and now forms a ring around Sandaconda’s neck. Together with the additional sand the Pokémon has spun up around it, there is over a million tons of sand now swirling around Gigantamax Sandaconda! To observers, it looks like a terrifyingly large tornado.

    High-speed spinning
    Gigantamax Sandaconda attacks by spinning its body at high speeds in battle, which causes the sand surrounding it to also spin at extreme speeds. The destructive force of this sharp grit is increased by the rotation and inflicts massive damage on those it touches.

  36. It’s weird that they still insist on gradually showing Pokemon despite almost everyone knowing all the Pokemon in Galar at this point

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