A First Look at Vivid Voltage Pt. 2
Hey Flipside readers! Andrew here bringing you part two of my Vivid Voltage set review. Vivid Voltage is in full swing now and we have already seen the new cards work their way into the standard meta. Last time we talked all about the new V and VMAX Pokemon, as well as the amazing rares, but now I want to turn the focus on the supporting cards in this set. Namely, I want to discuss the new support Pokemon and trainers that we’re getting in this set. Without wasting any time, let’s get into it.
New Support Pokemon
This card is very unique as it can use its first attack on the first turn of the game. This card appears to be an option to leverage the disadvantages of not being able to play a supporter on the first turn of the game. All in all though, this card’s attack will probably synergize best with Welder decks as those decks are limited in options when forced to go first. The free retreat on this card is a bonus and can make it easy to pivot out of this card into a main attacker. Assuming this was being played with a welder deck, the second attack can be useful as well for taking KO’s on Pokemon like Dedenne GX which is still widely played in the format. My only qualm with this card is that it does not seem to necessarily fit into most archetypes other than welder. That doesn’t mean this card isn’t going to provide value to those other decks, however. Overall this is a great addition to the format and I look forward to seeing what uses players can find for it.
It's Tropical Beach, the Pokemon. Honestly this card looks great. Decks that are taking a slower approach and want time to develop their hand will appreciate this card. Also, similar to Talonflame V, this card’s ability can help smooth over some of the challenges of going first. This card is also great for decks that need to set up a Pokemon to either evolve or need several attachments since you can preserve your Pokemon on the bench while only giving up one prize if this Pokemon would be knocked out. Overall this is another great addition to the format and could find a lot of interesting uses in the future.
As infamous as Crushing Hammers has been to decks that need an attachment each turn, having an ability that can accelerate up to three energies, but more realistically one or maybe two, when evolve into this card. With Sword and Shield Oranguru’s Primate Wisdom ability, you can guarantee at least one energy attachment from this ability and Scoop Up Net would allow you to reuse this card more easily. Having said that, stage 1 support Pokemon can be an awkward inclusion in some decks. With as much discard and draw that standard almost forces you to play, it can be hard to find support Pokemon at times when you need them. That said, there are plenty of ways to build around this card but I doubt this card is necessary for most decks. I am curious to see what kinds of decks will include the Trumbeak line though. One possible archetype could be the amazing rares with their unique three energy costs attacks. Time will tell, but this seems to be a card to keep an eye on going forward.
New Single Prize Attackers
Single prize attacking decks have been mostly absent from formats over the past year. The rise of ADP has been challenging for these types of cards either due to their lack of damage or ability to streamline attackers each turn. That said, the power creep for Sword and Shield appears to finally be reaching even the non-V Pokemon, and there are several cards getting released that I think could be made into decks on their own.
My general rule for building a deck around a stage 2 attacker is that it needs to either have a great attack or a great ability… and this card has both. The attack itself is strong enough to take out even a VMAX Pokemon with a damage cap of 300 with four Leons in the discard, or 330 if you also played Leon that turn. Of course having the attack being dependent on the number of copies of one particular supporter in the discard has its natural drawbacks, but the ability that this card has can certainly provide leverage. Battle Sense allows you to look at the top 3 cards of your deck, choose one, and discard the others. This can also be used by multiple Charizards to see even more cards which can be great for trying to get all the Leons you need into the discard as well as thinning the deck. With a strong attack and ability, this card certainly has potential and could see play against ADP and VMAX Pokemon in the format.
This card might not look as impressive as cards like Zacian V or even the previously mentioned Charzard, but it’s Flying Fury attack can pack a massive punch. The attack does 10 damage plus 40 more for each tool card that you discard attached to your Pokemon. This might feel a bit limiting with the lack of tool recovery, but combo-ing this card with U-Turn Board, which returns back to your hand if discarded from the field, you can consistently cycle damage for only a single attachment. We’ve already seen this card pop up in some of the early tournament results so I wouldn't be surprised to see more results as time goes on.
This card is definitely not as strong as the previous cards listed, but could find niche play depending on how relevant Fighting typing is in the future. This card can easily pick off Dedenne GX or Corbat V and can even one shot Pika-Rom. The one energy cost is very efficient and could make this a very streamline-able attacker. The caveat to this attack is that it spreads 20 damage to all your bench Pokemon which can seem bad, but this card is being printed with a Phanpy with a rage attack that does 30 for each damage counter on it so there is some obvious synergy in the line. Like I said, it’s not the best single prize attacker in the set, but it’s a card that I could see finding play depending on where the format goes.
I will admit that this card feels to be more on the “meme” end of single prize attacking decks, but the damage output is interesting enough that I decided it was worth noting. The gimmick to this card is that it will discard Arrokuda on the bench and deal 60 damage for each one discarded. All in all it’s about 240 damage will all four and potentially 270 if you played Leon. It feels like they intended this card to combo with the newest supporter Nessa which lets you pull up to four water Pokemon and/or energy from your discard to your hand. You can see how the combo works. This card seems too gimmicky to be viable but being able to dominate fire decks might give this card some play.
I mentioned in my previous article that most of the trainer cards in this set are a bit lackluster. I still stand by that statement, but there are several that we are getting in this set that are worth noting.
Leon seems to be a clear front runner for one of the best supporters in this set. The extra 30 damage can be the difference maker in a match up and decks like ADPZ can use this to take even more ridiculous knock outs. Aside from that, the card seems to be generally helpful for most decks as it can smooth out some of the awkward math that the format has. Overall this is a great card and I would expect it to see play in the upcoming format in a variety of decks.
Flipping coins for the effect on the supporter might sound less than ideal, but I could see this card being useful in a deck attempting to loop something like Pokedolls with Munchlax. There are not many options for cards that recover items from the discard, so this card adds to a very niche use case. I would love to see a deck make use of this card, but it probably will not be in a deck like ADP.
Despite my better judgment, this card does not seem bad. Being able to attach any energy discarded with this card and not only basic Fighting Energy is an improvement and gives this card more flexibility in decks that can use it. Granted the energy does need to go on a Fighting type Pokemon, but similar to Trumbeak, Sword and Shield Oranguru could synergize well with this card in setting up a big fighting attacker relatively quickly. I also appreciate that this card combines with the new Fighting Special Energy which reduces damage done to the Pokemon it’s attached to by 20. I am not sure if this card would be a staple in fighting decks, but it is a nice option to have and could be useful for setting up a fighting type attacker quickly.
Similar to Leon, the extra 30 damage can be a difference maker in certain match ups. This card seems great for any of the sniping or damage spread cards in the format. This puts Crobats in range for a one shot with attacks like Spit Shot on Cramorant V. This also helps cards like Inteleon VMAX set up faster knockouts on bench sitters or other VMAX Pokemon. Pretty much any card that can hit the bench will benefit from this card and I look forward to seeing how this will affect the format. I would not be surprised if UNB Mew started to see more play because of this card. All in all this might be my favorite card in the set and I look forward to messing around with it in different decks.
It seems that we have gotten the effect of using previous evolution attacks in almost every card type. With the loss of Memory Energy, which saw very minimal play, this card steps up to take its place. I think the effect itself is interesting, especially with VMAX Pokemon keep getting printed. This card can create interesting interactions like using Triple Acceleration Energy on a VMAX to use an expensive attack on the previous evolution. I do not see a lot of great uses at the moment but as time goes on it will be interesting to see what cards this tool can work well with.
That is by and large my review of the set. To be frank, I did not anticipate having to write two articles to cover the entire article but I believe it goes to say how much that this set has to offer. While it is not the craziest set we have ever gotten, I think it moves the direction of the format into a positive direction. I am looking forward to seeing how these new cards affect the format and what new decks will come out of the woodwork. Time will tell I guess, but so far I have been impressed by the variety I have seen with early tournament results so I am excited for this new format.
That's about it for this two part series. Like always, thank you so much for reading this article. If you haven’t read the first part, I recommend that you check it out to see what interesting VMAX card and amazing rares that we are getting. If you are looking for Vivid Voltage singles or sealed product, I highly recommend that you check out Flipside Gaming’s online store where you can find all your Pokemon needs. Until next time, I hope you all stay safe out there and I will see you next time!
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