Silver Tempest: How to Utilize the New Rapidash
Rapidash from Silver tempest might be one of my favorite cards from the set! It is a buffed version of Volcanion EX from back in the day, which is a good sign since Volcanion was a top tier deck. Rapidash’s ability Heat Boost allows you to discard a Fire Energy from your hand, and if you do your Fire Type Pokemon do an extra 30 damage this turn. Bare in mind you can do this once per turn for each Rapidash you have in play, meaning you have a potential extra 120 damage to play with!
Heat Boost is a BONKERS ability that allows you to boost your Fire Type's damage to crazy levels! Now while Fire Types can never truly be top tier due to the presence of Palkia VSTAR, this doesn't mean you can't have fun and shine some light on some cards now that can definitely swing and win you some games! So let's have a look at some cards you can pair with Rapidash to have some fun on the ladder or at league!
But first let me you you through the staple card that will be in all these decks real fast. Magma Basin.
This is a crazy stadium for Fire types. Allowing you to attach a Fire Energy from your discard to one of your benched fire types! So keep this card in mind whenever you read the breakdowns of the cards below.
First up we have the most obvious partner in Victini VMAX. Victini VMAX has seen success years ago for good reason! Max Victory for two energy does 220 damage! This might be the only attacker we talk about here that might not need to actually run Magma Basin and get away with just attaching one energy per turn! (Risky though) With a choice belt Victini VMAX swings for 250 damage, which means with only one Rapidash you can OHKO 280 VSTARS! If you are playing against 310 VMAXS you can use one more Heat Boost or use three in a turn to absolutely detonate anything in your path!
This is definitely the most straightforward and the most obvious partner but Victini does have its drawbacks. It is a stage one which adds another level of awkwardness to get out when you are already trying to get out multiple Rapidashs, and it is a VMAX so you only get two attackers before you lose the game. However it does boast the least level of maintenance at only two energy and if you want to capitalize on that maintenance cost you could try playing Path to the Peak as your stadium to disrupt your opponent while slamming them for big damage!
Entei is another obvious target for Rapidash. For 2 energy Burning Rondo does 20+ 20 for each benched Pokemon in play. So this rewards getting multiple Rapidash into play while also giving you extra damage modifiers with Heat Boosts if your opponents tries to go with a small bench to combat your damage output. So what is Entei's USP? Well it is a basic with 230 HP! If you want to couple heat energy into the mix (Which adds 20 HP for each one attached) you have a fairly tanky basic which now has extra damage output!
Not only that but since Heat Boost can make up for Choice Belt, and if you really wanted to you could play Cape of Toughness to give your Entei a base HP of 280! If you have some Heat Energy lying around your basic Pokemon will be at VMAX levels of HP! But be careful of the variable damage output, that is definitely Enteis main draw back.
I previously thought Infernape V was one of the worst V cards ever printed, however with Rapidash it has a new lease at life! Out of the gate it has a free retreat cost which is nice, allowing you to send it up after KO’s to play your turn out before going into your attacker of choice! The one energy attack Meteor Punch too might also chip into you opponents Pokemon T1 or even get cheeky KO’s on sobbles!
Bright Flame however is the build around, for three energy you can swing for 200 and discard two. This is a great baseline since with a Choice Belt you are at 230 meaning you can KO evolving V’s without needing any Heat Boosts! At the 230 base though you can Heat Boost twice and get to VSTAR levels of damage! And with help from Radiant Hawlucha or a third Heat boost you can even reach VMAX levels!
Discarding two energy could prove irritating since you are already having to ditch loads with Heat Boost, but at least the free retreat cost can help mitigate that and you can also play cards like energy retrieval to Fisherman to “fish” them back out ready to reload.
Lance’s Charizard V
I REALLY wish Lance’s Charizard had a starting damage of 220 instead of 200. If it did I actually think it would be the best Rapidash partner by far! It kind of splits the difference between Entei and Infernape by having 220 HP while swinging for 200 with flamethrower while only discarding one energy instead of two.
So all the previous math from Infernape works here too but you have an extra 20 hp. You also having a three retreat cost over a free retreat cost though. So I will leave it up to you which you prefer out of Infernape or Charizard, but there has to be something said for having a promo which everyone pretty much wrote off and actually having a functional deck with it!
Reshiram V joins the club of basic V’s that swing for 200 for three energy! However it doesn't have to discard any for its attack, instead flipping a coin to see if it can attack next turn. This is probably the best drawback you can have as 50% of the time you won't have any drawback!
Sparkling Wing isn’t too bad either allowing you to attach 2 energy from your deck which is great for T1 tempo!
Again since it swings for 200 all the previous math works here too so I will leave you to ponder which 200 for three attackers is your favorite!
Whichever attacker you decide to play though I think you should throw in a Volcarona V! For one energy you can do 20+ 20 for each energy in your discard pile then shuffle them back into your deck! This is insane for a late game punch since you will be throwing energy in the bin all game especially when you consider you can Heat Boost this too! In a pinch it can swing for 160 which while usable isn't quite strong enough to be a build around.
So let me know what you think of these Rapidash attackers! I actually can't wait to try them out and at face value I think I like the look of Infernape the best!