Vivid Voltage has officially released in Pokemon TCG and Pokemon TCG Online, and we have plenty of new Pokemon and Trainer cards to create new decks with. Vivid Voltage isn’t the best Sword & Shield set and it might not have Pokemon that will dictate the competitive metagame, but it surely makes a lot of improvements to existing decks.
Here are the 10 best Pokemon from Vivid Voltage.
Vivid Voltage introduces a new rarity of Pokemon, called Amazing Rares, with colorful patterns being the highlight of each card. Another signature attribute of these cards is their strange Energy costs.
The best Amazing Rares will be the ones with low Energy costs, or high Energy costs with damage that justifies that cost. Celebi falls in the former category, with two inexpensive attacks that are both pretty good.
Amazing Bloom stands out as the more useful one, as evolving each Benched Pokemon is a huge deal if you can pull it off in one move.
Orbeetle VMAX’s ability is Galarian Zigzagoon’s ability on steroids.
Each turn, this Pokemon can do 10 damage to each of your opponent’s Pokemon. G-Max wave hits for 50 plus 50 times the number of energy on your opponent’s active Pokemon, which is usually between two and four.
It’s interesting that while Orbeetle is weak to Fire types, because its two-Energy attack can easily OHKO a powered up Centiskorch VMAX.
This is the third consecutive set to have a Charizard in it, and his fans are having the time of their lives.
Unlike the V and VMAX Charizards that were pretty average, this one reminds me of the one from Relentless Flame. Fire decks already have Giant Hearth as a way to discard cards from your hand, which will be useful for throwing away the Leon that this Charizard needs to reach insane damage numbers.
This Charizard is easily available, since it is also a part of the new Theme Decks. Its Theme Deck isn’t the best and won’t really change much in the Theme meta, but it gives new players a great way to transition into Standard or Expanded. This Theme deck can be converted into a good budget deck, and I’d expect to see a bunch of Leon-Charizard decks in Expanded very soon.
This Garbodor is similar to our old, beloved Trashalanche Garbodor that has been in the Expanded meta for over three years.
While the old one relies on Item Cards in the opponent’s Discard Pile, this one relies on the Tool Cards in yours. This could potentially be great if you can discard a bunch of your own Tool Cards using Trainers like Field Blower.
Once used, Trash Cyclone will shuffle all of those cards back into your deck. This sounds a lot like one of those decks where you take long turns to find and then discard a bunch of cards to power up an attack.
I’m not sure why this Pokemon is Psychic, but the new Zacian is a truly amazing Amazing Rare.
Amazing Sword does 300 damage if your opponent has any VMAX Pokemon in play. Even though this attack has a 3-Energy cost, one of those Energies is Steel-type, meaning you can easily attach it with your Metal Saucers. I just wish it had more HP and it didn’t have a Steel-type weakness.
Snorlax is on this list for his Gormandize ability that draws 7 cards each turn.
The catch is, Snorlax needs to be in the Active spot and using this ability ends your turn. This is the kind of card that you want out on your first turn, or when you’re in a sticky situation and want to be drawing more cards quickly without relying on Supporters.
It won’t be as useful as cards like Crobat V, but that ability is pretty good and could do very well in the Theme format.
Fighting decks finally have a heavy-hitting Pokemon!
Coalossal VMAX is tanky and pretty straightforward, and his 240 damage G-Max Boulder will be one to watch out for. Even his single-energy attack when paired with Oranguru can one-shot Dedenne-GX, Eternatus V, Crobat V, and even Boltund V – all of which are easily found in the meta. This is hands down the best VMAX in this expansion, and a much-needed addition to the Standard format.
The reason Aegislash V is in this list instead of Aegislash VMAX – which deals more damage – is because of its second attack, Sonic Edge, that pretty much negates one of the more annoying decks in the meta.
Sonic Edge bypasses the abilities of Pokemon with V/VMAX immunity, such as Decidueye and Altaria. This might seem like a thing to celebrate for all the Centiskorch and Eternatus VMAX players, but remember that this attack is on a Steel type Pokemon.
In a game dominated by Zacian decks, the only good Pokemon that can counter Decidueye and Altaria is getting rewarded to…Zacian decks. It seems like ADP/Z decks aren’t going away anytime soon.
Utility cards in Pokemon TCG Online are great, but isn’t it annoying when you start off with cards like Eldegoss V or Crobat V that are absolutely useless on turn one?
Vivid Voltage introduces Talonflame, a Pokemon that can attack on turn one and actually has a decent second attack.
Fast Flight allows you to discard your hand and draw 6 cards, even if it’s your first turn. This will be a great replacement for a Crobat V or Dedenne-GX from fire decks. Also, note how Talonflame has Electricity as its weakness rather than Water, which will be a great
The most expensive cards in Pokemon TCG Online aren’t the ones that do the most damage, but the ones that draw more cards. This has been a trend for a long time now, and while Tapu Lele-GX and Shaymin-EX were meta for the last few years, Dedenne-GX, Jirachi (the one from Darkness Ablaze), and Crobat V are meta in the current format.
Joining this list with Vivid Voltage is Jirachi, with her Dreamy Revelation ability.
This card resembles Pidgeotto from the Soaring Storm Theme Deck, except that it doesn’t evolve from anything, it doesn’t fall asleep at the end of your turn, and it needs to be in the Active spot to be usable. This means that you can’t really go the Scoop Up route like you did with the Darkness Ablaze Jirachi, unless you already have the Trainer in your deck.
On top of its excellent Ability, Jirachi also has an attack that lets you attach 7 basic Energy cards from your deck to your Pokemon in any way you like. The attack comes with a difficult Energy cost, but if you can pull it off, the match is pretty much yours.
This is probably the weakest Sword and Shield set so far. Don’t get me wrong, Vivid Voltage isn’t a bad set, but none of these cards come close to the meta staples.
Would I put any of the new cards on our list of top 6 cards in the game? Absolutely not. Will I include them in future decks? For sure. There are also a bunch of Pokemon such as Pikachu VMAX that are pretty bad at the moment, but have a ton of potential if the game gives them the right kind of Trainer cards in the future.
I’m just hoping that the upcoming Shiny Star V expansion, Shining Legends, and the other early-2021 expansions will do something to really change the Pokemon TCG Online meta around.