Hello everyone and welcome back to another one of my articles! Vivid Voltage is upon us and as usual the excitement and hype surrounding a new set seems everywhere! I’ll be starting off my Vivid Voltage coverage here with what are, in my opinion, the top 10 cards from the set.
What is most exciting about this set I believe, is that there’s a ton of potentially useful Pokemon, Trainers and Energy and it’s not just a new set that brings us the one big new Pokemon to immediately become the best deck with a very obvious combo.
So, without further delay, these are the top ten cards I’m looking forward to building with and using from Vivid Voltage!
Its Ability, Charging Trumpet, can potentially get you three extra Energy into play at any given time. Of course, you should realistically expect one, maybe two if you’re lucky, but it sure feels like it has to be able to be abused somehow to enable powering up high Energy costs Pokemon much faster.
Oranguru is the first card that comes to mind to pair with the Trumbeak, to put an Energy at the top for Charging Trumpet. Scoop Up Net also lets you reuse Trumbeak over and over to get more Energy into play.
The amazing rare Pokemon from this set, which have really awkward Energy requirements of up to three different types would be good candidates to utilize to power up. Other Pokemon that benefit from having Energy in play such as Boltund V or Alcremie VMAX could be good options to try out as well.
Since it’s a Stage 1 and splashable into any deck, it sits at number ten in this list. However, as we get more sets from Sword and Shield, I’m sure this card will be part of a broken deck at some point in the near future as it has so much potential.
This card lets Evolved Pokemon utilize any attack from previous Stages as long as you are covering the attack cost with the correct Energy. Historically speaking, this sort of effect has existed since Memory Berry was released in Aquapolis and has been utilized to a big degree of success when combined with Rage or Flail sort of attacks that do more damage based on how damaged they are.
Most recently, Memory Energy has been an integral part of Shock Lock, an Expanded archetype which relies on Stoutland blocking Supporters and utilizing Lillipup‘s Pick Up attack in order to recycle Item cards and maintain a complete lock on an opponent.
Cards that can immediately use this tool in Standard are the new Donphan from Vivid Voltage, as Phanpy has the Strike Back attack that deals damage based on how much damage is on it. Clefable could also be a nice option as well, as it can copy Clefairy’s Mini-Metronome and try to use big attacks for cheap if you flip Heads. Glimwood Tangle would be another good card to pair with that too.
Snorlax’s Ability Gormandize is an effect that we’ve previously had limited access to with Tropical Beach. It’s a great card to have for the first couple of turns of the game as you try and get set up, as you can end your turn with a ton of resources to set up in the next one.
This card competes in space with Jirachi’s Stellar Wish Ability, and it is hindered by the fact that it has to be Active. However, it also gives you a more robust amount of resources. I expect this card to see usage in non-GX/V decks, and especially when the format eventually rotates to Sword & Shield onwards, I fully expect this card to be continually included in a wide array of decks to help them stabilize, and also a higher Marnie count in many decks in order to counteract the benefits of it from your opponent’s.
As of right now, there are some decks that try and control what an opponent does such as Starly or Excadrill-based control decks. The Ability is great, and that’s why it made the list, but I do think it will truly shine in the future and not immediately when Vivid Voltage becomes legal for tournaments.
The only amazing rare to make this list as the others feel underwhelming due to their Energy costs. Jirachi’s Dreamy Revelation Ability is comparable to the other Jirachi’s Stellar Wish, as even though its three less cards you get to look at, you can keep any card, Pokemon, Trainer or Energy, rather than just Trainers. This means even though your reach is far less, your options are infinite and thus getting that extra card every turn or every other turn could be impactful, especially in non-GX/V decks that will have to constantly replace their Active Pokemon, such as Excadrill.
This Jirachi also doesn’t go to sleep, so Air Balloon, a card that is already included in quite a few decks, works perfectly with this as your pivot. Not only that, but you also will know for certain what the top card is of your deck after you’ve chosen the one to keep, allowing you to make decisions with this knowledge.
Decks such as ADP / Zacian V, Pikarom, Lucmetal, Blacephalon, Excadrill, all might benefit from the inclusion of this card as a one-of to have as a pivot and perhaps find them that one crucial card they were missing to close out a game.
#6 Talonflame V
Attacking on turn one is against the rules, yet there are very few, limited attacks that allow you to do so and Talonflame’s Fast Flight should allow you to get out of a dead hand fairly easily. The fact that the card has free Retreat only adds to the benefits of playing a copy of it, as it can be a good pivot to Switch out unto.
The drawback of discarding your hand can definitely hurt you at times, but it’s better to have a fresh hand of new resources for next turn, over a potentially dead hand full of really good cards that you won’t be able to use anyways because you didn’t get a good set up on turn one.
I see this “losing resources” mentality from a lot of players that hesitate to use discard effects such as Quick Ball or Professor’s Research, but you need to focus on the resources you will be gaining access to, rather than the ones you won’t have anymore. It also helps as a way to thin, since whatever you discard are cards that you won’t be redrawing from Marnie or opponent’s Reset Stamps.
I expect this card to make its way into decks such as ADP / Zacian V, Centiskorch VMAX and maybe even Pikarom to try and get a more explosive turn one’s. Fire decks especially might benefit from it as they can also power it up with Welder and apply pressure with it.
Bench damage and sniping has always been a crucial part of the game with many strategies built around that. As far as I can remember, there’s never been a card such as this one that directly increases damage done to Benched Pokemon. It’s always been a pretty strict rule that any damage modifiers don’t apply to damage dealt to the bench unless specifically stated otherwise.
30 damage in a metagame where we have 300+ HP dominant Pokemon might not seem like a significant amount, but there are Pokemon such as Cramorant V who will definitely make good use of this damage boost. Even Pikarom decks might benefit from including this card as all of a sudden a boosted Tag Bolt GX can snipe for 200 damage on the bench rather than 170. However, the deck that benefits the most from this is Inteleon VMAX.
Whether it’s the Frosmoth or the Omastar version of the deck, I expect this to be included as sniping for 90 damage on the bench sets up much nicer numbers against the support Pokemon such as Dedenne-GX and Crobat V, allowing you to 2HKO them rather than 3HKO. With the Standard format being so aggressive, a one turn delay when taking a Knockout can be the difference between winning or losing a game.
Almost as a juxtaposition to the previous card, Leon allows you to increase the damage output of your Active Pokemon by 30. This card will likely make an immediate impact as a well-timed Leon could allow you to change a 2HKO to a OHKO which is huge.
Increasing the damage that your Pokemon deal through other means has always been crucial to the game. Before Leon, we had Galarian Zigzagoon and Scoop Up Nets, or the mediocre Vitality Band. However, Now Leon allows Zacian V to reach up to 290 damage after ADP has used Altered Creation GX. That is enough to OHKO an opposing ADP, or any other competitively viable TAG TEAM that isn’t holding a Big Charm.
There are a lot of decks right now that deal very high damage but fall just a bit short in OHKOing the really big Pokemon, such as Eternatus VMAX, Centiskorch VMAX, Raichu & Alolan Raichu-GX, Zacian V, and others. Leon will now be a card you will need to play around and consider when building your decks, as whatever HP threshold we thought was safe before is no longer safe.
I’m also willing to chance on the fact that there might be some crazy setups where using Magneton’s Call Signal Ability to fetch and use Lt. Surge’s Strategy and two copies of Leon might just be worth it for some decks.
#3 Aegislash V
This card makes the list not because of its complexity, or potential combos with it, or its raw strength. In reality, it has pretty average stats and HP all around to make for a mediocre V Pokemon.
However, its second attack, Sonic Edge, bypasses any effects on an opponent’s Pokemon such as Decidueye’s Deep Forest Camo Ability or Obstagoon’s Obstruct attack, coincidentally the deck that most ADP / Zacian V decks struggle against. With this one card inclusion, you won’t ever have to worry about those decks as Sonic Edge does the perfect amount of damage to OHKO all those Pokemon after ADP has utilized Altered Creation GX+.
This card being released means an immediate impact to that archetype, along with any Altaria deck, effectively removing them from the metagame and thus allowing other decks to not tech for them with cards like Galarian Stunfisk.
Before Vivid Voltage, Lucmetal / Zacian V was already a top tier deck, and Coating Energy will make it even better. They already played two or three copies of Weakness Energy, but now they can get the same effect whilst also covering for a Metal Energy cost.
Even though this card only truly benefits one archetype, it will make said archetype even stronger than it already is, and it might find its way into allowing other big Metal VMAX Pokemon such as Scizor or Copperajah, a little bit more viable.
The most obviously powerful card in the set is by far Coalossal VMAX. Pikarom has been very dominant lately, and this Pokemon can OHKO it for a single Fighting Energy. It can also hit Eternatus VMAX for weakness, which means they should see less play, become less dominant, and thus make way for other decks that those two might have been holding back.
Huge HP and powerful straightforward attacks are the norm for VMAX Pokemon, and Coalossal VMAX fits the bill just right and brings Fighting type Pokemon a brand-new archetype. Fighting types haven’t had much support or success for a while now since Buzzwole-GX used to dominate the format. Even though Coalossal VMAX won’t be the best new deck immediately, the metagame is ripe for it to become a dominant deck if it can sustain itself against the ADP / Zacian V decks.
Oranguru pairs really well with it to guarantee that Eruption Shot will deal 130 damage if you discard that Energy. Being able to power yourself up, along with the relatively cheap attack cost, could give you the option to utilize Hyper Potions along with it too. Combine those with the new Stone Energy that reduces damage Fighting type Pokemon take by 20 and you start having a very sturdy and hard to take down Pokemon.
There’s also the option to pair the regular Coalossal to power up faster, allowing you to use G-MAX Boulder earlier and more consistently too. However, setting up a Stage 2 and a Stage 1 Pokemon in this crazy fast and aggressive format might be asking for too much and thus we might have to wait until next year’s rotation into Sword and Shield onwards for us to see those sorts of decks.
Outside of these cards, there are many others worth noting and considering, such as Bea, Galarian Sirfetch’d V, Togekiss VMAX, Garbodor, and many others. However, even though they are interesting and have potential, they might have to wait for a slower, less aggressive format to develop before they can truly shine.
Let me know your thoughts on this list and which cards you’re excited about in the set! I’m looking forward to the new set release and trying out a bunch of new decks in the near future on PTCGO. Thank you so much for reading, hope you enjoyed my first top 10 for the site, and if you are enjoying my content, it would really help me if you use my code when purchasing anything on the site or when subscribing to CFB Pro to access the content from the best players of the game!