On August 14th, the newest Sword & Shield TCG set, Darkness Ablaze, will be released, and with it are 7 new VMAX cards, some of them becoming new top tier threats! Let's discuss what the best new VMAXs are and what they mean for our Standard Format!
The best VMAX to come out in Darkness Ablaze is Eternatus VMAX! Eternatus VMAX will become a Top Tier deck right away, as it is a powerful card with an amazing ability! Its ability states that if all of your Pokémon in play are Dark type, then you can have up to 8 Pokémon on your bench, only Dark Pokémon. Thankfully in our standard, we have some good choices like Weavile GX and Galarian Zigzagoon. And a newcomer in Darkness Ablaze like Crobat V. Eternatus's attack for 2 energy, does 30 damage for each Darkness type you have in play, meaning it can do 270 damage max with itself being in the active and your bench of 8 dark types! That is very strong, and since it does this for 2 energy, it is easy to power up! With this combo of Eternatus's ability and attack, it is going to become a very powerful deck in our new standard format!
The next best VMAX to come out will be Centiskorch VMAX! Centiskorch has an attack that does 40+ 40 more damage for each fire energy attached to this Pokémon, and then you may attach a fire energy from your discard pile to this Pokémon! This attack can hit hard and Centiskorch combos very well with cards to attach fire energy to it like Welder & Volcanion! Centiskorch can ramp up a ton of energy thanks to these options and can then OHKO anything in its way! Step aside, ReshiZard, as the new king of Fire types has possibly emerged!
Next up is Salamence VMAX, a strong colorless VMAX, which unfortunately means that the Dragon type in the TCG might have been discontinued like Fairy type was. But Salamence VMAX does have two attacks and a new energy card to support it! Its two attacks; for a single energy, does 40 damage to two of your opponent's Pokémon, which is perfect to set up KOs for Salamence's second attack, which does 240 damage, and then the next turn Salamence can't use this attack again. But thanks to Switch, we can use it again! Salamence works well with 2 energy cards; Triple Acceleration Energy that fuels 3 out of its 4 energy attack cost and the new Powerful Energy, which is a colorless energy that allows your colorless Pokémon to do 20 more damage to your opponent's active. This means Salamence VMAX does 260 now instead, which is pretty strong! The only downside to Salamence is its weakness to Lightning, meaning cards like Pikachu & Zekrom GX & Boltund V can destroy this card, but we do have Weakness Guard energy to work with!
Finally, we have Charizard VMAX! This is another new powerful Charizard card! Charizard VMAX can do 300 damage! It's a pretty straight forward card but does have the potential to be a strong deck since it can OHKO pretty easily thanks to cards like Galarian Zigzagoon & Vitality Band to help boost damage! For a Triple Acceleration Energy Charizard does 100 damage, and then for 5 energy, it does 300 damage, and then you have to discard 2 energy from it. Like with Centiskorch VMAX, we can power up Charizard VMAX with Welder & Volcanion! Charizard can also use Triple Acceleration Energy to be powered up even faster! Charizard VMAX could become the new best heavy hitter card in our standard format!
Well, in my opinion, those are the best and most impactful VMAX cards to come out of Darkness Ablaze! Stay tuned as I will have more to talk about this set down the road, as this set has a lot of other new big cards in it! Darkness Ablaze finally seems to be pushing VMAX cards to be very powerful as VMAX cards have been hit or miss!
*Translations provided by Bulbapedia