The Pokémon Trading Card Game has had a number of different generations, with the brilliant first-generation Pokémon being the initial batch and subsequent Pokémon being added or reprinted over time to further enhance and expand the deck. One such variety of cards that were introduced during the eighth generation were the VMAX cards, which evolved from the basic V-cards in the series. V-cards are similar to EX cards of old and cost the player two Prize Cards when beaten. VMAX cards, on the other hand, cost the player three Prize Cards when beaten.
With that in mind, it is understandable that VMAX cards are a huge risk since they can allow the opponent to win if they collect enough Prize Cards (beating only two VMAX Pokémon would seal the deal). However, VMAX cards are also very handy, owing to the huge power range and high HP that they boast. Furthermore, unlike Mega Evolution cards, these cards have the ability to attack during the very turn that they have evolved. There are many VMAX cards that the Pokémon franchise has introduced, but some can be considered as the most powerful.
Updated on October 25th, 2021 by Quinn Levandoski: The Pokémon Trading Card Game only contained single-prize Pokémon when it was first released in 1998. The game eventually expanded to include powerful Pokémon cards worth multiple prizes, and the competitive meta has revolved around them ever since. Dual-prize Pokémon EX cards were replaced by the even stronger GX and Team-Up GX cards, and those have been followed up on with Pokémon V and VMAX.
The VMAX mechanic loosely resembles the Gigantamax system from Pokémon Sword and Shield, and many of the Pokémon with VMAX cards feature Gigantamax art. As the number of VMAX cards has increased, more powerful pocket monsters have been granted one of these game-changing forms. While there are viable decks that don’t use VMAX cards, players need to know what the strongest VMAX Pokémon are to understand their capabilities on the battlefield.
15 Rillaboom VMAX
This Grass-type Pokémon from the Rebel Clash expansion has a considerable 330 HP and is quite fast with unique effects that can usually be associated with Pokémon belonging to the Fire-type rather than the Grass-type. Its primary ability is Scratch, which deals 50 damage, but only costs one energy card belonging to any type.
Its secondary ability Max Beating has a base damage of 130 but also allows the player to discard a maximum of three Grass-energy cards from Rillabloom, and deals an additional 50 damage for each of the discarded cards. Therefore, in full power, Rillabloom VMAX is able to deal a humongous 280 damage.
14 Charizard VMAX
Charizard is one of the most favored Pokémon from the series and it is represented in some of the best Pokémon toys available. However, it also has a VMAX card in the PTCG which is quite impressive. Charizard VMAX belongs to the Darkness Ablaze expansion and comes equipped with a huge 330 HP portfolio.
While it does lack resistance, has an expensive retreat cost of three, and suffers from a weakness to the water-type, Charizard VMAX makes up for it with its attacks Claw Slash and G-Max Wildfire, the second of which is the most useful. While G-Max Wildfire is quite costly requiring 5 energy cards, while also discarding two from Charizard, its damage is a massive 300, which is capable of knocking out most defending pokemon in a single hit.
13 Grimmsnarl VMAX
Belonging to the Darkness Ablaze expansion Grimmsnarl VMAX is a powerful VMAX card that comes equipped with 330 Hit Points. While it does have no resistance, a single weakness and a cost of three energy cards to retreat, Grimmsnarl’s attack G-Max Drill is capable of dealing 170 damage in a single attack.
Furthermore, it deals an additional 50 damage for each extra Dark-energy card attached with this Pokémon, excluding the three Dark-energy, it requires for this power to be used. However, a maximum damage of 100 can be issued using this technique, capping the total damage potential of the attack to 270.
12 Lapras VMAX
Amongst the many trading card games, the artwork of some is absolutely exquisite. However, PTCG has its own share of beautiful cards, and the Lapras VMAX is insanely powerful as well. Belonging to the Sword & Shield expansion, Lapras VMAX boasts an HP of 320 while having a weakness for Lightning-type and a retreat cost of three.
If the player uses only the initial cost of three water-type energy cards, Lapras VMAX will straight away deal 180 damage to the opponent using its sole ability of G-Max Pump. Since it does not discard any energy cards from the Pokémon and does not have any capping, Lapras VMAX can deal insane amounts of damage, especially in decks that can assign energy cards to this Pokémon quickly and efficiently.
11 Copperajah VMAX
Copperajah VMAX belonging to the Rebel Clash expansion is arguably one of the most powerful VMAX Pokémon cards that the series has released. An insane HP of 340, along with unique abilities and the resistance to Grass-type, makes this VMAX card an absolute all-rounder in both attack and defense.
Copperajah VMAX also has a retreat cost of four-energy, but players having the Buff Padding Tool-card with them can use this to their advantage by further extending Copperajah’s HP by 50. Copperajah’s primary attack is Copper Nose, which deals a base damage of 100, but further deals 100 more damage if the defending Pokémon is of Basic-type. Its secondary attack is G-Max Hammer, which is capable of dealing a whopping 240 damage to any Pokémon.
10 Inteleon VMAX
This Water-type VMAX card might come with only 320 HP, but when all of its abilities are taken into account, it is quite a well-rounded card, which can tackle different situations with ease. The first highlight of Inteleon VMAX is that it only requires two energy cards to retreat, and its primary attack, Hydro Snipe only costs the player one energy card.
Apart from dealing 60 damage, it further forces the opponent to pick up one energy-card attached to his/her active Pokémon. This ability can be very useful in scenarios where the opponent is setting up to deliver a devastating move. The secondary attack Max Bullet is more damaging, dealing 160 damage to the opponent and a further 60 damage to any of his/her benched Pokémon.
9 Morpeko VMAX
Morpeko VMAX is a Lighting-type Pokémon belonging to the Sword & Shield expansion. Although it has a low HP of 300 as compared to other VMAX cards, and only one ability; its damage potential of 180 for Max Discharge, and a further 20 damage to each of the opponent’s benched pokemon makes it quite a powerful VMAX card.
This additional damage is also handy for knocking out benched Pokémon who are wounded. Additionally, it also has a low retreat cost of only one energy card and when used with Electric support cards like Thunder Mountain, Morpeko becomes extremely deadly.
8 Toxtricity VMAX
Belonging to the Rebel Clash expansion, Toxtricity VMAX has access to a wide range of Electric support cards and also boasts of an impressive 320 HP.
This Electric-type pokemon has only one ability but it comes with a twist, whereby it deals a base damage of 160, and if the opponent’s active Pokémon is poisoned, it further deals an additional 80 damage. Therefore, using this card with other Grass-type Pokémon, or other Pokémon which can mete out poison attacks, is a great choice.
7 Cinderace VMAX
Cinderace VMAX is a Fire-type Pokémon with 320 HP that believes in giving opponents a taste of their own medicine. While it does have a weakness to Water-type, its ability Counter is a uniquely beneficial one, whereby it deals a base damage of 30, with additional damage equaling the damage which the opponent hurled on the player during their previous turn.
Therefore, it can turn its Water weakness into a strength, and furthermore, deter opponents from using powerful attacks against Cinderace VMAX. It also has a secondary ability of Max Pyro Ball, which apart from dealing base damage of 170, also burns the opponent’s active Pokémon. The opponent can of course choose to reverse the burn by flipping a coin but will have to suffer an additional 20 damage, as the rules regarding burns have changed since the Sun & Moon expansion.
6 Dragapult VMAX
Dragapult VMAX might not look like a hugely powerful VMAX card as far as raw damage potential is concerned, but this 320 HP Psychic Pokémon is extremely versatile and can deal damage in various ways while costing very few energy cards to the player. Furthermore, it also boasts of resistance to Fighting-type and can also retreat easily at the cost of just one energy card.
Its primary attack Shred might just deal a base damage of 60, but it is unfazed by any effects that the opponent might have on his/her active Pokémon and deals the damage nevertheless. It also has the 130 damage ability Max Phantom, which apart from dealing the damage, also deals an additional damage counter of five to the opponent’s benched Pokémon, in any way that the player desires.
5 Rayquaza VMAX
Rayquaza has had a few of the most powerful Pokémon cards, and its might is represented well with this version from the Evolving Skies set expansion. Rayquaza only has one attack, and its requirement to discard Energy makes it tough to use regularly, but it sets this ruler of the skies up for big swings against valuable targets.
Furthermore, Rayquaza’s Ability, Azure Pulse, offers the invaluable opportunity for a player to discard their hand to draw three. This Ability gives the card value as a bench-sitter as it builds for a strong attack and grants any deck improved consistency.
4 Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX
As its name implies, Rapid Strike Urshify VMAX is a Pokémon that wants to move in and out of the active spot to land fast, devastating attacks. Gale Thrust requires one Fighting-type energy to use and may initially look unimpressive with its paltry 30 damage, but, if Urshifu moves to the active spot on the same move that it’s using the attack, the attack’s damage increases to a substantial 150.
G-Max Rapid Flow lets Urshifu snipe weak or damaged Pokémon on the opposing bench by doing 120 damage to any two enemy monsters on the board. This damage-dealing potential is made even better by Urshifu’s high 330 HP which is near the highest currently in the game.
3 Single Strike Urshifu VMAX
As it does in the Isle of Armor expansion for Pokémon Sword and Shield, Urshifu comes in two varieties in the Pokémon Trading Card Game. Both versions are Fighting-type Pokémon, but this card brings with it an entirely different playstyle and set of support options.
Beatdown may not be an exciting attack with an Energy cost of three for a flat 100 damage, but G0Max One Blow is often a game-winning move. 270 damage is solid by itself, but this move also ignores any effects on the enemy Pokémon that may be making it tough to knock out.
2 Ice Rider Calyrex VMAX
Calyrex is one of the strongest Galar Legendary Pokémon, and both of his steeds are represented in the Pokémon Trading Card Game. Ice Rider Calyrex VMAX pairs the former king of the Galar region with the ice horse Glastrier, and the two make for a devastating card. Ride of the High King does more damage for each Pokémon on the opposing bench. This move can be strong against weakened Pokémon, but Ice Lance is a game-winner.
This move only does ten damage, but players can discard up to two Water Energy cards from Calyrex to do an extra 120 damage per discard. It’s not terribly hard to keep Calyrex fed with energy, so this attack will be hitting at full power quite often.
1 Shadow Rider Calyrex
Shadow Rider Calyrex is a Psychic and Ghost-type Pokémon in Sword and Shield, and that combination sets it up well in the card game. While its weakness to Dark can be a problem, it resists the popular Fighting-type (and can likely hit them back for weakness as well). Shadow Rider Calyrex VMAX’s Ability, Shadow Door, lets its player attach a Psychic-type energy to a benched Pokémon and draw two cards once per turn.
This alone makes the card a fantastic support piece, but it synergizes well with its Max Geist attack. This move does ten damage plus thirty more for every Psychic Energy attached to all friendly Pokémon in play. This can quickly add up to massive damage.
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