Darkness Ablaze is the Third Sword & Shield trading card set to be released outside of Japan. It features over 185 cards and is a combination of the Japanese sets “Infinity Zone” & “Eruption Walker”. But just how much does this set add to the game?

 Truth be told, many great cards are available in this set and there are many great Pokemon V Cards featured in Darkness Ablaze. This may be the biggest money set since Sun & Moon: Unbroken Bonds. This means you are very likely to pull multiple playable cards that are more multiple times more valuable than the amount you bought the pack for! Crobat V will be the card everyone is searching for as fast as possible, but we’ll talk more about why later! The set even features Charizard V and VMAX, you already know that collectors are paying big bucks for it! Without any further ado, let’s talk about some of the best Pokemon V in the set!

 

Vikavolt V is a 210 HP Pokemon V, it has a weakness to fighting and a retreat cost of 3. As you will learn very quickly, a weakness to fighting once this set drops is one of the worst weaknesses you can have, this is because 3 of the best Pokemon V and Vmax have this same weakness and existing played Pokemon such as Dedenne GX, Pikachu & Zekrom GX and Boltund V. The retreat cost of three is also too high to use Air Balloon!

 Okay, so not a great start, but the attacks make up for it! For a Lightning and Colourless energy, you do 50 damage and prevent your opponent from playing any item cards during their next turn! With a Vitality band, you can be knocking out 60HP evolving Pokemon like Minccino and completely shutting down decks like Spiritomb! Tapu Koko* (Prism Star) can also help you pay this attack in a single turn! Its main attack can deal 190 damage for just an extra lightning energy which is great if you need to take aggressive prize cards. 

Centiskorch VMAX is an absolute unit with 320HP. It again has a garbage retreat cost of three, but you probably won’t be retreating this dude. For 2 Fire energy, you deal 40 Damage, plus 40 more for each fire energy attached to Centiskorch VMAX. However, you then get to attach another fire energy from your discard pile to Centiskorch VMAX. This is amazing, but only because of your high HP! There are barely any attackers that can achieve 320 damage in one turn unless they are hitting for weakness, and even if they can, you have Welder to attach so much extra energy that it may not even matter. Centiskorch VMAX is the deck that I am most likely to try out first once this set drops!
Salamence VMAX also has 320 HP and this seems to be average for Pokemon VMAX. As a colourless pokemon, you can use any energy acceleration method you wish. (I’ll probably be using welder) For single energy, you can do 40 Damage to 2 of your opponents Pokemon. This is great, but only because Salamence V does 30 to each of your opponents Pokemon for 3 colourless energy. You can spread lots of damage around the field, much like Dragapult VMAX can! For 4 Colourless Energy, the VMAX deals 240 Damage. When combined with all of the chip damage and spread, you should be knocking out VMAX Pokemon with this attack.
Eternatus VMAX could be stupid good or stupid bad at the moment I’m undecided. It has a retreat cost of 3, but the new hidden darkness energy gives all Darkness Pokemon free retreat! The ability allows you to have 8 benched pokemon in play… as long as they are all Darkness Type! The attack does 30 Damage for each pokemon in play for a Darkness & Colourless Energy! If you can fill your bench with 8 Darkness Pokemon, you are dealing 270 damage a turn! How do we fill our bench with only darkness pokemon, it means we lose Dedenne GX? Well Crobat V is a Darkness Pokemon that when benched, allows you to draw cards until you have 6 in hand! Even though this is limited to once during your turn you can easily draw through your deck and find a majority of the pokemon you need to start hitting 270 Damage!

How will these Darkness Ablaze cards shift the existing metagame?

When Darkness Ablaze drops I expect much more representation of Fighting-type decks in competitive decklists. 3 of the 5 Pokemon V I have predicted to see play are weak to Fighting and Pokemon that already see play such as Pikachu & Zekrom GX and Tapu-Koko V are also weak to the type. Although Coalossal can support Fighting-types with some extra energy acceleration, the current Fighting Pokemon that we have available do not have the damage output or low energy cost to keep up with the high-speed format that the game is currently in! However, if you were hitting most of the most played decks for double damage, that would surely make one of these fighting decks playable right?

The best options we have at the moment are Sandaconda V, which can deal 220 Damage for 2 Fighting and 1 Colourless Energy. This pairs well with Coalossal, but can be too slow due to the reliance of a Stage 2 Pokemon. Stonejourner VMAX also has the same problem of being too slow in a fast-paced format. Regirock V can deal 190 damage for 3 energy, but it also deals 30 damage to itself which puts it down to 190 HP and in range for many more attackers to 1-hit-KO it! I believe that it may be a Single Prize Rogue deck such as Excadrill that will be the at the forefront of Fighting-type decks. However, I feel Sandaconda could also be the deck to rise up to the competition!

In conclusion, Darkness Ablaze is a giant new set that brings many interesting and playable cards. There are many playable trainers and non-V Pokemon in the set too I may talk about at a later date! I have only touched on the Pokemon V today as Airglow Accumulation focuses specifically on providing Pokemon V and VMAX cards cheaper than any Pokemon online store. We will be adding all V and V-MAX pokemon from Darkness ablaze for Pre-order as soon as English scans become available.

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