Darkness Ablaze is coming but which cards are going to be hot from this new set?
Today is Darkness Ablaze’s release date in the United States and around the world. There are plenty of hot new cards in the set that will light the Pokemon TCG abaze! Though, there are also plenty of cards that are hiding in the darkness. Which cards should you look forward to from this set? We will let you know!
Must Grab Asset!
We are going to be flat out honest here. Grab yourself some Crobat V.
Crobat V is going to be the most wanted card from Darkness Ablaze. It is the new staple that almost every deck will want to play in order to draw cards. Especially now that the No Support During Turn 1 Rule is alive and well. That is because of Crobat V’s Dark Asset ability. This card allows you to draw until you have six cards in your hand when you play it down on the bench.
Dedenne GX is a good card to draw but many people may not want to discard a whole hand with much needed resources. At least with Crobat V, you can get rid of what you can and keep what you want while still drawing cards. Perfect for the player who wants to keep their resources for later in the game! Maybe even just draw into a much needed card to win the game.
You may even see decks who try to play both Crobat V and Dedenne GX together. It will take up bench space but if it means they can set up their big attacker faster then their opponent then it will be worth it.
Crobat V will have to share the role to draw cards with Dedenne GX for a year. Though, once Dedenne GX rotates in August 2021 then we will see Crobat V alone in the spotlight. That is if they don’t print a new ability draw card before then. Either way, if you can pull a Crobat V then you will be set for at least two years. If you need to purchase it as a single then try to get it now or wait it out until the price drops. Though, there may not be a rush for it due to physical tournaments are currently on hold due to COVID-19. Either way, expect to see Crobat V being highly wanted by many players.
Darkness Ablaze has plenty of great support for Darkness decks. Though, that is thanks to the figurehead card for the set, Eternatus VMAX!
Eternatus VMAX is the big card from the set that is making everybody excited to play it. This giant VMAX Pokemon come with 340 HP and does 30 times the number of Darkness Pokemon you have in play if you use Dread End. What makes Dread End even more amazing is that it cost a single Darkness Energy plus another energy.
Eternatus VMAX will give you a hand to do more damage thanks to it’s Eternal Zone ability. This ability will allow you to have up to eight Pokemon on your Bench. The only down side is that you can only play Darkness Pokemon. If you do find a way to play eight Darkness Pokemon then you will be hitting 240 damage.
Hopefully with the description above, you can see why Eternatus VMAX is getting plenty of talk to be played with. You may not be hitting VMAX Pokemon for a single knockout without weakness. Though, you are knocking out mostly everything that isn’t a VMAX Pokemon. All of that for two Energy attachments. You may end up two hit knocking out Pokemon though that is expected when a lot of Pokemon have big HP numbers. So even if you do not knockout non-VMAX Pokemon with a single hit, you will still have an upper-hand thanks to only needing two Energy attachments to attack.
Maybe the only reason why I won’t put Eternatus VMAX as a must have on day one is because it will later come out as a box set a few weeks after the release of Darkness Ablaze.
The biggest issue you will face with Eternatus VMAX (besides evolving Eternatus V into Eternatus VMAX) is filling up your bench to do maximum output. Though, we have some interesting Pokemon to consider.
Darkrai needs three energy to attack but once you attach three Darkness Energy to it then the fun can start.
That is because Vortex of Darkness does 60 base damage plus 20 for each Darkness Energy attached. That means it can do 120 damage. Perfect if you need to knockout something small or finish off something that Eternatus VMAX couldn’t finish off.
Darkness Guard can also be used to lessen any damage that Darkrai will take by 20 if it has Darkness energy attach. The downside to Darkrai is that it needs three Darkness Energy to be useful and you wouldn’t want to start off with it. This is more of a card that will take some slow build but can be useful later on.
If you want something a little faster then Hoopa would be a better choice.
Hoopa has a single attack that needs one Darkness energy called Assault Gate. This attack does 90 damage but only if you moved it into the active position during it’s attacking turn. It is a tricky requirement to attack but it could see similar use like Zapdos (Team Up) did when it was first used in PikaRom Decks.
Hoopa could pair up nicely with Eternatus VMAX as a clean up attacker.Let say your Eternatus VMAX attacked during the previous turn but failed to knockout the Pokemon. Your Eternatus VMAX just so happen to have the new Hiding Darkness Energy which will grant it free retreat. Swap it with Hoopa and attach a Darkness energy to use Assault Gate to finish off the Pokemon. If your opponent does knockout Hoopa then that is fine because at least you didn’t risk give your opponent three prizes.
The last Pokemon to consider to fight along side Eternatus VMAX is Hydreigon.
This Pokemon has the Dark Squall ability which allows you to attach as many Darkness Energy as you want during your turn.
Personally, I wouldn’t put this in the deck as it will be too many Pokemon and evolutions. Though, if you slowly build it up and want to easily power up any of your Darkness Pokemon then it could be worth playing. Just play more Evolution Incense to help evolve your Eternatus V and the Hydreigon line with the focus to set up Eternatus V first.
Back to the top, you will want to play Crobat V in your Eternatus VMAX deck. This card was made for this deck because you can’t play Dedenne GX. I would be bold enough to say that you will want to play four Crobat V to constantly draw cards.
The Next Hot Thing
If you are wanting to play the next hot thing then go ahead and look at Centiskorch VMAX.
Centiskorch VMAX only needs two Colorless Energy to attack with G-Max Centiferno. The attack only does 40 damage but if you have Fire energy attach to it then it will do 40 more for each Fire energy attach. If your attack does any damage then you can attach a Fire energy from your discard onto Centiskorch VMAX.
Centiskorch VMAX is getting some talk thanks to what we currently have in Fire support. Especially if you want a quick energy attachment in the form of Welder. This supporter is pretty well known by now but it will put two Fire energy needed on Centiskorch VMAX to use G-MAX Centiferno. The damage output will only be 120 damage but that is good if you plan to two hit KO your opponent’s active Pokemon. You can still use your normal attachment for the turn to do 150 damage. If this is your second turn and were successful in attaching a Fire energy during your first turn then this attack does 180 damage.
The ability to continue to add energy by attacking allows Centiskorch VMAX to not have a damage ceiling. If a player isn’t careful then it can be pretty easy for Centiskorch VMAX’s blaze to go out of control.
It’s a Mad, Mad Party
Do you want to play with cards that aren’t VMAX Pokemon? Then get ready for a party!
We are seeing a brand new archetype entering the Pokemon TCG with Darkness Ablaze call Mad Party. This is a group of Pokemon that use the Mad Party attack to do damage. What Mad Party does is that is the damage output will be 20 times the number of Pokemon with the Mad Party attack in your discard.
If you think this sounds similar to other archetypes such as Lost March or Night March then you are correct. This is basically the return of Night March but with a brand new attack name and set of Pokemon. Currently only the following Pokemon have the Mad Party attack: Dedenne, Bunnelby, Galarian Mr. Rime and Polteageist.
Only Bunnelby and Polteageist have the Mad Party attack that is the easiest to use with a single attachment of a Twin Energy. The other two require other types of energy to use the attack. Though, both Bunnelby and Polteageist have low HP but the idea is that you want to discard your Mad Party members that won’t attack as fast as you can. If Bunnelby or Polteageist do get knockout then they will just fuel the Mad Party attack for your next attacker.
Mad Party does have a few more Pokemon that need to evolve compare to Night March. Though, Polteageist does have the Tea Break ability that will make it easier to have more Mad Party members in the discard. Tea Break allows you to discard a Pokemon with Mad Party as an attack and in return you get to draw two cards. It can only be used once per turn but it is a nice engine to use if you want to get more cards into your hand and discard.
Maybe you need one more thing to make the Mad Party go really mad. Though, if you want a deck that is cheap and could be trouble for others then Mad Party is the party you want to be out.
A Rosy Combo
If you want to power up your VMAX Pokemon while drawing cards then you are in luck.
Rose and Rose Tower
Though, if you play Rose with the tower with his namesake on it the it may not be so bad. There is a new Stadium card called Rose Tower that will make Rose’s secondary discard effect hurt not so much. That is because Rose Tower allows you to draw until you have three cards in hand.
So what you may want to do is play as many cards as you can from your hand. Then use Rose to attach two Energy cards from your discard to a VMAX Pokemon. Discard whatever little cards you have left in your hand. Lastly, use Rose Tower to draw a new hand of three. It isn’t much but could be worth playing if you need to power up your VMAX Pokemon fast.
The two VMAX Pokemon that we talked about in this article could appreciate Rose’s energy attachments. Both Centiskorch VMAX and Eternatus VMAX need two Energy to attack. So it could be worth playing Rose to get a quick energy attachment. You will just need to make sure that you have Rose Tower out so that way you can get more resources from Rose’s main place of work.
Some Support from Supporters
If you need some good Supporters then we have two that you should look at.
Piers would find himself at home in a Darkness deck. His effect says that you can search your deck for a Darkness Pokemon and Energy.
Most of the time you may find yourself searching for a Crobat V in an Eternatus VMAX deck. That way you can attach your Energy onto a Pokemon. Then you can play down your Crobat V to draw cards. It would be easy to say that Piers could count as a draw Supporter if you are planning to just grab Crobat V.
If you are playing Piers in an Eternatus VMAX deck then you could also use it to grab Eternatus VMAX. After all, Piers will guarantee that you get Eternatus VMAX to start attacking. Especially if you are setting up a second Eternatus VMAX to attack. Simply grab your Eternatus VMAX and an Energy to continue your assault.
Bird Keeper is another card that you may want to consider. This card allow you to switch your active Pokemon with a benched Pokemon. If you do so then you can draw three cards.
It isn’t a strong effect but it can be used in a tight spot if you can’t use a Switch due to not having one or Vikavolt V has been used. In case you don’t know, Vikavolt V has an attack that prevents the use of Item cards from your hand. Either way, Bird Keeper could be used a nice switching option while drawing some cards.
Pokemon Breeder’s Nurturing
Pokemon Breeder’s Nurturing could be consider more of my personal favorite. Though I think the card could be useful. Especially if we are looking at a meta that is more focusing on evolving your V Pokemon into VMAX Pokemon. Pokemon Breeder’s Nurturing allows you to search your deck for two Pokemon that evolve from Pokemon on your field. You can then evolve those Pokemon.
If you have two Eternatus V in play then Pokemon Breeder’s Nurturing can make them both into Eternatus VMAX in a single swoop.
This card could also see play in decks that need to evolve Pokemon. If you are playing a fun Rare Fossil deck then Pokemon Breeder’s Nurturing can nurture those Rare Fossils into Pokemon in no time. Same for Unidentified Fossil.
Top Terrific Trainers
If you are looking forward to some top Trainer cards to add to your deck then here is a quick list to consider.
Turbo Patch allow you to attach a card from your Discard to any Pokemon you have in play as long as you get a heads on a coin flip.
I do not personally like it because it depends on getting heads. If you are lucky with coin flips then you will love this card. Those who constantly see tails may not want to play this card. Decks like Zacian could see this as another way to get a quick attack ready to go. Arceus, Dilga & Palkia GX decks would love to see Turbo Patch put an Energy on Zacian only for it to be Energy Switch on to them for a quick Alter Creation GX attack. Also, any V/VMAX Pokemon wouldn’t mind a heads on Turbo Patch.
If you want to go turbo and risk a coin flip then Turbo Patch is your card.
Cape of Toughness
Cape of Toughness will make any Pokemon feel like a Champion. After all, if you attach it to any non GX Pokemon then that Pokemon will gain 50 HP.
This will make it even harder to knockout VMAX Pokemon who already see HP hitting pass 300 HP. Without Tool Scrapper, Zacian V will not be able to two hit KO VMAX Pokemon. If you can fit in Cape of Toughness into your VMAX deck then it may be worth it. Expect to see more Tool Scrapper in decks to see some Pokemon use their fancy cape.
Though, if you are a V Pokemon who trying to avoid being one-hit KO by single prize attackers then you could see some use from Cape of Toughness. If you attach Cape of Toughness to Zacian V then it can’t be knockout by Volcanion from Unbroken Bonds when it uses High-Heat Blast after weakness.
If you are wanting to stop effects from hitting your bench then Big Parasol is your card. If your active Pokemon has Big Parasol then Pokemon on your bench are safe from effects of your opponent’s attacks that isn’t damage.
The first card that I can think about who will not like this will be Dragapult VMAX. That means no more spreading damage counters to the bench. Though, who knows how much Dragapult VMAX will be played once Eternatus VMAX moves in with his Eternal Zone.
Lastly, we want to talk about Glimwood Tangle. This Stadium card allows you to re-flip any coins from attacks.
It may not be a great idea to base your attack on a coin flip. Though, mil decks may want to consider this card. Especially if you want to pair it with the new Toxricity card from Darkness Ablaze. This Toxricity has an attack call Risk Taker.
For a single energy attachment, you can flip a coin. If you get heads then discard the top five cards of your opponent’s deck. If you flip tails then discard the top five cards from your deck. You wouldn’t want to flip tails but if you do then Glimwood Tangle can be there to help you reflip your coin and mil five cards from the top of your deck.
If you want to make sure you can get that heads then Will from Cosmic Eclipse will be glad to help you get that much needed Heads. That way you can discard five cards from your opponent’s deck. Maybe this combo with Toxricity, Glimwood Tangle and Will was why Bellelba & Brycen-Man was banned.
This set has a lot of promise to make some decks go on fire and the darkness to rise. Hopefully you find some luck in your pulls and get some great cards from Darkness Ablaze!