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Pokémon Card Game: V & VMAX Card Differences Explained

The Pokémon Trading Card Game has integrated Dyanamax and Gigantamax mechanics from Sword and Shield with the addition of V and VMAX cards.

There are many different ways to enjoy the Pokémon game series, and while fans have played Pokémon video games, the Pokémon Trading Card Game is arguably just as well known. Released in 1996, the Pokémon TCG has remained a popular way for Pokémon fans to come together and take each other on in battle. Players can collect cards from each of the series’ 8 different regions, and there are many playstyle mechanics that have been adapted into the TCG over the years. This includes the most recent card variants, V and VMAX.

Special cards have gone through numerous changes over the years, ranging from EX and GX to new V-Union four-card sets. V and VMAX cards were introduced to the Pokémon TCG alongside Pokémon Sword and Shield. The VMAX cards are meant to mimic Dynamax and Gigantamax mechanics that appear in the Galar region. This special battle style allows a player to super-size their Pokémon when battling over a Power Spot in the Sword and Shield games. Power Spots aren’t needed in the TCG, however. Instead, players only need to pull a V and VMAX card to take advantage of a giant Pokémon’s powerful abilities during a battle.

Related: Why Pokémon TCG’s Birthday Pikachu Card Was Banned In Tournaments

The V-style Pokémon TCG cards are similar to previous variants like EX from Pokémon X and Y cards. All V Pokémon are considered “Basic” and can be played without evolution, even if the Pokémon is a 2nd or 3rd evolution. For example, Charizard V doesn’t need a Charmander and Charmeleon to be played first. Pokémon V cards possess higher HP than an average Pokémon card and usually have powerful move sets and abilities. If a V card is knocked out, the opponent will take 2 prize cards instead of one. Like EX, GX, or other variant cards in the TCG, V cards have a different appearance than standard Pokémon cards. The art can be full-body or just a portion of the Pokémon, and the cards have a holofoil element in their designs. For those interested more in collecting than playing, V cards are typically worth more than regular cards – but aren’t as valuable as VMAX.

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Unlike V cards, the VMAX Pokémon TCG cards work as an evolution. To VMAX, players must place that card on top of a V card. For example, in order to play a Toxtricity VMAX, a player must first place a Toxtricity V card on their bench or as their active Pokémon, and then evolve that Toxtricity V into a Toxtricity VMAX. Like V cards, VMAX Pokémon get another boost in HP and can deal devastating damage to an opponent. However, playing these cards can be a risky move. When knocked out, a player’s opponent will take 3 Prize cards, which can be devastating and offer the opponent a solid lead, if not instantly winning the match.

While VMAX cards are usually rarer and worth more than V cards, both are necessary for playing the Pokémon TCG. However, collectors may only be interested in VMAX, since these cards are harder to obtain and thus more valuable. Additionally, Ultra Rare variants of V and VMAX cards exist in most Sword and Shield TCG expansions and are worth even more money. These typically feature different and full artwork from the standard V and VMAX cards, but they’re incredibly rare.

To obtain V or VMAX Pokémon Cards, players will want to purchase packs or sets from the Pokémon Sword and Shield TCG collection. V and VMAX cards can be found inside boosters, as part of pre-built decks, or as promo cards in special box sets for the Pokémon TCG. There are currently a large number of Pokémon species available in the Pokémon series to select from, giving players a range of different types to battle with. This can accommodate almost any deck a fan would like to play – and with more Sword and Shield expansions due in the future, the list of available V and VMAX cards continues to grow.

Next: Can Old Pokémon TCG Cards Be Used With Current Rules?

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