Lucario makes an appearance as a V Pokémon in the new V Starter Decks, with the Fighting-type that may be relevant going forward - and to anyone that remembers Buzzwole-GX, you’ll find Lucario V’s attacks familiar. For 1 Fighting Energy, [Aura Sphere] deals 40 damage to your opponent’s Active Pokémon and 20 damage to one of their Benched Pokémon. This is great for setting up damage for KOs later in the game. [Beat Smash], for 2 Fighting and 1 Colorless Energy, deals 180 damage, but cannot be used during your next turn. However, cards like Mallow & Lana, Switch and, Bird Keeper can reset this effect, meaning you can use [Beat Smash] turn after turn. Lucario’s Fighting-type also means it also has access to energy acceleration from Coalossal RCL, as well as cards like Karate Belt and Martial Arts Dojo. This, along with hitting the infamous Eternatus VMAX for Weakness means that Lucario is a real contender in the metagame.
Fire decks can use Incineroar V as a new attacker in Fire toolbox-style decks with a great setup attack, as well as another attack that hits for huge damage. The first attack, [Grand Flame], allows you to deal 90 damage as well as attach up to 2 Fire Energy from your discard pile to one of your Benched Pokémon. This is great if you have had to discard Energy early on in the game to help get your attackers set up, but also in the late game to make sure you can close out the deal. Then, for 3 Fire and 1 Colorless Energy, [Flare Driver] deals 220 damage - at the minor expense of dealing 30 damage to yourself. This is a great number to hit as it will KO almost all of the V Pokémon we have in the game! Whether you need to set up your other attackers or KO some unevolved V Pokémon, Incineroar V can fill both roles perfectly.
Wailord V is another V Pokémon currently exclusive to these decks. Wailord boasts an absolutely massive 280 HP, the largest number of hit points on a Basic V Pokémon to date! This makes Wailord a tough Pokémon to deal with, and you may have to get through THREE of them to draw all six of your Prize cards! Its first attack, [Pump Up,] lets you attach up to 3 Water Energy from your discard pile to Wailord, which synergises very well with the second attack which requires 4 Water Energy to use. [Ocean Wave] lets you flip three coins, dealing 120 damage for each heads to the opponent’s Active Pokémon. That means that not only does Wailord V have massive HP, but it can also KO even the biggest VMAX Pokémon in the game in just a single attack.
Duraludon V is another great new defensive V Pokémon that looks to find its way onto Metal teams. The Ability [Hard Coat] reduces all damage done to Duraludon by 30, which in combination with some of the other defensive options that Metal Pokémon can use, such as Metal Core Barrier and Metal Goggles, can make Duraludon absolutely difficult to KO. [Gatling Slug] is its attack, which deals 10 damage plus 40 more for each Metal Energy attached to Duraludon V. With cards like Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX, Metal Saucer, and Duraludon RCL, the damage can ramp up quickly and potentially KO any Pokémon your opponent may have on the board!
The V Starter Decks releases in Japan on 10 July 2020. With defensive options like Wailord V, Duraludon V, and Altaria (which has the [Miracle Guard] Ability, preventing damage from all GX and V Pokémon), as well as great attackers like Lucario V and Incineroar V, there certainly are some hidden gems in these decks!