Column: Why Charizard VMAX HR Might Never See a Release Outside of Asia

Published on 5 July 2020 at 17:00

It's going to be one of the most anticipated cards this Summer. An extremely limited Hyper Rare version of Charizard VMAX has been revealed last Friday. Only 600 cards will exist and will only be given out as Trophy cards in Japan during 'Shield Battle' Tournaments. Also a Full Art Charizard V card will be given out too for the Top 4, expect only 2400 cards to be released.

We expect alot of frustration and excitement for collectors in this hobby, since these will be hard to obtain. Not all of these 600 cards will be available to everybody for overseas collectors, because alot of the winners will probably hold onto these cards.

But we have noticed alot of collectors expect this specific Hyper Rare Charizard to be released in our Third upcoming August 2020 set Sword & Shield Darkness Ablaze. There is a low chance this card might come outside of Asia at all. Want to know the arguments? Well let's check it out. 

Note: It's confirmed the Regular VMAX Version will still come in Darkness Ablaze.

Shield Battle Promo's never released outside of Asia

We are looking back at the history of these Shield Battle Tournaments:


  • The first Shield Battle Tournament was held in 2017 during the SM3+ Shining Legends set. Players could win a SR version of The Masked Royal. This card is limited to 100 copies. 
  • The second Shield Battle Tournament was held in 2018 during the SM7a Thunderclap Spark set. Players could win a Hyper Rare version of Zekrom GX and the Top 4 could win a SR version of Zekrom GX. Zekrom GX HR is limited to 100 copies and the SR version is limited to 1000 copies.
  • The third Shield Battle Tournament was held in 2019 during the SM11a Remix Bout set. Players could win a Hyper Rare version of Mewtwo GX and the Top 4 could win a SR version of Mewtwo GX. Mewtwo GX HR is limited to 300 copies and the SR version is limited to 1200 copies (this I can't confirm, but it's expected).


What these cards all have in common, is that all of these cards, have never seen a release outside of Asia. Only Korea had these Shield Battle Tournaments too, actually these are much more rare than the Japanese versions. The Korean The Masked Royal SR only has 30 copies, and Mewtwo GX HR only 17 copies, and the Mewtwo GX SR version only 36. Zekrom GX HR and SR were released in Thailand and Indonesia as regular set cards. 

Why Charizard VMAX HR might not release in Darkness Ablaze

Some arguments by other collectors, is that Charizard will make TPCi alot of money. And that Charizard Gigantamax is being depicted on the Darkness Ablaze Boosterpack artwork. While both are true, that's in my opinion not a strong enough argument. 

Umbreon & Darkrai GX and Espeon & Deoxys GX are both featured on the Unified Minds Boosterpack artworks, but both GX cards don't have a higher rarity in the set. 

Japanese Starter Decks

All V Starter Deck cards (Celebi V, Victini V etc..) that were released before, have currently no Full Art cards in English. English Sword & Shield Base Set contains Japanese V Starter Deck Cards, and no Full Art cards before Japan does.

Let me give you a better example about the release pattern:

Weavile GX, Umbreon & Darkrai GX / Espeon & Deoxys GX and Jirachi GX were also TAG TEAM GX Starter Deck cards last year, they got their Full Art version only much later in SM12a Tag All Stars. Currently we only have the two Tag Team GX cards as Special Art promo's so far in the TAG TEAM Powers Box. We still don't have Full Art Jirachi GX and Weavile GX and we are still missing alot of SM12a Tag All Stars Full Art cards. These cards are expected to come as promo's later this year.

Expect these kind of Japanese Starter Deck / Promo cards to get Full Art treatment in special concept pack sets like October reprint slot sets (1 gx card per pack guaranteed) similar to SM8b GX Ultra Shiny, SM4+ GX Battle Boost, SM12a Tag All Stars and etc. The set for this year, could be the set after S4 Sword & Shield Astonishing Volt Tackle, S4a, the October slot.


There is a low chance they will throw in a Full Art card in our sets, that hasn't been released yet in Japan. And if it releases in Japan afterwards, high chance it will come as a promo card in seperate products afterwards in English.


Alot of frustration and excitement among (Charizard) fans will come, but you should be surprised if it releases outside of Asia, and not be surprised if it doesn't release in Darkness Ablaze. I did not expect these 2 promo's to be included in Darkness Ablaze anyway before Japan would get them first in a set. I personally did not expect these cards to be chosen as Shield Battle promo's, since it's Charizard. 


While there is always a chance it might get a release outside of Asia, please keep your expectations low. So far, all of the cards from the previous Shield Battles have not seen a release yet here. Only time will tell what will happen with these cards.

Add comment


4 years ago

* a lot

Lewis Bassett
4 years ago

I love darkness ablaze

Marvin Sousa
4 years ago

There must be a rainbow version especially when the zard is part of the artset