Baxcalibur – Scarlet & Violet
Date Reviewed: June 1, 2023
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Baxcalibur (SV Paldea Evolved 60/193) is our fourth and final pre-release promo that we’ll be looking at today. A Stage 2 Water type with 160 HP, Metal Weakness, and a retreat cost of CC, it has an ability and an attack. Its Super Cold ability states that as often as you like during your turn, you may attach a basic Water energy from your hand to one of your Pokemon. And Buster Tail costs WWC for 130 damage without any effect.
So, it seems that Rain Dance variants are back, since Frosmoth (Sword & Shield 64/202) has rotated out. The wording may be slightly different, but most of the time, it won’t make a difference in the Standard format since there are no Special Energy cards with the Water energy icon on the top right corner. However, in Expanded, there is some Special Energies that has that icon such as Splash Energy (XY Breakpoint 113/122) and Wash W Energy (SWSH Vivid Voltage 165/185). Those special energies in Expanded can prove useful, especially Splash Energy, since it could conserve your entire Pokemon and its stages, but not the energies. Anyhow, unlimited energy acceleration is worthy of being a great ability, as it helps most Water and Colorless-type Pokemon meet their attack costs with ease. It also gets past some of the obstacles your opponent makes that causes you to send energies attached to your Pokemon to either your discard pile, deck, hand, or the Lost Zone. As long as you have enough Water energies in your hand to attach, you’ll be able to go from zero from attacking. What I wished I would still have in the Standard format is Capacious Bucket (SWSH Rebel Clash 156/192), since it also just rotated out, but it helps you search your deck for 2 Water Energies and put it onto your hand.
With Baxcalibur, Water based decks might emerge, somewhat. It could definitely help Gyarados-ex fulfill some of its extremely attack costs, especially since Tyrannical Tail costs FIVE energies! Quaquaval-ex might not need that support since their attacks costs W and WC respectively and has its own baseline Stage 2 Quaquaval that also provides extra (not infinite, but just enough) energy attachment. In this case, only having one Quaquaval’s Energy Carnival in play is sufficient for Quaquaval-ex to repeatedly use Corkscrew Shot turn after turn. Putting 2 energies attached to Quaquaval-ex might seem like a setback, but one use of Energy Carnival and your manual attachment would meet the attack cost once again. During the time when Quaquaval-ex has no energy attached, it’ll take much less damage from attacks that rely on having energies attached to Pokemon; Magnezone-ex Energy Crush would do no damage if no other Pokemon you have in play has any energies attached to them. And there’s also existing partners from the Sword and Shield series such as Ice Rider Calyrex VMAX and Lugia VSTAR that can unleash some of their expensive attacks. Overall, keep Baxcalibur in mind for Standard; the more it supports, the more it’ll see play.
For Expanded, it seems like Blastoise (BW Boundaries Crossed 31/149) might be ready for retirement as Baxcalibur has more HP and has a near-identical ability (minus the Special Energy attachment). It is also a legal target for Archie’s Ace in the Hole (XY Primal Clash 124/160) so that it can be played from the discard pile without the need for lower stages, which they don’t contribute much more (no abilities and just vanilla attacks) other than to just sit there and wait for a turn to use Rare Candy and hope they don’t get dragged into the Active Spot via Boss’s Orders. For Limited, not only you have the Baxcalibur promo, but also additionally the 3-2-1 line (effectively making the line 3-2-2 with the promo) as well as the Water-type Paldean Tauros. Other groups may clash with the Baxcalibur group and sometimes benefit from this ability. No Rare Candy there, so it’ll take a while to fully evolve.
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