Meowscarda-ex – Scarlet & Violet
Date Reviewed: June 2, 2023
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Time for the fully evolved ex-counterparts of Paldean starters to show their full potential, starting with Meowscarada-ex (SV Paldea Evolved 15/193)! A Stage 2 Grass-type with 310 HP, Fire weakness, and a retreat cost of CC, it has an ability and an attack. Its Bouquet Magic ability states that you must discard a basic Grass energy from your hand in order to use that ability, and it lets you put three damage counters on one of your opponent’s Benched Pokemon. And its Scratching Nails attack costs CC for 100 damage, plus 120 damage if your opponent’s Active Pokemon already has any damage counters on it.
This kind of ability have seen some competitive success before. Placing free damage counters via ability means you haven’t used your attack yet! Additionally, it could open up to certain combos, which Meowscarada-ex is about to do, except for one thing: Bouquet Magic doesn’t target your opponent’s Active Pokemon. If your opponent has no Benched Pokemon, then the ability fails. In terms of the discard, I think you can discard a basic grass energy on a failed ability because of the “do as much as you can” rule. Anyhow, that means Scratching Nails won’t be able to deal extra damage since its own ability can’t target the opponent’s Active Pokemon, so you need other cards to help you deal extra damage. Boss’s Orders can drag the particular Benched Pokemon you’ve just placed damage counters on, and then Scratching Nails will do extra damage. What if your opponent has no Benched Pokemon? Inteleon’s (SWSH Chilling Reign 43/198) Quick Shooting lets you put 2 damage counters on any of your opponent’s Pokemon, even the Active Pokemon, so there would be less reliance of “gusting” the target. Although Inteleon is still Standard legal and is an easier way to get the bonus damage of Scratching Nails, you would have to have TWO different Stage 2 evolutionary lines in your deck, and that is way too demanding for the format.
Currently, this is the only Meowscarada card worth running if someone were to make a deck based on that Pokemon. The other Meowscarada (Scarlet & Violet 15/198) is unfortunately filler, and it does clash with other cards. While you may have 4 of each Meowscarada and 4 Meowscarada-ex, you only have four opportunities to evolve Sprigatito since you can only have four of them in your deck. Trick Cape might set your opponent back a little bit, but on their next turn, they’ll just reattach it to that same Pokemon or to someone else. And Flower Blast is not seeking for 2HKOs. Those kinds of attacks are what you would have seen on Theme Decks, which is what those baseline fully evolved Paldean starters would’ve been at. No decklist in Limitless featuring Meowscarada-ex, so either they didn’t use it or that they’ve tried but didn’t place. But because cards from Paldea Evolved are very new, some ideas haven’t emerged yet, though hopefully there is one.
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