Quaquaval – Scarlet & Violet 54/198

Date Reviewed:
May 8, 2023

Ratings Summary:
Standard: 3
Expanded: 3
Limited: 5

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.

Reviews Below:

vince avatar

For this week, we’ll be looking at four Pre-release promos from the Build & Battle Kit of Scarlet & Violet, starting with Quaquaval (Scarlet & Violet 54/198, SV Promo 5), one of the fully evolved starters in the Paldea region! When looking at the TCG cards of those three final Paldea starters, while Meowscarada and Skeledirge has two attacks, Quaquaval has an ability and an attack, which seemed to gain the edge in terms of utility. Its Energy Carnival ability states that once during your turn, you can attach a Basic Energy from your hand to 1 of your Pokemon. It could be any basic energy, which could enable some decks to run multiple energy types if you wanted to, with Energy Search helping you fetch a certain energy type. Energy Carnival could lead to Quaquaval’s only attack, Hydro Kick, assuming if you’ve used the ability to attach a Basic Water Energy and manually attach Double Turbo Energy afterward, but it would only deal 120 damage instead of 140.

Similar abilities have seen some competitive success in the past, even if the ability doesn’t provide unlimited attachment (which usually gets restricted to a certain type). The only Pokemon I can think of at the moment that is similar to Energy Carnival is Gardevoir-GX with its Secret Spring ability, which lets you attach a Fairy Energy from your hand to 1 of your Pokemon. The reason why Gardevoir-GX was a great card at the time (it won 2017 Worlds) is because on top of its ability, it has the Infinite Force attack, which does 30 damage times the amount of Energy attach to both Active Pokemon. With at least a total of eight energies attached to both Gardevoir-GX and the Defending Pokemon, as well as the help of Choice Band, it secures OHKOs on any Pokemon in the game due to the maximum printed HP being 250 at the time. Quaquaval doesn’t have anything else besides the ability to double its role. It could’ve been made into a great attacker, but it needs other partners to take advantage of Energy Carnival. Alternatively, it could wait for another version of Quaquaval, which happens to be right around the corner in a few months. Might as well mention it anyways since that card was already revealed at the PokeBeach website months ago.

*** Upcoming card! ***

Quaquaval-ex, which appeared in Japanese’s Triple Beat expansion, will eventually come out in Paldea Evolved expansion. A Stage 2 Water-type with 320 HP, Lightning Weakness, and a retreat cost of 2, it has two attacks. Exciting Samba costs a single Water Energy and does 60 damage while having an effect which reminds me of mandatory Escape Rope: You switch your Active Pokemon with 1 of your Benched Pokemon while your opponent does the same. This might be somewhat helpful in both ways: If your opponent relies on abilities that only work when they’re in the Active Spot, then said Pokemon’s ability is temporarily offline, and you can avoid paying two energies to retreat. Corkscrew Shot costs WC for 230 damage and puts 2 energy from Quaquaval-ex into your hand. Both of its attacks are generously cheap, cheap enough that all it takes is a manual energy attachment and Energy Carnival to repeatedly attack with Corkscrew Shot that can 2HKO the entire game! Since I have excess copies of the baseline Quaquaval line due to opening several Build and Battle Kits, I’ll be definitely looking forward to getting my hands on the EX-counterpart. There’s only so much I can run, however, as both the EX-counterpart and this card evolves from Quaxly via Rare Candy. While you could run both 4 copies of today’s card and 4 Quaquaval-ex, only 4 Quaxly is allowed in a deck, so there’s only four opportunities to evolve. Maybe a 3-1 or 2-2 split should suffice. Until then, I’ll have to contend with possible partners that can take advantage of Energy Carnival.

Because Energy Carnival reminds me of Secret Spring, Quaquaval has some potential, and once its EX-counterpart eventually gets released, then you have just formed a dedicated Quaquaval deck! I don’t know how it would fare in Expanded, but I guess with increased counters and support, it would score the same as in Standard, but for different reasons. With Ditto Prism Star, you’ll have up to five opportunities to get your Quaquaval in play. For Limited, because Quaquaval is one of the four pre-release promos you can find inside the Build & Battle kit, you have just got a pre-constructed deck right out of the box. Other Pokemon that I saw besides Quaquaval varies: in one box, I got Tatsugiri/Dondozo alongside it. On another occasion, I acquired two Stage 2 lines at least twice (Pawmot/Quaquaval, Quaquaval/Vivillon)! In short, you’ll definitely run this entire evolutionary line.


Standard: 3/5
Expanded: 3/5
Limited: 5/5

Quaquaval doesn’t seem to do much, but it does enough that I would consider playing a “Quaquaval Deck” no matter what their competitive success would be.

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