Your ultimate guide to understanding Baxcalibur’s performance in PvP and PvE battles, including details about its stats, comparison with other dragon heavyweights, and its competitive profile in Pokémon GO.
With the start of the Ultra Unlock: Paldea event, Pokémon GO trainers from all around the world will get the opportunity to catch more species from the Paldean region.
After adding the three starters and Lechonk (hopefully a shiny) to their Pokédex, trainers are particularly looking forward to catching the Gen 9 pseudo legendary Pokémon: Baxcalibur.
This Godzilla-esque monster has the highest ATK and HP of all pseudo legendaries in the Main Series Games but unfortunately, it got hit with the dreaded 9% nerf in Pokémon GO. In fact, it’s the only pseudo to get this baneful ‘honor’ and now, it’s in the game with nerfed stats.
But does it mean Baxcalibur is bad? Does it do better than the Dragon/Ice legendary Kyurem? And ultimately, will it wreak havoc in PvP and PvE battles?
We’ll get into all of that and more as we analyze Baxcalibur in detail and find out if it shatters the meta. So, let’s begin!
Baxcalibur type and match-ups
Baxcalibur is a Dragon/Ice Pokémon and is the only second line of species (along with Frigibax and Arctibax) to have this type combination after Kyurem.
With this type combo, it resists the Electric, Grass, and Water types and its weaknesses include the Dragon, Fairy, Fighting, Rock, and Steel types.
Here’s Baxcalibur’s stat distribution in Pokémon GO:
|Level 40 CP 3550 | Level 50 CP 4013
|Dragon Fairy Fighting Rock Steel
|Dragon Grass Ground
Key takeaways from Baxcalibur’s type and stats
Baxcalibur’s defensive profile is not exactly something to boast about. Its Defense stat is passable and when you add the fact that its five weaknesses are pretty exploitable in PvP, one would assume that it wouldn’t do much in battles.
But hey, that 229 HP stat is nothing to sneeze at! We have seen other mons with low DEF, and a combination of high ATK + HP work in the Master League (take Excadrill for instance). However, just like Excadrill, that would come down to the moveset.
Before we get to Bax’s moves, it’s worth mentioning that Ice is actually a pretty neat offensive type as it takes out the powerful Dragon, Ground, , and an ML-relevant Grass type like Zarude.
Moreover, not only does Bax lack a double weakness (remember, ‘4x weakness’ doesn’t exist in Pokémon GO just like immunities don’t), but it’s not weak to the Ice type like other dragons running rampant in PvP.
In a nutshell, Baxcalibur is not wasted from a typing perspective and does have something going for it. So cheers to that!
Now, let’s get to perhaps the most important factor for a mon in Pokémon GO: its moveset.
Baxcalibur learns the following moves in Pokémon GO:
Okay, okay… Baxcalibur got it good, yeah!
It actually got treated well by Niantic and received a moveset it can use in both PvP and PvE. Now, that’s rare! For instance, Metagross and Hydreigon were pretty much useless before their Community Day and that’s not the case with Baxcalibur.
Let’s dig into each move.
Right off the bat, Dragon Breath is a fantastic PvP move in general and for a Dragon mon with impressive stats, it gels well with Baxcalibur. With a [DPT/EPT] (Damage Per Turn and Energy Per Turn, folks) of [4.00/3.00] and a cooldown of 1s, Dragon Breath is a smooth Fast Move to use, designed to function like a surgeon’s knife in contrast to Dragon Tail’s butchering style.
Ice Fang, on the other hand, comes with a [DPT/EPT] of [4.00/2.50] and a cooldown of 1s, being a tad shy of Dragon Breath in EPT. While it’s good, Dragon Breath edges out as the better Fast Move in general and also gets better coverage by dealing unresisted damage against 16 of the 18 Pokémon types.
When it comes to PvE, the tables turn as Ice Fang has a better EPS (13.33) than Dragon Breath (12.00) although the former’s cooldown is a whole 1s higher.
Outrage and Dragon Claw, eh? In PvP, Dragon Claw is the clear choice as it is way cheaper and can be used to bait shields while also being capable of dealing good damage. This is, in fact, the evergreen success formula of Dragonite, and Baxcalibur can take advantage of the same.
Outrage is the clear winner in PvE but you would want Dragon Tail in order to achieve good synergy. Since that’s not in the equation and the fact that its ATK stat is not that high, Baxcalibur’s Dragon type profile shifts solely to PvP.
Avalanche and Blizzard? This is a no-brainer.
Avalanche is one of the best Ice moves, be it PvP or PvE. In PvP, it deals a respectable 90 damage at just 45 energy and is a 2-bar Charged Move with the same 90 damage output.
What is Baxcalibur’s best moveset?
Baxcalibur’s best PvP moveset is Dragon Breath with Dragon Claw and Avalanche.
Dragon Breath and Claw work like toast and butter, putting pressure on opponents to use shields while Avalanche is a powerful closing move.
Baxcalibur’s best PvE moveset is Ice Fang with Avalanche.
Ice Fang and Avalanche form a perfect Ice duo, making Baxcalibur excel in the PvE meta. Bax would have also done decently good as a Dragon if it had got Outrage but then its ATK stat of 254 anyway wouldn’t have let it be a top dog.
That said, Baxcalibur has a signature move in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet: Glaive Rush. Making that move OP and adding it to Bax’s moveset in, say, its eventual Community Day could propel it to the upper echelon of Dragon types as long as it gets phenomenal stats. We’ll come to more of this later in the article, so hang on!
But nonetheless, it’s one of the best Ice Pokémon you can get. So hooray for that!
Pro tip! You can go ahead and give it Dragon Breath + Dragon Claw and Avalanche, and use a single Fast TM to get Ice Fanf to complement its PvE duties.
Performance in PvE
Pokémon Go trainers usually get the shorter end of the stick when it comes to PvE so, it’s not every day that they get the luxury of having a PvE-relevant mon in the game.
But PvE enthusiasts have scored big with Baxcalibur as this new pseudo legendary is all set to be a top-notch Ice type in the meta!
It trails behind only Galarian Darmanitan (including the Zen mode) and Shadow Mamoswine and has superior TDO (Total Damage Output) than either, making it a highly reliable Ice Pokémon.
However, Excalibur is a double-edged sword (get it? The, umm, sword on its back haha). While it’s cool (no pun intended) to use Baxcalibur against those pesky Dragon Raid Bosses who are double weak to Ice attacks like Rayquaza or Salamence, there is a problem. You see, Baxcalibur, unlike other common Ice Pokémon, is weak to Dragon type attacks. So, you must use it with caution and dodge those hard-hitting super-effective moves.
Performance in PvP (Master League)
Baxcalibur’s typing, stats, and moveset make it a legitimate threat in the Master League meta. Like most dragons, it will have its struggles against Fairy types although it can beat the formidable Togekiss in shieldless situations.
Other impressive wins in the (0-0) scenario include Dragon Breath Gyarados, Palkia, Mewtwo, Excadrill, the expected Groudon and Kyogre, Snorlax, Dragon Tail Garchomp, Mamoswine, Swampert, etc.
In the traditional (1-1) shield scenario, the profile isn’t too different from (0-0). It loses the bout against Togekiss and trades the previous W against Dragon Tail Chomp for the Mud Shot one.
And finally, the tricky (2-2) isn’t too favorable for Bax as it loses many of the battles it won in (0-0) and (1-1) as it’s reliant on Dragon Breath only, something that Dragonite excels in. Moreover, in a bout against Dnite, the Gen 1 pseudo takes the CMP (Charge Move Priority) due to its higher ATK stat than Baxcalibur.
Pro tip! Try to use Baxcalibur as a switch-in or a closer when one or two shields are down, and try to avoid using it as a lead.
Comparison with Glaciate Kyurem
Baxcalibur’s underwhelming outing in the (2-2) shield scenario is a good example to consider when comparing it with Kyurem.
Baxcalibur hits harder than Kyurem and has a lower bulk but what’s interesting here is that both these icy dragons are Dragon Breath + Dragon Claw abusers (with Bax getting the CMP here). But what truly makes Kyurem the victor here is the fact that it has a better Ice type closing move.
Look, Avalanche is great, no doubt about that. 90 DMG at 45 energy is incredible when you see that Glaciate deals 60 DMG at 40 energy. But here’s the catch: Glaciate guarantees an opponent ATK debuff by one stage.
Despite the fact that on paper Avalanche is the better move, with 1.5x damage potential at just 5 more energy, Glaciate is the more useful move.
So even if your opponent uses a shield, their ATK is going down, y’all! This ultimately makes Kyurem more resourceful and thus, the better of the two.
But hey, at least Baxcalibur’s back is strong enough to carry a huge ‘sword’ while Kyurem is a hunchback with a chronic backpain, who probably needs a chiropractor.
But you know what Baxcalibur needs? A new move!
Baxcalibur: Will the Dragon rise?
It’s not so Farfetch’d to give Baxcalibur Breaking Swipe! I mean, the latest and MASSIVE GBL move rebalance gave this very move to many folks and Baxcalibir should receive it in the near future.
Because with Breaking Swipe, Baxcalibur gets the caliber to be an absolute unit in the Master League, clearly dominating the (2-2) shield scenario where it kinda suffers now, and even shows the middle claw to Kyurem, hehe.
“Rush.” Well, I’m still sad that Niantic was lazy enough to not give a brand-new Dragon Rush to Garchomp on its Community Day but Game Freak also hasn’t given Dragon Dance to Garchomp yet and took off Scale Shot from its Gen 9 movepool, and umm, Garchomp has been hanging on a thread in OU and… *sniff*… oh, sorry… the competitive Pokémon player in me got carried away but… yes! Baxcalibur!
So for those who don’t play competitive or the mainline games, Glaive Rush is a clone of Outrage in damage and accuracy but it comes with a catch. So when Bax hits its signature Glaive Rush ala Godzilla, it becomes vulnerable and will receive double the damage in the next turn.
So technically, it is a better Outrage with no ‘side effects’ if Bax KOs the next opponent after Glaive Rush, leaving no “next turn” for the opponent to exploit. 😉 But yes, it’s kid of analogous to having its DEF drop in the turn after it has used Glaive Rush.
Now, if I were to create a hypothetical Glaive Rush for Pokémon Go, it should be something along the lines of this:
Damage: 110/100 ( same as Outrage)
Energy cost: 50 (Instead of Outrage’s 60)
Debuffs user’s Defense stat by two stages (to reflect the fact that Glaive Rush leaves Bax susceptible to double the damage)
Yes, this is wishful thinking (so please don’t bonkers on me in the comments, huh) but hey, it is practical, right? It would also make Baxcalibur a biggggeeerrrrr threat in battles.
If Glaive Rush comes alive, great! Even something with different stats would do as long as it’s better than Outrage.
Comparison with other pseudo legendary dragons
One important thing to note about Baxcalibur is that it’s good!
Dragonite is arguably the most threatening Dragon pseudo in the Master League, and beats Baxcalibur in the Dragon Breath/Claw game by numbers.
Garchomp comes next, offering nice flexibility with two very different playstyles with Mud Shot/Earth Power/Outrage and Dragon Tail/Sand Tomb/Outrage.
And then, we have Baxcalibur, even without any exclusive move! Yes, it’s better than Hydreigon in PvP as the latter suffers from the lack of a usable second Charged Move.
Kommo-o is pretty good but its potential remains to be explored further while Goodra can go absolutely insane with Breaking Swipe (June 2024 Community Day maybe?)
But the fact of the matter is that Baxcalibur is pretty impressive without its future CD move and while it won’t be breaking the meta, it’s definitely worth building one. Bonus points for Baxcalibur’s great PvE potential!
And that’s all you need to know about Baxcalibur in Pokémon Go PvP and PvE as Godchilla makes its debut in the game.