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[Analysis] Currently released Paldean Pokemon as raid attackers: Baxcalibur, Starters, and more

September 17, 2023 - Teban54
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TL;DR

Baxcalibur is good, but absolutely not worth the rarity.

  • #1 non-shadow non-mega ice attacker, narrowly surpassing Galarian Darmanitan and Mamoswine, but doesn’t mean much when Shadow Mamoswine is way better (and more common).
  • Underwhelming as a dragon. Even though it can often use Avalanche in place of Outrage, it still falls behind regular Dragonite.

Starters: Meowscarada is the most impactful today (without a CD move), while Quaquaval has the greatest future value.

  • Meowscarada – even with Grass Knot – is already a great grass attacker right now, basically a clone of pre-buff Roserade. Very useful for new players, especially those who missed Chespin CD. But it will never exceed post-buff Magical Leaf Roserade, even with Frenzy Plant.
  • Quaquaval isn’t too great now, but once it gets a CD, Hydro Cannon will do it wonders. Better than Greninja and Primarina (though just barely), and almost catches up with Origin Pulse Kyogre. The big question is if we’ll get it before Gen 8’s Inteleon.
  • Skeledirge‘s stats distribution isn’t a good fit for raids. Even Blast Burn won’t elevate it above mediocre starters of earlier generations.

Pawmot and Bombirdier should have been budget Electric and Flying attackers in theory, but have little practical relevance (see below for details).

My analyses of other types are in this spreadsheet. You can also follow me on Twitter (X) and Threads!

Note: This post does not contain any unreleased Pokemon from Paldea. All non-legendary non-Paradoxes have preliminary movesets in the Game Master, but I can’t write on all of them, and most are not very notable in today’s raid scene.

Baxcalibur

Ice attackers ranked by their average in-raid performance, using ASE and ASTTW.
Dragon attackers ranked by their average in-raid performance, using ASE and ASTTW.

Chart with ASE and ASE Dodge can be found here: Ice, Dragon.

Unfortunately, Baxcalibur got the 9% stats nerf (after we thought it wouldn’t).

Despite the nerf, it still became the #1 non-shadow non-mega ice attacker (Ice Fang/Avalanche), narrowly outperforming Galarian Darmanitan and Mamoswine. But the difference is so small that it’s really not worth it.

  • Baxcalibur has slightly lower DPS than G-Darmanitan, but better bulk. They’re very similar in TTW, but Baxcalibur pulls ahead in Estimator.
  • Shadow Mamoswine exists, and laughs at Baxcalibur.

Where the nerf really hurts it, though, is its viability as a dragon attacker.

  • You always want Dragon Breath, but the charged move choice is intriguing.
    • Whenever dragon and ice are both super effective, use Dragon Breath/Avalanche. (This happens fairly often, as most dragon-type raid bosses are also weak to ice.)
    • For bosses that aren’t weak to ice, such as Palkia and Reshiram, you’ll mostly go with Outrage.
  • But even with the help from Avalanche, Baxcalibur is almost always worse than Dragonite.
  • In the less ideal scenario where only Outrage can be used (bottom line on the chart), it’s even worse than Latios.
    • Chart notes: On the chart, the Baxcalibur and Kyurem lines are averages across all bosses, including those weak to ice (where they use ice charged moves) and those not weak to ice (where they use dragon charged moves). Glaciate Kyurem benefits more in the weak-to-ice scenario, being among the pack of many non-Rayquaza dragons.

For most people who can afford it, the practical use of Baxcalibur is restricted to bosses with a double weakness to ice: Rayquaza, Landorus, and a few notable megas. Not very impressive for an uber rare pseudo-legendary.

Starters: Meowscarada, Skeledirge and Quaquaval

Meowscarada

Grass attackers ranked by their average in-raid performance, using ASE and ASTTW.

Chart with ASE and ASE Dodge can be found here.

Surprisingly, the grass cat is already relevant today – being a clone of the pre-buff Roserade, before the latter got Magical Leaf.

  • This puts it as the #2 non-legendary non-shadow non-mega grass attacker, and #6 if you include legendaries.
  • If you missed Chespin Community Day, definitely pay attention!
  • Meowscarada is quite glassy, though – it has almost the same bulk as Roserade. Its improvement from Tsareena, Chesnaught and Tangrowth is also small to negligible, and likely typing-dependent. No need to completely replace those bulky CD Chesnaughts by any means.

Meowscarada’s future prospects aren’t as impressive, however.

  • Even Frenzy Plant Meowscarada, which will likely take at least 2-4 years, only ties Magical Leaf Roserade – which is available right now. Not much reason to wait that long for it.
  • Gen 8’s Rillaboom is also even more OP. FP Rillaboom approaches grass-type shadows, and blows Meowcarada out of water. The question is whether Gen 8 or Gen 9 starters have CDs first.
  • Obligatory “Level 30 Kartana exists”.

Quaquaval

Water attackers ranked by their average in-raid performance, using ASE and ASTTW.

Chart with ASE and ASE Dodge can be found here.

In contrast to Meowscarada, Quaquaval does a lot better on the future front. Once it gets Hydro Cannon, it may become the best regular non-legendary water type.

  • HC Quaquaval > Greninja.
  • HC Quaquaval > HC Primarina, although just barely.
    • The very small difference could make the extra 2-year wait much less practical, though.
  • Quaquaval is even not far from Origin Pulse Kyogre levels.

A concern is that Quaquaval also faces threats from Galar, just like Meowscarada does. Gen 8’s Inteleon is an insane glass cannon, even better than Origin Pulse Kyogre, and well above Meowscarada. Quaxly needs to get a CD before Sobble in order to not be outclassed on arrival.

Skeledirge

Fire attackers ranked by their average in-raid performance, using ASE and ASTTW.

Chart with ASE and ASE Dodge can be found here.

I didn’t expect much from 207 base attack (lowest of any fire starter), and I’m still disappointed.

Skeledirge has somewhat defensive stats. This helps it get immediate relevance in PvP, but not in raids. Even after Blast Burn, it will still be only on par with the “worst” of all fire starters, like Typhlosion and Infernape.

  • It’s also worse than Flareon. Ouch.
  • The extra bulk may help it in niche occasions, but I doubt it matters much.

“Budget” attackers: Pawmot and Bombirdier

Electric attackers ranked by their average in-raid performance, using ASE.

I made a chart for Pawmot mostly because it’s convenient for me (I’m covering electric in 3 consecutive articles). It can technically be a budget attacker for those very new players with nothing else, but Vikavolt is better in that role, and it’s having a CD next weekend.

Bombirdier technically shows up on the Flying-type charts, but in a similar position as Pawmot – it’s below Unfezant and above Toucannon. Lmao.

  • Staraptor and Honchkrow are much better non-legendary fliers than all of these.
  • To be fair, that’s a pretty impressive achievement for Bombirdier, which only has 198 base attack and low bulk. It benefits from the charged move Fly, an OP move, and it’s only the second released Pokemon that got it (the other being Flying Pikachu). But with such low stats, even an OP move can only do so much.
  • Would have been at least good for new players if it wasn’t raid-exclusive. As it is, almost no reason to invest as a raid attacker.

Miscellaneous Notes

  • Yes, Mega Gardevoir with Triple Axel shows up on ice-type charts. It becomes the best ice-type mega in solo power, thanks to the actual ice-type megas being rather lame. However, it doesn’t provide the ice-type mega boost.
    • Major edit: Seems that Mega Gardevoir is overinflated on this chart, and isn’t nearly as good in practice. The chart actually shows the best of all fast moves, not just Charge Beam. See this comment for details.
  • None of the starters have relevance in raids in their secondary types (yet). They don’t even have STAB fast moves for them, and even if they did, their stats are too far behind.

Minor note: Due to Pokebattler bugs, all simulations in this analysis are without friendship boost (as opposed to best friends that I’ve used in the past).

What’s next?

A quick analysis/charts of Vikavolt before its CD.

  • Spark vs. Volt Switch (CD move) is again the question. Spark is still better on average, but it may be slightly different from Magnezone due to different charged moves, so I need to check.

A consolidated chart with every type will probably be out afterwards, as well as a note on some long-term changes.

Past analyses on other types

A complete list of all my past analyses – on every single type other than normal – can now be found in this spreadsheet!

You can also follow me on Twitter (X) and Threads! I often post sneak peeks of WIP articles before they go live.

Baxcalibur
Bombirdier
dragon pve
dragon raid pokemon
dragon types
electric pve
electric raid pokemon
electric types
fire pve
fire raid pokemon
Fire types
Frigibax
Fuecoco
Gen 9
grass pve
grass raid pokemon
Grass types
ice pve
ice raid pokemon
Ice types
Meowscarada
Paldea
Pawmi
Pawmot
PvE
Quaquaval
Quaxly
raid attackers
Skeledirge
Sprigatito
water pve
water raid pokemon
Water types

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