Does Baxcalibur Hold a Candle to Other Pseudo-Legendary Pokémon?
After viewing the feed on my tablet, I came across an article titled "Pokémon Scarlet and Violet's Baxcalibur Doesn't Hold a Candle to Other Pseudolegendary Pokémon" published on Gamerant written by a writer named Smangaliso Simelane. I went to the article hoping to read a thorough, well-written opinion piece on how Baxcalibur is simply not as viable as the other so-called "pseudo-legendary" Pokémon that predated it. However, perhaps I open these articles giving many of these writers too much credit. Instead, the article made me wonder if they simply hire anybody to write Pokémon articles, as Simelane clearly has no idea what he's talking about. Contrary to what the article mentions, Baxcalibur is actually a very powerful Pokémon for having a good typing, the capability of being an absolutely devastating wallbreaker, and setup sweeper, which proves that it definitely does "hold a candle" to other "pseudo-legendary" Pokémon, and here's why.
To kick things off, not only does it take Simelane a full five paragraphs to finally mention the supposed issues and weaknesses that Baxcalibur has, but his first argument that Baxcalibur "doesn't hold a candle to other pseudo-legendary Pokémon" is that Baxcalibur is "held back by its typing." His reasoning is that despite Dragon-type Pokémon being notoriously powerful, largely because of their few weaknesses, "it becomes easy to slay a mighty dragon when those weaknesses are exploited," which is ridiculous and is a terrible argument for many reasons. Firstly, it can become "easy" to defeat any given Pokémon after exploiting its weaknesses. Simply because a weakness can be exploited does not mean that the Pokémon "doesn't hold a candle" to others. Secondly, as a Dragon/Ice-type Pokémon, Baxcalibur has five weaknesses, which are Fighting, Rock, Steel, Dragon, and Fairy-type moves.
This automatically renders it superior to Tyranitar defensively, at least in terms of type-matchups, compared to another 600 Club Pokémon, who has seven weaknesses, which are to Ground, Bug, Steel, Water, Grass, Fairy, and a double weakness to Fighting-type moves. Dragonite and Salamence, both being Dragon/Flying types, have four weaknesses, which are to Dragon, Rock, Fairy, and a double weakness to Ice. Another 600 Club member, Metagross, which is Psychic/Steel, has four weaknesses: Ground, Ghost, Fire, and Dark. Garchomp has only three weaknesses, which are to Fairy, Dragon, and a double weakness to Ice. Hydregion, a Dragon/Dark-type Pokémon, also has five weaknesses, which are to Fighting, Dragon, Bug, Ice, and a double weakness to Fairy-type moves. Goodra, being the only pure Dragon-type member of the 600 Club, has only three weaknesses, which are to Ice, Fairy, and Dragon. Kommo-o, a Dragon/Fighting-type Pokémon, also has five weaknesses, which are to Psychic, Dragon, Ice, Flying, and a double weakness to Fairy. Lastly, Galar's Dragapult, a Dragon/Ghost-type Pokémon, also has five weaknesses, which are to Ghost, Dragon, Ice, Dark, and Fairy. This means that, on average, the 600 Club has 4.5 weaknesses. Five weaknesses is not far off from the average at all, meaning that, compared to other members of the 600 Club, Baxcalibur isn't too far off.
In addition, Baxcalibur is superior to many of them defensively in terms of weaknesses because it doesn't have any double weaknesses. As for its type combination as a whole, it is pretty good. Being Dragon/Ice, it is able to hit Ground, Grass, Dragon, and Flying-type Pokémon super effectively with STAB. While this only covers around 29% of all Pokémon in the game, it still isn't too bad, as it's not too far off from the average type-combination coverage of around 33%. Defensively, Baxcalibur resists Water, Grass, and Electric types, and is hit neutrally by Ice-type moves, which are a common weakness for Dragon-type Pokémon. Interestingly enough, the writer mentioned that "Baxcalibur's typing leaves it neutral to other Ice-types and fortunately makes it strong against other dragons." Baxcalibur would have been effective against other Dragons regardless of its secondary Ice-typing because the Dragon-type is extremely effective against other Dragon-type Pokémon. It is almost as if Simelane has very little experience playing Pokémon.
Furthermore, Simelane criticizes Baxcalibur's signature Ability, Thermal Exchange, which boosts Baxcalibur's Attack stat by one stage after getting hit by a Fire-type attack and prevents Baxcalibur from being afflicted with a burn status condition. Simelane mentions that this Ability is not useful because Baxcalibur is not weak to Fire-type moves, which means the opponent is unlikely to use a Fire-type move against it. Switching Pokémon during battle, on the other hand, plays a significant role in the game. To use Baxcalibur's Ability to its full potential, it is better to switch in Baxcalibur to take a Fire-type attack and have the ability activate rather than rely on the opponent to hit it with a Fire-type attack directly. This could be achieved much easier if the Pokémon targeted for attack before switching is weak to Fire, and if done in Snowscape, Baxcalibur would take less damage if the Fire-type move was a physical attack considering that the snow increases the Defense of Ice-type Pokémon by 50%. Ironically, if you held a candle to Baxcalibur, it might actually trigger its Ability.
On the other hand, Simelane also claims that other pseudo-legendary Pokémon have superior signature Abilities and the main Ability he cites is Goodra's Gooey Ability. Somehow, Simelane believes that Goodra's Gooey Ability is better than Baxcalibur's Thermal Exchange because it causes a Pokémon to have its Speed lowered by one stage after hitting it with an attack that causes contact. Firstly, although Goodra is a tank in terms of Special Defense, Goodra's physical Defense leaves a lot to be desired at only 70. Moves that make contact are, more often than not, physical attacks, and Goodra likely wouldn't survive many physical attacks in the first place to make good use of Gooey. Thus, Goodra's best Ability is actually Sap Sipper, an Ability that negates all Grass-type moves used against it and instead boosts its Attack stat by one stage. Not only does this make Goodra a stronger attacker, but it can also negate annoying yet powerful Grass-type moves such as Spore. It amazes me how the writer knows little of the Abilities that he claims to be superior to Baxcalibur's Ability.
Additionally, albeit Simelane mentions that Baxcalibur "doesn't hold a candle" to other pseudo-legendary Pokémon, Baxcalibur actually has the highest base Attack stat compared to all others in the 600 Club, with 145. Its extremely high Attack stat, which is on par with major legendary Pokémon, combined with its Ability Thermal Exchange, makes Baxcalibur a fearsome wallbreaker. With a base stat of 145 Attack, Baxcalibur could potentially have a maximum Attack of 427. When combined with its Ability and the activation of its Ability, Baxcalibur's Attack would be multiplied by 1.5, making its Attack approximately 640. Additionally, Baxcalibur can learn Dragon Dance, which can multiply not only its Attack, but also its Speed by 1.5. This makes Baxcalibur not only a fearsome wallbreaker that can deal massive damage, but also a physical setup sweeper that can KO anything in its path. Glaive Rush, its signature attack, is a Dragon-type attack with 100% accuracy and 120 base power, with the only drawback that the opponent's next attack will always hit the user and deal double damage in the next turn. However, this could easily be circumvented with Protect. Therefore, Baxcalibur is a highly efficient offensive powerhouse that definitely holds a candle to the other members of the 600 Club.
Finally, Simelane ends his ridiculous article by claiming that none of this means that Baxcalibur is not competitively viable and advises players not to be tempted by its creative design and use it strategically instead. He also claims that Pokémon with high base stats aren't always enough to gain a competitive edge. While all this might be true, nothing in his article mentioned how Baxcalibur supposedly "doesn't hold a candle" to other Pokémon in its class. He made no meaningful comparisons to the others of the 600 Club. Instead, he only showed the reader that he lacks knowledge on the importance of switching Pokémon in battle and how doing so can trigger Abilities, the viability of certain Abilities in general, and doesn't understand roles that Pokémon can have on a team and how it can make them extremely useful compared to others. That being said, I believe that if writers are hired to talk about Pokémon, or any video game for that matter, they should at the very least have some knowledge of the subject. While the article itself was horrible, I must say the writer's name is awesome. Smangaliso Simelane, if you're reading this, which you're probably not, your name is lit. Your name might actually be lit enough to trigger Baxcalibur's ability.