Announcement National Dex Monotype Suspect #2: Absolute Zero (Baxcalibur)

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Suspect Test Reasoning
Good day everyone, the NDM council recently conducted a survey post NDMPL to determine the state of the metagame. We got 40 responses, and a lot of support for a suspect test of Baxcalibur was seen. As such, the NDM council has unanimously decided to suspect Baxcalibur.

Considering Monotype just did a suspect on Baxcalibur and wasn't banned, it's probably good to know what makes Baxcalibur slightly stronger here. For one, access to stronger offensive team mates in Z-move Kommo-o, Mega Altaria, and Mega Latios in Dragon teams, or Z-Belly Drum Cetitan and Waterium-Z Shell Smash Cloyster means that Steel- and Fighting-types are much more hard pressed to check Baxcalibur on top of it's team mates. Support in the form of entry hazard removal is also much more easier to come by in NDM, whether it be on Articuno, which also functions as a slow pivot for Baxcalibur, or Latias, which also provides Baxcalibur a second chance on sweeping with Healing Wish. The general power level of National Dex Monotype is much higher due to the existence of Z-moves and Megas, and there's only so many slots you can dedicate on preparing against top threats. Ice's dominance in the recent NDMPL is also notable, being the only type with an above 70% winrate (only brought down by Ice mirrors and a very difficult matchup in Fire).

However, truth to be told, because of the higher powerlevel in NDM Baxcalibur can struggle to setup. Threats like Mega Lopunny, Mega Aerodactyl, Mega Diancie, Mega Charizard-X and Mega Scizor all are able to prevent Baxcalibur from sweeping. Z-moves are to be taken in consideration too, with Fightinium Z providing Iron Valiant, Hisuian Lilligant, and Great Tusk the needed power boost to all-out pummel Baxcalibur even under snow. With the prevalence of Fairy-types due to the Tapus, Baxcalibur would rather not use a Scale Shot set, which relegates it to a Dragon Dance set that is slow enough that all prominent Choice Scarfers will still outspeed at +1 (though OHKOing is a different matter entirely).

Because of these reasons, the NDM council thought that this suspect test would be the most appropriate response to the survey results.

Suspect Test Information
  • This suspect test will count towards the new tiering contributor badge!
  • Reading this is mandatory to participate in the suspect test. The voting requirements are a minimum GXE of 79 with at least 40 games played.
  • Baxcalibur will require a 60% majority of voters in favor of banning it in order for it to be banned from National Dex Monotype.
  • You must use a fresh account that begins with the given prefix for this suspect test. That prefix is NDMS1B. An example name would be NDMS1B Baxcalibur
  • You may not impersonate or mock another user with your account name. If there is any slight hesitation, you're probably better off picking a different name. We reserve the right to null your voting requisites if you are found impersonating or mocking another user with your account name. Moderator discretion will be applied.
  • If you are found trying to manipulate voting requisites in any way, you will be met with a harsh infraction. Manipulating voting requisites ranges from faking your screenshot to asking another user to forfeit.
  • The Pokemon that's being suspect tested, Baxcalibur, will be allowed on the National Dex Monotype ladder for the next two weeks so that we can properly assess its position in the metagame.
  • This suspect test will go on for two weeks. It will last until Wednesday, November 1st @ 11:59 PM EST (GMT-4).
Suspect Test Rules
  • You are required to make sure that whatever you are arguing for is in-line with the Tiering Policy Framework. If what you're arguing for isn't, there's a very high chance that your post will be deleted.
  • No uninformed one liners or posts;
  • No discussion on other potential suspect tests;
  • No discussion on the suspect test process.
  • Your posts are expected to be respectful, please do not insult anyone.
  • If you fail to follow these rules, you may be infracted without any prior warning.
If there are any questions, feel free to PM myself or Mateeus. If there are any questions about the moderation of this thread, you should feel free to PM the moderation team.

Tagging Kris and Marty to implement this on the ladder. Thank you!

This thread will be locked for 24 hours so that everyone can collect their thoughts.
 
I feel like the best way to look at the sus is by looking at the two teams bax can be on. On dragon... Bax i feel like is lack luster. I think kyruem is better for dragon IMO. But the main reason why Bax is receiving the sus is his absolute Lebron James performances on ice. With snow def boost + Aveil, Bax absolutely tanks physical damage and can still take a few special hits. for example, +2 252 Atk Technician Scizor-Mega Bullet Punch vs. 252 HP / 252 Def Baxcalibur in Snow with an ally's Aurora Veil: 121-144 (27.8 - 33.1%) -- 86.3% chance to 4HKO after Ice Body recovery. Now this is a max physical bulk set which I don't think most run (im not sure). Being able to set up on Pokémon with moves that are super effective on you and not be punished is an issue. this issue only really exists on ice teams though. This is where i can see a complex ban happening, but complex bans are no longer permissible due to complexity. So should this sussy Ba(x)ca be banned. I would say Yes. It is overwhelmingly strong on ice teams and will continue to be. Also dragon teams have other mons that can fill its roll just fine. Even with the def drop downside of scale shot, it is useless if super effective priority moves still wont kill it.
Bailiff wack his PP
 
Hey everyone, it’s me again.
I think baxcailbur is somewhat a weird Pokémon in ndm. Over the last week I’ve been thinking about how it functions on both types and is it really overwhelming as it relates to the massive power difference between ndm and monotype. I’ve come to the conclusion that it is a bit unhealthy. I think while we do have a more busted Pokémon in Ursuluna-Bloodmoon . I can’t act as if baxcailbur isn’t a problematic Pokémon. It being immune to burn with its thermal exchange ability is something that makes it quite the Pokémon to look out for in the builder.
Some types that already have a winning MU into its respective types still have to worry about it in the builder. For example fighting hates going against ice since under veil + snow it’s not dying to much of anything. With the correct set it can snowball out of control very quickly. But I think the point where I see that it becomes unhealthy is that before it can be stopped (if the team is capable of stopping it at all), it heavily breaks through teams (yes it’s a wall breaker). But the ability to contribute to just about every match up it’s in with the right move set is not healthy.
If it’s up against bad MUs with the right set it flips the match up on its head in the right pilot. For example all it needs is eq SD/DD ice stab to help break steel A +2 icicle crash is always a 2 hit koing bulky pivots such as celesteela +2 252 Atk Baxcalibur Icicle Crash vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Celesteela: 211-250 (53 - 62.8%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery. Loaded dice sets do even more. Neutral targets with bulk are always in 2 hit KO range. It has hazards stacking options to limit what checks it has on both types. +2 252 Atk Baxcalibur Earthquake vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Toxapex: 252-298 (82.8 - 98%) -- 68.8% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock. What’s even more glaring is when you do the calcs mega scizor actually loses to baxcailbur, under snow and veil. 252+ Atk Technician Scizor-Mega Bullet Punch vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Baxcalibur in Snow with an ally's Aurora Veil: 85-102 (22.9 - 27.4%) -- 59.8% chance to 4HKO vs +2 252 Atk Baxcalibur Earthquake vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Scizor-Mega: 176-208 (51.1 - 60.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO. Further more it may be limited to picking between stabs and eq but it certainly isn’t limited to what it can do to an opposing team. Most fairies hate an eq/ice stab from baxcailbur and it’s very bulky with veil. Almost every ice resist is threatened by eq or dragon stab. You may be thinking ok nobody cares about SD calcs if it’s just dying to a revenge killer. The problem is that it’s NOT dying to just one it often takes multiple pokes to handle it which on ice is not the only problem that you have to worry about. Cetitan/ gdarm/ and a plethora of options to run through the teams. Dragon dance sets also exist and are still great for getting multiple boosts under veil + snow.
I focused a lot on ice but dragon is STILL highly problematic with baxcailbur. Baxcailbur has shed tail support which is not particularly game breaking but pivoting it in for free is troublesome for bulky defensive typings like poison who often lose to baxcailbur behind a sub. Types who have defensive counter play in unaware can’t unfortunately deal with its teammates who can easily break them with their partners in crime such as latias/latios. Or they just outright lose to other sets that it can run such as choice band. Naturally faster threats such as mega diance/ mega aerodactyl get ko’d by scarf sets. It’s ability to dominate every neutral MU dragon has and turn it into a winning one for itself is insane. Even turning losing one’s into neutral is overwhelming.
The point I think is clear is that this mon is unpredictable as hell in an unhealthy way. There’s always gonna be an element of what you do not know about what’s going on in the other opponents team but it should not cost you the whole game essentially because of one mon. You could outplay your ass off and still lose to bax if you can’t figure out the set in time. Even if you do all types don’t have counter play to every single set. Infact some types can’t even counter 1 set. Let alone build for all the others it could run.
I gave some calcs as examples but there’s many more that bax breaks. It also had the luxury of a z move to nuke through a would be check. There’s endless possibilities of what bax can do in this tier. I think with the addition of scale shot loaded dice sets do excellent and all other sets do amazing because teams fear another.
In return I’m in favor of banning baxcailbur and I encourage discussion about this mon!
 

Elvira

formerly bruised
Yall may tell me to go to the timeout corner after I expose this irritating dragon that I still think is pretty neat for a new gen 9 psuedo!

Baxcalibur since day one has always been a peculiar new face with a variety of tools. Thermal Exchange is its signature ability where it can farm will-o-wisps for a reasonable attack boost of +1 on every impact even with physical or special fire moves that it can switch into. Now where this demon dragon shines best in this tier is A.) under aurora veil on ice, and B.) paired well with shed tail shenanigans on dragon. I have personally crafted some calculations which I will provide below with some reasonable amount of description to prove on my own thoughts that I think it does need to be banned to account for a healthier metagame, the new bloodmoon bear will also need to go as well but that is on a different day.

:scizor: vs :baxcalibur:
252+ Atk Scizor Bullet Punch vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Baxcalibur in Snow with an ally's Aurora Veil: 52-63 (14 - 16.9%) -- possibly the worst move ever
Remember how I said on ice this thing gets bulky to filth? Oh yeah. The set I am running consists of abusing leftovers and Ice body please read below.

:sv/Baxcalibur: @ Leftovers
Ability: Ice Body
Tera Type: Dragon
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Substitute
- Dragon Dance
- Icicle Crash
- Earthquake

Oh and to make it even more annoying to go against with its best form of match-up: +2 252+ Atk Baxcalibur Earthquake vs. 124 HP / 0 Def Scizor: 259-305 (83 - 97.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO. At just a +2 dragon dance which it guarantees getting off under aurora veil, substitute, AND snow, once you can reliably setup on an ice team with this threat its over for steel. I think the only literal thing that can POSSIBLY check it on steel after this setup is an unset of 252 Bold Air Balloon Melmetal. Thats the saddest idea I can even come up with for that. But bruised, there are defensive mons such as Celesteela, Skarmory, and Corviknight that have some reasonable bulk that can check it! Nope.

:celesteela: vs :baxcalibur:
0 Atk Celesteela Heavy Slam (100 BP) vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Baxcalibur with an ally's Aurora Veil: 117-138 (31.5 - 37.1%) -- guaranteed 4HKO after Leftovers recovery. This is one of 3 of steel AND flying's best answers to handling Ice or theoretically any difficult physical hitter in the tier. Baxcalibur will surely have a field day with these birds. The only real answer is whirlwind skarmory out of those three. Lets also get into Unaware mons that can bypass the big dragon, yeah? Dondozo I havent seen any usage really so I will not put a mon that requires match up fishing as a reasonable form of calculation. Instead I will use another one in Skeledirge!

:skeledirge: vs :baxcalibur:
0 SpA Skeledirge Torch Song vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Baxcalibur: 106-126 (28.5 - 33.9%) -- 0.9% chance to 3HKO
This set is going to be paired with 2 more although rarely used sets, still very much viable in a metagame where z moves are around every corner. Thermal Exchange is replacing Ice body for this set, and slapping a z move on this busted big boy is possibly the scariest thing you can encounter on any form of the ladder. Again, rarely used but it isnt impossible to make viable with its many choices of partners. Skeledirge using torch song guarantees a +1 to its attack, and with unaware it still takes a LOT of damage from a hard hitting earthquake. Below is a viable z move set if you choose to want to give other players nightmares.

:sv/Baxcalibur: @ Groundium Z / Dragonium Z/ Icium Z
Ability: Thermal Exchange
Tera Type: Dragon
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Dragon Dance
- Glaive Rush
- Icicle Crash
- Earthquake

Another honorable mention has to go to its signature double 5 hitting move loaded dice sets:

:sv/Baxcalibur: @ Loaded Dice
Ability: Thermal Exchange
Tera Type: Dragon
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Dragon Dance
- Icicle Spear
- Scale Shot
- Earthquake

:tapu lele: vs :baxcalibur:
252 SpA Tapu Lele Moonblast vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Baxcalibur with an ally's Aurora Veil: 177-208 (47.5 - 55.9%) -- 22.7% chance to 2HKO after Leftovers recovery. Yes I will definitely be considering aurora veil under this calculation as it can be very much free on ice with little to no answers besides mega diancie turn 1. +1 252 Atk Baxcalibur Icicle Crash vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Tapu Lele: 286-337 (101.7 - 119.9%) -- guaranteed OHKO. Am I going to sit here and state that baxcalibur can always check tapu lele? No. Your partner pokemon that build the team comp surrounding this dragon will be able to handle it more. That being said; Under aurora veil, snow, and a substitute? Yes It can definitely ruin fairies and their rampant fun on the ladder.

:hatterene: vs :baxcalibur:
+1 252 Atk Baxcalibur Icicle Crash vs. 252 HP / 204+ Def Hatterene: 175-207 (55 - 65%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery. Its becoming a pattern that I only use +1 because thats just how powerful its physical attacking side can truly become even with just one boost. Another honorable mention for fairy is a defensive staple in hatterene. This set is standard on most fairy teams but even at 252 it still does around the same amount of damage with just 1 or 3 points less at +1. Hatterene can not even break sub with draining kiss recovery on top of leftovers. It's just free setup fodder.


My true thoughts?: Honestly with how power crept this meta game is and the onslaught of z moves, the fact that ice and dragon baxcalibur sets require players to adjust most of their teams and sets just to be cautious of seeing the blue beast in front of them and to prevent them from setting up, this dragon sadly does need to go. It can check even its most reliable defensive answers and still tear through teams as a busted wall breaker. If this thing can beat dragon, steel, fire (mu for ice), rock (mu for ice), fairy (mu for dragon), water, normal, pretty much its an 18/18 type killer in 1 mon alone and the only real reliable way I see that it can truly be handled is by running unaware dondozo, clefable, or skeledirge. Which, you know, can still be match up fishing and not a reliable way of dealing with the other threats in this power crept meta. I will also post some more calculations below but in terms of creating a healthier metagame I think the biggest threats at the moment from what I see have to go to :baxcalibur: :ursaluna-bloodmoon: and :ogerpon hearthflame:. Though the last one isnt as big currently of a threat, though it ruins steel. Back to the dragon, the sets I have provided are as basic as they can get and even if they are predictable once the right setup is done the match can pretty much be decided right there. Baxcalibur needs to go.


:sv/baxcalibur:
:bewear: +1 252 Atk Baxcalibur Icicle Crash vs. 252 HP / 196+ Def Bewear: 198-234 (44.5 - 52.7%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Leftovers recovery 0 Atk Bewear Drain Punch vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Baxcalibur in Snow with an ally's Aurora Veil: 70-84 (18.8 - 22.5%) -- possible 6HKO after Leftovers recovery
:weezing-galar: +1 252 Atk Baxcalibur Icicle Crash vs. 248 HP / 252+ Def Weezing-Galar: 144-169 (43.2 - 50.7%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Black Sludge recovery 0 SpA Weezing-Galar Strange Steam vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Baxcalibur with an ally's Aurora Veil: 96-114 (25.8 - 30.6%) -- 1.7% chance to 4HKO after Leftovers recovery
:lopunny-mega: 252 Atk Lopunny-Mega High Jump Kick vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Baxcalibur in Snow with an ally's Aurora Veil: 157-186 (42.2 - 50%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Leftovers recovery 252 Atk Baxcalibur Icicle Crash vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Lopunny-Mega: 159-187 (58.6 - 69%) -- guaranteed 2HKO :toxapex: 252 Atk Baxcalibur Earthquake vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Toxapex: 126-150 (41.4 - 49.3%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Black Sludge recovery I chose not to add an attacking calc from toxapex as it can not touch baxcalibur even under a substitute without aurora veil or snow.
:ferrothorn: +1 252 Atk Baxcalibur Icicle Crash vs. 252 HP / 56+ Def Ferrothorn: 156-184 (44.3 - 52.2%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Leftovers recovery Ferrothorn usually runs power whip as a powerful stab to check ground and water types. 0 Atk Ferrothorn Gyro Ball (99 BP) vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Baxcalibur in Snow with an ally's Aurora Veil: 73-87 (19.6 - 23.3%) -- possible 6HKO after Leftovers recovery
:iron hands: +1 252 Atk Baxcalibur Earthquake vs. 72 HP / 52 Def Iron Hands: 316-372 (67.6 - 79.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
 
Personally, I do not think that Baxcalibur needs to be banned. It seems like a toned-down Espathra; easily able to sweep if you give it much leeway, and really good under screens, but I think that there are a few differences that make it a lot worse than Espathra. First, it doesn't get recovery, so unlike Espathra, it can't just heal off any chip dealt to it besides using Ice Body+Leftovers. Second, it never boosts its defense, and even though it is naturally bulky between snow and being a nice pseudo-legendary, it allows certain priority moves like Vacuum Wave or Bullet Punch to defeat it no matter how much it has set up.

On mono dragon, Baxcalibur definitely serves a decent niche with either SD Scale Shot or Ddance Scale Shot, which basically decides the mirror match on a speed tie, and is honestly a bit obnoxious. Dragon is a very solid type, but (as much as I don't like dragon's gameplay) banning Baxcalibur really wouldn't change anything. Dragon just has so many good Pokemon that losing a random one like Baxcalibur won't help tame it much. If possible, I'd ban something else on dragon that is much more impactful.

On mono ice, Baxcalibur is possibly the best thing since sliced bread (also known as ANinetales). With a snow defense boost, it's really silly, and is honestly the only thing that makes ice viable at all. Because it is so broken on ice, normally I would vote to ban it. However, without the Bax, ice has literally nothing. I've tried out Baxcalibur on both types a decent amount, and even with its power to sweep, ice seems honestly not very powerful. I am definitely not a great ice player, but I feel like ice is underwhelming with Baxcalibur, and will be completely unviable without it.

As said in the opening for this suspect, "because of the higher powerlevel in NDM Baxcalibur can struggle to setup." Although it is indeed very powerful, I feel like it is slow enough to be fine for NDM.
 
At least three completely different bax sets 6-0 my team.
I've swept fire with it.
I have answers to it, but that's because I'm facing players who don't know how to use it well.
Every time I face a creative Bax set that ISN'T Loaded Dice, I usually lose half my team to it.
Despite my positive win record, after two weeks of thinking, it's clear that Bax needs to go.
 

TTK

No Idea.
is a Community Contributor
Another 2am situation where I'm probably the last person to gets reqs for the suspect test but let's talk about Baxcalibur for a sec.

Frankly I find myself in a tough situation of whether I want this thing banned or not because to be honest, Bax isn't anything we can't handle, it's realistically the combination of Aveil + snow that makes this mon questionable because I'm certainly not worried about Bax dragon, even Kommo-o is more of a dicey mon than Bax and we haven't banned the former in any sort of capacity. It's also not a mon I believe holds a reign over the metagame, like I am not building with Bax in mind. I've seen Bax at the highest level of play and yes, Ice did really well in NDMPL and probably NDPL if I bother to check replays. It doesn't help that I hardly faced it on ladder and when I did, it wasn't even Ice it was dragon, which again, isn't problematic in the slightest because Dragon isn't too tough to handle + there's better sweepers on that type.

In any case, it's probably best to ban it in the long run but I'm not happy about it since it doesn't reach the power level that warrants the ban but over the past 2 weeks, I contemplated that "oh bax ice is kinda silly sometimes"
 

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