The Chien-Pao Baxcalibur deck, featuring the potent combination of Chien-Pao ex and Baxcalibur, pays homage to the classic Blastoise decks of yesteryear.
Utilizing the Rare Candy tech from bygone years, this deck has achieved remarkable success, particularly at the World Championships. Notably, evolving Baxcalibur using the Item is preferred over the Arctibax route due to its quicker pace in today’s competitive landscape.
What sets Chien-Pao ex apart in “Rain Dance” decks is its revolutionary built-in Energy card tutor. Unlike older Rain Dance decks that often struggled to find the essential Energy cards without Rare Candy for Blastoise, Chien-Pao ex addresses this issue, adding a new dimension to the strategy.
Since its debut in Paldea Evolved, Chien-Pao has seen substantial play and success, reaching what could be considered its final form in Paradox Rift.
The introduction of Iron Hands ex and Earthen Vessel enhances the deck’s power, allowing it to pose a threat to single-prize Pokémon, even those with Manaphy on their Bench.
Similar to the Ice Rider VMAX deck played at Worlds in London, this deck employs Bibarel as a draw engine and Chien-Pao ex as its primary attacker, akin to Ice Rider. Iron Hands covers matchups against single-prize decks like Lost Box and Gardevoir. The inclusion of Radiant Greninja in most Water-type decks enhances card draw and leverages its potent Moonlight Shuriken attack.
Three Frigibax, Two Baxcalibur, & Three Chien-Pao ex:
Super Cold unlocks Chien-Pao’s potential, making it capable of executing the most powerful attack in the game. The deck strategically incorporates different versions of Frigibax based on the current meta, with an eye toward potential future changes.
Two Bidoof & Two Bibarel:
The draw engine relies on Bidoof and Bibarel, allowing the deck to set up Super Cold and Industrious Incisors for access to its entire game plan. Bibarel becomes a target for opponents, emphasizing the need to capitalize on card advantage without overcommitting resources.
One Iron Hands ex:
Despite its lack of apparent synergy in an all-Water-type deck, Iron Hands ex elevates the deck’s power level with its broken Amp You Very Much attack. The inclusion of one Lightning Energy and Earthen Vessel ensures efficient access to this impactful attack.
Wave Veil is essential to protect Bibarel and Baxcalibur, preventing easy knockouts. Manaphy becomes crucial in countering threats like Greninja and maintaining board stability.
Irida plays a unique role in this archetype, serving as a versatile Supporter card that complements the deck’s strategy, finding key Pokémon and facilitating Rare Candy/Baxcalibur combos.
Four Cross Switcher:
Gust effects are pivotal, and Cross Switcher, paired with Irida, provides flexibility without consuming the deck’s one Supporter per turn. The combo of Chien-Pao and Iron Hands can often secure two prizes on most Pokémon, making Cross Switcher a strategic asset.
Four Superior Energy Retrieval:
Given Chien-Pao’s upkeep demands, Superior Energy Retrieval becomes a crucial tool for efficient energy recovery, maintaining momentum throughout the game.
Four Battle VIP Pass, Three Nest Ball:
These cards facilitate Chien-Pao’s board setup by fetching necessary basic Pokémon, synergizing well with Irida and PokeStop.
Four Ultra Ball:
Ultra Ball contributes to deck consistency, synergizing with Bibarel and assisting in drawing cards.
Two Super Rod:
Super Rod serves as additional Energy Retrievals alongside Chien-Pao’s Shivery Chill, offering recovery and replacement options.
Earthen Vessel accelerates the early game, securing more Energy and finding Lightning Energy for Iron Hands.
Hisuian Heavy Ball:
A staple in matchups featuring Radiant Greninja, Iron Hands, and Manaphy, Hisuian Heavy Ball is easily searchable with Irida.
PokeStop enhances the deck’s speed and provides counters to Path to the Peak, aiding in setup and combo discovery.
How to Play Chien-Pao Baxcalibur:
Chien-Pao ex typically serves as the optimal starter, thinning the deck of Energy and preparing for a swift attack. Irida plays a pivotal role in securing Baxcalibur, ensuring access to essential Water Pokémon and Rare Candy.
Eliminating opponent support Pokémon becomes a key win condition, leveraging the strengths of Radiant Greninja and Kyogre. Bibarel should not be underestimated, as its absence can compromise the deck’s stability.