A Quick PvP Analysis on Community Day Alolan Golem

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Hello again, fellow PvPers! Community Day is upon us, so this comes to some of you JUST in time for the event. Sorry about that, but Niantic waited longer than even THEY usually do to finalize the stats for the new exclusive move, so I got a VERY late start myself!

There is NO time to waste, so let’s just get right to this month’s Community Day spotlight Pokémon and examine its merits in PvP, both with AND without its new exclusive move. Time to put ALOLAN GOLEM… under the lights!

First, as I’ve been doing of late, let’s start with our TL;DR — our Bottom Line Up Front — FIRST!

B.L.U.F.

  • Even with the very nice last minute buff to Rollout, it would seem that existing Volt Switch is generally still the preferred move, but not always!
  • There ARE formats where Rock damage will be preferred (those with many Ice or Bug types, for example), and/or the crazy high energy that comes from Rollout (now the highest energy move behind only Lock-On). It IS worth trying to land a couple good Rollout specimens while you can. I highlight below specific areas where it stands out, and there ARE several notable ones in Great and Ultra Leagues. Don’t worry so much about Master League A-Golem though… this doesn’t really move the needle for it there.

Due to the VERY last minute nature of the stat change, I had to scrap an entire article written with the assumed stats and crank this one out in like an hour and a half. It covers the main points, but is NOT as fully extensive as normal… I am quite literally just out of time before other obligations. So please bear with me as I rush through to get you the key info. I’ll try to answer other questions as I can, and keep digging when time allows, but this is likely all I’ll get to before Community Day starts kicking off around the globe. I apologize for any gaps you were hoping I could fill and any extra grammatical errors, but I did my best with what I had to work with. Sorry!

Let’s get right to it….

ALOLAN GOLEM – Stats and Moves

Golem (Alola) RockElectric

Great League Stats

Attack Defense HP
125 (123 High Stat Product) 122 (123 High Stat Product) 117 (119 High Stat Product)

(Highest Stat Product IVs: 1-14-15, 1498 CP, Level 19)

Ultra League Stats

Attack Defense HP
162 (159 High Stat Product) 155 (160 High Stat Product) 153 (154 High Stat Product)

(Highest Stat Product IVs: 0-15-15, 2498 CP, Level 33.5)

Master League Stats

Attack Defense HP
179 (190 at Level 50) 168 (179 at Level 50) 162 (172 at Level 50)

(Assuming 15-15-15 IVs; CP 2949 at Level 40; CP 3334 at Level 50)

Very average stats, slightly favoring offense over defense. It is slightly less bulky (and very slightly more Attack-centric) than things like Swampert, Venusaur, Pelipper, and Talonflame, and very slightly bulkier than Trevenant… and at least in Great and Ultra League, its overall Attack and bulk are right in line with Togekiss and Empoleon. Just to give you some rough frames of reference of where it stacks up.

As for the typing… that’s much more unique. The Alolan Geodude/Graveler/Golem family are the only Rock/Electric types in the franchise. (There’s not even a Rock-based version of Electric-catch-all Rotom… I checked! ⚡)

– Exclusive (Community Day) Move

Fast Moves

  • Volt Switch Electric type, 3.0 DPT, 4.0 EPT, 2.0 CoolDown
  • Rolloutᴱ Rock type, 1.33 DPT, 4.67 EPT, 1.5 CD
  • Rock Throw Rock type, 4.0 DPT, 2.5 EPT, 1.0 CD

So up until, like, moments before I wrote this very sentence (and had to scrap and quickly start rewriting wide swaths of this article), Rollout was assumed to be a clone of Electric fast move Spark, with 2.0 DPT and 4.0 EPT, which would have left it basically strictly inferior to Volt Switch (same energy gains, but 50% less damage). There were a handful of matchups where Rollout would have had an advantage in that case (versus things like Abomasnow due to type effectiveness, or Gengar in Master League where the long cooldown of Volt Switch meant that it lost but Rollout could win), but overall it was basically to be all Volt Switch, (nearly) all the time.

NOW though, Rollout enters the game with the second-highest energy generation behind only the insane 5.0 EPT (1.0 DPT) Lock-On. Better than Snarl and Bullet Seed, better than Poison Sting and Psycho Cut and Mud Shot and Thunder Shock, better than everything else except Lock-On. And THAT should help further distinguish it from Volt Switch.

But is that in a positive way? Let’s add in the charge moves and see…

Charge Moves

  • Rock BlastRock type, 50 damage, 40 energy
  • Wild ChargeElectric type, 100 damage, 45 energy, Decreases User Defense -2 Stages
  • Stone EdgeRock type, 100 damage, 55 energy

So we have to ways to go now depending on the selected fast move. Volt Switch deals significantly more damage on its own than Rollout and applies some nice pressure on its own as it rips big chunks of life away with each hit. Rollout obviously applies practically no fast move pressure but gets to charge moves lickity split. Rock Blast is ready after just three Rollouts (42 energy in 9 turns, or 4.5 seconds of real-time) or three Volt Switches (48 energy in 12 turns/6 seconds), and Stone Edge is ready after just one additional Rollout (14 more energy for a total of 56, and only 3 turns/1.5 more seconds), while Volt Switch ALSO requires one additional to way overcharge at 64 energy (and another 4 turns/2 seconds). Rollout is much more consistent in hitting the Rock charge moves in a timely and consistent manner.

Wild Charge gets a little tricky, though. Requiring only 45 energy, the three Volt Switches required for the first Rock Blast results in 48 energy, so you COULD fire off a Wild Charge instead, while with Rollout, three results in only 42 energy, so an additional one is still needed to (over)charge to 56, with which you could just fire off Stone Edge if you had it anyway. Hmmmm. However, in terms of turns/seconds, they both reach the energy required for Wild Charge at the same time (12 turns/6 real-time seconds). So not surprisingly, overall advantage in charge move usage goes to Rollout. Just thought it was interesting to briefly note HOW they got there.

In the interest of time (which is QUICKLY ticking down now 🕚😬), gonna leave the other interesting bits of comparing charge moves for another day and just jump right into the numbers!

GREAT LEAGUE

So very briefly, a look at where you start with Volt Switch.

  • With both Rock charge moves, you beat all the core meta’s major Flyers and Fires, all Ice-types but Lapras and its dang Surf, Bugs like Galvantula and Araquanid, and bonuses like Cresselia, Venusaur, Sableye, Drapion, Jellicent and Politoed (albeit JUST barely), and the major Charmers.
  • With Wild Charge plus Rock Blast for baits, Abomasnow and Venusaur slip away, as well as Altaria (neutral to Electric, remember, but takes super effective versus Rock). Interestingly, so does Cresselia, as Rock Blast doesn’t have knockout power and Wild Charge leaves A-Golem vulnerable, but Stone Edge does the job without hobbling A-Golem. BUT, Wild Charge picks up Cofagrigus, as well as all moveset combinations of Azumarill, which is a big deal.

There’s our starting point. What does Rollout do?

It looks very slightly better with double Rock charge moves (gaining Abomasnow and Charm Alolan Ninetales as compared to Wild Charge/Rock Blast, which uniquely beats Play Rough/Hydro Pump Azumarill instead), but it obviously lags behind Volt Switch sets, no longer able to beat Venusaur, Sableye, Jellicent, Politoed, Cresselia, Cofagrigus, Wigglytuff, or any Azumarill with Ice Beam. The one plus is that it DOES now consistently outrace Lapras, as well as Altaria regardless of whether utilizing Stone Edge or Wild Charge, but that seems a small consolation. I literally don’t have time to lay out all the details — sorry! 🕚 — but I DID look into shieldless and 2v2 shielding scenarios, and Rollout is a slight downgrade in the former and much less of an upgrade (really more of a sidegrade) than I hoped for even in 2v2 shielding. Obviously, Rollout DOES have the energy advantage that helps in certain spots, but generally it seems that in Great League, Volt Switch still manages to keep pace (or even outpace) because of the extra fast move damage that racks up as you race to those charge moves. And it’s not THAT far behind in energy gains anyway.

So… sidegrade, one that will have more applications in formats where shields and/or Rock charge moves matter (like Ice- and Bug-filled formats). Worth getting, but Volt Switch A-Golem (and A-Graveler, for that matter!) aren’t going anywhere.

ULTRA LEAGUE

In Ultra League, running with Volt Switch, Stone Edge and Wild Charge remain close, with Edge beating down Aboma and Alolan Ninetales (type effectiveness) as well as Greedent and Umbreon (lack of self-nerfing), and Wild Charge instead overpowering Empoleon, Cofagrigus, and Alolan Muk (with Snarl… either Edge or Charge take down Poison Jab A-Muk). Again, just table-setting. Alolan Golem with Volt Switch is arguably a little underrated in Ultra already.

Rollout similarly has some differences depending on charge move selection. Again assuming Rock Blast is Move #1 for baiting, Wild Charge uniquely takes out Empoleon, Politoed, and Scizor thanks to type advantages, and Granbull thanks to sheer speed-to-damage ratio. But it overall takes a back seat to Stone Edge, which instead smacks down Abomasnow (regular and Shadow), Greedent, Poison Jab A-Muk, Drapion, and Dragonite.

But what is much more interesting is what happens when you forgo Rock Blast and just run with both bombs. While the overall results still trail the higher potential of Volt Switch (missing out on things Switch can beat like Walrein, Umbreon, Escavalier, Sylveon, and Tapu Fini), the performance DOES keep up with the best that Rock Blast sets could do, preserving all the same wins except Scizor, Shadow Dragonite, and Jellicent (all of which miss being able to properly bait). But Abomasnow, Drapion, A-Muk, Empoleon, Politoed, Greedent, non-Shadow ‘Nite… they’re all there. I daresay this might be THE preferred set for Rollout A-Golem in Ultra League now, and it’s thanks to the higher energy gains. Volt Switch with both closers suffers a notable dropoff as compared to Volt Switch operating with Rock Blast baits, but Rollout does not.

So again… recommend getting an Ultra League A-Golem with Rollout, yes. Perhaps even a couple. Volt Switch still reigns supreme overall, but you may find you actually enjoy Rollout and double KO moves more.

MASTER LEAGUE

Okay, this’ll be quick.

Technically Rollout is overall an upgrade… in Master League Premier Classic. It gains Avalugg, Gengar, and all varieties of Dragonite as compared to Volt Switch, which instead beats Milotic and this little walrus you may have heard of lately called Walrein. But uh… yeah, I still don’t think you really want it. A-Golem’s overall CP and stats are just a little low for this level of play. And don’t even look into Open ML… yeeeesh. Spice, at best, and Volt Switch is a bit better anyway.

TIME’S UP!

Major apologies again for the rushed nature of this… not going into the various shielding scenarios and all I would normally. But it literally could not be helped with the 11th and half hour nature of how they changed everything up with Rollout, sorry! I’ll pop out another analysis on things like Miltank and Dunsparce and others that may benefit from this move in the near future, but for now, I need to keep it to just Alolan Golem as time is about up!

Until next time, you can always find me on Twitter with near-daily PvP analysis nuggets or Patreon.

Thanks for your faithful readership, and good hunting this weekend! Don’t forget your Pinaps, and stay safe out there! Catch you next time, Pokéfriends.

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