Nature’s Madness: A PvP Analysis on the Tapu’s

G’day PoGO lovers! The new season of PoGO has just dropped, coined the World of Wonders. In what looks to be a shuffle, rather than a meta shakeup, there’s a number of move updates and move availability changes this season. We’ll be diving into that in various locations (JRE to get us started here), and this analysis is going to focus on the signature move that has been added to the game master for the Tapu’s – Nature’s Madness. Let’s take a look at the new move itself, and the potential meta impact it could have for the Tapu line.

It is confirmed that Tapu Koko and Tapu Lele will learn the move during their raid rotations this month, and it is also obtainable via Elite TM. It is not currently in the Elite TM pool for Tapu Bulu or Tapu Fini, but we have worked on the assumption that they are likely to gain access to Nature’s Madness later in the season.

Nature’s Madness: PvP Stats Attack icon

Nature’s Madness is a decent charge move with the same stats as Dark Pulse, hitting for 80 damage at the cost of 50 energy, with the added bonus that Madness also debuffs your opponent’s defense. 

How does this impact the existing movesets for the Tapu’s, in particular their ability to reach their new charged move? The table below demonstrates the energy generation from their current fast moves, and the number of fast moves it takes to reach their first charged move. I’m throwing a few numbers out here but the highlighted columns below tell the story.

Mon Fast Move Energy Generation Fast Move Turns Current Charged Move Charged Move Power Charged Move Energy Fast Moves to Charged Move
Tapu Koko Volt Switch 16 4 Thunderbolt 90 55 4
Tapu Fini Water Gun 3 1 Moonblast 110 60 20
Tapu Bulu Bullet Seed 13 3 Dazzling Gleam 110 70 6
Tapu Lele Confusion 12 4 Moonblast 110 60 5
Mon New Charge Move Fast Moves to New Charged Move Change from Current
Tapu Koko Nature’s Madness 4 0
Tapu Fini Nature’s Madness 17 3
Tapu Bulu Nature’s Madness 4 2
Tapu Lele Nature’s Madness 5 0

What this tells us is that for Tapu Koko and Tapu Lele, the new move comes no quicker than their current Charged Move (at least for the first one reached in battle), but for Tapu Fini and Tapu Bulu there are definite pacing improvements through the cheaper charged move. To understand this, we need to look at the energy generation column to understand how quickly the Tapu’s are charging up energy to throw out:

  • Tapu Koko’s fast move Volt Switch generates 16 energy per turn. Although Nature’s Madness is cheaper than Thunderbolt, it’s not cheap enough to reduce the number of turns it takes to reach the first one. However, the second Nature’s Madness arrives 1 full Volt Switch earlier and also allows you to bank both (unlike Thunderbolt) for the full 100 energy. Given the power output is the same, and both options get STAB, you could consider this a sidegrade at first glance.
  • Tapu Fini’s fast move Water Gun generates 3 energy per turn (which feels painfully slow at times!). It takes 3 fewer turns for Fini to reach Nature’s Madness compared to the more costly but harder hitting Moonblast. Where I see this working out well for Fini is in the longer drawn out battles, where the defence debuff can work it’s magic with the Water Gun damage hitting slightly harder each time. We’ll go into more detail on that below.
  • Tapu Bulu’s fast move Bullet Seed generates 13 energy per turn, which honestly takes an eternity to reach the expensive Dazzling Gleam. With Nature’s Madness in the mix, Bulu can reach this move in just 4 Bullet Seeds, which is a distinct upswing for it! This is very good for Bulu – but, we’ll need to dive into the sims a bit more to see how this plays out in practice.
  • Tapu Lele’s fast move Confusion generates 12 energy per turn, which means it takes 5 moves to reach Moonblast. However, it also takes 5 moves to reach Nature’s Madness! So for the first move at least, you aren’t seeing any real upside – but if you can hang around for long enough, the defence drop from NM will mean that the Confusion’s start to do more damage, and the second NM takes one less fast move to reach. However I don’t think this will be as impactful for Lele, which I’ll go into more detail below.

Tapu Koko Pokemon Encounter icon

Tapu Koko

We’ll start with Tapu Koko, given it is currently in raids and its signature move is TM’able (via an Elite TM).

Ultra League

Starting with the Ultra League, it’s clear to see that the new move is pure upside in 1v1 and 2v2 shielding scenarios – but when shields are down, some of the typical Water type wins sneak away due to Koko’s fragility. 

But does this tell the full story? Koko’s win-loss rate in the Ultra League is still, frankly, not that hot. When something as frail as Heliolisk has a higher stat product, you know that you’re in a bit of trouble. Ultimately, with Koko you are really relying on the Fairy typing to help out with its resistances to Dragon, Dark and Fighting types, and its Electric typing to help out against the flyers. Nature’s Madness is cheapish, but not distinctly cheap enough to help it outpace a lot of the meta. Still, it’s a significant step up! I can see Koko with play as a closer with a shield advantage, lowering opponents defences with Nature’s Madness that they can’t escape. Without a shield advantage, it is definitely a bit more dicey due to Koko’s frailty.

Shield Scenario New Wins New Losses
0v0 Umbreon, Goodra A-Ninetales, Virizion, Abomasnow, G-Weezing
1v1 Coballion, Giratina-A, Guzzlord, Obstagoon, Heliolisk, Goodra None
2v2 Cofagrigus, Cresslia, D-Deoxys, Escavalier, Giratina-A, Obstagoon, Pidgeot, Snorlax, Umbreon, Talonflame, Gallade (S), Goodra None

Master League

In the Master League – pure upside! Nature’s Madness is absolutely required in the higher CP meta. Again, this might not be the full picture though. Naturally the Fairy type damage is absolutely welcomed here in replacement of either Thunderbolt or Brave Bird. When you look at the overall win-loss ratio for Koko here, you can see that it’s still not breaking the coveted 500+ barrier for overall effectiveness. I do think we’ll see a bit more of Koko, but will it be enough to break out into the open meta?

Shield Scenario New Wins New Losses
0v0 Dialga, Dialga-O, Giratina-A, Zekrom, Haxorus, Palkia, Palkia-O None
1v1 Garchomp, Xerneas, Florges, Zekrom None
2v2 Dialga, Dialga-O, Metagross, Palkia, Palkia-O, Zekrom, Rayquaza, Reshiram, Xerneas None

Tapu Koko Pokémon GO

Tapu Fini Pokemon Encounter icon

Tapu Fini

Next up is probably the most meta relevant of the Tapu’s – Tapu Fini.

Great League

It’s possible to obtain a Tapu Fini for the Great League through trading with friends and low rolling on the new IV’s. Great League Fini has a lot less bulk than the Ultra League build, but its typing is fantastic (as seen in the other main WaterFairy type – Azumarill) and with Water Gun putting fast move pressure on its opponents, it is actually a very decent pick, particularly in limited metas such as the Fantasy Cup.

As seen below, with Nature’s Madness as the alternative fast move to Moonblast, Fini can pick up a bunch of new wins in the 1v1 and 2v2 shielding scenarios, but starts to take on more losses in the 0v0 due to the lesser power of Madness compared with Moonblast. Given the extra closing power of Moonblast, this makes sense – although if you have been able to chip into your opponents final mon at all, then Madness can often get the job done.

When deep diving a little further – in the 1v1 situation, you’ve got a new narrow loss to Jellicent, and in the 2v2 a new (even more narrow) loss to Poliwrath – however, the sims are a bit deceptive here. If you just go straight Nature’s Madness, you can win both these matchups by going for the defense drop and Water-gunning down, rather than attempting to throw resisted Surf’s which fail to KO. So actually, if played correctly – Madness is straight upside in those shielding scenarios! It’s still going to be challenging for Fini to break through the defenses of meta staples such as Lanturn, Trevenant, the newly buffed Empoleon, any GrassPoison type… but it should have way more play now and I’ll be intrigued to see whether it begins to break out in certain ABB team builds such as Dragon or Steel / double water-fairy compositions. 

Shield Scenario New Wins New Losses
0v0 None Cofagrigus, D-Deoxys, Quagsire (S), Trevenant, Vigoroth, Feraligatr (Reg & Shadow)
1v1 Azumarill, D-Deoxys, Vigoroth, Feraligatr (Reg and Shadow), Goodra Jellicent
2v2 Cresselia, Swampert, Toxicroak, Annihilape, Araquanid Poliwrath

Ultra League

In the Ultra League, Fini already has a fantastic W-L ratio against the meta, so what Nature’s Madness do for it that Moonblast can’t? 

At first glance, Nature’s Madness appears to be more of a sidegrade in the higher CP format, where the increased bulk of the meta showing up the relative decrease in power of Madness compared to Moonblast. Particularly in the 1v1 shielding scenario, a number of matchups sim as new losses – albeit they are all super close, and will absolutely be affected by energy leads, IV’s (bulk v attack weighted), and match scenarios determining optimal shield usage. I’m actually prepared to say that Madness is overall an upgrade for Fini in most Ultra League scenarios. However, the main matchup that will become consistently more challenging is against Shadow Claw Giratina-Altered, which does need the extra closing power of Madness to KO. But picking up a bunch of new wins in the 2v2 scenario against Water types is nice! I can see Madness being the new Fairy charged move of choice for Fini, despite the Giratina-A matchup.

Shield Scenario New Wins New Losses
0v0 Tapu Fini (Moonblast), Walrein, Feraligatr Swampert (S)
1v1 Empoleon Giratina-A, Snorlax, Golisopod, Tapu Fini (Moonblast), Feraligatr
2v2 Coballion, Golisopod, Greninja, Machamp (S), Snorlax, Gliscor (S) Giratina-A, Walrein

Master League

It might surprise you to learn that Fini is decent in the Master League! It’s definitely nice to have some new wins coming through across all shielding scenarios. Tapu’s relative lack of power and CP starts to show against some of the higher-CP mons, but it can definitely hold its own! 

Shield Scenario New Wins New Losses
0v0 Giratina-A, Kyogre, Reshiram Garchomp, Yveltal
1v1 Dialga, Dialga-O, Landorus, Lugia Yveltal
2v2 Sylveon, Florges Dragonite, Palkia

Tapu Bulu Pokemon Encounter icon

Tapu Bulu

Next up we have Tapu Bulu. With the much improved pacing of Madness over the existing move Dazzling Gleam, let’s see how this impacts its standing in the higher CP metas.

Ultra League

Tapu Bulu isn’t exactly an Ultra League staple, due to it’s pacing and lack of bulk. Does the faster pacing of Nature’s Madness help with those limitations? Overall, Madness is pretty much pure upside for Bulu, with new wins across the board in all shielding scenarios. However, the overall win-loss ratio just isn’t doing enough for me to call Bulu anything other than a spice pick in the 2500-CP meta. It has some nice wins against Dragon and Water types, but that is really to be expected. Hard losses to most neutral matchups, Fire, Poison, Flying and Steel types without any real method of recourse makes it hard to really justify its use in the open meta. Being hard checked by Registeel, which can only throw resisted charged moves, is quite the disappointment.

Shield Scenario New Wins New Losses
0v0 Coballion, Greedent, Snorlax Annihilape
1v1 Annihilape, Giratina-A, D-Deoxys  
2v2 Buzzwole, Cresselia, Golisopod, Annihilape  

Master League

In the Master League, overall, it’s absolutely an improvement, although in some cases it is more of a sidegrade. The closing power of Dazzling Gleam (when you can reach it) definitely shows up with some of the key losses across all shield scenarios. With the combo of Bullet Seed and Nature’s Madness, the challenge is that once Bulu lands a super-effective Madness, the lack of power in Bullet Seed isn’t quite enough to help take out the various Dragon and Flying types that counter the Grass typing of its fast move.

However, the below is just picking up the change in the sims, and it doesn’t really tell the full story. Bulu, in my view, now has a lot of play with its new move, particularly with shield advantage and as a counter to the many and varied Dragon types pervading the open Master League meta. Although Gleam hits harder, being able to bank multiple Madness’ is going to be very helpful and overall improves Bulu’s flexibility. I predict we’ll see an uplift in its usage overall.

Shield Scenario New Wins New Losses
0v0 Giratina-O, Togekiss Rayquaza
1v1 Giratina-A, Ursaluna, Zarude Landorus, Rayquaza, Yveltal
2v2 Dialga, Dialga-O, Landorus, Haxorus Zekrom

Tapu Lele Pokemon Encounter icon

Tapu Lele

Last, and unfortunately also least – we have Tapu Lele. Lele is encumbered by the slow pacing of its fast move, Confusion. Let’s take a look at how things wash out for Lele with its new move.

Ultra League

Starting with the Ultra League, it is already not looking too good for Lele. Losing a whole host of new matchups in the 0v0s is unfortunate, with the relative lack of power of Madness failing to knock out a bunch of mons compared to the harder hitting Moonblast. It does pick up some new wins in the 2v2s, although the fact that it already was losing to D-Deoxys and Nidoqueen kind of tells you everything you need to know about Lele. It just isn’t very good

What happens if you give Lele some new tools to play with? Sadly, there’s not a lot of improvement to speak of. Lele’s Psychic sub-typing just doesn’t do it any favours in this format where Giratina reigns, and its lack of bulk means it cannot hang around for long enough to have any real impact. And Astonish ain’t it either.

Shield Scenario New Wins New Losses
0v0 D-Deoxys Coballion, Dubwool, Giratina-A, Golisopod, A-Ninetales, Swampert, Sylveon, Abomasnow
1v1 NA Gallade (S)
2v2 D-Deoxys, Nidoqueen, Gliscor (S), Goodra Swampert (S)

Master League

Does Lele fare any better in the Master League? A little, but ultimately not enough. It’s nice to pick up a few new wins against Dragon types that you theoretically should already be beating as a Fairy type… and Excadrill as a win in the 1v1s is kinda nice! But look at those new losses in the 0v0s – the lack of closing power of Madness really shows here, as Lele just doesn’t have the bulk to withstand the pressure from the likes of Dialga and neutral matchups such as Xerneas and Kyogre. Sadly, Nature’s Madness can’t mask Lele’s limitations in the PvP scene.

Shield Scenario New Wins New Losses
0v0 NA Giratina-A, Kyogre, Swampert, Togekiss, Xerneas, Yveltal, Zacian, Florges
1v1 Excadrill, Ursaluna Togekiss
2v2 Garchomp, Mamoswine, Reshiram, Zekrom  

Tapu Lele


Hopefully this quick guide has helped you decide how hard you grind for the new Tapu’s over the course of the World of Wonders season! On the whole, I think that Tapu Bulu and Tapu Fini will be the biggest beneficiaries of their signature move. Tapu Koko is going to see increased play for sure, but its typing, like Tapu Lele, holds it back from really being able to break out in the Dragon heavy Master League meta.

Thanks for reading – and as always you can find me on Twitter or Instagram for more PoGO analysis. 

See ya later,


Author & tags

The one enlisted to explain games to new starters. Lover of all things Pokemon. Great League and Ultra League PvP specialist, and a dabbler in PvE.

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