A PvP Analysis on Community Day Charjabug (Vikavolt who?)

Howdy folks! No time to waste, as the next Community Day is upon us. It’s time for our first DOUBLE evolution Community Day event, with both the final AND middle evolution in the Grubbin line getting the special move. And that’s important, because as we’ll see shortly in the article and in the Bottom Line Up Front, that middle evolution is what we actually want in PvP!


  • The key question: do you want Volt Switch on these Bugs for PvP? Short answer: yes, I believe you do!
  • Charjabug gets some serious spice potential with Volt Switch — if not more than just spice potential — in Limited metas and even Open Great League. It’s not a straight upgrade, but pretty close to it, and a significant one.
  • Vikavolt remains a middling option due to very poor bulk, regardless of League. “Spice” is much more of a stretch here, but there’s some hope in PvE.

CHARJABUG Stats and Moves

Charjabug BugElectric

Great League Stats

Attack Defense HP
116 (113 High Stat Product) 132 (136 High Stat Product) 126 (128 High Stat Product)

(Highest Stat Product IVs: 0-13-15, 1500 CP, Level 38.5)

Waitwaitwait… why am I provided stats for the middle evolution rather than Vikavolt? Keeping it very simple, it is because of the stats.

Charjabug has stats in close alignment with Tapu Fini, Ninetales (and Alolan Ninetales), Poliwrath, Wigglytuff, Hakamo-O and others. Not overly bulky, but certainly balanced. Vikavolt, on the other hands, has stats more in line with Lucario, Banette, Sirfetch’d, Sneasler Pawmot, and Hoopa. Now some of those work in PvP, of course, but generally only those that are spammy as all get-out. (Sirfetch’d and Lucario with Counter and 35-energy charge moves, Sneasler with Shadow Claw and multiple cheap charge moves, etc.) Vika comes with some 40 and 45 energy charge moves, but let’s keep this simple: even with the new move, it just doesn’t work in any of the three major Leagues. Not even the best energy generation Electric has to offer can save it (and it doesn’t learn that fast move in MSG anyway). This is likely as good as it will ever get, and it simply cannot overcome its horrendous lack of bulk, having about 15 less HP and nearly 40 less Defense than Charjabug. This is the last bit of analysis I’ll be doing for Vikavolt in this article, though again, recommend checking out u/Teban54‘s great PvE analysis if you want to see what it can do in raids. There’s hope!

As for us PvPers, our hope lies in Charjabug. Its Bug/Electric typing should be familiar to those who have battled with (or against) Galvantula, but as a reminder, it’s actually a pretty neat combo. Bug negates the famous Electric weakness to Ground, while Electric eliminates the big weakness Bug has to Flying. In the end, Charjabug and its fellow supercharged Bugs are left vulnerable only to Fire and Rock, and resist Fighting, Grass, Electric, and Steel. Galvantula does not often get to take advantage of what is a very solid defensive type combination, but a bulky block like Charjabug should be able to!

Does it? Let’s add in the moves and then find out….

ᴱ – Exclusive (Community Day) Move

Fast Moves

  • Volt SwitchᴱElectric type, 3.0 DPT, 4.0 EPT, 2.0 CoolDown
  • SparkElectric type, 3.0 DPT, 3.5 EPT, 1.0 CD
  • Bug BiteBug type, 3.0 DPT, 3.0 EPT, 0.5 CD

Bug Bite and Sparkare both solid enough moves, the former being Water Gun/Lick for Bugs, and the latter going through an infamous retooling this GBL season to turn it from what used to be a high energy/low power move into more of an average energy/slightly above average energy move, mostly as a means of (somewhat noneffectively) nerfing Lanturn. In a way, this just makes comparing it to Community Day addition Volt Switch all the easier, as Switch deals the same damage per turn and has better energy generation. Should make for a strict upgrade, right? Well… yes and no. In a vacuum, Switch is undoubtedly better, but there’s another big difference between them that WILL come into play at times: Volt Switch requires four full PvP turns (which equates to two seconds of real time) per use, whereas Spark needs only half of that. There ARE times where Spark will allow you to fire off a charge move a turn or two faster than Switch despite technically generating less energy, simply because it finishes its cooldown a full second faster than Volt Switch. It’s a more efficient move in thay way, less prone to needlessly overcharging like Switch sometimes stuggles with.

But more on that once we bring in the charge moves and then look at some actual simulations. For now I’ll just say that 95% of the time (that 5% mainly being certain Limited metas), it’s down to Spark or Switch. Both are just better moves than Bug Bite unless the priority is dealing Bug-type damage (that 5% I mentioned).

Charge Moves

  • X-ScissorBug type, 65 damage, 40 energy
  • DischargeElectric type, 65 damage, 45 energy
  • CrunchDark type, 70 damage, 45 energy, 30% Chance: Lower Opponent Defense -1 Stage

Wow, somehow it’s actually refreshing to have only three charge moves to consider! Been a little while since we had such a “simple” target to analyze.

As Charjabug’s cheapest charge move (and only source of Bug damage once we remove Bug Bite from the equation), X-Scissor is basically a must. Remember that it was also rebalanced this GBL season, going from a former 35e/45d move to now a 40e/65d move this season. That has made it a little clumsier for baiting than it used to be for many Bugs, but it still works like a charm with Volt Switch in particular. Each Switch generates 16 energy, so while that does result in overcharging for the first X-Scissor (3 Switches = 48 energy), the energy left over allows Charjabug to hit exactly the 40 energy required for its second X-Scissor after only two additional Switches (8 leftover energy + 16 + 16 = 40). That’s pretty neat, and more efficient than Galvantula with its high pressure Lunge (which costs 45 energy, and therefore requires one further Volt Switch to do back-to-back Big charge moves). Of course, X-Scissor comes without Lunge’s opponent-Attack-nerf bonus, but Charj being the bulky little boi it is doesn’t need that nearly as much as Galv (which is barely bulkier than Vikavolt).

As for the second charge move, they both cost a more awkward 45 energy. Discharge is less exciting, dealing the same damage as X-Scissor but for 5 more energy. That would seem to disqualify it right away, but the Electric-type damage it deals is absolutely key in certain Limited metas. Generally though, I think Crunch is the better way to go. Volt Switch itself rips off chunks of life with its Electric-type damage, so the coverage that comes with Crunch (not to mention the potential Defensive nerf to the opponent) likely has more value in Open play.

But enough talk. Let’s look at some numbers!


Before Volt Switch, Charjabug was interesting but subdued in Open GL. It flexed its bulk and typing to handle some big names like Medicham (though only if it lacks Psychic {the move}) and a slew of Waters (most of the big names except Mud Boys), Flyers (Gligar and Altaria are issues, but not much else), Psychics (Cress, DD, etc.), Darks (to include Umbreon, Scrafty, Obstagoon, and Mandi), and a handful of Grasses. (And just for comparative purposes, you can quickly see the limitations of Bug Bite.) What Volt Switch does is shore up Medicham (it can now outrace even Psychic {the move!} variants) and drag Venusaur and Froslass into the win column, the former by now reaching three charge moves before Venusaur can reach a third, and the latter by now getting to a killer Crunch before Froslass can reach the Shadow Ball it needs. (Charj can survive an Avalanche, but not Shadow Ball.) And while it is less apparent on the stat sheet, with high bulk IVs it can also force at least a tie with Toxicroak and Cofagrigus too.

The improvement is particularly impressive in 2v2 shielding. Spark Charjabug was okay, but Volt Switch Charjabug is quite obviously better, picking up wins versus Venusaur, Shadow Victreebel, Water Gun Lanturn (Spark Lanturn already was a win), Froslass, and Lickitung… all quite significant names. It also turns what was a razor thin win versus Trevenant (just 5 HP left over) into a very safe win (over 40 HP), among others.

Now, there IS a case to be made for Discharge too. As I said, Crunch is usually better but there’s something to be said for maximum Electric damage output sometimes too. This is most apparent with shields down, where Discharge seemingly blows Crunch away with extra wins versus a number of Waters (Azumarill, Jellicent), Flyers (Mandibuzz), and things that resist Crunch but not Electric damage (Toxicroak, Powder Snow Alolan Ninetales), as well as Registeel (against which only STAB Discharge has the right neutral damage and cost to JUST outrace the big dumb dumbell). On the flipside, only with Crunch do you beat things like Froslass, so there’s still a tradeoff, especially in metas like the upcoming Halloween Cup (where Crunch will be great versus all the Ghosts, whereas Discharge will be superior versus Fairies). Discharge also has niches in other shielding scenarios, such as overcoming Toxicroak in 1v1 shielding, and things like Mandibuzz in 2v2 shielding, though I think Crunch is still what I’d go with for all-around coverage most of the time. That may just be me!

Long story short: Volt Switch is at worst a solid sidegrade to existing Spark on Charjabug, and it’s really better to call it an overall upgrade. Some significant names start popping into the win column with Switch that I think push it over the edge, enough that I would argue it even bears at least bench consideration in Play! Pokémon tournaments, not to mention on the right team in GBL. Recommend coming out of Community Day with at least one really solid Volt Switch Charjabug for Great League.

Unfortunately you won’t be able to use Charjabug (or even Vikavolt) in Electric Cup later this season, which seems SO odd. I know they were banned last time, but… we can’t even get Charj unbanned this time? Such a shame. You WILL, however, get to unleash it in Halloween Cup, where I suspect it will make a nice showing with its varied and potent moveset. You may even want to look out for Little League version… can’t hurt, right?


As I mentioned, yes, go get yourself a good Volt Switch Charjabug. But I HAVE to take a quick second for a related topic. This is our first Community Day where the middle evolution is also getting the move, which makes me lament that we never saw, say, Shadow Ball Dusclops, or Surf Slowpoke, or heck, even Icicle Spear Sealeo. None would be gamebreaking or anything, but man, they WOULD be fun. I doubt Niantic will go back and revisit any of those, but here’s hoping this is a new trend they’ll consider sticking with in the future. There are actually a lot of very interesting middle evolutions in the game that are just one move tweak away from potential PvP glory, so I’m excited to see if we’ll get our shot at more. What middle evolutions would YOU like to see get the Community Day treatment, dear reader?

Alright, that’s all I got for today. Community Day is almost here! (This article marks #491 in the march to 500, for those keeping track.) Until next time, you can always find me on Twitter with regular PoGO analysis nuggets or Patreon.

Thanks for taking time out of your day to read this, folks. I hope it’s a help! Stay safe out there, and catch you next time, Pokéfriends.

Author & tags

PoGO/PvP Investigative Journalist, GO Hub and Silph Arena/Road Contributor, amateur cook, author of 'Nifty Or Thrifty' and 'Under The Lights' article series and #PvPfacts!

Further reading

Popular today

Latest articles

Support us

Buy GO Hub merch

Get your very own GO Hub t-shirt, mug, or tote.