PvE Implications of the New Paldean Pokémon

A whole new generation of Pokémon is here in GO! And we have been covering their potential extensively in terms of PvP. But as we all know, there is always another side to it in Pokémon GO, PvE! So I will be taking off my PvP hat for a bit and talk about how well the new Paldean Pokémon do in raids. Starting with:

Meowscarada

Meowscarada
Max CP (Not Best Buddied) DPS TDO Total
3,193 14.96 492.25 1648.96

Best Raid Type: Grass (Leafage|Grass Knot)

Let’s start off on a positive note, Meowscarada is probably the one with the most PvE potential among the three new starters. And considering it has a total attack value of 233 along with access to the heavy-hitting fast attack, Leafage, it’s easy to see why. Meowscarada is ranked 18th overall according to our own database. And 9th overall if we ignore all Megas and Legendary. Now that would be the end of the story, Meowscarada is a decent pick for raids, but outclassed by 9 other similar Pokémon.

But that is not where Meowscarada’s story ends. Consider that 7 out of those 9 Pokémon are either Shadow or require legacy moves, and Meowscarada starts looking a lot better.  Both in terms of cost and immediate accessibility. With Tangrowth being the only non-shadow, non-legacy Pokémon to beat Meow Meow in terms of total damage (1651.84), and not by a lot. So yes, there are better options for Grass type raid attackers. But in terms of cost to performance, Meowscarada is pretty fantastic and will be even more so after its complimentary community day Frenzy Plant.

Meowscarada doesn’t do too well as a Dark type raid attacker though. Despite it having Night Slash, the lack of dark-type fast-attacks or fast energy-generating fast-attacks makes it not very viable. Interestingly, Meow Meow can run the Fairy type moves Charm and Play Rough together, making for a potential fairy-type raid move set. Though not a very good one as both moves are non-STAB.

Quaquaval

Quaquaval
Max CP (Not Best Buddied) DPS TDO Total
3,411 12.70 465.79 954.11

Best Raid Type: Water (Water Gun|Liquidation)

The other two starters leave a bit more to be desired, Starting with Quaquaval. Despite having a higher CP and slightly higher attack value of 236, Quaquaval actually performs worse than Meowscarada out of the box. With its damage total not even reaching the quadruple digits. And this time around, there aren’t as many caveats for Pokémon that outclass Quaquaval. With Clawitzer, Primarina, and Gyarados all coming closer to Meowscarada in terms of damage total in their type class without being shadow variants or having legacy moves. Heck, even Vaporeon slightly outclasses Quaquaval right now.

This is no doubt because Quaquaval’s current movesets are all middle of the road. With neither being exceptionally energy efficient or dealing heavy damage. This does mean Quaquaval has solid future potential though, after it receives its community day Hydro Cannon. After all, it does have the stats for it and the Water Gun, Hydro Cannon combo has worked really well for Feraligatr. So if you have a Quacker with good IVs I would recommend not fully evolving it and instead waiting for its community day hopefully in late 2024 or 2025.

Quaquaval’s secondary typing of Fighting once again does not come into play due to a lack of meaningful fast attack damage or a spammy charged attack. While I would joke about how you totally could use Quaquaval with full Flying type moves much like with Meowscarada with Fairy. But it’s not really worth even joking about when Quacky can’t even do its own job well out of the box.

Skeledirge

Skeledirge
Max CP (Not Best Buddied) DPS TDO Total
3422 12.80 604.61 1267.96

Best Raid Type: Ghost (Bite|Shadow Ball)

And we now go from bad to worse in terms of primary typing with Skeledirge. While having the highest max CP of all three starters, Skeledirge has the lowest total damage of only 759.83 as a Fire type raid attacker. This is thanks to its combination of having the lowest attack of the three (207) and a generally unideal movepool. Incinerate is a middle-of-the-road fast attack, which Skeledirge can only be paired up against Flamethrower a high-energy attack.

And unlike Quaquaval, I’m not sure about Skeledirge’s future potential as a Fire type either. There are no other Incinerate, Blast Burn users to pull from example, and Fire has some of the heaviest-hitting Pokémon there is so you’re not lacking in alternatives. Every version of Houndoom still performs better than Skeledirge right now, just as an example.

Skelly does a fair bit better against Psychic types though. Skeledirge might be the only one of the new trio who’s more competent with its secondary typing than its primary one. With a Dark type Bite and STAB Ghost type Shadow Ball, Skelly’s performance is decent enough. Though it’s still not something too noteworthy, especially with Bite being non-STAB. So you certainly have better options on that front as well. And interestingly, as a fellow FireGhost type Drifblim actually outperforms Skeledirge as both a Fire type raid attacker and a Ghost type raid attacker by quite a large margin.

Oinkologne

Oinkologne
Max CP (Not Best Buddied) DPS TDO Total
2949 10.22 436.81 465.91

Best Raid Type: Normal (Tackle|Body Slam)

Despite those hilariously low numbers, Oinkologne is actually the 9th best Normal type Pokémon not counting in megas and legendaries. But the thing is you never actually want to use a normal type for raids. Don’t get me wrong, Normal is a fantastic defensive typing for PvP thanks to its singular weakness to Fighting. But in raids, where you want to do the most damage possible in as little time as possible, normal types have no place as nothing is weak to normal.

Bombirdier

Bombirdier
Max CP (Not Best Buddied) DPS TDO Total
2949 12.56 434.51 860.87

Best Raid Type: Flying (Wing Attack|Fly)

Another mediocre option at best. Bombirdier is particularly not worth considering for PvE because quite a few far better Flying types are much more readily available. Unfezant is the closest approximation to Bombirdier and even Unfezant breaks into the quadruple digits. There are even significantly better options in Staraptor and Honchkrow (both shadow and regular variants). Honchkrow is particularly noteworthy as it shares the same type combination as Bombirdier FlyingDark and outclasses the new Paldean bird on both fronts. Bombirdier is a decent option for PvP though.

Lokix

Lokix
Max CP (Not Best Buddied) DPS TDO Total
2619 10.97 325.94 430.28

Best Raid Type: BugDark (Sucker Punch|Bug Buzz)

No, just no, I’m sorry. Lokix neither has the stats nor the moves to be competent as a raid attacker. Interestingly, its best use case is an anti-psychic utilizing both of its typing, with only a damage total of 430.28. It works worse as a pure bug type [372.99 total] and as a pure dark type [405.27 total]. So, uhh ya, not really worth using.

Pawmot

Pawmot
Max CP (Not Best Buddied) DPS TDO Total
2978 14.89 429.40 1418.79

Best Raid Type: Electric (Spark|Wild Charge)

Coming back to something worth talking about. Pawmot is good. In fact, I’d say really good in terms of cost to performance. Pawmot is 6th overall in terms of performance on our own database not counting megas and legendaries. And second overall if we ignore those expensive to power-up shadow Pokémon as well. Only really being outclassed by Magnezone. But still, due to a lack of power-up cost friendly competition, Pawmot is very decent and I’d say definitely worth getting if you’re in need of more solid Electric types.

Pawmot’s potential as a Fighting type raider is a bit lacking though. So I’d say stick to using Pawmot as a purely Electric type raid attacker.

Baxcalibur

Baxcalibur
Max CP (Not Best Buddied) DPS TDO Total
4013 15.40 681.03 2487.30

Best Raid Type: DragonIce (Dragon Breath|Blizzard)

We started this raid analysis on a positive note, so let’s close it on a really positive note! Not only does it have a really high CP and stat total, but it also has the unique DragonIce typing. A type combination only shared by the legendary Kyurem. Bax could be used as a sole Dragon type (1945.84 damage total) or Ice type (1823.85 damage total). That pure ice type Baxcalibur with Ice Fang and Avalanche is particularly noteworthy. As it would make Bax the 4th strongest pure ice type attacker in the game, even counting in legendaries and megas.

But Baxcalibur’s strongest move combination utilizes both of its types and runs Dragon Breath and Blizzard. Reaching an impressive total damage of 2487.30, near-legendary and mega levels of damage! But while this is its strongest combination Bax can’t really go wrong with most of its move combinations. For a full in depth analysis, check out our dedicated Baxcalibur Meta Analysis.

If that wasn’t enough Baxcalibur is solid for PvP as well in the Master League and its pre-evolution Arctibax is solid for the Great League. Its pre-evolution Frigibax is going to be one of the rarer spawns for the ultra-unlock event, so definitely make sure to catch any that you find in the wild!

Team GO Rocket Consideration

Well, I’m done with the raid part of the discussion. But there is another part of PvE to consider, Team GO Rocket! While most of the regular grunts are easy enough to deal with if you just bring your strongest Pokémon that’s strong to the grunt’s type, they aren’t the only GO Rocket members. For the leaders and Giovanni, you could have a hard time if you come in unprepared.

This is where the previously understated Lokix and Oinkologne come in. So if you were previously disappointed with these two Pokémon raid performances here is their time to shine! 

Because of how the GO Rocket AI works, they will about 6 turns whenever you use a Charged Attack, Faint, or Switch Out a Pokémon. Not only that, the leaders and Giovanni will always use up their two shields on your first two charged attacks, regardless of what Pokémon or moves you use. With that in mind, Oinkologne’s Tackle, Body Slam, and Lokix’s Sucker Punch, Bug Bite combo are both super spammy. Perfect for taking less damage and eating up the GO Rocket shield supply!

Granted any spammy Pokémon can do the job provided you’re at least neutral to whatever Pokémon the GO Rocket member is using. But if you have a particular fondness for these two Pokémon they will do just fine. As for which one of the two is better, I want to give a slight edge to Oinkologne due to its better bulk. But you can’t really go wrong either way as Lokix’s Sucker Punch generates energy faster.

Conclusion

And there you have it! I’m very glad to say just about all of the new Pokémon have some play or at least future potential for PvE. Baxcalibur, Pawmot, and Meowscarada are definitely the biggest winners in terms of raids right now. Whereas Oinkologne and Lokix are better suited for Team GO Rocket and Quaquaval has the greatest future potential. As the Ultra Unlock gives another five days of 4x XP and 4x Stardust there are more than enough reasons to play and catch these new Pokémon and make the best use of them. Stay safe out there and happy catching!

Goodbye for now, Pokémon trainers. Priom-out!

Author & tags

Priom
Priom
Pokémon fan since as early as object permanence allows. Me and my Pokébuddy, PoppyGO are here to hopefully help you with all of Pokémon GO's going-ons!

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