Exciting news for the Pokémon GO PvP community as Niantic has announced that several moves are being updated to better fit the release of GO Battle League becoming available very soon!
This will have a great impact on the current meta and we will be discussing the changes for each move, diving into popular picks in battle to determine how this will affect different Pokémon in different situations.
Updated Charge Moves
• Night Slash – “Its energy requirement has been reduced in Trainer Battles, and it now has a chance to greatly increase the user’s Attack stat.”
Firstly, the energy required to use Night Slash being reduced means good news for Pokémon such as Gliscor, Scizor, Scyther, and Primeape as going from needing 50 energy down to only 35 will create a lot more usability for these Pokémon and will create for more shield baiting potential alongside with being a bigger threat.
Night Slash is a 50 damage move that now has a 12.5% chance to grand the user a +2 Attack buff which can be deadly if you can get this buff early on in a fight. Overall this is a massive buff to the move which will be exciting to see in full effect.
• Icy Wind – “This move now decreases your opponent’s Attack stat when used.”
The damage and energy cost will be staying the same at 60 damage and 45 energy. Each time you use this move you will now have a 100% chance to decrease your opponent’s Attack by 1 stage.
Ice Wind only takes 45 energy to use while also having a guaranteed stat decrease for your opponent. This can be handy for those hard-hitting Pokémon that usually melt through your line of defense. Pokémon such as Drifblim, Glaceon, and Prinplup are among the main users that will benefit from this change.
• Hydro Cannon – “Hydro Cannon now deals less damage in Trainer Battles. Community Day exclusive attacks are intended to be powerful, but Hydro Cannon was too strong.”
Arguably one of the absolute strongest Charge Moves in the entire game for PvP, Hydro Cannon, is getting a nerf to its overall damage.
Hydro Cannon will now deal 80 damage instead of 90. This may not seem like the biggest nerf in the world, but with how often it can be used and only costing 40 energy, it is a much needed nerf. This nerf will be felt as you will live in more situations that would otherwise take a Pokémon down.
The only 3 Pokémon that currently have access to this Community Day exclusive move and will be affected by this nerf are Feraligatr, Blastoise and last but definitely not least, Swampert.
• Frustration and Return – “They now take longer to charge in Trainer Battles and deal more damage. Since all Shadow Pokémon have access to Frustration and Return (through purifying), we wanted to make sure these attacks do not become too all-purpose.”
These Shadow/Purified exclusive moves are being updated too with Frustration getting quiet a huge nerf making the usability of this move less frequent. Frustration has gone from needing 40 energy to use, to now needing 70 energy.
The worst part about this is that before this update Frustration was already a move that did not share much use in battle. Its main use was that it was a decent shield baiting move, however, now it is substantially worse and not recommended at all to use.
Return, on the other hand, is a bit of a different story. Its damage is getting a massive buff going from 50 damage to 130 damage. Its energy to use is going from 40 up to 70. This has changed the whole dynamic of the move, as before it was a decent neutral move that dealt moderate damage. The change has now made it into a Normal type nuke that if not shielded, now has the potential to knock out healthy opponents.
This change will mainly affect Pokémon such as Banette, Ivysaur, Gloom, and Dragonair.
• Sand Tomb – “When used in Trainer Battles, Sand Tomb now charges quickly, deals less damage and decreases your opponent’s Defense by one stage. Forretress, Torterra, Garchomp, and Gliscor can now learn Sand Tomb.”
This lesser-known Charge Move is joining the spotlight with this update. Its energy to use has gone from needing 60 energy down to 40. The damage this move did has been nerfed which dealt 80 damage and dropping all the way down to 25 which is a significantly big nerf to its overall damage. Not only that but now is guaranteed to decrease your opponent’s defense by 1 stage.
This complete move rework has made it go from a high damage dealing move to a more strategic utility attack. Its usefulness now can bait opponents into shielding while also having the benefit of decreasing your opponent’s defense.
Forretress, Torterra, Garchomp, and Gliscor will now have access to this move. This could give Garchomp, in particular, more use in battle as its current Charge Moves are all high energy use moves. Adding in this move to it will add more strategic ways to play Garchomp and will now have the ability to shield bait which it previously did not.
• Overheat, Draco Meteor, and Psycho Boost – “These attacks now charge up quicker in Trainer Battles, but they sharply decrease your own Pokémon’s Attack after use. Some damage values have been adjusted down to maintain balance.”
There is a lot to discuss as these 3 moves are becoming more of a risky all or nothing kind of arsenal instead of its only use of just taking a while to charge then releasing a devastating amount of raw damage.
Firstly, Overheat has gone from dealing 150 damage, now down to 130 damage. Keep in mind that 130 damage is still an insane amount in PvP. Now it will not take a year to charge as the energy cost to use has gone from 80 down to only 55. As good as this sounds, it comes with a great cost. Now every time you use this move, your Attack stat will be dropped by 2 whole stages! (This stat decrease will apply to all 3 of these moves).
This move will impact a lot of current meta Pokémon such as Charizard, Ninetales, Mew, Typhlosion, Magcargo, Entei, Blaziken, Camerupt, and Torkoal.
The massive damage of Draco Meteor will be staying the same at a massive 150 damage. the only rework to this move is the energy cost that will go from 75 down to 65 alongside the -2 Attack stat decrease to the user.
Currently, only 4 Pokémon know this move as it has been a Community Day exclusive move. These Pokémon include Dragonite and Salamance, alongside the 2 Legendaries, Dialga and Palkia. None of these Pokémon really have their place in the Great League, however, in the Ultra/Master Leagues, this is an important change that will give trainers the opportunity to show their decision making in an intense battle.
The change to Psycho Boost will only effect one Pokémon, Deoxys! (and all of its forms). The main form that currently has the most use in PvP is, of course, the Defense Form because of its stat distribution and versatility.
Like Draco Meteor, the damage will stay the same at 70 damage. Its energy cost is going from 40 to only needing 35 energy to use and having the Attack decrease on the user.
As mentioned, these moves will all be extremely risky and is recommended to be used as a last resort to taking down an opponent. The -2 Attack stat decrease to the user will be influential to any Pokémon.
A good tip would be to swap out once you get enough energy to use one of these 3 moves and trying to use it when your opponent is out of shields to use. Keep in mind the stat decrease will still apply to a user if your opponent shields which means it is not recommended at all to use these moves as a shield baiting tool.
Another way that would benefit a user while using these moves, is to use it when your Pokémon is low on health. This way the stat decrease would not matter too much and the move would be able to deal tonnes of damage to your opponent without any consequence to yourself.
• Close Combat – “This attack now charges up quicker in Trainer Battles, but it sharply decreases your own Pokémon’s Defense after use.”
This hard-hitting Fighting type move is keeping its same damage output at 100 damage. On the contrary, its energy has gone from needing 100 to 45 energy. This move also has a stat decrease, when the user uses this move, their Defense stat will drop by 2 stages.
Many strong Fighting type Pokémon in the current meta such as Primeape, Machamp, Hitmonchan, Granbull, Heracross, Lucario and Gallade will be among many to have access to Close Combat and be affected by this change.
Like the other stat decrease moves, this should also be used as a last resort or to be used when your opponent has no shields left. This change makes Fighting types more dangerous to come across. Keeping in mind how important the use of shields are in battle can be vital coming across these users.
These Charge Move changes are exciting and is the right step for Niantic balancing the game before the release of the GO Battle League.
Although these changes may be overwhelming, take this as your guide for which Pokémon will be affected and how to master these new moves so you may be one step ahead of your opponent.
Best of luck in battle Trainers!