“One coincidence is just a coincidence, two are a clue and three are proof”
-Agatha Christie (apparently)
We all went bonkers when Gible Community Day was announced for June 2021. Then, we felt the same pomp when Deino Community Day was announced for June 2022. And their shinies were part of the previous year’s GO Fest.
Hmm, it doesn’t take a detective to deduce that Axew Community Day would have been announced for June this year. And lo and behold… here we are!
Now three points are pretty clear:
- Haxorus gets Breaking Swipe, the best move it could hope for
- Goomy Community Day seems all set for June 2024, now that we also know that Shiny Goomy will debut in this year’s GO Fest
- Haxorus is NOT a pseudo legendary, though it should have been one and Niantic treats it as one
With that in perspective, let’s focus on Haxorus and see if this dragon ‘hax’ the meta. So this article will shed light on how better Haxorus is with Breaking Swipe, how it’s one of those rare Community Day events that will make both PvP and PvE players happy, and what moveset benefits it in the Master League.
Let’s begin by highlighting Haxorus’ stats and match-ups:
|Max CP at lvl 40 3593 | Max CP at lvl 50 4062
|Dragon Fairy Ice
Haxorus has a very simple profile. It’s like reading a neat and organized job resume.
For starters… err, pseud… duh, it’s not even that, well whatever! So Hax is a pure Dragon, raising a middle claw to other Dragon types with a 2x weakness to Ice or Fairy in Pokémon GO (looking at you, Salamence, Garchomp, and Hydreigon). While this is indeed a saving grace, it doesn’t help that Haxorus’ bulk is decent at best.
Ah well, I was sugar coating it… Hax’s bulk is not really good.
Speaking of sugar, there’s an icing on the cake: 284 ATK.
ArCeUS BLeSs Haxorus because that ATK stat is the same as… oh yes… Rayquaza!
That said, Haxorus’ bulk is again a sorry case as it’s only 80% of that of Rayquaza’s.
And so… *drum roll*… the cherry on top of the sugar coated cake…Haxorus is given the gift of Breaking Swipe.
It’s not the best, but it’s honest work. It doesn’t make Haxorus a big deal but definitely a bigger deal than what it was. And it might still have something better than other Dragon types. We’ll see what that is!
Taking a Slice at Breaking Swipe
We all know Breaking Swipe, in essence, isn’t such a ‘powerful move’ in terms of damage numbers alone. So what makes it so good and so coveted? Let’s break it down by checking out the stats of Breaking Swipe first:
Effect: Debuffs opponent’s ATK by 1 stage
Cooldown: 0.80 sec
Breaking Swipe in PvP
When you look at the PvP stats, it is easy to see that Breaking Swipe is literally a Dragon Claw clone stat-wise. The only difference is the fact that Breaking Swipe is able to debuff the opponent’s ATK by -1. This clearly makes Breaking Swipe the winner here.
Dragon Claw is a very good move in itself but Breaking Swipe takes it a notch higher with the opponent’s ATK debuff. So even if your opponent shields, their ATK is going down! As such, it’s going to be easier for you to farm and/or survive longer till the opponent switches or is out of the bout.
It is worth noting that the mechanics of Breaking Swipe pair very well with a Pokémon that has relatively lower bulk than other Pokémon in the meta. It gets even better for Haxorus because:
- It has a high ATK stat, that outshines every other relevant Dragon type in the meta (except Rayquaza, of course). To put it into perspective, Hax’s 284 ATK is higher than that of Palkia (280), Dialga (275), Reshiram and Zekrom (275), Dragonite (263), and Garchomp (261). Yes, its bulk is a major concern but that’s very a low-energy and extremely resourceful move like Breaking Swipe helps Haxorus
- Haxorus’ fast moves are a boon. Counter and Dragon Tail are two of the best fast moves in general, and Breaking Swipe blends seamlessly with them.
When you take the PvE side of things into account, it gets very interesting because Breaking Swipe and Dragon Claw aren’t clones here. But let’s see which one’s better, shall we?
For that, check out Dragon Claw’s PvE stats:
Cooldown: 1.70 sec
At first glance, it looks like Dragon Claw is better. But wait… did you see the cooldown figures? Dragon Claw’s cooldown (1.70 sec) is more than twice that of Breaking Swipe’s (0.80 sec). So when you consider a raid battle where the clock is ticking, and DPS (Damage per second) is of utmost priority, we get the following:
DPS (Breaking Swipe) = 43.75
DPS (Dragon Claw) = 29.41
Breaking Swipe is clearly the better move.
Breaking Swipe vs Outrage
In PvP, Breaking Swipe (or even Dragon Claw) is the preferred move over Outrage. I say preferred and not better because a nuke move like Outrage is clearly dangerous. Just imagine a Mud Shot Garchomp as a Closer who is about to decimate you with Outrage! In other words, a cheaper move with decent damage like Breaking Swipe/Dragon Claw is often more flexible. So that’s that for PvP.
In PvE, however, it gets verrryyyy interesting. Outrage is a 2-bar 110 DMG charged move with a cooldown of 3.90 sec while Breaking Swipe is a 3-bar 35 DMG charged move with a cooldown of 0.80 sec.
The numbers indicate that Outrage is the better one. And we are also used to throwing Dragon Tail + Outrage attacks for years now. So Outrage wins, right? Right?
Breaking Swipe is the best Hax could get. Here’s why:
Tick, tick, the clock strikes while Haxorus swipes
Did you see Breaking Swipe’s cooldown? It’s just 0.8 sec!
Outrage takes 3.90 sec on the clock. This means that Outrage’s duration is nearly 5 times more than that of Breaking Swipe!
If that wasn’t impressive enough already, Breaking Swipe with 0.80 sec takes lesser time than fast moves like Dragon Tail (1.10 sec) and Counter (0.90 sec)!
Which bring us to the next highlight…
The not-so-incredible bulk of Haxorus
For Pokémon with low bulk, time is of the essence more than their relatively bulkier peers. In raids when the clock is ticking, a Pokémon with low bulk needs to deal as much damage as possible during its presence in the raid battle.
With Breaking’s Swipe low cooldown, Haxorus can more or less spam the move and keep hitting the raid boss multiple times till it goes down. In contrast, Haxorus may or may not get to more than a single Outrage. In addition, Outrage also has 5x the cooldown of Breaking Swipe.
In a nutshell (cracked by Haxorus’ razor-sharp axe tusks), Breaking Swipe lets Haxorus deal more damage during its window of presence in the raid battle and is more efficient, both in terms of energy and time. Not to mention, dodging is also easier with Breaking Swipe.
Moveset Build for the Master League
Let’s see what moves Haxorus learns in Pokémon GO because most of us aren’t/weren’t aware of any beyond Dragon Claw and Night Slash.
Raise your hands if you had no clue about Haxorus having Surf or Earthquake! Trust me, you are not alone.
Haxorus has always been a dark horse in the Master League with its Counter/Dragon Tail + Dragon Claw and Night Slash combo. So there was never a need for Surf or Earthquake per se. The focus was always to rack in STAB Dragon Claw and hopefully get off a lucky 2x ATK boost with Night Slash to make Counter/Dragon Tail hit hard… very hard.
But Breaking Swipe is literally an abomination of Dragon Claw in PvP, giving you the assurance of a guaranteed opponent’s ATK drop. This effectively makes Haxorus bulkier as your opponent is hitting you with a lowered ATK.
Now, let’s elaborate on the best moveset for Haxorus in the Master League.
Best Charged Attack Combo?
Breaking Swipe is a default addition to your Haxorus. But what about the second charged move?
Obviously out of the equation already.
One would bank on a guaranteed (100%) chance at lowering the opponent’s ATK any day in comparison to a possible (12.5%) chance at increasing your own ATK. Moreover, in a losing scenario, the Breaking Swipe is clearly preferred over Night Slash. What this entails is the fact that one has no real reason to pack Night Slash when there is more to be gained from Breaking Swipe at the same 35 energy cost. So including Night Slash as a second charged move along with Breaking Swipe doesn’t serve any purpose.
Earthquake is an excellent nuke but let’s face it… it favors a Pokémon with either a cheap fast move or respectable bulk. Unfortunately, Hax has neither. Yes, Counter has a low energy per turn (EPT) of 3.50 but Hax’s bulk makes a sad case for this move to successfully execute an Earthquake.
Sporting 65 DMG and 40 energy cost, Surf is a decently good PvP move. It costs just 5 more energy than Night Slash and deals 15 more damage. More importantly, Water is a more useful attacking type than Dark in the ML meta.
So the best charged move combo for Haxorus is Breaking Swipe + Surf.
Best Fast Move?
Ah, this is a fine debate!
Counter has a [DPT/EPT] profile of [4.00/3.50] and a cooldown of 1.00 sec. STAB? No.
Dragon Tail has a [DPT/EPT] profile of [4.33/3.00] and a cooldown of 1.50 sec. STAB? Yes.
Both have their logical arguments and both have their applications. Counter helps with Steel types, while Dragon Tail helps with Dragon and types. So each case presents an impressive slew of victories for Hax.
But let’s give them some relatable perspectives for your benefit!
- Counter for Haxorus is like giving a knife to a surgeon. Methodical, smooth, and very flexible. Counter offers breadth.
- Dragon Tail for Haxorus is like giving a knife to a butcher. Dangerous, brutal, and very concise. Dragon Tail offers depth.
Literally apples and oranges, my friend! Haxorus’ improvement with Breaking Swipe doesn’t break the meta; rather it shifts the meta. It can be a great fit for a team that already has Pokémon with respectable bulk in their arsenal. In other words, it is a ‘welcome pivot’ to a team that has already been built well.
The Best Haxorus ML Moveset
The best moveset for an ML Haxorus is Counter/Dragon Tail paired with Breaking Swipe and Surf.
In fact, the numbers show the following:
Master League Premier
Open Master League
While Dragon Tail gives significantly better performance numbers than Counter against the meta, both are really good options with each offering utility in battles.
Haxorus got the best it could expect from its Community Day. It’s a great opportunity for trainers to get a good Dragon type Pokémon in their arsenal. While Breaking Swipe Haxorus may not be as powerful as other legendary and pseudo legendary dragons, it offers great utility courtesy of amazing fast moves, a sky-high ATK stat, and the mono Dragon typing.
Most Dragon types have to rely on expensive charged moves like Outrage and Draco Meteor, Haxorus has an amazing time-efficient charged move to salvage in raids as well as GBL.
And how could I forget to mention how gorgeous the Shinies of the entire Axew line are (particularly Fraxure and Haxorus!).
So let’s have a wonderful Community Day that hosts a rare and powerful Pokémon that’s extremely popular as well!