- Realistically, Brutal Swing Hydreigon will likely rank below Darkrai but above Yveltal as a Dark-type raid attacker, with similar performance to Chandelure or Giratina-O. This is if Brutal Swing is an above-average move.
- If we’re lucky, it might go up to the level of Darkrai and Shadow Tyranitar, if Brutal Swing becomes a move that’s great but not OP.
- New players will definitely get lots of usage from a team of great Dark-type attackers, but whether it’s worth 6xL40 or 6xL50 for veteran players remains a question.
- We don’t know exactly how good Brutal Swing would be, since Niantic hasn’t given us some crucial information yet.
Introduction and background
On Saturday, June 25, Deino will be featured on Community Day. Everyone is excited about the Pokémon choice for obvious reasons: it’s a pseudo legendary, both the Pokémon and its shiny used to be rare, and Hydreigon evolved during the event will learn a brand new Dark-type move, Brutal Swing.
But how good will Brutal Swing be? Niantic only announced incomplete information regarding the move: it has 65 power in both PvE (gyms and raids) and PvP (trainer and Team Rocket battles). Nevertheless, that didn’t stop PvP analysts like JRE47 from publishing excellent speculative analyses regarding Brutal Swing Hydreigon’s potential in PvP.
Analyzing its role as a raid attacker is much harder, though. In PvE, there are three components that define a move’s quality, and thus a Pokémon’s power as a raid attacker:
- Power (raw damage) – we know it’s 65
- Number of bars (1/2/3) – we don’t know
- Duration – we don’t know
Here, I’m making a wild guess: I’m presenting hypothetical versions of Brutal Swing with every reasonable duration and number of bars!
How to read the charts
The vertical axis (top to bottom) is how good the raid attacker is, in terms of either DPS3*TDO or DPS. The horizontal axis (left to right) is the speculated duration of Brutal Swing.
- Fact: 3-bar moves on average take 2.2 seconds. 2-bar moves on average take 2.8 seconds.
The red curve shows a 3-bar Brutal Swing with 65 power and duration on the x-axis, and the blue curve shows a 2-bar Brutal Swing.
Horizontal lines show the DPS3*TDO or DPS of other Dark or Ghost-type attackers, so that you can compare them to Brutal Swing Hydreigon in different scenarios.
- NOTE: In practice, Dark-type attackers usually do better than the charts suggest, thanks to their double resistance to psychic. In particular, Darkrai does better than shown here, and Gengar does worse than shown here.
Labeled points means that in this case, Brutal Swing would have similar DPS compared to if it was an exact clone of the move being mentioned:
- For Drill Peck, Discharge, Psyshock and Surf, which are all 65-power moves, the points show what would happen if Brutal Swing becomes an exact clone of these moves.
- For all other moves which do not have 65 power, Brutal Swing can’t be their clones, but will be similar (≈) to a clone of these moves. (e.g. If Brutal swing is a 3-bar 65-power move that takes 2.1s, it will be just as good as a dark-type clone of Leaf Blade, a 3-bar 70-power move that takes 2.4s.)
Note: Hydro Cannon, Frenzy Plant and Blast Burn are put on the 3-bar curve because they’re too OP to fit the 2-bar curve (Brutal Swing’s duration will be way too short). Focus on their DPS or DPS3*TDO (y-axis).
All DPS and TDO numbers are generated using the GamePress DPS/TDO spreadsheet.
How to make sense of these possibilities? We have no way to know, but I’ll make my best guesses, as shown in the 5 color-coded regions:
Too OP: (3-bar, <1.9s)
- Quality: These scenarios will make Brutal Swing Hydreigon the best non-mega Dark/Ghost raid attacker we have, period. Shadow Weavile still has higher DPS, but it’s too glassy.
- Likelihood: Nope. It requires Brutal Swing to be an absolutely broken move, like Frenzy Plant, Blast Burn and Hydro Cannon. Aside from the +/++ moves seen during Johto Tour, the last time we saw such a broken move was with V-Create in July 2020, almost two years ago. Unlikely to happen, especially given the quality of recently added new moves (Icicle Spear, Acrobatics, Drain Punch, Sacred Fire, Seed Flare, Mist Ball, Luster Purge).
Optimistic: (3-bar, 1.9s-2.2s; 2-bar, <1.5s)
- Quality: In these cases, BS Hydreigon will likely be similar to Shadow Weavile, Shadow Tyranitar and Darkrai, give or take. A top-tier Dark/Ghost raid attacker that is also affordable (for anyone who can play during CD).
- Likelihood: A bit more likely to happen, where Brutal Swing is very good but not broken, similar to current top-tier non-exclusive moves (e.g. Shadow Ball, Leaf Blade, Sky Attack). The problem is that, given its 65 power, Brutal Swing’s duration will be a bit short in these scenarios, so I don’t want to make any bets yet.
Realistic: (3-bar, 2.2-2.5s; 2-bar, 1.5-1.8s)
- Quality: I think Chandelure and Giratina-O are reasonable expectations here. Similar or higher DPS than Giratina-O, less bulk but with dark-type advantage; much less DPS than Chandelure, but bulkier and with much better typing. Either way, these scenarios will be above Yveltal and below Darkrai – still great and cheap, just not supreme, and likely not worth maxing out 6 for veteran players.
- Likelihood: Now this is one where I would actually place bets on. Brutal Swing would be comparable to above-average but still reasonable moves, some of which were introduced or given on prior CDs (Earth Power, Last Resort, Blaze Kick, Razor Shell, Icicle Spear). It would also have a realistic duration, as 3 of the 5 65-power moves fall under this ballpark: Drill Peck, Surf and Discharge.
Underwhelming: (3-bar, 2.5-2.7s; 2-bar, 1.9-2.1s)
- Quality: Still an improvement over non-legacy Dark Pulse Hydreigon, but a very insignificant one. Comparable to Yveltal at best, and worse than everything mentioned above. Admittedly, all these better options can be hard to find for new players, but long-term players will be disappointed.
- Likelihood: Not unbelievable since Psyshock, another 65-power move, falls in this category (and Discharge is borderline). Also, if Brutal Swing ends up being a 2-bar move, this becomes more likely. Given that most of the recently added moves didn’t live up the hype in PvE, it’s natural to be pessimistic – looking at you, Drain Punch.
Trash: (3-bar, >2.7s; 2-bar, >2.1s)
- Quality: Literally worse than non-legacy Dark Pulse Hydreigon. It can quite easily end up worse than non-shadow Weavile and Tyranitar, too. (Yes, Hydreigon was already the best non-shadow non-mega non-legendary dark attacker before CD, it just didn’t get any attention because of its rarity.)
- Likelihood: I don’t think Niantic will intentionally do this just to kill the hype for a Deino CD, but this is almost exactly what happened to Luster Purge. So it can happen again.
If I were to make a guess now, my bet would be a Drill Peck or Surf clone, or similar. Reasons:
- While Brutal Swing’s PvP stats are also not fully known, the most logical guess is 65/40, aka a clone of Drill Peck and Surf’s stats in PvP. A move’s PvE and PvP stats don’t have to be the same, but they’re often correlated.
- A Drill Peck or Surf clone lands within the range of recent new moves, without getting to ridiculously OP levels that have not be seen in a long time. It also opens the door to Brutal Swing being given to other Pokémon, such as Tyranitar, without making them too OP (counter example: Aura Sphere).