Garchomp
Garchomp DragonGround

Is that a shark? Is that a jet plane? Is that a dragon?

Yep! It’s all of those ‘cool’ stuff neatly combined in what happens to be one of the most feared monsters in the competitive scene: Garchomp

Being gifted with the absolutely amazing typing of Dragon and Ground (lol, Flygon) and the elite status of being a pseudo legendary Pokémon, Garchomp has carved a niche for itself in being one of the most powerful Pokémon in existence.

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Garchomp brings its vintage terror to Pokémon Go and is one of the rarest and most sought after Pokémon in the game, just like it has always been in the main series games.

While trainers always tend to have a reinforced affinity for pseudo legendaries, Garchomp undoubtedly takes the crown for being the most coveted pseudo legendary in the game. In fact, Garchomp’s reputation as the “best pseudo legendary Pokémon” still remains unchallenged to this day. It is the leading Dragon type and pseudo legendary in the Gen 8 OU meta!

So what makes Garchomp… Garchomp? 

We take a look into the intricacies behind Garchomp’s amazing viability, its usage in PvP and PvE, movepool, potential Community Day and why Mega Garchomp in Pokémon Go, unlike the competitive battling scene, is perhaps the best non-legendary mega evolved Pokémon in the game!

With that being said, let’s get some basics right off the bat…


Typing and Match-ups

Garchomp has a Max CP of 3962 at Level 40 and Max CP of 4479 at Level 50.

It has a dual typing of Dragon and Ground and as such, is weak to the Dragon Ice and Fairy types, with the Ice type weakness being quadruple. 

The combination of Dragon and Ground is simply amazing…

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For one, the Dragon type is unresisted by a whopping 16 of the 18 Pokémon types! The only two types that resist Dragon are the Steel and Fairy types. 

This is where the secondary Ground typing really shines through.

You see, the Ground typing ties with the Fighting typing in hitting the most number of types for super-effective damage (5 types).

With its Ground typing STAB, Garchomp hits the Steel types for super-effective damage and does heavy neutral damage to the Fairy types.

Let’s face it… being a Dragon type and hitting Steel types, the best defensive type in the meta, for super-effective damage is an achievement on its own for any dragon! 

Not to mention, unlike the pioneering Ground and Dragon combo monster in Flygon, the pseudo legendary Garchomp is backed with amazing stats to make it a deadly threat to almost everything in the meta. It is of little wonder that Garchomp has consistently been among the most dominating forces in any Pokémon meta game. 

Garchomp also comes with 4 useful resistances: Fire Rock Poison and Electric

Stats

Garchomp has the following stat distribution in Pokémon Go:

Garchomp DragonGround
Level 40 CP 3962 | Level 50 CP 4479
ATK 261 DEF 193 HP 239
Weak to Strong Against
Dragon Fairy Ice Dragon Fire Electric Rock Poison Steel

What makes Garchomp the most feared and dominant pseudo legendary till date? 

Ask any competitive battler which monster they just hate running into and chances are high that almost everyone would say Garchomp. 

Even the most confident of battlers flinch when Garchomp enters the battlefield.

This land shark dragon has established its own era of dominance and it has been in the high tiers of competitive prominence consistently over the years. 

Despite technically being outclassed both as a Dragon and Ground type in Pokémon Go, it is still more dangerous than most of its draconic and earthy peers alike. Or is Garchomp really outclassed? 

Let’s dig into what makes this dragon so good:

Takes hits, hits harder

Garchomp is an offensive beast. 

But what many forget is the fact that it is amazingly bulky for an attacker of its power. 

Armed with a monstrous HP and a very respectable DEF, this weapon of mass destruction is going to keep hitting you and is going to be really difficult to be taken down.

Ash: “Pikachu, use Thunderbolt and slay it!”

Garchomp: “So you’ve chosen death?”

With the combination of Dragon and Ground, Garchomp boasts an amazing triple resistance to Electric type damage. 

Which means that any Electric type damage is a tickle to Garchomp’s Rough Skin (see what I did there?)

This is where this shark jet starts dominating the land and continents (aka Groudon)…

Due to its triple resistance to electricity, Garchomp is better at handling electric types than Groudon. 

It is this niche that makes Garchomp surpass other ground types considerably.

Tick, Tick, Tick…

That’s the sound of the fastest Outrage click

Pay close attention as it is this parameter that makes Garchomp better than its fellow dragons in the meta.

To put it into perspective, here’s the link to a battle simulation on PvPoke between a Garchomp and a Dragonite, both of the same level and IVs, pitted against each other in a typical Master League scenario with no shields.

Garchomp is armed with Mud Shot, Outrage and Sand Tomb.

Dragonite is armed with Dragon Breath, Outrage and Dragon Claw. 

Now, here are a few factors to be taken into consideration:

  • Mud Shot is inherently a low damage dealing fast move. With Dragonite’s Flying typing, Mud Shot would hardly do any damage to our Kanto dragon
  • Dragon Breath is a fantastic move in PvP. It hits hard and charges decently fast. Also, While Garchomp is hitting Dragonite with mud, Dragon Breath is continuously doing neat damage to Garchomp
  • Dragon Breath would get to the super-effective Dragon Claw before Garchomp gets to Outrage

With that being said, here are the results of the bout in case you haven’t checked out the PvPoke link:

Source: pvpoke.com

Welp! Garchomp won!

Despite taking massive amounts of damage from Dragonite’s Dragon Breath and Dragon Claw, Garchomp is bulky enough to tank ’em all and dish out a match-ending Outrage to seal the victory. 

With Mud Shot’s superior energy gains, Garchomp has the fastest Outrage in the entire meta. 

This shouldn’t be surprising actually.

Garchomp is infamous for its wonderful Speed stat in the competitive scene anyway. 

Mega-lodon Garchomp

Talking about the ‘competitive scenario’ and ‘speed’ inherently channels my focus on Mega Garchomp. 

For the uninitiated, Garchomp is theoretically better than Mega Garchomp in the competitive scene. Mega Garchomp’s loss of speed by a full 10 points behind its base form takes off much of Garchomp’s formidable sweeping potential and as such, Mega Garchomp needs immaculate strategies to make it sweep as Garchomp does.

But, hold on!

Pokémon Go doesn’t have the speed stat in its meta. And more importantly, competitive or Pokémon Go, Mega Garchomp comes with an astronomical ATK stat that puts legendaries to shame!

Get this…

Mega Garchomp has a whopping base 170 ATK stat in the main series games. That’s the same ATK stat as Black Kyurem! Not to mention, it also comes with amazing bulk.

When translated to Pokémon Go, Mega Grachomp has the following stat distribution:

Level 40 CP 5424 | Level 50 CP 6132
ATK 339 DEF 222 HP 239
Weak to Strong Against
Dragon Fairy Ice Dragon Fire Electric Rock Poison Steel

 

Get a load of those stats! 

339 ATK is beyond OP! Backed with solid defences and bulk, you can bet that Mega Garchomp is going to wreck the meta!

To put it into perspective, Mega Garchomp is going to be one of the best Pokémon in the game and the best non-legendary mega evolution out there. 

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On the Dragon side, it is going to be surpassed only by Mega Rayquaza as these two mega evolved dragons would end up being the best Dragon types in the entire meta, even considering future generations (till Gen 8)!

The most noteworthy point in this regard is that Mega Rayquaza will be nerfed and will have a lower max CP than Mega Garchomp! 

On the Ground side, Mega Garchomp outclasses all Ground types in existence and is perhaps more dangerous when compared to its Dragon type prowess.

You see… Mega Garchomp has a higher ATK stat and a higher Max CP than even Primal Groudon. While Primal Groudon with Precipice Blades would out-DPS Mega Garchomp, our land shark dragon has arguably a better typing against Electric types.

With Mud Shot paired with Outrage and Earthquake and that 339 ATK stat coupled with great bulk, Mega Garchomp is demolition in disguise wherein it can get to its lethal charged moves in no time and rip apart most of the opposition.

Mega Garchomp’s fires in all cylinders and is quite effectively one of the best Pokémon in the entire meta of Pokémon Go!

Holy Jaws!!! This thing is broken. An exemplary monster that rises above excellence!

Bottom line: You’re going to want Mega Garchomp! 

Moveset Analysis

Garchomp can learn the following moves in Pokémon Go:

Fast Moves Charged Moves
  • Mud Shot Ground
  • Dragon Tail Dragon
  • Outrage Dragon
  • Earthquake Ground
  • Sand Tomb Ground
  • Fire Blast Fire

 

Mud Shot is more or less a no-brainer. It is among the quickest charging fast moves in the game and helps Chomp reach its powerful charge moves in a jiffy.

Dragon Tail is a staple Dragon type fast move and lets Garchomp function as a very good Dragon type attacker. While Pokémon like Rayquaza, Salamence and Dragonite outclass Garchomp in the Dragon Tail role in PvE in terms of DPS, Mega Garchomp benefits tremendously from this move due to niche uses, especially due to higher TDO and the quickest access to Outrage in the entire game!

Outrage is practically the most powerful Dragon type charge move in the game and naturally, Garchomp dishes out massive damage with this outrageously powerful move.

Earthquake is a super powerful Ground type move that is honestly bread and butter for any Ground type Pokémon in any meta. Garchomp is just fantastic with Earthquake. The stats, typing and Mud Shot turn Garchomp’s Earthquake into a nuking terror in any meta!

Sand Tomb is Garchomp’s cheapest charge move and while its low power makes it pretty underwhelming in PvE, its role in PvP is a different ballgame altogether! The low energy requirement and 100% chance to lower the opponent’s DEF regardless of whether they use shields or not, makes Sand Tomb a very viable move for Garchomp. 

Fire Blast is underwhelming in all aspects. 

Sand Tomb or Earthquake in PvP?

This query has bothered countless trainers. 

Both have their niche uses.

After all, one of the biggest USPs of using Garchomp is its versatility. 

Earthquake is a move with amazing nuking potential. Hardly anything survives a straight-up Earthquake from Garchomp.

Therefore, Garchomp with Earthquake performs best as a closer and/or when the opponent’s shields are down. 

Sand Tomb charges at the snap of a finger and justifies Garchomp’s versatility in battle.

With Sand Tomb, Garchomp’s Outrage can potentially knock out something like Metagross even though the move is resisted. 

Not to mention, Sand Tomb makes Garchomp formidable in Team Go Rocket battles as it not only baits shields but makes Outrage all the more dangerous!

So what is Garchomp’s ideal moveset?

It is strongly recommended to go with Mud Shot paired with Outrage + Sand Tomb/Earthquake. 

Sand Tomb is ideal for a Garchomp that you use as an lead. The guaranteed DEF nerf is quite attractive.

That said, the potential of Garchomp to nuke with Earthquake is too sweet. Nothing beats the satisfaction of seeing a Garchomp OHKO the heavyweights of the Master League with an Earthquake. Therefore, for late game usage, Earthquake is preferable over Sand Tomb.


 

Performance in PvP 

Master League

A Pokémon like Garchomp is tailored for Master League. 

It deals with much of the league’s premier meta picks: Dragonite, Tyranitar, Lucario, Metagross, Zekrom, Reshiram and in some situations, even Dialga and Giratina’s forms.  

In a mirror match against a 100 IV Garchomp, you need 15 ATK, at least 14 DEF and at least 13 HP for it to be an equally matched bout.

Just keep it away from Togekiss though!

Pro tip!!!

Our baby shark Gible is still a rare spawn. 

But with Go Fest 2020 and possibly the August 2020 Dragon Week Event, you should aim for at least a 93 IV trade with 15/14/13 for Garchomp to function more or less equal to a hundo.   

That 15 ATK is all but mandatory for optimal chomping. 

Team Go Rocket Battles

Be it the shady grunts, pompous leaders or the supremo Giovanni himself, Garchomp’s super quick moveset, tremendous shield baiting potential, powerful moves, superior stats and coverage make it one of the best Pokémon to take on Team Go Rocket.


 

Performance in PvE

Raids

While Garchomp does pretty well as a Dragon type, it is outclassed in this role by many dragons. It is worth noting that Mega Garchomp would beat all its current peers and occupy a high position as a premier Dragon type attacker in raids.

Garchomp excels as a Ground type attacker, particularly against Electric raid bosses.

Gyms

With an exceptionally high max CP and a barrage of powerful moves with stellar coverage, Garchomp is an amazing Pokémon to sweep gyms.


 

The Community Day Potential

Note: This section is purely speculative. Niantic can and will make changes, and do as they desire. Take this section with a pinch of salt as I’m not in a position to present Niantic’s plans here in this article. 

When Niantic released shiny Gible in the Egg Shakeup Event, December 2019… many felt that since the shiny was made available, there would be no Gible Community Day. 

While the presence of a Pokémon’s shiny in prior has actually nothing to do with its Community Day, Niantic busted this myth by not only putting up already released shiny Pokémon as options in their voting panels for Community Day but by also hosting the Gastly Community Day. 

With all these things said and done, you can definitely hope for Gible Community Day on the cards!

So what are the possible exclusive moves that Garchomp might receive on its much-coveted Community Day? 

Earth Power is definitely an option to turn Garchomp into a more diverse Ground type attacker. 

Dragon Claw is another alternative that aids Garchomp in the shield baiting scenario but robs it from much of its sweeping potential. 

Or…

Garchomp can even get access to some new moves!

Dragon Rush, for instance, has been long associated with Garchomp in the main series games. 

Make it a Meteor Mash clone with 100 DMG and lesser energy requirement than Outrage, and it would function amazingly well from both the PvP and PvE side!

Or they can go with Breaking Swipe, a new Dragon type move introduced in Pokémon Sword and Shield. 

And if reports are to be believed, Garchomp is going to receive this move in the Crown Tundra DLC. 

Make it a fast move and a Mud Shot clone, and Garchomp would totally dominate as one of the premier Dragon type threats in the meta, particularly in PvP. 

It is worth noting that Garchomp is already a phenomenal Pokémon even without a Community Day exclusive move! 

So whatever Niantic ends up adding to Garchomp’s arsenal would only end up polishing this dragon even more! 


 

Conclusion

Garchomp has always been a hot special Pokémon right from its inception in Pokémon Diamond and Pearl.

A fast and bulky monster with monumental offensive prowess, jaw-dropping stats and phenomenal typing… Garchomp has been nothing short of dominant. 

It is easy to see why Garchomp remains one of the most coveted and rare monsters in Pokémon Go. It is just an absolutely amazing Pokémon. On that note, you can read some jaw-dropping info on Garchomp’s science and design in my article. Trust me, you don’t want to miss this one!

This beast will occupy a niche for itself with its unmatched versatility and power, regardless of how the ever dynamic meta of Pokémon Go keeps on transforming. 

And with Niantic bringing forth mega evolutions, expect Mega Garchomp to tear through the meta with those mean scythes! 

This is one Pokémon that makes ‘pseudo legendary’ sound more like ‘pseudo legendary

So…

Did you feel scared of watching Jaws?

Or marvel in amazement at Dany’s dragons from Game of Thrones? 

Wait till you face the land shark jet dragon ruling the meta: Garchomp!

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My name is Niladri Sarkar. A Team Valor Trainer, I'm a Pokémon Battle Mechanics Specialist & a Dragon Master on Smogon's Pokémon Showdown where I particularly excel with Dragon types and Weather teams in Ubers / OU. I love to apply my vast knowledge and experience to the ever changing meta of Pokémon Go, specialising in DPS/TDO math, movesets, the Master League and Dragon types. Garchomp is my best Pokémon pal through and through.