Ground Type Analysis: Meta, Improvements and Usage

Among the 18 different types in Pokémon Go, the Ground type has been rather underwhelming. This comes as a surprise as this typing is one of the best offensive types in the Pokémon world and has some amazing Pokémon which even includes legendaries. It’s not that the Ground typing is poor. It’s just that there are certain issues with it in the game right now.

Indeed, it is actually a fantastic type in the main series games. In fact, Ground is the only type that a pure Electric type takes super-effective damage from. Ground, tied with the Fighting type, deals super-effective damage to maximum number of Pokémon types: Fire Electric Rock Poison and Steel.

This also includes Steel, the best defensive typing in the game.

So basically, this earthy type has everything going right for it.

Then, why is this type not that coveted despite having some of the most powerful Pokémon in the game?

This article aims to answer that and see what kind of improvements can be brought into play. The good news is that things are certainly looking up for this type. How exactly? Let’s find out!

Earthquake: Not really shaking up the meta

Earthquake is one of the most devastating moves in the main series games. With heavy damage and 100% accuracy, it is a staple move exhibited by countless competitive Pokémon teams.

In Pokémon Go, there has been absolutely no compromise on the power of this literally earth-shattering move. It has an impressive base damage of 120 in both PvE and PvP. However, it is held back by the fact that it is a 1-bar charge move.

 1-bar charge moves hold immense power, but they cost too much in terms of energy. This gets even more interesting when you consider that Pokémon Go has tremendously powerful charge moves that are 2-bar. For instance, think about why you would prefer Outrage over Draco Meteor for the Dragon types. So, more often than not, the Pokémon would faint even before they can fire off their charge move. The situation gets even worse in PvP, where your opponent had got shields at their disposal.

Earthquake is literally making the Ground type meta down-to-earth (pun intended).

Future Improvements?

Hopefully, yes! This is based on the fact that the 1-bar Psychic type move Psychic was recently upgraded to a 2-bar move on the introduction of Psystrike Mewtwo. This was done in accordance to the huge gap in power between Psystrike and Psychic, and the various meta relevant Pokémon having Psychic in their movepool. These include Mewtwo itself, Alakazam and Espeon. In fact, Psychic managed to even outclass Future Sight, the previously best Psychic type move. However, it is worth noting that during the inception of Pokémon Go, Psychic was a 2-bar charge move in the first place. So basically, Niantic has just reverted back to the heydays when it comes to Psychic’s status as a 2-bar charge move.

Groudon is one day set to receive its signature move Precipice Blades, which is undoubtedly bound to be an OP move. Will the huge power gap between the Earthquake users and Precipice Blades Groudon make Niantic turn Earthquake into a 2-bar charge move?

Only time will tell.

Earth Power: Not enough power from its current users

In May 2019, Niantic added the powerful Ground type move Earth Power to some Pokémon. It is a 2-bar charge move in PvE with a base damage of 100, while in PvP it takes an energy of -55 to dish out 90 base damage. This makes it a blessing for Ground type Pokémon.

The issue with it?

There’s no powerful Pokémon having Earth Power in its arsenal. The current Pokémon that can use Earth Power just don’t have the stats to break the meta. Flygon received Earth Power as its Community Day exclusive move, but it has decent stats and improves its own placement in the Ground type meta. But that’s about it. Overall, it isn’t doing much.

Future Improvements?

A resounding YES!

Post the release of Gen 5, the stats and moveset of all the Pokémon have been found in the game master. While Niantic can and has changed them in the past, from the looks of whatever we have now, Landorus (Therian Form) is finally the answer to our prayers to the Earth Gods.

This legendary Pokémon literally had god-like stats and the formidable combination of Mud Shot and Earth Power, which will make it completely surpass Earthquake Groudon in terms of DPS. In fact, even Landorus (Incarnate Form) is second only to its Therian counterpart in terms of breaking the Ground type meta. Mud Shot and Earth Power Landorus are going to be your go-to Ground type attacker for gyms and raids. Furthermore, it is going to absolutely dominate in the Master League of PvP, becoming the top counter to the current king: Dialga. It is really hard to imagine that a Ground type Pokémon can occupy this position, but it’s true! Of course, Precipice Blades could give back the earth’s throne to Groudon, but Landorus is going to remain a big shot in the Ground typing.

But that is not all.

While this is pure speculation*, the pseudo legendary from Gen 4, Garchomp can receive Earth Power in its eventual Community Day. This land shark dragon does learn the move in the main series games and considering the fact that it already has the best possible Dragon type moveset in the game now, Dragon Tail and Outrage, it may very well receive a meta defining Ground type move. What better than Earth Power?

However, Niantic even introduces new moves in Community Day. Garchomp is well-known for the Dragon type move: Dragon Rush. Niantic may throw us a curveball and give Dragon Rush to Garchomp.

*Do note that this speculation is not a fact or theory confirmed by Niantic, Pokémon Go or Go Hub. It’s purely speculation from the writer of this article.

The future indeed looks bright for these earth dwelling Pokémon. It remains to be seen what all Pokémon Go does with them and how it handles the various nuances associated with this amazing type. We can only keep our fingers crossed and busy in playing Pokémon Go. For the moment, let’s check out the most relevant Ground type Pokémon currently in the meta:

Groudon

Pokemon GO GroudonGroudonGround
Max CP 4115
ATK 270 DEF 228 HP 205
Weak to Strong Against
Water Grass Ice Fire Electric Rock Steel Poison

 

This legendary Pokémon is the epitome of this typing. With monstrous stats and a temperament that can only be calmed down by Rayquaza, this Continent Pokémon is the rightful leader of the Ground type Pokémon.

Groudon is an incredibly bulky Pokémon with massive TDO, making it one of the most powerful legendary Pokémon out there. However, its true potential is held back by Earthquake. While its signature move Precipice Blades would also probably be a 1-bar move, the immense power of that move backed by Groudon’s phenomenal stats are enough to surpass all others. Not to mention, it also has a Primal Reversion. That, folks, is scary and this is just an understatement.

Excadrill

Pokemon GO ExcadrillExcadrillGroundSteel
Max CP 3244
ATK 255 DEF 129 HP 242
Weak to Strong Against
Fire Ground Fighting Water Fairy Ice Rock Fire Electric Poison Steel

Excadrill has excellent ATK and STA stats, and the inclusion of the 2-bar Drill Run into its movepool makes it surpass even Earthquake Groudon in terms of DPS. This has also temporarily made Excadrill as the best Ground type attacker in the game currently (on the release of the 1st wave of Gen 5). The reason behind its temporary role is its disappointing DEF stat. But full points to Excadrill for digging deep and doing its bit in improving the Ground type meta.

Garchomp

Pokemon GO GarchompGarchompDragonGround
Max CP 3962
ATK 261 DEF 193 HP 239
Weak to Strong Against
Dragon Ice Fairy Dragon Fire Electric Rock Poison Steel

This pseudo legendary is an immensely popular Pokémon among the fanbase and rightfully so! Backing remarkable stats and a fabulous typing, it is destined for greatness. One of the most noteworthy points regarding Garchomp is its utility in the meta. While it indeed does possess the best Dragon type moveset in the game currently, it is outclassed by many of its draconic peers including its fellow pseudo legendary Salamence and the mighty Rayquaza (something which even tames Groudon!).

Where Garchomp shines more than its shiny, is in the Ground type. Boasting of a triple resistance to Electric type attacks, Garchomp makes quick work of Electric Pokémon and it does that better than even Groudon. With a future Community Day and Mega Evolution in line, this land shark is all set to chomp deeper into the meta.

Rhyperior

Pokemon GO RhyperiorRhyperiorGroundRock
Max CP 3733
ATK 241 DEF 190 HP 251
Weak to Strong Against
Water Grass Steel Ice Ground Fighting Fire Steel Electric Rock Poison Bug Flying Ice

Rhyperior is a pretty solid Pokémon with good stats across the board. Add the fact that it is very tanky, and you have a monster shelling out massive TDO. Once again, Rhyperior is a recipient of Earthquake. This really harms Rhyperior due to its typing lending it numerous weaknesses, which also includes two 4x weaknesses in the Water and Grass types. Despite its bulk, when facing off against these attacks, Rhyperior is going to go down before it can even fire off an Earthquake. Furthermore, this Pokémon impresses more as a Rock type attacker when compared to the Ground. In favorable matchups, however, Rhyperior is undoubtedly a superior pick.

Flygon

Pokemon GO FlygonFlygonGroundDragon
Max CP 2661
ATK 205 DEF 168 HP 190
Weak to Strong Against
Dragon Ice Fairy Dragon Fire Electric Rock Poison Steel

This beautiful Pokémon has an amazing design and excellent typing. But it has always been overshadowed on the competitive scene by Garchomp, who has the same typing. Flygon is another recipient of Earthquake, which had limited its utility as a Ground type attacker. However, it was blessed with Earth Power in the October 2019 Community Day. Did Earth Power turn Flygon’s fortunes? Sadly not.

While the inclusion of Earth Power into Flygon’s movepool definitely improved its standing as a Pokémon in battle, its average stats did not really let it justify the immense power in Earth Power. However, you can definitely put Earth Power Flygon among your line-up when facing off against Electric type Pokémon. Its access to Mud Shot, the fast move with the best energy generation in the game, lets it fire off at least one Earth Power. The Dragon typing gives it the triple resistance to Electric type attacks. As such, Flygon may not be the best but it certainly is usable!

Conclusion

The Ground type undoubtedly includes some fantastic Pokémon and plays one of the best offensive roles in the game, delivering super-effective damage to some very notable types. The current utility of Ground type is held by the lackluster Earthquake and the lack of accessibility of high stats Ground Pokémon to Earth Power.

Fortunately, Pokémon Go has a track record of giving Pokémon their due. The move Psychic received a welcome buff on the introduction of the best generalist in the game: Psystrike Mewtwo. For that matter, even the Fairy type got their own with a hard-hitting fast move in Charm. We can only hope a similar treatment being meted out to the Ground types with some much-needed buff(s).

The best part is that the future looks fertile for the ground meta. Landorus, Groudon, Garchomp… this type has some fantastic monsters that are going to hold their ground in the meta and shake it up in due time. Enough of puns now! Just patience!

 

My name is Niladri Sarkar. A lvl 40 Team Valor Member, I'm a Pokémon trainer by passion and an engineer by profession. Naturally, I have a thing for Pokémon stats and moveset mechanics. I regularly enjoy "mashing" and "chomping" my way through gyms and raids with my aces, Metagross and Garchomp.