How good is Salamence with Fly in Pokémon GO?


Bagon’s dream of flying has finally become a reality in Pokémon GO, thanks to Salamence getting the Flying type charged move, Fly, in its arsenal during the Shared Skies Season update.

This was a long time coming, as the mighty Dragon/Flying Pseudo Legendary from Gen 3 is the very moniker of taking to the skies and forms the basis of its lore and evolution. I’ve explored Salamence, and particularly the Mega’s flying chops in my Mega Salamence design and science article. You’ll be surprised what an airborne weapon of mass destruction it is!

Anyway, with ‘Mence rocking this move, it is now any good in GBL? How better is it in Raids? Let’s (sky)dive in and find out!

Is Fly a good Charged Move?

No. Fly is an excellent move.

Here are its stats in PvP and Raids:


Damage: 80

Energy cost: 45


Damage: 80

Energy cost: 50

DPS: 44.44

DPE: 1.60

Fly is pre-nerf Sky Attack and we all know how good that was, helping build the careers of Skarmory, Altaria, and Lugia in PvP. 

And Fly is indeed the best charged move Salamence could ask for.

Why Salamence needed deserved Fly?

Salamence boasts an incredible Attack stat of 277, with its Mega and Shadow versions being absolute monsters on their own.

While it excelled with the bread and butter Dragon moveset combo of Dragon Tail and Outrage, it had no viable second charged move to count on. Now, Hydro Pump, Fire Blast, and Draco Meteor are all great moves as such, but they are all too expensive in terms of energy cost to be usable in PvP battles.

In Raids, the Outrage and Draco Meteor combo has been established to be workable, especially with Mega Salamence’s added Defense figures. But at the end of the day, it needed a cheap move to boot, and Fly has come to the rescue.

Does it turn Salamence into a top-tier Flying powerhouse? Not really.

But, it gives a deadly STAB (Same Type Attack Bonus) move that eliminates the awkwardness of sticking to Outrage for quick and meaningful damage output.

Fly Salamence in the Master League

Right off the bat, let me tell you that Fly hasn’t changed the fortunes of PvP Salamence by much. Buuuuuttttt, it is now a spice pick in the Master League, which is a welcome upgrade from being non-existent in the PvP scene previously.

Before we see how it fares, keep these two pointers in mind:

  • Salamence has PvP relevance only in the Master League. Its offense-oriented stats and lack of an even cheaper charged move than Fly do it no favors in the Great or Ultra League.
  • It isn’t too good in the 1v1 shield scenario as most ML entrants will always have a cheap charged move to exploit against ‘Mence. So, we’ll talk about the 0v0 and 2v2 situations.

Based on sims from good ol’ against the meta at te beginning of the Shared Skies update in the Master League:

0v0 shield in the Open Master League


2v2 in the Open Master League

0v0 in Master Premier

2v2 in Master Premier

These numbers are honestly not bad when you consider how bad Salamence previously was in the GBL. It particularly does well when shields are down, taking out the likes of Groudon, Kyogre, Swampert, Zarude, Palkia Origin, Dragon Tail Garchomp, Reshiram, Dragon Breath Gyarados, Psystrike Mewtwo, Snorlax, Yveltal, Giratina Origin, and Landorus Therian!

So, the 0v0 scene in the Open Master League is the best-case scenario for Salamence with Fly, and quite honestly, even adding the highly anticipated Breaking Swipe or Dragon Claw doesn’t do it too many favors.

Fly Salamence in Raids

Salamence has always been a formidable force in Raids, and Fly now makes it a legit Flying type threat, even though it lacks a Flying type fast move.

You should know that Flying, as such, was never really considered a top attacking type until Mega Rayquza took the throne. Since then, Moltres, Mega Pidgeot, and Shadow Staraptor have become highly sough-after as trainers started taking note of what these airborne threats were capable of of.

Mega and Shadow Salamence boast jaw-dropping damage output with Dragon Tail and Fly, despite lacking the fast move it truly needs to stand out. In fact, in Windy in-game weather, this moveset combo takes Salamence to the next level, dishing out astounding neutral damage that makes this Dragon worthwhile.

Cases where you’d like Mega/Shadow Salamence with Fly

While no Flying fast move does hold it back, its raw offenses keep it afloat in the meta. With the rise of Pokémon with a double-weakness (2.56x) to Flying type attacks like Mega Heracross, Virizion, Buzzwole, and Pheromosa in the game, ‘Mence can impress, especially with Fire Fang in tow.

Indeed, Salamence and Co (Mega and Shadow) are already in the crème de la crème of Dragon type attackers, but running a few Fast TMs, and switching Dragon Tail to Fire Fanf, along with Outrage and Fly, ‘Mence can be a real menace!

Coming to Dragon Tail and Fly Salamence, opponents with the Dragon/Grass and Dragon/Fighting combos have it rough (Dragon/Bug when?????)

So Mega Sceptile, Alolan Exeggutor, Kommo-o, and the eventual Koraidon are afraid of Salamence but terrified of Ice and Fairy as well. Additionally, Wo-Chien would ideally be countered by Flying attacks rather than the 2.65x to the game’s weak Bug moves.

Ultimately, Salamence and Co with Dragon Tail/Fire Fang and Fly does make an impact, but not as a protagonist. It’s the Rook/Bishop/Knight in your chessboard, but not the Queen/King… it’s the fries on your plate, but not the burger… the froth in your beer but not necessarily the drink per se.

It’s good to have and you’ll enjoy it, but not the focus of the meta.

Air Slash Dual Wingbeat to boost its ‘Fly’ flex?

Air Slash is decent… the threshold but not the best. Salamence gained some prevalence in the mainline games and competitive scene with the Flying type move Dual Wingbeat. 

To be fair, fellow Pseudos got a ton of new moves in Pokémon GO. Take Kommo-o for instance… the brute got Boomburst and then Brick Break, even though it’s yet to have its Community Day (June 2025?)

So, Salamence certainly deserves more love and a Flying type charged move would be it. Why no Dual Wingbeat, a move that could take a cue from Gust or perhaps a faster Wing Attack, turning ‘Mence into a red alert Flying type threat, close to Mega Ray, maybe?

After all, Enamorus Incarnate does pretty well as a Flying type monster even though it lacks a Flying fast move, thanks to the quick energy gains of Fairy Wind. With Dual Wingbeat being something similar in energy, Mega Salamence would actually be better and work as an elite Flying type attacker.

As of now, it’s essentially a better Staraptor due to higher Attack, bulk, and resistances… but a Pseudo Legendary is definitely in line for more! 


Salamence and Co are literally and figuratively flying higher than ever in the meta but it can Fly higher! 

Yes, you’re going to love Fly now and be amazed at the DPS, especially from the Mega and Shadow versions. But, that’s just a testament to the astronomical heights it can scale with a Flying type fast move, more so with a brand new Dual Wingbeat that’s designed for perfection.

Until then, enjoy your improved Salamence in Pokémon GO and hope (like a Bagon) that Niantic unlocks its true potential for the skies it shares with all of us.


Author & tags

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.

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