Your go-to guide for understanding the meta relevance of the new Dark King (Ghidorah) and its impact on the PvE and PvP formats.
Trainers! Community Day is undoubtedly one of the most exciting aspects of the game. Each month, we wait with bated breath to find out who the next Community Day Pokémon will be. And more often than not, we end up being disappointed with the mon. But all that changes when Niantic hosts a Community Day for a pseudo legendary Pokémon!
Unquestionably some of the most sought-after Pokémon in the franchise, as evidenced by the likes of Metagross, Salamence and Garchomp in Pokémon GO. Likewise, the June 2022 Community Day hosts the ever-brutal Hydreigon and people couldn’t be more excited!
Brutal Swing has been announced as the Community Day exclusive move for Hydreigon. So just how good is the move? Where does it take Hydregon in the PvE and PvP meta?
And does Hydreigon end up receiving the “Metagross treatment”, with the Community Day taking Hydreigon’s stonks to another level altogether? You will find out all about Brutal Swing Hydreigon from this article!
Let’s find out about the stats of Brutal Swing and check out Hydreigon’s stats, strengths and weaknesses before we find out just how brutal Hydreigon gets with its Community Day. So let’s begin.
Introduction of Brutal Swing as the Exclusive Move
Hydreigon gains access to the brand new Dark type charged move, Brutal Swing, as a part of its Community Day. It has the following stats in Pokémon Go:
Brutal Swing in PvE
Energy: -33 (3-bar move)
To understand Brutal Swing’s impact, let’s compare it with another 3-bar Dark charged move that we are all very familiar with: Crunch.
Crunch deals 70 damage and Brutal Swing deals 65 damage. While this may seem like Brutal Swing is the weaker move, it is not! You see, Crunch has a duration of 3.20s and Brutal Swing has an amazing duration of only 1.90s. So Brutal Swing is basically a faster Crunch and when you are racing against the clock in a raid battle, Brutal Swing ends up dealing far more damage (as it is dishing out more damage per second and each second counts in a raid). To put it into perspective, Crunch has a DPS*DPE of 46.40 and Brutal Swing boasts a whopping 67.38! To put this into perspective, the DPS*DPE value of Brutal Swing is on similar grounds to Rock Wrecker.
Brutal Swing is undoubtedly an extremely powerful move that is bound to make its user meta relevant in PvP as long as the Pokémon has a good ATK stat to complement the sheer power of this move. In a nutshell, it’s the best PvE Dark move. Period.
Brutal Swing in PvP
Brutal Swing is a clone of moves like Surf and Drill Peck. At an energy requirement of only 40, Brutal Swing is a relatively cheap charged move per se. For Hydreigon, Dragon Breath has better energy gains than its other fast move: Bite. Dragon Breath is one of the best fast moves any Pokémon can have in PvP. And considering that both Dragon Breath and Brutal Swing get STAB, Hydreigon is bound to get more relevant in the PvP scenario with the addition of Brutal Swing into its movepool.
Brutal Swing is definitely a welcome addition to Hydreigon’s movepool and will improve the pseudo legendary’s standing in PvP. We will find out just how much of an improvement it is later in the article.
Hydreigon: Stats and Typing
Hydreigon has the following stat distribution in Pokémon Go:
|Level 40 CP 3625 | Level 50 CP 4098|
|ATK 256||DEF 188||HP 211|
|Weak to||Strong Against|
|Fairy Dragon Ice Bug Fighting||Dragon Ghost Psychic|
Hydreigon’s stats justify its pseudo legendary status. With a good ATK backed by respective bulk, it is more or less an all-rounder Pokémon.
One of Hydreigon’s glaring issues is its defensive stance. It is 2x weak to Fairy while also being weak to the pretty common Fighting type. Basically, any Pokémon that is weak to Counter (another one of the best fast moves in PvP) can run into a load of trouble. But that said, Hydreigon also has some amazing resistances to boot:
|0.391x damage from||0.625x damage from|
Despite raking up on the weaknesses, Hydreigon still has a pretty impressive set of resistances. Every one of those resistances is useful across PvP and the Psychic resistance, in particular, is extremely useful in raids.
Hydreigon can learn the following moves in Pokémon Go:
|Fast Moves||Charged Moves|
*denotes the Community Day exclusive move
Hydreigon shines only on the ‘dark’ side, with Brutal Swing turning Hydreigon into an absolute beast in PvE. Remember having fun with Bite + Crunch Tyranitar back when Gen 2 hit? Now Hydreigon with Bite + Brutal Swing is literally that Tyranitar on steroids!
As a Dragon type, Dragon Breath with a DPS of 12.00 and EPS of 8.00 lacks behind Dragon Tail, which has a clearly superior DPS of 13.64 and an EPS of 8.18. While Hydreigon learns Dragon Tail in the MSG, it, unfortunately, doesn’t learn the same in Pokémon Go. But the real problem isn’t exactly Dragon Breath.
It’s Dragon Pulse.
Dragon Pulse is a disappointing 2-bar charged move that dishes out only 90 DMG. How ‘outrage’ous! With Dragon Breath and Dragon Pulse, Hydreigon simply doesn’t make the cut even against fellow pseudo legendaries like Dragonite, Salamence, Garchomp and the eventual Dragapult.
So Dark it is.
Hydreigon is slated to be a top-notch Dark type attacker after its Community Day. So for PvE, the ideal moveset is Bite + Brutal Swing.
Let’s check out the numerics of both its fast and charged moves.
Fast move analysis
|Fast move||Damage Per Turn [DPT]||Energy Per Turn [EPT]||Cooldown|
|Dragon Breath||4.00||3.00||0.50 sec|
|Dragon Breath||4.00||3.00||0.50 sec|
Both Dragon Breath and Bite share the same DPT and cooldown. The difference lies in their EPT, wherein Dragon Breath ends up having the better energy generation. Yes, Bite is still viable but Dragon Breath is the way to go.
Charged move analysis
|Charged move||Damage||Energy required|
Right off the bat, Brutal Swing is Hydreigon’s cheapest charged move and it is undoubtedly a powerful move.
Flash Cannon hits really hard but it is really expensive. I mean, it’s more expensive than a move like Earthquake. Plus Hydreigon doesn’t have a speedy fast move to make Flash Cannon worthwhile. That said, Flash Cannon can still be used as, at the end of the day, it gives Hydreigon some coverage against Fairy and Ice types. More importantly, it is a powerful move in general.
Dark Pulse is out of the question with Brutal Swing’s debut.
Finally, Dragon Pulse. With nothing else looking feasible in terms of energy generation, Dragon Pulse is the go-to choice if you are looking for a second charged move that’s energy-efficient.
That said, Dragon Breath is primarily responsible for any meaningful Dragon type damage that Hydreigon dishes out at its opponents. Therefore, the choice for a second charged move is debatable between Dragon Pulse and Flash Cannon. It is important to understand that Hydreigon does its job with Dragon Breath and Brutal Swing in PvP. A second charged move is an asset that you can salvage in the right situations.
So for PvP, Hydreigon’s ideal moveset is Dragon Breath paired with Brutal Swing and Dragon Pulse/Flash Cannon.
Performance in PvE
The Hydreigon Community Day is among the very few CDs wherein the exclusive move is tremendously relevant for PvE. Indeed, with most CD moves being inclined towards PvP, Brutal Swing is a welcome addition to the meta and truly takes Hydreigon to new heights of meta relevance!
If you refer to my GO Hub colleague Teban54‘s amazing speculative article on Brutal Swing Hydreigon, you will find that this monster ends up between the “Optimistic” and “Too OP” grades.
Credit goes to the Gamepress site for the following interpretations for Hydreigon:
As a Dark type
Hydreigon with Brutal Swing surpasses the likes of Darkrai, Ash Greninja, Shadow Weavile and Shadow Tyranitar. In fact, its performance isn’t far from Mega Gyarados. That’s insane!
It’s arguably the best non-mega/non-shadow Dark type Pokémon in the game now.
Against a Psychic type raid boss
Hydreigon’s heavy resistance to the Psychic type makes it excellent for Psychic type raid bosses. Brutal Swing Hydreigon is surpassed only by some mega-evolved mons and Shadow Mewtwo. Again, Hydreigon turns out as the best non-mega/non-shadow option.
Against a Ghost type raid boss
The same story yet again. Hydreigon is top-notch and only overtaken by mega-evolved mons and Shadow Mewtwo.
Brutal Swings turns Hydregon into the monster it was always meant to be. With a fast and high damaging charged move, Hydregon is the undisputed best Dark type Pokémon in the game barring mega evolutions and Shadow Mewtwo.
While its DPS lingers around the likes of Darkrai, Gengarm Chandelure and Shadow Weavile, Hydreigon ends up having an overall better performance and also a better typing (dragon sub-typing FTW!).
Ultimately, Hydreigon alone is more powerful than any non-mega and non-shadow. And with a prospective Shadow Hydreigon on the horizon, it would take this three-headed beast to another level of dominance.And yes, it has totally surpassed the mighty Darkrai for good.
To sum up, it’s the best Dark type, give or take, not needing mega energy shenanigans or expensive shadow powerups. Truly, Brutal Swing Hydreigon is a monstrous asset to the PvE meta.
The score for PvP: An affirmative 5/5
Performance in PvP
Hydreigon is exceptional in PvE. No doubt about that. But does it have a similar party in the PvP scene? Well, not exactly.
See, don’t make any mistake about it… Hydreigon is going to be good in PvP. Pretty neat, actually. But it is held back from being as spectacular as Garchomp, Dragonite or Metagross due to the following reasons:
- Its typing gives it a slew of weaknesses.
- Lack of a quick-charging fast move to let it salvage Dragon Pulse or Flash Cannon.
- Besides Brutal Swing, the other moves are underwhelming in power/energy cost/coverage.
Hydreigon can be used in the GL and UL meta, but its PvP playground lies in the Master League. Even in the ML meta, its performance is varied, with top-notch figures obviously appearing in the MLPC. But this is hoping that Niantic answers our prayers for this format some time in the near future. Until then, the Open Master League is where these heavyweights play. So let’s find out how Brutal Swing Hydreigon fares in the Open ML.
Checking out the performance of Brutal Swing Hydreigon against the Open ML meta, we can infer that the CD exclusive is indeed a massive improvement over its pre-CD avatar. Consider the matchups in a standard (1-1) shield scenario:
Against fellow Dragon types
Hydreigon gets wins against Goodra and Haxorus but loses hard to core ML dragons like Garchomp and Dragonite. Add Kommo-o to its list of losses.
Dialga and Palkia
Goes down hard.
Giratina (both forms)
Beats both forms of Giratina.
Body Slam Snorlax
Loses to Outrage Snorlax but wins against Superpower and Earthquake Snorlax.
Against Steel types
It gets convincing wins against Metragross and Excadrill but it loses to Melmetal.
Against Water types
While it loses to Dragon Breath Gyarados, it gets the W in the Waterfall Gary matchup.
Also beats Swampert.
It is worth noting that Hydregon destroys Kyogre.
Against Grass types
Beats Zarude but loses to Tapu Bulu.
Against Electric types
Loses to Zekrom but wins against Magnezone.
Against Ice types
Tames Glaceon and Walrein but loses to Mamoswine and Avalugg.
Against Ground types
Loses to Groudon but wins against both forms of Landorus.
Destroys both Mud-Slap (Levitate, y’all!) and Smack Down Rhyperior.
Loses to Lugia and Yveltal.
Now, this is probably the most interesting part. Or is it?
Beats Psystrike + Shadow Ball. Beats Psystrike + Ice Beam. Beats Psystrike + Focus Blast.
Directed by Robert B. Weide
Against Fighting types
Against Fairy types
Interimo ayapare, dorime
I would like to make something clear once again: Brutal Swing Hydreigom is not bad by any means. In fact, it is quite good. It’s just that our three-headed mauler won’t shake the meta or be at the focal point of the meta. While Hydreigon was a spice pick in ML till now, it is now justified to use Hydreigon. It is one of the, if not THE, best counters to Mewtwo in any ML setting. Ultimately, the new and improved Hydregon will do what it is supposed to… deal with mons that fear the Hydra with ruthless efficiency.
The score for PvP: 3.5/5
We finally have a Community Day that feels like a… Community Day!
An awesome shiny, rare pseudo legendary, a chance to chase the dragon medal you need and most importantly, meta relevant in both PvE and PvP. What more could one have asked for?!
The CD and its extended hours would give everyone a chance at getting loads of Deino and their XL Candy. So is it with raising it to level 50? You bet! A maxed-out Brutal Swing Hydregons truly ends up being brutal and takes the crown for the best non-mega and non-shadow Dark type, being virtually future-proof and a special asset against the ever-present Psychic type raid bosses.
It might not be as impactful as Meteor Mash Metagross in terms of sheer power but when it comes to utility, Brutal Swing Hydreigon takes the cake! It kind of got the Aura Sphere Lucario treatment, to be honest. But either way, Hydreigon is finally going to make its pseudo legendary status count!