Mega Salamence in Pokémon GO

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Salamence (Mega)

Isn’t it amazing when we get a popular and meta relevant mega evolution in the game? Especially when it’s a Dragon type! Indeed, the mighty Mega Salamence makes its much-awaited debut in Pokémon Go, bringing new year cheer for trainers worldwide!

We have a few mega dragons in the game already but none of them genuinely brought out the true notoriety of Dragon types… until now.

Mega Salamence has an exceptional offensive presence, good bulk, and the moves it needs to be a top-tier Dragon in the PvE meta. Competitive players of how powerful Mega Menace, I mean, Mence is in the Smogon meta. But does that translate to Pokémon GO as well? 

How does it fare against other mega evolved dragons and as a dragon type in general? 

It is better than Shadow Salamence? Or not?

Does it need a second charged move?

And can Mega Salamence be made more meta relevant?

We’ll find out all about the croissant-winged mega in this comprehensive guide to Mega friggin’ Salamence in Pokémon GO! 

Before anything else, let’s check out its stats and match-ups, shall we?

Stats and Match-ups

Mega Salamence has the following stats in Pokémon GO:

Salamence (Mega) DragonFlying
Max CP at lvl 40 5031
Max CP at lvl 50 5688
ATK 310 DEF 251 HP 216
Weak to Resistances
Dragon Fairy Rock Icex2 Grass Ground Bug Fighting Fire Water 


With 310 ATK and impressive bulk, Mega Salamence will immediately become the overall most powerful Dragon type in the game. With the bread and butter moveset of Dragon Tail and Outrage in tow, and the added mega boosts, Mega Salamence will be your go-to mon to use against other Dragon types. 

At this juncture, here’s something really interesting to note:

Give Draco Meteor as a second charged move to Mega Salamence?

It has been established that going for a mixed Salamence (with both Outrage and Draco Meteor) has its perks, and in some instances, it can also outperform Rayquaza! This is another reason why Outrage + Draco Meteor Salamence is so coveted by many trainers. 

While Draco Meteor hits harder than Outrage per se, the latter is more energy efficient and is famously a 2-bar charged move. To be precise:

  • Draco Meteor has a late damage window of 3.00 sec. As such, you will often faint before the move actually hits the raid boss
  • While Outrage’s damage window is lower than that of Draco Meteor, it is still high per se, at 2.50 sec
  • Many don’t realize that Outrage has a larger cooldown (3.90 sec) than that of Draco Meteor (3.60 sec)

Yes, Outrage is indeed the way to go but in some instances, it would be wiser to fire off a Draco Meteor:

  • When you have enough energy charged for both moves and you are about to faint soon, you can go with Draco Meteor
  • Fire off a Draco Meteor at the beginning and stack it up with a sequence of Outrages

So why is all of this important?

Salamence can theoretically achieve all that I’ve mentioned but is tainted by less than impressive bulk. But Mega Salamence scores extra points in its DEF, making it bulky enough to take hits and deliver both Outrage and Draco Meteor in return. And a mega-boosted, 310 ATK STAB Draco Meteor is going to hurt!

So Mega Salamence is totally going to justify the usage of Dragon Tail + Outrage and Draco Meteor. 

Is it worth…

Unlocking Draco Meteor as a second charged move?

The answer is Yes and No… let me explain:

Yes, a mixed Mega Salamence can potentially do better than one with only Outrage. The bulk and attacking prowess of Mega Mence do indeed make it plausible for this dragon to rock two charged moves. However, there are some arbitrary parameters associated with the feasibility of this. RNG, dodging, HP left, cooldown, and time before you faint. In other words, you’ll pretty much do well enough with Outrage alone and you won’t exactly miss out on Mega Salamence’s excellent performance in raids without Draco Meteor. 

However, if you have the resources to unlock a second charged move / you don’t mind doing so / you just want to give your draconic croissant an edge, then by all means go for Draco Meteor. You obviously aren’t going to regret it and can end up having more fun in the process!

Comparison With Top Dragons

Mega evolutions have a tremendous advantage in raid battles as they boost themselves and other mons that match their typing, as well as an additional mega boost to other mons. The self-boost works as an asset and naturally makes them highly coveted during raid battles. This is the primary reason behind Mega Altaria’s impactful presence in a raid. Not only does it resist Dragon attacks due to its part Fairy typing, but it’s quite bulk and stays in the battle longer. Consequently, its mega boosts stay up for quite a while. 

But the ‘staying period’ of Mega Salamence isn’t of relevance here… Mega Altaria does that better. Here, I’ll be talking about raw power alone… the mean streak of dragons! For this let’s see how Dragon types with Dragon Tail and Outrage square off against each other.

Let’s check out some data (as derived from Gamepress’ DPS TDO chart). Here, I’ve displayed the DPS and TDO values corresponding to a Best Buddy and the Max CP values for lvl 50:

Mega Rayquaza 354 197 213 24.303 932.6 5728
Shadow Salamence 277 168 216 23.617 660.5 4239
Mega Garchomp 339 222 239 23.241 1110.7 6132
Shadow Dragonite 263 198 209 22.232 701.8 4287
Black Kyurem 310 183 245 21.598 882.7 5206
Mega Salamence 310 251 216 21.199 1034.2 5688


I’m sure many of you didn’t expect so many Dragon types to out-DPS Mega Salamence? 😀  

Do note that this doesn’t make Mega Salamence ‘bad’ by any means whatsoever. This is just an elite group of dragons that surpass all other Dragon types in the game. Besides, Mega Mence gets its boost for… being a Mega, duh. That reminds me! The ATK, DEF, and HP mentioned in the list above are the base stats for the said Pokémon but the DPS and TDO values do take the Shadow boosts into account.

Comparison with Mega Rayquaza, Mega Garchomp, and Black Kyurem

But I’ll come to the Shadows in the next section. It’s clear that Mega Rayquaza and Mega Garchomp take the cake for being the best Dragon megas. 

  • Mega Ray is off the charts. Sky-high ATK that’s miles ahead of Mega Mence’s, but otherwise lower TDO. Besides, they share the same typing. Having Draco Meteor as an additional charged move brings more flavor to Mega Salamence in some instances but in a nutshell, Mega Ray takes the W here
  • Mega Chomp, again, has a way better ATK stat and fewer weaknesses. It has the highest Max CP, TDO, and also the highest stat product among ALL Pokémon in the Master League. Chomp leads Mence in a Mega way
  • Calculations for DPS and TDO tend to favor HP  more, so Black Kyurem barely edges out Mega Salamence in only DPS. But there’s no argument if you say that Mega Salamence is clearly the better Dragon type here


In conclusion, Mega Rayquaza and Mega Garchomp undoubtedly outclass Mega Salamence, but Mega Salamence is still a fantastic Mega that you simply can’t miss. Moreover, it’s a much-loved Pokémon! Go for it 😀 

Comparison with Shadow Salamence

Salamence has an ATK stat of 277 in Pokémon GO.

AND… it gets a 20% boost to its ATK in its shadow form. In other words, its ATK increases by 1.2x

  • A 0 IV Shadow Mence will have [277 (base ATK) + 0 (ATK IV)][1.2 (shadow boost)] = 332.4 ATK
  • A 15 ATK Shadow Mence will have [277 (base ATK) + 15 (ATK IV)][1.2 (shadow boost)] = 350.4 ATK

Coming to Mega Salamence…

  • A 15 ATK Mega Salamence has an ATK stat of [310 + 15] = 325 ATK

With some number crunching, here’s what we can understand:

  • A 0 ATK Shadow Salamence has a 332.4 ATK and a 15 ATK Shadow Salamence has a 350.4 ATK. 
  • So a 0 IV Shadow Mence deals 4.83% more damage and a 15 ATK Shadow Mence deals 13.03% more damage than a perfect Mega Salamence

To put it into perspective, even a 0 IV Shadow Salamence surpasses a perfect Mega Salamence in raw DPS!

However, it should be noted that Mega Salamence has a lot more defense stat.

  • A Shadow Salamence will 0 IVs ends up with 134.4 DEF after the 20% nerf to its 168 DEF. 
  • A Shadow Salamence with 15 DEF ends up with 146.4 DEF after the 20% nerf to its 183 DEF (168 +15).
  • So a 15 DEF Mega Salamence is 86.75% more defensive than a 0 IV Shadow Mence and 71.44% more defensive than a 15 DEF Shadow Mence

To put it into perspective, a Mega Salamence overwhelmingly surpasses a Shadow Salamence in bulk.


The Shadow outright deals more damage and the Mega has more meat to its bones, being way bulkier. Wayyyy bulkier, that is.

So who’s better?

Well, if you’re using them in gyms, Shadow Mence easily dishes out more damage. No doubt about that.

But as mentioned, Megas have a major trump card up their sleeve: The Mega boost in raids!

With this boost, the damage potential of Mega Salamence goes to astronomical levels, making it more powerful than shadows.

So ultimately, the Mega takes the cake when it comes to both damage and bulk in raid battles.

That said, Shadow Salamence is not lost in the dark due to this. It still deals monstrous damage and with some neat dodging, you’re going to dent holes in the rad bosses’ armor with it.

The conclusion?

Both Shadow Salamence and Mega Salamence have their perks. You can use both of them.

So DO NOT purify your Shadow Salamence. It’s totally worth being maxed out as much as Mega Salamence is. Apples and oranges, my friend! 💡 

Can Mega Salamence be made better?

YES! But not as a Dragon type. Rather, as a Flying type.

If Salamence gets Fly in its movepool, its DPS would literally reach the skies, and Mega Salamence with Dragon Tail + Fly dishes out more DPS than Mega Rayquaza with Ait Slash + Hurricane!

Assuming Niantic feels more generous and gives Salamence both Air Slash and Fly, making it a full-blown Flying type, then Mega Salamence with Air Slash + Fly will become the best Flying type in the game, surpassed only by Shadow Moltres and Shadow Honchkrow in DPS (slightly). But Mega Salamence is overall the best.

Now, Salamence of all Pokémon deserves to learn a Flying type move in Pokémon GO. As a Bagon, it literally dreamed of flying one day and soaring the skies. So c’mon, Niantic! You know Salamence deserves it. Let it fly! 


It goes without saying that we are going to get an excellent start to 2023, courtesy of Mega Salamence! This dragon is going to make your raids against Dragon type raid bosses a lot easier and fun! So don’t miss the opportunity to have a super strong Dragon in your arsenal that’s all set to wreak havoc in the Dragon meta! 

All the best, trainers!


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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