Meta Analysis of Alolan Ninetales in the Great and Ultra League

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Ninetales (Alola) IceFairy

The sound of Alolan Ninetales in PvP is music to the ears! Don’t believe me?

If you’ve heard Ylvis’ What Does The Fox Say?, I bet even you haven’t been able to figure out the answer to that question. We’ll never know but this icy cold and magical fox says that it can take you to the higher ranks of the GBL.

But Frank Sinatra also crooned Let It Snow. If you’re a man or woman of culture, you’d know that Alolan Ninetales is exactly how you would make it snow on the battlefield.

Did anyone ever expect the jaw-dropping and surreal combination of the Ice and Fairy types would be a regional form of Ninetales? This absolutely gorgeous doggo is a dragon’s nightmare and one of the most popular Pokémon to use in the GL and UL meta. 

If you thought the Ice and Fairy dual typing of A. Ninetales is its biggest USP, then you got another thing coming! Wait till you see the moves that this mon packs!

Alolan Ninetales has been a loyal admiral in the journey of many trainers to the Legend rank. Yes, it can be that good. With the Great League and Ultra League presenting a fabulous opportunity for dedicated trainers to reach high ranks before the big bad Master League gets rolling, this article will offer a detailed meta analysis of Alolan Ninetales in the GL and UL meta.

I will also help you gain a better perspective of the hotly contested Powder Snow vs Charm debate and tell you why Alolan Ninetales is quite possibly the most efficient Charmer in the GL and UL. Interesting stuff, right?!

So grab a chilled drink and get charmed by the viability of this beautiful (I just can’t get over how magnificent it is!) Pokémon in GL and UL. 

Typing and Match-ups

Alolan Ninetales is an Ice and Fairy type Pokémon and as such, is weak to the Steel, Fire, Poison and Rock types. It should be noted that Alolan Ninetales is 2x weak to the Steel type.

Its resistances include the Dragon, Bug, Dark and Ice types. The heavy Dragon type resistance is the most remarkable of the lot with the Dark type resistance also being handy in battles.

It gets even better when you consider that A. Ninetales deals super-effective damage to both Dragon and Dark types. Speaking of which, both the Ice and Fairy typing have an excellent offensive presence in the meta. Alolan Ninetales can deal super-effective damage to the Dragon Ground Grass Flying Fighting and Dark types, which is nothing short of amazing! All these types are possibly the most defining in the PvP meta and as such, Alolan Ninetales inherently becomes a top contender in these formats.

Let’s summarise its type match-ups along with its stats now.

Stat Distribution

Alolan Ninetales has the following stats in Pokémon Go:

Ninetales (Alola) IceFairy
Max CP at Level 40 2309 | Max CP at Level 50 2610
ATK 170 DEF 193 HP 177
Weak to Strong Against
Steel Fire Poison Rock Dragon Ground Grass Flying Fighting Dark


Alolan Ninetales has pretty balanced stats. Its ATK is good enough for GL and UL. In addition, it has okayish bulk. Not to mention, its CP range indicates a viable XL Pokémon for the UL meta. 

And now, what we have all been waiting for…


Alolan Ninetales learns the following moves in Pokémon Go:

Fast Moves Charged Moves
  • Powder Snow Ice
  • Charm Fairy
  • Feint Attack Dark
  • Weather Ball Ice
  • Ice Beam Ice
  • Blizzard Ice
  • Dazzling Gleam Fairy
  • Psyshock Psychic


GBLflix and Chill

Alolan Ninetales’ Ice type moveset is loaded! It’s a legitimate snowstorm of moves that it has.

With a [DPT/EPT] set of [2.50/4.00], Powder Snow deals low damage but generates energy really fast. Backed with a wide array of Ice type charged moves, Alolan Ninetales offers a Baskin Robbins level of moves to choose from.

Right off that bat, Blizzard is too expensive to be taken into consideration. Ice Beam and Weather Ball require just 55 and 35 energy respectively while Blizzard requires a whopping 75 energy and despite sporting a nuke 140 DMG, it is just not feasible.

The Season 9 GBL moveset rebalance brought about a nerf to Weather Ball’s damage. It now deals 55 DMG instead of the previous 60 DMG. Thankfully, it still requires only 35 energy. Ice Beam does seem more attractive, dealing 90 DMG at 55 energy. But the bait potential and spammy Weather Ball still has the edge. No wonder that pairing Powder Snow with Ice Beam gives a lower win rate (59.7%) than Weather Ball (65.2%) in the Great League. Even in the Ultra League, Weather Ball (63.6%) scores over Ice Beam (63.2%).

As such, when it comes to the Ice type combo, subscribe to Powder Snow and Weather Ball.

A Book of Nine-Fairy-tales

So A. Ninetales is a Charmer, be it looks or substance. With the dreaded [5.33/2.00] set, Charm is painstakingly slow but THE most damaging fast move in Pokémon Go (a mind-boggling departure from the Main Series Games where it deals no damage). Remember me telling you that Alolan Ninetales is possibly the most efficient Charmer in the GL and UL meta? Let’s find out why!

Charm’s Internet Explorer energy gains force it to be self-dependent, having little to no reliance on charged moves to deal meaningful damage. Let’s see the cheapest charged move option(s) for the other Charmers:

  • Togekiss: Ancient Power and Aerial Ace (both 45 energy)
  • Granbull: Crunch and Close Combat (both 45 energy)
  • Clefable: Meteor Mash (50 energy)
  • Gardevoir: Synchronoise (50 energy)
  • Whimsicott: Grass Knot (50 energy)
  • Sylveon: Psyshock (45 energy)
  • Wigglytuff: Ice Beam (55 energy)

So the cheapest charged moves for Charm are those of 45 energy, which require 8 Charms to fire off

This is where Alolan Ninetales takes the cake (with frosting that too)… Not only does it have the 45 energy Psyshock but the STAB Weather Ball costs only 35 energy. This way, Alolan Ninetales needs only 6 Charms (and 5 Charms for the next) to get to a Weather Ball.

As a result, Alolan Ninetales has the cheapest charged move corresponding to Charm and is arguably the most efficient user of this powerful Fairy type charged move!

Therefore, you can run Charm + Weather Ball and Psyshock to form a formidable set in battles. Is it the best set? Let’s find out!

Psy is shocked or dazzled?

Dazzling Gleam is a powerful Fairy type move but needs a costly 70 energy. As such, it can be viable only with Powder Snow maybe? Yet, the other moves (except Blizzard) are better options in terms of energy generation.

Psyshock, on the other hand, costs only 45 energy, deals a respectable 70 DMG and helps Alolan Ninetales stand up against the toxic Poison types in the meta. Additionally, Psyshock also helps it dish out neutral damage against the Fire types.

So what is the ideal moveset for Alolan Ninetales?

The ideal moveset would be Charm/Powder Snow paired with Weather Ball and Psyshock.

The choice between Charm and Powder Snow boils down to the teammates. However, Charm is better in general. With a low energy charged move to salvage, Alolan Ninetales is a very viable Charmer in the meta. But once again, you can go with Powder Snow if your team isn’t competent enough against Grass, Ground or some Flying types.

Performance in the Great League

With Powder Snow

Powder Snow paired with Weather Ball and Psyshock gives Alolan Ninetales the following wins:

Altaria, Shadow Manectric, Manectric, Dragalge, Shadow Dragonite, Dragonite, Tropius, Venusaur, Stunfisk, Diggersby, Alolan Raichu, Scraggy, Pidgeot, Zapdos, Nidoking, Mantine, Shadow Nidoqueen, Nidoqueen, Shadow Victreebel, Greedent, Whiscash, Clefable, Beedrill, Meganium, Drifblim and Deoxys (D)

While it does gain wins against Poison types like the Nidos and Beedrill, Alolan Ninetales is helpless against the Steel types and that’s understandable.

With Charm

Charm paired with Weather Ball and Psyshock gives Alolan Ninetales the following wins:

Altaria, Shadow Manectric, Manectric, Scraggy, Shadow Dragonite, Dragonite, Sableye, Scrafty, Stunky, Galvantula, Umbreon, Medicham, Dragalge, XZapdos, Whiscash, Greedent, Lickilicky, Tropius, Stunfisk, Jellicent, Wigglytuff and can possibly beat Clefable and Drifblim as well

Performance in the Ultra League

With Powder Snow

Powder Snow paired with Weather Ball and Psyshock gives Alolan Ninetales the following wins:

Altaria, Flygon, Shadow Flygon, Dragonite, Shadow Dragonite, Gliscor, Shadow Gliscor, Shadow Gliscor, Zweilous, Shadow Kingdra, Kingdra, Gyarados with Dragon Breath, Charizard with Dragon Breath, Dragalge, Toxicroak, Pidgeot, Mandibuzz, Giratina (Altered), Victreebel, Shadow Victreebel, Gengar, Chesnaught, Golbat, Aerodactyl, Steelix, Togekiss, Shadow Machamp, Granbull, Machamp, Abomansow, Venusaur, Clefable and Lickilicky

While it does gain wins against Poison types like the Nidos and Beedrill, Alolan Ninetales is helpless against the Steel types and that’s understandable.

With Charm

Charm paired with Weather Ball and Psyshock gives Alolan Ninetales the following wins:

Pangoro, Shiftry, Zweilous, Flygon, Shadow Flygon, Shadow Dragonite, Dragonite, Kimgdra, Shadow Kingdra, Mandibuzz, Scarfty, Umbreon, Machamp, Shadow Machamp, Gyarados with Dragon Breath, Draglage, Obstagoon, Giratina (Altered), Dewgong, Chesnaught, Gliscor, Jellicent, Lapras, Hypno, Granbull, Togekiss, Sylveon, Alolan Marowak, Lickilicky, Tangrowth, Vaporeon and Vigoroth


Alolan Ninetales is a fantastic Pokémon that is extremely consistent with both of its contrasting fast moves. It packs a real deal against some legitimate heavyweights of the GL and UL meta, and fares tremendously well. 

Alolan Ninetales boasts a really, really good offensive typing that can help you punch holes through the meta. By farming down opponents, particularly the slower ones would leave you with a Weather Ball or two. In fact, almost 3 in certain situations. All this is extremely favourable to you as:

  1. Charm deals massive damage in the process
  2. The loaded Weather Ball being Ice type has an excellent offensive presence
  3. Your battle is not solely reliant on Charm alone as your charged moves also gain steam
  4. Possibility of baiting with Charm. Bait the Weather Ball and crash land a Psyshock as no other Charmed can!

It is easy to see the unique viability that Alolan Ninetales fulfils as a Charmer! Honestly, not all Charmers can lay claim to this fame!!

So, is it worth powering up this Pokémon? Absolutely! Both the Ice and Fairy types will always hold prominence in PvP, and Alolan Ninetelas is a fine example of both these typings.

All hail, Alolan Ninetales!

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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