Meta Relevant Legacy/Exclusive Moves – Which Ones Should You Keep?


Legacy and Exclusive moves (moves that are no longer obtainable on a certain Pokémon species) are coveted by many avid Pokémon collectors. Some of these legacy sets are strict downgrades from other options from that Pokémon’s movepool (for example, Flareon is no longer able to learn Heat Wave, a relatively useless move considering Flareon’s access to the far more powerful Overheat), while some legacy moves simply make a rare Pokémon even more special (take Hidden Power Suicune).

In a couple of instances, legacy movesets increase a Pokémon’s meta-viability or allows it to fit into a specific niche. In fact, we’d recommend powering up Pokémon with these legacy sets even if their IV’s aren’t great these moves outperform all other options in the Pokémon’s current learnset, or are favorable in battling scenarios. If you have one of these hidden gems in your Pokémon storage, it might be best to reconsider before using a TM on one of these movesets!

For a comprehensive list of legacy moves, see Wolfie’s great article explaining Pokémon movesets.

Legacy Quick Moves to Keep
Gengar Shadow Claw Ghost
Lick Ghost
Tyranitar Smack down Rock
Suicune Hidden Power Water
Zapdos Thundershock Electric
Dragonite Dragon Breath Dragon
Exeggutor Confusion Psychic
Omastar Rock Throw Rock
Gyarados Dragon Tail Dragon

Shadow Claw Gengar is an amazing asset against Psychic type raid bosses or even Gengar raid boss itself. It’s quicker than Hex for more efficient dodging (necessary due to Gengar’s practically nonexistent bulk) and has a much higher DPS (21 DPS compared to 13 DPS). Lick is very similar to Shadow Claw in terms of Cycle DPS when teamed up with Shadow Ball as, although it’s a lower powered move, it charges energy faster than SC and allows for Shadow Ball to be used more often.


Smack Down is an exclusive Fast move that was only obtainable during Larvitar Community Day. It took Tyranitar from being the best Rock type attacker to being the best Rock type attacker by a clear mile! Ramparados in GenIV looks capable of knocking Tyranitar off its throne though… We shall see.


When Suicune was the Featured T5 Raid boss towards the end of 2017, it was able to learn the now legacy Fast move ‘Hidden Power’. This move can be any type except Fairy, meaning that there was a 1 in 17 chance of Suicune getting a double Water type moveset. While Suicune’s stats in Pokemon Go do let it down currently, who knows how future stat rebalances and battle system reworks (including PvP) might changes things for this Legendary Pokémon.


During Zapdos Raid Day in the Summer of 2018, Zapdos could learn the exclusive move Thundershock. This is far superior to it’s only alternative, Charge Beam, and brings it closer to the best current Electric type, Raikou.


Dragon Breath on Dragonite is not strictly better than Dragon Tail. Dragon Tail has ever-so-slightly better DPS and EPS gain, but many favor Dragon Breath’s fast cooldown time for efficient dodging.


Confusion hits like a truck and has far higher DPS than any of Exeggutor’s other quick moves.


Rock Throw/Rock Slide Omastar outperforms Golem as a Rock-type attacker; Rock Slide is just that good when paired with a quick move of the same type!


Gyarados with a Dragon moveset of Dragon Tail and Outrage is a niche attacker against Dragon types in Gyms and Raids, despite the lack of STAB to boost its power. Due to its lack of the Dragon typing, Gyarados recieves the additional benefit of not taking super-effective damage from powerful Dragon attacks.

Legacy Charged Moves to Keep
Mewtwo Shadow Ball Ghost
Metagross Meteor Mash Steel
Lapras Ice Beam Ice
Dragonite Dragon Claw Dragon
Draco Meteor Dragon
Snorlax Body Slam Normal
Omastar Rock Slide Rock
Venusaur Frenzy Plant Grass

Arguably the most important Pokemon in the meta-game right now is Mewtwo with Shadow Ball, an unobtainable Charged move as of the moment Mewtwo stepped down from EX Raids and moved to T5 Raids. As a Ghost type move, Shadow Ball will be super effective to many future Psychic type Legendary Raid bosses. Team that up with the excessive DPS that Shadow Ball (and Mewtwo’s massive attack stat) affords, and you have a god-like Pokemon on your hands.


Metagross was able to learn the charged move Meteor Mash during Beldum Community Day in October 2018. It was a huge improvement on its previously best Charged move, Flash Cannon, which left it as not much more than a mediocre Gym defender. Meteor Mash put the ‘Meta’ in ‘Metagross’ and gave us what will quite possibly be the best Steel type attacker for quite some time.


Ice Beam is a great option on Lapras; being a two-bar move, you’re more likely to be able to fire a last-minute Ice Beam before your Lapras faints than to pull off another Blizzard. That extra bit of damage could make a world of difference in getting another Premier Ball in your raids!


Although Outrage is still Dragonite’s most powerful charged move, Dragon Claw is only slightly behind it in terms of DPS and again, many players prefer the speed at which this 3-bar move can be executed. Draco Meteor is the opposite deal; it deals more damage than Outrage and has a higher DPS, however it is only a 1-bar charge move.


Body Slam Snorlax is a pain to battle in Gyms! This spammy 3-bar move is hard for unwary attackers to dodge, and perfectly complements Snorlax’s tremendous bulk as its best defending charge move.


Rock Slide is the best Rock charge move in the game as a 2-bar move dealing 37 DPS. This legacy moveset on Omastar was coveted during the era of Entei and Flareon raids.


See Kratos’ in-depth analysis on Frenzy Plant Venusaur! To summarize, it is the second-best Grass attacker in the game with a similar DPS and TDO to a Grass set Exeggutor.

Do you have any Pokemon with Legacy or Exclusive movesets that aren’t listed but that you find perform particularly well in battle? If so, please let us know in the comments and we may add them to the article.

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Hello hello! I'm a high school student from the California Bay Area, and my favorite things about Pokemon Go are Community Days and maxing out my pokemon! Besides PoGo, I make art/animations and I'm learning how to longboard.

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