The last Community Day featured the Steel and Psychic type Pokémon Beldum, and Meteor Mash was the exclusive move that Metagross was able to learn during the 3 (+1) hours of the event. At this point, you probably heard plenty of people discussing about how good Meteor Mash Metagross is but… how about an in-depth analysis to confirm what you’ve been told already? 😉

The purpose of this article will be to discuss whether or not Meteor Mash Metagross can be considered a new meta king, a TOP Tier attacker or generalist and in which scenarios you might want to power it up and use it.

Metagross, the steel type king?

Not too long ago, Metagross was in fact used as an example to illustrate how a bad moveset can render a Pokémon (almost) useless. Well, things have changed and now Metagross finally knows the charge move it deserves as a pseudo-legendary Pokémon. Tables below show the stats of Metagross both before and after the CP rework (*).

Pokémon Stats Max CP
ATK DEF STA
MetagrossMetagross Steel Psychic (current) 257 247 160 3637
MetagrossMetagross Steel Psychic (after CP rework*) 257 228 190 3791

* Disclaimer: Niantic reverted those changes only 30 minutes after applying them, so please keep in mind that those might be subject to change in the future.

As you can see, those are respectable pseudo-legendary stats. But we all know that great stats must be paired up with a great moveset if you want to shine in the meta, and that wasn’t the case with Metagross until now. Let’s take a look at its movepool, sorted by cycle DPS:

Metagross moves in Pokémon GO
Fast Move Charge Move Moveset Cycle DPS (STAB)
Bullet Punch Steel Meteor Mash Steel 24.51
Zen Headbutt Psychic Meteor Mash Steel 23.70
Bullet Punch Steel Flash Cannon Steel 19.49
Bullet Punch Steel Psychic Psychic 19.32
Zen Headbutt Psychic Flash Cannon Steel 19.27
Zen Headbutt Psychic Psychic Psychic 19.13
Bullet Punch Steel Earthquake Ground 18.10
Zen Headbutt Psychic Earthquake Ground 18.08

This methodology of computing cycle DPS “in a vacuum” is pretty decent, but it slightly overestimates the performance of one-bar charge moves by assuming you faint as soon as you fire off your last charge move. Even then, Metagross’ new best moveset is the winner by far. Battle simulations are always way better to determine with higher accuracy how good a specific moveset is, and as it will be seen later, Bullet Punch and Meteor Mash (Metagross’ new best moveset) is approximately 30-35% better (depending on the matchup) than its old best moveset, Bullet Punch and Flash Cannon, which is just insane.

Alright, now let’s see how it compares to other steel type contenders, including the unreleased legendary Steel and Dragon type Dialga. How are we gonna do that? As an approximation, following the “vacuum” Cycle DPS calculations just shown and considering the damage formula that the game uses, we can include each Pokémon’s attack stat into the mix by just multiplying the previously shown values by its attack stat and dividing by 2 times a generic and meta-representative defense value. Since this just illustrates the DPS (in a vacuum) of each Pokémon, its tankiness will also be included by just multiplying its defensive stats, DEF and STA. Only Pokémon with a dual Steel type moveset will be considered for this comparison.

Pokémon Stats Max CP Best FM Best CM Cycle DPS Tankiness
ATK DEF STA
MetagrossMetagross SteelPsychic 257 247 160 3637 Bullet Punch Steel Meteor Mash Steel 17.50 39520
DialgaDialga SteelDragon 275 211 205 4038 Metal Claw Steel Iron Head Steel 15.56 43225
ScizorScizor BugSteel 236 191 140 2801 Bullet Punch Steel Iron Head Steel 12.91 26740
LucarioLucario FightingSteel 236 144 172 2703 Bullet Punch Steel Flash Cannon Steel 12.78 24768
AggronAggron SteelRock 198 314 140 3004 Iron Tail Steel Heavy Slam Steel 11.74 43960

You probably thought that the legendary Steel (and Dragon) type Pokémon Dialga would still be the steel type king, right? Well, this isn’t the case. Even though it has a higher attack stat, its moveset is not as overpowered as Metagross’ moveset is. Furthermore, unless there’s a major shakeup in the future, Metagross does seem to be a pretty safe investment across all future generations if you need a steel type attacker in your team.

Great attackers often do not have great bulk. When that happens, they’re usually defined as “glass cannons”, as they hit hard but faint pretty quickly. However, that isn’t the case with Metagross. Metagross’ bulk is very decent, which makes it an even better attacker. Furthermore, it isn’t a legendary Pokémon, and it won’t require as many resources to power up as a legendary mon would.

Meteor Mash: what makes it so good?

Movesets are really important in this game. A Pokémon with great stats but with a terrible moveset won’t work. Similarly, a Pokémon with an awesome moveset but with terrible stats won’t work either. Let’s take a look at the stats of Meteor Mash, Metagross’ exclusive move, and compare it to other steel type charge moves:

Move Base Power Move cooldown (s) Energy delta Damage window (s) DPS
Meteor Mash 100 2.6 -50 2.3 38.46
Flash Cannon 100 2.7 -100 1.6 37.04
Heavy Slam 70 2.1 -50 1.5 33.33
Iron Head 60 1.9 -50 1.3 31.58

Alright, those numbers look pretty and all that stuff but… what do they mean and how can I compare them? Base power is pretty much self-explanatory, move cooldown is the amount of time needed between the charge move is activated and when you can attack again, energy delta just represents the energy needed to perform a charge move (for example, -50 means a 2-bar charge move and -100 means a full-bar charge move) and damage window is the amount of time needed to actually apply the damage. So what makes a charge move good?

Well, there’s plenty of things that should be considered. First of all, base power is important, but it’s not the only relevant variable, as there can be a tradeoff between this variable and the move cooldown, for example. Hydro Cannon (Blastoise’s exclusive CD move) has a base power of 90 and Blast Burn (Charizard’s exclusive CD move) has a base power of 110. You might think that Blast Burn is better, right? Well, that’s wrong. Hydro Cannon has a move cooldown of 1.9 seconds, one of the fastest ones in the game, and Blast Burn has a move cooldown of 3.3 seconds. If you divide the base power by the move cooldown to compute a move’s DPS, you’ll see that Hydro Cannon wins the tradeoff. Also keep in mind that comparing full-bar to multi-bar charge moves by just its DPS might not be the best idea! For those cases, you should consider cycle DPS and simulation results.

Following this same example, the last variable to describe is the damage window. Does it really matter? Well, it does! Hydro Cannon has the fastest damage window in the game, just 0.5 seconds, whereas Blast Burn needs 2.75 seconds to apply the move’s damage. How many times have you fired off a charge move and then you fainted and the enemy’s HP has bounced back? That means that you fainted before the damage was applied. A lower damage window helps you more than you think, and from a defensive point of view, it’s harder to dodge the lower this variable is.

Thus, the ideal case would be if the charge move is pretty powerful, multi-bar (to minimise energy waste when fainting), with a fast move cooldown and a reasonable damage window. And Meteor Mash can be considered a really good move for those reasons.

When to use Meteor Mash Metagross

Metagross is a Steel and Psychic type Pokémon that now shines as a Steel type attacker. Thus:

  • It deals super effective damage against Ice, Rock and Fairy types when using Steel type moves
  • It deals reduced damage to Fire, Water, Electric and Steel types when using Steel type moves
  • It is vulnerable to Ground, Ghost, Fire and Dark type moves
  • It resists Dragon, Fairy, Flying, Grass, Ice, Normal, Rock and Steel type moves, and it double resists Poison and Psychic type ones

Metagross has an awesome typing from a defensive point of view as it resists up to 10 types, which is quite impressive. The best 2 uses for Meteor Mash Metagross, given the current state of the metagame, are as a potion-efficient gym sweeper or as a generalist/specialist in Raid Battles (there are still better gym defenders).

Metagross as a gym sweeper

Metagross can be effectively used as a gym sweeper for a couple of reasons. First of all, it has a great set of resistances and only 4 types resist its steel type moves. Aside from water types, the other 3 are not very common in the gym defending metagame as of now. Furthermore, it deals a massive amount of damage with its new best moveset, even when using it as a generalist. And finally, it is significantly tankier than other glass cannon attackers.

So let’s see how it performs against the best gym defender (yes, even after the CP rework), ZH/DG Blissey, and compare it with the other best gym sweepers in the game. Simulations are performed in Pokebattler and consider level 40 perfect attackers and defenders, the dodging strategy is set to perfect charge move dodging and the friendship level and weather are set to no-friendship and neutral, respectively.

Important note: All simulations were done considering the CP values and stats prior to the CP rework.

Raid Boss Fast Move Charge Move Weather boost Friends boost Dodging strat
BlisseyBlissey Normal Zen Headbutt Psychic Dazzling Gleam Fairy No No Perfect charge move dodging

 

Attacker Fast Move Charge Move DPS TTW (s) % HP left (%)
MachampMachamp Fighting Counter Fighting Dynamic Punch Fighting 16.54 50.5 18.18
RayquazaRayquaza DragonFlying Dragon Tail Dragon Outrage Dragon 13.94 60.3 22.84
MewtwoMewtwo Psychic Psycho Cut Psychic Focus Blast Fighting 14.60 61.3 45.73
MetagrossMetagross SteelPsychic Bullet Punch Steel Meteor Mash Steel 13.06 63.5 62.32
MetagrossMetagross SteelPsychic Bullet Punch Steel Flash Cannon Steel 10.79 79.7 57.25
LugiaLugia PsychicFlying Extrasensory Psychic Sky Attack Flying 9.94 84.2 54.19

Plenty of things can be said about the comparison above. First of all, it’s important to consider that this matchup is not equal for all attackers, as for example Machamp will take super effective damage from both moves from Blissey, Rayquaza will take super effective damage from Blissey’s charge moves and Metagross will double resist Zen Headbutt and resist Dazzling Gleam. However, since Blissey is the best gym defender in the game, it’s important to consider this specific matchup. Furthermore, it’s probably the most representative matchup to tell how good an attacker is when using it as a gym sweeper.

Let’s begin with the analysis. Machamp will still have the fastest Time To Win (TTW) for this matchup, as it will deal super effective damage with both moves. However, if you’re short on potions or if you prefer to use a tankier alternative, you can always use a different attacker from that Table.

Rayquaza is one of the best (if not the best) generalists in the game. Its massive attack stat paired up with a great moveset makes it stand out in plenty of scenarios. However, as expected, its bulk is not as high as its offensive power.

Mewtwo is an interesting case. It resists Blissey’s incoming Zen Headbutts and with Focus Blast as its charge move, it will deal super effective damage. Great attacker in this matchup for sure.

Lugia has always been considered as the “flying fortress”. It lacks a bit of offensive power but its massive defense stat allows it to take plenty of hits and have great TDO values. Is it good for this matchup? Well, it’s not bad, but its DPS isn’t the best and unless you’re short on potions, we recommend to use other attackers.

Finally, our new contender, Meteor Mash Metagross. What if I told you that its DPS is not that far from Rayquaza’s and the % of HP left after taking down Blissey is even greater than Lugia’s? Say hello to your new meta god, Meteor Mash Metagross, aka steel Ray Ray but with greater bulk. Oh, and it’s important to remember that those fairy types used in gyms to counter Machamp (Zen Headbutt/Dazzling Gleam Gardevoir and Clefable) will be easily countered by Metagross.

Metagross as an attacker in Raid Battles

Metagross will probably be used more as a generalist rather than a specialist in Raid Battles. Why? Mainly because steel type is not the best one from an offensive point of view, but it still has its niche in the current meta. Steel type attacks are super effective against Ice, Rock and Fairy, and unfortunately there aren’t plenty of raid bosses or relevant gym defenders of those types. However, its respectable damage output and bulk, along with its great set of resistances, make it a great generalist to use in raids if you do not have a full team of specialized counters or if you want an anchor at the end.

Two different scenarios will be considered to analyse its potential, as a specialist and as a generalist. A Deoxys EX Raid will be the first scenario tested, as Bullet Punch/Meteor Mash Metagross will deal neutral damage, resist potential incoming Hyper Beams and double resist potential incoming Zen Headbutts and Psycho Boosts. Regarding the specialist scenario, we’ll consider one of the brand new raid bosses, Togetic (a fairy and flying type Pokémon). Let’s begin with the simulations (again, credit to Pokebattler).

Generalist scenario: Deoxys EX Raid

The following Table sums up the main characteristics of the simulated raid battle:

Raid Boss Tier Fast Move Charge Move Weather boost Friends boost Dodging strat
DeoxysDeoxys Psychic 5 (EX) Zen Headbutt Psychic Hyper Beam Normal No Ultra Friends (7%) No dodging

If we sort it by the Overall metric, which not only considers power but also time to win, Metagross shows as the 3rd or 4th best counter for every single moveset Deoxys might have, so it’s a pretty solid option despite not being a specialist in this scenario (it “just” deals neutral damage). True, Overall is not the most “offensive-oriented” metric to consider when raiding, but it’s generally a good indicator of how good a Pokémon is for a specific matchup. Furthermore, it helps you differenciate between good counters with decent bulk and glass cannons that will almost faint immediately without even firing off a couple of charge moves, plus also it helps you save stardust as you get some extra bulk for your DPS improvements. ZH/HB was the moveset chosen to make it a bit better for SC/SB Gengar, who also wants to join the comparison.

If we sort by Time to Win, the most “DPS-oriented” metric, results change a little bit, as Metagross shows up in the TOP 10 counters for all movesets, but it does not rank as high as in the case above. Why? Well, Metagross “just” deals neutral damage in this raid. Even then, it has a lower time to win than certain specialist Pokémon against some movesets in this matchup, such as Snarl/Dark Pulse Absol, Shadow Claw/Shadow Ball Banette, Bite/Crunch Sharpedo and in most cases, it ranks as high as the generalist lord, Dragon Tail/Outrage Rayquaza. True, Ray-Ray does not have the set of resistances that Metagross has for this matchup but yeah, Metagross is a very solid choice as a generalist regardless. (And to be honest, Metagross’ set of resistances (along with its very respectable damage output) is one of the aspects that make it that good as a generalist). Enough jibber jabber, let’s take a look at the fancy graphs and tables, shall we?

Pokémon Fast Move Charge Move TTW (s) TDO Potions Deaths to win
GengarGengar GhostPoison Shadow Claw Ghost Shadow Ball Ghost 399.6 465 176 22
TyranitarTyranitar RockDark Bite Dark Crunch Dark 419.2 953 106 11
MewtwoMewtwo Psychic Psycho Cut Psychic Shadow Ball Ghost 461.6 494 199 22
MetagrossMetagross SteelPsychic Bullet Punch Steel Meteor Mash Steel 468.9 856 106 13
RayquazaRayquaza DragonFlying Dragon Tail Dragon Outrage Dragon 509.6 476 205 22
MetagrossMetagross SteelPsychic Bullet Punch Steel Flash Cannon Steel 619.3 679 133 15

Several conclusions can be extracted from the results above. First of all, Meteor Mash Metagross is clearly a significant improvement over the Flash Cannon variant. Much more DPS, greater damage output and more potion-efficient. In fact, for this simulation specifically, it ranks even higher than Rayquaza as a generalist. True, Ray does not resist any incoming move from Deoxys as Metagross does, but in a neutral scenario their performance is pretty similar (and Metagross’ set of resistances is wider).

Tyranitar does resist almost every single move that Deoxys might know, and if it knows psychic type moves, it does double resist them. That’s the reason why its TDO for this matchup is off the charts, along with the fact that it also has great bulk. Gengar is the glass cannon in this simulation. Even against a Hyper Beam set (which Gengar double resists), Gengar’s TDO and deaths to win value is not the best. However, if you want the lowest TTW and higher DPS, Gengar is your best bet (just keep in mind that it will probably get destroyed if Deoxys knows Psycho Boost).

Focusing on the performance graphs, Meteor Mash Metagross and double dark Tyranitar seem to dominate this simulation. True, other Pokémon have lower time to win values, but the tradeoff between DPS and TDO is not worth the investment for this matchup. Averaging all movesets does not have a massive influence in the results and thus, those charts seem to be enough for now.

All in all, Metagross looks like an awesome generalist option for this raid, which can easily be duoed with a full team of them.

Specialist scenario: Togetic Raid

We did say that there weren’t plenty of scenarios where Metagross could be used as a specialist, right? Well, Togetic is now a duoable Tier 4 Raid Boss, so if you’re up for the challenge… Metagross is your best bet. Let’s take a look at the raid characteristics, graphs and analysis:

Raid Boss Tier Fast Move Charge Move Weather boost Friends boost Dodging strat
TogeticTogetic FairyFlying 4 Extrasensory Psychic Aerial Ace Flying No Ultra Friends (7%) No dodging

The moveset used for this simulation has been Extrasensory and Aerial Ace, due to several reasons. First of all, Togetic only learns two fast moves, which are Hidden Power and Extrasensory, and HP will always be HP Fighting in raid battles due to a bug (?), which hinders Tyranitar’s potential too much as it has a double weakness to fighting type moves. Thus, Extrasensory was chosen as a fast move. Furthermore, Aerial Ace is resisted by all contenders, which represents a fair scenario for a comparison.

As you can see in the graph, Meteor Mash Metagross has no rival as a specialist. Togetic is an easy duo thanks to this monster, which is very respectable. In fact, SD/SE Tyranitar has a projected TTW of approximately 319 seconds and a TDO of approximately 1660 in Partly Cloudy, which means that NON weather-boosted Meteor Mash Metagross is as good as a weather-boosted double rock Tyranitar. And this is probably the most favourable scenario for Tyranitar! (because if Togetic knows HP Fighting, it would make Ttar even worse and Dazzling Gleam as a charge move would be super effective against it too). Just wow. Yet again, see how well the Meteor Mash version of Metagross performs in comparison to the Flash Cannon one.

Let’s finish this off with a short comparison against the best counters for two of the all-time best raid bosses in Pokémon GO history, Regice and Regirock (well, not really). All movesets averaged, level 40 attackers, no dodging, no weather boost and ultra friends boost.

Vs. Regice

Pokémon Fast Move Charge Move TTW (s) TDO
MetagrossMetagross SteelPsychic Bullet Punch Steel Meteor Mash Steel 980.6 433
MoltresMoltres FireFlying Fire Spin Fire Overheat Fire 1023.5 436
MachampMachamp Fighting Counter Fighting Dynamic Punch Fighting 1036.8 328

Vs. Regirock

Pokémon Fast Move Charge Move TTW (s) TDO
MetagrossMetagross SteelPsychic Bullet Punch Steel Meteor Mash Steel 966.3 494
KyogreKyogre Water Waterfall Water Hydropump Water 1024.2 414
MachampMachamp Fighting Counter Fighting Dynamic Punch Fighting 1034.1 354

Synergy between attackers: building a better team

A core aspect of the competitive scene in the main series games is team synergy. There has never been a perfect team. Some Pokémon are better than others stat-wise, that’s undoubtedly the truth, but team synergy plays a key role too. So what’s exactly team synergy and how does it influence Pokémon GO?

Pokémon have weaknesses, and if you want to build a competitive team, you definitely need to cover them. If you build a mono-type team full of dragon type Pokémon (Rayquaza, Dragonite, Salamence, Latios, …), you’ll probably need to include a Pokémon in your team capable of dealing super effective damage to ice types. Why? Simply because most of those dragon type Pokémon are also flying types, and ice type Pokémon can easily defeat them by taking advantage of their double weakness to ice type attacks. What you can do to counter that is, for example, include a fire type Pokémon such as Flareon or Entei in your lineup, as it will resist those ice type attacks and deal super effective to those annoying ice type Pokémon. And do you know what other type also resists ice type moves and also deals super effective damage to ice type Pokémon? Your guess is correct, steel type Pokémon.

Rayquaza is undoubtedly one of the best generalists and attackers in the game as of now. It’s not the bulkiest mon out there but its damage output is massive. As a dragon and flying type, it’s weak to dragon, fairy, rock and ice (x2) type moves. Metagross is resistant to ALL of those weaknesses, and it deals super effective damage to rock, fairy AND ice type Pokémon. Furthermore, Rayquaza resists fire and ground (x2) type moves, two of Metagross’ weaknesses. Can you see how well these two Pokémon work together? That’s how team synergy works. With PvP in the horizon, building a strong team could be more important than ever.

Pokémon RayquazaRayquazaDragon Flying MetagrossMetagrossSteel Psychic
Good VS
(STAB moves only)
Dragon
Fighting
Grass
Bug
Ice
Rock
Fairy
Resistances Grass (x2)
Ground (x2)
Bug
Fighting
Fire
Water
Poison (x2)
Psychic (x2)
Dragon
Fairy
Flying
Grass
Ice
Normal
Rock
Steel
Weaknesses Ice (x2)
Rock
Fairy
Dragon
Ground
Ghost
Fire
Dark
Combined No shared weaknesses, but non-resistant to Electric, Ghost and Dark. Can counter Dragon Fighting Grass Bug Ice Rock and Fairy types!

As seen in the Table, the synergy between these two is amazing. They cover each other’s weaknesses pretty well. The combo itself has no weaknesses, but three types are not resisted, which are Electric, Ghost and Dark (Rayquaza takes neutral damage from those). Those weaknesses could be covered by adding other Pokémon that resist moves of those types too, even if they don’t resist all of them at the same time. Furthermore, adding another attacker that provides a wider offensive type coverage would be a good idea too. Keeep that in mind if PvP is released anytime soon!

What if I missed out on Meteor Mash Metagross?

Some people probably missed the last Community Day, and thus they couldn’t get Meteor Mash on their Metagross. Is it that big of a deal? Well, the answer is not exactly. It’s true that Meteor Mash Metagross is one of the best generalists in the game as of now, but not having it isn’t the end of the world due to several reasons.

The main reason is that there aren’t too many scenarios in which Meteor Mash Metagross will be the number one choice to use. True, it’s the best steel type in the game and it will remain in that spot for who knows how long (in fact, this does not seem likely to change in the future unless a major shakeup happens), but from an offensive point of view, steel types aren’t that relevant.

For example, if you want to counter Mewtwo (or Deoxys), you can still use your Bite/Crunch Tyranitar safely, as it will be a specialist for that matchup and will probably have a lower time to win and number of deaths. Unless the raid boss does know a move like Focus Blast that counters this specialist perfectly, using it will still be a better choice than choosing a top-tier generalist to fill that spot. However, if you do not have a full team of specialist counters for a specific raid, using Meteor Mash Metagross or another top-tier generalist such as Rayquaza can be a great choice. Again, keep in mind that PvP might shake things up in the future!

Conclusion

  • Meteor Mash Metagross is the best Steel type attacker in the game, and that does not seem likely to change unless a major shakeup happens in the future
  • It is also a TOP-Tier generalist (on par with Rayquaza and Lord Bidoof) with great damage output and an awesome set of resistances thanks to its dual typing
  • It has no rival when used as a specialist unless the raid boss or gym defender knows a move that counters it perfectly. Even then, its bulk is pretty high so it will most likely last long enough to fire off a couple of charge moves at least
  • Its DPS is higher than Shadow Claw/Shadow Ball Gengar. No, it’s not a mistake, it really tops the DPS of one of the best attackers in the game. Not only that, it is also significantly tankier
  • There is finally a great answer to the annoying fairy type Pokémon placed in gyms in between normal types to counter Machamp, such as Gardevoir or Clefable
  • It teams up great with Rayquaza, as they cover each other’s weaknesses pretty well. In fact, this combo looks pretty promising for PvP!
  • Its shiny version looks amazing!

Kratos.