Several Pokémon had their movepool expanded in the last update. If you want to check which Pokémon exactly, you can check out the full list here. Since Niantic did only expand their movepools, none of the moves these Pokémon originally became legacy, so there’s nothing to worry about.
This first article will discuss the viability of the new movepool changes for PvE ONLY (raids & gym battles). There will be a second article discussing the PvP move changes, as several moves got their PvP stats changed. You probably already know that moves have different stats for PvE and PvP, so that’s why TWO different articles will be made to keep things clear.
When you think about the biggest winner of this update, you probably think about Roserade. People had been waiting for its release for a long time, just for it to get Solar Beam instead of Grass Knot. How many times have you used your Roserade against Groudon or Kyogre and you felt that its performance was pretty “meh” because you weren’t even able to land more than one charge move before fainting? Well, that has now been solved as Roserade, the Grass type Pokémon with the highest attack stat in the game as of now (243), is now able to learn Grass Knot, the most powerful grass type charge move excluding Frenzy Plant (it can’t learn it anyway).
And guess what? Now that Roserade is able to learn Grass Knot, it just became the BEST Grass type attacker in the game, with a higher DPS (and TDO) than Grass Knot Breloom and a higher DPS & TDO than… Frenzy Plant Sceptile! The only potential challenger in the foreseeable could be Sky Forme Shaymin, and it needs to have Hidden Power Grass which is pretty difficult.
Honchkrow’s viability as atype attacker has also increased now that it has access to the best charge move in the game, Sky Attack. In fact, believe it or not, Honchkrow has now become the “best” type attacker in the game. Why “best”? Because if your rival is also weak to fire type moves, Sky Attack Moltres is still ahead (e.g. Breloom). However, if you’re up against a Pokémon that is weak to flying type moves but not to dragon or fire type moves, Honchrkow is your best bet against it, which makes it the best pure type attacker in the game. It lacks a bit of TDO when compared to Moltres or Rayquaza, but its superior DPS makes up for it.
Donphan finally got a Ground type fast move, Mud-Slap. It is still outclassed by several Pokémon as a ground type attacker (Groudon, Rhyperior, Rhydon & Garchomp and Mamoswine when they get released), but at least it got the ground type fast move it deserved. In fact, it has slightly better DPS & TDO than Golem as of now. Mud-Slap is worse than Mud Shot, but it’s the only ground type fast move that it can learn based on its movepool in the main series games.
Machamp’s best moveset hasn’t changed. Machamp’s role hasn’t changed. Then, why is it considered a runner-up? Well, when using Machamp as a gym sweeper you have probably fought against a Gyarados or some random flying type Pokémon such as Charizard or Dragonite. Well, Machamp now has access to Rock Slide, the best Rock type charge move in the game, which makes it more versatile and adds type coverage for those cases. That’s right, the ultimate gym sweeper just got buffed a little bit more. Furthermore, it adds type coverage against one of Machamp’s weaknesses, flying type Pokémon with flying type moves.
Don’t get us wrong, Houndoom is nowhere near the best Fire type DPS or TDO, but it got a nice buff now that it can learn Flamethrower, as it was stuck with Fire Blast as its only fire type charge move. Remember that Overheat Moltres, the fire type starters (especially those who can learn Blast Burn), Entei, Flareon, Magmortar, and even legacy Flamethrower Arcanine still outclass it though.
Ho-Oh has always been stuck with no fire or flying type fast moves (just Extrasensory and Steel Wing). Well, now it “kinda” got buffed with the addition of Hidden Power to its movepool. The type of Hidden Power is random for each Pokémon, and no matter how many Fast TMs you spend on it, it will always have the same type. The most interesting types you can get are Fire (+Fire Blast as its charge move), (+Brave Bird) or Grass (+Solar Beam). However, even though its TDO is at the level of Entei, its fire type DPS is below Houndoom’s. To sum up, it’s an interesting high-TDO option but its DPS does not stand a chance even with the right Hidden Power type.
- Alolan Muk got Snarl, which makes it marginally better in some scenarios
- Aerodactyl finally got a rock type charge move, but even with Rock Slide, it does not stand a chance against the best rock type attackers in the game. Furthermore, Rampardos has just been released
- Jynx now has a charge move to hit its dark type counters, Focus Blast. However, it needs to survive long enough to use it, and we all know how glassy Jynx is
- Drapion now has access to Bite, its only dark type fast move (plus it benefits from STAB)
- Togekiss somehow has access to Flamethrower, to hit with SE damage against its steel type counters
- Suicune and Starmie now have a decent way to hit its grass type counters with Ice Beam
- Outrage Snorlax is a decent gym defender, only if you don’t have one with Body Slam, which is superior
- Kabutops now has a double water type moveset with the addition of Waterfall to its movepool, but Water Pulse is not a great charge move to pair it with…