Origin Form Palkia and Dialga as Raid Attackers

Palkia’s and Dialga’s Origin forms, together with their signature moves (Spacial Rend and Roar of Time respectively), will be released worldwide during Sinnoh Tour Global this weekend. We will now look at their performance in raids.

Main Points (TL;DR)

Both Palkia’s and Dialga’s Origin forms (with signature moves) are top-tier Dragon raid attackers. They’re in the same tier as Shadow non-mega dragons, with added bulk to offset lower DPS than shadows.

Both are very, very similar to each other. Other factors (Adventure Effects, PvP, variety, personal preference, etc) play a much bigger role than their own performance in raids in determining one’s choice on which legendary to focus on. A mixed team of both Origin forms and/or other Shadow dragons with various types likely works even better.

If you really, really want some distinguishing factors?

  • Want a high-to-medium-risk, high-reward option? Go with Origin Palkia.
  • Want a more consistent option, an anti-Draco Meteor specialist, or an anchor for your team of six? Go with Origin Dialga.

One more point I need to highlight now: Yes, Dialga is the only usable dragon attacker that isn’t weak to dragon-type damage, but (1) the boss usually only has a dragon-type charged move 30% of the time, and (2) Dialga-O’s advantage there isn’t that huge (especially compared to Palkia-O), unless it’s Draco Meteor.

My analyses of other types are in this spreadsheet. You can also follow me on Twitter (X) and Threads!

Main Charts

Dragon attackers ranked by their average in-raid performance, using ASE.

Stats and theoretical metrics

[Skippable if you don’t care]

First, I’ll go through some brief background in this section.

The stats of regular Palkia and Dialga are more comparable, with Palkia having a tiny (5) more base attack but slightly (6%) less bulk. However, while each of their Origin forms only has minor stats differences from their regular forms, these differences lean in favor of Palkia Origin (at least for raids).

  • Palkia Origin gets a strict upgrade in PoGO stats from its regular form (6 more attack and 8 more defense), giving it even higher base attack than Rayquaza.
  • Dialga Origin, on the other hand, loses 5 base attack for 14 more defense, making it less suited for raids than its regular form.

But moves are just as important if not more. Spacial Rend and Roar of Time are well overpowered moves, elevating the Origin forms’ performance well above their regular forms (which are stuck with Draco Meteor) and any other regular dragons. In a vacuum, Roar of Time is a stronger move, but on average, it’s not enough to compensate for Dialga-O’s worse stats than Palkia-O, as well as a worse fast move.

Typing has traditionally been the main reason to talk about Dialga. Its steel subtyping makes it the only (usable) dragon to take neutral damage from dragon-type charged moves (which a dragon-type raid boss likely has at least one of), in addition to many other resistances. But what’s often overlooked is that Palkia is only weak to two types, Dragon and Fairy, while all other (usable) dragon attackers come with a few more weaknesses. Palkia also gets a typing advantage when facing fire, water, fighting and ground-type attacks, compared to Dialga.

All things combined, Palkia-O has 3.7% more ER than Dialga-O and 5.9% more DPS; but as we’ll see later, Dialga-O’s typing improves its empirical performance more than these numbers.

In case Niantic decides to be stingy and makes the availability of Spacial Rend and Roar of Time RNG during the global event: No, both Origin forms with non-legacy Draco Meteor are nothing to write home about (even though they’re still in the same tier as most other regular dragons). Luckily, both signature moves were guaranteed from raids during the in-person Sinnoh Tour, so let’s hope that continues during the global event.

Comparing Palkia Origin to Dialga Origin

[TL;DR] Palkia-O is better on average, but fails horrendously when the raid boss has Draco Meteor. Somewhat surprisingly, (1) this rarely happens, (2) Dialga-O’s advantage against other dragon-type boss moves may be much worse than you’d expect, and (3) Palkia-O almost makes up for the DM failures with its advantage against fire-type nukes. It wouldn’t even be farfetch’d to call Dialga-O an “anti-Draco Meteor Specialist”.

Palkia-O vs. Dialga-O, L40 not friends

On average, Palkia-O is slightly better (by 1.9% in ASE at L40). However, Dialga-O is more consistent in rare worst-case scenarios, especially bosses with Draco Meteor, though they might be rarer than you might expect.

  • All dragon-type charged moves account for 30% of T5/Mega raid scenarios in my dataset. Dialga-O does better than Palkia-O in “only” 52% of them. Surprised about how low the second number is? So was I.
  • “But what about the other 48% of dragon moves where Palkia-O does better?” The answer is messy, but looks like this: If a dragon charged move doesn’t KO Palkia-O, it may do even better than Dialga-O; and the weaker the charged move is, the more likely Palkia-O overperforms.
    • Perhaps the most notable case is Zekrom raid with DB/Outrage, against which Palkia-O does better than Dialga-O (and only 8 more deaths).
    • Dragon Pulse Giratina-O, on the other hand, seems to lean in favor of Dialga-O consistently.

Boss charged moves of other types may also give either of them a typing advantage, and while they may be somewhat less likely than a dragon-type charged move and shouldn’t be neglected (see below), they typically result in a smaller difference between the two attackers. In typing-neutral scenarios, Palkia-O is almost always better.

When looking at “when does one of them do way better than the other”, I got some very interesting results.

  • When does Palkia-O underperform (at least 10% worse than Dialga-O) ? Almost exclusively when the boss has Draco Meteor (Palkia, Reshiram, Kyurem). (Plus Shadow Zekrom with Outrage, and Mega Latias with Psychic.) And in these cases, Palkia-O just collapses — like, very often 30-80% worse. But they only happen 5% of the time.
  • When does Dialga-O underperform? The worst cases are when the boss has a big Fire-type move (Reshiram, Fire Blast Palkia, Mega Charizard X, even Turtonator), but there are other such cases. These happen 10-15% of the time, though it drops to 7% if you ignore Mega and T3 raids.
  • So the “worst-case” analysis ended up being more of a wash. In terms of Tier 5 raids only, you’re basically comparing (DM Palkia, DM Reshiram, DM Kyurem) to (FB Palkia, Overheat Reshiram).

Dialga-O’s empirical performance does seem better than what theory would suggest, meaning that the typing advantage is real. However, they may be the cumulative result of many other less substantial type advantages, and/or simply how bad Palkia-O is against Draco Meteor. For this reason, I still think Dialga-O is the more consistent of the two, but the reasoning was probably not as simple as you had thought before.

Comparing both Palkia-O and Dialga-O to Shadow attackers

[TL;DR] Dialga-O is more consistent than most shadow dragons, but slightly trails behind shadows in raw power (though still very strong). Palkia-O achieves a good balance between power and consistency. Given that typing also plays a big role in worst-case scenarios, and it can lean in any dragon’s favor, I highly recommend building a team with a mix of various subtypings.

Palkia-O and Dialga-O vs. current shadow dragon attackers, L40 not friends
Palkia-O and Dialga-O vs. future shadow dragon attackers, L40 not friends

Both Palkia-O and Dialga-O are much bulkier than all shadow dragons, at the cost of a little bit less DPS. Comparing Palkia-O to shadows uncovers a few things:

  • Dragon charged moves:
    • Neither Palkia-O nor shadows can tank a Draco Meteor, so those typically go to shadows (often by a lot) since typically have 2-bar charged moves.
    • However, Palkia-O’s main advantage is that it can tank other dragon charged moves (mostly Outrage) that many shadows cannot. Namely: Zekrom, (Mega) Latias, Miraidon, etc. When this happens, Palkia-O gets a massive advantage over shadows, which typically collapse.
  • Non-dragon charged moves: These really depend on typing more than anything else, because Palkia-O’s raw power is pretty much comparable to shadows. These typing differences can go either way.
    • Examples: Stone Edge Reshiram, Blizzard Kyurem, Wild Charge Zekrom, Solar Beam Latios.

Comparing Dialga-O to shadows resembles a bit more of the Palkia-Dialga comparison, but in a more extreme manner. Dialga-O is “beaten” by most shadow dragons a majority of the time, as its raw power slightly trails behind them. But when it “wins”, it wins by a lot — even more than the Palkia-Dialga comparison. Of course, typing also plays a huge role.

Future and Speculation: If/when their regular forms also get signature moves

Future and speculative Dragon attackers ranked by ASE.
Comparisons involving regular Palkia and Dialga with signature moves, L40 not friends

In the main series games, Spacial Rend and Roar of Time are signature moves of both the regular (“Altered?”) and Origin forms. In PoGo, the regular forms of Palkia and Dialga cannot learn these signature moves. Unfortunately, we don’t know when they will become available on the regular forms, or if they ever will.

  • The latter question is due to Adventure Effects: Niantic may want to artificially restrict access to both moves, to make their effects and Origin forms “special”.

IF Spacial Rend and Roar of Time eventually become available on their regular forms, the high-level summary is:

Origin Palkia > Regular Dialga > Origin Dialga > Regular Palkia.

Keep in mind, the differences are so small and situation-dependent that they’re generally not worth worrying too much about, and every single one of them is top-tier. However, this does mean that: in theory, a long-term-thinking player may find it more worthwhile to use candies on a regular Dialga than an Origin Dialga. Whether it’s worth the wait, that’s your call.

Another question is if Spacial Rend and Roar of Time will become available on Shadow Palkia and Shadow Dialga. If they will:

  • Both Shadow Palkia (SR) and Shadow Dialga (RoT) blow all non-mega dragon attackers out of water. Nothing else comes close.
  • Interestingly, Shadow Dialga fares much better during the shadow treatment than Shadow Palkia. It appears that for most dragon attackers, the shadow/non-shadow bulk difference crosses a few thresholds between being OHKO’ed and surviving. Palkia (and most others) have to worry about them, but Dialga generally doesn’t.
  • If you’re a mad man who thinks Shadow Origin Palkia can become a thing, it may end up being better than Shadow “Altered” Dialga, though it may also easily not be.

Imgur Links and Additional Charts

General attacker charts: ASE and ASTTW*


* indicates additional charts that are not in the main post.

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