Primal Groudon and Primal Kyogre as raid attackers (Full Analysis)

TL;DR: Prioritize Groudon, after getting enough of both for Primal Energy.

Key points (TL;DR of TL;DR):

  • Both Primals are OP and almost always the best counter when applicable.
  • Precipice Blades regular Groudon is a HUGE improvement from Earthquake, but Origin Pulse is a much smaller one from Surf.
  • Regular Groudon and Kyogre are now both the best non-shadows of their type, though Shadow Swampert (as Water) and Shadow Mamoswine are generally better.
  • Groudon has way more utility than Kyogre in T5/Mega raids. It can be used to fight against many more bosses, even though for many of them, it’s worse than another legendary.
  • Primal Groudon can even work great as a Fire– and Grass-type mega, and can also give XL boosts for all three types!

Groudon (non-primal):

  • Precipice Blades is 14% better than Earthquake (one of the biggest changes we’ve seen from signature moves).
  • Better than Garchomp etc by a mile.
  • Groudon vs Shadow Mamoswine: S-Mamo is better most of the time, which includes most “traditional” use cases for Ground types. When it’s bad occasionally, it’s really bad, but then Groudon isn’t #1 counter either.
  • Even outside of “must use Ground” cases, Precipice Blades (PB) Groudon is now at least a great Tier 1.5-2 counter compared to other types you can use, and does within 5-10% of the #1 option.
    • Worse than: Terrakion, Reshiram, Shadow Machamp, Origin Pulse Kyogre, Metagross (shadow/regular), Shadow Tyranitar
    • Similar to: Lucario, Shadow Charizard, Rampardos
  • Will eventually be outclassed by Shadow Garchomp/Excadrill, and Sandsear Storm Landorus-T if the move is good.
  • I won’t necessarily suggest 6 ETMs, but if you’re dying for something to use 6 ETMs on, Groudon might just be it.
  • Primal Groudon is also a great Fire-type mega with incredible bulk and still great raw power. In group raids, it contributes even more damage than Mega Blaziken/Charizard Y.

Kyogre (non-primal):

  • Ranking doesn’t change from the small 4% upgrade. Shadow Swampert is still better.
  • Better than Groudon when both can be used (anti-Fire/Rock), though just barely.
  • Still a lot worse than Kartana and Metagross (shadow/regular) against Ground and Rock, on average.
  • Underwhelming utility, not too many bosses to use Water against.
  • While several future shadows (below Swampert) may outclass Kyogre, it doesn’t have much fear from non-shadows (aside from HC Inteleon tying it).

Keep reading for:

  • Mega comparison plots for Ground, Water and Fire types
  • Groudon vs. Shadow Mamoswine: More detailed breakdown
  • Kyogre and Groudon vs. their competitors
  • Ground-type rankings when it’s the best type to use
  • Strength & Utility plots for all current “best of type” attackers
  • Future Ground and Water attackers that may threaten Groudon and Kyogre
  • Primal Groudon’s room for improvement as a Fire type

Introduction

During the weekend of Pokémon Go Tour: Hoenn Global, on Saturday, February 25 and Sunday, February 26, Primal Kyogre and Primal Groudon will be in “Tier 6” Primal Raids.

There are a few unfortunate facts about the raids themselves. Not only are the extremely hard (Primal Groudon needs 4 players minimum, 6-7 to be safe; Primal Kyogre needs 5 players minimum, 7-8 to be safe), but you will likely need at least 5-6 raids for each in order to gather 400 Primal Energy to evolve, unless Niantic fixes the rewards at the last minute.

  • A silver lining is that they each boost 3 types for raid damage and (XL) candies. Primal Groudon boosts Ground, Fire and Grass; Primal Kyogre boosts Water, Electric and Bug.

But what happens after you get them? Suppose you still have leftover raid passes (and time)… Which one should you raid more if you primarily care about their utility as raid attackers? And how often should you expect to use them in raids, primal reversed or not? This article addresses all these questions.

This is a continuation from the partial analysis I published before the Las Vegas disaster in-person tour. The most crucial information had all been discussed in the partial analysis, but I’ll still mention the key points here, either in full or as TL;DRs. If you have read the partial analysis, there are a few sections you may skip, and I’ll let you know.

This article will be divided into the following parts (many are copied from the partial analysis, Parts 0, 2 & 5 is new, Part 1 has some updates):

  • Part 0: Stats of Primals and their signature moves
  • Part 1: Primal and regular Groudon as a Ground attacker
    • Mega comparisons; Groudon vs. Shadow Mamoswine; Groudon vs. Attackers of other types
  • Part 2: Primal Groudon as a Fire and Grass attacker
  • Part 3: Primal and regular Kyogre as a Water (and Electric) attacker
    • Mega comparisons; Kyogre vs. Attackers of other types
  • Part 4: Utility of Groudon and Kyogre: Which one is used against more raid bosses?
  • Part 5: Future considerations
    • What can threaten or outclass them? How can Primal Groudon be improved as a Fire type?
  • Part 6: Verdict – Raiding and ETM decisions

If you’re on desktop and want to jump to a particular part, search “Part X”.

You can now follow me (@teban54) on Twitter!

Part 0: Stats of Primals, Origin Pulse and Precipice Blades

(Skippable in the interest of time)

Origin Pulse and Precipice Blades had their stats added to the Game Master since 2018, or possibly earlier. They were among the earliest legendary signature moves with stats added to GM, and the only ones that had their stats revealed way before release.

  • (Unrelated: Even back in 2018, people soon realized they would eventually be available only as raid-exclusive moves, and most were unhappy with it. Read this and this for some dumpster fire.)

In the 5 years that followed, everyone kept repeating “these are speculative stats and may be changed prior to release”… Yet, the exact same stats from 2018 ended up being used in 2023.

The 2018 stats were already overpowered (OP) back then, albeit not as much as the starter CD moves that immediately followed. Even by 2023 standards, they’re still OP (which shows we haven’t gone too far when it comes to OP moves):

“Arceus Test” for Origin Pulse and Precipice Blades, using a typeless Arceus with Tackle, an average fast move. Source: GamePress DPS/TDO Spreadsheet.

Origin Pulse and Precipice Blades are most comparable to moves like Psystrike, Blast Burn, Fusion Flare and Brutal Swing. Almost all moves shown in the screenshot, possibly except Shadow Ball, are considered as classic OP moves.

On the other hand, stats for Primal Kyogre and Groudon themselves are new, and completely threw us off. As I explained here, instead of a 9% nerf on their base stats converted from MSG, which most box legendaries have received, the primals ended up getting a 3% nerf. This made them stronger than all predictions, with stats as follows:

  • Attack: 353
  • Defense: 268
  • HP/Stamina: 218

353 base attack is higher than almost all Pokémon released in the game (except Deoxys Attack and Mega Alakazam), and considering both attack and bulk, their raw stats are only meaningfully outclassed by the unreleased Mega Mewtwo X/Y and Mega Rayquaza.

  • As for Kyogre’s and Groudon’s base forms, 270 base attack with respectable bulk remains excellent today, though they’re no longer as outstanding for raids as they were in 2018. Several glassier attackers, such as Kartana and Landorus-T, trade some bulk for higher attack, making their base stats even better suited as raid attackers. Not to mention shadows.

What happens when you combine god-tier base stats (on the Primals at least) with OP signature moves? Let’s see.

Part 1: Primal and regular Groudon as a Ground attacker

If you have read the partial analysis, jump to “Ground-type Mega Comparisons” or “Groudon vs. Shadow Mamoswine”. The first section is copied directly from the partial analysis.

Ground attackers ranked by their average in-raid performance, using ASE, ASE with dodging, and ASTTW.

See Appendix 1 (at the end of this article) for technical details and how to read the charts. The Chandelure analysis also contains explanations on ASE vs ASTTW.

Primal Groudon (Mud Shot/Precipice Blades) is the best Ground attacker, period. It’s even 30% ahead of regular Groudon. With Precipice Blades, it’s even ahead of future Mega Garchomp by quite a margin (revisiting this later).

Precipice Blades is a HUGE upgrade on Groudon (14%). This is far greater than all upgrades brought by legendary signature moves that we’ve seen recently (except Terrakion).

  • Reshiram and Mewtwo got a 7% upgrade from their signature moves. No legendaries have an improvement between 7% and 14%.

Non-Primal Groudon with Precipice Blades is similar to Shadow Mamoswine, and far above other non-shadows. However, the chart above may be misleading, as we’ll see in just two sections.

Side notes (minor):

  • Shadow Golurk was way overhyped. I know, it has the highest DPS at that time, but it has very little bulk. In reality, it ends up being similar to Garchomp, usually worse (although better against Electric).
  • You may think from the Estimator plot that Earth Power Garchomp is ahead of other non-legendaries and Landorus-T by some margin, unless with dodging. However, its advantage over Landorus-T mostly come from beating Fire-type bosses, and Garchomp is an arguably weak option for that anyway. I’ll mention this again later.

Ground-type Mega Comparisons

Comparison of ground-type megas and primals, in terms of damage up to a fixed time frame (relative to the no-mega baseline).

Did anyone really expect anything different?

Primal Groudon with Precipice Blades is hands down the best Ground-type “mega”, both in solo performance and in damage boosting. Higher DPS than everything else, and greater bulk than everything except Mega Steelix (lol).

RIP Mega Garchomp. (Mega Rayquaza getting only a 3% nerf will give Mega Garchomp a run for its money, too.)

Groudon vs. Shadow Mamoswine

[Section TL;DR] Shadow Mamoswine is basically better. It performs the “traditional” duty of a Ground attacker better than Groudon does. Other than that, sometimes it does really badly due to typing disadvantages, but then Groudon isn’t the top counter either.

Shadow Mamoswine (Mud-Slap/High Horsepower) has higher DPS and lower bulk than Groudon, but its main problem is a systematic typing disadvantage against types that you expect a Ground attacker to counter. This is elaborated in the partial analysis (excerpt screenshot).

Turns out, this is the sole reason for Shadow Mamoswine’s “worse ASE than Groudon” above. A closer look suggests otherwise:

Groudon vs. Shadow Mamoswine. Left are against all bosses that ground types can be used; Right are against bosses where ground is the best counter (electrics, double weaknesses, Tapu Koko).

Special thanks to u/beaglechu for suggesting a revamp of the chart format.

This chart only considers which one is better, not “by how much”.

Looking at the top left chart, Shadow Mamoswine is better than Groudon a majority of the time (at least 57%, up to 80% by TTW and with dodging).

Not only that, but it turns out Groudon almost only “wins” if it has a typing advantage! From the bottom left chart:

  • Without typing advantage (Fire, Fighting, Rock, Steel), Groudon rarely outperforms Shadow Mamoswine. (The light-color bars)
  • Typing advantages happen ~43% of the time, mostly against Fire, Steel and Rock-type bosses.
  • When they do happen, Groudon often has a higher estimator, but Shadow Mamoswine still does better in TTW or with dodging. This means these scenarios are really, really bad for Shadow Mamoswine – at least one additional relobby, and sometimes even OHKOed. Yeah, that explains the lower ASE.

A third point that works against Groudon: When Ground attackers shine the most, Shadow Mamoswine becomes straight up better (except against Heatran).

  • These cases mostly include: Mono electric bosses; Bosses with double weakness to ground; and Tapu Koko.
  • In these cases (charts to the right), Shadow Mamoswine is clearly better. The 20% loss in estimator mostly come from Heatran (and occasionally Nihilego).
  • Outside of these cases, Groudon may be better than Shadow Mamoswine, but it’s worse than something else (section below).

All things considered… I think Shadow Mamoswine is just better as a Ground attacker. Groudon may be more consistent, but not in a way that’s meaningful enough.

It should be noted that the difference is not huge – typically 5%, or sometimes less. If you prefer tanks or hate shadows, running Groudon(s) is more than perfectly fine.

Ground attackers, when Ground is the best type to use (“Must use ground”)

(Skippable in the interest of time)

These plots are to elaborate on what I mean by “when Ground attackers shine the most”. Their main goal is to show that in these cases, Shadow Mamoswine indeed becomes better than Groudon, by all metrics.

Ground attackers when they’re the best type to use.

There are three main classes of raid bosses here:

  1. Mono Electric bosses, which are only weak to Ground (e.g. Raikou, Xurkitree, Regieleki)
  2. Bosses with a double weakness to Ground and no other types (e.g. Heatran, Nihilego)
  3. Electric/Fairy bosses, which are only weak to Ground and Poison (e.g. Tapu Koko)

Why single them out? These are when you’re “forced” to use Ground attackers. Before Precipice Blades Groudon, Ground types were so weak that these were the only times when you would even consider them. Against everything else, they’re outclassed by other types, often even by budget counters. The entire type then became specialists against these few bosses, generally seeing low utility in raids.

Even Earth Power Garchomp didn’t change that… But Precipice Blades Groudon (mostly) did.

Side note: Notice how Garchomp loses its advantage over Landorus-T? They now tie in ASE, with Landorus-T even comes ahead in ASTTW, and Excadrill is also very comparable. A lot of these are Electric bosses, and the difference between triple resistance and single resistance simply isn’t that huge. When you resist too much, it actually hurts your DPS without the benefit of preventing a relobby – and I suspect that’s what’s happening here.

Groudon vs. attackers of other types

[Section TL;DR] Unless you have to use Ground, Precipice Blades Groudon is often still worse than other top-tier counters you can use, such as Terrakion, Reshiram, Metagross and Origin Pulse Kyogre. However, Groudon is still a great Tier 1.5-2 counter in these cases, with wider coverage than any one of them.

This section is shortened from the partial analysis. Here’s a screenshot of the full version. Skippable if you’ve read the partial analysis, unless you want to check 8 giant ugly tables.

Groudon’s main enemies are Water and Fighting, followed by Fire, Steel and Rock in some cases. Here’s how (non-primal) Precipice Blades Groudon stacks up against these competitor types (keeping in mind Shadow Mamoswine itself is also a competitor).

  • I’ve also attached ASE/ASTTW tables if anyone is interested in how other Ground attackers compare. (ASTTW is always the 2nd image; even if labelled ASE, it’s actually ASTTW.)

Water: Slightly worse than Origin Pulse Kyogre

Fighting: Near Lucario (better estimator, similar TTW)

  • Worse than Terrakion & Shadow Machamp
  • Better than Conkeldurr & Machamp
  • Full tables

Fire: Near Shadow Charizard and Shadow Typhlosion (better estimator, similar TTW)

  • Worse than Fusion Flare Reshiram & shadow legendaries
  • Better than Darmanitan, Chandelure, etc
  • Full tables

Steel: Worse than Metagross

Rock: Near Rampardos (better estimator, worse TTW)

  • Worse than Shadow Tyranitar
  • Better than Rhyperior
  • Full tables

In every case, Groudon still can’t outperform top counters of other types.

However:

  • Groudon is now a Tier 1.5-2 counter in all cases.
  • It also has wide coverage against many bosses, even more so than Fighting, Fire and Steel.
  • Not to forget there are still the “must use Ground” cases.

For those who don’t have too many dedicated top-tier teams built, prefer to use unique counters, or get sunny weather boost a lot, Groudon will appear on your raid squad quite often. But if you went hard on Terrakion, Reshiram and Shadow Machamp recently, heavy investments in Groudon are not too urgent for you.

One last thing: Primal Groudon outperforms everything else except Primal Kyogre. That’s right, it does better than Mega Blaziken (when it can use Precipice Blades).

Part 2: Primal Groudon as a Fire (and Grass!) attacker

[Section TL;DR] Primal Groudon is a good and bulky Fire-type mega, and contributes the most damage in group raids (more than Mega Blaziken/Charizard Y). Even as a “Grass” mega, it’s also serviceable. It can also provide XL candy boost situationally in all three types!

Groudon (Primal) GroundFire

Not only does Primal Groudon become a Ground/Fire-type Pokémon upon primal reversion, but in PoGO, it also provides damage and XL candy boosts to Grass types as well. This gives Primal Groudon insane potential in double duties as a raid attacker and candy booster, forming a “perfect triangle”:

  • As a Ground attacker against Fire bosses, using Precipice Blades (or Earthquake).
  • As a Fire attacker against Grass bosses, using Fire Punch (or Fire Blast).
  • As a Grass attacker against Ground bosses, using Solar Beam.

Each one gets you boosted XL candy chance, provides a 30% damage boost to other players, and also let you deal Super Effective damage yourself!

Even though Groudon lacks Fire-type and Grass-type fast moves, it turns out that its ridiculous base stats means it’s no big deal:

Primal Groudon as a Fire attacker

Fire attackers ranked by their average in-raid performance, using ASE, ASE with dodging, and ASTTW.

Moveset:

  • Fire Punch is the ideal charged move (at the moment). However, it’s a legacy move, and unless you kept the one Groudon from a timed research in 2020, it has to come from an Elite Charged TM. The good thing is that Fire Punch is also a must for PvP.
  • Non-legacy Fire Blast is also serviceable with a minor performance dropoff. It also allows you to TM to Solar Beam if needed.
  • For fast moves, Mud Shot is better if it’s not resisted (against Ice types), and Dragon Tail is better if Mud Shot is resisted (against Grass and Bug).

Performance: Actually surprisingly good!

Even without a Fire-type fast move, Primal Groudon already achieves solo performance a bit worse than Mega Houndoom. While that’s the worst of any usable Fire-type megas, it’s a good Fire attacker by itself, only sitting consistently below Reshiram and shadow legendaries. (Overheat Reshiram is the closest comparison.)

But where it stands out A LOT more – perhaps shockingly – is in group raids when it also boosts other players’ Fire-type damage…

Fire-type Mega Comparisons

Comparison of fire-type megas and primals, in terms of damage up to a fixed time frame (relative to the no-mega baseline).

In group raids with at least 2 other players using Fire types (i.e. 3+ player lobbies), Primal Groudon becomes the best Fire-type “mega” to use, contributing more damage than even Mega Charizard Y and Mega Blaziken!

  • This is thanks to Primal Groudon’s insane bulk (lasts on the field 75% longer than Mega Blaziken with no typing differences).
  • Also interesting that with just one player added, Mega Blaziken’s damage contribution falls off immediately from Mega Charizard Y.
  • Note that these are highly typing-dependent. Any mega with a typing advantage will do better.

One thing that works in Mega Blaziken’s favor is against Ice– and Steel-type bosses, if you don’t know what others players will use. Mega Blaziken boosts both Fire and Fighting, the most common anti-Steel counters (see the bottom right plot). However, it can’t give you meaningful XL candy boosts unlike Groudon.

  • (Primal Groudon also boosts both Fire and Ground, but people generally use Ground against Steel less frequently.)

Primal Groudon as a Grass attacker

I didn’t make any plots, because it evaded my radar until the last minute. But don’t let that fool you…

Solar Beam Primal Groudon ranks between Roserade and Chesnaught as a Grass attacker. Weaker than Mega Sceptile, Kartana and Mega Venusaur in raw power, but perfectly viable!

  • What’s more impressive is that it did so without a Grass fast move, and without STAB, and with a mediocre charged move.
  • Given its bulk increase from Mega Venusaur and Sceptile, I wouldn’t be surprised if Primal Groudon ends up being the best Grass-type mega in damage contribution for group raids. But need to check.

For fast move, again use Mud Shot when it’s not resisted, or Dragon Tail otherwise.

Here are the full simulation results (ASE/ASTTW tables) if anyone is interested.

Part 3: Primal and regular Kyogre as a Water (and Electric?) attacker

If you have read the partial analysis, you can skip to Part 4, aside from the mega comparisons (with a trivial result).

Water attackers ranked by their average in-raid performance, using ASE, ASE with dodging, and ASTTW.

This section is shortened a little bit from the partial analysis. Here’s a screenshot of the full version.

Primal Kyogre (Waterfall/Origin Pulse) is the best Water attacker, period. However, its dominance isn’t nearly as notable as Primal Groudon’s.

Sadly, non-primal Kyogre remains behind Shadow Swampert, even with Origin Pulse. It remains the best non-shadow non-mega Water attacker.

The key reason behind this seemingly underwhelming performance: Origin Pulse is not too OP – it’s a somewhat small upgrade over Surf. 4% without dodging, 6% with dodging.

  • I don’t think double moving is worth the stardust and candies for raids alone. Having both OP/Surf technically helps, but I’d be surprised if it makes >0.5% difference.

Water-type Mega Comparisons

Comparison of water-type megas and primals, in terms of damage up to a fixed time frame (relative to the no-mega baseline).

Yet another trivial comparison…

Primal Kyogre with Origin Pulse is the best Water-type “mega”, both in solo performance and in damage boosting. Higher DPS and greater bulk than everything else.

Of course, this doesn’t consider Mega Swampert’s utility in boosting XL candies against Ground-type bosses. And its performance is also not too far off from Primal Kyogre’s.

Kyogre vs. attackers of other types

[Section TL;DR] Origin Pulse Kyogre is now best non-shadow anti-Fire, but Kartana and Metagross are still better against Ground and Rock respectively.

This section is shortened a little bit from the partial analysis. Here’s a screenshot of the full version. Skippable if you’ve read the partial analysis, unless you want to check 6 giant ugly tables.

Here’s how Origin Pulse Kyogre compare to its competitors. Also, don’t forget Shadow Swampert itself is always a competitor, and does better than listed below.

Grass: Similar to Zarude and shadows

  • Much worse than Kartana
    • (Though obviously not when facing Fire Blast Groudon)
  • Full tables

Ground: Better than all non-megas

Steel: Worse than Metagross

Rock: Better than all non-megas

  • Although just barely ahead of Shadow Tyranitar
  • Full tables

Kyogre is generally the best non-shadow non-mega counter against Fire-type bosses. The problem is that against Ground (which is mostly just T5 Groudon), Kartana is still better. And Metagross still rules against Rock.

Lastly, Primal Kyogre is the best counter against anything it’s Super Effective against.

Kyogre as an Electric attacker?

… Or not.

Primal Kyogre does boost Electric types, so you can use it against a Water-type boss, boost other players’ Electric damage, and get boosted XL candies.

However, even running Waterfall/Thunder, its individual performance is terrible – way worse than even Jolteon, and wouldn’t even appear on an Electric-type attackers chart.

  • Primal Kyogre doesn’t work as well as Primal Groudon here because of fast move differences. Waterfall has way below average energy generation, so most of the time you’re dealing resisted damage instead of SE damage via Thunder. Mud Shot has excellent EPS, and even Dragon Tail has higher EPS than Waterfall.

You can still use Primal Kyogre in raids for damage boosts, and given its bulk, I wouldn’t be surprised if it ends up contributing more damage than Mega Ampharos and Mega Manectric in 6-person raids. But I need to check.

Part 4: Utility – Which one is used against more bosses?

[Section TL;DR] Groudon is much more useful in T5 and Mega raids than Kyogre. It can be used to beat more raid bosses, and even though it’s not always the #1 counter, it’s still a great one. Kyogre, on the other hand, lacks enough T5/Mega raid bosses to be used against.

This is an important part that I think should not be overlooked. However, I’ve covered it in great detail in the partial analysis. Therefore, I’ll leave only the key points and plots here. These should be sufficient, but curious readers may read the partial analysis for the full text (or excerpt screenshot here), mostly with a bit more methodology explanation and why we care.

If you’ve already read that, skip.

Utility of all types in T5 and mega raids. Numbers are the (rough) % of raid bosses each type can be used against. Excludes released megas and research mythicals (unless they may come to Elite Raids).
Strength & Utility scores for the “best” attacker of each type (i.e. the one with the highest S&U score)

Precipice Blades Groudon is indeed one of the most useful Pokémon for raids.

  • Even though it’s not the #1 counter against everything, it’s typically within 5-10% of the #1, and the sheer number of these use cases add up.
  • However, if you do have 6 Terrakion/Shadow Machamp and 6 Reshiram, Groudon’s utility to you drops quite a bit.

On the other hand, Water attackers like Origin Pulse Kyogre and Shadow Swampert have low utility for raids. There are simply not many T5/Mega raid bosses for Water to be used against.

  • Yes, even lower than Psychic, Flying and Fairy. The only two types strictly below it are Bug and Poison, which are not shown on this chart.
  • In this metric, Kyogre does suffer from being worse than Shadow Swampert. But even if you remove all shadows, it’s largely the same.

Even though Groudon may be slightly weaker than Kyogre when in direct competition, the fact that it can be used in a lot more raids, to me, suggests it’s a clear winner in investment priority.

Part 5: Future considerations

[Section TL;DR] Several future shadows and Landorus-T may tie or outclass regular Kyogre and Groudon. Their Primals will likely never be threatened.

In this part, we’ll look at future possibilities for three types:

  • Ground and Water: Can anything dethrone Primal Groudon and Kyogre? What future Pokemon may outclass regular Groudon and Kyogre, in addition to existing shadows?
  • Fire: How may Primal Groudon be improved as a Fire attacker, if it ever gets more fire moves?

Future Ground-type attackers

Future and speculative Ground attackers ranked by ASE, ASE with dodging, and ASTTW.

Nothing can ever touch Primal Groudon. Even Mega Garchomp falls short (though the difference is not night and day).

Regular Groudon can be tied by Shadow Rhyperior, while Shadow Garchomp and Shadow Excadrill likely to outperform it, especially the former.

Additionally, Landorus Therian with a good signature move (Sandsear Storm) is likely to outclass Groudon, though not by much.

Shadow Groudon is unlikely to be threatened by anything that can be simulated at the moment, and the only possible competitor seems to be Shadow Landorus-T.

(Side note: A bunch of non-legendary Ground attackers can benefit from High Horsepower, even more so than Earth Power. However, none of them can overtake even Garchomp, not to mention Groudon.)

Future Water-type attackers

Future and speculative Water attackers ranked by ASE, ASE with dodging, and ASTTW.

Similarly, nothing can ever touch Primal Kyogre.

In addition to Shadow Swampert that’s already better, Regular Kyogre will face several future shadow threats: Kingler, Empoleon and Samurott. All three generally sit between Kyogre and Shadow Swampert (except Shadow Kingler that dodges).

As for non-shadows, Hydro Cannon Inteleon (Gen 8 starter) will become equal to or better than Kyogre. The glass cannon is even similar to the abovementioned shadow Hydro Cannon starters, except Swampert.

  • A few things try to reach Kyogre level, but fall short: Greninja and Primarina with HC, Palkia with Waterfall (now potentially legal), and Urshifu Rapid Strike even with a good signature move.

Shadow Kyogre is unlikely to be outclassed. However, Shadow Palkia with Waterfall (and Shadow Gen 7/8 starters) may come close.

Fire: How can Primal Groudon be improved?

Speculative Fire attackers ranked by ASE, ASE with dodging, and ASTTW.

There are several Fire-type moves Groudon can potentially learn from the MSG: Fire Fang and Incinerate for fast moves, Overheat and Flamethrower for charged moves.

The plots above show various possibilities. There’s definitely huge potential for Primal Groudon as a Fire type!

  • The most extreme, Fire Fang/Overheat, almost ties Mega Blaziken in DPS while having 75% more TDO.
  • Even a “minimal” improvement of a single new move – fast or charged – lands it anywhere from Reshiram to just below Mega Blaziken/Charizard Y in performance.
  • Note: With a Fire fast move, Fire Punch and Fire Blast become nearly interchangeable. I showed the best combo here, but with both possible fast moves, the other charged move is extremely close.

A better question is if this will happen, and how soon. Incinerate may end up having PvP implications, and while it may increase the chance of it occurring, I’m not sure if that will be too much for Master League. The other options are safer for the ML meta, but that also means they’re less likely.

Whether that’s worth the FOMO, you decide.

Part 6: Verdict – Which one to aim for?

TL;DR: Get enough energy for one of each Primal, then do Groudon.

Skippable if you’ve read the partial analysis. This section is mostly copied from there.

Recap:

  • Primal Groudon and Primal Kyogre are the best Ground and Water attackers, and always the best counter.
  • Regular Groudon with Precipice Blades is a massive improvement over Earthquake, a bit worse than Shadow Mamoswine in practical scenarios, and far ahead of other non-shadows.
  • However, PB Groudon is still behind Terrakion, Reshiram and OP Kyogre when both can be used.
  • Regular Kyogre with Origin Pulse is a much smaller upgrade from Surf, and still worse than Shadow Swampert (and Kartana generally).
  • Groudon’s utility in raids is much higher than Kyogre, as it can be used against way more bosses, and still does great against them.
  • Primal Groudon can also be used as a Fire and Grass attacker while giving XL boosts. It’s even the ideal Fire-type mega in group raids for total damage.
  • In addition to the shadows that already outclass them, both may be surpassed by even more shadows in future. For non-shadows, Groudon may end up being worse than Sandsear Storm Landorus-T eventually, while Kyogre is much safer.
  • Even in PvP Master League, Groudon seems more useful than Kyogre.

Given their primals’ strong raw power and great XL boosting potential, getting enough energy to “mega evolve” one of each is a no-brainer. But beyond that…

If just choosing between Groudon and Kyogre, there are very few reasons why you may opt for Kyogre. Go Groudon.

  • I can see someone prioritizing Kyogre if they’re really concerned about beating Primal Groudon or T5 Groudon with Fire Blast, but these are niche cases.

But how hard should one go on Groudon? There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, but what I think is: If you grinded hard for Shadow Mamoswine, Terrakion, Shadow Machamp and Reshiram, you can relax a bit. Otherwise, Groudon is a well-above-average candidate.

  • If you’re thinking very long term, the thought of Landorus-T (which has higher base attack) may also deter you from investing heavily into Groudon at the moment.

What about Elite TMs?

  • Groudon is the closest to “worth 6 ETMs” that we’ve seen so far… But I may still say no to 6. Definitely worth one ETM given the ridiculous 14% improvement, but reasons I won’t suggest 6 are:
    • Shadow Mamoswine exists
    • Its raw power is still lower than its direct competitors (available recently without ETM requirements)
    • While there are several “must use Ground” cases, they’re still a bit niche
    • Future shadows and Landorus-T
  • Having said that, if you have to pick something to spend 6 ETMs on, Groudon might just be it. It’s definitely a way more convincing case than anything we’ve seen so far.
  • Kyogre is not a top candidate for an ETM, and I’m not even sure if it’s a 2nd-tier one. You can do it for PvP or if you have a stockpile of ETMs, but if not, there are better options for ETMs before it.

Articles coming up next

Nothing planned in the short term while we’re waiting for next season’s updates. Plus, I’m falling behind on work again due to the Groudon/Kyogre/Rayquaza articles, and I have my own Hoenn Tour prep to do lol.

I have previous mentioned the possibility of a poison-type analysis, both as a Tapu Bulu counters guide, and because it’s the only type I have not covered. That doesn’t seem to have much interest, so don’t be surprised if it doesn’t happen.

Appendix 1: Guide on how to read the charts & Technical details

Don’t know how to read the charts?

If you’re totally lost, just look at the first two plots, or just the first one if you don’t dodge in raids. These two plots are based on my Average Scaled Estimator (ASE) metric, which approximates in-raid performance using Pokebattler Estimator, best suited for realistic shortmanning (2-5 raiders).

The Average Scaled Time to Win (ASTTW) plots are similar, but best suited for medium or large lobbies (6+ raiders). This metric assumes no relobbying (i.e. reentering the raid after all Pokemon fainted).

The ER (aka DPS3*TDO scaled) and DPS plots are for experienced players who want to check these metrics.

In all six plots, the higher, the better. Example: Primal Groudon is generally better than Groudon, which is better than Garchomp, if they’re all at the same Pokémon level. But everything listed is perfectly usable and will let you pull your weight in raids.

You can also compare different attackers at different levels: points on the same horizontal line mean they’re equally as good. Example: Looking at the “ASE no dodging” plot, A Level 30 Groudon performs similarly to Level 40 Garchomp and Level 45 Excadrill.

Reminder: All plots show average performance against many raid bosses. Against a specific raid boss, the rankings can be different.

Technical details

  • The first two plots are based on my in-house Average Scaled Estimator (ASE) metric, which estimates in-raid performance by automatically computing the average Pokebattler estimators against a variety of T5, Mega and T3 raid bosses, scaled so that the best attacker at L40 gets 1.0. The smaller, the better. For more details, refer to my Venusaur analysis in January 2022 and the comments.
  • The last plot uses Average Scaled Time to Win (ASTTW) follow the same methodology, but replaces Pokebattler estimator with TTW.
  • “ASE Dodge” uses simulations with the “Dodge Specials” + “Realistic Dodging” options on Pokebattler. You can compare it to ASE without dodging to see how much dodging helps an attacker.
    • For example, Shadow Mamoswine’s ASE at Level 40 drops from 1.356 without dodging to 1.271 with dodging, so dodging generally helps Shadow Mamoswine’s performance.
    • However, Garchomp’s L40 ASE rises from 1.449 to 1.459 with dodging, so dodging may hurt Garchomp more than it helps.

Appendix 2: Past analyses on other types

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Missing types: Poison

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