PvP Spice: Milotic in the Master League

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Milotic Water

The epitome of beauty in the world of Pokémon! The sleek, graceful and serpentine ‘marvel scale’ beast from the sea: Milotic!

Serving as a defensive counterpart to the outrageous Gyarados, Milotic holds a significant standing in the minds and hearts of countless Pokémon trainers from all around the globe.

But is it as meta relevant as Gyarados? For crying out loud, this Pokémon doesn’t even get a mega evolution! Yes, quite unfair. But hey, if Gyarados is an offensive monster then Milotic earns its own bragging rights courtesy of its natural bulk. 

With the Master League serving as a backyard for various legendary and pseudo legendary Pokémon to run rampant, one wonders how this plain old ML recipe can get spicier? After all, variety makes life more interesting, doesn’t it?

Kyogre and Gyarados proudly host the Water type flag in the ML Classic and Open meta alike. But how would Milotic, with its impressive bulk, moveset and favourable typing perform? Does the boosted Dragon Tail benefit it? Would it fulfil some niches that Kyogre and Gyarados don’t? There’s certainly a lot of buzz surrounding the beautiful Milotic!

There’s a good chance that Milotic could earn a nod of approval from even the most seasoned battlers! So let’s find out just how spicy one can make ML by running MiLotic.

Typing and Match-ups

Milotic is a pure Water type and as such, is only weak to the Electric and Grass types 

With the pure Water typing, Milotic resists the Fire Ice Steel and Water types. 

Known to be pretty bulky per se, the resistance against the Steel type is undoubtedly an attraction in the Master League where these metal behemoths are some of the most dominant backyard bullies. In addition, the Fire resistance can also be extremely useful.

I’ve kept on using “bulky” for Milotic on multiple instances. Let’s address that now, shall we?


Milotic has the following stats in Pokémon Go:

Milotic Water
Max CP at Level 50 3398 | Max CP at Level 40 3005
ATK 192 DEF 219 HP 216
Weak to Strong Against
Electric Grass Fire Ground Rock


Those DEF and HP figures undoubtedly make for a formidable combination. Needless to say, even that ATK stat is pretty usable. In a nutshell, Milotic sports pretty balanced stats that make it a fine contender as a spice pick.

Milotic is bulkier than both Kyogre and Gyarados. Yes, the ATK stat is considerably lower but with that bulk, the Tender Pokémon can last long enough to bring the shield game in your favour and knock out some heavyweights. In order to do that, Milotic needs some good moves. And goodness gracious, you are going to love its moveset!

Moveset Analysis

Milotic can learn the following moves in Pokémon Go:

Fast Moves Charged Moves
  • Dragon Tail Dragon
  • Waterfall Water
  • Surf Water
  • Blizzard Ice
  • Hyper Beam Normal


Waterfall gains STAB and had a (DPT/EPT) set of (4.00/2.66). While the energy gain is undoubtedly low, the 4 DPT is the real deal.

Dragon Tail gained a terrific update and now showcases (4.33/3.00). With better DPT, EPT and neutral coverage, Dragon Tail makes up for the lack of STAB.

It is worth noting that both Waterfall and Dragon Tail have the same Cooldown of 1.50 sec. As such, they perform similarly and the choice between the two boils down to your team composition and coverage. But all things said and done, Dragon Tail is more threatening as it offers more neutral coverage.

Surf is an amazing charged move, dishing out 65 DMG at just 40 energy. Needless to say, this is Milotic’s most viable charged move.

Blizzard is a powerful but expensive move that makes Milotic all the more formidable due to the excellent offensive prominence of Ice type moves. It boasts of a massive 140 DMG at 75 energy.

Hyper Beam comes with a whopping 150 DMG but is extremely expensive at 80 energy. Additionally, Normal type moves have no super-effective coverage whatsoever. As such, it isn’t exactly as helpful as Surf or Blizzard.

Milotic’s Ideal PvP Moveset 

Admittedly, both Waterfall and Dragon Tail have their uses.

Therefore, I’ll surely analyse both these moves along with the relevant charged moves. Speaking of which, Milotic needs both Surf and Blizzard to be at its formidable best. Yes, Hyper Beam Milotic can be used but it’s comparatively underwhelming to what Surf and Blizzard are capable of. However, this article is all about spice so I will also show you how Milotic performs with Hyper Beam. Promise!

Therefore, Milotic’s ideal moveset is Waterfall/Dragon Tail paired with Surf and Blizzard.

Now with our Milotic sets sorted, let’s get into the real spicy stuff: Milotic’s performance in both Master League formats!

Performance in the Master League Classic

With Waterfall paired with Surf & Blizzard

Waterfall’s relatively low energy gains makes Milotic rely on its heavy damage shenanigans to get through. With a 67% win rate in the meta, it gives a decent showing in the (1-1) shield scenario.

Source: pvpoke.com

When it comes to the (0-0) shield scenario, Milotic’s win rate drops to 62.9%:

Source: pvpoke.com

Milotic bags these favourable matchups in the ML Classic:

These wins clearly highlight the asset that Waterfall is to a Water type. Honestly, Waterfall and Surf would more or less suffice in closely replicating this performance. In fact, a Milotic with Waterfall and Surf attains a 66% win rate in this format.

With Dragon Tail paired with Surf & Blizzard

Let’s face it… Milotic should have been a Dragon type! Ah, wishful thinking. But regardless, Milotic does gain a lot from Dragon Tail!

Right off the turf, Dragon Tail Milotic gains a 71.7% win rate in the (1-1) shield scenario:

Source: pvpoke.com

Similar to Waterfall, Dragon Tail Milotic’s win rate drops in the (0-0) shield scenario, sporting a win rate of 64.2%:

Source: pvpoke.com

Some key wins include the following:

  • Beats Dragonite in (1-1)
  • Beats Dragon Tail Garchomp in (1-1)
  • Beats Mud Shot Garchomp in (1-1)
  • Beats Dragon Tail Groudon in (1-1)
  • Beats Excadrill in (1-1) and (0-0)
  • Beats Bite Tyranitar in (1-1)
  • Beats Mamoswine in (1-1) and (0-0)

Naturally, Milotic gains a better standing against Dragon types. It loses some key matchups it had with Waterfall such as Togekiss, Swampert and Landorus (Therian).

Master League Classic Verdict

Milotic is a serviceable Pokémon in the ML Classic meta. It has its showing with both Waterfall and Dragon Tail. However, it is worth noting that:

  • Waterfall Milotic overall performs better in (0-0)
  • Dragon Tail Milotic overall performs better in (1-1)

With the ability to threaten some meta relevant mons and turn the tide to its favour, Milotic is undoubtedly a spicy pick in the ML Classic.

Performance in the Open Master League

With Waterfall paired with Surf & Blizzard

Playing in the most intense PvP league does favour Waterfall Milotic as its bulk now becomes more of a threat. In the (1-1) shield scenario, XL Milotic with Waterfall bags an impressive 72.4% win rate:

Source: pvpoke.com

The (0-0) shield scenario marginally drops Milotic’s win rate to 69.4%

Source: pvpoke.com

Stacking up Milotic’s home runs in the Open ML meta:

XL Milotic really takes up the pressure in Open ML! Its wins make it an apt partner to a Dragon type as it takes out Togekiss, Dragon Tail Groudon, Mamoswine and Metagross. Needless to say, Milotic with Waterfall is good in Open ML! The spicy water is real!

With Dragon Tail paired with Surf & Blizzard

When Milotic’s gorgeous tail goes draconic, it turns into its destructive best!

Armed with Dragon Tail, Milotic boasts of an unexpectedly pleasant 75.3% win rate in the (1-1) shield scenario:

Source: pvpoke.com

In the (0-0) shield scenario, Milotic with Dragon Tail manages to maintain a good impression with its 73.3% win rate:

Source: pvpoke.com

Curious about what XL Milotic does with Dragon Tail? Here you go!

  • Beats Mud Shot Garchomp in (1-1)
  • Beats Landorus (Therian) in (1-1)
  • Beats Swampert in (1-1) and (0-0)
  • Beats Excadrill in (0-0)
  • Beats Mamoswine in (1-1) and (0-0)
  • Beats Mud Shot Groudon in (0-0)
  • Beats Dragon Breath Gyarados in (1-1)
  • Beats Waterfall Gyardos in (1-1) and (0-0)
  • Beats Bite Tyranitar in (1-1)
  • Beats Smack Down Tyranitar in (0-0)

Some new wins while forgoing a couple of wins with Waterfall. Not as efficient with Dragon types as expected, but would definitely throw many an opponent off-guard.

Open Master League Verdict

Milotic reaches its peak in its XL version and undoubtedly delivers. The unpredictability it brings to battles is its strongest point.

  • Waterfall Milotic delivers consistent performance across the board
  • Dragon Tail Milotic fulfils a more specific neutral damage role

With the ability to surprise even the most seasoned battlers and take out some well-established heavyweights of the ML meta, Milotic can get too spicy to handle in the Open ML.

Comparison with Kyogre

The legendary Kyogre is a true monster. Its beastly ATK stat of 270 drowns Milotic’s 198 ATK easily. Additionally, Kyogre has greater DEF (228) than Milotic (219). The only draw of Milotic is its HP (216), which is higher than Kyogre (205). So their bulk isn’t too different but where Kyogre excels as a bulky attacker, Milotic stands to impress with its bulk, movepool and its capacity to absorb damage naturally.

See, both Kyogre and Milotic can even showcase the same moveset of Waterfall + Surf & Blizzard. So you are undoubtedly better off with Kyogre anytime but if you don’t have the large, large whale powered up, Milotic can fill in *okayish* and make you salvage its bulk.

But hey! Let’s not designate Milotic as the non-legendary version of Kyogre, alright? It has Dragon Tail, which Kyogre doesn’t even learn. This brings me to…

Comparison with Gyarados

Gyarados is no dragon but it earns your attention by learning a wide array of Dragon type moves in Pokémon Go. And while Kyogre’s bulk wasn’t too Farfetch’d from Milotic, the latter takes the bulky cake from Gyarados decisively! Basically, Milotic with its DEF of 219 easily overtakes Gyarados’ DEF of 186. Also, they both have the same HP of 216. So yeah, Milotic is clearly wayyy bulkier. 

Gyarados will still deal with those dragons better but Milotic will sponge something like an Outrage better.

So Gary and Milo are Yin and Yang, hot and cold, left and right… opposites, fulfilling opposite roles in battles.

Is it worth the HYPEr Beam?

I promised this!

Now look, Hyper Beam hits hard. No denying that. But what really sets it back is the fact that Hyper Beam costs a lotttt of energy and Milotic’s fast moves don’t complement Hyper Beam at all.

Plus, using Hyper Beam either with Waterfall or with Dragon Tail really tones down the potential of Milotic. It’s essentially a spice move making the spicy Pokémon a bit unhealthy for your battles. After all, your Milo should take you to the ELO, not the LOO. LOL. 

Okay, I’ll stop my bad jokes now. Ahem…

So Hyper Beam is underwhelming and doesn’t really fulfil any niche. You should any day prefer surfing or even walking through a blizzard! But don’t board the hype train.

So is it spicy? Mi Lot, err, My Lord, YES!

I sound like Cilan from the Pokémon anime now.

Anyway, Milotic is good. Definitely better than you expect it to be. With incredible bulk and good cutlery of moves, it can knock out some reputed monsters from the ML meta. Its beauty is a reflection of its tremendous potential in PvP. Looks may or may not kill your opponent, but this marvelous manifestation of fierce beauty surely can!

Author & tags

My name is Niladri Sarkar. A Team Valor Trainer, I'm a Pokémon Battle Mechanics Specialist & a Dragon Master on Smogon's Pokémon Showdown where I particularly excel with Dragon types and Weather teams in Ubers / OU. I love to apply my vast knowledge and experience to the ever changing meta of Pokémon Go, specialising in DPS/TDO math, movesets, the Master League and Dragon types. Garchomp is my best Pokémon pal through and through.

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