Quick thoughts on Ursaluna as a ground-type raid attacker

Related Articles

It’s now less than 12 hours before Teddiursa Community Day starts in New Zealand… And unfortunately, I’m still working on my full Ursaluna and ground-type analysis. Two reasons: I’m running behind (my fault), and Pokebattler has not yet added Ursaluna so I can’t run simulations like I usually do (not my fault). I’m hoping to get the full analysis out soon after Ursaluna is added to Pokebattler, and maybe it can be out before CD starts in the Americas… But definitely not in APAC.

So instead, I’m presenting this miniature version of Ursaluna analysis: It has as much information as I can give about Ursaluna without relying on Pokebattler sims, so that you can start making the most urgent decisions before and during Teddiursa CD.

  • Important note regarding SHADOW Teddiursa. If you want High Horsepower, make sure it does NOT have FRUSTRATION before evolving! If it does have Frustration, don’t evolve now, wait for the next Rocket takeover event early next week to TM Frustration off it, then evolve during December Community Day.


Now, without a ground-type fast move: Meh.

  • Shadow Ursaluna with Tackle/High Horsepower is comparable to ground Rhyperior at best. Below Garchomp, Landorus-T, Groudon, and probably Excadrill.
  • Non-shadow Ursaluna? Nope.

POTENTIAL: [Update – This is now VERY UNLIKELY to happen… Welp.]

But just in the extremely unlikely event that Ursaluna gets a ground-type fast move… Non-shadow Ursaluna becomes competitive with other top ground attackers, and Shadow Ursaluna goes way above and beyond.

  • Mud-Slap makes non-shadow Ursaluna very similar to Earth Power Garchomp and Landorus Therian, in case that ever happens.
  • Mud Shot drops it to Groudon/Excadrill/Rhyperior levels, but not a huge difference.
  • Regardless of which fast move, Shadow Ursaluna will be the best ground attacker by far (currently), in case it ever gets Mud-Slap.
  • Things should be much clearer when December CD comes. (Not that it’s likely to change much)

If you have any good Teddiursa that you want to potentially turn into great ground attackers… Idk what to say anymore.

  • If you’re concerned that Ursaluna may get Earth Power as an event-exclusive move one day (like Psychic Alakazam)… Then save it for FOMO. Tackle/EP is a big improvement over Tackle/HH, but the non-shadow is still underwhelming. Shadow Tackle/EP Ursaluna is the best currently released ground attacker, but will be easily outclassed by future ground-type shadows.
  • If you think Earth Power won’t be exclusive or will never happen, evolve them now or at least in December for High Horsepower, so that it at least has a hope of functioning as a ground attacker with Tackle/Rock Smash. If Ursaluna gets Earth Power as non-legacy move, you can always add a second charged move, or get rid of HH.
  • But its ceiling is no longer there, so nothing too important for PvE purposes.

Nor worth going hard this CD (for PvE).

Is High Horsepower really that bad?

No – it’s about as good as Earth Power, which is itself an above-average PvE move. Just that it’s not OP either.

A common metric to measure the quality of PvE charged moves is DPS*DPE (Damage Per Second * Damage Per Energy). Using this metric, High Horsepower is actually one of the top-tier 1-bar moves. It’s only behind the following 1-bar charged moves, most of which are overpowered (OP) moves:

  • Aeroblast++, Aeroblast+, Meteor Beam, Shadow Force, Aeroblast, Sacred Fire++, Giga Impact, Brave Bird

But DPS*DPE way overvalues 1-bar moves, so it’s more natural to compare High Horsepower to 2-bar moves instead, particularly Earth Power – an above-average move, the best ground-type charged move at the moment, and one that benefits every single ground attacker if they get it.

I can’t run any simulations yet, but just using the GamePress DPS/TDO spreadsheet, the answer is: It depends – High Horsepower and Earth Power are almost equally good in neutral scenarios (i.e. if fast moves are not super effective). The following table shows neutral DPS of Ursaluna with various movesets:

Fast Move Charged Move DPS
[H] Mud-Slap High Horsepower 15.796
[H] Mud-Slap Earth Power 15.517
Tackle High Horsepower 15.399
Tackle Earth Power 15.155
[H] Mud Shot High Horsepower 14.932
[H] Mud Shot Earth Power 14.889
Rock Smash Earth Power 13.958
Rock Smash High Horsepower 13.272

[H] are hypothetical moves.

As you can see, in raw DPS, High Horsepower and Earth Power are very similar and depends on the fast move. I haven’t run any sims yet, but I expect Earth Power to do slightly better than the numbers suggest here; regardless, they should still be close, and there should be a roughly equal chance for either of them to outperform the other.

  • This is not the case for Outrage vs Draco Meteor. Over there, Outrage’s DPS is above Draco Meteor by a wider margin.

Ursaluna’s problem really isn’t High Horsepower – it’s not getting a ground-type fast move.

Why can’t Ursaluna get a ground-type fast move?

It’s not because Niantic is evil – but because they’re literally not allowed to at the moment. I want to clean this up because I’ve seen too much confusion floating around lately.

Niantic is only allowed to add a move to a Pokemon’s PoGo move pool if the Pokemon could learn the move in any generation of the Main Series Games (MSG). If not, Niantic can’t even make it an Elite TM move.

  • This is why there are non-ETMable moves like Psybeam Chansey and Mud Shot Golem: they were genuine mistakes when the game first started, and should have never existed in the first place.

In the case of Ursaluna, it has only been available in Pokemon Legends: Arceus. That game has a very small pool of moves available, and unfortunately Mud Shot isn’t in the game. While Mud-Slap does exist there, Ursaluna can’t learn it. So as of today, Niantic can’t give Ursaluna any ground-type fast move (Mud-Slap or Mud Shot) even if they wanted to.

Then why did people speculate this to happen? Because we were hoping the release of Pokemon Scarlet and Violet could change things. As of writing, we still can’t confirm whether Ursaluna is available in S/V and whether it will learn more moves than in PLA. IF WE ASSUME Ursaluna gets Mud-Slap or Mud Shot in S/V, then Niantic will be allowed to add it to PoGo, possibly as soon as December via a GBL move update.

  • Notably, Ursaring already learned Mud-Slap in Gen 2/3/4 MSG, so IF Ursaring can be evolved to Ursaluna in S/V, then you can get a Mud-Slap Ursaluna in S/V by transferring it from HOME and then evolving it. (EDIT: THIS IS WRONG.)

Based on current S/V leaks: (The following paragraph is in white font to avoid spoilers, you can select them in order to read them)

Unfortunately Ursaluna can’t learn Mud-Slap nor Mud Shot directly in S/V through leveling up or TMs. Nor is it possible to transfer an Ursaring with Mud-Slap into S/V. So the ship has sunk, unfortunately – Ursaluna won’t get a ground fast move.

  • Datamined S/V movesets: Part 1 / Part 2
  • The paragraph above has been edited following latest datamines.

Ursaluna right now, without a ground fast move

Here’s a DPS/TDO table against an arbitrary Electric-type raid boss (using the GamePress DPS/TDO spreadsheet). This means Tackle is doing neutral damage, while ground-type fast moves are super effective.

Garchomp 14181.4 24.939 914.3
Landorus (Therian) 13249.1 25.864 766
Groudon 12710.5 24.193 897.6
Shadow Mamoswine 12586.3 26.931 644.4
Shadow Golurk 12470.8 27.597 593.4
Rhyperior 11915.1 23.688 896.4
Shadow Ursaluna (Tackle/HH) 11711 24.389 807.2
Landorus (Incarnate) 11602.1 24.922 749.6
Excadrill 10618.9 25.358 651.3
Rhydon 7397.2 21.925 701.9
Krookodile 7111.5 22.503 624.1
Mamoswine 7001.1 22.221 638.1
Golurk 6874.2 22.719 586.2
Ursaluna (Tackle/HH) 6630.5 20.214 802.8

This table is sorted by DPS3*TDO since it correlated better with actual performance. If you prefer DPS, be careful.

At the moment, with just Tackle and High Horsepower:

  • Regular Ursaluna is, at best, borderline functional as a ground attacker. Not unusable, but everything listed above is better, more consistent, and obtainable fairly easily (just look at those Swinubs spawning right now).
  • Shadow Ursaluna is more usable and actually decent, comparable to ground Rhyperior, but outclassed by many non-shadow options. It still falls behind the top-tier ground types Garchomp, Landorus-T (these two are fairly interchangeable), as well as Shadow Golurk, Groudon and Excadrill.
    • Note: Excadrill in sims outperforms the DPS3*TDO rankings, because of higher DPS, steel typing that mitigates its low bulk in many cases, and ability to use Metal Claw sometimes.

As it is, they can be used as ground attackers if you’re a fan of Ursaluna, or have a high IV copy that you want to power up (e.g. for Master League). But definitely not worth the investment for a ground attacker alone.

A case for Rock Smash, sometimes

Ground attacks are super effective against: Electric, Fire, Poison, Rock, Steel. Tackle deals neutral damage to three of them, but is resisted by Rock and Steel. But Ursaluna also learns Rock Smash in PoGO, which loses STAB (1.2x) but actually deals Super Effective damage (1.6x) to Rock and Steel-type bosses now!

Indeed, against Rock and Steel targets, Rock Smash/High Horsepower has higher DPS than Tackle, becoming the optimal moveset for Ursaluna. Now, in terms of DPS3*TDO:

  • Regular Ursaluna is above Rhydon but still way below Excadrill.
  • Shadow Ursaluna gets more exciting, with DPS3*TDO between Garchomp and Landorus-T, and DPS slightly above Garchomp.

Unfortunately, this ends up being more of a curiosity than any practical use:

  • If the boss is mono rock or steel, your existing fighting-type squad will do better. Even RS/HH Shadow Ursaluna is worse than Conkeldurr, Lucario, Shadow Machamp and Terrakion. Regular Machamp has similar DPS but is much much cheaper.
  • Even though ground types have a chance in sunny weather or if the boss is double weak to ground (e.g. Heatran, Nihilego), Rock Smash no longer shines as much by virtue of not actually being a ground-type fast move.

Earth Power?

Ursaluna does learn Earth Power in PLA, just that Niantic decided not to add it to Ursaluna’s non-legacy move pool in PoGo. In theory, that means Earth Power can be added at any time. I doubt it will happen, but there’s a non-zero chance it will, even possibly as an event-exclusive move.

Since Ursaluna is now very unlikely to get a ground-type fast move, we’re looking at Tackle/Earth Power vs Tackle/High Horsepower. In this case, Tackle/EP is indeed a big improvement over Tackle/HH (~7% DPS improvement), because now you actually need to reach charged moves for meaningful damage.

Shadow Ursaluna (Tackle/EP) 16228.1 26.462 875.8
Garchomp 14181.4 24.939 914.3
Landorus (Therian) 13249.1 25.864 766
Groudon 12710.5 24.193 897.6
Shadow Mamoswine 12586.3 26.931 644.4
Shadow Golurk 12470.8 27.597 593.4
Rhyperior 11915.1 23.688 896.4
Shadow Ursaluna (Tackle/HH) 11711 24.389 807.2
Landorus (Incarnate) 11602.1 24.922 749.6
Excadrill 10618.9 25.358 651.3
Ursaluna (Tackle/EP) 8758.3 21.67 860.7
Rhydon 7397.2 21.925 701.9
Krookodile 7111.5 22.503 624.1
Mamoswine 7001.1 22.221 638.1
Golurk 6874.2 22.719 586.2
Ursaluna (Tackle/HH) 6630.5 20.214 802.8

A theoretical Tackle/EP Shadow Ursaluna can still be the current best ground attacker, unlike the Tackle/HH Shadow Ursaluna we get today. However, any future ground-type shadow will easily outclass it: Shadow Garchomp, Shadow Landorus-T, Shadow Groudon, Shadow Rhyperior, Shadow Excadrill. If Ursaluna does get Earth Power, it needs to do so fast before it loses value.

Tackle/EP regular Ursaluna is still quite underwhelming, below all the big names, and only above things like Rhydon, Krookodile and Golurk (while having lower DPS than all three).

If you’re really concerned about FOMO, this gives a reason to not evolve (Shadow) Teddiursa and hope that it gets an exclusive Earth Power one day. But that’s a bit farfetch’d IMO, and by the time it happens, we are likely to have even better shadows. I still think a non-exclusive EP is likely, but it’s perhaps more likely that Ursaluna never gets Earth Power at all.

[Original post – before S/V leaks, now outdated]

In terms of DPS numbers, Earth Power and High Horsepower are remarkably similar, and does not change any DPS3*TDO rankings with a ground-type fast move (though some DPS rankings do flip).

  • MSlap/EP has 1.6% less DPS than MSlap/HH.
  • MShot/EP has 0.4% more DPS than MShot/HH (in super effective scenarios).
  • All these numbers can easily change when facing a specific boss.

I haven’t run any simulations yet (not able to). I expect Earth Power should be better than High Horsepower in sims, but not by far, and probably situational.

[HYPOTHETICAL] What if Ursaluna does get Mud-Slap one day?

Update: This seems extremely unlikely now based on S/V leaks. I’m still keeping the contents here in case anyone is curious, but it will probably never materialize.

I’m considering Mud-Slap first, for two reasons:

  • It’s better in PvE than Mud Shot.
  • I think Ursaluna is more likely to get Mud-Slap in S/V than Mud Shot, simply because Ursaring could already learn it in past MSG.

Of course, there are still a lot of unknowns – whether Ursaluna actually gets it in S/V, and whether Niantic cares to give it Mud-Slap in PoGo (which doesn’t really benefit Ursaluna in PvP).

[H] Shadow Ursaluna (Mud-Slap/HH) 27795.4 30.272 1001.9
[H] Ursaluna (Mud-Slap/HH) 15669.8 25.062 995.4
Garchomp 14181.4 24.939 914.3
Landorus (Therian) 13249.1 25.864 766
Groudon 12710.5 24.193 897.6
Shadow Mamoswine 12586.3 26.931 644.4
Shadow Golurk 12470.8 27.597 593.4
Rhyperior 11915.1 23.688 896.4
Landorus (Incarnate) 11602.1 24.922 749.6
Excadrill 10618.9 25.358 651.3

[H] are hypothetical moves.

There you go! This is what people were hoping for. IF Ursaluna does get Mud-Slap, even Regular Ursaluna immediately becomes one of the best non-shadow ground attackers, similar to Garchomp and Landorus-T (accounting for 1-bar disadvantages). Shadow Ursaluna goes above and beyond, WAY better than any other ground type – now this is what you typically expect from shadows!

  • Ursaluna’s 243 base attack is lower than Garchomp’s 261, but Mud-Slap being a better PvE move than Mud Shot is enough to make up for it.
  • The table shows MSlap/HH Ursaluna’s DPS being slightly higher than Garchomp, but I won’t read too much into it. In practice, Garchomp may still have higher damage output because of 2-bar Earth Power.

What’s even more exciting is that Mud-Slap Ursaluna, especially the shadow, may be competitive with attackers of other types now!

Against rock and steel:

  • Shadow MSlap/HH Ursaluna is very comparable with Terrakion, albeit with slightly lower DPS. It will probably outperform Shadow Machamp.
    • While it’s far from Shadow Metagross against rock, it’s actually comparable to Shadow Moltres against steel.
  • MSlap/HH Ursaluna is likely to sit between Lucario/Conkeldurr and regular Machamp, just like Garchomp. Still not too shabby for a Community Day mon.

Against fire:

  • Shadow MSlap/HH Ursaluna is better than all currently released water and rock attackers. Only Primal Kyogre/Groudon, Shadow Kyogre and Shadow Rhyperior outclass it, and in the case of Shadow Rhyperior, just barely.
  • Likewise, MSlap/HH Ursaluna is very comparable to Rhyperior (again just like Garchomp). Slightly worse than Kyogre.

Note: The above are all based on GamePress DPS/TDO spreadsheets, not simulations. Actual sim results may vary, so don’t be surprised if I present different conclusions in the full analysis.

[HYPOTHETICAL] What if it’s Mud Shot instead?

Update: Mud Shot is impossible now.

Mud Shot is less likely in S/V, but perhaps more likely to be added to PoGo by Niantic if it does come to S/V – since it has more PvP relevance than Mud-Slap does.

In PvE, Mud Shot is a small downgrade from Mud-Slap. Still better than Tackle of course, but the difference between the two ground-type charged moves is enough to move Ursaluna down by a few places in a very competitive ground-type market:

[H] Shadow Ursaluna (Mud Shot/HH) 21126.2 28.265 935.5
Garchomp 14181.4 24.939 914.3
Landorus (Therian) 13249.1 25.864 766
Groudon 12710.5 24.193 897.6
Shadow Mamoswine 12586.3 26.931 644.4
Shadow Golurk 12470.8 27.597 593.4
[H] Ursaluna (Mud Shot/HH) 11999.3 23.445 931.2
Rhyperior 11915.1 23.688 896.4
Landorus (Incarnate) 11602.1 24.922 749.6
Excadrill 10618.9 25.358 651.3

MShot/HH regular Ursaluna starts to fall behind the “elite” ground attackers: Garchomp, Landorus-T, Groudon (and Excadrill in practice). It will probably still be comparable to ground Rhyperior, so still very good, just not supreme.

Shadow MShot/HH Ursaluna will still be the best ground attacker at the moment by far. However, the slight dropoff does mean it’s at greater risk of being outclassed by future shadows, such as Shadow Garchomp. Also, it will probably be a bit worse when compared to attackers of other types.

Verdict: Should I […]?

I’ll answer simpler questions first, and build up to the big questions you’re probably concerned about ahead of the Community Day. Some of these are recaps of earlier sections.

1. Should I power up a Tackle/High Horsepower Ursaluna solely as a ground attacker?

Almost certainly not. Even Shadow Ursaluna with Tackle only barely squeezes into Unique 6 category.

2. If I do have a Tackle/High Horsepower Ursaluna powered up (e.g. for Master League), does it help if I bring it to raids?

If you’re a veteran player with enough Earth Power Garchomps from its own CD, probably not. Even if you’re talking about Shadow Ursaluna.

If you’re a new player, I can see maybe a little bit of value for a non-shadow. Even then, you’re better off with building more Mamoswine instead (it’s a subpar ground type but a must-have ice attacker, worth having 6 of). Shadow Ursaluna has more value and may be worth consideration, if you already have it powered up and don’t want to build the other ground types.

3. Should I even care about possible future moves for Ursaluna at all? Does it have potential?

Update: Probably not… Earth Power may be worth watching out for, but only for Shadow Ursaluna. And if you’re thinking long term, its value will diminish when we get more ground-type shadows.

(Original, no longer applicable)

Absolutely yes! Even with just Mud-Slap added, Ursaluna will already become one of the best ground attackers. It’s not guaranteed to happen by any means (it might jolly well never happen), but the potential is there.

If you already built 6 Earth Power Garchomps, perhaps you can care less about non-shadow Ursaluna (it won’t outclass Garchomp significantly, if at all). But Shadow Ursaluna is still worth watching out for, as long as it gets any other ground-type moves, fast or charged.

4. Should I hold off evolving for High Horsepower now and wait for Earth Power?

Update: There’s a legitimate reason to do so now, specifically for Shadow Ursaluna with Tackle/EP. But as I mentioned in question 3, it’s still very unlikely and isn’t crucial in the long run.

(Original, no longer applicable)

No, don’t wait for EP. Not only do we have no idea if Niantic will ever give it Earth Power, but even if they do, the impacts to Ursaluna as a raid attacker will be inconsequential. (Note: This is referring to having a )

Even though Earth Power will likely be a small upgrade, High Horsepower will really not be far behind, even in the worst case. And if you have HH, you can achieve the best outcome by unlocking a second charged move, and having both HH and EP!

5. Should I hold off evolving now in case Mud-Slap and/or Mud Shot become an event-exclusive move in the future?

Nope, that won’t happen.

(Original, no longer applicable)

I think not, don’t worry about it. I don’t think Niantic is that greedy… It’s more likely to come from a permanent, TMable move pool update in the future instead, like how Terrakion got Double Kick recently.

Even if the worst case happens and Mud Slap/Shot do become ETM only, Elite Fast TMs are more accessible than Elite Charged TMs. And you need High Horsepower for Ursaluna to function as a ground attacker at all.

6. Big Question: Should I evolve my Teddiursa(s) during this Community Day, for the purpose of raid attackers?

Update: See questions 3-4.

(Original, no longer applicable)

Yes! ESPECIALLY if they’re shadows.

Like I said in questions 4/5, get High Horsepower now for any Ursaluna that you want to potentially use as a ground attacker. There’s a chance they’ll never become anything useful, but I think there’s an even smaller chance that one of those better moves are added as exclusive moves in the future, in a way that hurts you too much.

If you’re really unsure: Wait for December CD. Not only do we get another chance for High Horsepower, but we’ll have a MUCH clearer picture regarding Ursaluna’s potential, particularly 1) whether Ursaluna can learn Mud-Slap or Mud Shot in S/V, and 2) whether Niantic adds them in PoGo during the December GBL move update.

And I reiterate: Evolve any good Shadow Teddiursas WITHOUT Frustration during this CD! (Or December)

7. Big Question: How hard should I go on this CD?

Probably not too hard, especially if you have enough Earth Power Garchomps.

(Original, no longer applicable)

Non-shadow Ursaluna’s ceiling is basically equivalent to Earth Power Garchomp. So while any good Teddiursa you already have might become excellent in future, if you did Gible CD, there’s not a huge need to grind for something that will become equivalent to what you have at best.

Shadow Ursaluna’s potential is definitely worth waiting for (way above Garchomp in this case), but you can’t get them during CD itself. And you probably can’t get them anytime soon.

Related reading

Popular today

Latest articles