September 2019 Movepool Update: The Psychic Update

Battle Leagues Pokemon GO
Battle Leagues Pokemon GO

Trainers, on September 27th 2019, two new moves were added and a few others changed, whether in PvP or PvE. These new and updated moves range from being barely different to massive meta shifters that made certain Pokemon that were borderline useless into powerhouses, which may or may not be an exaggeration.

Move changes

Psychic

The biggest, most obvious change is Psychic Psychic, which went from a 1 bar charge move with 100 damage to a 2 bar charge move with 90 damage. Any Pokemon that could learn Psychic instantly became way better as a result.

# Pokemon Fast Move Charge Move DPS^3*TDO DPS
1. Mewtwo Psycho Cut Psystrike (L) 6391.5 21.256
2. Latios Zen Headbutt Psychic 2420.7 16.546
3. Metagross Zen Headbutt Psychic 2182.7 15.852
4. Espeon Confusion Psychic 1944.3 16.965
5. Alakazam Confusion Psychic (L) 1916.4 17.521
6. Azelf Confusion Future Sight 1584.3 16.275
7. Exeggutor Confusion (L) Psychic 1556.3 15.598
8/9. Gardevoir Confusion Psychic 1556.3 15.452
10. Latias Zen Headbutt Psychic 1485.1 14.141

An article by Zeroghan has been written about this already, and I don’t want to repeat anything, so I’ll keep it brief.

Legacy Alakazam, Espeon, Latios, and Metagross are all significantly better now, but Psystrike Psychic Mewtwo is still the best psychic attacker. However, It does make Psychic a nice 2nd move option for Shadow Ball Ghost Mewtwo, as some people will have maxed out many already, and it can be cheaper than maxing yet another for Psystrike Psychic.

Unfortunately, Psychic Psychic won’t see too much raid use, as there’s few legendary bosses weak to it. It’ll undoubtedly be one of the better options for Terrakion, as well as various tier 3/4 raids, Machamp being the classic.

As for PvP, Psychic Psychic used to be a 100 damage attack that uses 70 energy, which is somewhat clunky as PvP charge moves go. For comparison, Moonblast Fairy deals 130 damage for the same energy, while Thunder Electric and Close Combat Fighting deal the same damage for 60 energy. So, yikes. Nowadays, it deals 90 damage for 55 energy, which is identical to Last Resort Normal, Thunderbolt Electric, Earth Power Ground and other solid moves. As a bonus, it also has a 10% chance to reduce the opponent’s defence. Basically it’s good now, and makes great coverage for some Pokemon.

Fire, Ice, Thunder Fang

New fast moves, how exciting… well, Thunder Fang Electric and Ice Fang Ice aren’t learned by any STAB users, so they’re just coverage as of now. Fire Fang Fire got a buff to match, so that helps it a bit.

Move Damage DPS Energy Energy per second Cooldown Learned by
Ice Fang Ice 12 8.00 20 13.33 1.5
Thunder Fang Electric 12 10.00 16 13.33 1.2
Fire Fang Fire 12 13.33 8 8.89 0.9

Fire Fang Fire actually got a pretty decent buff, as it’s now about as strong as Fire Spin Fire. This is good, but many Pokemon learn either Fire Spin Fire or Fire Fang Fire, so it’s not exactly gonna leave an impact. Entei’s the only one that became better than it already was, but Pokemon like Blaziken and Chandelure still dominate fire… whenever it’s used.

Ice and Thunder Fang are good, but the Pokemon that learn them aren’t. That’s all I can say as of now. Maybe Zekrom will get Thunder Fang? I dunno.

Basically everything I’ve already said carries over to PvP too. Fire Fang Fire is better than it was, Ice and Thunder Fang are coverage. The end.

Snarl

Snarl Dark got an energy buff (was 12, became 14), and really that’s all that can be said. Nothing soars, nothing’s really better than it was. Just more energy.

PvP-wise, on the other hand, it got an overhaul, with damage falling from 8 to 5, and energy gain rising from 10 to 13, making it an energy builder on par with Mud Shot Ground. It’s use has basically completely changed, and it’s a bit too deep to get into right now. Keep an eye out for a full PvP based analysis. Some notable users are Alolan Muk, Mew, and Umbreon, with some strong potential users in Gen V.

Power Up Punch & Bubble Beam (PvP)

I’m grouping these together because they’re actually quite similar now, being weak, low energy, 100% attack change attacks. They’re polar opposites.

Power Up Punch Fighting got nerfed, reduced from 40 power to 20. That’s pretty significant, as it’s harder to hold up on it’s own now. Basically, dual moves are mandatory on Power Up Punch Fighting users, and any that have weaker fast moves, like Poliwrath, are hit quite hard by this change.

Bubble Beam Water got a similar change, 45 power to 25, but it gained the ability to reduce the opponent’s attack 100% of the time. If your opponent just switched or is on their last Pokemon, this can be crippling. As of now, the only notable users of Bubble Beam are Suicune and Golduck. Paired with the new high EPS Snarl Dark, and the new option of Ice Fang Ice, Suicune comes out on top this update. Some Pokemon can use it in niche cases, like Mantine and Corsola.

Movepool Changes

Pokemon Fast Moves Charge Moves
Pokemon GO Raichu (Alola)Raichu (Alola)
  • Thundershock Electric
  • Spark Electric
  • Volt Switch Electric
  • Wild Charge Electric
  • Grass Knot Grass
  • Psychic Psychic
  • Thunder Punch Electric
Pokemon GO Sandslash (Alola)Sandslash (Alola)
  • Powder Snow Ice
  • Metal Claw Steel
  • Ice Punch Ice
  • Blizzard Ice
  • Gyro Ball Steel
  • Bulldoze Ground
Pokemon GO Ninetales (Alola)Ninetales (Alola)
  • Charm Fairy
  • Powder Snow Ice
  • Feint Attack Dark
  • Blizzard Ice
  • Dazzling Gleam Fairy
  • Ice Beam Ice
  • Psyshock Psychic
Pokemon GO GolduckGolduck
  • Water Gun Water
  • Confusion Psychic
  • Bubble Beam Water
  • Synchronoise Psychic
  • Cross Chop Fighting
  • Psychic Psychic
  • Ice Beam Ice
  • Hydro Pump Water
Pokemon GO Marowak (Alola)Marowak (Alola)
  • Fire Spin Fire
  • Hex Ghost
  • Rock Smash Fighting
  • Flame Wheel Fire
  • Bone Club Ground
  • Shadow Ball Ghost
  • Fire Blast Fire
Pokemon GO MantineMantine
  • Bubble Water
  • Wing Attack Flying
  • Bullet Seed Grass
  • Bubble Beam Water
  • Ice Beam Ice
  • Aerial Ace Flying
  • Water Pulse Water
Pokemon GO MawileMawile
  • Ice Fang Ice
  • Fire Fang Fire
  • Bite Dark
  • Astonish Ghost
  • Power Up Punch Fighting
  • Play Rough Fairy
  • Vice Grip Normal
  • Iron Head Steel
Pokemon GO WeavileWeavile
  • Snarl Dark
  • Ice Shard Ice
  • Feint Attack Dark
  • Avalanche Ice
  • Foul Play Dark
  • Focus Blast Fighting

There’s not much here for PvE, but the Psychic Psychic buff was plenty in that field. PvP’s a bit hard to analyse without testing, so expect some of these Pokemon to get a deeper analysis in the future.

For PvE, Alolan Raichu and Alolan Ninetales are too frail and underpowered in their types to make use of their powerful new moves, Weavile’s barely stronger, and… yeah, that’s about it.

Summary

Psychic as a whole basically got a complete overhaul, making less than great Pokemon into monsters… but not as monstrous as Psystrike Psychic Mewtwo.

Fire Fang Fire and Snarl Dark got very small buffs, which are honestly hard to notice in the long run, sadly.

New fast moves, Ice Fang Ice and Thunder Fang Electric were added to Pokemon that don’t benefit from STAB, so they’re just coverage.

Bubble Beam Water got a total rework, acting as a reverse Power Up Punch Fighting. Speaking of which, Power Up Punch Fighting got a damage nerf, making it not viable as a sole damage dealer.

Many Pokemon got a movepool addition or 3, and they’re mostly PvP related coverage.

A simple guy who enjoys drinking coffee (to the point of addiction) and going for walks (to the point of exhaustion). I try my best to head out daily, but sometimes my insomnia gets the better of me and I end up sleeping until 4pm. I also love Piplup.