Shadow Garchomp as a Raid Attacker: An upgraded but specialized Shadow Mamoswine

TL;DR – Very valuable, but no need to go out of your way for it.

Shadow Garchomp is the #1 non-mega Ground attacker (with CD move Earth Power), and one of the #1 non-mega Dragon attackers. But it only offers a small improvement for both types.

  • Ground (with EP): > Shadow Mamoswine and Groudon
  • Dragon: Similar to Shadow Salamence (very situational), > Shadow Dragonite
  • Non-legacy Earthquake is also great, but <= Shadow Mamoswine in dedicated Ground-type uses.

As a Ground type, when compared to competitor types you can use, Shadow Garchomp still falls behind other top-tier attackers, but it almost catches up with other shadows.

  • < Terrakion, Reshiram, <= Shadow Swampert
  • Approx. ≈ Shadow Machamp, Shadow Moltres?

Overall, Shadow Garchomp fulfils very similar roles as Shadow Mamoswine (Ground & Ice), with more power but less usage. L50 Shadow Mamoswine (Ice) also ties L40 Shadow Garchomp as anti-Dragon.

It’s a great addition, but not a transformative change, and not something you need to build 6 of immediately, especially if you have Shadow Mamoswines and shadow dragons with higher IVs or level.

Keep reading for:

  • Ground– and Dragon-type attacker charts
  • Comparisons to Shadow Mamoswine (Ground & Ice), Groudon, Shadow Salamence and Shadow Dragonite
  • Ground-type Shadow Garchomp compared to other types
  • Brief discussion on future Mega Garchomp (DO NOT PURIFY!!)

A complete list of all my past analyses – on every single type other than normal – can now be found in this spreadsheet!

Part 1: Shadow Garchomp as a Ground attacker

[Part 1 TL;DR] Shadow Garchomp with Earth Power is the best non-mega Ground attacker, better than Shadow Mamoswine (generally) and Groudon.

Sadly, it still falls behind competitor types that you can also use, but it almost catches up with other shadows.

Even with Earthquake, Shadow Garchomp is still great, even though it’s slightly behind Shadow Mamoswine for practical uses.

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

Charts of ASE with and without dodging are here.

Garchomp (Shadow) DragonGround

With its Community Day move Earth Power, Shadow Garchomp is the best non-“mega” Ground attacker. It’s generally better than Shadow Mamoswine, and outclasses Precipice Blades Groudon.

  • Still well below Primal Groudon, but nothing can compete against that.
  • How to get Earth Power: Use an Elite Charged TM, or wait for a future event that grants us Earth Power upon evolution. We don’t know when it will take place – it can be years (looking at you, Outrage Salamence).
  • Detailed comparisons later.

Even without Earth Power, Shadow Garchomp is still great with Earthquake!

  • The comparison with Shadow Mamoswine gets messier. My vote goes to Shadow Mamoswine (explained later), but EQ Shadow Garchomp is still more consistent, due to better bulk and typing.
  • Still above Groudon.
  • Earth Power is a mid-tier upgrade from Earthquake, about 5%.

Do NOT take the Shadow Garchomp – Shadow Mamoswine comparison on this chart at face value. Because…

Problem with Ground types…

[Section TL;DR] Whenever Ground is not the only option, it’s worse than others. This also makes Shadow Mamoswine seem worse than it actually is (if you only plan on bringing it out when it’s the best counter), due to its typing disadvantage.

This is the 3rd time I’m explaining this, so I’ll leave the more detailed explanations in my previous articles (Groudon and Mamoswine).

Ground-type attackers (minus Primal Groudon) are the jack of all trades, but master of few. They’re super effective against many types and raid bosses, but unless you’re forced to use Ground, another attacking type is typically better.

When Ground is not the only option:

  • Ground attackers are worse than some common competitors: Fighting, Water, Fire, Steel, Rock attackers.
    • Unless it’s sunny or someone else has Primal Groudon in the 6th slot.
  • (Shadow) Mamoswine also does particularly badly here due to a typing disadvantage. These are usually Fire, Rock and Steel-type bosses, which can usually deal more damage to Mamoswine than to other Ground types.

When Ground is the only option:

  • T5+ Bosses: Raikou, Heatran, Nihilego, Xurkitree, Regieleki.
  • Shadow Garchomp (Earth Power) is usually the best non-mega.
  • Shadow Mamoswine no longer underperforms, as its typing disadvantage is irrelevant unless the boss is Heatran.

Because of this, a well-prepared raider will only want to use Ground types, Shadow Garchomp included, when they’re the only option – unless with weather boost or Primal Groudon boost.

We’ll look at each of these cases separately (before circling back to pairwise comparisons).

When Ground is the best (only) option

Ground attackers when it’s the best attacking type, using ASE and ASTTW.

Charts of ASE with and without dodging are here.

The main change is that Shadow Mamoswine gets better, as it no longer suffers much from the typing disadvantage (aside from Heatran raids).

  • Now its ASE ties Earthquake Shadow Garchomp, and TTW ties Earth Power Shadow Garchomp.
  • If it wasn’t for Heatran and Mega Manectric with Fire/Steel moves, it would have been even better!

(You can see non-shadow Garchomp underperforming in this scenario. Luckily, Shadow Garchomp don’t have to worry about that just yet.)

Ground compared to other types

[Section TL;DR] Shadow Garchomp is still worse than competitors from other types, but it almost catches up with other shadows.

I didn’t run new simulations, but here are estimates using ER and old sims (with PB Groudon).

Competitor Boss type Shadow Garchomp placement
Fighting Steel, Rock ≈ Shadow Machamp, < Terrakion
Water Fire, Rock <= Shadow Swampert
Fire Steel ≈ Shadow Moltres, < Reshiram (Fusion Flare)
Steel Rock << Shadow Metagross, > Metagross
Rock Fire Best non-mega

Generally, with Earth Power:

  • Shadow Garchomp is still not the best counter in neutral weather. Worse than Terrakion, Reshiram, Shadow Swampert, and Shadow Metagross.
  • However, if you exclude Terrakion and Reshiram which are both better than shadows, it gets more comparable to shadows of other types (Shadow Machamp, Moltres and Swampert).
    • It’s likely still below these shadows slightly, but I can’t say that with certainly due to no simulations data.

This is a step up from what Ground attackers used to be. It means Ground is no longer lagging far behind its competitors. However, it’s still not the #1 non-mega.

A consolation prize is Primal Groudon boost:

  • If Player A in the raid lobby has Primal Groudon, it gives a “permanent” 30% boost to Fire, Ground, and Grass-type damage as long as A hasn’t relobbied yet, even if Primal Groudon is not on the field.
  • This helps the viability of Ground types, Shadow Garchomp included. With the “artificial weather boost”, it’s far ahead of all competitors other than Fire and Mewtwo.
  • But it helps less than you might think.
    • Fire is also boosted by Primal Groudon, so Reshiram > Shadow Garchomp.
    • Water can also be boosted by Primal Kyogre (which itself is more powerful than Primal Groudon). So Shadow Swampert + Primal Kyogre > Shadow Garchomp + Primal Groudon.

Comparisons: Shadow Garchomp vs. Shadow Mamoswine and Groudon

[TL;DR] For practical purposes, Shadow Garchomp EP >= Shadow Mamoswine >= Shadow Garchomp Eq > Groudon. But this is very nuanced, and depends on IV and level.

Shadow Garchomp vs. Shadow Mamoswine and Groudon (L40 best friends)

Shadow Garchomp vs. Shadow Mamoswine is a very nuanced comparison, and there’s really no good answer. My best judgment is:

  • Shadow Garchomp with Earth Power > Shadow Mamoswine, mostly.
  • For practical purposes, Shadow Garchomp with Earthquake <= Shadow Mamoswine.

There are a lot of considerations. The main one is:

When Shadow Mamoswine is bad, it can be really bad. However, most of these “really bad” cases are when you’ll want to use another type – instead of Ground – in the first place.

  • Reminder: This will depend on IVs and Pokémon level.
  • For those who are curious how much better Shadow Garchomp is in each situation, here are the “distribution plots”: Earth Power, Earthquake.
  • FWIW, Shadow Mamoswine has higher theoretical DPS, but Shadow Garchomp (EP) has higher ER due to better bulk. (Table)

Shadow Garchomp > Groudon, regardless of moves. That’s clear.

Part 2: Shadow Garchomp as a Dragon attacker

[Part 2 TL;DR] One of the top non-mega dragons. Better than Shadow Dragonite, and very comparable to Shadow Salamence.

Compared to Shadow Mamoswine (Ice), Shadow Garchomp is more powerful, but has fewer use cases. Also, L50 Shadow Mamoswine catches up with L40 Shadow Garchomp.

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

Charts of ASE with and without dodging are here.

Note: Kyurem with Glaciate would have performed similarly to most non-shadow non-mega non-Rayquaza dragons, whenever Ice is also super effective. For more information, see its own analysis.

Garchomp (Shadow) DragonGround

Shadow Salamence and Shadow Dragonite had been the definition of top-tier (non-mega) Dragon attackers since the shadow boost was introduced.

Now, Shadow Garchomp joins the same league of top-tier shadows, and therefore, top-tier non-mega Dragon attackers. Better than Shadow Dragonite, and comparable to – if not better than – Shadow Salamence.

Once again, do NOT take the Shadow Garchomp – Shadow Salamence comparison on this chart at face value. We’ll take a deeper look right now…

Comparisons: Shadow Garchomp vs. Shadow Salamence and Shadow Dragonite

[TL;DR] Shadow Garchomp (tank) vs. Shadow Salamence (glass cannon) is very nuanced, and there’s no right or wrong answer. Mixed lobby likely works best, and IV/level will matter. Shadow Garchomp > Shadow Dragonite.

Shadow Garchomp vs. Shadow Salamence, Shadow Dragonite and Shadow Mamoswine (L40 best friends unless otherwise mentioned)

Shadow Garchomp vs. Shadow Salamence (Outrage) is yet another nuanced comparison.

  • Shadow Salamence has higher raw power than Shadow Garchomp.
    • Higher DPS and higher ER, but lower TDO (Table)
    • The median TTW difference is about 3% in favor of Salamence.
  • However, because Shadow Salamence is too glassy, it simply melts in many situations (~8%). Shadow Garchomp is more consistent.
    • Notable cases where Shadow Salamence melts include: Outrage Zekrom, Stone Edge Reshiram, Outrage Mega Latias, Outrage Regidrago (Elite Tier).
    • In these cases, Shadow Salamence often gets KOed, but Shadow Garchomp (and even non-shadow Salamence!) have additional bulk that let them survive a hit. These cases are why I often say Shadow Salamence underperforms.
    • The real “doomsday” scenarios, Draco Meteor Palkia and Reshiram, actually lean in favor of Shadow Salamence – because Shadow Garchomp can’t tank them either.
    • On the flip side, if Shadow Salamence survives a Dragon charged move (e.g. T5 Regidrago, Dragon Pulse Giratina-O), it again becomes better than Shadow Garchomp, possibly because Salamence can use a Draco Meteor afterwards.
    • Here‘s the distribution plot showing how much better each one of them is.

Overall, I really can’t say which one is better or worse. If you prefer glass cannons at the cost of being one-shot by Outrage Zekrom, use Shadow Salamence. If you want consistency or to prevent excessive relobbies, use Shadow Garchomp. A mixed party with both will likely work best.

  • For most people, the decision will largely come down to IVs and level (XLs).

Shadow Garchomp vs. Shadow Dragonite is a much more straightforward comparison: Shadow Garchomp is better, outside of rare cases.

  • Shadow Dragonite has similar DPS but less bulk. As such, it usually has to rely on typing advantage.
  • However, the “doomsday” scenarios like Draco Meteor Palkia and Reshiram work out to Dragonite’s favor – this is when it spams Dragon Claw, instead of waiting for (and failing to use) an Outrage.

Shadow Garchomp vs. Shadow Mamoswine (Ice)?

[TL;DR] As anti-dragons, Shadow Garchomp is stronger but Shadow Mamoswine has more uses. L50 Shadow Mamoswine ≈ L40 Shadow Garchomp.

Why are we comparing a Dragon attacker to an Ice attacker? Because both types overlap in one role: Anti-Dragon. That’s the only thing that Dragon attackers do, but Ice types take on additional duties like anti-Flying (and anti-Rayquaza), even though they can’t handle Palkia and Reshiram.

Whenever both can be used, Shadow Garchomp is stronger than Shadow Mamoswine.

However, Shadow Mamoswine (Ice) has more utility, as it handles more bosses.

  • While Ice loses out on Palkia and Reshiram, it takes on more than half a dozen Flying bosses, especially Rayquaza and Landorus-T.
  • In my Kyurem analysis, I made a detailed table showing Ice and Dragon‘s use cases. The Mamoswine analysis also notes how (Shadow) Mamoswine compares to other attackers in each case.

In addition, L50 Shadow Mamoswine is similar to L40 Shadow Garchomp. So if you’ve already built L50 Shadow Mamos, they’ll handle the Dragon bosses equally well unless you also XL your Shadow Garchomps.

Mega Garchomp in the future?

Garchomp (Mega) DragonGround

As both Ground and Dragon attackers, Mega Garchomp will be much stronger than Shadow Garchomp in individual power. However, it will be weaker than mega legendaries (Primal Groudon, and Mega Rayquaza if it only gets a 3% nerf).

But once again, DO NOT PURIFY unless you really know what you’re doing. Even though shadows can’t mega evolve, you can run both a mega and a shadow (or 5 shadows) at the same time. You can also just mega evolve a regular Garchomp instead of a purified one, and IVs make very little difference in that.

I’ve made several plots showing Mega Garchomp before:

Verdict and Summary

In both its types, Shadow Garchomp offers a small upgrade from existing options. That’s enough for it to be the #1 non-mega Ground and one of the #1 non-mega Dragon. However, this is not a transformative change, and Shadow Garchomp as a Ground type remains behind competitor types unless Ground is the only option.

When both strength and utility are considered, Shadow Garchomp is a more powerful but less useful Shadow Mamoswine. This applies to both their roles as Ground attackers and anti-Dragon attackers.

While Shadow Garchomp will be a very valuable addition to anyone’s raid teams, you don’t have to go out of your way for it. Most people who care that much about raid teams probably have one or multiple Shadow Mamoswine and Dragonite/Salamence by now, with better IVs than they can get for Shadow Garchomps. Combined, they do almost everything that Shadow Garchomp does. Especially if your Shadow Mamoswine(s) are XL’ed.

This will especially be true if Shadow Gible becomes rare… And I have a hunch it will be. (Currently, Shadow Dratini is only available from less than 1% of all Rocket grunts.)

Should I use an Elite TM for Earth Power? My personal opinion: Only if it has good IVs. The difference between Shadow Garchomp and Shadow Mamoswine is small enough that at something like 5/5/5, Shadow Garchomp will likely fall behind at the same Pokemon level. Not to mention Swinub XLs are more accessible than Gible XLs.

  • Unlike Shadow Metagross and Shadow Tyranitar (Dark), this is not exactly a case where “even a 0% shadow is worth it”, due to alternatives being more available and closer in performance.
  • For shadows, you don’t need crazy IVs like 96% – I myself usually keep 3* shadows, or 70% with high attack, until I get better ones.

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