Smack down is a Rock type fast move that was introduced in the latest APK (v0.101.0). There are several species in the game that can learn this move by leveling up in the main series games while some others are able to learn it by TM.

The purpose of this article will be to analyse whether or not this new move could change the metagame. Some of the species that are able to learn it in the main series games are considered meta-relevant in Pokémon GO and thus, this analysis will be useful to see if their future looks promising or not.

Huge disclaimer: Smack down has been added to the APK’s move dictionary, but it’s details (move cooldown, base power, …) are not yet visible in the GAME_MASTER file. In order to do the required study in this analysis, its parameters will be considered equal to the ones of Rock Throw. Both moves have the same Base Power and PP in the main series games, and the only difference between them is their accuracy. Keep in mind that once this move gets added to the GAME_MASTER file, this study could become out of date.

Pokémon that could learn Smack Down

The following Table recaps the list of Pokémon that can learn Smack Down by leveling up in the main series games, as well as their best current movesets and base stats (only final stage evolutions have been considered).

Pokémon ATK DEF STA Max CP Fast Move Charge Move
Pokemon GO GolemGolem Rock Ground 211 229 160 2916 Rock Throw Rock Stone Edge Rock
Pokemon GO SteelixSteelix Steel Ground 148 333 150 2439 Iron Tail Steel Heavy Slam Steel
Pokemon GO RhydonRhydon Ground Rock 222 206 210 3300 Mud Slap Ground Stone Edge Rock
Pokemon GO ArmaldoArmaldo Rock Bug 222 183 150 2675 Fury Cutter Bug Rock Blast Rock

Out of all these Pokémon, Golem and Rhydon are the ones with the greatest potential. Armaldo is not too bad of an attacker (in fact, it has the same base attack stat as Rhydon and an even higher base attack stat than Golem) but the other two outclass it in most scenarios. Steelix is a great gym defender with one of the highest base defense stats in the game but it is not a rock type Pokémon, and thus the move would not benefit from STAB.

Furthermore, it cannot learn any rock type charge move, and thus it will not have a dual rock type moveset. However, it would be beneficial for him in certain situations such as when it faces a fire type attacker. With Moltres being the best fire type attacker in the game (and one of its best counters), it would be a great way to catch it off guard and deal significant damage, as it has a double weakness to rock type moves.

Up to 46 different Pokémon in the game can learn Smack Down via TM in the main series games. The following Table will just recap the most interesting ones as well as some potential future additions.

Pokémon ATK DEF STA Max CP Fast Move Charge Move
Pokemon GO OmastarOmastar Rock Water 207 227 140 2685 Rock Throw* Rock Rock Slide Rock
Pokemon GO KabutopsKabutops Rock Water 220 203 120 2517 Fury Cutter* Bug Ancient Power Rock
Pokemon GO AerodactylAerodactyl Rock Flying 221 164 160 2608 Bite Dark Ancient Power Rock
Pokemon GO TyranitarTyranitar Rock Dark 251 212 200 3670 Bite Dark Stone Edge Rock
Pokemon GO AggronAggron Steel Rock 198 314 140 3004 Iron Tail Steel Stone Edge Rock or Heavy Slam Steel
Pokemon GO RegirockRegirock Rock 179 356 160 3087 Rock Throw Rock Stone Edge Rock
Pokemon GO RhyperiorRhyperior Ground Rock 241 224 230 3869 Mud Slap** Ground Stone Edge** Rock
Pokemon GO GigalithGigalith Rock 226 223 170 3158 Mud Slap** Ground Stone Edge** Rock
Pokemon GO TerrakionTerrakion Rock Fighting 260 192 182 3468 Zen Headbutt** Psychic Rock Slide** Rock

* Legacy move ** Move not yet confirmed

The long wait might finally be over and the one and only Tyranitar could finally get the rock type fast move it deserves. With a massive attack stat of 251 and impressive stats overall, Tyranitar is one of the Pokémon that would benefit the most from the addition of this move to its movepool. Keep in mind, though, that the move has not been added to the GAME_MASTER file yet and that probably not all of the Pokémon listed in the Table above will end up getting it. However, if Tyranitar is finally able to learn a double rock type moveset, it will instantly become the best rock type attacker in the game (as long as its move characteristics are not significantly worse than the ones for Rock Throw, which we don’t know yet).

Aerodactyl is one of the other Pokémon who could benefit a lot from the addition of Smack Down to its movepool. It will be interesting to see what Niantic decides to do in the end.

Rhyperior (Rhydon’s final evolution in Generation 4) looks very promising too. It has great stats overall but its attack stat is slightly lower than Tyranitar’s. We strongly recommend you to save a good IV Rhyhorn/Rhydon for the future, as Rhyperior could potentially be one of the best rock type attackers in the game, mainly due to its great stats. Yet again, manage your expectations as it all depends on what Niantic decides to do in the end with its movepool.

Tyranitar case study

The purpose of this section is to compare Tyranitar’s movesets in terms of cycle DPS and see if this new fast move could potentially change its viability as a rock type attacker. Furthermore, Smack Down Tyranitar will be compared to the best rock type attackers in the game as of now and to the new potential candidates in order to see where it ranks.

First of all, it is important to mention that the formula used to calculate the cycle DPS for each moveset is not perfect. In some scenarios, the final DPS is underestimated as it does not consider the energy gain from the damage taken and in other scenarios the final DPS is overestimated due to the fact that it assumes a complete last cycle right before finishing the battle. However, it still provides a good estimate that can be used to analyse the potential of each moveset.

Instead of just analysing the weave or cycle DPS, the result will be multiplied times the attack stat of Tyranitar (or the attacker that we want to analyse) and divided by 2*DEF, where a base defense stat of 100 is normally used as a general rule. We’ll call that Specific Cycle DPS. Thus, comparing different attackers with the same moveset will be possible. First of all, let’s see a comparison of the cycle DPS for each move that Tyranitar is able to learn and its potential new moveset.

Tyranitar moves in Pokémon GO
Fast Move Charge Move Sp. Cycle DPS (STAB)
Smack Down* Rock Stone Edge Rock 26.97
Smack Down* Rock Crunch Dark 25.61
Bite Dark Stone Edge Rock 25.44
Smack Down* Rock Fire Blast Fire 25.43
Bite Dark Crunch Dark 24.57
Bite Dark Fire Blast Fire 24.05
Iron Tail Steel Stone Edge Rock 23.29
Iron Tail Steel Crunch Dark 23.15
Iron Tail Steel Fire Blast Fire 22.33

* Move characteristics unknown as of now, assuming the same ones of Rock Throw

Bite and Stone Edge, which is the current mixed Tyranitar moveset, could soon be outclassed by its potential double rock type moveset. Smack Down could in fact change the metagame and make Tyranitar the best rock type attacker in the game immediately. Tyranitar has been commonly used with its dual dark type moveset, especially to counter non-Focus Blast Mewtwo, whereas Golem has been the top choice as a rock type attacker. However, this could change in the near future if Smack Down is assigned to Tyranitar.

We want to insist in the fact that this might not happen, it all depends on what Niantic decides to do with this move and how it is implemented and to which Pokémon it is assigned. Tyranitar is able to learn it via TM in the main series games and thus, it has been considered for this comparison.

Now, let’s see how Tyranitar would compare to other meta-relevant rock type attackers in the game, including Golem, Smack Down Rhydon (assuming it would be able to learn it too), Rhyperior (not yet in the game, but it evolves from Rhydon in Generation 4), Kabutops, Omastar and Aerodactyl.

Pokémon ATK Fast Move Charge Move Sp. Cycle DPS (STAB)
Pokemon GO TyranitarTyranitar Rock Dark 251 Smack Down* Rock Stone Edge Rock 26.97
Pokemon GO RhyperiorRhyperior Ground Rock 241 Smack Down* Rock Stone Edge Rock 25.89
Pokemon GO RhydonRhydon Ground Rock 222 Smack Down* Rock Stone Edge Rock 23.85
Pokemon GO GolemGolem Ground Rock 211 Rock Throw Rock Stone Edge Rock 22.67
Pokemon GO OmastarOmastar Rock Water 207 Smack Down* Rock Rock Slide Rock 22.55
Pokemon GO AerodactylAerodactyl Rock Flying 221 Smack Down* Rock Ancient Power Rock 21.67
Pokemon GO KabutopsKabutops Rock Water 220 Smack Down* Rock Ancient Power Rock 21.58

* Move characteristics unknown as of now, assuming the same ones of Rock Throw

Golem, the TOP choice right now as a rock type attacker, would immediately be downgraded to the third place. This fact alone is good enough to represent how meta-changing this move could be. Tyranitar would be an absolute beast and the go-to rock type attacker without any doubt. In terms of TDO (Total Damage Output), Tyranitar would also be the in the number one spot, followed closely by Rhyperior, Rhydon and then Golem.

When to use Smack Down Tyranitar

Rock type Pokémon are relevant in the current metagame. They have been more relevant in the past, but despite not being the best type out there, having a couple of good rock type attackers in your team should be required. Here is a compilation of the some of the most relevant raids in which it would be a top counter as a rock type attacker:

 Raid Boss Fast move to use Charge move to use
Pokemon GO SnoruntSnorunt
Ice
Smack Down* Rock Stone Edge Rock
Pokemon GO SneaselSneasel
Dark Ice
Smack Down* Rock Stone Edge Rock
Pokemon GO ScytherScyther**
Bug Flying
Smack Down* Rock Stone Edge Rock
Pokemon GO ArticunoArticuno**
Ice Flying
Smack Down* Rock Stone Edge Rock
Pokemon GO ZapdosZapdos**
Electric Flying
Smack Down* Rock Stone Edge Rock
Pokemon GO MoltresMoltres**
Fire Flying
Smack Down* Rock Stone Edge Rock
Pokemon GO Ho-OhHo-Oh**
Fire Flying
Smack Down* Rock Stone Edge Rock

*Move characteristics still unknown as of now **Legacy raid boss

Conclusion

The TL;DR would be:

  • Smack Down Tyranitar would be the best Rock type attacker in the game
  • Some other rock type Pokémon would greatly benefit too but Tyranitar would still outperform them
  • It will rank pretty high against other generalists too

However, please keep in mind that Smack down has only been added to the APK’s move dictionary. This article just assumes that its characteristics (which are still unknown) will be equal to Rock Throw, but that could not be the case when the move is officially released.