The Ground types have always been among the most viable types in the Pokémon competitive scene. Boasting mons with strong stats, the ever-reliable and powerful Earthquake, benefits of Sand, and excellent abilities, these down-to-earth monsters truly shake the meta.

While the same couldn’t be said about this typing in the first years of Pokémon GO, the advent of many Ground types has made them a pivotal part of the game, in both the PvE and PvP formats.

However, while there’s still scope for improvement in Ground type moves for the PvE department, the PvP scenario tells us a different story. The Ground types are some of the most dominating mons across all three PvP formats. Nidoqueen, Stunfusk (both Unovan and Galarian), Diggersby, Steelix, Whiscash etc, are all amazing Pokémon to use in the lower leagues. But no other PvP league lets the Ground typing rise above the dust as much as the Master League. 

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This article will highlight just why these earth-shattering types are so dominant, and what makes them one of the best future investments of your resources. Not to mention, I will also showcase some of the best Ground types to use in the ML meta. With that being said, let’s dig in!


Defining Factors for Grounds Types in the Master League

Mud Shot

With a damage per turn and energy per turn set ([DPT/EPT]) of [1.50/4.50], Mud Shot is the most crucial sho(r)t in the arm for any Ground type. An EPT of 4.5 is incredible, letting the Pokémon reach even more expensive charged moves like Earthquake (65 energy requirement) in a jiffy. 

Honestly, if Earthquake defines competitive battles and the MSG, then Mud Shot is the defining Ground type move in PvP. Just look at Excadrill!

Coverage

The Ground type ties with the Fighting type for maximum super-effective damage. It is super-effective against 5 types, that include the Electric, Fire, Poison, Rock, and the Steel types. As always, being super-effectice against the Steel behemoths is an excellent thing in any PvP league.

It is resisted only by the Flying, Bug, Grass types, dealing neutral damage to all the other types.

In a nutshell, the Ground type offers excellent coverage aginst much of the meta, and ususally has other moves that show teeth against the Flying, Bug, and Grass type for neutral coverage.

Future-proof

Dialga holds the claim to the throne in the current ML meta.

Eternatus, with its incredible stats and typing, is bound to be a contender to the throne.

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The eventual arrival of the OP Zacian (Crowned) will issue a red alert threat to ML.

The Mythical Zeraora can shock the meta with the right moveset.

What do they all have in common?

That’s right.

A weakness to the Ground type.

By investing in good Ground types, you can rest assured that you got an affirmative reply to any of these menaces.


With that being said, let’s check out the meta defining Ground types of ML and what makes them special!

Groudon

Max CP at Level 40 4115 | Max CP at Level 50 4652
ATK 270 DEF 228 HP 205
Weak to Strong Against
Grass Ice Water  Fire Electric Rock Poison Steel

 

Fast Moves Charge Moves
  • Mud Shot Ground
  • Dragon Tail Dragon
  • Earthquake Ground
  • Fire Blast Fire
  • Solar Beam Grass
  • Fire Punch* Fire

*denotes a legacy move

Description

Groudon is the very embodiment of the Ground types, sporting legendary stats (literally) and a fearsome reputation. Naturally, it can totally obliterate Steel types with quick access to Earthquake and a super-effective albeit low power bait move in Fire Punch. With the Dragon Tail buff, it can stand tall against threats that its Ground moves cannot do much.

Advantage

Regardless of the match-up, no matter how unfavourable, Groudon is going to dig into your team. It can force shields and also take out chunks of HP from its opponent. Its excellent stats are its biggest draw.

Disadvantage

Despite Mud Shot’s quick energy gains, Earthquake at 65 energy is still an expensive move. This often leaves Groudon rely on Fire Punch to get out of tricky situations, making it a tedious task to do much damage. While Dragon Tail can offset the threats that Mud Shot struggles with and make Fire Punch seem more dangerous with the heavy damage potential of Dragon Tail adding on, it brings its own set of challenges that Mud Shot could manage. Apples and oranges, folks! It lacks that coverage that would make many Flying types actually fear Groudon.


Garchomp

Max CP at Level 40 3962 | Max CP at Level 50 4479
ATK 261 DEF 193 HP 239
Weak to Strong Against
Dragon Fairy Ice Dragon Fire Electric Rock Poison Steel

 

Fast Moves Charge Moves
  • Mud Shot Ground
  • Dragon Tail Dragon
  • Earthquake Ground
  • Earth Power* Ground
  • Sand Tomb Ground
  • Outrage Dragon
  • Fire Blast Fire

*denotes a legacy move

Description

Garchomp has always been of the most feared Pokémon in any meta it has been a part of, and the Master League is no different. Boasting an amazing typing and a wide array of moves, Garchomp is an excellent mon that will always remain viable. If all that wasn’t enough already it’s a powerful Dragon with super-effective coverage against the Steel types. What’s not to like?!

Advantage

Aside from the amazing Dragon and Ground typify, Garchomp’s biggest USP is its versatility. Be it Mud Shot + its nuke moves, Mud Shot + Sand Tomb & anything, or Dragon Tail + Sand Tomb & anything, there are so many ways you can use this pseudo legendary. This makes Garchomp extremely unpredictable and a vital core breaker of many powerful teams.

Disadvantage

Garchomp goes entirely toothless against the Fairy nightmare Togekiss. While Dragon Tail combined with Sand Tomb can still make Garchomp go up against Steel to some degree and virtually anything not Fairy, its Mud Shot set struggles against the likes of Kyogre and Gyarados despite Mud Shot offering it more flexibility. At the same time, Dragon Tail can struggle against the rampant Steel types by not bringing wins it could achieve through Mud Shot. As such, Garchomp is a double-edged sword in some match-ups.

Garchomp


Excadrill

Max CP at Level 40 3244 | Max CP at Level 50 3667
ATK 255 DEF 129 HP 242
Weak to Strong Against
Fighting Fire Ground Water Dragon Fairy Fire Electric Ice Rock Poison Steel

 

Fast Moves Charge Moves
  • Mud Shot Ground
  • Mud-Slap Ground
  • Metal Claw Steel
  • Earthquake Ground
  • Drill Run Ground
  • Rock Slide Rock
  • Iron Head Steel

Description

Excadrill is one of the most underrated Pokémon in the Master League and trainers don’t emphasize enough about just how good it is. It took some time to bloom as it received Mud Shot as a part of a move rebalance. Since then, it has become a mainstay in the teams of countless trainers. Even in the most unfavourable matchups, Excadrill is going to surely leave an appreciable dent in your team’s armour.

Advantage

Excadrill combines the attacking and defensive prowess of the Ground and Steel typing beautifully. It boasts 10 resistances, including the Electric, Dragon, Fairy, Flying, Poison, Rock, Bug, Normal, Psychic, and Steel types. Frankly, resisting the steel, dragon & fairy core is a massive feat. Armed with Drill Run, Rock Slide and the quick energy gains of Mud Shot, Excadrill acts like a pivot that threatens high damage to almost anything in the Master League.

Disadvantage

While Excadrill’s massive HP makes up for its bulk, its low DEF cannot be entirely ignored. As such, it does have some limits to its sweeping potential and can face frustrating energy losses for Drill Run and Rock Slide as they have the same energy requirement, making it easier for the opponent to predict your moment of charged move delivery. So when the opponent switches to a perfect check at time you were about to use a certain charged move, say, Drill Run; an opposing Flying would laugh it off.

Excadrill


Swampert

Max CP at Level 40 2974 | Max CP at Level 50 3362
ATK 208 DEF 175 HP 225
Weak to Strong Against
Grass  Fire Ground Electric Ice Rock Poison Steel

 

Fast Moves Charge Moves
  • Mud Shot Ground
  • Water Gun Water
  • Earthquake Ground
  • Surf Water
  • Muddy Water Water
  • Hydro Cannon* Water
  • Sludge Wave Poison

Description

Swampert is one of the few Pokémon that is relevant in all three PvP leagues. Sporting an incredible typing and the powerful Hydro Cannon, Swampert can spam it at will, making most people shudder at its sight. With excellent moves and decent bulk, Swampert is an all-round good Pokémon in ML.

Advantage

Swampert is weak only to the Grass type and except the rate occurrences of the likes of Zarude and Tapu Bulu, this Hoenn water starter doesn’t really have a super-effective threat in the ML meta. Its ability to spam Hydro Cannon at just 40 energy is a book to it, demanding the opponent’s shields and/or dishing out a lot of damage, makes it a welcome addition to any ML team.

Disadvantage

Swampert feels hopeless against the usual Dragonite and Gyarados, each bringing Swampert down without much effort. In addition, while Hydro Cannon is great, Swampert could have done much more with a higher ATK stat.

pokemon go swampert


Landorus Therian

Max CP at Level 40 3922| Max CP at Level 50 4434
ATK 289 DEF 179 HP 205
Weak to Strong Against
Ice Water  Fire Electric Rock Poison Steel Bug Fighting Grass

 

Fast Moves Charge Moves
  • Mud Shot Ground
  • Extrasensory Psychic
  • Earthquake Ground
  • Stone Edge Rock
  • Bulldoze Ground
  • Superpower Fighting

Description

Landorus Therian is one of the most dominating Ground types in the meta, boasting stats that would make your jaws drop. It gets even better when you consider its pretty good bulk, making Lando-T an overall amazing Pokémon stat wise.

Advantage

That tremendous 289 ATK is among the highest in the ML meta, even higher than the likes of Groudon and Dialga! Lando-T makes full use of its monstrous offenses and good coverage moves to take a lot of Pokémon. Its set of moves let it you around with Steel types while also hitting Flying types super effectively.

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Disadvantage

Landorus Therian’s moveset is good but… it could have been better. Superpower debuffs and if shielded, could land you in trouble. Stone Edge lacks STAB and is Lando-T’s most reliable move and Earthquake is expensive. Furthermore, Lando-T gets totally walled by Kyogre and any Ice type move.


Landorus Incarnate

Max CP at Level 40 3588 | Max CP at Level 50 4057
ATK 261 DEF 182 HP 205
Weak to Strong Against
Ice Water  Fire Electric Rock Poison Steel Bug Fighting Grass

 

Fast Moves Charge Moves
  • Mud Shot Ground
  • Rock Throw Rock
  • Earth Power Ground
  • Rock Slide Rock
  • Outrage Dragon
  • Focus Blast Fighting

Description

Landorus Incarnate is a good Ground type Pokémon in general but undoubtedly pales in comparison to the stats of its Therian forme. Many people sleep on Lando-I and it’s a pretty decent Pokémon to use in the ML meta as it does have something going good for it: its moveset.

Advantage

Lando-I has an excellent moveset. When compared to its more powerful Therian forme, Lando-I plays its own cards by having a more convenient and viable moveset. While both formes have Mud Shot, Lando-I gets access to Earth Power and Rock Slide, thereby giving it much cheaper moves to take advantage of. Its ATK stat is very good and enough to punch holes into teams without much effort.

Disadvantage

Lando-I has got a great ATK stat and moves better than Lando-T but there are just better options with more flexibility, reliability, and bulk. When you consider the role it fulfills, other Ground mons like Garchomp or Excadrill do it better. Otherwise, it faces the same problems that Landorus Therian’s does.

Landorus


Mamoswine

Max CP at Level 40 3328 | Max CP at Level 50 3763
ATK 247 DEF 146 HP 242
Weak to Strong Against
Fighting Fire Grass Steel Water  Dragon Flying Grass Ground Fire Electric Rock Poison Steel

 

Fast Moves Charge Moves
  • Mud-Slap Ground
  • Powder Snow Ice
  • Bulldoze Ground
  • Stone Edge Rock
  • Avalanche Ice
  • Ancient Power* Rock

*denotes a legacy move

Description

Mamoswine has established a mammoth presence (pun intended) for itself among the elite list of Ground types in the ML meta. Blessed with an absolutely amazing Ice moveset and a complementary Ground charged move, Mamoswine does its job well and continues to find a place for itself in core ML teams to this day.

Advantage

The combination of Ice and Ground gives Mamoswine nearly perfect neutral coverage against anything it faces in the usual ML meta. STAB Ice and Ground can delete some of the most prominent heavyweights of the Master League and despite its limitations (which will be highlighted next), it fares well in almost every match it is a part of.

Disadvantage

Mamoswine’s typing is the reason behind its offensive glory. Sadly, it’s the very reason for its defensive issues. Particularly, its weakness to some of the most common Master League Pokémon puts it at danger of being eliminated before it can possibly start sweeping the ML floor.


Rhyperior

Max CP at Level 40 3733 | Max CP at Level 50 4221
ATK 241 DEF 190 HP 251
Weak to Strong Against
Grass Water Fighting Ground Steel  Bug Fire Flying Ice Electric Rock Poison Steel

 

Fast Moves Charge Moves
  • Mud-Slap Ground
  • Smack Down Rock
  • Earthquake Ground
  • Rock Wrecker* Rock
  • Surf Water
  • Superpower Fighting
  • Skull Bash Normal

Description

Rhyperior is still regarded as one of the best Community Day mons due to the sheer power and energy efficiency of Rock Wrecker. With excellent ATK as well as bulk, this rocky [behemoth has the chops required to be a top-notch Pokémon in the Master League.

Advantage

Rhyperior has a versatile moveset and it makes good use of its powers to cut down many Pokémon to the dust. Just like Mamoswine, Rhyperior has an amazing offensive typing in Rock apart from the fantastic Ground typing. Naturally, its Rock and Ground moves mix well with a secondary move like Surf or Superpower to make Rhyperior a destructive force in ML.

Disadvantage

Unfortunately, Rhyperior’s happy analogy with Mamoswine also extends to its negatives. Rock and ground are a match made on earth but on Rhyperior, they bring a slew of weaknesses that also include two 2x weaknesses. Add weaknesses to common ML types such as Fighting, Ground, Steel; and you can see why Rhyperior is wary of mons exploiting its typing.

Pokemon GO Rhyperior
Pokémon GO Rhyperior

Conclusion

The Ground type is and will always be a fantastic PvP asset. As mentioned, this type is excellent I successfully dealing with some of the most powerful Pokémon of the Master League and most Ground types come with a second typing and/or amazing coverage moves that maximize their impact on the most intense PvP league.

The current slot of Pokémon highlighted in this write-up present a very exciting and competent list. The future brings up wonderful Ground mons like Zygarde, Krookodile with a Community Day or a move rebalance, Landorus Therian with a possible Earth Power inclusion, and the potential usage of mega evolutions in PvP.

Till then, trainers, stay grounded so that your opponents can bite the dust!

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